Tag Archives: park

A Very Nice Day

Yesterday I participated in an art show in a park not too far from home, Memorial Park in Lansdale, PA. This show is a long-running event and I’ve been in it, though not every year, for about 20 years. I’ve shown fabric, collage, and now paintings for the last couple of years.

Lansdale 8-15 #1 small

This event is special to me because it was one of the first shows I did when I got started, and it’s also the place where I won my first award, also about twenty years ago. I got third place for a fabric wall hanging, and when the ribbon was presented to me I broke down in tears. To me, that award meant I was really an artist, that I belonged.

This year, we had a beautiful sunny day, warm and breezy. A great crowd attended.

It was a day for seeing people. I caught up with several friends who were exhibiting. My friend John came to see us and sat with us for most of the afternoon.

A little boy, about ten years old, stopped in with his mother; she said he insisted on seeing my work, and he told me he wanted to be an artist himself. I gave him one of my little paintings and they said it was his first original piece, so I started off his art collection! (I got an email from him later that night thanking me and sending me an image of one of his paintings.) What a nice day for me.

To top it off, I won Best of Show. A surprise for me and exciting. I did not cry this time, but I certainly was very happy. Thank you, Lansdale Festival of the Arts!

Trees and the Tree-like

Two more experiments with watered-down acrylics.

The first one is my impression of trees and green plants growing in the flood plain near the Pennypack Trail in Lorimer Park, Huntingdon Valley, PA. I also used an acrylic paint pen for some details.

Forest floor

Forest floor

The second one depicts a tree-like creature, looking a bit desperate, and flailing at the moon. I don’t know where this one came from but I hope it all works out ok.

I used the same paint techniques for this one as for the one above.

Creature fending off moonlight.

Creature fending off moonlight.

Both of these are a good size to be sent as postcards so maybe I will do that later on.

Sneaking In and Settling Down

Here are three more stone women that I plan to take to the grotto in Lorimer Park – I think I’ll go tomorrow afternoon. I don’t want anyone to see me putting them in place, so it’s best to go when the park is less busy. I have an appointment in the area tomorrow at lunchtime, so it’s a perfect time to stop and drop them off afterward. Especially since these ladies are a bit hefty and I can’t just carry them in my hands or belt pack – I’ll have to use a little shopping bag.

People do notice a person carrying a shopping bag on the exercise trail. I know this since it has already happened to me – doing just this same activity, only in the morning when a lot of people are around. Don’t say I don’t learn from experience.

Anyway, these ladies are photographed in the place where they received their personalities – my studio. Thought they’d like a memento of where they first met.

three stone women 7-14

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

If it were yesterday, I would be saying “here today, gone tomorrow” about this most recent group of rock ladies. But of course, yesterday I did not know what I know today.

I put them in the grotto at Lorimer Park to replace the ones that left last week. These ladies were smaller than the earlier ones – I pick up stones that wash down from the rock walls in the area of the trail, and I try to match up stones that will stand up securely and are also similar in size. These ladies were short.

Anyway, I put them in their spot yesterday morning. This morning – they’ve already taken someone’s eye and gone on their way!

The three on the left are the ones who have traveled on. I like to place them in groups of three. I still have the other one - I'll find her some companions and until then she can wait here at my house.

The three on the left are the ones who have traveled on. I like to place them in groups of three.
I still have the other one – I’ll find her some companions and until then she can wait here at my house.

Not knowing any of this, I had brought along this lady painted on a wood chip – she’s now in one of the abandoned train control boxes. About a mile or so from the grotto.

I’ll look for her tomorrow…

Peace and Hope, Leaving Some, Taking Some

This morning I went to Lorimer Park for my exercise, despite the light fog and a look of rain in the cloudy sky.

I decided to leave the rail trail and go along the interior paths. We had a torrential rainstorm last evening and they were a bit tricky to navigate – lots of washouts. This happens because the park slopes steeply down to the Pennypack Creek.

Anyway, I thought I’d take a figurine along and see if there was a place for her on a path on the other side of the park.

I found just the perfect spot on a gatepost in the fence separating the park from the Fox Chase Farm, a working educational farm that’s right next to Lorimer.

I reflected on how lucky we are to have this park and this farm here – because they are set right in the middle of a very densely populated urban area. You’d never know it when you’re in the park and looking out at this view.

I felt a sense of peace in setting this figurine here. The day was quiet and and the view almost monochromatic. Not many other people had ventured out – I’d only seen a few people in the hour or so I was there. The only sounds I could hear were the birds, the creek, a little bit of breeze rustling the leaves, and spatters of drops falling from the trees. It makes a real difference to me to experience this feeling and I am grateful for it.

Lorimer Park information
Pennypack Park information
Fox Chase Farm information

Kid Stuff? Yes or No?

As you know, I walk or run along a rail trail in a park near me quite often. There is a cut through a hill – high rocky walls on either side – and a little indentation in one of them that all of us regulars refer to as the grotto.

People put items in the grotto, and they come and go. I’ve described my own additions in an earlier post. Most recently I added three painted rocks – fat little women figures.

You may also remember that I set a clay figurine on a pile of rocks in the same park, along another trail, and I also chronicled that addition.

Since then, two of the three rock women and the clay figurine have moved on – people take them, and that’s what I hope for, in fact. So I moved the remaining rock woman to the rock pile and set out three new rock women figurines at the grotto.

Why am I recounting all of this history? So you will understand two recent occurrences. Earlier this week I saw a couple of small boys and their mother exclaiming over the ladies in the grotto (the children and the ladies were at the same level, face to face). I just enjoyed seeing the interest the figurines evoked – I know people notice them, of course, since they take them! but I have never seen it in person.

And then today. I had stopped at the grotto to say hello to the women figures. I then walked on and a woman coming the other way down the trail, who had seen what I was doing, said, “Don’t you just love the grotto? The kids put something new there to look at every week!”

I just said, “Yes, and I always stop and take a look,” and went on my way, enjoying my little secret – I am that kid!

Not Just a Pile of Stones

I walked today in Lorimer Park, a site I’ve mentioned before. Today I walked along the rail trail enjoying the warm, sunny morning – what a beautiful day. I decided to detour along one of the trails on the interior of the park. It’s quite hilly there and I haven’t walked on these paths in a while.

Just as I started along I saw a pile of stones arranged against a big tree. I don’t know why it was there, but they were carefully stacked. The site just cried out for a woman figurine, I thought. I know what I’ll do…

I walked back to the main entrance of the park along this shady trail. I took my time, enjoying the sound of the creek – the path runs along it. And when I got back to the parking lot, I selected a figurine (yes, I’ve been keeping some in my car, just in case the right situation arises for one) and took her back out to the rock pile.

I set her in place. She fit right in. And I think she looks very satisfied.

One thing I noticed – if you look at the tree trunk in the mid-range view, just above the figurine, to the right, do you see a mouth, maybe just about to smile?

A lot of interesting things happen in Lorimer Park…

Let’s Visit

Here is something I wrote in January, 2014. I had dedicated the month to doing clay, and I made a number of small figurines. Here’s what I wanted to do with them:

Back in the summer, my family and I placed three figurines in a little rocky grotto area in a park along a trail where I run. It had become an informal spot for remembrances, it seemed – there were other objects set there – tiles, wind chimes, a big painted wooden face. The three figures lasted about three months and then were gone. Not broken, as there were no pieces – I believe someone needed them and took them. That was great, I thought. We put three more in place. A couple of times I ran by and saw that someone had put a pile of change in front of them – the money stayed there until this group, too, were gone. Once again, no pieces – so I know someone needed them and took them along.

I have three more to put in place when I can get to the park again. And all of this gave me an idea about my figurines. I decided no longer to sell them. Just give them to people who seem to need encouragement, who I want to thank or appreciate, or who just like them and express an interest. And I also want to continue setting them out in public. People do seem to like seeing them, and if someone wants to take them home, I hope they will do so.

A lot of my plans got derailed with my hand surgery and health issues, but as I’ve said, I’m slowly working my way back. And I’ve begun putting out figurines – I’ve written about the one at Mondauk Park recently. The trail I mention in the paragraphs above is Lorimer Park, Montgomery County, PA. It’s a former rail line now turned gravel trail, and it’s beautiful – on a steep slope above a creek. The grotto is located in a cut through the hill – high walls of rock rise on each side of the trail.

I’ve walked there recently several times. And I noticed that all the clay figurines I’ve placed in the grotto are gone – for a total of nine. I think it’s great.

This time I had the idea to do something different. So I picked up three rocks from beside the site, painted them (three little versions of Mother Nature, I think). I returned them to the place I got them a few days ago. I visited them yesterday, and here is a little pictorial version of the journey.

Saturday in the Park in June

This past Saturday, June 15, I spent at a show in West Park, Allentown, PA. The event is put on by the West Park Civic Association.

I’ve done this show for many years, since the mid-90’s, I think. And I will say that I think this is my favorite show to do. When I first exhibited here, I was welcomed by the organizers and the crowd, and it’s continued in the same way ever since. This year, as I have in the past, I brought my collage work. The spaces are large and there is plenty of room to show a lot of work without crowding things.

I see many familiar faces every year and my artwork has always been appreciated. It’s a pleasure to return.
Even my booth location has always been the same – from the first year, I have occupied space #108, under the same tree.

My booth. For this show I brought my collage work and acrylic paintings.

My booth. For this show I brought my collage work and acrylic paintings.

West Park is an arboretum, shady and green, in the middle of a historic district. The surrounding homes are mostly rows, three stories, with beautiful brickwork and details. The park is a nice oasis amid the densely-built city streets. The day after the show there is a house tour featuring residences in the neighborhood. I have long had the fantasy of moving into one of these houses – I think they are just charming.

There are other events in the park throughout the year and I can tell you, from having visited it at other times, that the park is just great on a hot summer day – peaceful and cool. If you’re ever in Allentown, visit the park.

A view looking toward the central fountain from the sidewalk in front of my booth.

A view looking toward the central fountain from the sidewalk in front of my booth.