Tag Archives: train

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.



Here are a couple more small paintings from December. Both of them feature public transportation, don’t they? I imagine myself taking a little trip when I look at them.

Acrylics on 3/8″ board.

A Journey

Here is a story about a project I did that required the help and participation of quite a few people for me to accomplish it. And it’s one that has meant a lot to me, because it involves my favorite people and the place where I feel most happy, other than my own home – the public library.

In April of this year, I visited my son in Pittsburgh, where he is living right now. I took the trip on my own and traveled by train from Philadelphia – a seven hour journey. The trip made a big impression on me. There was an unending progression of interesting sights from the train window, and then I spent 4 days looking around Pittsburgh, some of it on my own and some with my son.

One of the places I visited was the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s main location. I particularly wanted to go there to see their zine collection. Some time earlier, a student in one of my collage classes introduced me to the existence of zines. I found the idea fascinating, that I could put together my own publication. Inspiration as to what to do, though, evaded me, and the idea of trying my own remained something just in the back of my mind.

Then, my son gave me some zines he bought at a zine fest in Pittsburgh – and I learned of the CLP zine collection from researching the authors of those zines. So, as a result, I found myself spending an afternoon reading selections from the collection. Just a wonderful experience, I can’t tell you. There are very interesting people are living in this world and I’m glad that some of them are writing or drawing and creating these works.

After I went home, I thought about the trip, and I consulted the small notebook that I had kept notes in for the trip – I had done this with the idea of doing something with the information, but figured mostly it would just help me remember what I saw when I told my husband about the trip. I realized my notes made a story – and then I realized, here was my zine idea.

So I set to work, wrote it all, put pictures of my notebook pages in it as well, and made painted covers. I sent them to friends, both ones I see in person and some who I know only through my mail art activities. I took my courage in hand and inquired as to whether the CLP would like a copy. Yes, the answer came back! So I sent it off to Pittsburgh and imagined it in its place in the collection there.

I received many nice comments on my work – in one notable instance, the husband of one my mail art friends wrote me a postcard saying he’d read her copy and that he traveled the same way I did, looking out the window and enjoying the everyday sights right outside. (He said that if we ever traveled together it could be difficult, because we would both want the window seat!) You can see that I felt very satisfied by the whole experience.

But there is one more thing to tell. This last weekend my husband and I visited our son (traveling by car this time). On the Friday afternoon, October 25, we went to the library to visit my zine. We couldn’t find it at first, looking in the Travel section. Then – we found it, displayed in a special spot as a new zine! For everyone to see it!

So, I want to thank Katie, Andrew, Hector (and all the others who read my zine, including Diane and her sister), Jude, and Bob for how each of you made such a nice experience possible.

If you want to know more about the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s zine activities, here’s a link.

And here’s another post I did about my trip to Pittsburgh – about their very attractive city buses!

And, if you want a copy of the zine (It’s called “Mom Takes The Train to Pittsburgh, Has a Great Time, and Then Goes Home”, email me and I’ll send you one.

A Journey

Yet another little book. The fascination with the book form shows no sign of ending.

This book is called “Fares” for the obvious reason – the cover is a fare card for our local commuter train system. I had the cover and added the pages – then I did the artwork and then the text – so you can see it all flowed from the word on the front – Fares.

Here is the text and the pictures follow.


in the open air beneath the stars,

places, geography.

I had to leave
those who knew them,

I couldn’t help it.

I just wanted a little more

I wanted to find

the few who knew

I’ll look everywhere

hope might be