Buttercups and Cannon: Day 2 – If These Stones Could Talk...

May 4, 2017 by

I heard a rustling in the grass nearby. “Hey turkey,”  I called.  No, this was not a lost hiker who had wandered up to the patio where I was working. This was a real wild turkey, walking at the edge of the woods behind the park headquarters where I have my studio space for the next two weeks. My project on this beautiful morning (pollen excepted) is the journal I am creating from an old book that I will use this to record my thoughts during my time here. I started by “gutting” the book, a painful procedure for a book lover, but I only choose books that are in bad condition. I like to think I am giving them a new life. I always save the text pages for other projects. To pay...

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Buttercups and Cannon: Day One- High on a Hill...

May 3, 2017 by

May 1, 2017  The first time I looked at the clock this morning, the numbers glowed 4:30 a.m.  Though I was eager to begin the day as Artist-in-Residence at Manassas National Battlefield Park, Civil War spirits might have been the only ones there at that pre-dawn hour.  A bit more sleep, breakfast, and off I went.  I did still arrive at 7:30 to begin setting up my studio space at Park Headquarters.  I won’t actually be staying at the park since I live fifteen minutes away, but will be working there each day. My first artistic adventure this morning took me to one of my favorite viewpoints – the ruins of the Robinson house.  James Robinson chose a lovely spot for his home and garden high on a hill overlooking tree-bordered grassy meadows and...

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Buttercups and Cannon: The Nature of the Battlefield...

May 3, 2017 by

As I began to plan for my Artist-in-Residence experience at Manassas National Battlefield Park, I thought about how and why the park is important to me.  I hike there often and enjoy sketching along Bull Run and at the Stone Bridge, where I also go to admire spring wildflowers. The beauty of this special place can sometimes make one forget, just for a moment,  the sorrow lingering beneath the soil. During my time at the park, I will work to capture the layers of history and nature here –the ways in which the two have coexisted. Battles ripped and scarred this graceful landscape, but nature soothed and reclaimed the land and pays homage to those who perished here. History and nature, sorrow and beauty – all are represented. Samuel Fiske, (pen name Dunn Brown)...

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Gertrude’s Story

Mar 2, 2017 by

  I sat on the long, worn wooden bench trying to imagine what the big gray room would have been like on November 18, 1923 – the noise, the somber faces – and how nineteen-year-old Gertrude Glaser must have felt as she disembarked here at Ellis Island. I never asked her. Like so many grandchildren, I didn’t think much about it until it was too late to ask. My grandmother didn’t talk about her early life in Germany, so our family has very few details, but after a visit to Ellis Island with my aunt and cousins, I began thinking about Gertrude’s story and have finally pieced together her remarkable journey of perseverance and courage. I share it now to honor her during Women’s History Month. My grandmother, Gertrude Elsie Glaser Brookman, was born...

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Take Pen in Hand – It’s National Handwriting Day!...

Jan 23, 2017 by

  Every few months, I attempt to tidy up my office/studio.  Though this task in itself is one I approach with trepidation, once in a while I uncover a wonderful surprise. Last week I was cleaning out the second drawer down in my desk.  Now, this once-organized drawer had become a haven for a variety of notepads, birthday cards with pretty pictures, and a few paper clips that had made their way down from the top drawer.  Oh, and I found my long lost “Bridges of Madison County” DVD.  I reached the bottom of the drawer and feeling good about my work so far, I noticed one more item – a little flowered card.  I opened it.  Here was a note from my mom, dated 2005, about the time she began to have memory...

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