Susan's "subject matter, context and medium...present a coherent artistic vision"
John Torreano, Clinical Professor of Studio Art, NYU

"Great stuff. Love your work."
Seymour Chwast

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Mc LAUGHS


If only I'd used a Quo Vadis planner, I wouldn't have so many loose ends!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Busy as a Bee




THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE IS CAPRICIOUS and difficult to learn. My friend, Bea, a Brazilian who is currently living in New York and learning the language, recently told me that she had "inhaled" all of the dust from her bookshelves. "Kinky," I thought, until I figured out that she had meant to use the word "vacuumed." Well, she got the concept right; both words mean to draw in matter.

Bea told me that now even her name confused her. In Portuguese it is just her name, but in English, it is not only her name but also means various other things.

I explained the three Bs–"be," "Bea," and "bee"– to her as clearly as I could. The three B's might even be harder to learn than the ABCs because of their similar pronunciation and varying spelling and definitions.

The word "be" is defined as to exist actually;

"Bea" is a given female name like hers, or if capitalized, an acronym (BEA) for the US Bureau of Economic Analysis; and

"Bee" is a yellow and black striped, winged, hairy-bodied, stinging, pollinating insect.

Bea mentioned that she had heard the expression "busy as a bee" and wondered what it meant. I told her about the bees' checkered work history and how their work performance has been aggrandized over the years. Most people think that bees are the hardest working insects in nature–a virtual paradigm of the word "busy"–and liken busy people to them. Thus, the expression, "busy as a bee." Geoffrey Chaucer started the busy bee rumor in his Canterbury Tales, (the Squire's Tale), way back in the fourteenth century, when he wrote,

"... In wommen be; for ay as busy as bees
Be thay us seely men for to desceyve..."

The buzz is that bees are not actually hardworking, industrious insects. Sure they are great pollinators but what is that ... just sex with flowers. Bees work neither efficiently nor hard. They are in fact very laid back workers and work only under certain conditions.

Apparently, they belong to a very powerful union, the Bee Labor Union for Easy-life, known colloquially amongst bees as BLUE. In true BLUE spirit, these bluebloods of the order Hymenoptera don't work if they're feeling a bit blue. And here are some of the conditions that make them blue: Bees don't even venture outside, let alone work, if it's too windy, too still, too sunny , too shady, too wet, too dry, too cold, too hot, too early, too late, too midday, too bright or too dark. This leaves a very small window of working opportunity in which those "busy" bees can perform their job. If any of these adverse conditions prevail, they ask themselves, as if they were Shakespeare,

"to be, or not to be [working], that is the question"

Their answer is always, "bzzzzz ... nooooo!" Under the aforementioned circumstances, they simply are not going to wake up, leave their comfy, warm hives and that absolutely gorgeous queen and go out to work. They don't think so. "Bzzzzzzzz ... noooo!" They would rather stay home and ...

Bee well.

Paint on,
Depingo

Friday, March 25, 2011

Mc LAUGHS

And how can we help you today?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Like Man


AT FIRST BLUSH I EMBRACED FACEBOOK in its entirety, believing that it was a brilliant networking system and an efficient way to get people writing the English language again. I soon realized, along with the Winklevoss twins, that I, too, have a bone to pick with Facebook.

In addition to casting aside many of his personal chums, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerburg has also cast aside the deferential Yes Man, replacing him with his updated counterpart, Like Man.

Most people are not really communicating as much on Facebook as I had originally thought. Many Facebook "friends" instead have become Like Men. A Like Man simply presses the Like button to approve the content of a post, which is supposed to suffice as a response .

The now-obsolete Yes Man was a person who agreed with everything that was said or done. He endorsed without criticism every opinion or proposal of an associate or superior. Look at Jim Carey, the quintessential Yes Man in the movie of that same name. Yes, Yes Man-Jim, you too have been replaced. I understand, however, that you are making a comeback in the upcoming movie, Like Man. Well, yes to that, man!

In addition to Like Man, the shopworn hydrogen-high Smiley superciliously floats around Facebook these days. Smiley frequently lands sideways alongside some pseudo-pithy communique like a spirited cheerleader inspiring happiness for both the writer and recipient of the post. Though overshadowed by Like Man, Smiley's grin is even wider now because he has been elevated to emoticon status. No matter how spare and small he might be, he is happy to have avoided the fate of his contemporary, Yes Man.

Here are some sample Facebook posts with Like Man's responses:

My grandmother just died a horrible, agonizing death and left her entire estate to my brother - LIKE :)

Japan is having a lot of trouble right now; people are breathing in radiation dust - LIKE :)

I found a delicious recipe on Goop using truffles excreted by endangered pigs - LIKE :)

I lost my entire life savings in the stock market and am now homeless and hungry - LIKE :)

I went blind applying copious amounts of mascara in a failed effort to look like Heidi Klum - LIKE :)

A dog bit me but the doctors think they might be able to reattach my finger so that maybe I'll be able to paint again someday - LIKE :)

Depingo never says WTF, but in this case, I'll make an exception–WTF! The above posts require attention, thought, compassion, empathy, insight, creativity, composition and grammar...not a mindless Like :)!

And forget about art posts! When I share a painting on Facebook in hopes of receiving constructive feedback, I mostly get Likes. I would rather get the ubiquitous, overused-within-an-inch-of-its-life "awesome," (a word I refuse to use or even acknowledge). That's how much I dislike Like.

And speaking of "awesome," what kind of button does Facebook have for Valley Girls? Is there a special one labeled "Like, Like?" Or do they have to press "Like" twice, followed by a question mark?

I conclude in Valley Girl speak. Like, man? I liked writing this post? It helped me to, like, vent? And I have a, like, question? about my, like, post? for Like Man? . . . . . .

Like? :)

Paint on,
Depingo

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Shenanigans


TOP O' THE MORNING TO YOU! (Whew, made it by two minutes) Just want to wish you all a Happy St Paddy's Day.

May all your greens come true
And be of the right hue!

Paint green,
Depingo

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Mc WORRIES



Bummer. Shredder's on the blink again!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Seven



 























THE NUMBER SEVEN HAS A HISTORY of being useful for mankind. The cognitive psychologist George Miller wrote a famous article in 1956 about our capacity for processing information. His thesis was that the amount of information or numbers which people can process and remember is often limited to seven, (plus or minus two.)
Of course, seven is not really a magic number. But it really does get around. Many things come in sevens: the Seven Deadly Sins, the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, Shakespeare's Seven Ages of Man, Seven up, the Seven Seas and the Seven Dwarfs. Seven is also probably the most popular number. Studies have shown that when asked to pick a number from one to ten, most people will pick Seven.

That's six examples of the ways that seven has been invoked over the ages. There are more, but I am stopping at six because I know from reading George Miller that our digital span is about 7 and I want  readers to be able to remember the most potent use for the number 7. I learned this some years ago from my boss, who used to remind me of it every day when he came back from his seven-mojito lunches. He would invite me into his office, where I would actually have to witness him ask God to grant him the power to get rid of a rival senior partner. He earnestly, if tipsily, prayed that if God did this one thing, he would never ask for anything else. My boss didn't want much–just to be able to dial his enemy's telephone number and when he answered, press the number seven to cause his instant death. By the way, I was being paid an extremely generous salary to listen to this. (I might add that this is why I do not like working for others.)
I wondered why my boss had picked seven to do his killing for him. I started doodling to see if I could understand his choice. I discovered that if I slant a 7 to the left, it looks like the scythe that the Grim Reaper slings over his shoulder. If I draw it upside down, the top could be the blade on a guillotine. If I draw it obliquely, its point could be used for piercing like a spear or arrow. A seven is indeed more frightening than the well-rounded 8 or 3, or 0 with cozy interior space .
I rooted for my boss for a while because I felt this would be a good power to have. With some direction from me, and the right telephone numbers, we could get rid of much of the evil in the world. But then I thought, I can't believe I'm doing this. And I am an enabler for even listening.
So, one day after one of my boss's repetitious afternoon rants, I calmly did my duty. I returned to my office, dialed his extension and then...pressed seven.
PS. If you don't like this post, please don't  seven me.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Friday, March 4, 2011

Twitter Haiku


DO THE TWAIKU - a rhyme, a dance a rant - it's new!

17 syllables + 140 characters - (not a few) - 4u

Grok?* No? Sorry. Boo hoo.

__________

*Wikipedea definition: Grok means to share the same reality or line of thinking with another physical or conceptual entity. Robert A. Heinlein coined the term in his best-selling 196l book Stranger in a Strange Land to mean to understand so thoroughly that the observer becomes a part of the observed - to merge, blend, intermarry, lose identity in group experience.

*Depingo's definition: Grok means, "Got it!" Geeks and techies use it all the time.

Grok on,
Depingo

Mc WORDS' WORTH

"Why do they call them briefs?"

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Postcard from the Sea of Life - Villas by the See


WOW! WHAT A CRUISE!

I was impolite and I committed murder. Murder is one thing, but I still couldn't believe I actually said "Get the flock out of here!" to the marauding Sulu Beloix- even if they were going to eat me. To celebrate remaining alive, I was sipping a glass of wine on the deck of the Ergo when I got dizzy, fell, struck my head on its bow as if I were a bottle of champagne, and passed out. Depingo overboard!

Apparently I fell into the Sea of Life, because when I regained consciousness I was being towed at a decent clip by my faithful dog, Bella, who had jumped in and saved me. My yacht was nowhere in sight.

While floating through the refreshing, restorative azure waters, I figured out that my carnivorous "friend" Sulu must have doped my Sauvingnon Blanc with a dose of animal tranquilizer, so that I would be manageable when she and her flock carried me off to be their main course.

I was nowhere near the Ergo, nor could I even see it in the distance. Bella seemed to be towing me with a purpose in mind, though, and soon we came to a multifaceted jewel–a lush, sparkling barrier island with colorful villas right on the beach. I determined we were off the coast of Fort Lauderdale because the Ergo had been heading back to NYC when I took my swan-dive. Even so, it didn't look like any location in Florida I had ever seen before. In fact, it had the look of Tuscany. The villas were pretty, lyrically designed three-story-high dwellings right on the beach. There were none of the ubiquitous homely, white Floridian high-rises in sight.

Bella and I finally reached the sandy shore. I was happy to lose my sea legs and find my land legs still in good working order. The village had a curious name–Villas by the See. The apparent misspelling of the word "sea" struck me as an interesting play on words. I fell in love with the island and the villas instantly. I usually have trouble making up my mind about almost anything in life, but in this case, everything was crystal clear. I was certain that this was where I wanted to live for the rest of my life.

Bella and I went directly to the Villas by the See sales office. Within a few minutes I had a six-figure deposit wire-transferred from my bank in NYC to the developer and signed a contract which promised another hefty payment at the closing, which was scheduled for the next week. I was absolutely enchanted that I was going to live in this charming village. Bella was excited, too, because they allowed dogs. The home I bought was the lovliest of all the Villas, a penthouse right on the beach, overlooking the Atlantic and fully furnished with tasteful, unusual furniture. All I had to do was move in–no shopping or any such prosaic activity.

As I wrapped up the paperwork, I could see Captain Sum, who had finally caught up with me and Bella, anchoring off the beach. He knows me all too well, so he knew for sure what I was up to. But instead of being happy for me, he looked a little nervous, maybe even irritated. He told me that I should not make impulsive decisions. I told him we could talk about it as soon as I finished measuring the coral reef sofa. I wanted to make sure a painting of mine I had in mind to hang over it would fit.

Something strange happened as I was measuring that sofa. Every time I measured it, I got a different result. The sofa seemed to be measuring smaller and smaller. Was the coral reef shrinking? No, it couldn't be. I was probably hallucinating as an aftereffect of the header I had taken against the Ergo's bow. Then I noticed another peculiarity. The villa's marble floors were curling up, turning blue, forming waves and rapidly getting pulled into the sea by a powerful riptide. I had an excruciating headache by this time, couldn't concentrate and nothing was making any sense. I had had it! I ordered Captain Sum to measure the coral reef sofa, or at least what was left of it, for me.

Resigned, Captain Sum took out a tape measure and started measuring the sofa. He, too, couldn't get the same measurement twice. I also noticed he was now knee-deep in foamy turbulent water and was shivering. "Cold feet!," I thought, "Captain Sum has cold feet!" I was standing in the very same water and my lower appendages were foot loose and fancy free. Eventually the sofa got so small there was nothing left to measure. Then my new home, which I loved with a passion, and the entire village became blurry. They began to undulate as though I were viewing everything through a sheet of water. My beautiful villa was being chipped away by the lapping waters of the incoming tide as if it were no more than an oversized sand castle. In a matter of minutes, Captain Sum, Bella and I were left standing on a sparking, sandy island somewhere off the Florida coast with nothing on it at all, except that curious hand-painted sign, Villas by the See.

Captain Sum, with the I-told-you-so look in his eye that he frequently adopts in situations like this, led Bella back to the Ergo. I noticed a couple of circling sea fowl following him. "Cashpoor!, cashpoor!, cashpoor!," they squawked. I called to the Captain and asked him what the avian commotion was all about. " They're just taking cheep shots at me," he replied.

Before returning to the Ergo, I studied the sign for one last time. The cryptic name of the Villas suddenly became all too clear to me. I got it! I knew why they called it Villas by the See ...because

Now you see it, now you don't.

Paint on,
Depingo