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

Search This Blog

Friday, December 16, 2011

Butterfly Eyes

Now and then they hear her sighs
when she creates with paints and dyes
untethering constrictive ties
confirming it–painting good byes.

They'll never know how hard she tries
negotiating the lows and highs
she always wears the bright disguise
deflecting the pretense and lies.

Outside she's looking for the prize
Internally she almost dies.
It's perfect! They can't see she cries
'Cause she's got butterfly eyes.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Last Walk

There is a gaping wound
where my heart once was.
I thought it would eventually close up
and something similar to a heart
might grow back.
What used to be my heart
is a huge aperture now
and is no longer heart shaped.
The resultant gap is filled
with chilly air,
which does not help me breathe,
but chills me to the core.

The emptiness has taken over now
eliminating my torso altogether.
My remains consist of
my head above the empty space
and my legs beneath it.

My head: in which I can recall
the enchanting days
with my golden girl.
My eyes: which sight a fluffy white phantom
swimming toward me in the lake and, of course,
my lips: which call out her name,

Bella ...
Bella ...
Belle of the Ball ...

in case she gets lost on her last walk.

But she won't,
for I still have my legs
beneath the spot that was my heart,

and I will walk with her
until the end of time.

Sunday, December 4, 2011


There was a hairy caterpillar
crawling on my face.
He tickled me while moving
at an extremely slow pace...
(without, I might add,
the least pretense of grace.)

So, I shot him with a can of mace.
Moonlighting as a mustache now,
he stays pretty much in place.
'Tis alarming though and
quite the disgrace...

now that
knickers trimmed with antique lace
can't get me to first base
with men
of the human race.
'cause I got a caterpillar on my face.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sunday, November 13, 2011


IT IS 7:30 IN THE EVENING. After finishing up work at Uni-Corp, Uni-Man leaves the Uni-Corp building, which he himself conceived, designed and built. He had a little help from others, but it was mostly the result of his brilliant ingenuity, dedication and hard work that got it built. Uni-Man is the owner, president , CEO, COO, CFO and lead designer of Uni-Corp. Let's face it, he does the work of 100 people every day while the sun and moon rise and set around him. Still, he is a true gentleman and a really sweet guy, and is well-liked by everyone, especially his employees.

In the elevator, he runs into a group of his employees, including me, Depingo, who ask him to join them for dinner and drinks at 223, the hardest ticket in town. Magnanimously, he agrees to come with us. This is our lucky night. We all jump into his raspberry colored '58 Caddy and off we go.

When we arrive at Uni-Bar in 223, even though the place is jam packed, the maitre d' gives us the best table in the house. The waiters, manager and chef fall all over Mr. Uni and seat him and us prominently in a spot where Uni can be seen by everyone in the restaurant and also be shown off to passers-by in the street. Everyone is sneaking peeks at Uni because he is so handsome. (Don't tell anyone, but I saw the maitre d' politely but firmly tell a large group of diners that they had to leave to make room for Uni-Man and his party.) Very undemocratic, but what can I say? They love Uni-Man at 223 and are delighted and exceptionally proud when Uni graces the establishment with his presence. I like to watch him light up the place with his charismatic 150-watt smile. The trio that plays there likes to watch him dance. They are mesmerized by his rhythm, style and cool moves.

Uni's tablemates and all the diners at nearby tables are laughing hysterically at his witty, insightful bon mots. His conversation is absolutely scintillating and all his companions are enchanted. Tonight he is regaling us with a charming story about how when he was a little boy he believed that he invented lemonade and only later found out that it already existed. As if he didn't invent it! Honestly, the man is so modest! We all adore Uni and are having a wonderful time. How could we not? Uni is the most charming, handsome, smart, amusing man in the entire world. In fact, he is the only man in the whole world, or woman for that matter.

You see, way back during the primordial slime, on the sixth day God created man. That's right, man,–Mr Uni-Man. He created Uni in His own image. On the seventh day, God said unto his favorite creation, "Uni, I just worked six days straight and I'm tired. Why don't you be the boss for a while." And knowing that in Uni he had created the perfect man, God decided not to bother making any more people. "I'm never going to do any better than Uni," he figured, "why mess with perfection?" So, on that seventh day, God actually did rest and that's why today Uni is the only person, period. He's solo... unique...alone... however you want to say it.

There is no "rest of us." We all just exist in Uni's mind. We are merely figments of his imagination. Oh, and don't count yourself and say that two people exist. I assure you, you do not exist. You, I and every one else, as well as the world, the solar system and the universe are only conjured up in Uni's mind for his own amusement and to keep him company.

There is a tricky little philosophical problem associated with being figments of Uni's mind. To wit, when he goes to sleep at night, we, every one of us, disappear. That's right, we cease to exist because he is not thinking about us. We are no longer us ... we're gone ... outta here ... we've really never been ... history! In addition to no "us," there is no world, no solar system, no universe - just Uni, upon whom God bestowed the power to conjure up all these things. God must have been feeling a little guilty about the slacking-off-not-making-more-people-thing, so He gave Uni that power. Otherwise, think how lonely Uni would be.

That said, back to the night in question when we all went to 223 ...

After admiring the way Uni ate, in a very Marie Antoinette-ish way, all the creamy part of the camembert, while the rest of us ate the rind, I am not ashamed that I acted as I did. (Uni-man eats only the creamy part. Well, why not? There is no one else on earth who he would rather have it.) Nor am I pleased with the outcome that night we all got together at 223.

This is how it happened. Flirting with me, Uni asked if I wanted to come up to his apartment to see his view. I jumped at the opportunity and most enthusiastically agreed. Now, readers, you might be saying to yourselves rather judgmentally, "But (that slut) Depingo is married, isn't she?" My reply is as follows. "Do you like living? Well, I do and I believe Mr. Depingo does too, so he didn't mind that I went home with Uni." He knew that I only had one thought on my mind: "I've...!" You should all be thanking me for trying to save your lives, not questioning my morals!

When we got to his apartment, I put on Stripes, full volume, because it was the loudest music I could find. Uni got comfortable on the sofa. Then I went into his kitchen to brew a quadruple-strength pot of espresso. That's when I noticed the lights started dimming and then flickering. I panicked and rushed back into the living room to see what was going on. It was even darker there and I could no longer see. I did hear the sound of perfect snoring, though. It was the last sound I ever heard. Uni-Man had gone to sle.......................

The end. Of everything.

Paint on anyway (after Uni-Man wakes up.)


PS Uni-Man's picture and name have been changed to protect him from the millions of people, uh, that's figments, yet to be thought up by him when he awakens and who would ungratefully try to prevent him from falling asleep if they knew his name or what he looked like.

Friday, November 4, 2011

ALMOST SOFT SELL - $50 + shipping

of a book.

Though my alter ego, Susan, is still hung up on a hook,
hiding in her paint brush-cluttered nook.
While she might ask you to have a look,

Nor would I, Depingo, sigh.
However, if you click on the button that says "Buy,"
My alter ego, Susan, will not have to cry
and I will refrain from punching you in the eye.

That's the big button on the top right.
So don't be uptight,
Click it with all your might!

108 pages of paintings, poetry, cartoons and drawing delight,
and bright literary comments let in the light!

BUY NOW. Read and view art all night.
Depingo Ergo Sum is full of fun and insight!

P.S. Did I mention that Depingo Ergo Sum is issued as a limited edition, signed and numbered by Susan? What did you think she was doing in her paint brush-cluttered nook? Signing and numbering the book!

I don't want to get you nervous, but when the edition sells out, the book will be gone forever. And it is a bargain at $50 plus $6 for shipping .

Paint on,


Monday, October 31, 2011

Art and Life
make beautiful

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Witch Book?

Let's get to the point.
Buy my book, or ...
It's only 50% of your soul
(err, that is 50 bucks plus shipping)
When you see it, you'll be flipping.
It is absolutely gripping.
To life and art it is true.
It's really for you!
As to how many I've got left ...
just a few.

Witch [sic] excerpt? Got a Bone in My Leg, page 51. "Those bones claimed me. The skull, clavicle, sternum and all 24 ribs, some sort of grim ersatz chorus sang to me, 'Yes, we are thee! This is what you'll be sooner than you think.' "

Paint on,


Friday, October 14, 2011

Got a Bone in My Book, So Buy It...$50.00 + shipping

The book is great!
I didn't buy it; that's why I look like this.
Be afraid. Be very afraid.
There are fewer books left than I have ribs.
I happen to be in it.
Look on page 48.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Master Ghosts

I RECEIVED THE FOLLOWING EMAIL AND PHOTO from John Beach, who is one of Depingo Ergo Sum's readers, and who also photographed my show:

"You know, Depingo, you said you were looking at all those photos from your opening and kept seeing new things in them the more you looked at them.

I too studied them because all did not seem quite right with the images. I thought I saw some faces in that long view in the gallery room that were not there when I took the shot. They were not very clear, but they were there. So I began to enhance the photo more and more. It was downright spooky. I felt like Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd using their ghostbusting machine. Then, I thought, "Why not?" So I called them and borrowed their ghostbusting gizmo and made it an add tool for my photo studio. I looked again ... and ... I could see them..the faces ... they were there!

At first they were only little faded spots floating around on the ceiling, but with the greater enhancement capabilities of the ghostbusting add on, I soon began to see their ghostly, though benevolent faces, clearly. Did you know, Depingo, that your favorite master painters and your mentor, JT, came to your gallery showing? It is true! Look up towards the ceiling of the attached image.

Paint on, Depingo, paint on..................JB"


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Metamorphosis and Back

THE PAINT-SPLATTERED, WILD-HAIRED ARTIST, a solitary creature, pushes out of her natural canvas-lined habitat in the woods. It is her pupa–her studio. She feels naked without the pupa, but knows it is time to evolve. It is definitely time because she is flying–without wings! To compensate for the nakedness and the lack of wings, she picks out a flowered dress, paints her lips pink and finds that she can walk gracefully in shoes. "Besides, probably no one ever attends a gallery opening without shoes," she muses.

It is lonely in the studio since all her paintings were sent to the gallery. Reminiscing, she thinks it odd that she has worked so hard on the appearance of her paintings all these years, but not on her own. The car taking her to the gallery arrives and she gets in. She thinks it is most likely all a dream, but then, looks down and sees that she is no longer in tattered, paint-stained jeans, but actually has on a dress. Extraordinary! It must be real.

She is so happy at the opening and is flying so high she might as well have wings. In fact, she can feel them sprouting. She does have them! They are fluttering on her back. She is tickled by them and lifted off the ground.

Airborne, recalling Icarus's fate, she does not fly too high during the flight home as she basks in the warmth and appreciation of all her family and friends. She is very lucky to have them.

Grounded, the artist returns to her pupa, tucks in her wings, kicks off her shoes and, once again barefoot, starts painting, for ...

As a butterfly must fly, she must paint!

Paint on,


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

When an Emotional Hemophiliac Dreams

AT A PARTY HIGHLY REMINISCENT of an art opening, the kitchen is microscopically detailed–just like a painting. It is a well-furnished kitchen, but with glassware that is trying to pass itself off as elegant but is too large. It has been designed by someone who has never lived in a well-appointed house or gone to a 5-star restaurant in his (or her) entire life. The emotional hemophiliac has, and takes note of the glassware. She shrugs and smokes a joint.

Sam, a good friend, asks if he can have one. Of course he can, the hemophiliac replies. She gives him a joint and lights it, while noticing he already has several of his own in his shirt pocket. She wonders why he wanted hers.

He asks her to dance and they dance in the kitchen of the would–be fancy glasses. They are the only dancers. He is a good dancer, but, being acutely emotional, the hemophiliac doesn't like being as close as the dance requires. She can feel his belly against hers. He steps on the hemophiliac's toe. More emotions flow. However, they continue dancing and twirling around. The dancing is exhilarating and just when the hemophiliac is getting into the gracefulness of it, Sam decides to end the dance by falling on his back, spread eagle on the floor. She falls on top of him, also spread eagle, but with her legs inside of his. She does not get hurt because he is so soft that he cushions her fall.

When the hemophiliac gets up, the hostess asks her if she would like to be Print Director of her company. "No," the hemophiliac replies, "because I am living in Connecticut."

"What do you do up there?" queries the hostess. "I head up my own print company," replies the hemophiliac, as she walks into to the living room.

She passes a reclining cat who looks suspiciously like her own, sleeping in the hallway. As she walks past, the cat sits up, then jumps ahead of her, chasing a terrified bird. The children present are screaming about the inevitable food chain reaction that is about to happen. There are feathers all over the place.

The emotional hemophiliac catches the bird and notices it is a bright blue one from one one of her paintings. "I got this," she tells the children. She cradles the bird in both her hands and takes it back to her studio. She replaces the bird into the empty spot in her painting.

She wakes up and looks at her hands. They are stained cobalt.

Paint on,


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Butterflies in my Stomach

I've got butterflies in my stomach thinking about my show, Depingo Ergo Sum at the Good News Gallery, 694 Main Street Stouth, Woodbury, Ct., today, October 2, at 3 to 5 p.m. I will let the butterflies out at the show.

I hope you will be there unless you are a lepidopterist. No lepidopterists will be admitted!

Paint on,


Depingo Ergo Sum, the Show

Show Time!

Well, dear readers, it's almost show time. (A sneak preview above) I will be happy to have all my friends and family and paintings in one place at the Good News Gallery, Woodbury, Ct., tomorrow, October 2, from 3 to 5 p.m. Actually, my friends and family are my art–just in portrait form. Now, haven't I always said that art and life are interchangeable?

I rest my case!

I hope you all come. Hey! Free drinks and hors d' oeurves for two hours...who wouldn't? No...only kidding... the real reason you should come is ...

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx I would love to share my art with you.

Paint on,


Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Gavella wants you to buy my book, Depingo Ergo Sum. She finds the book smashing! (Press the big yellow button to the right.)

The guy depicted in the illustration above? Well unfortunately for him, he did not buy one. Gavella wants to hammer home that the book is fun through the entire 108 pages! Full of humor, excitement, paintings, drawings, cartoons, prose and poetry of the most esoteric kind. You can find Gavella on page 105. Buy the book now to avoid a sharp blow to your head.

Paint on,

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Good News

Depingo's alter ego,
is having a solo show at
the GOOD NEWS Cafe and Gallery,
in Woodbury, Connecticut
Opening Reception is OCTOBER 2
3 to 5 P.M
**twenty current paintings and
a retrospective of published work**
Please come
There may be a brief appearance by

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Postcard from the Sea of Life - Land of CYMK

Greetings from the Land of CYMK.

I wish I were back in second grade at PS 15, so I could tell my teacher and my classmates what I did this summer. Since that's not the case, I'll recount my adventures to you, Depingo's readers. We're a class in ourselves in a way, aren't we? At least we're classy and we do experience and discuss life's experiences together. We should get credit for that, shouldn't we?

What I did on my summer vacation: I traveled to the Land of CYMK, which is on the ninth continent–the Continent of Color. They have so many colors in CYMK that you could drink them. And believe me, I mixed and imbibed every color I could every day!... to the point that I was saturated! completely, totally saturated! Yes, I became drunk with color! But I was a responsible drinker. That's why I can still write and was able to return to my home town, NYC and home, my blog.

I used a little trick I picked up (also in the second grade) from Hansel and Gretel. Following in their footsteps, I dropped color samples, both greytones and rainbow colors, on my way to the Land of CYMK so I could find my way back again. You can see them on top of the jpeg of the cover of my book, Depingo Ergo Sum, (above), which is coming out October 2nd and being sold in conjunction with my solo show through my gallery, The Good News Gallery, in Woodbury, Ct.

While in The Land of CYMK I decided to print my book with their colors, even though CYMK colors are somewhat darker than our colors. They are moody to the point where they like to bring down any psychodelic hues one might have used, and just darker generally. In order to share the cover with you, I had to evacuate all my cover colors from CYMK, and lead them back to my blog over the Technicolor Bridge through the Province of Photoshop, where I reincarnated them into RGB colors. They are not quite as glamorous as they are in CYMK coloring on the actual book, but at least you can get a preview.

Who knew when we were crayoning in our colooring books a long time ago that there there were so many color systems? I certainly didn't before my trip to CYMK . I thought color was color. Now we all know better.

Paint on,

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Postcard from the Sea of Life - The Highlands

Sooooo... Hi!

...from the Highlands...

I can say that because I am soooo high!
High in the sky catching butterflies, that is. Come fly along with me--

Catch Some Butterflies.

If you can't, you can at least catch the video Catch Some Butterflies, right here on my blog. Just click on the link below to view another enchanting, indeed moving, video from that world famous film maker and my niece, Amy Youngs.

As are all butterflies, it's free. Right here ....

Paint on,


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Gone Fishing

Dear Readers,

I HATE TO LEAVE YOU all just when we've become such good blogmates discussing art and life. I've had a wonderful time chatting with you this year. Has anyone decided which we like better, art or life? Not very likely. That would be tantamount to deciding which we like better, blood or oxygen. Art and life are too interconnected–one cannot choose between them. We have to embrace both wholeheartedly.

Fun though this has been, I must now take my leave. Every Summer I go fishing–not for fish, but for the many esoteric, enlightening, exhilarating adventures the Sea of Life has to offer. I especially like to experience things I've never done before. Actually, now that I think about it, fishing in the Sea of Life is better than blood or oxygen. Everything in the Sea of Life is grist for my painting/writing mill. In addition to writing my book, Depingo Ergo Sum, and preparing for my October show, some of the things I wish to experience on my sabbatical are:

Riding a zebra. In my entire life, I have never ridden a zebra. It's got to be easier than riding my favorite horse, the willful Freckles. That supercilious stallion used to intimidate me whenever I mounted him by turning his head slowly and irreverently while looking down at me as if I were addled. I suppose he thought he was too high class for mere riding, because he was a jumper. I tried to curry favor with him by whispering sweetly "We're going to have a nice, polite ride, right Freckles? And you're going to be a gentlehorse, and not throw me, bite me or crush my legs against any stone fences by cantering too close to them, right Freckles?" The look on his horsey face clearly said, "Yeah, right!"

But I digress. I am going to make a point, or should I say a stripe, of riding a zebra this month. It's written in black and white. I must do it. I've heard they gallop at a very fast clip, so we both might work up a sweat during the ride. Perhaps then I can experience another thing I've always wanted to do...

Shower under an elephant. That should be energy efficient, refreshing, and I might even get clean. At least my skin will look better than the elephant's. Then I'll be prepared t0...

Dance a pas de deux with an ostrich. I look forward to pirouetting en pointe in a feathered tutu and being swept up in adagio by an ostrich who is supporting my fragile dancer's body above his head with his wings as he gracefully turns and balances me. I've dreamed about doing this my entire life, but my mother would never let me. Then again, maybe I'll...

Go really wild and dive even farther into Photoshop which is just as exotic as the above when you consider my technical acumen. But catch a fish? Never.

I have a few words on the subject of fishing. First of all, it is quite an unsportsmanlike enterprise to pluck a fish out of its environment with a barbed hook through its lip. When I point this out to my fisherman friends, their stereotypical response is that fish don't feel pain. They often add that they throw them back after they catch them.

Depingo is not one to spoil fishermen's fun. I just want them to be more empathetic with their prey.
Let them imagine that they are walking down the street, going to work or picking up their girlfriend for a dinner date (which dinner I hope is not going to include a fish course.) While sauntering along, my fisherman friend comes upon a fat, lit Montecristo cigar or a slice of chocolate devil's food cake floating right under his nose. The aroma is to die for–and the fisherman may do just that. He lunges forward to get it into his mouth as fast as possible. He's hooked!

To see what this is like, pretend you've been hooked. The next thing you know, you are out of this world, transported to a higher plane inhabited by a more complex form of life, surrounded by air you can't breathe, with a sharp hook through your lip. You are punctured and bleeding, choking and heaving, flipping around because you can't breathe and are terrified by the alien appearance of the creature who hooked you. Are you going to be OK with it if he decides not to eat you and throws you back suffering from hypoxia and a lip with a hole in it? No! You are going to be furious and your girlfriend is going to be even angrier because you are now really late for your date. I say to the fishermen of the world: did you ever even consider that fish might have dates?

To rectify the sporting inequity of fishing, I have devised a new methodology that will make fishing more of a real contest. All you have to do to fish Depingo-fashion is to throw away your rod. Keep the line with the hook on the end of it, though. Next, attach another hook to the other end of the line. You should now have a length of line with a hook on each end. Hook one of the hooks through your own lip, put something that fish find delicious on the other hook and throw that one into the water. Oh, and don't use your hands; clasp them behind your back. If you get a bite, you must bring the fish in using only your cheek muscles. Then you and the fish will be evenly matched. It will be a battle of equals and you will be a true sportsman.

Or, you can skip the hook through your lip and do as I will be doing for the next few weeks– fishing in the Sea of Life. My mind, senses, toothbrush and laptop are already packed in my suitcase, which I've bound up with a chain of nerve synapses. I'm looking forward to catching many new experiences. I'm going to miss you, but I'll be back after labor day. Until then, I'll be keeping in touch via postcards from the Sea of Life! So watch for them on this blog.

Paint on,


Sunday, May 22, 2011


I love the New York Public Library.
It's the perfect place to read my Kindle.
If it rains, I go inside.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Monday, May 2, 2011



Thursday, April 28, 2011

Colors Askew

So he started his period - Blue (1901-1904)
My painted bench is of manganese hue
The alizarin tube was through.

I painted it so I could rest
While working on my book
–and solo show–
Where the painting will go.
The curator declared the bench my best
(not crimson but blue)
Have a look.

To you
The colors may seem askew ...
But hey! When you're outta red
you use blue
Whatever else are you gonna do!


Paint on,

Friday, April 22, 2011


The ones with the polka dots are the hardest!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Shape of Things

A FRIEND OF MINE, ANOTHER PAINTER, recently criticized me for painting my subjects and models so irreverently. He said he noticed that I had a complete lack of concern for their meaning or function.

He's right. As a closet formalist, I concern myself primarily with form or shape.
I can rely on shapes. They maintain their integrity. A shape stays the same no matter how you look at it, or where it is placed. A word and its meaning can change but a shape stays the same. If I turn a painting upside down, the shapes will remain just as I painted them, even though inverted. But the word for the shapes will change drastically, thus transforming the meaning and function of the element.

First image:
I can demonstrate this In my painting Upsidedown Sky. In its normal configuration, the way I painted it, the sky is at the top of the canvas and also appears as a reflection in the swimming pool. The reflected sky actually has heightened color because of the turquoise paint on the walls of the (actual) pool. The pink rectangular shape bordering the pool is the above ground part of the pool–at least those are the words that describe it in this upright orientation.

As I paint, I rotate the canvas. This insures that the composition works from all four sides. When you turn Sky Blue upside down:

Second image:
The pink border of the pool is no longer a pool element, but becomes a skylight through which you see the water. But in this orientation the water is not water anymore, it is sky. The element that I originally painted as sky is now at the bottom of the canvas. This way it is no longer sky; it looks like and becomes a lake. In this painting, sky and water, two disparate words with different meanings, are fungible when inverted.
The shapes stay the same, but the words and functions for them change.

In addition, when viewed upside down, what used to be the distant background appears more like a reflection in the lake because it is now inverted. Similarly, the hanging vine when the painting is upright transforms into a shoot. Here again, the shapes stay the same but the words change. This is why I like shapes better than words, although ...

I love words when I "paint" with them in my essays.

Paint on,
Depingo (who is sometimes unsure which end is up)

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Cufflinks, Too?

that Uncle Sam
in his red, white and blue with stars.
He'll take all your money and then your shirt
For dinner you might even have to eat dirt
with no dessert!
Or the kind of Spam than comes in a can.

You'd be better off living on Mars–
with no cars
*Viewing the stars
from Mars*
But not Sam's.

Maybe you should
go on the lam
Get away from Sam!
I am.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Botanical Gardens, please.

Friday, April 1, 2011


I WAS PROBABLY THE ONLY SEVEN YEAR OLD surgeon's daughter who worked. I had a job breaking in ponies. And the amazing thing about this is that I never required my Dad's fracture-mending services. My horse sense told me that my equine job was the greatest ever. My parents never knew about it, so please don't tell them now.

Sam, the owner of the stable where I rode, continually acquired new horses and ponies. He usually bought them at auction. He preferred the wild horses for economic reasons–they were much cheaper than the trained ones. Of course that left him with horses that refused to be saddled or have a bit in their mouths which, of course, precluded bridles and reins. No matter, Sam really loved a bargain.

Breaking in the new horses was not a problem because Sam had several stable hands, all excellent riders. They were more than happy for the opportunity to break in the new arrivals. The ponies did present a problem, though, because the stable hands were too big for the tiny animals. The stable hands' legs were too long and would would drag on the ground while mounted. In addition, their weight was too much for the ponies.

One day when Sam was watching me jump my horse, you could almost see a light bulb go on over his head. Even though I was only seven, I was an experienced equestrian; I had been riding pretty much from the time I could walk. I handled horses well, had a good rapport with them, was light as a feather and had short legs. After a while, the light above Sam's head started flashing * Depingo * good rider * Depingo * light weight * Depingo *short legs* Depingo * break ponies*

I was delighted when Sam asked me to break in his ponies. My pay for this service was to be the right to name each pony I broke in. At age seven I thought this was a great deal. Sam explained that the breaking of a horse or pony is pretty straightforward, uncomplicated work. (He forgot to mention that it was also extremely dangerous.) My job was simply to stay on the pony's back, no matter what happened, until the pony submitted and acknowledged that the rider was the boss.

While breaking in the ponies I had to ride bareback and without reins because the ponies would not let the stable hands get close enough for saddling and bridling. If I were lucky, the pony would still have a loose rope lead around his neck for me to hold. If not, I would just hold onto the pony's thick mane.

I quickly learned that wild ponies will viciously and relentlessly do anything to get a rider off their back. They buck, rear, kick, bite, and jump in an effort to dismount their rider. At their sneakiest, they run close to a stone wall or tree, so that the rider's legs would be crushed or she would be scraped off if she did not jump off first.

Nothing to it. Just stay on the pony. How easy is that? I actually became pretty good at my job. One day, I was breaking in a beautiful chocolate-colored Welsh pony. By this time I was a seasoned pony breaker and quite used to their tricks. After some initial bucking and rearing, most of them ran wildly towards the jumps in hopes that I would slide off their back. This didn't faze me in the least because I was quite proficient at jumping.

This time, however, the brown beauty headed away from the jumps and sailed over the corral fence."No problem, Welshie, I'm still with you,"" I whispered in a soothing voice, trying to calm him. I admit I was a little nervous because I had no way to steer or stop him. Nor did I know where he was taking me. I hoped not into the Central Avenue traffic. Maybe I'm going to have to ride Welshie the whole 41-mile length of the Aqueduct from Croton to New York City before he submits. As it turned out, my pony had a far more treacherous idea than that.

In a variation of the standard leg-crushing trick, (or maybe because he just wanted to go home) my mount galloped fast and furiously toward the pony barn. The door of the barn was small and the jamb was just high enough to clear a pony's head. An adult would have to stoop to enter. And, of course, a rider would get knocked off by a full frontal collision with the barn wall above the door. I think the pony knew this and I certainly knew it. I was terrified for the first time in my pony-breaking career. I had a few seconds in which to decide if I would rather take the hit or jump off a pony galloping at full speed. I decided to jump. Then everything went black.

I came to lying on the sofa in the caretaker's cottage. The caretaker gave me a cup of tea and a plate of cookies. Sam and the stable hands were there with me. They all cheered and applauded when I opened my eyes. After I finished my tea, Sam asked me to get up and walk around. I guess he wanted to make sure I still could. Sam was so nice that although I had failed to break in the feisty Welsh, he told me that I still got to name him. I named him Devil's Food Cake because of his rich chocolate coloring. Sam even gave me a ride home that day so I didn't have to walk. Devil's Food Cake eventually got broken in (not by me), became sweet and well behaved and was a favorite of all the young riders. Everyone called him Devil for short.

My pony breaking career came to an end after my failed attempt with Devil. Sam apparently decided that the work was too dangerous for a seven year old and hired someone else for the job. My successor was a retired professional jockey. I still got to name the new ponies, though, and I returned to ride at the stable every afternoon after school ...

wild horses couldn't keep me away.

Paint on,

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


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

Friday, March 25, 2011


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,

Thursday, March 17, 2011


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,

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Bummer. Shredder's on the blink again!

Saturday, March 12, 2011



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,


"Why do they call them briefs?"

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Postcard from the Sea of Life - Villas by the See


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,

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Postcard from the Sea of Life - Still Life

MURDER IS NEVER EASY. Sometimes, however, it is justifiable. Let me tell you my side of the story.

I am sure you can imagine how upset I felt out on the Sea of Life when Hard Drive failed. I still had not fully recovered from almost having become Depingo stew for the culinary pleasure of the flesh-eating Sulu Beloix when Hard Drive became corrupt! I had already had enough near-death experiences to last a lifetime and didn't want to endure a corrupt Hard Drive or corrupt anybody around me. So I simply killed him.

That's right–shocking as this must sound, I murdered Hard Drive. Furthermore, I enjoyed it. Sadistically I removed him from his life support, Mac, spun him down, and sat there watching him. He struggled and sputtered until with a final mechanical...I would even go so far as to say comical... burp, he expired.

I am sure, dear readers, you will forgive me. It clearly was either he or I. I had to kill Hard Drive. Any court of law in the Sea of Life would find that it was self defense! I hated Hard Drive for becoming corrupt and I knew his slothful ineptitude would eventually kill me. There simply was no excuse for his bad behavior. Still, he had given me many years of faithful service before he went bad.

I didn't want a dead body on the yacht. So I gave Hard Drive a conflicted sentimental kiss, placed him in a toile-covered box, tied a bow around it and ordered Captain Sum to anchor The Ergo off the nearest island. My dog Bella, my cat Blossom and I disembarked with my Still Life (dead Hard Drive) and made our way to a tropical rain forest. Birds perched on a branch above us, chirping Chopin's Funeral March in birdsong. Blossom delivered a eulogy of sorts, saying that she had always enjoyed sleeping on top of Hard Drive when he had lived in Mac and thanking him for the warmth he had provided her during her frequent naps. Bella dug the grave, but had to be cautioned not to have too much fun digging. I placed a marker, a DVD, on the grave. After the interment we solemnly made our way back to The Ergo.

No hard drive feelings on my part. I hope Hard Drive's corrupt soul rests in peace.

Paint on,

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Art and the Hostile Takeover

I WAS VERY SORRY TO READ the obituary of Joseph H. Flom, Esq. in today's New York Times. I knew him professionally and worked with him on art projects for the firm with which we both were affiliated. To clarify that, he was a senior name partner and I was a midlevel employee.

Mr. Flom was a brilliant lawyer who perfected the hostile corporate takeover. But more important, he was an artist. That's how our paths crossed. He worked on the 35th floor of the building on the telephone masterminding billion-dollar deals, while I labored on the 42nd floor for what worked out to $45 an hour, drawing editorial illustrations and cartoons for the SASM&F Newsletter.

His obituary referred to the firm's "lawyers in thrall to Mr. Flom as they would try to decode his doodles." These doodles, which were amazingly controlled and complex, were always rendered on lined yellow legal pads in ballpoint pen. My drawings were done with a fancier pen, but they too started out on yellow legal pads because that was what was available. Remind anyone of the caves at Lascaux, where one of the cave dwellers discovered that various pigments could represent life? Even if not, I believe it supports my thesis that art and life are one–or fungible, as Mr. Flom would say.

Unlike his acolytes, I never had to think about decoding the hidden messages in Mr. Flom's doodles. I knew they were art the moment I saw them. I wanted to incorporate these beautiful "doodles" in my art, asked him for permission, and Mr. Flom agreed. Coincidentally, the drawing I recently chose for the header of Depingo Ergo Sum is one that incorporates one of his doodles under the baton. I chose it for its lyrical quality, which reminds me of music.

Goodbye, my doodling art friend. I enjoyed making art with you. I would like to make art with you again sometime–just not too soon.

Paint on,

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Postcard from the Sea of Life - Dancing with the Sulu Nebouxi

FLIGHTS OF FANCY! Went dancing with Sulu last night.

Sulu took me to meet her flock, the Sulu Nebouxi, who are beautiful and fascinating! They seemed very interested in me too, but said I was a little skinny. (I wondered why they cared.) They invited me to a dance that was to take place on their sacred grounds that evening. I asked about the dress code. They chirped, "Pretty dress." But they did mention that in order to dance with them, I had to eat all afternoon because they wanted to fatten me up. They also mentioned that I should rub olive oil all over my body.

When I came back for the dance, they were all very colorfully dressed and quite jolly. I frankly don't know why they bothered with the costumes, as their natural plumage is gorgeous. They were also sporting fanciful headdresses and masks with human features painted on them. They could never fool anyone with those masks though, because they had to poke holes in the middle, from which their long yellow beaks protruded.

To tell the truth, I felt kind of underdressed in my little blue Ralph Lauren. The dance they taught me was sort of like a line dance, only done in a circle around a cauldron just about the size of me. It was raised up on a bonfire, with boiling water and herbs in it. I danced around it with them for a bit. One of them put a few sprigs of rosemary in my hair, saying it went great with my outfit. Another kept offering me garlic to hold under my tongue, saying it was an excellent breath freshener. I drew the line at the garlic. I have standards for my breath!
They asked several times if I had remembered to rub the olive oil on my body. I said they were so nice to share their beauty secrets with me and that I felt really glowing. Just when everything got going and feathers were flying, one of them chirped, "Wait a minute–Depingo–she too thin to dance." The music stopped abruptly. The Sulu Nebouxi told me to go back to our yacht, eat as much as I could all the next day, do the oil rub again and return the next night for a continuation of the dance.

This was just a little weird for my taste. I didn't feel like stuffing myself; the olive oil had just about ruined my dress, and I didn't feel like dancing with them anymore. So the next night I stayed on the ship.

As soon as it got dark, I heard chirping. It kept getting louder and louder. I peeked out the porthole and couldn't believe my eyes. The Sulu Nebouxi–the entire flock–were descending on my yacht. I did what I had to do. I opened the porthole, leaned out, and putting all pleasantries aside, bellowed,

"Get the flock out of here."

Paint on,