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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Saturday, December 29, 2012

An Octopus Lives in the Sea

AN OCTOPUS  lives in the sea
Along with you and me
Tentacles and limbs forever entwined
In perpetuity they'll never unwind.
And the ocean just keeps rolling in.

The octopus severs a diver's line
What does it matter, your line or mine?
Or should we fall from a fiscal cliff
Financially adrift? Might  happen. What if?
And the ocean just keeps rolling in.

The years pass by with truths and lies
A day, a month, a year–time flies
We hold this life of ours so dear
To celebrate! a tear? a cheer?
And the ocean just keeps  rolling in.

Happy New Year to all of Depingo's readers
Paint on,

And the ocean just keeps rolling in
And the ocean just keeps rolling in
And the ocean just keeps rolling in
And the ocean just keeps rolling in.

and that's what I like about the ocean

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Dear Santa,

I  Want
F O r
 This  Year  is  
Peace on Earth
Good Will toward All.
 Leave It under this Newtown Norway 
Spruce and I will see that everyOne

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good life,

Monday, December 17, 2012

Vent, Vent, Vent

In a better place
A tragedy we all have to face
Shot by a demon who fell from grace
And all I can do is pace, pace, pace.

But the littlest angels are the most potent
With their store of energy as yet unspent,
Led by heroic angels when they went,
Only to return–heaven sent, sent sent.

In the stars, and the sky, I see each face
Twenty-six are gone but not without trace
Their spirit remains to save this place
All we can do?–embrace, embrace embrace.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Energizer Bunny School of Art

Harrison at Foxglove

LIKE THE AMERICAN IMPRESSIONIST, MARY CASSATT, who often created images of the social and private lives of women, with particular emphasis on the intimate bonds between mothers and children, and Sally Mann, one of my favorite photographers, I am content to spend a great deal of time painting family members and family life, past and present.

It is not always easy for me to get family members to sit still long enough for me to see what they really look like. So I have to paint them from memory and photographs and catch the occasional ephemeral real life glimpse when I can. The difficulty is to to capture their spirit as well as their physical attributes, bringing out their intangibles such as character and mood. But I do have an advantage, because I know them intimately.

 Cassatt's Sailor Boy
It wasn't easy for the painter Mary Cassatt, who had to leave America and go to Paris to learn to paint. She felt she was not learning anything in the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, because she, as a woman, was not allowed to draw from live models. Women at the time were restricted to drawing from plaster casts. She said there was no teaching there and she also tired of the ridicule from the men in the program.

Sally Mann was actually accused (ridiculously so) of creating kiddy porn when she published Immediate Family, a book of black and white photographs of her three children taken at a remote spot where they could skinny dip and generally run wild.

Mann's  Family

I, too, have had my share of disrespect and discrimination from the not-so-fair sex while working as a painter. Once when I was bringing my portfolio around, the male gallery owner wondered out loud why I was showing him my paintings. He asked, "What! Is your husband out of town on business this week and you need something to do?" At another gallery on a first visit, a male gallerist, whom I did not know, asked me if I would make him a cup of coffee. I did, because I really wanted to get into that gallery. In retrospect, I wish I had served it by pouring it on his head.

We women artists are pluckier than we seem. Like the Energizer Bunny, we just keep on ticking. Tick, tick, tick. Our lives, our families and our art go on ticking too. Besides, we simply won't let ourselves get ticked off.

Paint on,


See more  Depingo family portraits by clicking here:

Alice's Aura
Painting in the Deep End of the Gene Pool

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

It would be foxy if you'd buy my book,
Depingo Ergo Sum!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Mr. Pluck vs. Sandy


To rock and roll!
Like Mr Pluck
We've got luck
Besides, you suck.

So rain your heart out
Let your winds wail
For it  will be
To no avail.
The East Coast will prevail.

Stay safe everyone!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Ode to the Working Woman

Put up coffee
Feed the cats
Scramble eggs
And wake the brats.

Clothes to cleaner
Kids to school
Kiss the boyfriend
Now stay cool.

Type and file
Fetch and phone
Write some prose
You're all alone.

Forget the fun
What's that?
Remember Hon?

You used to sing
And dance and paint
Now you work 
Until you faint.

Out to market
Buy the food
Are you cross?
Watch your mood!

Toss the salad
There's the phone
He's not coming
All alone.

Pack the kids
In the sack
Were you charming?
He'll call back.

Scrubbing floors
And vacuuming
Could that have been
The doorbell ring?

Start your freelance
Hand wash lace pants
Here he is
No more Ms.

Feeling, sharing
Almost caring
It's so late
Don't be rude.

It's your fate
Play an etude
Be enchanting
Now he's panting.

You're so tired
You're a wreck
You'll be fired
What the heck.

You're the working woman!

Friday, May 4, 2012

One Stilletto

She's got soul. He's a heel.

Made in Heaven blurred sex and art
Jeff Koons' wife got the part of the tart
He thought, "in flagrante delicto - perfecto!"
 I'd rather see them dining alfresco
And would rate it only:  *One Stiletto*

His porn-star wife soon split and he let her
A puppy of flowers would be so much better
 Complete with irrigation system to wet her!
(Cicciolina now makes him shudder
He wishes he never met her.)

Extremely fond of appropriation
Koons used the banal for his kitschy creation
Got sued for recycling but throughout the strife
Festooned the world with his in-your-face trife
Borrowing from low cultural life.

Koons hired goons to make his cartoons
Sold them for millions to Philistine tycoons
The factory approach I'm told really sold
His balloons never pop and they're hard to hold
For the price, they should be made of gold.

 Ms Sarah Middeleer

Chef Dave 
cordially invites you
for cocktails
and  dinner

at Foxglove

the 12th of May

at 6 p.m.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Raw Edges

Magda 40 x 36 inches

ONE of the most fascinating aspects of painting is the process. The painter mixes various pigments to the colors and consistency she desires, spreads the buttery substance on a canvas, layers it with glazes which are comprised of translucent pigments mixed with varnish, and this buttery substance, though still paint, magically morphs into something else --whatever the painter wills-- a tree, a face, a sailboat or in the case of an abstract painter, shapes.

The best way to see the painting process is to look at the edges of a painting. If you look at these beautiful, uncontrolled accidental abstract compositions of spilled or splashed colors, you will see unadulterated painting in its purest form. I love to look at those inadvertent compositions the paint makes on its own.

Recently, I delivered paintings to be considered for a local juried exhibition. I know it is not the Whitney Biennial, but you have to start somewhere. The entry form lays out very specific directions that the painter must follow. She is allowed to submit two paintings which may not exceed a certain dimension in any direction. I am hard-pressed to find any paintings among my current work, that fall within the mandated size limits, but I finally do. The submissions must be framed or have finished wrap-around edges with no staples showing. This necessitates my eliminating all the paintings (no matter how good they are) which have exposed staples on their sides, but I do that also. Like Lucy telling Ricky, "I want to be in the show!"

After selecting paintings which fit the criteria, I become really worried. If the sponsors don't like staples showing, they probably don't like all those wonderful drips and dabs and blotches and splashes of paint which occur all over the edges of the canvas either. So, to even achieve a semblance of societal painting propriety I now have to get out the white paint, tint it with black and ochre to match the off-white of primed canvas and paint over all those wonderful drips, dabs and splotches. I happen to love what happens on the edges. These free-form splashes serve as a map or diagram of the image and afford the viewer a glimpse into the process. While concealing the edges, I become both bored and miffed because it is labor intensive and requires many coats of paint to hide the " blemishes." Also it keeps me from real painting. I keep covering the edges though, watching the paint drips fade anyway so that my work will be accepted. "Ricky, I want to be in the show!"

The entry rules state that if your work is not deemed show-worthy, the Society will notify you to pick up your rejected art before the show starts. Were that to happen to me, I have a plan. I will disguise myself by wearing a pair of Groucho Marx glasses--the ones with the bushy eyebrows, mustache and big nose-for the pickup. I will be grouchy but I will also be Groucho, so no one will know it is I.

I did not have a plan for what actually happened. While registering my two large-scale pieces of art, a cluster of animated committee members surround me and my canvases and engage in an extended discussion among themselves. I keep hearing the phrase "raw edges," so I glean that the argument must be about my paintings' newly painted edges. Most of the arbiters seem to believe my edges are not finished. Although I have concealed the drips, spills and splashes, I did not paint over the l/8 inch scallops of paint bleeding over from the image side of the paintings to their edges. I didn't miss them. I did it by design. I chose not to cover the scallops. They were neat and orderly, so I left them. Also I didn't want a straight line of white paint that close to the image. It would not have looked right. Mercifully, a higher ranking official appears and rules that the edges are sufficiently finished to meet the standard. Whew! I'm in!

At the time of the writing of this post, the show has come and gone and the awards have been awarded. I am sorry that I cannot write that I won "Best in Show" or even placed. But at least I didn't have to wear the Groucho glasses while slinking away with my raw-edged art.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Ladies of the Fright

Depingo  left, Woman right in  homage to de Kooning

Willem de Kooning
Misogyny looming, blended flesh into ground
Uncommon ground! I would not tread if no one else were around
He painted wild-eyed, menacing girls...ladies of the night
Who angry vigor transformed into ladies of the fright.

Willem rendered sharp, fierce teeth with a hard jagged poke
Gaping eyes stare out at me as if I were a joke
Dismemberment, distortion born of his  hooked stroke
Bodies shredded, heads imbedded; all hope goes up in smoke.

These unfinished records of an extreme violent encounter
Show the action painter's wrath coming down upon her
Her body's deconstructed, disfigured face is fuming...
An expressionistic masterpiece, she's shameless, all consuming.

Engorged, Woman on a Bicycle is apt to split her seams
She seeks my adulation while listening to my screams 
With densely layered color this lady's been conceived
As a conduit to nightmare. All women have been grieved.

Sinister smiles scare me more.
In Women One, Two, Three, and Four 
Medium and subject converge
 Painting myself with Woman to purge.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Magritte Bites It

Ravenous, that twit, Rene Magritte
Bites into an apple and swallows a pit
Enters a trance...has sort of a fit -
Countenance greenish, brightly lit.

An apple appears - center face
Hides his nose -  there's not a trace
No eyes, no mouth - what a disgrace!
He peeks under his bowler just in case.

The fruit grew there he must admit
Because he didn't spit out the pit
Now branches sprout where he must sit
Ouch!  That's got to hurt a bit.

He contemplates while having a cry
It's nothing that will  make him die
Picking apples to paint and for pie
He becomes the apple of my eye.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Salvador Dali's Chauffeur

It's moving to be an artist's chauffeur
I prepare myself by drinking liqueur
Pick up my idol,  Salvador Dali
Take a wrong turn in Tin Pan Ally.

Dali is dressed in tails and two ties
What happens next -  I'll tell no lies
I open his door, then shut it quicker
That's when I see lavender flicker.

One of his ties, the long  one - wrong size!...

Gets caught and  Dali is stuck to the car
Worse than that, his tie I mar
Then when I  free him, I step on his finger
That crunching sound will always linger.

Dali finally arrives, moustache all a twitter,
Smoothing his glitter, he is no quitter.
But says in an abstract surrealist moan
Wanting so much to be left alone, 

"No need to fetch me with your  hack
 I think I'll take a taxi back!"

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Postmodern Shark Attack

Damien Hirst
Nearly burst
Trying to out-camp
Marcel Duchamp.

To top Marcel's conceptual urinal
Damien worked in an air force terminal.
Eventually something fishy did fit
For the iconoclastic, ditsy  Brit.

Executing his fame-obsessed wish
In formaldehyde he dipped a fish
The resultant preserved postmodern shark
Enclosed in glass,  made its mark.

Bought by a hedge fund guy... funny -
Only he could afford the money
No shrieks of envy pass my lips
I'd  rather have my fish with chips.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Andy Warhol's Models

Warhol, who stopped painting phrenology
Was the master of painted technology
He found his self portrait and that of Jackie
Unsatisfying, underwhelming and a little bit tacky
Because each model had only one head.

While wishing for more out of models' faces
He tripped on his shoes and over his laces
Broke out with a fever,  pushed the wrong lever
Lost the maneuver, became an achiever
And created four faces instead.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Pat Barkman

Pat Barkman is really fast, man
I saw her demo (paints faster than I can)
Her paintings are great whether landscape or fruit
If that's not enough she's extremely cute.

 She's as tall as the sky,
Her bod makes me cry
Pat's wardrobe? ... To die!
Her credentials?  ...  Oh, my.

She saves the environment, won't let you pollute
She's charming, brainy, witty, astute
Does she belong with art masters? Is she resolute?
I think you'll agree, those questions are moot.

I don't know, but think I'm her greatest fan.
She's a better gardener than Holmes (that's Dan)
Happy Birthday, dear Pat. It's off with my hat
You're the best at all things with no caveat!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Joe Flom's Doodles

I am proud to be the keeper of  the late
I am the caddy and
they are totally inspiring to me as an artist. 
When I illustrated the Skadden Newsletter,
Mr. Flom was kind enough to give them to me
to incorporate into my drawings.  
Here are some doubling as Easter eggs. 

Happy Easter and Happy Passover 
to all Depingo's readers.

Monday, January 23, 2012



Facebreath is a serious and heartbreaking affliction.  It is one of the many adverse side effects of using Facebook and it can infect anyone. Oh, you're not sure whether or not you have it?  Check out the  Facebreath symptoms and warning signs enumerated below to determine if you have or are developing Facebreath.

1 - Do you write a Facebook post to someone who is sitting in the same room right next to you rather than just talking to them.?
2 - Do you pretend to know somebody just to make a new Facebook "friend?"
3 - Do you cajole your hundreds of "friends" to" like" your Facebook posts?
4 - Do you "like" their posts in return - whether you like them or not? or even know them?
5 - Are you are no longer concerned with producing good content. Does content just mean getting "likes" to you?
6- Do you get panicky when your friends merely "like" your posts rather than "comment" on them?
7 - In addition to begging for "likes" are you now asking your "friends" to mark your posts "top news" so that your  edgerank won't slip and  you can actually make "top news?
8 - Does your breath become even more foul if your posts  just make  "rancid"... um... that's "recent news?"
9 - Do you sit around scheming how to outsmart algorithms at your own affinity score, edge weight and time decay as if your social networking life depended on it?.
10. Do you think Mark  Zuckerberg is your friend?
11.Did you get in on the IPO?

If you have answered two or more of the above questions affirmatively, it is imperative that you start googling Google straight away before your Facebreath gets out of hand and progresses to the dreaded  terminal stage - Facebite. In this stage  your eyes and a major chunk of your cerebrum is frozen and eventually devoured by Facebook leaving you blind, thoughtless, and totally dependent on Father Facebook, who BTW will be delighted to select your friends and information for you.  Just follow the little blue arrows to "top news." 

Of course, you'll have to have somebody else read it to you.

Paint on,


Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Mellow Mushroom

I AM ENJOYING an extremely pleasant dream when it capriciously morphs into a nightmare. Terror-stricken, I am on a treacherous ride, scared to death. It might be the Cyclone in Coney Island for I am being mercilessly bumped up and down, nearly to death, at high speed on rickety ground. But for the restraints around my chest and hips, I would be airborne. The banging, grinding and scraping noises insidiously forewarn of impending doom. Are there words too? If I concentrate, above the noise, I can make out words competing with the awful mechanical cacophony. I wish I had not, though, because the message is clearly condemning. "The car's out of control," is being screamed over and over until it is etched it into my very being.

"This is not a dream," I suddenly realize. Our situation is far more dire than a scary roller coaster ride and most likely to be fatal. What I had dreamed was a roller coaster is actually our car. It is out of control at 70 mph on a rough shoulder between a busy highway and a steep incline leading to a ditch. We are driving to our winter cottage in Sailboat Bend. I realize I may never see-Sapodilla Cottage (named after the tall, beautifully aggressive trees that cloister and adorn it) ever again.

"Step on the brake," I shout, and then get the horrifying news that neither the brakes nor the steering work anymore and the accelerator is frozen. Always the optimist, I try to think of a remedy for this dismal state of affairs. As a last resort, I think, we might jump out of the car and roll down the side of the hill into the ditch before the car veers into the speeding traffic.

We do not need to jump. The car rambles down the steep incline at high speed to the ditch for us. I view this Hollywood stunt in amazement. Had I not been trapped inside, it might have even seemed amusing. The uphill wheels are cartoon-ishly spinning in air, while the downhill wheels dig in and scrape huge chunks of mud, stones and grass off the hill with such force I can smell rubber burning.

Against all odds, we land upright at the bottom of the ditch, leaving parts of the bottom of the car on the hill behind us. But we do not stop. Again, there is a glimmer of hope: We can ride out the length of the ditch, albeit at 70 mph, until we run out of gas.

Hope is dashed as we imminently approach a deep, car-sized hole within the ditch. Even the firmest of optimists like I know that we are out of options. Hopelessly, I brace myself for the finality of it all. I wonder how badly it will hurt which part of my anatomy, and for how long. I have come to grips with the fact that this muddy ditch will be my final resting place.

Serendipitously, the impact of the fall into the hole jogs the steering and brakes back into action. The accelerator is still frozen at 70 mph, so the 4-wheel drive powerfully kicks in and the back wheels lift us out of the hole and up the 10-foot incline back onto the shoulder. We are back in our original predicament. Sympathetically, the car sputters a few times and then dies. We are hyperventilating and stunned but we emerge from this horrible incident without a scratch.

That's when the screaming and the shaking starts up all over again. "Depingo...Depingo!... Come on, Depingo...Wake up!...we're at the Mellow Mushroom. We can finally eat!"

Paint on,