Friday, December 31, 2010

Yuletide Excuses or why I haven't been blogging

The reason I have been neglecting my blog is that I have spent the holiday season moving to a new home. There have been times when I did not know where my cameras were, my hanging sculpture is tucked into a bag somewhere. It was difficult to think about art. We moved a week before Christmas and plunged right into the holiday madness. 

Then the blizzard hit and for some reason the entire city collapsed into chaos. 

The kitties were not disturbed by the snow, or the glacial cold. Our new home has a patio. Once the wind died down, I went out there and made a little sitting area around the brazier that a dear friend offered as a house warming gift (and it is warm).

We put a log on the brazier and the beloved amused us by burning old papers.

It was our yule celebration.

Slowly things are returning to normal. I am beginning to get ideas for the new year. I will have a garden to work on my green art in. Maybe I will finally grow some moss. I have some plant cuttings taking root for another round of street art. The new neighborhood is beautiful in a scruffy way. I can't wait to get to work.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Subtle Leaves

For a second year, the autumn foliage has been muted. Last year it was from the rain, this year it was the heat.

I went up to Central Park to find the trees I skipped on the tree hunt because they look best in autumn. I was headed for the Tupelo meadow in the Ramble. Many of the trees were still green if yellowish.

There was an occasional splash of red, all the more striking against the green.

The colors were otherwise soft.

The Ramble lived up to its name and I wandered around in circles for a while, not sure where the tupelos were.

I did not even recognize one when I found it and I did not take many pictures. Perhaps the others had already shed their leaves.

I am so grateful for these rare isolated spots in the city. When I am stressed, being with the trees and the birds calms me down. I had wanted to see the elms on the literary walk in their autumn splendor.

But it was over. The leaves had fallen.

It seemed odd that some trees were still green while others had shut down for the season. But I was more intrigued about tupelo trees. I went to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, my other refuge from stress.

 The colors were fairly muted there too. The light was really pretty.

There was a well identified tupelo in the local flora area.

Its autumn colors really are beautiful.

And I know what they look like now.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Autumn Blues

A little autumn light pierces the blue.

Although I have not been posting as often as usual, I have been working. The results have not been very blog worthy. My color printing has been slow going. Film does not have the instant gratification of digital. I am waiting to finish a roll that has what I hope to be some really cool pictures. There is some light I want to photograph that only hits at 10 am on Bedford Avenue. I haven't managed to get there at the right time.

I have also been playing with images that I accidentally printed over other images (ink jet prints here).

I am not sure if these are really more than just experiments. I don't want to go to deeply into a weird Joseph Cornell place, or even worse, descend into kitsch.

Hopefully things will get better soon.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Light on the Subway Entrance

I have been somewhat distracted recently. It has been difficult to focus on art work because of very unartistic stresses. I finished up some film and made some prints last week, but old school photography is a slow process and I have nothing interesting yet. Luckily I came across this light. It is the subway entrance at the foot of the Williamsburg Savings Bank. There used to be scaffolding outside while the old offices were converted into condos which made the entrance dark and a little menacing. The scaffolding came down earlier this year and the light is so startling at times.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Incompatability Between Plants and Kittens

The last of the plants on the wall was adopted. I put up this picture of the young plants instead of the empty wall because it is more cheerful. I am thinking about putting the plants out in a less elaborate way since they do not stay for very long. I don't mind that they go quickly, but at dawn the light is not bright enough to take good pictures. My plan is to make pots out of plastic bottles and place the plants in pretty light, photograph them and leave them. Gift - the end.

I wanted to plant some cuttings I had started when I came across a problem.

The kittens really like philodendrons. They had eaten most of the cuttings so I was only able make two plants. 

I moved them to the window in the young son's room,

where they were soon discovered by Voltaire, the gardener kitten.

I have enough plants to form a barrier and the kittens have lost interest. I made some more pothos cuttings from the mother plant.

The Mother Plant

Hopefully I will be able to do one more plant run before winter and try out my new idea.
I want to do more work on the hanging sculpture.  The light has been so abysmal, it is hard to work on it in the gloom. Waiting for the beautiful October light.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Plant In Its New Home

Yay! I have a picture of one of the adopted plants. Thank you Bryan for giving this plant a home. There are a couple of lovely pictures over at Picasa which is another good place to post pictures of the plants. Apparently there are still two plants left. I hope they survive the storm.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Plant Wall

Early this morning I put the plants out. These are the plants that I grew from cuttings, that suffered through the heat of summer, and finally grew stronger and more adapted to life on the street.

I was strangely nervous this morning. Maybe it was that story I read in the Gothamist recently about a young artist who got arrested for painting on paper she taped to a wall.

I needn't have worried, all was quiet as usual. I wish I had been a little neater in the installation.  Maybe I should have repositioned some of the plants. It hardly mattered for when I returned to photograph the plants in brighter light, only three were left.

I attached notes to the plants asking the people who took them let me know how the plants are doing. One person, Albert, has already responded. Thank you Albert for giving a plant a home.

If you adopted a plant, you can tell me about it by email: You can also upload photos to your Flickr account with the tag diderotsblog. Sign up for a free Flickr account here.

I will post more detailed plant care later on.  In the meantime, you can just put the plant and its planter in a bowl by the window and give it a little water when it is dry.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Remains of the Storm

There is much better documentation of last Thursday's storm elsewhere; more dramatic photostornado footage evoking Cloverfield. I was in Manhattan during the storm, where it was not as severe. I did not plan on posting anything about it until I walked down the street on Friday evening and I almost started to cry. It is one thing to see a picture of a tree felled by a storm in Queens or even Park Slope.  It is another thing to see a familiar tree face the same fate.

These are trees that I pass three or four times a week.

Some have broken limbs. They still look healthy except for their broken branches.

This is one of the blossoming pear trees that has delicate white flowers in the spring. They bloom all over the city.

This is a honey locust like the ones I wrote about in August.

Its broken limbs were piled in the street.

I photographed this tree a few weeks ago because I thought it was a redwood like the ones I saw on the tree hunt. Later I decided it must be a Bald Cyprus. Regardless, it did poorly in the storm.

I worry about the damaged trees.  It is stressful enough for trees in New York. I hope they will survive.

I feel so sad for the trees that were lost.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I am surprised at how many sunflowers bloomed in the city this year.

 It seemed as if there were sunflowers on every street.

I missed the full glory of this sunflower which has been blooming here for years, clearly a trendsetter.  It blooms earlier than the others.

 This sunflower is right in the middle of the sidewalk where a tree used to grow.

I almost didn't post these pictures.  I took them a few weeks ago and I felt that sunflower season, along with summer, must surely be over. 

Then today as I was walking through Union Square, I saw sunflowers around the Gandhi statue.  I took it as a good omen.
I love the Gandhi statue with its serene smile.  It looked as if he were smiling at the sunflowers.