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permission of Carolyn Croll. ©All rights reserved Carolyn Croll

April 30, 2010

Milking It, Caught in the Act

                                  April 29, 2010

What is mine is his. What is his is his.
This time its only the dregs of my glass 
of milk. Tizzy, like the rest of his kind, 
knows nothing about resisting temptation.
He likes to mush his big round face into
the glass as far as it will go, so he can
reach the puddle with his amazingly 
long tongue. These pictures show plan B,
putting his foot in it then licking the
milk off his paw. (Not to worry, its all
lactose free no fat milk.) Once in a while,
I take pity and provide a little dish of
milk to share with Fred. =^..^=

(click on images to enlarge)

April 28, 2010

An Artist and a Gentleman

Leonard Rosenfeld referred to himself as
an expressionist painter. 
      Artist Leonard Rosenfeld 1926-2009,  photo by Bob Van Lindt

Often inspired by subjects and events that affected him deeply. 
Hookers and their pimps plying their trade beneath his 
window, graffiti artists, soldiers and terrorists.

                                     Purple Heart, Leonard Rosenfeld 2007
From his studio near the World Trade
Center he witnessed the 9/11 attack.

                              Detail from Tracks- Brooklyn 1957 

In his early career in the 1950's Len was part 
of the group including Willem de Kooning, 
Clifford Still, Franz  Kline and Clement 
Greenberg among others who hung out 
at the Cedar Bar in Greenwich Village.

               studio wall with paintings and other works of Len Rosenfeld

 Len had stories to tell, and told them.
Some on canvas. Some in conversation.

                                   Angel in the black 2002

My cousin Janet was Len's wife for 18 years.
This past weekend she held an open house and 
informal show of his work at his studio in New 
York City, which I attended. Stunning, seeing 
all the highly personal paintings and drawings, 
the breadth of his life's work.

Chinatown-The Year of the Fish, 1983-1085 one of Len Rosenfeld's "wire paintings" 

His large energetic "wire paintings" like 
aboriginal totems. Also intriguing, several 
interviews on CDs.
          Leonard Rosenfeld self-portrait 2009, photograph by his friend Vernita Nemec (with permission)

Len, tall graceful, speaking of his motivations and 
inspirations in his own refreshingly candid and 
appealing Brooklyn accented voice.
Surrounded by his friends and life's work.
Wishing I had known him better.

(click on images to enlarge)


All Leonard Rosenfeld's art is protected by copyright
and can not be reproduced without written permission
from his wife, Janet.

April 23, 2010

Hidden Treasure (Who Knew?)

For history and art loving people like me, 
my city of Philadelphia holds much treasure, 
some less immediately evident than others.
Latest example, the LaSalle University Art 
Museum, where yesterday a friend and I saw 
a small but delightful exhibition of Charles 
Willson Peale And His Family At Belfield.
                     Charles Willson Peale, self-portrait
When Peale, the famous portrait painter and 
curator of his own early natural history museum 
(considered the first natural history museum 
in America and once housed in Independence Hall), 
retired from that post, he moved his family 
to the country. 
The property, just east of Germantown and now 
adjacent to the campus of LaSalle University, 
he called Belfield Farm.
            A view of Belfield by Charles Willson Peale
Today, the President of LaSalle lives in Peale's 
charming old house.
                                  Peale's house at Belfield
Mr. Peale and I are "old friends". His paintings
of his family were a great help to me during my 
REDOUTÈ research. Since Peale's children were 
also artists, as was Peale's brother James, and they 
lived at approximately the same as the Redoutè 
family, details of their dress and artists' tools 
were immensely valuable.

                           The Peale family by Charles Willson Peale

The Redoutè family from REDOUTÈ,The man Who 
Painted Flowers by Carolyn Croll
Another artist of the period to whom I am 
indebted is Elisabeth Vigee LeBrun, Marie 
Antionette's portraitist. Madame LeBrun 
painted her young brother, also an artist, 
wearing the sort of costume the Redoutè 
brothers would have worn. Again including tools 
of the trade, portfolio and a drawing instrument 
that held charcoal at one end and white chalk
at the other.
                        Young artist by Elisabeth Vigee LeBrun

         Young Pierre-Joseph Redoutè 

The artist's brother by Elisabeth Vigee LeBrun

The Redoutè brothers, Pierre-Joseph and Antoine Ferdinand in Paris
Besides this special Peale exhibit, the LaSalle 
University Museum of Art houses a small but 
interesting collection of paintings and prints 
from the 15th thru 20 centuries. 
Took me long enough!
( - link

click on images to enlarge

April 20, 2010

Count Fredcula

"I vill leek U! Zen I veel purr!"
Sweet Fred and his overbite. ;-)

(click on image to enlarge)

April 8, 2010

Small Thoughts

True confession;
Besides books and beads I am easily distracted by miniature
stuff, especially of the handcrafted dollhouse-scale variety.
I once owned a vintage handmade huge dollhouse, 2 rooms
deep like a real house. It was almost as big as my little 
apartment living room, so it had to go. I still have a 2
room "Pine St." shop I made from the wooden crate
in which my French cookware was shipped long ago
No power tools were used in its creation. Working on it
kept me sane during a fallow work period back then.

Upstairs, an artist's studio, downstairs a gourmet
food and cookware shop I dubbed "Small Potatoes.
This morning, my friend Alice from
posted some links on her blog
that led me to , 
an online miniatures magazine for professional miniature artisans.
They had me on page 1, but to join one needs to be a Professional Miniatures Artisan. 
So, I submitted these two items that I made
for consideration, hoping they are good enough, along with my books and beads to obtain some dispensation.
Here's hoping. ;-)

PS: They've turned me down because the rules say I must be an artisan who SELLS her miniature work. Never fear, I see this as an impetus to do some miniatures for sale on ETSY. Stay tuned.

April 5, 2010

Magnificent Magnolias

My Spring begins with these incredibly beautiful huge waxy pink Magnolia blossoms
on the trees at St Mark's Church on Locust St., between 16th and 17th Sts. in Philadelphia. They must thrive on wet cold winters, because this year they are 
more profuse than ever. 

(click on image to enlarge)

April 4, 2010

When Is An Egg A Book?

A basketful of Easter eggs. Small books that open to tell an Easter tale to read together. Happy Easter wishes!

The Great Easter Egg Hunt (Workman), Carolyn Croll Illustrator

April 2, 2010

Happy 363, Old Girl

Today is the birthday of the remarkable artist and
pioneering entomologist, Maria Sibylla Merian.

 example of her work

From her youth she studied insects, and recorded
her discoveries in her studienbuch, or journal.

My illustration of Maria observing silkworms

Eventually her interest in insects and the natural
world led her to Surinam to study the inhabitants
of the Amazon rain forest in Surinam.

MSM in old age

On the day she died, Tsar Peter the Great of
Russia purchased her studienbuch and took it
to St. Petersburg. He founded the first Russian 
Museum of Natural History around it and Maria's
journal is still there today.
In England, King George III bought Maria's
original watercolors from her book of the 
Insects of Surinam. They remain in the Royal
Library at Windsor Castle where I was graciously
permitted to view them several years ago.

There is more to tell, but I'll stop here and save
the rest for a book. ;-)

Stay tuned.