Photo by Joseph Dalton

The Thinking Woman's Almanac

In this issue


One of the ear-worms that begun running in my head yesterday, temporarily displacing the normal Argentine tango internal sound-track, is a folk song that begins, "I'll sing you a song and it's not very long.  It's about a young man who wouldn't hoe corn."  If you google the rest of it, you'll find that it concerns the economic and emotional folly of not maintaining what one has begun -- in his case, care of a cornfield. As is often the case, the unconscious -- or is it the subconscious?  I can never keep them straight  -- is ahead of my conscious mind in telling me what I need to be thinking about and doing. The watchword appears to be simplification and triage on every level.
Outside of studio life, I'm engaged in winnowing these days -- general environmental debris, paintings and drawings not worth giving houseroom to, people who forget that they had one chance to make a first impression, a couple of bodily pounds, and unnecessary speech. I am getting better at keeping my mouth shut in circumstances social and professional in which the less said, the better.  Fortunately, the more I draw, paint and dance tango, the easier it is not to talk; I can't do any of those things while speaking, and I enjoy all of them a great deal. 
Several recent monotypes and paintings attest to my current desire to simplify visually as well.  Three monotypes seen here: Angus and Herefords, Earliest Steps and Winter Soldiers are among the clearest visually that I've been able to do.
Winter Soldiers, my favorite, shows two bison from a herd photographed in 1985 on a trip with Keith Crandell.  It was his idea, not mine, to be in Yellowstone National Park in January in sub-zero temperatures, but I'm beyond grateful to have been there. I'm also grateful to fellow Salmagundian Zoran Crnkovic, who helped pull the prints and encouraged me to go for the fourth impression (usually we get two impressions maximum with monotypes); the effect of the final "ghost" is a bit like bison in a blizzard, but I like the whole edition of four. Bisons' profiles, with those massive fat-storing humps, were a natural subject for a medium in which silhouettes read well.
April in Montana, an 18" x 36" oil, shows a segment of a mixed herd of Angus and Hereford cattle. Their stances and relative placement are more or less as I photographed them in the spring of 2000, looking much like figures in a 15th-century Piero della Francesca fresco. Note to city dwellers, who may wonder at the seemingly mannered immobility here: cows really do stand around this way sometimes; it gives a ruminant's digestive system the opportunity to do its work.
And then there's Harbor Haiku: Verrazzano Bridge. One of the many things about the Salmagundi Club that I enjoy is the challenge of creating work for members' themed shows.  Sometimes my work is turned down by the jury, sometimes it gets in, but it's always interesting to attempt a subject I wouldn't normally choose.  Thanks to a Salmagundi challenge to create something for an upcoming exhibition on nautical themes and an invitation last summer from John Di Forte to go sailing in New York Harbor (as ballast only, in my case), I saw a world I'm not normally part of, and from very close to water level.  I knew the painting had to be a small watercolor -- it's less than 11" square -- and on hot pressed paper, the smoothest I work on. And it had to be simple. What did not occur to me until the painting was done was that it turned out to be an unconscious homage to Hokusai's woodcut we know as The Great Wave, from his Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji from the 1830s. Hence the title.
As for profiles and silhouettes in my history in general, I think it's in part the making a virtue of necessity. Readers of this newsletter will already know that I don't have fully binocular vision (from birth, so I'm used to it), so there are aspects of three-dimensional perception that I lack.  Developmentally, humans perceive light and dark first (followed by the ability to discern red, but that's a subject for another time). My earliest memories of my own drawings are of horses in profile. I've long been attracted to the clarity of the images in European heraldry.  People's coats of arms are two-dimensional and done in six solid colors and a few bi-colored patterns (so you'd identify easily on a battlefield who the enemy was inside his armor).  As an art historian I was primarily a medievalist, attracted to art that was frequently two-dimensionally emphatic. Coins and medals with portraits depend on a profile view, the angle from which most personally identifying information can be be conveyed through line. As a tango dancer, because of the nature of the classic tango embrace, I'm likely to see more of more of a partner's profile than of the full face. And, sometimes, out and about, I see a person in profile only and wonder what they look like from head-on.  It's endless....
Winter Soldiers, 2018,
monotype 1/4, 5" x 10"
Winter Soldiers, 2018, 
 monotype 2/4, 5" x 10"

Winter Soldiers, 2018, 
monotype 3/4, 5" x 10"

Winter Soldiers, 2018,
monotype 4/4, 5" x 10"

Earliest Steps, 2018,
monotype 1/2, 6" x 8"

Angus and Herefords, 2018,
monotype 1/2, 5 3/4" x 7 3/4" 

Harbor Haiku: Verrazzano Bridge, 2018, watercolor and watercolor pencil, 11" x 11"

April in Montana: Angus and Herefords, 2018,
oil on canvas, 18" x 36"


Winter Soldiers
[see image above in Essay]

Certificate of Merit for Outstanding Work
in SCNY Exhibition 2018 Monotype & Monoprint Members' Exhibition

Lavender Field, watercolor,
11" x 15," 2014   

  Salmagundi Club Martin Hannon Memorial Award for the Spring Auction Exhibition, awarded May 3, 2018

Three Graces, 2016, monotype 1/2,
5 7/8" x 8"

Group Exhibitions:
  • 25 June - 6 July, Members' Monotype/Monoprint Exhibition, Salmagundi Club
    works included: Angus and Herefords, Earliest Steps,Winter Soldiers.
  • 9 - 20 July, 
    SCNY Nautical Show,
     Lower Gallery, Salmagundi Club 
    work included:   Harbor Haiku, watercolor on paper
    Reception on July 20th, 6-8pm
  • 6 - 24 August, SCNY Summer Non-Juried Show, Salmagundi Club
    work included: April in Montana: Angus and Herefords, oil on canvas
    Reception on August 24 from 7-9pm.
Solo Exhibitions:
  • 1 October - 6 November "Flowers in Captivity," Kings Highway Public Library, 2115 Ocean Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11229
  • 8-15 December, "Beckoned by Paper: Watercolors, Monotypes, and Drawings", SCNY Patrons' Gallery
Salmagundi Milonga: Tango Dancing in the Gallery
Tuesday, July 10, 6:30-9:45 pm, in the Main Gallery.
I'm co-hosting with Joe Goldman; our DJ is Steve Harris. 
Admission: $15; free for personnel in all branches of the military, veterans, NYPD, FDNY and SCNY members.
The club's bar is open 5:00-9:45.  Club information at
212-255-7740 or

Not yet a regular tango dancer? I f you have specific questions about tango etiquette, dress code, etc.
, feel free to contact me at 212-464-7519 or 
Monotype Party
Tuesday, August 7, 6:30-9:30 pm, in the Lower Gallery
A wonderful opportunity to show off and share your monotype chops, or to learn a new skill-set.

This event is open to the public as well as to SCNY members.  

Check   for specifics of cost and what tools and supplies to bring.

Print Space Inc., for digitizing slides of previous work 
19 W 21st St #706, New York, NY 10010



Space is currently available in my group painting classes, offered in my Bond Street studio. Class is in session three times a week, on a drop-in basis. All experience levels welcome. Email me for details about these and private lessons.

Classes have begun. A few spaces remain.

Current schedule:
Monday 2:30pm - 5:30pm
Wednesday 2:30pm - 5:30pm
Thursday 10:00am - 1:00pm

A typical workstation

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at the Bond Street Studio



One 3-hour Group Lesson with
Annie Shaver-Crandell at the 39 Bond Street Studio   

Coming in Annie's next newsletter,
Preparing for Exhibitions


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© 2018 Annie Shaver-Crandell