The Thinking Woman's Almanac
In this issue

From Annie Shaver-Crandell's Studio 
MARCH 2017 


As readers of the two most recent issues of this newsletter know, I have just weathered six months of extreme personal turmoil.  Happy and thankful that the worst is behind me, I am now officially single, and have only this to say: no narcissicists need apply.  

My current life suits me better each day, with a comfortable balance of tranquility for meditation, planning and reading (book most enjoyed recently: Paulo Coelho's Eleven Minutes); studio time, with and without my students; Argentine tango outings; and drinks or meals with friends old and new -- you get the idea.

In the studio, I'm still regrouping, not painting much yet, but making concerted use of canvases not completed as originally intended as supports for fabric collages.  Here are two cases in point: Healing the Overturned Heart and Spring Blossoms.

Unfinished oil that underlies
Healing the Overturned Heart
Healing the Overturned Heart,
fabric collage, 24" x 24," 2016

T he first one was laid over an unfinished oil of a lovely bouquet of roses given me by my then-husband at one point as a peace offering. Recently I turned the canvas upside down and produced what you see now. In strong light, a hint of peach roses is visible beneath the fabric, because the acrylic varnish I use to seal the collages results in occasional transparency of some fabrics.

My second example of a recycled canvas has also ser ved to bury an unpleasant memory.  On the left is the source photograph from which I had started an oil titled After the Ball. During a difficult period last year when the man was in Florida for extended periods, I took this selfie as I was changing out of my tango shoes after a milonga I had attended by myself. Again, a painting I could not bear to complete, nicely though it might have turned out.  But it made a great base layer for Spring Blossoms, in which I began experimenting with wallpaper-like stripes as fabric background.

After the Ball
Pale Blossoms,
fabric collage, 20" x 15 1/2," 2017

This week a friend helped me rehang the main wall of my living room on which landscapes and still lifes have been shown for many months. We put up almost all of the new collages, and also a series of other abstract works in watercolor and acrylic that I created in 2008 for an exhibition called Pairings: Works Inspired by the Tango. Each piece was executed while listening to one or more pieces of tango, vals or milonga music. Here is Luz Verde [Green Light], named for Miguel Villasboas's milonga of the same name (look it up YouTube if you like).
Luz Verde
watercolor and acrylic, 6 3/4" x 13 7/8," 2008

Just now I took a close look at Luz Verde and realized how similar my approach had been in some ways to the collage process: I began quite deliberately in watercolor by establishing a pink background on the left-hand half and a blue background on the right -- the territories of a tango follower on the left and of the leader on the right. Music supplied the supporting energies to my painting arm from then on as I replayed the milonga as many times as I needed to swirl on the fluid acrylic outer layers. What I got to notice is that in both the painting of so many years ago and the recent collages, I've taken an essentially left-brain approach that begins with something quite deliberately chosen-- size and nature of the support, medium, tools, broad color palette, to name a few factors -- and then flipped over into my right brain hemisphere to see what would happen next.  For someone whose first profession -- scholarly art history -- required so much from my left brain, this reversion to being the visual artist of my childhood self who got into trouble for crayoning on forbidden walls has been a source of deep pleasure.


Blue Destiny,
fabric collage, 18" x 18," 2016

Striped Wallpaper and Bouquet of Blooms,
fabric collage on panel, 11" x 14," 2017

Valentine to an Unknown Kind of Love
fabric collage, 12" x 12," 2017

Joy of Receiving, Joy of Giving
fabric collage, 12" x 12," 2017

Arlesian Cowboys 2/2
monotype, 7" x 5," 2017

Arlesian Cowboys 1/2  
monotype, 7" x 5," 2017



Originally Homage to Goya: Spanish Kittens, monotype, 2/2, 8" x 8," 2015.
Reworked with "pussy hats" in watercolor after the recent international women's marches and re-titled: Sleepers,Wake up


I'm pleased to announce that my monotype, Hunters Pausing, 2/2 is included in the SCNY 2017 Spring Auctions.

Auction Dates:  
Thursday, March 16, 8 pm 
Friday, March 24, 8 pm
Friday, March 31, 8 pm
On View: March 6-31, 2017.  
Mon-Fri 1-6PM, Sat & Sun 1-5PM

Reception, Friday, March 10, 7-9 pm 
Garden View: Planting Fields, II

In addition, my watercolor, Garden View: Planting Fields, II, has been accepted into the 8th Annual Sylvia Maria Glesmann Floral Exhibition.
The exhibition runs March 6-30,
open weekdays 1-6 pm, Saturday and Sunday 1-5 pm;
the reception is March 10, 6-8 pm.

A thumbnail reproduction of my watercolor from last year's show,
Roses. Planting Fields, is on the Salmagundi Club website (  as an element in the publicity for this year's exhibition. 

View Toward Lacoste
watercolor, 11" x 11," 2004

Willow and Cut Field  
watercolor, 11" x 11," 2009

Yew Hedge and Purple Salvia
watercolor, 11" x 11," 2015

a painting workshop about observing and creating greens

Sunday, March 12, 11:30-3:30 at my studio.

As the Spring Equinox approaches, and as our light changes after Winter's shorter days, it can be refreshing to create a new palette to match the new season. The focus of the day is to explore practical properties of pigments, especially in watercolor. Although I will be demonstrating several approaches to working with greens that I hope will expedite your watercolor painting in future, participants are free to take the workshop in a spirit of meditation and process, rather than feeling that the day should yield a finished painting.  You will have opportunities both to experience commercially prepared greens and to develop your own palette of greens using combinations of yellow and blue. There will be plants and other green things to look at as potential subject matter, and a wide selection of watercolor pigments to sample.

Light refreshments provided.

The workshop is open to all levels of experience; please feel free to call or email with any questions.

Please note: March 12 is the day we return to Daylight Saving Time (time falls backward and springs forward), so remember to set your timepieces the night before)

I'll be convening two plein air events in the gardens at Planting Fields Arboretum in Oyster Bay on Long Island this Spring, on April 22 and June 10; each runs from 10am to 3pm. 

The only charge is an $8 parking fee to enter the arboretum grounds. 

To reserve, contact Jennifer Lavella at 516-922-8678 or  Further details to follow.


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 3:00pm - 6:00pm
Thursday 10:00am - 1:00pm

A typical workstation

  • Tuesday, March 21, 6pm-9 pm; 
  • All-day monotype party, Saturday, April 29, 11am-5pm. 
$30 for non-members, $20 for Salmagundi Club members. 

If you're new to these events, I'll suggest you bring old clothes, apron, vinyl or nitrile gloves, Q-tips, soft paper toweling (Viva is very good for this), source photos or drawings to work off (remember that these will be flipped left to right in the monotype printing, so you may want to print your sources backward first).  The club will supply: printing plates, ink, paper and lots of shared expertise. 

Our club president, Robert Pillsbury, often does a demo print at the beginning of the evening to explain the process; that alone is worth the price of admission. 
47 Fifth Avenue @ 12th St, 
New York 10003 
212-255-7740 or to reserve.
The club's bar is open at 5:00.  

Annie Shaver-Crandell: A Collection of Views Landscapes, Cityscapes and Interiors
36 page book, 8 3/8" x 10 7/8"
Carousel Mug
Please visit the online store to purchase my book and collectible mug.

Please visit my studio for a private viewing. Call me at 212-464-7519 to schedule. I am also available to discuss commissions.




I love hearing from all of you with all your questions and comments. Please feel free to write me at and I promise to reply. Your comments help me build my studio.

Annie's work may be seen at  


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Please contact me for more information at and 212-464-7519

© 2017 Annie Shaver-Crandell