Thursday, January 31, 2013

Teddy Bear

After viewing Ken Beck's large paintings of teddy bears (see my previous post), I wanted to see my own teddy bear again. I went to the attic, found the right box, and there she was, dressed in one of the outfits I had made years ago!

This is Cindy Bear, a favorite companion in my childhood.

I brought her down to my office and sat her on top of my desk.

Her joints still move, and she looks just the way I remember her.

A very nice bear.

I think I'll let her stay for a while on a shelf in my office.

She has many different dresses. I had to sew these outfits for her because she was a bit too chunky to fit into regular doll clothing. I didn't often play with dolls, but I did play with Cindy Bear.

I learned much about sewing as I fashioned outfits for Cindy to wear.  Fortunately Cindy Bear was patient as outfits were tried on over and over as I figured out how to shape the fabric and design ways to make the clothes stay on her body.

Mrs. Hoberg, mother of my friend Janet, encouraged sewing projects in her basement sewing room and provided us with a supply of fabric scraps. We felt free to experiment, so we had fun.

I especially liked this green cotton dress with the yellow ribbon -- one of my better creations. I was pleased with the way the wooden bead worked to control the tightness of the shoulder straps.  

Cindy Bear says Hi!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Walk with Ken Beck

My Danvers High School classmate Ken Beck (center) invites us to walk with him through a retrospective show of his art work. Seventy-eight of his paintings are on display. He titled the exhibition “Acts of Painting: One at a Time.”

Ken writes, "Each Walk-Through will take place on a Sunday afternoon at 4pm and will last about an hour. The event is meant to provide an opportunity for me to answer your questions and to talk personally and informally about my work as whole.  Light refreshments will be served."

Dates: Sundays January 20, February 10, March 10, and April 14, 2013.
Location: 15 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA (in the South End of Boston, on the ground floor of Atelier 505, in the offices of Hammond Residential - South End).

See my previous posting about Ken Beck, Artist and the June 2012 column
Remembering Danvers - The Education of a young artist in which Ken describes the art teachers in Danvers who influenced and inspired him.

I recommend this exhibition. I attended the November opening and enjoyed seeing the wide range of styles in which Ken has painted over the years.  Impressive!

Ken writes, "Most artists in their own life time never get the opportunity to have a large retrospective of their work (78 pieces in this case) available for public viewing for 6 months. Thus I intend to share and enjoy this experience to the fullest."  The first Walk-Through in December "was so well-received, I have decided to continue this practice once a month for the duration of my exhibition."

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


This slim (90-page) book had slipped out of sight on my bookcase, but came to light recently when I re-arranged my books.  The illustrations are wonderful and the text is engaging. I've learned much about the behaviors of chickadees from reading Susan Smith's excellent guide. She has also published scholarly works on the chickadee (a comprehensive book and scientific articles), but this easy-to-read overview is the best place to start. Many photographers contributed stunning close-ups of chickadees in action.

For this month's column I have written about chickadees. See A lifelong fondness for chickadees. Black-capped chickadees were frequent visitors to our yard in Danvers.