It’s That Time of Year, Begorrah, for the Wearin’ of the Green

Fuchsia Fantastic

Fuchsia Fantastic, 16 x 20 acrylic on canvas

I’ve always dreaded St. Patrick’s Day.  Every kid in school was wearing green but me. My mother fashioned a homemade clover pin out of green felt and crepe paper. But since it wasn’t legitimate clothing, I got pinched anyway. “That doesn’t count,” my peers all agreed as they chased me around the playground.

On Wednesday, We have a St. Patty’s Party at our church. I scanned my closet and discovered I still don’t own anything green. What’s with that? I love green, especially grass green. It’s nature’s color, for heaven’s sake! My clothes hangers are full of beiges, browns, whites and blacks, but not a smidgen of green.

My eyes are a mixture of light brown and green. Hazel I write down on required forms. They turn chameleon whenever I wear lavender or peach, and then people say “My you have lovely green eyes.”

pods-seeds 018

I had an olive green carpet in the seventies. In fact, my favorite color back then was olive green. I not only had a suit and a dress in this color. I was designated a “Fall” by the latest home-party color technologist. Of course, my hair was still brown when I took that first test.

Incidentally my favorite foods are green. I love spinach, avocadoes, lettuce, edame, kale, endive, romaine, peas, green beans, broccoli, asparagus, okra, etc. I’m surprised my skin hasn’t turned green on me.

My kids favorite dip was made with spinach, cream cheese and mayonnaise. When finished, it looked like the Emerald City ; bright green and luminous. When friends came over, my kids told them convincingly it was “green grasshopper” dip. After that its popularity plummeted. Soon the authors of this trickery became a bit squeamish themselves, and that was the end of that.

Popeye & Olive Oyl Salt 'n Pepper Shakers

Salt ‘n Pepper Shakers

My mother was a fabulous cook. She rarely used a recipe and had an instinctive sense of how she wanted something to taste. I tried to coax her out of a few concoctions, but she was more comfortable with her own methods of a pinch here, a taste there, a squeeze of this, a drop of that. Her potato salad was to die for.

My kids would eat no one else’s scrambled eggs; only hers. Whenever she asked “what do you want to eat?” without preamble, they always said scrambled eggs. Her curry was the hit of her pinochle club. I relished the smell of it simmering on the stove.


Prayer Circles 24 x 18 acrylic on canvas

Mother cooked the way I paint. I like to try new mixtures for a certain look or sparkle; a dab of this, a swap of that. One of my favorite colors is made by mixing one part alizarin crimson with a little bit of orange as in the painting above. If you add a drop or two of yellow, it creates a tantalizing background especially for white.


Cafe’ Costa Rica 20 x 20 SOLD; prints and gicle’s available

If you mix a dot of cobalt blue with yellow, you can get the exact color of varied shades of green from new bright growth to mature bluish stems.

Green up your world this St. Patrick’s Day and experiment with color!

We’re being Sold a Bill of Goods

"Reggae Night" acrylic on canvas

“Reggae Night” acrylic on canvas

Did you ever wonder why styles change – and so often?  Believe you me, it’s all about money!  You think men’s suits are tailored tight to show off their muscles? Wrong! Less material is required which translates into prices the consumer can afford and more profits for the manufacturer.

Some men definitely look good in the slim cut, but most do not. Masculine shoulders may appear smaller and midriffs larger. The overall impression is one of looking at a young man who has outgrown last year’s suit. The manufacturer can charge the same price as a regular cut garment and it costs him less or at least the same. This is one way to beat rising costs.

Women’s clothing is being handled in much the same way. The fashion world has convinced us that tight is sexy. The more cling a fabric has, the better. Some women would be better off not revealing so much. No longer can we cover love handles and inappropriate bulges on backs or thighs. Yet, we’ve been convinced that this is the ultimate in fashion.

Using skimpy foreign fabrics that seldom last as long as materials from previous years, the manufacturers are outsmarting us for higher profits. The consumer continues to pay inflated prices each year for less wear and minimal quality.

"Release" Panel 1 Tropical Parrot

“Release” Panel 1 Tropical Parrot

I have used Bali products for panties, girdles and bras for years. When I discovered that I could no longer get the same quality, I was angry. Their excuse for a girdle now is a flimsy synthetic fabric that is hot and makes you sweat. No longer can you find the substantial materials of yesteryear, and the prices are astronomical.

Whatever happened to that wave of hatred for polyester? Now that’s all they use. We’ve lost our love for natural fabrics like cotton, linen, wool and silk. They’ve all been replaced with synthetics because they supposedly “never need ironing.” But that’s a crock, because they almost always do.

"Dainty Diva" mixed media on canvas (SOLD) (synthetic fabric)

“Dainty Diva” mixed media on canvas (SOLD) (synthetic fabric)

Synthetics are hot. In Florida the newer fabrics stick to your bottom, and make you feel like you’re having hot flashes even when you’re not. The feminine fabrics are beautiful and irresistible, but most of them are sheer and require buying either a slip or lining and a tank top unless you’re willing to look like a hooker on Saturday night. Having to buy extra accessories means more sales, more profits.

The young don’t care about cost or comfort. I remember wearing stilettos when I was in my twenties. They were excruciatingly painful after wearing them for only a few hours, but we wore them anyway. I blame them for the arthritis I have in my feet today. Youth will sacrifice ease for beauty any day of the week, and the manufacturers are all too eager to make that happen.