Seriously - I'm Still Here



I know. You wouldn't know it by my stagnant blog posting habits. But rest assured, I'm still active on this blog. In fact, I've slowly and steadily been working on something. It's hard to be inspired to make things after a long day of work, which concludes with me making our dinner, my lunch for the next day, catching up on blog reading, and an hour of television of watching before I head to bed. (And in case you're wondering, my bed time these days is around 9:30, but more on that later.) So I leave art creation to the weekends. This piece is about 3' x 5' - that's pretty darn big. As you can see from sneak peak shot above, it doesn't just entail slopping on a coat of paint.



As you can surmise, I'm nowhere near finished, so there's no mashup to post. I figured I'd take the time to tell you about the other things I've been up to during these last few weeks.


First, I've become consumed/obsessed with shopping in the bulk bins at Whole Foods and putting my purchases in mason jars. Dried beans, lentils, flours, nuts - I think I have a sickness. I can't stop. But thanks to Whole Foods, I've learned that I have a new love of raw cashews (I was originally a roasted girl) as well as eating medjool dates stuffed with walnuts and these Energy Chunks as a pre-workout snack. I love the Cacao Gogi Berry and Cha Cha Chia bars, but sort of wanted to puke up the Mixed Berry Blast (those will be thrown out soon).



The pre-workout reference leads me to my next activity. For the past two months I've been working out at 5:30 am before I go to work (hence the 9:30 pm bedtime). What a change that has been. Getting up at this time means no meal before running/biking/stairclimbing/weightlifting, because that would require me getting up even earlier. So now I pop in a date or an energy chunk on my way the gym, and I have to say, they oddly do the trick. It's amazing how your body can adapt to a workout schedule if you stick with it. I really like working out that early pre-breakfast and work. It definitely makes me ready for the day.



So onto breakfast. The next big change has been my abandonment of eating cereal. For six years, I would have a bowl of Kashi Go Lean with banana, blueberries, and raisins. FOR SIX STRAIGHT YEARS. During this past spring, my body suddenly starting rejecting the kashi. I felt gross at work and sluggish. These feelings, combined with my desire to decrease/ween off any processed carbohydrates has led me to abandon all cereals. So what do I have now? I have this.



A smoothie usually filled with vanilla protein powder, rolled oats, chia/flax seed, some greek yogurt, spinach, bananas, peaches, mango, pineapple and fresh ginger. It may not look too appetizing, but it tastes amazing and makes me feel totally energized. I am never going back.


The single-serving smoothie blender is also key - super easy to clean and prep. Along with making my lunch at night, I also prep my smoothie (minus the frozen fruit).


[I need to thank my sweet friend JL of JL Goes Vegan for clueing me in to medjool dates and green smoothies!]


Next up: I bought a new "used" car. It's a sage green 2008 Nissan Altima (my previous car was a '99 Altima) and I'm in love with it. No seriously - LOVE. I want to cry every time I sit in it. It's the little things, ya know?



And finally, Pat and I made it to the Big E. It was what I always expected - lots of food I would never want to put in my body (e.g., fried dough, fried twinkies, fried kool-aid, the "Craz-E Burger" comprised of a bacon cheeseburger sandwiched between two halves of a glazed donut. Barf.), people who would be classified as "real lookers," and freak show exhibits of epic proportion.



I actually took a photo of the Hercules Unicorn Cow, but it was so horrible to see that I feel terribly guilty posting it.

Despite these oddities, we had a pretty good time. We went with some fine friends, rode on some rickety fair rides, got a good dose of carnie-sightings and spent a nice, hot (and super humid) day outside.




Marvel in my productivity! I will be back soon - I promise.


5,4,3,2,1 Things About...

I am constantly looking to other blogs to find inspiration and a good laugh. A new series created by Craft is called 5,4,3,2,1 Things About...

Craft usually profiles one of its staff members, but recently has suggested other blog writers to include their button (see below and to the right) on their blogs and to submit a post of their own.


So here we go!

5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Things About Copycat Mashup


I am oddly the most normal looking one in this photo.


One Project You Are Particularly Proud Of

There are a few projects on Copycat Mashup that I really love, but the one that I think I am most proud of is the scherenschnitte of Shakespeare's Hamlet. It was the first time I ever attempted a papercut and I was so nervous the entire time that I was going to rip the paper! When all was said and done, I love walking by this piece in our new apartment and stopping to look at it.


Two Mistakes You've Made in the Past


2. Not measuring things (i.e. fabric, paper, wood) when I should. You'd think I'd learn after the first mishap, but I never want to spend the time to measure anything.

1. Getting frustrated too easily when I start a project. The perfectionist in me wants the process to be beautiful and smooth every time.

Three Things That Make Your Work Unique

3. It always changes! Depending on the artists, one piece will look completely different than the previous one.

2. I like to tell a story when it comes to the art, as I almost always have some sort of previous exposure/experience with the artist.

1. It's random. Some of the mashups (lessor known artists, novelists, food products, etc.) are pretty out there.



Four Tools You Love To Use

4. X-Acto Knife - I'm happy that I no longer live in New York City, where all X-Acto knives and blades are locked behind a glass cases. Talk about a pain in the neck to check out a blade! Good thing Massachusetts seems to not worry people will start stabbing each other.

3. Transfer Paper - What I like to call "cheating paper." Yes, in art courses in high school and college I was taught to sketch out the piece. But with the help of my trusty iMac (Madeline is her name), I can do all that "sketching" on my comp, print it out, and transfer it on to the canvas or paper.


2. My iMac - Going on six years now (*tear), Madeline has been great. Sure she is starting to sound like a broken vacuum when she gets too hot, but she has helped me on way too many projects to count.

1. My 2B graphite pencils - Bringing it back to my 9th grade Drawing I class, the 2B is my go-to sketching pencil. Always.


Five Inspirations

5. Nature. Especially now that we are living in Western Mass and I drive through a mountain pass (!) to get to work.

4. Anthropologie - Clothes that I love and can't afford, I just love their photographs and styling. Great inspiration for the new apartment!

3. My father - He's an inspiration but also a resource. I will come to him with an idea, usually something I want him to build for me, and he will tell me whether it can be done. (Sometimes my ideas defy gravity. Stupid gravity.)

2. Marquetry - This is a long-term inspiration and project. I've been too scared to try it. Right now I am obsessed with Rob Milam's portraits.

1. All of the blogs listed to the right of this page. Check them out!





Trolling in South Hadley




















Don't worry - this is not a picture of our new apartment.


It is, however, similar to what you would see on the windowsills of the South Hadley Electric Company. When Pat and I entered the town building on Monday morning to set up an account, we were greeted by at least 40 troll dolls behind the ONE woman who runs the shop. We couldn't look at each other the entire time we were there. Not when we saw the troll dolls. Not when we were told there was no online billing system. Not when we were informed that the only credit card they would not accept was VISA.


Where the hell are we?


Certainly not Queens.


I don't think I set up one account in New York that didn't involve going online or walking through an automated messaging system on the phone. But South Hadley is not New York. South Hadley does not have street lights. South Hadley sells gas at $3.68 a gallon. South Hadley has driveways, backyards, and diners. (And I mean legit diners; hole in the wall, small and stifling spaces and not the behemoths in NYC, where you can't look in one direction without spotting a chandelier.)


Talk about extremes. It seems I can't do anything in stages. I leave Exeter, RI, where I lived next to a farm and on three acres of land to Queens, NY, where I was lucky to find a parking spot on the street and a two bedroom apartment that didn't cost $2,000 a month. And now here I am - living in the mountains. Crazy.


You know what else is crazy? Our awesome apartment.


Our living room - not enough furniture to fill this puppy.

Two views of our extremely long kitchen (love it!)



Pat's office


The bedroom, and yes, that huge closet is just MINE!

Two views of my art studio. It's kind of empty (but not for long!).

Our back deck with our new grill (thanks Mom and Dad!).


Don't get me wrong - there are kinks in this place like any other rental. Light switches that do nothing, outlets that don't seem to work, wonky window blinds, etc. But already Pat and I are really excited to call this space ours for the time being and exploring the hood without the threat of a parking ticket or a meter maid!



This week has been spent performing lots of chores - buying food from the local farms, scouting out new gyms and getting some new duds for my new job (that starts tomorrow...gulp).


While I haven't been blogging here, I have been blogging elsewhere, including some blogs of some friends. I hope to be back soon with a new art piece!


Where else you can find me:


Stop Chasing Skinny - The Last Judgment


OMG Blog Love - A Quandary of Cuisine

On Blog Reading

A few weeks ago I was having a discussion with my Uncle Steve, whom I would classify as the most easy-going, crunchy person on my father's side of the family. This is a man, while joining me on a 13-mile hike, answered a cell phone call by whispering, "I can't talk right now - I'm in nature's cathedral." This is a man whose house I drove to every night after work to watch the entire coverage of the 2006 Tour de France. I remember those nights, particularly the moment when we stared at each other across the room, mouths agape and eyes bewildered, as Floyd Landis came back in Stage 17 with a victorious ride. I remember the sadness in our faces after discussing his subsequent doping charges.


So back to the discussion. I was explaining a friend's recent blog post focused on buying and getting fitted for a proper road bike. I was saying how the post made me laugh, as I basically did many of the actions the post advised against (i.e. buying a super expensive bike, not testing out saddles, buying clip-less pedals before I was ready, not getting back on my bike after a nasty fall). Of the numerous reactions I anticipated from my Uncle Steve ("Oh, you need to get back out there and ride." or "I was out on my road bike the other day..."), this was not one of them: "You read a lot of blogs, huh?"


I don't find Uncle Steve to be a critical person, but I do find myself to be a hypersensitive person, so this comment gave me pause. Do I read a lot of blogs? Has living in New York taken me away from nature and left me to dwell inside of a tiny apartment behind a computer screen? And if I do read a lot of blogs, is there something wrong with that?


I'll admit, the comment did bring me a tad bit of shame. I slightly felt like reading blog after blog classified me as having no life; as some voyeuristic sad Sally. His question evoked an equivalent reaction to being told you play too many video games or watch too much television.


But the fact is, I do read a lot of blogs. For me, blogs are the equivalent of reading an amazing article in The New York Times or staring at an incredible painting at the MOMA. They are, quite simply, a vortex of inspiration. Without blogs, I wouldn't have learned about Trisha Martin's passion for Eating is Art and created a mashup based on her work. Without blogs, I wouldn't have been inspired by Cindy Ferguson's papercuts. Without blogs, I wouldn't have learned what a nanibird is!


And then there's cooking. Blogs have helped me plan my dinner - from this recipe to that recipe to this recipe. Pat was just diagnosed as gluten intolerant, and without the help from this blog, I wouldn't know where to start.


Blogs also help me keep up on my friends - from those who are in the process of moving far away to those whom I have been countries apart for years.

So yeah, I guess I do read a lot of blogs and I am so thankful for it. Besides providing me with endless inspiration and fascination, they also manage to give me a much needed laugh after a long day at work. I'll leave you with a blog I just discovered, Better Book Titles, by Dan Wilbur. I've shown a few of my favorites below - see if you can figure out the original titles. [Uncle Steve, I think you will like them. I also think we should come up with two of our own and submit!]



And my personal favorite...

Also, you may not hear from me for a few weeks. I'm FINALLY in the process of packing my stuff for the big move to Massachusetts next Saturday. This means my art supplies have officially gone on vacation and my computer will soon follow. I have a few ideas percolating and always welcome a Copycat Mashup Challenge (like this one and this one), should the mood strike you!


Peace,
Beth


Boondoggling in Brooklyn

Didn't know boondoggle was a word? Me neither. But thanks to my trusty thesaurus, I learned it's a synonym for procrastinate, and since I'm a sucker for alliteration...



That's right folks, yours truly has been boondoggling all weekend when she should have been packing and cleaning her itsy bitsy apartment. For this first time this week, I realized that a tiny little apartment can hold a whole lot of crap. As you can see, I've really done nothing.



[Click on photo to see larger]







And you know what? Rightly so! Pat has, after all, been slumming it in Las Vegas all week. He's "at a conference." Why should I be proactive and do the work of two? Why shouldn't I just go to Brooklyn and explore?





"Why would you go on this outing without Pat?" you ask. Well, for the sake of blog fodder (for this blog and my old, now defunct blog, "The Queens B"), I've dragged Pat all over this place for the past two years - museums and theatrical productions in Manhattan, Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, Brooklyn College, and one strange festival on Staten Island. Pat has since learned from all this, and unless the outing will end with a steak dinner, he's not too eager to join me these days.



His absence was the perfect excuse for me to take the 1 1/2 hour bus and train rides into Brooklyn, specifically Park Slope (or as my sister accidentally referred to it one day, "Pig Slop"), and grab some lunch with my friend and Brooklynite, Alice. And grab some lunch we did!



Homemade turkey burger (none of that Jenny-O stuff) with garam spices gruyere cheese, pickled veggies and roasted potatoes. Amen, sister.






This was the moment when Alice discovered how we could avoid raising the debt ceiling over her huevos rancheros with heirloom beans and 3(!) salsas.




After sufficiently filling our stomachs with the superb food of Juventino, we decided to take a walk in Prospect Park. Unfortunately, I was sweating like a dog the whole time and was too lazy to take photos.



But I did take this photo of a row of brownstones in Park Slope....


...through Alice's car window. The reason why I took it through the car window is because we were seriously sitting for 10 minutes, waiting for woman (who puked out the side of her car then proceeded to stuff her face with pretzels - no lie) to give up her parking space on the street.



Ah New York, you sweet bitch, I'll miss you.

Nanny Peg






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When life hands you potatoes, you make potato salad.





With Cain’s Mayonnaise – none of that Hellman’s stuff.





And green peppers and slices of hardboiled eggs.





And enough onions to make the Soup Nazi cry.








When life gives you a stomachache, you take some flat ginger ale, preferably Schweppes.





And eat Hostess Cinnamon Streusel Coffeecakes – cinnamon settles a stomach.








When life presents you with a rural road, brake sparingly.





There’s no need to stop at stop sign when you can easily roll through one.








Who needs Old Wives’ Tales and Farmer’s Almanacs when you can listen to the sound advice of Peg Morgan?





Margaret “Peg” Morgan was an awesome woman – straight up.





She was independent, non-judgmental, self-sufficient, and my grandmother. She was a woman who taught herself to drive a car at age 60. She was a woman who would spend hours peeling 2 lbs of potatoes, despite painful arthritis in her hands. She was a woman who would send you a card for any occasion, bring you to orthodontist/dentist/doctor/music appointments multiple times a week, and steam all of your clothes even when you told her you didn’t need your “dungarees” ironed.





To me, Nanny Peg has always been an amalgamation of different characters. She had hints of Mother Abbess from the Sound of Music, given her habit of saying the rosary every night and always singing an octave higher than everyone else at church.





She was a combination of all four Golden Girls, as she was the height of Sophia, enjoyed her smut like Blanche (she watched Days of Our Lives for over 30 years), exhibited the occasional innocence of Rose, and was a no-frills talker like Dorothy.





She also reminded me of Richard Alpert from Lost, given the fact that she always had the same appearance no matter the decade. Take 1983 – white permed hair, clip-on earrings, purple pants. Now look at 2009 – white permed hair, clip-on earrings, purple pants.













The summer before I moved to New York City I spent many days with Nanny Peg and my sister. Wednesday afternoons were spent running errands and eating lunch, and some of my most special memories of Nanny Peg come from these moments. I really struggled with moving to New York City for many reasons, but one of them was the fact that I would lose these Wednesday afternoons. Before I moved, Nanny Peg gave me this small wire angel; a symbol that would protect me in New York. This angel has been hanging my apartment for these two past years and thus far has accomplished its job.





Last week, Nanny Peg passed away at age 90.





As much as you can anticipate something like this, you are never totally prepared.



I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to her when I left for Queens and I’m not ready to say goodbye to her now.





While I was mentally and emotionally getting ready for the services this week, I knew I wanted to make something for her; something that she could take with her and that I could keep with me. Printmaking seemed like a logical medium, given that I could make multiple copies of the same piece. When I was trying to think of what I wanted to carve in the linoleum block, my eyes drifted over to the angel she gave me.



After carving the design, I inked the block and pulled two prints. I placed the first print (with the most ink on the block) in her casket. The second print was for me. In a way, it seemed poetic; I am a piece of her, after all.





Despite this last week and the difficult moments that lie ahead, these past few days have given me hope. If anything, they have given me an appreciation for my family – my parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins who all pulled together and gave each other their support, their shoulders, their hands, and their hugs in order to make it through this event. It made me realize that like Nanny Peg, my family is awesome – straight up.

Bright Eyes & H-Dubs

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So it’s been 4 months, 1 day, and some odd hours since I’ve written a darn thing on this blog. That’s a long, long time - eons, in fact. I mean, that’s on par with the length of the spaghetti noodle Lady and the Tramp slurped up, the 17 minutes and 4 seconds David Blaine was submerged in water, and 15 seasons of ER.





There are many things I could have done while I wasn’t writing this blog.





I could have attended the Royal Wedding – but I didn’t.





I could have come down with a sick case of Bieber fever – but I didn’t.





I could have tweeted with Anthony Weiner – but good lord I did NOT!





Instead:



I beat my smart friend Scott at a game of Bezzerwizzer. [Zing!]





I’ve been reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan and am severely freaked out by what we’re putting in our bodies. [Corn! I’m taking to you! You are scary. So scary that I threw out a frozen bag of you that had been hiding in the freezer for 7 months in a fit of rage last week.]





I’ve also been rewatching the entire series of Lost in efforts to uncover so many of the burning questions that left me bitter and empty on May 23, 2010. For the record: I have no clue why the black smoke killed Mr. Eko; Ilana and Jacob’s relationship is never explained; and I still don’t get what “Mother’s” deal was. Am I nerdy enough to keep a small pad next to me to notate all my thoughts while watching? Yes, I am that nerdy.





Oh yeah, and I took EIGHT HOURS of teaching exams, got a NEW JOB, and am MOVING TO MASSACHUSETTS!





“What the what?” you ask. It’s true, my one dear independent blog reader and 20 family members. Yours truly is packing up her stuff [boyfriend included] and leaving NYC in one month to embark on a new adventure in Western Massachusetts.





New adventures are fun. I love them.





Ok - now THAT was a lie. New adventures scare the bejeezus out of me. I do not like change, new places and new people. It seems my perfect world would include living in one of those snow globes where the scene and weather never change [Except I’d replace the snow with a brisk 63 degree day. Liz Lemon and I love sweater weather.] But this change is a good change – we’re heading back to New England, Pat’s working at a college he loves, and I will be starting a new career as an educational writer. Scary – but cool. Oh yeah, and our potential apartment is TWICE THE SIZE of our current apartment for almost HALF THE RENT and equipped with a BACKYARD and DECK. Now that’s exciting.





These new changes and the impulse to rethink my life have also led me to rethink this blog. I certainly love the idea of Copycat Mashup and fully intend to continue its efforts, but it takes a lot of time to think of an idea, execute the art, and then write about it. Hence the haphazard blogging. So in the future, I think I might post a few “Beth insights” in the middle of the art, just to keep things fresh.





This post is a little bit of both. The art above is a piece I had been working on for my sister, who graduated from her Occupational Therapy Masters Program on Friday. Sarah is a pretty cool sister. She’s got great style and an incredible way of telling a story; seriously, I could listen to her residency tales for days. She also introduced me to the band, Bright Eyes, who is one of the artists in this mashup. I guess you would classify Bright Eyes as an indie band, and on more than one occasion, their lead singer Connor Oberst has been labeled a modern Bob Dylan. I’m sort of a lazy fan because I really just listen to one of their albums, I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning, and love the song Landlocked Blues, which is the inspiration of this mashup.





I know – if you scan through the last few blog posts you would have seen an awful lot of papercuts. The fact is, I love the art of papercutting just as much as I hate the carpal tunnel and hand cramps that come with it. And as I was just about to feature another cutting artist, Pat remarked how much this piece reminded him of one of the drawings our friend Heather [H-Dubs] did in grad school.





Yikes! Did I just steal a friend’s idea? You might as well name me Lady Gaga and call it a day. [Right!? Her song “Born This Way” sounds an awful lot like Madonna’s “Express Yourself.” And that other one – “Edge of Glory” – can we just say Cher wants her “Do You Believe in Life After Love?” hook back.] Pleading “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” I’d like to believe Heather’s art subconsciously inspired my sketch. It does seem fitting, given Heather showcased this drawing during her art show at Springfield College, where my sister Sarah just graduated, and where Pat was just hired and prompted our impending move. Ah, I love circular logic.





Congrats Sa – I love ya!

Papercuts and HATE

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Yowza. The whole month of February has almost gone by without a post. I admit, to the fairweather viewer, it must look like I've given up on this blog. Rest assured, I haven't, but I also haven't been around much these past few weekends to hunker down and make something. Last weekend, Pat and I went to Philly (for the first time) to celebrate a belated Christmas present. Living in NYC for almost two years has pretty much prepared us to live anywhere. Philadelphia is such a manageable city - I mean seriously, no place is as frustrating and insane as New York.

Despite 65 mph winds during our walk to the Art Museum (no - we DID NOT sing the Rocky theme song while climbing all those steps, but true to form, others around us did), we had a great time. It's kind of unbelievable that the two us have been dating for almost four years - it really doesn't seem that long.

I met Pat on my 25th birthday. He accompanied my good friend Heather, a crazy little lady who lived across the hall from me during my freshman year of college. This time, both Heather and I were in our first years of graduate school; I was studying at the University of Rhode Island and she was at Springfield College, where Pat was also enrolled in a doctoral program. Heather and Pat had only known each other for four months, but she convinced him, along with with their friend Nate, to drive the 2 hours to come celebrate my birthday (a girl neither Pat nor Nate had ever met) at the Mews Tavern in Rhode Island.

Four years later, Pat and I are going strong and Heather and Nate are engaged (Hence the loving term "Hate" - eat your heart out Bennifer.). A few weeks ago, Pat and I went to visit Heather in Connecticut to spend some time with her before she moves out to San Diego and begins her life with Nate. [So jealous of her new weather situation, not jealous of her new packing situation. The girl's got a lot of stuff.]

Pat and I are Heather's bridesmaids, a duty we are super excited to have. [You can learn more about Heather and Nate here.] As one of Heather's old maids, I felt I wanted to give her something in lieu of her decision not to have a bridal shower. So I decided I would make a 3-tone papercut of her and Nate. Let me tell you, this was an ambitious endeavor for a few reasons. First, I hadn't make more than a one tone cut before [see here and here]. Second, it's extremely hard to create a piece of art that MUST look like people you KNOW. I mean - you could really offend them if it comes out unattractive and then they sort of are obligated to keep the piece of crap in their house, so when you come to visit you can see it properly displayed.

Lucky for me, they both seemed to like it. Congratulations Heather and Nate!


A picture of my little "treasure" on the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum.

Norman Rockwell & Dawbis of Lovely Paper





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Happy New Year! Let me begin by saying 2011 has started by totally bamboozling me with snow. I've never been one who likes snow, partially because I am always cold and I hate having wet feet. Snow pretty much rots and snow in Queens pretty much uber rots. For the last 3 weeks I've been driving around my hood with a shovel in my backseat, looking for a spot to dig out and park my car. After a hellish 7 hours of work each day, let me tell you that's the last thing I want to do. Despite my negativity towards my current situation (shocking, I know), I have been working on some art during these cold, frigid nights.



But onto to Norman Rockwell. Many of us are familiar with Rockwell's depictions of every day life - Thanksgiving around the table, trips to the dentist and doctor's offices, and his paintings for the Boy Scouts of America. But did you know that he tried to enlist in the U.S. Navy during World War I and was denied because he was underweight? In a dire attempt, he spent one night devouring bananas and doughnuts and made weight. Despite enlisting, Rockwell was given the role of military artist and never saw any action during the war.



Dawbis (or Dawn) is a self-taught paper artist based out of Texas. I came across her blog one day and was smitten with her crazy illustrations. [You can check out her work at Lovely Paper Blog or by clicking here.] I love how she creates a scene with her little paper people - each one tells its own story through expressions and actions, and sometimes even the paper she uses to create them. Let me tell you - after making a few paper people of my own, this is one tedious process!



For this mashup, I took Norman Rockwell's theme of every day life - in my case, it's the types of people I see on a given day at the bus stop - and depicted them in Dawbis' style. I'm already anticipating some reactions along the line of: "Beth, these characters are awfully stereotypical." The fact is, I'm not exaggerating in any way. This IS what I see. To be trite, NYC is the melting pot of ethnicities, and many of them never assimilated into "American" culture. When I first move here, that realization was a little overwhelming. Living here for almost two years, I can safely say I appreciate the ownership of one's culture that much more now.


I know my mashup is a little small on the screen, so feel free to click on the photo for a larger view.