From TV and movies I had always thought of New Jersey as one big grimy dilapidated inner city projects area. I found that it was nothing of the sort. In fact, I discovered they have some of the most beautifully restored and well maintained historic homes in the country! The friends I stayed with, Diane and Steve Workman, were no exception. Their century old house, nestled in the quiet New Jersey suburb of Glen Rock, inspired me into action and I created this pen and watercolor painting as a gift for their hospitality.
While in New Jersey I also visited the Ability School, a wonderful place for kids both scholastically and in terms of teaching and promoting the arts. I snapped this shot as a group of students were busily creating Halloween artwork as an after school project.
Then it was time for The Big Apple! New York City. I have always loved New York. Day in, day out, the city in continuously teaming with life. One can simply stand in Time Square (where the photo was taken) and see just about every type of person, from street musicians to mothers with their children in tow to men in Wall Street suits. At the same time you can hear dozens of languages from people all over the world. You simply can’t get any more international than New York!
I had a very productive meeting with Sarah Smith, the Arts and Cultural Coordinator with the New Zealand Consulate. We discussed joint art projects both in New York and New Zealand, where I am heading at the end of the month.
I met with Broddie Sigurdarson, a Coordinator for Cultural Affairs with the United Nations Permanent Forum for Indigenous People. Originally from Iceland, Broddie works with indigenous people from around the world and helps them promote their art and cultural roots. I showed him my indigenous series paintings and found out how I can best help in upcoming UN indigenous events.
While the tour was now officially over, there was still another 600 miles to go to join my husband Bruce in Michigan. It was a beautiful morning as I took off through Upstate New York. I had told myself that there would be no more photo stops now, the tour was over. But I couldn’t resist one last stop to photograph this beautiful scene -- perfect for a painting. I looked back fondly at our trusty Volkswagan Passat Wagon. With an average milage of 32 miles per gallon throughout the trip, it never missed a turn and held the road firmly every inch of the 7,000 mile journey.
But there was no time for nostalgia; I needed to move on. The open road stretched out before me, full of the promise of future adventures, new friends and unforgettable experiences. I got in the car and began to drive.