Writing room

Date night, July, Manhattan:

Last Friday evening Top Cat swept me off to the Big City.

Fun Time Wedding Shower Takes to the Streets: The Bachelorette-of-Honor posing with New York’s Finest.

It was a beautiful time of day to be in the East Village.

I remember when I had a boyfriend who in the East Village it was [...]

Marrakech Local

This is a special LOVE edition of VivianSwiftBlog today because it was NINE YEARS ago today that Top Cat and I said I DO.

It was midnight in Las Vegas and Blue Suede Jumpsuit Elvis married us husband and wife. If I had known then what I know now, I would have [...]

Marrakech Express.

Marrakech in five words: Not My Cup of Tea.

I had some trepidations about going to Morocco, alone, having had some previous experience traveling in African and Moslem countries which, being female and an animal lover, did not bode well for this trip. So that’s why I only gave myself 48 hours in Marrakech. It was [...]

Giverny’s Back Roads

As we all know, there’s the fantasy of Giverny…

…and then there’s the reality:

New Yorker magazine cover of June 5, 2000 by the great illustrator Ian Falconer.

 From April to October Monet’s garden at Giverny is open seven days a week and half a million “culture tourists” make the pilgrimage to this tiny village [...]

Fleurs Fleurs Fleurs

I promised Top Cat that I WOULD NOT DIGRESS while I take you to Monet’s famous garden in Giverny (Normandy, France).

I promise to Keep It Short since my previous reports (last week and the week before) on my recent visit to France have been rather wordy and some readers [Top Cat] say I make it [...]

Paris Triscuit

Paris is not Nashville.

In Nashville, when people see you point a camera in their direction they do this:

I miss you, Nashville!

In Paris, when they see you point a camera in their directon, they do this:

Yeah, that’s a hairy eyeball.

And at my house, when you point a camera in the backyard, you get this:

The Road to NOLA

Maybe you can tell by this week’s painting demonstration that I am in NEW ORLEANS this weekend!  (If you’re in a hurry for a painting lesson and Give Away of this watercolor of the French Quarter, skip to bottom of post. But you’ll miss out on my Lesson in Connoisseurship. I’m just saying.)

Yes, this weekend [...]

I’m gumnut, thanks — How are you?

I’ll get to the part where I paint with a toothbrush in a moment, but first we have to discuss GUMNUT BABIES:

Thanks to our dear Australian readers Bev, Megan, Karen, and Marguerite, who kindly answered my question in last week’s post, we all now know what a Gumnut Baby is:

 A gumnut is the [...]

A week in the life.

This is the painting-in-progress that I made to cheer myself up on a soul-killing icy snowy March day and we will get back to it later in this post.

But let’s start this week’s round-up with a picture of my Long Island backyard at the very instant that Winter became SPRING on March 20, 2013 at 7:02 [...]

Watch me paint!

You know what they say about watching paint dry…well, this is like that, only with masking fluid:

I use a toothpick to lay down my Windsor Newton masking fluid because it’s very viscous and I can’t handle it with a paint brush. In this illustration, I am protecting my foreground subject (mailboxes — I love mailboxes) [...]