Thursday, June 26, 2014

Summer in the City

A tree grows in Queens. Thought I'd share some pics I like from June. 
You'll notice I haven't made it to the beach yet or to the great Jersey pool slide 
with Kristine, but soon!

Melissa (bday girl), Leslie & Alice

Zexter had a birthday this month and we kept to tradition by dining at The Good Fork 
in Red Hook, it's always delicious (and really nice people work there!) 
Plus, we saw a naked man staring down from his window. He wasn't shy.
It's probably for the best that we couldn't quite see it all. We called him Steve.

I bet you're looking. Steve wasn't in any of these windows.

Someone's cute red BMW. I love older cars.

Valentino Park

I recently found (parts of) my sculpey versions of Ruben and Cooper under a table in my studio. 
They need some attention. The cat hair on Ruben is a nice touch ;)

I rarely make it up to Central Park, but we had a job there one day. She was not a part of it.

Pretty impressive and I like that she kept her watch on while performing 
in front of Bethesda Fountain

cute trash truck

I also had a job on Macdougal Street last week. The location was right next to Caffe Reggio.
I rarely hang out in the Village, but I sure did in the 90s. My good friend, Nina worked at 
Reggio. I was down in Soho, waiting tables at Cafe Borgia 2 on Prince Street.

It's nice to see how beautiful it remains and the cappuccino is still terrific!

Back to my neck of the woods, the Gowanus can be quite pretty in the right light.

La Slowteria, near my place, has a lovely back patio. 
This mural has been on Smith Street for as long as I can remember. I'm still charmed by it :)

I ordered a couple more of my bag designs, in the small sizes of Gingham Bear and Lotta Buns.
It would be fun to have some of these manufactured myself to sell in some local shops. 
I love the quality of Society 6 printing, but profit margins for artists is, let's just say, minimal.

Of course, it still feels great when someone buys one of my designs, so please don't hesitate
to visit my Society 6 shop - Allyn Howard

Leslie & me

"Banksy is really a girl"


Conference this weekend with my talented friend, Yuko.  
Plus, we'll get to see the ever fabulous Kristine while in town.
I'll share what I've added to my portfolio next week.
Hope you can wait that long ;)
*ps* If by chance you are in Milan, Italy
Go see Melissa Zexter's piece in the Triennale di Milano exhibit.
I'm very excited for her and young Mirabelle, who got to tag along!

Have a super weekend!
xo, A

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Happy Father's Day 2014

This is my dad, Richard Henderson Howard, holding me as a 1 year old in 1968.
Below, he grins as the happy-go-lucky kid he was, living in Newport News, Va.

I recently visited my parents in Richmond.
 I have a compulsion to look through old photos when I'm home.
It's fun to see images of my parents before I was around and then
once I was, but that I can barely remember, if at all.

This is my dad, a couple months before I was born, in his parents'
living room, the house he grew up in on the James River in 
Newport News.

I loved this house. This was a great hill to roll down and in the spring,
millions of little buttercups sprung up all over it.

Here is Head, that's what they called him, and Grandma Howard
with Dutchess. They always had a boxer and cigarette in hand ;)

Wish there was a way to know what he was thinking
or what the heck I was looking at.
I don't have kids and my parents had me while in their 20s, 
which was the norm then, I know. I just think it must have been a 
little scary, so soon out of college and without much money.

One of my favorite stories is of us driving to Nags Head, NC
with another family in a bread delivery truck. This was in the early 70s
and dad's friend simply used the truck from his then job. 
It might have been considered stolen actually, I don't know 
for sure or how this really saved money.
Apparently, mom and I sat in back with the other kids
as the back door continued to slide open & shut.
I think what I like about it is imagining my parents as those young
carefree people determined to take a vacation.
Things are probably better, surely safer now, but the 70s, 
not only seem freer to me, but like a more authentic time, in a way.
I guess that's nostalgia. I was just a kid and most things 
look simpler when you look back.

Here is Richmond now, last weekend to be specific. My dad takes great care of the yard.
Maybe because I've lived in Brooklyn so long without a backyard, 
I appreciate those trees that surround the back more than ever.

I spent much of my youth here at Raintree Swim & Racquet club
swimming, teaching and life guarding.
I hadn't been back in several years and it's nice to see how good it looks. My dad 
only visits the pool occasionally these days, but growing up, my parents were here
every weekend. A lot of my swim team friends called them mom and dad. I loved that.
I've written about it before, but will say again- how lucky I was that 
my dad never missed a swim meet, working as a timer and enjoying himself, too.
I'm pretty sure his parents never attended a single basketball game he played 
when he was young, so I know it was important to him to show up for me.

Every childhood has ups and downs, but I've been fortunate that I've always had the
love and support of my parents. I like to think that BW, above, fills my shoes in some way.
We had always had dogs and then in 2003 after the last had passed 
mom brought home Panda, below.

A few years later, BW showed up again and again, until he was taken in as
part of the family. My parents are both suckers for animals (that's where I got it)
and dad dotes on this guy. He doesn't really drink coffee, though.

This doesn't have much to do with dad really, but we share a love for seafood
and I was happy to see that this local shop, Yellow Umbrella has expanded.

My dad used to eat this Tidewater Herring Roe all the time, he didn't pick up
a can on this visit, not sure why. Anyway, the owner of this shop is very nice,
his son works with him and I think is responsible for the business growing like it has.

Finally, these are a few pics from my visit last fall. Dad often "jogs" along with the train as we 
pull out of the Amtrak station. It's funny and seemed to charm the women sitting in front of me.

I love you dad!

See more of my dad-  Father's Day 2013 or a more in depth earlier post - here :)
why not?
Happy Father's Day to all my friends who are dads 
and all the great dads out there! 

* Keep up the good work *
xo, A

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Change - good and bad

If I Were a Toy store has closed.
This is a picture of me last June after I painted their door for the summer season.
I will miss painting this door. I've been doing it, almost monthly, for close to 4 years.

This was my 1st little sketch for the St Patrick's door. 
I'm always looking for that pot of gold :)
Here's a link- Lucky Days, to that door & post from March 2010 
It includes some of the murals 
I had painted inside the shop and hair cutting space.

I also sold a few baby tees there

like Space Mouse

and the ever popular, Scooter Dog.

I'm happy for Joanna and Virginia, the owners of the shop,
as they pursue other avenues and dreams.
I know it's silly to get sentimental, but I'll miss chatting 
with them as I painted and talking to some of the 
kids who were curious. They usually came in for the 
gum balls or to get coins for the rides outside,
but many showed real interest and shared their opinions.
It lead to some fun custom work for me and I guess I
just liked knowing it was there, little friends at the entrance.

I painted my last door in February this year, Valentines, of course :)

My friend, Melissa Zexter took this photo of me painting the 1st Valentine's 
day door. She's also taken quite a few of Mirabelle and Odille after
picking them up from school. This holiday door is from Dec 2011.

Below, a rather large mouse posed with pirate bear last summer.

I think my best ones might be the Halloween doors, which is
odd since I'm not a big fan of halloween, though I do love candy.

This one pays homage to "Where the Wild Things Are", in costume, at least.

Below, was a continuation of the previous year's door.
The kids enter a haunted house.

This year's 2013 was a favorite of mine. I would go to this party ;)

Venice Valentine from 2012 is another favorite and lead to a series of
illustrations for a children's book idea.

Finally, I really like these funky NYC buildings and the fireworks.

If you'd like to see more of my faves, I have a Pinterest board
with a bunch titled - My Glass Paintings
You can also see more and additional custom work on 
my site here
! knock yourself out !

Alas, I knew the day was near, when George's store would 
officially close :(
This was my landlord's shop. George passed away in 2010.
I painted this sign when he and his wife moved the shop to a less
populated area of Court Street.

I'm not known for my sign painting, but I was happy
to hear that more than a few people wanted it.
I just didn't want it to go in the trash.
I'm happy that it is safe and sound with the fabulous guys
I think Eric and Matt might be as sentimental as I am.
I still miss George.
As always, thanks for taking a look.
Enjoy the rest of your week!
xo, A


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