Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Such Great Heights...

"No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings." 

Left: Detail from the Lament of Icarus by Herbert James Draper.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince...

The new teaser trailer for the latest installment in the Harry Potter movie franchise has just been released!  I'm a big fan of the J.K. Rowling books and have enjoyed the movies so far.  CLICK HERE for a link to the new trailer for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

Birds of a Feather...

"It is not only fine feathers that make fine birds."

Left:  Detail of the Egyptian goddess Ma'at from a mural from the tomb of Nefertiti in the Valley of the Kings.

Friday, July 25, 2008


"What I dream of is 
an art of balance." 
- Henri Matisse

Left: Detail from "Woman with a Balance" by Dutch painter, Johannes Vermeer.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


"The wisest men follow their own direction."

Left:  Detail from one of the scenes from Genesis depicted by Michelangelo Buonarroti in the Sistine Chapel

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

New Anne Choi Bead...

Besides unpacking, I've come into the nasty dilemma of trying to sort out my mail situation.  I had almost given up hope and thought this new cast silver Anne Choi bead was lost.  Luckily I found it!  I stole this picture of it, her most recent artistic endeavor, off her website. Isn't it great!?  I love Anne Choi and her creations and I love owls - simply a great combination!


"There is no excellent 
beauty that hath not some 
in the proportion."
- Sir Francis Bacon

Left:  Portrait of a Lady done 
around 1460 by Flemish painter, 

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


"The real voyage 
of discovery consists not in seeking new 
landscapes but in 
having new eyes." 
- Marcel Proust

Left: Detail of one of my favorite portraits of Saint Lucy from the Griffoni polyptych altarpiece by 

So Long, Sophia...

I just found out that actress Estelle Getty of The Golden Girls just passed on.  I can't deny that I'm a little saddened by this news.  Although not something I'd normally enjoy (or at least admit to), one of my secret indulgences has been watching this surprisingly witty and charming sitcom.  The feisty character Sophia endures as my favorite.  We'll miss you!

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Time It Takes...

I wrote earlier about transitions and about honoring my spirit.  The ball is rolling.  It may be rolling slowly, but at least it is rolling.  Right now I am focusing a lot of attention on streamlining my day job so that I can pursue my artistic endeavors more freely.  It hasn't been easy.  Many of the plans being made are contingent on others and will require patience on my end.  But I am hopeful.

Monday, July 14, 2008

While Waiting for the Train...

After I got out of work, I headed for the train station.  I usually walk up to Union Square where I can catch the express train and hopefully shorten my trip a little.  It was a hot and muggy night.  

Local train, after local train passed by.  I stood waiting for the express.  Sweat dripped down my face.  Drowning out the world, I had my iPod plugged in and was listening to Ani Difranco.  I wasn't really paying attention to anything but the task at hand - getting home.  

All of a sudden there was a tapping on my arm.  Needless to say, I jumped nearly two feet off the ground.  Before me were two strangers I had spotted a little down the platform.  I instantly assumed that the older of the two would ask me for directions.  (People are seemingly drawn to me like that and will often ask me for directions, or if I'm in a store, they will ask for where things are.)  She smiled and said, "Are you Andrew Thornton?"

Hearing your name out of context is a little startling.  It's kind of like getting a letter from the IRS.  Before you open it, there's always a little sense of panic.  At least for me there is.  I always try to scroll through my memory of what I did wrong.  In this particular case, in the moments that it took me to respond, I flipped through my memory to try and match up these two ladies' faces.  I came up blank and said, "Yes, that's me.  Who are you?"

Apparently these lovely strangers were Carol and Mary, a mother and daughter visiting New York on vacation.  Both of them are avid beaders and recognized me from Stringing Magazine and from my blog.  I don't really think of myself as remarkably memorable.  I just make my work and try to make it through the day mostly.  So, when they said that they knew about me and my family, I was a little taken aback.  I was even more stunned when Carol showed me her necklace, which was loosely based on a design I created called Golden Secret.  What an incredible surprise!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Westmoreland Milk Glass Owl...

One of the biggest challenges in the move has been unpacking my extensive owl collection.  As soon as I think I'm on the verge of finishing, I find another owl friend hidden away.  The job isn't made any easier by me continually adding to the collection.  For instance, I picked up this little gem at an antique store in Port Jervis last weekend.  It's a Westmoreland Milk Glass Owl "toothpick-holder" and I love it!  

Smoke From Distant Fires...

My good friend, Jen Tong, is participating in a group show in LA at Lab 101 Gallery titled, "Smoke From Distant Fires."  Her work will be shown with pieces by Faryn Davis and Elesavet Lawson.  The show opens tomorrow, Saturday July 12th at 2PM with the Artist's Reception from 6PM to 10PM.  If you're out in those parts, you should definitely check it out!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The Ride Home...

Today was another long day.  It seems as though I've been having a lot of those lately.  It doesn't help that I haven't been able to sleep well.  I've got too much work to do and too much on my mind to really be able to relax enough to sleep well at night.

Even though I haven't been able to sleep well in bed, I do have a nasty habit of falling asleep while standing up.  This has gotten me into some trouble in the past.  For instance, I fell asleep standing up next to the subway tracks and fell in.  Luckily I got out in time and didn't break my teeth or any bones.  I've also fallen asleep in the shower, which is quite painful when your hip connects with the tiling.  Ouch!

Tonight on my way home, I caught a very busy train.  Due to delays or service work on the tracks, there were fewer trains.  Which meant that the ones that were running were just packed!  When it gets that crazy, I close my eyes and pretend as though I'm not there.  The gentle rocking of the train and the warmth of so many people crowded in one space made my eyelids droop with tiredness.  If my eyes weren't already closed, I might have closed them again!

I kept dosing off and almost falling over, which led me to the bump into people.  It wasn't on purpose.  It just kept happening.  I kept bumping into this little Asian lady.  After the fifth time, I profusely apologized.  She looked at me and said, "It's okay.  I'm tired too."

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Honoring One's Spirit...

I think somewhere along the trip, perhaps while I was walking in the woods by myself, a thought occurred to me.  At first I wanted to reject it and not let it enter my thoughts.  But slowly, step by step, the realization began to sink in and I could not deny the Truth of this thought.

What might that thought be?  Well, the thought that crossed my mind was that I was not honoring my spirit.  Somehow I've gotten caught up in the game of keeping up, stuck in survival mode with the simple goal of keeping afloat and making ends meet.  I haven't been able to spend as much time focusing on my art or of the making of things.  My happiness, I think goes hand in hand with me creating things.  I am an artist and that's just what we do.  We make things.  Without this, much of the zeal of life is syphoned away.

In many ways, I am very happy.  I am very fortunate to have friends, family and people that genuinely love me as I love them.  But I feel as though much of my energy and focus is being redirected.  I am not honoring my spirit and this is causing me not to appreciate what I am blessed to have.

It feels as though I've entered myself in a race that simply can't end well.  My trip reminded of what it was like not to be exhausted or stressed out.  For a little while, that old inner peace came back.  It invited me remember what is important and to fight for it.

What this will mean in practical terms is hard to say.  I haven't yet come to a full decision about anything.  Though I think some big changes are on the horizon that will allow me to honor my spirit the way that it needs to be.

Monday, July 07, 2008

At the Lake House...

Laurence, a friend and collector of my artwork, invited a friend and I to go up to his log cabin on a lake to celebrate the Fourth of July.  It is located just outside of Port Jervis in the Catskill mountains.  For various holiday weekends throughout the summer, Laurence invites all sorts of artists, writers, and non-profit-do-gooders to meet and mingle.  It is definitely a good time.  I had so much fun and spent a lot of time resting and relaxing, making new friends and catching up with old ones, and participating in all kinds of activities like canoeing, throwing horseshoes, bowling, playing badminton and board games, swimming, and hiking.  CLICK HERE to go to my Flickr account and see more pictures.

I got back from the Lake House last night.  I would have posted then, but I was just so tired and had much work to catch up on after having been away for a few days.


While we were there, we discovered a strange jelly sac in the shallows of the water.  Left:  A picture of the unidentifiable object in the water.  Alas, we could not identify what exactly it was.  However, we started to create all manner of stories about how the egg sacs were actually made and what they contained.  We started off thinking that it might be fish or frog mass of eggs, but couldn't find anything to back that claim up.  So, instead, we invented further stories about Water Babies.  Right:  Cover of an edition of The Water Babies by Charles Kingsley.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


It was quite a lot of work moving everything.  I am now in the process of unpacking and it is quite a daunting task.  At the end, I rushed to pack everything away and ended up throwing everything into boxes.  I will be sorting and organizing for weeks!  I also discovered that some of the furniture is a little too big for the proportions of the space.  I'll have to think of something before I unpack anymore.

Needless to say, the past few nights have been late ones.  After I get home from work, I work on the space, slowly chipping away.

I think it's time for a little break. 

That's why a friend and I are going out to a friend of mine's lake house in the Catskills for the long holiday weekend.  I won't have the internet or much cell phone service, so I'll be out of the loop for a little bit.  But hopefully I will return refreshed and ready to tackle the big projects at hand. 

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Heather Wynn on Fusion Beads...

I am so proud of my friend Heather Wynn!  Her talents are now featured on!  CLICK HERE to see her new selection of hand-stamped silver pendants and polymer delights.  Heather Wynn is one of my favorite bead artists and jewelry designers and Fusion Beads is one of my favorite online bead stores.  Togther, combined, great things are bound to arise!