Monday, March 27, 2006


This is my dad, Bob Wingerter, somewhere around 1954 at the Woodbridge Air Force base in England. Behind him is an F-84 fighter jet that he worked on as an electrician.
This is me last week in front of an F-100 Super Sabre. My aviation history expert friend Brett took me to the New England Air Museum to see it (and sit in it) last week during a rare open cockpit day.

I have about 150 letters my dad wrote home to his parents during his time in the 79th Fighter Bomber Squadron working on planes. He was most excited when the F-100s replaced the F-84s, it was the first American production supersonic jet. He couldn't wait for a chance at a ride in one. "Quite a thrill to fly faster than sound and rise from the ground to 40,000 feet in a matter of seconds." I wish I knew if he did.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

technical difficulty

Blogger stopped letting me upload photos midway through my last post. Either I've reached my limit or Blogger has gone crap. Lots of interesting things to tell-- puppets! fire! planes! dolls! roller skating! But I can't blog without a photo, so I'll have to fix it before I can go on.

Sunday, March 19, 2006


A gallery exhibition of puppets at the Guilford Art Center, with a dozen or so puppet builders represented, including Puppetsweat which had James from James Mars, and Don Quixiote from Master Peter on display. Then there was Weinerville....

And Growing Up Linda, with a terrifying Carvel Cookie Puss ice cream cake and a tormented girl named Linda.

Bob, Leslie, and Margaret of Puppet- sweat with Don Quixote and James Mars.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


Dealing with the coming and going of muses is an old familiar problem, but now I've got an overabundance of visitations yet I'm unable to respond and I don't know why.

Painting has been tough. Even the collages aren't happening though I'm inspired to do them. I'm looking back at the first set I did several years ago which came out of the blue and relatively smoothly. They were all watery, Jungian, and female, and happened at a time of busy transition and new endeavours just like now. Now I'm even more full of images and words, but utterly incapable of getting them out in a sensible form. I'm afraid I'll lose it if I can't make good on it. I hope to find some clue in these watery women.

"I am the mute who is speechless, and great is the multitude of my words".

Saturday, March 11, 2006


With the aquisition of a new pair of skates yesterday I began to wonder how many pairs I have now, so I called a meeting to have a count. Five, bladed and wheeled, all beloved.

At the top left, my first adult skates my mom bought me at the age of feet-stop-growing. French wide foot boots, used when I got them, they must be 30 years old.

They were replaced when I took up skating again 3 years ago by the swanky Klingbeils which cost more then some cars I've owned. (bottom right) Custom made to my odd shaped feet, built in Queens NY, an edelweiss engraved on the bottom of the soles along with my name. The day they arrived after a 2 month wait was glorious.

The old white rollerskates above them were given to me by a friend who was a competitive artistic roller skater until most of the wooden rinks closed down and she switched to ice. They fit perfectly though need some work.

At the bottom left, rollerblades my nephew outgrew. Also a lucky perfect fit, though I don't enjoy rollerblading so much as the absence of a toe pick / toe stop has me falling on my face a lot.

And in the middle, the newest addition: a pair of slick Firecracker speed skates, with a Pursuit 2000 leather boot, red laces, ABEC 5 bearings (fast!), and Sure-Grip Zoom racing wheels. All the faster to chase wild geese with.

Though I do engage in a lot of activities that could be called frivolous, skating is serious business. After quitting my waitressing jobs and going full time with illustration I went into a steady physical decline. I sat at my desk sometimes 30 hours at a time trying to establish myself. By 29 I was a disaster, overweight with hypertension, increasing pain in my arms and back, and anxiety attacks that could paralyze my face and hands. And then I wasn't getting the work done. It finally turned into a crisis.

Something clicked at 30 and I started taking back my life. I worked out-of-the-house jobs, began socializing, and found an ice rink. Ice skating was my first ever love, the joy of it kept me going back every other day, and I haven't tired of it yet. It prepared me splendidly for many more great things to come after, puppeteering, fire twirling, dancing. I certainly haven't figured out how to balance them all yet, but I'm learning what's essential.

Mum, thanks for the skating lessons all those years. You got a lotta bang for your buck on that one.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

the wisdom of foxes

After being moved to tears by a marvelous show called Between Sand and Stars, a puppet and trapeze collaboration between Sandglass Theater and Nimble Arts, I've began going through Saint-Exupery's other books, and came to The Little Prince. I recall reading it with my mom alot, who presented it to me as something important, though she doesn't share that memory, she remembers it only as being a weird book. And rereading it for the first time in years I have to agree. It is pretty weird, and sentimental, and didactic, but wonderful in its simple wisdom.

The fox fell silent and stared at the little prince for a long while. "Please...tame me!" he said.
"I'd like to," the little prince replied, "but I haven't much time. I have friends to find and so many things to learn."
"The only things you learn are the things you tame," said the fox. "People haven't time to learn anything. They buy things ready-made in stores. But since there are no stores where you can buy friends, people no longer have friends. If you want a friend, tame me!"
"What do I have to do?" asked the little prince.
"You have to be very patient," the fox answered. "First you'll sit down a little ways away from me, over there, in the grass. I'll watch you out of the corner of my eye, and you won't say anything. Language is the source of misunderstandings. But day by day, you'll be able to sit a little closer..."
The next day the little prince returned.
"It would have been better to return at the same time," the fox said. "For instance, if you come at four in the afternoon, I'll begin to be happy by three. The closer it gets to four, the happier I'll feel. By four I'll be all excited and worried; I'll discover what it costs to be happy! But if you come at any old time, I'll never know when I should prepare my heart... There must be rites."
"What's a rite?" asked the little prince.
"That's another thing that's been too often neglected," said the fox. "It's the fact that one day is different from other days, one hour from the other hours. My hunters, for example, have a rite. They dance with the village girls on Thursdays. So Thursday's a wonderful day: I can take a stroll all the way to the vineyards. If the hunters danced whenever they chose, the days would all be just alike, and I'd have no holiday at all."I blog this to remember it as I throw myself into yet another round of new adventures this week at breakneck speed, as if I don't already have enough to keep me occupied. I wonder if I'll ever know why I have to do these things. More fox wisdom:
"Here is my secret. It's quite simple: One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes."

Sunday, March 05, 2006

bad art night #3

Meg with my flying fish umbrella.

Another Bad Art gathering. We tried starting in the afternoon this time and went 5 hours before we knew it. It was a slighty different group of people, and Meg and I noticed a remarkable change in the body of work. There seems to be running themes, colours, and materials that carry from artist to artist. Last month the webby brown paper and feathers were the big hit, today it was Lucky Charms and AOL cds. More photos on the RealBadBlog.

And more of my heart collages. When you need to make bad art, you can't go wrong with hearts and glitter.

Saturday, March 04, 2006


This afternoon I did my second perform- ance at the Children's Museum of Connecticut in New Haven for their Saturdays at 2 literature series. Daniel Barash, a puppeteer I met by chance at City Wide Open Studios this year, hooked me up and gave me the idea of drawing while my books were read.

The first time I did this with Pig of the Pig I was a wreck. I haven't had a lot of success drawing big in marker on the spot. Kids are surprisingly good at pointing out mistakes. But I was heartened by the enthusiastic response me and my reader, Tory Church, got from our audience of 50 or so 1 - 8 year olds and their parents. It was a fast and furious 20 minute session of drawing, and a few kids did let me know they noticed I cheated with pre-drawn pencil lines.

This time I did One Grain of Sand to another full house. Daniel sang the lyrics as I drew and puppeteered some animal and planetary cutouts into the picture. I was still a wreck, but the slower pace and breaks from drawing gave me more room to relax and play a little. It's a sad kind of tune, and this is the book I connect to my friend Sam who died, making me more serious and melancholy then usual. But Daniel's beautiful singing and the silent, intense attention of the children made those few minutes powerfully magical. I think we did pretty well. We got great applause.

First photo: a lingering audience member standing before my motley little crew of glittery puppet characters and drawings that came together to make one little world by the end of the song.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


I barely manage to stop whining and feeling sorry for myself long enough to finish this cover painting I've been fretting over for so long, but only because my generous art director gave me 2 extra days. It's traveling to Illinois by FedEx this morning.... please please FedEx don't lose this one.