Catching Up

Skip greatly appreciates the hard work and dedication of squirrels.

Skip greatly appreciates the hard work and dedication of squirrels.

On this turkey day it is time to sit down and get caught up a little on things.

First, turkey’s already in the oven thank you very much.

A lot has changed in a week. A week ago I was looking forward, in the “I know this is going to happen but am a little nervous” sort of way, to final dress rehearsal for “Willy Wonka”. We opened last Friday and closed Saturday. It was a great sucess and a lot of fun. The 55 young actors from 4th through 8th grades did a great job and the “Epic Eight”, seven 10th graders (Brandon Ray, Cole Freudenthal, Matt Fliescher, Karl Kiesler, Caroline Miurhead, Leighton Schneider and Emma Bendix) and one 11th grader (Annabelle Fox) who volunteered to work on it with us were nothing short of awesome. Thanks also to producers Cindy Leonard (her last show as a producer unfortunately) and Mary Susan Miurhead (her first or first in awhile which means she’s around for a bit thank god) who guided the whole thing from start to finish. Then there are Judy Abbatiello (choreography) and Al Galletly (music). Both have been dear friends for over a decade. Judy I met through work at The Playshop and Al through church and mutual friends and I can not imagine doing a show without either of them.

Work on “Holy Mackerel” is proceeding with the hope of finishing it this week.

So Happy Thanksgiving and thanks to all who have made the year to date a good one.

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The Drop

Hey there folks. Here is the color version of the sketch I showed some of my friends at school last week. I did so to illustrate two things; 1. that there are other things to draw besides cartoon animals and other things to color and 2. that anything you see that has been made by man/womankind was designed by someone.

Ballroom drop

Ballroom drop

To see the real thing you need to see The Nutcracker by The Wilton Dance Studio. This is the 11th year that they have been performing the holiday classic. It is truly a must see in Wilton at holiday time.

To get more information, see their website, good pix too, at or to order tickets download their order form

See you at the show!

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In Stock Now

The Wilton Open Book Store has received a new shipment of all four books, If Picasso Were a Fish, If I Had a Gift and both Abstracts books. All are signed.

Work progresses slowly on the next book and it seems to be a toss-up between an If Picasso-esque book on architecture and one called Holy Mackerel.

Work on Willy Wonka the show is coming to an end with opening night a little under two weeks away. To get tickets, and I believe there are still tickets left, see the Children’s Theater website.

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Halloween Hustle ’08

So today was the 6th annual Wilton Chamber of Commerce Halloween Hustle sponsored by The Wilton Bank.

One third of the Ploss family has been participating for three years (no it’s not me unless by participating you mean standing next to the finish line with a Starbucks cup in my hand).

Laura took almost two minutes off her time last year and she’s a year older.

In front of The Wilton Bank, Laura works out her strategy.

In front of The Wilton Bank, Laura works out her strategy.

What Sarah and Dad did during the actual race.

What Sarah and Dad did during the actual race.

Laura, just prior to seeing her time and realizing that she had shaved nearly two minutes off her time last year.

Laura, just prior to seeing her time and realizing that she had shaved nearly two minutes off her time last year.

Laura after the race.

Laura after the race.

Panoramic shot at Merwin Meadows after the race.

Panoramic shot at Merwin Meadows after the race.

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Hartford Yesterday

Yesterday’s Hartford visit was a fun mix of art and architecture.
First there was the OneThing Expo at the beautiful Hartford Convention Center. OneThing is so named because the driving force behind it’s creation is that there is One Thing that everyone can do today to help save our planet. That “One Thing” will vary from person to person and to prove it there was a chalkbaord at the front of the OneThing-a-Palooza area from kids where people wrote their one thing. Those ranged from using reusable shopping bags and not buying bottled water to installing CFL’s and recycling metal and plastic.

The architecture part of the day was two fold. First there is the new Connecticut Connecticut Science Center under construction next to the Convention Center. The architect is César Pelli who in 1996 designed the worlds tallest building (at the time and currently 3rd), the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lampur. More information is here at the Pelli Associates page.

There were other architectural bits and pieces too and I’ll have more on them at

The Art Part
The art part was, as stated in a previous post, the reason for the trip to Hartford in the first place. We had a great time working with the kids and showing them that art is in the eye of the creator as part of the Stepping Stones Museum’s OneThing-a-Palooza. I was there as part of the BKFK creativity area where kids built rockets, gliders and kits from straws and bits of paper.

I met Frank there too. Frank’s parents are the owners of Kidtivity which is a website that helps parents find activities for kids. Frank is a great kid with a lot of energy and creativity. We drew, built straw rockets and built an unsuccessful glider/straw rocket hybrid. I drew Frank.

All in all a great day.

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Hartford Current

Saturday I will be in Hartford and no I am not running the marathon. Instead I will be at the OneThing Expo in Hartford at The Hartford Convention Center doing abstracts with kids using scribble art. Come see me at OneThing Palooza.

Here are some examples:

This is a scribble I turned in to a giraffe.

This is a scribble I turned in to a giraffe.

Coffee spill on the table

Coffee spill on the table

A plant and big lady bug

A plant and big lady bug

A mouse in fall leaves

A mouse in fall leaves

See you there!

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Ambler Farm Auction

I love donating art to help raise money for things. Ambler Farm Days organizers asked for a picture from “Mr. Skip” for the auction on Ambler Farm Day and I was more than happy to oblige.

Here’s what up for auction:
This is \"Cow and Farm\" a marker and watercolor based on the abstract whiteboard drawings I do during lunch in the Driscoll Cafeteria.
I understand that the nice folks at Beardsley Fine Framing have donated a frame for it.

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Some Favorite Summer ’08 Memories

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New Project Done

We launched the new Miller, Driscoll and Wilton Preschool Services Website on Saturday morning.

It looks great, I think anyway, and will continue grow into a greater resource for parents and students alike.

Take a look at it here.

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Summer ’08…in review

Well as we hurtle towards the end of summer ’08 a moment to reflect on things.

Summer started the Monday after school ended with rehearsals for Grease with Summerstage. We had 50 6th to 10th graders and they all did a great job. We had fun, I did anyway, and they put on a great show at The Clune Center at Wilton High School. We had 530 people for opening night and 350 or so for the second night. I am told that we broke records.

Then it was on to The Daycare Center of New Canaan for thier summer program. We built block buildings, did plaster sculptures and castings, learned about nature and had a great time.

We built several modern buildings this summer. This is one of them.

We built several modern buildings this summer. This is one of them.

We learned how to tell sasfrass from other plants.

We learned how to tell sasfrass from other plants.

Sarah went to Camp Huckins this summer for the first time and for two weeks. She was there in New Hamphshire where the tornado was. She had a great time and made new friends. Interestingly enough the director of the camp was a councilor with Laura in the seventies and eighties.

The weather was intersting this summer with tornadoes in New Hampshire and storms around here of biblical proportions. Really cool clouds though.

Summer Clouds
This was taken from the ground at Meade Park in New Canaan.

This was a nice sunset late july

This was a nice sunset late july

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Just a “Little Bit”

While visiting relatives as part of a weekend that had more people flying/driving to more places in a staggered, one after another approach, I had the opportunity to have breakfast (twice) and ice cream (once) at Charlotte’s Cozy Kitchen and Rail Trail Ice Cream Shop in Pepperell Massachusetts.
Charlotte’s Cozy Kitchen

Breakfast was so good I went the next day. The “Little Bit” (2 eggs, bacon, sausage, toast, 1 pancake, 1 french toast) was wonderful and a great way to sample the main breakfast menu at $6 adn change. The staff is wonderful and the place is quaint and delightful. If you are in Pepperell by all means go there. If you are within driving distance and hungry, you should probably stop by too.

142 Main St, Pepperell, MA
Tel: (978) 433-2693

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Holy Re-Inventing a Franchise Batman!

darkknight.jpgFor those of you who are over 13 or so and have not yet seen “The Dark Knight” I offer the following advice..

What are you waiting for!?

Go see it, now before it goes away.

It is amazing and Heath Ledger’s Joker is the best of them all which makes me sad.

But by all means go see it.

It is very creepy so my younger friends need to wait until they are older. Really, It will be on DVD and you can see it when you are old enough.

The rest of you, go see it.

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Grease is, or was, the world

Well they say that all good things must come to an end and this is especially true when you do live theater. So, last night, the 2008 Wilton Summerstage production of Grease came to an end.

We had great fun and a very successful run with over 500 people opening night and over 300 last night.

Thanks to cast members Ashley, Kaitlyn, Jack, Joseph, Brian, Lauren, Jackie, Sylvia, Megan, Cathryn, Taylor, Patrick, Matt, Cole, Barett, Meg, Grace, Gregory, Stephen, Tess, Jeremy, Karl, Julia, Michael, Alex, Ray, Nick, Jon, Annie, Ian, Megan, Brandon, Christie, Julianna, Walker, Lily, Amanda, Jessica, Lindsay, Lorin, Valentina, Paige, Katie, Dillon, Jessica, Hunter, Claire, Becky, and Emily.

Thanks also to a great staff. Thanks to Anna, Laura, Jenna, Brad, Tim, Justine, Brandon, Nicole, Michelle, Peggy, Lauren, Jim and Craig.

What a band! Anna, Brad, JP, Chris and John and thier inpromptu musical interludes during intermission.

Thanks to George for the program design. Thank you too Trackside, Wilton High School and Jose, Wilton Pizza, The Massari’s and Mark Keough.

Thanks to wonderful audiences, selfless volunteers, dedicated people all around.

Grease is the word.

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Testing a new way to post and Recyling CFL’s

I am testing “Scribefire” an extension for Mozilla Firefox that allows you to post to your blog without having to log in.

The Town of Wilton’s Official Website said that Home Depot will accept used CFL’s at their stores starting July 1st. Here’s the announcement.

Recycling Compact Flourescent Bulbs Gets Easier

July 1, 2008

residents who want to save money and energy by using compact
flourescent bulbs have always had to think ahead about how to dispose
of the CFLs, which contain mercury. That part of the equation is about
to get easier, as national chains begin to accept used bulbs in their
stores. The most striking development so far will be close to home for
Wilton residents. The New York Times reports that Home Depot will announce on July 1 that it will take back CFLs at all its stores nationwide.

is big news,” said Patricia Sesto, Wilton director of environmental
affairs. The Wilton Conservation Commission provides information on its
web page about the safe disposal of CFLs.

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It is always a tragedy when someone is taken from this life to early and I don’t think that there is anyone who could argue that Nick Parisot was taken far to early.

Having met him several times in town, usually with his dad, I always found him to be respectful and a nice guy. From what I have been reading on the blogs and on Facebook, he seems to have been genuinely liked by all of his peers.

Like most folks from these parts we await the findings of the police investigation as to the cause and possible person/people responsible (most probably unknowingly) but we must not loose sight of the fact that Nick is gone.

Our thoughts, prayers and deepest condolences go our to Nick’s family and friends.

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Austin City Limits (inside them anyways)

Austin Museum of ArtWell now it is official, the order is in and Abstracts: minimalist scribblings will be in the Austin Museum of Art’s store during their May 24th – August 17th Lewitt x2 Exhibit.

Details from the AMOA website:

LeWitt x 2 is a two-part exhibition that focuses both on the artworks of Sol LeWitt and on his personal collection of contemporary art. Sol LeWitt: Structure and Line documents the full arc of the artist’s career. Renowned for his contributions to minimalism and conceptual art, LeWitt’s pencil drawings, brilliantly colored gouaches, and “structures” made of wood, aluminum, and fiberglass have defined and pushed the limits of art-making for over forty years. Throughout his career critics have admired how his work synthesizes left and right brain creativity and provokes both intellectual and emotional responses. Selections from the LeWitt Collection showcases works by an exciting array of national and international artists including Alice Aycock, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Alighiero Boetti, Hanne Darboven, Gilbert & George, Hans Haake, Eva Hesse, On Kawara, Shirin Neshat, and Robert Ryman.

Organized by the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art.

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Well the cone of silence, can I tell you how much I can’t wait for Get Smart this summer, has been lifted on this fall’s Wilton Children’s Theater production title.

The candy wrapper please…..

Yes it is Willy Wonka!

Check the WCT website for registration dates (check them soon and often as they may be different this year).

I love this show and can’t wait to get going on it….but first, Grease is the word for the summer.


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Abstracts to Texas

Austin Museum of ArtI received an email late last night from Justin Hearne. Now most of you probably don’t know her but she is my new hero. She is in charge of the store at The Austin Museum of Art in Austin Texas. She asked if she could put Abstracts: minimalist scribblings in the AMOA Store.

Yes, yes she can.

We are working out the details but this is the first museum to stock any of my books and a big thank you goes out to Justin and the rest of her team for the chance to be on her shelves.

So, if you’re in Austin by all means go to the museum and say thanks.

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“Honey, I am going to Ikea”

So on a Ploss family excursion to Ikea today we saw something that I just had to share. Now, I love Ikea and so do many other folks and this is a good, bringing modernism to the masses thing I know.

But, one wonders….

YikesIf you are going to Ikea and you own a Porsche, one would assume that you also own…oh an Escalade, Denali, Mercedes G something or other. One would also assume that if you have your license and can operate machinery larger than a toaster that you might think ahead and realize that taking the Porsche to Ikea to pick up lawn furniture was a bad idea.

Maybe not.

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According to what can only be termed very reliable sources, some of the houses listed in my arial recon report ( seen here ) are mis-labeled.

The house I called The Luthold House is actually called The Leuthold House according to an email from someone who grew up in the house. I think that apologies are in order and we would need to differ to a family member of the original owners of the house, again, my apologies.

In other correction news, The house labeled The McCarthy House is, according to it’s current resident and again I think we need to differ to someone who is sitting (or has sat) in the actual home, actually The Murphy House.

More later.

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