Wednesday, December 31, 2008

December Thaw Completed

This is the finished painting. Very little else was done to it. I didn't want to lose the freshness and I am quite pleased with it....a good finish to 2008.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Blown Off the Field

I was so excited to be met with a day above 50ºF that I quickly grabbed the easel and a few pastels and drove down my road until I spotted a likely subject. A cold front was moving in quite fast and the sky was very active. I kept a death grip on the easel against the gusts and did manage to get the panel covered with color before the rain sent me packing. I don't care; it was my first day out since Nov. 4!

I like this has strong composition, interesting color and it is fresh & windy. I might normally title it 'spring thaw' but we are far from spring here and we've all ready had several of these thaws, then ice storms, then foot of snow and we're only a week into winter officially.

December Thaw (11 x 14 UArt #800 on panel) will get some finishing work and I will publish the finished piece then. Such a delight to get out of the studio even if it was brief.

BTW the studio is open for appointments during most of the winter. email is best

Monday, December 22, 2008

Season's Greetings

The studio is shrouded in clean new snow...about a foot now, but we keep having thaws and freezes. Just want to thank everyone who has visited the studio or one of my exhibits this year. Your interest in my work is one of the reasons I keep painting.

It seems for the past month I've been mostly moving paintings around to and from various exhibits, but I look forward to some serious studio time in January...I have ideas collected in my brain.

My exhibit in Ithaca at Kitschen Sink (two posts below) is on until just after the New Year and the exhibit at NOW (one post below) will hang through January. And I'll be here not far from the woodstove at my Montrose Studio.

This pastel painting, Watrous Corners Barns is available for $475, framed to 20 x 26 in a rustic gold wood frame. You can see it in the window of NOW Hair Studio at 132 Adams Avenue Scranton.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

NOW Hair Studio

I am honored to be the first painter featured at NOW. The exhibit opens on December 5 with a reception 6-9pm during Scranton's First Friday art event.

Fran Kavulich is the owner of NOW....she and her stylists are into color and design and so am I so I think this will be a fun exhibit in a great location for me; 132 Adams Avenue...570-961-8875 for an appointment or info.

Kristie Miller McMahon of Clarks Summit, will be showing her jewelry there, as well. Hope we see you this Friday night...or stop in all month and see my work. It's in the windows and in the back, too.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Family Dinner Exhibit in Ithaca NY

November 21 through the end of the year my cousin, Liz Tilley, has invited my husband, daughter, her sister & me to exhibit some of our paintings, quilts, clay work, photographs and collage in her gallery;
the Kitschen Sink, 210 Elmira RD.

The gala meet-the-artists reception is Friday night, Nov 21, 6-9pm. The exhibit continues through Dec. 31. It is open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas; Mon, Tues & Sat 11am to 6pm, Thursday & Friday 11-9, Sunday 12-6pm.

Liz always has plenty of eclectic art, vintage finds, painted furniture, jewelry & more at Kitschen Sink. Many (and I do mean many!) unique stocking stuffers and presents, even costumes, and you get to meet Liz, who is a delightfully unique member of our family. Please bring yours in.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Two Recent Demos

I have finally finished Front Walk which was painted mostly during the Artists' Open House Weekend on October 13th. Although I fussed and adjusted details quite a bit I think those of you who watched the painting appear in the front studio garden will recognize it as the same painting, but finished. At the end of my demo that day I knew I had some choppiness...too many competing areas in value. Luckily I kept the colors limited to a fairly narrow range because the texture & values were contrasting and bordering on chaotic. By constantly looking at this painting I feel I have worked out it's problems and made a dense and complex garden scene with the warmth of a perfect aurtumn day in my tangled garden.

Last week I was asked to give a demo in front of Hill Country Artists. They are a great audience; asking educated questions and absorbing concepts like sponges. What fun. House with Blue Roof is my finished painting and not much was done to this one after I left the meeting.

Both will be for sale soon at $400 framed in rustic gold wood frames. If you write to me I will tell you where they are being shown.

Monday, October 27, 2008

My Vacation

Eight days with my husband driving south to Washington DC, we visited several galleries and the National Museum of Women in the Arts and then to the Smithsonian American Art Museum. We went there specifically to see Georgia O'Keeffe and Ansel Adams: Natural Affinities. This exhibition alone was worth the trip. I've been to the Georgia O'Keeffe museum in Sante Fe numerous times as well as most of the major exhibits of her work on the east coast in the last 30 years and I saw several "new-to-me" paintings. The parallels between these two friends working at the same time in different parts of the southwest were surprising. This exhibit continues through January 4, 2009 (and it's free). Also at the museum is Earth and Sky: Photographs by Barbara Bosworth which we both liked immensely; images from her series National Champion Trees and wonderful color works of songbirds being held by people - only until Nov 9.

We loved this museum so much we went back the next day. The National Portrait Gallery shares the same building and we spent hours looking at Women of Our Time; 75 Twentieth Century Photographs...included some very enlightening reading - click on link for web exhibition.

We finally tore ourselves away from DC and headed to Chincoteague/ Assateague refuge and National Seashore. That's where I did this small plein air painting, looked at ponies and birds, sketched for hours, read some, sat on the beach lots and generally acted like I was on vacation.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

"Local Talent"

Glenburn Township 4th Annual Show and Sale is going on right now through December 11. 9-noon Monday through Thursdays. It's not often that a township gets lucky enough to have Joanne Benson as an employee. She's turned the historic and beautifully renovated train station into a community center for art. She has found room on the walls for over 80 pieces of local art this year.
And she finds time to paint, too, as can be seen in her lovely featured watercolor "Anemones." The township supervisors and Lackawanna County Arts & Culture Municipality Grant have supported her efforts. So has Patsel's Restaurant.

Just goes to show what can be done in a community that wants and welcomes art.

570-563-1177 for directions and info.

My painting Narrow Gouge Again that is featured on the cover of the Artists' Open House Weekend brochure is on view, but not for sale, at "Local Talent." Also Clouds Roll In is there and it is for sale along with many wonderful oils, watercolors, acrylics, prints, photographs by other local artists.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Artists' Open House Weekend-12th annual

October 11, 12 & 13 is a great time to visit over 26 artists in their studios from one end of Susquehanna County (northeastern Pennsylvania) to the other. Award winning potters, carvers, woodworkers, clay artists, painters, collage makers, printmakers, photographers will be ready to welcome you to our beautiful rural area. Penn's Woods are putting on quite a show of their own. You can pick up a map brochure at many local businesses, any of the studios or download one here.

This is a free, self-guided driving tour to about 20 studios. Some of these studios are only open at this one time of year. It is a rare chance to see work before it goes on to a gallery or National exhibit. The artists enjoy showing their work in person and talking about the process of inspiration and technique. Monday is demonstration day and most everyone will be demonstratins an aspect of their craft.

I will be doing a watercolor demo at 11 and a pastel demo at 2pm here at my studio. Please stop by. Follow the pink arrows.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Irresistible Palette

I love these colors. I use similar strong complimentary colors often to create a painting that has power.

I took Night Begins to the Butternut Gallery where it will hang with Goldenrod Field for the next month or so. The Butternut Gallery and Second Story Books is at 42 Church Street Montrose PA 570-278-4011. They are open Wed-Sun afternoons. Both paintings are framed with mats in rustic gold wood frames about 17 inches square overall. Night Begins is a studio painting and Goldenrod Field is a plein air painting. They are each priced at $400.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Fall Brook, World Wide Paint Out

September 5th was the day of the World Wide Paint Out. Painters who work outside thought about their fellow artists in Brazil, Italy, Australia and Canada as they either painted alone or with a group.

Our group of 11 Northeast PA oil painters, watercolorists and pastellists had a ton of fun and made an important discovery...Batter Busters!!!perfectly delicious organic pancake batter in a squirt can!!! NFI, but we think everyone should know about this fuel for outdoor painting. It proved to have creative powers, too. Some folks made multiple paintings. I only got this one at Salt springs State Park, but I like it very much.

This painting will be for sale in the very near future. If you are interested in it, contact me because I have promised paintings to several local venues and will have to tell you where you can see it. It is 8 x 12 inch image size, framed with a mat in a rustic wood frame and the price is $400 wherever it is shown. The overall framed size is about 16 x 20.

Monday, August 18, 2008

NEPA Regional Art 2008

prints available
Two of my Fig Street Series plein air pastels will be shown in this exhibit. My work will be hanging at the Hope Horn Gallery, University of Scranton, although the exhibit includes Keystone College's
Linder Gallery, AFA Gallery and Marywood University Galleries as well. The progressive reception starts on the 11th at 2pm at the Hope Horn Gallery. I will miss the festivities because I will be here in the studio hosting visitors during the Artists' Open House Weekend.

Both paintings were done on location in my daughter, Zoë's, Scranton backyard garden. It is a lively and colorful spot.

Artists' work was chosen from 25 counties;16 in Pennsylvania, 6 in New York and 3 in New Jersey. So I am very happy & honored to be included. The Hope Horn Gallery is a beautiful venue at the University of Scranton.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Award Winning Painting


All of the artists & sculptors who created the 53 works chosen by the juror to be in the Endless Mountains Council of the Arts 12th Annual Regional Art Exhibition are winners and some of us won awards.

My pastel painting "Ahead of the Storm" took second place and a nice cash prize. Thank you.

You can see the whole exhibit at two venues in Tunkhannock, PA through September 28: Wyoming County Courthouse Gallery during weekday business hours and EMCA, 302 W. Tioga St , Fri, Sat, Sun 1 to 5pm. 570-836-EMCA

Monday, August 04, 2008

"I been everywhere, man"

Well, Pennsylvania to Wisconsin to Minnesota and back! Mission accomplished - as stated in the previous post; 3150 miles of beautiful landscape (forgetting for a moment the 3 1/2 hours spent in 3mph traffic trying to get through/around Chicago! ), 12 paintings painted during the Door County Plein Air Festival, 4 sold during the exhibition, many new and interesting people met and some friends visited along the of them a bonsai enthusiast & expert. I was delighted with my ride, but I can't seem to get the overall average above 48mpg in my '07 Prius. I am definitely not complaining.

This is "Jeweler's Garden", the painting I made in Wisconsin during the Saturday morning two hour quick-paint and purchased at auction. It went to a good home in Chicago...and I didn't have to drive it there - whew!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I'm Off to Wisconsin & Minnesota

The Studio will be closed* until August 5 when I return from the Door County Plein Air Festival where I am an invited participant in a busy week of painting & exhibiting. Then over to Duluth to visit friends. Then solo drive back. I hope to make some good paintings, meet some new people, see some old friends, learn something about the art of bonsai, set a personal high mpg record in my Prius, listen to two audio books and see miles of landscape and sky!

In the meantime my paintings can be seen at The Butternut Gallery, Schulman Gallery at Luzerne County Community College and EMCA Auction show. Check my website for more info.

*closed to bears & birds, too....see previous entry.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Last Visitor Gets to Choose

The Summer Exhibit and sale here at the studio was a big success...34 paintings sold! and many prints and pots. Despite the diminished selection to choose from the last visitor came at 9 am Monday and took whatever he wanted!

Rosalita (fearless Australian Cattle Dog) and Leo (her backup black lab) tried to deter this big male black bear, but he pretty much treated them as pesky flies. I've never been happier that my dogs have excellent recalls. They came in the house and we barricaded the doors and windows.

I knew I was tempting fate leaving my bird feeders up this summer and I am just glad no one got hurt. The bear had a beautiful black coat and was quite handsome with awesome brute strength. (we tried to bend the metal pole back again).

All of the rest of our many visitors were much better behaved...thankfully....and when he arrived I was going around the garden telling my daughter about the "exciting" re-appearance of the Rudbeckia maxima in front of the greenhouse!!!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Summer Exhibit and Art Sale

Zoë Poster and I will be hosting our annual summer art exhibit here in Montrose, PA at the studio. It begins this Friday evening with a reception from 6-8pm. All are invited.

The studio is open all days Saturday June 28th through Sunday July 6th from 10am until 6pm. We are showing our latest paintings and claywork.

This year is the First Ever Big Sale. We need to make room for new artwork and entice you to take home some of the unsold pieces from years past. All pieces made in 2008 are priced as usual. Anything from 2007 or earlier is reduced at least 20%...maybe much more if the frame has a little ding or we are just tired of looking at it. There will be several watercolors from the 90's that were never exhibited...things taken from my private collection. There will be a few art supplies and art books, too.

Daily door prizes will be given to the first person who answers the art trivia question correctly.

And, as if that is not enough, you can set up your easel and paint in the garden outside the studio...or just look over someone else's shoulder and watch them paint, sketch, draw!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Butternut Gallery Exhibit

Two of my friends are showing their recent work at The Butternut Gallery & Second Story Books in Montrose; Renee Emanuel & Meg Conner. They have beautiful work and the show looks fabulous. The opening reception is Saturday June 21 from 6-8pm. The exhibit continues through July 20; Wednesday through Sunday afternoons.Butternut Gallery phone 570-278-4011.

The gallery is showing some of my local spring plein air work along with the work of 11 other artists as well as the above-mentioned exhibit.
Clouds Roll In is a 16x20 plein air pastel painting.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

First Place Painting Award

Autumn Mist wins first place for painting! real prize money! The show is called Art in the Barn; 45 paintings and sculptures were juried into the show which runs June 6 through 15 in the Museum Barn at The Lands at Hillside Farm in Shavertown, PA. It is a real working farm and agricultural estate which is undergoing restoration for the historical and cultural resource of the community. 570-696-4500

My pastel painting is of some barns and heifers on a farm near here in Susquehanna County. It was developed in the studio working from my memory and my photos. I am pleased with being able to capture the warm overcast atmosphere of a fall morning. I am glad it has been recognized with an award...especially in the light of the other high quality paintings in the exhibit.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Afterthoughts on Wayne PAF

The high points of my week at the Wayne, PA Plein Air Festival? Getting to paint in Mrs.Hamilton's private estate garden...this was a gardener's dream come true...having been given a guided tour of the ten manicured acres and 6 greenhouses and told I could "paint anywhere" and they hoped I would not be disturbed by the guys moving potted trees outside to stage by the pool, how could I paint anywhere else? This photo is of my painting Mrs. Hamilton's Yellow Border on the easel under my umbrella, where it was painted.

I did manage to find a couple of other locations to set up my easel and put 5 framed paintings up on the walls at the Wayne Art Center's beautiful NEW Davenport Gallery for the gala exhibition preview opening Saturday night.

The 200+ framed paintings that 30 artists completed in 4 days (one an all day soaker) made for a truly stellar exhibit of what's being done in plein air painting these days. Oils dominated with just a handful of watercolors and another handful (mine) of pastels. I was delighted to be part of such a high quality exhibit.

And I am happy to return home and find the apple trees are still in bloom.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Wayne, PA Plein Air Festival

I guess to the uninitiated the word 'festival' makes these events sound like fun...sort of a circus or party. True;it is a spectacle in which the public is invited and encouraged to watch artists make paintings on the spot. And there is usually quite a fancy party on the final night of the event for the opening of the exhibition. And it is fun for the artists to hang out and rub paint stained shoulders with each other all week. And it is usually enjoyable to speak to the public about my art. It is delightful to find new admirers for my work.

But there is quite a bit of hard work and pressure. The sponsoring school or community does not want empty walls for the exhibit and neither do the artists who have often traveled cross country at great expense, lugging paint tubes, easels, brushes, pastel boxes and some decent clothes.

Most of these events finish with a Saturday morning "Quick Draw " during which artists have two hours after the buzzer sounds to begin and finish a painting, slap it into a frame and watch it get auctioned off. (or thrown into the lake)

I will be at my first of the season Tuesday through Saturday in lovely Wayne, PA on the Main Line of Philadelphia. I hope to see some familiar faces there. Come on out and say "hi" to me and 29 other nationally known artists who have been juried in to this Plein Air Festival.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Shad Tree

In my neighborhood the shad (service berry) are blooming. This high key painting`is done on a homemade panel of acid-free foam core and soft blue colourfix paper. I used Girault, Unison and Diane Townsend soft pastels with some pastel pencils. I find most of my painting locations within a two mile radius of my studio. I work out of the back of my Prius with the pastels laid out there as well as on my half box French easel. This paining took about two hours in the field. It is 8 x 10" and will sell at the studio for $325 framed in a 3" rustic gold wood plein air frame with no mat.

Of course two hours is not the whole story; first I had to learn how to paint a painting in two hours (and sometimes the time is chalked up to an unsuccessful painting...not everything is worthy of a frame), then I had to order & assemble the materials and make the panel, drive around assessing different spots for their potential to yield an interesting painting, paint while trying not to cover my face with pastel and swat gnats at the same time, then bring it back in to the studio and evaluate the piece for strengths and weaknesses, make minor changes and improvements, photograph it, cut and wash glass, attach spacers, secure in frame and enter into database and finally market and sell it. I suspect this is what people want to know when they ask me how it long it took to paint a specific picture. Some artists answer the question with "Two hours and thirty years" which I think is quite appropriate. As I've said's a hard job, but someone has to do it.

And on a perfect day like this I'm glad it's me.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Wednesday All-Day Paint Out

both SOLD
I feel like I've been let out of jail..spring has sprung and I spent the whole day painting along the dirt roads of Susquehanna County. These are my two paintings. Mary Ann Williams & Joanne Benson were great painting company. We were all in high spirits. Every day should be this productive and fun!

Spring Green and Another Willow Tree are each about 10" x 10" square.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Southern Arizona

My daughter and I have just returned form a rather relaxing and thoroughly delightful week in the sun; birding, sketching, oohing and ahhhing over wildflowers, wandering under the blue skies and sun.

Saw the Tucson Plein Air Painters annual members show at The Desert Museum. Absolutely top notch paintings...some real prizewinners...with surprisingly scant sales. Not sure if that is a reflection on the economy or the fact that the Desert Museum is not really a sales is a wonderful education facility; zoology, ecology and horticulture. It seems to draw me in on each trip to Tucson...I can't resist seeing cougars, rattlers and that adorable little elf owl close-up. The highlight this time was the "Raptor Free Flight" in which a trained-to-return Harris Hawk family flew literally inches over our heads to land on their handlers' gloved hands...and then returned to their soaring. That was exciting, enlightening and oh-so beautiful.

This is a page from my sketchbook done in the garden at Indian Hill B&B...a record of a meditative hour or so, pen and inking for the pure pleasure of it.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Shadows in the Garden

This painting is still on the easel...almost done. It's 3am, a 12 x 16, pastel painting, inspired by the view out my bedroom window one bright moonlit night last week.

The stars and clouds are the brightest/lightest values in this nocturne. I included some mysterious shapes that I am often scrutinizing without my glasses in the wee hours. I'm hoping to catch a glimpse of a wild creature...and see what in my garden it is eating.

This is what my night sky used to look like; stars all the way down to the land. Now, sadly, all of my horizons have the glow of not-so distant lights. It is an intrusion I do not welcome. And it is unnecessary. Outdoor lighting can be designed to point the light only where we need it...on the ground. Proper lighting provides better security and better working illumination than the glare emitted from improper lighting. You can find out much more about this by going to International Dark Sky Association.

This painting is done on Colourfix Plein Air Painting Board from Art Spectrum; Aubergine color. These acid free papers and boards are made in Australia with a nice pumice finish. I have used a restrained palette of mainly grey, white, brown, blue and mauve in several different brands of soft pastels; Diane Townsend Soft, Schminke, Sennelier, Unison. It will be framed under glass and offered for sale in the future here in the studio or on the website.

Monday, March 10, 2008

From Various Bridges

This is Secret Place, one in a series of paintings done from bridges. This is actually inspired by some photographs I took and a plein air painting done from a local bridge last October. It is in the current exhibit of my paintings at the Butternut Gallery, mentioned below.

When I am driving over a bridge, my head spins right and left to check out the view and then simultaneously look to see if there is a place to set up the easel or at least to park and take photos. In my very rural county I can often slow to a dead stop in the middle of the bridge to check out these conditions. Finding a favorable bridge is a real goldmine to me. Here in Pennsylvania, trees obscure everything, but they don't grow on bridges and for that I am thankful.

Spending a few hours painting on a two lane bridge where there may be four other vehicles passing me all afternoon is why I tolerate living in this remote (and somewhat backward) corner of Penns' Woods. Being on a bridge often means being above or near the tree tops and really gives a unique view of surroundings.

I am really chomping at the bit for some spring-like weather to drag the easel outside. In 2006 Susquehanna county suffered devastating floods; people lost everything including their land in some cases. It was declared a National Disaster Area and FEMA was here for months, but finally we have many new improved, wider and taller bridges over our myriad small creeks and streams. I plan to put them to good use starting with the first day above 45 degrees! So nice of the government to provide space at the edges for me and my easel!

Monday, February 25, 2008

First Sold Painting at the Exhibit

On Frozen Pond was the first painting of mine to be sold yesterday at the opening reception of Recent Landscapes and Wishful Thinking at The Butternut Gallery. It is a small (image 10 x 10inch) tonalist* painting. The folks who purchased it spent a long time whispering to each other, walking back and forth in front of the gallery wall. It was a well-considered purchase. A joy for me, as they have several of my paintings all ready.

It will remain as part of the exhibit through April 19th and then it will go to a very good and appreciative home.

"Tonalism is somewhat elusive and hard to define precisely. It means subtlety, first of all -- subtle shifts in tone and color." by William Zimmer, NYTimes, 1999

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Recent Landscapes and Wishful Thinking

Yesterday I delivered 13 new paintings to The Butternut Gallery for a exhibition called Recent Landscapes and Wishful Thinking. February 22 through April 19 at 42 Church Street, Montrose, PA. Hours 11-5 Thursday, Friday, & Saturday. 570-278-4011

I thoroughly enjoyed preparing for this group show; what turned out to be an eclectic group of pastels and two watercolors. I did not think much about sticking to a theme or genre; I painted just what I wanted. It really was a joy to have that freedom and at the same time be held to a deadline and the structure of a show. Absent was the angst of a solo show.

Shown is Acidanthera; one of the wishful thinking aspects of this winter show. These fragrant gladioli are favorites in my late summer garden. Their scent is musky and I love their structure. This pastel painting image size is 14 x 10 inches and sells for $400 framed under glass in rustic gold wood.

Just about 24 hours after delivering the work to the 2nd floor gallery on an icy morning here in NE PA, I slipped on my own freshly mopped mudroom floor and incurred an open dislocation of my left pinky finger. One of the joys of small town living is that I got to spend an hour with an old friend, Renee, the ER nurse, who I have known since childhood. Her expertise and good humor is comforting to all unfortunate patients and provides a chance to catch up on neighborhood news and children....supposed to be resting the hand now...hope to see you at The Butternut...I'll be the (hopefully the only) one with the bandage. The orthopedic surgeon said I was brave...he refrained from commenting on my co-ordination.

I'm sure it had nothing to do with the unlucky number of paintings....right?

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Why Plein Air?

Because that's where one learns to see...really see. Knowing what lurks in the shadows, what color the leaves reflect, even what the local sounds and smells are makes convincing paintings. Plein air painting for me informs all my other work. What I have learned looking at a mountain range in Arizona helps me paint my own Endless Mountains back in my Pennsylvania studio. Struggling against bright glare to see the waves rolling into the beach in Costa Rica teaches me something about the Susquehanna river. Just dragging an easel out your studio door for a quick warm-up painting will do so much for your skills. Plein air work teaches you to select for subject and compose to your canvas or paper borders. It teaches you to move along, speed it up and keep the energy flowing.

Plein air is the background, the homework for painting from other sources. I see many painters, wasting precious time, using photos when they should be out in the field observing. Once they've done that they may be ready to paint from photos and their own imagination.

Besides it's the most fun you can have and still call it work.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Day's End

This is my first major painting of the year. I've been working on several large pastels in the studio and this one is the first to be framed. It will be for sale at The Butternut Gallery in Montrose, PA 570-278-4011. The show called Recent Landscapes and Wishful Thinking will open Saturday February 23rd. Cheryl Korb and I will be sharing wall space there through April 20.

I love painting for specific exhibitions; and I thrive on deadlines. I will have several brand new paintings for this show. Hope to see you there. This one is 30" x 18" image size.

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