Tuesday, March 3, 2015


After three months of glacial progress,  our amaryllis shot up leaves and a double blossom last week.  And then, like a damp firecracker, it fizzled, turned into a dud, a shoo-shoo.  What had finally looked like a true amaryllis bud revealed itself to be mostly hollow with a few dried out papery proto-flower parts. 

I had started thinking shoo-shoo when I noticed that one of the hyacinth buds in our latest bulb pot was small and only partly developed.  I dug around a little deeper inside the one bud that didn't seem be progressing and found the dried up stump shown in 4125.  I then wondered if that slow-moving amaryllis bud could be a shoo-shoo too.  The rest of these drawings show the withered dried out thin papery flower parts that didn't make it.  There was no evidence of insect damage or mildew,  just undeveloped dessicated almost transparent petals.

I learned the word shoo-shoo in New Orleans when I was a child.  We kids used to go outside on the 5th of July and poke around in the gutters to look for shoo-shoos-- fireworks that had ignited but then fizzled out.  We considered a shoo-shoo to be a lucky find because they were mostly intact, and we knew that if we dried them out completely we would be able to light them and they would explode!  We never, ever succeeded in exploding a shoo-shoo, but that didn't keep us from hunting for shoo-shoos in the wake of every holiday involving fireworks.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Snow Drops and Farm Eggs

A pot of snow drops that a friend gave us is ready to pop into bloom from its neglected corner of the garden.  I love the lengthening light and warming temperature that let me sit down on a garden stone and sketch these at 5:30 PM after I came home from walking.  I balanced my container of three eggs across the top of another flower pot while I drew, and then drew the three eggs.  I had walked down to the college farm hoping to buy a dozen eggs, but someone else got there first, and the only eggs left were the three that the chicken worker found as we were walking over to the garden cabin.  Well three are better than none, and these three are so beautiful, especially the clay colored one that perfectly matches the red clay that abounds down near the chicken yard. 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Seeds and Nuts Redux

My alarmingly large collection of seeds, pods, nuts, hulls, hornet nest, fungi, and other memorabilia of summer and fall still adorns/litters the table on the back porch.  Many of the nuts and pods have changed over the winter; so today's drawings report on some of the changes.  The lovely orange palmetto palm fruit is still bright and only slightly withered.  Everything else is a shade of brown or tan.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Groundhog Sighting and Bulb Pot Update

The beautiful bulb pot, the last in a series of three, is slowly moving into its return phase.  The last of the flowers are beginning to loosen and droop,, and the foliage is turning thin and yellow.  In a few days this pot will join the other one on the back porch in order to complete the returning of energy to bulbs and begin the quiet dormant period.  
Meanwhile the amaryllis, which began its glacial development back in December, is now actually getting ready to bloom.  And there are two blooms coming out of the bulb! 

This afternoon P and I walked back to the meadow behind our house, and on our way we spotted some action around the three groundhog holes that are in our little woods near the fenceline.  P had seen a groundhog sitting in the back woods a week or so ago, and we had thought 'great! at least one groundhog didn't see its shadow!'  Further confirmation today:  all three holes had clay-colored prints leading from the holes to adjacent holes, and in one case, the tracks led under the fence and out to the meadow.  One hole is dug under a patch of English ivy, and the cast off clay has raised a mound of ivy-covered clay that is now ivy-covered snow.  We know how deeply we have been sunk into winter funk when we get excited about groundhog action.  And not only groundhogs, but the snowdrops are getting ready to bloom, and the lenten roses have made it through the hard freezes of the past weeks!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Drawings of Space Around

Today's drawings were all over the sketch for the print.  I was only able to scan half at a time and for some reason photoshop isn't letting me put these two sides on the same layout.  Not a problem really except that I can't show the whole thing joined.  But you can see some more finished transitions and spaces.  I'm ready to start putting it on the blocks.  I'm calling this 5 drawings.

Thursday, February 26, 2015


 I drew for hours today but not things.  Today I placed xeroxes of things [charlottes] into small environments, with which they immediately interlocked and in concert which with they took on new meanings.  My intention is to form the environments into a single multi-faceted Wide Game.  Each of these below is a section of the larger sheet of paper that I'm working on, which will ultimately be translated into a woodcut.  The whole thing is taped together sections of xerox drawn on with pen.  I have a lot more to do, but a few of these are close to the way I want them.  A few seem like they would stand on their own as small prints.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Information about Jesse

 Jesse had just settled down for a nap as it began snowing in earnest tonight.  It was a frequently-shifting nap, however, and there was no one pose that lasted long enough to qualify as a pose.  Instead this series of gesture drawings will have to do.
I think it's interesting that some of these details of Jesse look more like dogs or lemurs than cats.  Definitely profile view is not the most telling angle for a cat.  I remember from art history class the observation that the ancient Egyptians always drew humans with the face and feet in profile but the shoulders and torso facing front because these were the angles that gave the best information about the human form.  I imagine a cat standing as though walking forward in profile but with its face facing front would be the most informative angle for cat information.