This drawing of Tallis is oddly proportioned, but I like his relaxed pose and focused attitude.
On the left is Peter the rooster who has no tail feathers, reason unknown. He has enormous feet and a kind of blustery presence, which the hens mostly ignore as they go about their business of pecking and scratching and sitting in the egg boxes. Periodically he crows.
One afternoon Tallis and I decided to brave the cold and take a very long walk up the road to the end, where there is a view of Mount Cardigan. The piles of snow in the foreground are a small sample of the piles of snow that were everywhere. But the popped whoopee cushion wasn't actually part of the foreground! Whoopee cushions were in high favor for a few days; Luca had gotten his first, and Barnaby thought it was hilarious and begged for one for himself. So somehow he acquired his own on one of our trips to the small shopping mall that has a good toy store. We got to listen to the whoopee cushion the entire trip home in the car, along with shrieks of laughter from B., who was practically falling out of his seat with glee. Then Luca took his cushion to an overnight birthday party, and when he came home the next day, there was a hole in his whoopee cushion. Apparently these things aren't built to withstand 9 year old boys as they slide down the stairs riding them like small farting sleds.
I finally got a pretty good drawing of Tallis while we were waiting for our dinner at Salt Hill Pub. Below him is a failed attempt at pinning Luca down while he was drawing.
We left New Hampshire on Tuesday and took the train from White River Junction back to Penn station. While waiting, I stood outside in a chilly breeze and drew a tiny diner that we've had a quick breakfast in a few times. It was rumored to have closed, but I saw a few people inside huddled over their food. Walking around the railroad station I ran into Chris, the WRJ volunteer who has been working at the station for at least as many years as we've been taking this train (15). The station at WRJ is run by volunteers. Chris knows everything there is to know about trains. Here he is posting a message on the station bulletin board.
Back in Maplewood, P and I had the great fun of taking Nate in to the city on New Jersey transit and then the subway (uptown C train) to the Museum of Natural History. We made this excursion a year ago, but at that time Nate cared only about the trains and was ready to get back on and go home after 13 minutes in the hall of the dinosaurs. This year he was a great museum kid, happily parading all over the place and staying for over three hours. I drew, as I always do, something from each of the stations that we pass between Maplewood and NY Penn. Nate tells me what to draw. This year he was very interested in signage. He told me the South Orange streets looked "very Christmasy" and indeed they did in the relentless snow.
While we were waiting for our train after our museum day I sketched other people waiting.
Nate went back to school the next day, P stayed home to read a good book, and I headed back out to the city to meet up with friends. These are drawings from the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, one of my favorite places.
Nate wanted to paint something in my book, so he painted his version of a napping house. The dots are people sleeping inside. And on the right is a reminder of a great butternut squash and shitake tart that Kerstin cooked. She told me to just Google it but double the pancetta. She and Erik and P and I demolished the whole tart in one sitting except for a single slice, which Abby enjoyed for her lunch the next day.