Thursday, June 30, 2016

Holes and Herons

P and I took a quiet walk along the West Rivee Trail late this evening.  I noticed so many intriguing holes in the ground, in logs, in trees.  Then when we were nearly at the end of the trail: a great blue heron!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016


At book club today-- all these ripe plums are from the same tree on E's front yard.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Deeply Strange

Trawling Tobacco Barn today, I could not resist these deeply strange objects.  A mannequin arm with broken fingers, a mummified turtle claw, a cement man labeled 'Easter Island',  a group of crosses made of iron spikes.
And who would like to own this marble form clothed in what can only be described as a teddy?  And who made the five hefty 14" long terra cotta bananas (and why??). The iron bunny boot scraper seems to be bolting.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Chicken Scratch

I stopped by the chicken yard to do some drawings of the grasses there.  I'm working on a print of 13 chickens moving around in the big grassy yard, and my grass stamp looks too rigid.
The grasses aren't that exciting, but they'll help me carve more informed grass blocks.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Taxidermied Roosters at Tobacco Barn

I've never been able to study a rooster's head before!  
And concrete yard ornaments--
A great bonanza of a day at the sweltering Tobacco Barn!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Early Morning Watch

Jesse in the bedroom window first thing this morning, checking out the world.
He drapes elegantly over the window sill, dozes briefly.
Hears something, rises slowly.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Five More

Next I'll print these five new knife-drawn hens with yesterday 's five and see what happens.  Mike Diehn, you said you wanted a print of these--

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Knife Drawing

Here are five prints of blocks that I carved with reference to some of the windy day chicken drawings.  Below are the little rubber blocks.  I used watercolors to spot in the beaks and wattles and combs.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Solstice Walk

This Japanese lily popped open this morning, a solstice celebration if there ever was one.  I walked 4 1/2 miles under the bright afternoon sun, saw cows standing in a tight circle as I walked along the road headed to the trail.  At Owen Pond Canada geese and babies were silently grooming.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Fathers' Day Hike

P and David and Hillary and Lindsay and Maya and I headed out after lunch to hike the east river trail starting at Owen Park.  Such a perfect almost-cool, sunny, crisp, slightly breezy afternoon. D and M jumped into the icy river while the rest of us cheered them on.
As we passed the chicken yard I could not resist the plumping, primping Jersey Blacks.  The grass, like all grass around here, is as stiff and dry as February.  We are parched.

Saturday, June 18, 2016


Drew these while standing in the high field behind our house.  Evening cows moving like a centipede across the dry grasses, mountains stacked up behind the valley.  Excellent evening shadows.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Crit Group

Here's the familiar group again minus the lovely winter scarves but still beautiful and as essential as air.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

At the Pool/ Kate

I took Maya to the pool today.  The lifeguard had a noodle instead of a life ring.  
While Maya took a shower I drew Kate;  then M and I went to buy a few gifts and stopped at WFoods for a necessary gelato.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Views from the End of the Street

Three years ago today I started drawing the 10,000 on the trail at the end of our street.
Today I went back down to the end of the block and drew nine sketches of the view across the valley from the trailhead. Phew!  

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Nine to Go to 7500

The walking onions are getting ready to walk.  It was good to draw them with dew still on them and before the mosquitos kicked in, before the searing heat.  

Sunday, June 12, 2016

In Conversation

At my friend C's house today I saw a catalog of work by Margo Klass, an Alaskan artist (  Her pieces were all diorama-like arrangements of simple objects that picked up meaning from their juxtaposition with other objects.  
So borrowing an idea from Margo Klass, I set up some conversations between and among tonight's objects.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Countdown to 7500

P and I walked from Owen pond down the east river trail and back in the suddenly baking heat this afternoon.  Ducks and babies, geese and babies--
and even baby giant jersey blacks, so young they don't have fully-formed combs yet.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Dust Bowl Dancing Hens

Yesterday I did only a couple of Jesse texture drawings,  so today was a big makeup   day.  With 18 drawings to do, I headed back down to the chicken yard.
The hot, dry dust was just what the hens wanted after all that wind!  They had hollowed out a half dozen bowls and they were dancing and pecking and scratching and hunkering down in the bowls.  The big rooster paraded around, too important to play in the dust.
Every now and then he would jump on a hen, who would then fluff herself up and get right back into the dust dance.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Giant Jersey Blacks in High Dry Wind

To celebrate my first trek along the dear river trail this afternoon, I took the little side trail to the chicken yard.  High winds from the outer part of the hurricane  were blowing everything around in the sunny stinging dryness.  The chickens were crazy!

Monday, June 6, 2016

On the Back Porch

In honor of being able to lie on my back without head-cracking pain, I decided to celebrate by moving on to the screened back porch, Jesse's summer quarters and the home of P's Peace Lily nursery.
It was a good plan!  I took two actual naps and my fever seems to be gone! I'm counting on being able to go vote tomorrow in NC's secret primary.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Handful of Small Things

Still healing this beast and don't feel up to much drawing today.  I grabbed a handful of little things that remind me of worry dolls or worry stones.  Maybe drawing them will be as soothing as fingering a smooth worry stone;  maybe drawing will take the place of putting the wotty doll under a pillow to disempower it-- maybe I can drop the worry that I am never going to feel unmiserable again.  I am NOT a patient patient.
And then there are the small totems.  Thinking I should start looking for a bear after the past few weeks here.  Bears on our son and d-i-l's front porch in downtown Aville yesterday!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Peering Out

Still running a low fever today, I thought of drawing everyone who walked down our street today.  This seemed like a good idea early this morning when a strange woman wearing a voluminous bathrobe over pajamas paused with her dog and stared into the woods.
But it soon grew overcast and then rainy and no one else passed all day.  I had to take advantage of Jesse's late spring lassitude.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Sad Day in Sinus Hell, Plus Yearning for the Sinus Bakery

The little cold that K and I shared last week morphed into a sinus infection while I was flying home.  I've been more or less miserable all week and wondering  why I was so wiped out and achy.  Today I dug out our ancient thermometer and discovered I have fever.  

When I was a kid and when I had kids, fever was the big divide between the truly sick and the malingerer.  My Mom's rule: with fever you stayed in bed and even after the fever broke you still stayed in bed an extra day.  

So today's sad drawings are from my bed and include the thermometer, the Kleenex box, one of the millions of used kleenexes, a banana, some frozen blueberries, the nasty but effective tincture from the acupuncture clinic with its dropper and my Dad's old sherry glass with tinture in it, a giant bottle of water, a tub of white miso for soup.  

What I really yearn for is to be in New Orleans in the 70's where the sinus-afflicted could turn themselves over to Dr. Cairns, who would poke astringent-soaked gauze up both your stopped up nostrils and send you out to sit under a heat lamp in his sinus bakery.  There you and about 10 other dripping sufferers would spend a half hour soaking up wonderful soothing heat and catch the drips from your nose on kleenexes.  At the end Dr. Cairns would pull out the gauze and voila! You could breathe and your face no longer throbbed.  

Personal Geographies

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Peas Are Coming In

Half of these are snow peas and half are sugar snap.  The two skinny pods are kale seed pods from last year's now-bolting plants.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Golden Grove

A short distance down the east river trail is a grove  of giant golden bamboo.  Right now new shoots are drilling their way up through the soil.  Old cut-down stumps hold rainwater, and roots run sideways in ridges like spines.