Wednesday, August 31, 2016


Contours are tricky because they don't exist.  To create them you have to become an ant and crawl millimeter by millimeter around a horizon andthen trace   cross-contours wherever you can find a groove.  L and D's pepper and garlic bulbs are perfect for this trick.  The most abstract of figurative drawing.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Quail Eggs and Emerald

My friend L greeted me tonight (when I arrived for a studio night together) with a small bowl full of quail egg shells.  We've both been sitting here drawing and painting them.  I also drew the in-matrix emerald that her husband gave me to send to Nate, who collects rocks!

Monday, August 29, 2016

A Quiz

Can you locate the medicine here? The dyestuffs? The flour? The proteins? The adhesive? The pesto ingredient? The ink? 
The fuel for a torch? 

Friday, August 26, 2016

Urban Acorns

I picked these up while walking theough a downtown neighborhood this afternoon.  I think Urban Acorn would be a good name for an upscale edgy new restaurant here, one that features foraged foods--

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Speed Drawing Cars

Three of these were in front of me in the school car line.  The fourth was in front of me all during three changes of the red light between Trader Joe's and Harris Teeter.  
And here's my car getting gassed up.  I think I'm approaching car drawing more like figures or animals finally -- basic shapes, gestures, not fretting over mechanical accuracy.  I noticed that most cars in the lines I'm in are some form of Toyota.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

#8000 : Sheep!

These guys were waiting in the field next to the west river trail! They stayed in the head-down position but slowly moved as a group to the right.  By the time I had finished they were in the far corner of the field, still chomping with heads down.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Helmet Pod and Other Late Summer Wonders

In the college garden, seed heads.

Car Line

Yesterday in the car line waiting to pick up Maya, practicing drawing cars, on the back of an envelope.  I am a kindergartener in car drawing.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Unrelenting Attack

My car is under attack from the pine trees that hang over the driveway.  Every morning the windshield is a mess of sticky globs of pine goo, impossible to remove without solvents and Red Devil scrapers!  Pine and hemlock needles sift down snd stick to the goo or slide into the crevices around the hood.  So I've made a car cover out of a tarp and duct tape and two bungees.  Not my favorite time of year.  

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Yesterday and Today

Yesterday morning : tabletop things at crit group.
Today:  the odd, somewhat succulent,  plastic-looking hoya vine in the bathroom at BookWorks is blooming.  The blooms are small and the color and texture of 1960s bathroom tiles.
And seen both yesterday and today:  Lola, the new watch mule for the sheep.

And not a drawing but a photo of the double rainbow over the valley that I saw as I was coming out of the west river trail at 6:30 this evening.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Bring Up a Light Supper on a Tray

Don't you sometimes yearn to be the person in a Downton Abbey-esque movie who arrives home tired and late and gets to sit in front of a cozy bedroom fireplace and eat a private little supper on a tray while wearing a bathrobe and not having to eat politely and make conversation?  This is what I want on my tray, along with a nice goblet of dry red wine.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Mapping the Mindy Sue Trail

The Mindy Sue trail follows a couple of creeks where coyotes hang out at night.  It parallels our road, partway up on Jones Mountain, but there's a little woods that hides the trail from the road.  Ruins of an old chimney and an old cellar along with a grove of giant bamboo and a pretty frog pond on the neighbor's property make this a choice place for an easy two mile walk.  This morning I found a large wild turkey feather on Gardiner Trace, opposite a view of a hay roll in the nearby field.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

East River Trail Map:Late Summer

Yes it's still hot and sticky on the trail, but I needed to get outside.  So here are the amenities on this dog day in August--

Monday, August 15, 2016

The Tallest Crepe Myrtles

I am giving in to the heat and mosquitos and walking at 6:30 a.m. when our road is empty, cool, and bug-free.  The road is paved and boring after the trails.  I decided to look for exciting, previously overlooked things to draw.  Here, then, are nine spectacular crepe myrtle trees planted all  in a row along the edge of a lawn. They were pruned long ago  so that they grew into trees as tall as pine trees.  Their knobbly multiple trunks are over 5 feet tall before any limbs and leaves and blossoms appear.  I had to cut off the top 10-15 feet!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

News from the Back Porch

After four months of looking like green cigars, the severely-pruned plant stems are unfurling new leaves!
The stems in the pot are in eight stages of new growth. Very quietly amazing.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Around the Yard This Morning

P trying to weedwhack everything before the heat escalates to sizzling.  In this outfit he reminds me of E when he was 5 years old and liked his large plastic hard hat.
The last of the walking onions, and I don't know if they'll plant themselves.  I cut these off and will dry them to kill the mildew that's on them, then plant them in fall.  If we actually have fall this year.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Around Town

At the hairdresser's this morning the sleepy phone answerer had just arrived.  At the car mechanic's the desk guy kept his head in the same place for half an hour.
At Whole Foods two friends were having big salads and talking happily.
In the chickenyard along the river trail at 5 pm the hens were mostly pecking and grooming themselves and looking skinny and skitterish. The high humidity and heat hung over the yard like a collapsed tent.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Cone Misery

I took Jesse to the vet today to get help for him with the extremely slow healing of two wounds from a great horned owl (probably).  The vet gave him an antibiotic shot and a painkiller shot, and I asked about a cone because he keeps licking off the scabs.
The vet agreed, and Jesse came home very unhappy in his cone.
I sat with him while he fretted and batted it  around.
Here he is mortified and annoyed.
Sad sad sad.  After a couple of hours of misery we decided to release him and watch him to be sure he quits licking.  If he goes back to it, I guess we'll wrestle him back in.  Here's hoping!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Yard Goats

The goats have arrived to clear the rocky, hilly, tough-weed-filled lot next to the dentist office down on Highway 70.  Every year e little herd of goats is hired and fenced in with a portable electric fence for a couple of weeks.
I want to hire them to get rid of our poison-ivy and tough weed patches.  A great idea!

Monday, August 8, 2016


I'm in no way a great knitter but last fall my friend A showed me and helped me with a pattern for mittens that is based on archaeological finds in Scotland and that is worn by docents at Plimoth Plantation.  A is a championship knitter and knits for Plimoth Plantation.  She is speedy and accurate.
My knitting is slow and tentative, but I love making these mittens.  They remind me of chain mail, only soft.  The gauntlet makes them extra warm.  It takes four little needles to knit them, and the needles feel like large toothpicks 

Saturday, August 6, 2016


This morning there were several webs that were as finely woven as tarlatan.  The web architecture was astonishing. 
Two of the webs had small egg cases suspended from heavier threads.  A small spider was poised in the center of each web.
Nearby some scarlet and also purple runners are putting out pods.  Drawing with a white prisma pencil on maroon Canson mi tientes paper that I grabbed when I realized pen was not the way to go today.

Friday, August 5, 2016


Pointillism isn't something I do very often, but these leathery dried tangerines have pointillist surfaces and needed to be done this way.
The peppers are smooth but I was in pointillist mode--

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Grass is Flesh

The college farm is filled with late summer-- acres of grass, and even a few crickets are singing.  We stopped to watch field- raised piglets leaping and tumbling in grass as they followed their mother.  A ram rested in sweet grass with no interest at all in two ewes who peacefully grazed a few feet away in the little milk cow pasture.
The little plaster figure on the left hangs on a wall in our house, and I sketched it on our way out for our late day field walk.  At bottom right is Jones Mountain, which we live halfway up on, behind some trees and fields.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Monday, August 1, 2016

Mushrooms Like Flowers

I don't know much about mushrooms, but these were all growing along the Jones Mountain trail today.  The colors are like anenomes.