Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Effect of Republican Poll Watching on the Chickens

The big white chickens are madly grooming and pecking .  Feathers are flying.
They don't seem to know that they are being watched!  (That one on the right looks a little suspicious.)
Meanwhile last night at L's these studio things were as oblivious as the chickens.

Monday, October 24, 2016


Yesterday I saw for the first time in a while a flotilla of ducks grooming, eating, diving , and sunning in a quiet place in the river.
The mallard male on the left was stretching out his wing to groom while another male dozed nearby.  At upper right is a nut or gall that I found and sliced into when I was unable to crack it.  It was filled with resinous brown putty-like stuff.
And here are the rest of today's studies of things with tiny holes in them.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Back to the Quotidian

At crit group today a wonderful piece by Michelle Francis about elections along with other objects and in-process work that was on the table.
And a wonderful hat.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Drumpfian Pouts

I've noticed lots of drawings that feature Drumpf' holding forth with his mouth shaped like Edvard Munch's 'Scream' minus the hands (😱).  But during last night's debate I was unbearably annoyed by his pouts.
I drew these from replays that I was happily able to pause from time to time.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Moonset and a Surprise Scattering

Yesterday morning's moonset --
Actually more of a moonfade.
And just now I noticed the now-limp and drying clump of violets from three days ago, which is  now surrounded by probably a hundred tiny black and white seeds.  A very close inspection showed the still-green cleistogamous pods in emergency scattering mode.  Every pod has rapidly matured, and almost all have split open.  I could hear seeds hitting the table as I drew.  Afterwards I carried the spent plants and all seeds outside and scattered them in the yard.  We will have lots of violets next spring!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Cleistogamy (Closed Marriages) of Violets

Thanks to Susan Sawyer who commented on this blog yesterday, we can now all understand the fascinating adaptive mechanism that some plants have that enables them to propagate in unfavorable conditions, such as this summer's dry weather.
Cleistogamous plants, such as violets, are able to produce flowers that self-pollinate using non- opening flowers.  This mode of reproduction is biologically less expensive than chasmoganous (opening flowers) reproduction, and it allows the plant to scatter many seeds in less-than-optimal conditions.  It's true that self-pollination results in a kind of in-breeding and is not best over a long time;  but it gets the job done when water is scarce or pollinators are not present or a plant is in an otherwise compromised environment.  It makes me think of what my Smart car manual calls driving in "limp home mode."  

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Exciting Non-Political Post

Have you ever pulled a violet plant up at this time of year and noticed what look like little buds clustered near the crown of the root?  When I was cleaning out my square foot garden this morning I pulled out a violet plant and saw the cluster shown in 8387.  Then I saw an opened pod (8390) with no seeds, and I thought it might be a dried flower sepal.  Finally I cracked open one of the bud/pod-like structures and saw rows of tiny yellow seeds.  I love drawing as research.  

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Badly Drawn Cars

I am really bad at drawing cars.  I sound to myself like a beginner student who says 'I can't draw faces/people/cylinders, ' and so I tell myself 'Draw a hundred cars and you'll be good at drawing them.'
The thought of two weeks of drawing cars makes me feel hopeless and dismal, but it might be an interesting practice within The Practice.  Nate came home from forst grade one day while I was visiting and told me the way to draw things is to look for basic shapes. Excellent advice.  So above are three wedges, a rectangle, and a truncated wedge.  The top drawings I did in the car line while we were all moving.  I actually like the top left wedge (8372), done in about thirty seconds while it was moving and my car was also rolling a bit.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

A Boot and Many People

These are meeting notes, starting with that yummy dark gray Uggs boot, which I covet.
I was not trying for verisimilitude, but rather trying out forms for a piece I'm working on.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Wooly Things

Five of these are different views of a little sheep made of wool.  8357 is my friend E's large black standard poodle, and 8359 is a woman made of wool.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

At the Poll Workers' Training Session

Poll workers' training was held at one of the Democratic headquarters.  The first thing I noticed was this fake-fur life-sized donkey on a cart in the back of the auditorium.  It made me think of a medieval palmesel , a beautiful one of which I've seen at The Cloisters and which you can read about here.(  This one had a Jimmy Carter campaign button on its front leg.
J played with his phone while I went back and drew the donkey.  Then we settled in with our fellow poll workers to learn the ropes.

We're going to work two or more days when early voting starts.  Be sure to vote!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Chunky Shoe Day and a Snakey

First of all the car, which was all I drew yesterday, and it was in the car line at Maya's school.  Then this morning in a meeting I was greatly distracted by the chunky shoes that many of have switched to on this drizzling cool  day.  The snake is sadly dead.  M and I were walking and saw it by the parking area at Owen Pond.  It was squashed flat, possibly a baby rattle snake.  We wrapped it in sycamore leaves and I brought it home to draw.  P got all parental and made me take it outside and wash my hands.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016


All of these heads live on shelves in my house.  Two are Charlottes but I made the rest.  I dreamed of heads like these, only they could move around using their necks.

Monday, October 3, 2016


Tiny rootlets are starting to emerge from hickory nuts and acorns.  I found a half of a buckeye hull that was lined with filiments.  I would like to watch the whole process of an acorn rootlet corkscrewing itself out of its cracked shell and into the earth.  (My friend A brought me this corkscrewing hot pepper from her garden.)