Sunday, October 22, 2017


These jewel-like seeds cluster in their pods.  The seeds are edible as long as the water they’re growing in isn’t polluted.  They can be roasted or eaten raw for a snack, and they can also be ground to make a nutritious flour and added to your bread flour.  You can find pickeralweed in wetland areas.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Monday, October 16, 2017

This Year’s Disappointing Persimmon and the Hidden Life of a Peony

Every October persimmons appear at Whole Foods, and every October I imagine hopefully that this year they will be local persimmons and will have seeds in them,  and I’ll be able to forecast the winter weather according to the Old Farmers’ Almanac.  So even though there was no sign saying LOCAL— actually I’ve never seen a persimmon tree here— I carefully chose one and rushed home to cut it open.  Yet again it was a mass of bright orange quivering jelly-like pulp without a seed to be seen.  

On a happier note, M brought us a pink peony bulb/corm/root thing Saturday, and after I dug a proper hole for it I took a little break and drew it while it was still sitting on the grass watching me dig its new home.  It began to look like a Medieval hill town to me—

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Heron, Fields

Saw this young great blue heron walking on mudflats and wading at still-low Beaver Lake Tuesday.

The mountain we live on and the valley below with my favorite gynomorphic tree stump.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Last of Summer

Perfection— drawing this last fistfull of orange-pink-yellow zinnias and oregano blooms while soft rain falls outside and P plays something in a minor key on his guitar in the next room.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Sweet Time

Maya is doing wonderful oil pastel drawings this past few weeks.  Yesterday I picked her up from school and we went out behind my house and sat up on the high hilly pasture and drew in oil pastels together till the sun set. Here’s my first drawing in my very small sketchbook.

Here’s Maya’s drawing, her first time drawing thesemountains  from life.  The ever changing light was interesting. 

Here’s my second drawing, of a row of trees along the road below our mountain.  

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Really Trivial But At Least Not Political

M and I wanted to canoe yesterday but no luck.  The lake has been lowered so much ( in preparation for Hurricane Irma, which was more or less a shoo-shoo here) that the water is too shallow.  The dock goes from grass to mud!  Turtles were hanging out on an old tire that had surfaced.

And this morning these dignified,  at-leisure bulls lolling in the sun in the White Barn pasture, not giving a rat’s about anything past or future.  Had to draw them on the back of an old parking pass.  Single line ten second ink sketches.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Field Notes and Interventions

Thursday night my friend L and I went downtown to the top of a parking deck to watch, we hoped, swifts descend like a little tornado into an old chimney at dusk.  We did see lots of swifts swifting around but not going into the chimney on the right, which was just below our perch.  They were going into a chimney across downtown, barely visible to us.  But it was exciting to watch, and we will maybe try again soon as they will be migrating through here for a few weeks more.

And yesterday some interventions along the river-
And some more-
And today field notes about the location of some oche in a cliff halfway up Jones Mountain.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017


Maya and I experimented with oil pastels and some gouache tonight.  I did this passionately desirable plum for a collaboration titled Passion/ Desire.  Maya did a scene of northern lights for a science class assignment.  I haven't used pastels since I was around 8 years old and took Saturday morning art classes at the old New Orleans Museum of Art in City Park.  Fun!

Monday, September 25, 2017

White Road/Strada Bianca/White Road

Our dear friend in Italia asked P if he would write a poem for her to use on her agriturismo web page.  So P reworked a poem he had written one summer in Italy about a place that was very near our rented house and that evoked the feeling of a very particular late summer afternoon there.

Be sure to enlarge these white lines in order to read the poem, which appears in the top line in English as P wrote it-

then in our friend's translation into lovely Italian in the middle line.

In the third line you'll find my literal translation of the Italisn version back into English.

I am fascinated by the slight shifts that inevitably creep into translation.

I decided to make a large accordion folded book with relief prints stamped over monotype backgrounds.

The white road itself is a strip of absorbent ground into which I incised the three poems using a mechanical pencil when the ground was still soft.

The cover is an encrustation of local clay and acrylic medium with a piece of mica covering a print,

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Jesse Finds His Perfect Bed

A friend gave me some old burlap bags from coffee beans.  I draped some of them over Jesse's latest chair. Within minutes he had made a nest and was sleeping happily.  (The man with the waxed and polished head was from the CLT airport last Tuesday)
And here's a little print of some indigenous housing and the blow up paper box, carved from a rubber block, touched with white gouache.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Catch-Up from NOLA Celebration Trip

P and I and two of my bros and their wives from Colorado and Mississippi converged in New Orleans with cousins this weekend-plus-Monday to help celebrate our beloved aunt's 100th birthday with her.  Above and below are my usual airport sketches.

We had the great fun of staying in an airbnb two houses away from the house we lived in the year P and I and M and D moved to NO for P to finish his engineering degree.  This wonderful old neighborhood was the one I grew up in, near City Park and the bayou.  E was born there.

We made a beeline for our favorite coffee shop, the Fair Grinds.  The colors in this tiny place are almost the best thing about it!

On Sunday after the Fair Grinds we strolled around our old haunts, the exotic tropical plants everywhere, horsetails blooming merrily around a garbage can.  After Sunday afternoon's party we went out to the lake front for a little party before dinner and after the big party.  Since my bros and their families and my cousin  live far away from us we used every minute to hang out-  dinners every night, river front walking Monday night, etc.

Not a sketch, but my favorite picture of my aunt and her friend at the party.  

Monday morning P and I walked around the old neighborhood some more, this time to the NOMA sculpture garden and the old Casino, which is now a Morning Call in City Park.

Around 10:00, when the heat and humidity drove us inside, we went to the French Quarter with my cousin D and went to the voudou museum, where I overheard two guys making a prayer following the directions on the right in front of a prayer stump.  One asked the other:  What did you wish for?  The other said : Impeachment!

More at the voudou museum.

Sadly , we had to come home yesterday morning.  I loved looking down at barges and ships on the Mississippi.  

Friday, September 15, 2017

Sheep Like White Rocks, Bulls Chewing Mildly

The sheep, unattended by the bulls, are piled up like stones in a New England field.

Then they seem to sense me, and one by one they lumber to their feet and face northeast.

Meanwhile the three erstwhile guard bulls are lounging and chewing their cuds under a tree across the road.  No conclusions to be drawn.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Post -Hurricane Steers and One More Inflatable House

So the hurricane has passed through us and left in its wake a sulphurous yellowy light and some playful steers.

These guys were joyfully licking each others' heads and backs,

playfully mounting each other,

and generally playing in the still- puddly field after Monday night's fierce wind and slanting rain.

And here's a reminder that in watery places boats belong close to houses.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Plow Day and a Few Numinous Objects

Plow Day happens in September on the college farm when area farmers who use teams of animals to plow gather at a field on the farm and plow the field.

This year there were a couple of teams of mules along with percherons and other draft horses.

I asked my friend K to point out those of her many collected objects that seem especially numinous.  This rusty metal mantis and small carved wood woman--

this odd metal hedgehog's head on a marble slab, a totem rock that I found and gave to her--  and then I saw this fascinating little etching labeled Birdie by an artist named A. Fedar,

and a flying pig made out of raku-fired clay.