Friday, March 31, 2017

Midday Farmyard

It's bright noon and a banty hen is visiting the sheep. One of the triplets has climbed on top of her mama.
Everybody else is settling down in the shade of the little lean-tos for a siesta.
The banty looks dead but is actually lying on the ground with her legs stretched out behind her.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Farm and Woods

For some reason this post doesn't seem to have posted.  This evening there was a bored mother pig surrounded by a dozen or so madly running-jumping-squealing piglets who went racing in a pack from one end of the pasture to the other.  
The lambs have increased to six from last evening's three, with the same three mamas.  A farmworker said one mama had triplets.  Maybe three were inside the barn last evening.
On the way home through the woods my friend and I saw the following medicinal plants:

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Evening in the Sheep Pen

Three giant wooly mamas and their three tiny lambs are settling down as the sun sets and the air cools.
Actually the babies are still bouncing around.
Two of the mamas settle down to chewing their cuds --
 Finally a couple of the babies settle, each near its own mother.
One mother flops like a sack of meal on an old chicken ladder while her baby dozes underneath.
All babies are now down but this mom stares at me and chews until I finish drawing.  As I walk away she turns her head to look at me.  The sheep make lots of little burping sounds.  I hadn't known that sheep chew cuds.

Monday, March 27, 2017

The Definitive Jesse Cozy Pose

I wanted to convey the velvety softness of this pose 9435.
And the peacefulness of his looong nap after spending all night outside with the spring peepers. (9432)
Can't wait to go see this new black wooly lamb!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Difficulty of Ears and Noses

After all those Jesse drawings, I still have trouble drawing his ears and nose and mouth.  It's especially tricky when I drop out the context and foreground those features.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Fields and Clouds

The above are three very small (1.5x2.5" approximately) rubber block carvings to use in conjunction with the three wind-in-wheat-field carvings that come next.
These prints are very roughly printed proofs.  And  yes,  I counted each carving as a drawing!
So these are numbers 9419- 9424 and they close out this sketchbook.

Friday, March 24, 2017

The Effect of PR's Whining and Floundering Speech on Jesse

Jesse is , of course, a proponent of single-payer, and PR did not impress him.
Jesse was happy nevertheless to learn that the so-called healthcare vote has been pulled.
Or at least that's how I interpreted his sleeping all afternoon and ignoring my whoops of joy and laughter!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Epicia and Other Things

We carried this epicia (chocolate soldier) plant home on the train from New Orleans to Mishawaka in the early eighties.  It was a daughter of my aunt Margie's epicia.  Aunt Margie will turn 100 this September, and both she and this epicia (one of several offsprings of the original that we have) are flourishing.
Also today:  Mexican restaurant diners including look-alike father and son,
and a field of wheat waving in the wind. (Carved from a drawing in my Italian journal from summer 2006)

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Mamas and Lambies Up Close

Maya and I went to watch the lambies and their mamas this afternoon.  We saw thirteen babies running in a pack round and round the pasture, leaping like circus dogs.
Meanwhile some of the moms were close enough and still enough for me to draw in relative detail.  The lambies have big strong looking legs and skinny bodies.  The ewes have recently been shorn.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Getting to Know the New Bonzai

My son M and his family sent me a beautiful little eight year old schefflera bonzai tree that arrived today. The tree is actually a miniature grove of trees, with intricately articulated trunks and the history of careful pruning in evidence.
After removing it from its elaborate packaging and setting it up in a sunny window, I grabbed a pen and sat down to get to know it.  The best way for me to explore something is to draw it, so as I looked and looked I dragged my pen along the page.  The drawings are really just a record, like the furrow in the field behind a plow pulled by draft horses, a furrow on the page made by my drafting hand, marking where my eyes have been.
I realize drawing means different things to different people.  To me the process is more important than the tracing left behind, the drawing. The ten thousand drawings project is about ten thousand explorations of the visual world.  That's why carving (or printing a carved block) and pen drawing are both forms of drawing -- to me.

Monday, March 20, 2017

More In-Progress

Today I worked on the other two trees and also
a couple of cicadas.
I need to make a tiny olive stamp.
Below are a cicada sketch and block.

Prints in Progress

I'm working on a book about translation.  This is a proof of a little block of an olive tree.      9370
Here are the blocks.       9371 and 9372
And here are the graphite tracings of the drawings, which I will transfer to the rubber by flipping them over and rubbing the backs with my fingernail.  9373, 9374, and 9375.
I recarved the tiny olive block and here's a better proof.  The color isn't right-- need to get a brown stamp pad.

Saturday, March 18, 2017


Drawn after cleaning out the vegetable bin and while listening to the news.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Lambies and Relaxing Bulls

I drove past the white barn pasture and there were 13 lambs!  I pulled in to draw them but all I had were some receipts;  so these sketches are on the backs of my A C Moore receipts.
Across from the lambs two large bulls dozed.
The babies played like long-legged puppies.
The mamas grazed and rested.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Needle Ice

M and I came upon needle ice this afternoon in the woods above the west River Trail, and nearby a few spring beauties closed up and possibly surviving the hard freeze we've been having.  Needle ice is water that is extruded up from a freezing front through  porous soil from the water table below.  It glistens like crystal.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Ice Droop

The sadly drooping early spring daffodils and hyacinths that I snapped off their frozen plants this morning-- after a day in a vase of water they are not reviving.