Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Searching for the Lion Pillow

Nate has lost his beloved lion pillow from babyhood.  He and his Dad are describing it and have sent a photo of it (partly obscured by Nate's head).  These are the drawings I am sending to them for feedback so I can make a replacement.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Rhododendron Sprites?

All of these twigs are on a very large dead rhododendron tree that was uprooted in the wake of an enormous tulip poplar that was uprooted and knocked over in our fierce tornado-watch winds last week.
The one non-rhododendron thing is 9898, which was lying under the tulip poplar and may be a part of a tulip poplar cone.

Monday, May 29, 2017

New Elephant Grass Hat

My friend K in her new elephant grass hat from Charlie's Quilts and Sew Much More in Little Switzerland

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Jesse on Silky Blue Coop Produce Bag

Jesse's current favorite bed is a small silky blue bulk produce bag that I brought home from New Hampshire  last winter.
You can just barely see it sticking out to the left.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Tree Maps, a Flock, and a Small Herd

I started out looking for holes in trees.
But then faces kept jumping out at me.
Love these little flocks and herds, up to their bellies in grass, moving like tides.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Stone Totems 2

These are careful drawings of interesting stones that I found on a rocky beach along the east river trail this morning.
Some were so obviously holding forms.  I carried them home in a little bag and felt their contours without looking at them.
See if you can match them up.  Interesting to me how many are humanoid.  That groundhog lives in our backyard.  Bunnies are all around as are river fish.  (These are 9871-9877)

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Finding Forms

Following in a way the oldest tradition that we know of in what has become known as art, today I followed the forms and shapes of seven river rocks that have always reminded me of animals.  I added watercolor to the stones, following the shapes and teasing out the animals that seem to live in them.
In the ancient cave paintings in France and other places, the abstract animal forms were conjured out of the surface undulations of the walls of the caves.  It is believed that Michelangelo, too, studied the pieces of Cararra marble that he used until he could discern the figure that was in the stone before he set to work freeing it.  Freeing the form within has also been the practice of many outsider as well as indigenous artists.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Opting for the Easy

You, too, would choose lounging on the bed sketching sleeping Jesse over stomping around in the chilly rain.
These are getting more and more abstract--

These are hardly recognizable as a cat.  More like cat-headscapes.

Monday, May 22, 2017

In the Native Plant Garden

The Native Plant Garden is back in the far fields near the archaeological site.  The beds are full after our warm, wet spring.  Today I saw indigo, a yucca plant ready to bloom ( although I don't think yucca is native to this valley), a yellow raceme that I didn't recognize, and a green blossom with little anther-bearing bbs.
Then came the butterfly plants-- milkweed and butterfly bush along with a low-growing foxglove-like plant just coming into bloom.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Jesse Rain Watcher

First he stretches his considerable length out along a windowsill that gives onto aromatic bushes.
He makes minor adjustments.  Draping himself over sharp window framing requires subtlety.
He establishes a breathing rhythm that complements the patter of the rain, sleeps all afternoon.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Woodland Trail Plants Update

All these are blooming and smelling lush!
One hundred sixty eight to go!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Luxe, Calme, et Volupté

Every afternoon along the river trail these days the scene reminds me of Matisse's painting Luxe, Calme, et Volupté. Today I was crouched down drawing the two bamboo shoots on the right when I heard laughing and splashing.  I glanced down the bank about 40 feet away and could not stop my hand from doing gesture drawings.  
The bamboo looks like teepees.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017


This first sketch is a rough plan drawing of the two best palettes in my fence stockpile.  I need to modify three others to approximate these using wood from a less-good one.
Jacob and I went geocaching on the west river trail this afternoon.  The caches were hidden in dense woods around 30-50 feet off the trail.  The woods were full of roses, poison ivy, mayapples and other things. It was arduous going.  
The hint given for this one was "under the lazy threesome," and we found it under three trees that were leaning on each other.
Here's Jacob after finding the third cache, and next to him is the second cache in its camo medicine bottle.  A fine adventure!  Now for a scrub with poison ivy wash!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Starting the Final 200

Hibiscus and blue-eyed grass drawn under the noonday sun.
And this mysterious old santo from Guatemala that I found Sunday at an antique store out in Swannanoa.  It came from an estate sale along with four others.  I particularly like the milagro that dangles from a nail that a recent owner must have attached to the finger tips.  It stands about 12" high, carved out of wood.

Monday, May 15, 2017

In the Bread Line

I would rather look at bread and smell it and buy it at the bakery and carry it home than actually eat it.  One summer I was in Italy with a group of students.  We were living in an old farmhouse outside of a small village.  Every day we would walk into the village and buy beautiful loaves of Tuscan bread from the sweet bread man.  One day I opened a cabinet door in the kitchen and about eight loaves tumbled out.  It turned out that the unsalted Tuscan bread was stale by the second day and no one was eating very much of it.  But we so loved to buy the bread that we kept buying it whether we needed it or not.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

At Maria's

In the car on the way to our friend Maria's house I drew two of the Siberian irises we brought.
In Maria's yard is this colossal chestnut tree.
Most wonderful are these small clay figures that she made.
All are around 3-4" tall but seem monumental.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Cats and Plans

First up- three views of Jesse in the shade garden this morning.
Next, my friend L's cat Newby in his role of therapy assistant.
Sketch of a garden fence planter made of wooden palettes at Filo Coffee Shop.  I am gathering palettes.
Side view and elevation
Details of planter boxes.