Thursday, July 12, 2018

Not So Lush, the Difficult Part

The swelling ovaries of the amarylis, each lush in its own way.  I pollinated several of the blooms to see what would happen—

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Downtown Asheville, Early Sunday

My friend K and I are sitting on a bench on Eagle Street.  It is cool, slightly breezy, quiet.  The sun shines lightly on us as we draw a church down the block.
After an hour or so we amble around and find ourselves at the end of Chicken Alley.  Tucked into a tiny collection of potted plants against an old wall, these astonishing pitcher plant blooms stir gently in the breeze.  The air is quietly seething.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Bloom to Seeds, Step 1

The final bloom with the swelling ovary/fruit of one of the spent blooms. 

I hand-pollinated the blooms, and this one is swelling. Stay tuned for seeds!

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Late Bloomer

A week after four blooms had opened on the giant amaryllis, this small tubular bud-like thing appeared.  Two days later it had grown taller and fatter.
Yesterday in the sunrise rays its petals began to loosen;

and this morning petals relaxed to form a cup.
After today’s heat and humidity a fifth flower is in full bloom, almost as fully open as the older blooms.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Amaryllis Redux

This 27” tall amaryllis sprung from a pot of old bulbs that we had put out on the back porch last March after they had bloomed.  Nature does not need humans.  It only needs humans to stay out of its way.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Sunflower Profiles

These are starting to gear up for seed production, withdrawing water from the no-longer needed petals.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018


Rhododendron bloom babies.  And a baby bear halfway up a  tree on the trail near my house, its mother nearby,  naturally.  (How can we live in a country that is standing by watching while the would-be dictator and his sycophants and stooges rip babies away from their parents?)

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Back at It

Michelle gave us a few daylily corms last fall,  and this is today’s bloom.  I’ve been not drawing much the past few weeks.  That felt freeing for a while.  But when I don’t draw something I more or less just glide over the surface:  “nice daylily, that one too, ✅✅”  , checking it off mentally, not spending time with it.  I really miss seeing slowly for a few minutes a day.

It was fascinating to follow the intricacies of each petal, knowing that the form is so ephemeral and that even as I was drawing it, it was withdrawing water from the petal and gearing up for seed making.

So I numbered it, but I don’t have a goal beyond drawing something every day.  At least for now.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Geese Grow Up

Feet seem to grow first, like slick black oversized swim fins.
The adolescent brood of 11 can now fly and have started chasing each other and attacking.  The four parents seem to be booting them out.
Meanwhile the babies are staying in tight clutches (of five and of six) on the periphery.  The parents are doing a lot of hissing at threats such as alien geese, ducks, people, dogs.  Possibly the floods of the past week have them as tense as all the rest of us are.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Diving Lesson

It’s bottoms up for the adolescent geese today as their parents take them out on the pond and one big goose demos a legs-in-the-air-waving style!

Sunday, May 13, 2018


This is a postcard-size section of a study for a piece about the pre-history of one of my favorite places.  Small rubber cuts and Caran d’Ache.
And another
And another
And here are some very new goslings and the now adolescents

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Putty Root Blooms! Growing Goslings!

Yesterday the putty root orchids were putting up bloom stems.
Today some of the racemes are branching out!  Last year at this point shiny black miniature beetles moved in and sucked the life out of the blossoms before they could open.  Maybe tomorrow the bloom on the far left will open.  These are such rare flowerings.  This year the adjacent floribunda roses are protecting them from trail walkers and dogs somewhat.
Meanwhile yellow water irises are opening in the pond

and the goslings are turning rapidly into geese.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Goose Movement; Turtle Stillness

Goslings squishing around in wet grass during a shower.  
On the next day under a warm sunny sky turtles bask on a log, a parental goose stands watch.
Yesterday I watched all four parents grooming at one time.  I drew so fast I couldn’t see what the drawings looked like until afterwards.  Zoning.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

A Gaggle of Goslings

Eleven baby Canada geese pecking bugs from the grass on the shore of Owen Pond as the rain starts to drizzle down;  turkey buzzards circle overhead, but four very stern looking adult geese patrol the area.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Tulip Finale, One-Legged Hen and Others

The tulips have healed themselves.

Along the trail on windy yesterday:  new blooms, wind-blown hen, one-legged hen holding her own in the blustery chicken yard, a solitary Canada goose sitting quietly on a bluff above the river deep in the woods.

Sunday, April 15, 2018


A pot of tulip and hyacinth bulbs was delivered to us by UPS while we were out of town, and somehow it ended up in the post office where our mail was being held.  When we picked up the mail, there it was, having sat unwatered and in the dark of its box for a week.  I unpacked it as soon as I got it home, expecting the bulbs to still be dormant and under the soil.  

Instead, everything has sprouted;  but all the sprouts were waxy and white as well as contorted and bent under the constraints of the box.  The sketch above shows the plants looking like Belgium endive or overly blanched celery.

I unpacked the moss from around the sprouts as well as the rubber bands that held the moss down.  I watered it thoroughly, and put it outside in the sunshine.  After a few hours the plants began to fill with purplish color which then turned green in most places.  Stems and leaves plumped out.

A few more hours and the hyacinth flowers that were peeking out turned blue.  By the next morning the plants looked almost normal.  The purple areas had turned mostly green.  The magic of sunlight and water!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Catch -Up

Abby and I made a bird nest sculpture out of paper mache birds from the new art supply store in Maplewood.  We had painted the birds to look like a robin and a bluebird.
Here’s my sketch of Abby drawing the ramp shown below.  We were sitting on the ground in the park.

A plane flew over as she was drawing, so she added it at the top.

I love the desiccated look of post-Easter Easter lilies, crepey.

Drawings from the park and the shop window.  Spring is just barely beginning this far north.

P and I went sketching with our friend S at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens.

Then yesterday we took Nate to the Met.  On the left is a ten-second action sketch of a burdened NJTransit passenger, and on the right are my sketches of Nate drawing in the Egyptian section, his favorite place at the Met.

More of Nate drawing, this time in the African galleries, another favorite place.

Some unfinished sketches of power figures from West Africa.

Our friend A’s Velveteen Rabbit-esque childhood horse
Next to unopened daffofils on the morning sun-lit table in her lovely Vermont apartment.