May 2005 Archives


Drawing the view of trees and fields across the inlet on the last morning of our weekend away. Enjoying the feel of the sun on my back and the jittery motion of brown pen trying to catch the shapes of the trees and their reflections.



I don't think you can have too much sky here. Imagine a breeze. Sun. Voices in the distance...


My foot, the dock, and a tangle of old rope. Basking in some sun, late afternoon on the first full day of a long weekend with family on Maryland's Eastern Shore.


Even though it was close to midnight when we arrived, I could see enough of the water to want to draw it.



Mmmm. A favorite snack. The challenge was not to eat them until I'd drawn them all. "Do I really need that one for the composition? Won't it look better if I take it away?" But I was resolute. I started with ten. I drew ten. And then afterwards...

Note to my regular visitors: I may not be able to post for a couple of days during the US holiday weekend. I will keep drawing, and will post everything when life gets back to normal, early next week. Thanks for all your encouragement!



Two button mushrooms on a Japanese plate. Watercolor crayon only - no pen and ink this time. I was trying to concentrate on the shapes and values - hard to do after working so much with line in recent weeks.



The Rosa rugosa is in bloom in front of our house. The blossoms don't last long when picked - but, ah the smell. Ours is a double white variety, can't remember the name, though of course it is written down in a notebook somewhere. The stems are so wild and prickly that few people try to pick off the blossoms, and because it is such a tough customer, it survives well in the poor soil of a city front yard.



Adding color on top of a couple of late-night contour drawings of my right hand.


This plant is fabulously contorted and balding through neglect. Headed outside for a summer vacation, it will most likely revive enough to survive another winter of neglect. I love our houseplants. This one has leaves which smell of nutmeg.


Visiting dog at rest. He obligingly stayed still on the front hall rug, watching dinner being cooked, while I made this sketch and added color with watercolor crayons.



The minutes are all marked on this small plastic compass, even though the cardboard is askew and the needle points anywhich way. You can be very very precise in uncertainty with this instrument. Choose your own direction today, it suggests.


Part of a door knocker, I think - found in an antique/junk store in rural Turkey. I do like hands. Realized after drawing and painting this, that I don't often get to draw a left hand.

On the facing page, the veins of yesterday's leaf show as ghostlike traces from the day before.



From the woodfiring. This bowl was made by rolling a leaf onto a slab of clay with a rolling pin, and then gently pressing the slab and leaf into an empty cereal bowl as a mold. My daughter did most of the making, and was proud and excited to see the result.



Primary day in Pittsburgh. I always save my polling place receipt, and then am not sure what to do with it - it is not as if I need to prove to anyone that I voted, and I can't return or exchange the election if I am not perfectly happy with the results.

This time, when I was wondering what to draw at night... there it was.


I'm not sure why the front part of a nail clipper makes me think of a Chinese lion statue. Similar shaped jaws, perhaps?


This tiny wooden bowl sits on my bureau. It usually holds a few coins and maybe a stray earring back. Drawn with a continuous line...


I've filled this little tin with an assortment of dice found around the house. Different sizes, colors, and vintages. Also, because they fit and were found around the same time, two glass marbles and a lego-scale soccer ball. Now that the box is full, I'm not sure what to do with the collection, so it lives in the back of my bedside table drawer.

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This is a view of the hearth of a woodfiring kiln after dark. The kiln will get close to 2400 degrees F, as it is stoked with fuel all night. I was just along as a chaperone, but I look forward to Wednesday afternoon, when I'll get to see the experimental pieces I made. Everything about me smells of wood smoke right now, and I'm sleepy.



Sitting on the sofa after dinner, listening to local radio and drawing.


Contour drawing, with background ink added using a Pigma Brush pen. Trying to break out of habits before they form...



My daughter painted a flowerpot at a May fair last Saturday, and until she plants some flowers in it this weekend, it is on the sideboard in the dining room. I couldn't resist adding extra color to the scene by using it to hold some limes from the store.



I like the way real cut raw carrots taste - something about the crispness of the angles is more refreshing than the manufactured roundness of the baby carrots sold as ready-to-eat. Best cut as thin as you can make them and then put into ice water to curl, but even when you are in a hurry to get them done and too impatient for perfection, they are still good. And then there is the secret pleasure discovered in childhood: carrot water - so sweet and carroty and cool.



A mother's day present: a small pot of globe basil for the garden. (I was also given more plants, cards, and generally had wonderful care taken of me!)



Out late tonight listening to local songwriters perform.


Decided to forgo color tonight in favor of cross-hatching. The handles of this pair of scissors are matte black plastic, and the lamp light was not doing anything unusual to them, so I just tried to capture shape and value.


For 05.05.05, five apples.


Trying something between realistic color and wildness. I was thinking about greens, so I decided to try using olive and ochre shades to wash over a contour drawing. Very little light at this end of the sofa tonight, so it will be interesting to look at the color blends in daylight tomorrow.


This does have just the slightest scent as it sits on the dining room table. I think it could be riper, but it is getting hard to resist. A tiny bit of the tropics in early May.

I planned to do the drawing in pen and ink - very restrained - but in the end, I just couldn't resist adding color, so there it is.


I wanted to keep drawing these flowers, because the more I look, the more I find to see.

(Last night I couldn't post this because my computer was busy - I was running utility programs to get ready to install OS 10.4 - Tiger. Grrr. Fun stuff. )



Here are some of the flowers I sketched yesterday, only now up close, from a different angle, and with color.




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