May 2007 Archives

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A vase of leaves, now dry, in the kitchen. I should probably take them out to the compost, but have not gotten to that yet.

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Papers begin to stack up on the corner of the coffee table. One of them ought to be signed before school tomorrow, but of course it isn't in that pile...

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We got to the auditorium early for the middle school band concert, and found front row seats. I drew the microphone and a bit of the proscenium arch while listening to the musicians warming up next door in the cafeteria. Parents spoke of summer plans; younger brothers and sisters squirmed. Yellow programs were folded and refolded. The music was worth the wait - exuberant.

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Drew one last water view before it was time to get in the car to head home again.

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Watching small children splash each other, reading a mystery novel, sketching a bit.

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Visiting family for the holiday. The flapping sound overhead was flags and not sails luffing. Hadn't realized until that moment how similar the sounds are.

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Preparing for the holiday weekend and hotter weather. Sandals call for painted toes.

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Slightly askew on the table tonight - a lightweight coiled bamboo bowl from Ikea.

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An unexpected package came in today's mail. Like the child who plays with the carton instead of the toy inside, I painted the box.

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In one of my favorite cafes, Kiva Han, just across the street from the museums.

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Fading chrysanthemums from across the room.

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More fun with china marker resist... I like the freedom of not knowing how the lines will look until the moment when I wash over them with color, and at that point it is too late to change them. The white waxy marks are nearly invisible on the white paper, so all I have to go on is a memory of where my hand has been.

With other kinds of drawing or painting I have more sense of how the piece is evolving while I work on it, and I can make changes and corrections as I go along. In contrast, this process is mysterious and awkward and sudden.

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A clear morning after staying up all night with the woodfiring club.

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A studio annex at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts.

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My daughter walked through the heels of her shoes, and while we were out buying new sneakers we got four pairs of white socks as well. So clean, so new. (For now.)

I drew this pair with a white china marker on the white page, a tactic which forces me not to be fussy, as the line is nearly invisible. Then I add washes of color to find the shape on the page where the marked line resists the paint.

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I have a weakness for blue glass and I don't like to put these bottles into the recycling box, because they are so beautiful. But windowsill space runs out, and at this time of year I want fewer obstacles between me and an open window, not more of them.

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Primary election day in my county. I worked at the polls from seven in the morning until eight at night. My voting place is in a school - so this was my view: an institutional hallway with glimpses through the fire door of sunshine, trees, and blue sky. I saw and spoke with many of my neighbors over the course of the day, though, and now as I watch the late returns on TV and online, I see that a number of progressive candidates either won or made a surprisingly good showing. A good day.

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My daughter picked one of the first of the Rosa rugosa blossoms for me - so fragrant - and then said she could hold her hand still for me to draw it. So I did. Later my son played scales on the French horn, while we sat on the porch. Late spring afternoon, after school.

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Bought another bag of these at the market - the weather has been warm, and I can use them in drinks, salad dressings, salsas...

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The texture of the paper comes though the wash and provides texture for the skin.

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Working with the brush pen, exploring shadows on a sleeping child.

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This is my green bag - my brand new green bag. Still smells of leather.

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Was reading, lost track of time. What shall I paint? Oh, there's my foot.

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The trees have begun to leaf out, changing the shadows on the ground. This light pole bears the remnants of many past announcements: concerts? rallies? sofas for sale? All this and permission for crossing the street as well.

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I grew up calling these "rubber bands," or sometimes, "elastic bands" - "elastics" for short. In Pittsburgh, where I live now, they are called "gum bands." Small regional variations in our language persist, and this makes me happy.

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Flight delayed. Gate changed. Good to be home again.

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Drawn and painted in the dark - a view from the passenger seat.

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In Rye Beach, New Hampshire. So clear today that you could see Cape Ann as well as the Isles of Shoals. I waved in the direction of my parents' house.

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A water bottle, painted without any pencil first. I was looking hard to notice the placement of light and dark.

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A warm afternoon, and all the tables outside the cafe were taken. This younger woman was reading when I began to draw, but then her phone rang and she began a long conversation. She was on the other side of the glass, so I have no idea what she was saying, but she seemed happy.

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My husband had this stuffed tiger as a child. It watches over us from the top of a bookcase.

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