November 2007 Archives

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Meant to be a plant mister, but filled with a mixture of vinegar and water it will keep a young person happily occupied washing (part of) a window.

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Came home after a good-but-busy day at work to find that an utterly unexpected present had arrived in the mail. Just as the scent of an orange lingers in a room long after it has been peeled and eaten, a feeling of thankfulness will stay with me for days, I know.

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I get so used to impersonal and official language that any hint of a real person with an individual voice is a treat - especially in the places where I don't expect to find it.

REGION: Today will probably go down in the record books as the nicest day this week. High pressure moving across the region will bring dry weather with several hours of sunshine and generally light breezes.

My husband read that forecast aloud to me this morning and at the end of the day I just had to read it again for myself.

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As the daylight hours grow shorter, I think about light, noticing the shadow cast by a lampshade on the wall, or the way the lower sun comes through bare branches differently.

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I have a new, very fine point fountain pen, and what fun it is to move it across the paper.

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When I was little I always called these "oranges cut the boat way." Whether I was remembering oranges eaten on a trip taken before I turned three, or whether I thought they looked like boats - or both, I am not sure.

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Stereo headphone mini-plug. Continuing with the theme of connection from a couple of days ago - though it might also represent separation, since the headphones aren't plugged in, and when they are, they tend to isolate rather than connect me to others.

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Cooling on the table while I painted, but still very good afterwards. Today was a quiet day at home. Still full from yesterday's feasting, we observed "buy nothing day" and relaxed - telling bad jokes, playing games on and off line, watching part of a movie, reading the paper, moving slowly around the house.

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Someday I expect I'll be sentimental about small stray socks - these days, they are just part of the household landscape.

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A lyrical tangle of power cords at the other end of the room. An occasion to think about connections and gratitude. Phone and power lines connect me to a community of friends and and family at a distance - I am able to be right here right now at home with my pen and a sketchbook and then put work on my laptop, and be on your computer screen in a different time and place. Put that way, it amazes me.

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Bought to go into a Thanksgiving bread pudding, but hard to resist on its own.

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A pink parasol leans against an empty cardboard box.

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On the floor.

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From the same vantage point as yesterday's painting, but the wind, sky, and water were different.

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Ipswich Bay, late afternoon.

I'm visiting the Boston area to see our son in his school play - a powerful experience. I'm always moved to see the transformations in character and relationships on stage and then to have one of the actors be someone I love and have known so long... scary and wonderful.

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The power seems to be off to my parents' router. Blogging by cell phone for the moment, and will get it all sorted out tomorrow.

[Postscript - seems there was a wall switch which had turned off that outlet - easily solved in the morning.]

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The furnace fan has a loud and steady rattle, and it accompanies Cole Porter on the stereo like an industrial percussion section, and then suddenly it's silent and the music sails forth alone.

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The nails in the mantel from Christmas stockings past serve other purposes at other times of year. A footstool, quilt, and parasol combine to make an inside tent for an evening's retreat.

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They proliferate. My children fill them with tap water, sometimes filtered, sometimes not, and leave them out for me to admire. Or so I imagine. Perhaps they are just forgotten, like odd socks. (I remember the canteens which tasted of aluminum.)

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Well-traveled, but still with us.

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Home again. Someone left this person-shaped plastic whistle on the coffee table, so I decide to draw it as it lies - feet toward me. (You blow into the top of the yellow hat for a cheerful squeak...)

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River and railroad bridge in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, where I am spending the weekend. I'm amazed at how many leaves are still on the trees in November.

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Corner of the New York Times on the table...

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If you hold a homemade cookie at eye level, it becomes a mysterious island.

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Listening to Christine Kane sing about someone drawing in "The Real World," I sat in the dining room and drew part of a 3/4-sized electric guitar. Our dining room is full of instruments: guitars, mandolins, keyboard, piano, zither, assorted rhythm pieces. A couple years ago the drum kit got moved to the basement, but there are still the two gongs... My husband and kids play, I mostly sing with friends, and we have fun. (Thanks to Chris Brogan for naming me a rockstar today - it gave me an excuse to think about the music in my life while I drew tonight.)

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Edge of the door leading into my polling place. I sat outside in the hallway for a few hours this evening, ostensibly to hand out party literature, but really just to be there and to greet friends and neighbors. (Painted in thin layers of gouache, with no preliminary pencil.)

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Caught up with a friend I hadn't seen in way too many years today. We were in graduate school together. This painted pencil is for her, as she's another writer who is drawing all the time now - and for November she's drawing a different writing implement each day, using whatever pen or pencil she drew the day before. She hasn't got a blog yet - but I'll link to it when she does - her sketchbooks were a treat to explore...

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Not sure where these sunglasses came from. A birthday party? An outing? But here they were, rose-colored reflections and all, when I was looking for something to draw this evening.

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Mm. A cool night, good for sleeping, and with the changeover from Daylight Saving time, we get an extra hour to rest.

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Tonight I wanted to draw without worrying about exactness, so I used a white China marker on the white page: the line invisible as I worked, and then appearing when I brushed on color.

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If you are in New York City in November, I have work in The Blogger Show at the Agni Gallery, and there is a public reception on Saturday, 6-9 p.m. Wish I could be there, so if you can go, please do, and let me know how it all looked. I will be at the December reception at Digging Pitt in Pittsburgh, and would be delighted to see you if you are in the neighborhood.

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What started as a cool, dark, rainy morning turned clear and colder by early afternoon, when I looked up from my work to see branches against the blue sky.

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