January 2008 Archives

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Drawing with a brush pen, thinking about putting the January sketchbook upstairs on the shelf and bringing down the one for the month of February.

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Stopped at the market on the way home from school and found pomegranates and a dozen mini-cupcakes for treats. We've been in the midst of a sudden-science-project-end-of-term homework crunch, and everyone's been working hard. Thought that fruit and chocolate would cheer us along. It did.

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Each one seems to have its own expression, its own green smile.

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A Rome apple. This is the one we didn't bake tonight, since after we'd sliced three of them, we had no room in the pan for a fourth.

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I've had this bag less than a month and have discovered that it is the perfect size for me. Big enough to hold: camera, sketchbook, notebook, phone, wallet, pencil case, keys, small digital gear, and lunch or knitting. Enough so that I can leave for the day and feel as if I'll probably have what I need. So the new plan seems to be to carry my laptop in a sleeve case and then take this bag. I'm sure there will be days when my backpack or a big messenger bag will make sense again, just as there will be moments when I go out with nothing but what's in my pockets - but for now, this is working.

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In through the window, out around the back, back through the window, and off jumps Jack!*

My daughter learned to knit today - she's been asking for months, and today we went to the yarn store in our neighborhood, bought her some kid-sized needles and bulky yarn. She picked a variegated ball of magenta, turquoise, and green, and is already going strong - wanted to stay up late tonight in order to knit more. (Hmm... wonder where she gets that from?) I got myself some beautiful Regia washable wool sock yarn, which knits up in stripes. Lots of fun on a gray and chilly Saturday afternoon.

*That's how I remembered the rhyme when I was teaching her - I've since found other versions online.

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Trying to get a sense of the reflections and the glassiness of an empty bottle with a few lines and a minimum of fuss.

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My right thumb and finger can be drawn from themselves, but I draw my left thumb by looking at my right thumb and drawing as if I'm looking in the mirror. Once I start, it's not difficult to see that way - perhaps that's part of being left-handed. (I find these empty sketchbook pages so inviting - no program, no expectation, just open space for exploration and experiment.)

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day1121.jpg

I love the way tulips get more dramatic as they age.

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day1120.jpg

Midway through a week of snow flurries and I'm craving yellow. The tulips from the grocery store help, as do these bananas. I remind myself that the hours of daylight lengthen, and soon we will be out of the darkest quarter of the year.

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Single chair outside the cafe on a cold afternoon - no table - dreaming of spring?

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Another view. Still cold and gray out, and I want to dive into this color.

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As the temperature drops into the single digits I look towards spring. Yellow tulips at the market today. Now they are on the dining room table.

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day1116.jpg

Hmm. Yesterday's work started with drawing and then found me adding paint, and today I began by painting and afterwards added line segments, drawn in ink.

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day1115.jpg

I was given this travel mug for Christmas. Tonight, after drawing it, I got out a brush and let myself paint stylized flames and color around it. I'm not sure why, but it felt like the right thing to do as I went along. One color led to another, and then, just as suddenly as I'd started, I was ready to stop. So I did.

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Dropped on the floor, it looks like the ghost of some mythical beast - crumpled kleenex left by a child. I paint it instead of picking it up.

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Five, and not six, because they arranged themselves better on the page. I don't know how Persephone was able to resist eating more of them - I have trouble stopping.

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I don't hold a pen or pencil correctly, but its fun to try to draw the hand holding on and drawing itself with the new pen.

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day1111.jpg

Cut into it tonight. Thought about trying to paint with the juice - but wanted to eat every bit. Another time.

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Meant to eat this after dinner tonight, but had another glass of wine and continued the conversation with a friend instead.

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day1109.jpg

The end of the week, or the beginning of the weekend. I'm looking forward to tomorrow, when I have no particular plans beyond play.

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Two kernels of popcorn. Like snowflakes, each one seems different.

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A view of the Oakland neighborhood in Pittsburgh, as seen from a rooftop parking lot in the East Liberty area, near sunset.

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Yellow sticky notes. For phone numbers written down without names, and names written down without phone numbers, dates without context, and marketing lists left at home.

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day1105.jpg

Almost past their season - but what a delight to have plenty of them available at an all-day meeting today.

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day1104.jpg

I'm left-handed, so this was drawn with my right hand. I have more control over that hand than I used to, I think - and perhaps it helped that I was steadying my hand on the page as I drew.

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day1103.jpg

Blind contour drawing of dish and spoon when I'd finished eating my yoghurt. Then added color where it felt right.

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Someone else looks for any excuse to stay up past bedtime. It's the weekend. It's vacation. She has jet lag. She misses her cousins. I let her stay up while I draw... for all of those reasons.

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day1101.jpg

And not such a good idea, especially with west-to-east jet lag. My dear husband is not saying, "I told you so," but perhaps that's because he's asleep. This mug full of coffee means home to me, and I couldn't resist.

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day1100.jpg

Return home, late morning local time... no idea what time zone my body has in mind, as we've been in transit for more than 24 hours. Dozed on the sofa and then drew some bubble wrap. Then went to bed.

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day1099.jpg

Happy New Year to one and all. Our day was spent in transit, with a pause in the Honolulu airport. I painted these leis at a flower stall there, while the rest of my family was eating an early supper or tending to the luggage at the gate.

Today was also a chance to reflect. For me, this small daily habit of drawing and posting to this blog has brought with it such richness of experience and community - for which I am so grateful. Thank you for your thoughts and wishes, for your visits and comments. I wish you a year full of peace and joy and love and creation.

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One last beach trip on New Year's Eve. I've loved watching the sky here, the towering clouds tumbling along over the ocean, as the sun warms us and trade winds blow.

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