August 2008 Archives


A day suffused with late summer's light and activity and emotion. First thing in the morning we took our oldest to the airport, as he is headed back to school - we'll see him again at Thanksgiving, which seems an impossible distance in the future. Later in the day, to please our youngest geologist, we went for a walk in Frick Park, looking for outcroppings of shale and limestone, and maybe even fossils. Wandered around in a creek bed, turned small rocks over, climbed a tiny waterfall, scared a crayfish, walked on logs, and so on. A grand and slightly muddy time. No certain fossils, but broken ceramic culvert pieces were temporarily mysterious, and the kids saw a frog, too. Stopped for ice cream after. Then in the evening, we went to the last concert of jazz at the reservoir and shared a picnic with friends. Painted this while listening to the band play, "Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans?" which they offered as a prayer for the safety of those in the path of the coming storm. So much to worry about, so much to be grateful for, so much to be done tomorrow, when suddenly it will be September.

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Again, this time with a Sharpie marker.


An orange, brought home when I didn't have time to eat it at lunch.


From the dryer - was changing the wash and cleaned the lint filter. Put it on a piece of paper on the sofa so I could look at it for a while. It's a wonder we have any clothing left, we produce so much lint as a household.



Found a twin bed for our youngest child for sale in the neighborhood and got it bought and put together before she fell asleep tonight.

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Walking home along Friendship Avenue today, I watched the changing sky.



Pretzel nuggets - the whole wheat sesame kind.


This came from the house of my grandmother and great aunts. The upholstery is made from carpet scraps, now worn to a threadbare state.


China marker resist and washes of color to express the feeling of holding my sketchbook at the end of a long day.

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Ah, well. Nine of them aren't.



More play with the water-soluble graphite sticks. I really like the softness of them against the paper - I can push the marks into the surface or move lightly across the page, depending on how I feel at that moment.



These are very very local, picked by our daughter in the back yard.

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Back home again, but after taking the red eye, we had a day of many naps.


From the kitchen counter, just before we left for the airport.

raveling today. Will post drawings when I'm home.

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Painted at my sister's house tonight. I think she painted them too.



Because you really know you are on vacation when you can spend an hour at breakfast time drawing muntins and foliage... (We are staying at the Parker Guest House - a wonderful place.)



We had a picnic lunch on Muir Beach and looked at the Pacific Ocean. The fog came and went, the air was cool and the sand warm. Children dropped rocks on top of other rocks, made sand angels, and laughed.


Painted in our guest house room. I can hear a fountain and city traffic in the night outside. Am uncertain of my body's time zone, but happy to be here.


Traveling again... this has been a wonderful summer for short journeys.


He follows the Olympics' swimming competition closely.


Daydreaming about iced coffee after supper - I went back into the kitchen and made some.


Half-watching the Olympics tonight, letting the commentary murmur on in the background while I draw my right hand. (And the conclusion to the missing suitcase saga? 28 hours later, it arrived.)

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Clouds from I-don't-know-how-many thousand feet up, on a flight between Denver and Pittsburgh. One suitcase is apparently still in Denver, but I am home.

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Sunrise from my hotel room. (One of the advantages of traveling to to a time zone two hours west of home is that I can wake up early without much difficulty.)

Postscript: I'm traveling tomorrow, and at the same time my hosting service is changing servers. Hope to have all straightened out when I get home...

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I had a few minutes to myself after lunch. Sat on a small pile of rocks and looked across the bike path towards the mountains.

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I took a pear from the fruit bowl after breakfast, and then decided that I wanted some thinking time before today's workshop, so I found a step to sit on, painted it, ate it, drew it... Such a pleasure, such a necessary luxury: good food, quiet conversation, time for thought and making things.



This was the view after lunch today. Then, with the sky still blue, rain began falling, and the air started to smell of earth.



I'm beginning to adapt to the altitude - I'm less out of breath. Sat on a bench and listened to the wind rattle the leaves against each other for a while after dinner. Then back inside for more programming.


I had plenty of time to study this view... The accordion folds of the mouth of the jetway made me think of the bellows of a view camera. I wonder if you could use it for making giant pictures. (Of the plane that isn't there, perhaps.)


Whew! After flight delays and a very close connection, I'm now in Snowmass Village, Colorado, slightly out of breath with altitude, but happily in my hotel room. Unfortunately, the Internet access is offered at a piratical daily rate, so I'm posting from my phone.

(At this point, feel free to imagine a sketch of an airport runway... Hope to be able to post tomorrow.)

I am here for the week, taking an interactive digital media workshop in the computer language Processing at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center. I assume that I'll be able to get back online and post tomorrow, but if not, I'll do a catch-up post when I get home on Saturday.


We went to the museum today, where I gave a reading of my book (event was lots of fun and well-attended), and then we stuck around just to have some museum time. I drew the brown bear in the discovery room, concentrating on the fur around the face, and all the different directions it grows. A few minutes later, I was looking back at the bear from the other side of the room and noticed the mountainous shapes of the back, shoulder, and neck, so my patient daughter looked at a few more mineral specimens while I drew that angle as well.




Dead bug from the stairwell, brought down to the living room so that I could draw it. "You are drawing that bug? That's the one that's been there for a long time. A very long time," observes the youngest member of the household. (I think I will put it in the garden rather than putting it back again now that I'm done. There are limits even to my laissez-faire housekeeping.)




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