October 2008 Archives


Loot bag from our Halloween walk through the neighborhood. Nearly half full. (Einstein was well-received.)


Part of my daughter's Halloween costume.



In the park, just before sunset. Snow flurries in the air. I can look down the hill toward the horizon. Distant lights - some still, some moving.


An apple, painted slightly larger than life.

Today marks 1400 days of drawing or painting something and then posting it to this blog. I'll try to think of something special to do in 100 days: this particular mile-marker crept up on me without my really noticing it, which lets me know that my focus is on the day-to-day observation of the ordinary, on the point-to-point mapping of my everyday life, rather than on any grand goal... I guess the process IS the goal for me here. Thanks for keeping me company on the journey.



Crumbling at the edges, but still has that great pencil-box smell.


We walked to a coffeeshop this morning to buy the newspaper and stretch our legs. The kids sat at one table and my husband and I sat at another. They talked quietly, we wrote and drew. Then we all walked home through the autumn sunshine.



From a ginger candy - I get interested in the way the empty wrapper becomes such a complex semi-abstract shape. Absence can be more complicated than presence.



From memory, this is the sky from the upstairs hallway window at around 7:30 this morning. Remembering the old rhyme, I wondered about the weather as we headed to school. Chilly and beautiful - no rain.



No, these are pomegranate seeds.

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Late in the season, so this is one of the last of the local peppers, I expect.

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In which I keep pens, mostly. And brushes. My materials shift gradually over time, as I find myself using something new for a while. (I've posted about my materials here.)


Sweet. Crisp. Local.

Another concert drawing of mine just went up on the Pittsburgh Symphony's blog.


The little tiny binder clips are so appealing to me - I construct excuses to use them instead of staples or ordinary paper clips.



Pillows on the living room floor. (I just got a Sailor Profit brush pen with a converter, so I can use bottled ink in it instead of cartridges. The ink is permanent, which lets me add color right away without smudging...)



Today I got to help chaperone our school trip to this year's Carnegie International, "Life on Mars." (I know, nice work, eh?) Our charge was to think about questions of alienation and the rapidity of change. During our chance for independent exploration, I needed to keep track of time and meet my group again for our tour, so instead of trying to see as much as possible, I took a moment to sit, reflect, and then paint.

I found the word "eon" in the wall text of the show's title, and liked thinking about the compression of time and the cropped letters from the middle of the show's name. I knew I was going to see a fraction of the show, so it seemed an appropriate choice on that account as well.

Two years ago, I painted or drew every day in the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History for nine months. After that daily experience, each new visit to the museum is both familiar and disorienting. Kind of like "Life on Mars," I suppose.



Empty glass on the coffee table.


Today was vegetable delivery day, and we've begun to see the summer harvest shift to cooler weather crops. We still have a few tomatoes and peppers in the crate, but root crops, winter squashes, and baby lettuce are there in increasing quantities.



Ice packs and x-rays today, as our eighth-grader got his heel stuck under a gate at recess and then couldn't put weight on that foot. Pain but no fracture, the doctor told us. Follow up appointment still to be scheduled, and in the meantime, crutches.

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Experimenting with a brush pen. Not waterproof, which let me run color up to the edges and let the brush line melt into the background some.

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I went to the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra concert on Saturday night.  (They give me tickets; I post sketches to their audience blog.)

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"If I could go to a limestone cave for my birthday, it would be a dream come true."

- youngest child, late August 2008.

So of course we went. Laurel Caverns, Pennsylvania's largest cave, is about an hour-and-a-half drive southeast of us. On our underground walking tour we learned that silaceeous limestone caves like this one don't have stalactites and stalagmites (too sandy) but the sculptured walls and network of passageways were beautiful. And we did see two (sleeping) bats. This is the view from the deck of the visitor's center afterwards, looking out from Chestnut Ridge toward Uniontown.

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We were out and about in the neighborhood. Note the Steeler's-themed plastic cups stacked on the bar.

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Pizza, ice cream, and then movies. Eventually to bed and to sleep.


Blue sky. I picked up a leaf while walking through the neighborhood. She picked up a stone.


The taste makes me think of fall.

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Watched the candidates debating tonight on our 13" TV. Broadcast. Analog. Free. And now with YouTube, Hulu, Livestation, and all the other online sources, I don't see us replacing it any time soon. If we want a bigger screen, we watch something on my laptop.


Drawn with white china marker on white paper, then painted. (China marker resists water-based paints like gouache.)


In a tangle after an early birthday celebration - she'll be eight tomorrow.


And from the foot of the bed, all I can see is the book and her fingers.

Visiting family for the night - uncertain wifi - will post today's drawing from home tomorrow.


On the table at the end of the evening.


What happens if I just draw the shaded side of the glue bottle?


Leaves on the tall serviceberry outside the dining room window begin their progression toward gold. At the peak of color, I will feel as if we have a new source of light there, set against the shortening hours of daylight. For now, though, we just have hints of the change to come.



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