November 2008 Archives



I gather that it is now possible to duplicate a key from a distant snapshot. Perhaps I'm living dangerously here? But that assumes that the drawing is not intentionally inaccurate, and that this is a key to something that matters, rather than a key from the bowl of extras in the kitchen. (Why do we feel compelled to save keys to things we don't have any more?)
Another of my drawings is posted on the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra's blog.


The graphite sticks had slipped to the bottom of my pencil case, so it was time to get them out again.



Having finished my daughter's socks, I begin my own pair.



The pair completed - this is the second one for a child. Now I'll begin some for myself.



Pilot, asleep on the rug, near my father's feet. Five people and two dogs visiting - we have a house full of family.



I tied this wishing ribbon around my hand during part of my visit to this year's Carnegie International, Life on Mars, more than a month ago. The words of the wish have worn off, but the knots still hold.



We have clementines, those tiny tangerines, in season now. The kids peel and eat them like candy.



I use this blond wooden box as a tiny lap desk when I draw at the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra concerts, as I did today. It fits in a handbag, but will hold a small stack of drawing paper. (Today's drawing and reflection should be posted to their blog by the end of the day tomorrow.)

[Ed. note: the Symphony drawing is now live.]


We have flowers in the house now, and the immediate family all under one roof. Others are headed our way in the next week, and we will be ten or eleven at the table on Thanksgiving day. Much still to do...

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About 18 years old, if my mental math is correct. This particular machine works intermittently - like a teenager - alternating periods of great energy and intensity with moments of deep and unresponsive silence. I hope it's cooperative tomorrow; we have company coming for the holiday, and I think the house will be more festive if we can get (some of) the dust out of the rugs.



Also from our farm share, and sweeter and more carrot-flavored than any we get in stores.



Today we got our last batch of farm vegetables for the season. Between now and the end of next May, we'll still be able to buy local produce, but we'll have to go to the farmer's market or grocery store to pick things out.



Green leaves tumbling and trailing down from a table in the dentist's office waiting room. Three sets of teeth now clean.

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Snow was falling steadily as we walked home from school today. It didn't stick to the sidewalks, but trees, unpaved ground, and mittens caught and held the flakes. The snow was just the right stickiness for tiny snowballs, too.



And I am home again.

I wasn't able to transfer this from my phone yesterday, so here it is as an annotation a day later: the foghorn and the waves.


The rhythm of the foghorn continued today...



I can hear the foghorn. It pauses almost long enough for me to forget about it, and then it comes again, twice, and then more stillness. Out the window I can just make out the shoreline through the dark and mist, and then notice my own silhouette on the glass, drawing.

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Got to my parents house after a somewhat delayed flight. I was too late to be interested in any supper, but a drink and conversation were ways to wind down and feel that I had arrived.


Picked this up in the street while walking home, some time ago. Put it in my backpack, and it sank to the bottom of one ot the pockets. Found it again, today.


At the end of the day, sometimes it is the simplest thing that resonates.


Pomegranate seeds.

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Went for a walk down by the Allegheny River late this afternoon - overcast and windy along the railroad tracks there, and I was glad to be wearing my fingerless gloves. They keep my hands and wrists warm, while leaving fingers free for camera, phone, or pen. We were moving along too quickly for me to stop and sketch, so I took photos, instead.


Drawn while the eighth-grader was fitted with contact lenses today.



After a very full week...



One of a half dozen in our box of vegetables yesterday.

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My right hand. Today was sunny and warm. I wanted to invent excuses to walk between buildings, get out of my office, and stretch...

Over on the Urban Sketchers blog, I posted another drawing from my polling place today. I'm pleased to say that all the volunteering and canvassing and person-to-person campaigning resulted in double the usual turnout for Ward 8, District 11, in Allegheny county.  And many many of those voters were voting for the first time ever.  It was an inspiring day, and now I am home, about to put my feet up and watch the election returns.  (I am in awe of some of my fellow volunteers, who were headed back to campaign headquarters to make get-out-the-vote calls in midwestern and western time zones.)


Here's a mid-day sketch and report from Ward 8, Districts 11 and 12, Allegheny County, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. At the polling place where I volunteer, we were already breaking records for turnout before lunchtime.

The lines were out the door this morning. Around 9:20, I was voter no. 113. (FYI - a very high number for that time of day, even for a presidential year - our neighborhood's voting districts are tiny.) Our community is reclaiming patriotism in a big way. My neighbor, poet Angele Ellis, said to me after voting, "I don't want to burn the flag--I want to wash the flag."

Now that it is the middle of the working day, we'll get only a few people at a time, but it's been very steady. I expect we'll have another crowd and lines again after work. Today I've seen first-time voters, and those who never miss an election. One neighbor was near tears: "I've never EVER felt this way about voting--and I always vote." She was so moved and hopeful, standing in line with her son.

It's already a great day.



Tomorrow is election day. I'll be volunteering at my polling place, so I will leave my political buttons at home, or bring a jacket I can slip on over them when I go inside to check on the turnout numbers. No matter how saturated we are with campaign news and advertising, with blog posts and projections, with robo-calls and door-to-door canvassing, when we finally get to the day itself, I find the process heartening. For the better part of tomorrow, I'll stand around outside the polls, greet my neighbors, catch up on news, answer questions, hand out literature (if anyone wants any at this point), and then at the end of the night, watch as the machines are closed down and the results tallied. I'll walk two blocks home and then stay up way too late, following the returns as they come in. If you are a U.S. voter, please don't forget to vote tomorrow.

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Used to bind the algebra project report tonight - we're near the closing date for the quarter's grades, and our eighth grader had some extra work to complete.



Tonight we set the clocks back, which means an extra hour of sleep. (Mmm. Extra sleep.)

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I'm delighted and honored to announce that I will be one of 45 people - sketching in cities all over the world - who will be contributing regular drawings to a new blog, Urban Sketchers. (And yes, I will still be drawing pictures of Pittsburgh for Clusterflock every week as well.)

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