March 2009 Archives


Up late with proofreading to do, so I take a break from adding and removing commas and paint some empty pages, instead.

I'm not sure what caused the change, but comments are not working at the moment. (Thanks to David for letting me know.)  Sorry about that - I miss the conversation.   I don't think I'm going to get a chance to work on a solution before Sunday, either, as I have a number of deadlines in the next few days...  I'll let you know when I have it figured out.


Looking almost directly down at my glass of wine abstracts the view into a composition of circles.


Meant to cut some flowering twigs earlier in the week - forgot, or was distracted by something else. Now the flowers are almost past, and small green leaves have begun to open. Snow flurries tonight, so the weather is springlike - by which I mean unpredictable.


From 8:30 to 9:30 this evening, we participated in Earth Hour. We talked in the dark, and then I drew one of our candles.

Elizabeth Perry in Ink and Stopped Air created by Lucy Foley on Vimeo.

The audio for this was recorded during an online discussion of Darryl Scroggins' new book, This Is Not The Way We Came In, and then edited by Lucy Foley. The images were drawn by me.

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Painted in their own juice...



We were at a coffee shop. My daughter was writing an illustrated letter. I drew her pencils and then painted them. (Not sure why, but it never occurred to me to use the colored pencils to color the pencils...)



Inspired by reading about cardboard automata on the San Francisco Exploratorium's website, I decided to try to make one today, using their instructions as a jumping off point. I've always loved wooden toys with moving parts, so it was great fun to invent my own with recycled materials from around the house. I used a small cardboard box, two chopsticks, scissors, hot glue, masking tape, an awl, and a pencil (just for making holes bigger). From the printed information and from practice, I learned about cams and cam followers. I'm still not sure why I made it, or why the bird and flower, but I enjoyed the process immensely, and I think it took less than an hour.



Last night home for our oldest. He cooked a wonderful dinner (coq au vin with salad and home made bread), and then we all watched a movie.




As in half a... (sorry).



I get intrigued by discovering that to paint a brown pillow I want to use purple, orange, red, and ochre, as well as burnt umber.

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Youngest child has decided to grow her hair.

I wonder if we are observing a kind of population cycle with these covered rubber bands. They appear to multiply on their own, through some kind of secret cellular division when we aren't looking, and then just when the house seems to be at carrying capacity, the population shrinks abruptly and I have to buy more before they disappear altogether. More study is needed to determine the key factors in this cycle. My current working theory explores the idea that such population shifts are related to the fluctuations in the number of unmatched black socks in the household. Other theories are welcome...



Had so much fun with brush and ink earlier this week that I decided to play with those ideas some more.

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Tomorrow, March 20, I will remember to wear a sweater, as many will do - in Pittsburgh and beyond - to honor Fred Rogers' birthday.

"As human beings, our job in life is to help people realize how rare and valuable each one of us really is, that each of us has something that no one else has - or ever will have - something inside that is unique to all time."
-Fred Rogers

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Clean-up day in our tiny neighborhood park. You wouldn't think that a triangle of grass and trees behind a brick warehouse could accumulate so much organic litter, but the trees along the sidewalks are ancient gingkos, and in addition to their leaves, they carpet the ground with stinky fruit. The afternoon was warm, and the company congenial. After helping rake for a while, oldest son read beneath a pin oak.



Toast crust. (It's fun to say. Toast crust.) This particular piece left a constellation of crumbs across the table.


A companion to yesterday's sketch.



We've been saving flat styrofoam trays from the grocery store, the ones which come with packaged meat or vegetables. Now that it's spring vacation, our plan is to make block prints with them - they are very easy to "carve" with a blunt pencil or wooden skewer. You can dip them in poster paint and then make prints. (This apple is an idea sketch as I think about ways to play with line and shape.)

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This big block of graphite was found by a friend when three of us went for a walk along the railroad tracks this afternoon. I persuaded them to let me have it for drawing. It's harder than my other graphite sticks (and far larger). I feel a little as if I'm drawing with a brick, but the enforced clumsiness is liberating. Now I need to get out some bigger sheets of paper...


Happy to be home again, with vacation just beginning. Was moving slowly (night flight plus time change) and decided to map this piece of ginger with my fine point fountain pen. I felt as if I were in a rowboat, bumping up against an uneven shore, as the shape bellied out over me and then receded again.



The first part of the trip home...



And then, after a day inside meeting rooms, I looked out my window, over the roofs of the city, and saw this...



I am enjoying my conference time. This morning I let myself watch the audience for a while, during one of the keynote talks. I will be happy to get back to everyday routine, but in the meantime am meeting new people, listening and talking, and learning, learning, learning.



Conductive thread and a sewing needle. I spent part of my morning in electronic arts and crafts.



In a corner of the living room in my sister's house.

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From the comfortable chair in a corner of my sister's living room, I can see a bowl of oranges and lemons, my glass of water with lemon, and, in the kitchen, many papers on the side of the refrigerator.


En route from Pittsburgh to San Francisco. We climbed through clouds at sunset.


This lemon felt tropical to me today, although we are just beginning to feel the pale warmth of spring. At one point in the afternoon, I was running an errand between the buildings and felt sun on my shoulders. I stood still and let it warm me - just for a moment, probably less than 45 seconds - let my breathing slow down, let my mind list what I could hear. Birds. Distant traffic. Was that a train? A leaf blew across the playground, and I heard it rustle against the blacktop. It stopped. I began walking again, but more slowly.

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Today was exelauno day. I observed it by going on a work-related day trip. Hope others also had a chance to march forth. (The beads are left over from an unrelated celebration...)



I wonder what emotion we associate most with the smell of a wooden pencil...



I'm headed out of town in a few days for a couple of nearly back-to-back trips. I ought to be packing or organizing things... instead, I am sitting on the sofa, staring dreamily at my right hand. The house is quiet. I've already turned down the heat, and I can imagine my soft and warm bed. And I keep looking at my hand... and then moving paint around on the paper.


The first few rows of the next project, a cardigan sweater. I'm knitting with two strands of a black stainless steel and wool blend - after another row, I'll be adding a third strand of dark denim blue raw silk. The stainless blend fiber has a slightly stiff texture, and knit on these larger needles (6s) it has a lacy feel. (Yarn from Habu Textiles.)




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