October 2006 Archives


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Autumn fruit. Perfect for the season when ripe - dusty and woody and bland and too tart if your timing is not right. Today was the right day for this pear.

wine glass

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China marker used for double-blind contour drawing of a wine glass. (Double blind, because even if I look, I can't really see the white marks on white paper.) Washes of gouache added afterwards.

pencil case

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Large enough to hold waterbrushes, pens, pencils, and a tin of gouache colors - but small enough to fit in the corner of almost any bag. (I had a plain brown one, but the zipper wore out.)


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Real thing, this time, and not the cookie jar. This one came from someone's field trip to the pumpkin farm, and may be too small to carve - I suspect larger ones will be acquired on Monday or Tuesday.


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Went to a civic event tonight, a roast to honor a neighborhood activist and leader, Aggie Brose. Over the course of 30 years, she has done more than any single person to bring people together to create positive changes in our community in Pittsburgh. Luckily this dinner did NOT mark her retirement, but was instead a celebration. We still have a lot to do...

wave of flowers

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Looking across the living room, across the shape of a bunch of chrysanthemums and also looking at the shapes and shadows behind them.


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"I love squirrels - and they have secrets." Remark made by my youngest when we were walking home today.

red sketchbook

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Almost full.

maple leaf

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Amid snow flurries and gusting wind I picked up this leaf on the way home today. The snow did not stick to the ground - it's early yet, for that, but this is the first extended cold snap of the fall.

three peppers

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Green peppers from the farm. Don't expect we'll see many more as I know they've had a frost and snow flurries are forecast for the next few evenings.

cookie jar



We had this pumpkin cookie jar when I was little, and it always came out at this time of year, and disappeared around Thanksgiving. I guess I thought that that sort of thing just happened automatically - like the tide, perhaps - not realizing that someone (my mother) had to remember to get it out and then put it away again.


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The conference at Carnegie Mellon on Technology in the Arts began today, and while I didn't document it as thoroughly as Beth Canter (who live blogged, vlogged, and flickred the day), when the keynote ended early I had a few moments to sit under the arched entrance and look out at the sky (and trees and traffic lights) and sketch the view. Don Marinelli had just been talking about pictures as portals, so I leave it to you to imagine the cool damp evening, the sound of traffic and out-of-towners wondering about taxicabs, and the smell of cigarettes which lingers outside of any smoke-free building.


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A Paula Red - locally grown.

cafe cup

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Not a Paris Breakfast, but a Pittsburgh afternoon... and I wanted a real cup of coffee in a sunny cafe window.

oak twig



Walking home from school with my daughter as she gathers every loose twig she sees. By the time we are home we have an armful - an autumn bouquet of leaves and branches.




Found this "skate or die" button under the sofa when I was picking up the downstairs on Sunday.




After the party. The downstairs is still clean, with flowers in vases and paper garlands in the dining room. A lone blue balloon rolls back and forth in the corner, unpopped.




Looking toward the darkened dining room, and seeing how the desk lamp's shade shapes the light on the wall.


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Light edges out around the nextdoor neighbor's window shade, and a few leaves below catch enough reflection to be just visible in the night between our houses.

coffee mug

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Favorite mug. I got this to celebrate the (successful) defense of my dissertation, 15 years ago. Brush pen and gouache.

foot up

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Brush pen and gouache.


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Brush pen, gouache, waterbrush, china marker. Experimenting with the feel of using different materials together.

primary chocolate

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Sometimes it seems like a good idea to return to simple things... chocolate before - I mean, after - dinner.


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We went up to Clarion, PA, for the annual Autumn Leaf Festival, so this view out my sister- and brother-in-law's back window seemed just the right thing this morning. I sat on their porch and drank coffee, enjoyed the warm air and painted and looked and painted some more. I love the color and light at this time of year - the air is so crisp and clear and the sky seems extra blue against the turning leaves. I caught up with the rest of the family and we went uptown for the carnival rides and games, and then we headed back to Pittsburgh, where our leaves are about a week behind these. (More color to come...)

sleeping dog

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Remember those looms for making potholders? You can still get them. The kit we bought came with enough loops to make 5 potholders.




Homemade chocolate chip cookie - not very big, but then it doesn't need to be.

4 days old...

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I'm delighted to announce the launch of a new site: the Museum Drawing Project.

From October 1, 2006, through June 30, 2007, I plan to visit the public spaces of the Carnegie Museum of Art and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, every day the museums are open. (The museums are in a connected complex of buildings.)

I will draw something in a small sketchbook in response to my experience, and post that drawing the way I do here, with a short written reflection or response. I'm particularly interested in exploring what happens when my work moves from private (small sketchbook) to public (website) as it is experienced by an audience both in public (museum spaces) and in private (computer screen).

I will continue to draw something every day here at woolgathering, so I'm not going away - just adding another project to the mix.


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"It's not about democracy; it's not about consensus. It's about the beat." Overheard as my husband's band was about an hour-and-a-half into their rehearsal tonight. (They have a performance coming up on Saturday.)


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Tonight's challenge was to draw and paint a chair while answering questions about factoring, multiples, pronouns, and antecedants. (This was bound to happen if my sketching time coincided with homework hour, as it did today.) My son was a good sport about the distracted nature of my help, and I was using the pattern of interruptions as an excuse to fool around, loosen up and be less fussy.

fallen leaf

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One of the first. Most trees are still green here.

paper cup telephone

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My daughter has made a paper cup telephone system. It works about as well as these ever do... whenever the yarn is pulled taut enough for good reception, it is moments away from pulling through the hole in the bottom of the cup.

I am not sure of the exact purpose of the small flowerpots she has nested with them. Perhaps when the phone is in stand-by mode you can hang up your receiver by putting it down on an upside-down pot?