October 2007 Archives


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The great candy relocation project has concluded for 2007, leaving some traces behind.

We buy candy and give it to neighborhood children while our children go out and bring similar candy home. Might be fun to map the criss-cross routes of candy bars and children within a five-block radius, but I drew a few of the wrappers on the coffee table, instead.


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Have you thought about joining the DrawMo project for November? Just as the NaNoWriMo participants celebrate National Novel Writing Month by writing a 50,000 word novel draft in November, the Drawmonauts try to draw something every day in November, posting either to the DrawMo blog, or to Flickr.

The community is an encouraging one, and people find they enjoy the process. I plan to add a small project to my day so I can be part of it... Just for fun, why not join us? (Especially if you enjoyed the drawing party last month... )

newspaper story

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PostGazette10.31.07.jpg If you are visiting woolgathering... after having read today's story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, welcome! I post a new drawing every day - you can bookmark this site if you like, or you can subscribe to the daily drawings via email for free, if you prefer. I try to keep posts open for comment, and welcome your responses.

If you are a regular visitor from another place and would like to know about the Pittsburgh blogging scene - the story gives a great overview. And midway through the article, reporter Mackenzie Carpenter writes about a conversation with me:

Ms. Perry ... learned to draw a few years ago.

"People told me that the way to learn to draw was to draw every day," she said. "So I did."

Ms. Perry hasn't stopped since. Every day, she posts a watercolor or drawing, delicate yet sharply observed, from her life: a glimpse of her feet on an ottoman, a sunflower losing its petals, the Clarion County Courthouse.

"I follow G.K. Chesterton's philosophy, which is, 'If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly,' and this sketch blog is a thing profoundly worth doing, even when I do it badly," she laughs. "I believe that sitting still and simply looking at something allows me to slow down and appreciate my ordinary surroundings in a new way. Drawing daily lets me take chances, make mistakes, and model that process in public."

(I'm delighted that the editors chose to print one of my drawings with the article, too.)


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This is not the fierce pumpkin carved by my husband and daughter - but another one which was given to us already carved. It will spend the night safe inside and take its chances on the front porch with the trick-or-treaters tomorrow. Happy Halloween!

pumpkin seeds

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Toasted in the oven after the giant pumpkin was emptied and carved.

winter squash

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I'm not sure of the variety, but it's shaped like a small pumpkin, about five inches in diameter, and has green and cream dappled stripes with one splash of orange on it, as if an absent-minded painter had been passing through the field on the way to the pumpkins.

We might get a frost in the city tonight - we've started up the furnace for the first time this season.

another leaf

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I'm infatuated with the colors, and just want to keep looking and looking.

four maple leaves

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The leaves are late in changing this year, but have suddenly begun to color the city with brilliant reds and oranges.


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Back home again, and just beginning to catch up.

from the YMCA parking lot

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A glimpse of the Palace of Fine Arts over the trees. Take the plane home tonight...

paintings, San Francisco

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Painted a series of pictures, en plein air.


6" x 6" acrylic on canvas.


6" x 16" acrylic on canvas, diptych.


8" x 6" acrylic on canvas.


9" x 12" acrylic on paper.

at rest

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Good to put my feet up after a day of conference-going.


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Shaggy and beautiful at the end of the day.

looking up Church Street

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I'm in San Francisco (for the She's Geeky unconference) and enjoying spectacular blue skies and the different perspective offered by a different landscape. Pittsburgh certainly has hills, but the houses are built along them differently.

apple core

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The shadow caught my eye. In my house, especially in the evening, shadows are soft, diffuse things. The sunlight coming through the airplane window was so intense, so direct, that the shadow seemed to have crisper edges than the apple core itself.


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Pretending to sleep and then getting drowsier and then drowsier, until at last...


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Lists and logistics abounding. Headed out of town on the weekend, and as it is last minute, I keep thinking of things I need to do before I go. (Clipboard is my daughter's - she uses it for homework, while sitting on the sofa.)

pear and shadow

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This is the time of year when I notice that certain trees have turned half their leaves orange, while the rest remain green. The most interesting view is where the two colors meet. And that moment of blending which which deepens or complicates the color and pattern.

brown bag

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Lunch bag, empty on the counter, ready to be used again tomorrow.


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A friend brought this to my house tonight. I think it's from a sycamore.


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Spent an hour at a cafe this afternoon in good company. Conference-presenting is over for a while, and the sun was bright, coffee strong, sky blue. After three days of ideas and people and intense conversation, just drawing in the middle of the afternoon was lovely.

ginger ale

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Ginger ale left over from the birthday celebrations last week.

[Drew, painted, uploaded, and then forgot to hit "publish" in a state of sleepiness late last night.]


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Several years ago, these twigs came into the house as part of a flower arrangement, and they've been in the dining room ever since. They join garden flowers in season and stand alone the rest of the time.

waiting room

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Took two kids for their dentist appointments today.

bowl of apples

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Apples in a bowl on the dining room table. More apples from the farmstand are on the kitchen counter. Still more apples - from a student - are in the kitchen, and I think we have a bag of apples as well as cider in our farm share box on the front porch.

late basil

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Lest I seem too busy looking forward to the next season to appreciate the present, I offer you a leaf of basil, green and spicy.

little pumpkin

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On an October day when the temperature hit 87 degrees (F), we were given this small pumpkin. I'm thinking of fall, and the cooler crisper days to come.

apple core

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We stopped at a farmstand on our way back to the city.

courthouse and ferris wheel

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Sat down on the curb, long after the parade had gone by, and drew the Clarion County Courthouse with the ferris wheel and carnival flags in front of it. Everyone else in my family had already headed back, so I had the quiet time of drawing, and then a quiet walk as well.


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We're visiting family for the annual festival weekend. Tomorrow we'll go to the carnival and watch the parade.

nearly sunset

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We stopped at the playground when walking back from a doctor's appointment - even though a stop would make us late for supper. Warm air, bright sky, laughing children. As the sun sank, the rooftops became silhouettes.

folder and pen

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Proofreading tonight, but paused to paint the corner of my yellow folder and the red pen clipped to it.


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A flower of late summer and fall. Color added by rubbing blossoms and leaves into the drawing on the page.

hand contour

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Drew my hand as a blind contour exercise, not looking at the page at all. Always interesting to me how these come out, as the proportions are shaped by the pace of my eye moving along the edge of of what I'm drawing. Added the color while looking at the page afterwards.