December 2007 Archives

overlook - 30 December

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At the end of the Waimea Canyon road, you can see the beginnings of the cliffs that mark the Na Pali coast. The ocean and sky were so blue that I could not tell where one ended and the other began. I painted this sketch in about ten minutes at the overlook - could have stayed and painted all day... took photos instead.


After a few rainier days, the sun was out today, and we all went to the beach together - 22 of us. I talked with my sisters, watched children digging, jumping, and splashing (splashed some myself, as well) took photos and painted.

edamame - 28 December

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These soybeans are a favorite snack - easy, healthy, fun to eat. (And fun to paint, too.)

frigate bird - 27 December

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Went on an excursion north to the Limahuli Garden and Preserve, part of the National Tropical Botanical Gardens. We went to the Allerton Garden yesterday. Both were beautiful. (It's amazing to travel with a brother who is a botanist - his friends show us the most spectacular things...) Today I was with a group including a young nephew and younger niece, so took photos since I could not stop to draw or paint. On the way home again, we stopped at Kilauea Point Lighthouse, where you can walk out along the top of the cliff and see Frigate Birds and Red-Footed Boobies soaring on the updrafts. It's a bird sanctuary, with albatross nesting areas, and Nene wandering around, and the conversation of tourists is drowned out in the roar of waves crashing against the red cliff faces.

(I've gotten back online for a moment to post these images - still trying to fix the wireless router to get more reliable access - Thank you all for the wonderful comments and warm wishes. I hope you are having a splendid holiday season.)

pineapple top - 26 December

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In the absence of reliable internet access, jigsaw puzzles have become the favorite evening activity. I took a break from finding edge pieces to draw and paint the top of a pineapple.

rougher sea - 25 December

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We walked to the beach after lunch and swam and watched the ocean. Had mango shave ice on the way home.

clouds - 24 December

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Tried to see how much of the cloudscape could be conveyed with straight lines.

poolside flower - 23 December

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Bauhinia, I think.


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After taking part in the giant (four-household) grocery run which filled the morning with laughter and logistics, by late afternoon I had a chance to walk down to the water's edge with sketchbook and paints, all by myself.

sleeping on the flight

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Headed for a family reunion holiday to honor my parents' fiftieth wedding anniversary. We are gathering in Hawai'i, on the island of Kaua'i - everyone in three generations. The plane trips were long, but not impossible. We slept, read, and talked. My daughter and I drew and painted, and wound up having a couple of good conversations about watercolor and materials with the flight's Purser - when she's not working, she lives on Oahu and paints.

(The internet connection where I am seems to come and go - this morning I was able to post, get email, and so on... I tell myself to let that be another aspect of the relaxation of my vacation. Some times I'll be able to post, perhaps some days I won't. Expect a full catch-up and the more regular posting rhythm to return in the new year.)


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Drew in transit today, but find on arriving that the wifi here is not cooperating with my laptop. Can blog by phone, but not easily post pictures. I'll try to get it sorted out tomorrow when I'm less jet-lagged, or I'll post everything in a burst when I get back from my holiday.

(I'll draw every day..: can't imagine stopping just because I have technical difficulties with Internet access..)

red socks

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Putting my feet up and painting my socks. (Should be packing for the family trip - expect I'll overpack things to read and art supplies and omit something ordinary or essential. Family being family, they won't be surprised at this.)


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A real letter. Full of wonderful news from a friend, who writes to tell me that after years of renting she is closing on a house of her own on Friday. A letter like this seems even brighter in this season, full of hope and possibility.

game player

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Elder son with his laptop game, brokering a deal for bananas with Saladin (he says) and half listening to a video episode of "Yes, Minister," while the younger two, elsewhere in the room, read their books and put off going to bed for as long as possible. (ink and watersoluble pencil)

candy cane

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Was given a candy cane by a neighbor when we were out caroling tonight. 22 degrees (F) so we only stayed out an hour or so - but what fun to surprise people with music on a dark and gusty night.


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Holidays or no holidays, keeping things together.


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Painted my pint of Magic Hat while listening to singer songwriters Sue Gartland and Frank Bienkowski and friends perform tonight.

sleeping - a study

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Line and wash. Looking at the shadows. Listening to the furnace rumble and then stop. Footsteps upstairs. The clock. Quiet.

clementine, gone

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Everyone is under one roof tonight, as the holidays approach. So much to be grateful for, not least of which are sweet clementines.

winter tree

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So many colors in a gray sky, if you stop and look...

carrot stick

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Our locally-grown carrots have an earthy, complex flavor which varies from bite to bite. Out of state carrots may be sweeter, but these are more interesting to eat.

one bowl

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Cherry tomatoes in a small bowl, drawn without looking down at the page. I love the way the bowl's rim spirals out into space, as if I had charted some orbit path. (And I added color afterwards. )

grapefruit rising

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We have a box of them in the entry between the outer and inner front doors - that all-purpose winter refrigeration space. One or two come in each day, for breakfast, juice, or snack, bringing an icy-tart burst of flavor to brighten gray skies.


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The show was wonderful. It's a delight to meet friends and to speak with bloggers I've only known online. The art just glowed in the spaces, too: a visual feast. I got home late and painted a cracker (rosemary parmesan).

my right hand

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And the drawing is blue because, well, I felt like using the color tonight - it let me think more abstractly about flat shapes on the page.


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Will you be in Pittsburgh on Saturday night? The Blogger Show at Digging Pitt Gallery will have a reception from 6-9 p.m. Work of mine from the Museum Drawing Project will be there - and I'll be there, too! I'd love to meet you.

apple slices

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After using layers of paint yesterday, and taking advantage of the gouache's opacity, I thought I'd try to see how transparent I could keep it - how little could I put on the page and still get the feeling of the apple slices left from a child's dinner?


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I don't think of green bell pepper as having a particularly strong smell, but if you are sitting beside one for more than a moment, you notice it.

onion, cut

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Have been thinking more about line and printmaking lately - and I guess that led me to choose this from the kitchen counter tonight.

graham cracker house

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One of three made after supper tonight. This one had an upside-down ice cream cone tree and a gum drop snowman. (It turns out that you can - gently - saw graham crackers with a serrated knife to get a pointed shape for the ends of a little house. All the rest is just royal icing and candy.)

by the bookstore window

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We sat in the coffee shop at the bookstore for a while this afternoon. The kids drank fancy hot chocolate and ate cake, my husband looked at the paper, and I drew the view out the window across East Liberty toward Garfield Heights. The man reading a magazine kindly stayed in place until I was nearly done with the drawing.

a new month

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For the first few days of any month, I miss carrying the old month's sketchbook around with me - while the new book is mostly blank, waiting. I was thinking about that feeling and decided to draw the new sketchbook inside itself tonight.

hand drawn

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As part of DrawMo 2007, I drew my hand every day in November, and then used the 30 drawings as frames for an animation.

(YouTube link, if the version above doesn't play well for you.)