Friday, April 29, 2011


These are some of the pictures that I have collected over the years.
They have been hung up in my studio to inspire me.
(click on image to enlarge)

I've been thinking today about the stories we tell about ourselves.

Since I rearranged the studio a while back, I've yet to re-hang these pictures. Maybe I need some new pictures to tell a new story.

What images have you saved? Do you see what parts of yourself they speak to?


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Side of the Road

Side of the Road
Vincent Van Gogh

Side of the Road
Lucinda Williams.


With all the craziness in our political media circus, and all the scary weather events in the southeast, I feel like I need a quiet, still place to be alone. I am grateful to these two artists for giving me that place today. Also thanks to Frank Stack for showing me yet another painting I'd never seen. And to Lucinda for inspiring me to pick up my guitar today.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Who knew?

Who knew that spider plants have flowers? Not me.
This one surprised me this morning.

Who knew that a magnolia could make just one blossom?
This one on our tree opened this morning.
There are no other buds on the tree even close to blossoming.

Okay. I have no "who knew" for this one.
Maybe: Who knew my point-and-shoot could take such a nice close-up of a peach blossom?
These are the first on the tree to open this year.

Grape bud.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Happy Blogiversary!

I just realized that today is my blogiversary.

Three years ago today I decided I wanted a public place to write.

Even though my college application essay started with the sentence, "In second grade, I decided to become a writer," I have found that writing is actually a very slow process for me (I spend waaaaaaaayyy too much time editing).

Looking at my youtube channel yesterday (no, not something I do often!), I discovered that this video of me reading Max Drives Away has almost 3000 hits! Maybe writing doesn't have to mean a lot of words...

I've recently started trying to post at least once a day, Monday through Friday, in hopes that this will encourage my literary synapses to fire. So far, though, I have still been relying on images to speak for me. There is always the question of whether I actually have anything to say!

I truly admire my amazing and prolific writing blogger friends like Roy Edroso, m.heart, and Hecate, who wow me with their words. Such wit, spirit, and poetry.

I will continue to stumble my way through the alphabet, hoping for the best.

Thanks for reading!


A Splash of Color: Pink

magnolia bud

peach blossom bud

peony rising

Spring is just beginning to unfold here in the garden.


Monday, April 25, 2011

Candy and Water Balloons

I am finding myself less and less comfortable with the big religions.

Easter at our house is only candy and water balloons, and that still felt like too much yesterday. I don't know where the balance is for me and for my family. Even though the girls and I had some pretty funny conversations this past week about leaven and Jesus rising, I still feel like I am validating myths by acknowledging them at all.

Of course, we also watched Easter Parade and Summer Stock yesterday, so we had some of that love-at-first-sight myth to dissect.

As my smart friend, Hecate says, "Patriarchy. You're soaking in it."


Friday, April 22, 2011

Reading Molly Ivins

Yes, I'm late to the game. I hadn't ever read her until now.

I picked up her book, Nothin' But Good Times Ahead, at our town's excellent book shed at the dump.

It is interesting to be reading her columns from the early 90s. So much for change. Of course, like Molly, "I still believe in Hope - mostly because there's no such place as Fingers Crossed, Arkansas."

So I'm off to bed with a good book.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Thursday Night

Happy Forsythia.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wednesday Art Blogging

This is another urban sketch of mine, from before I'd heard of Urban Sketchers.

A nickel to any local reader who can name the place in the sketch.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Splash of Color: Green






Monday, April 18, 2011

Darwinian Garlic

Yes, I collected the biggest heads of garlic last summer and prepared to plant.

In the fall, I planted each clove in a neat row and made a square bunch at the end for the ones that didn't fit.

Immediately after I'd planted them, the girls saw the fresh turned earth and thought it was a perfect place to play dinosaur. After I shooed away the jurassic beasts, I tried to find all the cloves that had been pushed every which way and replant them. Then, I was supposed to cover the beds with straw to keep them cozy all winter, but I never got around to it.

Throughout the winter, I wondered what the spring would bring, whether any of the garlic would make it.

I was glad to see their little green shoots peeking up through the snow a few weeks ago. And now, with a little sun, they are all waving happily.

Garlic. Yum.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

More Drawings About Buildings

View out a New York Window
ink and watercolor pencil

Crackerbarrel Alley, Northampton
watercolor pencil

Shelburne Falls
watercolor pencil

I have become addicted to the Urban Sketchers blog. Inspired by the art I see there, I pitched an idea at the elementary school to teach an Urban Sketchers class to third through fifth graders for the Spring term. I am so happy they approved it! And that some kids signed up! I have been scouting local locations -- to which the students and I will walk each week to sketch. I have also been looking at some of my sketches of buildings and city scenes from my sketchbooks. Pending permission of the artists and their parents, I hope to post some of the drawings we do. Stay tuned.

In addition to the Urban Sketchers class, I will be teaching a Drawing from Life class to third through fifth graders, and an Intro to Making Comics class to kindergarten through second graders.

Happy Art! Happy Spring!


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wednesday Art Blogging

If you haven't seen this already, as my friend Rich said, "Yeah it's an ad, but consider it more like the company sponsored a great work of art. Highly recommend you take the 3 minutes to watch it."

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tax the Rich

I know, I know. There are serious people saying we should Eat the Rich, but hear me out.

This morning, as I was paying into my daughters' school lunch fund [full disclosure: they qualify for free school lunches, but I pay the full amount, $2.50/day/kid, in effect subsidizes others' free lunches, in some bizarre act of misplaced pride or philanthropy], I struck up a conversation with the lunch lady (seen here in a photograph from a few months ago, gloves deep in tuna). I told her about an article I had read yesterday regarding a school district that was in discussions with collections agencies to pursue families who owe money for their children's lunches. This woman, who has seen her full-time with benefits job in the cafeteria reduced to a part-time no benefits job, so that she's been forced to take a second job at a place that will remain nameless (which a goofy friend says, "rhymes with smallfart") replied to me that people need to "take responsibility." I thought I heard some FOXiness there, and was reluctant to press on. But I tried, "You know who isn't taking responsibility right now? The rich need to pay their fair share." I breathed a sigh of relief when she agreed with me, and the conversation went on from there. So everyday Americans like us can see that one of the most important things that needs to be done for our country is to raise taxes on the rich.

It is good to see that some members of Congress get it, too.

Tax the rich (h/t to NTodd for the link).

Now, how to get our voices heard, to actually see our representative democracy represent us? I'll choose a general strike and/or taking over the Capitol building in Washington, a la Wisconsin, instead of a plateful of Roasted Rich. Who's with me?


Monday, April 11, 2011

A Splash of Color: Red

Rhubarb peeks out from the last of the snow

Unfurling in sunlight

A cardinal out the kitchen window

What are you looking at??