Sunday, June 29, 2014

rain song

Since we just had a wonderful thunderstorm, it seemed appropriate to sing & record this song, too. Extraneous noises courtesy of the world, and my landlord.


Here is a song I wrote 2 years ago for my niece, Maren.

here's a song

Here's a song I sang tonight. Endless thanks to Ben E. King.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Friday, June 20, 2014


Peonies. They're all over right now. Bowing their frowsy heads, big and brash and wonderful.

My friend and colleague Katie received a vase of them, and though she loves them, she's allergic to them. So I said I would paint them for her so she could enjoy them somehow!

My first attempt was fun, but a little too crazy, paper a bit too wet. I still like it though.

The next one, the one I think I'll give to her, is a little less ethereal:

Thursday, June 19, 2014



"I'm afraid if I make a mistake, no one will clap for me." This is what one of my students said to me last week. No pathos. Just a straightforward worry.

We were preparing for a recital and she had performed her piece from memory several times on stage. She was having trouble remembering to take a first ending instead of a second ending.

"I know you can do it," I said. "You did it perfectly twice!"
"But I played it like a million times!"
"You played it 5 times. Twice you got it!"

Then she looked at me with a look I am getting used to - Grave Uncertainty.

"But I did it wrong 3 times."

And then I said something that teachers have said to me, and which is always hard to believe, but is and has always turned out to be true.

"If you can do it right once, you can do it a thousand times."

So much of it depends on belief. When we do something "wrong", we believe in it. When we do something "right", we doubt it.

Turn it around, and you get something very powerful.

You get the power and impetus to work at something; you get the possibility of change and growth.

And her fear that no one would clap for her - don't we all have that fear? That one mistake will be our undoing? Meanwhile we discount all the good that we do.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

orchid again

Thank you to Beate, who asked in a comment if I was going to do a watercolor version…I had meant to, but then, you know, there were so many other things to do…and the blossoms were already dying (!)…but when she asked me, I thought, "yes, I do really want to do that."

So here it is!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


I received this beautiful orchid as a gift. I am hoping to be able to treat it well and keep it thriving. I drew it tonight in pencil:

This one, without looking at the paper, just following around the flower with my eyes and keeping the pencil moving:

And then another drawing, after what I learned from the one above:

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

casey's case

I did this for the sketch blog but I thought I would share it here. Casey was kind enough to let me draw her (very cool) cello case. It's hot pink, covered in stickers, well-worn and well-loved.

Her sandals are there beside the case.

I did it in pencil, and then painted it at home later: 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

in henry's garden

The sun is out. This is the time to sit down in the dirt and the grass, get close to the leaves and the flowers.

There are lots of these popping up now. Marguerites? 

I love the jumble.

night thoughts

These are gorgeous early summer nights. The temperatures are now warm enough that I can open up the little enclosed porch-room at the back of the house, clean it out, sweep it up, move a new dresser out there (discovered on the next street over, as two kind people were moving it out of their house…they were happy to hear that I'd give it a home, and even drove it over for me), use it as a desk, and sit, watching the sky turn rosy and then darken, listening to people sitting and talking outside, and cars, and dogs, and wind, and feeling the night air come in.

There is also the occasional doodle. This little guy appeared.