Friday, December 11, 2015

little drawings

From various notebooks.
A couple of pieces from a Lego Advent calendar...

Some words from a song...

Colors, floating & interlocking...

An Advent/Hannukah candle.
Happy holiday season.
Wishing everyone much love, and light in the dark.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

evening snapshot

I was about to reach for my camera (otherwise known as a hand-me-down iPhone) when I realized I could DRAW this scene instead!

Monday, November 16, 2015

sunday: time to play!

Yesterday I was trying out my gouache on different surfaces. I chose this yellow bird as my subject. The painting above is done on some glossy-ish brown paper. Here he is on acrylic paper: 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

wild yeast

They ride the air, in search of fruit and honey water. Winged and fanged, they are irrepressible, unstoppable, the original rebels.

We've been making mead.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

bad day bird

Bad things happened today. Or rather, things I felt were bad, but probably won't be bad, in the long run. Anyway, I sat down to paint and out came this bird, contemplating the abyss.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

octopus dream

In my dream the other night, a pink octopus was flying calmly over the surface of a lake.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

blue chickadees

I've been having some trouble recently with a project I am working on for a friend. Trouble is inevitable; in some ways I think it is indicative of a good, real, working process. Still, it is not fun. Not at the moment, anyway.

The trouble is that my first draft is by far my friend's favorite, but I can't use it, for silly technical reasons. And because I can't see it the way she does, I can't recreate it. I am trying.

But that in itself is a futile endeavor. I have to instead create the new something that will capture the spirit of the first, but be its own thing. 

And I have to realize: we are not always the best judge of our own work.

Monday, October 12, 2015

dead fish

Ansel and I went walking at Chimney Bluffs, on the shore of Lake Ontario, this weekend. It was my debut for walking in a sustained way outside, after having broken my toe over a month ago. It was wonderful.

On the rocky beach we saw a large dead fish. "Wow," I said.
Ansel handed me my sketchbook.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

happy 2nd birthday!

It's the 2nd birthday of my blog!
I haven't been drawing or painting as much lately; I've had a lot on my plate. This past weekend a few of my students put on a spectacular concert that took much of my attention and made me very proud. I have been singing a lot. And looking a lot. I think my mind is full of images that will just spill out as soon as I have a chance - take the chance - to sit down again and let them.

It's a beautiful day and I'm off to play a wedding! Happy fall to you all.

Saturday, September 19, 2015


This is a beautiful bright yellow watermelon that Ansel got from the market.
And here, a chickadee!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

on the subject of vegetables

Ansel and I went for dinner at our friends' house last week. Their son, faced with the vegetable selection, made this announcement. (Though he found they were quite ok when roasted underneath a chicken!)

Later, Ansel suggested this solution:

You know, with an axe or a sword, your choice :)

(If anyone wants to make this into a T-shirt and produce at least 36 of them (the minimum), so I can give one to Padraig, let me know!)

Monday, July 27, 2015

pen and ink

Ansel posing for a Renaissance-style portrait for me, with flowers in his beard :)

Monday, July 6, 2015

away 2

We were on a very comfortable, well-made and well-equipped canal boat, cruising down the Erie Canal. Life slows down; one starts to appreciate subtle changes in landscape and foliage, the bends in the "river". I didn't do a whole lot of sketching, being occupied with a whole lot of looking - but I did manage a pencil drawing of the front of our boat, the Canandaigua:

and some quick, faint sketches of a liftbridge in Brockport and another view of our boat:

Sorry they are so faint!

I came to love tying the boat up to a cleat on the dock - so effective and pleasing.
Also, seeing my city from such a different perspective was totally neat. We pulled up to a gas station next to the canal that Ansel and I knew otherwise from getting there by car, tied up our boat on the little dock, and hopped off and into the gas station for supplies. Then back to the water. Amazing!

many ansels

Trying out a new set of drawing inks, I did a 2 minute sketch of Ansel with each one.

Sunday, July 5, 2015


We've been on a boat!
 Perhaps more about that later, but first:

Monday, June 15, 2015

weekend of concerts

It's concert season: Suzuki group concert, two studio concerts (hip hip hooray for my students!) and a voice recital.

In a spare moment, I got to do a few quick sketches of Casey as she rehearsed with her musical improv group. Yes, she had a funny hat on - a crown, actually!

And here is Ansel, pooped out after 4 solid days of concert-going. If there were a medal for audience members, he would win it!

We've got one more: come hear Ansel play in Dido & Aeneas (along with 3 other wonderful string players) with the members of the Opera Scenes workshop at the Kanack School of Music. 
Wednesday, June 17, at 7 pm. 

Thursday, June 4, 2015


Turns out the sunflower is the favorite flower of a few of my favorite people.
Anyway, there were sunflowers after the concert.
They are so big and happy!
Here I am experimenting with color.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

die vogelfängerin (bin ich ja)

Here again one of Teryle's magical Magic Flute birds, this time done in acrylic gouache.

pepper gazes at a spirograph

Actually, it is the imprint of a spirograph pen on the next page of the book, which I covered over lightly with graphite and then added color.

I sketched Pepper in the lower corner and then laughed, because it looks like she's contemplating some model of the universe, or the inner workings of an atom, up above her...

Sunday, May 24, 2015

springside farm

This weekend Ansel and I met our friend Alicia at Springside Farm in Fabius, NY for the sheep and alpaca shearing festival. It was a perfect day for it: sunny, not too hot. Lots of kids running around making noise. 

I got to hold a lamb in my lap. 
We saw pot-bellied pigs, and chickens, and bunnies, and of course sheep and alpacas. 
Alpacas never cease to amaze me. Their funny heads, their alert but odd stance, their big eyelashes. And of course their beautiful fur.

I thought I might draw some of them, but the crowds (and I suppose my residual shyness) were a deterrent to my getting out sketching materials in the barn. 
Instead, I plopped myself down in the grass outside and drew: 

Ansel, from a distance, wandering around a pond:

A blossoming tree:

And a view of the whole picturesque farm.

flowers at Pour 2

I thought you all might enjoy seeing the first, fainter version of this, done in watercolor pencil and a little bit of watercolor.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

flowers at Pour

These flowers were in a small stoppered bottle on a table at a coffee house here in Rochester. I didn't paint them right away; I took a picture and this morning tried to depict them in watercolor...

Monday, May 4, 2015

playing with gouache

Since I have a new potted Gerbera daisy and a notebook that I'd not yet found the right use for, it seemed like the time this weekend to play around with (acrylic) gouache. It worked marvelously on this thick paper.

Monday, April 13, 2015

ansel sits for me again

"Sit still," I said, "the fans are clamoring for more pictures of you."

By which of course I meant me!