Thursday, December 1, 2016

kale x 2

Ansel has always loved the Public Market, our enormous central farmers' market. He got up before dawn every week to go there and get his pick of the best vegetables.
When we met, I loved eating vegetables, but I did not love washing vegetables. "When you wash them, they're so sparkling, and fresh!" he said. He reminded me of how beautiful they are.
Now we go together to get the vegetables (but he still washes them).

Friday, November 25, 2016

happy belated thanksgiving!

In the spirit of gratitude, here are 2 mugs - definitely empty, but waiting to be filled. Drawn with some beautifully sumptuous watersoluble graphite, pressed into my hand to try by Marla.

Friday, November 18, 2016

my studio

I spend a lot of time at this cute little piano with cracks in its soundboard...

and with this violin, peeking here from under its blanket...

and looking across the room at this little cupboard.

Sunday, November 6, 2016


In the place where Ansel and I lift weights (his mother's basement, adjacent to her pottery studio, full of treasures), this skull is hanging. It is beautiful, and strange. I have been wanting to draw it for a while, and finally I did, today during a break. Later I asked Marla about it. Apparently he was a gift from a friend in New Mexico, something Marla wanted because of her love for Georgia O'Keefe. Yes. It all makes sense!

Done with Stockmar beeswax block crayons again, proving to be lots of fun.
He is so beautiful, there may be more drawings, in different mediums.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

happy international fountain pen day!

I peacefully coexist with at least 10 fountain pens. I don't know how it happened; it just did. There was the Waterman. Then, finally, the Pelikan.  3 "vintage" ones of my mom's. And then Ansel got a Kaweco, and a Rotring.

All in all we get along great. A long time ago, there was an incident with a bottle of royal blue Pelikan ink, my backpack, and a cement floor in front of my locker in high school...but no one remembers that. Oh yes, and the parent of a girl I babysat who called me over and met me at the door with the old Sheaffer fountain pen I'd given his daughter, safely housed in a plastic ziplock bag. "I don't know what you meant, giving her this, but please take it back, we don't want it in the house." 

Okay. Not for everyone. But definitely for me! Hooray for fountain pens, dangerous, messy, unpredictable, beautiful, small and mighty.

Featured here: Pelikan fountain pen with Pelikan turquoise ink; Pilot Petit-1 fountain pen with J. Herbin mostly Lierre sauvage and a little Vert pré green ink; Pilot Cavalier fountain pen with J. Herbin mostly Gris nuage and a little Perle noire ink, Waterman fountain pen with a different mix of J. Herbin Vert pré and Lierre sauvage (ne jamais mélanger deux encres différentes notwithstanding)

Wednesday, November 2, 2016


Some animals are not as cute as their stylized depictions. Not so shrews! They are super-cute. They are turbo-charged cute. They are unbearably, cringingly cute.

Look them up!

PS this drawing was done with Stockmar Waldorf-approved crayons. I did not use them in a Waldorf-approved way. Because I'm just a rebel, what can I do?

Sunday, October 23, 2016

finding beauty

Here's where I'm going to get cheesy. And I'm going to say things that you've already heard before, probably in the same words you've already heard them said before.
And yet, I need to say them, again. Partly because I need to hear them said - again. Partly because I feel their necessity in our world right now - our urgent need for them to be said and heard, again and again. Partly because I have a blog and a blog is where you SAY THINGS, right? And partly because they are just so gosh-darn true, and they are what I was thinking about when I drew these ducks and turtles and plants you see below, and the tin hanging lamp under which the turtles were sunning themselves, climbing and lounging all over each other, and I wrote that word - "beauty".
So here they are: if you don't like what you see, out there in the world, then 1. you are right, and there's no sense in trying to talk yourself out of it, but also 2. MAKE SOMETHING YOU DO WANT TO SEE. And 3. keep your eyes open: everywhere, everywhere, everywhere, there is beauty. Ugliness, yes, without a doubt. But also beauty.

Monday, October 10, 2016

another sunday evening

We are in the wilds at the moment, as a people, as a country. We need clear thinking, we need compassion, we need creativity, we need honesty. What is each of us doing to bring that to the table?


Saturday, October 8, 2016

wee notebooks

Lately I haven't had much time to write. As if in compensation, I've been making notebooks whenever I have the time.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

un petit dessin

Some days, little drawn characters just show up. These guys are small, very small, on a to-do list.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

send your dentist another postcard

Because in your excitement, you threw the first one in the mail without a stamp. And though you wanted to lie in wait and intercept the post-person the next day, you had an appointment at the very time the mail was supposed to be collected, so you couldn't be there.

So instead you took a giant piece of cardboard, glued a white piece of paper to it, bordered it with purple leopard print duct tape, and wrote a message to the mail carrier: PLEASE HELP! Please find this postcard (drawing included) and put this stamp (stamp included also, taped to the center of the piece of cardboard) on it. Much gratitude! and threw that into the mailbox, too. Maybe he or she would glimpse it, and feel generous!

But JUST IN CASE none of these theatrics worked, you made another card. Something will get there!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

send your dentist a postcard

They're always getting in touch with you, right? Why not send them some love?

This is a shout-out to my dad's dentist, John Ford, DDS. This man has taken care of my dad's teeth for 43 years. Through moves and changes and life events, John Ford has been there. Teaching my dad how to take care of his own teeth with all those little picky and shiny instruments, gleefully setting up mirrors in order to show him the inside of his own mouth, explaining everything he did, and generally doing his job, doing it well and loving it too. All the while, as my dad makes sure to point out, with a tremendous aversion to causing pain. Here's to you, Dr. Ford!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016


Skaneateles is one of my favorite places on Earth.
The lake reaches right up to the edge of the town, or rather the town reaches right into the lake. The water is clear. Ducks abound. In summer, you can run from the porch of the Sherwood Inn straight down the grassy hill into the water. In winter, thick ice forms on the surface of the lake. Sometimes it breaks into huge clashing plates that make an eerie sound when the wind blows.

The hills in the distance across the lake look pink, green, blue, gray, depending on the weather and the time of day. Boats appear: big touring ones, little sailboats, kayaks, paddle rafts.

The town is kitschy, like the one I grew up in, but lovable, again like the one I grew up in. Its antique stores and thrift stores and libraries burst with the history of the people who live there and have lived there. I picture them all like my Quaker and Puritan relatives: reading crumbly leather-bound books at night, grinding coffee by hand in the morning. Their spirit, strong, stern, boundedly but bloomingly beautiful, lives in every eave and hedge and curb and curve of Skaneateles.

2 views: one while I was there, one a memory-reflection that evening.

Monday, July 25, 2016

lass bluehen

I have been struggling - with having not enough ideas, with having too many ideas.

A sure sign that I'm a little off-track is when I have very strong, directly conflicting feelings.

How can I have both "no" ideas and "too many" ideas?

It is clearly a question of dealing with them all. Sorting them, storing them, acting on them, working on them, letting them go.

A hundred in a day

Let them bloom! Let things take their course.

Hermann Hesse
"Voll blüten"

Sunday, July 17, 2016


As I drew this bird, I could feel the curve of his wing and the upturn of his tail and how they would keep him aloft...

Sunday, June 19, 2016

sketches & notes

Life has been a little hectic lately and most of my drawings & paintings have appeared on lists of things to do.

Also this little guy appeared when I was trying to show Ansel some key places in my home state of California...

These little fairy magicians were helping me remember the words to a song:

And this guy is illustrating a point - his toes are beyond strange and his arms are way off, but maybe that's part of the point ;)
My first 5 attempts at this cartoon all looked like they were doing yoga, so when this guy showed up, I decided to be happy with the result.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

get less mad

The other day I was ranting and raving in my voice lesson. I was mad about a lot of things.
"I need to make more things," I told my teacher Teryle. "I WANT TO MAKE MORE THINGS!"

Wednesday, June 8, 2016


There has been some disagreement between me and my environment - perhaps my whole life, but definitely in the last few months - about what excellence is.

I have spoken out about it before, and will continue to speak out about it, again and again.

Here is what I believe is excellent: being able to immerse yourself in something you care about deeply; exploring it, openly, freely, with passion and heart; being open to learning new things and seeing new points of view, being willing to try new things, being open and honest and clear.

Whatever you create operating in this way will be excellent.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

bubble people

Yesterday we were talking about those plastic bubbles that you can wear and run around and bump into people.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

fear 3

Often there's a busy little part of our brain occupying itself with coming up with a thousand and one reasons why what we want won't work, won't happen, can't be, can't be ours, can't happen for us.
It's nice to be able to move into another part of the brain where things are possible, the air is a little clearer, and the view is clearer too.

This guy can be grumpy.

The appeal of having something that is OURS, too, is great.

But what ELSE is ours?

Monday, April 25, 2016

lake day

Yesterday I visited one of my favorite places: Canandaigua Lake. It was sunny and a little bit chilly but there were a lot of people out and I enjoyed sitting on the rocks and looking out over the water. I even got a chance to draw a couple of quick scenes:

Monday, April 11, 2016

plant life

The plants are getting used to their new space. This one likes being draped over a hook by the window.
(This was painted on a page from my new journal made by Beate, which I'd love to show here but I haven't figured out yet how to take and post photos (yes, I am stuck in another century). My ink seriously smudged there at the bottom!)

The jade plant is flourishing on a table in the kitchen.