Remembering 2010

Last January for me began with drawings of the white creamer, the crème de la creamers in fact.  With record snows on the ground in Washington DC, I remember we hunkered down indoors and I drew still life stuff while trying to stay warm.  Doll was also enlisted to do a lot of modeling for this home-bound artist.

February brought more snow and more little still life moments and apples that imitated their famously painted ancestral cousins on a snowy-looking white cloth.

March brought longing and thoughts about the warm outdoors of coming spring and summer.  But this was still a spring of imagination.

With me always restlessly looking around the next corner, April brought beach metaphors in sea shell drawings.

May brought flowers, fake artsy ones, but still evocative of the field.

In June I made more sea shells and turned a phrase or two.


The incidence of insideness is marked.
I would say you are all insides
of meandering golden section paths
but admittedly the outside is complex also


July mostly passed by in lovely summer idylls by the pool until that sad day when I learned the news that  Paul Squires, the great Australian poet, creator of Gingatao had died.  And the koi lost a great friend.

In August I thought a lot about wordsIf you were to grasp them with your hands, their muscles would slip and elude. 

In September the bees came.

October brought new koi ponds.

In November I paid tribute to my wonderful compotier, an  indebtedness that I still have yet to pay off.

And December — well, today is December’s last day, isn’t it? — and now we look to another year.  My December brought me back to flowers and the still life table.

And what will 2011 bring?  I hope it brings you much joy and good luck.  Inside its mysteries lies hidden the future.

Happy New Year!



When life gives you lemons, you should paint them.  The same goes for apples.  An apple a day for keeping the doctor away, and four others on the still life for painting.  Sleep, get up, paint.  Eat too.  Then sleep, get up, paint.

Winter break painting

Decided that yesterday’s idea was working out pretty well, so I’m doing small things while the child is having holidays from school.  Sneak in a little painting here and there and make progress by inches!

I painted these apples by lamp light while the child snoozed….

Pome and pomme

A restless child is home from school.  Some of us may want to paint, but others of us want to play and want constant noise and stimulation, making the painting part of one’s holiday difficult to achieve.  But a painter can play too.  So I made my little quick painting of the apple and its friend in acrylic.

When in Rome, do as the Romans do.  And when school resumes, work resumes.

Not drawing today

I was painting! Da tah!  And I can show a few peeks at what’s on the easel.  But only some hints.  Because my studio is a secret bunker and the work in progress is Top Secret.

All that stuff I’ve been drawing with my crayons and with the favorite pen are being turned into paint.

Yep, I’ve given the favorite pen the day off.  It’s been just me and the paint brushes today.

But the blue compotier didn’t get the day off!  No, sirree!

Nah, the blue compotier is workin’ over-time.

Today’s catch is flowers not fish

I was supposed to paint today, but I never got the lid off the paint tubes.  Instead I just had to draw.  I am drawing the stuff that I am going to paint — that I have already started painting.  But before I even did that, I took my walk.  Did my “walk” drawings.

Have a little notebook to carry.  Now just for the record, these were not made with the favorite pen.  It’s a very nice pen that I used, but was not the favorite.  The favorite pen stays behind when I walk.

Made a couple little “detail” scribble thingys.

One of these, surely, ought to be turned into a postage stamp.  Is about the right size.  Wouldn’t you want to put this on your envelop?

Then back at the ranch, I drew some more.  My flowers are so patient.

They’re also very cheerful.  Or maybe it was me that was cheerful.

Got the vase to stand for one alone, too.

After that, the grand finale … for today anyway.

Renoir parle

“Je dispose mon sujet comme je le veux, puis je me mets à le peindre, comme ferait un enfant.  Je veux qu’un rouge soit sonore et résonne comme une cloche; si ce n’est pas cela, j’ajoute encore des rouges et d’autres couleurs jusqu’ à ce que j’y arrive.  Je ne suis pas plus malin que ça. ”

[d’apres une interview avec Walter Pach en 1912]

Starting and stopping

You don’t always know what you’ll do and what you won’t.  Sometimes you start something, fully intend to finish it, but something stops you.  And truly not every drawing is one that you can go back to — even if it had good ideas, or you liked it a lot — not even if you’re a workaholic can you finish everything. 

But the drawing that you stop, doesn’t just arbitrarily end.   It has a certain identity, a certain something that was the sum total of what you were thinking by that point in time.  It holds suggestions in it of what was coming next, I think.  It’s a fingerprint of the mind, a trace of a cloud, of an emotion or a will.

I’ve been drawing lots of flowers lately.  I wake up, I start drawing.  And the drawings are sometimes like dreams, and sometimes of course you wake up before the dream has concluded, and yet your mind has not exactly created a fragment, not entirely.  The brain is still sending you messages even in the unfinished thing, like smoke signals.