A Doll In “The Moth” Magazine

I’m happy to report that one of my paintings found its way into The Moth, a literary magazine of Ireland.  Also in this issue of The Moth is a drawing that my kid made which was featured here at Art Writing Bold Drawing back in July of 2009.  This pleasant development makes me a happy artist and a proud mom.

So, WOW!  And a big thanks to The Moth for inviting us to participate in this month’s magazine.

The other Doll, the one with Big Hair, she is not so happy.  To be upstaged by that rag doll!  Oh, the ignominy!  Why that other doll hasn’t got any interesting hair at all. 

You can’t please everybody.

Talking to myself, pen in hand

Looking at the still life flowers from where I sit, how will I ever get back to them, to finish their painting?  I see the lights and darks differently — or I should say, they seem new to me looking at them now.  This mood, the pen, sitting in a different location, having been away from them a long time.  What I was thinking recently about Matisse regarding landscape one could attempt with these flowers:  do versions, let yourself take greater liberties.

The Mystery of Technology: or, the hazards of spontaneity

A couple days ago after having dropped my daughter off at school, I thought it was high time I began my foray into spontaneous drawing.  There’s a mill along the path of my usual commute so I decided I’d stop there.  It was pouring rain and “weather” was another of those categories of things I’ve been telling myself that I should take more notice of as regards my drawing ambitions.  Thus spontaneously I decided to circumvent my plans and drop by the mill for a bit of sketching by the river.  All I had was a little notebook I carry in my purse and assorted pens, but it was to be a “what the heck” adventure in seeing.

I listened to the radio.  I drew.  I commented to myself that these were not especially interesting little sketches, nothing much to look at, that I was going to have to learn a graphic vocabulary, sort of like what Van Gogh learned and used, if I were ever to get serious about landscape drawing.  However, those thoughts didn’t bother me any.  The whole purpose of what I was doing was to “see” more than to get results. 

I made a few of these things.  After a bit, I decided “okay, enough, it’s time to go.”  Turned the key on the car.  Nothing happened.  Tried it several times more.  Nadda.  The very rain that had prompted me to change plans was now putting a big crimp in my new reality:  I’m stranded, it’s pouring, and I haven’t even had breakfast yet.  (Note: never do the spontaneity thing on an empty stomach.)

Well, fast forward.  I made a phone call.  Got rescued.  We bought jumper cables and drove back to my car.  I leaped out of my husband’s truck and on a lark put the key in the ignition, turned it and — voila! — it started!  Has been running just fine since.  Go figure.

Back nestled in the dry warmth of home, I made a little sketch in oil pastel based upon the line drawings from the site.  I’m wondering whether it was quite worth the trouble, making these drawings, buying jumper cables, going without breakfast, for these little impressions.  But Van Gogh says “you have to suffer for art.”  On a suffering scale, I must admit (very gladly) that these inconveniences and automotive mysteries do not rank high.  So, I won’t complain.

But I have a new rule:  no spontaneity until after breakfast.

Drawing what you can draw

Drawing whatever you can, in whatever way you can, whenever you can has become something of a motto with me lately.  I have put too many limits upon myself.  Not that they’re bad limits, they’re not.  They are very fine limits.  But I wonder sometimes down what paths drawing might lead me if I were to draw things more randomly from life, as I once used to do, or if I drew even a few things that do not swim (though I won’t give up my koi, of course).  In short, I find myself hankering after a more spontaneous life.

Some jonquils turned up around here, were deposited into a dark blue vase, and it happened to be a nice day, so I took them outdoors, placed them on a platform and drew them quickly.  The fast and mostly unedited moment is presented above.  Draw what you can, when you can, in whatever manner you can draw it.  It’s a great motto!


I have been making studies of some of the central fish in the picture that I’ve been thinking about lately.  I try to get at them again and again.  I want to learn my fish.  They are a fish concerto that I must practice.

Some of the studies, like these above, are medium size.  Others are small fry.

And sometimes they are just lines.

I’m a very studious student of the fish.  People will go to great lengths to catch fish, and I am no exception for the pictured fish are not less wily than their living counterparts.

Koi in the Deep Blue

I like the deep blue of the fishes’s water.  Their blue world connects me to many delightful memories of pretending to be a fish myself during an unusually long childhood, and it recalls me to innumerable occasions of looking neck craned into the sky, and not the least it reconnects me to my admiration for art hero Claude Monet, whose water lilies have been part of many an artist’s desire to paint.

How many kinds of blue can there be?  And how does one comprehend the marvelous planes of the water as it moves?  The waters spread out like a sheet ….