Sunday, December 16, 2012

sketch 33 - face


My heart goes out to the families of Newtown, CT

This is going to be the last sketch I post for awhile. I am continuing to create new sketches daily, and I have plans for them, so you will see them again! Happy Holidays, my friends. I plan to continue blogging & sharing thoughts, humor and observations as time allows. Peace.

Friday, December 14, 2012

sketch 32 - face

the key

 "don't put the key to your happiness in someone else's pocket." I just saw this quote on pinterest this morning and it was an apt reminder. i have a day off to shop and enjoy the company of good friends for lunch. i hope you take the time during this hectic season to find what makes you happy, and do it.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

sketch 30 - face


I like words that have more than one meaning, like present. Either way, it is a gift. To be present, and in the moment, is a gift to those with whom you spend your time, as well as a gift to yourself.
I have to confess, I am not always present. My mind wanders. A lot. And it's not age. I was labeled a daydreamer by all of my teachers in school, from first grade on. I have probably blogged about this before. In the comments section of every report card, my teachers would note that I was a decent student, but I could excel if I would only spend as much time paying attention as looking out windows. Perhaps if they were more entertaining, I would have. Our interest focuses on things that grab our attention, or things for which we have a natural aptitude. We're lucky if we find something that we love AND that we're good at. I like to think I have found that with my art, and I want to show my gratitude to the universe every day, by showing up.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Sketch 26 - face

be a light

I am woefully underprepared for this holiday season, and yet, also rather unconcerned today. I am sure that a panic attack is right around the corner. Is it bad form to send everyone a link to my blog and post a digital Christmas card? Just kidding. I think this is dreadful, but at the rate I am going, this may be my only option.
Off to run errands, shop, walk Max, and then celebrate the season with friends. All is well. I will panic tomorrow!!

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Sketch 25 - face -- and Word up for 2013

As some of you may know, my new year's resolution takes the form of a single word for the year rather than a declaration or list of goals. I swear by the power of a single word to transform my year. I think the main reason it works is its simplicity. It is easy for the mind to hold a single word and put energy behind it, and with energy, comes action and positive change.

I've been doing this for at least five years, and my life continues in a direction that reflects -- more and more -- who I am and what I need.

For 2012, my word of intention was power --my own personal definition of power -- which encompasses choice, and freedom, and financial security, to name a few. Even when I struggled through times in which I felt like the opposite was actually at work in my life, I just reminded myself of my word, and my circumstances began to fall into place. I have learned to just focus occasionally on my chosen word, and let it do the rest.
My word for 2013 has been in the wings for a couple of months already. I have been working for the past 25 days to put it into practice early. My word is discipline. I've read a number of articles this year written by artists and other successful creative professionals, and almost all of them name discipline as a key component in their success. And then this quote landed in my in-box a few weeks ago...

Seek freedom and become captive of your desires.
Seek discipline and find your liberty.
-- Frank Herbert (author, Dune)

So sometimes, you don't even have to choose a word. It chooses you.

holiday sweet

sketch 24 of 365 - face

book of love


Wednesday, December 05, 2012

sketch 23 of 365 - face

I saw a funny Facebook post recently about all of the electronic gadgets that kids have these days, and it ended with the comment "we had just one thing to play with as kids - it was called - "outside."

Growing up in a very small town in the late 60s and early 70s, that was pretty true.  I have winter memories of walking through the woods to Manning's Pond, which was essentially a small patch of frozen water beyond the local golf course. This was way back before the days of protective helmets and hovering parents.

Our method of testing to be sure the pond was frozen was to send the chubbiest of our friends across the water first. If he stayed up and the ice didn't  crack, we were good to go. (Is it too late to apologize for that, Victor?)

There were no triple Salchows or triple axels out there in the woods. We were lucky just to stay upright with the bumps & sticks embedded into the icy surface, but we felt adventurous and we would end our chilly trek at one or another's house with hot cocoa and mittens drying on radiators.

off to manning's pond

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

sketch 22 of 365 - face


More than a decade ago, my sisters and I used to get together annually for a weekend before the holidays to bake up baskets of breads, and cookies and sweets of all kinds to share with friends and relatives. It was ridiculously inefficient, with three women in one kitchen, sharing a single oven for a very long day that left us absolutely exhausted. Some of our baked treats were delicious, and some were quite awful -- like the very cute gingerbread men that were missing a key ingredient - sugar.

But like so many traditions, it was as much about spending time together as it was about the end result. I remember laughing all day, both at and with one another. And although our busy lives have made "sister baking day" a thing of the past, we made as many memories as cookies, and we'll savor them forever.

Monday, December 03, 2012

sketch 21 of 365 - face

peace on earth

Busy week ahead, so I thought beginning with peace would be a good thing. I wish you all a peaceful and magical holiday season.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

sketch 20 of 365- face

In addition to posting my 20th sketch in a row, I just noticed that this is my 500th blog post since I began blogging in 2006. Some bloggers offer gifts to readers, and I love this concept, but I have proven to be absolutely lousy at following through on anything that involves getting a package in the mail, so I will just offer my gratitude that anyone out there ever visits!

I really am grateful for this avenue of sharing art, ideas, and friendship, and this is an illustration of my gratitude... (which is funny because I drew it before I knew that this was my 500th post or what I would say today)...

this much

Saturday, December 01, 2012

sketch 19 of 365 - face

Happy December! The first morning of this month greeted those of us in upstate NY with chilly temperatures and a blanket of snow on the ground. Just enough to paint the perfect holiday picture outdoors, which inspired this illustation indoors, from my cozy sofa...

Friday, November 30, 2012

sketch 18 of 365-face

oh christmas tree

Trees are among my favorite holiday things. I love all kinds of trees in every season, and I particularly love evergreens and twinkly lights during the holidays. I have a little "forest" of trees set up on my front porch this year to celebrate the season, and it inspired this sketch.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

sketch 17 of 365 - face

won't you light my candle

For those who visit daily, you will know I did not post this on Thursday, but I did create the original sketch on Thursday, so I am going to try to back date the posting. I just ran out of time and steam yesterday and did not have a chance to color and post my sketch...

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Sketch 16 of 365 - face

drummer girl

I discovered recently that I love drums -- particularly djembe drums and bongos that you play by hand. I love everything about them, from the craftsmanship and the feel of them beneath my hand, to the amazing sounds they make when held in different ways and beaten on different parts of their surface. Like a heartbeat, I feel it right at my core. It is an activity that keeps me very much in the present moment, and I think that is part of why it feels so satisfying. That, and the fact that it stimulates so many of the senses at once.

 I have no formal training in music of any kind, but that has never stopped me from beating my drum.

It reminds me of a quote I once read --
The woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.

PS - Thank you Nate, for the drum. I have cherished it every day since you left it with me.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Sketch 15 of 365 - face

she paints

... and yet she does not walk, because she still has no legs!!! Thank you for your input. For now, I will not break my stride by giving her one. As I write this, my house is an artistic mess. I have walnut-ink stained shipping tags drying all over baking racks on the kitchen counters, and some holiday gifts and ornaments in the making at my art table.
I don't know why I wait until December is barreling down on me to finally get started with things, but I certainly know I am not alone in this pre-holiday frenzy, so perhaps that is a part of it. I ride this creative wave in the universe along with the rest of you!! I wish you all peaceful, artful days, even amidst the chaos!!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Sketch 14 of 365 - face


...An ironic title for a girl with no legs or feet, don't you think?
With two weeks of sketches behind me, I should push it to the next level and give her feet. But I am enjoying the process of drawing, and the thought of having to draw shoes takes away some of the joy, so I may continue with strategically cropped images for awhile.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sketch 13 of 365 - face

Colorful scarves, cozy sweaters, and hot coffee. Some of the many blessings of winter. I am watching little flurries of snow outside my window as I type, while contemplating a second cup of pumpkin spice coffee, and starting the fireplace long before evening. The weekend has brought with it very chilly temperatures, and I have not yet adapted to the change of seasons.

Warm wishes to you, my friends!

girl with mug

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Sketch 12 of 365 - face

While millions were out shopping yesterday, I stayed home and brought Christmas decorations down from the attic. I usually don't decorate much, but this year is ending on a pretty high note for me, so I am feeling festive. I have not accomplished much yet, but this sketch is in the spirit of Christmas preparation...

deck the halls

Friday, November 23, 2012

Sketch 11 of 365 - face

In spite of the fact that I loathe shopping on black Friday, and have not braved the crowds on this day in years, this sketch seemed appropriate.

I do love satchels!... and pocketbooks and purses and knapsacks... and bags of all kinds, really. and I have an orange pocketbook that bears a resemblance to this one..although a more realistic sketch would show me up to my elbows in its cavernous black interior, forever searching for my glasses, my cell phone, and my lipstick. It is a cute but cavernous hell hole, really.

Good luck to those of you who enjoy being in close company with strangers more than I. Please do your part for the economy. And in the wise words of Ellen... be kind to one another!! ...I can't, and that is why I am here.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Sketch 10 of 365 - face

Happy Thanksgiving my blogging friends -- especially Fran and Marilyn and Sherry, who visit so faithfully.
I am thankful for so much every day, but I will try to be even more conscious of all that I have today. Most especially, I am thankful for the people who share my life. They sustain me.
I will be bringing my Grammy Mac's (McElroy) recipe for rutabegas to our thanksgiving dinner. We call them turnips, by the way, but the supermarket tells me that we've been calling them by the wrong name my whole life. Even though I have enjoyed them for decades, I could not tell you what a rutabega actually tastes like. And this is why:
Grammy Mac's turnips
2 large rutabegas, peeled & chopped
1 pound bacon, crispy (and save all the pan drippings)
1 stick butter
salt & pepper to taste
Boil rutabegas until fork tender (like potatoes.) Mash up with butter, & drippings from one pound of cooked bacon. Break bacon into little bits & add whole pound to rutabegas. Add salt (if necessary) and pepper, to taste.
They are smoky and salty and delicious, and this is why I have no idea what a rutabega really tastes like. Grammy Mac hailed from Augusta, Georgia, and most of her recipes called for bacon grease, crisco, butter or all three. And I miss her, especially on holidays.
Love letters

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Sketch 9 of 365- face

Okay, this is what results when I sketch while watching the American Music Awards (on DVR). In truth, I was just too lazy to pencil in a civilized hairdo, so the rest of her personna just followed suit.