Boxed in – Springing out

There’s always a lot happening in April—both in my life and with the seasonal shift to spring. I thought I’d try a grid in my journal as a way to make time for small sketches that would capture some of it. Unfortunately, I found myself feeling increasingly boxed in by the design. Instead of drawing more, I was drawing less. Then I found violets growing in my yard. So small, you’d think they would be perfect for a tiny box. But they seemed to beckon for more, which led me—finally—to turn the… Read More

Work in Progress

This page—like my diet—is work in progress, but you can see where it’s headed.  And now that I’ve started this record of my downfall, I’m reluctant to find reasons to complete it. I ate with abandon most of last year and decided it was high time to change course and get back to healthier habits. The only problem is that I love desserts and snacking. The good news is that once I put these delectable downfalls on paper, I realized why the scale didn’t show progress last week, and I renewed my… Read More

Old Birds

The lifespan of most small birds is short—just a few years and then they’re gone to predation, disease, or hazards. These birds were given a second life, of sorts, after being “collected” in the 1800s and placed on display at the National Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.  During a recent visit I got to see about 500 birds on display—a minute fraction of the 640,000 specimens housed and maintained by the museum, which has the third largest bird collection in the world. How I would love to look… Read More

Making Chili, Making Art

There’s not much to say about this one, except that sometimes drawing ordinary, everyday things ends up being very good to do.

Painting in the Car

Outside: seven degrees, wind chill minus 15F, bright winter sun. Inside the car: warm enough so that I didn’t see my breath, warm enough so that the watercolors didn’t freeze, warm enough to take my gloves off. A temporary win. After weeks of being inside, I was determined to try my hand at painting in the car. It’s less than ideal by any measure, but not without merit. The end result is a little muddy and overworked, but not bad for an hour’s outing on a frigid day.