Sunday, December 30, 2007

Just another drawing day

A good drawing day... well, lots of drawing. This from the floor under the Christmas tree.
And a new animation of Fido, where I'm just trying to figure out how character animation works. Having to slow down my metabolism to a crawl. Anyway, the poor creature dies, but I think I can bring him back.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Meet Fido

OK, this was really fun to make. Based on one of the recent animal drawings, I did most of the work in Photoshop, frame by frame, and then used BTVpro to make the movie.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Yesterday's drawing leads to a whole menagerie of creatures... I think they might work well as cut paper animations. This is going to be a good year.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas night

It's Christmas and we are flaking out, eating too much and watching "I'm Your Man" Leonard Cohen songs concert video, very sweet with lots of my favorite songs performed by young artists. Hal was working on a drawing and prodded me to "just make a one-minute drawing." OK, well here is one that took two Lucinda Williams songs to make. Hope your holiday has been as good as ours.

Thursday, December 20, 2007


The trouble with drawing bigger is that it takes a lot longer. I get bogged down and stale, and I haven't any other drawings to choose from for posting.
On the bright side, this work-in-progress has a few glimmers here and there, and I won't mind reworking the rest of it. It long ago ceased to be precious.
It reminds me of the knot in my stomach.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

When is a drawing not a drawing?

In Red Hook over the weekend, I saw a drawing show at the Kentler Gallery, Way cool and inspiring.
Now I've got this idea, again, to create some of my drawings in fiber. Tapestry? Maybe. Or sculpture with thread. Or dyed, twisted and tied fabric.
Hmmm. This could solve my 'go big or go home' issue.

Monday, December 17, 2007

O tannenbaum

I was just lying on the floor drawing under the Christmas tree, as yet undecorated.
All our usual ornaments are sweet family antiques and I was imagining making my own this year.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Till we meet again

Off to NYC for the weekend, my friend Lori Hayes has an art opening – Transitory Art – at Lutheran Church of the Messiah, 129 Russell St., Greenpoint, Brooklyn. It's on Sunday from 5 to 7 p.m. if you're in the neighborhood.
I'll post next drawing on Tuesday, Dec. 18.
Happpy Holidays.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Everyday drawing

I was thinking of this as an under drawing (like an under painting), but now I will postpone its 'shroud.' Sometimes I have to live with a piece for awhile to know what it needs.
Today I am thinking about how everyday drawings reference everything else: other artists (Vija Celmins), stuff in my pockets, litter on the beach. And then there's that whole interior landscape thing going on. It's best when all my worlds collide .

Monday, December 10, 2007

Was I snoring?

Bought some gold and white and silver pens... it's almost like drawing in color. Ha.
That 'thing' eludes me today.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

a la Vija Celmins

OK so I didn't spend days and days on this seascape... and I'm too interested in the ink pen I was using – how its quirks (blotches, scrapes, skips and drags) pretty much created the illusion of water without any real intent on my part.
This week I'm experiencing discovery: I draw and draw and draw and stuff, sometimes really cool stuff, happens.

If you're not familiar with Vija, check her out:

Friday, December 7, 2007

This or that

Repetition of form and ritual mark- making yield sci-fi landscape ... or saddle horns ... or anthills ...
I'm coming to appreciate the subtle changes that occur with a finicky ink pen: holes, blotches, waves and scribbles – the unintentional – or so I say.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Winter stillness

I spent a lot of time this week driving on slick and snowy roads in upstate New York. Yikes.
When my flight home was canceled I found myself with a day to draw. Here's one piece illustrating the slip slide-y-ness of their first winter storm. I remember why I don't live there anymore.
The overwhelming whiteness and quiet drove me to work close to the paper and feel every line. They were great conditions for drawing.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Side dish No. 4, enhanced

One of my teachers, Lorraine Fink, encouraged us to work in series. I like that since only one out of any six or so pieces really hits the mark. She said, when you go back into them, to work on the worst one first.
I have to stop myself from just blackening in the whole thing.
Leaving town again for a week. I'll be back to posting Thursday Dec. 6.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Just keep working

Carrying on. I experimented with blackening in yesterday's drawing, but decided against it. Bowing to the possibility that I don't know how everything is supposed to turn out.
This one? I dunno yet. I'm still not getting at the 'thing' I'm looking for.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Red light

I've been trying to stop before a drawing is done. Check back tomorrow to see how it all works out.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Side dishes

Thanksgiving in rural Mississippi. These were worked in Miss Betty's kitchen during the second and third football games I endured (The Packers won the game I actually watched). I'll be contemplating going bck into these during the week.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Bigger, not necessarily better

Well, I have mixed feelings about this work. Yeah, it's bigger, but less free. And less successful in terms of, well just about everything: composition, energy, spontaneity... back to the drawing board.
It's good to have a goal, which is to draw life-sized, free and easy and interesting.
On the road again, this time its Mississippi for the holiday. So, taking my sketchbooks and will post lots when I get back next week.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

One step back

OK I know this isn't 50 percent bigger than the last entry, but 50 percent smaller... I regress. But, the bigger (16 inches square) piece is in the works and should be ready for posting tomorrow.
It's been as hard as I figured it would be... still using the ink pen and china marker, but tightening up when I should be loosening up. Thinking too much and fearful... the best parts are the missteps.
As for these guys, too smudgy but looks like they're having fun.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Animal, vegetable, mineral

Drawing outside today. Hear it's the last warm day now until Spring. So, here's another work in progress. This one is 50 percent bigger than yesterday's installment... tomorrow I hope to make one bigger still. Maybe by the end of the month I'll be drawing people-sized again. Figuring out the tools and materials has stalled me.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Here's another one

So, Sunday's drawing finally reminded me of early work: big paintings from ODU, big drawings from Ireland. Sometimes I wonder how much I don't see. These pieces are much smaller, with a similar energy, more spontaneity.

"Inspiration exists, but it has to find us working. "

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Dig deep into the toolbox

I had this ink drawing that just wasn't working. I gave it up but kept going back to it... Tonight I got out the china marker.
Alongside the deep (refreshing) contrast, I'm digging the sense of roundness and object-ness that the forms have taken on. As if they are etched porcelain, or plaster. Hmmm.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Mixed bag

Sometimes repetition can become monotonous. Marks and shapes come out on the paper and I think I know what I'm doing ... but then I never do.
On the brighter side, my friend Wayne has a birthday coming up. I spent part of the day making small notebooks for him. Here's one of the covers, front, back, spine and end flaps. Way more fun. The images came from the Internet... weird what comes up when one plugs "naked gay man" into Google images. Yikes. I hope he likes them.

Friday, November 9, 2007


There's always a connection between what I'm doing day to day and what I'm drawing. Sometimes the drawing comes first and the connection second. Like this drawing I made yesterday at the laundromat and a potful of creepy tubers found under the sweet potato vine today.

Just draw

I packed a box with a couple of cactus ears. They are going to Milwaukee to live with my sister-in-law. In the last few days, all my drawings have cactus ears in them.
A friend asked me once how you know, when drawing, that you are drawing from your own sub-conscious self, or the collective unconscious or simply influenced by you exterior environment. I said you just have to trust.
But now I think it just doesn't matter.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


The most interesting thing about this drawing for me was turning it around, viewing it from all sides. Really dramatic changes.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Flow and balance

Today I was working on a big drawing with a china marker, but this small ink sketch I did later in the day was infinitely more satisfying to make... Why? I dunno.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Work in progress finally finished

Yesterday I was happy to discover a subtle freedom in drawing within a grid. Today I blew it all by thinking ... Will it be boring if I continue on to the end? What if I leave it unfinished? What if I leave it just slightly unfinished?

Why o why can I not just let the work unfold as it will?

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Work in progress

Freedom to make marks without intention occurs within structure. Ritual, repetition, meditative drawing... there's something so right about drawing that line, thinking only "that line" and not "how does that line interact with the line before and the line after."

Friday, November 2, 2007

Como esta?

A drawing of a "thing" morphs into a drawing of a thing in space... floating layering, changing, drifting away.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Petals, pedals, paddles

Trying to capture a slow flapping – no, swaying – in the breeze, though it's too late in the season for new life. Must be ghosts then, huddled together for company, safety, strength ... seem sort of hopeful, don't they?

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


No-mind needs no broom to sweep away the clutter of earth-bound living. But I do.
Buddha, remind me to exhale.

Friday, September 28, 2007


Today the beach was flat and pristine. Receding waves left salt edges - overlapping, entwining and rubbing out each other as they flowed back into the bay. Nothing else, only a scuffed gull print here, a pearly stone there.
It all reminded of drawings I made a couple of years ago, where I discovered that it was the spaces in between things, everything that interested me – the shadow, the light, the energy – not any thing itself. Mystery and aura and potential at the edges where we (they) lurk for not belonging.
It's all wrong, this gray of graphite, I mean the color is wrong. But the experience of drawing it is right. What is colored graphite?

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Experiment, experience

Today I find myself making this drawing I didn't know I would make, or even like... Yesterday I discovered something that worked in the skeleton drawing – conflicting directions that I usually intuitively avoid. But it worked, in a way I couldn't see before. So, the next thing I know it's creeping into other drawings. Is it workin', not workin', I dunno.
Hal is back home from hiking in Colorado, conquering great high altitudes and being changed by the experience. The mountain is in him now (Mount Elbert), from his feet through his calves and thighs and body and into his heart.
I'm thinking about how experience shapes us. My experience of being home this time, looking within; his of being out on the mountain top, looking within.

Saturday, September 22, 2007


All this week I have been making Halloween drawings, well, illustrations. And also working at my day job - which is really a night job - which meant that there has been precious little time left over for yard work or ink drawings.

So, this morning the experience of working on skeletons and ghosts in Adobe Illustrator is hereby recorded with ballpoint pen on paper, above. It is the disjointed (pun intended) fragmented quality that reflects pretty accurately what's in my head right now... I need to keep working on this piece, but am off again to work. Sigh.
And, I'm including a couple of the Halloween pieces just for fun.

Monday, September 17, 2007


Fall continues to claim small living things, drying and scattering seed. We've had so little rain here, the process seems accelerated – too soon and too fast. I am resigned.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Laundromat drawing

Today was such a good day. I finished a huge project that had taken up most of the summer. Delivered the CD and brushed myself off. Took a nap, grilled salmon for dinner, drew this picture while the laundry was cookin'. I thought it was about a nighttime sky... but then it sort of erupted.