Saturday, December 31, 2011


 Whenever I'm outside these days, my eyes have been drawn to the ground. Winter hasn't really kicked in (I wonder if it will at all this year), the soil is damp and rich and almost always in shadow. I suspect that there's a lot going on down in there. Busy life, growing, expanding out, pushing up through the cracks in the pavement, consuming and expelling, roiling under us. Even in this dormant time.

I feel way more light-hearted than that sounds ... this isn't my favorite time of year, but I like the idea of a living, breathing Earth, taking care of itself, getting ready for spring.

All these drawings are from my current sketchbook, measuring about 7 inches square. Pencil, paraffin, china marker and oil crayon on paper.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Drawing with my fingers

Ooooooh Hal gave me a Kindle Fire for my birthday. I've been playing with a cool drawing app...
Bothe easy and complicated.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Monster drawing rally

It was great fun, a big crowd milling around and good art... what a blast to see so much art being made so deliberately, so fast, with so much good energy.
Image 1: Here's my drawing. Yet another battle scene (see Nov. 2 post: Small Worlds ). That hour went by quick.
Image 2: Here I'm making it (that's Heather Bryant working on  her small green creatures to my left).
Image 3: And there's Hal with E.A. Poe (and a problem with his brain).
Image 4: Crowd shot for context.

Most of these photos by Casey Gwinn (Thanks, Casey!).

Friday, December 9, 2011

Practice practice

Second annual Monster Drawing Rally at 1708 in Richmond is tomorrow, well, today I guess. Hal and I will be there from 3-4pm.
It's late Friday (early, I mean, Saturday) and I'm home from work and figuring out what I might draw while I'm there. We each (70 some artists) get an hour to produce work that then gets sold to benefit the gallery. We did it last year and it was very cool.
See you there.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Vegetation + light

Lately I've been thinking about lighting – I want to wrap all the trees around my house in sparkly white. These are a lot smaller than that. Adding light to beautiful paper and lots of x-acto work is making me happy.

Paper-wrapped votive, 2" diameter x 3.25 inches.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Snow on the mountains

Here's the smallest pop up I've attempted, about 3.5 inches high. They remind me of a sparkly Advent calendar we had when I was a child, how I loved the daily ritual leading up to Christmas, opening little doors and windows to reveal a treat, a treasure or a secret ...

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Pop up

I've been making some pop-up sculptures lately, mostly from bad, or maybe just not wonderful drawings (of which I have quite a collection). It's nice to recycle when I can.
There's something really satisfying about successfully cutting out delicate curves and shapes. It's a no-mind sort of process, once I get the panels, elements and folds worked out (definitely a not-no-mind process).

This is a small piece, about 5 inches square when it's flattened out, made from a mixed media drawing on watercolor paper. I'm calling it Bones I, more to come.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

My new favorite artist is Kirsten Stolle

Hal and I were wandering around Asheville NC last week and came across a few wonderful small wax paintings hanging in a cool restaurant (called The Junction, I think). They are sweet, detailed map-sort-of-images and I couldn't stop looking at them. Love the detail, the tiny drawing and the humor. Check out her web site: Kirsten Stolle's web site or

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Small worlds

Today is a day for organization, archiving and 'show entering.' These are three recent pieces in a series called "Soil Sample." (You can see a couple of others in the March 12 and April 5, 2011 posts)

As usual, some more successful than others – the reason I like to work in series. Underdrawings of ink pen were layered with paraffin, china marker and a few bits of color to ponder again the worlds of fragments that make up everything.

I like how the drawings seem to be progressing from passive, floating environments to more active, almost battlefield-like scenes.

Soil Sample III, IV and V
Ink pen china marker, paraffin and crayon on paper, 14" x 11"

Monday, October 31, 2011


I made this card for my neighbor Susan, who has a sort-of-Peter-Max-thing going on. The best thing about these pop-ups is the shadows cast, and this one gets sufficiently spooky when properly lit. 
Happy Halloween.

Untitled, approx. 5" x 9," crayon on cut paper

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sunday hike on the parkway ...

Here's the drawing I finished today, after going into a floatation tank yesterday morning for a lovely hour. The tank session (I've had a few really wonderful experiences with floating) allowed me to get down into the place where I can see more clearly, like knocking the cob webs out of my brain.

My usual battle with horror vacui has been getting me down lately, and I sure did need what I found there: release into wide open spaces, simplicity, intent.

And here we are, hiking in the mountains near Asheville last weekend, down onto the valley floor that is still recovering from a ferocious fire almost a hundred years ago. It was unruly and brush-covered, crisscrossed with streams and dotted with rock. The sky was huge and clear, the trail led us out to a high, stunning waterfall.

"Sunday hike on the Parkway," 36" x 52," graphite and china marker on gessoed paper

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Now&Zen ...

... is the name of my joint show at Baron and Ellin Gordon Galleries with Lorraine Fink (Old Dominion University in Norfolk VA). The opening reception is Friday July 15, 7-9 p.m. and the show is up through Labor Day.
Lorraine and I have been friends forever and have been working together (well, side by side) for the past couple of years.

The gallery is located at 4509 Monarch Way (University Village) behind the Ted Constant Center. 757-683-6271. Come on out.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Forest floor

Fragments of the big drawing...
My big works seem to be composed of many small drawings.
Hal and I were hiking in the mountains up near Wintergreen this weekend... winter still hangs on there and snowdrops are just poking their heads up out of the ground. Trails were carpets of gnawed-open acorns, deer prints and spring green moss-covered rock. Spider webs held sun catching dew drops and scallops of white fungus clung to dying tree trunks. All knitted together to create a forest.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


The floor of my studio under the big drawing is alive with byproducts of art making; of building up (china marker) and tearing down (eraser crumbs).
Clutter, fragments and pieces live on the floor, on the tables, in baskets and cupboards, and my head. Everything I see here seems half-assembled, or half taken apart; half begun or half finished. Not a completed thought in the room.
Hmmmm. Maybe it's OK that nothing ever actually 'arrives' at its destination. In the end it's the pieces that stay with me. The joy, the sense of rightness is found in a small curved red line, or the shape of a white bird against a jet black field (more details of the drawing tomorrow).

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Interior landscape

Mmmm. Or still life with silly string.
Or lost in the wilderness (I've been reading a novel about monks in the forest on winter nights).
My head says I should be drawing simple. My hand just does what it wants to.

Burnished china marker over ink pen.
14" x 11"

Monday, April 4, 2011

Why is it so hard to make a small good idea a big good idea?

Here's a detail of the great big drawing I've been working on... I'm giving myself 'til the end of the week to figure it out. Then I must move on.
I'm digging the collage (the soft gray areas) and the burnished black china marker. And the bronze color. And the playfulness. Hmmmm. Maybe this will work.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


These are details from a large (7.5' x 4.5') drawing on paper I began over the weekend. There's already been one big bout of erasing and probably more (recorded and erased history?) to come. I like the back- and-forth rhythm between adding and subtracting, building up and destroying. I've been thinking a lot about how we remember ... and revise, and forget ourselves.
I just finished reading Paul Harding's Tinkers. Maybe that has something to do with it.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


It's been another great Saturday. A long week of no drawing (and lots of work) led to a great day of 45 small ink drawings (here are a few) ... they influence a new series of big works which I'll begin documenting tomorrow.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

It's been a great day

I love Saturdays filled with working and playing and running and drawing. Spring is in the air today.
Here I've gone back into an old ballpoint pen drawing ... finally knew what it needed. All the different styles I'm using lately will define the upcoming series of large drawings. Looking forward to it.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Living and breathing

Here are a few more images from the Conch Republic.
We met an interesting artist on the island, Zbyszek Koziol, who has lived all over and told us stories about Warhol and the New York scene way back when. I liked his funny, figurative drawings. Check them out here.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Reluctantly returned home

Here's a sampling of the drawings I made in Key West. Vegetation is awesome, abundant, and not what I see everyday in Virginia. Seed pods, fruits and roots, tree bark textures and flowers everywhere. Everything just grows, pushing up and out of sidewalks and pavements and foundations, bursting through fences and breaking pots that try to hold them.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

On the road again

Headed down to Key West for the rest of the week. I'll leave you with another one of the practice images. NOT the colors I hope to be using tomorrow when drawing banyan trees and lizards.

Will try to post new drawings while we're gone from Hal's cell phone. Have a great week!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Sometimes small pieces have really big voices.
Drawing and adding torn pieces of other drawings. It makes me think of urban landscape – everybody is on their way to work.

Graphite, crayon and colored pencil with collage. 7 x 14

Monday, February 28, 2011

Practice practice practice

I made four of these this week. I think of them like practicing scales or jogging the same route every Tuesday. When I don't know what to draw, it's OK to just draw. There's always something new to been found.
I love that story about the monk who hides treasure in the subconscious for a later lifetime when it will be of use to him/her/humankind/me.

Acrylic and graphite on paper, 22 x 30

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sidling in

Hal's told everyone that I've been back in the studio today, so I guess I'll post the drawings I'm working on. I took a batch of photos of this object created for a road-kill sort of video I was thinking about... I like drawing over photographs, making new worlds out of old worlds.