Archive | December 2014

And time to put the tchotchkes away

Happy New Year, be safe and merry tonight.

Winding Down

cookie cutters s

Time to put the cookie cutters away for another year…

Headline Haiku: Like a Chilling Candle

gun s

The cold assassin
late remembers the blood.  Why
does the photo weep?

Words from headlines in the Daily News and amNewYork.  Arrangement by Poem Generator ( and me.

Death by gun.

Every day, 88 people die by gun violence in the United States.

Wenjian Liu

Officers Liu and Ramos of the NYPD were assassinated by a madman last week while sitting in their patrol car eating lunch.
The officers were promoted posthumously to First Grade Detectives, which means their families get a little more money.
Officer Liu was only 32 and was a newlywed. When I saw his picture I was struck by the good humor of his face. He even had dimples.
I usually don’t post newsy stuff (Kerfe takes care of that so well) but I felt good honoring this man with a portrait. Rest in peace, Wenjian Liu. You didn’t deserve your fate.

Beach I Ching 9


              #47 K'un    Oppression (Exhaustion)

#47 K’un
Oppression (Exhaustion)

Also:  Boxed-In/Confined/Reaching One’s Limit/Distress/Out of Darkness/The Shadow

“The oppressiveness of Doubt exhausts our inner resources.” (Anthony)

“You feel the exhausting futility of life.” (Williams)

fist s

“Keep in mind that failure…is but one part of the inevitable cycle of life for those who dare to live fully and completely.” (

“We are all rooted in abysses and grow into the world.” (

“The answer lies beyond the realm of reason and logic.” (DeKorne)

47 center s

“When you go inward, you find something limitless and quite independent of human plans and changes, that doesn’t ask you to make sense of it.” (

“Your only chance for peace is to live life the way you want to….what you believe, you will be.” (Williams)

“Let us be inspired and ultimately accept and integrate what we encounter….inhaling, exhaling.” (

rainbow s

“The best thing about hitting rock bottom is that there is only one way to go.” (

“To endure hard times….it is essential…to tab that wellspring of human endurance:  hope.” (

i ching 9s #47

#47 in the I Ching inspires the most complex and varied interpretations that I’ve seen so far.

Sometimes there’s a drought:  the world lies heavy upon us.  It’s easy to get stuck in that place.

As we approach a new year, we long to do it hopefully, optimistically, gladly.

I’m amazed at how often the Beach I Ching I’m doing seems to be tuned into my state of mind at that particular time.  The words of commentary on “Oppression” give much to consider as I look towards 2015.

You can see the rest of the Beach I Ching series here:

Into the woods

Mills Reservation is a multi-acre wooded area which I am fortunate to live spitting distance from. Now that I finally have my dogs under control I can hike them there without fear of Birdy attacking another dog for no reason. The police do patrol there and give out tickets for unleashed dogs but I’ve never seen one up there. Today was rainy, not many people or dogs. There are quite a few of these wooden structures which I suppose kids build. The one pictured is a simple teepee but off the main trail there are some very elaborate ones. It’s really nice to have some woods like this nearby where my dogs and I can be in nature for a little while.

Part of an 800 year old Torah scroll

I clipped an article from the NYTimes on Volume II of the Norton Anthology of World Religions. This little segment of the Torah was pictured and I attempted to copy it in gouache resist. The writings do not offer unsustainable certainty, says the article. “The Book of Job finds no answer to the problem of human suffering, and Ecclesiastes dismisses human life as ‘utter futility'”.
I am Jewish, although I call myself the Jew without a clue. My family never affiliated with a synagogue (for financial reasons, I think) but I have always felt very Jewish nonetheless. When I saw the article I wanted to try to copy the old Hebrew letters in a painting. I may have to go back and rework this a bit because I washed away a little too much of the writing but overall I am pleased with the old look of it. I also washed away the ink too quickly so the two black borders I left didn’t really stay black. Sometimes you get too excited about something and patience goes out the window. Still, it was a good thing to do today.

Get Jacques on the phone…

in the market s

I don’t usually post twice in the same day, but I couldn’t resist…this was my Christmas gift to my New Jersey Devils fan daughter, stitched on felt from a composite of hockey-themed cartoons she’s done over the years.  Appropriately, we were there at the Rock last week for DeBoer’s last defeat.  The team can’t get much worse…

Green Sea Turtle

green sea turtle s

Sea turtles are not only beautiful creatures, they help to maintain seagrass beds and are an important part of the ocean ecosystem.  Human development of coastal areas pollutes and destroys these seagrass beds and jeopardizes turtle nesting sites on beaches.  Global and ocean warming also endanger turtle habitats.

Turtles are hunted for both eggs and meat, and  get caught in commercial fishing nets where they drown.  Another threat is the trade in turtle parts for use in traditional African and Asian medicine.

Found objects

Today is a beautiful day. I went with Chris and a bunch of dogs to the power lines which is a great wide open area with little trails. I found two turtles, one a hollow shell and the other with the animal inside. There was a hawk circling around and the dogs all had a great time. I had some stuff at home, mainly some ripped up tire treads I found by the railroad tracks. I love picking stuff up, I don’t really know why except sometimes I derive inspiration from it. The turtles are especially beautiful. I’ll have to look up on YouTube how to remove a dead turtle from its shell. Anyway, this is a little assemblage. I will do a drawing from it later.