Archive | March 2015

Crocuses emerging

I am seeing a lot of green sprouting out of the ground. On Sunday in Brooklyn there were masses of purple crocuses emerging on the grounds of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. And in my neighborhood along the side of the railroad tracks, small clumps of these sweet flowers are emerging out of the old fall leaves. 

The Clouds and the Sea

the clouds and the sea s

It’s supposed to snow again tonight (it’s just too tempting to say “April Fool!”), so I’m going to think thoughts of warmer weather.  This collage was inspired by a watercolor done by Create Art Everyday that was titled “Spring Storm” (

My collage leans more towards summer than spring, but it’s definitely looking forward to a change in the seasons…hello, spring?

Bones 2: a skull


skull comp

Actually the next photo in the bone book was an entire skeleton, but I don’t feel up to tackling that yet.  So, on to the skull.  I don’t think my right and left hand versions look that different, although I felt like I noticed different details drawing with my left hand.

skull 1 don't lift s

I also did one where I didn’t lift the pencil.

skull 1 don't look comp

…and I was a bit impatient when not looking at the paper.  I’ll definitely try that again.

View of NYC from NJ

Out celebrating my daughter’s birthday at a restaurant overlooking the city. So beautiful on a clear night and they gave us a table right by the window. 

The Cat on my Drawing Table

zip s

Anyone with a child of a certain age (20 years, give or take) will recognize the glassy-eyed stare of Zip, the beanie baby cat.  My daughter was given 2 beanie babies for her 3rd or 4th birthday, my first encounter with them.  She promptly named them blackkitty and brownkitty, but blackkitty was clearly the favorite, and remained so for many years.  She ended up with several although I can’t remember the names she gave the other ones.  The one pictured above guards my drawing table.

blackkitty sweater s

I made her a blackkitty sweater, back when I had a ribber for my knitting machine.

meow close up s

And sending out good vibes to the real black kitty in our lives, our neighbor’s cat Geri, who’s under the weather these days.  Hope to see you on the deck soon.

geri comp

Cross Stitch Grid

cross stitch mandala s

I’ve been looking at the photos I have of old work and taking fresh photos of some of them.  When I pulled this textile piece out, I was amazed first at how much larger it was than I remembered it…18″ square.  I hadn’t remembered that I put a sleeve on the top back so I could hang it either.  I did this at least 5 years ago when I thinking a lot about grid-based  art.  I had some gingham fabric and I took one of my colored pencil grid experiments and tried to recreate the effects of crossing colors.  Then I put batting and a backing and lightly quilted a couple squares to give it more texture.

cross stitch mandala close up s

Like so much I do, it was an idea I had, but I never did anything else to develop the idea further.  I like it though; I found a hanger and put it on the wall to remind me to think about it at least, as I seem to be back to doing some grids.

cross stitch mandala blk grnd s

I did photos on both black and white, but the white shows the true colors much better.

Red Shoes

The shoe on the left is one my daughter made a long time ago. On the right is a twig I found and made into a shoe. Just a couple of mismatched red shoes for a rainy day. 

More Alice Neel

alice neel family group s

When I went to see the Nevelson show a few weeks ago, I also went to an exhibit of Alice Neel drawings in a gallery nearby.  I had been working on drawing family groups, and I knew she often used her own family as subjects.

neel couple s

I was surprised to see that she sometimes used markers for her drawings.  The couple above is quite large, probably 18 x 24 inches.

neel figure study s

I liked this early figure study, showing the subject in a few different outfits, at different angles.

neel brown paper s

Another early drawing looks like it may have been done on a paper bag.

neel early watercolor s

This sweet early watercolor portrays her mother with her daughter.

neel early landscape s

And here’s a simple watercolor landscape, also done when she was young.

neel watercolor comp

Later watercolors are also worked in different ways.  The woman appears to be first drawn in pencil and colored in with paint; the sisters were done as part of an integrated, painted scene.

neel pastel s

Neel also occasionally worked in pastel.

neel bw comp

Her imagined figural scenes contain lots of emotional impact.

neel figure 1 comp

The variety and depth of Alice Neel’s drawings are an inspiration and a reminder to stay open and flexible.  And to always keep exploring.

Goofing off at work

Instead of doing my work I got out my five colored pencils and did this little landscape. I’m enjoying playing around with the pencils and seeing all the combinations that are possible. Now it’s 5PM, time to call it a day!


A quick sketch of Gregg, a guy who’s been helping us out in the office. He is a traveling guy and reports he doesn’t eat or sleep much. He has nice blue eyes and is from Vermont. I did this from an iPhone shot I took of him the other day with my new colored pencils. Only used about five colors, though.