Archive | April 2015


cats bookmark s

For my final National Poetry Month bookmark, a subject that seems to be a favorite:  cats.

Artists of Earth and Sky


artists world 1s

Oh our Mother the earth, Oh our Father the sky,
Your children are we, and with tired backs
We bring you the gifts you love.
Then weave for us a garment of brightness;

May the Warp be the white light of the morning,
May the weft be the red light of the evening,
May the fringes be the falling rain,
May the border be the standing rainbow.

Thus weave for us a garment of brightness,
That we may walk fittingly where birds sing,
That we may walk fittingly where grass is green,
Oh our Mother Earth, Oh our Father Sky.

–Native American Prayer

artists world comp

I finally got to the Metropolitan Museum to see the Plains Indian exhibit a few days ago.  It’s only there for another week.  This “drawing of the artist’s world” was among my favorite works on display.  I tried to do some sketching, but it was very crowded and I couldn’t really stand in the way of people trying to see the objects for long.

warrior s

The painted buffalo robes had many wonderful figures, and I would have loved to draw them all.  But I had to be satisfied with just a few.

calumet dancer s2

Spring watercolor/textile design

This seemed to fit with the lovely weather here in the Northeast United States. Done during my textile designing days. 

Cracks in Time

cracks in time s

buildings fall
buried futures   earth shocking
cracks in time

holding on s2

holding on:  searching
for blood moving   heart to pulse
to touch   to awaken

Invisible Eve 20

rhonda hands s


hands together:  that
is my wish forever as
we spend long hours alone

rhonda 2s

my love can’t erase
the choices that are contained
in the word “goodbye”

rhonda 1s

Once again I did multiple versions of this family.  And once again, none of the attempts fully satisfied, although I like the intertwined hands a lot.  I used a very hard pencil I found in my pencil bin, and it’s really good for fine detail.  I’m still having trouble working out the relationships and proportions of the different family members, but I’ve decided to stop complaining and talk about what I like and what I learned from each one.

I liked exploring the relationships of the hands, which is, like drawing family groups, different from just drawing one hand.  The first family group, above, was the most successful overall, I thought.  Even though the proportions are still not quite right, I like how the figures work together.  I used a softer pencil here, which allows for more contrast.

I used an crayon pencil for my looser, first, attempt.  No real resemblance to the actual people, but it has a sculptural quality that gives the figures dignity.

rhonda upside down s

And this final drawing was done from a suggestion by Dumb Sketch Daily (whose sketches are definitely not dumb):  he turned his reference upside down to better explore the negative space.  ( )  It’s a good idea and I’m going to do it again.  Although Rhonda, in particular, is a bit distorted and the whole image is kind of like a reflection in a funhouse mirror, it’s a really good way to look at the shapes and shadows and how they relate to each other.

You can see all of the Invisible Eve series here:

Two-headed person

Walking the dogs one foggy night I saw a figure a block away. By some trick of the light it looked like a two-headed person. It was probably two people walking close together but it gave me the idea to do a drawing and this is it. 

These Hands

these hands s

these hands have seen years
they have known disappointment
they are holding on

alone s

They say he is bad
but he is only afraid,
uncertain, alone.

I’ve been going through my “in the news” sketchbook, and I realized that it began with just drawing from a newspaper photo that caught my eye, every day, and writing a quick haiku response to the image and/or the story.  I’ve gotten away from that to a “special event” kind of mindset, but I like the original intent.  So…maybe not every day, but certainly often, I’ll go back to the beginning–just look through the day’s paper and draw.

100-Day Project 18-21

days 18 19 20 21

At the sight of blackbirds
Flying in a green light,
Even the bawds of euphony
Would cry out sharply.
–Wallace Stevens

To find out about the “bawds of euphony” click here:

To read all 13 stanzas of “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird” click here:

And to see Illustrated Poetry’s wonderful interpretation of  Wallace Stevens’ poem click here:

See the rest of the 100-day project here:

Munchmobile poster

In 2008 I applied (with an artwork) to ride on the Newark Star-Ledger Munchmobile, a feature in which readers ride a van with a giant hot dog mounted on top and eat.  Our theme that day was Route 46, a major thoroughfare running East and West from NYC to rural Sussex County. That day we ate bagels, pizza, Jamaican food, bar food, hot dogs…it was a very long day. I’m still friends on Facebook with some of those people. It’s easy to bond in a small van with a very full stomach and we all had a great time that day. I did this poster and sent everyone a copy. 

Headline Haiku: Shall We…?

shall we overcome s

After Possible Cultural Contact

Whenever an opportunity appears to incorporate an idea I’ve been thinking about–well, I’m all for it.

Starbucks to the rescue again.

shall we s

So:  I wanted to take a crumpled paper and stitch on the folds and see what happened.  Crumple controversial Starbucks ad, smooth it out, embellish with black and white stitching.  More random art….I like it.

stitching detail s

As to the controversy:  I think the desire to talk about race is a sincere one.  And necessary.  But asking baristas to discuss tangled issues with customers already late for work who haven’t yet had their caffeine fix…hmm.  What could go wrong?

shall we bottom s

On the other hand, a coffee shop in the Bronx which was part of a Parsons thesis project somehow successfully incorporated the issues of race and class and gentrification into its reason for being.  ( ) Perhaps it’s not a problem best addressed on a corporate level.

shall we top s

Race.  Where to have this conversation?  How to begin?

At least the Starbucks campaign produced one definite result:  people are talking about talking about it.

stitching detail back s

And it gave me a chance to make some art.

art:  crumpled and stitched Starbucks ad from NY times
haiku:  randomly chosen headline words from same section of newspaper

shall we back s

 “On the clear understanding
that this kind of thing can happen,
Shall we…? (at least) dance?”

invitation courtesy of Rogers and Hammerstein