Archive | November 2015


tabby relax comp

Cats know how to take it easy.

tabby curled comp

They have a knack for changing their relaxation posture just after you’ve put a few lines down on the paper though.

tabby 27

Sometimes meditation is good.

tabby watching comp

But every once in awhile a cat needs to be on alert and keep an eye out for squirrels or other cats.

Have a relaxing Thanksgiving with family and friends!  And by all means, have that extra helping of your favorite food.

Chelsea Again


sheila hicks 1s

I realized that the Sheila Hicks show I’ve been meaning to see was closing this week, so despite the usual confusing weekend subway changes, I made the trek downtown.  It was definitely worth it.  I’ve always loved her small woven studies, and the one pictured above was a favorite.

hicks comp

There was also a lot of fiber work I was unfamiliar with though, including some wrapped pieces, some of which were then woven in places.  I liked the white on white pieces.

hicks white 3s

You can see how they are constructed from looking at the side.  Interesting technique.

morandi 2s

Another draw to go downtown was Giorgio Morandi.  Wow! is all I can say.

morandi 3s

So beautiful.

riley comp

As always, I walked around and stopped into other galleries along the way.  Interestingly, they told me not to take photos of Bridget Riley, although her stuff is available easily in photos online of course.  I had already taken these two photos…

riley stripe graph s

but what I really wanted was pictures of her studies done on graph paper.  They remind me of my days in the knit textile industry, because that’s exactly how I designed (and still design for my hats and scarves).  So I found one online to post, above.  Riley works with geometric pattern and color and I enjoy her graphic explorations.  The paintings themselves are very large.  She has a kinship to Sol LeWitt for sure.

miranda rug s

This ruglike work by Miranda Lichtenstein attracted my attention.  It’s actually composed of layered photos of stitching printed on some kind of plastic.  Which makes sense since she’s a photographer.

miranda rug close up s

I’d love to see the original textiles though.

lambie comp

Jim Lambie is an artist who was once in a band with members of Teenage Fan Club.  The color attracted me here.  Those are painted books under the hanging sculpture…not sure how I feel about that as a use for books.  Some of the work of his I saw online looks more interesting.

vibra 1s

Viba Galhotra had a fascinating exhibit at Jack Shainman Gallery.  One wall was composed of tiny framed pictures, some drawn or painted, some altered photos, some altered text.  I spent a long time looking at this meditation on how humans are changing the environment.

vibra comp

There are also some very large wall sculptures composed of tiny metallic bells.  I will be looking for more from this artist, as I liked her work very much.

tal r 2s

And as I was heading home, I was attracted by these pink walls of black and white woodcuts.  They turned out to be the work of Tal R, an artist I know and like because of his colorful and exuberant paintings.  But he is effective in black and white too.

You can read about other visits to Chelsea art galleries here.

Callinectes sapidis

Callinectes is Greek for “beautiful swimmer” and sapidus is Latin meaning “tasty” or “savory”.  Blue crabs are found down the Atlantic Coast from Nova Scotia to Argentina but I haven’t seen them on any menu here in Sarasota.

My husband spotted the cards I’ve been drawing from. They are by Emily S. Damstra, a freelance science illustrator with a Master of Fine Arts degree in science illustration. I haven’t found colored pencils down here but her card with its subtle coloring is beautiful.

No sun yet but a man in a kilt told me there’s a Renaissance Fair today. I’ve never been to one and my husband thought it sounded fun. Will report back later.

Kemp’s Ridley Turtle

Indigenous to the waters here around Longboat Key, Florida. The Big Cat Sanctuary was a rare experience but without color I cannot capture the incredible coats of these animals, the tigers especially. I’ve never been that close to animals like that before and they deserve gouache at the very least. Kerfe, I don’t have my big iPad with me but even that app would not do them justice. Instead I offer a very lovely turtle. The beasts will have to wait until I return to my paints and Arches paper. Still no sun but lots of palm trees and the family is getting along well by some miracle. 

My source of inspiration: 


Morning, Sarasota

The view out the hotel window. We are down here for a family wedding and I only brought pencils. The sun is not shining now, sadly, but hopefully will later. Going to a big cat sanctuary later and will attempt drawing some creatures. 

Self Portrait #9 (after Marlene Dumas)

sp#9 comp 2b

Based on a childhood photo I have always loved.  I’m not totally satisfied with either attempt, although I learned from doing both.

sp #9s

The one on the left was done without any pre-sketching, in a loose and quick way.  It doesn’t look like me, but my chief dissatisfaction is that I colored in the bear.  Maybe if I also colored in the pajamas it would work better.  I’m still thinking about that.

sp 9bs

The one on the right was sketched out in pencil first, and I carefully painted layers of grey.  It looks more like me, but less like a child I think.  And I got too heavy on the hair.  But the coloring is more in the spirit of Dumas’ painting.

Dumas is a good exercise for me, because I’m still uncomfortable with watercolor.  The only way to get better is to keep painting.

You can see the whole “100 self portraits” series (so far) here.

Netsuke #7: Snakes


coiled snake netsuke  nib pen s

Coiled as
if lightning, as
if combining brightness
and death.  Revealing suddenly:

coiled snake netsuke  sharpie s

Cosmic bridge
connecting  regenerating  transforming
healing poison hollow

Jane Dougherty‘s poetry challenge this week was to write a cinquain, a five line poem.  It can take many forms, like the snake.   I did one with 2-4-6-8-2 syllables and one that was descriptive.

Snakes as pure symbols of evil are a Christian invention.  Most cultures, including the Japanese, see snakes as creatures of duality, containing aspects of both good and evil.  Magical emissaries of the gods, they travel between the worlds of water and fire.  Fertility, death, luck, misfortune–opposition finds integration in the spirit of the snake.

And continuing my exploration of different ink drawing implements:  the top drawing was done with a nib pen I found in a box of miscellaneous pens and pencils.  It’s my favorite nib yet–a Hunt extra fine 512, evidently intended for calligraphy.  I’m going to purchase more of these.  The second snake was drawn with an Ultra Fine Point Sharpie.  Also good for drawing, although it bleeds through the paper much more than anything else I’ve tried.

You can see my other netsuke drawings here.

Inspired by my old card

I know it looks like a UNICEF card and has been done many times before. Another office goof off drawing and another quote. 

“The day the power of love overrules the love of power the world will know peace.” M. Gandhi. 

Imagine (reprise)

peace on earth nina

I may have mentioned that I am finally cleaning out the storage room.  I’ve gotten through the first layer of old knit swatches and yarn, and the first portfolio stored in the back behind them yielded a lot of my children’s drawings, and a few cards, including this one sent to my family by Nina and her family for the 2001 holidays, the first holiday season after 9/11.  I would like to resend it out today to those governors, sons and daughters of immigrants all, who wish to close the doors of America to those in need because of their religion.

imagine close up s

And it reminded me of the very first headline haiku I did, “Imagine“, so I thought it was time to also reprise John and Yoko’s wish for the world.

imagine s

“You may say that I’m a dreamer.
But I’m not the only one.”

I know that’s true.  Not all of us are ready to close the doors out of fear and our minds and hearts with them.

Jack in a Leaf Pile

His little blonde head sticking out of a pile of oak leaves; I just had to draw him. Lots of raking going on here and the kids are enjoying it.