Archive | June 2016

Even the Statues are Texting…

texting 1s

…or at least that’s the way it looked when we entered this room at the Met.

texting 2s

I don’t know, even when I know what she’s actually got in her hand,

texting 3s

it still looks like she’s checking out the screen to me.

texting label s

Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC, June 2016

Two Bluegrass Players

I love these old photos of players wearing suits. Their faces look so miserable but you know when they start to play they are happy. I did this as a companion piece to Kerfe’s lovely tribute to Ralph Stanley. Later I’m going to get my husband to film me singing either “A Man of Constant Sorrow” or “Down to the River to Pray”. RIP Ralph Stanley. He always said his voice was a gift from the Lord above. 

The photo I used–off the computer screen. 

O Death (for Ralph Stanley 1927-2016)

ralph photo s

some say yes
some say no

some welcome Death
some invite it
some force it to stay

some say wait
I’m not ready

some laugh at Death
some curse it

some are too surprised
to speak

is Death cold
or is it hotter
than Hell
or is it on
the borderline
between freezing
and melting

does Death have hands

does it embrace
or punch
does it strangle or
does it cradle

does it bathe
in darkness or
does it bathe
in light

is it a prayer

is it a question

what is this
that I can’t see


Ralph Stanley, who died last week at the age of 89, was a performer of traditional mountain music with a unique and powerful voice.  His popularity soared after his version of “O Death” was included in the film “O Brother Where Art Thou”.  Hearing him sing it will, to paraphrase Carole King, chill your soul right down to the marrow.  But his legacy reaches far beyond one song: using both his voice and his own banjo style, he helped nourish new generations of musicians to preserve the music of the Appalachian region, a singular blend of the songs of its many ancestors.

You can read the words to “O Death” and hear Ralph Stanley perform it here.

Toadstools on a Lawn

So cute! I noticed these while walking the dogs today and went back to take a photo. These neighbors recently installed a lovely stone wall; it took weeks and many stones. There was no cement used, just the right stones. It’s a work of art. The toadstools sprung up in a color matching the wall and are really adorable. 

I did the drawing first in pencil and almost left it that way. Also posting the actual shot. 

Junk Mail Art: Retribution

exceptions s

Jane Dougherty has a new microfiction challenge.  I know this is not what she had in mind, but I couldn’t resist the photo and word prompt “retribution”.  It’s definitely less than 200 words…maybe micrographicnovel?


Horse in a Field

I’ve been wanting to draw a horse lately (reverting to the mind of a twelve year old girl?) so today at work had a chance to do one. He or she is trotting through a field of blue flowers with some nice hills in the background. 


alive s

“Look at everything.”–John Cage
“Do stuff.”–Susan Sontag
“Live the questions now.”–Rainer Maria Rilke

blue sky
birds fly
wings soar

rain sun
brown dirt
seeds sprout

trees root
grow full
shade green

clouds breathe
winds blow
sea waves

earth turns
look wide

Writers Quote Wednesday challenged us this week to think about happiness.  My selection of quotes and poetic and collaged response above.

What’s Going on in your Mind?

Being highly unmotivated today I sat down to watch a movie I’ve wanted to see for a while: Disney/Pixar “Inside Out”. This movie goes inside a little girl’s head and characters control her emotions from a central dashboard. Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust work together in a most amusing way. Little spheres contain memories, good and bad; core memories live in a special container. As an artist I was amazed by the complexity of design and thought in this picture. I paused a couple of times to try and sketch the emotions. 

My daughter has suggested to me that my drawings are cartoon-like and that I should try my hand at cartooning. This movie certainly inspired me to try. Here are the emotions Joy and Sadness and then a clip of the family shot off the television. 

This World Will Still

leaf print 2s

The light is gone has rippled dark
wide open now it radiates
hidden riddles guide our way

Decayed in blood our cells depart
with flames turned brown by endless wait
for whispered sleep by phantom’s shade

The flood forgets to fill the ark
all sense of form evaporates
perspective bends begins to fade

And if we drown combine dissolve
this world will still ferment revolve


Jane Dougherty’s challenge this week had a few parts.  First, the photo, above; then the form, trilonnet; and then the beginning words “the light is gone”.

leaf print 1s

Once again, I tried some monoprints, this time over an old piece of digital art with leaves that I printed out a few times.  I’m still not sure what I’m trying to do with this technique, so I’m also not sure what I think about the results.  They do seem to suit the theme though.

leaf paint print s

The one above I didn’t like at all, so I painted on top of the printing.  I may end up cutting it up for a collage.

Self Portrait #15: One More for Man Ray

self portrait 15 comp

Man Ray did not have Photoshop, so he constructed his images in the darkroom.  Amazing!  My Ray-inspired self portrait was produced in digital layers (then printed and stitched), something I did back in the day with frequency, but hardly ever now.  I enjoy it, and given time, would do more.

man ray 9 self portrait 1as

Although first I drew the components.  My daughter was luckily home and agreed to take some photos for me to work from.

hand comp

I think if I were doing this piece again, I would structure it differently, doing an abstract ground of greys first, instead of adding the solid areas later.  But it’s digital! so I can always go back and revisit the layers.  Also I would cut the hands and faces out before I scanned them, so I didn’t have to deal with “selecting” the part of the images I wanted.

face comp

I’m also not sure it’s done…I had thought to do stitching for the dark stripe at the bottom, but I’m undecided.  I could layer in a stripe, but I like the texture of the stitching.  I do think it needs the balance of dark in that area.  What do you think?

stitched close up 2s

So I’m also not sure it’s still selfie day…Teresa?  But the 25th is always a good deadline for me to complete the next in my series of 100 self portraits (you can see the ones I’ve done so far here).  I could keep going forever with Man Ray, but I think it’s time for a new artistic inspiration, plus I’m itching to do some painted portraits and compare them with my first attempts.

Stay tuned!