Tag Archive | faces

Dream Pantoum

jm 5b wht wht flip

Don’t lose the number she said.
Her face contained a message I could not read.
The number blurred and then erased itself in my hand.
Who has stolen the letters of my name?

Her face contained a message I could not read.
The words rearranged themselves into something geometric and alien.
Who has stolen the letters of my name?
She pretended that she had never seen me before.

The words rearranged themselves into something geometric and alien.
Don’t call me that I said.
She pretended that she had never seen me before.
No space would open to hold my configuration.

Don’t call me that I said.
The words stubbornly resisted my efforts to speak over them.
No space would open to hold my configuration.
A stranger took my hand and led me out of control.

The words stubbornly resisted my efforts to speak over them.
I tried to convey the causes of my distress.
A stranger took my hand and led me out of control.
We faded away, farther and longer away.

I tried to convey the causes of my distress.
The number blurred and then erased itself in my hand.
We faded away, farther and longer away.
Don’t lose the number she said.

jm 5b eye s

I love the puzzle of composing a pantoum.  Loosely following the Day 19 NaPoWriMo prompt to compose a poem from a story, I used the dream I had last night just before waking.  I had this stitched magazine face in mind, too, as an accompaniment.  Below is a synopsis of the source for the poem

My Dream

They gave me a name tag and a number. “Don’t lose the number,” they said, but immediately my number blurred and then erased itself.  The name was not my name, but it stubbornly resisted my efforts to mark over it.

I tried to tell the woman who seemed to be in charge that I needed to be called something different, not the letters that formed a sound that belonged to someone else. She pretended not to hear.

Someone took my seat. Someone I was sure I knew acted as if they had never seen me before.

We were supposed to write stories. I could find no notebook, no pencil or pen that belonged to me.

I sat in the back, alone.

A stranger, a tall young man, his face all glasses, took my hand and led me away. I tried to convey my distress; tell him my story.  He smiled and did not answer.

We faded away, farther and longer away.


jm 5b fading

 Also linking to dVerse open link night.

Beyond Years

faces comp 1

“With all their ancient faces like rain-beaten stones”

What remains.
Gone silent.  Unseen.
Raining still.
Dark, cold, hard.
Unchanting verses of stone
through fossilized eyes.

faces 2 comp

I’ve gone back to Day Three of Jane Dougherty’s Month with Yeats.  The references for the drawings were photos of medieval sculptured faces.

medieval face 2s

And a shadorma for Shadorma November.

Four Faces 2

four faces s

You may recall when Nina found her painting “Four Faces”,  the inspiration for this collage, in her garage in January.  I told her that all of her paintings lately have been percolating in my mind for responses.  This one grabbed my attention first.


I know I’ve been stuck on collages for awhile, and they are definitely a comfort zone for me.  On the other hand, it feels like the best way to respond to the world right now.  And only last fall I was drawing all the time and doing few collages.

Still true:  “It’s all improvisation.”

Junk Mail Art 9: Always Say Yes

always say yes

So I tried painting on some junk mail with gouache.  I probably should use acrylic, but I’m working with what’s readily available for now.  It didn’t always want to stick, but I managed to cover the slick surface pretty well with layers.


It was not intentional, but my painted face has a great resemblance to one of Nina’s drawings done last April.  I had a print-out in my files, as I’m still meaning to do a collage based on it.  Sometime after I finish my work in the “improvisation” chain…

As usual, a shout out to Claudia McGill also for her inspiration.

You can see the rest of the junk mail art here.


leftover face 1s

I painted these faces with leftover paint on leftover paper cut from the edges of larger paintings.

leftover face 2s

 Just some quick impressions from a folder of magazine and newspaper photos I’ve accumulated.

leftover face 3s

I’m always on the lookout for an interesting face!

Missing 14

Aida s


This is another series I haven’t visited in quite awhile.  I still get Silver Alerts from Notify NYC in my email box, and I always look at the photos and text.  As I said in my original post, the photos are almost always unprofessional and often very poor quality.  We are busy documenting ourselves, our children, our friends, but the elderly among us, even those we love, often remain unseen.

And they go missing, although my research indicated that usually they are also found fairly quickly.

I had a long and vivid dream about my grandmother the other night.  Something about Aida reminded me of her.

You can see the entire Missing series here.

Questions From Charlie

boy singing s

Charlie at Doodlewash nominated us for a Liebster Award.  As I told him, we decided early on not to “do” awards, but I am answering the questions posed by the award in this post.  The painting above, of a boy singing, doesn’t relate to the questions, but it does remind me of a wonderful story Charlie told about singing to his grandmother in the hospital.  Charlie’s stories and art, and his daily showcases of other artists, are definitely worth checking out.


  1. Which literary genre do you prefer?
    I’ll read just about anything, fiction or nonfiction.  The library is one of my favorite places and I often do “choose a book by its cover”, or title.  For comfort I like a good murder mystery.
  2. Which book do you know and love?
    Charlie is right, there is a bit of absurdity in this question…if it means a book I go back to again and again, I’m not really a big re-reader, but I have art and poetry books that I return to from time to time.  Always, Matisse, and a haiku anthology is a favorite right now.  Also I read the Pooh stories over and over to my children, and would do so again gladly.
  3. Which book you’re passionate about now?
    I’m going to pick an author here…I love Kate Atkinson.  The Jackson Brodie books are among my favorite murder mysteries (and I wish there were more to read), and her latest, “Life After Life” and “A God in Ruins”, are two of my best reads of the past few years.  They are beautifully written with wonderful and complex characters, and there’s a lot going on underneath the words if you choose to go there.
  4. Why did you start blogging?
    Nina and I were emailing photos of our work back and forth in an effort to be mutually inspiring to do more work.  We thought of a blog as an easier way to do this.  I remember my surprise when she first told me we had followers…it’s an amazing thing.  The blog has worked in a way we never envisioned.  Thank you everyone!
  5. Order or chaos?
    I gave up on planning and organizing my life long ago.  Although I do like to be on time.
  6. Where would you like to live?
    I grew up in various suburbs, after my parents moved out of the city of Cleveland when I was 5.  I knew suburban life was not for me, and New York has been a perfect choice.
  7. Starry sky or sunset?
  8. Better the paper book, rather than the ebook?
    I was given a kindle, but I don’t like reading on screens.  I’m one of those Luddites, hauling around a book all the time.
  9. What is the writing for you? Do you see it as a hobby or hoping for a future as a writer?
    Writing helps me to see and think about what I’m doing.
  10. What do you think about social networks?
    I don’t use any other social networks.  I barely have the time to keep up with email and blogs (and sometimes I fail at those).  It’s a wonderful way to connect, but the digital life eats away at the real life, and I don’t want to spend all my time interacting with a screen.

Faces 6

francine 1s

I haven’t done any of these since February!  My reference was a photo of Francine du Plessix Gray that was in New York Magazine.  On the first one, I did a tonal water color and used colored pencil on top.

francine 2sb

For the second, I used watercolor pencils on a wet piece of paper.  It dried quickly, though–why does it dry quickly when I need it wet, and stay wet when I want it to dry?–so I dipped the pencils in water, as well as using them dry in some areas.  I like the effect, and this one does resemble the actual photo more.

But something about the first rendering appeals to me…it seems more true to the subject’s spirit maybe.

Missing 12

adrian s


I haven’t done any of these in awhile, but I’m still getting regular Silver Alerts.  Luckily, as I found in my research, most of the missing elders are found and returned home.

You can see the rest of the series here:  https://methodtwomadness.wordpress.com/category/missing/

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.  ( https://dumbsketchdecember.wordpress.com/2015/04/23/woman-looking-up-113/ )  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: