Tag Archive | portrait

Lost Voices


New York is cold (for Leonard Cohen)

Gone. What
traces sing now?
a voice leaving footprints
on fragments, in absence, ghost path


Beware of Darkness (for Leon Russell)

Trace your voice, gone silent now. No words,
a path unforked,  a place untimed.
I’m singing this song, now, to
you.  Sounds falling alone,
sense without context.

It was a bad week.  When I did these paintings, it was with trepidation, as I hadn’t picked up a brush in quite awhile.  But it was easy to get lost in the doing and felt good.

The poems use the secret keeper’s prompts from October 17 (#59):  
I’ve got folders containing a lot of the WordPress prompts from the past 2 months, although after the first 2 weeks I didn’t do much with them except write some poems, now in a folder marked “needs art”.  I’m working on it.

Missing 15



Five foot two, eyes of
brown, last seen wearing dark green.
Black hat, also gone.

Falling farther off
course, a bottomless journey
that threatens to stay.

Questions posed as clues.
Perhaps a tender heart worn
yearning at the edge.

It’s been almost a year since I’ve done one of these portraits.  I’m still getting Silver Alerts in my inbox on a regular basis though.

The poem uses words from the Alert for Henry, as well as the Secret Keeper’s words this week

You can see the entire Missing series here.

Not Forgotten

akeal gouache s

holding the photo
my heart falters:  this is what
remains of her child

On June 27, 2012, Akeal Christopher, age 14, was shot in the head with a gun as he walked home with friends in Brooklyn.  He died on his 15th birthday.

The shooters have never been identified.

This portrait of Akeal was painted for the Faces Not Forgotten Project.

marching today across the Brooklyn Bridge


National School Librarian Day

m grad s

…that would be my mother Middie.

Charlie at Doodlewash is sponsoring a month of celebrated days, and April 4 is National School Librarian Day.  My mother worked in elementary school and high school libraries, but ended up in junior high school.  My favorite story was the time she told a student to stop messing with his rubber snake and give it to her…he threw it over and it was a real snake! (she claimed she didn’t flinch)

This topic also segues nicely into the NaPoWriMo prompt to write a family poem.  My mother and I had a contentious relationship, particularly during my adolescence, and another cleave poem seemed just right to express our particular brand of love.

 km comp


I was born  you were born
into potential  future unknown
open  uncertain
growing  learning
difficult  ambivalent
contradictory  vulnerable
I yell  you cry
you cry  I yell
you don’t hear me  you don’t listen
look at me  acknowledge me
listen to me  talk to me
I need support  I need respect
I am afraid of losing you
hold my hand
I love you

Thank your local government if the schools still have functioning libraries.  Work to put them back if they don’t.  And a tip of the hat to all the people who keep our libraries alive.

poetry month

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.

Self Portrait #3 (after Chantal Joffe)

sp #3 comp

This Joffe self portrait appealed to me because she was standing on the beach.  And then the shirt…I had a very similar shirt I wore until I wore it out.

I decided to do the background and shirt in collage, and luckily I had some patterns in green that worked.  For the actual portrait, I took pastel paper in a flesh-like tone and drew in colored pencil in front of the bathroom mirror, then I cut and pasted it on top of the background.  I’m sure I’ve seen this done by others before, but I think it’s the first time I’ve tried combining drawing and collage.  I like it.  Kind of reminds me of all those paper dolls I used to make and play with as a child.

That’s it for Joffe, on to a new artist.

And you can see the other self portraits in this series here.

Self Portrait after Chantal Joffe

self portrait 1 comp

When I finished my 100 days of grids, I had a lot of ideas of what to do for the next “100” project.  Seeing Chantal Joffe’s portraits at The Jewish Museum a few weeks ago inspired me to go with the “100 days of self portraits inspired by other artist’s portraits” idea.  Well I’m not going to do 100 days in a row this time, maybe once a week.  Joffe’s portrait on the right is of Betty Friedan.  And that’s me, inspired by her painting, on the left.

self portrait 1a

I can’t really paint in front of my bathroom mirror, so I did a sketch in pencil, and then painted it on my drawing table.  I want to keep the “me-ness” of each but explore different approaches to portraiture.

joffe comp

I’m not finished with Ms. Joffe.  She’s done many self portraits too, and I’m going to do some more based on those.



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/

Weird dog

Kerfe suggested that I draw my dogs. Well this is not my dog, it’s one I saw on the ‘net and I snapped a shot. Quite a face though, like all dogs: if you look beyond the slobbering affection there is a real intelligence in dogs. I love them all especially the ones that go with mine in the pack hikes with Chris, makes their life so much better. Just out in open fields nosing around freely.

Missing 10


janet comp


The grainy and evocative photo lends itself to many interpretations.  At the center: the haunted eyes.

You can see the rest of the series here: