Category Archives: studio blog

12 May 2023

Yesterday’s post of this drawing’s earlier stage earned me a warning on Twitter. I can only think it’s what AI imagines that sex looks like.

Anyway, here it is a bit farther along. Colored pencil work is slow, but satisfying.

Here’s another one I’ve been nudging along lately, trying out layers of acrylic glazing.

11 May 2023

seeds r sprouting

(Thank you Sarah M. for the new colored pencils in a wide array of hues!)

Well, I’ve gotten myself to a place again where the drawings I want to work on will take more than one day or session to finish. They’ve piled up around my work table, and this one just adds to the pile.

I think for the next however-long, I’ll just post what I’m working on for the day, finished or not.

1 May 2023

Might as well post it here as anywhere, the 2023 edition of my eulogy for Old Man Winter:

It’s time to dispose of the remains of Old Man Winter, but we shouldn’t unceremoniously dump him without a eulogy! But really, who is the eulogy for? It’s not for Winter – he’s long gone and couldn’t care less. It’s certainly not for the benefit of Spring – they are way too busy claiming the land to give a care. It’s really just for us: to honor the lessons, grieve the losses, and celebrate the pleasures that he brought us this season past.

In my neck of the woods, Winter was not especially memorable for his strength or commitment. He arrived rather late, spent his youth not too sure of purpose. I barely had use of my down parka, the whole season. By the end he managed to muster up a couple of good storms, but then gave up pretty early and tottered off in an impressive welter of mud. There was one last late hissy fit of a snowdump, and an encore on the mud, but the last frost in my parts is well behind us already.

Even so, he was enough to remind me of the lessons past Winters have taught: The importance of husbanding resources and energy. Guarding the warm places. Taking care of the people we love.

Winter often brings sorrows, and this one was no exception. Sometimes we had to struggle with things like the power being out for days, or not being able to get places we needed or wanted to go. There was illness and death, and often isolation. Hard things may happen in any season, but Winter’s darkness and coldness can make them hard to bear.

But he also brought pleasures that we can not deny. The transformation of the land under new snow, the way light sparkles off crystal flakes. The bracing challenge of outdoor activity, whether play or work, can be so joyful. And Winter’s spare coldness makes warmth especially delicious. The times we gather with loved ones carry extra sweetness.

And the final, great pleasure that Winter offers, is the moment we consign what’s left of him to the water or the fire, and clear the way for the offerings of the next season. Good bye and good riddance, for in the end he is gone, and we are all still here.

21 April 2023

One of my favorite things about Twitter has been the various accounts that post macroscopic photos of tiny bugs. These weird little gems remind me always that nothing I can imagine is stranger or more improbable than something that actually exists in the world, if you only pay attention.

Some of the accounts I follow for this reason:

@bernoid bugs and fungi, illustrator’s perspective

@ngfl3333 underwater weird stuff, beautifully photographed

@inaturalist all kinds of cool nature stuff

@am_anatiala finds some really great accounts to follow for this stuff, along with political/personal commentary

24 February 2023

blockade runners.

This evening I had no inspiration and no desire to make a picture. I looked around me and saw a kneaded eraser that reminded me of a fat pigeon, so that’s what I drew. Must not be afraid to be goofy! That is a serious block to creativity. So, recognizing the green bird as a blockade runner, I gave them company – fish usually work for me as something to draw when I have no ideas, and the original Blockade Runner, a princess. Looking at the picture now, I’m seeing the team that opposes the gang of inner critics that kept me from calling myself an artist for most of my life, and even still now. Because really, I am just not serious enough for that title.

18 February 2023: Knots

If you’ve followed me for a while, you know that generally at some point in the winter I get obsessed with sticks and twine. Apparently that is happening this year on schedule. I didn’t get to my drawing table at all this day, so I offer you a look at this current project.

This is one of the “cat trees” I have made, getting re-worked so it will fit better in the space I have available. There are parts of the weaving and knotting that I like quite a lot, so I’m trying to save and repurpose them, even as I make the whole structure more compact.

Clearly it’s still in early process stages. When finished it should be very stable, with knotwork tidy and neat. And then I have to test it on my cats.

The two pictures below show the tree in its original form, rather sprawling. It found a home for a couple of years in somebody’s large, warehouse-style living space, but came back to me when they moved.

With cat.


13 February 2023

Nothing like looking at a scan I’m about to post, to give me a struggle with the rule I’ve made for myself not to engage in self-critique or deprecation on these posts. There are obvious things I see that I would push farther, or should have backed off on, before I would feel good about presenting this to other eyes. But. This is how far I got, and it is just what came up. It was another day, and I went into my studio, and I made some art. That is what it is, and it is enough.

I do like stones.