Sunday, November 30, 2014



Besides the autumn poets sing,
A few prosaic days
A little this side of the snow
And that side of the haze.
Emily Dickinson

Saturday, November 29, 2014

pale yellow peeking

It is early evening, the sky has been heavy with dark grey clouds all day. As the sun is setting, a brilliant burst of yellow light peeks out from beneath the dark blanket.

The scene reminded me of this poem by T.S.Eliot and as I reread it, I discovered that the time of day is not only the same but it is also October.
The Love Song of J.Alfred Prufrock by T. S. Eliot
LET us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
And then there is this part:
The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,        
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,   
And seeing that it was a soft October night,
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.

Friday, November 28, 2014

smoke and flames

All of this past week the sky has been heavily hung with clouds that look like dryer lint. Ashy and sooty, gloomy and grey, the cloud cover never lifts.
In spite of all that, the autumn trees are blazing fires, shooting sparks high into the dark sky. The lower levels of goldenrod and sumac are busy providing hot coals glowing against the shadows. On a rainy fall day, the contrast made by the nearly black tree branches and trunks against the bright cadmium reds and yellows is redeeming the gloom.
One of those moments recorded in the sketchbook from a few weeks ago.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

and this is what we have been waiting for

We can eat after the "Better Homes and Ovens" editors and photography crew  arrive to document the perfect pie I made. *family joke

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

a view of distant mountains

The sun is rising as I drive to work pouring a milky peach yogurt sky. Along the horizon, the autumn trees are wispy purple. Indistinct tiny rows of arms lining the flat corn fields. Above the flat line of midwestern trees appears to be a row of distant dark grey mountain peaks. An illusion made of remnants of  clouds left behind by the stormy night.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


The little old sketch book is full of landscape impressions from October and November. I have a rare quiet morning to myself today and am loading up a few new pages to share. October is such an exciting month for me. I see so much beauty, I rush to the sketchbook or phone app to briefly record the vision. I am out running, walking, driving and there are emotional connections, moments that I can't forget.  November has been more contemplative with more struggle to get used to the temperatures and the light changing.  I'll be sharing a few of these connecting moments in the following days. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

80 promises

A lot of promises for a chilly November morning with a constant rattle of rain on the windows. I ducked out between rainy spells and planted 40 big yellow daffodils and 40 big red tulips up and down the driveway and all across the front of my house. A lot of color to look forward to next year. Perhaps I will reprise the frenzy of painting that I did a couple of years ago when I was on a daffodil-a-day kick.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

glowing light

I don't even want to talk about how November's early cold has made me feel.
This sketch should say it all. This is a follow-up sketch to the previous sketch which I made right after returning from an invigorating run on the Illinois Prairie Path on a brilliant October day. I was flushed, full of ideas, and energy and made that sketch from memory. Later with the glowing memory still warm, I used my watercolors  and put this all down. It is a poem to the day.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

where I get all my best ideas

I go for a 4 mile run on the Illinois Prairie Path which has a stretch right near my home.

Friday, November 7, 2014

cold wind

The North wind doth blow and we shall have snow.
And what will poor robin do then, poor thing?

He'll sit in a barn and keep himself warm

and hide his head under his wing, poor thing.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

pleasantly shocked!

"Hello Janice, Your illustrations are breathtakingly beautiful! I followed the link thinking I would come upon the illustrator to be a black man. I was pleasantly shocked!! You captured african facial expressions so well! I so wish i had your talent as i love to write for children. No reward can be more fulfilling than the smile of an entertained child. Please can i use the attached illustration of the story teller and two children as my faceboook cover picture? I intend to use the page to promote story telling.  Wether your response is positive or negative, i would still like to know if you also do commisioned  illustrations for pay and an idea of your charges.  I eargerly await your response. Kind Regards,"

What a pleasure it is to be appreciated and to get a fan letter. I enjoyed this person's inquiry very much. Surprise! I am not a black man, but a little white-ish-gray-ish (maybe kinda yellowish, pale pink-greenish, depending on the day) woman. I would like to say that what is inside my heart is the really most important thing that comes out in my work. Sharing love for all kinds of stories and all kinds of peoples.

Monday, November 3, 2014

true vine

Drawing during the church service again.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Saturday, November 1, 2014


Where there is no imagination there is no horror. ~Arthur Conan Doyle, Sr.