Wednesday, December 30, 2015

the last golden day

The last golden day of 2015?
Early November, the trees had almost but not quite finished their autumn fireworks, gold and pink and orange were still in fluorescent glow.
My best friend and I packed a picnic and drove south of Chicagoland to Starved Rock State Park along the wide Illinois River. We hiked the bluffs, gazed out at the green river from the many view points, and chuffed merrily through the pillows and piles of fallen leaves on the trails.

Monday, December 28, 2015

salsa and interesting hair sketch

Take me out to dinner and I will probably want to sketch you or the interesting people around us.

Friday, December 25, 2015


“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”

~ J.R.R. Tolkien

Thursday, December 24, 2015

draw and don't waste time

Draw, Antonio, draw – draw and don't waste time!- Michelangelo

I drew this in my sketchbook early one morning in Colorado a day or so after my mother's death. I was looking out the upstairs bedroom window of my sister's house, enjoying her mountain view and noticed the prettiest white horse alone in the pasture.

My sketchbooks are full to bursting with all the memories of these past months. Since I stopped posting, I have been on a number of trips, Colorado, Washington D.C, (The National Gallery!) Colorado again, New Orleans, Chicago, and to top it all...Italy. Yes! I traveled to Rome and Florence this past summer to see all the art I could possibly absorb in two weeks.  I will be posting the contents of three different sketchbooks in the next weeks. It might be kind of a travelog, enjoy the memories with me.

Draw, Antonio, draw – draw and don't waste time!
- Michelangelo

Wednesday, December 23, 2015


Art is, after all, only a trace — like a footprint which shows that one has walked bravely and in great happiness.
- Robert Henri
From my sketchbook this past summer, a memory, a trace.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

the moment

Here we are, trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why.
Kurt Vonnegut

My sketch blog is back! To anyone who might be following my little blog out there, it has been a long hiatus this year. Late spring and early summer my mother became very weak and signs were clear that she was not going to be with us for much longer. I made many trips to Colorado treasuring those last sweet  days with her. She passed peacefully mid-summer and the family gathered for a gentle quiet funeral. It has taken me months to recover from these events.

Meanwhile, my own children were keeping me very busy. My two daughters each gave birth this spring, just two weeks apart. A new baby boy and a new baby girl joined our clan. I was present for both births to my great joy and (of course)! have been grandma-babysitter whenever. All of these events plus my part-time teaching job have crowded my days. And I do not like being busy. I like most of all to sit alone dreaming. It is a dilemma. A good dilemma to have but still tears me in different directions. I imagine all artists have this struggle to one extent or another. Dreaming alone, making art versus doing for others what needs to be done.

Monday, December 21, 2015

winter solstice

Shortest day of the year and longest night of the year, and it looks like the night already started.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

season of Advent

And now for a presentation of art that is more appropriate to the season. Tomorrow is the last Sunday of Advent. And Christmas is just 5 days away!
This art is by one of my 1st grade students.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

joy and woe

It is right it should be so 
Man was made for Joy and Woe 
And when this we rightly know 
Thro the World we safely go 
Joy and Woe are woven fine 
A Clothing for the soul divine 
Under every grief and pine 
Runs a joy with silken twine 

William Blake (from Auguries of Innocence)

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

This artist is busy making apple pies today. Enjoy your many blessings and be thankful for all as am I.

Monday, November 23, 2015

all you that are weary

28 ‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Matthew 11:28-29

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Be Thou my Resting

We buried my mother today under a blue spruce in a little mountainside cemetery. Her physical remains are forever beside my fathers in this quiet scenic place. I trust that her soul is now resting in holy happiness joining dad in peaceful worship of the Lord they served all their lives.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Friday, March 27, 2015

a brand new tiny little life

I often do these quick sketches on my Sketchbook for Samsung phone app because I can save and post to my blog so easily. Sometimes I don't have watercolor, sketchbook paper or anything else handy but I can sit in the corner with my phone looking like I am absorbed in facebook or something.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


“There are many events in the womb of time which will be delivered.”
― William ShakespeareOthello

Mother, Grandmother, Doula and Artist sketching while attending the birth of my third grandchild.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Marching days

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.”
― Charles DickensGreat Expectations

I thought that I could put my snow boots in the far corner of the closet and not need them again this year. We had sunshine and songbirds last week!

It is snowing today, great big heavy chrysanthemum flower shaped flakes. Put on the old boots and get out there to shovel again. 
These tiny winter Aconites from last week are smothered with 5 inches of cold white winter.
Both of these sketches were created with my Sketchbook app on my Samsung phone. I lost the stylus a day ago so I finished the aconite sketch using my fingers. It got a bit heavy and lost some nuances. Here is another version. Found my stylus today and drew these old snow boots.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

celebrate the day

Join me in a toast to life! Today my third grandchild is born.

tiny little new life

True spring green is not showing itself yet. Mounds of disgusting blackened snow are still hulking here and there.
So far the only spring flowers I have found are these teeny tiny breaths of yellow in the grass. Bright yellow Winter Aconite which come from miniature bulbs that I must have planted ages ago spreading across our lawn. These appear long before the crocuses or daffodils or best of all, dandelions.
In our household we are also waiting breathlessly for the appearance of another tiny new life. A baby! His due date was Friday the Vernal Equinox of Spring but he is ignoring that timetable made up by grown-ups.
This bunch of Winter Aconite is so tiny it would fit in a newborn baby's palm


Yesterday was the Vernal Equinox. Words are so lovely. I love the words "vernal" meaning spring, and the word "equinox" meaning day and night are of the same duration.
Above is a watercolor of my favorite spring flowers, blue irises.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

A Father's Love

The Lord is compassionate and merciful;
he is patient and demonstrates great loyal love.
He does not always accuse,
and does not stay angry.
10 He does not deal with us as our sins deserve;
he does not repay us as our misdeeds deserve.
11 For as the skies are high above the earth,
so his loyal love towers over his faithful followers.
12 As far as the eastern horizon is from the west,
so he removes the guilt of our rebellious actions from us.
13 As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on his faithful followers.
14 For he knows what we are made of;
he realizes we are made of dust.
15 A person’s life is like grass.
Like a flower in the field it flourishes,
16 but when the hot wind blows by, it disappears,
and one can no longer even spot the place where it once grew.
17 But the Lord continually shows loyal love to his faithful followers,
and is faithful to their descendants,
18 to those who keep his covenant,
who are careful to obey his commands.
19 The Lord has established his throne in heaven;
his kingdom extends over everything.

Psalm 103:8-19 (our Scripture reading on Ash Wednesday)

This little painting is another one of those unfinished bits that I began and stopped because of the many distractions in life. It is a sketch of my husband and our firstborn son. Maybe now that he is grown, I can finally finish it. When the Scripture lesson was read on Ash Wednesday, this image flashed into mind. oil on canvas 9x12

pi,pie, or cake day

Forget about Pie or Pi, I am making a Lemon Cake today. Pi has always been a mystery to me being an art or literature major type.

Specially requested as a birthday treat for the family.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

in honor of pi day

3-14-15 is not ever going to happen again. What a thought.

Friday, March 13, 2015

snow melting sunshine and songbirds

Spring is just beginning, just a hint in the air, and the sound of melting snow is like bright music.

These birds are original artwork that I created for my oldest daughter's wedding invitation and assorted printed accessories.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

24 hours late

My flight from Chicago to Denver should have lasted 2 hours 10 minutes. Frontier Airlines managed to stretch the ordeal out to more than 24 hours. Planes didn't show up, after frustrating hours with no communication, flights were cancelled. No effort made to compensate arrange a new schedule, vouchers, nothing. The employees were exceedingly rude to us customers.
The only explanation offered by the rude company spokesman was that the plane had "mechanical problems". Yes, I would prefer to fly on a safe, mechanically sound plane, but weren't there any other planes available in 24 hours? All the flights seemed to have "mechanical problems"all the time and everywhere.
And the weather was fine, clear  in Chicago and lovely in Denver. No storms or nasty weather excuses for the problems.

My heart went out to this young woman flying alone with her infant. Four or five hours walking up and down the terminal keeping the baby quiet from Wednesday to Thursday.

And the weather was fine, clear  in Chicago and lovely in Denver. No storms or nasty weather excuses for the problems.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Monday, March 9, 2015

fellow travelers share the misery

I traveled to Colorado this week on Frontier Airlines. Long story/Short story; I will never fly with that company again. Sketch here from my sketchbook while waiting for flights that never happened.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

after the big snow

There is a tall and splendid sycamore tree outside my kitchen window. It is most striking in the winter. The white and black and dappled bark of the trunk and the architecture of the limbs show off against the winter sky. Often it happens that a bright blue sky accompanied by more bitter cold follows a big snow.

I have drawn this tree many times. Here is an illustration for a magazine story, the same tree is glimpsed out the window behind the main character. And here is a sketch from last winter showing the tree from my kitchen window.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

and freezing

"It's snowing still," said Eeyore gloomily."So it is.""And freezing.""Is it?""Yes," said Eeyore. "However," he said, brightening up a little, "we haven't had an earthquake lately."
― A. A. Milne
The House at Pooh Corner

Monday, March 2, 2015

all moments

"Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery that it is. In the boredom and pain of it no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace." Frederick Buechner  Life Itself is Grace

My son got a new job! We celebrated with a sushi lunch. Savoring the moments, and sketching in the moment on my Samsung phone Sketchbook app.