Saturday, December 31, 2016

same old

We drank a toast to innocence we drank a toast to time
We’re living in our eloquence, another old lang syne

Dan Fogelberg “Same Old Lang Syne”

Thursday, December 29, 2016

The years are short, memory is long

This will be my last blog sketch of 2016.

Friday, December 16, 2016

and a pear

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to meeee....
A pear in a partridge tree!

When shopping in the produce section of my local grocery store, I often select fruit or vegetables merely because I love the colors. Eggplants! Peppers! And this deep crimson red pear holding lingering interest to my eyes.
And a handful of little clementines to keep it company.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

take care

Take care of all your memories. For you cannot relive them. Bob Dylan    
(unless you sketch from life every day)

Monday, December 12, 2016

not fair

I sketched this while safely and warmly standing at the living room window. Subject of observation from life muttered "unfair" when viewing my efforts.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

3rd Sunday of Advent

A reading from the prophet Isaiah.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

In Paradisium

A friend of mine died and was mourned last week, a malignant brain tumor struck him down hard and fast. We lost a good man, a gifted artist in our community and a Godly soul.
We had worked together on a number of projects for our church.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

painting squash

The pile of squash has been tossed out for the squirrels and chipmunks to enjoy. I think I got my money's worth out of that project.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016


We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring 
Will be to arrive where we started 
And know the place for the first time. 


Return to the squash pile, this time with splashes of watercolor, no line drawing and free puddles of color. Exploration of a familiar subject looking for knowledge.

Monday, December 5, 2016

again and again

Make a drawing, begin it again, trace it; begin it again and trace it again.
-Edgar Degas

More squash drawings from here.

And my drawing again and again, exploring the subject in different ways.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

drawing squash

I purchased a carefully curated selection of gourds and squash to use for an art lesson. I teach at a private classical school two days a week. I heartily believe in encouraging drawing from direct observation. Here is the result of the lesson with my first graders. Some of them figured out a way to get the contours in right proportion was to place the gourd on the paper and trace around it. That was okay with me, I wanted them to draw life size and to observe the lumps and bumps, stripes and patterns. The children were very enthusiastic about drawing, using different colors for outlines, and asking for more paper to draw more compositions. 
After the lesson was over, I brought all the gourds and squashes home. They were again used as our Thanksgiving decor and now I'm sketching and enjoying a quiet after-Thanksgiving day. When I finish drawing and observing in my sketchbook I will put all the beauties outside for the squirrels to enjoy a feast.

Monday, November 28, 2016

November moon and a pink rose

Our news media put out a lot of hype this month...(no, not that hype), about the autumnal full moon.
Supposedly the full moon in November was a Super Super Moon and the news services urged everyone to be sure to appreciate it.
Well, this artist certainly did appreciate this full moon in November as she does walk out to admire the moon all year long. Not only did the moon hang luminous and long in the night, the weather was mild and welcoming to the evening stroll. The lingering warmth of not-yet winter days also gave the unexpected benefit of roses still blooming in November. All of these most unusual events in the upper midwest/Chicago area where artists notice everything changing.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

1st Sunday of Advent

Our sermon at church today was all about the End of the world! I drew this while listening and envisioning Noah's Ark tossing about in a great storm to end all storms. Notice the little drowning person. How terrible! 
In the worldwide Christian Church, the season of Advent is a quiet introspective time to prepare our hearts for the coming of Jesus Christ. And if Jesus Christ is returning at the end of days, well, it's the End of the world.
Advent is the season in the liturgical Church anticipating Christmas, observed during the four weeks before Christmas Day.  Advent is a quiet season, a contemplative time.
In America, people put up holiday decorations in November and then hold parties, attend parties, shop, buy gifts, and rush all the way until December 25. After that massive holiday binge of eating and drinking and spending everyone has a letdown crash which feels terrible.In the liturgical Christian tradition, the birthday party for Jesus begins on December 25th and the celebrating goes on for twelve days ending on January 6.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Monday, November 7, 2016

If I were elected president

Out of the mouths and crayon-clutching hands of little children come great words of wisdom. Eighty percent of the First Grader Art class that I teach at Naperville Christian Academy came up with a humanitarian message for voters.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

All in the golden afternoon

All in the golden afternoon
Full leisurely we glide;

Lewis Carroll  1865 (prefatory poem in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland)

Here in the Midwest, 25 miles west of the city of Chicago, we are having the most mild and glorious autumn weather. I can remember years when it snowed, or we had a dark and stormy night on Halloween. This year it was nearly 80 degrees, warm enough for all those little ones in their princess and stormtrooper costumes.
Today was so golden hued, so warm and drowsy, I could have dreamed the beauty.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

All Soul's Day

What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?
Matthew 16:26 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

something every day

October 19, 2016, Surprise October Rose Janice Skivington
Do not fail, as you go on, to draw something every day, for no matter how little it is, it will be well worth while, and it will do you a world of good.
-Cennino Cennini

Mid-October, we are still enjoying some mild sunny days. Surprise and pleasure to find a rosebush producing two lovely yellow blooms at this late date in the year.
I spent my evening sketching and adding watercolor wash to the daily good moment in the world.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

to see the summer sky

To see the Summer Sky
Is Poetry, though never in a Book it lie—
True Poems flee—
—Emily Dickinson

Friday, October 14, 2016

warmth remembered

I know it is October, my most beautiful time of year. But here are my recent sketches from the last glorious days of September. I spent several weekend days on a Lake Michigan beach. Sand under my toes, soaking up the sunshine, splashing in gentle waves, playing with my grandchildren. Sketching in my book, and storing warm memories for winter ahead.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

drawing often

It is only by drawing often, drawing everything, drawing incessantly, that one fine day you discover to your surprise that you have rendered something in its true character.

-Camille Pissarro