Monday, May 18, 2015

Portland (Maine) Wandering

My former city's Old Port Exchange, 
looking up Exchange Street from Fore. 
I love coming down here for coffee at 6 AM,
then wandering, 
before the crowds arrive, 
before the parking meters are operating...

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Spring Blooms

In my previous post I might have been a little harsh, 
referring to spring blossoms as "Drama Queens". 
It was my pollen filled eyes that made me do it! 
Today, with an anti allergy medicine in my system, 
I can see more clearly! 
I offer this portrait as an apology to the blooms of Spring 
that I unjustly maligned!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Everyone Loves Spring. Except...

Young leaves are filling in fast. 
They are even more yellow-chartreuse-y 
than I painted them.

This phase of spring brings a myriad of colors.
But one has to stop & really look 
to catch what's happening. 
It's easy to only see the Drama-Queen Blossoms.

Everyone seems to love spring.
But I'm not a fan
except for the pleasant air & temperatures.  
The pollen burns my eyes.
The tree skeletons & unfettered views of the water
are disappearing quickly now.
But they will return.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

9 Bikes, 9 Bike Memories

9 Bikes, 9 Bike Memories

1. That first magical moment, was I six years old? when the bike, the ground & little me, minus training wheels, were in perfect harmony as my father, who was running alongside, let go of the bike. I flew away & left him in the background, cheering. 

2. My father singing "And you'll look sweet, upon the seat, of a bicycle built for two" along with the radio.

3. Riding as late as possible into the evening, after the other kids were in for dinner. It was adventure & independence, the setting was all of 2 suburban blocks.

4. Riding bikes from 7 to 9 in the morning on the Atlantic City boardwalk with my mother, before the walkers, shoppers & beach-goers were out.

5. Riding in Acadia National Park, up challenging hills, up above the blue ocean, below mountains, through spruce woods, past lakes.

6. My longest trip which for me took a lot of strength & courage:  Portland to Kennebunkport, 35 miles, in the midst of peaceful farmland & rolling meadows. 

7. Falling on one of the childhood neighborhood evening rides, all alone, scraped knee, walking my bike back home in tears.

8. Falling twice as an adult, scraped knees & almost tears. 

9. At age 13, trying to draw my bicycle for my art class sketchbook with tears of frustration. Learning about the pleasure that comes with persistence.

I would love to hear your bicycle stories!

Monday, April 20, 2015


 Today I heard some one speak of something 
having been a "bridge to a new life." My first bridge was "the white bridge", 
a wooden footbridge that crossed a little creek in a little woods between us & the elementary school. 

I was showing someone a map of Paris yesterday & found myself saying, 
"You must cross the footbridges over the Seine!"

I loved walking all over Amsterdam, crossing the many footbridges over the canals. 
Perhaps they added to the flowing feeling I had in that city.

In a year I hope to cross the bridges of Paris again, 
& maybe go back to Amsterdam 
But for now, I think of bridges that I've crossed, 
including bridges to joy, health, & fulfillment.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Flowers for Easter: Photos

 Happy Easter, Joyeuses Pâques, Wesołych Świąt Wielkanocnych.

I had thought, how nice it would be to buy a few flowers
to mark this day. 
But at the grocery store I couldn't feel any spirit in
the mass quantities on display.

Meanwhile, a friend received a super abundant bouquet, brimming with color & love. 
She decided to share it with friends by making mini bouquets, 
delivering them by car, a veritable Flowers on Wheels.
Mine was minimal & elegant, 
matching my current need for lightness, airiness, & simplicity.   
      (I'm still working hard at clearing out possessions.)

How lovely, these stems, full of Easter floral tradition,
expressing a spirit of caring & the return of earth's colors.

(Outdoors, there's still a lot of snow on the ground,
& gray atmosphere,
but I did see some crocuses yesterday.)

 Happy Easter, Joyeuses Pâques, Wesołych Świąt Wielkanocnych. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Dream Beach

One recent morning I had been transported by a vivid, happy dream to a beach with azure-teal-aqua waves. 
I didn't have my bathing suit with me, so couldn't go in, but from the beach, just by watching (!) I  was ecstatically diving, floating & jumping those waves, just as I used to do on summer vacations at the Jersey shore. 
Maine's coast has few public sandy beaches, & it was still all gray & wintry here, so I was aware that this dream beach was a vacation spot in the south. While I'm glad to be here to welcome the spring, how fun it was to take a virtual vacation! 

That VERY EVENING, coincidentally?, I received a photo of a sandy beach from a friend who actually is down south! These sketches are a mix of her photo & my dream. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Using Paper Doodles: More Blank Books

Making more little blank books.
Using up more:  
Paper & watercolor bric à brac.
Trinkets, whatnots, & doodles. 
Geegaws, tchatchkes, & doodads.
Little bits of ephemera that have been hanging around.
Je les mets en valeur
They are my rescue designs.

The beautiful teal paste paper was given to me,
and was handmade by my friend, M. 
It now will go back to her 
in a new form.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Winter Scene

On the first day of spring 
I'm remembering back 
to a rural winter scene in Rockport...
It was the day I bought my new snowshoes.

Monday, March 16, 2015

A Hallowell Gargyole: Sketch

Hallowell, Maine was still in hibernation last week, 
except for a few shops & restaurants. 
J pointed out this gargoyle above an antique shop. 
They're supposed to be frightening, 
but this one was sweet & almost cuddly.
This is the time of year I associate with being in Paris 
& the gargoyles of Notre Dame. 
I can't be there, but our licence plates here say, 
"Maine ~ Vacationland" & day trips in my state 
are good fun, even in March!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

View From the Window: March

 It was romantic in December.
Fresh in January. 
Energizing in February.
None of the above in March.

One has to look a little harder
to see the beauty 
of a snow storm in March.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Sketch #5: Vegetables

Sketch #5 
More about feeling the forms than seeing them...
Definitely not copying (previous post).
Just doing a little dance with line & color...

Monday, March 9, 2015

Sketch #4: Cross Country Skiing in Maine

There is a great cross country ski course at Pineland Farms in New Gloucester.
At the beginning of their trek through a network of woods trails, 
skiers strike all kinds of interesting poses as they get ready. One can observe & sketch them 
& take reference photos from a dining room picture window. 
And I did!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Acadia Sketch #2: Dressed up Trees

 So, I'm thinking, maybe I'll do that Daily Sketch thing
 that people around these parts like to do. 
I probably won't follow a set theme as the 
Danny Gregory/Drawing Matters daily drawers do, 
but, it's nice to think of sketches as part of a series. 

To see the sketch better, do click on it.

(I am loving the "Bleed Proof White Luma" paint.
Must experiment more with it... )

I've been making friends with the new little Canon.
This is a random image, I literally pointed & shot 
what was in front of me just to try out the camera. 
A fun new toy, now that I'm over my resistance to it.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Quick Winter Sketch

A quick sketch from my photo.
It makes me happy to have this medium that is so simple,
so direct, so low technology.

I had to get a new camera & am frustrated by all the
new menus & choices & procedures that have been added since my old one.
It's this complicated stuff that I don't need & it just
draws more battery power & memory.

My cold little hands would have found it hard to sketch while skiing, 
but I'm looking forward to being able to sketch outdoors again.