New work

18″ x 24″, pastel on museum board. I go back and forth all the time on what to use as a title, and there is certainly plenty of documentation to show that artists down through the ages have wrestled with the same decision. For now, I’m returning to my earlier practice of listing the ingredients in the composition. This drawing is Mineolas, Euphorbia and Strawberry Plant. Weird, but true.

This drawing is nudgy enough (that’s the technical term) to require the larger view. Go ahead and click.

New work

It’s snowing. Snow has been falling continuously since noon and is predicted to continue until late tomorrow night with accumulations of a foot or more. When I was in college in Philadelphia I met a woman who had only recently left her home in Tallahassee and had only seen snow in pictures. She had assumed each six-pointed snowflake to be the size of a dinner plate (just like they appeared in the encyclopedia) otherwise how would they pile up into drifts of ten feet or more in Buffalo? She was very disappointed the first time it snowed in Philly and the small, tired piles on the sidewalks never resolved themselves into crystals visible to the naked eye.

It has been a blessing these past few weeks to be working on images from the summer months while the wood stove sends warmth up the stairwell to my upper room. Trudy would have liked this drawing, I think, and been impressed with sheer multitude of tiny flakes outside.

Old work

We’re between snow storms on the island, with about 3′ on the ground and more coming Wednesday. The paths are shoveled and the birds are fed and the inside of the house is warm and bright so, cleaning! We’re planning to rearrange the first floor of the house now that The Boy is living in another city so cleaning in this sense means “cleaning out”.

I’ve surrounded myself with piles of old recipe cards from my mother and her sisters to be sent to one of my nieces, boxes of Irish crochet pieces to be assembled into something I can wear or given away, a satisfyingly large bag of trash, and some old paintings.

I gave up on oils nearly five years ago. The switch to dry media was driven by time and method considerations that haven’t changed so I won’t be going back any time soon, but it’s interesting (for me) to see what I was doing with a brush and liquid. This small painting of grapes in a bowl purchased with Morton salt coupons in the 40’s was done about 10 years ago.

Now, back to editing my life. We’ll see what else turns up. . .

Work no longer in progress, Asters part 9

There’s a lovely local saying that goes; “Stick a fork in’er, she’s done!”.

Tomorrow – assuming it stops snowing – I’ll take a proper photo of the drawing in natural light and that will be the final post in this series. My thanks to everyone who has come along for the ride for the encouragement and interesting comments. Onward!

Work in progress, Asters part 8

Three days ago I thought this drawing would be finished in one more session, and I don’t know what I smoked to come to that conclusion but I’d love to have some more?

My formula for adding “noise” is complex, but regular. Regular hasn’t translated to easy yet, and it’s a struggle to keep the ratio of marks consistent and too easy to fall into a pattern of “outlines vs. squiggles”. I imagine, as I’m working through every square half inch, that I will be more facile after (another) few decades of constant practice.

Work in progress, part 7

The surface is complete. Everything is in place according to my sketches, notes, photos and color swatches from last August. (It is minus 2.2 F right now, and August seems a long time gone.) This drawing is an experiment, and the next step is to add Stochiastic noise – elements of “bad data” that cloud how I see things, but that I’ve never managed to put into a drawing. I’ve found a formula that may help me draw it in, though – make my drawings that much closer to my vision. One more post, I think, before it’s done.