Fear & Clothing


Last night I went to my first figure drawing class, and I was way more nervous than the model.

For the most part I’ve been doing doodles. I do some still life objects and copy from pictures and books. But figure drawing is the big time.  There are real artists sitting beside you – people who can draw from life way better than you, and they may or may not be part of the Ministry of Encouragement to which I have belonged for the last 3-4 years.

I got there late after work and found a spot.  I nodded at the other participants, already sketching, and, forcing myself not to look at anyone else’s work, started to scribble.

Once you start to scribble, nothing else – if you’re amazing or a hack, if your neighbor is Rembrandt, if you remembered to tell your husband the class ends at 7:30 instead of 7:00 – matters.  All that matters is the pen and the model.

And when the class facilitator called ‘Time’ I did peek at the other student’s work, and I do suck compared to most of them (really – one of the drawers could have been recreating a masterpiece).  But as it happens, most people who are as addicted to drawing as you are, are active members of the ministry of encouragement, whether or not they know it.  When the next pose began, fear was gone and only one thought remained –

I need to find more time to draw.  Anybody got an extra hour in the day I could borrow?


Good Year for Deer

Good Year for Deer, Watercolor 9x12

Good Year for Deer, Watercolor

I was looking for something to paint this morning and headed down a road I once associated with uninterrupted mountain views.  Some Mc-Mansions have begun popping up there, and I was about to give up when the phone rang and I pulled over by a woodlot at the edge of an empty corn field.

I chatted with the mechanic and looked around at the frosty field and foliage, noticing a small pile of apples at the edge of the wood. It’s been a good year for apples, but I didn’t see any apple trees.

I know someone probably left them there for the deer, and I’m hoping – even with hunting season beginning soon – it was a gift.  Hopefully it’ll be a good year for the deer too.

My Giverny

My Giverny Watercolor, 12 x 16

My Giverny
Watercolor, 12 x 16

This is the field and the hills a few hundred feet down the road from the end of our driveway.  I must have sketched


And color penciled..


.. and magic markered..photo      ..  and  watercolored.. photo              This road about a zillion times.

I should be bored with it.  But I’m not.  It’s my Giverny.  I know I’m no Monet, but I do know Monet spent a lot of time painting his own front yard too.

A Parent’s Alphabet

A is For - page 1 & 2

Over the weekend, I began work in earnest on a book idea that’s been rolling around in my head for sometime.  “A is for All-Nighter’ is an alphabet book for parents, at least an alphabet for the inner child lurking in every parent when they don’t know whether to laugh or cry at the latest science experiment gone wrong in what used to be a very nicely-decorated guest bathroom.

I’m hoping to have it done by then end of November, but a lot depends on how inspirational Thing1 & Thing2 are willing to be.  Judging by this morning’s efforts to get out the door (H is for Hypochondria, E is for Excuses, D is for Dawdle), I should have this book and a sequel written by the end of the week.  The pictures may take a bit longer.