365 – a drawing a day!

November 25, 2014 – 50 @ 50 Small Works at Artistree



November 1, 2014 – Sarasota Chalk Festival 2014 in…just over a week!?!?!

This year’s Sarasota Chalk Festival is kicking off already, actually…they’re working on breaking a world record at the moment for the world’s largest street painting, though the festival proper won’t kick off for regular 3D artists like me until the 10th.  The official festival is the 14th through the 17th—and it’s not actually in Sarasota anymore.  We’re moving on to Venice.  The theme is Extinct and Endangered Species, which is going to mean some seriously amazing images.  I chose the bird swirl I sketched back in July.  It’ll be 35 feet long, about 24 feet wide at the top.  SUPER EXCITED.  There are 72 different birds here (last time I counted).


Unfortunately, the sketch I did before doesn’t carry a lot of information…so I had to go through my reference photos one by one and Photoshop them together into a bird collage.  The final image won’t look like exactly like this—photorealism isn’t going to be what I’m going for, but I’m not entirely sure where it is I DO want to wind up.  I’m very excited to find out as I go:


As I don’t want to do any species labeling right on the ground, I made a key that I’ll have on hand to identify the different birds along with their status.  For once, I got to use one of those tacky Photoshop effects to get the outline I needed.

While putting this key together, though, I discovered that the magnificent frigatebird had snuck in and in fact is not endangered at all.  Likewise, the yellow-billed toucanet and the yellow-headed blackbird.  Yet here I’d already done all the gridding and calculations with these imposters.  Blargh.  This is great news for the yellow-billed toucanet, yellow-headed blackbird, and magnificent frigatebird, but it stinks for me.  So despite my mom insisting that I should leave the imposter frigatebird in place, this is about the extinct and endangered.  This is no place for you, magnificent frigatebird.  Now we have the ascension frigatebird, the yellow-BROWED toucanet, and the yellow-SHOULDERED blackbird, whose populations are legit threatened:



And here it all is with the stretch.  I’m grateful this makes the moppy moa (even though the moa is awesome and the bird that brought on the whole inspiration in the first place, it is moppy) smaller.  This is only about 5 feet long at the bottom, which for chalk is tiny.  Gurney’s pitta is going to be barely there…I just hope we’ll be able to see that shy Guam rail at all.




I don’t know how much posting I’ll be able to do while in Florida, but I’ll be sure to post a bunch of photos when I get back!


September 14, 2014 – CHALK FESTIVAL poster!



September 1, 2014 – Lark


August 22, 2014 – Okay, so I’ve MOSTLY kept up with it, and now I will try and start posting again.  Here are some pieces from the past couple months, but not a lot of them.

You know you are overworked and overstressed when for two months straight the thought of scanning another piece of artwork makes you want to curl up underneath the desk between the recycling bag and the cat and just weep.

Most of it is just calligraphy practice anyway.  But here’s Ellen!



July 22, 2014 – Sarasota Chalk Festival 2014 sketch…


So this year’s theme is ‘Extinct and Endangered Species,’ which is very well-timed.  I finally settled on the most complex possible of my original ideas (because mastodons and moas just look too much like mops texture-wise to focus on, I mean one gets sick of brown after awhile) and then took FOREVER just to research and sketch it out.  But what we have here is a ROUGHLY to-scale selection of ~70 extinct, critically endangered, and endangered birds.  And yes, I couldn’t resist the mop-moa, because I am just so impressed by their sheer size (this one’s about 12 feet).  So realize that this is a SKETCH (complete with coffee stain), and as such it is a pretty scrappy and the colors are just placemarkers.  The real thing should be rather intense…and will be a little taller, to allow the tiny birds to spiral upwards a bit more.

And I know I left out a bunch of regulars (Cali condor, trumpeter swan).  This selection is not final.


July 5-21, 2014 – They’re lying around but have not been scanned because ain’t nobody got time.

Here’s one of them:


It’s Didrik!



July 4, 2014 – It’s Keith!!



July 3, 2014 – Road Squiggle



July 2, 2014 – Guess what tune this is (the title is a hint)!



July 1, 2014 – Squiggle 3



June 30, 2014 – Calligraphy Practice


…but then the pen ran out, I scoured my room for replacement ink cartridges, found none, and gave up.  This is a quote from the one, the only Abraham Joshua Heschel…who doesn’t really belong in this font, but it’s practice.


June 29, 2014 – Squiggle Fish


From another squiggle kindly provided by Justin.


June 28, 2014 – Hooray for Henrik & Dottie!

I wrote the card that went with the books with Hanna’s quill pen in silver ink and did not photograph it (who photographs a wedding card?) but I figured that the combination of quill pen, silver ink, and wedding card made art of the day enough.


June 27, 2014 – Squiggle Night Landscape


Squiggle kindly provided by Justin.


June 26, 2014 – Squiggle 2



June 25, 2014 – Snail Squiggle



June 24, 2014 – Wait, WHO says I no longer qualify for Medicaid and you want me to pay half my income in health insurance?!?!


Fortunately, the misunderstanding that caused this particular knot of panic seems to have been just that…a misunderstanding.  Green Mountain Care hasn’t let me down yet, and I don’t think they will this year, either.


June 23, 2014 – Chalk Festival ideas…


Good luck interpreting my sketches…these are ideas for the 2014 Sarasota Chalk Festival—SO EXCITED.


June 13 – 22, 2014 – Fillips (and laziness about scanning)












I even forgot which is which day…but at least they are here!!!  Though these don’t take much time, they have been a really rewarding exercise in abstraction.


June 12, 2014 – More Label Takes



June 11, 2014 – Fillip #2



June 10, 2014 – Ira


Any suggestions?

And here’s a little ink fillip for my more official drawing of the day:



June 9, 2014 – Marigold, with cat hair


Today’s warm-up still life from Colored Pencil class…plus a hair from Kingston that apparently got into my scanner.  Kingston likes to sit there so he can demand attention while I’m working, but today while sitting peacefully atop its slick surgace he suddenly lost his balance, slid off, and knocked most of my colored pencils on the floor with an almighty clatter.  That could account for it.


In the meantime, here’s my colored pencil progress.  It has been amazing to get back to work on my own work.  Plenty left to do here, but it’s coming along:Runde_Ira4


June 8, 2014 – Phoenician (I’m not the only one!)


While I was working on this at the Co Op, one of our customers confessed to having the same habit, having started at the same time: middle school.  What’s not to love about co-opting the Phoenician alphabet?  That way you can write your ideas without feeling self-conscious, lend out your books with all the inane ideas scribbled in the margins—and it looks beautiful.  Well, I think it looks beautiful anyway.


June 7, 2014 – Seagull for Justin


What does the seagull have to do with Justin?  Nothing at all, except that I inserted a boat in the background.  Now it’s for Justin.


June 6, 2014 – Another try



June 5, 2014 – Seagull



June 4, 2014 – Flamingo



June 3, 2014 – Working hands



The image for another label for Sarah!


June 2, 2014 – I spilled coffee on my duvet…does that count?

I didn’t even take a picture because it was 1 am, we’d just driven 17 hours, and I was tired enough to set throw my coffee on the bed with everything else.  So really, you’ll just have to trust me that this happened.  HOW IS THAT ART? you might ask?  Well, how is most of contemporary art ‘art’?  Because someone says so!


June 1, 2014 – Magic Carpet doodle


Super tired post-Henrik and Dottie’s wedding!  Justin did the doodle, and it became a tired dragon getting a lift.  Tired being the operative adjective.


May 31, 2014 – Pillow


Tired Justin at the B&B in Indiana…tired Katie trying to draw Justin’s profile while really just wanting to sleep.


May 30, 2014 – Eagle


Done in a traffic jam on the road between Hartford, CT and Bellefonte, PA.  If the car is moving, origami makes me wicked car sick.


May 29, 2014 – Color Spill

Runde_Colorspill2 Runde_Colorspill

Getting my Waldorf watercolor on.


May 28, 2014 – Cleansing Grains


A first draft label for a friend’s awesome herbal skin care line!!


May 27, 2014 – River stones



May 26, 2014 – Rev. Jean MacDonald

Trying to get back in the swing of things….


May 25, 2014 – One of Those Days


…find the purple whale.  And you know why it was one of those days?   Because I spent all the hours working on my actual work, which doesn’t count:


BTW, this is from a pictures Ira’s first grade teacher took.  The juxtaposition between Ira’s look of mischief and the rabbit’s grumbly resignation were too uncanny to pass up.  The bad news is that I’ll have to draw something in the background.  I am way too easily bored by backgrounds.  There are still plenty of layers to go, this is at somewhere-in-the-middle status.  I went all-out for the sweater because red is just difficult like that.  It was all or nothing!  The rest will slowly phase in per usual.


May 24, 2014 – Scrub Jay




May 23, 2014 – Trio


Who can guess what this is?  Other than my first time using Derwent Inktense pencils, which are fun and give me a nice combination of being quick and loose and…precise where I want to be.  I’ll have to use them more.


May 22, 2014 – Collaboration


Justin gave me a squiggle, and this reader appeared in about 3 seconds.  It was late.


May 21, 2014 – Birthdaaaaaay!


Some more logo sketches.  Now it’s time to go out and enjoy the sun.


May 20, 2014 – The white spot on my desk table…


Made into a person.


May 19, 2014 – Classes day…


Here’s some colored pencil on black paper from my kids’ Drawing Animals class…only problem is, the kids wanted photocopies and so I copied instead of finishing it.  Good news is that they were happy kids with their copies!



On a whim, I gave an extra tricky still life warm-up in my colored pencil class today…white on black!  Super brain-bender.


…And I also had to finish up my purple layer to show them on my example piece, so here it is…purple.  Then blue.  Then I started to add some reds to the flesh tone and aqua to the to-be-red sweater.


May 18, 2014 – Happy Birthday, Justin!


…Even though he looks more unhappy in the picture.  This is more a function of my having not sharpened my lead enough.  Sorry.  Misrepresentation.  And Kingston could not stay still, so the cat is also misrepresented.  Argh!  But since it’s Justin’s birthday I’ll not bother him for a redo.


May 17, 2014 – Cat Loaf


Now if only he’d stay still for more than thirty seconds at a time…


May 16, 2014 – Snooze


Found a good, painless way for Justin to model.   I’m loving my conté crayons and brown paper!  Oh man!


May 15, 2014 – Logo, take 1


Bonus points if you know what building this is…


May 14, 2014 – Here it begins…


Here’s where a bigger piece begins, graphite, pencil, watercolor, whatever—the initial drawing.  For this drawing, I would like to document each color layer as a separate piece, even though that’s probably Against the Rules.  I think it’s a cool insight into the process.  There’s a certain way that each layer looks like a finished piece in its own right, but I’m usually the only person who really gets to see that happening.  So now I’m going to break the rules (and ease up on my stress level/workload) to share the process.


May 13, 2014 – Story of my life



Calligraphy practice.  It’s been awhile!  I loved lined spiral notebooks for this.  I’m sure the experts would have Thoughts about that, but I’m not a fan of  trying to get all those straight lines just right.  I’m also well aware that bookhand doesn’t really FIT with Niebuhr or include squigglies on Es, but what’s important is that it’s good practice and I’ll get back to normal Es soon.  And Niebuhr is talking about my (and your) life.


May 12, 2014 – Class!


First, there came the kids’ class.  This week’s theme?  Farm animals.  This goose was too happy to pass up.  It’s a post-Mother’s Day goose.  I wanted to make a goose cartoon for my mother when I saw this goose, but this is the closest I got.



Next came my adult class, where we drew a still life of the rubber Wyoming toad I bought back at the Rochester Museum and Science Center way back in the day…probably in high school.  Definitely with Henrik.

(PS If you want to make your day better, check out Henrik’s amazing work!)


May 11, 2014 – Resting Justin


Quick life sketch…trying to find a way for modelling not to be so uncomfortable.  I need to get faster and more accurate, though, I think that’s the only solution.  Fortunately, Justin has been patient with being drawn yet again.


May 10, 2014 – Susie, part I


I started this drawing in a bad mood (that had nothing to do with Susie herself) while gallery sitting at the Chandler, so it’s not quite there yet.  I need to move the eyes around a little bit yet to get it right, but for now I need to get outside in this beautiful day.  While it lasted, though, this was a great gallery sitting project!


May 9, 2014 – Scribble Camel with Price Tag and Tare Weight


I played the Scribble Game with myself while at work and gave myself a lame scribble.  You’d think if you were making your own scribble, you’d be more inclined to make one decent to work with…I didn’t have that kind of mental capacity at the time, so I wound up mostly making it into a camel, though you can see unresolved scribble bits in the middle.  Close enough.



May 8, 2014 – Lil Man


I got to my appointment, finished my grant application, taught my lessons, and weeded the front garden.  That’s why this is a quick picture and his eye is a little off.


May 7, 2014 – I forgot to photograph…

My fun shelf-painting project that got me into that zen place where you start work and are shocked when you look up and it’s five hours later.


May 6, 2014 – The Justin Reading Scowl



May 5, 2014 – Beluga Choir


I did this during my kids class today, so it’s not very worked up—but Justin voted for these guys over my conch shell still life from the class after even though it was much more developed.  Just look how happy they are!


May 4, 2014 – Justin


See?  I do sketch from life sometimes!  I really need to more often.


May 3, 2014 – Directions to Lyme, NH (it’s a thriller.  It’ll come along eventually)



May 2, 2014 – So Ro Market Map


Things to find: Coffee stain.  Item I left in the fridge but had to remember to buy.  Lunch tab.  Sea monster.



May 1, 2014 – Lego Horse and Origami Stegosaurus (on the way)



April 30, 2014 – Grantwriting


Yes, it’s kind of a cop out because I’m tired and up too late to get into something more involved…though to be honest, drawing something random with just pen is actually more of a brain-bender for me than getting into a serious representational drawing.  But still.  Grantwriting.  All the trauma of a cover letter x 20.  …But from a good cause and for a good cause.  I will soldier through.  It’s just kind of odd to be taking two weeks of what art time (which lies in the interstices between the chaos of normal work so isn’t necessarily even that MUCH time) I do have to be petitioning for money to have more time and resources to make art.  And let me tell you, the crazy thing about being a professional artist is HOW MUCH LESS TIME YOU HAVE TO DO ART then when you did it alongside your regular full time job.  Not that I’m complaining!  I’m loving the transition, but the time management aspect is a tremendous strain that I should have seen coming but didn’t.

Anyway, notice Kingston there with me.  He kept me company while I agonized over my projected budgetary details, though he was nowhere near as sedate as the cat in this picture.  It’s harder to draw a cat tearing around and burbling.


April 29, 2014 – Dancer


It started as an octopus…


April 28, 2014 – Kitten


From Drawing Animals class :0)  it was cat and dog day.


April 27, 2014 – It’s EMILY!!!!!


First the coffee…then the world.


April 26, 2014 – Pterodactyl


April 25, 2014 – Silhouette


I’ve been cutting out black paper animals for an art workshop tomorrow and discovered this scrap piece of paper…and saw the bird.  The only bits I cut to make it so were the head and the top of the lower wing.  I’m pretty excited and will have to try this more—though it is suspiciously Rorschach like.


April 24, 2014 – White on Black, cont’d


Another black and white animal pattern for Saturday…there’s also a fleet of penguins now, and a rose-breasted grosbeak.  But it’s late and I am le tired.


April 23, 2014 – White on Black



April 22, 2014 – Earth Day at UVM

Day at the Beach: UVM Summer U 2014 – Medium

…Yes, that’s right!  It’s a video, so you have to click on the link.  And yes, Justin helped very much.  I still think it counts as a drawing of the day, though.  I’ll blog separately about this when I finally have some time!



April 21, 2014 – Show-off


Created for bird week in Drawing Animals class.  We were working with…scratchboard!


April 20, 2014 – Working on Easter


Soon to be in front of the Davis Center at UVM, 3D chalk style…stop by if you are in town tomorrow.  Before it rains, of course!


April 19, 2014 – Ukrainian Eggs, Part II



April 18, 2014 – Beach Sketch


UVM opted out of Champ coming up out of the sidewalk and decided on the VT beach instead.  So here is a curious seagull to make it somewhat interactive.  Stay tuned: the final will be on the ground at UVM TUESDAY MORNING before the rain.  Davis Center, 8:30 am on…


April 17, 2014 – Dinosaurs


Some late-night origami dinosaurs for Justin’s boys to wake up to…the green brontosaurus (yes I know it really has another name that begins with an A but I don’t remember it, so it’s a brontosaurus enough) is Justin’s.


April 16, 2014 – Straight Line Victory Day


Today was a turning point in hand steadiness and the creation of legit straight lines (no tape), about which I am STILL disproportionately proud.


Those are straight lines!


Even close-up….hooray!


…And here is the same door from April 9, edited.  I made the straight-enough lines LEGIT straight lines.  Oh, the pride.


April 15, 2014 – Pelican

Well…close, anyway.


April 14, 2014 – Another door





…or rather, the other side of the same door.


April 13, 2014 – Earth Day at UVM


Getting ready for the next chalk piece.  Now that the weather is shaping up I’m due to come back to UVM to do a big chalk painting to shake up some enthusiasm for Summer U.  The problem was trying to come up with great Vermonty summer images after having just returned from California, where there were beautiful waves and palm trees and sea lion pups.  Not that Vermont summer isn’t great, but it’s…boating and hiking and growing vegetables and that kind of thing.  It has been surprisingly hard to come up with a fun interactive image involving mountaintops or distant sailboats.  But—there’s Champ!  So here’s an elementary school-friendly Champ popping up from the sidewalk to play.  Or, in this case, maybe to study.  I wish I could take Summer U classes!  Oh, the luxury students do not realize they have until it’s gone…


April 12, 2014 – Easter Egg



Today was pre-Easter with Justin’s family!  There were master plans of egg dyeing family fun and harmony, but there was only one wax stylus, only two white eggs, and the natural dyes were not quite as thrilling (though probably far less carcinogenic) as the usual ones.  Justin’s kids played with the dyes, so I monopolized the stylus for awhile on this one particularly brown egg.  Justin took the next turn, and by then nobody else was interested in Easter eggs anymore.  It was fun while it lasted!  We’ll just need another stylus or two or three next year to get the kids into the wax work, though I do have memories of burning myself with beeswax way too frequently doing this as a kid.


April 11, 2014 – Happy birthday, Alex!


My beautiful cousin!


April 10, 2014 – Triceratops


I hope origami counts.  It should—despite being only two out of three stars, this triceratops took me four tries.  I am really actually not that bad at origami, really, I’m comfortable with all sorts of crazy folds and can make tyrannosaurus rexes and all sorts of things.  I think this guy needs another star, people!


April 9, 2014 – Faux panels




I’ve been working on paneling the fire doors for the new Fox Stand.  A fun (and initially highly stressful) new challenge!  Unfortunately, I have found that I really dislike acrylics.  They have all the horror of watercolor (as in, drying immediately, even the slow-dry ones I bought, which is a bad quality for art materials for anxious people) and none of the fun of drying in beautiful, unpredictable ways the way watercolor does.  So, world, that is a NO on acrylics.  I will stay devoted to oils despite the toxicity and threat of spontaneous combustion.  At least they let you work a little bit before they dry.

Nevertheless, I’m enjoying the project, especially now that Pamela lent me a tube of raw umber—I’m working with a limited palette here, and boy that umber makes all the difference.

And…yes, I’m posting a day behind.  I’m about to do some origami but will have no time to post it before bed.  Sorry world, I’m still recovering from vacation.


April 8, 2014 – Blue Skies


…Because it was a cloudy day, but it’s springy so that’s blue enough.


April 7, 2014 – Frog


…Still life from Graphite Drawing class with my wonderful ladies, though we were missing a couple of our number.


April 6, 2014 – Phone doodle no. 2


Doodle while on the phone with Justin from CT…


April 5, 2014 – Getting ready to fly home


Airplane seagull…I was anticipating the next days flight with some anxiety, as we had way too many tiny errands to run before getting to the airport.


April 4, 2014 – Street musician in Westwood



I was having millet banana bread (really?  Really.  And it was even amazingly tasty) at Le Pain Quotidien in Westwood while this guitarist was singing away at a nearby bench.  So I drew him!  I gave him the picture afterwards, and he gave me his info in case I was ever in town with my saxophone.  On the other side of it was the UCLA shuttle map, which I actually needed to get back to campus to meet my sister after her class—a perfect exchange!  And he never knew how much he helped me.


April 3, 2014 – Sea lion pup!


Still on vacation, so it’s simple.  We went to Point Dume and saw a couple sea lion pups on the beach!


April 2, 2014 – Jet lag bird


…Arrived in LA, so tired.  So, so tired.


April 1, 2014 – Where did it go?

…I think it may have been lost in transit between here and Hartford.


March 31, 2014 – Shell


From class…


March 30, 2014 – Bishop Ely


Growing up in a large Catholic diocese in Rochester, NY, I always thought of the Bishop as someone unapproachable who had to show up to make sure your Confirmation was legit—someone you didn’t know, couldn’t just approach with questions about the Church, certainly, an almost-Pope my father probably disagreed with but would never be able to engage with in conversation to iron out those differences.

Now, this is probably entirely unfair, remember, I was a kid—and I remember hearing many people saying our bishop was actually pretty great.  I trust he was, though I never got to know him or even…meet him?  Though I must have, as he must have been there at my Confirmation to make it legit.  Our diocese was huge!  How could it have been otherwise?  It’s just that to me, some people were just too important to be…people with whom normal people like me could identify and work.

So when I first joined Christ Church Bethel here in Vermont and I heard our bishop was coming for a visit and potluck (VT is all about the potlucks) I wasn’t going to bother to stick around after church to listen.  I’m in desperate need of private recharge time on Sundays, and I don’t like jargon.  I don’t like being harassed to give money to various funds addressing things over my administrative head that overuse churchy words that have long since been emptied of their meaning.

Well, Bishop Ely showed up, and I hung around for the entire duration of the potluck, invigorated, empowered.  I was surprised how surprised I was to realize how truly engaged, articulate, and interested a bishop could be in actual spiritual (not just the administrative churchy-word world) matters, in tiny parishes like ours, in the questions of concerns of individuals like me who aren’t even technically in his denomination but do care.  I never realized that it ever mattered that I cared.  In short, I was surprised that a bishop could really be a leader, a real leader, spiritual and administrative alike, interested and fun and empowering people to be active in the church and the wider community, not just an absent puppeteer.  Who knew I was such an embittered child to have assumed that the bishop of my childhood had been so absent without having the basis for this?  Yikes!  I suppose that in retrospect I’ve always just been reticent about trusting leaders—I suppose I’ve just not had too many who earned my trust with the sincerity, competence, and care that I see as necessary.  But this one did.

We are so proud of our bishop!  Who else would lead a tight annual diocesan convention that involved not just business dealt with with care but also some Tevye to challenge the assembly to bring in a huge extra donation for the Food Bank and Happy Birthday sung in Anglican Chant?  I am truly grateful to have found a Diocese I feel like I can actually be a part of, one dedicated to social justice, one in which I am invited to really be involved, to have a voice, and whose goals and actions I can truly stand for.  Thanks, Bishop Ely!


March 29, 2014 – Catness


My housemate is out for the weekend, so I am catsitting.  These sketches do not look much like Kingston, but I was appreciating the cat shapes.


March 28, 2014 – Adam


In honor of our produce-wrangling any-day-now-to-be dad!  Congratulations in advance!


March 27, 2014 – The Sketchy Birdwatcher


As usual, I just found a color I wanted to use and used it…this nice deep, brownish maroon—and it became this shape.  I turned it around and around until I saw what it was—this person with a hood and goggles, an aviator!  Except that I had no room on my scrap of illustration board for a plane or a motorcycle, so somehow the hood morphed into a birdwatcher.  He doesn’t have to be sketchy, just well-protected.  Maybe it’s an aviator who likes to watch birds when he gets the chance.


March 26, 2014 – John


There’s so much to be said about John—if only I didn’t always winding up writing these things late at night when I am practically non-verbal.  John is the Founding Father of my settlement into Christ Church, convinced me to try out the South Royalton Town Band (which I’ve been enjoying very much ever since), writes consistently fantastic sermons, and has been such an honor and joy to have in my life!

That being said, I want to go back and tighten up this picture when I have more time and mental acuity.  It’s not quite there yet!


March 25, 2014 – Thinking SPRING


…Because it was 2 degrees when I stepped out this morning.


March 24, 2014 – Portobello from above


Today’s Graphite Drawing class warm-up…unfortunately, the view from above is not the best or most mushroom-like.  We all appreciated the dimple in the crown of our subject though.


March 23, 2014 – Blurb 3


Still still busy!


March 22, 2014 – Blurb 2


Still busy!


March 21, 2014 – Blurb 1




March 20, 2014 – Wendy


Because tomorrow is Co Op day, here is Wendy!  I couldn’t ask for a better boss.


March 19, 2014 – Seahorses


Yes, that’s all…late-night watercolor blip that was supposed to be abstract looked too much like a seahorse to resist…then it looked lonely, I gave it companions.  Sure, why not.


March 18, 2014 – the Emerging Church


A quick graphic I did for an upcoming UCC/Episcopal Diocese of VT conference.  Yes, breaking out of the box is definitely involved!  It should be a good event.  I wish my paper didn’t look so scrappy on the graphic, though.  You can see eraser matter, etc.


March 17, 2014 – Mango


Regular pencil on regular paper, a mango from today’s opening Drawing with Graphite class at Artistree.  So much fun, and I always wind up with wonderful students!  I’ve been so lucky!  One take-home message: try to find the SHAPES of the shadows—those will make the subject round.  Making curving lines works, too, but if you are working on your shading, don’t even think about the lines.  Just try and see what you are really seeing, and POOF!  Roundness.  Look at these lines, they’re random and were drawn upside-down, yet it is still a roundish mango.


March 16, 2014 – George and Iris


Sorry, though, George, I noticed as I became more tired working you started looking more tired in the picture.  I’ll try to tighten that up sometime when it is a little earlier than midnight.  Anyway, I’m excited for the first double portrait of the portrait project!  I’m thinking I may limit this double portrait category to kids with their single dads, to whom the state of Vermont divorce law does not give nearly enough credit.  So here is credit where credit is due!  Rock on, George and Iris.


March 15, 2014 – Piglet No. 2


I was going to do a pencil portrait tonight, but saw this old reference photo of one of Randy’s brood over at Luna Bleu and that was that.


March 14, 2014 – OOPS!  Into…Post- Postmodern Art.


Yes, I FORGOT.  Sixty-one days in, and I forgot.  I was busy planning a sermon, working at the Co Op all day, and then going to play with the Partycrashers (always a good time) in Barre until the wee hours.  So I got home and…FORGOT.  So here is my contribution to post-postmodern art:

Sermon notes written by artist in revised Phoenician alphabet on a small piece of white paper in the top left corner of which you will see the note made to remind the artist to pay a tab left over from the Tuesday before.

This work of stunning depth, breadth, and brilliance comes backed by a boundary-blowing concept someone else can come up with for it.  Then it will sell to a museum of contemporary art for ten times the value of all my other pieces combined.  Or maybe the concept is that the art exists in retrospect, right?  It illustrates the desperation and anxiety endemic to our fast-paced modern world.  In other words, if I hadn’t been so busy, I’d have remembered to do my painting of the day, but because my schedule persists in being insane, I had to make my drawing of the day in retrospect by deeming it so.  ART REDEFINED!  I told you there was a glittering concept.  How about it, MoMA?


March 13, 2014 – Blue Jay in Crayon


A quick sketch in pencil and beeswax crayons from my Randolph class today.  Most of these classes I am wandering around working with kids, and I never really stop to notice what I’ve made.  Notice the pencil additions on the top—compliments of the girls.


March 12, 2014 – Snowstorm in Quebec


A view from our drive home from Montreal…except that there was no path at the house we saw.  All was just a flat, snowy wasteland!  It’s not waste-y at all usually, there was just something about the utter flatness of this stretch of southern Quebec during a snowstorm that was kind of haunting.


March 11, 2014 – Jelly


Done in the B & B room after an afternoon at the Musee de Beaux-Arts in Montreal.


March 10, 2014 – The PMS Dragon


Don’t get me wrong, I don’t feel like PMS turns women into dragons—you, gentlemen, try it on for a day, then be impressed how we survive.  Be very impressed.  Rather, this is the black raincloud that comes to visit to make you just that much more sensitive and sluggish.  Overreactive?  No, just more sensitive.  Sensitive brings heightened awareness of both good and bad—so it can be dragonish and difficult, but don’t assume just because it’s hormonal there is no inherent value.  There is plenty of truth to be found when our skins are at their thinnest.


March 9, 2014 – Angie


…Soon to come back from sabbatical, have a birthday, and get back to keeping this diocese on its toes!   We are so lucky to have you.


March 8, 2014 – March Mud


Seeing as there is green, this might actually be looking forward a bit to April.  But you know…daylight savings and all!  We can hope!


March 7, 2014 – One fish, two fish…


…more just playing around.


March 6, 2014 – Jan


Hooray for Jan!  Hers is the twenty-fifth of twenty-five portraits to make the first prototype of the Indra’s Net portrait project, which will be up at Vintage Inspired in Burlington’s South End for the month of March.  The show opens tomorrow at 5—plenty to finish before then, unfortunately.  This night may be late.  I could compose you a paean, Jan, for being awesome, but I’ll have to do it some other time!  Til then, thanks for being so wonderful and supportive.


March 5, 2014 – Carlos


A mini portrait for Elise of her husband!  And a joy to draw.


March 4, 2014 – Yeah, I know it stinks


…But I’m really busy right now and trying to smooth out a bit after all the diet insanity and the five months of super intense scheduling and work to get Wilhelmina done in time.  So you know what?  Here’s a not very good piece, but I’m not longer in my early twenties and now realize that sleep is sometimes more important.  I’m hoping to get back into the portraits soon.


March 3, 2014 – Day 50! and still taking a break from anything serious…


I think I need some springtime…


March 2, 2014 – The meltdown goes nuclear, then settles a bit



March 1, 2014 – Perfectly good day that ends in unprovoked but utter meltdown (I’m sure many of you know those days)



February 28, 2014 – …and back to the portraits.


Just drawing Barbara helped me find a calmer, more centered place, a gentleness I did not roll into the day with.  Thank you!


February 27, 2014 – Last Wilhelmina drawing.  BAM.


Here it is, the last one…a quick watercolor page adornment.  Now that I’ve been wrangling with InDesign and Photoshop for a week, I am ready to run around in circles out in the fresh air.  HOW do you office people do this?  All the sitting and the screen-staring?  It is maddening!  I feel like I’m going to meld with my chair.  And I thought standing around inside drawing pictures was inert.   It seems that I have inherited my father’s need to constantly be on the go.  I now understand why he randomly gets up and wanders away in the middle of rental movies and gets so wound up when it is Time to Go and the rest of us are lolling around taking our time and Getting There Eventually.  I’m going to go do the seven minute workout before I explode because it is way too cold outside to run two days in a row.


February 26, 2014 – Wilhelmina is REALLY nearly here!


Colored pencil and watercolor on board…a small addition to…part of the book.  But you will have to snag a copy to find out where!  We’re almost ready to send the file off to the publishers!


February 25, 2014 – Wilhelmina is nearly here!


Here’s a little picturelet from the title page!  My deadline is at the end of this week, so I’m on the homestretch.


February 24, 2014 – And one more for the road…



February 23, 2014 – Conté


So I drew Justin from life to figure out if I could draw faster and larger with conté.  Really, I just get more stressed out and could not for the life of me get Justin’s eyes right.  Yes, he did keep moving, but really I need to work from life enough so that that doesn’t matter.  In the meantime, the project was frustrating and miserable for all involved because I cannot handle doing a crappy job and Justin does not like sitting still for an hour and ten.  This is one of those times where I would rather…not…post my work.


February 22, 2014 – Kathy


Here’s the very first smile that welcomed me to Christ Church Bethel—and, of course, I had to stay!  Thank you, Kathy, the ultimate welcomer!  I think of you fondly every time I am sloooowly plunking out hymns on the piano (and loving it).

Speaking of church, this drawing-a-day thing has now been going on for about the duration of Lent, which I now realize has been the maximum length of any heavy disciplinary operation in my life up until now.  But as of today, I’ve ventured over the forty-day standard into entirely new territory.  If you were not of the Catholic persuasion yourself and have never experienced that whole I-will-not-eat-chocolate (or eat sugar, or hit your big sister)-for-forty-days haul, then this may not carry quite the same weight, but let me tell you, forty days is some marathon!  I’m excited to go for the next big hurdle.


February 21, 2014 – Margaret


Here’s Margaret, who is not only responsible for much of my Foucault collection, but was also a major helper in my finding my place in Vermont.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!  Being all-around awesome doesn’t hurt, either.  You will always set the standard for coolest chairwoman of the board, dealing with incredibly amounts of stress with grace, fearlessness (at least from what we see on the outside!), and a great sense of humor.


February 20, 2014 – Princess and the Pauper, Take 2





They’ve switched places at this point…hopefully you can tell!


February 19, 2014 – Princess and the Pauper


Here’s some poster work for the talented and always fun musical-maker Torsti Rovainen!  That’s right, it’s Princess and the Pauper, a take on Twain’s Prince and the Pauper.  And I bet it will be awesome.


…And here it is in digital color, something I don’t usually do—but I’m waiting for approval to hand-color the original if needed.


February 18, 2014 – Koi


Some watercolor experimentation while listening (not so much watching) women’s bobsledding.


February 17, 2014 – Sprout



Here’s a brussels sprout Heather found while preparing dinner.  She noticed its still life value and passed it along to be drawn.  In the meantime, it’s sproutmates were all cooked, and it is now a lone survivor—all for spreading its wings in such a fetching way.  It’ll shortly go back to the fridge to wait for its turn.


February 16, 2014 – Justin & Ira


I was emptying pictures off my camera so I could email my sister pictures of the walrus, found this, and had to draw it despite the late hour—so here is my usual graphite style in a rush.  And a beautiful dad!


February 15, 2014 – The Walrus


Here he is, the subject I spent both these past two days carving out of snow.  If only I had a nickel for every time someone said: coo coo ca choo!

Haw haw!  I am fairly apathetic about the Beatles so got pretty sick of that one by the end of the day.  Really, I’d never even thought about the Beatles when I chose this subject matter, but more about the shape of a walrus—because they are bizarre and giant and just covered in awesome folds of flabby blubber.  And they have whiskers!  The more I sculpt, the more I appreciate…though there is a video floating around social media of a walrus doing a workout routine that makes me cry laughing every time because the walrus is such a charmer, not to mention so clever with his flippers.  This drawing made me realize that said flippers are all wrong on the sculpture, though.

If you’re in town, come by and check out all the snow sculptures—there’s some awesome work—tomorrow.  We’ll be working til noon, but the sculptures should stay up until the vandalism/rain decides to take them down.


February 14, 2014 – Euro Robin No. 2


I’m exhausted after a day of snow sculpture!  Here is another Euro robin for Valentine’s Day…looking worried.  Probably worried about how achy my lower back will be tomorrow for Day 2.


February 13, 2014 – Euro Robin


Maybe spring is starting over there, but here we have a snow…event.  So here’s robin with something to say about that.


February 12, 2014 – Nancy!


It’s Nancy!  Choirmate, hiking buddy, and all around great lady!   Now that I’ve drawn much of the Co Op staff, I seem to be moving on to the Christ Church, Bethel choir.

In the meantime I drove all the way to West Lebanon today to pick up plasticene clay to sculpt a mock-up of this weekend’s big sculpture.  Will I tell you what it is?  No!  Only my mom and my partner know, and you will have to stay tuned (or show up on the Woodstock green) to find out!  Bwlahahahaha!


February 11, 2014 – Chocolate heart


Today was busy and packed, and I wanted to have the evening to relax and actually be a social being, so I did my drawing during an ecumenical committee meeting in Randolph this morning.  One of the priests very kindly brought chocolate hearts, one for each of us.  Well, I couldn’t eat mine, so I slid it over to where a ray of sunshine was falling on the table and drew it.  The only issue was that I’d not really thought ahead and had not brought my usual bristol board, only my sketchbook.  No spectrum pencils, only a mechanical pencil.  So I had to be extra gentle to try and keep the lights light enough.  I’ve definitely been spoiled by my 6H.


February 10, 2014 – Snow sculpture sketches

Okay, so this whole weekend the Vermont Flurry Snow Sculpture Festival is on on the Woodstock Village Green.  I woke up today feeling more of the living than I have for the past week of diet doom, so even though I will be able to eat none of the abundance of free food I will be kale- and beef-fueling through three whole days of chipping away at a 8′ x 6′ x 6′ block of snow until it becomes a…becomes a what?

All day I had this nagging idea that wouldn’t leave me along.  A snowbeest!  Right?  Like, a wildebeest carved out of snow so it’s a snowbeest?



Okay, so I’m the only person who would think that is great, so I trolled around for other ideas and thought of the penguin family I whittled back in the day.  But Justin will be helping me, I thought, so maybe the dad penguin should have the chick, but he’s got two, so—got it!  A dad penguin, two chicks, and…the distracted girlfriend penguin.  But I’m worried penguins are too cheesy.  They’re just…so winter and so predictable and always cute and way too easily cutesy.


What else, then but camels? and since it starts on Valentine’s Day, how about happy camel companions?  Right?


Oh, or it could just be a giant walrus, sure why not:


Really, it’s all cheesy, and really, I just can’t decide what to do, so I need your advice.  Now accepting votes!


February 9, 2014 – West Coast


I swear, my portrait work has gone straight downhill after this diet began.  My energy has been falling a little more every day (though someone living off bananas, avocados, coconut milk, and steak really shouldn’t be lacking in calories), and with it, my motivation to do anything.  A portrait just takes more emotional juice than most pieces, and today I was simply not up for it.  I was happy to work in watercolor, though—I think it’s just what I needed!  I just wish I remember where in the Pacific Northwest I took the reference photo for this piece.

After finishing and resting for a bit (and watching some team Olympics, of course) I fixed up Deborah’s picture a bit:


…and I worked a bit on Lisa’s, too, though I’m still not quite satisfied with it:



February 8, 2014 – Deborah


I love this laugh—and this lady!


February 7, 2014 – Meg

Runde_MegNo time to write, but thank you Meg for bringing your smile to us at the Co Op!


February 6, 2014 – Lisa


I actually felt rusty on the portraits today, strangely enough…but I’m only two days out?  Sorry Lisa, this would have been better if I’d not been trying to stream the Olympics for part of the time I was drawing it.  Unfocused!  Blame the lack of chocolate and cheese in this crazy elimination diet.  Out of control.

Anyway, other than being generally all around wonderful, Lisa is an awesome artist!  Check out her work!


February 5, 2014 –Wilhelmina makes her debut!

Here’s your sneak peak (the only full-text one I will show) into Wilhelmina Goes Wandering – sorry it couldn’t be a full color double-pager, but I’m putting it up because I started and finished the entire spread today…and thus had no time for anything more.  I insist that these four little picturelets (they are way bigger than this) count as having done a painting today.  In the meantime, get psyched—Wilhelmina is coming out in April!  I have two spreads left!

Spread15 Spread152


February 4, 2014 – They stole the what?!


A couple folks seem to have stolen Justin’s wood stove.  This smacks of an Angry Ex Situation.  I took the opportunity of this annoying and bizarre event to take the easy way out and do something other than a portrait today that took a fraction of the time.  If you have seen the stove, and this is not what it looks like, I’m sorry—it wasn’t around for me to get a reference photo of because it was…stolen.  It may look nothing like this, sure, what can you do.  But thanks for the break, stove-stealers!  Now, if you don’t mind, please return the stove as it is February and I know you’re not actually innately bad people despite…stealing wood stoves in the middle of winter.

As for you, Justin:



February 3, 2014 – Zachary (looking at Heather)


As I was taking pictures of Zachary to draw, he kept looking over to beam at Heather.  This is such a laudable reason not to look at the camera that I had to draw it.  Unfortunately, the lack of chocolate and cheese is starting to get to me and for the life of me, Zachary, I couldn’t get your chin quite right.  Maybe I will have another try later on in the year!


February 2, 2014 – Susan


Okay, so I decided to draw Susan today even before she agreed to take my hours so I can get to the Woodstock snow sculpture competition thing coming up.  I am always so inexplicably happy to see Susan—she carries so much good humor, frankness and vivacity!  So much fun to work with.

Today was not the most amazing Co Op day otherwise…it was one of those days where more than one person commented on how tired I looked, how spacy I appeared, or did I have a cold, because I looked ill?  Well, I’m not sure why I’ve been so extra tired lately, but I think it’s partly due to fighting off the stomach flu (cross your fingers it loses the fight) that is going around, partly to an incredibly erratic schedule.  I’m hoping to be back in gear soon, though this week may not be it.  I’ve just begun an allergy testing regimen…as I am fairly certain I need to cut back on delicious foods like gluten and dairy and made the mistake of telling my doctor this.  So now for the next two to three weeks I will not be able to eat the usual suspects (wheat, egg, dairy, soy), but also all the unusuals as well: nightshades (what will I do without tomato sauce?!?!), citrus, corn, all sugars (even honey and the nectar of the gods/maple syrup), almonds.  Peanuts.  Chocolate!  Alcohol!  My guidance materials say I will need to keep my diet varied now as I do this—how, might I ask, when most of my diet has just been removed and I am left to rice, certain fruit, certain vegetables, rice, and kasha?  Steak, I think.  And avocados.  In the meantime, I’m wondering how this will effect my work.  The word on the street is that the first week of this routine is a grouchy, grumpy, rickety mess of withdrawal and insane cravings and that the second is just amazing.  Amazing as in, boy, you sure were allergic to all that, say goodbye to ever enjoying normal people food again, but hey, at least you won’t be spacy, lethargic, and irritable anymore!

So for the next week I will possibly be extra spacy, lethargic, and irritable, sulkily chewing on chestnut crispbread smeared with cashew butter into which I frantically poked as many raisins as would fit in a desperate bid for something like sugar.  Will my work show it or not?

The only thing I’ve noticed that I’ve done some of my best Wilhelmina work while listening to The Brothers Karamazov on Librivox.  The spread I did under the influence of The Iliad, not so good.  I’m already having my doubts about work done without the influence of black olives, cheese, and/or chocolate.


February 1, 2014 – Happy Birthday, Shengzhi!


Happy Birthday to my housemate Shengzhi, for whom February in Vermont is probably a bit too cold.  So many times when I come home from the barn or a lesson in the evening, there are wonderful smells coming from the kitchen, and there is Shengzhi juggling dishes of bright chopped vegetables and rice and neatly laying out leftovers for several days.  Shengzhi, I am so impressed by your dedication to your work and the mastery in your cooking and your sense of humor with the rest of us, not to mention with the cat, who requires much patience and humor and playfulness.


January 31, 2014 – Lyal


As soon as I found this picture amidst my brief series of Lyal reference photos taken for the occasion last week, I was psyched to get to draw it—this is like the encapsulation of my experience of Lyal as a colleague—always bringing a good attitude and the kind of easygoing personality everyone just wants around no matter how crabby or antisocial we may be feeling at the time.  Never mind the classical music expertise, fascination with Benjamin Britten, and painterliness (yes, check out Lyal’s art here)!  Working at the Co Op is a pretty great deal anyway, but I have to hand it to Lyal for making it that much more fun.

As I’ve been working, I’ve also had some rules materializing around the project.  I am only going to draw pictures from photos I take—this year.  As this is a 2014 project, I’m going to draw people I see face to face this year.  Each drawing is an exercise in focusing on the beauty of the whole person of whoever I’m drawing, so I don’t need to know you well, but a little bit helps an awful lot.  This is also incentive to get to find a way to see so many of you friends who I don’t get to see much anymore.  Yes, getting back to Ireland may be tricky (unless I win the lottery, then I am there), but some of you others around the country…well, I hope we will find a way.

Don’t be shy to ask if you are local and haven’t had your picture taken yet and want one done…if you are on this site and reading this, you probably know me, and I’d probably be happy to draw you.

I also finally have a title for the piece, due to be done next January, which will involve all these portraits (hopefully a minimum of 121) in a grid.  Each will be framed separately to emphasize the individual importance of each person, yet the project will involve all of them together as a unit.  Now, across from where we stand at the checkout counters at the Co Op is the newspaper rack, and I noticed all the hoopla today about the Fed considering the death penalty for the marathon bomber—the headlines stared at me all day.  I don’t want to start any arguments, but personally (and this may be because of a lack of tragedy in my own life, but hear me out nonetheless) I feel that human relationship is more of a unity than we would like to admit, and, if this is the case, the death penalty is quite a contradictory solution to the problem of murder.  If people starve, this does not only affect the people starving, but the people who let such a world happen without reaction.  If people are brainwashed or ill enough to be remorseless over the killing of others, are we completely innocent ourselves, living and participating in the world that allowed this to happen?  If we are not so entirely removed as we would like to see ourselves, then, how can we seek or condone the death of another—isn’t that, after all, what we hold this individual in such contempt over?

In the words of Rabbi A.J. Heschel, we are not all guilty, but we are all responsible.

You can also see this same unity in the Christian concept of the body of Christ.  If one limb of the body is hurting, the whole body is hurting.  It is the responsibility of the whole to look after the parts, and the responsibility of the parts to look after the whole.  Really, I am willing to bet you can find the same sense of reciprocality in most mystical traditions, wherein people not only theorize about, but experience this interconnectivity.

Sorry to all you Divinity scholars for such blatant recourse to connecting vastly different traditions to serve my own purposes, but I would like to extend this idea to the Hindu metaphor of Indra’s net.  (If this is mortifying to your scholarly instincts, just imagine I am simply re-purposing the the metaphor for myself altogether, leaving the metaphor in its original contexts unscathed.)  Indra’s net is an infinite net, in which at each crossing, there is a jewel.  Each jewel reflects every other jewel: all phenomena are interconnected.

Well, here in this work, it’s people (though Emmett the Loftus-Durham dog may well make an appearance)…so, it’s…mainly people.  But in each person is a reflection of the world they meet, including the viewer him or herself.  Each person is at once completely unique and part of the whole body of being, and that is the web that fascinates me.  So here is my subsection of Indra’s Net.


January 30, 2014 – Kathy


I actually got my picture done early today, a good consequence of having time lag between a therapy appointment and a doctor’s appointment and not wanting to drive back to So Ro from Bethel only to drive back to Randolph later.  So I went to the Three Bean and drew Kathy instead!

In the meantime, I’ve been getting people asking: well, can you just do more than one in one day so you can take another day off?  No, no, no!  The purist in me can’t handle that.  I feel like if I make one excuse, I’ll lose my grip and start making a ton of excuses and just lose the discipline altogether.  It’s been a great experience—I’ve always been annoyed at concept art and how artists seem to have to explain their work for it to make sense to anyone, but the more I work on this project the more I get the sense that there is a concept already here that I’m slowly discovering as I go.

…With all this extra time, I tried to fix Bill’s picture a bit.  It’s still not quite there, but a little closer:



January 29, 2014 – Happy Almost Birthday, Hattie!


Happy almost-birthday to Hattie!  We had art class today (and made the cros Bríoda – St. Bridget’s Cross – out of straw several times over), so I’m drawing her a couple days early.  Hattie is one of my very first first graders from when I first moved to Vermont as a Waldorf teacher.

It’s been quite a journey since, and I’m happy to still get to work with her.


January 28, 2014 – Bill


While I work on these, I think of so much to say, then by the time I finish I am too tired to think.  So here’s Bill, the Produce Master at the Co Op.  I’m bummed when I work on a picture of someone I want to use to mirror back: look, just look at your awesomeness!  But then I wind up making it the tiniest bit crooked and get discouraged.

So sorry about the eye spacing, Bill, I’ll try to fix it later when I’m not about to fall asleep over my work.  I’m hoping as I go I will have to go back and fix fewer pieces…because I got the eyes right the first time!  Hooray!

But for now I’m going to pass out.  Maybe I will dream of produce (particularly avocados, now on sale.  Worth dreaming of).


January 27, 2014 – Sue


I have to be up at the crack of dawn to open at the Co Op but came home late from my Monday night class so here’s to a long day tomorrow.  I’ve been so spoiled by the freelancing and being able to sleep properly (as in 8-9 hours a night) for the first time since…childhood…and get really cranky when I have to go down to the dreaded six hours.  Anything under seven hours and I am acutely aware all day that my whole being is running at half mast.

But it was worth it to get this resemblance!  Special thanks to Sue for being my model for one of the characters in the last several Wilhelmina spreads.  She’s perfect for the role.

In the meantime, I’ll be tempted to touch this one up when I have more time (I always catch a bunch of mistakes when I see the scans as they are so huge after squinting at the tiny original pieces for an hour and a half)—we’ll see.


January 26, 2014 – Kim


After a day’s work at the Co Op alongside Kim, it seemed appropriate that she be today’s portrait subject.  I wish I had more time to tighten these up, to get the eyes just right and really bring out the full graphite spectrum.  Yesterday was such a luxury!  Today I got home from work, got moving on my next Wilhelmina spread, and only after (a late) dinner let myself get started on today’s portrait.  I’ve found a quick one takes between one and two hours, over two only if I’m having resemblance issues.  In the meantime, I’m pretty excited at the prospect of turning these into one giant installation at the end of the year—this really helps keep me going.

I’m also encouraged because it’s people I’m drawing, and each portrait really makes me stop and think about that person, like about how Kim is infinitely patient with customers, has a genius for making all the displays around the Co Op look balanced, neat, and interesting, which leads me meandering over all her stories—day after day, being able to realize how much I appreciate all these people has been well worth the time and effort.  And it doesn’t hurt having something to share with them, either, or a cumulative record of all these meditations.

Though yes, I’m only two weeks in.  Check in with me in June.


January 25, 2014 – Laurel


I’m on the phone with my sister so I can’t write much of anything but:

Sorry, Laurel, about the resemblance not being all there!  But you were a pleasure to draw.  Fortunately, it is my day off, so I actually had time to try and try and try and try to fix it…and fail…but in doing come out with an extra detailed drawing.  To go with Laurel, I did a little fix on Henry’s portrait as well—see if you can spot the difference:



January 24, 2014 – Henry


Today is a Co Op day, so in honor of one of the best places in town to work, here is Henry, one of my first coworkers there!  Always fun and funny (and now phlebotomizing).

And now that this is DONE I have a free evening.  The ice rink calls.


January 23, 2014 – Becky


Today was a busy one full of lessons, but here on the cusp of the weekend I can look forward to Sunday and seeing the above Becky at Christ Church Bethel.  She’s mid-eighties and sharp as a tack, writes beautiful poetry, and we all love her…even though she doesn’t like chant.  That and she’s one of the few people I’m drawing for whom I will have to bring her the paper copy of the picture as opposed to just emailing or linking on Facebook.  Unfortunately, my brain takes Sunday off, so it may be a challenge to remember.

And because I finished early, I fixed my picture of Shelie (see Jan 19), which just hadn’t been Quite Right, and by no means on Shelie’s account.  It’s amazing how just taking a few days away from a picture can really help you see what you missed the first time around.  Well, it’s a little closer, at least:



January 22, 2014 – It’s COLD outside!


I had a fun homeschool group art lesson today, immediately proceeding which the kids all bundled up in all sorts of layers to go out and cross country ski in the 2 degree weather.  I took one look at Wendell in balaclava and owl hat and knew what today’s picture would have to be.  His look sums it all up.

After I got home, instead of getting to work and being responsible I fell prey to the siren call of the newly poured town ice rink (wouldn’t you?) and bundled up similarly (though, alas, without a similarly awesome owl hat) to skate for an hour…and really, with enough clothing, the cold is nothing.  Or maybe that’s because it was a whole 4 degrees warmer in South Royalton?


January 21, 2014 – Rick (mostly)


Two hours into this portrait, Rick, I realized that you are one of those people who is inexplicably Difficult to Draw.  Now it’s past midnight and I still have Wilhelmina work to do!  Fortunately, the Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo De Silos are chanting on iTunes…so all is calm nonetheless.

After deciding to do tons of portraits, I took my camera to work and harassed both coworkers and friends coming through the So Ro Market checkout who might be okay with helping out.  And I am not the only Market cashier to draw our beloved colleague!  Lyal is working on an ingenious poster for Rick’s Morning Mix on South Royalton Community Radio.

Unfortunately, I am now being punished for my hubris in this massive portrait drawing undertaking by having had extreme difficulties getting resemblances in my last two attempts, something which I don’t have much time for!  Hopefully by the end of this year I will have learned both some humility and have acquired some speed and deeper proficiency.


January 20, 2014 – Martin Luther King, Jr. and Abraham Joshua Heschel


Yes, I am a big fan of both.  I pregamed Martin Luther King Day by listening to Heschel’s last interview last night and spent many hours of work today listening to a bunch of King speeches and sermons on YouTube, all of which apply just as well now.

These two both have a lot to say that needs to be heard now more than ever about love over hatred, action over passivity, and meaning over despair.

Is it my best drawing?  No, but it’s midnight and I spent all day working on Wilhelmina!  …Which doesn’t count as a drawing a day.


January 19, 2014 – Shelie!


I took my camera to church today to get some good shots for mini-portraits.  I think it would be fun to have a whole series of these by the end of the year, the more laughter the better.


January 18, 2014 – Happy Horse…pt. 1


I’ve been wanting an excuse to paint or draw this horse for awhile…this is from a photo I have from the Tunbridge Fair, and I just can’t get over the horse’s expression.  Unfortunately, I also didn’t have time to do it justice.  I will definitely be picking at this one a little more when I have the time to clean it up, get those colors saturated, and make it stick together.

I think watercolors are just extra tricky for me.  This may be a temperamental issue—as a high anxiety person, there is nothing like a fast-drying medium to make me feel like I just don’t have time!!!!! to mix the color I want and need to just throw down whatever is there then despair because it can’t be removed and then not wash my brush thoroughly so I get the wrong color irretrievablyin the wrong place.  This is nightmarish…but watercolors are just so speedy!  I’m continuing to fight my disinclination, and as long as I keep producing mediocre watercolors, I will keep covering my tracks with colored pencil.

When I’ve tightened this fellow up (or, to be frank, just fix it), I will post the post-colored pencil result and this will all become clear.


January 17, 2014 – Happy Birthday, Heather!


It’s my wonderful housemate Heather’s 24th birthday!  I could not ask for a more cheerful, helpful, laid-back, wicked clever, and supportive housemate.  What better subject for the day’s picture?  The glory of having finished my picture early is unfortunately short-lived—it’s already time to head to work.


January 16, 2014 – Whitney Hill Angus


Well, I took this reference photo in a different season, but at least it’s my photo this time.  This is my first non-miniature—a whopping 8.5″ x 11″!

I miss this green.  But it finally snowed again today, so at least we got some white over the rainy gray.


January 15, 2014 – Blue Whale


Today’s whale is because I’m doing a whale project for my kids’ art lessons this week.  After drawing all these whales with the kids (and forgetting to photograph their beautiful work!) I couldn’t come up with anything else to do…so I did what I hate doing, and just lifted right off of an online image.

No, I didn’t trace it, but I did use a reference photo from Google image search that I did not take and made it the sole subject of the work.  I played around with it a little to redeem myself, but really?  Not much.  I finished two spreads for Wilhelmina today and taught two lessons.  This is my excuse for being unoriginal.

The good news is, I found my 6H!


January 14, 2014 – Justin’s New Face!


Today’s picture is in honor of Justin and his sudden loss of beard (and haircut).  After months of a gradual accumulation of facial hair, to see Justin suddenly beardless is a shock to the system—not a bad one, just a sudden need to readjust back to the beardless.  Doing this picture probably actually just did the trick.

It took forever, and now it is late and I have twenty million things to do still before going to bed.  I foresee this may be a challenge for the rest of the year.

Also, I would love to know what happened to my 6H pencil.  The cat likes to knock anything he can off my desk, so it could be anywhere.  Hopefully by the end of the year it will show up!


January 13, 2014.


The beginning!  I drew a shallot in natural light while waiting for Justin’s blueberry muffins to come out of the oven.  I’ve been wanting to do a series of still lives from above for awhile now, which is odd enough seeing as I generally do not care…not one bit…for still lives.  I got the idea after drawing enough warm-up still lives with my first colored pencil class, which I did while standing up as to be able to move around the class easily to see how everyone was doing.  By the end of the class, I had a pile of still lives from above!

Natural light did not leave me the most dramatic shadows, but it seemed a shame to use a lamp when there was morning light to be had.

And yes, the drawing is actually smaller than the shallot itself, which was no biggie to begin with.  This is approximately the actual drawing size.


January 12, 2014.


Thanks to J.J. Overstreet and Lynn VanNatta at Artistree in Woodstock, I’ve decided to undertake the painting-a-day challenge for January 13, 2014 – January 13, 2015, art through thick and thin.  It’s hard enough for me to commit to flossing my teeth everyday, so this is sure to be quite the challenge, though I know it will also be quite a journey and one so well worth it.  Though I do art almost every day, finishing a small piece every day is a whole different story!  I’ve decided to post the daily pictures—that’s right, every single one, no matter how unsatisfactory—right here, starting tomorrow, January 13.  Please join me on the journey!  Suggestions and comments and morale boosts welcome (you can email me through the contact widget on the bottom right).  And no, most of these will not be paintings as I am more likely to stick with it if I draw, and yes, most of them will be small.  Life is a busy place!



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