Beech Face

Leaf Portraiture


Beech Face/ Maria

In my first Vermont winter in 34 years, I am re-discovering the fashions of autumn. So many leaves!

I cannot get my hands on my usual Beach Face elements, so I’m deploying leaves instead. Inspired by another look at Lois Ehlert’s superbly clever Leaf Man, I have been using leaves in various ways to create portraiture.

The rhubarb plant can supply an entire wardrobe!


Sabin in the autumn

And sometimes only one is needed.


Tula tiara

With the leftover riches, I made arrangements and left them in the woods

Remembering the beloved dead~SkaDaMo2014

Remembering the dead has always been hard for me.

My latest loss coincided with Halloween and Dia de los Muertes and that has made it oddly easier to bear. I had a ready outlet for art therapy.

DayoftheDeadweb  Diadelosmuertesweb

I began by memorializing Tula, and then, needing even more therapy, I moved on to Georgie and Chihiro, and Queen of Heaven.


The blazing hot palette set me free.

queen   deadkitty

Finally I painted this regal, reclining cat.


May they all find a home in the Happy Hunting Ground



Why draw?

for practice, for fun, for history and remembrance, to be in the moment–all good reasons.

Add one more.

To be part of a pop-up, temporary community of kindred spirits during a very dark, very chilly month.

I may not be present  and accounted for on every day this month. but I will try to do SkaDaMo 2014 with as much verve as possible.

My first weekend of November was spent in Florence, MA with dear RISD friends: Barb and Maureen. We spent happy hours in Maureen’s kitchen, which sports an impressive pot and pan collection.


Barb enjoys her coffee black.


Maureen grows her own thyme.


I look forward to the rest of this month.


SkADaMo: working on setting

I’m living in the Grand Canyon, in my imagination.

I am walking the trail, noticing the birds, the cactus with the raspberry bloom, the towering agave, the light, the scents, the dust.

I am trying to dream myself into the canyon from top to bottom to make my viewer feel like they are there too.

The sketch is pencil, the color is slopped on in Photoshop.


SkADaMo: Circling my character

My new character is a girl, about 6, with dark hair and eyes, long braids, and just a little on the stocky side.

She has a hat covered with souvenir pins, a few from her adventures and more from her hiking grandma. She wears a couple of friendship bracelets, and has a keychain or two hanging from her backpack zippers.

When I “invent” a character, I use  elements of memory and imagination, then try to bring those into the real world of contemporary childhood.

Some aspects of childhood remain constant through history but every era adds its own overlay of style and technology. My struggle today is to create a character who is both timeless and today.


One who won’t look too quaint if this book is in print in 20 years–or 50, fingers crossed!girl_2:web

SkADaMo: struggling

When I am struggling with a book dummy I tend to draw a lot, and care very little about each drawing.  By throwing down a lot I may get one good bit.

The gist of this page is my attempt to simplify the face of a young model, drawn carefully at bottom. When I carve her face in linoleum it will need just a few marks to indicate eyes, nose, and mouth and I am trying to pare her down to the minimum needed.

The darn airplane has to be in there too. But they will each inhabit their own picture ‘plane’ in the finish!airplane&girl


The idea of daily sketching is so ingrained in order to stay loose and in practice that I thought posting a new sketch a day in November would be easy peasy.

But I woke up at 6, was on the road at 8, spoke and signed and traveled all day and didn’t draw anything but Baby Bear’s Head as I autographed. So, to be honest, this is all I have today.