Saturday, January 30, 2010

Pigment Marker Sketch of BB

Pigment markers are different from dye markers and I have to learn how to use them more effectively!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Mixing grains

Instead of bread, I have, with every meal, a "porridge" of whole
grains and seeds. It's tasty (though no one else shares my
enthusiasm) and healthy. Here, I have poured a variety of grains into
a bowl to mix.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

New art

The first is called "At the Black Canyon of the Gunnison" and is made with Christmas markers. It is 8 x 10, on watercolor paper.

The second is gouache--I was just fooling around testing the transparency/opacity of the gouache.

I am Peregrine

1. I am Peregrine. Who I was or might have become is no longer of consequence. Only these words exist, words that have rattled around inside my head unspoken and unheard for so long they feel like stone I must pry from the frozen earth. So pry I will, because I need conversation, even if it is only with myself.

This morning, I saw a woman, a bag lady, a homeless person, standing in the doorway of the bakery to get out of the freezing rain that coated the walks and roadways and every twig and branch of the wisps of trees the bakery girls planted in the circular holes in the sidewalk left by the dying elms. The woman clutched a whole-grain, three seed roll, the roll that the beautiful hippie girl, Flower always offers the homeless when they come in to get warm.

Flower. So radiant, so beautiful, her eyes so clear and blue like a cloudless summer day. Sometimes, I think she has known no pain, but then, a shadow passes, and I know she has somehow managed to pass through pain and come out whole, or nearly whole on the other side. She wears long old-fashioned gingham plaid or flowered dresses and white flour-sack aprons smudged with whole-grain flour. Her dark hair has a few strands of grey, not unlike my own, or not unlike my own a few years ago. Her face is roundish, with a pointed cheek and her cheeks are pink, verging on red from the heat of all the ovens. She ties her hair back with strips of leather, but sweaty wisps of it come loose and dangle at her temples. She wears moccasins, much like mine, and I know, like me, she prefers bare feet and probably kicks off the moccasins the minute she leaves the bakery.

The woman, the bag lady, stood in the bakery doorway, which is recessed and protected from wind and rain to some extent, and took great hungry bites of the steaming three-seed roll. I could see the “smoke” of her breath and the wispier bits of steam rising from the roll from the shadows where I stood watching. A flock of pigeons rose of from the alley behind the bakery and flew in a single fluid motion, like water pouring through air, over the street through the freezing rain. I watched.

Suppose the rain froze to their feathers and they fell like stones to the pavement and shattered like glass. I held my breath, watching. And as I watched, the bag lady stepped out into the freezing rain, raised her face, and watched the pigeons dance in the sky. Even from where I stood, I could see joy on her weathered face. My hearth thumped. I wanted to go and place my hand on her arm and say, “Sister, we share a love of life and beauty,” but I did not. Instead, I stepped deeper into the shadows and hid behind the dumpster. The pigeons seemed immune to the cold.

In that dumpster, I found this notebook and this shattered pen. It still writes, if I hold the thin sharp shards of plastic in a tight grip. When the bag lady left, I slipped to the back door of the alley and let Stormlight, Flower’s younger sister, hand me a three-seed roll. Stormlight has honey-colored, long, wavy hair and wears the same flowered dressed and sack aprons as Flower always, and her feet were bare, though she must slip on her moccasins when she goes into the public areas of the bakery. I know bare feet violate a code, and a violation could cause the bakery to be shut down.

One roll a day isn’t much to eat, but some days, it’s all there is. The bakery is only open for lunch. And they are closed on Sundays.

Of course, other food is available. Food lives in dumpsters, for example, behind the grocers and the restaurants and bars. Others beg on the streets for money for food, but I do not. I like to stay out of sight. And at the village of the homeless, the tent city beyond the bridge behind the bakery, it’s possible, if one is desperate, to barter for food with other homeless people. But the price is more than I am willing to pay; I would rather starve, which is part of why I don’t live in the tent city or even go there any more.

~ Mary Taitt, 1001-1533-1a Rolandale Silk Creek Retreat House

Saturday, January 16, 2010

fooling around

Tonight I was fooling around doing an experiment. I did a value study of BB's face in our normal diningroom lighting using markers and then colored it with markers. It's not a great portrait, but it was a good experiment. Click to view slightly larger.

Biker Buddy, Resting

Biker Buddy, Resting, by Mary Stebbins Taitt. Markers. Click to view slightly larger.

Friday, January 08, 2010

The Kaleidoscopic Life

Through these windows, lightly. Life, in fragments.

Geranium through kaleidoscope--click to view slightly larger.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

fooled around on

I got a forward with sites to waste time at and tried one and made this in about 5 minutes.

It's my friend Scott on our holiday visit. You have to PAY to get more service at and I did the collage part on Picasa, a free download.

The 'be funky' part was the instant photo manipulations for free. I couldn't figure out how to download them so I photographed them with computers photoscreen utility. I'd get bored with this site really fast if I couldn't download what I made.

"The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time" -- Bertrand Russell

I agree to a point, but sometimes, there are more important things than enjoying wasting time, which can be habit-forming in a negative way.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Four for Four, being bad

Well, I've started my new booklist for 2010 and as of yesterday, I was four for four--that is, in four days, I'd read four books. Of course, two of them I'd started last year, and of course, I spent well over eight hours riding in the car back from NY. It was a harrowing trip, so I couldn't concentrate well all the time, but I still got a LOT of reading done.

I won't be reading a book a day as a regular thing, though! I have too much else to do. AND I am reading a long book.

Booklist 2010

Book's I've finished in 2010 so far:

  1. The Blue Roan Child, Jamieson Findlay, Jan 2, 2010
  2. The Indian in the Cupboard, Lynn Reid Banks, Jan 2, 2010
  3. Summer on Blossom Street, Debbie Macomber, January 3, 2010
  4. Angel Rock, Darren Williams, January 4, 2010

I am currently reading:

  1. A Passage to India, Forster
  2. The Lacuna, Kingsolver

and a whole bunch of other books including two how-to writing books and some self help type diet and health books and two other Kingsolver books etc etc.

I am also too busy right now to write any reviews of these books. Suffice it to say that I liked all four of them (and the two mentioned above that I am currently reading.)

(I am "bad" because I have been spending too much time reading when I have other things I need to attend to!)

Self Portrait Revisited

I did some work on this piece--it is for my icon, I hope the new
version works better.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Home safe after a "little detour"

Well, we're home safe.

It was snowing like mad most of the way and at one point in midwestern Ontario, the 402 highway was closed for several excits--there was 2 feet of fresh snow on the ground and it was snowing hard and very windy--blowing and drifting.

They shuttled us off the highway but with no directions on what to do and we followed the wagon train of other cars at 10-20 miles and hour for miles and miles and miles through low visibility--getting worried we were lost and following someone who had no idea where they were going. It was really beautiful. The light was a pale tangerine yellow through the falling and drifting snow. The snow whispered over itself and shifting curtains. But the driving--the rutted snow--the bad visibility! Eventually, though, we did make it back to the highway--that wasn't much of an improvement, but at least we weren't lost. Gradually the snow let up and the driving got a little better and then a little more better --it continued to improve and once we got into Michigan,t he roads were nearly clear and at home almost dry.

But it was quite harrowing for a while. The trip was much longer than usual.

It feels good to be inside a warm dry house.

Happy New Year!

Friday, January 01, 2010