Tuesday, April 30, 2013


My poem
made into a poster.

Suddenly flowered
dresses everywhere. Hurray!
The snow has melted!

The poster that was made by Jennifer Theiller from my haiku is being featured this week (the week of April 30, 2013 only) by the Syracuse Poster Project.  Here is what they say:

In light of the beautiful weather we've been experiencing, we thought we'd celebrate the wonderful fashions of spring. This week's poster, about the melting of snow and blossoming of floral patterns, comes from the 2002 series. This week, you can buy it at a discount at our on-line store.
 Women in Floral Dresses   
Suddenly flowered
dresses everywhere. Hurray!
The snow has melted!

Poet Mary Taitt drew inspiration for this haiku from the "blossoming" of women in the spring. After witnessing women and young girls transform with the change of the seasons, Taitt gave a nod to the spring fever that takes over closets. 

Artist Jennifer Theiller focused on the imagery of floral dresses. Her dislike of snow set her up for this haiku about melting. After finding different prints from old catalogues, she created this beautiful image to honor the many dresses of spring.
An 11 x 17 poster on quality poster stock is $18 (on sale this week) and the money goes to support The Poster Project. The Poster Project partners SU art students with community poets and puts art and poetry in the city.  You can learn more about the Poster Project here.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Like Snail, who chose the rail, Crane also took the train.

Crane and Snail ride the train
acrylic on Moleskine watercolor paper
Like Snail, who chose the rail,
Crane also took the train. 

San Cassimally, Animal Carnival

This is my illustration for San Cassimally's Animal Carnival, which I am no longer officially illustrating.  I did it for Illustration Friday last week ("train"), but because of my illness, I was unable to get it done in time.  (Took me a whole week, so I may be running late!  Sorry).

This is actually on my LAST page, I think.  (The other pages are still blank.)  Because of my pain, which is usually worst in the mornings, I can't paint until evening.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Andrea's "Arrove"

As of yet unfinished painting
The first three are from Andrea, the last is mine,  (Not finished.)

Hot Washcloths and Small Complaints

Mandala for Mubin
by me, Mary Stebbins Taitt
click image to view larger

I find mandalas really soothing.
I made this one, just now, to calm myself.
A number of years ago, when I still lived in upstate NY and worked as a Planetarium Director (and other jobs) at the MOST, The Museum of Science and Technology in Syracuse, NY, I got a bad case of pink-eye.

It was going around the museum, and there was no way to keep every surface of the controls in the planetarium clean.

I went to the doctor, Dr. Fazio--I liked Dr, Fazio, and he gave me antibiotic drops to put in my eye. My eye got worse. I went back to the doctor. He said I had an allergic reaction to the drops. He gave me some other drops for the allergies.

My eye got worse.
He gave me yet another set of drops.

My eyes got worse.

I was a fright, and I worked with children. I could hardly see.
The nurse took me aside and said, put hot washcloths on your eyes.
OH! What sweet relief. The problem cleared right up.
I wish there was a simple solution for my current medical issues.
  • BUT the doctor says no.
I don't want to complain all the time, and I apologize if it seems as if I am.

Diane, sweet Diane, says talking about what is going on with me is not the same as complaining.

(What is complaining? Everyone thinks I'm complaining? Or is it just me?)
  • com·plain  /kəmˈplān/
    Express dissatisfaction or annoyance about a state of affairs or an event.State that one is suffering from (a pain or other symptom of illness): "he began to complain of headaches".
    repine - grumble - lament - moan
    {I really WANT to moan (and do, when I'm alone).}
How much pain can a person take?

NO, really, the question is, how much pain am I WILLING to take?

It is 1:00 PM in Detroit, I have not had breakfast because I've been ameliorating the pain. Little by little, I've been doing my exercises. I
have to stop in the middle sometimes and seek relief--a hot washcloth, applied to the part that hurts.

I finally decided I needed to eat and went downstairs to make breakfast. I laid out the pan and get out eggs and vegetables, but the pain was too much for me. I am back up with the heating pad, without having actually started breakfast.

The pain was too much. (I am at my lowest weight in several years. This is a good thing, but the pain and hunger are not.)
The doctor says, no pain meds, other than ibuprofens.
I have become an invaid. I can't go anywhere, do anything. I am canceling appointments, classes, activities. I feel sad.
And lonely.
Image: Mandala for BW, by me, from scratch (on photoshop) this morning.

(I stare at it again and it really does make me feel better.)

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Syracuse Poster Project Opening

The poster made from my haiku and Chloe Tran's art

As I mentioned in a prior story (and in several others), one of my haiku was chosen to to be made into a large poster by the Syracuse Poster Project.  15 posters were made from 626 submissions.  They are arranged at the website in alphabetical order, so mine is the second to the last.

I was, unfortunately, unable to attend because I was sick.  My daughter, Erin, went in my place (THANK YOU, ERIN!) to read my poem and receive my posters.  This is the third poster that was made from one of my poems.

Here are a few pictures from the event that I missed, graciously sent by my daughter, Erin. The first image shows the poster and also Erin's hand pointing to my picture on the blurb about the poet and the artist.

Chloe Tran, the artist, and Erin, my daughter,
with the poster.
Erin and a closer view of the poster.
click image to view larger.
my friend Janine and me
with our previous winning posters.
I was sad to miss the event because I was unable to travel.  I'm still sick and hoping to heal.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

mini-misadventure in the rain

Hellebore in Rain
digitally altered photo
by me, from my backyard

I was too sick to go to Syracuse today, April 18, for my award and to visit my children, grandson and friends.  I had to stay home, and I was sad and feeling sorry for myself. (I have to admit to doing a little crying.)

Because I hadn't been planning on being in Detroit, I had to go to the store for food,.  I took a couple ibuprofens (not something I normally do when not "sick") and went out to walk to the store with my backpack--halfway there, a torrential downpour started.  It had been HOT earlier, in the seventies, which is hot for April in Detroit.  But the rain cooled it off, thank goodness, about ten degrees to 65.

I huddled under a bare tree, trying to stay under a large branch, but it was raining hard and the wind kept shifting.  (The rain felt COLD).

Finally, it let up a little and I walked the rest of the way to the store in the rain.  Not light rain, but not like standing under Niagara.  I was wearing a T-shirt (no jacket) and no hat etc, because of the heat earlier.

I was pretty wet when I got to the store, but they had the heat cranked up in there for some reason.  So I did my shopping--I kept looking out as I passed the door.  The rain stopped.  I was relieved, but when I went through the line and got to the door, it was pouring again.

I went to the back door and stood in the covered back entry waiting for the rain to let up--and when it let up a little, I clutched the bags as shut as I could and ran home in the rain.  I'm WET.

I am smiling, though, because it is the kind of "mini-adventure" (if you could call it that) that normal, healthy people have.

It makes me feel half-human again.  It--oddly--gave me hope!  I also feel slightly better--two ibuprofens helped.  Sometimes it doesn't help much.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Collabs, first half

2 half collabs
Mary Stebbins Taitt first halves

half collab for Ballookey
Mary Stebbins Taitt first half

half collab for Aya
Mary Stebbins Taitt first half

I did Two more half-collabs this morning, and I did them together so that Aya, Ballokey and I can to a three-way collaboration.

Feel free to draw, mark or paint OVER any portion of what I did to make the wings bigger, add a damsel in distress, add flying teradactyls, or hunters with nets or approaching vampires or whatever.  Add clouds, change the color of the sky, alter the articulation of the wing bones, whatever you want--fix any mistakes.

And the same goes for the collabs I left for Mike and Andrea--too bad I didn't put those together, too.  For another three way.

Make yourself at home.  Have fun!

This is my last piece and I am hoping to mail today, but I think the post office closes at 2 and if I don't make it,t hen it won't go out until Monday.  Seems unlikely I can make it by 2:00--DANG!

Well, anyway, hopefully it will be on it's way Monday to Mike, then.  WAHN--I'd hope to mail it today.

If I remember, I will post the completed collabs later, when they are done.

Friday, April 12, 2013

New art

I am still sick, hoping to recover soon.
Half a collab for Andrea in back of Mole
Faber-Castell PITT Manga Kaoiro set pens
Click all images to enlarge

The Arctic Trek

Leaopard Lept
Sloth Slept
Reptile Crept*
(*see note)

half a collab for Mike Kline
Faber-Castell PITT

I've been busy working on the Mole.  I intend to leave a collab for each artist in the back, except for Mike's, which is in the normal place in the front.  This may mean fewer pieces in the next half-round.

*San Cassimally asked me to illustrate a kids book he's written with nonsense rhymes and this is my first attempt.  I will probably fiddle with it some more.

I hope to be ready to mail by April 15.

Sadly, I got blue acrylic paint from the leopard etc on the arctic trek and the poppies.  I will need to be much more careful--I had waxed paper taped over the other pages and still messed it up.

Monday, April 08, 2013

Lakeshore Poppies, Approaching Storm

Lakeshore Poppies, Approaching Storm
Watercolor in watercolor moleskine A3
by Mary Stebbins Taitt
Click images to view larger

I painted this this morning in my round 4 Moleskine with watercolors. Last night, I did the one below, which is smaller and in a different oritnetation and with gouache instead of watercolor.

I am tempted to darken the Moley one a little (so it looks more like the Graham-cracker-box one), but haven't decided yet.  I guess Iw ill do more work first and come back to it if I have time.

This is my third page in the Round 4 Sketchbook.

If you are interested, you can read about my Graham cracker box sketchbook here. I also did a raisin-box sketchbook here.  Although some of the images don't show up in the small versions, they do show up if you click on them.

For some reason, the images look a little washed out on my screen--they look brighter if you click on them.

I am still sick and haven't been online much, sorry to say.

Lakeshore Poppies, Approaching Storm
5 x 7 gouache sketch
in Graham cracker sketchbook on Canson mi-teientes
by Mary Stebbins Taitt

Thursday, April 04, 2013


by me, Mary Stebbins Taitt
click image to view larger.


If we don't watch, who will see?


If we don't listen, who will hear?


If we don't speak, who will protect the innocent?

There are cracks in the earth.

There are layers of constraints, many invisible.