Free and Easy


After the laborious and not so satisfactory drawing in last entry, I can't help but post these little doodle demos from last Saturday's drawing class. The above scribble was simply to demonstrate how water-soluble graphite works.

The little bird below is a copy of a Milton Avery painting with markers I grabbed from a pile. I was showing how to lay out a copy without getting hung up in detail.



And finally, a quick description of the problem my brilliant 10-year old was running into representing a stem running through water in a glass. Wrong on the left, right on the right!


Ah, let me never belabor a drawing again!!!  And... as in drawing, so in life.
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J'ai été mis en garde


This began as a simple pencil drawing. I loved the line work and could have left it that way but, no... Ink it! Not wild about the results, I added watercolor pencil and a bit of wash. Not wild about that so started fussing with it in Photoshop. Well, I could have made a dozen nice pencil drawings in the time it took to reach the stage you see.

No matter. It was an interesting exercise and only serves to show the guard rail that my very helpful neighbor, Maryann, put up for me last week. She and her husband donated Poplar braces and Rick at the neighborhood hardware store found a nice length of Norfolk Pine for the rail. Long overdue is a wild understatement.

What I've lived with for almost five years is this:


which was fine(ish) when the loft was used for storage. However, in late December, I moved my office upstairs. Exactly three weeks ago, I fell from the edge of the loft to the studio floor (which you already know if you've been reading along.)

After the emergency room and immediate treatments, this new guard rail was high on my priority list. Such a simple thing...

It is nothing short of a miracle that I'm alive and in one moving piece with only a few bruises, a badly fractured foot and sprained ankle.

Hmmm... what category should I file this post under? Lessons learned? Glad to be alive? Drawing will have to do.
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The Point of Repose

"Healing takes courage, and we all have courage, even if we have to dig a little to find it." —Tori Amos
Like the learning curve, the progression of any sort of healing is not a consistent and direct gain. Healing is fraught with plateaus, steps backwards and emotional pitfalls.

So far, I've been buoyed by busyness... doctor appointments, research and accumulation of "medicines", teaching annual evening classes, giving a new lecture, making the house safe for hobbling, the perennial chore of cleaning the studio, and god knows what else. It feels like I've been resting a lot and for one or two days now and then, I have pretty much just laid up. But it also feels like I've been cruising on momentum that was in swing before my accident.

Finally, two days ago, it was all I could do to get from the bedroom to the living room. Although I have been in good spirits all along, this morning, the emotional bottom fell out. Only to be expected...

Like it or not, these experiences are part of the healing process. So, I'm surrendering to this day's experience. I am also noticing how one negative thought leads to another.

Rather than do battle with the negative thoughts (trying to replace them with positive thoughts), I'm just letting them flow without letting them stick. Just writing that makes me smile!

And, I'm taking action. Little actions, but actions nonetheless. Like sharing this unusually intimate post with photos. We've all been there (here) and something about sharing a universal experience helps to dissipate the less enjoyable qualities. Thank you for letting me share. I'm sure that I'll be back to my old self soon.

Or, here's a thought: Maybe this is a part of my old self that I am choosing to let go of through this particular healing process. I kind of like this idea. Today's experience is just the death throes of some old negativity.

Now, a bit of sweet to counteract the gall.  After showing folks around the house in my last post, a few friends asked "Where are the cats?"  Well, here they are:


and here.


Joining me in repose.




All right. I'm going to go clean up the studio. It's the last task to cross off on my long list of chores. I'll probably perk right up when I'm finished.

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Home Improvement


Way back when I posted my last watercolor, I mentioned that I'd been painting up a storm so far this year... but not with watercolor. Now that I've sort of adjusted to my new lifestyle,  I thought I'd give you a glimpse of my latex painting before the fall. 

I'm sharing views of the colorful walls in my little house. To be honest, I painted the kitchen and living room a couple of years ago. Now every wall is painted by my own choice.

I'll shout out the color names as we go along. Yellowed Leaf and Magnolia Blossom are the two kitchen colors, above and below.


Soothing Blue and two creams that I mixed myself dress the living room in the following two photos.



This latest project started with a medicine cabinet I found on clearance at home depot. (I have been lusting after a nice medicine cabinet for years.)


One thing led to another and... I ripped up the nasty old vinyl floor, cut and pasted new tiles (Beige Slate) then painted the bathroom walls Of the Earth.


My neighbor put in the shoe molding, caulked, and painted the ceiling a nice oops color that I bought for one dollar.


On to the guest room which has been a sort of junk room for five years. I mixed the wall color from miscellaneous buckets then painted the trim with leftover from the bathroom walls.  I found the most fabulous air mattress online. Soooo comfortable and sturdy! Worth dressing in new blanket and sheets.


The louvered doors, main guest room door and desk were painted from some older leftover bucket.


A couple of new lamps from the Dollar Store, a little fresh paint on the desk...


and a bit of furniture rearrangement in the house. Below is a family heirloom — The Madonna of the Oranges.


Well, I'd painted everything but the hallway and my bedroom. After all of this, why not paint my bedroom to perk up my own corner? The 25¢ version is this: I painted the entire room shell pink and decided it was nice for a 5 year old girl. Then I painted the room what I thought was a grey-violet which turned out to be nice but for a 13 year old girl. Finally, I found Comfy Tan which is just right.


But left one long wall the violet color...


Which is quite lovely to look at. The hallway is Warm Toast.


Lots of Feng Shui at work and still some details to tackle but for the most part, and thank god for this, I'd finished the bulk of this project, cleaned up and moved all the paint buckets and equipment out to the shed just before my fall. Ah... little did I know what my next chapter held!

And there is your little tour of my little house.
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It's What's Inside That Counts

Graphite and ink, 7 x 10 inches

I'm not sure if anyone's foot has such stubby metatarsal bones. Mine certainly doesn't. They are much longer and more slender — as is my foot. Nonetheless, I drew this from X-rays of my left foot. I think I'll blame the drawing distortion on the codeine painkillers I took before I drew the thing. Nice to think of an excuse!

I thought it might be fun to share my healing journey. For my part, this may help me get back into the swing of regular blogging. Time will tell.

You can't see my wicked ankle sprain but you can see the two fractures at the base of my 5th metatarsal which is the long bone that runs from the little toe towards the ankle. The cracks point towards each other and almost form a triangle. This is called a "Jones Fracture" and is the most difficult fracture in the body to heal (so I'm told). It's difficult to heal because the bone is about as far away from the heart as it can be and bones require good blood circulation to stimulate cellular healing.

The orthopedic Doctor I was referred to said that there was nothing I could do to help the healing except to order a $3,000 + bone stimulator. Really? He had the rep from the company that makes the thing call me directly. Really. No, thank you.

Being the proactive creature that I am, I made some phone calls to accupressurist and herbalist friends around the country and did a lot of research on my own. I am siccing all of my creative juices on this little project.

I bought homeopathic arnica and arnica gel, an entire jar of dried comfrey (knitbone) leaves, comfrey root tincture, garlic and ginger capsules, Juniper, Rosemary and Wintergreen oil (already had Peppermint and Lavender on hand), and something else - I can't remember.

I'll fill you in on what I'm doing with all this stuff as these post ensue. For now, I am climbing down from the loft and hobbling inside to lay down and put my foot up after a good massage with an aromatic oil concoction.

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My Left Foot

My Left Foot
Ball point pen, 7 x 10

I sketched this during class on Saturday morning as my students drew through their exercises. They could see that I was drawing but not what it was I was looking at.

Even when I held it up at the end of class, it took them a while to figure out. It's the orthopedic boot that protects and supports my now broken left foot and badly sprained ankle.

What? Yes. After a fall from 8 - 12 feet (depending on how I measure), I'm on crutches but glad to be alive. Although I've just completed week one of a 12-week recovery period and it takes me approximately an hour to move a glass of water across a room (I exaggerate, but not by much), I consider myself very, very fortunate.

Call me a cockeyed optimist (I am), but my foot and ankle injury literally saved my neck. If my foot had not caught in a 3-panel screen set up below the loft and broken my fall, I don't know what shape I'd be in, if any shape at all.

So, I count my blessings as I hobble from point to point. It's good to be reminded to do so though I recommend less dramatic reminders.

Count your blessings as often as you can remember. The practice of gratitude has a positive effect and anyway, it sure beats complaining!

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The Forest and the Trees


The Forest and the Trees
Watercolor, 5 x 7 inches
$150 email me to purchase


Although I'm clear on my long-term goals and most tasks required to arrive, with each passing day I am forced more and more to contend with what is immediately before me.

I painted for long hours each day throughout January up till last week but made no watercolors. It was all wall painting and rollers, pans and buckets of latex, camping out amidst chaos.

My house and studio have been beautifully upgraded. I love my new room colors and general renovation. Just as I was about to settle into new business, ramping up for the rest of the year...

Well, I'll ask you to stay tuned as that is the next chapter.

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