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Taxes and tribulations

February 23, 2015


Urgh! Where has time gone? What happened to all the daily sketching for Feb? I’ve been spending days, and part of the weekend, organizing everything for 3 sets of taxes. Meanwhile, the weather has been gorgeous!  Plum trees are blooming, leaves are emerging, vultures are slowly coming back to the area. Yes, vultures return home to the valley even before the swallows. They are the first avian signs of spring. Anyway, toss in computer issues and overall grumpiness from having to do paperwork and it’s certainly not made me a fun person to be around. All I can say is this: February 2015, I tackled more days of drawing than previous years! Hurray!

There have been a couple of trips to Eugene to take my brother shopping and deliver requested items. I’m really wondering how his body is fairing. Yesterday I had brief contact with him. I woke up the resting patient with my delivery of chairs, juice, papertowels and a car battery. He seemed confused about the time and he looked paler than usual. I know that therapy has been harder than normal. His body is compromised by a rotator cup injury creating more pain than necessary. I called him today to set up a time to take him in for blood work on Thursday. His speech remains compromised and trying to figure out what he’s asking/ telling remains a giant challenge. Sometimes I over think things, jumping to conclusions, which doesn’t help the situation. Other times he attempts to spell things out and I can’t even tell what letters he’s pronouncing. Speech therapy on Thursday morning then I’ll gather him up for lunch and a trip to the clinic in the afternoon.

I’m so looking forward to March! A little escape from everything is going to be bliss!

The above doodle was created on brown builders paper. More stippling fun with a touch of color.



6 Years

February 19, 2015


Happy Blog Anniversary! Yes, 6 years! Wow, I can’t believe that much time has elapsed since February 20, 2009. I still remember the first post I wrote about: a walk I took around the park with the old dogs, noting the first signs of spring and the return of the vultures. I wondered, to myself, how long a blogging exercise of writing and art would last? Who would be interested in what I have to share? Some days I feel life has dealt an over abundance of experience in the last 6 years. It’s always easy to pick out the negatives, because there have been plenty, but what about the positive side? I certainly feel lucky to have grown my circle of friends and art buddies. I’ve been fortunate to have some amazing four legged critters share my home (with exception of the furry critters the cats bring in). I’ve learned that I really do have an “arts support crew” out there in the world, people who actually are interested in my crazy studio creations. I can even say that my work does bring about smiles and positive thoughts from those who take it into their home. It makes life better.

Today I baked a batch of GF oatmeal cookies. It was part of a belated holiday gift from Tim & Lois. Yummmmm! Good cookies make my life much better! I wonder how long I can keep them a secret from my spouse….

Thanks to all of you! May the next 6 years be filled with more good things to come!



Adding more

February 18, 2015


Ears are one of those areas I really don’t feel comfortable drawing. If a dog’s ears flop over, then you don’t have to deal with any of the inner ear structure. Maybe that’s why I’ve avoided dogs with upright ears until this point. I’ll work through it slowly, little bit by little bit….


February 17, 2015


There is quite an assortment of shells that live on my main work desk. Some are tucked away inside glass jars while others, the larger ones, rest on my desk. One of the shells came from my parents journey around the US in a motor home. They spent 3 months traveling through the lower 48, up the east coast to Canada and home. The previous owner/creator of the shell was probably a conch or similar mollusk that lived along the gulf coast. I’ll need to do a few more studies to feel comfortable with the shape.

Off to tackle some paperwork for taxes. I’ve been dreading it for the past 2 weeks. My date with the accountant is in one week. Urgh!

Charcoal and conte on brown builders paper. Still part of the 28 day challenge for February.



February 16, 2015


I didn’t manage to sketch yesterday. We went to celebrate a friends birthday with a wonderful brunch. After the meal, we took the dogs out for another 5k walk under the sunny warm skies. After that, I started feeling ill and everything cascaded downhill from that point. Anyway, today I’m slowly getting back to normal and took the opportunity to pick a branch from one of our shrubs. I’ve also included an image so you can see how small the leaf buds actually are. The above drawing is about 3″x 4″ and done in the moleskine sketch book. I added a quick touch of soft pastels for color.

spring leaves

Charlie Continued

February 14, 2015

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I decided to take a little break out of the day to work a bit more on Charlie. I’m still trying to figure out what I’m doing with this image so progress is slow. Today I pulled out a box of Faber-Castell soft pastels and started playing around with colors. It’s pretty obvious that I don’t work in pastels, but that’s ok. I’m having a blast at laying down a mixture of colors. Unfortunately the spray fixative is empty so I’m unable to secure the pastels. Probably a good time to break and head back outside into the sun! Who knew the mid 60’s would feel so wonderful!

Image size: 2 feet x 3 feet

Ornamental Plum

February 14, 2015


Spring is forging ahead in our part of the country. We’ve had above average temps for most of the winter. Today should end up in the low 60’s, rather shocking for this time of the year. Many of our ski resorts are closed due to lack of snow which is a bad omen for the summer fire season. But outside the trees are awakening. Green growth and buds are swelling. I’ve already seen rafts of daffodils blooming as I drive back and forth to Eugene. Early flowering trees are already showing their stuff in downtown Albany. Our ornamental plum tree isn’t quite up to flowering stage, but the buds are swelling. A fun experiment with dots of black and a few flicks of soft pastels.

Sketch size: 3″x 5″(7.5cm x 12.5cm)

Moleskine sketchbook, black .03 pen, soft pastels


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