February Reflections

There was a nice full moon the other night. Every full moon seems to have a name. Why isn’t “full moon” enough any more? When it happens and the night is clear the moon wakes me up and makes it impossible to sleep. I resist the urge to get out of bed and just stare at it and later try to keep my eyes on the road as I drive to the gym in the dark morning.

I make up for lost sleep later in the nights that follow. I think there is some old lore about women and moons but I really don’t care. There are nights that it just needs to leave me alone.

These are the condition of my boxing gloves.

This was the condition of the bag before they tossed it out and replaced it with a kick boxing bag.

And here is the bike I peddle for over 4,000 steps before going into the workout section of the gym.

I can’t punch the kickboxing bag because it is too soft and my hands shift with each hit and get rubbed raw. I miss beating the stuffing out of something. I miss the jarring action in my arm and chest. And I don’t have the time now to wrap my hands before putting on my gloves. But someday I am going in there and really hit that new bag hard, really hard over and over. If I wasn’t seventy-five and feeling I would topple over, I’d take up kickboxing. My gloves wait in the gym bag reminding me there is still going to be time to smack something.

The daily drawing continues.

This pulley system

needs a mate across the street

in order to work.


I picked this thing up

then bought it because it felt

so good in my hand.


I thought I might use

this piece shaped like a window

for a book or box.


We will be sending

Rudy Osolnick’s turned bowl

on to Arrowmont.


I was looking for something in my drawer of cards the other day and found old photos of things I used to do. A welded bear and a welded family of three.

And one of the postcards from my MFA graduate exhibition. It is a detail of one of the men that was the focus of my graduate work.

Five men gave me old shirts that I painted with the silver paint they use on tin roofed sheds. The shirts hung on conduit aluminum pipe shaped into a stand at their individual heights. Shelves of old harvested wood hung where their chests would be and those were filled with collections of bits of scrap pieces that seemed relevant to what I felt was their internal selves. Lots of old electric cords that showed their relinquished power hung from the box. They were arranged in a grouping much like they gathered in on the corner each morning. They stood on a rug I had them use to stand and work on at another gathering place to fix things…make those things work again.

A sound system was triggered with wires under the rug and into their chests. When you walked among them it would trigger them talking to each other. The voices were recorded months in advance. And deep in a waste bin near these “men” was the soft tones of one of their friends saying grace before their Saturday breakfast in the back room of a gas station and the sound of Mary Chapin Carpenter singing, “A Town in Caroline.”

When I shipped all the parts to graduate school in Vermont a viewer walked through the men and informed me that one of the guys did not talk to him. I told him that even if he visited my men in North Carolina, some would not speak to him.

A lot of those fellows are gone now. I smile whenever I think of them…how they had so much security and sureness about who they were and where they belonged. I envy that feeling that each and every day you can go some place to be with those who know you belong there.

Til later…probably Sunday.


Snow and Anonymous Kindness

The view out the front door today. And Sadie staying warm makes me warm just looking at her.

And earlier this week an anonymous card came from Tasmania. I keep it where I work in the den with sewing or doing my drawing a day or just watching TV with Lee. I pick it up and smell it. There is Eucalyptus in there. There is a flat white. There is just a touch of the Salamanca Market. There is the many friends who could have sent it. It is absolutely crowded with what I need right now. Thank you so much, “Anonymous”.

And look at this stamp!

If I went into the den right now and opened that envelope, I bet a kangaroo would hop out and I would hear laughing. But I am going to save it for later. I don’t want to let the magic escape.

That thought reminds me of one of my Zulu baskets. A friend wanted to take the lid off and look inside. I told her, “No, don’t. There is the smell of where it was made in Africa and the woman who wove it. If it opens up too much, I will lose her.”

Silly isn’t it? The ultimate hoarding ….of objects that hold the invisible of an overactive imagination¬† and make longings come to life.

I had Lee help me make pages for new sketchbooks. I am on the last one I made for my Drawing a Day/ Haiku books. It took him awhile to figure out how to tear them free of the spiral binding…but eventually he tore out enough for me to size into folios for four new sketchbooks.

He is wearing my old Arrowmont sweatshirt. It is his favorite and misses it when it is in the wash. I think I will write to them and see if they have another one for him. With the design on the front he knows how to place it to slip into.

And here are the last four days of Drawing a Day with Haiku.

Another pairing

from the many foundry molds –

one of them numbered.


This one’s a beauty

but its metal counterpart

would be so boring.


The two of us are

painted black and share the same

red painted number.


Finally! The last

of these difficult to draw

little foundry molds.


And here is a bit of the Wildflowers Bush Book.

And this morning after the trillium I drew in some acorns to be painted later. I think I need some things along the ground area of the book so will put in sticks, seeds, stones, etc….at least I think I will.

Years ago I was taking a class on how to use Caran d’ Ache crayons and my teacher told me this was the best eraser…Magic Rub by Prismacolor. I had always assumed it was those kneaded ones. But no, she was right. This eraser is the kindest to your paper and gets the job done. And if you slice off a corner you have a great little eraser to get in those tight spots.

The snow has stopped but it may not get warm enough to get down the driveway to go to our Sunday breakfast tomorrow.

Now I am going to bake oatmeal cookies.

Til later.

PS I did think I would have done more drawings in my Responsibility Hands book. I did get it brought upstairs from the studio. Lee is used to me drawing all the time so will not notice what it is about.

Slowly things are coming upstairs. I even bound three of the new sketchbooks yesterday. Bringing my tool bag up feels right.



New Starts

I have finished my Bush Book and yesterday tucked into the triangle pockets the names of whatever was drawn on that page.

It is over ten feet long. Here is the last page.

And the one before that if I did not post it before.

I made a movie of it and posted it on facebook pages but the movie is too big to post here. Maybe later when I figure out a way to do that.

And I have started the new wildflower book.

The dandelion is the opening and the book will have dandelion seeds floating through. I may add more leaves and blooms to this page but you get the idea of where it is going. The very next page is a large Lady’s Slipper.

And I have started the last of the three Drawing a Day books that I made a couple of months ago using old linen pants for the grey covers. I will have to get busy preparing more cloth for covers on more DAD sketchbooks.

I am still working with foundry molds.

Very intriguing –

sort of a ballerina

of foundry mold world.



forms are harder to draw than

the organic ones.


I had to draw two.

One was just too easy for

having its own page.


“Opposites attract.”

That is what we have been told.

But seriously?!


Yesterday we donated Lee’s truck to the folk school. That way we can wave to it each time we pass by. It was not difficult for him to let go. He thought the men who came to get it were very nice. Those same men told me that they would come over any time I needed something done around here. Very, very nice offer and I am keeping that on the back burner.

Someone I see every time I go to the gym asked me the other day how I was doing, really doing. And I told her that I now considered my job to be laying yellow bricks on the road in front of Lee and me. My job is to simply make things easier for both of us.

So for now we are following the yellow brick road but only as fast as I can lay those bricks.

I need to get back to the Responsibility Hands book. I will bring it upstairs here where I can work on it. Then I will photograph it for my next post plus some other things.

Til then.