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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Saturday morning on Coventry

The cars crawl and the diners cook and the kids slack and the dogs wait and the coffee brews and the bookstore hums and the art store entices and the tulips shout and the police prowl and the cleaners clean and the gardeners dig and the sketcher puts just a hint of it down in her new big ringbound book she thought she'd never buy.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


While I was out being a journalistic watchdog today at a public meeting, I found a few minutes between note-taking to capture some images. The good thing about meetings is that often you're just sitting there with your hands free, listening, and your pen hand is itching to draw. The bad thing is that the closest humans so often have their backs to you.

In the interest of truth-telling, I have to add that my shoe as pictured here, bottom left, is cuter than my actual shoe.

It should be obvious that I added color when I got home, but if it isn't obvious now you know.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Hyacinths are blooming

I thought the bulbs were old and dessicated, like post-menopausal ovaries, but no. A fresh, fragrant crop just came up in my garden.

And yes, I do see the irony of mentioning post-menopausal ovaries under a picture that declares cynicism out for a day. Couldn't help myself. ;-)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

29 years ago ...

A little project at work sent me looking for old yearbooks and a classic photo or two from my senior prom in (gulp) 1979. When I think about that - that my high school prom was 1979 -- I am once again bowled over by the stretches and contractions of time. It doesn't seem like yesterday - far from it -- and yet I still carry around parts of that person I was. How can that be possible?

Funny detail: The necklace I'm wearing in this picture was actually given to me by another boy, maybe a year earlier. I remembered when I took this out that I wore it because I liked it but also because I was a little annoyed that my boyfriend (shown here) seemed to be losing interest. So the necklace was a subversive act.

By the way, if you're getting the impression that the guy I went to prom with was both dorky-looking and handsome, that would be correct. He was an actor and, for a while, a model around town, and he was a slave to the right angle. Very nice guy. Sadly, he died of cancer in his thirties. But I always remember him with a smile. That makes the whole necklace thing sort of funny, doesn't it?

Friday, April 11, 2008

Good Puppy

Well, she's MOSTLY good. She's TRYING to be good. And fortunately we just started puppy-training classes, which everyone who has a dog knows is really human-training classes. The first one was last night, and the instructor told her story of trauma from when, many years ago, she and her dogs went through puppy training with someone who uses the choke-collar method.

As she was speaking, I was flashing back on a similar experience with our wonderful dog, Ramona. I think the training only half-took because I was only half-heartedly buying the method.

This new class is more reward-based -- more about communicating with the dog about what we want her to DO than just teaching her what "no" means. Though, like all children, she must learn what no means, too.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


I put $55 of gas in my tank the other day. This is getting old. Carlo has the right idea.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Kids These Days

Or is it Parents These Days ...?
Click on the image to read the sketchbook page, if you like.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

April Sketchcrawl

We saw some new faces at the sketchcrawl on Saturday, and missed a few familiar ones. The weather's getting better, though, and showing off Cleveland at its finest. Come next month if you can. The date will be May 3.

The top view here I did from upon my artist's stool on the southeast quadrant of public square looking toward the BP Building. I love the trees around square. And it was great that one of our sketch friends wore a nice orange jacket to spice up my sketch.

The second image is from Euclid Avenue, where work continues. It's a big dirt hole right now with lots of fun equipment to draw.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Favorite Things

Some months ago I chronicled the breaking of a favorite coffee mug. Today I again chronicle the pull of material objects, if from a happier direction.

I understand why materialism and the coveting of objects has been cast by many of the major religions as sinful. It's so easy to be consumed by our consuming, isn't it? There's a road down which we can find ourselves more interested in things than in human beings.

On the other hand, as someone who puts a lot of stock in creativity, I also believe there's something holy about a well-made object. It makes sense that we admire the maker and want to be around the thing itself. Craftsmanship seems to me one of the ultimate expressions of life. Something that feels good to behold or to hold or to wear can't be all bad. Least that's what I think.

Where does that leave us? Somewhere in between the coveting of objects and the rejection of all but the most spartan material objects. Somewhere between material lust and a total denial of what men and women bring into the world when they're inspired to make something out of nothing, or out of something else.

The necklace I drew here has silver endcaps and chain; a cord of multi-colored leather (or perhaps faux leather); silver disks covered with enamel; and little bead accents in turqoise and other stone. I know Chico's gets a lot of its jewelry in China, or has it manufactured there. I don't know about this piece. Since I've owned it, it has felt different than the usual faux-funky baubles that they specialize in. (Not that there's anything wrong with faux-funky.) I choose instead to believe that this derives from some little off-the-beaten-path craftswoman with a great eye.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Cleveland Sketchcrawl Saturday

Come Saturday morning, you'll be sorely tempted to stay in your jammies and have another cup of joe.
Resist the urge. Pick up your pen and sketchbook and come to the Cleveland Sketchcrawl, where you can putter about downtown Cleveland with others of your ilk and grab some images on paper. This week we're planning on exploring the Euclid Avenue construction, if weather holds. And let me just add that there's little that's more fun to draw than a backhoe.

If the weather doesn't hold, Josh Taylor, our fearless organizational leader, will find us an indoor local.

We meet at the Arcade (it runs between Superior Ave. and Euclid Ave., about a block or so east of Public Square) at 10 a.m. We sketch for two hours. And we're nice people.

Re: today's installment: I had to replace a tire on my Honda van. I've said it before, I'll say it again. If you like to draw, there's no such thing as down time.