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Sunday, July 31, 2011


Meet Maurice, the Italian greyhound who captured the hearts of our friends Ivan and Sarah. Like you, I have met Maurice only in a virtual sense, and still his winsome nature comes through.

Ivan and Sarah adopted Maurice many months gone by now. Since then, we adopted our sweet Roscoe. Well, OK -- he's sweet and a little vicious. Or perhaps sweet to us and guard-dog-like with anyone he perceives as threatening us. We're WORKING ON IT, OK?

Anyway, unlike the wonderful Pearl, who in her all-blackness is at best a drawing challenge, Roscoe has a wider range of tonal values and therefore is more fun to draw. Though it should be said right here and forever more that Pearl is The Best Dog, and will forevermore be The Best Dog, except for another dog who also was the Best Dog.

Which brings us back to Maurice, whose nickname is Momo. That's right, you read correctly. And Momo was also the nickname of our sweet and most-dear Ramona (please don't cry when you read this post).

Anyway, all this is just an excuse to say that while I will probably never capture dog energy like Roz, I do love to draw them. I used to draw Momo all the time. I draw Pearl less, and now, with Roscoe, I find that I want to draw all kinds of dogs. I have started to stalk my Facebook friends' photo albums for pictures of their dogs.

All right, but now it's time to get back to work. Have a pleasant Sunday, will you? With that I like your face.

Friday, July 29, 2011


Fell into computer software this week, but my little storytelling dog says hello.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Drawing in Ann Arbor without Drawing Ann Arbor

Wouldn't it be fun to draw Ann Arbor, Michigan, when I visit my brother?
It would. But I never do, because our trips are often just a day and a half, and the purpose is to spend time with family I don't see often enough.
However, I always draw a little when I'm there, usually in the morning over coffee and in the evening before sleep.

As you can see, I did little bits of things on the page throughout the day. On this spread, the shell came first, since Mark has a collection gathered through his years of sea-loving travels. The wing chair took another 20 minutes a bit later, and I did the ducks swimming into the chair seat later yet. Planning and layout, with this kind of approach, happens on the fly -- but that can work out well, especially the more you do it.

Oh, and I was listening to Neil Gaiman's "American Gods" on my iPod during a lot of it.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Turtle Days of Summer

A little while back I visited Huntington Park so I could do these pages here for Ohio Authority.

While there, I stopped at the nature center where I watched while a bully turtle kept knocking its smaller habitat-mate onto his back. Anyway, this is the lesser turtle. I finally righted him and moved him (breaking nature center rules, I'm sure). Sometimes I think we select behaviors from the natural world to say what we want to say about human nature. But actually I think, animalwise, you see pretty much the same range of behavior out there in the wild as you do among the bi-peds. Put another way: you find your occasional shithead even among turtles.

Happy weekend. Stay cool. Stay safe. Be well.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

If you are a camel, which life is worse: tromping across the desert to carry Maria Muldauer to the oasis by midnight, or giving kids rides at the zoo?

What would a fulfilling life be, for a camel? These things are puzzling.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Who We Are With the Dog

Click on the picture for a better look. I drew it in the middle of the night, so be kind.

Here is my insight of the week, friends:
When it comes to self-discipline, who we are with our dogs is who we are with ourselves.

Do we struggle mightily to cut back the kibble when Fuzz is looking a bit plump, or do our best intentions fold in the presence of the treat-loving beast?

Do we take time to do little training exercises that would make Sweetums just the tiniest bit more behaviorally fit, or do we figure the world can make room for the jumping, begging and howling?

Me? I am acquainted with self-discipline, but we could always be better friends.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


On our way to Columbus Saturday for Carlo's high school reunion, we stopped for lunch at the Bob Evans in Mansfield, Ohio. If you've ever driven from Cleveland to Columbus, odds are good you've stopped to refuel at this very spot. In some ways it's the most middle of middle America. Safe to say we were the only Scion in the parking lot with a flamelike decal.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Back In a Bit!

Gotta take this week to hunker down on work. I'll return sometime next week.
Meanwhile, hug your dogs, cats and humans, and enjoy these summery days.

Monday, July 04, 2011

A Funny Thing One and Two

The zone that one gets into, when one is a sketching sort, tends to seal in memories of whatever was going on during the drawing session.

For instance, during the drawing of the table and chairs and umbrella above, I found out that someone who had borrowed my camera inadvertantly erased a bunch of photos I hadn't downloaded yet. This caused a temporary cessation of drawing, in order for the taking-it-all-in process to take hold. Then I went back to my book, and kind of stopped caring about the erased pictures. But I know that when I look at that spread in a year, I will remember the lost pictures.

As for the page of sketches from the nail salon, I should say that they were done quickly at the salon, but I added extra ink and writing at home, "later that same day," as the saying goes. While I was filling in the page, I was also watching an hourlong nature show about mountain gorillas, which will be forever seared in my brain. In a good way. I probably should've stopped finishing my page and started drawing gorillas, but I didn't.

Anyway, this is one reason that making a drawing is a better way to savor vacation -- or any other special event, or just life in general -- than taking a photo. I am nowhere near the first one to point this out, but it's worth remembering.

Happy Fourth of July, by the way.