Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Who really likes to do house work? And who really likes to have their picture taken?

I will confess that I do not. Never have, probably never will. I consider it a necessary evil.

Tonight the bedroom needed to be worked on and I found a creative solution to not having my picture taken this Christmas.

People with facial injuries aren't popular subjects for the Christmas photo shoot.

So I worked away at the bedroom clutter and I was making good head way when...


Face meet the top of a clear acrylic water glass.

The glass was tall because I live with 3 cats that steal bedside water if you don't used a tall skinny glass that they can't get their thieving mugs into.

I knew the glass was there on some level. I was aware of it and had made a mental note to take it to the kitchen on my next trip there. But I guess I was close enough to it that when I bent over I just never saw it. That and the fact that the glass was so much taller than your average glass that I probably thought I had at least 4 inches more space before my face was going to connect with a hard object.

At first I was shocked and quiet.

And then...

I cried. I will confess that I cried.


Like a small child.

It hurt.


And it bled.

Actually quite alot.

More than I thought it would and I've always heard that facial cuts bleed like a son-of-a-gun.

It suprised me how much it bled.

But I don't think I broke my nose.

However I think it's gonna leave a mark.

I'm hoping it's only going to be a temporary mark.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Hidden By Gortglas Lough

Hidden By Gortglas Lough (5x5 pen and graphitint pencil)

I finally was able to do something for the Virtual Paintout hosted by Bill Guffney. This month Bill has sent us to County Clare in Ireland. It was really wonderful to walk around this area of Ireland. But frustrating in a way because I was looking for sheep and never did see any. I saw some cattle but... I didn't want to paint those, or the horses I saw. I did find a border collie but the dog was from Galway as were most of the cattle and horses so they were out as subjects.

On a whim I plopped myself down on a road by Gortglas Lough and saw this. I was so happy and surprised! I took one step to the right and turned back to the left and found the view I wanted to use. And from there it was pretty easy. I did a sketch and then inked it with a micron pen. I decided that I wanted colour and used my graphitint pencils washed with water to add the tinted colour.

I'm happy with the results and was even happier when I showed it to a friend who immediately said, "It's a canoe!"

If only I was there and could find that canoe and go for a paddle in the lovely Irish sunshine.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Fleabitten Gray (11x14 graphite pencil) sold

Portrait of a horse in graphite pencil.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Ditch Racers

I was driving to town the other day and I had to smile.

Two children were playing in the ditch. How close to the road they were was a little scary I'll admit but it was what they were doing that made me smile. And remember some happy times my brother and I had as kids.

We have a little snow here right now. A very little bit of snow. There is enough that you need to wear boots because it's deep enough to spill into your shoes if you walk through it but not enough to be doing any serious winter stuff. Not enough for me to build a snowman... Which is what the barely below zero temperatures told me I wanted to be doing.

I saw movement at the far side of the road and looked over to see what was up.

There was a child with a snow racer and he plopped it down at the road side and then jumped on it and swooped it down the "hill" of the ditch into the bottom of it. There was another youngster at the bottom with his snow racer too. It made me smile... These two kids were obviously having a great time, putting alot of energy into the game, and I wonder what they were imagining as they played in the snow covered ditch which was only about 4 feet deep at the most and not that steep. Was it some sort of cliff they were taking their machines off the edge of? Were they on a steep mountainside trekking across some wilderness? Were they on snowmobiles jumping over drifts and flying across the snow?

Who knows?

When we were kids my brother and I used to build forts in the bushes, and of the bushes. We would remove all the dead branches from the center of a willow thicket and haul stones inside and other flat pieces of wood and that would be our fort. We imagined we were part of the Wind in the Willows book or some other adventure we had dreamed up. In the summer with all the thick leaves around us it was an excellent fort. No one could see us hiding there. We would spend hours there after we crawled through the hole in the leaves and branches to get to the center. At least that's what we believed. Now I'm not so sure how good the cover really was. And I can't go back and look anymore because that bunch of trees died when the water decided to invade that area. But the point was that we were doing something, we were using our imaginations and we were having fun.

In the winter we dug caves in the hard packed snow that drifted up against the willows on the slough near the yard. We would jump from the tops of the drifts and swim through the snow at the base of these cliffs. And in our mind they were cliffs, there was no doubting it, and there was deep water at the base. Now I'm not sure how tall those drifts were or how deep the snow really was. It seems like now there isn't as much snow as there was back then. I'm not sure if that's a climate thing or the fact that I'm just taller now and my perspective has changed.

It doesn't really matter. We were having a blast in those chilly rooms we carved out with a spade in our artic igloos each winter.

Those kids in the ditch brought back to my mind something I'd forgotten about. Made me smile to remember.

They made be feel both young and old at the same time....