“Penchant” New Illustrated Poem Book

I have a new spontaneously illustrated poem book finished. This one is a little different in that I spontaneously decided to redo one of the pages. I also painted it in watercolor and then printed it instead of binding the originals.

Watercolor media is not as stable as fluid acrylic so the pigments would rub off on each other if I bound the paintings together. I really loved making this into a printed book though!

“Penchant” is available in my shop below

“First Rain” New Little Book

I have a new little book finished! I started this a long time ago but got distracted with my spontaneous books. It felt great to finally complete it!

This is one of my 5 x 7” books that have a blank page for writing a greeting and come with an envelope.

I printed these at home on Epson premium double sided matte paper with Epson Claria ink. I am not thrilled with Epson’s inflated ink prices nor their lack of eco-friendly papers but I have some samples of eco-friendly papers coming in the mail. I hope I find one that works at the right weight. These are too stiff for my tastes.

I printed copies for my family with Precision Colors EV6 ink. They looked just as good as the ones in my shop printed with Epson ink! I am just not sure how long they will last without fading but Precision has a new archival ink I am going to get when my Epson cartridges run out or are half empty and refuse to print because the chips say they are empty the company doesn’t have the integrity to treat consumers or the environment respectfully.

I absolutely loved printing these at home and binding them myself. Previously I was having them made at a local printer because the cost per each book was much more reasonable than printing them with Epson’s overpriced ink.

When it was time to print this book, however, I had to level with myself that I don’t sell enough copies to cover the cost of the 50 book minimum at the printer so I decided to print a few at home. I’m glad I did! I am very excited about making my own books in-studio and about discovering a company that makes affordable ink for artists, check out Precision Colors here.

New Paintings

Here are my latest painting meditations. I am reviewing my art career approach and have decided to put more effort into showing my work in public instead of having an internet shop or posting pieces on social media. This blog will be the best place to see my latest pieces.

I probably won’t be able to show much until society begins to reopen but I have plenty to do in the meantime! I am still revising my Landscape Diaries essays into a book. I’m also spontaneously illustrating books so my heart can develop its own style instead of my ego trying to make “good” work.

I am also really into drawing and lettering in my workbooks and all my art journals and sketchbooks are now converted to workbooks. I like the term workbook because sketchbook puts me in an academic mindset and I associate art journal with art scrap-booking which puts too much pressure on making things precious or appealing. Workbook feels like a thing of the soul, of wayward contemplatives, obscure poets and woods wanderers so it fits who I am in that these things are my work even if it seems a little dramatic to say so.

“Tapestry” Artist Book

It is still warm in the woods and the foliage has already begun to retreat from the trails. One golden maple leaf lays on the ground dry, completely intact for a little while before she begins to transition to dirt.

*

Night slips through the window with the sound of passing cars, a little cool air.

It is so good: the end of a day. I did everything I could to live. There was just 30 minutes of wasted time when I was too polite to pry myself out of a conversation where each closing remark spurred a new idea even though we both wanted to move along to other things.

*

Being soft is not always joy. But I am so enamored with the gentle hint of Autumn encroaching in the air I don’t want to talk about anything else.

Eternity.

Surrender.

Home.

*

Today I took a long walk in the arboretum then lay in the grass for a couple hours doing nothing. I didn’t read a book, or draw, or even fall asleep. I watched the yellow leaves droop in the other wise green brush. I collected wiry pieces of dead grass in my socks where my blanket was too short.

It takes a lifetime to slough off everything we aren’t…why do I believe I should already be in blossoms? The trees take so much time to grow and then fruit. Then they spend decades weaving themselves thoughtfully into the tapestry of moments with their grand decay.

*

Sometimes I lose my appetite and I feel it like a protest: your priorities are all wrong.

Money.

Efficiency.

Not inconveniencing anybody.

Why do I believe I should only make things that will last forever?

*

At the far end of the creek the water trickles over a wide rock bed crossed with crevices. One song sparrow hops out of the salal at the creek’s edge to flit about the rocks in the shallow water rearranging leaves and eating bugs.

I cast off my white long-sleeve shirt in the exact moment the song sparrow leaves a pile of white poop on the rocks.

What if our legacy is supposed to fit in a shoe box or a manila envelope? A few molecules of air when we say goodbye.

How Organs Talk and Other Paintings

I’ve added some of my favorite painting meditations to my shop!

Foraging Original Artist Book

I added my latest book to my shop this evening! “Foraging” is my first attempt at making an illustrated book spontaneously. Usually I draft the illustrations and plan where the text is going to go but I want to make a bunch of these with no planning to see how my art evolves. I am very excited about it. Let me know what you think!

Tapestry

It is still warm in the woods and the foliage has already begun to retreat from the trails. One golden maple leaf lays on the ground dry, completely intact for a little while before she begins to transition to dirt.

*

Night slips through the window with the sound of passing cars, a little cool air.

It is so good: the end of a day. I did everything I could to live. There was just 30 minutes of wasted time when I was too polite to pry myself out of a conversation where each closing remark spurred a new idea even though we both wanted to move along to other things.

*

Being soft is not always joy. But I am so enamored with the gentle hint of Autumn encroaching in the air I don’t want to talk about anything else.

Eternity.

Surrender.

Home.

*

Today I took a long walk in the arboretum then lay in the grass for a couple hours doing nothing. I didn’t read a book, or draw, or even fall asleep. I watched the yellow leaves droop in the other wise green brush. I collected wiry pieces of dead grass in my socks where my blanket was too short.

It takes a lifetime to slough off everything we aren’t…why do I believe I should already be in blossoms? The trees take so much time to grow and then fruit. Then they spend decades weaving themselves thoughtfully into the tapestry of moments with their grand decay.

*

Sometimes I lose my appetite and I feel it like a protest: your priorities are all wrong.

Money.

Efficiency.

Not inconveniencing anybody.

Why do I believe I should only make things that will last forever?

*

At the far end of the creek the water trickles over a wide rock bed crossed with crevices. One song sparrow hops out of the salal at the creek’s edge to flit about the rocks in the shallow water rearranging leaves and eating bugs.

I cast off my white long-sleeve shirt while the song sparrow leaves a pile of white poop on the rocks.

What if our legacy is supposed to fit in a shoe box or a manila envelope? A few molecules of air when we say goodbye.

Foraging

Today I learned that one can discern the size of a tree’s leaves by their sounds.

*

In my early 20s I went to the health food store to buy some miso and got reprimanded by the guy behind the deli counter. “There’s a lot of searching in your face.” he pointed out with righteous derision.

I just wanted to know which fermented soy product was the best source of vitamin B12. But he knew, by some magic face reading technique, that I was stuck in an existential question that seeped into each smaller question making every decision a near life or death struggle.

Twenty some years later I’m sitting under a magnolia tree writing a letter from my many question. It’s an ongoing letter to celebrate the potential of these queries. A journal you could say.

I fall asleep in the meadow after writing my letter then wake in the company of a deer stepping lightly through the grass several yards away and feel my letters could be answered by her softness. The new age face reader was not wrong, but he also wasn’t adept.

* * *

Yesterday it was ninety degrees. The days are slowly getting shorter. The trees and shrubs are at their fullest and the crows are leaving their nests to gather in large groups, filling the sky right above the avenue as if they might take a hard right at the next intersection.

Recently I decided to make my heart my art business partner and while I can’t explain to you how this works there is a lightness to my days. I know what to do. Some projects I thought were necessary are shelved and when I walk through my favorite neighborhood path up the stairs under a low canopy of leaves there is no need to search for redemption in the luxuriousness.

* *

The crows are foraging on the forest floor. One juvenile screams at regular intervals. Another picks up a stick and drops it repeatedly.

Something startles the crows and they fly into the tree tops all at once.

Their soft black color is especially regal in the woods. As if they fly in the exact midpoint between a question and its answer, denizens of both realms with no need to make them separate places.

* * *

I’ve been angry lately. It’s such an unflattering story, this anger. But this morning I woke up feeling soft and tended to the ordinary. I folded laundry with the utmost care, attuned to the magnitude of dwelling lightly in my own neighborhood.

Then, I found in my shared house that there is a secret place in the early hours where I can sit with the flowers in the yard and talk to this anger. “What has it been like all this time waiting for someone else to think of you?”

* * *

Today it’s warm and the light is golden between leaf shadows. The squirrels chase each other up the rough tree trunks. The butterflies flutter about as if it’s no big deal to fly and people wander the trails queitly like shadows.

I sit with the trees and feel a peace between us. They knit oxygen and shade and house all my neighbors. I make carbon dioxide and silky shadows that carry sorrow, beauty and questions so I don’t have to leave them alone for the day while I act like someone else.

One evening I walked home to the sound of neighborhood bagpipes and it felt just like laying in the grass listening to leaves and melting into the earth. I lived most of my life with dust and shadows. My own body and aloneness because I never gave myself permission to sign on my own behalf. To trust that questions are like leaves and answers are whatever gravity and the wind agree to the day the leaf separates from the tree.