Thursday, December 31, 2009

Begin Again

Be sure to wear confetti in your hair if you're planning to celebrate in any extreme way tonight.

But did he grow up in a taxi?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Learning and Leaving

This was my favorite in a series of seven illustrations I did for December's Berkeley Monthly. The essay was by a black woman who as a child learned to ride her bike from a white friend who was then told not to play with her. The essayist felt okay to move on with her new skill.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

How can this be?

How can these all be the same thing – a dead thing, a bird, a brocade?

I feel a question attack coming've been warned.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Bird Feet

My esteemed colleague Bryan Kring finally has his Etsy site up, the Kring Emporium of of Tiny Literature, Cards and Other Things. Among the literary works available is the moving illustrated story "Bird Feet", seen above. This is a beautiful work of fiction in every sense, containing the wonder, terror and ordinary comforts of life. You can carry it with you because it is only Four inches wide and Three and a half inches tall.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Late Present

Due to having some situations to deal with in December, I didn't get my sister's Christmas present done. Well, it will have to be a New Year's present. I do love sewing and baking in the winter, well, hand-sewing anyway - working with the sewing machine usually ends up involving a lot of ripping out of stitches and/or putting in of gussets (not to mention what my nephew Michael used to call "squaring" when he was little). I'll show the end result when it's finished.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Unexpected Presents

Some cards from an antique Parker Brothers card game called "Quit" which I have collaged. I placed them around the neighborhood on Christmas Day for people to find. The journey of the cards is visually documented on TinyTheatre if you would like to take a look. The next illustration challenge will be a collage challenge and will be related to these. Don't forget about the January 1 links post for This month's!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Unexpected Present

The best kind, I think. I got my very own copy of Salfón the Roofcleaner from Tomás Serrano in Spain. I like that this occupation of roofcleaning (done with a simple broom) , is humble yet above and apart from the village. It's a story of an unlikely and successful partnership between Salfón and the unwitchlike witch Rubina. Another book review on Monday, tomorrow I'll show part of a little art project I'm doing today which is connected with the next illustration challenge. Have a relaxing day, everyone.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Antique Centre Decorations

When I drove by the Antique Centre, I couldn't resist going home for my camera.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Just as I suspected....

Anyone got any ideas?

Yeah, I know, new movie. Sherlock Holmes is not supposed to be hot...that's just wrong.

Dec. 28 edit: I saw this film, I confess. Let's just say I cannot decide whether tedium or vulgarity was dominant. What a stinker!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Fire Dancer

From an expedition to Limontour beach at Pt. Reyes. The best fire ever! The above has no religious or anthropological significance.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Wordsworths at Point Reyes

In the film Pandaemonium, the EEEvil William Wordsworth (John Hannah) -yes, he's painted as a complete villain and mediocrity- takes a walk along the cliff's edge, complaining to his sister Dorothy (Emily Woof) of Coleridge's "velocity". The walk also contains a passage of composition. Wordsworth took a number of images from his sister's journals; In cinematic shorthand, this plays as his proclaiming "I wandered lonely as a cow", with Dorothy suggesting that "cloud" might be a better word.

Photo taken at sky Camp, Point Reyes.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Three Wise Guys

These partial little figures were rescued from the ruins of my parents' house which burned in the Berkeley Hills Fire of 1991. Burn marks are visible as dirty knees on the middle figure. They belonged to a set of figures from my mother's childhood she used to get out Christmas, along with with paper houses and some lead reindeer with broken antlers, and a funny old Santa. These were rescued and repaired by me - here comes the instant philosophy - the way some of us graft stuff on in life because what we have to begin with can seem like it needs ...additions. My parents rebuilt, by the way.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Cranky Holiday post

I don't do well with authority. In addition to ambiguous demand for unspecified faith (perhaps we are being told to believe that that almighty dollar will rise again?) from this window, I had an email from a prominent computer manufacturer instructing me to "Make the joy of the Holidays last all year". This is not my experience of how joy* works - although maybe with certain pharmaceuticals...

My friend Ariella is visible reflected at the right.

Chuckie - is that you?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Illustration challenge #4

"Confetti?" scoffed Grandpa. "Why, when I was a boy, we celebrated The New Year properly, with the time-honored tradition of _____________________________".

Yes, I know it would be pleasant to spend the week between Christmas and New Year's dozing by the fire...but here's an opportunity hone your visual and verbal skills, so I hope you'll right click to fill in Grandpa's recollection (drawing, photo, collage or embroidery..whatever) the words left missing in the quote. I will have the links in my post on New Year's Day.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Paisley Lion

I was watching Pandaemonium, about Coleridge and Wordsworth, which has a wonderful visual dramatization of "Frost at Midnight", I started with frost, then proceeded to the fractals of this ancestral paisley shawl which turned into the paisley lion below. It's a t-shirt, but redbubble doesn't have this exact shade of green
Would be nice to have all terrors turn into flowers and feathers...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009


Where's Heathcliff? Answer tomorrow.

Went on a sketchwalk at San Francisco's Land's End, where I claimed to know the way to the ruined house on the beach. I didn't. Sliding, skidding and muddiness ensued. But the treats at the cafe afterwards tasted all the better for it. Right, fellow sketchwalkers? Right?

Edit: I should mention I didn't draw her in forced perspective, she fell in the water and got a bit bendy.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


This was a favorite joke of my brother's friend High School best friend Dave .

Outside of the States, a Yankee is someone from the United States

Inside the U.S., a Yankee is someone born North of the Mason-Dixon Line*

If you were born North of the Mason-Dixon Line, a Yankee is someone from New England

If you're a New Englander, a Yankee is someone from Maine

If you were born in Maine, a Yankee is someone who eats pie for breakfast.

To my Maine reader: Jess, if you read this, perhaps you can address its accuracy.

* For my foreign readers, The Mason-Dixon Line divides the North from the South, pretty much reflecting the divisions in the Civil War.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Three conspirators hatch a plot (the illustration friday prompt is hatch). Any thoughts on what they're planning?

I'm currently feeling fascinated by the way crosshatching looks furry and lines of ink can wrap like light.

Heating things up in the frozen North. Watch for dancers' improv in the middle!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Fences near the Ashby BART station

A sign posted on the fence around the Ashby BART station (in background) by the Elsewhere Public Works Agency. You are encouraged to click on this one to read the words.
I was very happy to see this after an exchange with Cláudia yesterday in comments about fences and walls.
Fence walking

Dog in fenced-in yard

Looks like I may have more drawing time soon.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Illustration challenge # 3 links

Oh, I realized just now I didn't include the logo at bottom with what I posted here originally, so mine will look different. Don't be shy about letting me know if you post one - I will be linking this post from a button in the sidebar after today. The original material is here if you want to give it a shot.

The very splendid links:

Titus the Dog

Coffee Messiah

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

In the Neighborhood

So, first I picked the above up off the ground - an inch-high Tinkerbell.

Yup, that should fix it

Then I saw both of the items above and went back for my camera.

In the Neighborhood by Tom Waits is a sort of musical gloss
on Shakespeare's "A poor thing, but mine own.".

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Mr. Cthulhu's Holiday

Tanaudel at Errantry pointed out this bulletin board on the Tor blog, where there is an artisitic celebration of H.P. Lovecraft going on. I figure even Cthulhu needs a break now and then. Yes, it's a tshirt on redbubble.

What are you doing in my car?

Miranda July and John Hawkes in "Me, You and Everyone We Know". Lovely film.

Here's my take on John Hawkes in Deadwood - I think he kept all his facial hair when Me, You was being made between seasons.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Farewell, photo version

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

T.S. Eliot, Little Gidding


Farewell, Farewell, Fairport Convention

Alternate photo version later today.

Edit: This is merely a comment on life stages - I am not going anywhere. I love you guys! [weeps copiously]

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Not Tom Waits

Hint: she's a pilgrim. But I think she and Tom Waits could have a good conversation, and the house makes me think of Come on up to the House - a particularly lovely video.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Crunchy Ghosts

One of a series of illustrations I am working on for the Berkeley Monthly, this one is for an essay about two people who go to a supposedly haunted house. Every time they shine a flashlight into a particular room, they hear crunchy noisy outside. They end up fleeing the scene. The Illustration friday prompt is Crunchy.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Dark Side

The Dark Side of the hot tub...if you discount the linearity of time. Thanks, Terry, for explaining this wasn't a statue of Cthulhu left over from Burning Man.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


It's hard to be taken seriously when you're made of paper. The amazingly talented Katherine S. is the oblivious object of desire in this photo. Check out her illustrations here.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Map is not the Territory

Pirate with no depth perception who has lost his reading glasses attempts to figure out where he buried the treasure. He is standing in front of a lovely piece of mail art sent to me by the redoubtable J.T. Steiny of Dog a Day.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Down all the Days

It's been at least fifteen minutes since I linked to a Pogues song...Down all the Days

Reincarnation: Good News/Bad News

The Good News: you can levitate.

I drew the above while watching the Do you feel lucky, punk segment of Robot Chicken.
Uploaded as a t-shirt on redbubble.


In good news unaccompanied by the other Kind, Steve Loya has made a book of his splotch monsters available.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Victorian jumping fox

Idea via Caio Fernandes. Thank you, Caio.

And some advice I've been mulling over from R.L. Bourges (when I expressed admiration for her commitment to her writing process) "If you're ever faced with the choice of jumping or being pushed, take whatever time is available for the decision, then jump".

This is the one of the trees that was red in the earlier blackbird photo.

Edit: changed photo

Sunday, November 29, 2009

What Remains?

On waking, did your dream last night leave a strange flavor or glow behind when it fled? Or is your unconscious a joker, and was a pun involved? Did you meet a stranger who seemed familiar, or did someone familiar suddenly turn strange?

At Titus the Dog, a late entry to November's illustration challenge.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Miette vs. the Mad Scientist Krank/Entangled

In City of Lost Children, Miette's (Judith Vittet) love for One leads to her fate becoming entangled with that of Krank (Daniel Emilfork). Judith Vittet was nine when the film was made, and her performance is stunning. The illustration Friday prompt is entangled.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Snow Cake

Alex Hughes (Alan Rickman) watches Linda Freeman (Sigourney Weaver) jumping on a trampoline in Snow Cake. This is a lovely film, a sort of Odyssey in the sense of Alan Rickman's character coming home to himself.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Dear Reader,

I wish we could join each other in a cup of tea (even if neither of us has come apart).

Eat your heart out, Roland Emmerich.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Can a blackbird sing the blues?

When I was younger, I was always kind of appalled that older people talked about the weather – it just seemed so mundane. But now , with these last few warm days before the rainy season – well, I just wouldn't believe the stillness and serenity if I wasn't here (even if it's it's not a unicorn in the garden).

Blues, blues, blues:

Cobalt (and others) on Invisible Paris

Ultramarine on l'astronave

Cerulean on Random Shots

Indigo on Celeste Bergin

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Challenge #3

Here they are, ready for alteration by drawing ,digital manipulation, collage, needle and thread, or rifle practice (printing out first is recommended for the latter two) ...and NEW this challenge, you can in addition or alternatively write a caption/brief history of these two if you choose. Let me know here when you have posted, I will be listing the links in my post of December 10. Looking forward to your creative works!