Wednesday, September 30, 2009

What is it?

Looks like something from District 9...I will be putting it together tomorrow for a second post after the first one, which is of course to announce the participants to date in the Illustration Challenge.

When Worlds Collide

Zeus is going on about something, but Horus (loosely rendered, a raven's head instead of a Falcon's) looks skeptical. Photographed in Gypsy Honeymoon on 24th Street in San Francisco.

Speaking of Zeus, Attika SOS is still looking for contributions from crafters to raise funds for reforestation in Greece.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Please, Sir...

...May I have some more?

[artist ducks]

Hmmm, t-shirt? And if so, should it have the words on? Maybe kind of pearlescent colors.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Dancing Lions

Lions are dancing in North Beach - in the background is Coit tower, the memorial to San Francisco firemen on Telegraph Hill.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


Duck magician (with a sunny pleasure dome of sorts) photographed at Harrington Brothers on Mission Street in San Francisco.

A delightfully strange creature here.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Great Detective/Pattern

Despite the seemingly random propinquity of the corpse of the well-dressed yet impecunious peer, the unbroken chinoiserie vase, the esoteric volume, and the stolen racehorse, the great detective could see a pattern emerge...

The illustration friday prompt is pattern.

What do we know that we don't know we know?

The actor Joseph Gordon Leavitt has appeared in three films as a character struggling with knowledge which is is some way below the level of consciousness, Mysterious Skin (2004), Brick (2005) and The Lookout (2007). His face is remarkable for conveying both vulnerability and a sort of willed impermeability. All of the films are recommended.

It's a state I believe most of us have experienced.

Friday, September 25, 2009


On the grounds of Petit Trianon, Marie Antoinette and her ladies liked to dress as sheperdesses and play at country life in an artificial village constructed for that purpose.

This was photographed in Arjan, a flower store on Piedmont Avenue with a Provençal feel. Stop in if you are in the neighborhood (it's across from Fenton's) and say hello to friendly proprietress Mina.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


The word "capricious" was suggested by Caroline at Caroline's Studio, I particularly like the handsome watercolor rooster she posted recently.

Elsie had always been capricious, and that day she insisted on juggling ferrets while wearing a cake on her head.

The Treichler/ Words #2

The word tintinnabulation was suggested by justdoodleit, who has some lovely contemplations in ink and watercolor on his blog.

My first job out of college was working as a teacher in a Swiss boarding school. At the beginning of January, all the farming males, from small boys to grown men, would walk around with bells of various sizes, ringing them to drive away the evil spirits. Fueled by alcohol in the case of the adults, this activity went on late into the night. What the cows think of this is unknown.

Guess my name/Words #1

This character was suggested by Bindu at Transient Lives. Bindu writes about her travels in various parts of the world, including the rugged landscapes of Texas where she lives. Her eye is always both exact and kind. Bindu also recommended at place to stay for my sister when she visited Buenes Aires - isn't blogging great?

The next illustration link I post is also an excuse to describe a very peculiar New Year's tradition of the Swiss Alps.

Who is it? Answer in labels if you can't guess (nothing to do with Mick Jagger and the rest of them).

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Jack of Hearts: Crime and...

Can it be? Jakolnikov finds he has lost his appetite for the stolen tarts, which lie on their plate mocking him with their flaky perfection.

This concludes the Alice posts for now, I have a couple of more which I will post later on, and possibly I may take the non-canonical stuff/mashup stuff further. The archive for May of this year has most of the Alice posts if you missed the earlier installment. Tomorrow, an illustration or two for the words post.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Alice In Wonderland: The Croquet Game

Wonderland grows ever more chaotic as the Jack steals by in the background. The original post copied the Tenniel illustration more excatly...this one expands on it.

Tomorrow: The Jack - alone with the tarts, at last.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Edward Gorey Hommage/Alice in Wonderland

My imagining of what an Edward Gorey illustration for Alice in Wonderland would have looked like. Alice Calendars are up at redbubble (see button at right).

February and March 2010 I will be posting a new Alice photo series: previous Alice in Wonderland photos in the May 2009 archive. All will be in my book Dreaming Alice, publishing on March 15, 2010

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Reading/This Photo has been Replaced

What happened was that I was on Grand Avenue, thinking about linking up some of the interesting poetry I've seen recently, came on this window (Walden Pond Books) with extraordinary light and shadows which seemed ideal for the post, went back for the camera, and ran into a neighbor who wanted to tell me about everything she was listing on Craig's List in great detail. Yup, lost the light. This isn't exactly as big a deal as the man from Porlock eliminating the last 27 stanzas of Kublai Khan...I will be leaving my apartment with my camera at 5:53 this evening, we'll see what happens.

The links for beauty and startling imagery:

Ande at Faun

Jenny at Cinammon

The Scrybe

In other poetry news, TFE has a vast worldwide poetry conspiracy manifesting on mondays.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Here there be Dragons

Can you see it? The bush in the back used to be topiary carved in the likeness of a dragon with an open jaw, but the man who lives here is very old and can no longer reach the front of it with the clippers. He can only indicate its sinuous lower body. You reach for what you can - The American painter Albert Pinkham Ryder memorably said that making art should be done as if one were a caterpillar on the end of a blade of grass, feeling in the air.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Amazon Attack

James, the proprietor of the Antiques Centre, under attack by a miniature Amazon. This seems to be the week for dubious characters here (not James, who is a very nice man - I think I made him nervous following him around with the camera while he was working, though).

I've just checked, and Edward Gorey never illustrated Alice in Wonderland...I think I'm going to have to post a little hommage/mashup on Monday. It's just something that needs to be done.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


The word is balance...if anyone sees my left metatarsal arch, please send it home, I miss it...especially in tree pose.

Leave me a word to illustrate in the comments, I'll pick one and post it next Thursday with a link to your blog and will send you the small drawing for your word (the one above is about 4' by 5") via snail mail if you like. People to whom I haven't linked before are especially encouraged to leave word.

"Lost" Sock in the Laundry

Are they really lost, or are they just up to no good when they disappear? This one is meant to be carrying a burglar's kit, but I think I drew it a bit too small. Something of Edward Gorey's Wuggly Ump about him.

Junk Thief has posted a video by Segundo de Chomon showing other nefarious activites of inanimate objects here.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Conscientious Pollen Painter

A sort of human bee carrying on the work of pollination. I drew and photographed this a couple of days before Vancouver blogger Nao posted about her BeeCause Pollination Project, working to foster honeybees in neighborhood gardens. Bee populations have recently suffered mysterious losses in population and are in need of help in surviving.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Crime as Assemblage

Here's the same subject as previous post as an assemblage I did maybe 15 years ago - not a very good photo, but you get the idea. The Queen is yelling "Stop, Thief" - redly.

Alice in Wonderland/The Crime

Those tarts...wafting sweet odors on the morning air, and left so temptingly within reach (if within reach includes scaling the castle walls) - how could they be resisted? The Knave of Hearts resorted to a somewhat inadequate disguise before proceeding. Do you think they will taste as good as they looked (again with the questions)?

Monday, September 14, 2009


Steve Loya (artist, arts educator and monster maven) has interviewed me for his artist spotlight on his blog goflyingturtle (now there's an image - I realize I mentioned feeling like a turtle that wanted wings earlier today to a realizing where I got the idea from). Anyway, the last question Steve had for me was "who would you most like to meet and why?". That person is pictured above.

Who would you most like to meet? Please note: This is not Tiny Tim. See here. Polyester trousers should always be bright red.

Alice in Wonderland/The Dutchess

What Alice finds inside - a choleric crew in a big cloud of pepper. The cloth on the frame was something I found on the street a couple of days before I shot this.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Illustration challenge

Here's the beginning of a drawing , to finish as you wish. Post your finished version on your blog and I will link to it in a special blogroll on the right during October. There's no deadline, you can finish it after October 1 as long as you let me know the link in the comments here or by email. One person has already posted, but I won't start the links till October 1, on which day I'll post my own finished version.

After October, AKA the start of the HolidaySeason, the right hand side will  be featuring many (many!) wonderful items of my own for purchase at redbubble or etsy, among them an Alice  Calendar. Or maybe a book? Anyone have any preferences - the cost is the same, the book would have more pictures than the calendar.

Last Travelling Alice

This is the last post I'm doing with the Alices - I'll be putting up a post later today with an illustration challenge. The above Alice was placed by Lettuce at Lettuce-Eating. Michael at Coffee Messiah also took Alice on a visit to an old printing press recently.

For followers of my LOST series, there is a new one starting on Draw, Burt, Draw.

Chris David Richards is hoping for a dialogue about faith in a University setting for an upcoming video project.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Anima Mundi

And here face down beneath the sun
And here upon earth's noonward height
To feel the always coming on,
The always rising of the night.
               from You, Andrew Marvell, Archibald MacLeish

This is one of my assemblages, it is like the card for The World in the tarot Deck.

A deep imagining emerges as we live, exposed to all our sentient outcomes... Such possibilities become especially vivid when we are feeling vulnerable...It is an excited, animated vision of our own potentially transformed being.
          from Life Imagining Life: Going to the Deep Roots of Learning, Marc Briod (well worth a read)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Alice in Wonderland/Strange Welcome

The Queen's Fish Footman hands the invitation to the croquet game to the Dutchess's Frog Footman. When Alice knocks on the door, she is advised by the Frog Footman "There's no sort of use in knocking...I'm on the same side of the door you are [and] they're making such a noise inside, noone could possibly hear you." It's easy to imagine Alan Rickman's sonorous tones issuing from the bewigged frog.

One of the Images in Dreaming Alice on blurb.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Alice in Wonderland/The Chase

The Dormouse wakes up after being stuffed in the teapot and runs off with the Mad Hatter's Hat. Some of the teacups you see above were very kindly sent to me by the proprietor of After the Pencil Soars through it. This is the image for October in the Wonderland Revisited 2010 Calendar.

ATTENTION POETS: link to David Orr's wonderfully appreciative review of Nicholson Baker's new book about a befuddled poet.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Robbie took the photo of me sort of wearing my Cheshire Cat mask, and my sister Judy presented me with the three-inch tall dancing figure (which she, less notional than me, described as "a woman trying not to pee"). Sister and nephew are on their way to the airport to return to England.

More Alice tomorrow.

Robbie and the Little Man

Robbie has a tattoo on his leg of a man sitting on the porch of a little shack reading a book, made from a drawing a friend did . Here you see my expansion of the little man as a hiker crossing my nephew's path.

Robbie very thoughtfully found a blog yesterday mentioning "Wee Smelly Susan". If anyone can think up any lovely nicknames for Robbie and leave them in the comments, I will pass them on to him.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Alice in Wonderland/The March Hare trapped

I have a few images, like Alice and the key, that are takeoffs from the original story. In this case, the reference is to the March Hare ruining the works of a watch with the best butter - mostly an excuse to take this photo in the all-but-dry creek bed where I shot the Alice dreaming and one of the Third Man pursuit photos.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Alice in the White Rabbit's House

This is the image for April in the Wonderland Revisited 2010 Calendar.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Return of the Fox

This fox appeared in my first week of posting over a year ago.

Musical links:
Reynardine (I think one of the final images in this video is superimposed human baggage).
The Cunning little Vixen (she never gets captured, in case you're worried).

Robbie took the photo.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Monkey King Jasmine, strong

Sheridan LeFanu's story "Green Tea" describes a man who becomes a little too amped up on the titular infusion and begins to see a hideous ape out of the corner of his eye. Many of my own ideas seem to have their source in a strong cup of the leafy brew. "Green Tea" was published thirteen years after "Origin of the Species".

The reference (which has been removed)  to another artist's work was intended merely to show influence, this was not intended to be a satirical take on that artist's work, which this artist continues to admire.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Alice and the little key

This one doesn't seem to need a caption so much - more words tomorrow.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Work with me, Robbie!

Here you see my wonderful nephew Robbie in a state of vanquishment (I checked to make sure this is a noun). We are going up the coast today to retrieve some of my sculpture from the gallery which is closing. I am going to try to remember to post one of the jokes that little kids have told Robbie in an edit.

Joke that Robbie told me that a little kid told him: Can you poke yourself through a hole this small? [holds out thumb touching index finger in a circle]


[Rests thumb and index finger on forehead, touches forehead through circle]

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Art for Trees

Here you see Athena's owl taking shelter in a felt bag my nephew Jimmy made. The bag is going off to Greece as a donation to the fund-raising reforestation effort at Attika SOS. If you have crafty skills and have an item you can donate, or make, or if you'd like to make a cash donation, please see this site. 

Alice Falling

Falling down the rabbit hole. This is a chance for me to show off a part of my collection of tiny things. The wooden shelves are an old drawer for holding metal (hot) type.

This is the February image for the Wonderland Revisited 2010 calendar.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Alice Dreaming

Still she haunts me, phantomwise,
Alice moving under skies
Never seen by waking eyes.
- from Lewis Carroll's anagram poem to Alice Liddell

This is the cover image for the Wonderland Revisited 2010 calendar.