Thanksgiving thoughts

  • Making Books Again

    I had a renewed interest at the end of last year to make some books again. It started with a carousel book that I exhibited at the Bennington Museum, and then I got some momentum going in the month of December with a very loooong accordion that I used for a monthly challenge, with prompts related to the Advent. I'm working almost daily on collages which makes me so happy. I forgot how much I enjoy piecing together little bits of things that make a cohesive whole. 

  • Artist Book at Bennington Museum

    I made a new artist book for a show at the Bennington Museum. It's a carousel book, inspired by poems by Robert Frost. Here's the cover, which is all done in colored pencil. It felt really good to make a "real" piece of art for a "real" show! It's for sale as a part of the museum's gala event fundraiser. It can also be viewed in the galleries for the entire month of December. Let me know what you think if you see it!

  • More Food and Drawing

    For some time, I've been meaning to submit recipes to the They Draw and Cook website. I finally got two finished for a recent food geometry challenge. I submitted the recipe above, along with another. It was a really fun project for me. Especially challenging was getting the piece in the correct format and size (my Photoshop skills are still lacking), and doing some digital touch up work to make them look their best. I was ultimately happy with how they turned out, and proud of myself for getting it done!

  • Food + Drawing

    I don't know why it took me so long to start drawing food. I always had in the back of my mind that I wanted to combine my two interests somehow. In the last eight months, I've done lots of food drawings, beginning back in October with my Inktober recipes. I wanted to illustrate for someone other than myself, so I reached out to friends who have a coffee business. I'm working on a series of illustrations for different methods of brewing coffee. It's so much fun for me, and I find it satisfying to be working for "clients" other than myself.  

  • Chickens

    These chickens were modeled on my own chickens, Duck and Cluck. I took an online class from Anita Lehman through Carla Sonheim's website that was a very thoughtful look at composition. Sometimes it's nice to get back to basics and see how structure influences outcome. And, on a side note, it's been nice to have fresh eggs to eat and use in baked goods!

  • A New (Old) Way of Working

    I don't know why it took so long for me to go back to making collage and mixed media pieces. Maybe I didn't think they were "serious" enough, or I forgot how much fun it was for me to work this way, or maybe I just forgot how to do it. Recently, I found some fruit that I painted simply on canvas paper. I took out cheap, thin acrylics, poured green and yellow on top, and pushed the paint around the paper. After it dried, I tore out the fruit and saved them for a collage. That's where my playing around with fruit bowls began the other day. For a slight change of pace, I took a yellow piece of painted paper and turned it into a French press. I've mainly been using really smushy media, like a soft pencil, conte crayons, and Faber Castell gelatos. These collaged pieces really feel like me, and I'm loving all the color!

  • New Things!

    I'm test driving some new products at the market this Saturday. It's so much fun to play with color and shape on functional bags and totes. I like the simplicity of playing with fabric, paint, and potatoes. Yes, potatoes! That's what I used to make my stamps......and, they're compostable!

  • Stretching

    I decided to challenge myself with an online course, Explore Florals, taught by Victoria Johnson. It was three weeks of design briefs, each focusing on a different way to think about florals, with an accompanying palette. It was harder than I thought to get out of my own way of doing things and try something new. Just like life, I suppose.

  • Creative Thinking


    I am so thrilled to have my very first drawn illustration in the current issue of UPPERCASE Magazine! 

    I drew this on Thanksgiving, 2017. We decided to stay home and celebrate, just the three of us. I wanted my daughter to feel like that even though we weren't going anywhere, it was going to be a special day. So, I let her pick the drinks!

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Thanksgiving thoughts

In some ways, I am a true traditionalist. When the temperature drops, the food I most crave is roasted chicken. Juicy and tender with crispy seasoned skin, sitting on a bed of roasted root vegetables is how I imagine it, golden and radiating warmth and lustful smells throughout the house. And that is how I spent two good hours Sunday evening, prepping the perfect bird for its shining moment under the oven light. Garlic is diced ever so finely and gently rubbed beneath the skin. The cavity gets stuffed with the fresh herbs that have survived the first few frosts (parsley, lavender, and marjoram) and half of a lemon. The skin gets a quick rub of olive oil, and a generous seasoning of salt and pepper. In it goes, reclining next to the baking whole wheat bread, beneath the winter squash that are roasting for a future dinner, and all is right with the world. The house is full of smells that normally only come around at Thanksgiving, and I start dreaming of stuffing and mashed potatoes. In fact, I wish so hard for stuffing that I decide to make some, adding celery, shallots, and parsley to cubes of rye bread. The star vegetable is brussel sprouts, roasted with olive oil, salt, and pepper until they are brown and carmelized. The funny thing about my pre-turkey day feast is that I inadvertently play this same part every year. Not matter where we are having Thanksgiving, I feel the urge to do nearly the whole dinner a couple of weeks before. One year I even bought a turkey---a 10 pounder for Matt and I, not caring one bit that I would be eating the exact same meal in a week. Matt doesn’t understand it, especially the turkey part, since he never even liked turkey when he was little---his grandmother would make lasagna for him instead. But I love being able to imagine and make my perfect Thanksgiving the way that I want it, without anyone else’s desires to fill.