The last survivors

  • 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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The last survivors

The garden is in a sad state. Spring is a hopeful time, full of anticipation, colorful seed packets, and sprightly young seedlings. Summer continues along optimistically, with endless sunny days and lush green foliage leading to ruffled heads of lettuce, jewel-like Sungolds, and ruby red peppers. Fall is the decline, with only a few choice survivors thriving in the midst of weeds and neglect. My last survivors are brussel sprouts and lacinato kale (and some stray lettuce and carrots). A few of you may have cringed at the mention of b. sprout, but oddly enough, it’s a vegetable that Matt really likes. Maybe because it reminds him of tiny cabbages, and he is a fan of those. Since he can be a little….selective when it comes to green veggies, if I find one he likes I’ll cook it as often as I can get away with. The sprouts are definitely taking their sweet time to be ready to pick—we’ll see if they make the cut for next year.

This past week, I attended my first official wine tasting. I’ve been to other wine and food events, but this was the first that I was only there to try wine…and lots of it. The event I attended was hosted by a company whose portfolio is strong in Italian wines. We started with sparkling and whites from the Alto Adige area. The Pinot Grigios are pure and pristine, full of crisp fresh fruit. They certainly redeemed their Californian cousins, which didn’t prove near as interesting. I had a beautiful Italian Gewürztraminer  from the producer Tramin, the 2007 Nussbaumer, from the same region, so pure and exotic with rose petals and spice. (Side note—this very wine is featured as a pairing partner in the current issue of Food and Wine! Who knew I could be that trendy?) The other very pleasant surprise was a grappa made from straight grape varietals from the producer Jacopo Poli. Incredibly refined and distinctive, the muscato had beautiful bright floral notes on the finish. And an aged grappa, rich with caramel and vanilla, full and round and elegant. Two and a half hours and nearly 40 wines later, time flew by with me feeling like we had just gotten started.