Archive for July, 2014

The Piemaker

Friday, July 25th, 2014

An illumination I was asked to create, to illustrate a beautiful poem written by the piemaker’s sister.

Aunt Francie & Uncle Ken 1941

St. Swithin’s Day

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

Look out the window. Happy St. Swithin’s Day!


Bastille Day: Étienne de la Boétie

Monday, July 14th, 2014

On this day in 2013, we were wandering the fairy-tale streets of Sarlat, a Périgord village of golden limestone, remarkably unchanged since the 16th century, and I sketched the birthplace and childhood home of Étienne de la Boétie (1530-1563), of which this is a detail.





Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

A new painting has won an honorable mention at the Art League’s All-Media exhibit at the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria (the opening reception is tomorrow evening).

The hot summer weather inspired both the painting and my research into lemonade recipes. The one I like best is found in How to Make Real Lemonade from Scratch at


Mom’s Apple Pie

Sunday, July 6th, 2014

On my mother’s birthday, I always bake her an apple pie in honor of the hundreds of apple pies she made for us, and we light a candle and sing, our voices some years joined by those of friends (thank you Karla, Rob, Kathy, and Ivan). I’m sure my mother is getting much better pie in the Great Beyond, but we continue the earthly tradition. Happy birthday, Mom!



Palisades Parade

Friday, July 4th, 2014

Some quickie sketches during our traditional family outing on this day, to celebrate the USA’s birthday along with local dancers and drummers, librarians and launderettes, politicians, piping policemen, and puppy dogs. Happy Fourth of July, everyone!



The Sunflowers

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

A Hello to July, with a poem by Mary Oliver.


Come with me
into the field of sunflowers.
Their faces are burnished disks,
their dry spines

creak like ship masts,
their green leaves,
so heavy and many,
fill all day with the sticky

sugars of the sun.
Come with me
to visit the sunflowers,
they are shy

but want to be friends;
they have wonderful stories
of when they were young –
the important weather,

the wandering crows.
Don’t be afraid
to ask them questions!
Their bright faces,

which follow the sun,
will listen, and all
those rows of seeds –
each one a new life!

hope for a deeper acquaintance;
each of them, though it stands
in a crowd of many,
like a separate universe,

is lonely, the long work
of turning their lives
into a celebration
is not easy. Come

and let us talk with those modest faces,
the simple garments of leaves,
the coarse roots in the earth
so uprightly burning.

—Mary Oliver