Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Lynda Barry and... is that you, Spock?

On her Near-Sighted Monkey tumblr, Lynda Barry posts pictures of monsters for her cartooning students to draw, including the Gorn--here (scroll past the many other cool things, including illustrations of Flannery O'Connor's prayer to be turned from a cheese into a mystic). 
I haven't come across any other L.B. references to Star Trek otherwise.

But I just found this, from 1983 (from here: Young Lynda Barry):

I bet every kid who grew up watching TV in the 60s would recognize that 'JIM!' as Spock's warning call to the Captain.

And l'astronave means "rocket" (or star/space-ship), you know, so I like this doubletime.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Return of a Favorite Vidder! "Them There Eyes: Kirk/Spock/McCoy"

 Marz has made a new K/S Star Trek vid, after a long time away!
Based around the Billie Holiday song "Them There Eyes".

Marz writes:
Kirk has a "certain little cute way of flirting" that he uses indiscriminately with everyone he comes into contact with. Bones perhaps takes it too much to heart. And who can blame him? Meanwhile, Kirk/Spock continues...

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Ocean, Forest

Me, in Oregon last week

Friday, March 28, 2014

Home from Oregon

It was full-on springtime in Oregon ^ and it's still winter here, but I'm happy to be home, energized by the reminder that there's a whole world out there––and ready to get to work looking for work.

(I put watercolor paint on bits of real, live moss, fern, and fallen camellias to make the above postcard.) 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Peacock Feather

When I was five, my mother set up peacock feathers in a clay jar, and because I thought they were so beautiful, she encouraged me to sit at the table and draw one. I remember her telling me to look at it closely.

I found it among her things after she died––one of the few pieces of childhood art she'd saved.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Last Tuesday

Last Tuesday, the day before my birthday, I was going to sketch a cartoon panel hourly to catch the day. I got too distracted to complete that, but here are the best of the lot, which I finally inked-in this morning.

(We did not have a glass salt grinder.)

Monday, March 10, 2014

Waters of March

Marz and I were humming the "Waters of March" as we leapt across the ponds  that formed on sidewalks and street curbs in the 50 ºF temps today.

Assignment to self:
freeze-frame and sketch Elis Regina singing "
Águas de Março" (Waters of March).

Watching her sing this with Antonio Carlos (Tom) Jobim, who wrote the song, always makes me happy.

American jazz singer Stacey Kent sings it in French:
 "Les eaux de Mars". 

Today I was working on sketching the moves I'm learning in TRX class. I like TRX a lot because it's elegant physics: my body is the weight & changing the angle of the ropes makes the moves easier or harder. Not that I look elegant doing it!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

"For Later" (for the Crow)

"For Later"

The crows sensed the girl in the raincoat 
might benefit from  their paisley-storage service.

For Crow. I made this with your art supplies.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

53 in 2014 = 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

It's my birthday today! and it pleases me the way the numbers line up  this year. Well, not line up, you have to untangle them, but then they number 0–5.

At this age, I've finally given up on looking like a postwar Eastern European Godard-derivative member of the intelligentsia and am embracing my essential frivolousness:
You see what I bought for myself as a birthday present yesterday at the Thrift Store? 
A swirly purple shirt (four dollars), and a rubber toy of Babar's wife––what's her name? Celeste? Celestine?––with baby elephant (a piglet?) tucked in her purse. Fifty cents!

(I just washed my hair, it's not really this stringy.)

It's Ash Wednesday, which I like:
 Lent is a time to CLEAR THE CLUTTER. 
This doesn't mean throwing out my toys, heavens no! Rather, it's a call to lighten up! and make open space for goodness and grace, amidst all the hard stuff.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

And... Dr. H's 3 Things

Dr. H's cartoons about archeological bits and pieces were part of what inspired this prompt,  
"capture 3 things of yours that are important to you"

The other inspiration was Penelope Lively's memoir, Ammonites and Leaping Fish: in the final section, she writes that she has "picked out six of the things that articulate something of who I am."

I've already posted mine and bink's responses ---here are Dr. H's.

Monday, March 3, 2014

bink's "Three Important Things"

bink's response to this prompt:
Capture 3 of your things that are important to you. 
She drew this on her Wacom tablet (I think that's its name).

Sunday, March 2, 2014

My "3 Things," No. 3: Pilgrim Shell Necklace

By me, for the Three Things prompt: 
Draw, cartoon, or otherwise capture 3 of your things important to you.

My "3 Things," No. 2: my Bruce Springsteen "Born to Run" LP

***Does it cause any problems (like, make it super slow to load) if I post pix "original size" like this?

I guess it's OK, but it felt overwhelming, so I've put it back to "xtra-lg".
CLICK to embiggen, if you want.
By me, for the Three Things prompt: Draw, cartoon, or otherwise capture 3 things in your home that are important to you.

My "3 Things," No. 1: Running Desk

This is the first of my drawings (watercolor cartoon?) in response to the prompt to capture "three of my things that are somehow important to me."
Crow and Poodle said my Syrian desk looked like it could dance. 
I decided to try something a little bit simpler---running.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

March 1st

 It's -3°F / -19°C this Saturday morning, the first of March.
Oh, well. The wonderful thing is, the light is springtime light: long and bright! 
And it's my birthday this week. 

I'm usually pretty much in a good mood around my birthday. 
I think I was happy to be born––my mother always said we were  happy to see each other right away. 
Happiness, of course, is not a stable state, but I wonder if that beginning gave me the sense that at least it's possible?

Speaking of stablity, this video, via Zhoen, made me laugh out loud. 

The goats remind me of the Core Fit class Team Terrier has been taking at the Y (Team Terrier, that's me & bink): 
besides attempting endless variations of sit ups, we balance on these wobbly half-inflated blobs while waving various limbs in the air.

I keep falling off and scrambling back on, like a baby goat.

Or like Tigger. I  grew up before the Disneyfication of Pooh, so I didn't know this song until Marz sang it to me. She says it's me.

The Tigger Song

A Tigger's a wonderful thing. / Their tops are made out of rubber, / their bottoms are made out of spring. / They're bouncy, bouncy, bouncy, bouncy...

And Marz is Piglet.
This is a Christmas illustration, but it looks like March outside my window.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Rosewood, Olive wood, Apricot, mulberry, Ebony, Orange, apple, pistachio, cypres, citron, walnut, walnut roots, camel bones, mother of pearl

Camel bones!

Six years before Lawrence of Arabia rode into Damascus on a camel (did he?), my Cousin Fern from Missouri was there, buying a desk inlaid with camel bones, mother of pearl, and fruit woods.

She, Fern Owsley Hines (1890–1979, my cousin 3x remvd)––on a world trip with her mother–– jotted down this list, left, of the materials that make up the marquetry desk she bought in Syria, when she was about 22 years old. 

I don't know any more details; I'm not even terribly sure of these few I've set down here. 

Everyone on that side of the family is dead and gone, but you can see the desk's cartouche, below right, reads 

Fern Owsley Hines, left, and her cousin-1x-removed Meribel Covert (–Davis, my grandmother), 1913
It's a fragile and basically useless object that takes a lot of space in my tiny apartment, but I coveted it as a child when we visited my grandmother, where it lived but couldn't be touched, and I treasure it.

Today I found this fabulously informative article "Wood and Woodworking in Late Ottoman Damascus," by Marcus Milwright,  professor of  Islamic Art & Archaeology at the University of Victoria, that explains how the desk would have been made.
I figured out Fern is my cousin, 3x removed, using this helpful chart: Family Relationship Chart

Monday, February 24, 2014

Bee Burial: Two Versions

My archaeologist friend, Dr. H., draws the awesome Archaeological Oddities cartoons over at Prehistories: Adventures in Time and Space

When I posted the BEES CHART that I'd drawn when I was nine, like a good archaeologist she wondered about the bee burial. How was it done?

I went back to my nine-year-old self and drew this response.
Dr. H., meanwhile, drew her own, which I will post below mine. 

[click to embiggen]
"A bee dead in his newly dug grave umongst the lilys."
And here're Dr. H's Bee Grave, below.
She writes: "I've scanned in my notebook pages. It's fun to see what my bees look like on the pages of writing - before I looked at a picture of any actual bees. My drawings based on real bees are on the second set of pages. The beetles are sexton beetles, which really do dig graves."

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Team Terrier

This is the T-shirt the YW gives participants in the Meltdown program--
much improved by bink, who added her terrier, Alfie, making light of the scale logo.

(So boringly predictable:  even when a program about women's health states that it's not about weight, it's about weight.)

bink's stencil reminds me of the terrier playing with the pine cone at the end of Umberto D.
When feeling annoyed, or worse, with the world, it helps to have a terrier to play with or even just to think about.

Speaking of health,  I'm getting over a head cold and feeling pretty sluggish...

It's Sunday night as I write this, so good night, all!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Marz Clearing the Walk

The blizzard started a couple days ago with freezing rain and ended in blowing snow.
You shovel off the top layer of snow, and there's an ice field below. You either chop it off or leave it until it melts in spring.
Marz really got into chopping and heaving huge chunks of ice.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

"Most people think of a bee as a bee..."

What was the "last unselfconscious drawing" you did? 
(to use a term I found on Lynda Barry's tumblr)

I don't have many drawings from my childhood, so I'm thrilled this BEES CHART somehow survived. I drew it out of my own head ("a bee dead in his newly dug grave umongst the lilys"!) the spring I turned nine. 

Maybe a year or so after this, I wanted to "draw good,"––especially to draw horses right––and I started copying or sketching from life, not just making stuff up.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

A Valentine's Day Hook

I think I've mentioned that a woman I knew in high school is serving time for Addiction-Fueled Bad Choices? I write to her about once a month. From what she says, prison sounds like being trapped in high school, 24/7, with the most bumbling or bullying of the students, teachers (like your shop instructor) who can strip-search you, and nothing but the worst of cafeteria food.

Hooking, she says, helps keep her sane, and at Christmas she sent me a scarf she'd crocheted. 

You can't send presents directly to people in prison, you know, because you might hide Bad Things in them. You can send stuff  through Amazon though, so I subscribed to a crochet magazine for her.

Then I got looking at crochet online (I had no idea!), and for Valentine's Day I printed out this crocheted daffodil pattern for her. 

I thought I'd like to try making it too, though I've never crocheted before. So yesterday, Valentine's Day, I went to a yarn store (it shall remain unnamed, but it's on the west bank) where I had a surprisingly bad time of it. 

Usually people who work with fiber and yarn are more than thrilled to help you. I mentioned to a customer at the thrift store that I was going to start crocheting, for instance, and she said she would come back next week to see how I was getting along.

But I told the yarn-store woman I had no idea what I was doing, and she couldn't have been more sour. Maybe she was having a bad day and my perky demeanor rubber her wrong? 
And maybe her payback for me changing my mind three times about what yarn to buy (surely I'm not alone in this) was to sell me the wrong needle size, which I only noticed this morning when I looked at the chart on the back of the yarn?
Anyway, I decided 
1. I would rather go to the nearby K-Mart to buy the right hook than go back to this store (ever again); and,

2. I am not up for the daffodil pattern and am going to start instead with hooking a square. You can see this Italian wool yarn changes color, so even a square will look cool.

I don't need washcloths, because Poodletail knitted linen washcloths of the most unsurpassably wonderful texture for Christmas, but maybe
I could work up to a hot pad or something.

Ideas welcome.
After the yarn store, Marz and I went to see an exhibit of photos from Siberia at the U's art museum. Some of them look like they could have been taken here--this one, for instance, Anastasia Rudenko’s “Krasnoyarsk” (a city on the Yenisei River), could be on the banks of the Mississippi River, just up from the museum.

I gave Marz some trinkets for V-Day––including a concho (bridle ornament)––from Schatzlein's Saddle Shop. 

She got me a sparkly belt and a card, "Petit Lapin en Croute," that she says is like me, real happy to sit in the pie-crust dough of my thoughts.

Friday, February 14, 2014

bigger inside

"What is your fitness goal for 2014?"
The YW staff posted this question on a big blackboard in the workout area. 

Someone had replied, "Never give up". So last week I added "Never Surrender". 
A joke. "Never give up, never surrender" is a tagline from Galaxy Quest, which pokes fun at such muscle-bound pos-think.

This week I saw that people had added other sci-fi tags:
There is no try, only do  (Yoda)

So say we all (Battlestar Galactica)
and a chalk drawing of the TARDIS. You know, Doctor Who's ship, a blue police call box that is bigger on the inside than the outside.

So I wrote next to the TARDIS, "be bigger inside." 

This morning I sketched some of the animals on my desk, showing [quote from Marz, who wants me to make clear that she is joking] 
their commitment to their goals and their accountability to their responsibility of achieving their dreams forever.

There's something in me that hates the idea of setting goals, as if being human was American football. But as goals go, I could get behind this one.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Me in Paisley

You know I've been into painting paisleys. I've been declaring I would never actually wear paisleys tho', but last nite I bought a black-and-silver paisley jacket at a consignment shop that was selling all its winter stock for $2. It's rayon and polyster--kind of a brocade. This morning, I realized I probably look like a couch in it.

Marz says no, I look like Sherlock! You see why I love the girl.

I spent another $2 on a cotton shirt with a sketchy color picture on it, a scene of the Montmartre area of Paris, with street artists painting on their easels. You know these tops with scenes on them? They sometimes have sparkles and fakey French words on them, like "chocolat." OK, chocolat is real French, but you know what I mean:
wearing phrases like café au lait on your body is not a sign of sophistication.

I always thought that if I could, I would dress like David Bowie in his Thin White Duke stage: all straight-line black and white. 
But as I shop at "my" thrift store, I see that tragically (to my self-image) my taste is closer to Hello Kitty!  

The other day, I bought a top with cute birdies on it... 

And a lamp with a pineapple base.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

[in process] "Taking the Bus to the Library to Find the New Yorker Article My Mother Left Open on Her Bedside Table When She Killed Herself"

When I was watercoloring images of my mother last fall, I was marveling at how well I was doing emotionally and how little impact it all had. 


Some three months later, dare I reapproach?

*tiptoes back to the rough sketches from November*

Taking the Bus to the Library to Find the New Yorker Article My Mother Left Open on Her Bedside Table When She Killed Herself:

"Looking at War: Photography’s view of devastation and death," Susan Sontag, New Yorker, December 9, 2002
[links to article, no photos]

                                       .  .  .  .


Enough of that. I do like my little walking people, but I'd better choose a lighter topic to practice comic-izing, eh? With this topic, I'm moving too slowly to get much practice.

(I'm wondering, is the war photo I sketched, one panel up, recognizable?)

By the way, that SPACESAVER thingie is the control panel to move the shelves in the storage stacks. To save space, the movable shelves are squashed up against one another. They're on tracks, though, and one separates from another when you push the "move" button.

I was inspired to go look at these again by the sketchbook drawings of Rachel Gannon, which delight me. Here's one:

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

UK and US covers of Lively's Memoir

Penelope Lively wrote one of my favorite novels, Passing On, about a middle-aged brother and sister who live with their domineering mother until the mother dies, and what happens then:
nothing too dramatic but like replacing dark, heavy drapes with light muslin ones.

I was interested to see Lively has published a memoir at the age of eighty. Not quite a memoir, she says, "but a view from old age."

I searched for it at the library and couldn't find it by its title, Ammonites & Leaping Fish. It occurred to me it might have a different title in the US, so I searched by author, and sure enough, in the US it's called Dancing Fish and Ammonites.
Even the subtitle has changed, from A Life in Time to A Memoir.

It gets a different cover too. I like the US cover (me, a Pisces), but doesn't it seem spiritually sciencey, like Barbara Kingsolver? Or even slightly salacious, like Mary Renault?

In fact, Lively's writing isn't a saucy frolic; it is rather tight and dry, more like an ammonite, which is one of the things I love about her.

 USA cover, left; UK cover, right

I rarely buy new books, but since this is still on order at the local library, I just ordered it through A Site That Shall Remain Unnamed––a hardcover UK edition, only $11.16 + shipping ($3.99, though it ships from England).