January crow

This week, just a quick sketch of a crow landing in my neighbor's silver maple tree. It's been warm enough to spend coffee and/or cocktail hour on the back porch lately, so I get to see the crows against the sky and hear them saying "hweh-eh" to each other. What does that mean, hweh-eh? Does anyone know?


Harley in the greenhouse

Finally, most of the way through January, I feel settled into the rhythm of winter, no longer resenting the seasonal shift and upheaval of my routine. Drawing, hiking, cooking and construction have each found a place in my week, and I am able to stay awake past 8 pm! Tomorrow I plan to make mole in the morning (I mean the Mexican chocolate-and-chile sauce, not the rodent), and then continue framing the bathroom-to-be in the bakery, and finish up with open studio figure drawing in the evening (Snow White is going to pose for us!). Also finding time to sort through unedited pictures. Here's one from a year ago today.


My mother's dog

I, Rosalita, care nothing for cats.
They smell, and they pester my Mum.
If I spy one, I roll it, I bop it, then bowl it,
and off it goes, back where it came from.


On skunks, ducks, and new goals

Welcome, 2012. The only noteworthy event around here so far this year is a good sound skunking, received by Laika on the coldest day of the winter yet. Even an old arthritic half-deaf dog can still roll a skunk, if the skunk isn't in much better shape than the dog. Shouldn't a skunk be curled up in a holler somewhere, nose tucked under the protective loft of its stinky tail, on a 17 degree day?

Along with 2011, so went Laika's sparkly red holiday bow, befouled as it was. The whole scenario struck me as quite funny, and Matt pointed out that there is often nothing to improve my dreary mood like a small misfortune that results in an unscheduled period of scouring. It's true. If Laika makes a wretched mess on the floor, and then stands there considering the pile in the same ears-at-attention way she might track a shrew under the snow... Well, I just can't wait to tell someone all about it. Like it or not, I'm going to have to clean it up. So I might as well delight in the disgusting turn my day has unexpectedly taken. My parents, Matt, and his little sister can always be counted on to relish any pets-gone-putrid tale I have to tell.

On a grander note... I feel the need to set some goals for myself this year, to alleviate the dissatisfaction I've been feeling at being neither here nor there. I am ready to leave the city for the country, but the timing is not right. I am eager to quit landscaping for a living, but have no clear idea how to replace that income. We have plans to camp our way across the country, to buy ducks, to build a house... But it all seems so far off! I am not accustomed to waiting - I don't believe I've ever had to do it before. When I've set my mind on something new, I've just gone off and done it, damn it. Is this part of being all grown up, this planning and projecting? I seem to have an adult's time schedule, and still a teenager's impatience.

I am drawing a lot, and my goal for 2012 is to pursue that as hard as I can. Can I make part of a living drawing pictures? All I require is part of a living - I want to be outside the other half of the time, engaged in good old fashioned farm labor... splitting firewood, turning compost, conversing with goats.

And so. Along with the usual stuff, I will be posting one drawing a week, from here on out, until perhaps the day when I am too busy trying to wrangle my livestock. Or until my goals change.

Happy new year to everyone! I hope your dreams for the coming months are vibrant and inspiring.