A Quabbin Summer Solstice

You’d think, with all this extra time, I could keep up with my sketchbook … I’m not even drawing that much right now. So be it. Quabbin Reservoir is amazing … you can look it up … Western Massachusetts’ watershed, wisely protected and guarded (don’t even think about wading), it’s pristine and uncrowded. We drive 5 minutes, walk 1/2 mile, and settle for hours.

The text is a big bit of Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poem, “That Nature is a Heraclitean Fire,” which tends to go on and on. I’m fond of words that never seem to end.

Sheltered at Home

There are days when I am grateful for this sketchbook and this practice. This day was one of those days.

The other practice, new this year with this new yard, has been weaving bittersweet vines. First there were the baskets … but best of all, a trellis for the sweet peas. Mornings you’ll find me out there whispering, “Grow! Grow!”


A young girl age 6 asked her mama to tell her what she did at the university where she went every day. “I am in the art department. I teach people how to draw and paint,” she replied. “You mean they forgot?!”

And speaking of “?!” – that’s called an interrobang. Also, no one ever told me the exclamation point is called a ‘bang’ in printers’ jargon. This is definitely something I should know! (?!)

Amazing Grace

Hiding in here in Western Mass, in the deep woods, I guess it’s time to reach out a little bit. Visiting California – before the world changed – was a dip back into old friendships, landscapes, with the added treat of an afternoon with new MacDowell friends. We caught up on life after MacDowell – another version of world-changing – but our personal worlds. Life is strange, scary, and wonderful. I think it is meant to be this way. I’m only guessing.

February 2020

2020 will most likely be a time we look back on … will we understand what has happened? But now, in the present moment, I’m willing to say, here I am; here I was; and this is what matters to me now. That I went to California by train alone to partake of my SF guild’s calligraphy retreat. That together 30 calligraphers worked in a silent scriptorium at Santa Sabina center on the Dominican U. campus. There are no words. It was magic.