086:365 Gracie as the Cadbury Bunny

086:365 Gracie as the Cadbury Bunny

Gracie examines my costume design for him. He is not amused.

When I was a kid, the Cadbury Creme Eggs were my favorite! I would wait patiently for Easter, hunt for my baskets, and promptly devour as many of them as I was allowed.  It should be noted that I would also wait patiently for Passover so I could eat charoset, and my birthday to eat cake,  Purim so I could eat hamantaschen, and Christmas so I could eat gingerbread.

The ads for the Cadbury Bunny Auditions were so cute. I can just picture Gracie plodding on screen and crying, “Maaaah!” as they try to coach him to cluck like a chicken.

What sorts of sweets and sweet-centered traditions did you grow up with?

072:365 Think 3 Steps Ahead

072:365 Think 3 Steps Ahead

072:365 Think 3 Steps Ahead
This morning, despite Monday’s brief foray into shorts-weather, there was nearly an inch of snow on the ground when I went out the door. Although it was barely an inch, it was more slippery than some of the piles of snow we got in February, maybe because it is a little warmer outside and so it melts and re-freezes as you drive on it.

After my morning errands, I arrived home and decided to walk in the bright cold air to get us some coffee and donuts. I realized that I haven’t taken many snow-photos, so I snapped a few.

So much for an early spring!

Then on the way back, one patch of sidewalk had been un-trampled and I decided to do a playful photo of my footsteps being laid out before me. Of course it is a simple photo to take, you just jump off your footprints, walk around the outside of where you’re going to frame the photo, and then snap it. But it adds a touch of surprise since the footsteps usually go behind the person, not vice versa.

And it got me thinking about how people make plans, play games, run politics. It’s almost as if we think we can know what the next three steps are in life. But it isn’t like chess, which already has a lot of permutations of moves, in life, there are so many ways of being that who we were and who we are do not predict who we will become as people.

Making the choice of studying to be an artist or an engineer; a lawyer or a novelist, changes the possible outcomes to an extent because in a world as big as ours, having qualifications is extremely important.

But I have a friend who has an engineering and a law degree who works as a circus artist and teacher. And I have an art degree, but am currently making the most money from the little bit of computer-geekiness at manipulating data and light coding that I’ve accrued by osmosis and necessity. Even my father, who speaks several languages and graduated with English and Russian majors, didn’t work in his fields of study until retirement, now publishing articles, teaching, and researching.

And those are only the very concrete things that make us who we are. How we treat other people, how we choose to react to problems, and how we are able to solve daily problems are a whole other field of being that qualifications say nothing about on paper. We may guess that a person who is good at engineering will have a neat house, or that a lawyer likes to argue, but I’ve met messy engineers and reserved lawyers.

When I was twenty, I knew who I was. It was a certainty that I had defined. Allida is this, she isn’t that. But in the last several years, choices and opportunities have come that changed my direction. I’ve met and got along with the kinds people who I always thought hated me. I’m more flexible and stronger than I thought, and though life has been difficult sometimes, I now feel a graceful balance at the core of myself. It was always there, but now I feel it more deeply.

But now, seeing all the choices ahead of me; all the steps that show the way forward in the snowy sidewalk of life, I’m not sure of myself. Those three steps ahead seem to open up an infinite number of other steps in an infinite number of directions. There are limitations set down by the first step which will mar the snow. Perhaps I’m afraid that this next first step will limit the next three.

By now, I know that you can’t always go back, but with a little creativity, like the photo, you can get around things and get somewhere that seems impossible when you start.

060:365 Gracie on a Summer Evening

060:365 Gracie on a Summer Evening

Here’s a pic from last summer of Gracie surreptitiously pretending to take a bath after chasing a squirrel who dashed away too fast for him to catch. He looked up as if to say, “See, I’m just taking a bath!” Typical feline nonchalance.

Again this is that new recycled toned paper from Strathmore. I’m a big fan of paper that isn’t white, especially with pastels. It has a glow about it that doesn’t come through with white paper, and it makes you look at hue, tone, and color differently. This tan doesn’t hit you over the head, but sets a nice neutral background for achieving that glow. And as you might have guessed, I love environmentally conscious products. Although it doesn’t have as high a percentage of recycled content as some papers, it still has 30%!

Say goodnight Gracie!

This is the Instagram photo that the drawing is based on. Although I like to draw from life, I’m feeling nostalgic for warmer weather. We are still covered under several inches of snow, and though it’s pretty, it’s also wet, cold, and hazardous. Hopefully March will be kinder than February!

032:365 Dreaming of Electric Mice

032:365 Dreaming of Electric Mice

Since my first Gracie narrative was so popular, I decided to do another one. Here’s our gender-identity confused cat, Gracie, asleep on my bed dreaming of his afternoon while I take a picture of him with the iPad and then set up an iterative one-liner.

"Goodnight, Gracie!"

In every cat’s dream, there is a cat dreaming, of a cat dreaming, of a cat dreaming…!

Night Sky


After yesterday’s fireworks, I wanted to play some more with the night sky. So, inspired by this previous entry about photography at night, I drew this one.

It may not be finished.

It doesn’t capture the essence of the original photo, but it has it’s own charm.

One of my favorite exercises in art school was trying to make a drawing in one medium look like another medium. But it is very difficult.

There is something about the way the photo became pixelated and ombréd that hasn’t yet transferred into this drawing.

Since the photo seemed to me about the way light shapes perception, and how by pushing the boundaries of recorded light, what can be perceived is not what you see.

This exercise pushes at those boundaries but through a manual rather than a technological angle. What we see can be transferred to paper, but it is never the same as the reality. In this case, in going for abstraction, there are two levels of removal from reality.

When we talk about anything that we have experienced, there is the removal of time from the moment of perception, and then the removal of the effort of word, or in this case image, from reality.

But the moment of communication– speaking or drawing– is its own moment and can be lived as an additional experience.

Maybe that’s why I’m so excited about concentric circles. Every moment contains other moments, and yet creates its own. There is an infinity of moments in every second.