Showing posts from May, 2020

Some New Rhinos

Since the quarantine I've been spending a lot of time in my home studio, and I got infected with the Kondo virus--you know--"The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up."  It's not a bad exercise when done in moderation.  You know all those annoying little things around the house that you look at and think, "I ought to fix that..." and never think about and a few years go by? I've been taking care of them, and it's SO satisfying! Several trips to the hardware store and a visit from the handyman-I guess he's an essential worker.  His name is Angel and he lives up to it. I'm feeling so proud that when I wake up in the middle of the night I come in here and just look. Then I went through my flat files and sorted all my drawings into categories--I even made labels for each drawer; I found several pieces that I'd abandoned as hopeless and thought, "Hmmm, this is really not so bad; I think I can do something with this." One of those


Sunday was the anniversary of the day Lucy came to live with us. To celebrate I commissioned my friend, Ryan Bauer -Walsh, to paint her portrait dressed like a Jane Austen character. Which character? Let's look at Pride and Prejudice. She's beautiful and sweet-tempered, so, Jane, Mr. Bennett's eldest daughter. She can be a bit wanton in her affections and her manners; when greeting an old friend she sometimes gets so excited she has to pee. We call it the Pee of Joy.  That would make her kind of a Lydia, the flighty youngest Bennett sister. Out on the street, I'm afraid she has a bit of Lady Catherine de Bourgh in her treatment of big dogs and skateboarders; "By what right are you on this sidewalk?  How dare you, and be gone immediately." But look at those fine eyes and what my friend, Bunny, calls her look of intellectual curiosity. Consider the discernment with which she regards the gentlemen dogs who approach her. She is definitely a Lizzie. so

Something Else I Love

I love chairs. I like to draw them. I collect little chairs. I gave most of my collection to Molly; she sits her dolls in them and they play school. I bought this one in Havana.  It's from a painting by Wilfredo Lam. Some chairs seem to open their arms and say, let me give you a hug. Some remind me of people I love. Some seem to say, "Let's have a party!" I googled "Paintings of chairs" and got an endless list.  At the top of the list was this one; I know you know this painter. To draw a chair is also a pretty good lesson in perspective. There's something about an empty chair that evokes a human being without actually presenting one. Think about the Oklahoma City National Monument. My Aunt Jan bought this little beauty for Jessie when she was just a toddler.  Jessie took one look at it and sat down, delighted to find a chair she didn't have to climb onto. She could sit with dignity, like a grown-


One Spring day when Jessie was very little she looked up and said, “Oh, look, the leaves have come back from where they go in the winter. I think new leaves do look kind of like butterflies resting on the branches. And oh that shade of green really speaks to me. One of the joys of parenthood for me was the way my children played with language as they learned. There’s a quote I can’t find, I think it’s Nabokov in Speak, Memory, or maybe it’s Tolstoy, about the private jokes, mispronunciations that become standard usage, little sayings families share that bind us together. Listening to other people’s baby-talk can be obnoxious, so I won’t go any further, except to share the time I said to my father, "Where's the  garbage can?" and he said sternly, “In this house we say Bo-Bo Can.” Now that we’re practicing social distancing, long walks are one of the things we can still enjoy as long as we wear our masks and New York is looking great. Did you hear me com