Ron Weasley, here to tell you I’m back

Ron WeasleyRon looks skeptical, but I’m back.

Or I’m going to try to be.

It feels good to be drawing more again after a creative hiatus last fall–stressful work, health issues, fun visits with my sister all seemed to throw me off. And after I’d had a good summer for drawing, especially with Prismacolor markers. I’m not sure why, but it seems after a break, I come back stronger. Maybe it’s just the cyclical nature of things. But it could also be that I stopped trying so hard to do so-called “great work” and just drew for the fun of it, just drew what I liked. I drew chibis, I drew Harry Potter, I used lots of color. I’m not a professional and I’m never going to be.

I’d also like to be active on this blog again. As a sign of that, here’s a recent marker drawing of one of my favorite Harry Potter characters, Ron Weasley. He, along with drawings from last summer, can now be found in my newly updated Harry Potter gallery. I hope you enjoy it.

Family drawings for the holidays

1969 Family

1982 Liz wins art prize

I gave drawings for all my Christmas gifts this year. Most of my effort went into one particular gift: about a dozen old photos I used to make a family drawings coloring book / album for my parents and my sisters. (Crayons included, of course.) I hope they all enjoy it. We always got coloring books and big boxes of crayons each year, pictures to enjoy and add to, sometimes paper dolls to color and cut out, plus the wonderfully heady smell of fresh wax crayons…Ah! And so this idea was born.

These are two of my favorites, all of us together, c.1969, and a few of us celebrating one of Liz’s art wins c.1982. Not all of the likenesses are perfect, but I like them as a drawings, and the process of studying the faces as they changed with time was super interesting. I wanted to do so many more, but ran out of time. Too bad I don’t get my good ideas in July…

Inspiration from Many Sources

2015-10 Mary Kirk and Manga Girl

multi 1 multi 1_0003

2015-11-2 from Frank Stockton 2015-11-30 from Moebius 2015-12-01 from Skottie Young Oz mini 2015-10-25 Lizella multi 1_0002 dk mini

With my focus lately on wrapping up the Duckworth revision, I’ve not been posting as many of my drawings, but of course I am still drawing every day. There have been the usual ups and downs: late in October I was doing a lot of work I enjoyed, but more recently I’ve been on a downturn. With writing sliding into the back seat for a few miles, I hope to focus more on drawing through the end of the year. To kick off a little more intensity, I decide to post the best of what I’ve been up to.

I’ve been looking to many sources for inspiration: Downton Abbey, Star Trek, manga, people I see around me, Drawing Tutorials Online (especially the work of June and Alex), and the work of Frank Stockton, Skottie Young and Moebius. There are rendered portraits, original characters in several styles, caracatures….just about anything that struck my fancy. I imagine the ideal would be to be very serious and focused, working through various exercises to gain definite skills and improve where I’m faulty, and I hope that day won’t be far off, but for now, what I want to do is have fun when I draw. And that’s what this work is, the fruit of fun.

It is said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery; I hope so. I’m trying to learn and so I choose the inspiration I like the best.

(Media: markers, pencil and colored pencils)

On Missing Someone–Rachael O’Ceiran


Thanksgiving means I’m missing someone…

Rachael O’Ceiran was my best friend.

No one was so beautiful, so full of life. No one ever supported me, believed in me (without retaliation or competition); dreamed my futures with me in sync with dreams I actually had for myself; stuck needles into me to resolve arthritis pain whether I believed in them or not (it felt so good); re-taught me the principles of wu wei (we’ve been here before,lives and lives); shopping for Halloween stuff, her favorite holiday; registering as “Morrissey” whenever we made reservations; bonding over David Lynch, punk and John Waters; laughing over too much wine (in the gravy) while I cooked Thanksgiving dinner…

Once her life had come apart–divorce, kids dispersed, love in ruins–she often came to stay over Thanksgiving. We had so much fun together. Sure, she was a handful–bi-polar is no cotton-candy theme park ride–though she never told me what drove her to her extremes…that came out at her memorial. I just took them as given. I’m not an easy ticket to draw either–and I think we always got that about each other.

I never knew a person so alive…Was it because of the bi-polar I didn’t know about until she was gone? Or was she just a human fireworks show that somehow came into a little still-life world like mine? I still see her sometimes in dreams (once she appeared and said “You know I’m dead, don’t you?”) and I know I’ll see her again, as I have before, more times than I can account for…

We met in college (this time) when I was a film major and one of my projects was an 8mm study of her which I titled “You Don’t Need to go to College to be a Success,” from a clipping pasted to her dorm wall. (Same woman who had an Eraserhead poster as a part of her newlywed apartment decor.) Maybe the film has disintegrated too much after 30+ years, but I need to see if I can recover it. If I can, I’ll post it here.

The film ends with a candle flame and the words of a The Smiths song:

And if a double-decker bus
Crashes in to us
To die by your side
Is such a heavenly way to die
And if a ten ton truck
Kills the both of us
To die by your side
Well the pleasure, the privilege is mine

You were only 20. I was 28. The best of times. Still so grateful and so thankful. I understand the need to be done with it all; I really do. Still. Still, I miss you.

Rach, how I wish you were here.

What I Did on My Summer Vacation

mks006  Napping 2015-09-09

My sister Elizabeth and I spent a week at the beach, and since both of us are artists, we packed for plenty of drawing time. We brought watercolor, acrylics, colored pencils, a variety of markers and pens, drawing pencils… and used almost none of it.

Maybe if we had a few more days…a few more weeks…We did take one day to do some sketching, but mainly we just relaxed and had a good time, which more needed than I realized. Beautiful times, if not abundant work

Self-Portrait, Profile

Self-Portrait, Profile, pencil, 2015

Self-Portrait, Profile, pencil, 2015

I’ve been shocked in recent photos at the seemingly sudden appearance of the signs of aging. I guess that means that in the ordinary routine of dressing, washing face, fixing hair, that I’m not really paying attention, or if I do, I put down any alterations to stress or a restless night. But no. I’m approaching my 55th birthday–this is what it is.

On the Street


It’s times like this I want a cell phone camera…rainy January bus ride…Dude has the weird-coolest umbrella I have ever seen. These pictures do not do it justice. Sure, it’s basically an ad for Kraken Rum, if you know what the stuff even is, but otherwise, dude’s carrying a funky octopus umbrella. I kept staring at it; I really wanted to ask to touch it. Too bad I am so socially repressed. It was awesome.

This, though, is perhaps the ultimate in sculptural squamous-ness….

Kraken 3