August Draw A Bird Day – The Emperor

TheEmperorI wanted to reveal the next drawing in my “Major Arcana” series for August’s Draw-A-Bird Day. Officially, Draw-A-Bird Day is April 8th each year: you can visit the D.A.B.D. website here – thank you to M.R. Emberson of A-Wing and A-Away for introducing us to it!  A number of artist-bloggers here on Word Press have been celebrating it by posting a bird drawing on the 8th of every month. Laura at Create Art Every Day is hosting this month’s birdy gathering! Thank you, Laura!

The Emperor is a Jabiru stork, one of the largest birds in South America: large males can stand 5 feet tall and have a 9 foot wingspan. They eat small animals of almost any variety – frogs, lizards, crustaceans, and even mice and other birds. Drawing (colored pencil and ink on paper) by me. Have a Happy Draw-A-Bird-Day! If you’d like to see the other two drawings in my bird themed Major Arcana series: The Tower and The Wheel of Fortune.

Double Original Friday – Motto of the Grand Old Order of Molluscs and Chelonii

turtlesnailhaikuchallengeI wrote this haiku in response to a Ronovan Writes Haiku Challenge (if you don’t know about these, I do recommend them) almost two years ago – and it is amazing to me that it’s been that long. But it is still one of my favorite haiku I’ve written, as it satisfies the science nerd inside of me, so I am reposting it! The challenge words way back then were “Snail” and “Turtle” and the first thing I thought of was that they both have shells, albeit made of very different materials. “Molluscs” and “Chelonii” are the taxonomic Orders of snails and turtles, respectively. Poem and photo (one from a long ago trip to Sequoia National Park) by me. Have a wonderful Friday!

Excerpt Tuesday – Half-way – Craig

Halfway_CraigI often stew on poems (and a poet’s blog, for that matter) for a long time before coming up with an illustration, so today’s post has been a comparative whirlwind for me! I have only recently become acquainted with Mr. Rico Craig and his fantastic poetry blog ricoandhisroboteye – and on top of that this particular poem of his, posted on Jan 21st, was an example of one that strikes me with an illustration immediately upon reading it.  Mr. Craig calls Half-way an “oddity from 2015,” but for me so far, it is a standout.  I do highly recommend reading the whole poem here.

With this illustration I decided to embrace a “no-erase” policy and to try to work my mistakes into the drawing (pointillism shading really helps with that: it covers almost any stray mark up!) or to simply let them be when they occurred. Drawing (ink on paper) and composition by me, excerpt from Half-way by Rico Craig. Enjoy!


Illustration Friday – The Tower

TheTowerWell, this is my second entry for the Draw-A-Bird Day that is on the 8th of every month. Clearly I don’t do well with deadlines! I chose a Western Grebe this month. The scene is sadly one I personally witnessed not long ago on the beach. I see multiple groups of volunteers regularly cleaning this stretch of beach, which is in a state reserve, bags full of trash – and yet more debris keeps coming every day. I decided to keep my theme of the major arcana – perhaps I will wind up with a tarot deck of Draw-A-Bird Day art! Drawing (colored pencil and pen on paper) and composition by me. If you’d like to see my first entry for Draw-A-Bird Day, click here. Ms. Laura of the fabulous Create Art Everyday blog is the curator of Draw-A-Bird Day, check it out and join in (even if you are chronically late like me).


Double Original Friday – Black Star

Black StarRight before Halloween, Ms. Kerfe Roig of MethodTwoMadness posted a beautiful drawing of a bat and wrote about the precarious conservation state of most bat species (check it out here!). Many years ago, I attended a presentation by a scientist from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service where he detailed the efforts to find the origin of White Nose Syndrome in bats. White Nose Syndrome is a fungal disease that is decimating bat populations in the eastern U.S. It turned out that a hiker in New England – not a scientist or a Forest Service employee – provided the photograph of the bat that had been identified as “patient zero” of the epidemic. I have always been struck by that fact – that any one of us could be the singular witness to an important ecological event and that what we see and remember is so significant. Today’s poem and illustration are inspired by the memory of the bats I would see as a child and Kerfe’s post. Poem, drawing, and mixed media collage by me. Have a great Friday!

Old Poem Saturday – Death of A Frog – Hagiwara

DeathofaFrogI was first introduced to this poem in a tattered second-hand poetry anthology – it was in the chapter entitled “Visions of the End,” which already lends a sinister feel to every poem contained within. But Sakutarō Hagiwara’s short poem does a handy job of casting a deep foreboding without any help from an anthology editor. When Hagiwara succumb to what was most likely lung cancer before his 56th birthday during the throes of WWII, the world lost the father of modern and free verse Japanese poetry. Photo and composition by me.

Old Poem Saturday – Epigram by Frost

Old Poem Saturday - Epigram by Frost

“The Span of Life” by Robert Frost (1874-1963). Photograph by Ms. Dawn Wenrich of Lake Piru, California  – visit her website and linger on the beautiful photography. Composition by me. I hope everyone is enjoying the first weekend of fall (although it doesn’t feel like fall yet)!

Double Original Friday – Motto of the Grand Old Order of Molluscs and Chelonii


This poem is an answer to a haiku challenge from RonovanWrites to use the words “Turtle” and “Snail” in a haiku. Well, I took the challenge, but interpreted it loosely – their scientific names made it into the title! Poem, photograph (of the General Grant tree in Sequoia National Forest), and composition by me. Happy Friday!