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May 25, 2010


I like the sketch as is. And I always love hearing stories of your youth.

You are more of a hockey fan than I am, Beth!!

I delight in the ambivalence of the last phrase.

Thanks, Kim. Marja-Leena -- I rather doubt it! And Deb - yes, you're right but I didn't even see it when I wrote it!

I'm not a hockey fan at all, Beth, so un-Canadian in some circles.

I'd like to say again that I think your sketches are delightful and must such pleasure for you! They are making me realize how long I've been away from doing them myself, favouring the digital processes perhaps too much.

Thanks, Marja-Leena. One good thing about coming back to art after a long absence is that I'm kinder to myself! The process matters more to me now than the result, and so I find I'm more able to let go and just have fun, experiment, and not feel bad when I do crummy work. My goal is to draw a little every day, enjoy it, and fill up my sketchbook -- and trust that I'll learn some things in the process. Sketching, like keeping a diary, also makes a record of one's life, and during the move I enjoyed revisiting old sketchbooks I found for that reason. So I hope you'll maybe take up your pens and pencils again too!

You and the sketchcrawl website inspired me. Attending the "Hessler Street Fair" in a particularly green and ancient part of Cleveland last weekend, I had some time to kill while my daughter hung out with a volunteer at the kids' activities table. There on the counter were a pile of pastels and some big sheets of glossy paper. I have no idea what the organizers intended, but I set out to kill some time by sketching the scene before me. After a few minutes, it wasn't killing time at all. People wandering by remarked that they wished THEY could do that and I was too absorbed to say anything -- now I wish I had looked up and told them they CAN, and certainly could do it as well as me. Just try.

My pastime wasn't quite up to the standard of the fifth-grade boy who buttonholed my daughter and told her a whole long story he had illustrated with feral penguins, tanks and obscure machinery on his paper, but I wasn't trying to impress anyone, even me. It was a great deal of fun, and next time I will take a pencil.

That's the best possible response to this blog post I could imagine, Peter! (You do have a talent for drawing, after all...and I'm glad the convergence of inspiration and materials may have reminded you!)

I would love to see a subtle self-portrait in that sketch--a woman in the grass, sketching.

And Beth! We are planning a trip to Montreal this June. I would love to see you.

One of my favorite hospice patients was a hockey player from Eveleth MN so I learned a lot of hockey history from listening to his stories of the first competitive teams forming in the U.S. My favorite story was that of his aging,non-English speaking, and quite poor mother attending a game in Chicago, a trip which was paid for by the town putting coins in jars in the local store. The announcer introduced her as a special guest at the big arena, everyone applauded. I can't imagine how that must have felt, but I enjoy trying to.

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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.