Monday, December 31, 2012

Five Minutes: Mop Top

Definitely some of that nerdy hipster thing going on. But what era of nerdy hipster? So hard to say, what with all the blending of vintage and current styles these days. Hmm...


Sunday, December 30, 2012

Five Minutes: Mr. Fedora

I'm pretty sure this guy either commits or solves crimes.

Shopping Carts

Friday, December 28, 2012

Five Minutes: Lady with Parasol

Again, the speed drawing can lead to pleasant surprises/discoveries. It turns out an illustrated character doesn't need a face to have plenty of personality.


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Five Minutes: Man with Furrowed Brow1

1 "Furrow": I assume that's one of those words that started out as a metaphor — likening the wrinkles of a brow to the furrows of a field — but then the metaphorical meaning became primary and the original became secondary — people don't talk much about field furrows these days (I suppose a consequence of our shift away from the agrarian lifestyle). And it's one of those words that almost always travels in a pair: one rarely hears the word "furrow" except in the company of "brow".

Coca-Cola and Tacos

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Five Minutes: Man in Mustard Jacket

So angry. I think he's bitter about his outdated fashion choices.

Picket Fence and Flowers

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Not Exactly a Winter Wonderland

A few degrees shy of eighty, bright sun intermittently obscured by darting little cumuli, wind; wind gusting well into twenty-something miles per hour, wind that caused the transformer a couple blocks over to blow-out so loudly that one instinctively ducked. And then it somehow blew out again. And again. (Unless it was different transformers . I would have thought a given transformer could only explode once.) And so the power is out. And so I sit on the balcony, watching the willow whip, kept company by Floyd (who is watching the street, hoping for another glance of those kids on their new mini-motorcycles, thinking how much he'd like to catch one.) I'm not complaining. This is alright by me.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

My Morning Coffee: Charming Mismatch

Another mismatched pair, a cup and saucer that each lost their original mates but found their way to a new life together. Quirky, don't quite "go" together, but I like them nonetheless.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Five Minutes:1 "Tick Tock"

Yes, while doing my speed doodling, I've got the ticking of the clock on the brain, and apparently I projected these thoughts on my subject.

1 I was quite virtuous, precisely obeying the time constraints this time.

My Morning Coffee: JFK's Secretary's Demitasse

Is this the one that belonged to JFK's secretary? Yeah, it's this one. (You'll have to forgive me; it's not easy remembering the provenance of all my cups. And I have another that's similar.) A gift from a friend. I don't know all the particulars of its journey, but I'm sure happy to have it. And regardless of origins, it's lovely.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Five(-ish1) Minutes: Mister Big Beard

Are those pajamas? Do you think he's also wearing bunny slippers? (I'm getting a Russian author vibe, a Russian author settling in for cozy time.)

1 I kept really really close to five minutes this time, palpitations and all.

Portrait of the Blogger as a Reflection in the Chrome of a Cool-Ass Car

Thursday, December 20, 2012

5:45 AM

Seventy degrees — freakishly warm even by our standards — and humid (the wire again buzzing), low clouds racing overhead (like apocalyptic horseman should come galloping by any time), the willow periodically whipped sideways by sudden fearsome gusts; a weird and wonderful morning, but a harbinger of changes to come.1

1 A little later, it started pouring and the temperature dropped about twenty degrees.

Ten Minutes1: Guy in Shades and Red T-Shirt

1 The five minute time limit was giving me palpitations.

Cyclone Fence

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Five (and Change1) Minutes: Lady in Red2

Ooh la la. Très chic, non?

1 "... and Change" because when five minutes was up I'd done all the doodling but only just started the red, and of course I couldn't leave her dress half-did or her hair undone; I couldn't deny her the bright and sassy shoes (and the curiously red olive in her martini); so I stretched things a couple minutes. (Five minutes is really short.)

2 This is an example of a brain scrambled surprise: I would never have whipped up this loosey-goosey la-di-da lady if I'd had time to think about what I was doing.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Pre-Dawn Sounds

  • The buzzing of the electric wire that always buzzes when the air is wet
  • Somewhere to the left, the on-again off-again hooting of an owl
  • A cat fight
  • The caws of a  murder of crows, travelling, near right to straight out far away
  • The perpetual cresting and falling of distant Claiborne traffic
  • Briefly, up the street, a loud man's voice
  • An idling truck
  • The soft hopping of Pearl, between the potted plants, through the railing, exploring the balcony's perimeter, then back again, then out again, then back again, according to her feline whims
  • The first staccato drops of rain, which then stops, then starts, then stops, then starts again, following its meteorological whims
  • The thunk of a car door, a neighbor off to work
  • Across the street, the meows of another cat, unseen, unhappy about something
  • A squeaking rattling bicycle
Then dawn, which makes no sound at all, indeterminate through the cover of clouds, making itself known only by the change from dark purple- to mid-gray.

Five Minutes: Man in Blue Sweater

The next in my five-minute drawing series. The theme, thus far, seems to be funny-looking middle-aged men staring to the left. I think I'll try to stick with this exercise. I have a hypothesis: the results will be a combination of (1) falling back on old habits and (2) brain-scrambled surprises that would never occur in more measured situations. Time will tell.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Inflatable Santa

Dunno, he seems sort of menacing to me. Perhaps a touch of the Ghostbusters Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Five Minutes: Glasses, Coat, and Tie

I felt like mixing things up a bit, so I decided just now to play a little game: draw somebody/thing in five minutes.1 I set the timer, went to it, and along came this guy. Five minutes isn't very long, doesn't give you time to think about what you're going to draw, doesn't give you time to sweat the details, just gives you time for your brain/hand to go zoop-zoop-zoop-zoop-zoop-zoop-zoop-zoop...2 There! The result is imperfect to be sure — I just noticed he doesn't have any eyebrows — but it's got something, a human essence. An Oxford don, perhaps?3

1 Well, I felt like mixing things up, and I was sort of busy but still wanted to draw something today. Win, win.

2 Apparently "zoop" is the metaphorical sound my brain/hand makes while drawing quickly.

3 This interpretation is almost certainly influenced by my recent viewing of the Inspector Lewis TV series.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

From the Doodle-Ma-Tron: Incomplete Lady

I drew this lady, but then I couldn't figure out how I should draw her arms and legs, and I thought about it for a while, and I tried various options, but none of them were to my liking, and then I just decided to let it be and post the drawing as is, incomplete, so doesn't that make it not just a drawing but a meta-comment on the process of drawing, transcending its status as mere illustration? That or I'm lazy. Hmm...

Monday, December 10, 2012


Our mosquitoes buzz
All year long,
Buzzing their little
"Gonna-getchya" song —
On July Fourth
And Christmas Day.
Oh when will they when will they
Go away?

1 Composed at six this morning, on my balcony, while being bitten by mosquitos.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Saturday, December 08, 2012

"TREET... your SELF"

Painted on the front window of a (now abandoned) house a few blocks over. I'm curious what the former owner's exact thought process was when he or she decided to share these words of wisdom with the world. (This was certainly painted long before that Parks and Recreation episode was even a twinkle in a script writer's eye.)

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Meet Floyd

Meet Floyd. He's a good dog. He's a very good dog. And now he's our dog. He was going to be a euthanized dog, but now he's our dog, and I think we can all agree that's a much better outcome. Reasons he's a very good dog:
  • He's hilarious.
  • He's 25 lbs. which is a perfect dog size.
  • He's very sweet.
  • He's a mutt. (Mutts are the best.) We figure maybe some Blue Heeler plus something smaller and sort of sausagey.
  • His name is Floyd, which is awesome. He came with the name, though we know nothing else of his origins. It's a good country name, reminds me of old timers back in Virginia. (Plus if he is indeed part Blue Heeler, then he's part herding dog, and herding dogs should always have monosyllabic names so one can efficiently shout instructions to them as they round up and move the livestock. Back on the farm, all our sheep dogs always had monosyllabic names.)
  • He mostly doesn't try to eat the cats.
  • The cats mostly don't try to claw him.
  • I'm not sure what he ate before he became our dog, but he's kind of confused about dog food and isn't quite convinced it's edible. But if we add parmesan cheese, he becomes convinced that it's very delicious and scarfs it all up.
  • He really likes long walks, which is good because I like long walks, and when we go on long walks he pees everywhere and I take pictures of everything — photos of shadows and flowers and stuff — and then I post those here. And sometimes they're pretty good.
  • He looks and acts a little bit like Penny, one of the best dogs ever. (Penny's long good life ended last year. We didn't want to get a new dog right away, but now it was getting to be time again — I'd started eying the neighborhood strays — and then Floyd came along, and voila!)
  • Delilah likes to go on walks with Floyd almost as much as she liked to go on walks with Penny.
  • He gets sort of confused by steps and spends a long time thinking about them before climbing them which is sort of funny.
  • He thinks maybe he would like to chase and catch a motorcycle, which of course we don't actually let him do. What would happen if he caught one? "Man, this big weird shiny animal tastes terrible!"
  • He's afraid of puddles.
  • He has a very funny prancy walk and his tail curves straight up and flickers happily back and forth as he trots along.
  • He barks at dogs on the television.
  • He drinks coffee. Really. I'll be hanging out on the balcony with him, drinking a morning cup of joe, and he'll come and start lapping up the inky black bitter stuff. I let him do this a teeny bit because: a) It's hilarious. b) Any dog that drinks coffee is clearly my soulmate. I only let him do it a teeny bit because: a) I'm not sure a highly caffeinated Floyd would be a good thing. b) I want my coffee. Back off dog. c) I'm not entirely enthused about having my beverage lapped up by the same tongue that is used to lick doggy hinder-bits.
  • He's just all around really cool and good-natured.
So you can see, he is indeed a very good dog. Good boy, Floyd.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012


The gals and I went to Saturday's Draw-A-Thon, twenty-four hours of all sorts of drawing shenanigans in which anybody and everybody — kids, adults, amateurs, experts —can draw pretty much whatever they want, pretty much wherever they want: on the walls, on the floor (all paper-covered), at one of the many workstations. I'd never been before. It was a hoot. I played a large scale version of the typically smaller scale game I often play with kids: draw something and let them color it as they see fit. 'Twas a pleasure.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Man in Green Shirt

He's definitely got a story. And it ain't a particular happy one. (My doodle-characters tend towards the morose.) I wonder what sad memory or regret he's pondering. Hmm...

Saturday, December 01, 2012

National Fence

This one fits nicely in the intersection of my chain-link-fences and funky-old-signage photo fixations.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Mr. Turtleneck

I have a turtleneck like that. I think it dates back to the 70s. It shows absolutely no signs of age. I think it's made of some sort of magic fabric. I wonder if his is magic too.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Jimmy Stripes: Outlaw Country Singer

Wow! Whodathunk little Jimmy would grow up to be a long-haired hard-drinkin' hell-raisin' outlaw country singer?1 But there he is. And Big Jimmy wants to wish you a damn fine Turkey Day. Gobble Gobble!

1 As I said, in the absence of guidance, this game is subject to the whims of my psyche, and who the hell knows where that will lead.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Shadows 'N' Stuff

Ooh, look! Three of my photo fetishes all in one: utility meters, shadows, and peeling paint on dilapidated houses. A triple-whammy. Boom!