I shot these when out with Chris John for a walk with the dogs. I really like these shots, however, they are not print worthy (I didn't use a tripod). So I'll just call them preliminaries for future shots.


This took me four nights to complete. The last night I had it just the graphite and thought to add color pencil to make it clear that it is a cap gun and not a real pistol. In retrospect, I wish I had left it without the colored pencil.


This is a quick sketch with pencil, ink and brush, and colored pencil on watercolor paper. This is Stormy napping in his new favorite place, on the futon in my studio where he can keep his eye on the duckling (Charlie).


This was taken this morning at about 8:15am outside my kitchen door. The sun poking through the warm mist really stuck me, it didn't transpose in this image as well as I'd hoped. However, it still holds the strength of those first warm spring mornings after a light rain. (Smells like earth.)


Getting the Garden Going...

So, last weekend I started planting cold weather friendly plants in the garden. We have a little plot by the "barn" (a.k.a. motorcycle shop) that I put cilantro, fennel, parsley, spinach, swiss chard, kale, arugula, butterhead lettuce and a salad bowl lettuce. I attempted to mulch it with shredded newspaper... which back fired - it's all over the yard, oh, and the rest of the neighborhood, now.

The main plot was also started last weekend. I plotted out where I'd be planting and put in beets, radishes, broccoli, carrots, onions, leeks, more kale, and more spinach around the garlic I started last fall. The garlic, by the way, is doing great. Most seem to have emerged and are about 8 inches high already.

This morning, I was surprised and happy to see that Josh had started to build me a fence around the garden (with the help of our good friend, Justin). We've been talking about doing this due to the dogs always pooping in and around the garden, and the chickens love to find their ways in when we let them roam. The chickens tend to do a little damage. While Josh finished off the fence, I started the mulching around the garden plots, with straw this time - I'm not messing around. Once the plants start to emerge I'll mulch some more around them to minimize the weeds.


Late October in Vermont - Garlic Panting

So I haven't been arting much as of late due to my studio being out of commission. I've been working up to finishing scraping wallpaper for a good 4 or more months now. Instead, this summer I focused much of my creative energy on my garden. Since summer is well gone now I've been thinking of what I'll be doing for the garden come spring.

This morning I decided to plant my garlic. I've never done garlic and last year I missed my chance by focusing too much energy on trying to find the perfect garlic to plant. This year I'm going another route all together and decided to just plant the cloves I have in my kitchen from the grocery store. What do I have to lose?

Josh and I have two big garden plots in the back yard and I have already decided where the garlic will go. The larger plot has an area by the green house that had peppers in it this last spring and summer. Since I can't use that space for peppers or tomatoes for another 3 years at least, I might as well put garlic in it.

Last year Josh and I built up small hills to plant in, this year I decided to level them out. I experienced some problems with the mounds and figured I'd try another method. I figure this will give me more flexibility when it comes to where and how I plant seed in the spring. For example, this fall with the garlic I want to plant a double row.

I marked out the area I'd plant in and dug out small holes with my spade. After reading that it is good to have a lot of organic material mixed with the soil for garlic, I was glad to see that the top part of the soil had lots of pine needles and leaves in it. This left the top part soft and I proceeded to dig a little into the harder earth underneath to give the bulbs some support.

Twenty holes for twenty garlic bulbs, perfect start to attempting garlic gardening. In went the garlic with the tip pointing up to the sky. I lightly patted down the softer earth on top. Since the winters are cold here in Vermont and the frozen ground will threaten to push out my bulbs I bedded the ground above the cloves with coffee chaff. (Coffee chaff is the light, airy husks that come off of coffee beans when roasted, we use it in the chicken coop, too.) And then on top of the chaff I added a layer of dried leaves (I attempted to mulch the leaves down with the push mower pretty unsuccessfully). Hopefully the leaves will keep the chaff from blowing away.

Now my garlic is planted and put to bed for the winter! I can't wait until spring when I get to seen the scapes push through the  ground!


Last Year's Botanical Illustrations

So here are the images of the botanicals I made for Josh's and my show last October. I have prints and note cards available. The originals are Ink and Watercolor and some of them are still available as well.
"Candy Striped Tulipa"


"Checker Lily"




"Man Orchid"



"Potinara Rebecca Merkel"

"Tulipa Saxatilis"