Monday, May 22, 2006

bad art night #4

I make more things with wings and Tony draws fishes flying to heaven.

I'll post more on the Real Bad Blog a little later.

Sunday, May 21, 2006


Philippe, my beautiful fish, has died. He was an excellent fish. Very personable and engaging, he'd come out of his underwater bottle home to say hello to whoever walked into the kitchen. He was getting old. I got him 2 1/2 years ago, rescued from a Walmart shelf where his brothers were mostly already dying in their little tupperware cups.

It's not just the death of a $3 fish, but perhaps the end of an era that's got me feeling nostalgic. I bought him when I was newly obsessed with ice skating, street theater and sufism. I was re-learning French and preparing for a grand trip to Paris. I was in love with the sea and the sky and the places where they meet, and just starting to paint for the sake of painting again. It was an exhilerating time.

Peace to you, little buddy.

Friday, May 19, 2006


It seemed to be waiting for me outside my house this afternoon... curiouser and curiouser.

No tag attached, though.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

state of affairs

I'm late on the sketches for my next book. There's a septic smell coming in the house from outside. I am bruised from premature body checking drills with rookie girls who don't know not to use elbows. I've got a weird lopsided haircut. I am dubious about my career in public speaking. My studio is becoming more and more claustrophobic. I think my fish is dying. I'm running out of the only paper I ever paint on which has gone out of production. My blog has become increasingly sparse and unhumorous.

But, my iPod is not broken afterall. The backyard garden has come back despite neglect. There is sun today. Things are pretty good.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Saturday, May 06, 2006


I couldn't resist blogging this picture for the pleasure of seeing it in contrast to the fairy painting below.

It's important to try new uncomfortable things frequently. A couple of months ago I went to a Providence Roller Derby practice to shake myself out of a chronic funk. I achieved the high discomfort level I was seeking and found that 4 years of crowded public session ice skating had groomed me very well for close pack skating and weaving. And that I have a love for knocking and being knocked around. And that rollergirls are some of the most impressive women I've ever seen. I kept going back.

By some strange twists of fate I became a co-captain of the new Connecticut Roller Derby League and took the name Polly Sonic. Now I'm in part responsible for preparing 40 girls to fight each other on skates. Already, it's tailbone injuries everywhere, and it'll only get worse. But they've got a fierce dedication, and I've come to be just as dedicated to them. I can't think of any other time I've just happened to have a specific group of skills that were this useful anyone else. It's wonderful to be so needed. This new venture might seem like one of the unwisest I've taken on, but I'm sure it's a place I'm suppose to be.

Photo: the Connecticut league scrimmaging at the Danbury roller rink.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

slenderish things

Somehow I've become known as a fairy painter and keep acquiring fairy assignments. Here's another for a Spider Magazine poem that just went out today.

Monday, May 01, 2006


I spent the weekend at the annual New England Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators conference in Nashua, New Hampshire. It came on the tail end of a tough month.

The best part of the three days was a pristine, quite hotel room to myself (an oasis away from the Grand Central Station that is my house when Karl's theater company is in production and I'm trying to meet deadlines), and the trip up and back, done in style with a Piper Arrow thanks to Brett.

On Saturday I gave a new presentation on children's book illustration with a slideshow of my work and influences. A small technical glitch between my laptop and the hotel's projector rattled me more then it would have had I not been so worn down. The next day I was unpleasantly ill and in an emotionally difficult 6 hour writers' workshop.

Until now my 4 year experiment in following synrchronicity (which is what this blog is about for those who haven't noticed yet) has been smooth and easy. I've been perfectly content with the feeling of being led which has never let me down. I've found myself in just the right place at the just right time with just the right people a hundred times over, perfectly prepared for the next unexpected adventure.

Now there is so much calling me that I keep crashing trying to honor them all. This weekend made it clear I have to do something about it. A little more sleep should be the first step.

A scrap of paper on my wall, a poem, by my first beloved minister, Thomas E. Ahlburn:

Out of all this will emerge a form
Contrary to what we may have thought
Or what we might be thinking
There was no mold
To make our lives this way
No island from which to examine the stream
No way for the water to examine itself