Saturday, October 24, 2009

New Blog -

That's right - evasikons - new spelling, new site, no missing code in the template, hooray! Go visit! Tell me what you think!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

help is on the way

Sometimes I get overwhelmed with wanting things to happen that are clearly not going to happen. Today is one of those days. Earlier in the week I had it all planned out. I would meet with the author of the book I'm illustrating and go over the possibilities of the combination of words and images, and be able to move on to the next step in the process of illustrating this children's book I'm working on.

But last night I got an apologetic message from the author saying that they couldn't meet with me today and in fact wouldn't be able to for at least another ten days. It's a relatively large amount of time in a very small deadline window. Plus, this is my first illustration job and I am feeling my way along. Until now I've been in frequent contact with the author, so although the timing of the gap in contact is not surprising given their schedule, it is unfortunate. I wish something else was happening but this is indeed the situation and I've been trying unsuccessfully to either contact the author so I can officially put the project on hold until we re-establish contact or at least resolve it within myself so I can bloody well think about something else.

I'm fairly certain that a few hours from now I will have either resolved it (from the interior or the exterior remains to be seen) or some other more constructive item will come along to distract me from myself. In other words, help is on the way. Please, make it soon.

Edited Friday: The author called, permission to put the project on hold was granted, a good night's sleep was had.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

photographing friend

This is my friend Tejasinha. I took a bunch of photos of him at the beginning of the summer and we thought it would be fun to do it again for the fall.

Late in the photo shoot he invited me into the picture frame for a double photo. I took something like 50 pics tonight. We had a good time. Can you tell?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

sweet memories and small studies

These acrylic paintings on luan are both 3 1/2 inches by 5 1/2 inches. I did them in 1996, around the time I spent a week at the Vermont Studio Center on a Vermont Artists week grant. It was a wonderful time to be alive and an artist. I got a studio right after that week at the center and shortly after turned it into a gallery, which I briefly shared with Ruth Pope, but mainly ran by myself under the name Shayna Gallery, for the following 10 months. It was a sweet little run, but not sustainable. Artists and art lovers in the area still remember it fondly, as do I.

I'm remembering that time and the studio/gallery now because a friend visited my studio recently who is interested in taking home a painting from the above series (it's larger and on canvas but the gesture/line is similar).

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Part of the process, it seems.

(somewhere in here I think there's a hawthorn tree)

I spent the afternoon at the Goddard campus and downtown Plainfield yesterday.

I went back to the meadow I've been visiting, and when I came back up the trail and lay in the grass next to Flanders, where Earthwalk's offices are, I peaked around the back and saw that the director, Angela Gibbons and her cohorts were having a snack outside. So I went over to say hi and got a big hug from Angela, who I've known since 1991, when she first came into town. Just a lovely person. When I told her about the (seemingly) dozens of varied colored dragonflies I saw out in the meadow she heartily agreed the woods are magic, just - magic. She told me they call the meadow Hawthorn Meadow, because there's a couple of knarly old hawthorn trees there - the kind of tree you might want to give a wide berth, as it's branches are full of very sharp long thorns. So, that's where I've been spending spacious short outings - Hawthorn Meadow. The kids who attend the Earthwalk school (8-14 year olds, I think) go on Thursday and Friday mornings. Early in October there's going to be a community day where non-students are invited, which I am planning on attending.

An old friend of mine from early college days is on the campus this weekend to attend a conference and although she wasn't immediately available at 2:30, she was at 4:30, and in the meantime I visited the Plainfield Co-op, the used bookstore, the Blinking Light Gallery, and the beer making supply store (pretty bottles displayed in the window drew me in). When I found Kath, my old friend, we went out back to the swings behind Kilpatrick dorm and caught up, as much as is possible in an hour or so after, um, 24 years. !!! Anyway, she's a writer, is working on a memoir, and I found myself sharing my experiences with my family's story, which I haven't abandoned, but have given little of my attention lately. It felt good to see that sometimes that happens, and may in fact be a necessary part of the process.

Friday, August 28, 2009

woods, meadows, dragonflies

I stumbled through the woods looking for my old camp site (circa 1986) on the Goddard College campus, and saw I was on the right track when I found this foot bridge.

Here's the path cutting through the camp site. It leads down to the Winooski River, so I'm not surprised it's still there. 

And this is a path that used to be a road that ran parallel to the campus, leading out to the library, etc. Still used, just not maintained for non-foot traffic.

Not pictured here - the meadow and the dragonfly. I took a lot of pictures of the meadow and the dragonfly, but the meadow pics were all flat and not soft and vetch-filled feeling like I actually experienced the place. And the dragonfly? I also tried many times to photograph it, but no dice. Either it was moving too fast, it was a figment of my imagination, or maybe some happy combination of both! I saw a dragonfly close up hanging onto my shorts, that were drying on the line, earlier this summer. They are so much bigger that I realized! The one I saw yesterday was just huge, maybe 8-10 inches long. Figment or no, I am riveted when I see them.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


In case the writing isn't visible:
Printed on this photograph (top) Free Tatiana, (bottom) Drawing is not a crime.

I found this affixed to the window, and took a photograph of it, at the top of the Crow's Nest in the Painting Building at Goddard College, when I visited last Friday. 

Saturday, August 1, 2009

An Evening at Lamb Abbey

This is a drawing I did of Gabriel Egan. He played violin last night at Lamb Abbey Art Society, opening for Moose Jackson Danger Angel and the Rogue Birds, which he also played in. Afterwards I went to the Savoy, the last late night show from Sci-Fi July, and saw Dr. Strangelove.

And this is a photo of the Rogue Birds. I took a bunch of photos, but this was the only one that came out readable. Interesting, if not very, um, illustrative of the people in the band...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Listening to Grief and Praise

I've been studying Martin Prechtel's work this summer.

Right now I'm listening to a talk he gave sometime in the past decade titled "Grief and Praise".
So beautiful.

Earlier in the month I sent a request to Martin Prechtel's place in New Mexico for a couple of books - Long Life, Honey in the Heart & The Disabedience of the Daughter of the Sun and a tape and CD of the Grief and Praise talk.

About three weeks ago I called first and asked for both books and the tape and CD and a few days later I sent a request by mail asking for one of the books and the tape & CD, because I was impatient and went downtown and bought one of the books here. Also, I was nervous about e-mailing my debit card information, so I mailed a check. Then I e-mailed a few days ago because it was getting late and I hadn't heard anything and no books. Today I got both books, the tape & CD. The books are signed by Martin and he says beautiful things in both these books - I just cried when I read these things he wrote himself for me, even though he doesn't know me at all.

Besides that I've been moodling around out here in the world and the internet, facebook, making a few new friends and re-connecting with old friends and in a case or two repairing (or something) friendships I thought were broken forever.

It's been good and finally we've got some summer weather - over 80 degrees and the sun shining and I think it didn't rain yesterday. Pretty OK.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

a walk in the park

Hubbard Park, to be precise. Beautiful and quiet. And I think I will be visiting again soon.

Here's a friend who joined me on the walk. I took this picture kind of sideways, not knowing exactly what I was snapping before the shutter clicked. I like it. (Edited to add 2nd photo and commentary 10/4/09

Thursday, June 18, 2009

On a slightly happier work related note, but still sad (or at least sentimental).

Here's Tara Jensen and me at the bakery yesterday. Tara's last day is today (she's moving to Asheville with her sweety next week). Tara is awesome and I will miss her muchly. Bye for now. And and I do mean for now. 'K?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Cognitive Disonance

For a couple of hours yesterday I enjoyed having consonance between my inner and outer working lives. That is, what I perceived to be happening externally was also happening internally. This was a nice change from the usual feeling of not quite having things line up. Externally I just had my annual review at work, I got a decent raise and some new responsibilities. Internally I had a great dream recently that elegently showed how well my internal work life was going. And although I knew the feeling wouldn't last, I didn't know it would be quite so brief.

One of my co-workers was fired yesterday. Weirdly, some other co-workers had just been joking about the boss "needing to have a word with (insert name) in my office", and similar scenarios. So when my (now former) co-worker said they'd just been fired I immediately asked them why everyone was making jokes about getting canned. But they insisted this really had just happened, then said, well, I think so anyway. When I asked them what that meant they said they'd been given a severance check. That seemed pretty concrete, and I finally believed what they said. All I could say was "That really sucks. Good-bye.", as they walked out the door. Entirely inadequate for the occasion and hopefully forgivable under the circumstances, as I was totally shocked. 

It sounds like, from the little information I have from the former co-worker, that the decision to let them go came out of nowhere. That's hard to understand, as it's very rare for people to get fired where I work (I think in it's ten year history maybe one or two people...but I'm not sure about this). So if it's really rare for someone to get fired it must mean people are given a lot of chances to change so they can remain employed, if that's what they want. So how did the former co-worker not know this was coming, or have some idea they were under probation, or something? I'm really confused, because the general information the employer gave about the decision could be applied to a couple of people who are definitely still employed. So something else was part of the mix, something specific about which I will never know, but also about which I am very curious. 

In the meantime my former co-worker is also very confused and having a hard time, as is their family, which felt very connected to the place we worked together.

I'm all a-jumble about it. One of my (still current) co-workers and I re-visited job-leave takings yesterday. I realized while we were talking that I wasn't the only person who was feeling anxious and fearful as a result of this event, which helped somewhat. But the overall feeling I'm left with is something is not right. I don't want to cross the line into knowing details I shouldn't, but I wish there was some way to know things and then put the knowledge back where one found it, as if the information had never been accessed. Since that's not possible I'll just have to sit with being uncomfortable with not knowing and never knowing what really happened. 

I really want to respect my employers and their priorities. This firing makes it harder, not because of why they said they did it, but because it doesn't line up with my experience with this former co-worker. But I don't know everything and I never will, and I'm just going to have to live with that. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

wild strawberries

I came home after work to find the lawn, including the tiny bit of backyard, that's just outside my kitchen door, mowed down to a nub. I'm afraid the wild strawberries I've enjoyed the last couple of years will not grow back. I have pictures from last year (see header photo above), and I can remember what they tasted like. But, I am in some distress about the shorn quality of my back yard, and don't know what to do. I will call or e-mail my landlady tomorrow, asking her to tell whoever mows to skip my piece of backyard for the rest of the growing season.

I am feeling frustrated with the things I'm tolerating in the name of stability. Something's gotta give and I hope I can find the courage to change whatever needs changing. This is not as much of a non-sequitor as it may seem. I have been feeling that I need to do something but haven't felt like I could, but now I see the more I wait the harder it's going to be to move forward.

Spring is such a kick in the pants, you know? 

Updated 5/22: Looks like the strawberries have survived and I'm seeing blossoms so maybe all is not lost! In other news the breeses are sweet and full of lilac blossom lovely.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Aunt Rose

One of the painting sketches I've been doing of relatives on my mom's side of the family. In this case my Aunt Rose, from a photobooth photo of her when she was about nine years old.


Above I cut my hair this morning - celebrating spring by liberating my curls.

Below, the rug I retrieved from my workplace dumpster a few weeks ago, the day I gave it away via

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


A couple of weeks ago I posted about someone who may have committed suicide (the family believes it was accidental and there is evidence to back this up). I now feel compelled to report another death.

A couple of days ago (Saturday) my employer's (Randy's) dad committed suicide. He was found in a shallow creek. He left a note. He'd been struggling with depression for a long time. Sometime in the past six months/year things got much worse and everyone in the family was feeling the effects of it. I feel for Randy and his family. I hope Randy's dad is no longer in pain, is no longer suffering. And I hope Randy's family feels some lifting of that burden of suffering as well.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Addendum to "A few things I found..."

This morning when I got in to work I told the coworker who had told me about the person who had left things behind yesterday that I had found a lot of that person's stuff in the dumpster and what I had taken home. The coworker assumed that the landowners had taken the vacating renters' stuff and put it in the dumpster, and was understandably upset. But I didn't think that's what happened, that is, I still thought it was the person who left their own stuff in the dumpster, and went on with my day until I overheard a little snippet of conversation that was related to the one I'd had earlier.

The same coworker I talked with at the beginning of the day had just found out the person who left all their stuff behind had committed suicide, last night or very early this morning. A few hours later I found out one of the people who runs a business next to the bakery was a friend of the deceased and that the deceased had killed themselves by drowning in a nearby river, and that the deceased has family in the area. I also found out that the person who drown had been having a hard time for a very long time and had "been more functional in the past eight months" than the friend had ever seen them, partly due to being housemates with a caring mutual friend.

It's a shock, of course. I feel strangely connected to this person I met for maybe five minutes ten days ago, because I've handled and now have some of their stuff. But that was true yesterday. Now it's stranger because that person will never use these items again, not only because they left them behind but because they are no longer a part of the corporeal world.

It never entered my mind that leaving those items behind was one of the last things the person would do before they left this world. I thought it was more on a continuum of bipolar manic behavior that would eventually swing back the other way. I just didn't see it coming. I think it takes experience as well as intuition to see the possibility of suicide in other people, and although I've got gobbs of intuition, I have, mercifully, very little experience with suicides. So I think I need to forgive myself for not being able to anticipate what came after the person left their things behind, what came after they drove off in their car, what came after they went down to the river. 

Once again, as I wrote yesterday, this time to say good bye -

I love you.
I'm sorry.
Please forgive me.
Thank you.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A few things I found in the garbage at work today.

So today I'm doing the usual end of the day stuff at work- taking the garbage, recycling and compost out to their respective dumpsters. I do the recycling first, then lift the lid of the garbage bin and see a couple of six foot long lengths of magenta colored fiber board just covering a pile (maybe 20) of books, a big area rug, a portable massage table, a couple of sweaters and a pair of muck boots and six more smaller lengths of fiber board, and other misc. items. I start looking at the books and grab Mary Oliver's New and Selected Poems and the Dalai Lama's Ethics for the New Millenium and the Anatomy Coloring Book, by Wynn Kapit and Lawrence M. Elson. I also take the fiber boards, which I realize is probably the bookcase that held all these books, the massage table, and the area rug, plus a few other small items. 

Usually I just find garbage (relatively neatly tucked away in clear plastic bags) and maybe the odd piece of styrofoam or something else that isn't recyclable and doesn't belong in the compost either. So this was an unusual situation. When I came into work today I heard a story about someone who had just started renting a room in one of the buildings the bakery shares with other businesses. Apparently something happened to this person very early in the day, something that precipitated them being asked to vacate their rental agreement, and (I don't know if this was before or after they were asked to leave) they left all their stuff in the dumpster. 

All I know is what I heard and then what I found in the dumpster. Something happened to make this person decide to leave all these things behind, and in a big hurry. I am not going to venture a guess...I'm just gonna say I've seen this kind of behavior before, and, in this context, it is not a good sign. I doubt I can do anything to help the person who left their belongings behind. But perhaps I can make a difference WITH what they left behind.

I could see, almost as soon as I hauled it out of the dumpster, taking the massage table to a clinic nearby and the leaving it on their porch with a "free" sign on it. I did this on my way home from work. Tomorrow I'm going to launder the area rug, as it's dusty and kind of moldy smelling, but I think otherwise it's in good shape. I don't know if I'm going to re-assemble the bookcase or not. The color is fabulous, but I may have let that cloud my thinking. It's kind of beat up. I don't know if it's something the ReStore will want or not. I'll ask. I'm going to keep the three books I took.

Not too long after I got home tonight I opened up the Mary Oliver book and found an inscription:

To , For your lyrical and compassionate essay on disabilities. (And for our conversation afterwards, p. 110, line 1).

Page 110 is the poem "Wild Geese", and this is line 1: You do not have to be good.

Sometime in the past year my therapist shared this poem with me. He read it to me during a session and then some weeks later I got a photocopy in the mail. Until recently I had it taped to my computer monitor (I recently got a new LCD monitor and I'm enjoying it's uncluttered vastness too much to tape anything to it, at present). So as soon as I turned to page 110 and saw the title I knew what I'd be reading. Here's the whole poem:

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting--
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

As it turns out I needed to read this poem today. I needed a bit of divine intervention, and I am lucky to have received it.

To ,

I love you.
I'm sorry.
Please forgive me.
Thank you.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Another 25 minutes and it'll be the last day in March!

The whole month has gone by and I've hardly posted a thing.

What have I been up to?!
Watching a lot of movies and slightly delayed TV, on hulu. I've been sucked into the vortex and it's extradinarily hard to extricate myself.

On top of that a few days ago I joined facebook and in the space of three days accumulated 51 friends (as of 7:30pm...who knows how many more I've gotten since then).

However, this past Saturday, a wonderfully balmy 60 degree day, I dragged one of my old futons (the one that's over 15 years old, not the one that's only 3 years old...that one is replacing the gone to the landfill sofa cushions of yesteryear) over to my studio. You'd think this would be a fairly simple matter, but it took some doing. Then I did a little painting with caran dache crayons,  with the window open (!) and the radio on. 

I've been staying up past 12:30, 1am, most nights and feeling all dispeptic and abashed when I wake up and it's almost 10am (okay, this happened...twice). If there was someplace I had to be before then I would, of course, get up to make the appointment or what have you. But my work schedule is noon to 8pm (give or take), so unless I have something planned I can sleep in, if I need to. Kind of nice sometimes. But I always feel a bit, um, decadent, when I do.

Anything else to add here? Passover is coming. I will be at my brother's place in Massachusetts for the 2nd night, Thurs. Apr. 9th. I lent my mother's self-published cookbook to a co-worker, whose wife is Jewish. The co-worker was saying he wasn't fond of any of the dishes that were usually served at the seders he's been to, so I thought good old mom could help him out. Here's hoping.

Happy end of March everyone! See you in April.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Hi everybody. I have to get up early tomorrow morning, so I won't be long. Just want to keep myself from falling off the edge of the blogging universe with this little update.

I've been doing some drawings of my Aunt Rose from photographs, three so far. They are very rough so I won't be posting them, just want to say I'm doggedly making progress in my studio, one drawing at a time.

I went out and got a 17" LCD monitor (for my apt) and a new CD/radio (for my studio) - yay tax refunds! -, and found how listening to the radio helps me stay in my studio longer than without it. I kind of knew this, but actually experiencing it was unnerving.

My Aunt Elaine died last Saturday (she was my Dad's sister; Aunt Rose, also deceased, was my Mom's sister). I went to the funeral, in Philadelphia, where a lot of my family lives, and where my aunt lived her whole life, except the year she was pregnant and gave birth to my cousin Jancy, when she lived in Japan. The stories I will be needing to tell. You betcha.

In the meantime, think end-of-winter thoughts: Day light savings time starts this Sunday. It's gonna be light out at 6:45pm.