Posted January 23, 2022 by ManicDdaily
Categories: Uncategorized

Here’s a little charcoal with no particular significance, only that it looks like it’s happening in a nice place.

Please check out my books! Especially my new books! I can tell you that it’s hard to have a party that no one comes to! (A book is a lot of work.) There’s Who Are You Kidding? And Other Stories of Strange Change, a (to my mind) wonderful book of stories, and a host of children’s books–but check out the newest, The Road I Like, and ABC Mobile. Thank you!

In the Meantime

Posted January 22, 2022 by ManicDdaily
Categories: Uncategorized

Another year loses the new. All the changes I’ve hoped to make have not yet happened.  But there’s still a little over eleven months to go!  

In the meantime, it’s the meantime.  That is something to be enjoyed, especially since it is all we have. 

And it doesn’t, by the way, need to be a meantime, not in any of the senses of mean. (I am pretty sure that mean here means the inbetween, as in the statistical mean.) But I’d don’t think its so helpful to think of this time as an inbetween, either.

I would note, in this regard, the death of Thich Nhat Hanh, a great Vietnamese buddhist teacher, writer, and poet.  I did not realize until today that he had published over one hundred books.   One very great one is The Miracle of Mindfulness

Perhaps because he was a poet, and writer, Thich Nhat Hanh was very good at coming up with sayings. Many are about being in the here and now. A couple I like especially:  “Many of us have been running all their lives.  Practice stopping.” And another, “There is no way to happiness—happiness is the way.”

In any case, I wish you all a happy now. And I wish Thich Nhat Hanh, with gratitude, a great rest in the ongoing now.

The above is a little owl sketched by me as a draft for a children’s illustration, and the below is a figure drawing from my latest SVA class with Peter Hristoff—this the Vigorous Figure—a program of very quick figure drawings.  This is a hard class for me for many reasons (stiffness, lack of skill, poor vision), but it is very rewarding.  This one below was my last drawing of our first session – a 15 second sketch. I can’t say I’ve acquired skill, but at least I felt I let some of the stiffness go, and let myself draw a little of the “now” of the beautiful model. Take care. 


Posted January 18, 2022 by ManicDdaily
Categories: Uncategorized

I understand that full vaccination, plus booster, may not keep one from getting Omicron, but the vaccines are still the best way to keep one’s self and others out of the hospital, vaccines for people in the U.S. and the world.

This is a drawing I did last year, but I was so discouraged simply by the anger everywhere to post it. People, I think, are truly angry at reality, but they sure do manage to express that anger towards each other and, sadly, to take it out on the planet too. (In the meantime, reality will weave on.) Stay well.

Before Making Carrot Soup

Posted January 9, 2022 by ManicDdaily
Categories: Uncategorized

They were soup later! With parsnips, onion, apple, cumin! Have a great week!

Keeping Cheer In the New Year

Posted January 8, 2022 by ManicDdaily
Categories: Uncategorized

Cheerful Elephant, with wings, greeting the year.

Yes, it is artificial to imbue the turning of a year with hope.  This year it is especially hard to feel hopeful with all the different sicknesses, physical, emotional and planetary, besetting the world.

Before I push a message of hope, I must disclose that I am someone subject to depression!  And that I have found the last few days to be very difficult due both to personal and societal sorrows–

But nonetheless, I can’t help feeling, knowing, that the time we are given is precious. I like to think of it as precious in itself, but it also happens to be the only time we are certain of.

But how do I get myself to actually appreciate that preciousness?

This is a hard question. What I tell myself is that although I may not be capable of changing the times, or even my circumstances, I can certainly try to budge my reactions to them.

Cheerful Bat Dog Greeting the Year!

Of course it is not easy to change one’s reactions. I am someone who can get herself into a stew for hours over a perceived slight, or, more usually, over shame caused by one of my own mistakes (especially if pointed out), or simply over someone else’s difference in approach.

I know that the stew feels awful. Nonetheless, I will dive right into its overheated goo, mucking about in the weird slurry of smushed onion, for a very long time. I can ruin whole mornings, afternoons, evenings. (Let’s not even go into the nights!)

So, yes, the times and one’s own life may be difficult. But if I have any resolution this year, it is to try to avoid making them more difficult. To stop avidly fueling my own resentments, perturbations, anxiety. (Yes, they will arise, but I don’t need to tango with them.)

What is very helpful for me in this regard is to think of children. Not to say that children don’t have resentments or anxieties!  But in the same way that they get down on the floor to take on the perspective of a toy car, or toy figure, they tend to engage with life on a very direct level, where grudges about the past, and worries for the future tend to be sidelined.

So being childlike is useful. But it also helps to be mature. By this, I mean, realistic. In my case, it is useful for me to recognize the things that I go insane without, and then, being realistic enough to fit them in, even if it sometimes means being a little less pleasing to others. And, speaking about being less pleasing to others–trusting that others can fix some of their own things, and may even prefer to, is another useful lesson! (This is another one that little children have down pat, though, of course, they are often rather pleasing to others. But hopefully they don’t feel burdened to be pleasing.)

In any case, above and below are a few little drawings that I did at the end of the holidays, when children were especially fresh in my mind. (As always, all rights reserved.)

Take care! (I hope you can find some smiles in these days’ clouds!)

Cheerful trucks greeting the year!

New Children’s Books!

Posted December 20, 2021 by ManicDdaily
Categories: Uncategorized

Tags: ,

I am happy to announce that two of my children’s books are newly available on Amazon! These are super sweet books that I wrote and illustrated a little while ago, but had only published in rather expensive editions that aren’t as easily available to the public.

ABC MOBILE is an alphabet book, designed for those who like the vehicular. It is essentially an ABC on wheels. (Really cute!)

THE ROAD I LIKE is about a grandma elephant traveling (by bike) to visit her grandchild. Of course, the road she likes is the one that takes her to the little child elephant. You can just see the pink dress and white bicycle helmet of the grandma on the bottom right of the cover above.

Do check them out, as well as my other children’s books on Amazon — Melanie Likes Melon, One Mississippi, Even Singing Was the Moon–and others! (Karin Gustafson) (Yes, Amazon is a horrible behemoth, but they have a rather inexpensive publishing platform.)

If you are interested in the more expensive editions of these and a few others I haven’t transferred yet, check out the Blurb site here.

Nothing Really Working

Posted December 18, 2021 by ManicDdaily
Categories: Uncategorized


A whirlwind week.  If you live in an isolated place as I do (i.e. far from lights), it doesn’t particularly feel like Christmas is coming.  And yet the season bears down even on those of us who are no longer sure of today’s date!

I tend to be a person with a higher than average quotient of residual guilt. (As a child, original sin may have featured heavily in Sunday sermons, I don’t know.)  As a result, I obsess about getting some kind of gift for each of those I love, then even after I get something, I obsess about getting something better or different or compensatory or “real.” It’s nuts.  Especially since I also believe fervently that all this buying is terrible for the planet (as well as for my bank account.)

But enough of the shopping angst!!!!

I was lucky enough to have another zoom Inventory Drawing class with Peter Hristoff last week.  In the past, the serendipity of poor preparation has served me very well; alas not this week.

I still really enjoyed the class.  But the problem in terms of output (from my point of view) was that I tried to use colored inks and brushes, but with fresh, very flat, white surfaces.  (I had no gessoed newspaper or gessoed-over old drawings to work from.)

The plain flat white was disconcerting, and instead of just doing ink drawings, I tried to make ink paintings.  Not very successful with each prompt lasting a minute. My pages were also spiraled onto a pad, which doesn’t work so well with a wet medium, so I was combining too many things on a single page, and still, constantly tearing off the pages. 

I sound like someone whose dog ate their homework!  So many excuses!  Very silly, since I really enjoyed the actual class, and in the class itself, went with the flow!  So I’m learning something. 

In any case, above and below are a few of the drawings. 

 I wish all a happy weekend despite the uncertainty of Omicron.  Get boosted!  And, if you are feeling particularly generous, check out my new book!!!!!  Who Are You Kidding? And Other Stories of Strange Change.

Make Of It What You Will!

Posted December 17, 2021 by ManicDdaily
Categories: Uncategorized

I just love drawing birds. I can’t say that I do them very well, but I like them. Years ago, imitating the format of drawing class I had with Peter Hristoff at the Met Museum, I took a sketch pad over to the Museum of Natural History, and hid in the dark aisles of the panoramas of North American birds–this was one of the emptier parts of a then very crowded museum–trying to sketch from once-life.

It was very informative–stuffed birds obviously stay still–and I remember noting that wings etc sprout in much different places on the bird’s body than I had ever understood. Unfortunately, that drawing session was terribly brief and has not been repeated (so I did not learn nearly enough.)

The reason for the early termination of the session–terminal embarrassment. I am not a great draftsperson, and there is something kind of awful about drawing in public and having people peer over your shoulder wondering why you are bothering!

That said, I hope one day to do it again, this time fearlessly!

In the meantime, here are some weird birds. And, possibly, a pepper shaker.

Take care, and if you have time on your hands, and a generous heart, check out my new book: Who Are You Kidding? And Other Stories of Strange Change.

Who Are You Kidding? And Other Stories of Strange Change

Posted December 16, 2021 by ManicDdaily
Categories: Uncategorized

My new book of stories! It is a really interesting collection–some are comic, some sad, many surreal, all sort of real, all highly readable!

I readily confess that I love this book. A lot of the stories are fantastical; I am hoping you find them fantastic! (Haha!) Please do check it out. Available in paperback and kindle.

If anyone is open to reviewing on Amazon or elsewhere, I am happy to send you a free copy!!!! Or two!!!!


Listening Drawings

Posted December 15, 2021 by ManicDdaily
Categories: Uncategorized

In a hectic world, it can be hard to just sit quietly.   I’m not talking about meditation—that’s hard, sure. But like so much in modern life, meditation is rather self-focused.  (Yes, you are not in front of a computer while meditating, but often in your own head.)

For me the times when sitting still is hardest are actually social times, times when sitting with another person, or a few people. I am so used to time filled up by the computer, the phone, or my own voice on the phone, my own words on the computer, that it it can be very hard to just sit quietly, device-free, with other people, to give them space to fill (if they wish), and to not jump in to fill that space before it’s had a chance to just stretch out before them.

What is a useful l tool for me, sometimes, is to draw while sitting still with other people. Yes, it can feel a bit rude. (I try at least to apologize for that.) And, luckily for me, the people I am with understand, more or less, that I have have a manic nervous energy (especially during these short winter days) that can be very jangling if not channeled.

So, the above and the below are listening drawings.

Of course, I understand that it would be better, that is, more evolved, and possibly more generous, to actually just sit still with people (i.e. not draw), and, I do that at times as well. But I have a childish nature. (Believe me, I came by it genetically.) And seeking ways to accommodate that childishness are sometimes (for me) more successful than just quashing it.

Anyway, take care! And do check back soon, as I have what I think of as exciting news (exciting to me) though I’m a little too worn out to announce it just yet!