Archive for June 2011


June 30, 2011


Ground Zero – Noticing Time, Glass – When Did it Happen?

June 29, 2011


As followers of this blog may know, I walk by the old World Trade Center Site – Ground Zero–close to ten times a week. I confess to not paying much attention to it though. The site/sight is still painful to me–I am uncomfortable both with its blankness (which brings up loss) and its busyness (which seems somehow heedless of loss.)

I am uncomfortable too with all the commotion, Although I make an effort to help tourists in most parts of New York City (the subway especially), I tend to avoid them down here because of those same internal conflicts: when the tourists seem overawed, I want to tell them–look–people are bombed somewhere in the world every single day. When they seem flippant–posing and checking out all the horrible postcards–I want to shout at them–show some respect! Don’t you realize what a big deal this was?

But I also have plenty of other distractions: there’s the darting in front of traffic; the trying to pre-empt the walk signs.

Then, of course, there are my digital devices–the checking of email as I walk, the balancing of the phone while I talk, the relatively recent activity of messing around with the headset that is belatedly supposed to protect me from brain cancer.

Lastly, there is an extremely sore right knee.

These all keep my attention at ground level. (And there, I am quite observant–even to the point of being the only person on the block to see a r-a-t the other dusk.)

But this morning, lo and behold, I looked up.

There are actual buildings on the site right now, not just taking shape, but being sheathed. In glass. With metal striations. The Path train station and the Freedom Tower, which for the past several years were only images on posters the tourists photographed now have too many stories to count.

Time has marched on.

It shook me up on several levels.

First, I’m sorry, but new buildings feel a bit like new targets. (Worrisome.)

And then there’s that business of time again

Is that why my knee is bothering so much. Time? And marching?

I stopped to take the photograph above so that I could at least distract myself with, you know, a digital device.

And feel for a moment, almost, like a tourist.

What the “Butter Cow” Lady Never Got a Chance to Sculpt

June 28, 2011


I was moved to read that Norma Lyon, a farm mother of nine who came to fame through her life-sized butter sculptures of cows, celebrities, and even apostles, passed away on Sunday at the age of 81. I can’t even DRAW a butter elephant, hard to imagine sculpting one, especially in the heat of an Iowa summer fair. She sounds like a resolute and resourceful lady.

An Old Dog On An Old Cushion

June 27, 2011


Is a contented dog on a flowery bed.

Clover Elephant

June 27, 2011


This is sort of an elephant of the fields (not savannah), faerie elephant, yes, done on iPad–a wonderful device for some day illustrating a fairy tale (with elephants.)

Shedding a Light on Filters (Photogene)

June 26, 2011


My sense is that the Photogene App is mainly for photographers, wanting to organize and frame and retouch and highlight their digital photos. But it allows for pretty cool iterations for digital drawings as well. (For those of you who wonder why this blog has been so focused on iPad art of late, it is NOT my concern over my Apple stockholdings, so much as the fact that I am trying to finish a kind of silly novel on the side, which has made it difficult to do any other writing.)

At any rate, the above is an unfiltered digital drawing. Below, only a few of the different iterations available through Photogene “filters”, including Dream, Painting, Comic, Posterize, Charcoal, Sepia, and RAINBOW (for those interested in designing old LP album covers.)








Oops. Forgot Night Vision.


Hurray (from a New Yorker!)

June 25, 2011


Yes, the above is a goofy drawing–I’m not very good at pictures that don’t include elephants–but I am very happy and moved.

The Weekend. (At last!) Time to Reflect? (With Elephant)

June 24, 2011


Face, Cow, iPad

June 23, 2011


I’ll tell you straight out. This is going to be one of my blatantly pro-iPad diatribes.

Yes, the device is a bit awkward for typing, even with the bluetooth keyboard.

Yes, its wireless is not as strong as a laptop, and its camera is not as good as a Canon.

Nonetheless, it’s a wonderful device. The idea that I can just sit there with it in my lap listening to someone on the phone, and draw a face, and shade it in, and give it hair, and erase some of the contours just enough so that they look sort of graceful.

And then, as the call continues, the iPad also lets me paint a cow. A cow! I don’t know why I chose a cow, but there it is, a cow! Which is part painting, part photo, part erasure, part drawing–an act of concentration, and yet as I’m working on it I am also better able to listen to the call.

This morning I used it (on the subway) to scribble down the poem, but I’m only brave enough to look at the face and cow.

Which is enough for me for now,

(I’m milking them anyway.)


Very Tired (with elephant)

June 22, 2011