Archive for the ‘Cartoon’ category

Special Cow Training

August 26, 2021
(Moon Jump)

As always, all rights reserved–Have a good day!

Little Elephants/Last Days

August 23, 2021

I was going to write today about some of the benefits of using an iPad Pro for drawing illustrations.  I even dreamed of this topic (or at least thought about it muzzily as I lay in bed.)   I was going to write about how drawing on paper is so much more fluid and original; how when I can get the courage up to add color (inks or soft pastel or some kind of paint), those paper pieces can be so much more rich and complex, but how I still often end up using the iPad Pro for illustrations, because the iPad, unlike inks, soft pastels, paint, can be readily used in a bed. (You may be sensing a pattern here.)  Perhaps, more importantly, the  iPad does a lot to mitigate the need for both courage and patience.  

An example of how the iPad can help to make an illustration can be found in the the little elephants above (completed on the iPad), and the unfinished paper sketch of the same little elephants below. (This was the basis for the iPad drawing.) 

But in the middle of thinking about these elephant drawings, I remembered that today was the beginning of the week of my mother’s death, which essentially lasted this whole week, some years ago. (My mother, at the end of her life, by the way, loved the iPad Pro; mainly for youtube algorhythms. I could type in a piece of music I thought she’d like and youtube would take her to another and another. It felt like magic to her, or, perhaps, a really good TV channel.)  

Though  when I think of my mother’s death week, I don’t think of the iPad. Rather I think of how she and I, and the rest of us too, rose to our best selves,  of how death can sometimes do that.  (I think of the way people speak so eloquently at funerals. How they often seem to transcend some inhibition, some self-consciousness, that dogs their normal speech.)

In my mother’s case, the nearness of death brought out a great generosity.  Yes, pain medication may have assisted, but a true shine was also there, as she made sure to thank everyone who came her way; to express deep gratitude, and in the case of each family member, a profound and specific love. 

In my case, the nearness of her death (temporarily) undid my will to avoid the moment, that endless bargaining with time. This morning, remembering it, I congratulated myself for calling up various family members from a hot Florida sidewalk as I took a break from the freezing hospital–to let them know that if they wanted to see my mother, that is, talk to her, they needed to come now.  When the option of much more convenient weekend flights came up–me, who typically tries to make things work for others as they would have them work, simply said that they should do what they could, shouldn’t feel like they had to come, but that if they wanted to see her, that is, talk to her, they had to come now.

And they did come. I don’t know how they managed it, but they too seized the moment.  And they did get to talk with her, and they would not have been able to wait. 

I feel so sorry, as I re-read this, to think of all those whose family members died of Covid, who did not have the togetherness of last days. 

It is raining steadily here. Through the upper part of the window, it looks beautiful, soft grays and greens, and the sounds of the rain, very gentle now, feel merciful.  Through the lower part of the window, though, are channels of brown water that have taken over the driveway and, most likely, the roads.  

Do These Look Anything Like Wolves?

August 19, 2021

Hello again! Here’s a sketch for a new children’s book I am working on, called, possibly, Bug Cars. I’m not sure if the wolves look like wolves yet though! Or if the clouds look like clouds for that matter. Have a good day!

As always, all rights reserved.

Can Humans Smell Beauty

February 17, 2019

Can Humans Smell Beauty

She sensed him more and more
when he was no more.
His scent filled hands otherwise vacant.
“I can’t” was all she would have said,
had she said.

The scent was not of rot, or cold,
but of the boldly fresh, the warm,
that is to say, a child’s head,
sun suddenly, the sweetness of just sitting
on a picnic table
or swing,
the aroma of singing or of being able
to sing,
what you hold to your breast when you notice
your heart beating,
or hurting,
that kind of thing,
what you hold to your breast
when it’s your heart you would hold. 

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For Magaly Guerrero’s prompt on Real Toads, which included the great question, which is the title here.  It doesn’t quite work as the title, but I haven’t come up with something else. 

The drawing is also mine (Karin Gustafson).  As always, all rights reserved. 

Know No More

September 8, 2018

I have cut the plantain grove and know no more
what is to be done.

Potatoes? I must buy them in the market.
Rice spills from its bags. Rice must be bagged!

I have cut the plantain grove and
now there is no place
my sweat may drip shaded.

The green has turned to rust
that holds roots only, roots
that look like worms cut once too many,
the white worms that gather between the ribs
of the drowned then sodden ashore.

I have cut the plantain grove
and now there is no place
where we might meet,
no place to hang your ribbon, to shoulder
your dress;
there is only the rusted earth and
me with worms in my chest.

I have cut the plantain grove
for the soldiers are coming and
there is nowhere for your ribbon,
the shoulder of your dress,
only me here on this red earth
full of white worms.

I have cut my chest and lie like a worm.
And you, where are your shoulders?
And you, what ribbons
your dress?

The soldiers know how to walk
on rice, know how to line up
on potatoes; they don’t bother with forced marches,
on earth that is so soft
before trampled, so red before stained.

I have cut the plantain grove
and hide beneath
what was great and felled.

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This is a rather odd poem, written for an exercise (but it also seems to reflect my feelings about the dismal political climate.) I am posting for Toni’s prompt on Real Toads about the Void as it seems to fit that. Drawing, such as it is, is mine.

Pulled apart

June 23, 2018

June 2018; all rights reserved.

Landscapes

May 24, 2018

Landscapes, charcoal on paper, 2018, all rights reserved.

Happy Mother’s Day

May 13, 2018

May all your chickies be well!

Acrylic on canvas board, Karin Gustafson, 2018, all rights reserved.

Pastel (3)

March 17, 2018

Looking at Bonnard, thinking of Trixie. Pastel and charcoal on paper, 2018, all rights reserved.

Pastel (2)

March 17, 2018

Pastel made thinking of Chagall, still listening to Colbert. Pastel and charcoal on paper, 2018, all rights reserved.