Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Deer Isle, Maine

WOW!  The whole experience was overwhelming in a good way.  90 creative people gathered together in a beautiful landscape.  The classes were drawing, metals, glass, wood and fabric. I was in the drawing class with a fantastic teacher and artist Claire Sherman.   My roommate was in the glass class.  I loved it all!    This blog will show mostly my art work.  It will take another post or 2 to talk about the food and other things I did.

I am standing by my work for the showing of  students’ work on Thursday night before we left Friday am.  Claire Sherman the teacher was wonderful.  She does large oil paintings and exhibits at the D.C. Moore Gallery in NYC.   She teaches at Drew University. We started our class with Claire showing slides by artists throughout history working in landscape.  Then we went outside to the rocks.  Painting and drawing everyday using watercolor, pens, crayons, and pencils I quickly worked on my small studies.  “Do 6 sketches before lunch”, Claire would say.  Use good paper and good paint.  What are you saving paper for?

I got quite involved with the idea of seaweed creeping around the rocks and into the sea. Seaweed became a fascinating subject for me.P1050180

The small sketches evolved into larger mixed media watercolor paintings.  Claire encouraged us to take leaps pushing our ideas along.  “There should be a difference between a photograph and a painting” she said.  We looked at slides of work by Turner, Charles Birchfield , Hooper and Diog among a few.  We also had reading homework every evening.


Night Painting Cabin 18 and 19

We read about VanGogh before we did a night painting.  I started this night painting outside my cabin but the mosquitos attacked me so I went inside with the lights out to paint some more.  I finished it the next day in the studio.

Lots and lots of painting of Deer Isle. Lots of climbing steps.  Steps to my cabin, steps to the bathroom, steps to the studio, steps to the dining hall and steps to the parking lot.  The 2 weeks spent here was a step into paradise.  The paradise did include ants, mosquitos and laundry that would never quite dry.P1040993

Foggy days, sunny days and 1 rainy day.

I feel like I learned new things and had a great time.  On my way home I visited an exhibit of watercolors by John Marin.  He painted on Deer Isle, Maine.  These are 2 of his paintings of Deer Isle.


North Carolina the Outer Banks

How did I get to North Carolina I asked myself?  I left Pennsyvania and drove through Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina.  On the way back from North Carolina through Virginia, then Maryland, over long stretches of bridges and tunnels into Delaware, on to New Jersey and the George Washington bridge to NYC.  Wow!  What a trip.  The Outer Banks is a beautiful wild place.  It was a fun week.


Driving to Cape Hatteras I stopped at Kill Devil Hill to see the site that the Wright Brothers launched their first flight.

Another stop at The Bodie Lighthouse.

Arriving at Cape Hatteras and the house my daughter-in-law, son, 3 grandchildren, her parents, her niece, her brother and his child were staying in this week.  A swimming pool was right beside the house.  It was perfect for a week of great times.


I forgot to take a picture of the large seasoned shrimp as I couldn’t wait to bite into it.  Grits and pulled pork for lunch at Grill and Grits.  Soft vanilla ice cream swirled with fresh peaches!  Breakfast was made every morning by my son.  Life was good.


Driving through the sand in the 4 wheel SUV that my daughter-in-law and son rented we have fun on the beach.  Rip tides, rough surf, sand castles, fishing, painting on the beach, boogie boards, sand crabs and shells make us all happy.

We take the ferry to Ocracoke Island.  My grandson draws the ferry while crossing the inlet.


Painting on the ferry.

We cross the channel to the new Shelly Island Beach at low tide and hear about it the next day on National News ABC.  They warn people not to visit the island as they have had a lot of rescues.  We time it just right and get back with loads of awesome shells.


We found so many shells with Hermit Crabs living in them.  It was nice wading through the water on the bay site hunting for shells, fishing, playing with the hermit crab, painting and watching the ferries crossing.

It was a wonderful time!

Drawing on the Edge – the Grand Canyon


Fun sketching all day. The Grand Canyon is a challenge to draw! 


I wish we had this sign at The Overlook by the Ocean in Corona del Mar!

P1040533I arrived for my drawing class at the Grand Canyon  once again drawn by the mysteries of the Canyon.IMG_5978



Looking at the Colorado River and wishing to be on one of the boats at Hermit Falls.


The instructor Allen Petersen doing a demonstration  on drawing the canyon.


AT Last I have GOOD WIFI.  I’m in Amarillo, Texas.  Sitting under a tree, just went swimming in the pool and now I’m waiting for a shuttle to go to the Big Texan Steak Ranch.  Life is good.  Oh, I also have a glass of vino and a fan by my side. More to come!

Before I left on my trip I saw the beautiful glass sculptures at Sherman Library and Gardens.  Be sure to see them this summer if you live near-by.  I loved them!


Coming on June 17, 2017, Happy Anniversary 50 Wonderful Years! I love you Both and Wish you the Best!

The Best of Southern Arizona

Postcards from South of Tucson.

Over One of several Margaritas on our trip.  We picked the Best of the Best. The Top Ten!  These are the highlights of the trip not the order of the sights.

The Top TenP1040159

1. Sandhill Cranes

What a wonderful sight.  We arrived via dirt roads and strange gps routes to Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area in SE Arizona.  20,000 to 30,000 birds flew in as we walked to the water’s edge.  They fly from as far both as Siberia to spend the winter.  It was a spectacular noisy sight to see them.  We thought they might have already gone north to Nebraska as it was March 1 the day we arrived. These are pictures Diane took.  She’s an excellent photographer.

2. Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument


Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument is the only place in the United States where you can see large stands of organ pipe cacti growing naturally.  Diane, Colin and I joined a Road Scholar Hiking Group for the week.  We met 15 people from all over the United States to hike in the Sonoran Desert.  At Organ Pipe we hiked for 3 days.  Drink lots of water, drink more water and then drink some more water.

8 miles to the border of Mexico.  Lots and lots of border patrol!  More on that later.

3. Kartchner Caverns State Park

The Cave Tour at Kartchner Caverns was at the end of our trip but one of the highlights. Ranger Joe gave a wonderful almost 2 hour tour through The Great Room in the cave.  We also learned about the bats that will return to the cave in April.  I took some pictures in the museum.  No pictures allowed in the cave.  It was amazing.  They even found sloth bones.  IMG_5593

The campsite was very nice until the third day . It was still nice but windy.

4.  Saguaro National Park East and West

We hiked  with the Road Scholar hiking group to Bridal Wreath falls in East Saguaro National Park.  It was a huffing and puffing, I think I can, drink more water and then more water hike.  Diane and Colin were in front and I was at the rear.  I made it.

The hiking group hiked in Saguaro Park West the next day.  A nice hike up the wash, no huffing and puffing.  We see rock art and hear bird song.  If you hear the Cactus Wren it means you are in a beautiful spot said out guide.

Saguaro Park West trail we hiked before we met the hiking group.

5.  Arizona Sonora Desert Museum

Wonderful things to see in the Desert Museum.  The Hummingbird garden was amazing. The Ocotillo Cafe had great food too.


Tamale and Black Beans

The end of Part One in the Top Ten Best of Southern Arizona.  Next post will be More of the Best starting at #6.  I have so much to tell.


Bryce Canyon

Heading for Bryce Canyon.  My first stop was Yuba State Park in Utah.


Bryce Canyon

 I had a wonderful campsite overlooking the Yuba Dam lake.  The workers that built the Dam in 1906 named it. They would say U.B. dammed if you work and U.B. dammed if you don’t work, from this the town was named Yuba.  I enjoyed the campsite so much I stayed another night.


Yuba Lake

Tuesday morning  I headed for Bryce Canyon.  I got a great campsite at North Campground in Bryce Canyon and headed to Inspiration Point to look at the HooDoo’s.  I forgot how BEAUTIFUL Bryce Canyon is. I was in awe of the red rock formations.  The next day I started my hike to the Queen’s Garden.  It’s down into the Canyon to see a HooDoo that looks like Queen Victoria.  I made a booklet of sketches of views along the way.


Hoodoo (hoo” doo) n. 1. A pinnacle or odd shaped force of erosion. 2. To cast a spell. v. 3.Voodoo


“Silence alone is worthy to be heard.”  Henry David Thoreau, Journal- Jan.21, 1853

I drove to Rainbow Point the next day and hiked the BristleCone Pine Loop trail.

I wanted to see the Utah BristleCone Pine.  Utah Bristlecone Pines are 1500 years old while the California BristleCone Pines are 5000 years old.  I figured that trees  in Utah are like teenagers compared to the middle-aged trees in California.  It was quite windy at the point and the trees looked almost dead.  I enjoyed the views along the way and made another  booklet of sketches.

“I need solitude.  I have come forth to this hill to see the forms of the mountains on the horizon- to behold and commune with something grander than man.”  Henry ThoreauAugust 14, 1854  I liked this sign posted along the trail.


As I hiked the Queen’s Garden Trail in Bryce Canyon.  I started to work on this poem.

Hoodoo Voodoo

Hoodoo Voodoo

329 feet downward
pinnacles of weathered red rock
Erosion carved heads, torsos, limbs
Red rock crinkled into forms
Stop! Breathe! Voodoo!
A language I try to see!

129 feet closer to the edge
Freezing ice chipping 
Frost wedging Hoodoos
German, Chinese, Italian
Listen! Snap! Voodoo!
A language I try to hear!

Switchbacks lead to hoodoo
A Sandstone Queen Victoria
A crown, a face, majestic cape
Voices whirl in piñon pines
Stop! Snap! Breathe!
A language I try to touch!

Upward on the labyrinth
110 feet to the shade of Juniper tree
Hoodoo shadows shift
Clusters of red rock facing East
Pause! Sip! Breathe!
A Language I try to understand!


Park City, Utah

Heading to Park City, I stop the first night at Snow Canyon State Park in St. George, Utah.

It is a beautiful spot!  The next day I head up the 15 to Park City, Utah.  At the rest stop I spot a Nut Mobile.

I check into my room at Westgate Resort.  It’s amazing.  I’m really having a good time exploring the environment and the weather while swimming in the indoor-outdoor pool and hot tub.  It’s a great vacation spot.  Monday I stay at the Resort and watch the snow falling.  It’s light snow and I still can go swimming.

 My daily routine  for the rest of the week. Read and eat breakfast than be out at 9:30 a.m. I try to catch some early morning sun.  The sun shinning on the Aspens makes the yellow color luminous. I drive to a spot to paint. I’ve decided the day before where I will go.  Today I went to the parking lot where they had The Farmers Market.  I paint at least 3 paintings.  Below is a truck with pizza oven on the back at the Farmer’s Market.

The Mountains are beautiful with fall colors and snow.

Today it is Olympic Park. I arrived just in time for the tour. The guide looked like

Robert Redford at 45.  He was a former Olympic member of the luge team and now is an announcer for the Olympics.  He is already signed up for South Korea Olympics.

It was so  interesting and scary.  I don’t know how they can do it. The tour was in a bus to 3 different Olympic spots. Next I went to a nice lunch at Squatters  Roadhouse.  Home for my swim in the pool.  I’m really relaxing.

I found a friend in downtown Park City.


Park City owns this barn.  Some call the White Barn also known as McPolin Barn.  I walked a trail past the barn.  Paved trails run all over the city.

My wonderful Brother Bob passed away suddenly in August.  I wanted to post a blog all about him but I wasn’t able to do it yet.  He supported me in all my endeavors.


Postcards from Wrightwood

Monday morning and my  friends  and I are heading North on Route 15 for our girls getaway.   3 days at the mountain cabin to relax, sketch, walk, eat, talk and have fun.

We made postcards with 5 little sections for various people.  It’s a fun project.  I wish I would get one!  Colin had cooked steak for us before we left.  Diane heated it up and we had steak salad for dinner the first night and the last. We wanted to thank him with one of our postcards.

We enjoyed the Lake at Wrightwood.

Flossie at the lake and her sketch.

Watch out for BEARS!

Sketching at the Lake.


We are excited to see a Christmas Summer tree on our walk! Decorated with flip flops, sand buckets,shovels and other summer fun.

We walk by the Mile High Pizza place.


Diane’s Sketch!

More Wrightwood Wildlife!

The Vacation ends at the Grizzley Cafe for breakfast.