Where I stood, er, sat, in a canoe

spider feet

My feet, sharing a canoe with a spider.  Mark and I went canoeing down the Huron River today!

cast of charactersThis is the cast of characters that went canoeing and kayaking with us.

boats and treesWe maneuvered around many trees, this is where the tornado hit Dexter about a year ago.

deerWe got to see deer crossing the river.

turtlesTurtles were sunning themselves on the banks.

heronWe even saw a great blue heron, doing a very good job of camouflage.

Bill and DianaThank you, Bill and Diana, for such a great time!

Blind Contour Drawing

If you want to teach yourself to draw, a good start is blind contour drawing.  This is where you put pen (or pencil) to paper and then you don’t look at the paper again.  You concentrate on the subject, and follow the contours of your subject with your eyes.  As you follow along you try to follow with your hand on the paper.  It teaches you patience and hand to eye coordination.  You never get realistic results, you are just working on technique.  You do get interesting results, though.  You won’t capture a likeness, but you can capture an essence, kind of the soul of the subject.  It’s a tough exercise, though, you have to fight your urge to look at the paper or to erase.  I found the best time to do blind contour drawings is in a dark club watching a band.  It’s too dark to see what you are drawing, so you can’t peak, and musical instruments are fun to draw.  Last night Mark and I saw Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys at the Ark, and these are the drawings I made.blind drawing-1 blind drawing 2

Where I stood…admiring the ivy pig



My pig full of ivy is out of the sunroom and on the front porch.  Many of my geraniums have survived, they are in the back yard enjoying the sun.  I’ve started putting some vegetables in the garden.  It is a wonderful time of year, when life is new, and hope springs eternal.  I’m hoping for a summer of growth, delight, warm days, cool nights and long walks.

Mardi Gras Indians

The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival had lots of Mardi Gras Indians this year!  The practice helps honor the relationship between the African slaves and the local Indians during slavery.   During Mardi Gras, the participants dress in outfits that take months to produce, weighing often 100 pounds or more, full of beaded scenes and feathers.  They parade through the streets of New Orleans.  In the old days, violence between the tribes was common, but now when they meet each other on the street, the competition is just to see who is the prettiest.  That’s a tough competition!   They are all so beautiful!  I’m so glad they come to Jazz fest now.

Indian yellow and black

Indian, black

Indian, blue and black

Indians, orange

New Orleans

I just got back!  Here’s a quick preview:



An alter at the Jazz Fest


Mardi Gras beads


Pretty brackets




Mud at the Fest, there was a lot of it!



 us and los lobos

Mark and I enjoyed the music