Top to bottom:
Green Tree Frogs in Louisiana's Atchafalaya Swamp
Based on an Audubon Society postcard. Its unofficial title is "Mary and Me at Breakfast," owing to the frogs' bleary-eyed look.

Bird Watching
One of the few sketches I've done of our cats, Daisy and Red, when they're not asleep. The bird outside held them transfixed long enough so that I could draw them.

This is one of several sketches that I made shortly after reading Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, by Betty Edwards. A number of Web sites mention this enlightening (and fun!) book; I found to have a good summary of it.

Clockwise from left:
Artist Date
The title is taken from a principal component of Julia Cameron's excellent book The Artist's Way. (To see an Artist's Way web site, click on Technically, an Artist's Date is one that you have solo, with your inner Artist, but Mary and I both set aside an afternoon to create.) Daisy sits amidst the miscellaneous flotsam and jetsam of our living room and watches Mary paint in watercolors. My drawing of Mary is unfinished because she changed position.

Red obligingly struck this cute pose, and held it long enough for me to draw him.

Based on a photo. To learn more about Mary, click here. You can find more photos (though not the one on which this drawing was based) on our Travel page.

Left to right:
Lunch at Penn Station
We'd just been to my high school reunion (all the round shapes on various parts of Mary's shirt are vintage-era buttons), and were waiting to catch the train back home.

Crumpled Leaves
I did this sketch in Spy Pond, in Arlington, Massachusetts: a haven for ducks, geese, swans, bass (and those who fish for them), and folks like me who think a good day is one where I take my 6-foot inflatable "yacht," tie it to tree branches overhanging the water, stretch out in the shade, and read a good book. Or sketch.

Clockwise from left:
Done in watercolor pencil. The Travel page has a (different) photo of me for comparison.

Christmas Cactus
Another watercolor pencil sketch. Mary's cactus bloomed for the first time in 5 years in December 1999, probably because our new apartment offered it a friendlier window.

Butterfly Woman
This sketch predates my reading of Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, and is an example of how I sometimes create in one medium to aid me with creation in another. I drew Butterfly Woman shortly before I wrote the short story "Arachne," sequel to the Greek myth of the same name. (See my Bibliography for more detail.) The figure shown here doesn't relate directly to the story, but creation of any sort is such a fertile act that I envisioned a very pregnant mythical figure of my own about to deliver: heavy and yet able to fly. Once I drew her, carved a spider (see the art stamps page), and then played with the spider image, I wrote the first draft of the story.

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© 1998, Elissa Malcohn Version 4, 2005-07-31
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