More Birds Not Looking at Me

I enjoy their aloofness.

Townsend's Warbler, first year female

Oregon Dark-eyed Junco, female

Canyon Wren (Click species name to get info and hear a sound clip of this most adorable "song".)


spiritual devotion

"It is beautiful. It is translucent--milky-white. It has seams from being molded. Parts are smooth, parts are rough. It is painted with orange Zinnias with happy, deep green leaves. There is a faint ring of residue from old coffee at the midway point inside. There is a 3/16" long scratch in the inner-bottom that has some residue in it. There are slight indentations inside, opposite from where the handle protrudes. On the foot of the cup the maker's insignia is partially readable. 'Made in USA.' 'Microwave Safe.' '50.' And on the outside rim of the foot, '63.' A message is printed along with the flower design on the outside; "In the Language of Flowers, The Zinnia symbolizes Thoughts of Absent Friends."'

Today, in a "review" of a week's worth of morning devotions, I made an illustration of the cup I am using. "The Cup" is used as allegory for our spiritual self in this devotional guidebook by Joyce Rupp, and I am to use a single cup as my guide and point of meditation through this devotional period. The cup has indeed been a great allegory, and God is speaking to me and teaching me through these devotions--and I am intent to listen, be filled, and pour out.


Birds Not Looking at Me

In tribute to Roni Horn.

I know these birds didn't notice the lack of new posts, either.


mountain meditation

I got to walk up a mountain this past weekend with a great group of people.  On Sunday morning I got a few hours alone, perched on a rock overlooking this pristine scene. It looked way better in person. I'd have taken a picture, but Tim took my camera on an adventure of his own...


leanne shapton's painted patterns

Last month, the New York Times Interactive Op-Ed site featured this major eye-candy work, A Month Of Wednesday Patterns, by Leanne Shapton. These freehand watercolor renditions of out-in-the-world patterns have so much character and energy. This erratic little collection of swatches makes my thoughts go erratic, too, thinking about all sorts of human-nature things. I see these works as the charming documents of the simple poetry of the process; her being out in the world, noticing these patterns in their context, and recording them free-handed in an imperfect yet absolutely clear visual language. And then I think, why these patterns? What about all the other patterns she must have seen over the many months of working on this project? It makes me wonder about how our memories work, and how beauty really does stand out and impresses upon us in common and individual ways alike. And just what is it about patterns that attract or repel us so? There are boundless patterns to be found in nature, and it's only natural that we would be quite attracted to unmistakeably human-made patterns. What interesting marks we leave on the world in this way. Clothing, walls, walkways, sometimes even in food. What peculiar animals we are.

Here are some of the individual paintings featured in this online-published work;

Layla cotton shirt worn over a bathing suit to MacaroniBeach
Jan 6, 2010, Mustique


"Pillowcase in my brother's spare room
March 3, 2010, Toronto"

Bathroom tiles in a cottage at locusts-on-Hudson
May 19, 2010, Staatsburg, NY

Wool carpet in the drawing room at Calke Abbey
Sept 1, 2010, Ticknall England

Aaand sidebar--whoa--travel much!?  I'd by lying if I said I wasn't envious. : P

More of Ms. Shapton's pattern paintings can be found on her site, here.

Also, check out the totally rad art book imprint she co-founded at jandlbooks.org.


letter 5.11.11

This is going out to the postal box in t-minus 5 seconds. . . . . 3, 2, 1, buzz off!

Just kidding, Lori. This is coming to you. Please do not buzz off.