Plate 41, returning to the Desert of Tears

I find myself wandering creatively , not always a positive place to be in, especially if one feels lost. I feel a bit lost.

In poring over files I stumbled upon a bit of text I hadn’t recognized, yet I felt it perfectly evoked how I create, the random layering of pattern, image, reference . But who wrote it? After a bit of sleuthing through further files I discovered I’d written it. First questioning the state of my memory I was pleased I had saved this snippet. I will have to review it more closely  but I feel upon initial reading  it will easily integrate into a project I’d set aside, Saint Anthony & the Desert of Tears.

The mystery text follows:

Saint Anthony and the Desert of Tears

Once in a land of overripe fruit a fair young man  realized  he had his fill.

This realm of weariness overcame him, his joys soured, the jams curdled, the birds no longer sang; his  morning daemons stayed for tea.

He tossed aside his pretty things. His brocaded grass of green  cope caterpillar velvet plush  a cocoon of  downy miniver; his linen smock that butterfluttered embroidery ever so clever with fleas  centipedes and  mites, his coif that glittered metallic verdure as pompously  as the proud  Junebug, these , his treasures, his jewels, his bedazzlements he tossed aside; hair pantaloons would have to do.

Of delicacies he had no stomach, crepes as light as seraphim breath sat heavy as unctuous fog, gentle honeysuckle dew gathered with fairy care he could not bear; rook tossed spelten loaf would have to do.

His chambers swaddled in diapered  tapestry and  brocaded opal plush,  carpets as tender as mole moss ached his swollen sole and tormented flesh, bone and marrow; he must breath to gulp the word , the desert cave would have to do.

With staff and skull young Anthony set forth sandward.

Farewell fair Egyptland.

Artist as Daemon
Tuscon AZ
Christmas Day, 2017

So I’ve decided to return to my St.Anthony project , illustrating/illuminating St.Athanasius’ account of the third century desert father, Anthony/Antony. I randomly turned to verse 41:

Plate 41
“Life of St.Anthony”,
graphite, colored pencil, gouache on toned paper
12 by 9 inches 

This passage, 41, features a woeful , self pitying Satan confronting a monk  (not clear if it is Anthony ) , bemoaning being misunderstood. It felt a natural place to return .

The passage follows :

41. “And since I have become a fool in detailing these things, receive this also as an aid to your safety and fearlessness; and believe me for I do not lie. Once some one knocked at the door of my cell, and going forth I saw one who seemed of great size and tall. Then when I enquired, “Who are you?” he said, “I am Satan ” Then when I said, “Why are you here?” he answered, “Why do the monks and all other Christians blame me undeservedly? Why do they curse me hourly?” Then I answered, “Wherefore do you trouble them?” He said, “I am not he who troubles them, but they trouble themselves, for I have become weak. Have they not read ,” “The swords of the enemy have come to an end, and you have destroyed the cities?” “I have no longer a place, a weapon, a city. The Christians are spread everywhere, and at length even the desert is filled with monks . Let them take heed to themselves, and let them not curse me undeservedly.” Then I marvelled at the grace of the Lord, and said to him:
“You who art ever a liar and never speakest the truth , this at length, even against your will, you have truly
spoken. For the coming of Christ has made you weak, and He has cast you down and stripped you.”
But he having heard the Saviour’s name, and not being able to bear the burning from it, vanished.”

Now onto other plates.

Plate 41
“Life of St.Anthony”,
graphite, colored pencil, gouache on toned paper
12 by 9 inches




Six Weeks in Nowhereville

Six Weeks in Nowhereville
Graphite, gouache, ink on toned illustration board
15 by 19 inches


New work on paper , just off the drawing board. Inspired in part by our bumpy ride from LA to Chicago, the final move of all our worldly goods in a bladder destroying rented truck. From our high perch (which is cool, the big rig-ness  of it all) David, Viola and yours truly drove through some majestic landscapes. However the bleak desert  landscape between LA and Las Vegas has proven the most inspiring .

Forget the imperial mountainscapes frosted in white, the red stone canyons, the luminous sunsets (and rises) , what seeped into my brain (and pencil) were ice cream cone shaped stands, forlorn and abandoned in the sands, galleons left adrift amongst the chaparral , and the countless “Jackrabbit” shacks/homesteads, built with such enthusiasm and abandoned with such a heavy heart. Neon glitz and sham popped up like unwholesome mushrooms we approached Los Vegas.  From my bumpy perch I made short handed doodle-notes which trigger memory and move my pencil along.

Doodle note from our cross country move from LA to Chicago, Summer 2022
Detail: Six Weeks in Nowhereville
Detail :Six Weeks in Nowhereville

The following, an album from that four day trip, late July, early August 2023, I think the quick snapshots convey the nihilistic neon of this fascinating wasteland:

I wasn’t able to capture these peculiar and abandoned ice cream shops, but a google search revealed their history.

From bumpy rental truck to comfy home studio.

Jiminy Muerte
Six Weeks in Nowhereville
Graphite, gouache, ink on toned illustration board
15 by 19 inches

Epiphany 2023

colored pencil, graphite, gouache on toned paper
9 by 12 inches


Today’s drawing , just in time for the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord. Hectic few days and I feared I wouldn’t finish in time . 👑👑👑”To offer gold is to proclaim Christ’s Kingship, to offer incense is to adore his Godhead, and to offer myrrh is to acknowledge his mortality “ Saint Odilo of Cluny. I offer this drawing .

🌟Wishing a joyous Epiphany🌟

colored pencil, graphite, gouache on toned paper
9 by 12 inches


Samhain 2020, Punkie Night and the unquiet departed

Samhain is fast approaching as is All Saints Day, both observances that I find personally meaningful . For they provide a moment to pause and recognize that liminal in-between state of the Quick and of the Dead. Whether you are seeking the portal to Fairyland, or beseeching the intercession of the saints, it is a backward glance, one familiar and comforting as winter hunkers down. Given my general melancholic state , it is my favorite time of year. In order to best honor Samhain I annually create a drawing to celebrate this Punkienight, the haunt of woodspirits, fairyfolk and frightening rutabagas demanding one “Give me a candle, give me a light If you don’t, you’ll get a fright”.

What’s not to love?

Taken in my neighborhood , where napolitos replace rutabagas!

So today’s daily drawing honors this special time of year, where the dead, the fairy, the saint, are all in our midst. Enjoy their company. In my neighborhood, one with a vibrant Mexican American community, the Dia de los Muertos altars are being set up, bright with orange marigolds, culinary treats, candles, confectionary skulls and the wafting aroma of ancient copal, and clearly , most importantly, the gathering of loved ones, particularly poignant in this moment of isolation. Tomorrow I will burn copal (hopefully my smoke alarm will behave itself), I will read the mass of the Saints, I will reflect upon those passed and treasure those in my midst. honoring both the spirits of life and the souls of the parted.

Happy Halloween, good Samhain, a festive Dia de los Muertos and may the legion of Saints guide you to light and peace.

Punkie Night, daily drawing 30th October 2020, color pencil , gouache highlights on toned paper, 12 by 9 inches

Available Work



Stuffed Paintings, available!


There comes a point that an artist just needs room, and storing works gets rather expensive, with that in mind I felt it time to actively try to offer my work to potential collectors. The link below will allow you to browse oil paintings, watercolor paintings, acrylic paintings, drawings, soft sculpted Stuffed Paintings-I will post more as I go through my files.

If you have any questions  or requests for works not shown please don’t hesitate to contact me directly at, I’d be happy to chat with you. 


Link can be found on side bar under Available Work and here:

Paintings, available!

Details found in side bar link Available Work

Details found in sidebar Available Work link

Adopt me!


Samhain Revisited



Colored pencil on toned paper
18 by 24 inches

I last posted what I had then thought to be a finished drawing, one I was pleased with in many ways but still  had a persistent nagging sense of dissatisfaction concerning its resolution. But given other studio obligations I decided to put is aside and move forward.

However, a dear friend and accomplished artist in her own right would have none of that. In a private message she let me know in no uncertain terms what specifically was lacking, the email contained a red-inked copy of the offending drawing .

Suggestive red ink

I confess I was taken aback by this unsolicited critique, but given my respect for her, for her academic training and for her own admirable work, I put aside my embarrassment and instead picked up the pencil once again. I now believe the drawing to be complete…unless I receive another private message (smiley face).

Colored pencil on toned paper
18 by 24 inches

The Convoluted Way


Detail of The Anchorite’s Cross

In my ongoing examination of sacred work, an extension of my own feet-in the-ground-butt-in-the-pew spiritual experimentations , during the past Holy Week I spent my studio time with the Way of the Cross. I have resisted attending  Catholic Mass for decades, I’ve attended Episcopal services off and on for years, and while I have felt welcome, I personally felt ill at ease, a nagging longing that something was missing-no matter how High the service. So I did experiment, I attended Good Friday services at a pretty little church in Eagle Rock, and it was sweet to see the devout earnestly visiting each Station, uttering by rote their own passionate pleas. But the service itself, a public forum , where congregants, in the manner of our Protesting brothers and sisters were proclaiming their own gospels. It was too much for me to bear, and shamefacedly, halfway through, I slithered out of my pew and back to my studio. I haven’t given up yet, but in many ways my studio is my temple. The following drawing is my own fervent desire to Walk the Way of the Cross; on my own path.

The Way of the Cross
Sanguine and white charcoal highlights on toned paper
18 by 24 inches

In this synoptic composition, from left to right, I have depicted our Lord as the Ecce Homo, the terrible mocking rabble, Pontius Pilate, the Holy Fool Lazarus, the Fishermen’s boat, the Blessed Mother as the Dolorosa, the Baptist, the Crucified Lamb and Veronica with her Veil.

Relating to this theme is a recently recieved image of The Anchorite’s Cross , part of my Embodied: St. Anthony & the Desert of Tears installation.

The Anchorite’s Cross
Mixed media: acrylic painted canvas, recycled fiber, beads, bells, embroidery floss, poly-fil, vintage furniture and metal work, vintage fabric.
Cross 60 by 32 by 10 inches approximately; total installation variable upon site.

The Stations of the Cross are rarely out of sight, for decades this Victorian Station, Station V, with Simon willingly or begrudgingly helping the staggering Lord, has hung over every drawing desk since meeting David 26 years ago. This is how it looks today.

Wilshire Blvd. studio

In addition to Christian themes, I have tackled classical themes such as my well explored affair with Herakles, like Christ, I find him irresistible.

The Labors of Herakles
Sanguine with white charcoal highlights, on toned paper
Diptych, total 24 by 36 inches

Orpheus another tragic hero that inspires me.

Orpheus’ Descent
Sanguine and colored pencil on toned paper
18 by 24 inches

And of descending into the Underworld, Christ’s own Harrowing of Hell.

The Harrowing of Hell
Sanguine, white chalk highlights on toned paper
24 by 18 inches

I’m actually supposed to be drawing instead of posting so I must complete this post but the view from my new studio is distracting me delightfully.

My new studio with a view (10th floor), Wilshire Bld., LA

Back to the drawing board.



Oedipus & the Sphinx (or Self Portrait of the Artist as an Inquisitive Flea)


I’ve finished a new drawing as a tribute to my analyst Dr. Thomas, as he is Jungian I think he will appreciate the layers of symbolism.

“Oedipus & the Sphinx
Self Portrait of the Artist as an Inquisitive Flea”
Sanuine pencil, white charcoal highlights on toned paper
24 by 18 inches

Fairyland ABC

My ongoing body of work Fairyland I am beginning to see has its roots and inspiration in the nursery. I find myself harkening back to my childhood. We hadn’t a nursery, or day care, in fact, due to my mother’s mental illnesses my childhood was spent in self care and self nurturance. I raised myself best as I could. One of the delights of my solitary childhood was stumbling upon the Victorian and Edwardian library of my maternal grandmother’s own (isolated) childhood nursery. One such delight was Walter Crane’s enchanting Absurd ABC. I spent many quiet hours poring over Crane’s vivid and complex drawings, imagining better worlds. I owe a huge debt to Crane. 

Walter Crane
“Absurd ABC”

With that alphabetic primer in mind, I turned the focus of my daily drawing practice to the ABC’s; each day producing a primer that would have suited that little boy (and the fellow I am now). Later in life I discovered other primers and have experienced inspiration in ornamental alphabets such as this medieval ( neo-medieval?) illuminated primer.

With that information in mind, my Alphabetic Primer of Fairyland:

“A” is for Aladdin

“B” is for Baal

“C” is for Commedia dell’ Arte ( & Chinoiserie)

“D” is for Death

“E” is for Egyptomania

“F” is for Faun (& Fairy & Floral)

“G” is for Greenman (& Gryphon & Ganymede)

“H” is for Herakles (& Hydra)

“I” is for Imperial Rome ( & Impermanence)

“J” is for Jester

“K” is for Kells, Book of

“L” is for Lazarus

“M” is for Minotaur

“N” is for Nereid

“O” is for Opera

“P” is for Pierrot (& Pollarded Trees)

“Q” is for Quetzalcoatl

“R” is for Rococo

“S” is for Salome

“T” is for Theatrical Temperament

“U” is for Uranus (& Uncomfortable)

“V” is for Viking

“W” is for Witchcraft

“X” is for Xibalba

“Y” is for Yankee Doodle Dandy

“&” is for Ampersand

“Z” is for Zanni

This isn’t my first alphabet, back in 2012 I went to task working on my Primer of New Spain ( see side bar for link ). However I lost steam and interest, as interesting as Mesoamerican art and culture is, it isn’t MY  story. From now on I am focusing on what is true to me, Fairyland is home.

The following is “D is for Dog” from the above mentioned Primer of New Spain.

 Dogs are always “true” to me.

“D” is for Dog
from “Primer of New Spain”


With that, I close this post. For the record all of the images are 8 by 10″, on toned grey paper, sanguine (mostly) pencil and white charcoal highlights. I continue my daily drawing practice, starting most studio days with at least one decent drawing. I imagine revisiting the ABC’s once again.