Friday, March 9, 2012


The sky was clear blue and light sparkled off the fresh snow.  It was a perfect day for a walk in the woods. 

Since my daughter and I were traveling on snowshoes it didn’t matter that the forest service hadn’t yet groomed my favorite trail along the river.  In no time at all we were moving along; chatting and enjoying our day of freedom.

Sunshine reflected off the water and we could hear the quiet honking of the big trumpeter swans as they slowly swam along.  Then my daughter stopped and pointed with her ski pole.

A coyote was making his way over the snow just ahead of us.  I fumbled for my camera and got a couple of pictures before he slipped out of sight.

The swans and a few ducks fed in the mossy shallows.  They were used to visitors and mostly ignored us as we flopped by leaving yeti-sized tracks. 

We followed the river around a bend and again caught sight of the yellow-eyed coyote.
 He’d picked out a sunny spot where he could watch the birds and wish for a poultry dinner.  The mild winter hadn’t been good to scavengers.  Mr. Coyote had a scruffy, lean and hungry look.

 He didn’t bother to get up when he saw us go by fifty or so yards away.

 Our return trail went by a frozen lake.

 We made our way through the purple shadows of the evergreens, laughing and sharing stories.

 All the exercise and fresh air made the burgers …

and basket of fries at Big Judds taste even better.  When we got back we found that JD had been enjoying his play date with Grandpa so much he’d hardly even missed his mom.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


I get nice north light over the desk where I paint.
The view is of our back yard and our plum tree.
Today the passing scene was a welcome distraction 
from some composition problems.

One of the first robins of the year arrived.

 A brisk wind fluffed out his shirt and showed his undershorts.

Even as snow began to threaten he sang for spring.

 Next a gang of starlings arrived.  The left-over plums
had thawed into a fermented mess; a banquet for these rowdies.

 Check out the speckled pattern in their coats
and how the rainbow of light in their black feathers
sets off their red boots.

Now the snow was really starting to come down.
The squirrel was trying to warm his toes.
He was sucking up his courage to 
sprint from the cherry tree to get his share of plums.

 Some quick bounces...

...a stop to check for danger...

 He made it to the base of the plum tree but the
fruit was covered in snow.  DRAT!

Digging, digging...

The warmish days had turned everything to mush.

He finally found several solid plums, munched them down and left.

 Later the starlings were back.  The snow messed up their picnic too.

 But it didn't stop them from enjoying a little more plum brandy.

Wednesday I'm heading for the woods with my daughter.
We're going to get in some snowshoeing before winter is all gone.

Monday, March 5, 2012


Deep in my memories are times spent listening to my grandmas as they read stories to me.  Some of my favorite books were the ones about Raggedy Ann and Andy.

I remember when I was older seeking out those books by Johnny Gruelle in our little local library so I could read the tales again for myself.

To pass on the tradition I made a set of  Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls for my daughters when they were small. But by then there were plastic dolls that had a bigger attraction. So I saved the ones I’d sewn since I probably made them more for myself anyway.

Raggedy Ann and Andy lived in the nursery with more dolls.  There was a Mama Doll, the French Doll, the little Dutch Doll and a group of tiny penny dolls.  They had all kinds of adventures when their little girl, Marcella, and the people in her house weren’t paying attention.

One story tells of workmen installing a new rain gutter just outside the nursery window.  Andy helped the penny dolls climb out the window so they could slide on the gutter.  They fell down the drain pipe and the adventure was on.

When I cleaned out my parents’ house after their passing, I found some toys, and a small box of keepsakes that I knew belonged to my dad.

Mary Lucinda Hendricks
Among the items were two penny dolls which I guess might have belonged to his mother.

Penny dolls are about two inches high and are made of ceramic bisque.  They were manufactured in large quantities around the late nineteenth and early twentieth century and were sold by the penny along with treats in candy stores.

The penny dolls I found look like they had been someone’s much-loved toys, and are now a prized possession.

Sunday, March 4, 2012


"Greener Pastures"  Original Watercolor 10x14 inches

Under construction

Washes of color over masked-out tree trunks and figures

A few more details to the foliage

Masking removed, horse detail added plus final touches.

detail of painting

This and other works available for purchase