Sunday, March 13, 2011

City Views, Country Dreams

Good evening from New York.

In an earlier post, I mentioned a casual resolution to do a drawing every day of the then new year. We are now reaching mid-March, Spring is nearly here, and I have not done a drawing every day.

Last night, our clocks went forward an hour as we adopted Daylight Savings Time. It's 6 pm according to the re-set clock as I type and the sun is still lighting the sky. Perhaps spurred on by the sense of time rushing by, and also by the dreadful news of natural disasters in Japan, I decided to actually do some drawings this afternoon. When my mind fills with sad thoughts, I usually try to counter them somehow.

Here is one of the drawings, more of a stylized inky scribble than a drawing. I was inspired by a little kalanchoe plant, whose photo will appear later on.

Earlier today, I took a walk over to Central Park. There was a very strong wind blowing, and I was curious if I would be able to see any brave spring flowers.
I did see a few, amongst them these purple and yellow crocus.
Here's a rather limp hellebore, viewed through the parallel lines of some protective iron fencing.

I think that if you look very, very carefully at the next picture, you might just see one or two daffodil pioneers, trying to encourage the rest of their comrades to burst into bloom. With the help of a couple of warmish days, this hillside will be golden.

This next view, taken in the Shakespeare Garden just goes to show how little really is now in flower. I saw mostly dried out stems, leaves and lingering seed pods. These natural stages of the plant world are also beautiful in their spare way.

As I walked along the side of the lake, I saw this charming duck couple, trying to find a little private place for their courtship. Those trees without leaves provided a frame for the picture, but no shelter for the ducks.

I made my way home, and decided to just do some sketches of one of my potted plants. And so, I will leave you all with the subject for this afternoon's drawing session.

Please do not look too carefully at the clutter of my apartment that is apparent in the background.

I am pleased to report that after the sketching session, I continued to sit down with paper, pencil, eraser, pen and calculator and think that I have now just about finished my annual tax forms.
All in all, it's been a fine Sunday, even though I am missing that lost hour.
Best wishes to all.


  1. I like the clear design of your drawing, it could be the basis for needlework or wallpaper. Or just a very nice painting!
    It has been a sad weekend, watching the tragic news from Japan unfold.
    Painting something lovely is a life-affirming response, and a bit of order amidst the chaos. Perhaps that is the true work of artists.

  2. Another awesome adventure, delightfully photographed and told. Sadly, it seems you've found your artistry a trifle taxing, perhaps in more ways than one.

    P.S.: Yes, I'm back; beware the peculiar ursine creature.

  3. I'm glad for the company in showing drawing work! So pleased you've been inspired to pick up that pencil - whatever the reason, it's always good to make art :-)

  4. So glad you've finished your tax returns. It's the same the whole world over; and always was. History should be written not in the passage of kings but in the calculations of taxation. But your drawing isn't taxing; it is peaceful. It reminds me of bunches of grapes on a late summer afternoon. It also reminds me of something less pleasant: the bodies of albatross chicks, decayed to bones and feathers but out of which a clutter of coloured plastic tokens shines like a beacon. The parents pick up this plastic waste on the oceans and feed it (but why?) to their chicks. Picture your circles in reds and turquoises, yellows blues and greens and you have the image. But let's stick with the vine. Are there vines in Central Park?

  5. Lovely to see bursts of spring colour peeping through at last. I also miss the hour, our clocks have not gone forward yet. Glad you made time for yourself and indulged in some drawing time, I do hope you manage to get more time to focus on your talent Francis.

  6. Hi Frances,

    Your walk through Central Park sounds blissful! I have never been to NY, but I can imagine it must be special with all the spring flowers and the tiny leaves on the branches of the trees.

    Good luck with your drawing. Is that your painting in the sidebar of your blog? It looks great!!

    Happy new week!

    Lieve groet, Madelief

  7. How lovely to see the beginnings of Spring in your park. Daffodils are in full bloom here, and they bring such delight.

  8. So good to see you working Frances - I agree with the other Frances, artwork is a tremendous relief and support at times like this, I think it orders one's mind and enables some escape from dreadful things we can do little about.

  9. We are all waiting on spring and today in middle Missouri we got 9 inches of snow

    I like seeing your abouts in New York City

    Love creating art today I made button flowers wishing spring in


  10. Hello dear Frances, wonderful to see the spring flowers bursting out. The spring flowers here in my gardens still have yet not opened.

    Keep up with your beautiful art work Frances that I know gives you great pleasure, think you should exhibit those wonderful pictures in a NY Gallery Frances.

    Thank you for sharing with us Frances.


  11. Lovely to see the bones of the park, having enjoyed your photos of winter and summer from past years.
    I thought of you this week when I wore my beautiful boiled wool jacket in slate grey - a gift from my sister quite a few years ago from your company.

  12. Hello Frances

    I don't come here nearly as often as I should - mainly because my own blog is more or less in abeyance. But I never fail to have my spirits lifted by your stories of life in New York, and your lovely pictures.


  13. Is spring usually more advanced by mid-March in NYC? You've had such a brrr cold winter this year.

    Our daffodils are just coming into full, glorious bloom. They ARE one of the happiest things in March, always.

    I wish, so much, that I could draw in order to relieve my feelings . . . there must be so much pleasant concentration in it.

  14. Frances, reading your blog is a tonic. Thanks for sharing your drawing with us and the glimpses of Spring - we all need some cheering up at the moment.

  15. Good for you to start something creative. I agree with Frances, it could grow into a textile design.

    It looks like you are rid of the snow and enjoying spring in the Park. so much more enjoyable than tax returns.

  16. Terrific the variety of patterns.
    Yikes - you finished your TAX forms!
    You are an inspiration all around Frances.
    Though I would love a closer look at your refrigerator magnets...ahem

  17. Ahhh spring is getting in NY too!

  18. Frances, I love your drawing and I hope that you will have time to do more soon! Thank you for the signs of spring snowed here in parts of Japan weird...
    Thank you so much for your encouraging messages too! :-) Tulsa

  19. I wish you had shown me a little more of your apartment, not just this tantalising glimpse.
    It looks cosy, warm and cultured, just the way I visualise you too.

  20. Lovely drawing - clear and confident, and with a sensitive friendly quality. Hope you get time to do more.

    Enjoyed the photos of St Patrick's Day - I expect there was some conviviality in Irish pubs afterwards!

  21. Hello Frances, fInding time to do all the tasks we would like can be a challenge. PLeased to see you are sketching, your observations of the pot plant and the gardens in the park show you are seeing and capturing. The walk in the park on a lovely spring like day and a camera to record is good for the soul.
    The news is hard to watch as we witness the terrible events. It puts all our own problems into prospective and makes us realise how lucky we are.
    Hope you continue to enjoy some sunny days. Soon time for cadbury chocolate creme eggs.