A Seasonal Tradition

A few weeks ago, the very lovely Amy and I found ourselves following a tradition that’s been in our families since our own grandparents were young, and probably before them, since the idea of a Christmas tree has its roots in the old country. We went trekking across fields lightly dusted with snow, populated with fir and spruce, and shopped for the perfect tree, the one just right for this year.

You can readily see my part in this activity.

This is acrylic on illustration board.

However you mark the holidays, I wish everyone out there in Blog-Reader Land a happy, healthy, safe and peaceful time. Above all, celebrate by talking to one another, and making new friends as well as connecting with old ones.


Our shore trip this year included the storm known as Hermine. For us, it meant two days of wind-blown rain and red-flagged beaches. The surf was thunderous, pounding the beach with fistfuls of waves that rolled in and crossed over, one on top of the next in a series of foaming, rapid-fire punches that sent concussive thudding sounds across the dunes. As we stood by the water, watching this furious display, a young lady trudged past us, carrying a surf board, her blond hair almost sideways in the wind. About a half mile up the beach, she turned right and headed straight into the maelstrom, throwing down her surf board and falling on top of it just before the first wave crashed over her head. She reappeared, then disappeared over and over, as rolling green mountains of water continually pressed her deep into the valleys between them. But she always surfaced, paddling up into the face of the next wave only seconds before disappearing under another avalanche of foam. This continued for about fifteen minutes. Then, like a prize fighter who has worn down her opponent, she emerged victorious, past the last line of breakers. There she joined two or three other kindred spirits sitting on their boards, all of them, no doubt recovering their strength for what would most likely be a fast ride back to the beach.

This is a gouache painting on Arches paper.

Figure Friday


Her name was Neferneferuaten Nefertiti, and she was a queen of great note who, with her husband, ruled Egypt in the years directly preceding the famous king Tut. Her bust is on display in Berlin’s Neues Museum, and according to wikipedia, it is one of the most copied works of ancient Egypt. This is our own famous figure model in a crossed-arms pose that reminded me of royalty, so here is my copy of the famous queen.

Watercolors on Moulin du Roy paper.