Nothing Rhymes With Orange

We love Pumpkin Time here on the shores of the Long Island Sound.

I detect a slight flaw in the Pumpkin Placement Plan here.

Pumpkin Time is a good time to remember the most lonely word in the English language: Orange. The color gets a bad rap for being garish and unfriendly but some of my […]

How to Paint a Secret Garden

This is why I am illustrating my Damn Garden Book instead of photographing it:

This (above) is the entrance to the Secret Garden belonging to my neighbor (and most excellent Chilled Wine Cocktail On The Patio Hostess). You have to walk through the wooden doorway to get to this:

Now, if I were a mere photographer I […]

How to Paint a Cat Part One

Last Sunday Top Cat took me into a magical woods on the southern shore of the Long Island Sound…

…otherwise known as The Gold Coast of Ye Olde Long Island…

…where Ye Olde Money of yore transplanted ancient yew trees from the Olde Worlde to make Instant Stately Homes (now gone to ruin)…

…and where the haunted forest […]

Penultimate Summer Post

It’s good to be back just in time for my penultimate Summer post! During my two-week break I went to the annual Long Island Scottish Games Festival at Old Westbury Gardens (that’s a dog in a kilt, above). It’s always good to hang with my peeps, the Scottish, the most fun-loving, light-hearted, sober people on […]

How to Paint a Waterfall

As a writer/illustrator who doesn’t want to bore my dear blog readers I tend to focus on the illustrating party of my work because if I wrote about writing all you’d see is a picture of me sitting at  desk, pulling my hair out.

If I wanted to bore the dear readers of this blog, I would blog about […]

In The Way Back Machine

It is December, 1966. I am ten years old and in sixth grade at North Willow Grove Elementary School. In a parallel universe there is a girl my age with perfect hair walking to school with her little sister:

In this parallel universe this girl’s name is Elizabeth Terry (although it appears that we use the […]

When Bad Ideas Happen to Good People

I had a really bad idea last week.

But first, a quick digression: Check out this window of W H Smith, the largest English bookstore in Paris, on the Rue de Rivoli (did I mention that it’s in PARIS? As in PARIS, FRANCE?):

See that book on the right? SEE IT?!?!?!? I’m so excited. I know […]

Writing is the 6th Impossible Thing.

I’m always interested in how writers write. That’s why I am fascinated by their rough drafts:

This (above) is a David Foster Wallace rough draft. Or, more accurately, it’s his notes for a chapter of one of his books. What interests me is that he’s not a linear list maker. He makes notes like a left-hander, […]

I Probably Shouldn’t Show You this…

My June travels included a trip to Brooklyn, to the Museum of Art in that fair borough. Imagine my surprise when a tour bus pulled up to the entrance…Brooklyn? A tourist attraction? I’m so 1980s in my thinking, when I kew Brooklyn as an outer borough, home to the dreaded bridge and tunnel crowd. Now […]

The Room of One’s Own

  So, here I am in Giverny. I can give you some quick peeks at what I’m up to here before I return you to the blog post I pre-loaded before I left the USA (I knew that blogging from The Road would be more technologically spiffy than I could handle).

So far, I know that […]