I decided to take a break from thinking about grief, drawing plants, ferns and fungi. Today’s watercolor experiment: I did not want to think.  I wanted to try my new watercolor paper. It is larger (12″x16″) than the paper I am used to (9″x12″). I pre-wet the paper with my 3” brush, which seemed much […]

By the Waters of Babylon

My wife, Joy and I just started watching Mad Men. Frankly I was a little bit leery about rehashing the 1950s and its prevailing attitudes. Drinking, smoking, antisemitism, treating women badly was the norm back then. The protagonist, Don Draper, is a mysterious, emotionally empty Madison Avenue ad agency creative director. Little by little we […]

Am I Like Fungi?

That colony of fungi I photographed, sketched and watercolored was an interesting study. I took another photo of a detail of that community. I was attracted by the contrast of light and dark. The bright fungus “leaves” stood out against the dark shadows. Each “leaf” had dark stripes that mimicked the contour of its outside shape. […]


I seem to be surrounded by broken things, things that are incomplete. Mom died just over a month ago, not more than two weeks after her 90th birthday. Many cousins I hadn’t seen in a while came to her party. We all had a great time. I traveled from California to New Jersey to be […]

Big Basin Fungi

I’m still working with some of the photos I took when I visited Great Basin State Park.  The first thing I noticed when we got into the park, aside from the enormous trees, was the lush greenery. There was so much moss, I couldn’t tell which direction was north. I grew up in the east […]

Big Basin Fern Collection

Today’s watercolor experiment: Yesterday, after our visit to Big Basin State Park, I composed a watercolor of an interesting collection of fallen and half-fallen trees. The trails were damp and moss was everywhere. I would have taken dozens of photos, but I restrained myself. There was something about the transient observation that I enjoyed. It was […]

Great Basin

Sometimes it takes an out of towner to show you a classic site you’ve never seen even though it is in your own town. The kids came into town a day or so ago and they wanted to see the redwoods in Great Basin State Park. They grew up here, so they had visited the […]

Graptosedum Succulent

Note to readers: Yesterday I got a comment from a new reader who questioned the relevance of my posts about painting on my blog where she was expecting to read about autism. She has a good point, which will prompt me to expand my blog header to include how autism in my life (my older brother Mike is […]

Kalanchoe Succulent

From Wikipedia: “Kalanchoe, also written Kalanchöe or Kalanchoë, is a genus of about 125 species of tropical, succulent flowering plants in the family Crassulaceae, mainly native to the Old World. Only one species of this genus originates from the Americas, 56 from southern & eastern Africa and 60 species in Madagascar.” When I bought this plant, along with the others, I had no idea that it was Malagasian.* (I even had […]

Another Succulent

Today’s watercolor experiment: I felt really bad that I didn’t take care of my fuzzy, thick-leaved plant, the subject of one of my watercolor studies a day or so ago. Whilst doing errands therefore, I picked up a grove (?), orchard (?), gaggle (?) of new succulents. (Forgive, me but I do not know the […]