My Ultimate Toolkit for Plein Air Watercolor Enjoyment

As promised last week, here is the story of the latest “Ultimate Plein Air Watercolor Set-up.” This time, yes, I think I’ve nailed it.

Warning: If you are not a watercolor painter, or even if you are and you never want to paint outdoors on location, you may find this blog post ridiculous.

On the other hand, if you do paint outdoors whenever possible, and you find it frustrating, get ready for some great news. You may already have most of the supplies you need, so the cash outlay could be quite small for the return in joy you will discover.

It all started once upon a time with three metal palettes acquired over several years. Here they are, sitting together like a happy little family.

12-, 24-, and 48-pan palette boxes.

The small one on the left may look familiar: it holds 12 half-pans, or 6 full-pans, and has been my reliable companion for more years than I can count.

Next, one size larger, is the Mama Bear of metal palette boxes made to hold 24 half-pans, or 12 full-pans. Being made of metal too, it is a noticably heavier.

Finally, the Papa Bear size, designed to hold (you guessed it) 48 half-pans, or 24 full-pans. When fully loaded with paints, it is four times as heavy as the junior size one on the far left.

I confess, I bought this largest one four full years ago and I’ve never used it as designed, not even once. It wasn’t expensive, but once I had it in hand, I knew it would be useless for me out on location because of its weight when fully loaded. What was I thinking? Still, I knew it had potential…

Then I discovered my Inner Inventor!

I asked myself, “What is the hardest part of plein air sketching?”

“Is it balancing the sketchbook and a simple pencil?” Never.

“How about a sketchbook, a water-soluble pen, and a water brush?” No problem.

“What about a sketchbook, a tiny palette, and a water brush?” Still no problem.

All I need is a clip, a water brush, and my well-used, trusty Demi Palette by Expeditionary Art.

“But what if I want more? What if I want to use:

  • a few of my regular watercolor brushes I love,
  • with a cup of real water,
  • and a reasonable selection of watercolor full-pans,
  • and have plenty of space to mix up deep, juicy puddles of color,
  • while sketching standing up, perhaps leaning against a tree,
  • easily holding everything I need,
  • with no chance of spilling it all over my sketchbook as the whole thing tumbles to the ground?
  • What if I want to do that?”

I now have the answer!

Step 1: Brushes

Gather up your five favorite brushes, no more. I recommend a #8-10 round, a ½” flat, a rigger, possibly a #4 detail brush, and a big fat brush, like a 1” flat.

For the “big flat” I use a well-loved, much-used Ron Ranson hake. It takes quite a lot of practice to get used to a hake, so substitute any big flat brush you like for those giant juicy washes.

Here are my current workhorse brushes:

Small detail brush, #2 rigger, #8 round, 1/2″ flat, small Ron Ranson brand hake (handle sawed off to fit a travel box.)

Step 2: Tack

Grab a small wad of poster putty/ blue tack, whatever it’s called in your country. I used this for all sorts of things.

Step 3: Colors and palette guts/ frame

If you have one of those small palettes full of pans of your favorite paints already, open it up and pull the frame out. This is easily done; just leave all the colors in the metal frame and pull the frame itself out. When empty, the frame looks like this:

Below are photos of the small and mid-size frames filled with my favorite half-pans and full-pans. (I currently am using the mid-size frame.)

Small frame with the middle gap area filled in with pans too. “Well-used” can look a bit messy!
Mid-size frame: Mostly the same colors in both frames, various blues, yellows, reds, as well as a couple neutrals. No tube greens, I mix mine.

If you hoard art supplies, there’s a good chance all you’ll need is the “Papa Bear” empty 48-color-size Meeden palette box. It’s about $18-20 at common online stores, including Amazon. If you can only find the “52” half-pan size, that’s fine. You’ll be using that poster putty to keep things secure anyway.

Step 4: Assembly time!

Have some of that poster putty handy, you’ll be using it. Get out your new Meeden palette box and remove the frame inside. You can set that aside for use in the distant future if you like. This photo shows the empty box with poster putty in strategic locations. It weighs next to nothing.

Make sure you have a bit of putty in all the strategic places, then press in your color frame, brushes, and maybe include a bit of cut hard plastic if you like, to use for scraping effects. Here are photos of both versions:

Large box with small color frame.
Same large box, with mid-size color frame.

Step 5: But what about the water?

I’m so glad you asked. Years ago I purchased a little clip-on double turpentine holder, available from any art supply store. The wells were not deep enough to hold the amount of water I wanted, so I used poster putty to adhere two old 35mm plastic film canisters inside the cups (makes it easier to not spill the water too). You could use small prescription/pill bottles instead. I fill one bottle with water and leave a bit of sponge in the other one. Dabbing your brush on a sponge right after you rinse your brush is a great habit; having the sponge right next to the water makes it even easier. Here are the photos. Note: I tuck a bit of towel between the palette flap and the water container to make sure it’s a good solid fit.

Turp cups with film canisters installed.
Turp cups safely hooked to left flap of “large “Papa Bear” palette box. Notice that lovely dirty sponge in the left cup!

Step 6: The board that hooks your paint and water to your sketchbook

Cheap or free are my favorite ways to invent things. Coroplast (also known as Biplex, Polyflute, Proplex) is corrugated plastic, a very versatile material used in some DIY applications, as well as for printing roadside advertising signs. You can purchase it at DIY stores or art supply stores, but I have an even better place to get it if you’re patient and clever.

Close-up of coroplast board end.

The thing is, this stuff is not environmentally friendly at all. That makes it durable for outdoor lawn advertising signs like roadside event notices, real estate for-sale signs, and political campaign signs (ample here in NH every 4 years). The sad news is that after the walkathon is complete, the festival is finished, or the election is over, those signs often become roadside litter, getting blown into the hedges and tall grass near roads, eventually broken into bits but never becoming useful compost.

I found the board I use now while walking along a road a few years ago. It was spattered with dirt and debris, but it rinsed off easily and makes me smile every time I see its proclamation of “Fest” and “–ncord, NH.”

Here are pictures of my well-used board which is cut to purpose (notice the 1″ notch cut along the top edge.)

Now all you do is insert that 1″ board slot around the entire set of paper in your bound sketchbook (see below), then open the book to the page you’re working on, and clip the open pages to the back and front covers. See below again. It’s far more secure than you would imagine!

Lift up all the pages to slip the board into place.
Simply clip the covers and the pages on each side open to the page you’re working on. Easy!

(It works fine with a spiral-bound book too- just open your spiral sketchbook to the page you’re working on, tuck the board between the covers, and clamp it. If you’d like further instruction on that, email me at the contact link above, and we’ll talk.)

Finally, the fully opened palette box (complete with paint, brushes, water, sponge) gets clipped on the right side to the board which is underneath. Now you simply hold it on your free hand, palm facing up, like you’re a waiter proudly holding a tray in a five-star restaurant.

Ta-dahh! Your fully loaded set-up!

Look at all those big beautiful color mixing areas on the far left and right! That’s what I wanted most of all: to have room to create big puddles of premixed paint, so when I work wet-in-wet in a gentle breeze, the mixes don’t all dry up before I’m finished!

The entire kit, including board, sketchbook, palette kit and water pots measures a mere 8” x  10” x 2.25”tall, and weighs in at slightly less than 2 pounds or .85kg. Lightweight and very portable.

Ready to pack into your small art bag.

Step 7: Go outside and play!

This winter I tried it out here in my home, and neighborhood, and all went well. Now that it’s springtime, I took it for a real test drive at the seacoast, where a gust of wind out of nowhere is to be expected. No problem!

View at Kittery Point Beach, April 28, 2023…
,,, and my painting of the day.

The kit worked perfectly. It will take some practice to get the set-up sequencing down to a routine but all in all I’m very pleased. I like it even better because I’ve walked you through all the steps so you can create one for yourself if you like, or a customized version that suits you even better. This was much more fun than taking one photo and saying, “Look what I invented, ta-daaaah!”

Creativity comes in many forms, including repurposing and reinvention. Do whatever it takes to make your plein air time as joyful as possible. I did.

The experience of painting outdoors, with all its multisensory stimulation, is not to be missed. The sounds of birds, the scent of the sea breeze, the barking of dogs in the distance, will mix magically in with your paint, and it will show in your final masterpiece du jour.

Make it as easy as possible to enjoy your time sketching and painting. That’s the whole point, right?


If you find these posts valuable, please consider making a contribution of any size to The Tip Jar. It helps keep this website solvent and is greatly appreciated!

As always, feel free to forward this post to anyone you think might enjoy it.

Questions? Comments? Public comments can be posted below.

Private questions or comments will reach me by using the Contact link here.

And, as always, thanks for joining me in some time “aloft”!

Posted in Beauty, sketching, Sketching tools, Urban Sketching (On-Site Creativity), Watercolor | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Say no… so you can say yes.

Your time is precious.

Sometimes my time feels so precious, and I have so many creative ideas, that time flies between blog posts as it has done lately. (Your overflowing inbox appreciates that though, I’m sure!)

This is why it’s so important to minimize the time you spend on things you don’t want to do, so you have more time available for your soul-filling joys.

This time-management challenge has been going on since the first artist, writer, inventor set foot on earth and then got either hungry or chilly. Dang, I have to stop to make lunch. Or drag out my wolf-skin parka. But I’m busy making stuff! I have to eat and sleep, but no, I’m not coming over to see your new baby brontosaurus.

So it’s true. We have to say no so we can say yes.

This week I read a brilliant article by Laura Pritchett, in the April 16th issue of the Colorado Sun. Here’s a quote:

“My other all-time favorite out-of-office reply came to me from the poet Camille Dungy, who quoted Charles Dickens on the subject. She pulled a few awesome lines from a “sorry, I can’t” type of response he wrote to a friend: 

‘It is only half an hour’–’It is only an afternoon’–’It is only an evening,’ people say to me over and over again. But they don’t know that it is impossible to command one’s self sometimes to any stipulated and set disposal of five minutes — or that the mere consciousness of an engagement will sometime worry a whole day. These are the penalties paid for writing books. Who ever is devoted to an art must be content to deliver himself wholly up to it, and to find his recompense in it. I am grieved if you suspect me of not wanting to see you, but I can’t help it; I must go in my way whether or no.’

“I snorted in delight when I read this one too. And surely this is applicable to everyone, not just authors. An invitation for “a cup of coffee” will eat up a half day, and, indeed, change the course of our entire days, and although I love a cup of coffee with a friend as much as the next person, I’m also unwilling to parcel out my time when I just can’t.”

Honestly, I could highlight every word of her article. A classic on this subject of time management is Time Warrior by Steve Chandler. Highly recommended. The challenge for us all is to streamline the “must do’s” so we have more time for leisurely “wanna do’s.”

Slow sketching

I am one of the slowest sketchers I know. It’s not that I don’t know how to draw or paint, or that I’m flooded with hesitancy. No, just the opposite.

I’m in love with gazing.

Early spring day full of watercolor self-hypnosis.

More than anything, I want to “draw what drew ya,” and that takes time. If I’m waiting for a bus and know I have 17 spare minutes, sure, I’ll pull out my sketchbook and enjoy the time. But by far my favorite way to sketch is to go somewhere that is visually pleasing, and just sit with no awareness of the passage of time. A few motionless minutes will pass, then I notice I’ve just done a double-take, spontaneously looking at something twice, smiling with curiosity. More often than not, that becomes my subject. I’m drawn to curious juxtapositions and large shapes that play well together. The object itself can be innocuous, but the composition feels compelling.

That’s precisely the sort of soul-enhancing experience that will elude me if my time is too jam-packed with schedules and chores and social obligations.

No matter how old you are, you don’t have long to live.

Remembering that fact will help you be mindful of how you decide to spend your time here on earth. If your creative outlet is drawing pictures with your grandchildren, or designing and planting a prize-winning garden, or inventing a watercolor kit that answers every wish you ever had (to be revealed in the next blog post!), then you simply must design your day around your creative priority. If you don’t, you will slowly develop a quiet despair and eventually start wondering what’s the point of this life after all. I’ve been there. It’s not a nice neighborhood.

There are 168 hours in a week. If you sleep a delicious 8 hours a night, that leaves 112. If you work 50 hours a week and commute 10 hours a week, that still leaves you 52 hours. That’s on average over seven hours a day that’s all yours to design. This may be your greatest work of art so far!

Sustenance: I usually spend a chunk of time once a week on food planning and prep. Veggies get chopped, soup gets made and some goes in the freezer, the week’s simple food plan gets taped to the refrigerator. No time wasted on Decision Fatigue later in the week.

Admin: Although I’m retired, I have a whole cluster of chores I call “Admin” that could easily steal my joy if I let them. It’s things like paying bills, managing the marketing/sales of my two books, Etsy site, and things like that. And finally, and by far the biggest challenge, Managing the Email Inbox. Ugh.

I can’t be cavalier and just ignore it. My inbox is where I hear from long-lost friends, get fan mail from new readers of “Look at That!,” and receive important alerts if my finances or identity have been compromised. All those things need timely action. But what about all that other email? Sisyphus comes to mind, sadly.

Here are the two top tips I’m using at the moment for Inbox Management:

A wind-up timer. I set the timer for 30 minutes most days to work on inbox-clearing or answering emails. Then when the bell goes off, I finish whatever email I’m in the middle of, and close that tab. Leave it. Move on to stretching or walking around a bit, reclaiming my space.

Unsubscribe Magic. This technique hit me like a blast of fresh air when I first discovered it. I open my inbox, then type the word “Unsubscribe” into the search bar. Voila, instantly you will see all those auto-generated emails that may have interested you at one point, but now, not so much. Then it’s a few easy steps:

1- I open a newsletter I no longer want, then follow the unsubscribe process.

2- Next, use the search bar again to locate all the newsletters from the source I just unsubscribed from.

3- I select all of those, hit delete, and Voila, success.

4- Finally, type “unsubscribe” in the search bar again and repeat.

Yes, it’s a slow process, but faster than weeding through them one by one. Note: I do this while listening to a favorite podcast because this inbox work is utterly mindless, and the podcast keeps me entertained.

Once you’re caught up, it’s easy to maintain. If you’re on a roll and having a great time slashing and burning through that inbox when the 30-minute timer rings, reset it for another 30 minutes and knock yourself out.

My trusty timer is a magic shield, guarding me from the evil monster called Overwhelm. With Timer’s gentle ticking, I can safely navigate through the tedium of tasks I dread.

After all these years, that timer bell still reminds me of my childhood, when that “bbbrrriiing” meant the made-from-scratch chocolate chip cookies had finished cooking. A sweet memory. Now the timer bell sounds like freedom, another sort of dessert, I suppose. It announces the freedom to move on and start refilling my soul in whatever way I please.

On page 63 of “Look at That!”I included a quote from William Henry Davies:

“A poor life this, if full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare.

I wish you many moments of carefree staring.


If you find these posts valuable, please consider making a contribution of any size to The Tip Jar. It helps keep this website solvent and is greatly appreciated!

As always, feel free to forward this post to anyone you think might enjoy it.

Questions? Comments? Public comments can be posted below.

Private questions or comments will reach me by using the Contact link here.

And, as always, thanks for joining me in some time “aloft”!

Posted in 3- Magic: Art Epiphanies, Beauty, Musings on Life, My Story, Writing | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Playing with Watercolor Toys on a Snowy Day

Do you ever feel like playing with your watercolors, exploring all the juicy gorgeous possibilities without having to sketch a scene first? Congratulations, you’ve come to the right place.

I have two active sketchbooks with distinctly separate purposes.

One I take out on location, to sketch and paint on those lovely days when we’re between blizzards here in New England. I use the other one for indoor “studio” exploration. (Like many of us, my “studio” is also my living room, dining space, heartbeat center of my home. Calling it my “studio” just sets the mood.)

I launched this second Studio Sketchbook a few weeks ago, beginning with the lessons I found in Andy Walker’s valuable course, “Learn the Secret of Successful Color Mixing” (link is in the next paragraph.)

Many of you are familiar with color theory, but when was the last time you indulged in mixing colors for the simple fun of it? Doing so brings color theory to life, right before your eyes. You’ll marvel at how the slightest shifts in pigment-to-water ratios change the mood of a color. You may even create mud by mistake, but no matter; you learned why it happened, a valuable lesson. Besides, some versions of “mud” are actually lovely!

As a result of all this color play, the next time you’re out in the field sketching and you’re looking for the perfect color mix for the sunlight on that weathered fence post, you’ll smile, knowing you have the recipe right there in your experiential memory, not in your theory-brain or, heaven forbid, in a book or PDF you left at home. I highly recommend exploring Andy’s course in a leisurely, fun-focused manner. Andy’s introduction to the course is here.

It costs from $16 to $29USD depending on which discounts are in effect at the moment. No need to wait though, because it really is worth the full price. Andy leads you step-by-step through the basics and invites you to enjoy your own color mixing experience, which is far more exciting and educational than any PDF handout you will ever see. What you learn in this course will apply to all your color work in the future, including when you expand your palette or switch to a different brand. Best of all, it will break you of the bad habit of using colors right out of the tube or pan. Adding at least a dab of some other color will bring the original color to life, as you will discover from your own firsthand experience with Andy’s course.

Creating your color charts will take time, patience, and perseverance. The good news is that all the while you’ll be having fun! If you pour a cup of tea first and turn on some good music or an uplifting podcast, you will find yourself enjoying every minute. I mean, every minute; I even enjoyed measuring out my pencil grids!

When you decide to give yourself the gift of a second sketchbook to use purely for color and brush technique exploration, I implore you to invest about $20 in a sketchbook that has good quality paper; otherwise, your color blending work will be less successful, and more importantly, less fun. The water itself needs a good place to play and move around on its own. 140lb, 100% cotton paper is the gold standard for the best results. Some sketchbooks I recommend are:

Moleskine Art Watercolour Album ($18 for 72 pages)

Pentalic Aqua Journal ($27 for 48 pages)

This final sketchbook suggestion is one of my favorites, despite being made with somewhat lighter-weight paper (95lb. paper rather than the usual 140lb.) HandBook Journal Co. Watercolor Sketchbook: ($18 for 60 pages)

These books are about 5 inches x 8 inches, a comfortable size. I use small clips on each of the unbound corners of the page, especially if I plan to include wet washes in the day’s sketch. Even for small color-mixing squares, the clips are extra insurance that the session will be enjoyable.

A square-format Seawhite of Brighton watercolour sketchbook

So, back to Andy’s lessons. My favorite page from his course was on Mixing Neutrals.

I have long been enchanted by inspired neutrals, beginning back in 1986 when I was studying with a group of beginners, all using Jeanne Dobie’s Making Color Sing as a guide. Brilliant book. (The photo below is of the second copy I bought recently and had converted from a standard soft cover book to a spiral bound version at my local office supply store. Made it far easier to use as a textbook!)

One of my favorite lessons about inspired neutrals is on page 19.

(If I were on a desert island for a year and could bring only one watercolor book, this would be it!)

One way to practice your new understanding of color mixing is to take a small part of a famous painting you like, and try to match the colors. That of course means studying the value (dark vs light) as well as the temperature (toward warm/orange or cool/blue).

Final Inspirations from one of my heroes, Andrew Wyeth

I’ve long admired this man’s creations, and recently I came across Andrew Wyeth’s 1955 work called “Monday Morning.” It is not watercolor, it’s tempera, but it has the same radiance that watercolor is known for. Because of copyright law, I can’t share the image, but here’s a link to a gallery view of much of his beautiful work. You’ll see “Monday Morning” if you click on that link, then scroll down a bit.

Here’s my recent homework inspired by Wyeth’s “Monday Morning.”

The more time you spend practicing color-mixing and creating small studio study pieces, the more equipped you will be when you head out to create your own one-of-a-kind masterpiece from first-hand, plein air experience.

But what about the rest of the Studio Sketchbook?

I used a Moleskine sketchbook (72 pages) for Andy Walker’s color mixing course which filled up about a dozen pages, so I decided to leave a few more pages blank for future color mixing experiments. Then in the second half of the book (starting on about page 30) I created a new section called Brush Dancing. Here I take lessons learned from Alwyn Crawshaw and others, and practice exploring the vast array of marks you can make with just three brushes. With any luck, that will be my next blog post. Stay tuned!


Your generous or humble contribution to The Tip Jar helps keep this website solvent and is very much appreciated!

As always, feel free to forward this post to anyone you think might enjoy it.

Questions? Comments? Public comments can be posted below.

Private questions or comments will reach me by using the Contact link here.

And, as always, thanks for joining me in some time “aloft”!

Posted in Sketchbooks, Watercolor | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Perspective difficulties? Try planting fence posts!

If you’re struggling with getting the perspective right when you’re drawing buildings, take it from me, you’re not alone. I’ve been drawing buildings in urban scenes and country scenes for decades, and my success in achieving credible perspective has been unreliable. It may look okay by the end, but some days the mental gymnastics I go through to get there feel excessive. Focus and effort have not guaranteed success despite having studied lots of art instruction books on how to draw accurate perspective. The ease eluded me… that is until now.

To get you up to speed, there are two lines you need to understand. Together, ironically, they create a “plus sign,” always a good place to start, right?

The Eye-Level Line

First, establish your eye-level line. Forget the word “horizon” for a minute. You can’t always see the horizon, but you can always:

  1. look straight ahead of you, whether standing or sitting,
  2. pretend your eye has the power of a laser beam,
  3. then, looking straight ahead, burn a dot in the closest object directly in front of you.

Next, imagine a horizontal line going right through your dot. This will be your “horizon,” or eye-level line, for this one drawing. Now you see that “the horizon” is not actually a thing or a place; it’s a point of view! Who knew!

Some artists call it an eye-line. Either way, you’ve nailed it. Decide early on, before you draw this line, whether you want to be sitting or standing, because your laser beam point changes when you change levels. Remember, your legs and neck may get tired holding the same position for a long time, so get comfortable before you commit to a viewpoint.

Okay, now that you found your dot, extend that line left and right with your eyes first, and then faintly draw that line on the page.

You’ve made your first mark! On to Line #2! This is getting exciting!

Line #2: The Main Vertical

Next, look for the closest corner of the nearest building. Decide where you want that line to be on your paper (avoid dead center: there’s a reason it’s called “dead” center!).

Now draw it lightly. You’re on a roll with that one vertical line. This is where most perspective classes start talking about vanishing points, roof angles, window angles, and suddenly you’re up in your head instead of staying firmly grounded in Eyeball Land. (My book is called “Look at That!” not “Let’s Think About This Until We’re Totally Confused”!)

Let’s get back to that first vertical line. Now that you know where it intersects your eye-level line, how much of it is above eye level, and how much is below? More than likely, the “above” part is much longer than the “below” part because from eye-level to the ground is usually less than 6 feet, but the above eye-level part is often10, 20, 30 or more feet. So take a minute and make that line look right. You’ve accurately completed Line #2!

Now, find the next vertical line to the left or right of Line #2. It’s probably another building corner. How far to the left (or right) is it? Is it fairly close? Take your time, you’re making friends with your subject matter.

Now that you know how far to the left (or right) it is, put a dot on the eye-line to show where you’re “planting” your Line #3. Now, how tall above the eye-line is it, compared to your first line? How far below eye-level does it go? Don’t think about it, just notice, just look and compare. You can say, “Hmm…” if you want, like I do all the time. It seems to help.

Create all the main verticals from one side of your sketch to the other. Your fence posts are now planted. It will look something like this:

You could stop right now and be very proud of yourself. Amazing, right?

But if you’d like to continue, start connecting the tops of those lines carefully, one by one. Keep looking back at your subject, and notice how these new lines (rooflines if you have a flat-roof building) are automatically perfect, or close to it. Voila! No stressing over perspective, no vanishing points. All you did was ask yourself, “Is this line taller or shorter than the one next to it, and by how much?” You were just planting fenceposts and hammering them in.

If you feel like it, now that you have a credible building, you can add whatever details you want, like the porch, or a few windows, or even a car or two. Make these minor shapes simple, no perfectionism. Like this:

Then in a couple of days you might find yourself out for a walk, looking down a street that was too complicated to sketch in the past. Not now!

If you forgot your sketchbook, take a moment just to discover all those lovely verticals you never noticed before. Let your confidence grow. If you do have your sketchbook, you might decide to just draw the eye-level line and all the verticals, the fenceposts. No houses, just posts. Use a pencil if you like, so you can erase the tops of any posts that get too tall. Then add whatever rooflines you like. And a shrub or two. Then quit halfway through because you’re pleased enough, and your fingers are freezing. That’s what I did.

When I see a student’s sketch that has wildly inaccurate perspective, nine times out of ten the only problem is that their fence posts are too tall above the eyeline, too short below the eyeline, or not spaced properly on the eye-line.

It’s all about relationships, not angles.

So now you know the secret: there are three basic steps to rendering perspective accurately.
1) Plant your fenceposts the correct spacing apart,
2) then dig the hole to the right depth (below the eye line),
3) and finally, be sure they’re the right height (above the eyeline).

You simply can’t go wrong. Before long, your draftsmanship will be so solid that you can add in color and really have some fun.

By the way, this approach expands on the “GPS dots” idea I introduced on pages 42-43 of Look at That! In this blog episode, we simply add the “fenceposts” those GPS dots are sitting on! I hope this helps build your confidence, and above all, increases your joy in seeing and sketching.

Do me a favor: I would love to know if this made sense to you, if you tried it out, and if it felt like it helped. In no time at all, you will start seeing street scenes as a collection of verticals, all linked together by those no-longer tricky angles. Some fun now!


Your generous or humble contribution to The Tip Jar helps keep this website solvent and is very much appreciated!

As always, feel free to forward this post to anyone you think might enjoy it.

Questions? Comments? Public comments can be posted below.

Private questions or comments will reach me by using the Contact link here.

And, as always, thanks for joining me in some time “aloft”!

Posted in Beauty, Look at That! book, Pencil sketching, Seeing and looking, sketching, Urban Sketching (On-Site Creativity) | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

More from my hero, Danny Gregory

In my book, Look at That!, on pages 55 and 67, I gave kudos to Danny for being a wonderful creative mentor to hundreds of wannabe artists.

Then in my second book, Double Take, I pretty much gave Danny credit for saving my creative life, via a radio interview he did on January 24th, 2013.

Danny, not wanting to rest on his laurels, has now taught himself a whole slew of new skills and has single-handedly created his first animated short film. Knowing he did every step of it himself is impressive, but not surprising, knowing him.

This afternoon, I had a creative epiphany that blew my mind wide open. I have to sleep on it a few more days, let it percolate, before I share any details here, but wow, it reminded me that we are each, always, just one moment away from our next massive creative insight.

Watching this film tonight felt like Epiphany Dessert. Life just gets better and better.

And if instead of riding the crest of the wave, you’re in a lull at the moment, be patient, be kind to yourself, and indulge in some great animation. All 6:24 glorious minutes. It can’t hurt.

Thanks again, Danny!


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Posted in 3- Magic: Art Epiphanies, Beauty, Cartoons, Musings on Life | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Never cut the warp

(Note: this post is about twice as long as most. Good story though!)

Many years ago, I owned a weaving studio that catered to helping people who lived on the riverbanks of mainstream culture. The people I worked with were from many different corners of society—gifted home school children, young people with physical or intellectual disabilities, busy moms, retired men and women. Most of them had busy lives but they were no longer punching a clock, or never had done so. What they had in common was curiosity, inventiveness, and the willingness to try something new.

FreedomWeavers Studio was a nurturing haven for handwoven creativity. The main room had six SAORI looms set up in a circle, and most days you’d find strangers becoming friends there. I also traveled to nursing homes and residential schools to bring this wonderful creative practice to the residents.

One such project took me to the local veterans’ home, where men and women live out their lives in a healthy environment that provides food and care for body and soul. The recreation director hired me to conduct a six-week program with the vets. My challenge was to create a project, and a narrative, that would capture their imaginations as well as hold their interest for all six weeks.

I knew I had to introduce the project in a way that helped them get past initial feelings of resistance. The “machine” (the floor loom) looks complicated at first glance, and these elderly men were not about to look foolish in front of their fellow vets. For some, their very identities were still tied to those days when they had to be tough, when hierarchy reigned supreme. I needed to honor that as I opened a new door to exploration as well.

I needed to create a custom warp long enough to last for the full six weeks, a warp whose colors and textures provided an inviting foundation for discovery. I chose red, white, and blue, but not the traditional flag colors. Instead, I intermingled threads of burgundy red, muted beige, and navy blue.

Before I go any further, let me introduce you to the basics of weaving, as I did when I met the veterans. In the photos below, you’ll see a collection of black threads that are connected at the front of the loom. That is called the warp. (Note: the first four photos shown here are of a current project I am working on. The photos from the veteran’s project come later.)

Those threads are then threaded individually through the reed (which looks like a comb).

Next, they are threaded, one by one, through the heddles, which are suspended wires with a hole in the middle through which the thread passes.

Finally, these warp threads go over a wooden bar at the back of the loom and are wound onto a roller near the floor.

As you see here, the black threads, or warp threads, are held under tension, about as tight as a bouncy trampoline. It’s labor-intensive to “dress” a loom, and happily, I find it quite meditative. It must be done before any actual weaving can begin, and there is no way to rush it. A full-width warp has approximately 300 threads, each of which I get to handle three times during the setup. This “dressing the loom” process often involves many cups of tea as well!

The warp setup through the reed and heddles creates the mechanism which allows the other set of threads, the weft, (blue in the first photo above) to pass over, under, over, under the warp threads in one easy motion. If any of you remember as a kid making loopy potholders on a frame, this is essentially the same process: interlocking threads that are perpendicular when they pass one another.

Now, back to the story.

I arrived at the veterans’ home with the many hours of “dressing the loom” already completed back at my studio. In the recreation hall of the facility, I found a good place to set up the loom, create a gathering of chairs, set up a couple tables, and display a generous selection of weft yarns for them to choose from. One by one, the gentlemen, and a couple ladies as well, entered the recreation room, some walking slowly, some in wheelchairs, a few with walkers. I smiled and watched their faces which registered everything from curiosity to clear skepticism. When everyone had gathered round, I sat down with them by the loom and began my introduction.

“I admit it was a challenge to create a meaningful project for us to work on together,” I began. “There are so many stories in this room, such a wealth of memories, and talent, and experience. One thing this community has in common is love of country, which each of you served so generously in the past. That is why I chose the colors of our flag, red, white, and blue, as the warp that will hold this weaving project, and this community, together.”

“Added to that uniting element, though, is the colorful diversity of each of you. Without that, we would have a plain flag without the breath of life animating it. So here on the table are dozens of different colors and textures of yarn, and each of you get to pick whichever threads are pleasing to you. No right or wrong, this is you adding yourself to the fabric of this community. I bet we will see a lot of variety here, once we get going.”

During my demo, the mechanically-minded vets came forward to investigate and admire the loom’s ingenious design. The confident ones soon gave it a try and, little by little, the more reluctant ones were encouraged and assisted by the now-experienced weavers. Some people chose to use just a single color for their weft contribution. Others blended several colored threads on a single bobbin, creating a section of weaving unique to them.

Everyone was given total aesthetic autonomy except in one area: SCISSORS. The colorful weft threads were carefully cut by me every time a new weaver sat down, but I remained the official Keeper of the Scissors. The reason for this was simple; the warp is the very foundation of the woven cloth’s existence. A cut warp thread meant a gap that could not be easily repaired. Cut warp threads on the edges could easily turn a 24-inch-wide project into a 20-inch-wide one, with yards and yards of wasted, loose threads piling up sadly on the floor. Thus, my constant admonition: Never cut the warp. It’s what holds us all together.

Vets who had previously been aloof by choice found themselves helping their fellow vets who had a little trouble following the steps. The SAORI looms are known for the adaptive accessories that are available, so a person who uses a wheelchair, or has use of just one arm, can still fully participate. Although SAORI weaving can easily be done by a solo person, we set it up as “team weaving,” so three people were operating the loom at the same time, building community as well as fabric.

Toward the end of the six-week residency, I was told that a few vets had requested seating changes in the dining room because of the new friends they had made during our project together. That still pleases me to this day.

On the final day of the residency, we had an “unveiling parade”, where the finished cloth was slowly unrolled from the loom, revealing yards and yards of one-of-a-kind fabric.

A wider point applies as well.

As a lover of metaphor, I readily see the connection between choosing the essential warp colors for a very long art project, and carefully choosing what core values, your personal “warp,” you want to embrace so that the common threads of your life stay front and center in your daily choices.

My warp threads for this year, 2023, are three shades of the word “Downsize:”

1- I’m successfully releasing the excess body weight that has kept me from activities I love in recent years.

2- I’m downsizing my personal possessions by 50%, an ambitious goal. Now, only three weeks into the new year, I’m seeing great progress in this plan to discard and donate as much as feels right. I’m exhilarated by the freedom found within my suddenly-spacious living quarters.

3- My final downsizing project is related to my calendar. I want extra space in my schedule too, extra time to breathe and have life itself invite me in new directions, moment by moment.

So, my “red, white and blue” warp this year is Downsizing my body, my home, and my commitments. All three will give me more breathing room, which I crave more than anything.

What about you? What might your warp colors be for this year?

I believe it is well worth a good ponder, especially if you are feeling mildly restless or dissatisfied. It’s your beautiful life— once you decide on your basic warp colors, you will be free to weave in all sorts of texture and ornamentation and joy.

There are many ways to begin this gentle exploration. I love pondering the question, “If I had a year to live, fully healthy, where would I focus my time and heart?” It’s an exhilarating way to start a new year, full of potential. I wish you all the best in freeing up your heart’s desire.


Your generous or tiny contribution to The Tip Jar helps keep this website solvent and is very much appreciated!

As always, feel free to forward this post to anyone you think might enjoy it.

Questions? Comments? Public comments can be posted below.

Private questions or comments will reach me by using the Contact link here.

And, as always, thanks for joining me in some time “aloft”!

Posted in Beauty, Musings on Life, My Story | Tagged , , , , , | 12 Comments

I’m moving! Not really…

Last week I was lucky to have a long visit with my niece who is in the midst of one of life’s top stressors: Moving Your Household. I’ve moved more times than I can count (okay, full disclosure, I’ve moved eighteen times). There’s an up-side to it though: when you move every few years, you have a built-in way to sort through all your possessions with a discerning eye.

I’ve lived in my current digs for eight years, and for several months I’ve felt the need to live in a larger, less crowded apartment. The problem is, I love this loft. I mean, I really love it. So, I’ve made a decision: I’ll pretend I’m moving.

It’s simple really. Start in a corner of one room and look at every single object with the critical eye of K.D.D.: Keep, Discard, or Donate. It’s the perfect time of year (new beginnings), and it might actually be exciting.

I’ve given myself six months to complete this deep-downsizing project, and now, suddenly, everything I own looks different. For example, yesterday, as the kettle boiled for a cup of tea, I opened the cupboard, looking for a favorite mug I haven’t used in a while. As I moved other mugs out of the way, I found myself wrapping those four random mugs in newspaper rather than replacing them on the shelf. They now sit in the donate basket, and I’m pleased every time I see only the two teacups I love on the shelf, instead of six I have to shuffle around. The downsizing pleasures start immediately!

My goal is two-fold: to free up floor space, and then dispose of half of the contents of all the bookshelves and storage drawers. Half my possessions out the door by the end of June 2023. An ambitious goal! It’s important to start with the easy stuff first and build momentum.

What’s the hard stuff for me? The Art Stuff of course. Art Books and Art Supplies. Those have been my biggest challenge, because although much of it is dusty, I keep thinking I just might need that, or reread that, someday…maybe…hmmm.

So while sorting through outdated clothing and extra teacups, I’ve started, little by little, also giving away art stuff. I’ve donated spare watercolor palettes, etc. to local creative friends and that’s fun. I want more though; I want to include all of you in this adventure. Here’s how.

I have art instruction books which I have loved for many years and since I no longer need them, I’m giving them away in bundles of three. If this is a bundle you like, send me a note by clicking here, and I will box it up and mail it to you. (The three books are a bundle, take them all!) Your only expense will be shipping. 

This first bundle weighs five pounds– you can research the shipping cost for the USA here. These books do qualify for Media Mail which is quite affordable but can be very slow. USPS Ground Service or Priority Mail is available too, up to you. (I can ship out of the country as well, but figuring the costs in advance is a bit trickier.) Here we go!

Jeanne Dobie’s classic Making Color Sing.

This is the book that first introduced me to watercolor in 1986. Our instructor, Giffin Russell, presented it like a college textbook, and together the class worked through every single word, doing every single exercise. It provided me with a priceless foundation worth its weight in gold. I have two copies actually: my original book from 1986 (which I’m keeping) is a hardcover copy riddled with class notes and highlights. A couple years ago I bought a second copy, a paperback, then paid to have a local printer remove the spine and add the spiral binding, so it would work better as a lay-flat-on-the-table textbook. This copy I’m offering you is in pristine condition.

Next, a lovely book by Judi Betts called, Watercolor: Let’s Think About It.  

This book feels like a guided meditation, instructive through your heart rather than your head.  It helps you reframe how you see your surroundings, and your artwork. This book, unfortunately, got a little water damage at some point but the pages are still legible an delightful. 

Finally, a hardcover copy of Sketching School by Judy Martin, a rich overview of all the approaches to sketching you can imagine.

 It explores various media, beginning steps, themes, and art basics like composition. It’s a rich resource packed into 176 pages.

Three books to start! To recap, together they weigh about five pounds including packaging. If you are interested, you can look here to get an estimate of the shipping cost to you. Then send a private message to me here, telling me you’re interested (and why!) and where you would like the box-of-three shipped.(If you live outside the USA and want to research your shipping costs, my postal code is 03301 in New Hampshire.)

Upcoming posts will tell you about more giveaways of books and art supplies. Stay tuned!


Your generous or tiny contributions to The Tip Jar help to keep this website solvent and are much appreciated!

As always, feel free to forward this post to anyone you think might enjoy it.

Questions? Comments? Public comments can be posted below.

Private questions or comments will reach me by using the Contact link here.

Posted in Beauty, Books I Love, Pen & Ink, Pencil sketching, Urban Sketching (On-Site Creativity), Watercolor | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Enough is enough…finally

I recently finished reading a book entitled, “A Life of Being, Having, and Doing Enough” by Wayne Muller. Published eleven years ago in 2011, I bet I highlighted passages on half of the 256 pages.

Reading it now was perfect timing in the midst of having the flu for six weeks and thinking about my friend Scott’s song called “May They Be Blessed.” Our personal pendulums swing from too much to too little, and if we pass that place of “just enough” too swiftly, we miss out on how delightful it is.

Wayne Muller, the author, is a therapist, minister, and community advocate whose resume is impressive. While others in his age group were climbing the corporate ladder, Muller was dedicating his life to service to some of the most disenfranchised members of our society through community, healthcare, and educational work. I especially enjoyed the short video clips you can find here on his website.

One of the first quotes I highlighted in the book was, “So many good-hearted people I know are exhausted.” Phew, that certainly rang true. “However sweet or nourishing the fruits of their work may be for themselves or others, nothing they do ever feels like enough.” Muller goes on to explain how this feeling of “not enough” is embedded in our culture, that whether it’s earning more money, or buying a bigger home, or becoming more physically fit, or collecting graduate degrees like some competitive stamp collection, it’s simply not enough. And if you start to feel satisfied, then you have to wonder what’s wrong with you, because you might be at risk of becoming a slacker!

Even with perfectly healthy hobbies like gardening or sketching, meditation, or reading, do you ever really have enough seeds, paint brushes, quiet time, or books? “Enough books”, impossible! Would that mean I am no longer teachable, that I have run out of curiosity? No, perhaps just the opposite.

The state of Enough is rich and full of breathing room. It is that contented feeling in the belly that is not hungry or thirsty, nor is it the slightest bit overfull. As Muller states, “Beyond this point [of enough], anything more—whether real or imagined—simply creates suffering.”

Developing this in-the-moment awareness of when you have reached “enough” of whatever you are experiencing takes practice. You are fine-tuning a machine that has most likely spent decades being numbed to healthy limits because everything in our culture screams more, of anything, must be better. Even with a fever and what turned into a long-term case of the flu, my mind kept slipping into impatience to “get on with it already!” My loving friends would call and innocently say, “Aren’t you feeling better yet?” not knowing that I had been silently shouting the same thing most hours of every day that the illness lingered. But I was asking the wrong question.

What if instead I spent those same moments thinking how lucky I was to have a body that could fight such a long battle? What if instead of slandering my immune system with insults about its incompetence, I turned my thinking on its head and considered the magnitude of the challenge /infection it was fighting, and watched in awe, knowing I didn’t have to lift a finger for my body to continue to heal at a perfect, glacial pace.

What if nothing was wrong to begin with?

What if I was just having another life experience, one that actually forced me to redefine “enough”? What if this was the best gift the Universe had ever given me, the biggest “reset button” opportunity of them all?

I turned a wellness corner yesterday and can now take a deep breath without coughing afterward. That is enough for today.

Goldilocks was definitely on to something. I can recognize Too Much and I’m well aware of Too Little.

Time to befriend Just Right, otherwise known as Enough.


As always, feel free to forward this post to anyone you think might enjoy it.

Questions? Comments? Public comments can be posted below.

Private questions or comments will reach me by using the Contact link here.

The Very Important Tip Jar is available here if you enjoyed this post. It helps greatly to defray some of this website’s expenses.

Finally, thanks so much for spending some “aloft” time with me.

Posted in Beauty, Books I Love, Musings on Life | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

“Yeah, what he said…”

Sometimes I read something and before I’m finished my whole brain is saying, “This has to be a blog post!”

I just read the weekly essay from my good pal Danny Gregory, and instantly wanted to share it with you. I asked his permission, and he generously said yes. Here it is:

Should you care what others think? Kinda.

“Let’s face it, one of the most important parts of making things lies beyond our ability to control: other people’s reactions to our work. Right?

— “Hey, mom, look what I made.”

— “That’s wonderful, you’re a genius, let’s hang it on the fridge.”


— “Hey, mom, look what I made.”

— “What is it now? Can’t you see I’m on the phone?”

It’s one of the most difficult parts of being a creative person. Not the fun, satisfying, unfurling of an idea, but the cold crickets that confront it or the “yes, but” of the professional critic or the form rejection letter or worse, the anticipation of rejection that stops the egg from ever even popping into the nest.

We may not make it for others but a work is not fully realized until it bounces off another’s eyeballs, vibrates their eardrums, or rearranges some of the cells deep within their corpus callosum.

And praise can be as insufficient as a shrug. We don’t just want a pat on the head; we want connection, reaction, insight, something that makes us see what we made in a newer light or on a deeper plane.

Knowing we moved someone else, revealed truth to them, reminded them of something we didn’t even know corresponded, that makes us love our work all the more.

Love it and wonder at it, at the fact that we were the conduit for it, that something passed through us and then passed through another heart. It dissolves the loneliness of existence.

Ideally, our art is the truest manifestation of our conclusions about the nature of things and, when someone else sees it and validates it and shares it, the power of that truth is reflected back on itself like an endlessly repeating mirror.

That’s why rejection hurts, because, yes, we feel our efforts are wasted, and, yes, we don’t matter and, yes, we didn’t make a ripple on the surface of the earth — all true.

But mainly because we wonder whether the magic we found is really magic, whether the revelation we thought so profound was just a single-serving glimmer of something too puny and insufficient to be shared, a whistle in the dark, not a full-blown hallelujah chorus with kindred spirits chiming in.

The true value of acknowledgment isn’t registered in the ego; it’s the opposite, a breaking down of the barriers between creator and audience so that we can unite in a shared appreciation of something that lends beauty and meaning to the grinding metronome of the day. We see a glimpse of the heavens together, a view that appeared to one of us first but is now a canopy over us all.

It’s even true of a joke, a shared laugh, the quick bark of recognition that our minds thought alike. We saw the other’s insight, and we were able to escape together from the hard, ivory prison of our skulls for a moment.

When I hear from people who like my work, or more importantly found something in my work that made their day a little brighter, I like my work more too. And when a reader has an insight or can tell me of a particular sentence that strummed their strings, I have insight into where to go next, into what matters in what I’ve done.

And conversely, of course, if my work pulls up lame and doesn’t find much of an audience, I wonder where I went wrong or why I thought something was worth my time but proved not to be worth anyone else’s.

Finally, I believe there’s a time and a place for everything in the creative process. Feedback, response, and critiques have a valuable part to play but only after the making is done. Don’t allow your worries about what people might say to overshadow the actual process of creation.

Begin by making freely, unconcerned by where you might ultimately get to. Keep your head down and keep playing. Don’t indulge in an inner conversation about whether it’s original or good. If that voice pops up, tell it you’ll be glad to discuss and assess it later, once the cake is out of the oven. Opening the door repeatedly to poke and prod is unlikely to make things better.

Okay, I’m done with this essay. So, now — what’d ya think? Huh, huh? Isn’t it great?

I jest. But I am always interested to hear what you think about what I think.

Your pal, Danny”

… and here is a link for you to follow, so you too can get a little nugget of creative inspiration in your inbox each Friday.


Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

A cliffside life on a windy day…

Some folks seem to have bumpier roads to travel than other folks, for no obvious reason. It would be so nice to believe there is a relationship between Effort and Outcome– that it is linear, clear, understandable, even controllable. That has not been my experience though.

For many weeks now I’ve been trudging through yet another health struggle, flu followed by severe respiratory difficulty and exhaustion. At times I have lost heart, and have been so frustrated; I wanted to chuck a crystal wine glass into the fireplace. If only I had a crystal wine glass. Or a fireplace.

Then this song drifted into my heart. Unbidden, and fully welcome.

My dear friend Scott Alarik wrote a song many years ago called May They Be Blessed. At the time he wrote it we were intimate friends, and he said I was the first to hear it as he played it for me in the living room.

I remember the long silence between us when he finished.

“What do you think?” he said.

“I’m stunned,” I replied.

“By what, what part?”

“The surprise ending.”

It was Scott’s turn to look confused.

“What do you mean, what surprise?”

His life had been so tumultuous in those years of the late 1970s and early 1980s, as a struggling singer-songwriter who had worked endless hours, traveled thousands of miles each year, had done gigs on stages as big as Prairie Home Companion, followed by playing in a noisy smoky bar for tips the next night. Rarely feeling like he was making any progress, yet utterly unwilling to give up. He was so good at persevering, so determined, even when battle-weary.

It never dawned on me that he could allow himself to dream of a life any different than that. The first half of the song describes The Way Life Is: winds blowing mercilessly, hearts torn asunder, the only choice being between lurching steps or none at all.

But toward the end of the song, I heard him speak from a quieter place, outside the storm, looking back at it. That is what surprised me. His viewpoint.

I explained all that to him at the time, and he smiled. “Oh sweets,” he said, “You have been with me through some rough times, haven’t you?” Yes, I had.

That song still brings me to tears because of its relentless faith, all the while knowing that Life Can Be Very, Very Hard.

I had started another blog post, about our need to define “Enough,” especially in times of illness and stress and scarcity. Then this song came to me, out of nowhere. Maybe a telegram from Scott, who passed away suddenly last December first. His death shook the folk music community across America and beyond. Scott’s niche as a troubadour took the back seat years ago to his starring role as a writer, historian, journalist, and activist. His life most certainly blessed us all.

My next post will be a continued look at this notion of “Enough.” For now, here’s Scott’s recording, and the lyrics, so you can read along. Enjoy, especially if, for this moment, your house feels like a cliffside view on a windy day.

Here is the song’s recording: May They Be Blessed – Scott Alarik

Some people’s houses are on good firm ground
Where tall and sheltering trees stand
They are safe in their homes — their roots are well known
They can welcome the winds as they blow.

But some people go to the edge of those woods
Where the dark and the wild things grow
And their lives blow like leaves — in more dangerous winds
For reasons they may never know.

May they be blessed who live in those winds
whether in them their lives rise or fall
For their danger teaches us much of love
And their fear graces us all.

Some people walk in small clean steps
every movement is carefully planned
They may never see all their heart longs to see
But they will always be sure where they stand.

Oh but some people move with a lurching step
Always reaching for much too much
They may never find what their heart needs to find
Always reaching beyond what they can touch.

May they be blessed who run through this life
When it would be so much wiser to crawl
For their passion teaches us much of love
And their fear graces us all.

Now some people love with a measuring heart
Always balancing chances with gains
They will love safely or love not at all
And they will have no time for their pain.

Oh but some people love with a reckless heart
Never bargaining pleasures or cost
And they often burn in the heat of their own flame
And when they lose it is much that they have lost.

May they be blessed whose hearts are this way
Who will love fiercely or love not at all
For their loneliness teaches us much of love
And their fear graces us all.

I hope that I live in a good strong house
That I walk down clear roads sure but slow
I hope those I love might be those who love me
That I’m not lost where the wild things grow.

But let me never forget those whose lives burn too brightly
for reasons they may never know
May I not stand too long in dangerous winds
But let me never forget how they can blow.

May they be blessed who live in those winds
whether in them their lives rise or fall
For their danger teaches us much of love
And their fear graces us all,

…and their fear graces us all.

© 1986 Scott Alarik

And here’s a bit about Scott:


As always, feel free to forward this post to anyone you think might enjoy it.

Questions? Comments? Public comments can be posted below.

Private questions or comments will reach me by using the Contact link here.

The Very Important Tip Jar is available here if you enjoyed this post. It helps greatly to defray some of this website’s expenses.

Finally, thanks so much for spending some “aloft” time with me.

Posted in Musings on Life, My Story, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment