Fair Warning!

I’ve been sketching at the Hopkinton State Fair longer than I’ve had this blog and it remains one of the highlights of my year. Sheep, goats, ducks, chickens, turkeys, rabbits, oxen were all drawn this year… even a dog… well, not a real dog… a CORN DOG!

Here’s this year’s total output!













No llamas, alpacas or swine this year. No cows either but I will remedy that at the 146th Tunbridge World’s Fair in two weeks… Thursday through Sunday, September 14, 15, 16 & 17.

I’m aiming for Friday… if you see me please stop and say hello!

Totality? … hardly. 

Total Solar Eclipse… yeah, but not here.

2:43 PM… 61% of the sun eclipsed here in the Upper Valley. I didn’t have acceptable eclipse glasses so I punched a few different sized holes in a scrap piece of cardboard as a makeshift pinhole device. It took me a bit but I managed to capture a photo. Not a great photo but it’ll do. 


I believe the light dimmed a bit and it certainly had a weird glow but how can you capture that on a page?

I didn’t… instead I chose to celebrate the day by painting what I think of as the essence of a total eclipse… the sun’s corona!


I’ve put April 8, 2024 on my calendar… I’d love to see totality!

Summer Concert Sketching

Ah, summer.

Here in the Upper Valley summer means it’s outdoor concert season and outdoor concerts are perfect for sketchbooking.

Two weeks ago my friend Sonja Hakala, a fabulous writer and photographer, sat next to me at the Chad Hollister concert on the Quechee green. As we listened, I sketched the scene and assumed Sonja was focusing her lens to capture the crowd as usual.

Just imagine my delight when she sent me these great photos of the spread in progress and blogged about it too!

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Here’s the final spread… notice the stickers! I LOVE STICKERS!

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Thanks Sonja!  It’s been a great season.

Be Like Mandela…

… be an optimist!


“I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being an optimist is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many moments when my faith in humanity was surely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.”

——-  Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom (1994)

18 July 1918 – 05 December 2013

I Caved…

but no guilt… no excuses!

I wasn’t planning on taking the latest Sketchbook Skool offering, Let’s Make A Map, but after seeing some of the work on They Draw and Travel, an online map-art site, I’ve been inspired to do one of my own.

I signed up late last night and started in on the lessons. First up… drawing a compass rose.

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I still need to figure out WHAT I’ll be mapping but at least I’ll be able to show you which way is North!

Delmarva and Points North

This set of sketchbook pages starts the evening of our last day in Ocean City, MD as we continued our northerly path along the seacoast. As you can see, I have a thing for stamps and stickers!

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And a final quote seen in the Assateague National Seashore Headquarters.

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It was great to get away and now it’s great to be home… but….. I’ve got the bug. Where will we go next?

hmmmmmmmm…………

Discovering Delmarva

Delmarva…  Delaware – Maryland – Virginia.

I’ve been back from vacation for nearly a month but I’ve been so busy I just haven’t gotten around to posting my sketchbook adventures. Our holiday was all about walking along the ocean, smelling the salt air and feeling the wind in our hair. I love the wind… good thing too, because I got a lot of it!

Drawing and painting was secondary but I did want to capture our days. I used an A5 Hahnemühle Nostalgie Sketchbook.  It has lovely smooth paper most suited for ink work but the paper is heavy enough that it does an admirable job with watercolor… and, as an added benefit, the woven gray fabric cover is classic and so beautiful! (Ooooh, while looking up the link I see Wet Paint now carries the Hahnemühle Watercolor Book.  It’s going on my wishlist… I love trying out new sketchbooks!)

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I’ll share the second half of our holiday in a few days but right now I’m doing a happy dance! I’ve been having trouble with my scanner for over a year. It’s still not communicating, but I now have a work-around!  Posting photographs is better than nothing but I’ve missed posting nice, clear, clean scanned images.