Unicorns in the pool, and a search for sea-softened stones

Unicorns in a pool in watercolor
Pool mascots (watercolor and ink)

Here are a couple watercolor sketches that I began on the weekend while in Fire Island, and finished last night.

Pool and Pines in watercolor
Pool and Pines (watercolor)

And an excerpt from a text I sent to a friend, regarding a particular mission while I was out on the island:

Twice this day I’ve filled my pockets with soft sea-rounded stones for our purpose. I think there will be a glut, so I will edit them, size- and shape-wise, over coffee in the morning.

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Deeds and misdeeds

He was long ago sealed into to the wall— made part of the wall— with a spell. All the years since, visitors and passersby have presumed he’s just another sculptural embellishment of the palazzo. His consciousness remains, though— eyes, frozen, he still sees; his ears still hear. 

Being a mute and immovable witness is a torture for obvious reasons, yet his tenure has shown him the full breadth of human existence in miniature— from the most touching moments of affection between two people, to vivid misdeeds perpetrated against one another. 

He’s bone weary. Part of him wishes for an end to this helpless consciousness, but he remains ever alert for the next tender moment. It’s his undying hope that the tally of deeds v. misdeeds will always remain well out of balance.

Scenes from a nearby barrier island


Here are some photographs from my brief but lovely stay in Cherry Grove, Fire Island last week. A soothing balm, and the friends I stayed with had a little oasis of a cottage on the bayside. It was so serene and lovely that I didn’t even go off on a wander to photograph more of the town this time— and that’s rare for me.

More photos after the jump.

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Suggestions of a fine summer day

Here’s a scene from the deck of our little house in Cherry Grove. I had it in mind that I’d start with some color then go in and add structure with pen, but I quite liked how serene and unfettered this looked so decided to leave it as mere suggestions of the pool and flower pots.

Some thoughts from April in Baltimore


An unaccustomed sunlight filled the train car, formed faint prisms on the large windows where some chemical detergent hadn’t rinsed clean away. The scenes blurring past through the glass were all familiar for their mundane repetition along the eastern seaboard. Sometimes rows of identical houses, sometimes the iron tangle of abandoned industry. Occasionally the sleek cool of a body of water, blue and filled with secrets.

And the very next day, the weather betrayed us. Winds, rain, and an overall gloom have replaced that welcome sun in which I sat reading outside the train station mid afternoon.

Returning from Riis Beach after a light rain warned of a coming storm

The rain was very light, but the skies were darkening. After learning what the satellites warned, we broke camp— packed as quickly as possible, ran to the boardwalk and rode fast to beat the real rain at our backs. Made it to a bayside pub to wait out the rain then another quick dash to the ferry dock.

By the time everyone boarded the rain had stopped. Later, as we rounded the bend toward the Verrazano Narrows, the divide between the portside storm and clear skies ashore (starboard) was dramatic, and those of us on deck got a little of the rain. (Still, better to be on deck in rain and wind than below in the too-chilling air conditioning.)

The situation of the weather in these photos brings to mind the original meaning of the word POSH: Port Out; Starboard Home. On a larger vessel, posh seats would have been just the thing in this case.Back in Sunset Park, cycling northward on Second Ave, the post-storm light was too good, so I had to stop to take pictures a few times.