Museum Sketch

Our son Andrew and I have always enjoyed visiting art museums together, and starting in fifth grade I would call him in “sick” once a year, and we would go out to lunch and visit the Museum of Fine Arts. Though he is grown and married now, we still try to go to a museum once during the holidays. Yesterday we visited the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. The courtyard was full of poinsettias. I did the drawing, and then the guard said I couldn’t use watercolor in the museum, so I retreated to the library to add the paint.

It’s really interesting how making a sketch of something makes you pay more attention and improves your memory of a place and an event — a sort of meditation. 

Christmas Bird Count

Yesterday was the annual Christmas Bird Count, when birdwatchers across North America dust off their binoculars to do a bird census. My friend Linda and I did not brave the 4:30 owl count, or even the 6:30 regular count; we arrived at the Newton Cemetery, coffee in hand, at the civilized hour of 9:30. With rain falling on top of Saturday’s snowfall, the birds were scarce. But I made this little sketch, using pen and charcoal pencil (with a tissue to smudge) of a little island with birch trees in the middle of the pond.