Baby Logan

June 21, 2009

Logan 1 year
Logan – during his first year

  • Pastel
  • In the collection of N/JM-L

This drawing was a gift for young friends and their beautiful Logan. All the world is a wonder when we’re one, so I added some elements of wonder to the drawing…the fingernail moon, the crane and a prehistoric setting on the shirt.

My niece, Brooke

June 20, 2009

Brooke drawing

Brooke drawing

Brooke holds light

Brooke holds light

Brooke resting

Brooke resting

Brooke Courtney Lehenbauer

Brooke Courtney Lehenbauer

Last summer I sat at the bedside of an amazing and beautiful young woman, my niece Brooke. She had made the decision to enter hospice and passed away almost a year ago. Despite severe cerebral palsy, Brooke was engaged in the world and loved to draw. In 2002 an exhibit of our collaborative work was held at the Texas Artists’ Museum in Port Arthur, Texas. Brooke’s line work developed over the years. It was active, sometime defining forms and always colorful. She was a keen colorist, patiently communicating to whoever was helping, just the right color from her huge collection of markers. It was then strapped into her hand and the work began.

Two¬† of Brooke Courtney Lehenbauer’s drawings, one collaboration and one completed solely by Brooke, will be shown along with my work at the Gardner House Museum this summer in Palmyra, MO.

Let's See What Happens

Let’s See What Happens

Today Maxx, Naomi and I fed fish in the pond, waded down Rock Creek, balanced on logs and watched a snake sunning. It was exhausting good fun. When Rob returned from taking them home, he gave me a hand drawn heart and said it was from Maxx and Nomi. I’m rewarded.

The picture: As an amateur woodworker, I’ve learned that making frames is no easy task. The beautiful mahogany came from a friend and the glass bead inserts (look hard at the frames’ bottom horizontal) are something I’m experimenting with. Nomi marbled the background paper and she and Maxx added their hand prints. The picture and story, a gift for Anna’s birthday, were inspired by a walk in the woods with Maxx and Nomi.

The story:
Let’s See What Happens.
Not far from their house
Maxx and Naomi follow the river trail
into the dark woods.

“Be still,” whispers Maxx,
A strange clicking noise
is coming from a tree along the path.
“Trees don’t click”, Maxx says,
Naomi points to a colorful
orange, black and white bug.
(Cream Spot Tiger Moth)
“I think that bug is afraid of us” Maxx
says. They decide not to move and
the clicking stops.
(Cream Spot Tiger Moths make a rapid
clicking noise to scare away attackers.)

“I know! Let’s stand here,
listen, watch,
and see what happens” Maxx says.
Naomi agrees.

Before long a fluttering sound
announces a flock of butterflies.
(Cloudless Sulphur Butterfly)
They swirl around Maxx and Naomi.
One lands on Naomi’s pink dress
while others collect on the nearby tree.
Naomi gently lifts the butterfly onto her

A twig breaks under the hoof of a passing
deer as she leads her fawn to the river to

A dragonfly darts along the trail, stopping
to hover above Maxx and Naomi’s heads.
Maxx raises his finger
and the dragonfly (Twelve-spot Skimmer) lands.
Maxx and Naomi take a close look at the insect.

A sudden splash makes them jump.
An eagle skims the surface of the river,
and lifts a fish with his talons.

“I have an idea,” Maxx tells Naomi,
“next time, let’s bring our chairs.”