Traveling is the rare time when I paint purely for pleasure.  Perhaps I am lost.  Perhaps I am self-conscious in a foreign land.  Perhaps I am trading artwork for a place to sleep.  I love what I do for work, but there is a vast difference between intentional work for a client, and meandering sketches.  These are my wanders.  They are filled with my buoyancy, anticipation, and curiosity.  They are also how I meet strangers, which almost always turns into something wondrous.  

Our cozy craigslist miracle cottage on the shore of Lake Samish in the Pacific Northwest.  It's drafty as a blizzard through a blouse but we love it!

Our cozy craigslist miracle cottage on the shore of Lake Samish in the Pacific Northwest.  It's drafty as a blizzard through a blouse but we love it!

Villa Raghezzi in Crevoladosola, Italy.  A non-promotion at work one year was assuaged by the bribe of a study of choice, which landed me in this paradise learning traditional stone masonry one summer.  Some of the most magical people I've ever met have slept on this hillside homestead, where alpine streams trickle down through the yard and sheep graze beneath the grape arbors.  

Villa Raghezzi in Crevoladosola, Italy.  A non-promotion at work one year was assuaged by the bribe of a study of choice, which landed me in this paradise learning traditional stone masonry one summer.  Some of the most magical people I've ever met have slept on this hillside homestead, where alpine streams trickle down through the yard and sheep graze beneath the grape arbors.  

The lighthouse at Cabo Rojo in Puerto Rico.  Set up on an impressively high cliff, with craggy sides that plunge down to frothy turquoise waters.  The wind was hot and dry that evening, and kept tugging at my hair to eclipse my view as I drew, and pulling the page up from under my palms as if it were alive and wriggling.

The lighthouse at Cabo Rojo in Puerto Rico.  Set up on an impressively high cliff, with craggy sides that plunge down to frothy turquoise waters.  The wind was hot and dry that evening, and kept tugging at my hair to eclipse my view as I drew, and pulling the page up from under my palms as if it were alive and wriggling.

A lovely, creamy-plastered village in Tuscany, where I straddled a stone wall and achieve a good hearty numb bum from sitting long enough to draw the ancient archway.  It was a day off from the nearby farm where I was volunteering (WWOOF) for a couple of weeks in the late fall.

A lovely, creamy-plastered village in Tuscany, where I straddled a stone wall and achieve a good hearty numb bum from sitting long enough to draw the ancient archway.  It was a day off from the nearby farm where I was volunteering (WWOOF) for a couple of weeks in the late fall.

There's a preposterous park called Bomarzo in Italy where gigantic boulders are carved into mermaids, whales, and leaning buildings like this one.  I was enamored.  I was not on drugs.  One of the most magical places I've ever encountered.

There's a preposterous park called Bomarzo in Italy where gigantic boulders are carved into mermaids, whales, and leaning buildings like this one.  I was enamored.  I was not on drugs.  One of the most magical places I've ever encountered.

Nearby to one of the farms where I was volunteering was a petite, intact cemetery.  Across from it was an abandoned convent.  The roof had caved in and vines overgrowing the walls.  The floor was lumped with hillocks of rubble and snakes, and it seemed not a soul had been there for decades.  Some of the walls were still intact with fading frescoes of rich red painting and faux draperies.  It smelled like a story.

Nearby to one of the farms where I was volunteering was a petite, intact cemetery.  Across from it was an abandoned convent.  The roof had caved in and vines overgrowing the walls.  The floor was lumped with hillocks of rubble and snakes, and it seemed not a soul had been there for decades.  Some of the walls were still intact with fading frescoes of rich red painting and faux draperies.  It smelled like a story.

The verdant stepping slopes of Machu Picchu.  Oh!  So green!  While I was drawing this a leathery black centipede crawled over my thigh.  When I yelped and pointed him out to the guard who stood possessively overseeing my progress, he exclaimed something unintelligible in Spanish and proceeded to pick it up with a stick, flinging it far off into the rocks.  The day before my body had purged itself of everything after some exciting new bacteria picked up in the Cusco market, so I was light-headed, light-bodied and light-souled.  It seemed like ill timing at first, but ended up making that afternoon a hazy spiritual wonderland.

The verdant stepping slopes of Machu Picchu.  Oh!  So green!  While I was drawing this a leathery black centipede crawled over my thigh.  When I yelped and pointed him out to the guard who stood possessively overseeing my progress, he exclaimed something unintelligible in Spanish and proceeded to pick it up with a stick, flinging it far off into the rocks.  The day before my body had purged itself of everything after some exciting new bacteria picked up in the Cusco market, so I was light-headed, light-bodied and light-souled.  It seemed like ill timing at first, but ended up making that afternoon a hazy spiritual wonderland.

The home of dear family friends on Orcas Island, WA.  Slept out under the stars near the edge overlooking the water and saw a small pod of orcas in the morning!

The home of dear family friends on Orcas Island, WA.  Slept out under the stars near the edge overlooking the water and saw a small pod of orcas in the morning!

The dreamiest restored barn in Livingston Manor, NY, where a cluster of unlikely architects, coffee-drinkers, hippies, yuppies and campers gathered for one glorious 4th of July weekend.  Though it was cold, rainy and soaked us through to shivering, our spirits were high and we swam in the creek nonetheless.

The dreamiest restored barn in Livingston Manor, NY, where a cluster of unlikely architects, coffee-drinkers, hippies, yuppies and campers gathered for one glorious 4th of July weekend.  Though it was cold, rainy and soaked us through to shivering, our spirits were high and we swam in the creek nonetheless.

My first trip to a tropical environment.  Lushly delicious.  Swimming under waterfalls.  That kind of stuff.

My first trip to a tropical environment.  Lushly delicious.  Swimming under waterfalls.  That kind of stuff.

Favorite breakfast cafe in Bellingham, WA.  The crepe with bechamel, scrambled eggs, swiss and caramelized onions...ohhhh!  Be still my heart.

Favorite breakfast cafe in Bellingham, WA.  The crepe with bechamel, scrambled eggs, swiss and caramelized onions...ohhhh!  Be still my heart.

New Orleans.  Not as stormy in real life as this drawing turned out, but I do like the sinister feel.  Matches that black magic in the air down there.

New Orleans.  Not as stormy in real life as this drawing turned out, but I do like the sinister feel.  Matches that black magic in the air down there.

Little stone village in Tuscany.  Another day off from WWOOFing on a nearby farm.

Little stone village in Tuscany.  Another day off from WWOOFing on a nearby farm.

Our first full family pre-holiday reunion, in which I arrived dehydrated and in tears with a sliced off thumb, Grandpa danced beneath the stilt walker's legs, Uncle Tom lost his shorts, and we all had too many banana sexy's.  Cabo del San Jose, Baja Mexico.

Our first full family pre-holiday reunion, in which I arrived dehydrated and in tears with a sliced off thumb, Grandpa danced beneath the stilt walker's legs, Uncle Tom lost his shorts, and we all had too many banana sexy's.  Cabo del San Jose, Baja Mexico.