Tag Archives: ink

First Saturdays Open Studio, March 3 from 10-2


The Greater Ithaca Art Trail is holding its second of the new First Saturdays!  Come this Saturday, March 3, to any and all of the artists opening their studios to the public.

Come visit me at my studio, 5851 State Route 227 in Trumansburg, NY from 10-2.  This weekend, 10% all glass pendants by Nathan Bonnet.

Click here for pdf with list of artists: First Saturday Flyer March

Closeup! Closeup!


OK, here’s a closer look, for all y’all wanting to try and read some of this, or at least to verify that it is indeed itty bitty writing:

And the original  (11″x14″ framed) looks like this:

Anatomy of Melancholy I (2011)


Author: Robert Burton (1577-1640)


This piece is the first of three pieces based on Robert Burton’s wonderfully written 17th century treatise on “melancholia,” or what is more frequently considered depression these days. He was a very well educated and literate writer in the days before systematic study of human psychology, and explored the causes, symptoms and treatment of melancholy in a very lyrical and often humorous prose.

The artwork is my first using solely a single line from start to finish, including the border; I used different sizes of pens to get darker or lighter, finer lines.  It is also by far the easiest to read! Just pick a point and go.



One of three pieces done in pencil and ink; all the lines, as usual, are ittybitty writing. This piece available at Salmon Pottery in Trumansburg, NY, or on Etsy

The Buried Life

Light flows our war of mocking words, and yet,
Behold, with tears mine eyes are wet!
I feel a nameless sadness o’er me roll.
Yes, yes, we know that we can jest,
We know, we know that we can smile!
But there’s a something in this breast,
To which thy light words bring no rest,
And thy gay smiles no anodyne.
Give me thy hand, and hush awhile,
And turn those limpid eyes on mine,
And let me read there, love! thy inmost soul.

Alas! is even love too weak
To unlock the heart, and let it speak?
Are even lovers powerless to reveal
To one another what indeed they feel?
I knew the mass of men conceal’d
Their thoughts, for fear that if reveal’d
They would by other men be met
With blank indifference, or with blame reproved;
I knew they lived and moved
Trick’d in disguises, alien to the rest
Of men, and alien to themselves–and yet
The same heart beats in every human breast!

But we, my love!–doth a like spell benumb
Our hearts, our voices?–must we too be dumb?
Ah! well for us, if even we,
Even for a moment, can get free
Our heart, and have our lips unchain’d;
For that which seals them hath been deep-ordain’d!
Fate, which foresaw
How frivolous a baby man would be–
By what distractions he would be possess’d,
How he would pour himself in every strife,
And well-nigh change his own identity–
That it might keep from his capricious play
His genuine self, and force him to obey
Even in his own despite his being’s law,
Bade through the deep recesses of our breast
The unregarded river of our life
Pursue with indiscernible flow its way;
And that we should not see
The buried stream, and seem to be
Eddying at large in blind uncertainty,
Though driving on with it eternally.

But often, in the world’s most crowded streets,
But often, in the din of strife,
There rises an unspeakable desire
After the knowledge of our buried life;
A thirst to spend our fire and restless force
In tracking out our true, original course;
A longing to inquire
Into the mystery of this heart which beats
So wild, so deep in us–to know
Whence our lives come and where they go.
And many a man in his own breast then delves,
But deep enough, alas! none ever mines.
And we have been on many thousand lines,
And we have shown, on each, spirit and power;
But hardly have we, for one little hour,
Been on our own line, have we been ourselves–
Hardly had skill to utter one of all
The nameless feelings that course through our breast,
But they course on for ever unexpress’d.
And long we try in vain to speak and act
Our hidden self, and what we say and do
Is eloquent, is well–but ‘t#is not true!
And then we will no more be rack’d
With inward striving, and demand
Of all the thousand nothings of the hour
Their stupefying power;
Ah yes, and they benumb us at our call!
Yet still, from time to time, vague and forlorn,
From the soul’s subterranean depth upborne
As from an infinitely distant land,
Come airs, and floating echoes, and convey
A melancholy into all our day.
Only–but this is rare–
When a belov{‘e}d hand is laid in ours,
When, jaded with the rush and glare
Of the interminable hours,
Our eyes can in another’s eyes read clear,
When our world-deafen’d ear
Is by the tones of a loved voice caress’d–
A bolt is shot back somewhere in our breast,
And a lost pulse of feeling stirs again.
The eye sinks inward, and the heart lies plain,
And what we mean, we say, and what we would, we know.
A man becomes aware of his life’s flow,
And hears its winding murmur; and he sees
The meadows where it glides, the sun, the breeze.
And there arrives a lull in the hot race
Wherein he doth for ever chase
That flying and elusive shadow, rest.
An air of coolness plays upon his face,
And an unwonted calm pervades his breast.
And then he thinks he knows
The hills where his life rose,
And the sea where it goes.

Matthew Arnold

The Buried Life, in pencil and ink

An oldie but goodie…


I love the text for this piece (all the lines in the doors are text… sorry, but back then I wasn’t taking good photos):  “On Doors” by Christopher Morley

The opening and closing of doors are the most significant actions of man’s life. What a mystery lies in doors!

No man knows what awaits him when he opens a door. Even the most familiar room, where the clock ticks and the hearth glows red at dusk, may harbor surprises. The plumber may actually have called (while you were out) and fixed that leaking faucet. The cook may have had a fit of the vapors and demanded her passports. The wise man opens his front door with humility and a spirit of acceptance.

Which one of us has not sat in some ante-room and watched the inscrutable panels of a door that was full of meaning? Perhaps you were waiting to apply for a job; perhaps you had some “deal” you were ambitious to put over. You watched the confidential stenographer flit in and out, carelessly turning that mystic portal which, to you, revolved on hinges of fate. And then the young woman said, “Mr. Cranberry will see you now.” As you grasped the knob the thought flashed, “When I open this door again, what will have happened?”

There are many kinds of doors. Revolving doors for hotels, shops and
public buildings. These are typical of the brisk, bustling ways of
modern life. Can you imagine John Milton or William Penn skipping
through a revolving door? Then there are the curious little slatted
doors that still swing outside denatured bar-rooms and extend only from
shoulder to knee. There are trapdoors, sliding doors, double doors,
stage doors, prison doors, glass doors. But the symbol and mystery of a
door resides in its quality of concealment. A glass door is not a door
at all, but a window. The meaning of a door is to hide what lies inside;
to keep the heart in suspense.

Also, there are many ways of opening doors. There is the cheery push of
elbow with which the waiter shoves open the kitchen door when he bears
in your tray of supper. There is the suspicious and tentative withdrawal
of a door before the unhappy book agent or peddler. There is the genteel
and carefully modulated recession with which footmen swing wide the
oaken barriers of the great. There is the sympathetic and awful silence
of the dentist’s maid who opens the door into the operating room and,
without speaking, implies that the doctor is ready for you. There is the
brisk cataclysmic opening of a door when the nurse comes in, very early
in the morning–“It’s a boy!”

Doors are the symbol of privacy, of retreat, of the mind’s escape into
blissful quietude or sad secret struggle. A room without doors is not a
room, but a hallway. No matter where he is, a man can make himself at
home behind a closed door. The mind works best behind closed doors. Men
are not horses to be herded together. Dogs know the meaning and anguish
of doors. Have you ever noticed a puppy yearning at a shut portal? It is
a symbol of human life.

The opening of doors is a mystic act: it has in it some flavor of the
unknown, some sense of moving into a new moment, a new pattern of the
human rigmarole. It includes the highest glimpses of mortal gladness:
reunions, reconciliations, the bliss of lovers long parted. Even in
sadness, the opening of a door may bring relief: it changes and
redistributes human forces. But the closing of doors is far more
terrible. It is a confession of finality. Every door closed brings
something to an end. And there are degrees of sadness in the closing of
doors. A door slammed is a confession of weakness. A door gently shut
is often the most tragic gesture in life. Every one knows the seizure of
anguish that comes just after the closing of a door, when the loved one
is still near, within sound of voice, and yet already far away.

The opening and closing of doors is a part of the stern fluency of life.
Life will not stay still and let us alone. We are continually opening
doors with hope, closing them with despair. Life lasts not much longer
than a pipe of tobacco, and destiny knocks us out like the ashes.

The closing of a door is irrevocable. It snaps the packthread of the
heart. It is no avail to reopen, to go back. Pinero spoke nonsense when
he made Paula Tanqueray say, “The future is only the past entered
through another gate.” Alas, there is no other gate. When the door is
shut, it is shut forever. There is no other entrance to that vanished
pulse of time. “The moving finger writes, and having writ”–

There is a certain kind of door-shutting that will come to us all. The
kind of door-shutting that is done very quietly, with the sharp click of
the latch to break the stillness. They will think then, one hopes, of
our unfulfilled decencies rather than of our pluperfected misdemeanors.
Then they will go out and close the door.