Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Well, this has been a busy week and it's only Tuesday. 

On Sunday I managed to do a quick install of some originals & prints at the Deborah Rawson Library, but lo, the shelving brackets confounded me in my pursuit of a well-balanced display.  Of course I managed to be attempting this when Pete & Karen Sutherland (arguably the most well-known folk musicians in VT) were trying to set up in the same room.  Yikes!  Hopefully I'll have a chance to get back and adjust the shelf this week. 

Yesterday saw the shipping off of "Buzzy Will Guide You" to a friend I've known since at least the first grade, who now resides on the other side of the country. 

And this evening, I hand-delivered "Mode de Monstre" (the original 6 paintings in the series) and "City Wear" (also from the M. d. M. series) to a dear friend who is also an artist. 

Sadly, there are only so many hours to each day.  The advent calendar project has gotten side-lined again, but there may be hope.  And preparations are still underway for this weekend's:

(arts district) HOLIDAY OPEN STUDIO & SALE! 

(it's hilarious, I think more words are added to the title of this event every time I hear about it from someone!) 
Well, you'll see me there at #4 Howard Street at Studio D-3, once again a guest of Marie Davis & Carol Norton, hurrah!  Fellow Underhiller Anne Linde will also be there with her cards & small sculptures.
The show will run:
Friday December 11th 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday December 12th 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

There are some really fine & amazing artists & craftspeople in this district, it's an honor to be invited once again.  Hope to see you there!
(And don't forget to stop into S.P.A.C.E. to see the Small Works show.)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Shows, shows and more shows

Currently Showing, through December: 

The Bryan Gallery is hosting both their annual member's "Small Picture Show," in which I have two pieces (though just one on the wall currently,) and their anniversary show "Hello Dolly, Hello Teddy," to which I was invited by one of the curators.   
The Doll show is appropriate for just about any age,  and just about every taste too:  i.e. when bringing my dolls in for the show, I received both a horrified "oh, that's really weird" and a sweet "these are great" response, just in one hour. 

I contributed eight of the dolls I'd made several years ago, such as The Jolly Queen, Mama had a baby, The Debutante, Soft Frog Robot, and others.   Also on display is my painting of the little bear with the cookie jar.  Remember him?

At the opening I met Beth Robinson, creator of the lovely Gothic Lolitas on display.  Her "Daisy" is one of the dolls on their image gallery for the exhibit.  I've also linked her site "Strange Dolls" here on the blog. These shows are up until the end of December.  I highly recommend checking them out! 

Next up:  Three more exhibits!  How did I ever get so busy?

Small show at S.P.A.C.E.  starts this Friday, December 4th during the First Friday Artwalk.  I've submitted 5 pieces, two of which are "specimen" type drawings for my Mode de Monstre series.  There are also two dark moody water-themed acrylic pieces and one teeny tiny drawing.  The rules for this show were anything 12x12 inches or smaller.  This is a great new venue in the area, and I'm very excited to take part!

Pine Street Studio Holiday Sale is December 11th & 12th!
Many of the galleries and studios along Pine Street will be participating.  You'll find me at the studios of Marie Davis & Carol Norton, on the corner of Pine & Howard.  The last time this show happened, in 2007, it was for only one day.  This year you'll have more chances to get around and see everyone.  I plan on having a studio "clean-out sale," so no matter what your budget, I hope you'll find something you love to take home or to share as a gift.  
The Studio sale starts at 3 p.m. on Friday (running till about 7 p.m. I believe)  and starts at 10 a.m. on Saturday, running till about 5 or 6 p.m. 

At the Deborah Rawson Library in Jericho, I'll be exhibiting work in their small display case for the month of December.  Also on view will be work by Joan MacKenzie, so the library will be brimming with weird and wonderful animals all month long.

More news to come, but I think that's enough for now.  Hope to see you at one of these fine events!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Bug Parade part two

More Bugs! Again, these are about 5.5"x 5" actual size.
And may I just say how much I love advance posting? Because if you're reading this at on Sunday morning, I'm not at my computer, I'm on my way to the 20th Annual Children's Illustration show with my friend KW! I need to brush up on who's going to be there, just in case, you know, I get to actually meet any of them... (I'm just a bit giddy.)

Now, back to bugs:
#3.) Garden Bug Parade

#4.) Favorite Book Bug

Please note: I'm always open to suggestions for more bugs. Or bug situations.
Somewhere in my studio there's a slow-moving bug that keeps showing up this time of year, I'll have to do a portrait of him sometime. Most recently this bug was crawling all over Purple Easter Man while I was working on his portrait. But perhaps I should first find out if he's a good bug or bad.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Bug Parade part one

Here are a few small (5.5" x 5") drawings I plan to either put in the local library show, or post to Etsy. Once I've matted them I'll know where they're headed...

#1.) Gentleman's Stroll

#2) Walking the Beetle

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Inking away

My poor, neglected acrylic paints.
They think I don't care for them anymore.
This past week it's been all about ink. And more ink.

Arkonbey & I have been following Jake Parker's blog, especially his wonderful execution of an ink drawing a day for the whole month of "Inktober"
(Not only does he post his own fantastic artwork, he also provides extra inspiration via ink illustrations by other artists, some well-known, others new to me)

A few months ago I dug up my old bamboo pen and did a few big ink portraits, as yet un-photographed. But for your viewing pleasure, and also because I wanted to write an entry for the AM Blog, I present to you some new work: portraits of Buzzy (top) and Purple Easter Man (with chair.)
Higgins non-waterproof ink on 11x14 paper, with nibs by Speedball & a new favorite, though vintage: Esterbrook.
More to be seen on the Artists' Mediums Blog!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Offler, my new art trip companion

We adopted Offler* this September during the local Harvest Market, a great traveling companion, and a bargain at 15 cents!

*he's named after Offler the Crocodile God, resident of Discworld. Need I say more?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

When you crash into a studio window, a leaf in the beak is a comforting thing.

After hearing a tremendous Ka-BANG! in our house this morning, I finally found the source outside and saw a big bird on the ground. From up on the deck, it looked like a big pile of feathers. In a lump. Uh-oh.
When I got down there, I discovered it was this lovely owl. On its side, eyes closed, but still breathing. I've never seen one so close before, and yes, I did have to touch it--I couldn't resist. With gloves, and only very gently, but the poor thing didn't even notice. It was completely knocked out at this point.

Still unsure as to whether it would live or not, I ran back inside & called the Vermont Wildlife Rescue Association. Which is run on a shoestring by Carol, her family and a few volunteers. When they can afford to be open. I found her number just two days ago when I found the article I'd clipped from last year's paper. That was lucky.
Keep in mind that this was barely 8 a.m. (for me, that's an ungodly hour.) Nevertheless, Carol kindly gave me the number of someone more local who handles raptors, but I had to leave a message.

Back outside, I found the owl sitting up, holding this giant leaf in it's beak. I'm really not sure how or why, since it's beak was empty when I first saw it. But there you go. Leaf = security blanket, perhaps. This owl & I sat about 8 feet apart for maybe ten or more minutes, and it seemed to take no offense at my quiet talk.

A blinking owl is a fantastic, marvelous thing. Every now and then it would sort of hang it's head down a bit, so I would too, and we copied each other for a little bit. Or I flatter myself to think that we did, anyways. Later, when it had flown up into a tree, I was on the phone with Craig (the local raptor guy) and he said it probably had one heck of a headache.

Arkonbey asked if this is going to make it's way into my drawings somehow, and yes, that will happen one way or another.
I wrote a thank-you to Carol, and if her association is still up and running, I'd love to try and lend a hand now and then. To work up close with a variety of creatures?! Yes please! Even if it means prepping raw meat. I can probably handle that. It would be great to get some close-up understanding of wildlife.
VINS down in southern VT allows for photo sessions with some of their birds, for a fee. Perhaps this could work for Carol's organization too. I'm a bit excited, can you tell?


Well, too late to be getting into the studio tonight. But it was worth it. I harvested the last of our basil, and I posted about "our" owl. Tomorrow, back to the drawing.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

some stuff from the desktop, part 3

Here's a little (blurry) view of a piece that has been sitting on my drawing board, untouched for a month or more until just two days ago, when I finally picked up the pencil again.

I have stared at this section for more hours than I want to recall, while slowly filling in, erasing, filling in, erasing, filling in, erasing, filling in,
you get the idea.

Among the audio books that helped pass the time were "The Thin Man" (Dashiel Hammet) "Every Living Thing" (James Herriot) "The Lord of the Rings" (Tolkien, BBC version.)

So, like I said, hours.
But once you've used a 2B pencil on Stonehenge paper, it's all worth it. MMmmmm, velvety.
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some stuff from the desktop, part 2

Here we have Serious mouse people. Two of them really don't want to share that cheese. The third is a bit more light hearted.

Made these while trying out some new acrylic & drawing combinations. And liking them. Too bad I haven't touched my acrylics in over a month since!

Acrylic (lots and lots of acrylic) & pencil on matboard
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some stuff from the desktop, part one

Since I haven't left myself much time for painting lately, I prepped a bunch of mini watercolor canvas and have been messing about with gouache. Also you might see some pen & ink in the background there.

The watercolor paintings are about 3"x3" at their biggest. A bit jumbly right now, but I think they'll clean up nice once I get them in mats.
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Thursday, September 17, 2009

A first!

Finally, the very first image directly uploaded from my camera to the blog. Thank you Picassa for simplicity, thank you Arkonbey for solving the great hardware crisis.

Pictured at left is a family of bears that resides in the window of a hopping ice cream shop in Northampton MA. They are huge and pleasantly shaped, and they've been there quite a while (a bit of sun-fading, which gives character.) They are dieting bears, so the vinyl ice cream is rather cruel, don't you think.

Snapped while on an art 'outing' with Karen, which included a full day of visiting the Carle. (That's the Carl Museum of Picture Book Art. Heaven.) Sadly, no pictures from there, as just about everything on display is copyright protected. We closed 'em down though... I think they suffer us staying late because we buy stuff in the bookshop :)

Well, more pics later, now that I've got this technology under my belt. For now, BED.
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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Other people's creatures

Here's an amazing artist Arkonbey just reminded me about: Patricia Piccinini

You should check her out. Specifically her "The Long Awaited, Foundling" series, it's fabulously creepy and sweet all at the same time. You'll see why I'm attracted to it.
Arkonbey wants me to 'flesh out' some of my creatures this way, or at least in a life-sized drawing. Well.... it would be fun.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Laaaaaaap toppppp

Arkonbey held true to his promise (thanks, buster!) and we purchased a new laptop for yours truly today. We went pc, which is a first in the last twelve years or more at this house. Still, it's half the price of going mac. Even a refurbished mac! I mean, come on Apple, we knew you were elitist, but geez.

Well, the ol' Miketop will hang around for awhile longer, until I'm sure I'm satisfied with this new slick box. The difference in speed is certainly nice. I have managed to get Pandora going in it's own little application, so this has happy consequences for the studio.

But Pandora, you're playing some really whacked stuff today.

Maybe it's just me.

Friday, August 14, 2009

art in the garden, or at least the windowboxes

Let's ignore the fact that I barely know how to use it. These are just a few silly shots of a pop-up card I made while trying to learn some basic techniques. That's my lovely basil in the background.

In other garden news, here's Arkonbey listening to the squeaky quality of our peas:

art in the garden, or at least the windowboxes

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Summer Idylls

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In the last few days, my free time has been delightfully squandered in the reading of Swallows & Amazons and Swallowdale, both by Arthur Ransome. Arkonbey, my ever-understanding (or enabling) husband, has purchased the first two of the series, after hearing my reaction to the first, found at the library.

The laptop is still creaking along, not too slow, actually, just so loud! Either way, I've probably spent far too much time on it, but in doing so I discovered a link I'd forgotten to post.

I had two pieces selected for the Flight Fur& Felines juried show, which showed at the Bryan Memorial Gallery in Jeffersonville, from May 22 - July 19th.

Lizard with Sandwich was one of the pieces selected for the display page!

Also take note of the fine rabbit(title: "Just Resting") by my friend Karen Witt.

Arkonbey's photo of Kermit at Brant Lake also made it into the show. First show he's entered since Meca! (Arkonbey posted about his piece ages ago, but then he's more timely than I in such matters.)

Lastly, here's a great resource I just heard about: the Vermont Art Zine
Just like back in school, I find myself more attracted to the work of sculptors than the work of fellow painters. Not that I don't like the paintings! The creation of some of my favorite work is quite mysterious to me, and I view it with fresh eyes, whereas I look at a painting and get hung up in the technical aspects of it.
While some of my favorite sculptors work with the figure, I also appreciate the abstract. Last time down in Brandon, I dropped into the Brandon Artists' Guild with Mewsea, and fell in love with some sculptures done in alabaster. Should I ever have a disposable income... But I suppose I should look up the name of that artist first.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

a few of the latest sketches

At last! My new-to-me digital camera is in hand, thanks to the folks at Lezot cameras in Burlington. But for now, here are a few of the teeny ink & watercolors that I was working on a few weeks ago. First off, (above) we have some bears gathered around for a reading.
Note the odd shape of the paper... it's from a 3 1/2" x 5" watercolor sample book that was going to be thrown out. Same with the rest of these.
Next up: more ideas I'm tossing around for the Mode De Monstre series, which mostly consists of dresses with a life of their own.

Cherubim gown:
And then, Kimono with Fan:
Lastly, Slouching dress:
(hmmm... I sized these last two a bit too small... they're really the same size as the others.)
I'm aiming to have these dresses stand on their own as living things, and on a larger scale than the previous 4"x6" paintings that I made. Also in progress (and now that I have the camera, it will show up here soon) is a graphite drawing in this vein, a full 22"x30." Whoo!

Monday, July 6, 2009

I've been busy, I just have no way to show it yet...

There are some nice big drawings in progress here at chez studio, but the digital camera has somehow eluded both Arkonbey & myself. We are utterly mystified... where the heck did it go? This seems yet another good excuse to go shopping for a new one.
In addition to the big drawings, I've done a few more miniature pen & ink/ watercolors. These may appear on Etsy once I get that hurdled.

For now, here's an old picture of my studio that I dug up. Showing Boo's favorite new place to sit. Directly in my way.

In other news, I picked up my two pieces from Art's Alive this week. Frog Hollow had displayed "Lit from Within" in their front window and "Nest" was accepted into the Juried show down at Union Station. Not bad. Seeing the big work on display at the juried show was one impetus for the new big drawings. Stay tuned.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The irony of free time now vs. then

The irony is that I barely had time for being on the internet these past few weeks, and so missed the opportunity of announcing what I was preparing for.

The 17th Annual Vermont Crafts Council's Open Studio tour just wrapped up this afternoon. 2009 marks my third year doing this, and my first year of participating in my actual neighborhood. Chamberlin's farm & garden market in Underhill hosted the five of us artists for the first time, and what a great space.

Taking part in events such as this make me realize just how many people I know (or at least recognize) through my workplace. Many, many, lots!

Thank you to everyone who responded to my last minute mailings and e-mail notifications, even to those of you who couldn't make it but passed the word along.
Special thanks to my fellow artists at the Chamberlin's site: Linda Amundsen (my neighbor), Devon Banse Dougall (mom!), Miriam Wells (paint those trusses!), Ann Linde (has a new kitten!) and Tinka Martell (hope the wedding went well!) and to everyone who helped make this weekend enjoyable.

Great company of other artists, great visitor turnout, and great location. What a weekend!

Thanks everyone!

Next up is getting my Etsy shop up and running. Open Studio preparation laid the groundwork for that, so it shouldn't be long.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Williston Community Foodshelf Update

So, it seems there's been a bit of mix-up in some email linking, so if you've found yourself here while trying to get to the web page for the Williston Community Foodshelf Fundraiser, you will find the correct link below:


Or try:

(The Williston Community Foodshelf does not yet have it's own website.)

More donations are coming, not just artwork but gift certificates and more. Bookmark it once you've found yourself there, so you can keep tabs on what you're interested in. The auction itself runs this May 1st- 7th.

p.s.: SK, I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel (i.e. almost finished our taxes) so I'll contact you soon with more info on my participation with the fundraiser.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Portfolio

Has been updated!
It won't look too different at first, but if you go to Paintings, each sub-category has new content. Yes, many of these were previewed here, but please note, print availability is now indicated!
The above image is of "In the Reading Room." Available soon in print form, and my fabulous printer (North 7 Studios) did some beautiful re-touching for me. Though I can no longer recall WHY, I had at one point edited out the left-hand piece. Edited with an x-acto,* that is. And then altered all the colors on the right-hand section. Well, through the miracle of Photoshop, the prints are going to look great. And whole.

*keep those knives away from me! I am not to be trusted!

Time for some Minatures

Miniature cats! The first group are mainly one-inch squares. And I went through an astounding amount of tape when doing these. Still, a good use of scrap watercolor canvas. I have a few scraps left, but I certainly have to be in the right mood to work this small. All pieces in this post were executed in watercolor & gouache on watercolor canvas.
This guy (?) is just SO happy. And wants to hug you.

Still working on a title for this group. For now, here are "The Comrades."

Once my Etsy store is up, I may post these guys there.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

portfolio update coming soon

Arkonbey has his work cut out for him this week! I spent a few hours compiling images and information in order to bring in some new work and to indicate which images are available as prints. Once the new content is uploaded I'll post a link.

On Sunday I painted a series of approximately 1"x1" watercolors (on watercolor canvas scraps--waste not, want not.) Those will be posted here soon.

Sunday afternoon, I went downtown to help Miriam set up for her show at Tribeca. Great portraits of construction workers executed in oil on panel, as well as beautiful photography of trusses set against blue sky. My favorite portrait of hers is right behind the register area.
See her work at First Friday Artwalk, this Friday starting at 5 p.m.!

Another venue I can personally recommend is the 215 College Co-op gallery right above H&R Block. Diane Gabriel and Jordan Douglas are showing black and white (silver lith?) prints, and what I've seen so far looks fabulous.
The gallery should be listed in the ArtMap (see First Friday Artwalk link above) which you can grab at just about any participating venue downtown.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

linking to some loveliness

Okay, let me see if I can hyperlink tonight's web exploring:
1.) I checked out Scott C.'s blog to look at more of the images from his "Home Slice" show at Gallery Nucleus in L.A. Here's "Cat House":

2.) I first discovered Scott C. via his marvelous story submissions in FLIGHT.
WHAT!?! You haven't read Flight yet? Issue 6 is in the works, and Arkonbey and I will definitely have a rumble over who gets to read it first in this house.

3.) Gallery Nucleus has many fine looking prints for sale, including "The Totoro Forest Project Prints," a deadly combination aimed at my spending willpower. The Nucleus collection has some of my favorite artists from Flight, and all the reasonably priced prints help raise funds for the Totoro Forest Project. This is "New Leaves" by Kazu Kibuishi (Editor & Art Director of aforementioned Flight.)
4.) Phew. This blogging thing takes way too long to organize properly. As it's officially past midnight now, staring at the computer monitor must come to an end. Hope you enjoy these fabulous links as much as I do.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

People need to eat!

Update! Here's a piece from a few years ago, one of my earliest underwater themes.
I had just purchased some new paints and brushes, and wanted to break away from what I'd been making (mostly with an earth-toned palette and blocky forms.) This piece of smooth, thin birch panel had been kicking around the studio for some time, so I primed it in blue and I was off. The tight vertical format was a good challenge.

This week I donated an Artists' Proof of "Hatching Ground I" to the Williston Community Food Shelf for their fundraising auction. The print was made for me by North 7 Studio and is 100% pigment based ink on 100% cotton rag paper, matted in archival materials. (100%!) "Artists' Proof" means that it was a test-proof done as we checked for color accuracy & desired size.

The auction will be held on-line, hosted by cMarket, or "Bidding for Good," an auction site for non-profits. See links below.
A number of local artists have also joined in and their work should appear on the site in the next week or so. Kim Rainbolt is the organizer, and is asking for help in spreading the word.

This is a fundraiser for the Williston Community Food Shelf.
We provide food and essentials to those in need.

How You Can Participate: Donate art to our auction; become a sponsor of our fund raising auction; Bid online or make a cash donation online May 1st-May 7th, 2009.

If you have any questions or would like to support our event,
please contact Kim Rainbolt at 878-8701 or nolanrainbolt (AT) gmail (Dot) com

Thank You!

quick notes

Here's the weekend wrap-up:

1.) Studio night on Saturday, yielding a quick silly drawing on reclaimed frame backing.
1a.) This is my biggest completed colored pencil to date (16x20)

2.) Woken up Sunday by viciously hungry cat. Ouch.
3.) Weather is fantastic.
4.) Early breakfast out with Arkonbey, with donuts for afters.
5.) Start reading The Magician's Nephew.
6.) Good morning of painting (after consumption of donuts.)
7.) Afternoon visit from D & B. D & I take marvelous walk down to the park & back.
8.) Weather still gorgeous.
9.) Plans made for Monday with MW.
10.) Consume tomato sauce made with our own tomatoes from last fall.
11.) Finish The Magician's Nephew.
12.) Muddle about in studio.
13.) Forgive cat for clawing hand. Go to bed.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

meca in days of yore

I had fully intended to bring these out when I met up with the other alums in Portland, but never got around to it. So here I go publicly embarrasing myself and perhaps a few others... First up, my old birkenstocks and white-clad rear take center stage in a polaroid that was rightfully thrown away by some meca publicity photographers. As it's the only image remaining of this huge drawing collage that I did (220 pieces) I do treasure it. Plus it looks so punk. This was junior year at meca.
The highlight of that year was our Washington, D.C. trip with Ed Douglas. I was using a disposable camera and didn't develop the images for months afterwards, so everything has a bluish tinge. Left to right, as I remember are:
Will B, Renee B, me, Chris K, Constance O, Julie...., ....(eeek I forget) and Jack S. I presume Ed took the picture. So far it's the only time I've been to the capitol, but I'd go back if I had the chance (the National Gallery! Smithsonian! Phillips Collection! GAH!)

This is from 1999, fourth & final year. My studio had this window as one of three walls, and there were work crews on scaffolding outside almost the whole year as renovations progressed. Arkonbey took this pic, and it's still one of my favorites from the whole time there.

Also taken by Arkonbey, (same space as above but at night) showing me in my lovely studio togs. Bleh, I probably was fresh from my dishwashing job or something.
That's all for now. Perhaps some other time I'll post the few others I have stashed away somewhere. I do rather wish I'd had a digital camera back then.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Miss Finch, with help from Miriam

Hello again. Today's posting is inspired by Miriam's comments on a previous post. Here is a rough sketch from my Quattro journal:

And here's an 8x8" pen & ink of the same basic composition. There will be some light watercoloring in addition to it's present state. The next version of it will have to be on larger paper, I ran into the edges here, and would like to include a bit more airspace around the characters.

Before heading out this afternoon, I got a bit crafty. I can still smell the glue-gun glue here in the studio. If what I made isn't totally ridiculous, then maybe it will make an appearance here. Sequins were involved, so I'm not sure.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Frogs for PW!

Here are a few of the frog 'studies' I've been trying to re-create for P.W. My goal was to recapture the feel of the original that sold at Art Hop, but without copying exactly. Well, there are a fair number of attempts, but still I'm not quite sure I've got it. Patient P.W. has been waiting for ages to see something (anything!) so here they are for her perusal.

Out for a jaunt with his mushroom umbrella and acorn. 4x6 inch.

Walnut ink wash, colored pencil and black ink. 4x6 inch (I like his eyes.)

Quite a departure from the 'original' I wanted to give him more landscape. (For 4"x6" I was able to squeeze in a good amount.)

Breaking away from the original 4x6 size, I went to 8x8 and then cropped to about a 5x7 size here. A few nice moments in this, but also a few technical issues. This led Rick to recommend me doing more figure studies for Frog.

These sketchbook images are from this evening, I'm trying to emphasize his "dancing" posture.