Thursday, April 30, 2015


6:45 a.m.
San Francisco

This was my second morning arriving at Mabel's place in time to help her get ready for a day at preschool, and then journey there with her. Yesterday on our walk to school we saw five or six wild parrots with green bodies and red heads clinging to a bird feeder suspended from an upper-story fire escape. We stood and watched them for ten minutes, making speculations and remarks. Today I brought in breakfast from the cafe across the street. Mabel picked the cinnamon roll and is shown in the process of unwinding it. She let me have the blueberry bran muffin.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


Two Figures

In 2011-2012 the Metropolitan Museum mounted a small exhibition called Perino del Vaga in New York Collections.

Allegorical Figure of Prudence

Perino del Vaga (1501-1547) first came to prominence assisting Raphael in Rome before the latter's early death in 1520.

Alexander the Great Cutting the Gordian Knot

The drawings chosen here are from the Met's own collections and were for the most part created originally to serve as models for frescoes or tapestries which might then largely or entirely be executed by others.

Presentation of the Virgin

Madonna & Child Enthroned

Juno & Jupiter

Jupiter Appearing to Semele

Figure Studies

Design for Candlestick

St. Peter & St. John Healing a Cripple

Two Putti
Victoria and Albert Museum

Tuesday, April 28, 2015




Drawings by Pietro da Cortona (1596-1669), prolific artist and architect of the Roman Baroque.

Satyrs supporting ornamental architecture

Eagle & Serpent

Design for the artist's own tomb

Arms of Taddeo Barberini

Below, two engravings by others based on paintings by Pietro da Cortona.

Diana (later engraving)

Allegory (later engraving)

Finally, the high heroic manner of the ceiling frescoes (this one in Florence) for which the artist was much in demand.

Hall of Mars
Palazzo Pitti

Monday, April 27, 2015

Blue Balloons

Mabel got me up on the step-stool to try and take a picture of the entirety of her blanket/marbles structure. At the end of that effort, as above, she elected to insert herself into one of the elevated photos.

Half a minute later (with me still up on the step-stool, still pointing downwards with the camera) the child's interest had shifted to the half dozen blue helium balloons bouncing off the ceiling. Her initial efforts to pull the whole bunch down were thus recorded from on high also.

In the photo immediately above Mabel is holding the blue and green cardboard contrivance we attached to the ribbons of the balloons as a weight. Mabel drew (with a little help) a life-sized red Lego person on a piece of paper and cut the figure out and taped it to the cardboard, to be a passenger. At first we tried to use a real Lego person as a passenger, but it was too heavy. So Mabel decided to make a lightweight paper replica.

Close-up of passenger 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Symmetrical Marbles

When I came over on Sunday afternoon, Mabel and her mother were already deep into a marble game on the surface of the striped baby blanket Grandma knitted when Mabel was born.

Mabel positioned herself behind double ranks of wooden marbles while I took Mamma's place behind matching rows of glass marbles.

Mabel never fully explained the rules to me, but the two sides definitely were always made to stay like mirror-images of one another, symmetrical.

I promised Mabel a photo of the entire blanket (including the cork-sentinels on the four corners) but the two pictures below are the best ones I managed, even though they do not quite meet specifications.

At a certain point, Mabel decided to add to the game by jumping over the blanket, back and forth, back and forth. And that is how this episode ends, with the happy jumping.

Saturday, April 25, 2015


Busytown I (a la Richard Scarry)

The Night Table : Guide Cloth

Yesterday my daughter chose a recent painting by Sarah Boyts Yoder for the left-hand side of the daily photo-pairing site we maintain here for our more-or-less private amusement.

For pondering, there are (here and now) another dozen compositions from the same worthy source.

Big Gray Clouds

Purple Comb

Orange Cleaver

Gray Stars, Little Orange Map

Lime Shoulder


Mega Bun in Watermelon and Mint

Boomeranging in the Snow

Blue Brand

Wicker Chair Ghost