10/2017: Fragmentary

You’ll remember in fragments
What for me is a dream
Your recollection in pieces
Mine blurred at the seams
From each other we’ll gather
And contrive some whole
A form of this mem’ry
That is ours to behold
Whether with youth or with age
No mind can perfectly grasp
The minutiae of moments
As they slip to the past
So join with me here
In imperfect recall
Amid fragments and dreams
Let us treasure them all



Before You Know It

10/2017: Before You Know It
Before You Know It

A mystery of grace: watching one grow,
The unfolding of life: a breath-taking show,
The mind: grasping at what will be, although,
So shall it be: what will be, now being – before you know

Friend or Foe?

10/2017: Friend or Foe?
Friend or Foe?

I recently started reading the first book of the “Redwall” series by Brian Jacques. I had never read it before but have always been drawn to books in which animals are the characters. I decided to take a break from portrait drawings and do an illustration based on my mental image of the story.

This moment in the illustration follows the attack of Redwall Abbey, led by the legendary Cluny the Scourge. Cluny’s spy has recently stolen something from the Abbey which serves as a source of inspiration and identity-orientation for all within the Abbey. At this moment in the drawing, Matthias, a self-effacing yet fiercely loyal monk from the Abbey, is venturing to St. Ninian’s Church where Cluny’s army has setup camp to confront him. Along the way, he encounters Basil Stag Hare, a proud and elusive hare who offers his support.

I was first attracted to Jacque’s description of Basil Stag as a “patchwork” animal. I’m not quite sure what was meant by that word but it gave me the image of a somewhat rugged creature. I wanted to use this drawing as an attempt to draw some animals and portray the two figures from two different perspectives (head-on for Basil Stag and from behind for Matthias). I’ve also been spending more time adding background details to my drawings so this one provided many different elements for practice, including a distant figure of St. Ninian’s church, a dirt path descending over a foreground horizon line and continuing on into the distance, and various bits of forestry.

See more sketches at the Sketch Gallery.


September ’17: Cherish

I have no words to tell you how
To cherish the moment of here and now
But watch me closely and you will see
For such an art is first nature to me

I know not of time nor how it is measured
Save that the present is a thing to be treasured
And when it passes, I’ll welcome the next
And savor it fully; that’s what I do best

So come with me and I’ll show you the way
To discover the secrets God has hid in this day
Close your eyes, just a moment or two
Be here and be thankful – that’s all you must do



More sketches in the Sketch Gallery.

Heart’s Desire

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The heart now sleeps within the chest
And dreams of where it is suited best
Yet, slumber spited, finds no rest

The heart yearns for things beyond the self
Past status, position, or material wealth
Of all places, the heart lists for somewhere else

The heart is a curious thing indeed
Akin to the paradoxical acorn seed
A tiny shell that hides a towering tree

The heart was given a thirst it seems
That cannot be quenched through earthly means
But ‘tween the banks of eternity’s streams

The heart is a story that will forever entail
A stout longing to find the hidden trail
A yearning to peer ‘round this present veil

The heart and its ways are akin to the rebel
Creative in manners to frustrate and meddle
To disrupt the plans of one willing to settle

The heart, after all, was forged in desire
Then set in a body amid the earth’s mire
To inspire its bearer to reach for things higher

The heart is a diamond that we borrow on loan
Not a trinket to hoard or trade or to own
And the God who made it is calling it home

The heart, in the end, leaves the body for yonder
For it was created to live a full life that is longer
And carries the pulse of a strength that is stronger

“If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.”
C.S. Lewis, “Mere Christianity”

“Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart”
– Psalm 37:4

At First Sight

At First Sight
September ’17: At First Sight

Amazing things happen to people in the presence of a child. Though this phenomenon is difficult to describe, you can’t miss it with your eyes.

My brother-in-law is a man of adventure whose world travels from the frozen mountains of Iceland to the hills of Florence to the vast wilds of Yosemite will someday make for an enthralling novel. A seasoned software engineer and mountain climber, he bears a broad and balanced palette of expertise in technology, wilderness, and culture.

He became an Uncle for the first time when my daughter was born. This is a sketch of the moment when, after months of anticipation and a long cross-country flight, he held her for the first time.

In getting to know these two as individuals, it strikes me that they both have a a knack for discovering what’s “out there.” My daughter will climb, burrow, and tumble through any physical space that’s available to her to quench her thirst for exploration. Hans could not be a better Uncle with whom to share that thirst. I can’t wait to see the adventures they’ll have together.

Until then, may their bond continue to blossom in that special kind of tenderness that exists between Uncle and Niece; the kind that begins at first sight.