Category Archives: Artist Books

Large Artist Sketchbook 2020: Our Whole Family Is in Residence Here

You may know that in addition to my artwork I also write poetry (posted on my blog Claudia McGill Writes Poetry, Did You Know That?). For the next several months I will be posting here a combined art/poetry project, Large Artist Sketchbook 2020.

I fill up sketchbooks with all kinds of art. Some contain images only and some of them I use the images as inspiration for poetry. In these books the image is on one page of the spread and the poetry on the other. This book is set up in this manner.

I’ll show you the image and then add the poem that goes with it. See what you think.

Our Whole Family Is in Residence Here

This house
It’s been our house for a very long time
decades generations we hope for centuries
Remodeled kitchen more than once
Bedrooms handed down and down
New sofa or reupholster the old one?
The bathroom floor all its original tiles. No cracks.

We are all always here in this house
None of us ever leave
and make it permanent.
Oh we go out in the world
but sooner or later we make our way back
don’t we? Come in and I’ll see who’s at home
Give me a moment to sift through the layers.

Who was it you wanted to see?
Flesh and blood
current occupants today –
or the less substantial –
so many to choose from?

I hear the vacuum running upstairs
Do you hear it? No?
Let me see if I can get her attention for you.

3/12/20
Large Artist Sketchbook 2020 image 12

Large Artist Sketchbook 2020: Stand Still

You may know that in addition to my artwork I also write poetry (posted on my blog Claudia McGill Writes Poetry, Did You Know That?). For the next several months I will be posting here a combined art/poetry project, Large Artist Sketchbook 2020.

I fill up sketchbooks with all kinds of art. Some contain images only and some of them I use the images as inspiration for poetry. In these books the image is on one page of the spread and the poetry on the other. This book is set up in this manner.

I’ll show you the image and then add the poem that goes with it. See what you think.

Stand Still

At the midpoint of full-noon
trees
who will never be anywhere else but here
crowd the middle of the field.

Shimmer sky hum insects
the crow calls out
with a caressing croak that cracks
just as it ends

3/6/12
Large Artist Sketchbook 2020 image 11

Large Artist Sketchbook 2020: Haiku 812

You may know that in addition to my artwork I also write poetry (posted on my blog Claudia McGill Writes Poetry, Did You Know That?). For the next several months I will be posting here a combined art/poetry project, Large Artist Sketchbook 2020.

I fill up sketchbooks with all kinds of art. Some contain images only and some of them I use the images as inspiration for poetry. In these books the image is on one page of the spread and the poetry on the other. This book is set up in this manner.

I’ll show you the image and then add the poem that goes with it. See what you think.

Haiku 812

What is it you say
about keeping our secrets?
Yes, I can. I will.

2/21/20
Large Artist Sketchbook 2020 image 10

Large Artist Sketchbook 2020: Shadorma 273 and 275

You may know that in addition to my artwork I also write poetry (posted on my blog Claudia McGill Writes Poetry, Did You Know That?). For the next several months I will be posting here a combined art/poetry project, Large Artist Sketchbook 2020.

I fill up sketchbooks with all kinds of art. Some contain images only and some of them I use the images as inspiration for poetry. In these books the image is on one page of the spread and the poetry on the other. This book is set up in this manner.

I’ll show you the image and then add the poem that goes with it. See what you think.

Note: Two poems were written for this page.

Shadorma 273

Odd place here
to stop and talk. Why
did you choose
desolate
and deserted? And why are
the crows silent now?

2/21/20
Large Artist Sketchbook 2020 image 9

*******

Shadorma 275

Lost in thought
she is and I know
keep quiet
Interrupt
and I risk one more tirade
or worse still the tears

3/6/20
Large Artist Sketchbook 2020 image 9

Large Artist Sketchbook 2020: That I Knew

You may know that in addition to my artwork I also write poetry (posted on my blog Claudia McGill Writes Poetry, Did You Know That?). For the next several months I will be posting here a combined art/poetry project, Large Artist Sketchbook 2020.

I fill up sketchbooks with all kinds of art. Some contain images only and some of them I use the images as inspiration for poetry. In these books the image is on one page of the spread and the poetry on the other. This book is set up in this manner.

I’ll show you the image and then add the poem that goes with it. See what you think.

That I Knew

I followed that faint
track across the field
no one had come this
way in a while and
so between the thorn
bushes tangled up
on the one side and
the scruffy tired weeds
in the yellow dirt
other side they were
eyeing each other
in a hard sort of
way and I felt I
had interrupted
some kind of standoff
just about to let
loose so I stepped high
and fast along the
track heading for the
darkest part seemed like
to me of the woods
and no I was not
exactly keen on
the look of it but
where the track went was
where I had to go.
That
I knew.

I walked on through this
July evening with
flicks of grasshoppers
still flipping and gone
hopping out in front
of me even this
late in dim twilight
and I walked on out
along the track nor
did I hesitate
nor falter. The grass
as soon as my foot
had flattened it down
in the one step then
before the next one
it was gone springing
right back up behind
I did not look back
no looking back would
tell me any more
That
I knew.

2/21/20
Large Artist Sketchbook 2020 image 8
each line 5 syllables

Large Artist Sketchbook 2020: This One Day in Pink Winter

You may know that in addition to my artwork I also write poetry (posted on my blog Claudia McGill Writes Poetry, Did You Know That?). For the next several months I will be posting here a combined art/poetry project, Large Artist Sketchbook 2020.

I fill up sketchbooks with all kinds of art. Some contain images only and some of them I use the images as inspiration for poetry. In these books the image is on one page of the spread and the poetry on the other. This book is set up in this manner.

I’ll show you the image and then add the poem that goes with it. See what you think.

This One Day in Pink Winter

Pink winter
we’re in pink winter
rain snow sleet
mix they call it
but it’s one that never coalesces
into a something finished
Think: sloppy cold unbaked cake kind of day
the weather going nowhere but
it doesn’t matter to me
I’m a warm pink puffy coat
I’m cozy pink lined boots
I’m pink gloves and
a hat with pompom soaked and frozen and silly pink
It all just makes me laugh.
Pink winter.

2/21/20
Large Artist Sketchbook image 7

Large Artist Sketchbook 2020: Homesick

You may know that in addition to my artwork I also write poetry (posted on my blog Claudia McGill Writes Poetry, Did You Know That?). For the next several months I will be posting here a combined art/poetry project, Large Artist Sketchbook 2020.

I fill up sketchbooks with all kinds of art. Some contain images only and some of them I use the images as inspiration for poetry. In these books the image is on one page of the spread and the poetry on the other. This book is set up in this manner.

I’ll show you the image and then add the poem that goes with it. See what you think.

Homesick

Another one of those lurid red
awful hot days and when
the first blotches of rain hit the glass
Splot. A dull tapping sound
but in a squishy kind of spread out way
if you know what I mean
Splot.
I jumped back away from the window
We get them like that sometimes
I’m still getting used to it
Things are so different here
from how they were at home

One blotch and then another
bled down the smooth surface
rivulets of plum-dark purple-red
sudden memory prisms
for the scene I saw once again
but never through this window:

a brown and gray yard
back there back when back then
I saw the bare black trees
glossed clear slick and shiny
with the downpour
I saw the heavy clouds that pressed down
I felt the overcast sky enclosing my house
safe and kind. I heard the raindrops
in their small bright spatter of sound
like straight pins landing on a metal table
silver-clear lenses
each presenting a tiny view of
home

I did not cry.
Not again.

2/21/20
Large Artist Sketchbook 2020 image 6

Large Artist Sketchbook 2020: Friday Guy

You may know that in addition to my artwork I also write poetry (posted on my blog Claudia McGill Writes Poetry, Did You Know That?). For the next several months I will be posting here a combined art/poetry project, Large Artist Sketchbook 2020.

I fill up sketchbooks with all kinds of art. Some contain images only and some of them I use the images as inspiration for poetry. In these books the image is on one page of the spread and the poetry on the other. This book is set up in this manner.

I’ll show you the image and then add the poem that goes with it. See what you think.

Friday Guy

I use a pencil marked with the day of the week
keeps me straight on which iteration of
quintuplet look-alike workdays
I am dealing with
In particular
I want to recognize that valued colleague Friday
soon as it hits the street loud and proud
day five of five slide-through day outta here day
so I can say a big hello!
snap the point of Friday’s pencil
on green paper spreadsheets
leave the lead mark that says
it’s Friday!
and rejoice. In situ but half out the door already
neck twisted in clock-watcher position
(I cast aside my usual
just-short-of-a-faceplant-on-my-desk
Monday-through-Thursday demeanor
in honor of the honored guest) though always
of course
I am pencil in hand. That guy. Yes, him.
I point. Me, that’s him. TGIF guy. Me, that’s him.

2/14/20
Large Artist Sketchbook 2020 Image 5

Large Artist Sketchbook 2020: The Estufa Fria in February

You may know that in addition to my artwork I also write poetry (posted on my blog Claudia McGill Writes Poetry, Did You Know That?). For the next several months I will be posting here a combined art/poetry project, Large Artist Sketchbook 2020.

I fill up sketchbooks with all kinds of art. Some contain images only and some of them I use the images as inspiration for poetry. In these books the image is on one page of the spread and the poetry on the other. This book is set up in this manner.

I’ll show you the image and then add the poem that goes with it. See what you think.

Note: In 1998 our family visited Lisbon, Portugal, and one of the places we went was the Estufa Fria. Since then we have referred to any greenhouse garden in this way, as a nod to our fond memory of the trip.

The Estufa Fria in February

Shut the door on the sullen monologue
the one that’s been going on too long
That
will winter ever end
question
Put it aside. The botanical garden
free on Sundays a modest charge other days
Nothing to stop you. Come in.

The sashay of fronds along
the pea gravel path
The verve the swerve the swish
of the impertinent bloom
that reaches for your hand
The air so moist it splashes. The sky
that hovers above the palms
Breathe it in.

The leafless oaks outside
peer through the glass
is that a snowflake?
while we
in the middle of this gray-brown
winter-coat-wearing city
we laugh.
Winter doesn’t dare say a word here.

2/14/20
Large Artist Sketchbook 2020 Image 4

Large Artist Sketchbook 2020: Endless

You may know that in addition to my artwork I also write poetry (posted on my blog Claudia McGill Writes Poetry, Did You Know That?). For the next several months I will be posting here a combined art/poetry project, Large Artist Sketchbook 2020.

I fill up sketchbooks with all kinds of art. Some contain images only and some of them I use the images as inspiration for poetry. In these books the image is on one page of the spread and the poetry on the other. This book is set up in this manner.

I’ll show you the image and then add the poem that goes with it. See what you think.

We drove oh how long
we were in the car
eleven hours through
three meals rest stops and
pulling over to
get out and stretch the
road kept on reaching
out and pulling us
along until we
tried to turn to get
away but always
another one stepped
in to take us up
All day from sunrise
to after black dark
the car carried us
I envied the trees
alongside the road
because they were set
dug in with their roots
did not have to go
anywhere no one
made them travel a
mile. Ever. I so
wished I could be home.

2/14/20
Large Artist Sketchbook 2020 Image 3
each line 5 syllables