Tuesday, April 21, 2020


4/14/20 Our backyard, Maple Leaf neighborhood

Our backyard is a yawner. In the nearly nine years that I’ve been sketching, the only time I have ever sketched that view was last year during snowmaggedon, and that was only after being snowbound for several days – that’s how desperate I was. Of course, even overly familiar scenes look more interesting when covered with snow.

More than five weeks into sheltering-in-place restlessness (the media came up with snowmaggedon; why haven’t they come up with a cutesy name for this?), I must have hit that point of desperation. Several days in a row, I gazed out our back kitchen window – a messy yard, an overgrown bush, our recycle bins, the fence between our house and the neighbors behind us – and all they inspired was a deep sigh.

One day right after lunch, the early afternoon sunlight set our forsythia on fire. It was enough to get me out there with my sketchbook. Meanwhile, as I sketched, a neighbor on the other side of the fence was attending a Zoom meeting with the speaker turned up. All trade secrets of that company were revealed. The meeting was as much of a yawner as our backyard.

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