Friday’s Thought – The Fruit of Life

Indian paintbrush flowers

“Color is the fruit of life.”

(Guillaume Apollinaire)

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My Favorite Things – The Wildflower Garden at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center

I’ve fallen behind on my posts this week for two reasons:

1. It’s been a ten-service week for the New York City Ballet Orchestra at its summer home, the Saratoga Performing Arts Center


2. Torrential rains have put a kibosh on any outdoor photography.

But today we not only got out of rehearsal early, but the sun was shining!  So after lunch, I walked away from town back to the entrance to SPAC. SPAC Entrance

Why?  Because every time we drive into the park, I’m in awe of the fabulous wildflower garden on either side of the entrance…

Wildflower garden at SPAC

And I wanted to take a closer look at the sunflowers…



Pink Gerber Daisy

Ornamental grasses…

striped grasses

And fuzzy, lilac-like blooms.

fuzzy purple flower

The riot of colors…

riot of colors garden

Would make it seem like this garden is at its peak.  But there are still lots of buds waiting to burst…

green bud

As well as another 10 New York City Ballet shows to take in! (You can buy your tickets here).


Filed under Influences, My Favorite Things, nature, photography, travel

From My Sketchbook – Week 22

In my ongoing quest to take my illustrations to the next level, I’ve been spending some time going back to basics.  Meet…

The Stick Figure!

Stick figure fashion illustration

(You’d be surprised just how challenging drawing the stick figure can actually be!)

Of course, the next step is to flesh out the body…but with only a minimum of details.  

quick punk girl sketch

(As you can see, I overdid it on this one, but I think you will still get the idea.)

What’s next?  A hell of a lot more practice, for one.  Or, as one of my violin teachers used to say…hours of fun!


Filed under art, drawing, education, From My Sketchbook, techniques

Happy Independence Day!

Fireworks in New Orleans

“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”

(Nelson Mandela)

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Friday’s Thought – Going With the Flow

Photo of raindrops on Lady's Mantle plant in New Hampshire, taken by Joana Miranda

“The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.”

(Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)


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My Favorite Things – On the Pond

We just got back from a quick trip to New Hampshire to see my mom on the pond.  Which pond?  Where?

I invite you to pull up a chair and join me on a virtual tour.  

two red chairs on Goose Pond

To a pond that is as lovely in the sun…

diamonds on the water

As it is in the shade.

sunlight through the trees

A pond that looks just as pretty on a cloudy day…

across Goose Pond

As it does in the mist…

paddle boarding on the pond

And at dusk.

looking towards the dam

A pond where life slows down…

speed boat at the dock

And looking at the water is sufficient entertainment!

Goose Pond water

Goose Pond, New Hampshire


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From My Sketchbook – Week 21

Sketches (or scribbles) from my sketchbook this past week include this head study…

quick head scribble sketch by Joana Miranda

And this seated figure.

woman seated waiting for the subway

As you’re reading this, I’ll probably be en route to New Hampshire for a quick visit to my mom’s summer cottage.  A five hour bus ride probably doesn’t sound exactly pleasant, but when you’re not the one driving (or co-piloting) it’s actually quite relaxing…and hopefully will lead to lots of new sketches!


Filed under art, drawing, education, fashion illustration, From My Sketchbook, illustration, Influences, ink sketches, inspiration, New work, New York, practicing drawing, Quick Sketch, subway sketches, techniques, Tool Box