Between the House and the Barn

Look what I found between the house and the barn today.

All sorts of stuff, stuff BEAUTIFUL STUFF!!!

None of this suddenly appeared. It’s been there all along. But today I had my eyes open. Today I was LOOKING. NOTICING. APPRECIATING.

And now I’m positively jumping up and down because I’m all fired up EXCITED about the POTENTIAL here.

Potential paintings! Which will look nothing like the photos, by the way.





Marked Wood


Cement Mixer




Haven't a Clue

And now I’m off to the studio. Check back tomorrow or later in the week.  At the very least there’ll be some works-in-progress to show you.

And now I have a contest, my best best BEST beloveds! Indeed I do. It’s called What the Hell is That Stuff? The first person who correctly guesses what ALL six of these photos are (besides inspiring) wins a pony! And the person who makes up the most interesting answers wins a dinosaur. I’m SERIOUS about this so leave your answers in the comments below.

The Day I Knew

This is a true story. As right and true as all those years of remembering can make it. 

The only thing I recall about that day, that year, that godawful time in my life, was the portrait of the old man. He was a refugee from a war or famine, maybe a flood… I don’t recall. I guess you could say it was a godawful time in his life too. Anyway, I found his photo in the newspaper and knew I NEEDED to sketch it, because that was what I did back then. I sketched. I drew. I made art whenever I could. Which wasn’t too often.

Because I was in school, taking classes that sucked me dry like bones left out too long in the sun. Sensible classes. Mandatory classes. And when I wasn’t in school I was studying or waiting tables at a diner in the mall. Working late into the night, telling men twice my age I wasn’t interested. Then going home and doing the same thing the next day. School. Work. Assignments. And when I was lucky, when I could fit it in, the occasional soul liberating drawing.

But not often enough.

Pause here for the violins.

The portrait of the old man was pinned to the wall by the front door of the crappy duplex in the crappier neighborhood. A pencil sketch really, on cheap paper. I was on my way out to work, maybe school, but I stopped and studied it. And then I surprised myself and said with my real voice, not the voice inside my head that was always telling me bad things, “This is good. This really is good.”

And the boy slouched on the sofa, the handsome boy who spent his hours, his days smoking dope and not doing much else said, “Yes it is.”

The light went on inside my head, sparks, and I said, “I could be an art major.”

The boy who’d been sucking the life out of me for way too long sucked the weed deep into his lungs, holding it there and saying in a strangled voice as he tried not to exhale, “Yes you can.”

And I KNEW I was right. And he was right. And that was HUGE because we never agreed about anything.

So I became an art major. The joy came back into my life.

And the boy went out of it. Eventually.

As near as I remember that’s the way it went. Except I left out the drama. Because I was twenty years old, there was plenty of drama.

Until I learned to exhale.

Now because this is an art blog and I’m an artist I suppose you want to see a picture. Even one that has nothing to do with the story. So here’s a sketch I happen to have on my camera roll. 

from the sketchbook SLPorter

from the sketchbook

We’ll call it Portrait of Me If I Looked Like That. But it’s really Random Sketch While Watching TV.

Here’s what I really look like these days.

Self Portrait Susan Lobb Porter

Self Portrait
Susan Lobb Porter

As always, would LOVE to hear from you in the comments below.

Checkin’ Out da Hood

Paying attention to the signs. Like these:

blog 811_trails

Susan Lobb Porter
Encaustic on Cradled Board


blog 811_tracks copy

Susan Lobb Porter
Encaustic on Cradled Board


blog 811_trace copy

Susan Lobb Porter
Encaustic on Cradled Board

I made these encaustic pieces two summers ago. Thought of them this evening when I went out to check the area behind the back gate. We’ve been having a lot of work done lately. Landscaping. Irrigation. The guys have been driving a tractor and truck back and forth, leaving the gate open more often than not. I really don’t want the deer to think of it as an invitation to dine on the new roses.

The area right outside the gate is soft dirt, your basic wilderness bulletin board. I decided to see who’s come a callin’.

blog 811_deer

Doe, a deer.

blog 811_jackrabbit

Mr. Jack Rabbit.

blog 811_racoon

Rocky Racoon.

blog 811_snake


blog 811_me

And moi, with a tire tread background.

Funny thing about photographing tracks in the late sun…they give the illusion of being raised up instead of recessed. Go figure.

There’s lots of other critters around here. I think when the workmen are finished I’ll sweep the area clean from time to time and see who comes a calling. In fact, I feel another photo project happening. Stay tuned.

As always my sweetums, I’d love to hear what you have to say in the comments below. And if you’ve stumbled upon some interesting tracks be sure to share that.


Me and My


Shadows. Mystery of light. My airy doppleganger.

Shadow Portrait Susan Lobb Porter

Shadow Portrait, Hay Shed
Susan Lobb Porter

Moi, captured against the wall of the hay shed. Rough wood in the glare of a single compact fluorescent bulb. 

Shadow Portrait

Shadow Portrait with Trees
Susan Lobb Porter

Moi again. Striking the cameo pose against the late afternoon sun.  

I am becoming emboldened by these shadow portraits, by these images of me-not-me. I’ll be sharing more with you from time to time.

Technical info: These were created on my iphone 4s while enrolled in Catherine Just‘s online class, In Plain Sight. Do yourself a favor, check out her classes. It’s not photography, it’s transformation.