Oak Leaves

There’s a young oak tree on one of the streets in my neighbourhood. I’ve brought home 2 sprigs of leaves that I’ve found on the sidewalk on my walks. I love oak leaves! And I’ve done a few drawings of them.

The first two are of a small bunch of leaves that I drew first with a bold pen and, the next day, with a finer line one. I did this to see what changing the tool would do to the rendition. A very different look and feel appeared.

This third sketch is of a larger sprig of leaves.


If you’d like to see some of my other artwork, click on the image below to go to my etsy shop:

Dreams Drawing

I’ve been experimenting with drawing more cartoons. That process led me to a small drawing continuing with the theme of dreams that I began in my first cartoon. After having done a number of works that felt too controlled, I made a loose unplanned sketch that felt freer to me.  Afterwards, I added colour to the line drawing with pigment markers and some water soluble crayons. I think I’ll work on this theme further.  I hear my unfinished linocut on Leonard Cohen’s Sisters of Mercy calling me. Why have you left me and when will you return?  I haven’t answered yet, but, meanwhile, here’s the 2 recent drawings.


To see works in my etsy shop, go to: artsofmay.etsy.com.

Sci Fi

Here’s another, and quite different, ink drawing I found in a sketchbook last week as I was reviewing my art work.  It’s from 1988, signed under my birth name that I later changed. It looks to me like a science fiction image, with an emphasis on environmental degradation. Also, I was exploring body image and different parts of the self which I have done throughout my life.

Sketch, ©1988, Lily S. May under birth name Susan Barsel

Ink Drawing, ©1988, Lily S. May under birth name Susan Barsel

By Our Hearts

These days I seem even more engaged than before in reviewing my art work. I believe this is a life review of sorts since the work spans decades.  This week I had a look at my old sketch books. The drawing in this post is a recent one from around 2011. I’m guessing that’s the date because of other sketches I dated in the same book. Again, I had forgotten it was there and am glad to reclaim it. It’s part of a story I was writing that I considered also illustrating, but did not. I’ve been thinking of returning to the story and seeing if I can resurrect it and reshape it more to my liking. Meanwhile, here’s the sketch for you. I made it mostly with Faber-Castell Pitt markers which I find very enjoyable to work with.

Felt marker drawing--It is by our hearts that we shall be known--©Lily S. May.

Felt marker drawing–It is by our hearts that we shall be known–©Lily S. May.

Ink & Watercolour Paintings & My Several Names

Ink & Watercolour

Ink & watercolour painting by Lily S. May, 1987, under birth name

I came upon these two sketch/paintings I made in 1987.  They’re in watercolour with ink lines.  I enjoyed making and, now, viewing these paintings because I made them with a certain amount of freedom.  I didn’t sketch the images first, but applied the watercolour and ink directly to the paper.  The images turned out less constrained this way and feel, to me, more lively.

Ink & Watercolour

Ink & watercolour painting, Lily S. May, 1987, under birth name

A note about my names:  you may be able to see that the signatures on my earlier work do not read Lily S. May.  Instead, as in these paintings, I signed them with my birth name, Susan Barsel, or initials.  Some of my early prints are signed the same way or with two versions of my former married name:  Susan Herman and Susan Barsel-Herman.  I didn’t formally change my name to Lily S. May until the mid ’90s.  So, all these names refer to me, just at different times in my life.