LIVING CREATIVELY

Stargazer

Stargazer

I had the great good fortune to have spent a month near Jackson Hole in my last two summers before teen-hood. My parents dropped me off at Union Station with some fellow campers from Southern California and waved us goodbye.
On the trip north we saw the back alleys and rear entrances of businesses in cities and towns big and small. We roamed the train as it lumbered through dunes and chaparral, annoying the porters and buying tuna sandwiches in the club car. As we ventured further, we snuck...

Flowers for Mother

Flowers for Mother

It was an inevitability. 
The Hallmark cards never captured the experience. Every year they asked me what I wanted for Mother’s Day. And every day I said the same thing...I wanted nothing except for a day without conflict. No breakfast in bed. No reservations at a local restaurant. No fancy jewelry or clothes. No crying, no arguments, no tattling. 
Just a nice day with those I loved best, my children. Ah, a mother can dream.
It started with some cards and devolved from there. I think it...

Aphoristically Speaking

Aphoristically Speaking

My shoulder still isn’t 100%. Probably more like about 87%. Many things don’t bother it at all, but some really do and one of those things, unfortunately, has been painting.
One day, while pondering this dismal situation I remembered back to many years ago, a little strip of paper taped to my bathroom mirror. It read, “do what you can, with what you have, where you are”*. During that time of uncertainty those words gave me direction for my present and hope for my future. 
So, as I tried to...

Un-Scared

Un-Scared

I’m ashamed to report how long it has taken me to paint these two very small paintings. It’s certainly not because they were miniatures, hardly. They’re both 8” x 10”. 
 
Doable? Maybe, maybe not.
 
I had lots of excuses along the way: traveling, house projects, a game arm, all the painting I did earlier in the year. In the end, pretty hollow stuff.
 
What really happened was I froze. I’d come into the studio and I’d get an odd feeling in my stomach. It was beyond simple procrastination...

Remembering Summer

Remembering Summer

Way back in the spring I was furiously painting in order to have enough pieces for the summer group show. Then I was furiously framing

I was looking forward to a break. I had been at the easel from March to mid-July for what felt like every day towards the same end, to get the work done. Oh, and I also redesigned my website, completed a commission and nursed my painting arm shoulder injury.

But it was all worth it.

At the reception I met a lovely woman who had remembered one...

Center Court

Center Court

I had planned to write this post yesterday and in so doing check a number of things off my to do list which had grown substantially while working on my latest painting. Instead, I spent nearly five hours watching two grown men bang a small neon yellow ball across a low net. I squirmed thinking about all the things I had hoped to accomplish but the longer it went on, the more invested I became. Almost five hours! I have no idea how they kept moving. Why didn’t their arms drag as the match wore on?...

Waterfall

Waterfall

I’ve sat next to all manner of waterfalls. The kind you unexpectedly come upon on a hike and need to figure out how to get over; the little creek cascades that trip pool to pool and disappear under deep forest growth; and the grander ones you seek out deliberately from maps, following signs through parking lots and down wooden walkways. Big or small they impart sensations of awesome power and hypnotic serenity. Even the behemoth Niagara Falls, with all its well-worn commercialism and history delivers.

Falling...

Kindred

Kindred

Being thoroughly unproductive during the dark years of 2020 and 2021, it’s taken me a while to recover. I’ve tried to pick up the pace by painting some smaller pieces and increasing my studio time. This has paid off. As of the end of this month I’ve completed exactly as many paintings as I did all last year. I feel accomplished but at the same time I still feel like I’m playing catch up.
A few years ago I tried working on multiple pieces at the same time. They were all paintings of pink tulips...

The Red Sweater

The Red Sweater

The astute observer might notice that I like the color red. I’ve written about this in the past. But it wasn’t just the fabulous red sweater (although I do want one just like it) that drew me to this subject, nor the party dress, nor the crazy hairdo, it was the two-year-old imp who was rocking it all.
Sometimes a little one comes into our lives and lightens our days. This one certainly has, as have her two brothers. 
Ask a group of people, young or old, “Who wants to do _____ ? and her hand...

The Birthday

The Birthday

This past winter a gallery director asked if I’d like to be part of a four-woman show this summer. My heart fluttered as “yes” flew through my lips. I’ve only had this opportunity a few times but never with the caliber of artists I’d join.

However, when he said I’d need oh, maybe 15 paintings of both florals and people, that elation gave way to panic. How in the world could I get this done in a few months? My inventory is not that big! So much to do and so little time. Turns out deadlines...