Late Year Painting in the Wild


Acrylic on gessoed panel 9 x 12 inches, 23 x 30.5 centimeters


Acrylic painting is usually straight forward en plain air. Take a prepared canvas or panel or two in my kit. Then, make a sketch and keep going until done.

In Autumn the occasional warm day invites a jaunt to the woods and my motivation goes along for the ride.

Most times of the year I am used to setting down that wonderful light on a surface, it is fleeting, the task is capturing that glowing brilliance that makes the world seem to come alive even more. I pre-mix paint anticipating it. I watch the clouds higher and middle for clues of their courses and the winds lower still for what might be revealed or concealed.

I will use a camera, but only for references.

Now, in the late weeks of the year I get ready for the gloom,  those fading lights, any rising mists even. It is winter light is fickler, tricky, and lovely.

In the wild I take what comes.

Motivation remains speechless, but close and warm, like a companionable accomplice.


Art, Getting Busy

There are those days when someone passes by me whilst I’m at my drawing pad and exclaims, “I can do that!”


Graphite on card stock

I smile and keep drawing. After about a second, because I don’t want to lose the moment, I give them a pad and some pencils.

“Oh, no I couldn’t.”

But you just said your could. Give yourself this little gift, this precious time. Draw!

Some of the materials I favor are readily available at most office supply shops or even pharmacies. I chose them for that reason–wide availability.

Among my supplies I have A4 (8.5 x 11)  paper in white and a few colors, some A6 (4 x 6) plain index card stock, a few color pencils, #2 pencils, and blank journal books.

Then I scoop up my satchel and get busy.

I can do that.

Plodding, a Case of Novice Steps

It’s nerve wracking at the beginning, meeting the models, I mean. Soon I shall render their muscle and bone (sounds medieval cruel doesn’t it) trace out sinew and blood vessels. I shall note the textures of skin and the imperfections of age, the stretch marks, those sagging eyelids. hooding bright brown eyes.

I shall be a novice at drawing horses in horse country America. What present electric titillation to be near them, to five-sense them decades removed from my first magnetic connection to them, knowing how ancestors kept and bred horses and their kin, and how in a further sense this mob gave me their okay making their bold self-introductions.  Then,  seeming to put my energy and excitement at ease they went to own tasks.

They took my measure and made no fuss about me the remainder of my studio. Unremarkable, another random biped.

Incidental as I may’ve  been, I still enjoy my initiate status. I am thrilled make each meeting. Everything is a possibility. I shall not forget to keep that jewel for myself forever. Naif or old-salt, every day is full of opportunity. And of golden surprises.

Accepted by horses. It should be in my Artist’s statement.





A Short Analysis Of Art Making

Artists and Art

I am able to respond to Art Making in several ways.

I am the “who”, as well as a single “how” and the only “why” I care about related to or concerned of my Art. Pretty much the same for Artists from the dawn of humans till you read this essay.

I am the actuator, the actor that makes the material world.

Art for its own sake. 

Purpose: to contribute to the long pedigree of human created Art, for the humans of Art—Artists, no audience in mind, mine, well it’s always and only “for the ages”, beyond mere decoration, maybe trophy-like.

Focused Art that others relate to, as in popular culture. 

Purposes: fun, formal and informal consumption, revenue.

Personal Art, for my use.

Purposes: for fun of creating, informal consumption.

Commissions, sometimes for promises, occasionally for hire. 

Purposes:  to generate revenue, for fun, formal consumption.

Surprised Artist, when someone offers to pay money for any of the above.  

I am the maker.

I am the conceiver, builder of themes, motifs and the like to make the material in dimensions.

Employ tools and techniques using some media or materials or means of manipulating matter for expressive, demonstrable, presentational aims of the  translating a conceptual or imagined into dimensional real space-time or through invented devices (computer monitor, film screen) or contrived settings (gardens).

I am the director.

I am the editor, auditor, decision-maker pursuing a goal.

Art is energetic. The formative drive (working in progress toward a final goal) and summative drive (completed project) where the Artist is the  initiator of various  types, renditions, versions, iterations, variations within a system of Art (watercolor) and through a medium of visual communication (painting, graffiti, prototype construction). Then hang the finished work, staple it to a board, show it local it on social media, show it in public places, and set the Art free.

Collect some funds to do it all over again.

Artist as an aficionado or as an analyst or as a critic or as an apologist— some sort of offering insight to focus on,  improved understanding, enhanced experience, or other qualitative investigational activities.

This is partially the “why” of Art.

I am the final guide.

So, the Artist is maker, director, and final guide of their Art.

+/- 381 words

Writer’s Block, Burn-Outs

Writer’s Block, Burn-Outs

black vintage typewriter

Photo by Pixabay on

A “slump”,  “gone-dry”, utterly “lost”, it’s the legendary writer’s block syndrome and it’s  tough on a person. Truly, catastrophic  to burn-out for one accustomed to snappy sentences, witty scenes, or a floe of paragraphs enough to fill a sizable  frozen sea.

Almost all of my activities have this phenomenon to pop up.  The fine print should read: “Does Not include chocolate or coffee consumption.”

No answers here. I expect a block. I try (sorry ,Yoda) to keep a few simultaneous works-in-progress (W.I.P.) as part of my monthly plan. Or, if I get “off track” I schedule a three-day calendar check-in as a reminder to me, “you reported a writing outage on the 9th—how’s that going?” I’ll try anything to help get me out of a rut. Call it what it is. 

Minds rebel against the “same-old-same-old” so creative activities demand a lot of us as dancers, as composers, as visual artists, and as writers. 

My W.I.P’s can be similar in form, for instance,  I may write short-stories, but different genres, poetry, but sonnets,  and limericks. I think writing essays helps as a ‘block-breaker’. 

Moderation, for me, is the order of the day with all counter-measures taken for the dreaded becalmed writer. Walking, but a small one, a movie, but one, I avoid bingeing to avoid yet another rut.

Then, the “hair of the dog” treatment, sometimes works:   the mechanical work from brain to keypads or pens, the scratch of the paper, or the brassy  ‘ding’ of a typewriter bell can put me back in writing trim. It’s a “shock” to action on a small scale.

I know I rely on my ‘sub-conscious’ mind for some of my writing, but I find a little help from personal diversions,  some planning, also being kind to myself, and having alternatives helps me to reduce the lag-time between the last paragraph I completed, before full-block, and when I start anew.

Happy writing,

No Action

All the varied “sights” open to my senses happen to crowd all of my  other senses. I use all my senses, the usual plus more when, for instance, as I view a scene, a landscape. Soon, I have  a lot of inputs and, frankly, it’s kind of cool. Then it isn’t. I am ‘not paying attention”.

I am not “distracted”, or “un-focused”. I am not giving my attention the voltage needed for me to relate to the landscape-as-visual input. In front of me.

Taking photos is fine but for me it’s a distraction, a bit lazy of me, and I miss so much fiddling with the mechanisms. Interaction I don’t need. I may take one photo reference of the whole landscape or something interesting. At most two.

The rest goes into my memory. The scene. So when I’m on a photography or sketching mission those actions are what I do. If I want to scout a location employ every tool at my disposal to “capture” selections of the site(s), where I am involved, the “space” if you will.

Otherwise I simply “am”. On a chair. Seeing. No action. Aware.

I hope your work and joy makes you free,


blue sky photography

Photo by Lisa Fotios on

Write Until I Think I Might Perish


Writing transforms the writer.  Those who try to write do so at great peril and even perhaps severe loss. Each fills in their own examples of  “peril” or definitions of “loss”.  Writing has costs associated with the endeavor.  It always has for me.

By analogy, I enjoy community and college theatre. If the company of players can get me into a seat and help me to transform creaky props and a good story into a romp of my imagination I feel such kindredness with them. I want others to feel that when I write.  I try to accomplish a story that will do the same for the reader as the actors did for me.  Change the imaginary whilst in the ordinary world through words.

I have been changed over the long hours at the keyboard or on the typewriter by the process I do to make a story (writing).  I must renew my relationship with the narrative right up to where I left off work because I am romping through my imagination. That, for me, takes a practical process. I think writers figure out their process  that uses builds with the nuts and bolts of the story becoming a relatable coherent progression—beginning to end.  The challenges are near. Fatigue and frustration hit first.

Even though I have typed “imagination”, “story”, and hinted at the mental/brain orienting goal of story, this writing activity is real. There is real pain, also joy, exhilaration, and horrors to encounter as I go along. 

I can leave a piece on a jump-drive, sequestered to a notebook, or I leave it at a bus stop. It will not be a story until I finish it. Until it transforms me. And we finally become one. This is working through the frustration and fatigue, the joy, anything that might de-rail the writing. No matter my critics or my self-doubt I write until I think I might perish. Of course, I know, mainly, I will not die.

I am reminded that chocolate-chip cookie batter looks horrid in the bowl. When baked and golden brown with melty chips it was worth the process. It was also ignoring myself saying, “This is a hot mess.”

There is no story until I finish. It may not be what an editor wants. The critic may have myriad reasons to hang it out to dry. 

It is still a story because someone wrote it.

What? You thought you were going to get rich? 

To do that do something else and take a direct approach to wealth.

I want to write. I cannot do otherwise.

I want the feeling of kindredness, the infatuation with the story, the processes of writing, of making strung-together words in a similar way as I will mix up a batch of self-made cookies.

Because I made them.


The Artist Series, Doing Similar, Consisently

I reckoned the idea of a series might have a bit to do with consistency of action.

Along with a theme, color selection, format, composition, and a bunch more but I want to emphasise concept here.

The produce of Art speaks for itself on most of the above all but on concept.

Above I begin the concept “the first realisation of no turning back”.

Kindest wishes,