A Lesson of Daisies

At a children’s’ education center the theme for the visitors on the day I tagged along was “Plants”.

The theme rooms were full of displays, art, and the “science” section was tricked out with learning centers about plant growth, photosynthesis, and the life cycle of plants.

The learning centers immediately grabbed the focus of the young smiling  visitors. They read the question cards and wrote answers using stubby pencils.

Those developing scholars with 100% correct answers were given a long-stem rosebud and if the learners gave any incorrect answers the attendants gave them a fancy carnation.

Now you might think, “Well done creating a class system among youngsters.” Here are my observations.

When a child returned to the learning center and tried another question and succeeded they received a daisy to go with their carnation.


Daisies, acrylic on cedar panel.

Those who tried again had a fist full of flowers; even those who had initially received a rose went back until all the flowers were given out.

The class presented their flowers as a group bouquet to their teachers.

I was told the outcomes from the student’s performance may vary from day to day, if things went better today than yesterday so much the better. What the children learned every day and reported to their teachers and to their parents was for them the most fun was to play and to do as well as possible and to like your friends.

When I have a formidable problem or when my designs somehow miss the mark, I will go back for a do-over to do as well as possible and to like my friends.

I will remember the daisies.



Trial and Try Again

As an art practitioner I think about art and my relationship to my work. Part of that connection to the work is how to love it.

I have a design, a plan, a pattern in mind, sometimes. Often I ‘go’ with a marker or a brush.  Some of my favorite pieces come from this exercise.

I, and bets are you too, will be required to write or to tell about your art. The artist’s statement invites others into your art. People will make up their own minds.

Often the writing or telling is about what remains when I finish.  That does not discourage me. Critics abound. I do not take on that job.

The key is to take encouragement from finishing your work.

It is fine to say, “I really don’t know what I was going for but here it is.” I created a plan and a little way in I changed it.  Starting over is exciting. Re-beginning turns my calendar on its side and presses me and my resources. Pressure is good, but like the air on your lungs—just right.

I like “trial and try again”.

Love your work.

What can be Will Be

My usual method to assemblage starts with some kind of “ground” or what receives all the pieces. Then comes the parts arrangement. Take a picture; then, re-arrange the components, and finally take another picture.

Flow of the Cosmos2

“Star Fountain”, wood, metal, acrylic paint, varnish, April 2016

I’ve  mixed it up a bit.  I take a picture of the parts and cut them out, then arrange those cut-outs on a backdrop.

I thought, “Forget the pictures.”


Where am I?

I’m stuck is where I am.

I have to do better. Don’t give up.

Opportunity to re-start.


I was jammed. Run hard a-ground.

What I used to make this project was one word: altered.

I altered the plan.

It worked. Same parts different approach. New concept.

I got un-stuck.

New tool for my tool box.

What can be will be.


Stay in the hunt.

How do I Fit into the World of Art?

I get confidence because I earn it every day.



When I listen to writers, artists, and parents of children the topic of artistic capability comes up in conversation. These groups are part of my constellation of enlightenment. We talk about development, growth, and accomplishment our own and of others.

I am often able to see further because sit next to young artists and soak in their confidence. I “watch and learn” as I was reminded by a five-year old demonstrating her techniques with chalk.

Her capable hands made a cool octopus from a blur of precisely chosen chalks on a canvas that resembled the old fashioned chalk boards. She uses the canvas over again for the next painting.

“It’s a cephalopod.”

I went back to my own practice book to draw. I wanted the precision, the confidence, and knowing what I want as she.

It was an octopus. Her chalk painting made sense. She created a marvelous shape and it was well done. It did not need a label, although she knew what she wanted her drawing to represent. I must have some capacity to create before any other facet of my pilgrimage (mastery) can begin.



As I develop I can see changes over time. I stick to the task and the areas in need of improvement appear. Not a “mistake” rather the opportunity to improve which means I take stock and make changes. This process occurs over time.

Art is a “practitioner’s” calling.

I eventually want to become better but I am not overly harsh toward my efforts –it is a process. It takes time on task.

I keep notebooks for practice and for referral so I can become better at “cephalopods” after some reflection and practice.

There is the root of confidence for me. I do not keep score or say I am darned good at painting clouds, trees, cats, but only so-so at cephalopods.

I know I will become better because I am planning to do so. I can recall from my notebooks my previous practice pieces.

Then I go again. I have been shown and I have seen from my own experience capability must walk with confidence.

I get confidence because I earn it every day.

One last quote from a sculptor I know. How do you know when your piece is good?

The answer was quick, “It’s just the way I made it and it’s good.”

Capable and confident two concepts I am leaning.