Making Paradise

Evening Skies Nov 06 2016

I like being near my happy place.

My passport is a nice cup of tea.

My transport is a venerable settee. 

I believe “it’s five o’clock somewhere”.



Favorite Place



Character Design Using Narrative


Medusa flipped Sketch 2

Sketches are an idea for a drawing or painting made to provide a view for a finished Artwork. The sketch is full of potential.

A sketch is also a short performance, a skit, maybe one scene. Make a sketch memorable make it funny. An imaginary skit has power in character development.

Yes I do Spike my Hair 7-21-17 2

I  like to make a sketch of a character that I have created its back-story. The story helps carry the development of the Art forward. I am story-making with multiple goals but mainly visual. 

Bride 1 Sketch 2

Sketches begin with perhaps no idea at all, only a few marker strokes on some paper. Insert some fun, work around the mistakes, but use some mistakes. Show the character’s, well, character. It’s all non-verbal, the front end of the business is “showing”. The back-room is explaining the character a bit to myself.

Another use of narrative is when a sketch isn’t making it. Then, I invent an imaginary scene to get the ball rolling, I need some extra “juice” to mix with “inspiration” to get my graphical ideas across on paper.

Alright, now it’s show time.



This is protected intellectual property. It is solely mine. Karma is fierce. Do not take what is not yours. If you see my protected intellectual property and would like to talk contact me. c 2018, c 2017

Vintage Manual Typewriters, Captivating


    Typewriter Olympia SM9 frontal pic1

For writing I chose a portable manual typewriter.  The venerable writing machines are captivating old technology that still convey messages and data to others. Typewriters of this ilk are productive with only human power. The use of these machines has given me new insights into my writing process.

I do not reject the “instant”, the digital, nor the have-it-your-way-now world. I watch as words develop instantly on the monitor. I enjoy digital spell checker. I add new words to the computer’s dictionary my way. I still produce documents with typos.

That is my feint in making comparisons. From my view there are no comparisons I find compelling, digital versus manual. In short, I am a different writer when I use a typewriter.

There it is, the human aspect of humane letters or writing the latest RSVP. I could text my response to an invitation. “Write and sent. Done and done,” next task please, “and done”, very efficient, slightly cold and clammy.

I chose to type or hand write a reply since the sender used an envelope and a stamp to get my attention. I responded in kind. Also, I am engaged in a different way.

I might ride a motorcycle or I might ride a horse. I love them both. I go from point A to point “” however I can. I am a different rider on a large sentient animal than one astride a large engine connected by two wheels.

The differences make me different, that is captivating.

Wonder is a Verb



Wonder is a verb. What makes me wonder;  ponder, think, cogitate, be in awe, marvel, or imagine? Wonder leads to discovery.

My neighborhood is filled with attention grabbing this-and-thats which fuel my wonder. The hills and woods are chocked with of wonder when I arrive. Creek banks and islands reached by hand-built boats propel my wonder to new and delirious heights.

My Library is the penultimate source of wonder. It offers access to the entire world, even to the known universe. Information is at my finger tips waiting to be discovered, organized for me to find, for whatever course I chart.

“I’ve seen and done some stuff.” I heard that sentence in my voice during a congenial conversation made even better by a shared meal.

Our banter covered hieroglyphs and illuminated manuscripts, dinosaurs and sailing ships,the solar system and satellites, and animals and plants, and the northern lights.

Then, for a moment we were silent and laughed when we realised what nerds we are.  We are simply folks, neighbors, school chums, and new friends, ready for the quest, primed to leave home to navigate the farthest shore, and ready to see wonder in the world.

When I cannot board a hover-craft to the Amazon River I get some Library materials and instantly I am in awe.

I am one of the usual suspects I am a Wonderer. I have a Library card and I love discovery.

A Branch While Hiking


In my neck of the woods a branch is a small tributary to a creek or larger waterway. Whilst tromping through the woods and glades many ditches, creeks, and branches flowed. The created fetching sights or lovely gurgling sounds. These watery places were part of the adventure and a place to cool off during the heat of summer.

On many occasions there was nothing for it than fording a branch to get to the other side. In warm weather it was off socks and boots and pile the gear high out of reach of the water. Minding the slippery rocks and curious fish I waded. This was my preferred maneuver to cross a branch.

Sitting on the far shore drying in the sunshine gave me time to admire the flowing water and to imagine stories the steam might tell of its course.

My favorite character, Ratty in the Wind in the Willows advised “there is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”  I have always admired Rat’s view of that world.

I say, “believe me, absolutely there is this one thing, so much worth doing, that is simply messing about in branches.” For me, maybe, more so than messing about in boats with apologies to Ratty.

Writing, Making Adjustments

I write stories and some of them are very short or as I call them, Nano Stories. These are  “imaginary books and their stories” with the entire bibliographical citation  “made-up”.  I write all through the year and I really concentrate on my Nano Stories in November as the time changes, evenings darken more quickly and the mornings are misty and bleak.

11.01.17 Vegan p

Typed words of another era.

I use vintage typewriters, index cards, or small sheets of paper to compose my Nano Stories and most times make the final story for a type-cast that I post online. The clicktey-clack of typing slugs (the letters) striking the paper show up on social media, like in this blog, or on someone’s feed, or on tee-shirts as typed words of another era.

I was approached to make one such Nano Story that was less than a hundred words a bit longer. “You know, fill out the details, involve other characters, and stretch it some, plot twists are always good.”

I reckoned the story was compact and gave all it could in less than one hundred words. I offered to write a different story more likely to fit their need.

“Nope,” this story in question was just the ticket for some ‘filler stories’ in an anthology. I offered several more of my Nano Stories to help fill the ‘holes’ in the up-coming story collection book.

“Nope, fix this one, please.” I liked the polite tone so I set to work fixing my story that I didn’t know needed repaired.

I worked on it for three days on and off. The story would not budge.

When I was next contacted, “How’s that re-write going. Did you get it stretched out some?”


“Well, that’s too bad.”

“Yep, sometimes if you stretch a story out beyond its intended boundaries the reader will see through it then everyone is embarrassed.”

My story didn’t make the book.


As a side note, vintage typewriters have made a counter-cultural come-back of sorts. Will the old machines become mainstream? Let’s wait to see. The Revolution will be typewritten!

11.03.17 Coal Hogs Love Robots wm

Type-cast version of a Nano Story. The stories involve the use of “vintage” typewriters.

Be Limitless Stray from the Path

The quickest path between two points is a straight line. In a crowded world that is nearly impossible.

I like the winding path. Un-enforced and edge-bumping ways tickle my fancy and are traceable only by having passed by that way.


Stray from the path and be the explorer; sail for the edge of the map; do so with a kindly spirit and merry wonderment. Strive to overcome prior training.

I am sure of a shrinking list of propositions, like efficiency, production, and patterned recipes for success. I am friendlier toward my imagination and what I make when I ask:  “What if I?”

It is alright to stray from the path in Art. Meander in concept and in practice raise the hackles of design.

Fine but how to do all this “straying” and “raising of hackles”?

I suggest give up excuses. Then, consider each new project as an adventure; one that you make. Eliminating excuses means you have to perform. Excuses hold Artists back. Replace excuses with being limitless.


Being limitless means experiment, explore, and expand a given method. Re-focus design, methods, and propositions, or generating more “What if’s”. In short it means give up relying on: “I can’t.”

  • What other tools work? Inventive.
  • What am I truly seeing here? Adaptative.
  • What if this material or method were used as if it were…. [fill in the blank] Experimental.
  • Transfer one set of learning to a new problem. Thinking.
  • Make a new path. Keep your promises. Responsible
  • Instructions are guides not shackles. Authentic voice.
  • Personal experience is the real and the imagined. Placing You in the Design.
  • Starting over is strength. Purposeful.
  • Be thankful for serendipity. Happy accident or unconscious play.
  • Put the “you” into your Art. Make your art a production, featuring your authentic voice. Produce your Art.
  • Create your own projects. That is how you can be truly Expressive.

Becoming Limitless

Back to the allusion of getting from point A to point B in that straight line method of efficiency. In my design I intend to make point B because I can.