Everyday Art

If I want my Art to become more refined, more pleasing, more interesting I must coax a little pencil or paint brush into action.


Ink on card stock. Prompt was “Fast”.

Art and action are inseparable.

I was reminded of a pretty much universal objection to hitting the sketch book: “But I get tired of doing the same thing all the time.”

Well, then don’t. You’re not being forced into Art are you?

If I get bored I can

  • switch from pencils and brushes to pens
  • charcoal and newsprint
  • draw with your “weak” hand
  • try some new ways to lay down lines

just get going and make it like play.


Ink on card stock + color pencil. The prompt was “Lost”.

Make a prompt list and stick with it all during the month.

Just keep going and you will be glad to see your progress. Punch through that boredom with switching out media and an attitude of playfulness.

Serious play. It’s the way…

  1. To make good Art
  2. Stick to making good Art



Ink on card stock + color pencil the prompt was “collect”. Sorry Charlie Brown.



I Artist

  • I don’t want to stop making. So I make. I suppose I could quit any time I wanted, I guess.

          For that reason I keep a journal. I have an “idea” table just for “what-ifs”. I take pictures of           constructions for reference. I made a small backpack for art materials.

  • I can create by my own will, on command, except sometimes I don’t do so well.

          So, I keep an everyday carry collection of sketch books, idea books, and finish books plus a                 small selection of pens, brushes, pencils, and colors.

  • I see the world in terms of light, shadow, form, flow, and composition.

          For example, with light and shadows I work on getting folds of fabric plausible or to show the           muted hues of an alley.

          I like to catch the early morning light and the twilight.

  • I reflexively decide what something could “be” if I change some things.

          So, I combine objects and create 3-D sculptures on wooden panels. I use items I have owned             and mix them with junk from my stash mashing, and melding.

  • I mostly work alone

         But I am always telling a story.


Shopping Bag Quilt1_1 45%

Shopping Bag  component from found fabric

The Day after the Big “Art”


Big “Art” creates big messes and I help.

In the shop there is a work bench, a small cubby I call my “study” where several easels and project tables await, and a finishing room I keep very clean.

In my practice myriad cast-off chips lounge and parts dance on the flat surfaces everywhere. The second and third attempts at Big “Art” loll against the wall. My sad secret is I prepare two canvases in case, no, when I goof.

Cleaning after each session is my habit, however the “neat-ifying” comes later.

Big Clean is the order of the day after an intense effort of what I call Big “Art”. Creating “order” is part of the process and the “muse” does not ‘get-it’. In fact ‘she’ is very absent with never a peep from her golden lips.

The Shark™and the Swiffer™ take their turns. The smell of turpentine is replaced by Pinesol ™ and Clorox™. Windows sparkle, everything is dusted, all pillows plumped, the fridge re-filled with drinks.

Fuel Filter Lamp toggle

The day after Big “Art” should receive an “H-rating”, to be hated, but I enjoy the work. It is a true ‘catharsis’ (like the pun, keep it) I am getting ready for the next scheme.

And I cannot wait.

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.

Parts Make a Whole

Fuel Filter Lamp 1

I walked passed the collection of automotive parts everyday for several months.  The 1960 Willys Jeep fuel pump was near the top of the heap. I liked the “AC” glass bowl.

I disassembled and cleaned the fuel pump. Then, the un-necessary bits were removed.


Then my curiosity was growing. What else was lurking in that scrap?

I found more parts–outside house lights. I began to get a sense of what “the fuel pump” could become.

The assembly process was trial and error. Error gets me going with more determination.

I needed some bits to enhance “the fuel pump”.

I was given a cord coupler. Nice threads.

Bartered for a brass plate for a base. Scrap brass sheet and couplings for contrasting color.

I bought a toggle switch.


I call it a “Lamp” from a 1960 Willys Jeep fuel pump.


Fuel Filter Lamp 2




Keep Living Keep Making


First thing each morning make the bed.

It is a success to build the rest of the day.

It is an attitude. I intend to build my days.

Now, come on world. I just made the bed nice.

Then, go to the shop/studio/lair and make an assemblage. Take a picture of it. Print it out, cut out the parts, put it together.

Next, the sun goes down.

One assemblage completed.


Turn down the bed.

Sleep, perchance to design,


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.