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.





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.


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

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

Art Spring Break 2018


One Angel Ready wm 2 4-3-18 Spring Break series

“One Angel Ready”



I planned Spring Break at about the same time as I was making resolutions. I am keeping the Art Spring Break 2018 plan.

While friends and family are taking a break traveling I am making good on a pledge.

This week I explore different ways to express the fundamentals of Art.

  • Exploring a variety of unfamiliar modes of making or representing concepts. Shapes come to mind for instance.
  • Experimenting with known materials but used in a different way.
  • Enlarging my visual vocabulary using images and postponing judgment.
  • Experiencing the media in the moment rather than going for a plan or assumption of what I am processing on the canvas.


In exploring I find I must question my biases and assumptions about Art.


Angel Novice wm 2 4-3-18 Spring Break 2018 Series

“Novice Angel”


Small format paintings have some large challenges, overcoming these and opening new ways of seeing the composition is the result.



New Angel wm 2 4-3-18 Spring Break Series

“New Angel”


It is a visual story along with all the requirements of making Art any creative endeavor must have meaning communicated to some audience, if only to the Artist.

Note: All paintings are liquid acrylic on gesso primed Masonite panel  ~ 12.7 cm x 17.8 cm, ~ 5 in x 7 in






I benefit and even mostly enjoy receiving inputs. Hit me up if you like.

Take the Path, Art

Apples color pencil study 2 1-10-18

I enjoy taking materials and making something. My intention is to be original and to avoid being derivative. There is only so much I can do with a still life of fruit.

I am reminded of this advice:  “Take the path.” Go on with what inspires you. Make your Art.

I have learned every attempt brings new insight. Especially be gentle with other Artists, we are all our way to self-discovery. Remember, be gentle with my own work. I cannot always see my path, always reaching.

That’s the fun part.

Color pencil on card stock ~ 15 cm x 20 cm, ~6 in x 8 in, 

No One Holds my Leash


Some time in the past I learned to “practice the fundamentals”. This advice or maybe it was a hard-bitten lesson to my hard head, anyway the rule has followed me through all aspects of my life.

If you want to get good at something, then practice the fundamentals. Talent will take you only so far. Sometimes luck will take you further than talent. The basics make the game and in my case make the Art.

The fundamentals are the framework for your razzle-dazzle.

I learned to pay my dues. Own my mistakes. Learn and move on. Accept my successes. Learn and move on.

No one holds my leash.

Of Sky, a Bird, and Art



In my county the cold clung to March with talons.

The sky was ice blue, more glacier blue, and ice crystal clouds played a game of crack-the-whip up next to space in the thin atmosphere.

I want to tear that picture from the sky, paste it in a scrapbook.

My paintings do no sky justice. The only hope I have is to rip the sky from the horizon and glue it on my canvas.

The air was cold but the sun was bright and made prisms dazzle.

A male Finch bumped my window a glancing blow. He was out cold, lying beak up, little feet curled as if perched.

I made a sick bed of a pasteboard box and a fresh warm towel.

I repeated, “You cannot keep a wild thing.”

Once warm and with no apparent damage the addled Finch stirred.

I placed the bird bed outside my window.

Soon the Finch flew—I almost missed its launch.

I knew that bird was back in the sky, part of a picture I had some small part in painting.