Me A House Divided



When whatever owns me causes strife, then I vow to let strife depart with whatever owns me, both may leave.

When pride beckons me to follow, I say, “The path is dark.”

Pride answers, “Trust me.” This is my first failing.

I am in want. I flounder in fear. I breathe, “I am content.”  Then I am renewed.

“Where is my home? Today, at this moment, my home is here where I am.”

“I am cold. I am hungry. I am alone. I am unwise, and my tongue is dry.”

I seek harmony of mind. This I trust is the foundation of my house un-divided.


A House Divided



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.



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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.

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.

Being ready by Design

Whenever I am in the notion to work I do not want to have to struggle with tools, find things I need, clear off messy work surfaces and do double work type work to make something. I am a one person shop-studio- en plein air Artist. It is up to me to give myself every advantage I am able.

Junk in Plastic Boxes

Containers on a shelf. Like things with like things. 

On the bus I have my tools in a neat vintage Lands End™. One zipper and a snap I am ready to read or sketch. The other places I create are fairly organized, but just. I can wander between projects and return to the easel over many days. Tools line the drawers and parts and pieces fill bins, containers, and the occasional peanut butter jar.

I make it a rule to finish projects– they may not be perfect, that doesn’t matter, I complete my work. Work I’ve promised by a deadline gets to the person before the deadline. If something is needed by Thursday and I get it Monday the piece is ready on Wednesday before 5 p.m.

Because I’m cool? Nope. Because I don’t like things hanging over my head. Besides it’s my word that is worth more than the project I’m working on. If I lose my good name, even if it’s not my fault, then I cannot buy it back.

Brushes cleaned and ready

A process of brush care at the end of a session.

So I keep tools, materials, and work spaces ready for work. I won’t win any awards from minimalist decor folks. I can find anything and I can usually remember where I have filed most of my stuff. That’s my test. Keep like things with like things; label the drawers; use clear containers with labels; put up things as I go and simple processes like that. This keeps something like a mess from hanging over my head.

As I typed before, I admit I won’t win at perfection, zero mess, just a bit of wisdom in the seeming madness. I have a shop-vac, several brooms and dust pants, even a magnet on a rope when needed.

Note I didn’t say “rules”. When things are ‘supposed to be’ done a certain way, or controlled this way, or filled with judgment I usually baulk, or “buck-up” as the Aunties used to say.

Rules are fine but if I make a process that functions well, it will not be perfect. I might leave my acrylic paints all out, in trays that go into a cabinet when I’m finished, but I want to see my materials. It’s like when I get new color pencils–that excites me. I can’t wait to use the new pencil. I’ll even start a new page just to incorporate it into the composition or just go crazy mono-chrome.

Leaving an organized neat area dedicated to acrylics, or oils, or wood-block, or just my easels helps me organize my day-week-month. It’s like my “visual-control” for my project management. I can manage what I see and I “go-and-see” continuously as “walk-around-management” of myself. Big job.

Raygun Build Parts

Selected items ready for  a project.

I know by working with materials on a daily basis, seeing them regularly, and monitoring my progress what I need to replenish. I don’t have duplicated materials, nor do I run out of 20% gray pencils at 3:00 am Sunday morning. I don’t waste time looking for materials and resources; I don’t have waste in duplicated items–6 pounds of “sinker” nails is more than I need for this project–and I keep a re-order list and make a time to order as needed. I also keep a list of items to trade, give away, or sell.

These concepts help me keep my spaces ready to work. Organized for production is what I like to call it. It’s also a fun way to engage with the materials, to bring an idea or inspiration to the front and spring-board into the work.

I have to make the most of every opportunity I make or every time I get the chance to make something that I think is cool. When I’m ready to get busy I am more motivated to do just that.

Going to the shop or to the studio not a struggle, it’s a pleasure.  By design.

Jack Frost, a Nano Story 2017

When I sit still I can get an idea for a story or for a drawing. It seems when I am busy or driving down the highway I get more ideas. Used to be in the shower. Now it’s commuting or chopping weeds.

11.06.17 Jack Frost p

The idea of seasons has the connotation of change or exclusivity as in “seasonal produce”. We must be ever mindful of how we alter our world.




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(c) 2017 Lemuel