Friday, July 21, 2017


I can barely find words to name my inner painting landscape these days.

I yearn for something in my painting that is elusive in every way. It has thus far found its way into self-expression in only the littlest of snippets, the most fleeting of flashes.

I can't describe for you—let alone myself—what it is. I just know I'll know it when I feel and see it.

Until then, I am totally in for the ride, for whatever transpires in the here and now, trusting everything to be just what it is 'supposed' to be.

Trusting it to be just what it is.

Today it is this little postcard.

Silks, Batiks, Woolens—You Name It, I Have Some
4x5"; acrylic, ink, collage, and pastels on paper
mounted on manila stock

Thursday, July 20, 2017


I just finished reading a fascinating and compelling book by Elizabeth Lloyd Mayer entitled Extraordinary Knowing: Science, Skepticism, and the Inexplicable Powers of the Human Mind.

In a paragraph just pages from the end, Mayer introduces a concept called 'series position effect' that I won't even attempt to explain, and applies it to her own work as a psychoanalyst. I offer that as her context, which isn't mine.

Oh, but it is!

Mayer writes: The work stumbles along—sometimes remarkable, sometimes unremarkable—and your meetings approach a baseline pace that heads in a positive direction. You're perpetually reminded that trying hard doesn't get you there, and that you both get there best when you somehow manage a state of trying and not trying, knowing and not knowing, certainty and uncertainty all at once. Every time you think you've hit on a less paradoxical formula, you're humbled again.


Yup, yup, and yup.

And yup again.

inner july landscape is no longer a work in progress. It has become a postcard.

They Cut the Day up into Little Scraps
4x5"; acrylic, ink, collage, and pastels on paper
mounted on manila stock

Wednesday, July 19, 2017



From this

to this?

work in progress;
working title: inner july landscape
Didn't see that coming.

I plan to cut in half.

Then, what next?

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Visual Diary

Two months ago, activated a 9x12" piece of drawing paper, willy nilly:

Till I looked back just now, had totally forgotten this out-of-the-starting-gate iteration.

At that time, took it from its start to this next stopping place, playing with house paint samples:

After which, still in May, cut the start into pieces. A few days ago, picked up what had been the bottom right quadrant in the original start and played with it till it became this:

Now today, some India ink doodling and asemic writing bring it here:

work in progress;
working title: inner july landscape

For years and years and years I kept written diaries, emotional outpourings scribbled onto paper in word after word after diary after diary.

Now a visual diary pours from places deep inside. Such a different outward manifestation.

Monday, July 17, 2017

From Stillness

Something has shifted. Something is calling. I don't exactly know what, and I don't need to. I don't need to analyze or interpret or ponder or figure out. Or use my brain at all.

I just need to pay attention. To return to beginner's mind. To be in wonder. To paint from deep inside, from the inside out, from stillness.

Today I picked up a start from several weeks ago—as long ago as May perhaps?—and let myself be present to it. The non-striving was delicious. I have no preconceived destination with this piece; I will go wherever we travel together.

Here's where we landed today.

work in progress;
working title: inner july landscape

Friday, July 14, 2017

Organic Matter

Today, I enjoyed the simple pleasure of making a greeting card. With my own hands. Using a found composition from a painting start created who knows when that then became a lifting paper over time and today turned into a little gift to send across the ocean to an online art friend.

Happy birthday, Mariƫlle!

Pebbles Turning, and Waves Tapping Sea-Worn Rocks
3x4"; acrylic, ink, and pastels on paper,
mounted on card stock

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Looking at My Work

I'll pause today to look at my work, using suggestions from Jane Davies in her new book Abstract Painting: The Elements of Visual Language. If you followed my posts when I took Jane's 100 Drawings on Cheap Paper last year starting the last day of August, you know that I really had to work hard to make objective observations about visual content and not fall into describing process or materials.

She breaks observations down into visual content, emotional response, and personal references.

Visual content:
I see patterns of dots in differing sizes and densities, amorphous patches of black with some differentiation of size and two bleeding off different edges, fine gray lines, fine black lines, heavier darker curvy black lines some of which bleed off the page, white scribbles, muted green scribbles, hints of lilac, a limited and fairly neutral color palette, some veiling, an overall ovoid composition with relatively quiet(er) space in the center, and contrast coming from black and white elements.

Emotional response:
I like the tension between the overall busyness of this piece and the calming structure of the curved black lines as they run through the black amorphous shapes and hold the elements together. The neutral colors and b&w are soothing. I like the raw chaotic energy of the scribbles and dots.

Personal references:
This piece suggests outer space to me—planets and other matter orbiting and swirling in the universe. It also suggests inner space—thoughts and feelings and conflicts and ideas bumping into each other. However, while I was painting I had no idea what it might suggest.

Life Rarely Fails to Offer Some Consolation
4x5"; acrylic, ink, collage, and watercolor and oil pastels
on manila stock