Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Creative exuberance

Sometime in the earliest of morning hours, I woke briefly to these words:

I entered this world with extreme care,
following on the heels of old poets.

I quickly scribbled them in the dark, on the pad next to my bed and fell down back into sleep. 

The muses are flying around, sprinkling words of wonder on the world, and sometimes we get lucky and happen to catch a few.

Progression. The piece below started off not exactly like this, the figure in the middle was more prominent and the colors were different. I wasn't happy with it so I flew towards the canvas and "attacked" it will new colors and swam them around with a squeegee. That's when the title came to me; Layer Cake.

Layer Cake

I let it sit, for weeks, not really sure what to do, but knowing, for me, it still wasn't done. This past weekend I finally got brave enough and "attacked" it again.

Layer Cake
I'm letting it sit, again. It's almost finished. I'm waiting for her to tell me what to do next.

 16 x 20 inches on 2 inch cradle board. Oil, wax, collage.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Thank you, Billy Collins

Go, little book, 
out of this house and into the world,

carriage made of paper rolling toward town
bearing a single passenger
beyond the reach of this jittery pen
and far from the desk and the nosy gooseneck lamp.

It is time to decamp,
put on a jacket and venture outside,
time to be regarded by other eyes,
bound to be held in foreign hands.

So off you go, infants of the brain,
with a wave and some bits of fatherly advice:

stay out as late as you like,
don't bother to call or write,
and talk to as many strangers as you can.

Thank you, Billy Collins, for teaching me to pause at the commas of life and love poetry.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Thoughts about reading, writing and no arithmetic

As an artist, I have more than one artist pursuit. Along with painting I also like to write, and reading is like a glove to that pursuit.

I was listening to Terry Gross interview Penelope Lively (love that name) the other day. They were discussing her memoir; Dancing Fish And Ammonites, which she refers to as a "view from old age".

At one point Terry Gross shared that she has books all over the house, on tables, resting on the floors, everywhere and she asked Lively if she also had a lot of books and if so, why keep them all.

 Lively said she owns over 3,000 books and at one point she wanted to downsize and move into a smaller place, problem; she couldn't find a place that would hold her wealth of books.

She believes her books are a historical pathway toher way of thinking, her interests, mundane and erudite. A measure of her intellectual self.

As I thought about that, it occurred to me I would rather lose my wallet than my journal. I can replace the credit cards, insurance card, drivers license, but I can't replace my thoughts.

Monday, March 17, 2014


Reflections Of Light
Acrylic with Mica
10 x 22.5"
It's common to say trees come from seeds. But how could a tiny seed create a huge tree? Seeds do not contain the resources needed to grow a tree. These must come from the  environment within which the tree grows. But the seed does provide something that is crucial: a place where the whole tree starts to form. As resources such as water and nutrients are drawn in, the seed organizes the process that generates growth. In a sense, the seed is a gateway through which the future possibility of the living tree emerges. Presence: Human Purpose and the Field of the Future.

I remember picking up this book, flipping open to the first page, and reading the above passage, I felt as if an electrical current had passed through my body and I knew I had to read this book.

The authors, Peter Senge, C.Otto Scharmer, Joseph Jaworksi and Betty Sue Flowers meet for a year and a half probing how a new theory about change can improve our world. 
Letting go is a big part of their conversations. Letting go of our own perceptions of how things should be, our invested egos, our desire to control. When we can do that we experience a shift of thinking, a collective consciousness, which allows us to become the gateway for the possibility of change. Tibetan Buddhism call this "wisdom awareness".

As I read these two words I realized, as children we were inherently wisdom aware. There was no separation between us and "them", no separation between us and our  environment. It was only as we grew and learned to speak that we were taught the labels of all things and we began to separate. 
As artists, we are naturally wisdom aware when we are in the midst of a creative session. All time stops and we are so unaware that we become supremely aware. It is in those magic moments when we become the gateway through which our art emerges.

Friday, March 14, 2014

What a lovely way

A muse, the muse, my muse,whispered me gently back to this world with these words:
Lucky to love
be in love
bursting with love
for you.

What a lovely way to wake up.