Thursday, December 29, 2022

Digital Age


Featured image: Rainbow Windows

Have we in the digital age forfeited patience and attention to beauty, creative emergence and delight of discovery?

I know that when I paint and something emerges from the color, there is a sense of wonder and delight that I experience that is glorious.  I am not sure this can happen with digital art. I'm just not sure.  Why,? There is the tactical sense of creating that is lost. There is the space of the image maker or craftsman/artist and the space of the app writer.  I'm just not sure it can happen.

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Unfolding Life


Featured image: Birthday Cake 2023

Life is the unfolding of identity and creativity.  Our life’s journey is growth and discovery of who we are and just how creative we can become.  There needs to be a grace-such-ness in this journey, a simple elegance of movement, and the ability to do honor to ourselves and our lives.  

My wish for you all in 2023 is for you to find this grace-such-ness and the unfolding and creativity in your life.

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Visions and Self

 Featured image: Visions Are Like Maps

If you can identify your visions, then you can identify yourself.  How you visualize yourself is correlated with how you  think. Thinking for yourself’ is the key here. This includes your morals, your knowledge, what kind of power you think you have and that others have, your freedom and whether you think you have it and how you work for it.

There are excellent examples of those who know themselves that you may have heard of.  I have talked about them many times in my musings. Mother Teresa, Elvis, Elan Musk, Helen Frankenthaler, Joan Mitchell, to list a few.  They all are as different as can be – but they followed their spirit and lived accordingly.

Monday, December 26, 2022

Visions and Visions for Freedom

 Featured image: At Peace

The vision of freedom is complicated. There is a freedom that is a tad constrained in order to allow for the freedom of everyone. They are accomplished without force.

Unconstrained freedom is not unlimited freedom. Unconstrained freedom can cause chaos. I have found in my working towards freedom that the arts allow me the unconstrained freedom and chaos that some would find annoying. This makes them attempt to make me follow the rules of art. I hear comments like, “But that isn’t the way it is done. That doesn’t really look like a tree. That is a mess.”

What happens when they try and constrain my freedom in art is that they shut down my voice. They don’t let me speak, and they don’t allow themselves to possibly think differently without force.

I have had those statements spoken to me many times since I have become a bonafide artist. But, let me relate to you an example that might be easier to understand about thinking differently. In 3rd or 4th grade one of the requirements to move forward was to memorize your multiplication tables. Well, I memorized 2's, 3’s, 4’s, 5’s and 10’s. I told the teacher that the rest could be done with addition and subtraction. My dad taught me that. He was an engineer. He said that this system would at least allow me to go to the next grade. Yes, the teacher even threatened me that she would not pass me on to the next grade. It was slower but it worked. (On a side note, this system is a problem solving system, and is how math is taught today – it encourages – thinking). This is thinking differently without hurting another. While the teacher tried force and fear, I was determined that my system of multiplying worked. The teacher reluctantly passed me to the next grade.

I also in the word game won first place that year. It was also the year that sputnik was launched. We all think differently. We just need to learn to respect how others learn and live.

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Folks in the Middle

 Featured image: Colors in the Middle

Folks in the middle respect the confirmed habits and prejudices of others in the middle. They don’t try and change them unless they upset the goals of the middle. Upsetting the goals in the middle would be, “do unto others as you would have them to unto you.” The goal of those in the middle is to “create” the best ideology and moral code that all in the middle can work with while not being constrained. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

A Christmas Question

Have you ever been given a plate of beautiful, wonderful Christmas cookies, created with lovingness by a family member or friend? Which one do you go for first? Do you choose the one with all of the sparkles and glitter or the not so glittery one tucked under some of the sparkly ones? Do you prefer the ones whose recipes have been handed down through the ages before sparkles were an option?

They are the ones that take just a little extra time to create and a few more ingredients than the others. I have a favorite one that has been handed down by my grandmother, the woman I was named after, to my mother and then to me. I call it “Mom’s Snowballs.” There have more walnuts and butter in the recipe than one can imagine – but someone did and I am grateful. They are beautiful in their own way just like the sparkles.

Life is like a plate of Christmas cookies, all are just a plate full of difference and history and beauty. Merry Christmas!

Click here to enter my Christmas Cookie Drawing! 

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Life Here On Earth

 Featured image: Sacred Earth

I have always been fortunate in my life, I mean really always, known that art would become a centerpiece in my life’s journey and that art would give me a very happy life here on earth. For this reason, it has always been hard for me to watch those who struggle with their lives. It’s hard for me to see those who find it hard to find what they want to do with their lives or find something that will make them as happy as art has for me. This is why I write these musings. These musings are for folks who want to make art, or something, the center of their lives, so they can live a happy fulfilled life here on earth. Hopefully, my musings help those who are searching. The key is to know or to feel that something is missing in your life and the urge to want to figure out what it is.

It is my beliefs that comfort me when I am troubled and concerned. The comfort I seek is not an atonement, or a comfort through my artwork for “it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8,9, NIV).. This is one of my favorite verses in the Bible.

A concept that I have thought about over and over again, is the concept of self, and how we can think about ourselves. Although I am always willing to learn more and change, I have come to the conclusion that it is wrong not to fulfill the mission that He has created for me. Have I ever questioned this mission? Yes. I stopped creating art for over 2 years, thinking I wasn’t understanding what my mission was. But then He made it quite clear to me as He spoke to my heart saying, “Yes, you are to create, and you are to talk about creating, and creation and living and life.” He wants me to love myself, as He does, as He created me, a unique one-of-a-kind, authentic person. He wants me to live the best life that I can in His image. He has given me all the tools that I need to live a creative authentic life. And like in painting, all I need to do is explore and discover them.

Why wouldn’t you have self esteem and do what He created you to be? Why would you allow yourself to be lesser than you are by giving your power of self away to another to control?
Do yourself a favor and love yourself and the beautiful authentic person He created you to be. And, if you need help finding that beautiful authentic person, ask for help.

Monday, December 19, 2022

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Fox Squirrel

 Featured image: Leaves


twitching tail
on a branch
lime green 
fox quietly
munching on



Wednesday, December 14, 2022


 Featured image: Boreal Forest Shoreline

Silence greater than that of my backyard at home.  

I was fishing in Northern Canada at a remote lake with one cabin on it, miles and miles from anywhere. Untamed shorelines, no piers, boats or people. 

Shorelines with uprooted twisted bleached trees and roots. 

Large rocks that have been left here since the glaciers.  

Backgrounds of tall jack pines and reflecting gracefully on the glassy water. 

Tall horsetail reeds, and yellow lily pad flowers.

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

How Do We Know?

 Featured image: How Do I Get There?

I have asked this question before. I’ve never come up with a good answer to my satisfaction that isn’t political.

I always wonder, “How do we know things? Really, how do we know something?”


Well, experience tells us that we know a diamond has high value because it costs a lot. Does value determine how we know something? And, if so, does experience determine the value of art and how we know art?

Monday, December 12, 2022

Wild Cards

Featured image: Sky, Earth, River

Where is your card? In your artwork? In your life? Do you have a wild card?
I sure have one. It’s my spirit, my unconstrained spirit, which is also my sense of freedom. These exist in the individual. Whenever I am challenged, I bring up my wild card, the individual.

A constrained vision for others is moral. Why? Because constrained visions usually come from others who want to control, govern the individual and put them in order.

Constrained visions for others hold others back and from reaching their full potential.

My unconstrained vision is a moral vision that leads to an individual’s vision for themselves. If an unconstrained vision is held by an individual who wants others to be constrained so that they, the individual, being constrained cannot reach their full potential – this I believe, is simply immoral. They are restricting an individual of their individual rights and their personal sovereign self.

The constrained vision limits high ideals. For me, high ideals include exploration and discovery that lead to better lives for all.

Most of my growing up years were constrained which is why this is so important to me. I wasn’t able to recognize my individuality until later in life. All of my teachers, with the exception of my kindergarten teacher, thought that they knew what was best for me and how to work with me based on their training. They were all wrong and it affected me for most of my growing up years. I just learned differently than most people did. Once I figured this out, learning was a piece of cake.

As individuals, we need to realize that we are all different in many ways. We need to keep that in mind when we think someone is wrong.

Thursday, December 8, 2022


 Featured image: Shoreline

The growth of something, an object or a concept travels through time and has a history. We know that as something travels through time it changes. It either grows or dies, depending on how popular it is and how we, as a culture, popularize something.

If the changes, growth or non growth determine something, which to some extent is determined by its popularity, does popularity determine how we know?

If that is the case would da Vinci ever have been considered a great artist? Would Picasso?
We adapt to our times, as does our art today? Multiples, multiples.

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Reimagining History

 Featured image: Nature's Beauty

Rethinking History -

Recently when considering art exhibitions in which I would submit my work, I came across a call from an art center in California that was inviting “artists to submit artwork for Reimagining History. The idea of reimagining history is not new in the world of art and literature.” This art center went on to give examples of “works of artists such as Robert Colescott, Cindy Sherman, and Enrique Chagoya examining issues of race, gender, ethnicity, and political identity through their visual retelling of iconic images and historical figures. In literature, examples span from Herodotus' The Histories in 440 BC to Tolstoy's War and Peace to the contemporary Seth Grahame-Smith’s Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter.”

What a grand idea and what an outstanding way to approach history! When I was in graduate school the trend was to rewrite and rethink history. I questioned the idea of rewriting history. It is something I am totally against. Things happen and they are written about. Artwork is created telling the story of what happened and histories are written. Yes, historians have a personal bias when they write. Yes, artists have a personal bias when they create, BUT …. that doesn’t change what happened during a particular time and place. That doesn’t change how individuals at the time depicted the events. Time can’t go backwards just because we wish or factually know or believe that perhaps a history or artwork was done with a particular bias. The only thing that can happen is that we write and create today how we think, know, believe and wish things had happened back then. We can create and write about the difference and move forward in our thinking, writing and creating with these differences in mind. We can’t erase time just because we wish that we could.

In art there is an excellent example of attempts to erase time. Robert Rauschenberg erased a work he owned by de Kooning. It is said that Rauschenberg was making a statement about how the tradition of drawing did not have to be the foundation of a painting. It was also said that Rauschenberg could not appropriate the work of de Kooning. Think about it, once the de Kooning was erased, whose work was it? And now since Rauschenberg and many others of his time made the point that the tradition of drawing did not need to be the foundation of a painting.

I rarely use a drawing as a foundation for a work. And when I think about history and the recent events in our current history that destroyed historical statues in the United States, I told myself, “That is no way to go about protesting how history was written!” I would prefer to think of history, and how it has been written as artists in the past have done, by approaching the past from the present and making a statement of how we can think differently.

My recent works highlight individuals, and how individuals, individuality, and independence does exactly that. My work reexamines and asks others to think about how individuals and the concept of the individual is thought about and I ask others to think differently about the concept of the individual.

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

The Mind Sings - Listen


Featured image: Your Mind Sings - Listen

one's own unknown
dream filled heart, hopes
the wonder of you.
your mind sings
recognize the power
in your own life
let the light of you
the rhythm of you


Monday, December 5, 2022

Two Things

 Featured image: Poppies and Roses

Take two things, put them together and create an entirely powerful different thing. That’s how I think about art. I am taking two things and creating an entirely powerful different thing.

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Royce Ave


Featured image: Royce Ave

When I was six, I lived on a street named Royce Ave. My family had a small red house with a front porch and a garden in the back of strawberries. There was a little white fence around our yard. One of my most memorable memories of the house on Royce Ave was the sidewalk that went from one end of the block to the other end and around the backside to where our little red house was.

I learned to roller skate when I was six and those magical wheels on my feet took me lickety split down to my friend Sally’s house and back. I didn’t have a bike back then. For the longest time I couldn’t go beyond Sally’s house and Sally’s mom always knew when I was coming. Pretty soon my roller-skating territory went to the end of the block and back. The sidewalk wasn’t all smooth back then – there was a huge bump in the sidewalk where the one block heaved. I had to be careful and sort of hop over the bump. I learned that the hard way when I fell and really scratched up my knees and broke my nose. There were no knee pads or helmets back then.
The glory of moving quickly and getting down to Sally’s house and eventually around the entire block, and the liberty and freedom I felt was wonderful.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

The Individual: America's Heart & Soul

 Featured image: Soulful Jazz Singer

“Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another.”

“Everything is energy and that is all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you can not help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy. This is physics.”

"I am happy because I want nothing from anyone. I do not care about money. Decorations, titles or distinctions mean nothing to me. I do not crave praise. I claim credit for nothing. A happy man is too satisfied with the present to dwell too much on the future."  Albert Einstein

The Individual: Americas Heart & Soul

Individualism, the rights of people, all people is a sovereign right in the United States.  The creative process belongs to a single individual creator. 

We all learn from others that have created before us.  We are taught how to think and how to create from those who have come before us. We exchange and intermingle our creative ideas with theirs.

No one can teach another how to be themself or how to think for themselves.  Even with all of the exchanges that have happened, it is still only the individual that can do that.  Otherwise, they are not unique and authentic. They would be working with another’s spirit and another’s soul, not their own. 

It is also extremely difficult if one is using the thinking of another to see individuals, unique, authentic individuals and their inalienable individual rights. Hence, my extreme caution when I see another that is not thinking for themselves but using the thoughts and thinking of another.  

Sometimes it is hard to find one’s unique self and soul.  But,  thinking on your own and not thinking the way that another thinks is what it takes. That’s why it is hard.  Sometimes, it is also hard to see America because so many people are using the thoughts, spirits, and energies of others and not their own. 

Friday, November 25, 2022

The Spider Web

 Featured image: The Spider Web

In the corner of the porch attached to the cabin there is a huge gloriously, delicately designed spider web. The web’s design is only visible because the sun is high, lighting its delicate threads.

It’s interesting to think of webs that are created in real life. It is hard like the spider web when it isn’t highlighted by the direct sunlight to avoid them. We become trapped by them, like the spider’s captives. Wonderfully, most of the time we can free ourselves and try not to fall in to the same trap again.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Art Triggers Potential

 Featured image: Sunset at the Lake

Art is beneficial to the heart, mind and soul. How does this “beneficial-ness” happen? There are many perspectives on how beneficial-ness is accomplished. I wrote about two in my musing when I said that it was “a hope for a reward or fear of being different.” Is beneficial-ness created in hopes of a monetary reward, a social reward, or is beneficial-ness created by simple wonderful creativity and imagination?

I believe the latter. Intentions and objectives benefit many including the viewers of art and the artists themselves.

Art should be an unconstrained essence and happiness. Art is slowly losing this value. Art triggers all of our naturalness. Art is capable of touching all of our spirits, selves and souls, because of its diversities only if it remains unconstrained (controlled, governed).

Art triggers human potential in all of us but only if it remains unconstrained.

Monday, November 21, 2022

The Words I Say Everyday


Featured image: It's a Keeper

The words I say as I think to myself every day – every time I start a painting, every time I begin a musing – I am about individuality, and dreams and possibility.

Of course, when I paint and say these words to myself - my work doesn't always agree with me. But I try and I learn every time I create.

Saturday, November 19, 2022

I Am


Featured image: Her Song - She Has Always Sang To The Tune Of A Different Drummer


I am a poet, philosopher, artist, 

Always, intimate, always searching

Always ragged around the edges

Always, alive, always passionate.

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Process vs Product

 Featured image: Poppies and Roses

In your art, are you process or product oriented?  How you answer that question makes a big big difference in what you create.
Process involves you and who you are.
Product involves what others think you are and your need to have them think positively about you.
Process changes, evolves and grows.
Product changes with popularity.
Process involves independence.
Product does not.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Personal Visions


Visions personal
and intimate.
Visions often can
be linked to what we sense
and feel. A vision
happens before reason jumps
in and changes where
vision can play. Visions can
give you a personal
sense of how the world should work

Featured image: Visions Are Like Maps

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Blow'n In The Wind

 Featured image: As The Wind Blows

I think of the Bob Dylan song when I think of creating yourself as a work of art – “The Answer My Friend is Blow’n In The Wind.” In order to be a work of art …. In order to create “you” you need to blow with the wind.

How many years will it be , how many years will it be before you can be yourself – and blow with the wind.

Narrow Path

There can be no new
Growth if we do not remain
Open and vulnerable 
To what is new
Different, fresh, beginning,
Stepping into the
Like a flower in a

Monday, November 14, 2022

It Is Not Art


Featured image: Peacock

Abstraction : the quality of dealing with ideas rather than events. Freedom from representational qualities in art.

Abstraction, transcends, labels and forms. Abstraction begins naked. It is undressed.  When we can touch the naked work, the blank paper, the white canvas, then we become part of it and it is no longer naked. We, unfortunately, find a need to dress the blank page or canvas,. We label it and it is no longer abstraction, it becomes representational.  The beauty in abstraction is that it allows us to create a unique one-of-a-kind work that can be itself.
My art is that way, when I step away from the work it needs to speak for itself.  That is hard for me with most of my work, because I seem to always want to speak for it because I am so much a part of it. But, if it cannot speak for itself – then I believe it is not art. 

Saturday, November 12, 2022



Featured image: Patchwork Landscape

Transcendent – Beyond or above the range of normal or merely physical human experience.  Existing apart from and not subject to the limitations of the material universe.

Is a soul or spirit transcendent? If so, how can it be imagined?  For me the soul, the spirit is something that is a loosely woven tapestry made of fabric, a weaving that has a lot  of gaps. A weaving of the transcendent is not stable. It is unstructured.  I imagine a weaving of clouds moving with the changing wind- not stable, sometimes transparent and sometimes opaque. So yes, I believe the soul or spirit is transcendent.  

Is this kind of transcendent divine like many famous philosophies claim,such as  Kant, Plato and writers like Emerson and Thoreau?  I don’t see it that way. I don’t know why, because their transcendence is based on the idea that romanticism is better than rationalism.  I do like their idea of transcendent being grounded in nature –  but this nature needs to be divine.

How do I imagine the transcendent?   Imagine a haze surrounding yourself, something like a sun dog surrounds the sun  because that implies a glow – a light. I like that imaginary and the weaving of the sun dog with the clouds.  Great tapestry – the soul and spirit of the transcendent – honestly – it is the imagined.

Thursday, November 10, 2022



Featured image: Struggling For The Soul

I frequently get asked the question - "How long does it take you to paint a work?"

My answer is always, "It varies."

This work, for example, began during the NWAT. That was six weeks ago. I have painted, repainted and changed colors. The concept behind the work even changed. I told folks during the tour that it was going to be a work of a friend of mine. It would be about rainbows, prisms and the color of the soul.

The whole concept of the work changed as I worked on it. And, I think one of the reasons that it was so hard to finish is because it exemplifies just about everything I write about the self. There is the grid - the computer grid in the face representing the mechanical and controlled, robot-like. Then, there is the on fire blaze emerging from her skull that wants to escape the grid and the control. The blaze is her spirit, her soul and it should belong to nobody but herself.

It is a very powerful piece for me. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I enjoyed and struggled with it.

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Caw Caw


Featured image: Black Bird

The wind this morning
Hushed the delicate bird
Song black birds caw caw
Sky fades from black purple
Soft blue melts into golden 
Yellow, oranges, sunrise
Chorus rehearsing
Warming up new day begins
Cello song wind strings