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.