Monday, October 26, 2015


Where does inspiration come from? Artists that have come before you? Color palettes that sing? Home decor? Fonts? Food? Fortune cookies? All of it. Inspiration fascinates me because I have learned, ok, am constantly learning with an "ing" that inspiration doesn't really exist before the art, it exists within the doing of the art. I can have hunches and inclinations and a knowing that certain topics, colors, ideas light me up but not one of them will surface until I meet it half way.

Take Schooner. I had this sea and sky background painted for weeks, sort of loved it in it's simplicity, even thought of leaving it that way but felt I lacked the "professional" polish to get away with something as simple as an ocean scape. It needed something to live on and in it. I wanted a mermaid and a whale. Bad. I have googled and researched more mermaids and whales than is probably normal or necessary but there you go. And within doing that, one single image that I wasn't looking for at all, popped up and literally "clicked" with my brain. That's it. A schooner. The quote came later, easily, found with little effort as if it had been patiently waiting for me to find this ship to paint. And that's what I call process.

I am headed to my studio today. That will require me getting out of bed to walk down my hallway into the living room. That sounds easy enough but in between there will be laundry, dishes, bizarre amounts of paper that accumulate in untidy mounds and a mystery ball of cat fur that resembles a tumbleweed. So now the vacuum is involved in this little scenario. All of it is necessary and a form of me resisting getting to where I need to go and forgetting that inspiration only hits when I'm physically plugged into the action socket. Right. That is why this topic continually fascinates me because I forget. I forget daily and need a constant reminder, in writing, painting, exercise, whatever it is that we make a practice, that I am the divining rod. My schooner mast can only get struck by lightning if I'm out sailing in the wind. xo

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Happy Accidents

This little piece, just 5x7", is a happy accident. I'm not being modest or oh shucks, playing the  I couldn't possibly have any talent game. It really is a fun accident that I'm very pleased with. It's a painting process that's new to me, one I used to loosen up, to switch gears in my process, a combination of changing brushes and style. And it worked. For this one. Now the reality. I did about 5 this way, all botanical still life, all a combination of this freestyle method and my own fairy dust and 4 out of 5 sucked. Like bad. Except for this one. This one has a certain charm for me and I'm sticking to my story.

The moral of this particular creative adventure for me, because I tend to need art takeaways in order to not put my head in the oven thinking I'll never improve is that only by painting a bunch of random cringe worthy flowers in garage sale vases do I get to walk away with a little gem. And I'm ok with that. Don't get me wrong, I'd really like every piece to have that clicking sensation when you know it works and it's done. That's just not the case with me and I'm pretty sure it's not the case with most artists, writers, cake decorators. The reason I can celebrate the four out of five "bad" ones is that I'm getting braver. It's ok to make mistakes in art. It's necessary to make mistakes in art. It's amazing to make mistakes in art because if I am, I am stretching and growing. 

For no particular reason, this little piece reminds me of my infamous cat-turkey painting. It was a cat. But was recognized and identified by a loving friend as a turkey. Because it resembled a turkey more than a cat. Fair enough. It was the early days. But I didn't give up. For sure, I was deflated my skills couldn't even pass the cat/turkey identification test. Here I am, several years later, still plodding along, turtle style, but without a doubt, there are signs of forward motion. Today I give thanks for both the happy accident striped vases of the world and cat-turkey moments, add them together and it's a beautiful patchwork life. xo

Tuesday, October 6, 2015


My style is changing a little. It's cool to see when I send a collection of paintings to my customer in Carmel that while style morphing and changing is like watching paint dry (such a softball, could not resist), it does change over time with practice and practice. And did I mention the practice part? Ugh. The never ending Carnegie Hall quote!!!

That's it. Nothing profound over here. Just witnessing from a far that the last dozen or so pieces I've completed have a different….hmm…feeling. That's it. They feel different. Color? Subject? Not sure and I'm ok not knowing. These are the bright moments, writing late into the night, packing a card order, reviewing images, when this wearer of many creative hats in a small business can sit back (I am not sitting back, I am hunched over like Quasimodo's sister) and think, ok. Keep going. It's worth it. The paint does dry. And will need a fresh coat. xo