44 x 48

I stretched and primed this canvas yesterday morning and painted most of it yesterday. Before I went to bed last night I painted some more, and then got it to this stage this morning. 

I just wanted to paint. I’ve been in a somewhat dry spell over these past seven months, too concerned about a problem that seems to be resolving now.  I hope it is resolving, anyway. 

I’d almost forgotten the joy I get from painting. Painting is very different than thinking about painting. Thinking makes it a chore.  The activity of painting is so present and personal. No one tells me I shouldn’t use that color, or I should wash my brush. No one tells me what I can’t do or that I’m doing it wrong. I don’t care about that anyway, except that it annoys me when people do that. 

I love to sell paintings, but I don’t think about that when I’m working on one.

It’s hard to say what I do think about, because either the thought and the action are the same, or the thought is just a soundtrack that accompanies the brushstrokes.

I wanted to share the image in progress, because art is communication. It is language. It says things I can not say with words. 

I’ve had feedback since posting the image, and this makes it a dialogue. A conversation that only adds to the joy. The process just keeps getting better. 

Confidence is attractive

When certain “experts” get too exclusive and pompous about art, they drain all the fun and wonder out of it.

People love to ruin things by attaching their rules and arrogance to something that is naturally validating and organic.

There’s a place and an audience for their lectures, but we don’t need that in order to create or appreciate art. 

Some artistic endeavors turn out more successful than others, but they are all valid. In the end it’s the expectation that makes it work or not. What was your goal in documenting this creative urge? Some have claimed that art is never finished. Or art is never finished, only abandoned. It’s also been said that a work of art is finished when the artist achieves their intention. 

I love hearing kids talk about their art. They speak with confidence, and trust their hand to make images that are just right. This boldness inspires me.  I’ve received so many messages that make me doubt myself, especially when painting a commission or a portrait. 

Confidence is attractive, not only in art, but in every aspect of life. I believe confidence is a characteristic of a leader. It’s less important to know where you are going than to just go there and discover something.  Maybe you will discover a wrong answer. That would be helpful, because you will have learned something along the way. You can keep trying. If you don’t give up, you will find a solution. 

I wanted to paint

Today I wanted to paint. It was a rainy day, so I was inside the house. I wanted to paint, but was feeling sort of uninspired. Here’s how I got over it: I put a canvas on the easel, and opened some paint. Even if I’m not inspired, I can apply paint. 

I reminded myself that I could paint over anything I didn’t like.  There was no risk. 

I started with black, and made marks with paint. Without cleaning my brush, I switched to yellow.  After a little while, I added blue to that green.  As that began to dry, I mixed some light aqua, and then a little plum. 


I went and did something else for a while, but now I was feeling inspired.

The act of painting inspires me to paint.

When those cool colors had dried, I came back with red, then orange, then yellow. 

Cobalt and white rested on the surface, adding dimension, receding all the way back to that black that was still peeking through in places. 


Tomorrow I will look with fresh eyes and see what is there. I will be more detached, looking without a paintbrush in my hand. I think the painting will tell me what it needs.

I can’t trust my feelings. I didn’t think I had a painting in me today. Just colors lined up in my arm, waiting for their chance to slip through my fingers and out the end of the brush. 

Don’t miss the exit

I am at a crossroads. The time for a change is coming, and I need to keep my eyes open so I’m ready for the exit. 

Every exit is an entrance somewhere else.  The transition comes with loss and hope, like reading from one paragraph to the next. We carry the information we gleaned. Transformed, the new stretch of highway becomes our path, and our life story continues. 

The scary unknowns become familiar. We survive and wonder why we were so worried. 

Wish you were here

Toivon, että olisit täällä

All winter, I long for nights when I can sit outside by a fire. Tonight is pretty much a perfect night. Sweatshirt weather. 

26 years ago when I planted these trees, I never thought about how the squirrels and chipmunks would love them. Those guys are messy, and get into places where they shouldn’t be. I get to fulfill my childhood dream of catching the little animals, of seeing them up close before relocating them.

I’m kind of amazed that I am still here.  This is by far the longest I’ve ever lived in a house.  30 years so far!

I think about leaving. It’s one option on a long list of possibilities. 

See that tree behind me?  I used to park my car over the top of it. It was only a few inches tall. That was before the fence. Now it’s 35 or 40 feet tall. 

This doesn’t look like the same place. Do I look like the same person?