Monthly Archives: December 2019


One thing I’ve always envied about musicians, is their ability to perform a song in so many different ways. The difference could be doing a solo acoustic version of a song that they’ve performed with a whole band.

Tonight I was listening to recordings of a friend singing one of her songs differently in two or three back to back takes. One was what I would call a straight, basic version of the song. Then she did one with more details… more flourishes, you could say… or with lines ending on surprising notes. That kind of improvisation is exciting to me, and as I listened, I wished I could do it.

Then it occurred to me that I often say I paint the same thing over and over, yet not the same.

I improvise in paint.

Fish in trees is one of my songs, and I interpret it a little differently each time. Sometimes with more flourishes, or an unexpected color.


Everyone will see your creative expression differently. They will certainly see my work differently than I see it. We’ve all spent so much time developing into the people we are, and everything has influenced us along the way. We’re snowflakes… no two of us are alike. I see things differently than you do. There is nothing unusual about having an unusual thought.

Things happen in dreams that may not ever happen in real life, yet it is our mind, assimilating our experience into dream stories. In a similar way, painters and writers can make anything happen. We connect details to create something new. Those details come from what we have experienced, and that is not so unique.

You can build just about anything out of legos, but if you look close enough, you’ll see the blocks.

We use what we have in the bucket.


I never know what will inspire my creative urges. I’m surprised now and then by details that may seem insignificant to someone else. They are triggers that open folders in my brain. I can’t predict them, but I respond to them.

At other times, I’m inspired by something overt, like another person’s painting, story or song.

Molecules in my spirit attract a molecule from yours, and they form a compound.

My creative juices are like saliva. They start when I am inspired. They begin to digest the thing… the idea… the connection, and I incorporate the inspiration into my vocabulary.

I meditate.

When I set myself apart from the flurry of daily activity, I understand myself better. I create in order to explain it to myself. If I paint it or write it, I can then share it. If I share it with you, you can share your response with me. Or you can create something that may contain a compound which contains a molecule of me.


I live with an elusive creature. She is wise and ancient, beautiful like a panda or pallas cat. You probably wouldn’t see her if you came to my house. She waits. When everyone else is asleep, she comes looking for me. I give her whatever she demands. I’m happy to, for the honor of being her person. She is tiny. Frail, but round. She may have flowed from the brush of Chinese calligrapher. I am not sure. She speaks to me in a language I do not fully understand, but she is patient, and repeats herself until I comply.