Friday, December 16, 2005

Pets in Sickness and in Health

My cat, my dear friend for 12 1/2 years now has diabetes. He has been so sick for several months, has lost almost 3 1/2 pounds, but is finally recovering. When we buy or adopt a pet, we don't think of the times in their life when they might become sick. We just think of having a healthy animal that loves us, and we love them too. I am learning that it takes a dedication to keep up with your animal when the diet must be carefully adjusted and when shots must be given twice a day. All that this wonderful cat has given to me is worth every bit of that dedication and more. I am so thankful for his presence in my life. When we adopt or buy an animal it really is for "in sickness and in health". It is a marriage between human and feline, an oath to an animal. Pets are not disposable just because they have an easily treatable problem.
This sweet guy "asks" for his shots. Evidently he knows they make him feel better. As you can see here he is fond of lazing his day away in odd positions.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Passing Muster

In art and writing there is a definite advantage to being nearsighted. It gives a grand close up perspective of the world as if through a magnifying lens. While all my other friends are putting on their bifocal and reading glasses, I am taking off my thick myopic lenses. Ah, the freedom of face in front of artwork. Of course, I must realize that the other half of the world that is not myopic must also be able to get something from my art. Therefore, I try to include a little bit for everybody in my work. Bright color for babies and children, big images for the hurried youth, and long distance effects for the elderly. It has been the omnipotently pious pen that has allowed me all of this freedom, and now I bequest this to my omnipotently pious brush, as well.

It must be realized that today's writing has been in an effort to "one up" my genius brother in law who prides himself in his ability to wrangle wizardly words with efficacious literacy. My hat is off to you brother, as I doubt that this will pass muster.

Monday, November 21, 2005


It is pretty easy to sit back and enjoy the holidays and bask in the warmth of our home, eating a healthy meal and later sipping on a hot cup of tea on a comfortable chair or sofa with the cat snuggled next to me. In fact, it is really easy. But this year when so many people have suffered in so many ways through hurricanes and tsunami's and earthquakes and wars, I feel so thankful for my home and family and for the luxuries of daily living that I have been able to enjoy. That is why this year, I have chosen to ask those who would normally buy me a present, to write out a check to my favorite charity on my behalf, so that others might enjoy a better holiday season.

We all think we "need" something. The truth is that this year what I need is a satisfied mind that I have done something to help others with a true need...a need like food or shelter or clothing or the ability to soothe a young child. Those are needs, the others are just playthings and desires . I'm so very thankful for what I have and I'm thankful to be able to help others. These things are also the seeds that plant art into my life. When my heart is full I can make better art and send on my own heartfelt message to be viewed by others. Art is not always about the paint going onto the canvas or paper. It is about the heart behind the hand that is painting.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


"The leaves in New England are always fabulous in the autumn", I've heard many people say. Clearly those people have never noted the leaves in the Pacific Northwest. Not only do the colors become glorious and vibrant, but we have the intense greens of the evergreen forest to contrast against the colors. Contrast is something that I am always aware of as an artist and as a writer. The contrast of dark against light, the contrast of dialog against narrative, the contrast of complimentary colors are all a source of constant delight to me. There is a contrast that I have never been able to paint with precision, because nothing on earth comes near to its essence, and that is the contrast of sunlight against the earth and all that is within it. I see a leaf without sunlight shining on it and it seems dull, but when the sun sparkles through it there is an explosion of luminescence. It is the same in the dark when the moonlight shows.

These colors and lights that we are able to see with our eyes are such a gift. I always wonder if the color of snow seems as amazing in the North and South poles.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Decision Making

There is a phenomenon in the life of an artist that author Eric Maisel talks about in his book Fearless creating. It is the phenomenon of hesitation, sometimes referred to as procrastination. I remember the first time I read about this that I felt the author was in the room talking to me as I hesitated at my desk. I had walked to the desk to work, and remembered that there was a phone call that I needed to make. I walked away from my art, the thing I love to do, and made the phone call. It could have waited until later, but I made it then. Why had I done a trivial thing instead of an important thing. Because there is fear in the life of art, there is the fear of showing ourselves inside out to others. It takes great courage to say who we are and stand it before others to see. Art has the ability to tell others the reality of life in a nonverbal way that gets to the gut of emotion. And, this is why I took the easy way that day and made the phone call.

Life isn't always an easy decision, a bowl full of cherries. Today I made a phone call, one of the most difficult ones of my adult life, and it was the courageous path. Sometimes it is art, sometimes it is the phone. It is all in the decision making.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Family,Pets and Art

Those of us who spend time making art know where our priorities lie. For each artist it is different, because each of us is unique. For me, my family always comes first. After my human family my pet family comes next. This has been a week where my human family and my pet family have needed me to be present in their lives and I wouldn't have traded any time in my studio for time with them. However, I believe that these times that I give nourish my art and it becomes more full because of these priorities. My cat Cjazz is one of those and he has been my good friend and constant buddy for 12 years.

Sunday, October 30, 2005


I was asked the other day if I was goal oriented. No, I'm not. I enjoy the process so much that I don't have a "rush" when something gets finished. I do feel good about the result, but I miss the process that made the result come about. Saying goodbye to a project that I have loved doing is difficult. I wonder how many other artists feel this way and I also wonder how much this stops me and others from actually completing projects. It certainly influences how many projects I have going at one time. I always have several and it creates a sense of secure creativity to know that there is always something waiting for my creative energy. For me the outcome of painting, be it good or bad, is not as important as the fact that I spent time creating.

Friday, October 28, 2005


The heart of life is in finding treasures in daily things. I was thinking about how little things in life affect my outlook in my art. An odd shadow here, a piece of moss on a walkway, the stain of a fallen leaf on cement (a favorite of mine), or a strange little heart shape in an unlikely place. It is in noticing these things that makes my life more rich and full and that nourishes my art.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

I've been thinking about doors and windows in life. I've also been thinking about the concept of steeping. Sometimes before one can open a door or window in life one needs to have a cup of tea and let it steep for a while - metaphorically speaking. Plunging into some direction without this thought process is sometimes effort put into the wrong direction, but steeping allows us to consider where we are and how we want to go forward. I think I'm steeping today.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

What's on the Other Side of the Door

Here I am, an artist and writer and I'm wondering what is on the other side of the door. Creativity is certain, fear is certain, new things are certain and they all take courage. Artists and writers constantly face fear and change. It is what we do and how we live and it is why it is called creativity. To be creative means to change the way things are and approach something from a new presence of mind and being. I'm afraid. I'm opening the door.....