My Dad and Me

It is impossible for artists to hide their insides. Any creative art will just spill out what is inside of your head and heart whether you try and hide it or not. It is like a red flag waving in the sun. Everyone can see it except you.  My painting always felt outside of me. It is easier that way to be objective about your work so you won’t  be vulnerable.

What a laugh. It was outside of me like a hole in the head.

Everyone has a valuable and unique experience .

This is just mine.

Art Therapy is a fantastic way to explore what you are actually thinking. Most people don’t do it , but artists can’t not do it. When you are young you don’t know this though. Its all about careers and talent and shows and identity in a more abstract way.

Hopefully when you are older , there is more reflection.

Mission Statement, looking at your reflection in a pool..

You don’t want to die without knowing your mission statement.

I am grateful for Ann Rae and her challenging mission statement question.She said that it is not what you think. Its not just describing your art. It’s more than that.


So what was I so mad at? My paintings were pretty violent back then. Lots of black and red slashes and bleeding things. How I had anyone like that stuff is unknowable to me. I was rash and arrogant. Where was that coming from? who knows. All the things you do when you are in your 20s if you feel absurdly confident and mad. But in my mind I remember angry meant strength.

I was like that for a long time in all ways that you can be. Risk taking , fearless, stupid(looking back) But I was sarcastic too. Oh that was the best strength . Slash that wit around and show everyone how strong and tough you are. I used people, manipulated people and was used in return. But you could not tell me I was anything but super nice. Funny how we cannot see ourselves when we are young.

I remember thinking how honest I was about life. I was intelligent  and realistic.  In my mind I was right  about everything, I never questioned anything I thought. Or how I came to those conclusions. I had zero to come to those conclusions.

I remember once standing on a corner in Berkeley California and this guy came up to me and looked me in the eye and said.” You are unhappy'”  Just like that he came up to  me a total stranger .  I practically spit on him. Boy. I sure showed him who was happy.  Its funny now but I remember telling my friends  about that and they thought I was psycho to get so angry at him like I did.  I was psycho but did not know it.


The hardest thing to do is make yourself do what you don’t want to do. A sort of inertia sets in and the very thought of moving in a different direction is difficult . It is always easier to keep doing the same thing. You know it , it is safe.

it is familiar. Its you. Your identity.

It’s hard to get cold and hungry and feel the pain of not knowing what will happen next. The anxiety of the unknown , untested, foreign.

The desert is like that. It is uncomfortable to actually walk through it.  Much easier to just drive by. But hiking through it is a  thing I would rather put off.

till another time. When it gets quiet, you have to listen to your fears and the doubts that come up.

Unfortunately nothing good comes from being safe . It’s a trap. A death trap.


What you need

You need to show up. Nobody does art unless they need to. You can’t not do it. It makes you do it. It is not like you choose to do it. If my assertion that you don’t need to know anything to do art then it might follow that everyone would do it because how fun is that. You get to fool around all day.

but not everyone does want to do it. That is because it is not easy. It is hard to show up everyday and work and face it. At least it is hard for me and I cannot not do it. So it must be hard for everyone to slog it out. You can’t make it turn out great so you have to keep showing up and paint or write lots of bad things before the good one comes out.

You need discipline , courage, stamina, determination when it is easier to just do something else. anything else.

Art is not easy, art is a miracle when is appears. Art is euphoric when you get to be the one it comes through and it can be like agony when it does not show up.

I like to think about Edison, trying over and over and over times 1000 times to get the light to work. What kept him going?? Why did it take so long?? What tremendous courage to keep going.