When you paint you are doing nothing more than making corrections to the line you put on one second ago. You go over and over it till you find the voice of the painting and then you listen to that voice and obey it and paint it and that is how you get a painting.
Nobody but nobody knows what the finished product will look like.
So with this in mind I am going to teach the kids art class about respecting the line just before you get the good one. The line that looks awful and the color that is horrible and not at all what you want to say.
Those lines are the structure upon which you make the corrections. You can’t make any corrections unless you do something first. anything first.

So if you embrace the structure as structure and not a mistake and a commentary on how bad you are as an artist you will save a lot of time.
You will see what needs to be done next if you don’t get all caught up in the egoness of it , all in the mud.
the mud is your best friend.
Nobody paints inspired work right out of the shoot. If you can pump out lots and lots of good looking work without going through the mud stage then I would venture to say you are not inspired.
You have to let go of the side of the pool to be inspired. You have to trust the angel wings to hold you up when you are inspired and you have to not be afraid to look bad to be inspired.
the old addage it is always darkest before the storm is true true true.
This painting I am showing you here is one of the hardest ones I ever did. It took me three weeks and many hours of mud and screaming to get it out.
But in the end it is sublime.
Inpired work is more than you normally can do.

When we are content

There is something in us that is not content with now. I find I cannot wait to get started then I can’t wait to finish then I can’t wait to see what happens then I can’t wait to get the next one done.
All the while missing the enjoyment of just being where I am right now.
Nothing will get better or seem clearer when that letter comes in the mail. Then I will have a new set of questions.
I don’t know if television and advertizing does that to us.
Why can’t I just sit on the porch for a minute and feel the sun on my face and do nothing else.
You lose your focus when you cannot slow down and breath,
that is what I tell the kids in my art class. Take a deep breath and calm down so you can think.
One thing that can slow you down is reading quietly. Read the words one by one and feel the flow that was carefully crafted in the authors hand. Back and Forth one word at a time. Movies flood you with images and words and sounds and you really don’t have time to absorb it.
The pace of a movie is stuffed full of shortcuts to get the point across while a book takes its time .
The watching of movies might even throw the rythm  of life off and you have this sense of being rushed.
We used to read the morning paper now we scan everything on the internet.
And a letter handwritten with pictures enclosed is not the same thing as a facebook posting quicly sent out.
What are the effects of this on our lives. Why do we hav to move so fast. We used to walk downtown and go shopping. Now we buy everything on the internet. or rush to the mall or make a mad dash to a store that is full of cars all in a hurry to get in and get out.
What is the cost of this on our lives, Our only life that we have to spend,
Why is fast better?
Just a few ideas on the back burner today making me take another look at the fast and furious way we live and die,

A Portal

Artists create work from somewhere inside them. Nobody just paints what they are looking at. They always paint what is inside them.
And you can’t hide what is inside you. If you are full of rage that is what will come out. Even if you do a still life.
If you are full of contentment that will come out.
Of course that is true for all art forms.
It is impossible to hide your self from your work.
everyone else can be invisible and just do their job but creatives will always be x-rayed.
I remeber when I painted before my son was born I was full of rage and then after he came on the scene everything went soft around the edges.
Experience alters your work forever/
That is why art therapy works.
bad experiences can be painted out and you can see them and move on. If you see something in front of you you can deal with it. But if it is hidden inside your uncounscious then it will drive you and you won’t know how to find it.
Art is a kind of portal.
that is why everyone should do some kind of expressive thing. You have to know what is in there before you can deal with it.


My mother was asking me why it mattered who did the painting as long as you liked it.
Artists use other artists ideas all the time to jumpstart a new idea. We all need constant feeding of our creativity or we dry up.
I really don’t care if someone likes something I am doing enough to semi copy it. It won’t look like mne when they are through anyway. and it is kind of flattering to think you might help someone else.
But trying to actually forge sombodies work is another thing.
My mother did finally think that even though you could do a really great copy of something , the intellectual ownership is with the original aritst alone.
Even in my own work the hard part is coming up with the new idea. .
When a client asks me to do one like a painting that has already sold I always make it 20 percent different. That way each client gets an original not just a copy.
Here is the rub, copying might be easy but it is not ever as good as the first fruits. My advice is always buy the original.

The little things

There are no big things in this world that we have to do. We all have  only little things to do, one at a time and all together it makes a big thing.
All I have to do right now is write one word and then really only one letter at a time. I don’t have to write a book instantly.
All I have to do is pick up one sock and I am beginning to clean the whole house.
The hardest thing is that first little thing.
Once you overcome the first the second is easier and the third practically writes itself.
It is that first step that is the hardest.
In our minds though we have to clean the whole house instantly or do all the taxes or paint a whole new idea . And that equals total anxiety. And avoidance. And running away.

one little thing is all we have to do now and forever.
so with that in mind I think I will start working on that big idea by first making one phone call. That is all I need to do right right right now. That way nothing is really a big project., just a lot of little teeny ones.

error: Please do not copy.