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Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Embracing Unsteady

I have a 9 x 12" Cachet sketchbook. No memory of when or why I purchased it. I can see that I filled about 5 of its pale gray pages with notes and thought exercises two and a half years ago following the lead of an artist I'd discovered online. I don't think I purchased the sketchbook for that purpose, though, and I jumped ship on those exercises in less than a week.

Starting in July of this year, I began painting in the sketchbook.

I like painting in a sketchbook currently; I like having the work become a spiral-bound visual diary. I feel a little more experimental and exploratory painting in a sketchbook than on stand-alone substrates.

Though not experimental and exploratory enough, asserts an inner voice.

Enough that I am wildly unsteady on my feet, I retort.


working title:
She Wobbles on Shoes With Tall Heels
9 x 12"; acrylic, ink, oil pastels, and watercolor chalks
on paper
abstract floral

Friday, September 23, 2022

Breaking Up a Logjam

I notice what catches my attention today.

These words:

To fall into that

which is unidentified,


undefined by phenomena,

for one brief moment,

allows the possibility

of knowing—

that knowing 

that is already inside you—

knowing that which you are

as awareness,

open awareness

prior to the arising 

of phenomena,

prior to the arising

of identity.

It’s in this that you see clearly.

You see beyond opinion,

position taking,


You see beyond the matrix

of conditioning,

the matrix of the world.

—Amoda Maa

I notice what art catches my eye as I scroll through a feed online.

The logjam inside me breaks up and I begin making marks and changes on my previously-dubbed 'work in progress paralysis.' 

Grateful for movement!

work in progress

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Scaredy Cat

I painted this 'chaos layer' on a page in my sketchbook with freedom and delight a couple of weeks ago.

Since then so much topsy-turvy going on here, what with Dave's knee surgery and challenging ongoing recovery, Caroline's being here and then not being here, driveway's being dug up for repaving, front entry and stairway's being painted and prepped for eventual wallpaper, carpeting's being installed, fall tutorial schedule's starting up, and driveway's getting its base coat put in place.

But, seriously, all of that is nothing. 

It is piffle.

What's really going on is my own inner paralysis. I notice my hesitation, my resistance to the possibility of not 'liking' whatever I do next. I can't seem to get out of my own way.

And that is all I have to say!

work in progress paralysis
9 x 12" on paper

Tuesday, September 20, 2022


The word tumult comes to mind, so I look it up. Top definition refers to loud confused noise. Nope, that's not what I'm looking for. Second definition references confusion and disorder. Closer, but not really on target. I look next at chaos. In a state of complete confusion and disorder. 

Hmm, what's the word for partial confusion and disorder? What's the suffix that would indicate of or pertaining to confusion and disorder? Tumultish? Chaotious?

My current internal and external circumstances feel confused and disordered but, in truth, they are not without some clarity and systems.

I can't find the precise word I want.

I feel ill-defined.

In any case, here's what emerges in stolen moments over the course of at least two weeks when I open my sketchbook and put art supplies of one sort or another into my hands.

Even If You Was Made to Do Bad Stuff, You Don't Have to For Ever
9 x 12"; acrylic, watercolor, ink, oil pastel, and collage on paper

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Seein' Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard

Well I'm on my way

I don't know where I'm going

I'm on my way

I'm taking my time but I don't know where

—Paul Simon

All true:

• I'm on my way,

• I don't know where I'm going, and

• I'm taking my time.

Also true:

• This piece did not go at all where I thought it might; and

• I'm grateful to be working in a sketchbook because it frees me up to go more easily wherever a painting takes me.

Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard
7 x 10"; acrylic and ink in sketch book

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Inviting the Universe's Highest Plan


Wasn't getting there under my 'own' steam.

Invited outrageous openness.

Got out of the way.

Went about my business.

And then some days later found myself in my studio finger-painting.


work in progress; 
finger-painting with acrylic in sketchbook


Friday, August 19, 2022

Got Up Off the Floor

Eventually got up off the floor yesterday afternoon.

Gave my head a metaphorical soak in the bracing Atlantic.

Then channeled a jumble of emotions and memories and energy into playing with some emerging ideas. You know the age-old game of rock-paper-scissors? I played paper-scissors-glue instead. 

Countless little surprising challenges surfaced related to positive and negative space, composition, values contrast, and loopy cut-paper strips that were not easily tamed.


Follow the Steps as They Appear
4.5 x 6" two-page sketchbook spread; acrylic, collage, and oil pastel

Anyone know why the vibrancy of colors dulls when I post photos on my blog?