Thursday, October 19, 2017

Quick & Quixotic 8

I haven't strayed at all from the quick, capricious, unpredictable, only-have-few-minutes-to-paint modus operandi that has characterized the unfolding of this current work in progress from day #1 back in late September. 

And, in keeping with that modus operandi, looky what took place in my studio today as I followed an impulse and made a split-second decision …

work in progress
8 4x5" and 2 2x8" pieces of unstretched canvas
working title: quick & quixotic cut-ups

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Quick & Quixotic 7

Have I mentioned that Jay and Christine's wedding celebration is taking place in ten days?

So exciting—such a happy, busy time for this mother of the groom!

Again today, I grab just a few minutes to paint. I'm so glad for those few quick minutes of capricious unpredictable adventuring in a day otherwise filled mostly with tasks requiring the services of my left brain.

Love the transformation that took place on my bit of unstretched canvas!

work in progress
12x16"; unstretched canvas
working title: quick & quixotic 7

A few spectacular detail photos—look at these volunteer compositions:

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Quick & Quixotic 6

Yesterday, at the top of my list of intentions for today, I wrote this: decide early in day what my focus will be during afternoon studio time.

Bright and early this morning I saw that note to myself and went into my studio to look at Quick & Quixotic to see where I might want to go with it this afternoon.

Twenty or so minutes later, I wiped off my paint brush, screwed the lid back on my matte medium, and surveyed where I did go with that work in progress … first thing in the morning!

work in progress
12x16"; unstretched canvas
working title: Quick and Quixotic 6

Memory refresher—Q&Q last seen 11 days ago looking like this:

Monday, October 16, 2017

Painting Connections

I wrote about this piece's partner maybe ten or more days ago, in a post about staying connected to other artists, especially those who "express interest in and resonate with what you are doing" and whose work lights you up.

This post is also about connections.

First, I love when paintings connect to each other—when they're siblings, sharing considerable DNA but also having distinct personalities and experiences. Such is the situation for today's painting and her born-first sister. They now live in different states, have their own lives to live, and often go whole days with nary a thought of each other. At heart, though, they are still connected.

Second, I love the connection I have to my experience of painting this piece. It evokes instantly a day that had dawned chilly, at 42 degrees, but became a gift of bright sunshine, radiant warmth, yellow leaves that drifted occasionally to the ground, cloudless blue skies, and crisp dry air. My internal weather was more of the same. Happy. I was in my happy place—adding touches of paint, sorting through my scraps box for backdrop papers on which to mount the painting, applying matte medium, tucking the emerging card repeatedly between carefully designed improvisational weights to let one layer after another adhere as I assembled.

Partying with Norman and Sebastian
2.5x3.5"; acrylic, ink, pencil, and pastels on postcard stock,
mounted on card stock and wallpaper sample

Check out this awesome photo shoot that We Drink and Partying agreed to before their lives took them in differing directions.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Thursday, Watoga

a dry-leaf shower
weaves whispers of color to
blanket the earth's spine


Wish I'd taken some process shots so I had a record of how abortively ugly this was, until suddenly it wasn't!

work in progress
thursday, watoga

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Wednesday, Watoga

Light rain in the night
gives way to daylight hikes on
T.M. Cheek, Pine Run

work in progress
wednesday, watoga

Tuesday, Watoga

Greenbrier River
Trail, Lake Trail, Honeymoon Trail,
ascent, ridge, descent.

work in progress
tuesday, watoga

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Monday, Watoga

Flames dance in fireplace,
owls toss hoots to each other,
paint graces cardstock.

work in progress
monday, watoga

Friday, October 6, 2017

Quick & Quixotic 5

Did I know I was anywhere near a shore?

Did I have any inkling I might be shoved out to sea?

Well, nothing for it but to float, to yield to the gift of buoyancy.

work in progress
12x16"; unstretched canvas
working title: Quick and Quixotic 5

Dave and I are off to Virginia and West Virginia for the coming week to celebrate our wedding anniversary. Quick & Quixotic will not be joining us on this holiday.

I will bring a tiny art kit, and I do plan to paint. Won't know about wifi and blogging till I'm in situ.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Stay Connected

Another way to thrive as an artist, in the words of Nicholas Wilton, is to

3 Stay Connected
Your success, energetically, financially and even spiritually, is directly connected to those that support and follow your artistic journey. Never lose connection with those that express interest and resonate with what you are doing. Cherish them.

Yes, yes, yes! I do stay connected, I don’t lose connection with those who express interest and resonate with what I’m doing, and I do ferociously cherish them.

To wit, I first bumped into Simone Nijboer and her art two years ago online, and connecting with her changed my unfolding experience as an artist dramatically. A new friend! Someone with whom to talk art! 

She is a key player in my art life. We’ve had an almost daily blog-to-blog conversation in progress for two years now along with periodic personal email communication. It was Simone's art that, for the first time and to my complete astonishment, drew me to abstract art. I was mesmerized by what I saw in her work, and I was compelled to explore abstract painting myself. Life changing. Literally.

Simone was the direct spark that lit my speed-painting yesterday and today. And what joyful painting it was—I flipped to the blank side of what started its life as a professionally printed marketing postcard. I received it in the mail and transformed it in just minutes, minutes inspired by Simone's enduring belief in painting even if she has only the smallest snippet of time and limits her materials and scope.

We drink / one from the other / still
2.5x3.5"; acrylic, ink, pencil, and pastels on postcard stock,
mounted on card stock

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Show Yourself

One of the artists whose blogs I follow is Nicholas Wilton, who recently wrote a post entitled 5 Ways to Thrive as an Artist. The first way:

1 Show Yourself
Show yourself. Let people see what you have made. Show your enthusiasm generated by your art. In return you will receive additional energy and illuminating feedback that will help sustain your momentum from those around you.
One of the best things I've done since opening the door to painting three years ago is to let people see what I've made. I started my blog in 2015 and started posting to Instagram a few months ago. I made the decision to put the good, the bad, and the ugly out there where others can see it, and I've never regretted the decision.

Admittedly, some days I hesitate or grimace before pressing 'publish' but I always go ahead anyway and often get a surge of energy from the sheer recklessness of doing so!

A huge gift, as Wilton points out, is the additional energy and illuminating feedback I get as a result of sharing. I meet terrific people around the world, learn in ways that fit my self-directed learning style, see amazing and unamazing art, feel abundantly supported and encouraged, and am nourished beyond measure.

Today I "show myself" enthusiastically via a little piece painted in the spirit of my current don't-have-much-time have-to-work-fast modus operandi. Had so much fun! You might notice if you look closely that, small as it is, it has already been cut in two. I'll take a few additional minutes on subsequent days to complete each half.

tiny art
quick art
work in progress

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Quick & Quixotic 4

Ground cover is holding steady, but I've traveled the byways away from town. Telephone poles become a fading mental image as I approach open skyscape.

The limitless great beyond lightens as day advances.

work in progress
12x16"; unstretched canvas
working title: Quick and Quixotic 4

Monday, October 2, 2017

Quick & Quixotic 3

Feeling yanked hither and yon by my recent blog posts?

Wondering if you've developed attention deficit disorder?

That's how I feel, and I'm the agent of the disorderly approach style, for Pete's sake!

I seem to be jumping from one task to another in both my personal and professional life, and from one painting project to another in my painting life, which—of course—is responding directly to the nonlinear nature of both my personal and professional life.

A bit of a wild jaunt, a scattershot bucking leapfrogging joyride, I tell ya.

Anyway, today I am back with Quick & Quixotic.

The blueberry fields have shifted color as the earth has continued to trace its path around the sun. A few neutrals have replaced color leached from the flora. Small patches of early morning ground fog make themselves known.

work in progress
12x16"; unstretched canvas
working title: Quick and Quixotic 3

Friday, September 29, 2017

Prayers for Peace

If you're in or near Brattleboro, VT, any time between now and October 29, 2017, stop by the West Village Meeting House to see the exhibit! You will find broadsides by John Vincent (article from February 2017), paintings by Peter Dudley, papercuts by Stuart Copans, and poem/prayer mobiles by yours truly.

John Vincent

Peter Dudley

Stuart Copans

terrific display space for my mobiles!

Thursday, September 28, 2017


Such abundance.

Such satiety, such a feeling of having all the vertebrae in my spine lined up one above the other with just the right amount of space in between, such fullness of heart.

I have painted up a block of wood and mounted Simplicity on it. 

I've written and inscribed a haiku on the back. 

Altogether, this piece of art has become greater than the sum of its parts and process—and its parts and process have already brought me such abundant great joy.

I stake a claim, scratch
a living from the soil, pause
to take long deep breaths.

Now, off Simplicity goes to a new home, carrying with it gifts of summer weather, my painting time at Takodah, and some delicious post-camp afternoon solitudes in my studio. 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Quick & Quixotic 2


Maybe this is Maine, and we're looking at wild blueberry fields in autumn now.

When I first began painting I would not have known how to be so messy, how to paint with such a small intention—in this case, to spread a bunch of color and texture in the space below what appears to be a horizon line. I would have struggled to paint without knowing where I'd end up, and struggled to paint with the likelihood that almost all of what I was painting would become an underlayer.

But for this five-or-six-minute romp I … well, I romped!

Painted quickly and with abandon.

work in progress
12x16"; unstretched canvas
working title: Quick and Quixotic 2

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Quick & Quixotic

Taking "2. capricious, unpredictable" as my definition, I am including the word quixotic in the working title for my current painting.

When last seen, the painting looked as follows, and I enjoyed its appearance for as long as it lasted:

Today, a few capricious unpredictable minutes of painting yielded underground rabbit burrows and aboveground communications cables.

work in progress
12x16"; unstretched canvas
working title: Quick and Quixotic

Monday, September 25, 2017


A short while ago I shared some history about my being Uncle Dotty to two of my nephews.

I have a different uncle story today.

My studio (which is also a guest room):

Its new, work-in-progress door:

The new, work-in-progress door to the bathroom adjacent to my studio:

The interior of the bathroom:


The guest room adjacent to the other side of the bathroom:


For the reasons above plus others, my painting life will take a different shape from usual this week—and perhaps for a few weeks! Not sure what that will mean, but I did some five-minute speed-painting sessions over the weekend which I'll post one by one, and I have two prepared-last-week posts that I'll share on Thursday and Friday.


Friday, September 22, 2017

Fast and Furious Redux

My intentions for the day were unrealistic to begin with, a story for a different day.

Then, each undertaking to which I turned my attention took longer than expected, in one case way longer.

But, I had to paint, just couldn't not scratch that itch.

So today, vs. yesterday, I did paint quickly.

I took Betty Krause as my telementor. She starts paintings with quick intuitive scribbles and marks. Really quick. No thought or design in mind. Just scribbles and marks: GO!

Thank you, Betty, for sparking me today.

I bumped into a pad of unstretched canvas, tore off a sheet.

Scribbled and marked with a PaperMate pencil, a grease pencil, pastel pencils, and a graphite crayon.

first marks, three minutes

Added marks with a graphite crayon dipped in water. Disappointing, too light, not soluble enough.

second marks, 90 seconds

Found an applicator bottle with some India ink in it. Much more fun. 

third marks, 30 seconds

Done for today. 

Stopped because I have to make phone calls, gather financial data, do some handwork with needle and thread, research a gift idea. 

Stopped because I love this start and want to enjoy it for a day before I add layers.