Posts tagged art
Gratitude, Gravity & Grace

  The words gravity and grace have my undivided attention right now. I'm not sure why ... but I do know Thanksgiving (my favorite holiday) has something to do with it.

Recently, I've been reading "The Innocent Eye" -- this is a book I've never been able to let go of and will likely see it to its raggedy end.

Considering how children express the truest character of their soul when they draw and paint. Or, when they make a mess in the kitchen trying to make pancakes. Nothing is wasted. Nothing is useless. The compassion, patience and utter abandon that is involved in the sentiment of the expression is something I feel awe for.

During the holidays it can be so easy to forget the simple magic of gratitude. Gratitude for the the things that didn't work out that makes us dig deeper in and change course if necessary. Gratitude for the daily kindnesses and simple surprises in life.

Though we may think a lot about what we want that we don't have, there is a grace in what we do have. If nothing more than an imprint of where we've been and markers for the journey forward.

I say, life isn't something to master but experience in all of it's imaginative power. Getting the "goof" on and the simple return to nature through food and love is the gravity and grace I'm aiming for this season. And I am already super duper grateful for it!

If you really want to be inspired watch Ursula LeGuin's speech as she accepts a Lifetime Achievement Award.

ps: The silly drawings are my from my daily sketchbook as I aspire to be a child everyday.

Marvelous Human Mess

  When you make a mistake do you feel challenged to learn and adjust for the next time around, or do you admonish yourself and see it as a character defect? Or something in between?

I used to have a studio in a shipyard in the Bay Area. A variety of characters would pop in to see paintings in progress. Before they could say a word, within 30 seconds I had shown them all of the flaws in the painting. Luckily, the folks in the shipyard were artists and entrepreneurs. Their opinions of my work often took me by surprise. For many of them mistakes communicated entries into the imagination far faster than any conception or direction I may have had in mind.

One night I painted me dumping my head out of all its garbage into a recycle truck. My studio/office mate chuckled and asked if it worked. I told him that I believed that once I had nailed my character defects I would be a real painter. He said, "This isn't Miss America. Your character defects are what draw me into your paintings."

The nature of perfectionism assumes a law of order that is attainable if only we strive hard enough and become aware of anything that sullies it —  The battle of the lint of our imperfections can be intense.

I read a report card from my second grade teacher that she was concerned I would never be satisfied with an A+ — that I sought a grade higher not yet invented.

Creative practice during messy times has pummeled the perfectionist in me. When time is low and guilt is high and hungry deadlines persist, I've had to use the uglies in the work and make whatever is, oh, how to say this without cringing ... "good enough" ... yikes those words my toes curl.

By practicing imperfection I've grown fascinated by the human mess and standards by which the mess makes itself known. In particular the standard of perfectionism. Sheesh, where did that come from? The imperfections are so much more exciting. They give us more to discover and a wider array of materials to work with -- true adventure. Character defects make colors I have never seen. And isn't that true art? The expression of the tangled hairball of humanity is a painting I would buy over one that demonstrates perfect color theory.

Be proud of the marvelous human mess and make art of it.


Birds ... they love paint

Birds-...-2 There are actually six birds in this painting and three different paintings under it. I was inspired to recycle all paintings in my stack I no longer liked after taking the abstract painting class. I felt wild and actually thought I'd get them all done in a week. Four weeks later this crazy bird painting is finally done. The last painting session was in dim light. When I saw the result in the light of day, it made me giggle. A joyful mess of paint … for sure.

5 ft x 5 ft Finger + Palette Knife Oil Painting

And it used to be this:


And then this:

The history of paint

The canvas is thick with paint and marks. It's been a fun journey. Onward!