"To live in the world without becoming aware of the meaning of the world is like wandering about in a great library without touching the books.".....The Secret Teachings of All Ages

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


My cat, Celeste, all comfy in her favorite sunny spot on the couch, caught in mid-yawn.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

What Do I Want To Say...If Anything?

There are some artists who make you think. Lately, Zom Osborne has been doing that for me. She asks questions or makes observations about her world through her artwork that cause me to pause and think about things. This is good. This is what art should do, at least to me. Which had me asking myself a few questions about my own work, the biggest being, "Why do I do it, and what do I want it to say, either about me or the world I live in?

It bothered me that my first answer to that question was, "I don't know." It bothered me even more when I realized that I have never really thought about it, or felt compelled to make, for lack of a better term, "statement" art. So, the next question I had to ask was, "If I have always thought that good art made some kind of statement or made you think of the world in a new way, why didn't I ever require my own work to say anything?" After thinking that one over long and hard, I decided the embarrassing answer was, "Because I had no idea what I wanted it to say." I do it because I enjoy it, which is fine, and because I feel compelled to do it or I feel lousy, and that is fine too, but it has never said anything, I don't think, about who I am and what I believe. I have never tried to change people's way of looking at the world, or tried to make them understand the way I view my world.

Maybe artist automatically say things through their artwork even if nothing was originally intended? I suspect the very act of creating something says something about you, no matter what you create. And, since people interpret works of art differently, maybe you end up saying something to one person, but draw a big blank from someone else.

What all this introspection boiled down to was, making me think more about my art and what I truly wanted it to say about me and how I view my world, and how I might go about making that happen. I had to dig down into my fairly shallow brain and find out what was in there worth saying. And I think I found it.

There is a line in the movie The Tempest (the old one, from the 70s) that has the main character facing an incoming storm, raising his arms, and saying, "Show me the magic." I have a favorite author, Charles de Lint, who writes of urban magic all around us, but unseen by most because they don't believe it is there. I believe it is there. I look for it. I don't always see it, but I feel it often. I'm willing to believe. That's what I want my art to show. That magic is out there — old magic, new magic, light and dark magic — and that if you would only stop and look, you would see and feel it as well.

This doesn't mean high fantasy art. I like some of that genre, but that's not what I do. I want it to be more subtle than that, and still make it work. Will I succeed in making people see what they may not believe in or can't feel? I don't know. But for me, at least it is a new focus. It is a new way to think, and that's always a good thing.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Two New Projects

I've got two new projects going, which is kinda nice. The first is another drawing in my series Nomads & Gypsies. This time it is a gypsy. I loved the pose and the position of the woman's hand (Taken from a photograph of a real gypsy woman I found...of course...on Pinterest). These drawing are slowly, ever so slowly, getting better as my drawing skills creak out of retirement.

Gypsy 1

It has been pointed out to me by another artist that her hand is a bit large. I agree. However, I redrew that hand about ten times, trying to get it right, knowing it would be the focus of the drawing, so I have left it "as is." If I had messed with it any more, I would probably have wrecked the whole thing, and rubbed a hole in the paper. Maybe she's just a girl with big hands? Another person viewed it as her beckoning the viewer toward her, which I thought was a lovely way to look at it. I'm going with that. Also, I realized she didn't have any ears! Oops. In the photo I used as a model they are barely visible under her hat. I have added them to the drawing since I took this picture. Also, I am out of the soft grey ink pen I use to outline, so she is waiting to be finished with ink and colored pencil.

William Morris Bolero

The second project is a new bolero. I haven't done one in quite a while, and the T-shirts had been stashed in a drawer while I worked on other things. Today I pulled them out of hiding, and cut out the pieces. I barely...barely... had enough of the patterned shirt, which reminds me of William Morris wallpaper, to get the front and back. Even thought it was a woman's size large, I guess there is large, and then there is large. I had found another shirt in the same color of light green, hoping to use that as the binding, but ended up having to used it for the sleeves instead. The question still remaining is, what new color of trim to use for the binding, which will determine what color of embroidery thread I use to sew everything up. I am leaning toward the soft rose, but will think about it a bit before I commit.

So, those are my two new projects. The weather has waffled between really hot...109 the other day...to a little milder...mid 80s. So I have lots of time in the middle of the day, when it is the hottest, to work on these...and other things. 

Hope you all are enjoying the summer weather...or cooler temps if you live Down Under.