Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Perspective Pears

      It is the obvious which is so difficult to see most of the time.  People say "It's as plain as the nose on your face."  But how much of the nose on your face can you see, unless someone holds a mirror up for you?"

                    Isaac Asimov

        This morning I decided instead of painting I would do a quick drawing of three pears sitting on a mirror.  I have been busy taking a drawing class online and yesterday's lecture was on perspective.  The professor's assignment was to find a long hall with several doors on either side and using several measuring techniques draw what can be seen keeping in mind all the tricks of getting the proper perspective.  I don't want to be an architect so I decided to draw three pears sitting on a mirror.  Naturally, my mind wandered away from the perspective of the pears to how to achieve the proper perspective on how to live one's life.  I came up with three concrete facts that seem to be hard and fast rules of achieving a happy and productive life.  Number one:  We are each surrounded by an infinite number of ways to spend our time.  Number two:  We are not given an infinite amount of time to examine these opportunities.  Number three:  Stop thinking about Number one and Number two, realize how blessed we are and embrace each day as the gift it is. 

Tuesday, April 27, 2021


                 "Do not grow old, no matter how long you live.  Never cease to stand like curious children before the great mystery into which we were born."

                                                             Albert Einstein

                    This small painting called to my mind some positive aspects of growing older.  First off, the older I get the more I come to realize that not just me but all of us are operating in the dark.  Basically we don't really have a clue what tomorrow will bring.  And while that thought can be rather frightening at times, it can be pretty exhilarating as well.  What great adventure awaits us tomorrow?   Secondly, even though I tried to make the vase look as old and beat up as possible, there is a certain beauty to not only the shape but also to the aging surface.  In my eye, it holds as much appeal or perhaps even more than the flowers do.  Older faces do indeed tell their own story.  In them are written tracks of tears, laugh lines, and worry lines ~ hints of sad times and happy times, exciting moments of overwhelming joy and dark moments of grief and despair.  Einstein was so right.  No matter what our time here on earth brings to us, our experiences rarely turn out the way we think.  All in all they are mysterious events that unfold in their own time and their own way no matter what we think we have planned.  So, I for one, am going to try to be happy to sit back and enjoy the ride.  Of course, though, having grown a little fragile over the past few years, I'll try to remember to buckle up.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021


            Symbols have a trick of stealing the show away from the thing they stand for.

                            Henry S. Haskins

                To save you a few clicks on your iPad I will tell you that lilies symbolically signify that the soul of the deceased has been restored to the state of innocence.  I don't exactly see that when I look at a lily but I can glimpse the idea of new life and purity.  Thoughts like the restoration of innocence to a deceased person or even new beginnings weren't exactly on my mind, however, as I worked on this painting.  I was too focused on getting the right colors, the right perspective, the right composition.  Only when the painting was completed and had sat in my studio for quite a while did I take the time to look up and find out exactly what made the lily an Easter favorite.  Never again, I thought upon reading the Wikipedia post, will I look at a lily the same way.  When I took out my camera and began to take pictures of this painting I was also struck by the idea that I had been missing out on seeing the symbolic meaning of so many things I come across every day, many of which are things I am either creating or doing, not just things that I touch or pass by every day.  While the world around us may seem to us a beautiful place adding the icing of symbolism can make it a place of wonder and peace as well.  So these days if you catch me bent over my iPad it just means I'm trying to figure out what exactly I'm looking at, touching, tasting, smelling..........well, you get it 

Friday, February 26, 2021

Pharaoh's Tulip

I think I can, I think I can.
        The Little Engine That Could (Watty Piper)

When looking at any design I usually wind up trying to figure out what is on the artist's mind while he or she is trying to come up with what goes where.  What makes a design have a personality?  The longer I look at something the stronger the personality becomes and eventually produces some sort of emotional response, a conversation as it were between myself, the design, and the designer.  And so, after studying this particular cross stitch for a while it occurred to me that this particular design brings to mind the idea of attitude.  Looking closely it is clear the flowers couldn't possibly hold those positions without a determined outlook.  Those skinny little stems couldn't hold up those flowers in such a contorted position without the right frame of mind.  To my mind, therefore, this is the perfect bouquet to have adorning my wall right now.  If those little flowers can hold their heads up on those fragile little stems, surely we should be able to hold our heads up during this pandemic as well.  It may not be easy but given all that we have, all the unseen support we are blessed with we, too, can do it.  I'm sure we can.  I'm sure we can.  


Friday, February 12, 2021

 Breakfast For Two

The secret of joy in work is contained in one word ~ excellence.  To know how to do something well is to enjoy it.

                                        Pearl S. Buck

    Well, Ms. Buck in my opinion has surely hit the nail on the head with her definition of excellence.  Too many times I have wasted valuable time trying to achieve excellence when I should have just spent the time enjoying what I was doing.  How many beautiful sights do I miss on my morning walk because I am too busy looking at my Fitbit and checking my heart rate?  How may times have I struggled to get just the right color on my palette?  How many hugs have I not felt?  At least the pandemic, the quarantining, has made me slow down and realize excellence is something to experience not to aspire to.  Excellence is seeing, tasting, feeling this beautiful life right in front of me.  The pears and grapes may not be perfect but I had an excellent time watching them come into being on my canvas.  Tomorrow morning I might just leave my Fitbit home!

Tuesday, February 2, 2021


The first step in crafting the life you want is to get rid of everything you don't.

                                    Joshua Becker

        I am addicted to a British TV show called Escape to the Country.  The premise of the program is to show people that are looking to move out of London into the beautiful rural countryside three different properties within their budget in the hopes that they will buy one.  Taking into account their budget and their needs the search is on for a property that will match both their criteria and also appeal to their desire to get away from city life.  Not surprising most of these people are also looking to have a small garden and, more often than not, the space to house some animals.  I have heard couples proclaim they would like to raise everything from goats to llamas.  When I painted this rooster several years ago I had no desire to live in the country and raise chickens ~ I still don't.  However, it seems to me the quote above makes the idea of crafting a simple life just a little too simple.  Sure, you can have chickens without a noisy rooster, but if you want baby chickens you better get use to an early wake-up call every morning.  Right now however, still living under this pandemic cloud, the simple life is quickly losing its appeal with just about everyone I know.  Dealing with and adapting to things that aren't necessarily on our top ten list of things we love to do actually can make life more interesting, more challenging, and sometimes even fun.  For now, I am content with Rodney the Rooster but if this keeps up much longer I may have to rethink the whole idea.  

Saturday, January 16, 2021



     Ever wonder where you’d end up if you took your dog for a walk and never once pulled back on the leash?

                              Robert Breault

This is a drawing of my imaginary dog, Jasper.  He and I have grown very close during the pandemic.  Very easy to maintain, never once stepping in his water bowl, and a surprisingly good listener, I worry our time together is growing short.  I have forgotten when he actually came into being but know that he has been with me for many years.  The only bad thing about Jasper is that I can’t take him for walks without drawing unwanted attention.  This has become even more distressing with the upsurge of “real dog” walkers in my neighborhood.  Mask wearing strollers linger on street corners 6 feet apart and actually socialize.  I drew Jasper from a photograph and really enjoyed working with colored pencils.  If you don’t relish staying in the lines steer clear of coloring books ~ you’ll be surprised. AND   you can have anything you want for a pet!