The Passing of Things - Mono No Aware

Mono no aware, is a Japanese term for the awareness of impermanence or transience of things. This is a state of wistful knowing and gentle sadness about the fleeting nature of life.

This knowing is a call to the present moment, aware that soon this time will indeed pass. The chevron flight of migrating geese overhead and the splendor of autumn leaves now brittle on the ground are reminders that yes, winter is coming. The natural cycle of life is evident everywhere whether we…

Read More

How Place Informs The Work - Part 1

I’ve always been curious how much of the work we create is a product of our environment. There are long dissertations on the Nature/Nurture impact on each person’s development, but how much of the visual/sensory experience is consumed and metabolized and then makes its way into the artist’s work? This is an ongoing obsession of mine as an artist and traveler…

Read More

The Alchemy of the Bog - new classes

While at my recent residency in Ireland, I was nightly warmed by a roaring peat fire. I reflected on the transformation of the earthy decayed matter dug from the bog, that when exposed to the air and dried, becomes fuel to warm the body and soul.

In terms of creativity, I refer to the Bog as that internal place that has stored all of life’s experience - the good the bad…

Read More

Ireland, ya beauty!

There’s a reason why Ireland is the land of the poet. It’s impossible to speak of the place with ordinary language. One must dig deep for descriptors that still will only point to the beauty evident, let alone capture it. I never understood the longing for Ireland from the Irish diaspora so prevalent in my hometown outside of Boston, but since having spent time here, I too find myself wistful when away and soon plot my return…

Read More

Artmaking (or not) on the Road

I know I'm always harping on about art and travel, because it’s how I prefer to make my way in the world. Alas, there are very real challenges to making art WHILE traveling.

Just last week in London I went to the Tate Britain, the Tate Modern, V and A Museum, The Serpentine Gallery, the Somerset House Design Biennale, The Dennis Severs House near Spitalfields. I saw plays at the National Gallery, The Globe Theater for Shakespeare and The Victoria Palace Theater to see Hamilton! And those are…

Read More

Every Step A Painting - York paving stones in London

Arrived in London early, went walking to stay awake. And found beneath my feet the art world unnoticed and unsung. I've walked these stones countless times, yet never saw them like this. York paving stones - weathered, chiseled and trampled. Day 1 - I got what I came for without even trying!

How easily we pass by inspiration! Clues to what we love. I've enhanced these photos with contrast because this is what I saw. But I hesitated at first to take out my phone for photos - my phone! It's ridiculously easy to capture moments with our ever-present phones, yet I was in motion, not wanting to slow down or stop…

Read More

Movin' on - heading east across the pond.

In the next few weeks I'll be hither and thither - mostly across the pond in London and then to southwest Ireland at my 3rd residency at Cill Rialaig Artists Retreat. It's always a challenge to keep up a regular blogging schedule when I'm on the road, especially when I'm off the grid in the far reaches of the Irish coast. I will find a way my dear readers so check back soon.

Next week I'm hoping to publish my next artist traveler interview with

Read More

Travelogues waiting for their adventures

Few things make me happier than a fresh leather bound art travel journal with blank pages waiting to be filled! The virgin white pages fill me with anticipation - visual stories that I will look back on in future years. Whether the resulting images will be a reflection of literal places or from my imagined worlds, they are travelogues of the epic quest…

Read More

Post Workshop High - Thanks to my courageous students!

The second of my two workshops titled: Courage Vs. Confidence is now complete. I'm always so impressed with how my students are willing to dive into the unknown. Even when it gets uncomfortable, even when the results aren't always what they had hoped for, they forge ahead and stay curious, and by the end of the day walk away with…

Read More

30 Days of Aqua - Pairings

Now that my 30 Days of Aqua paintings are complete, they are finding themselves pairing up with their mates. Something about their natural affiliations make me happy, like finding one's tribe.

Even though the color Aqua is the tie that binds these paintings together, I wanted to be free to explore different strokes, and include imagery, or whatever I felt inclined to do in the moment. Sometimes just one limiting factor can throw the doors of freedom wide open…

Read More

Fire and Ice - Dreaming of Iceland

The heat is already bearing down, the skies hazy with drifting wildfire smoke from miles away, and my default guidance system pulls me north. Could be my genetic predisposition - 98% British Isles, Irish, French and Scandinavian. I'm not built for heat and glaring sunlight. 

I did a residency in Iceland back in 2012 at Gullkistan, and wrote this passage in my sketchbook while there:

"To be in Iceland, the newest land mass on the planet - the rumbling belly of continents. Breaking, stretching, gasping open. Bleak, scoured, fertile. The clouds pan across the flatlands - spreading…

Read More

30 Days of Aqua - a painting challenge.

Sometimes I set myself a painting challenge, to create boundaries in the candy store that is art-making. As summer heats up, my gaze turns to the cooling effect of Aqua. Doesn't matter in what way it shows up, but in land-locked Colorado, it gives me a a sense of water, flow, diving in to something that isn't rock.
These paintings are fast and loose, pint sized and purposely affordable. I love working small - there is less…

Read More

Weekend Workshop - Courage vs. Confidence

As I prepare for my weekend workshop here in Boulder, I'm reflecting on the title and focus of this workshop. I first heard the quote "Courage is more important than Confidence" from the designer Debbie Millman. It struck me immediately that courage is the key to all creative pursuits and is critical in the broader context of ALL life choices.

There's an assumption that we must lead with confidence. That…

Read More