I recently asked my students what they most want to read about in my blog, and many wanted to know about how I became an artist.
But first I want to say this: The popular idea that “everyone is an artist” is contemporary ego-massaging hogwash (in my humble opinion). I would say that everyone has the potential to be an artist. But what separates the wheat from the chaff (the artist from the hobbyist) is the grinding of the mill. In this metaphor, I am calling out those who DO and those who DON’T… Read More
We were, just the 2 of us, halfway into our days of bicycling through the tiger reserve known as Jim Corbett National Park in northwest India. This vast tiger reserve was established to protect the majestic beasts from encroachment and poaching.
By now we had been cycling for almost 6 months and were desperate to detour off the main roads that were choked with pollution and psychotic drivers. At the time, there were known to be 100 tigers in residence in this reserve, roaming freely… Read More
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
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
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
Prepping for a show with a theme is often an exercise in restraint. This is not a bad thing - on the contrary it's about focus and boundaries. I've often mentioned the candy store syndrome, otherwise known as the Blank Canvas Stare. With so many possibilities, it's classic to become paralyzed and do nothing, except maybe the laundry. But with a theme, I'm less distracted by the vastness of the Universe, and grounded by … Read More
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
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
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. Read More
These paintings are fast and loose, pint sized and purposely affordable. I love working small - there is less…
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
Many days I cycle down to Boulder Creek to sit on my certain rock, now partially submerged from the high country run-off. This morning as I watched the frothy flow of water rushing by, I felt the urgency of the river seeking the ocean. And I thought of the human condition, always seeking connection with Source. It's the PULL of the Source, and when we allow our innate guidance to raft on the stream, there's no effort, it's easy to flow, and thrilling too.
This is true in the painting practice - it is a form of meditation in that way. Deep listening to the guidance, the flow, the… Read More
Freedom is my M.O. Everything I do gets run through the freedom lens. It's the pinnacle of my pyramid, the joy and challenge of my life and work, and at times, my curse to bear. I'm restless when restricted, confined or subjected to other's expectations. I rebel at the smallest fences, and the longing to head for the horizon is almost always greater than the security of staying. And it's just how I like it.
But what does freedom even mean? Your definition will most likely… Read More
Some people are steady at the helm of their creative activity, and are regular like roughage. That's not me. Try as I might there can be long gaps between painting sessions. Such as it is now, after the solid month of painting at my residency at Brush Creek Ranch. Sometimes I return from a residency - spent. Other times, energized, but am pulled away by life's other needs.
The longing to get back at it is a blessing and a curse at times… Read More
Something about the horizon line keeps showing up in my work out here in the wide open spaces of Wyoming. This is not the first time - the horizon is a composition I naturally gravitate to, in many ways - literally and metaphorically. There is an invisible tether that pulls, and sometimes yanks me toward the horizon, ever longing for the unknown.
This I think is partly the human condition, to be Read More
While London is not a residency for me, it is my soul home in a way, and has been ever since first coming here as a wide-eyed 20 year old art student. By some invisible tether i am drawn back here again and again, and thus I find myself living here now, testing the limits of UK immigration and soaking up the dynamic thrill of this favorite city of mine. Alas, without a studio, I am confined to one small desk, so am simply cutting, pasting and drawing in my journal pages - calling this series of collages my "London Diaries" - as they reflect… Read More