Archive for the ‘art studio’ Category

A Fulfilling Weekend in the Studio of Dreams

September 30, 2019

20190929_1153408691675854978215101.jpg

Paintings in Progress Piling Up

My firm belief is that one paints, as one writes, not out of a theory but out of the vividness of an experience . . . Rational thoughts follow to anchor theoretically the truths that already have grasped us as a vision.

Rollo May, My Quest for Beauty

In the quiet of the dark Monday morning predawn, music wafting softly from the adjoining rootm, I sit at my desk, inhaling the pleasing aroma from this freshly pressed mug of coffee and . . . nothing. After forty-eight hours of wall-to-wall quiet and creative bliss, I thought surely by now that I would have something meaningful to blog. Twenty-two watercolors, in progress, are scattered across three drafting tables in my living room. The past two days have been pure heaven, moving from painting to painting, book to book, manuscript to manuscript. Yes, painting, reading and writing–three of my favorite activities for which I still work to find sufficient time, even in these glowing retirement years–and I now have this urge to blog, but nothing seems to bubble to the surface.

Opening one of my favorite volumes from Rollo May, I now re-read this timely word:

There is a danger in erasing chaos too easily, for it then takes away one’s stimulation. Several years ago I took the training for transcendental meditation. I have always been interested in meditating and have done it more or less on my own. When I finished that course and my mantra was given to me, I was instructed to meditate twenty minutes in the morning as soon as I woke up and twenty minutes at four or five o’clock in the afternoon. So I, being an obedient soul, started out doing that. I found that after meditating I would go down to my desk in my studio and sit there to write. And nothing would come. Everything was so peaceful, so harmonious; I was blissed out. And I had to realize through harsh experience that the secret of being a writer is to go to your desk with your mind full of chaos, full of formlessness–formlessness of the night before, formlessness which threatens you, changes you.

The essence of a writer is that out of this chaos, through struggle, or joy, or grief–through trying a dozen or perhaps a hundered ways in rewriting–one finally gets one’s ideas into some kind of form.

I suppose he has a point there. I recall one of Nietzsche’s maxims from Thus Spoke Zarathustra:

I say unto you: one must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star

I have managed to glide through an entire weekend without chaos. In fact, once I got on the other side of the two-hour presentation I gave a couple of weeks ago, a presentation that had pressed on my psyche for month after month, life has been slower and there has been no chaos to organize.

Not to say I’ve been indolent; I’m managing some kind of physical exercise daily and have thankfully taken off more than twenty pounds over the past couple of months. Energy is increasing, and I take much satisfaction in that reality. And . . . I now have twenty-two watercolors in the making. Perhaps soon I will be able to share some kind of insight and discovery while working on them. And of course, I’ll gladly post photos of the new work once it is further along.

20190929_1739118883487943090332050.jpg

One of Twenty-Two Paintings in Progress

I feel the compulsion to go back into the studio now that the morning light is coming through the windows. Thanks for reading . . .

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Advertisements

Thinking

September 29, 2019

20190929_0941008436016173557988690.jpg

We never come to thoughts. They come to us.

Martin Heidegger, “The Thinker as Poet”

The matter of thinking does not lie somewhere before us like a land of truth into which one can advance; it is not a thing that we can discover and uncover. The reality of, and the appropriate manner of access to, the matter of thinking is still dark for us.

Eugen Fink, Heraclitus Seminar

This delightfully still Sunday morning has found me in a pensive mood. I came to the writing desk early, not sure of what I was going to uncover in my reading. I had some specific ideas in mind, but seemingly unrelated thoughts entered my sphere instead and took my mind in directions I did not anticipate. I love these detours and welcome them.

I have written in another context that inspiration is like the wind that blows. We cannot know its origin or direction. We can only adjust our sails to capture it when it arrives. The word “spirit” in Greek literature is pneuma that we like to translate “wind” or “breath.” I find the same to be true in thinking; I have no idea how that originates. Years ago, I laughed when I saw a book by Heidegger titled What is Thinking? Looking at the title, I said to myself, “Are you serious? You cannot define thinking? What is complicated about that? Thinking is . . .” I couldn’t complete the sentence! I could not explain the nature of thinking. From that moment, I’ve been absorbed with this subject so easily taken for granted.

20190926_1651207106772616555946995.jpg

Completed Experiment

I have decided to cut this blog off rather short and go ahead and post. For nearly two hours now I have grazed from so many pastures, reading from over a half dozen books and taking furious notes. And in the midst of it all, I suddenly “saw” in my mind’s eye what I want to try out next (thank you Henry David Thoreau and your marvelous words from A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers). I am posting a watercolor I completed a couple of days ago, another experiment. Suddenly, I have decided to try yet something else new, and hopefully will get it posted on this blog.

Thanks always for reading . . .

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Late Saturday Night Bliss . . .

September 28, 2019

20190926_1651207106772616555946995.jpg

A New Watercolor Experiment

Art, Cezanne reminds us, is surrounded by artifice.

Jonah, Lehrer, Proust was a Neuroscientist

I decided to put some wraps on an all-day experiment in watercolor, grateful for such a long space in time with no appointments or engagements. I anticipate more of the same on Sunday. Before retiring to bed, I wanted to post some of my experimental work. Tomorrow, under natural light, I’ll be able to present better photos than these taken at night under artificial lighting.

20190928_2149104107464169385621877.jpg

20190928_214819236020344557245538.jpg

20190928_2147475424564941417507370.jpg

Thanks for reading.

Reaping the Whirlwind

September 23, 2019

20190923_1145585378017711049572944.jpg

This Watercolor Just Found a Home

Go into Nature raw and simple and just sit quietly doing nothing other than allowing Nature to become accustomed to your presence. Soon enough, often just beyond what you had taken to be the threshold of your patience and perception, Nature steps forward and begins to reveal its features to you.

Peter London, Drawing Closer to Nature

Two summers ago, I had a one-day plein air experience that now seems to have altered my watercolor trajectory in a profound way. I was sitting for hours on a cabin deck in South Fork, Colorado, staring at the beautiful evergreens lit by the sunrise. Musing over how exactly I could capture the evanescence of these lovely trees in transparent watercolor, I thought over what I had learned about sixth-century Xie He’s “canons” of painting. Briefly stated, he pointed out that the artist’s aim was to capture the spirit or movement of the subject.

I immediately began experimenting with numerous panels of stretched watercolor, combining masquing, pouring, splattering and dripping of the pigments. As I worked, I was joined by some cute critters.

bird on painting

Feeding chipmunk4

20190923_2105008578267727983044022.jpg

A New Attempt at Evergreens

Today I decided to go after the evergreen subjects with some new ideas for experimenting. All day, my mind has been in a whirlwind as I’ve thought up new techinques and approaches, filling several pages of my journal. It feels good when the mind and imagination begin percolating new ideas and approaches.

I wanted to take a moment and share the paintings I worked on yesterday at the Queen St Grille. It was a great experience, and I am grateful for Jean Mollard’s invitation to paint there again.

20190922_1306328506518675108319508.jpg

20190922_1337467045799342409407140.jpg

20190922_1342187235826586894840912.jpg

I’m painting well into the night tonight, which is unusual for me. I hope I’ll have more to share tomorrow. Meanwhile, I’m enjoying the rush.

Thanks always for reading.

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Adjusting the Sails to Catch the Wind

September 22, 2019

20190922_0817007914736340056483706.jpg

Early Sunday Morning in the Gallery at Redlands

The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know whence it comes or whither it goes . . . 

The Gospel According to John 3:8

Thirty-two years have passed since I pastored a church, nine years since I stood behind any pulpit. Nevertheless I still read with fulfilment from my Greek New Testament, grateful that a seminary drilled the fluency of that language into me. And on many Sunday mornings (and other mornings as well), I open those pages and pore over the texts, always finding passages that impact my life, though the orientation has profoundly altered.

A week ago, I stood before the Society of Watercolor Artists in Fort Worth at the University of North Texas Health Science Center and was warmly received as I tried (I never feel that I have hit the mark) to address this inspiration aspect of making art.  After months of pressure, I felt sudden release when that public event was over, but knew that I would not be able to lay to rest this curiosity about the nature of inspiration. And now this morning, waking at 6:00 though the alarm was set for 7:00, these thoughts about the creative impulse continue to visit me and will not rest. The clock now says 8:45, so I have now surged for nearly three hours with these notions, have scribbled unceasingly in my journal, and will now see if I can make any sense as I pour this windstorm into the blog.

From childhood I have been visited by a restless surge to create. Drawing was the only skill I possessed (rather, it possessed me), and I held on and rode this mustang all the way through my Bachelor’s degree. But then my life took a different tack, the Protestant pastoral ministry, and I rode that one all the way through completion of the Ph.D., ten more years. Soon after, I returned to the visual arts, but had to make a living. Twenty-eight years later, retiring with a pension, I at long last have found luxurious leisure to slow the pace and gaze more fixedly at this phenomenon.

Prior to the pastoral ministry, I used the word “inspiration” to describe one’s impetus to create. In church circles, I found that word to be charged with an unfortunate flavor that restricted it to writers of the biblical texts. So I had to lay it aside. Preachers weren’t inspired; to say such while in the “fellowship” would be heresy. So, I had to find other words to describe the compulsion to preach, to testify, to witness, etc.

Now that I am back in the artistic community, it is OK to say artists are “inspired.” The word for “spirit” in the New Testament writings can also be translated as “wind” or “breath”, and the verbs describing its action are “move”, “blow”, etc. I love the richness of these metaphors, and quoted one of them at the opening of this entry. A reference in 2 Peter 1:21 addressed those who were “moved” by the spirit. As an artist and a student of art history, I am always stirred when I read journals left behind by the likes of Delacroix, Gauguin, Henri and others who spoke of this stirring that they could not flee; they had to make art. I know how that feels. I understand that restlessness. I don’t know when the winds will blow, but I know I want to adjust my sails to catch the forces once they stir.

In ministerial circles before, and artistic circles now, I have heard, and continue to hear those who address their work merely as a task. For the task they have been trained. For the task, they have been equipped. And for the task, they simply do what is expected of them. And I am bemused every time I hear someone speak of that task as though it were merely work, drudgery, a means of earning a wage. I simply cannot identify with that. I have known employment in the past when I felt indifferent and sometimes abhorrent of what was demanded of me. I simply cannot feel that way about making art. There is a force, a wind, that drives me to create, and when I cannot fulfill that drive (either because I have other things that demand my attention, or when  actually making art I am clumsy in my technique), I feel genuine, deep-seated frustration and failure.

I have a circle of precious artistic spirits that I meet with periodically for the purpose of discussing our art and encouraging one another. And I will never be able to describe the profound joy I feel when in their presence. Aside from that small circle, I find the artistic enterprise a solitary one, and since I am for the most part an introvert, I don’t find that a lonely existence at all. However, I hope one day I can find the key to speaking publicly about this inspiration that blows through the artist, compelling him/her to create, whether it’s visual, literary, musical, performance or oratorical. I overwhelmingly love the notion of that creative wind that blows through personalities and makes creation possible. And as I once hoped to be a worthy vessel in the ministry, so I now wish to be worthy when making art or called upon to inspire other artists as they engage in this precious endeavor.

The abstract expressionist painter Jackson Pollock is laid to rest in a cemetery on Long Island. At that location is an inscription that reads:

Artists and poets are the raw nerve ends of humanity. By themselves they can do little to save humanity. Without them there would be little worth saving.

The time now is 9:40. Perhaps I can now return to making art. Thanks for reading.

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

 

New Addition to Turvey’s Corner Series

September 21, 2019

20190921_1234251887888552805495771.jpg

Every now and then one spies Turner’s vulnerability to depression, or pressure, and his need to escape.

Franny Moyle, Turner: The Extraordinary Life & Momentous Times of J. M. W. Turner

I wanted to take a moment and share with my readers a new watercolor begun last evening while working in The Gallery at Redlands. When I came downstairs this morning, I disliked the work I started last night–the pigments appeared heavy to my eye. Throughout this morning I have tried to work more in lighter, transparent washes, and focus on some details. I believe it is starting to shape up now. I may possibly finish this during tomorrow’s brunch in the Queen St Grille across the lobby. I’ll be painting there from 11-2.

I’ll post again later today (unless this painting takes an ugly turn!). It is a quiet Saturday in Palestine and my combination of reading and painting has been soothing to the soul. I’ve enjoyed the quiet space to read in this biography of J. M. W. Turner. The times of withdrawal I know with great familiarity as they have punctuated my years in the best ways possible. I brought my Greek New Testament to Palestine with me over the weekend and have been translating the passages from the Gospels that describe the withdrawals of Jesus from his public ministry. Though I myself left the pastoral ministry long ago, I have nevertheless maintained a rhythm of public and private activity throughout my teaching career, and now retired, find it much easier to find space for solitude. These quiet times are invaluable in the way they recharge my battery and impel me to move forward again. Last Monday, after giving a public presentation for which I had prepared for a number of months, I lapsed into this delicious quiet, enjoying a week of only two appointments, and then retreating once again to Palestine. I could not have ordered up a more perfect day than this.

Thanks for reading.

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Creative Weekend in the Gallery at Redlands

September 21, 2019

20190921_0928194311151120406762866.jpg

If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?

Albert Einstein

The Einstein quote arrived at a perfect moment this morning, as I was beginning to feel concern over the pile of tools cluttering my gallery desk top.  I felt serene, entering the sacred space early this morning after a good night’s rest. I had worked the night before until quite late, beginning a new watercolor to add to my series “Turvey’s Corner 63050”.

The throbbing of Union Pacific diesels two blocks away can be felt this morning through the floor of the Redlands Hotel as a slow-moving freight lumbers past the railyard. Palestine slumbers beneath overcast skies, while gray covers this old downtown section like a comfortable old quilt. Music wafts into the gallery from the lobby area, and I have enjoyed the past few hours, moving back and forth between this new painting and reading a biography I acquired recently on Joseph Mallord William Turner.

The weekend is a lovely gift as I find myself with no pressing deadlines or appointments. Sunday I will be painting in the new Queen St Grille again during brunch hours (11-2). I was invited to do that last Sunday and the restaurant had its largest Sunday crowd to date. I’ve been invited again, and gratefully accept. I love the Redlands Hotel and its soothing atmosphere. Friday morning, I enjoyed the radio guys again, Kevin and Alan in the Morning at Smooth Rock 93.5 broadcasting out of this Gallery at Redlands. I miss the fellows over the weekend, but appreciate the quiet studio space. I am managing to pursue creative eros with this new painting in progress. Hopefully there will be enough of it to show on the next blog . . .

Thanks for reading.

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

 

Creative Eros

September 11, 2019

20190911_093639255518038168620703.jpg

The Romantic Part of the Morning

I am in a high fever of working, and so absorbed, so tired at day’s end, I don’t have the strength to write . . . I know it’s bad, but work above all. I am overjoyed to be back at it.

Claude Monet, quoted at the Kimbell Art Museum exhibit

Smooth jazz plays in the background, and the softness of the morning buoys my spirits while I continue thinking over a presentation for Monday evening before the Society of Watercolor Artists. I have been scheduled for this event for about a year now, so it has not crept up on me. Back in March, I began compiling materials for the demonstration and have now spent recent weeks editing them into a formal presentation.

My plan is to open with a brief talk concerning the source that drives artistic expression. Following that, I will demonstrate some techniques I discovered two summers ago while painting en plein air in Colorado. And finally, I will introduce the major series I have worked on the past couple of decades, titled “Turvey’s Corner 63050.” This final segment has taken the lion’s share of my time in recent weeks. I cannot share all the paintings and stories that comprise the series, and am trying now to figure just which ones to present. I’ll use Powerpoint to project the paintings before the audience, and will need to decide which stories to share. Naturally, I’m concerned about cramming too much into the time period.

Most of my recent days have been divided between studio time, experimenting with my recent watercolor techniques, and desk time, writing and revising the cycles of stories that have emerged from the paintings I wish to share in this series. This is nothing new to me; for as long as I can remember, my quality time has been divided between painting, reading, journaling and composing stories. To some, this sounds like multi-tasking at its best, or attention-deficit-disorder at its worst. There are days when I feel I lack focus; yet other times when I am delighted by the variety embracing my creative eros.

Surprisingly, I have not felt the anxieties that used to torment me when preparing for a public event. I am not sure if this is due to aging, maturing, or the mere repetition of public speaking. Having retired from full time teaching over two years now, I speak much less frequently in public, and actually enjoy it much more now–there seems to be much more time to prepare for each event, and the general eudaimonia I sense from the audiences has melted away my former performance anxieties. Maybe it’s because I am no longer posturing for some kind of career advancement. At any rate, I welcome with open arms this sense of calm. Reading Hemingway’s testimony concerning his early writing has also given me a sense of equilibrium.

I would stand and look out over the roofs of Paris and think, “Do not worry. You  have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”  So finally I would write one true sentence, and then go on from there. It was easy then because there was always one true sentence that you knew or had seen or had heard someone say. If I started to write elaborately, or like someone introducing or presenting something, I found that I could cut that scrollwork or ornament out and throw it away and start with the first true simple declarative sentence I had written. Up in that room I decided that I would write one story about each thing that I knew about. I was trying to do this all the time I was writing, and it was good and severe discipline.

Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

I certainly know about the cutting away of “scrollwork or ornament” that Hemingway mentioned. Countless times in recent weeks I have deleted content from my powerpoint presentation or lecture manuscript, pruning my tree to a stump, then returned to my fundamental base, and began the rebuilding of the presentation. After all, this is my own artwork I have been asked to share, and I need not embellish it by artificial ornamentation.

After months away, I anticipate with gratitude a return to Palestine, Texas this weekend. I have missed the Gallery at Redlands, Smooth Rock 93.5, and the hospitable atmosphere of the historic Redlands Hotel. Since I have been away, the Red Fire Grille has changed hands, now known as the Queen St Grille. Jean and Mike have asked me to work on my watercolors in the restaurant Sunday from 11:00-2:00. They have already selected some of my paintings from the gallery to display in the restaurant, invoking a railroad theme. This will be my first time to provide an artist’s “prensence” in a restaurant environment, and I look forward to the new experience. You can check out their link here:  https://www.facebook.com/RedFireGrille/

Image may contain: sky, night, tree and outdoor

I have missed my radio friends during this long absence, but still enjoy Kevin and Alan in the Morning, streaming Smooth Rock 93.5 on my laptop while working at my desk during mornings such as this. Their music format remains my favorite.

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people standing

Kevin and Alan outside the Station and Gallery

There is still plenty to do on this presentation, so I guess I’ll return to it.

Thanks for reading.

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

A Life Measured with Coffee Spoons

September 9, 2019

20190907_103613762105326120824731.jpg

The Place Becomes the Book

For I have known them all already, known them all:
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
T. S. Eliot, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”
The entire weekend has been a blissful one that I kept intending to blog, and now Monday morning finds me still contentedly submerged in projects as deadlines near. The T. S. Eliot line occurred to me as I was reading Jack Kerouac this morning (my God, Visions of Cody, to me, is On the Road on steroids, or more likely benzadrine). I have come to love the stream-of-consciousness style of writing I find in James Joyce and Virginia Woolf, but WOW! Reading Visions of Cody leaves me short of breath. I try to imagine the author reading this before an audience, unable to pour out even one-tenth of a sentence in one long breath. The interior narrative just surges on and on with unabated intensity, filling the reader’s inner eye with city images that just won’t stop. I find myself pouring cup after cup of coffee as I continue to read and imagine with amazement.

20190907_1059196077194237216535070.jpg

Happily Buried in my Upcoming Presentation

Life for me has been measured out the past seventy-two hours in coffee spoons as I have divided time between reading for my own enrichment, scribbling in my journal, drawing in its margins, working on a public presentation coming up in a week, and experimenting further in watercolor.

On Monday evening, September 16, I will make a two-hour presentation before the Society of Watercolor Artists in Fort Worth at the University of Texas Health Science Center. My friend Cindy Thomas has plans to film the event for a project we began several months ago, and the days now find me buried in the editing of computer images and a manuscript I have been working on since last March. My project will be in three parts–comments on the creative process, followed by a watercolor demonstration and finally the unveiling of a watercolor series that has consumed me for decades (I really hope this will become a book of images and stories one day).

20190907_1041056721543043570165820.jpg

Experimenting

My demonstration Monday night will center on some techniques I discovered and developed while trying to paint evergreens in colorful South Fork, Colorado two summers ago. I am still refreshed with the memories of the spectacular morning scene presented to me, along with the birds and critters that visited me as I painted. My artist friends started calling me Saint Francis.

bird on painting

Feeding chipmunk4

I am looking forward to a good time when I share my experiences and ideas with the Society.

Another warm memory from my weekend was the renewal of friendship with a student of mine from my earliest years of high school teaching. She now is a teacher, has a lovely family and has invited me to give art lessons to her daughter who is consumed with drawing and experimenting with visual expression. We had our first session yesterday and her drawings were stunning with imagination and enthusiasm. And, to add further seasoning to the recipe, her dog visited me and later chose to nap at my feet while we worked.

20190908_1335051579043264767337378.jpg

Thank you, Joanna, for a heart-warming day!

20190909_0913562802510924679476096.jpg

It’s time to get back to the task. Thanks for reading!

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Somewhere in the midst of Mrs. Dalloway, Herzog and Motherwell

August 24, 2019

20190823_0914408794064241089418794.jpg

Gently Rocking in the Chair this Morning

My allergies for the second day in a row have me knocked off center. I stumble over this, because I have taken health for granted my entire life; I just have never been “sickly.” I have a good motor, and have been very fortunate in my ability to keep moving through life. But I am now on my second day of sinus infection and unusual wobbliness. The medication is beginning to work, I can tell. I slept till after 8:00 which is unusual, showered, am now having my “thoughtful cup of coffee” (Herzog) and am experiencing a Mrs. Dalloway stream of consciousness. It is not my custom to begin a blog this way, but I feel an impulse to pour out my current feelings and mood. I may choose to delete this rather than post it. We’ll see.

Mrs. Dalloway is the first work I ever read by Virginia Woolf. As I was reading one of Larry McMurtry’s essays, he continually came back to Woolf, talking about how beautifully she wrote. Opening Mrs. Dalloway, I was not only rocked by the beauty of her prose, but totally submerged in her stream of consciousness style that I had always loved so much in James Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. When I encounter stream of consciousness prose, I experience that “shock of recognition” pointed out by artist Robert Motherwell; I recognize that my own mind similarly flows from subject to subject, stimulus to stimulus, as I move about my life, most especially that first hour after rising in the morning. This is another matter of my life that I have simply taken for granted.

20190824_0933178808332286011849101.jpg

Gentle Saturday Morning with Robert Motherwell

“Socrates says something and it’s translated, What you say is true Socrates.” But as Motherwell pointed out, the Greek word was aletheia, which meant revealed or unhidden. “And so a literal translation,” he noted, “would be you’ve unhidden that point, Socrates.”

   “And I love that concept,” Motherwell continued. “In that sense, I wish the word truth didn’t exist. Because one of the reasons I’ve been able to move all over the place is I take that for granted. Everybody has his own revelations, but the mass of the totality has never been revealed to anybody.” It was this hidden element of reality–buried within the unconscious, concealed beneath the flow of time and events, embedded in certain forms and symbols, inherent in certain colors and combinations of colors–that Motherwell pursued throughout his life as an artist. And because he chose to seek and encompass the variety of existence rather than embrace a single ideological stance, his artistic practice was remarkably complex.

Jack Flam, “Introduction: Robert Motherwell at Work” in Robert Motherwell: A Catalogue Raisonné, 1941-1991, vol. 1.

When I retired in June, 2017, I knew I wanted to purchase for myself a single, memorable (and expensive!) retirement gift that would encapsulate my years in education as well as my future in the arts. When the elegant three-volume catalogue raisonné arrived on my doorstep, compliments of Amazon, I was elated, and two years later, have nearly completed my reading of the first volume. The quote above merely points out Motherwell’s vast range of explorations in painting styles and subject matter. What is easily overlooked is his erudition. Motherwell had pursued graduate studies in art history and philosophy and was a lover of literature. His collected writings reveal a mind that was continually swimming in oceans of art, philosophy and literature.

This is what I love most about Motherwell, because throughout my life I also have grazed from many pastures. And every time I think I am supposed to settle in to one pursuit, I stop and ask Why? Anytime a friend has gently criticized me for my “lack of focus”, I simply ask why I am expected to have only one hobby horse to ride. I have always loved my life as an educator, and am overwhelmingly grateful to Texas Wesleyan University that they continue to offer me contracts. I also love making art and cannot thank The Gallery at Redlands enough for giving me an artistic home. And I love reading and journaling, and love my library of over 2,000 volumes, my four shelves of journals, and sufficient time now in retirement to relax in a comfortable chair and read for pure pleasure.

For over three decades, I have told my students that one element of human nature I never understood was boredom. Throughout my life, I have never been bored (except when sitting through a compulsory meeting; anytime someone refers to a “good meeting” I regard that as a lie). From my childhood, I have been immersed in a world filled with wonder, a world I will never fathom. At this age, I am still a wanderer, still grazing from many pastures, and thankful for every opportunity. Today is Saturday, but as a friend recently told me–when you’re retired, every day is Saturday!

Thanks for reading.

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.