Wednesday, October 8, 2014


"Oh Goody." Encaustic, thread and ink transfer, 9 x 12 inches

There is a lot of advice flying around these days. Especially if you are an artist, it seems. I know everyone is genuinely trying to help. Believe me, I can use a lot of help! It is nice to know that people care enough to offer advice. There was a time when I would rebel against any suggestion tossed my way. After struggling and struggling, I decided to start listening to advice and feedback. I even began to seek it out. That was pretty good. Lately, however, I have become more discerning. Some advice just doesn't seem to have any merit, at least not for me. Here's the tough question: How does a person know when to take the advice, and when to just leave it alone?

I am not sure I have a definitive answer. What I have decided is that if I'm uncertain about the advice, I have to listen to my own instincts. Sometimes, the suggestion just isn't going to work for me. Here's one example: believe it or not, one of the most difficult things for an artist is to create a regular studio practice. There are so many things in life that tear us away from making art: marketing, household tasks, errands, bills, business, social events, openings, family obligations, ....the list goes on. One thing I have heard from experienced artists is this little bit of advice: go into the studio first thing in the morning. Before you do anything else, go make art. It sounds good. It sounds like something that would solve the problem of distractions! But after years of painting on my own, I can tell you with absolute certainty that this DOES NOT WORK FOR ME. I am not a morning person. Even though I wake up early, I am not *really* awake until around 10 or 11 am. I like to walk with Pono first thing in the morning. (well, I might have a cup of coffee first, and then walk, depending on how hot it's going to be that day.) Then, I like to feed the dog and eat and do dishes and sweep the floor, check email, maybe do a load of laundry, and take care of some of the daily chores. Then, and only then, do I like to work in the studio. I feel I am at my creative best in the afternoon and evening. My muse is singing. All the "tasks" for the day have been cared for - I don't have any pressing things bogging me down mentally. Now I can paint, unfettered, until I am too tired to stand. That works for me.

Because once I am in the studio, nothing else gets done.

It took me a few years to accept that my way of working wasn't wrong. My way of working is my way of working. So what if the early bird gets the worm? Who wants a worm anyway? Not me.

What about you? How do you decide when advice is worth taking and when it is worth leaving?

A photo of the snake I nearly stepped on this morning. It didn't even rattle. I was the only one shaking. Maybe I needed one more cup of coffee....Advice? Oh, never mind.

I'm pretty sure this is a speckled rattler.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Roadrunner, snakes and art - a desert mix

Ahhhh...fall. This is a wonderful time of year to be in the desert. It's really a wonderful time of year to be just about anywhere, really, but since I am in the desert, I am saying "the desert." Cool nights, warm, sunny days. Can't beat it!!!

I have some exciting news!!! I just found out yesterday that one of my paintings was accepted into the Joshua Tree National Park Art Exposition!!! The opening reception is December 5th at the 29 Palms Art Gallery. The show runs until December 28th. I am joined by 53 other talented artists. You can read more about the show here: Below is the painting that was chosen:

"Predator." Oil on canvas, 30 x 40 inches
I am also part of a group show at the 29 Palms Gallery that opens this Sunday from noon to 3. The show was curated by Rhonda Coleman. This show will stay up during the Hwy. 62 Art Tours, if you can't make the opening this Sunday. Here is the poster for the show:

I have been seeing more snakes and evidence of snakes since the rainstorm. Yesterday, I saw a small snake, possibly a rosy boa, that had just caught a lizard. It was underneath a shrub, so I was unable to get a good photo. The lizard was still thrashing around in the snake's mouth! I wish I could have captured that moment, but I really didn't have a clear shot. (plus, there was a lot of quick movement by both snake and prey.) I do have these photos to share with you:

King Snake - maybe if I were a parselmouth, I could have convinced it to come out of the hole.

We spent the rest of the hike thinking "somewhere nearby is a very shiny snake!"
The Hwy. 62 Art Tours catalogs are back from the printers and many have been delivered to information centers in the high desert. You can also see the online version or order one online from the website.

How is your fall season so far? Leave me a comment - I'd love to hear from you!