Sunday, January 11, 2015


The word that comes to mind is “tired.” I feel tired these days. But it’s more about of a burnout tired. After exploring a variety of ways of making art I have reached an impasse. What do I do next?

So I look at art books. I visit galleries and art museums. Online I watch artists talk about their process. And I even view demonstrations by artists. Nothing yet has provided inspiration for me. Granted I’m well aware my creative energy is not easily switched on instantly. The best I can do is change up where I go and what I do. More than likely a spark will come when I do not expect it.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

How Do You Get Your Ideas?

The other day I was waiting in line for a free movie screening. Someone noticed me drawing in my sketchbook and wanted to see my other sketches. She asked me how I got my ideas. I answered that I just start drawing and ideas come as I draw.

There are times when I have a general idea about what I am going to do. But what’s in my head is often a hindrance to what I work out on the page. Most of the time I change my mind along the way.

Eventually a drawing emerges with a particular personality. There’s a certain innate direction the image wants to go. I still keep my options open for finishing. But after a certain point, I stop. I’m ready for the next image.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


For the last several years I have kept a list of ideas for my dot paintings. I decided that I wanted to be more thorough in my process. When I go back to my list I edit down my long list of themes. With time I find that it is easier to decide which ones are less important and which ones do not inspire imagery. By the time I get around to an actual piece the visual representation may change, but I do see it through.

Sunday, April 05, 2009


Recently I started a new sketchbook. I wanted to see what I might draw differently from some other recent artworks. As I sketched, I thought about an earlier piece in which I drew irregular rock shapes. But as I went forward I wasn’t satisfied with what was happening. So, then I made the shapes interlock. Hmmm, I thought to myself. I like these new shapes more than the old ones. Well, then I added on, but I didn’t want to constrict my drawing from changing.

And so the piece began to evolve in other directions. As I continued I attempted to imitate the way I began at first. However the more I tried, the more I found myself veering away from the original idea. Several times more I tried to return to style of the initial drawing. Again and again I found myself off in another direction.

In all I worked on this sketch for about nine different sessions of varying lengths. Along the way someone asked me for a business card. Some servers at a Chinese buffet asked if the piece was a Chinese dragon. Well, here is the sketch below. Given the responses from folks, who waked by me while I working and who saw this image posted online, I will be doing some more sketches and maybe some final works based on this – if I don’t’ do something else first.

Eclectic Connections, graphite on paper, 8.5" x 11"

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Sometimes I get so carried away with a piece that I get bogged down when it comes to finishing. It is best if I just stop and put it aside. Later on it will hit me how to simplify what I’m doing and complete the piece.

Friday, January 02, 2009


As the year begins I am wondering about the word “change” and what it will mean. This is not just because of a new administration in Washington that constantly emphasizes the word nor is it the dramatic economic events that are taking place. With a “9” at the end of the year, a decade is ending.

As an artist, I’m very curious to see what will define the next few years visually. What I see now are the products of decisions already made. In past decades, there have been certain characteristics that helped define them differently from previous ones.

In the twenty-two years since graduating from college I have traveled various artistic paths. Where might I want to go this time? What imagery might I want to try? Is there a current idea I will want incorporate into my art?

When I turned forty I was forced to use reading glasses in order to see detail. I’m finding myself not as loose in my artwork process now. Will I go back to a more expressive style? Will my age affect my work? Should it matter?

Sure I’ll keep my eyes peeled for clues of what’s coming. In the meantime I really need to make some more art. If a show opportunity presents itself, I better have some work to exhibit.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Against the Grain

Once in a while I have to make art in a way that is contrary or unlike what I normally do. On Sunday, May 18th, I was invited to participate in an art show June 1 – 13 in Baton Rouge. That gave me two weeks to have art ready to hang. Whatever I did had to be a quick process. In conjuring up ideas I decided I wanted to try more masculine colors. By that I mean more browns.

As I started arranging my compositions, I found myself going back to grids in order to structure my works. Only this time, I made them less uniform. As I rendered the pieces, I soon found myself annoyed at the most extreme of these works, a gouache painting. Gee, I reached the total other end of the spectrum from my earlier days of splattered paintings. Oh, I did make one non-grid piece with masculine colors.

Having vowed to go as speedily as possible, I ended up more anal in the way I worked. My process this time was more like working a jigsaw puzzle. I used to love solving those, too. As for what next, I’m not sure. It was a rush to push myself like that, but I prefer to go slower and take some time to work through a piece.