keeping track

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If you’ve followed this blog a while, you’ve noticed a change in format.  I’m often now posting things in apparent series, sometimes following the trajectory of a specific motif.  And I’m also posting more frequently. If you’ve followed the post for a long time, you’ll notice that I’m not as long winded.  I have chosen to go lightly on words and rely more on the pictures alone.

Everybody who blogs knows how difficult it can be to keep a blog going consistently, and mine has had long periods when it went dark.  So I had wondered this year whether or not it was time perhaps to stop blogging.

Then I realized how even in its haphazard ways, the blog has helped me keep track of my art over time.  Moreover, I’ve been reading a lot about goal-setting during the last year and I realized that the blog could become my means of tracking my progress through various projects.  Indeed, it can be my spur to “get the lead out” and get projects done more quickly.

So the blog has a new purpose now.  It’s chiefly a personal tool with a narrow and specific mission.  But who knows, it might become more helpful and/or intriguing to outside observers.  I hope it will. By lightening its load, perhaps this blog will become more entertaining for my internet friends — past, present and future.

As Yogi Berra said, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up someplace else.”

My blog has a destination now — a place it wants to go!

 

yesterday was a busy day

Three of the pictures posted yesterday were painted yesterday.

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I have been posting a bit more frequently in order to give my little bloggie a boost.

  Thank you all who by your clicks have set my blog on an upward path.

My stats are improving wonderfully by virtue of your readerly interventions!

Just want you to know that I appreciate it very much.

I painted like a crazy person yesterday and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

 

 

“Welcome back” to me and you

I hope you missed me.  I certainly missed you.  Our internet went out at a time when too many other things were going on for us to be able to concentrate on fixing it.  (However, we did call our internet provider, and they sent a technician to us one afternoon who when he left our house was as flummoxed as we were.)  Turns out that our security service in an upgrade did something that “was causing some users to lose internet connectivity” — we were among those users.  And I was the person who finally solved the mystery, muddling around with the computer yesterday in a lazy afternoon way.  Can you believe it?  Little low-tech me.

My only question now is: does this make me officially a geek?

New path ways in the Blogging Life

I have neglected my little blog lately while I rethink my path forward.  It’s not been so much a case of “writer’s block” for I have been writing copiously in my little notebooks in that arena of my life that is strictly low tech.  But I have lacked ideas for blogging.

And I guess it shows!

And I cannot present my paintings here for a season — though there’s plenty of paintings in the archives, of course.  For reasons that I cannot quite explain, the paintings I’m doing right now need to be secret.  Koi can be shy.  And these koi need quiet at the pond, invisibility, freedom.  So I have planned to write less about painting and more about …

well, more about something or other — just as soon as I figure it out.  Meanwhile, drawing a creamer is always good for keeping yourself busy while you’re figuring.

Regular readers know that I am my stuff.  That’s me up there!  Me as a creamer… yeah, it’s kind of weird.

Echoes

Sometimes your friends’ blogs are the things that really set your mind spinning.

The way you muse about the meaning of the word “medium” is quite evocative.  I don’t think I’ve ever heard the meaning of medium in art expressed more aptly.  The choice of materials shapes an image so much more than most people think.  A medium can make certain effects very difficult to accomplish or it can make their acquisition smoother.  Sometimes that difficulty is exactly what one needs, too, for the sake of a kind of invention.  Equally much sometimes the ease with which certain media help a picture is like a God-sent blessing.  And whether it is easy or difficult — in either case — the medium poses limits around which art has to accept its confinement.  A picture is not the thing, but a parallel world to real things.  A picture is about thoughts about things.  Sometimes it’s like an echo cardiogram, a picture of how the heart responded to waves reflected against its surfaces.

Your autoportrait is very striking, uses its medium in a brilliant way.  And yet it conceals as much as reveals.  The walls a medium builds are as interesting as its windows and doors.

This is the comment I left at Benedicte’s blog today after reading what she said about the way that a medium in art is a bridge.  I was wondering what I could post at my blog, and after writing this at Ben’s blog I realized — “that’s it!  there’s an idea.”

Her comment just prompted all this hand waving and “gotta say something” from me.  Like the little kid at school, I find myself wiggling in the seat, hand shot straight up, “ooh, ooh, I know!”  Sometimes your friends make you feel positively brilliant!  One of the umteen reasons to extoll the wonders of friendship.

My Guest Spot at Gabrielle Bryden’s

As some readers have already discovered, those who popped over for a squiz, I was a guest blogger at Gabrielle Bryden’s Blog.  Gabrielle is the Australian poet I met via the confluence of Paul Squires’s poetry at Gingatao and Chinese silky chickens and hamster jealousies too complex to relate here.  Suffice it to say, I’m delighted to be featured there.  And the Koi are delighted as well.  The hamster, on the other hand, now has something new for her jealousy.

Now that my pictures are getting to be better known, I guess it’s just a matter of time.  I think I’ll sit a while and wait to see if the Museum of Modern Art calls.

My lovely moment in the sun!

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I called my mother and told her I was a featured blog on WordPress.  She said, “I don’t know what that is, but congratulations!”  So… that was certainly fun!  My computer is well-fed and happy now with stats.  The whole family was gathered round the computer screen — well, for a few seconds anyway, and then they had other stuff to do ….

But, hey!  Thank you WordPress readers for your clicks!  Y’all come back soon!

Benefits & Hazards of Blogging

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Hazards?  Well, here’s one.  You tell the whole world (or a largish audience anyway) that you’re working on such and such.  And then you get lazy and don’t work on such and such for just the longest time.  (My big still life of flowers berates me daily for my neglect.) 

Benefits?  Well, I’ve participated in some “drawing challenges,” and they can be really fun.  You join a group endeavor.  Others spur you on.  Everybody is trying to encourage each other.  And all that. 

Lately I’ve been drawing horses for another blog.  Each month someone suggests a different image.  This month it was horses which happens to be a favorite subject for me.  Mind you, I don’t know anything about horses and rarely ever get anywhere near one.  Alas!  But I have some toy horses that are reasonably good approximations of the real thing.  So I draw the toys.  

I love it!  This one above is not a new drawing.  But I post it now to cover my laziness!

Back at my Post

The difficult thing about writing a blog is that if something comes up that prevents you from working, there’s no one else to take over temporarily.  I’ve got no staff.  The interruption in my life that prevented me from blogging has also kept me from painting.  And whenever I go a long spell without working, I find myself wondering if I should continue as a painter.  After all, most people in their jobs have regular pay and routine expectations about what they’re supposed to do.  But as an artist (so far at least) my pay is most irregular and my work routine — which often offers great expanses, oh yes, of delicious freedom — is definitely not routine.  The boredom of the routine is absent, but so are the comforts.  It takes discipline to keep plugging along powered by one’s own will alone, and given that the direction is often unclear — well, it can be daunting sometimes.

I got a comment from a reader that blended with my morning thoughts as I resume this blog.  His comment made me realize again that whenever a diligent artist gives up, it leaves the field wild open for all the poseurs (and the art world’s got tons of those).  So, it becomes almost a duty to keep going if at all possible — not for one’s own sake alone but for the dignity of one’s profession.

I haven’t even been near my studio in a month.  Looking at this photo of one of my paintings on the wall, seeing it “in progress,” reminds me of periods spent painting.  I have no idea yet what this “tree” is about, this tree that doesn’t quite look like a tree.  It’s big.  It’s sloppy.  I’ve repainted huge areas without solving the puzzle of what it ought to look like.  It’s structured and ill-defined all at once. That’s a lot of “almost” to have to deal with.  Yet you get a hunch sometimes, so you follow it.  It’s a very private and tentative adventure.  Yet it’s genuine.

Yet the feelings that accompany seeing this image are wonderfully nostalgic.  Sometimes you begin something and have no idea where it will lead, whether it will ever make any sense, and you have no guarantee at all that the whole thing isn’t just a waste of time.  Sometimes you’re tempted to just give it away. But you don’t.  You keep working.  And one reason you keep working is that it’s fun.

I am back at my “post,” a word that I now find has many connotations.  I’m returning to duty.  Art is a fine calling.  And so one soldiers on because that’s just what you have to do.  “Soldiering” might seem like a big metaphor for my humble calling.  But I remember a particular soldier as I write, and the memory recalls me to my duty.  And sometimes it’s the small duties that we particularly need to keep.