from a cave to the world

run before the storm

I’ve had this painting called “dog Cave”  (see previous blog) hanging in my studio for it seems like an eternity, but in reality….only about a month. I wasn’t sure what I was trying to say…and whether memory caves were such a good idea anyway.  Who needs to live in a cave? who needs to “remember” the past when the present offers some amazing beauty of it’s own.  If I were always in the past, I might not be open to the present….to the sky!

So, even after some huge amount of work on the “dog Cave”, I took the large brush to this work and transformed it into a painting on the go. I was inspired by this incredible cloud formation I took a photo of last week. I’m finding clouds and sky formations very lovely and I’d like to do more of this kind of work…..really really.  The sky seems to offer a surprise every day with really great ” one of a kind” paintings as a possible new direction. I have a camera full of these daily cloud/weather events. I feel the need to not only record them with my I-Phone,

but also to paint these amazing events.  This may be one of the benefits living in a small town north of a big city.  The sky seems to be a much bigger part of my life every day!  I don’t know why I’ve been resisting the urge to do these clouds when I have an I-phone packed with many great sky images….

Change of Seasons

Now I have several paintings to do, and I have the canvas primed and ready to go, but I have no energy! I think it must be the shorter kind of dreary days of fall.  We’ve spent some time repairing a wall in our store and everything is looking fresh and new.  I could take some inspiration from this feeling and actually do a painting about this change of season.  I’m writing this down to remind myself that I feel this way every year.

Mind Dance is a painting I did in 1997.  I’m sure I was feeling the same way then as I do now. It’s comforting to know that I’m seasonally consistent. Writing journals are great, but sometimes a painting is simply greater at catching a feeling.


Painting is a conversation. Sometimes the conversation stops…and then, later, it begins again. The room in the painting was too empty. Nothing like my life!  Now it is full of the memories of past  and present dogs in my mind…and even some of the dogs I’ve met along the way…a whole company of dogs. Now it seems like a good conversation. I’m  nearly finished with this canvas.




Every day is a new day. What was on the easel yesterday, doesn’t work today or certainly could use some work. Finding  some time today to just wrestle with an idea about our close relationship with the dogs we live with….that doesn’t even really cover it, but I think the painting shows our relationship in the universe ….I can’t say more…let the painting speak.


Sometimes, it’s possible to learn more when I am feeling lost.  Then, I have to really look around and try to find my way back, or  figure out what to do next.  I was lost once when I was a child. It was very scary, but exciting too. Otherwise, I would not remember this.  Painting is the same way.  Destruction of some of my paper pieces has led me to think about the road forward, the possible reuse of the wonderful paper…..the marks on the paper…transformed by an accident.  It’s interesting.

When the road is suddenly unfamiliar, I look up and think…hey, where am I?…..good question!

mystical dog with cat

This painting started with a figure and a dog and cat…Now, only the evidence of a human remains and everything is at peace.  An unfinished, unresolved painting is very disturbing so I return again and again until there is enough resolution to move on to another painting.  I’m feeling pretty good about this “Mystical Dog with Cat”. Time to start a new painting! (Aug.1, 2011)

dog and cat nap in a world of their own


Even though every day is  filled with many tasks,  I’m consistently spending time in my studio. When I did the Give Me That Dog Project, I picked up the habit of spending time in my studio each day. Just being here every day for a few hours has moved my painting life forward!  Yesterday I actually got some paintings up on my newly painted studio walls.  Now it looks like I live and work  here!

I’ve started a new painting and thought it might be interesting to  see a painting in progress. The work contains the good, the possible and the ugly.  The progress of a painting can be almost a painful experience…like a hike up a small mountain.  Lots of other “stuff” gets in the way and some of the choices I make today may be unacceptable tomorrow.  There is a kind of “lostness” to the experience.  The key is to hang in there until there is a resolution….everything working together in just the right way. Kind of mystical. Enjoy!