Monday, April 29, 2019


Floating along
The bright smile started my day off well. Dean, a friendly man I see sometimes on my morning walk, stopped me. He had gone camping in Big Sur recently and somehow come across a Coastline Pilot from 2012 with my Chasing Down the Muse column in it. 

He and I have spoken before about the column...we both miss it. I, for the push it gave me and for him, I cannot speak, but he understood when I had told him my unwillingness to write when I could no longer be paid. It does all writers a disservice, I think.

This morning we again talked about art and writing. It is interesting that with art work there is a recognition by the artist that it is valued when someone purchases a piece. This is not always true with a writer, who may write for a newspaper or other publication. Again, this is one of the reasons it is so important to be paid for one's writing. Sadly, print has been phasing out and just doesn't pay.

Well, I shall keep on chasing down my muse and writing this blog, not even knowing if anyone reads it. It somehow works for me. As Willie Nelson said, "I like myself better when I'm writing regularly."

Saturday, April 27, 2019


Thank you, Nadine...Inspiration

Simplicity is not only about what you release but about what you gain. It is not about giving up something but about what that void offers us.

Today I am taking delight in the simple things around me. Friend Nadine provided the inspiration for this wise choice when she sent me this image--so simple and yet so much more.

Playing with a variety of alcohol ink techniques in advance of a May workshop I find that sometimes in the seeking of "more" I become bogged down in too much. After seeing Nadine's image I am committed to backing off, to keeping it simple.

We shall see what shows up.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Friday, April 19, 2019


The day started out gray and just seemed to linger until nearly sunset. Wanting to add some color to the day I decided to play some more with my alcohol inks.
The gray stayed all day
 May 19th I will be teaching a class focusing only on using alcohol inks, the many techniques possible, including drawing back in in a variety of ways. I though to use this gray day to play around just a bit more with some of this.
Play in progress
I have not done much with alcohol inks in many years, but am having a lot of fun playing around and experimenting again. The workshop should be a lot of fun, I think...and colorful!

Monday, April 15, 2019


Imagination is such a rich and wonderful thing. Best of all, we all have it and it need not cost a thing. Something wondrous can be conjured out of nothing.

Imagination can go in all sorts of different directions. It can take us into a world of fancy and fantasy; it can bring the past into the present; it can solve problems, write screenplays and novels and poems; it can paint pictures in remembered or fanciful images...and so much more.

Where do we draw the line? How is it that we often find it difficult to go from that which we can visualize, create, conceive to assuming its truth and expecting it to happen? What is needed to transition from the imagined to the "real"?

Commitment? Action? Probably some of both. Imagine you can. Take steps to make it happen. Then, Providence gets its chance; serendipity comes into play.
Begin. 'Cause why not?

Sunday, April 14, 2019


I have been deep in creative play mode lately. Alcohol ink techniques and treatments and paper play to produce abstract pieces seem to be the primary modes chosen.

Re what I'm calling "Abstractions" for want of a better term have led me to play in my many boxes of scraps. Some of these are from junk mail or random handouts. Some are drawn or painted on tissue or other papers.  At any rate, while it is starting to feel a bit obsessive, as I do one each day, the near-random choices made are very freeing.

Creative play is soooooooo important and however it shows up, follow it.  I am.

Thursday, April 11, 2019


Serious work
Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood. (Fred Rogers)

Well, the afternoon at ReDiscover in LA with grandson Felix sure felt like child's play to me.
Loose, free, uninhibited, joyful...this was my experience. But, clearly, Felix was taking this as serious learning.

Felix walked into this great center with great intent. He knew just what he wanted to start with--making a water container from plastic cups. He wanted a lid that opened and shuffled around in the craft room until he found the parts her thought would work. And they did!

Meanwhile, i just played quietly at his side kind of wondering who was the "child" here.

When water container was finished (and it was very well done) Felix moved on to making a chassis from binder clips and other office supplies. Then came goggles made from plastic egg cartons. Last, he took to making a small succulent planter from a cork and a few other strange things.
Some of the fun and the work
I had a wonderful time watching him, filled with joy, but Mr. Rogers was correct in his assessment--this was definitely serious learning! I may have been playing, but this young man was not.

Saturday, April 6, 2019


Abstract play
April days have arrived filled with the joys of springtime...and distractions. Clouds scudding across a cerulean sky. Birds of every size and shape ply these same skies--blue-black crows calling out to each other, bejeweled hummingbirds, plunking pelicans, laughing gulls, and more. Hills rich with the color of flowers from poppies to lupin to nasturtium to mustard and sourgrass. The cool spring air is rich with sight and sound and the sweet smell of spring. 

And so, amid the wonderful distractions of spring, I find myself playing with abstractions. Who knows where this might go?

Tuesday, April 2, 2019


As a woman who reads, I cannot more highly recommend these two books. Both are intense and challenging in some ways. Both are uplifting and yet filled with moments that bring tears. Open, honest, tell it like it is women wrote these. Very different books and yet so very much alike in many of the messages they hold.
Intense reading
 When done with the heavy reading it's always good to take some time to just play with art. So I took myself to the field of play and created some abstractions (a method about which I know nothing, which made it even better.)
Pure play