Thursday, June 30, 2011


     For some it is simply daybreak, others need to jump out of airplanes. For me inspiration requires solitude, which is a double edged sword. Quiet moments allow the whisperings of the unconscious to surface, but the nagging whine of solitude is loneliness and painting involves a lot of time alone. The balance requires more maintenance than a trophy wife. In the lonely moments I get why people tolerate rooms full of screaming children. A phone conversation with a friend, even a friendly clerk will send the ghosts that plague seclusion to the naughty mat for a time out though. In Los Angeles people don’t often return a smile. It made me want to check my shoes for dog shit since I just didn’t get it when I first got here. People stare stonily ahead in passing. In every other country I’ve been to, well except Norway, people regularly say hello to strangers. There must be a lot of Norwegians in Los Angeles.      
        The Hawaiian artist, Kealoha Pa showed me how to paint on wood many years ago. He studied with furniture makers in the Philippines. His koi pond painted on a table top is truly inspired. I ran into him a few times when he was selling artwork at festivals in California and he comes to mind because I was surprised he had sold his place in Hawaii. He owned a remarkable, yet remote, beach front studio that he gave up when the isolation became intolerable. His place was every artist’s dream and it simply wasn’t enough. Or maybe artists are more difficult to please than food critics.
      Painting on wood is less forgiving than the moral majority, mistakes can’t be undone. Thanks Kealoha for showing me the basics. These are my latest.  


Thursday, June 23, 2011


      Oh my gawd! How is it they get put off until the last minute every year? My accounting is about as organized as particles in a linear accelerator. If numbers ever hit the page in order a whole universe could form in the process. It does say right on the tax form “…to the best of my knowledge and belief, they are true, correct and complete.” I take that to mean as truthful as a dyslexic artist with no left brain skills can manage so I sign with complete confidence. There are alternate ways to ensure accuracy though. My sister checks her statements with a pendulum. But first she channels an old accountant in a green visor who actually adds columns of numbers correctly. Clearly he doesn’t visit me; if I’m channeling anyone they’re probably squatting in the dirt hacking notches in a post with a piece of shale.   
     There are other problems too, like the mysterious fading cash register tapes, undocumented before the ink disappeared of course. There are the bags of receipts rounded up from under car seats, the recesses of my wallet or the ones shoved rapidly in drawers so it looked like I actually did some housework. They should have been sorted long before I forgot which was business or personal. Some of them were stuck together with paint, which is at least proof of my profession even if I can’t read the purchase dates. Can I deduct sleeping in my car from the auto column? I have never understood why record keeping feels like torture. Can anyone explain this?
     Excel is cryptic enough to turn the calmest people into howler monkeys on crack. A short break from the tedium of shuffling papers might easily include breaking furniture, wailing like the recently damned or signing the tax form with sunshine and a magnifying glass. Which gives me an idea for an art project, after all there’s still time get this stuff sorted and isn’t the end of the world predicted again soon? I’ll get back to it later. I’m sure the IRS will understand.      

   Meanwhile I’ve developed a system that is more accurate than my brain.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Rodent Warrior

     It’s always bittersweet, the lure of unexplored horizons pulling me away from loved ones and familiar comforts. The future rarely plays out as I imagine which time has certainly proven, but then expectations are really the only fast track to disappointment. There are plans and then there’s the dance of adjusting to a million variables thrown in the path. If everything went as planned I’m actually dysfunctional enough to be disappointed. There is always risk, whether we live a well ordered life or drift in the current of unpredictability. On the scale of excitement with loss of bladder control terror on one end and safe narcoleptic boredom on the other I’m half way in between and ready to move on.  
     I used to have hamsters. Talk about compelled. They are fooled by a wheel, but set free those little buggers are utterly fearless. They’ll leap off the edge of anything in the dark, bounce off the floor and keep going. Granted their reproductive capacity compensates for occasional fatal error, but one could say the same about humans. Sure, we can switch a light on to see how far away the floor is before leaping off the dresser, we’ve got that over hamsters, but they don’t invent a myriad of failure scenarios in their brain before they leap. The marvel of life is that it is limited, the clock is always ticking and there are so many amazing things to do before time runs out. I’m driving to Los Angeles tomorrow to work for three weeks with plans to travel from there. It’s a long boring drive, not even worthy of the inner hamster talk. My Mom and Dad have a wonderful nurse who comes everyday so I no longer need to be here. I won’t regret the time I’ve given them over the last five years and it will be sad to drive away not knowing when or if I’ll see them again. Rodents have that over us in spades, they don’t do guilt, but they don't live long enough to get over it either.


Monday, June 13, 2011

Who knew?

     Consistency is everything with a blog. My apologies for missing a week, writing took a backseat because I was traveling, which is honestly more fun than writing about it, but I’ll save that story for later. I just found out how to check if anyone is reading this. Imagine my surprise when I clicked a button called “stats” on the blogger dashboard and graph and with a map popped up revealing a small universe of digital facts. Enough people are checking in that I should feel as guilty as a compulsive shoplifter for missing last week. I could promise it won’t happen again, but we all know that’s a load of hooey. I don’t shoplift, but for me keeping a regular schedule would require handcuffs and a lobotomy. I haven’t heard of a recovery program for compulsive travelers, but how would they ever get regular members?      

     The stats page shows that people find my blog mainly through my website. I distribute my web site information through free postcards and rack cards to promote my artwork. The blog hopefully convinces people that I don’t actually have a lobotomy. Thanks for checking in.    

The following are places where my paintings can be seen;

Sadie’s Hotels, Pago Pago, American Samoa
Hotel Yeneka, La Paz, Mexico
Yankee Pier, United Terminal, San Francisco Airport
Ho’olehua Airport, Molokai, Hawaii
Imports Gifts Shop, Kaunakakai, Hawaii
Saint Damien Catholic Parish, Kaunakakai, Hawaii
Kaiser Hospitals and Clinics, California
Fish Story Restaurant, Napa, California
Lark Creek Steak, Westfield San Francisco Centre
Global Art Solutions, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Yankee Pier, San Francisco International Airport

                                            Lark Creek Steak, Westfield San Francisco Centre

Ho'olehua Airport, Molokai, Hawaii

Sadie's by the Sea & The Sadie Thompson Inn, Pago Pago, American Samoa