It’s Never Too Late ( to do what you love)

Over the Moon

Timing is a funny thing. In fact where I live the time just went ahead 1 hour (Daylight Saving Time) . Not sure if that’s relevant but just more coincidental to this post.

Do you find ( like me ) that you think a lot about whether it is best to do a thing when you feel like it or to just discipline yourself to grind it even when the feeling is not there?

Honestly I think it is a bit of both. Moderation is a word that I often feel is limiting. I mean, don’t you feel that a Yes or No or either this or either that is the answer you really want?

When it comes do doing something you love, like creating art, etc. it seems  we want it both ways. I’ve often heard other artists say ( myself included wholeheartedly) that ” Today I’m just not feeling it!” That is to say that if I don’t feel like creating something right now I should walk away from the  easel. Ever notice how this occurs usually on your day off or time set aside to actually do your art!!?

 Here’s the thing… I think both approaches are okay. I think that there are times in the scheme of things we need to go for a walk, split some firewood or take a trip. Other times ( maybe more often so) we need to just pick up the brush ( both metaphorically and actually) and lay down some paint with no idea where this will take us.

The best thing is to avoid guilt. Guilt is not a good motivator. Habit can be a good motivator ( GM), Feeling Euphoric can be a good GM, a Kick-in-the-Backside ( both metaphorically and  actually) can be a good GM. maybe a good BM could be a good, scratch that 

Guilt never works. When we say we were guilted into it then it never ends well. There are other ways to force ourselves to do what we love. It is ironic one would have to say that :”Force” ourselves.  I mean by concentrating on the small picture or doing that first small step. The idea that I can pour a drop of paint on the palette and play around with it and then draw it on the canvas…squiggling a line from left to right, top to bottom. That sometimes does the priming right there and the creative spark begins to work. Other times a grand vision  of mural proportions energizes us to create all things great and small, all things bright and beautiful…

Sometimes for my own pleasure I like to play my drums/bongos. There are times I’m not feelin it but when I  sit and tap out a rhythm to a tune  I like and in that weighted moment my spirit seems to rise with the music and often ends after an hour of enjoyable percussion.

Whatever occurs remember it is never too late to start again to do something you love. Never. You may have to scale back for health reasons or the demands of life put upon you but say to yourself that the promise of the rising sun is that you have this one more moment which is clean and bright like an empty canvas waiting for it’s next conscription.

And if you work at night then let the moon and stars inspire you.

The Planets- Suspended


   The back story to this painting  involves a walk in the local apple orchard last autumn. There were lots of apples still hanging on long after the the leaves had curled and lost the living green tones of a warmer season. A few clicks of my camera would preserve the details for later reference.  I knew there was something here to paint although my first attempt was unfruitful.


After trying to just paint the picture as I saw it in the photo I was really dissappointed. Nothing seemed right.  The grass in the background was being put on with vertical strokes and seemed to be taking away from the main subject(s).  After  I think was several weeks to a couple months I started seeing the whole thing in a new light.  The fruit suspended from the trees seemed to dance almost independently of the twigs and branches that supported them. So just like staring at one of those hidden- image- pixel-like pictures that eventually reveal another truer subject *behind* it I began to see the apples as planets in an orchard of life.
In outer space up-and-down, north-and-south don’t have to have the same meaning as it does here on ground.  So the moon and nightscape was painted as an almost separate scene yet connected by the theme.  In other words you can turn the painting upside down if you like.  This painting is going in with my Space Seed collection of which there are two other paintings to date: here and here

Thanks for dropping in (like an apple) and see ya ’round like a….planet?

That Moment

Sample corner of new painting

Sample corner of new painting

I struggled with a painting today.  It’s not uncommon though. Sometimes you get to a point where it all just seems ‘wooden’. It’s like you’re painting mecanically  and not ‘feeling it’.  I think they say this is when you’re painting more with the conscious mind and not the subconscious.
The thing is you are searching. You want something to stand out and say ” Hey, Look over here…I have the answer!” You’re an artist and it’s just how you think or how you’re wired. At first you want to panic; to throw in the towel.  Maybe it’s the wrong subject, the wrong canvas size…something isn’t right.  You take a break, get a coffee or a drink of water or go for a walk.  Your mind is pacing the halls of possible solutions.  You check you facebook, twitter and email.  There it is!  In this particular case it was Pinterest.  Someone answered a comment on a photo I saw months ago.  In the photo was the answer to my painting dilemma .  I went with it.  Problem solved!
Above is a sneak preview of my next painting.  It’s not finished , I’m just letting you see a small corner.  Hopefully I can post the whole painting by the weekend.  Thanks for stopping by!



Celebrating 46 years!

To commemorate one of my all time favourite television shows ( the one that started it all -Star Trek) I thought today would be a good day to re-post this recent painting I did.  (Original post)

Google had a great cartoon special on their home page.  Hope you got a chance to see it today.

These Are the Voyages

Recently there was some health concerns with my Dad which turned out okay.

It was during this time that the above painting was in the works.  A good time to reflect and think of ‘childhood’ fun that has stayed with me right into adulthood. Seeing Star Trek T.O.S. for the first time on TV in syndicate way back in the 70’s got my imagination to soar to new heights.  I loved the adventure, the dialogue, the camaraderie and the cool tech gadgets. I’ve always been a scifi fan and loved movies.  This comes mostly from my Mom. She would make pizza on Saturday nights and me, my brother and my parents would watch Space 1999 relying only on our VHF antenna ( no cable or internet back then.)

 Here are a few photos of the painting along the way.  The large red planet was created by laying down plastic wrap over the paint, smooshing it around and then lifting it away. The nebula effect was created by laying the painting down flat and mixing very wet, watery paint and letting it ‘run’ on it’s own.  Of course the brush was used some to guide it around. Tiny stars were created using an old toothbrush.  Load the tooth brush with wet white or light blue paint and then by rubbing your thumb across the hairs small spatters of paint will spray out onto the canvas.  Practice first on a board or paper.

My intention with this painting was to mimic the book/novel illustration feel from years ago.




If you have any questions about it then let me know.

Thanks for reading!


New Worlds

If you don’t like the world around you then create a new one.

That’s what your art-gift is for. Imagine yourself as a kind of artist paratrooper.  You’ve been dropped into this world with paint brush,laptop,etc to begin an assignment.  As soon as your feet hit the ground you disconnect from your chute.  This parachute of course would resemble an artist’s colour wheel from above with all the primary and secondary hues in pie slice shapes. What a great little image we have going here.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it is to re-create your world and for the better.

There is always the antithesis of course.  We can learn a lesson from this , I think.  Take the Third Reich or Nazi regime of the 40’s.  It used colour and art for evil purposes. It’s goal was to aggressively subjugate some to extol others and namely one man; one corrupted and sick mind.  I hope you will never fly those kinds of colours or use your creativity for such insanity.

A lot of the artistic process is simply organization or re-organization.  We take our ‘heavens’ and separate them from the ‘waters’ below; our ‘lights’ from our ‘darks’.  Well you get the picture. We bring peaceful order or unified chaos to the elements we are given.  We mix our dreams on palettes and then with a wave of our hands create or rather, re-create new vistas.

So if you are ever wondering why you are creative then this is it.  In our society the “why” is confused with monetary connotations.  Sure be paid for your work if you want that”s one way people say ‘thanks’.

If, however, you work just to climb a a celestial tower to there sit and be praised then who do you think you are?

Maybe you’re feeling down and muse as to why you create then remember your mission.  It’s not all about you or I.  It’s about creating a better place.  A place to share with others and to ignite their imaginations to travel to new worlds.  Keep creating.  Do what you do.  Keep going. Soldier on!

Below:  I can’t remember where I got this image from.  If I stole it from your blog then I apologize.  It seems fitting.  Thanks for reading.

Rock or Bach

Several years ago I met a woman at my place of employment that sold and shipped large sized paintings to Ontario, Canada. She was actually looking for music to inspire her as she painted.  Her music of choice was popular Rock tunes that had been performed by orchestra.  This idea was quite in vogue back then.  One could get a ‘classical’ symphony version of Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd, etc. She claimed having the music was almost as necessary to her success as having a brush.

Music seems to have this magical power of support or inspiration.  Whether it is classical guitar like Liona Boyd , Murray Mclauchlan  singing Whispering Rain, Beethoven’s 6 pastoral, or Dream Theater’s “Count of Tuscanny” ,there is music to conjure up mood and emotion.

I used to think it was cheating sort of, to ‘rely’ on music ( most of which is recorded) to help pull me up from the ashes of despair to create something new.  Music, though, is a gift from God.  It emanates from the cosmos and reverberates in the puddles of our minds.  It sows harmony into the threads of our very veins and pumps rythym into our hearts. As was written about nature, “This is my Father’s world and to my listening ears all nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres…”

Music can be a great initiator of creativity for the visual artist.  Whether your ‘thing’ is Rock or Bach ( and maybe even both) I see no reason to deny it’s wonderful seduction. Do you?

My Brother's World

Painting I did for my brother. Acrylic on canvas. 24X36