Back to the Sea

I ran into another artist the other day who mentioned a critique she was given. Her paintings need "more narrative". I almost gasped as I recalled a critique I was given, "too much narrative." Like parenting, I'm able to find an expert to tell me I'm doing it wrong no matter what I do. What a relief to consider it doesn't matter.

Not caring is a lifetime practice. I try to go deeper into the stretch of not giving a fuck, every year. Drilling down to the marrow of experience to find the purity of my vision, that will take a lifetime. I'm almost certain I can't transcend it completely, but the journey is the practice and the journey is worth it. I try to save my worries for my kids' future and remembering to buy dog food.

"Mermaid Girl" is an attempt to capture a "real mermaid". The image is about authenticity. What would it be like if you saw a real one? It would probably be out of the corner of your eye, not preening on a rock.  Maybe you'd doubt you actually saw it, doing her own thing regardless of perceived deformity or sexualized mythology. She doesn't care about your legs and there is something magical about that. 

Solo Update

I love when past self does future self a favor. 

"Damn out of coffee... (pause) Wait a minute? Didn't I stick an extra bag somewhere once thinking I'd one day forget coffee?"

Yay for past self! You knew future self would appreciate it and she does. 

This morning I was looking at an application for a show and was about to call friends who had done it before or friends who have attended or other artists to see if they wanted to share the booth but something felt wrong. Processing opinions and consensus into a decision is often the basis of my navigation system. There was a nagging feeling that I should try a different way this time.

So back in January I picked my word for the year: "Solo".

On this day in 2013 this interview was published on Lucy Meskill's awesome blog Tincture and Spill. 

I read them both and it was like remembering I bought the bonus 2 pack of deodorant on the day one fell in the toilet. I needed to hear all this and had past self to thank for it.

I submitted my application without "checking in" "reaching out" "picking brains" or "just wondering" and felt a little queasy. It is a tiny, mental, victory but a win none the less. It is a validation of the person I was when I chose the word of the year late in 2015. I can almost hear the echo of past self cheering me on.

Also, thank you for supporting my eBay auctions! It feels great to be back there, a little older and wiser but still open to the magic of putting my work out there. Please know, no bid is small. Every bid from .99 on means I can keep going and is a vote of confidence when I don't feel brave.

I currently have 3 auctions going with one ending today. 

This two 4" x 4" pieces will be available to bid until September 8. 

Before and After

I'm resisting the urge to continually document and pay homage to the "before". It robs me of momentum.

Review, documentation, and transition are job requirements but measuring success based on the mess you were drags down the future. It isn't an apology, it is a journey.

I am wrapping up the residency. I'll be porting over my main site content to this new site with my remaining time. I'll leave behind the "before" to focus on the "after". 

I can't tell you what I learned. I can only show you. 

Join me this Fall:

  • Featured artist at Conjuring Designs
  • Auctions on eBay throughout the rest of the year
  • Work from this summer on display at Cult of Gemini, Grass Valley, September-December
  • 3rd Annual "War on Women Art Show", Pittsburgh, October 13
  • New small works arriving at Neva Co, Nevada City, Mid-October
  • Of course my store is always open.
  • Special studio visits with art and ideas will be scheduled for  October/November/December
  • Stay up to date on events, works in progress, videos and auctions on Facebook.

Book of Secrets

When I'm raw, exposure is the measure of healing. Is it wise to share everything, bleach out the infection with the light? Maybe I require a salve and bandage to smother and heal? The pendulum is maddening.

Balance is the key to finding the groove in time with the earth. I've learned some things this summer. I'm carrying them with me into the longer nights and am completely comforted by seeing my art, my collectors, my computer are all here. 

My daughters have secrets they need to keep too. I have to trust them to manage their internal lives and keep open to any opportunity to learn more. 

Next week school starts and I'll officially be out of my "residency" and moving into a new mode, online, in stores, at shows.

I'm looking forward to sharing and getting lost in it all over again. 

"Kitty Girl and Her Book of Secrets" 8" x 8" Oil Acrylic Graphite on Canvas Available to bid on eBay until August 27, 2016 Starting bid .99 with no reserve.

"Kitty Girl and Her Book of Secrets"
8" x 8"
Oil Acrylic Graphite on Canvas
Available to bid on eBay until August 27, 2016
Starting bid .99 with no reserve.

Insecurity in the Age of The Humble Brag

Is insecurity it’s own form of vanity? A Facebook Friend presented that concept and it felt like biting on tin foil; nerve struck. Could insecurity be the devilish end to an overblown ego? I considered my own. 

It manipulates me into thinking people actually care. It recommends ideas to manipulate others to prove it, concepts I try to consistently reject. It clutters my thinking regardless. It is an embarrassing funhouse mirror; try to appear so small you may slip through a storm drain. Look like a fool screaming "Save me! I'm Tiny!" 

"Tell me I’m big."

How about...

Tell yourself you are an average sized human and maybe quit standing in the gutter.

Finding the sweet spot of sharing creative life online hasn't become easier the more I do it. Practice makes cloying. I cringe at some of the things I wrote 6 years ago but they were honest at the time. I'm sure I'll do the same here, six years from now but I can't be honest writing for "Future Me".

Creating for posterity? That is just shameless ego. 

Sharing vulnerability isn't about size. It is about time and space. "Where I am?" not "Where do you think I am?"  On a true course, other travelers will recognize the honesty.

The humblebrag, is a burp. Bad manners born of insecurity and the inability to know when you're in a good location.  I know I'm in a good place but there is always a real tug at my ego. "I'm not there yet." Where's there anyway?

So yes, I'm insecure but I try not to use digital life as a salve for those paper cuts of perceived slights (hurts like a bitch but really quite shallow). Managing disappointment is a fundamental part of this job. If you don't have it checked, you're not successful.  

I am recalculating my position as I age, make art and parent my children, dropping a pin on the map.

I'm asking questions that don't need answers and just wondering if you are asking them too.


Disappearing Woman 8" x 10" Oil Acrylic Graphite on Canvas $180 Available in my store.  

Disappearing Woman
8" x 10"
Oil Acrylic Graphite on Canvas
Available in my store.


Two Months to See

Yesterday I posted about struggling with clarity. Last night I dreamt I was called into a room of specialists who had finally figured out what was wrong. It was serious.

I only had two months to see. My vision would be completely gone in a matter of weeks. I had to decide if I wanted to make the best art with the vision I still had or start figuring out how to paint without it. 

It was so real and terrifying. 


Also a good lesson for artists.

Invisible Woman 8" x 10" Acrylic Oil Graphite on Canvas

Invisible Woman
8" x 10"
Acrylic Oil Graphite on Canvas

Exercise in Futility

I want to emphasize the fact that we all have the same experience and the same concern, but the artist must know exactly what the experience is. He must pursue the truth relentlessly. Once he sees this fact his feet are on the path. If you want to know the truth you will know it. The manipulation of materials in an artwork is a result of this state of mind. The artist works by awareness of his own state of mind.

-Agnes Martin

I want to crush the reactive pace that keeps my feet off the path.

 "Get things done in order to get other things done," is not serving my summer schedule well. Prioritizing time and intensity is scary. I'm afraid of the worst monster I can imagine. The one that screams, "It's not worth it." 

I'm feeling the lack of clarity more acutely as I take the time to focus on it; like shining a headlight on fog. 

Also PMS.

Save me today Agnes Martin. I can't slow down. I need to slow down. 


Exercise in Futility 9" x 12" Acrylic, Graphite, Pastels on Paper

Exercise in Futility
9" x 12"
Acrylic, Graphite, Pastels on Paper



I worked all day with Rebecca Floeter, pairing her pieces with mine. Here is a preview of some of the looks and new paintings that will be available.

She is currently selling Elemental Art Cards through her shop, Conjuring and will soon offer my original paintings. 

It is an honor to have my work matched with her gorgeous designs. I'll post more tomorrow.

Time for a date night. 

Studio Tour

Today I taught myself  the basics of GoPro Studio editing software and invited any interested children to join me. Both my girls are YouTube super fans. 

I'm reminded of the summer of 1981 when I spent nearly every day in August in my basement watching the newly launched, MTV. I was almost exactly Layla's age.

It was formative. 

I turned out ok. Pretty much. 

I am realizing quickly I need to up my video game in order to capture hearts and minds of the YouTube generation. I can see where this could become an endless pursuit of customs, norms and digital skill that I'm not sure I want to pursue. I'm glad I did it instead of letting my anxiety about getting it right keep me from growing and learning. I learned a lot. 


Things I learned today:

1. The basics of how to edit on Go Pro Studio
2. My kids can get their own breakfast even if I'm not nagging them. 
3. Keeping focused, keeps me from nagging.
4. Sabrina can be trusted with my paints.
5. It is impossible to edit video and paint at the same time. 

These are works in progress by Sabrina and me. I didn't get to finish this or listen to Marc Maron. It was a really good day though. 



Artist Residency in Motherhood

This blog is part of my Artist Residency in Motherhood (June 16 - August 30 2016). The work I'm doing this summer includes improving my studio space, extended studio time and business focus. In order to support this effort, I have created a store and appreciate all direct sales.

I am also happy to report new relationships with retail stores and galleries which I will be featuring here this summer.  If you are interested in wholesale purchases or showing my work, please contact me directly.

"A self-directed, open-source artist residency to empower
and inspire artists who are also mothers."

To learn more and create your own, please visit
Artist Residency in Motherhood.