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Still crazy after all these years

My students in “Fine Arts for Adults Who Want Their Crayons Back” class are feeling adventurous, so they want to try watercolors. I chose this fish for our subject, since it requires a lot of different techniques. This is the sample I made, so I could break down the steps, like I always do. They … Continue reading

The Real Political Divide

As a generalist, a holistic thinker, or alternatively as a scatterbrain, I consume and digest vast quantities of information and am not satisfied until I see the Big Picture. As you can imagine, I am not satisfied in relation to many issues. But perhaps there is no pattern? Perhaps the world works on random madness? … Continue reading

Very basic survival kit for economic collapse

I’m an optimist who also thinks that fear-mongering makes us stupid, so I try to never add to it. But I’m also a realist and I care about people. The effects of the crash of 2008 were probably more devastating to more Americans than Katrina, but the slow-motion tragedies have not been covered by the … Continue reading

So I entered the art competition again this year…

Even though the entry fee is high and then I have to spring for frames, I entered the art competition again. Why? Well, there are $500 prizes and maybe I can sell the art, though the gallery takes a high commission. Then there’s the catered reception, where the local movers and shakers eat fancy food … Continue reading

The Motherland: Women as National Symbols

  As a woman and an artist, I find it curious that patriarchal countries choose to symbolize their nation with females. Of course, they are pretty darn muscular women, in the case of Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People and the U.S. Statue of Liberty (which was a gift from France.) Delacroix’s Lady Liberty is so … Continue reading

Listening to the Other Side: Applying the Golden Yardstick

                We all have a worldview; convictions about our origins, the natural order of things, the purpose of life and theories about where it’s all heading. We develop our worldview from a few inborn tendencies, our parents, our culture, our circumstances and our personal experiences. Obviously, we end … Continue reading

The Fault, Dear Brutus, Lies in Ourselves…

“The fault, dear Brutus, lies not in our stars, but in ourselves…” Shakespeare After many years of studying revolutions, I see a pattern. People become justifiably angry at some unfairness in their society. They band together and challenge the powers-that-shouldn’t-be. Nine times out of ten, they are crushed by those powers. The one time out … Continue reading

The Power of Myth and Symbols

I have to laugh at how we dismiss our ancestors as superstitious primitives, while we are no different. And when I laugh, I make it a rule to always laugh at myself first. I was watching a documentary on the power of symbols, like crosses and flags. When people are reminded of their own mortality, … Continue reading

“You Don’t Know Jack” is taking longer than I thought

  I know that a lot of you are writers and that lots of people have told you that you are talented. In your case, it’s probably true. But when people tell me that, I think of so many people who are more talented; people who just seem to produce great stuff with little effort. … Continue reading

Can’t Fight the Establishment?

The hooves of the team of horses beat a slow, steady rhythm as they pulled the wagon down the country trail. A young man and his father discussed church matters as they rode along. The young man thought some things they did at church not only did not make sense, he thought they were opposite … Continue reading