This category contains 216 posts

The Tale of the Mean Monkeys

This is a story from my books of fables, which I told at toddler’s Story Time at a local library. Far away in India lived three friends, Gipa and Gupta the geese and Snapahandra the turtle. They gossiped and joked together in their shallow lake for many months. Snapahandra had two problems. He was kind … Continue reading

Are You an Empath?

On the scale of human empathy from Empath to Sociopath,  no doubt most humans inhabit the mountain in the middle. That is, most people can be caring and sensitive or selfish and conscienceless, as the occasion seems to require. I’ve always known I’m a bit strange and don’t fit snugly into the mountain in the … Continue reading

Butterfly for Frida

Since I’m often asked how I did a painting and my mission is to pass on what I have learned, here is how I did “Butterfly for Frida.” This is a big painting, about 4 feet wide. Frida is Frida Kahlo, a well-known Mexican artist who was married to the famous muralist, Diego Rivera. In … Continue reading

Advice for Young Artists (from an old one)

The common view of art is that you become a famous artist and make millions selling your masterpieces. This is about as common as becoming a movie star and making millions on your films-in other words it is as rare as a three-eyed newt. We all make art in some form; by painting, music, poetry, … Continue reading

Serious Artists My Arse

I teach at the Suwannee River Studio as a volunteer and one day launched into a mini-lecture about being serious artists. Then I noticed two members were making something under the table. It turned out they were sculpting spiders to scare me with, so I gave up on my serious artist speech. Nothing wrong with … Continue reading

So Much Fun It Should Be Illegal-Redneck Bird Sculptures

Somebody gave me a bunch of gourds, which look like birds, so I’m making them into redneck birds-the Gourdy family. So far I have Kenny Ray and Cletis. I find this takes a combination of all my skills, polymer clay sculpting, bit of woodworking, painting, jewelry making, and a certain looniness. Cletis is 30″ tall … Continue reading

How Long to Master an Art Form?

How long did that take you? American painter James Whistler, best known for the painting of his mother, set a very high price for one of his paintings. He was challenged by John Ruskin about why it was so expensive when it only took him two days. Whistler replied that it didn’t take him just … Continue reading

Symbols In Our Brains

Ndebele Mural We think in symbols. We say “Life is a journey,” Zach’s been on a rough road,” She’s reached the top.” We know we don’t mean those things literally, yet we instantly perceive more from the symbol than we do, say, from a long list of troubles Zach has had on his ‘rough road.’ … Continue reading

What is a Successful Artist?

We seem to have this dream that our artistic skill will lead to fame and fortune-if we just work hard enough and get that degree. That is baloney. Do not count on making fame and fortune as an artist-you have as much chance at that as all those poor potential movie stars waiting tables until … Continue reading

Suwannee River Fairies

I can see the Suwannee River outside my window-it’s a jungle out there, folks. When I first moved here and was lonely, I imagined the river banks populated with fairies and even wrote and illustrated a book to that effect. When I told people who lived here all their lives it was fiction, they said, … Continue reading