Monthly Archives: January 2014

reflections: looking out, looking in


As an artist, I look within as well as out and around for the direction of my work.

This character contemplation – contempt, compassion – leaks out (and sometimes pours all over) into the work.

Reflections and shadows and perspectives layer.

The light changes.

The colours fade or intensify with emotion and experience.

And at some points the lines blur.

This last photograph may look like a framed picture on a wall, but it’s actually the window to my studio, the heart of my workspace. You are seeing into the interior as well as out towards the landscape reflected in the glass.

These three places/spaces/events are together as one: the work in front, what lies beyond and what has taken place before.

When we truly give of ourselves in our creative efforts, we become part of the work even as it is reflecting a part of us. Both are the better – the richer for it. Be encouraged.



waiting for paint to dry


You can do all the prep work just right, have every tool and prompt and guide at the ready. Your lighting and background music and preferred cup of joe could be set out in perfect alignment and you just may be carrying within your heart THE perfect painting, composition, story yet to be told…

howsomever…hang on a minute…but…wait.

The paint ain’t dry.

You’ve got the structure. You understand the need for building a sound base.

You understand the chemistry. What needs to be added to the mix and when.

And you’re reaching for the alchemy…because this is not all about the science. It’s about the song…

but the build-up is still curing…the layers are still cooking…and there’s not a thing you can do about it until it sets.

Have patience. If the work is truly a part of you, it cannot be lost in this part of the process.

It may, in fact, become more found. Be encouraged.

the last painting of 2013


I cleared a path through the papers and boxes and firewood that seasonally take over my studio space. It was cold but bright in the last light of the day. Sunshine. Amazing sunshine at the heart of a Scottish Christmas and New Year…

My heart needed some space. and some light. There had to be time for one last painting. One for me, about me. So I warmed tubes of paint by the heat of my skin as I fed the stove and found a small canvas to begin…

This year has seemed like a series of swells and storms – the building up of things and the breaking of things. In this process I have found myself standing, drowning, drifting, clinging…

Though I have been at times lonely, I have not been alone…

and I have seen reflections of light in the dark places. These are the final minutes of sunshine for 2013 on our farm, filtering through the trees and windows…touching the wet and unfinished painting of my journey…

Here is where I stopped the work, with brighter skies on the horizon…

I cannot say what 2014 will bring for you or me, but I choose to look forward with hope. And it’s ok to take some rest, to float a bit when the waters quieten down for a time.  Choose your focus and you won’t drift off course. Be encouraged.