Saturday, December 15, 2012

in the spirit of the holidays...

'Twas the night before Open Studios
And all through the Nut
Not a creature was stirring
none except for the rat.

His evidence had been found
Though we'd used a trapper.
He'd left behind dog treats
And a fragrant brie wrapper.

"Oh, Liz," he'd say
If he could speak.
"I'm smarter than you
And I should now think,
That you would provide me
With things that are nutty,
Food that is juicy
And nothing too cruddy"

"I'm more than a rat,
I'm vermin, I'm weasel.
I'm plague and I'm icky,
I squeak and I squeezle"

"And if you can't meet
my demands in your lair,
Your dogs will be first
The one with the black hair."

"It's Pixie, I'm sure
She's the one that I want.
She's smelly and stupid
And no doubt piquant."

"Squeeze her into that trap,
I'll nibble her toes
She'll soon stop that yapping
When it's off with her nose!"

"I do like it here,
it's so fun, so artistic!
So exciting, so thrilling,
and sometimes quite spastic!"

"But the fun shall soon end
As I am a fiend,
Cause the one that I want,
Is the dog you call 'Been' ".

"I've seen her cavorting,
scampering and hopping.
Pooping and pissing,
All requiring mopping"

So if you can stand it
Or I'll take my leave,
Meet my demands and
You'll not have to grieve."

Chicken, potatoes,
Fois Grais and cheese!
Crackers and sausage,
Make it spicy, oh please!"

"Salmon and cupcakes,
Bread now and then.
I hear that you're able
to get some from Ken."

"My set up is good,
This drawer is ok,
I'm here when you're sleeping,
When you're up, I go play."

"So let me please ask
As the humblest of critters,
If you'd mind if I stayed
Or would you get the skitters?"

"I could mop, I could clean
I could wash all the dishes
I could be your best friend,
And fulfill all your wishes."

"We'll be happy, I swear it
With these modifications
Once demands are all met,
With quality libations."

"So let me please stay
I implore you dear heart.
And you won't hear a sound,
Not a peep, not a fart. "


Tuesday, December 4, 2012


The term "finding your own voice" comes up in the arts generally and in particularly visual arts from time to time.
One of the many challenges of a painter (I talk about painting mainly on this blog because I'm a painter and this is my blog. ) is to develop their own look, their own style. Their own voice.

With so much fantastic art available to view both physically as well as on the internet, it is not only overwhelming visually, but can be quite intimidating.

Painting something better than fantastic? That seems to be the internal goal as well as internal conflict.
How to wow myself as well as others.

Aside from the goal of selling art, ( Selling art is an entirely different conversation better left to another time.) being true to ones own voice and finding that voice is difficult at best.
(salvador dali)

One subject, many renditions might be considered the goal. As an artist, there are finite "subjects" but the way and style of rendering the subject makes us stand out as individual. Abstraction is one of the best "thumbprints" I can think of when I think of original paintings.

(jasper johns)

In days of yor, (always trying to work that into a sentence) there was something called a 'Salon'.
Using the time of the impressionists as an example, artists would join together at one location, with one subject, say a figure (human model) and each artist would paint or sketch the figure his or her own way, in their own style. One subject, many "voices"

From personal experience, of artists finding their own voice, I sometimes wonder if there was much conflict from this practice. When do two artists voices come too close to "sounding" or looking the same?


We are all inspired by images we see, books, photographs, visits to museums, access to the world through our computers. Images are "borrowed" all of the time, sometimes copied in the name of inspiration, but its the artists choice wether the final result is considered inspired by or seen as a copy of some other work.

(marc chagall)
In my own art, I spend a huge amount of time in my head and on paper working out ideas and compositions. I'm constantly inspired by the agricultural surroundings of the valley, so I never lack for subject.  Through the practice of art, literally, in the studio working things out for myself, playing with color combinations, the way medium work with each other,  experimenting with  technique, painting at different times of day to see the effect of light, how paint responds on various surfaces. These are only a few examples of how a painter finds their own voice. 

Then applies that voice to the subject.

(gustav klimpt)

How I depict the subject is my "voice"

Find yours.