I’m a creative, experienced, multi-purpose artist and art director
who can take projects start to finish in a variety of styles.

Good designs sell –
my designs sell out!

Saturday, June 8, 2013


This was my first printed full-color project long, long ago.  I labored over it.  I ran out of time before it felt finished.  What a waste of time.  I could do it better and faster now, but I remember my earnest effort back then and feel some compassion for my younger self.

I grouse about how kids today are too lazy to waste earnest time on completely pointless things like this, and I think about my current job and think about how I’m still wasting perfectly good time doing things that won’t matter in pursuit of a perfection that doesn’t exist.
Proof we did actual work in NH
I wrote a long blog yesterday that I didn’t post about my trip to New Hampshire this week, and it struck me boring – my recital of the trip anyway.  The trip was great.  My coworker Diane and I visited our software company, and we spent a lot of time pulling weeds in our database.  I wonder if I’m wasting the same kind of time as I did on this Prisma color black hole – yet at the same time the things I learned will be part of the tools I can use on the job later.  Sometimes we don’t see the fruits of our labor for, em, 30 years or so.

Diane next to the car we wished was our rental car
As for the trip, Diane is a pleasant travel partner, the software people are great, NH is a pretty state, and we even got enough free time to see the ocean in The Hamptons and visit Boston.  We even drove through Salem, but as far as I know we didn’t see any witches.  We didn’t see any famous people either, but we did get our fill on scenery.

We weren’t supposed to get this much free time, but the software company had an emergency and gave us an unexpected day off.  Woohoo!!  We walked all over historical Boston and saw all the main historical sites.  The weather was perfect and we felt like we were playing hooky.  It was the best work trip ever!

Boston -- the steeple is the Old North Church
I have an almost formed thought that there’s a lesson somewhere in this trip.  Like all that time I spent with Prisma colors, the free time Diane and I spent roaming around may turn out to be important.  When I was in college, I was killing myself on my homework every night while my teachers complained that I needed to loosen up.  One of my exbosses told me that if he wanted perfect, he would’ve hired a photographer.  It took years for me to see that a spontaneous blob of watercolor might be the thing that made a piece of art sing.  That my “style” came out in my unguarded moments, and that’s the stuff people actually like best.

USS Constitution, which is still an active Navy ship
I’ve often felt that if something comes too easily, it doesn’t count.  I’ve also seen that my laborious learning process pays off later, even if it isn’t obvious during my moments of self-flagellation.  Anyway, thoughts to ponder while I reminisce my way through New England’s major food groups, sun, sand, mountains in the distance, laughing kids at Paul Revere’s house, the cute boy with cupcake frosting smeared all over his face, and juggler Bob (as seen on TV!) making the kids laugh…

The Holocaust memorial is squished in a narrow median strip.  It seems simple, but facts and quotes are etched on towering glass squares, numbers Nazis tattooed on victims etched on glass reaching up to the sky.  Looking up the towers, it hit me how many it means when they say 6 million people died.  This simple-seeming monument struck me deeply.
Hi from Hampton Beach

Relaxed and happy - and thankful I packed a hat!


  1. Your posts are always so enjoyable to read and you hit the spot about the watercolour blob - I always forget that! nice trip, and nice car :D

  2. Thanks Nancy! Wish we could've taken that car home with us :)

  3. Heard an interview with a lady artist who said she tried to paint with an empty mind, following the inspiration – that as soon as she started thinking everything got messed up. Can see her reasoning as I'm known for thinking too much... lol

  4. WAY too familiar lessons, Linda: " if he wanted perfect, he would’ve hired a photographer...that a spontaneous blob of watercolor might be the thing that made a piece of art sing...that my “style” came out in my unguarded moments, and that’s the stuff people actually like best." Seems I get these lessons over and over, in SO many ways, that it's the *journey,* not the destination... Thanks for the cheery and fun-lovin' reminder, sweetie!

  5. My hat is only an accidental fashion statement. I just needed something I could smash into a suitcase and protects my pasty white skin. Diane and I both got pink with our touristy activities, but the hat helped.

    I've gotten the "think too much" comment a lot too. I have to resist the urge to say other people may not be thinking enough, but it's good to know I'm not alone with these lessons. Sometimes it's good to just do our little doodles and watercolor blobs no matter what anybody else thinks about them, and sometimes those are the things people like best. Keep painting!!

  6. Oooh, road trip! Looks like you had a fun time, and it spurred yet more introspection!
    "... if he wanted perfect, he would’ve hired a photographer" - THAT's a perfect reminder of keeping things creative. Nice illustration, as always!

  7. But so true.....sometimes we DO have to spend all that time, even if it is close to obsessing. I don't remember who it was--some artist I admire greatly, said that his entire youth that he spent drawing terrible stuff was necessary--otherwise he never would have developed the "hand skills", as he called them, that he used as an adult to make really fine work.

  8. I agree, it is necessary to build those hand skills. I wonder if I was "close to" obsessing or actually obsessing in that part of my life, and I guess I'm still guilty of doing that. I also still have to give myself the conversation about not wanting "perfect".

    I did have a fun time on the trip. The introspection came once I came home and realized I was too tired to cut the grass :)

  9. Work and play. Perfect. Good for you! As far as my art, overworking is my weakness. I love what your boss said about photos vs painting. I will try to remember that.

  10. Linda, your first commission of the teddy bear doctor is super sweet. The seriousness on the face of the child is wonderful.

    You had a wonderful and interesting trip. The USS Constitution is a beauty and the Holocaust memorial is frightening.

    I think it is a good thing you didn't try that car though. You see, it is mine :-)

  11. I reached way back for my "children" image this week, too, & also felt I could do it much better if I were to undertake the same project now....which is a GOOD thing I suppose....that we've progressed....
    I absolutely love the softness of this Prismacolor piece!
    I see you were on my turf last week! (I grew up 14 miles south of Boston) Beautiful photos! Glad you managed to get to do & see stuff even though it was a business trip!!

  12. Everyone was super nice in Boston and NH. Your people did you proud Mit :) And if that's your car Paula, can I at least have a spin in it? Thanks for the comments everybody!

  13. I love that bit about the free day. How totally great! And I'm sure you're right - because we so rarely go outside of our (relatively) comfortable lives with our mostly set routines, and in the same spaces every day.

    This is one of the reasons I keep telling myself I need to get out of the house. (I have a regular job out of the house, but other than that I'm a bit of a hermit. Well, me and the man are co-hermits.) :)

  14. Sometimes routine is good, and sometimes being a hermit is good too. It's nice for you that you've got someone to be a hermit with Cindy -- but I was happy to get out of my life for a few days too :)

  15. I wrote a non fiction manuscript before I discovered the immediate gratification of blogging. At one point it was my baby; now it's in a coma, not loved any more, yet respected for all that I put into it and all that it gave me back.

    This post made me stop to think about from whence I came. While we critique ourselves to the nth degree, sometimes it takes others to validate our output, be it our talents, skills, creativity, or just who we are.

    I like the hat, too, :)

    Glad you enjoyed the trip: the productivity and the historic sites. I can see the peace on you and your friend's faces. Nothing like rolling up the pants to stroll along the beach with the sand squooshing through your toes.

  16. Thanks Anita! Yep, nothing quite like strolling down the beach barefoot. I did some writing before blogging too. Your comment makes me think about dusting off some old files. Hmm..

  17. A really great post Linda, so good to see you so happy! What a coup to get the day off on a business trip...way to go! X