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!

Sunday, July 28, 2013


My brother Brian is guest artist for “Jungle”.  We went to dinner and I said I was too tired to make art, though I did manage to write this post.  I hosted a 3-day event at work this week and it made my brain tired.  Brian cooperated by filling up napkins with drawings while we waited for dinner and a cute waitress from another section flirted with him.

I recently walked with a couple of men in the Glen where I grew up when one of them said “I forget how lush it is here, so verdant.”  Yeah, I know, besides NPR ads, nobody uses “verdant”, except the Glen brings it out of people.  It is verdant and lush.  It’s an isolated jungle in every way except for the lack of tigers.

Brian's idea for a diarama on the mantle.
Apparently it's mandatory to have an actual smoking volcano
The Glen is bordered by the river and hidden from the world by high shale cliffs.  Rain falls and gets trapped in a microclimate of humidity.  The river jumps its banks and leaves rich deposits on the soil, and things grow excessively.  Lush.  Verdant.  More green than green usually is, with more flowers packed per square inch and more oxygen than anywhere else.

It’s no wonder that I grew up as a feral child.  I spent my days discovering secret things hidden in the unlimited, uninhabited woods.  I was happy surrounded by flowers and leaves and trees with the water constantly gurgling and rippling and the plethora of birds and bugs and whatever else hiding in my jungle.

In my adult life, I knew someone who insisted thought isn’t possible without words.  He couldn’t understand my childhood where there wasn’t anyone to talk to, and no reason to put my observations into words.  I absorbed, I looked, I felt -- I just was.  When the crows called a warning, I understood their intent as clearly as if someone said “watch out!”, and I conveyed my thanks with the feeling in my heart.

Sometimes people tell me I belong in Los Angeles or New York, as if all artists belong shoved into a cityscape.  They dismiss from mind the long line of artists who sought solitude in their own jungles and don’t understand that I can’t hear my own mind when surrounded by the masses in the concrete jungles.

Spending my days as a child with animals for companions taught me different ways of feeling and communicating than regular kids growing up with people around.  I’m empathic; I feel what other people feel without really taking their words at face value.  People lie to themselves and others all the time, but their feelings can be felt if you listen.  Sometimes getting bombarded with all those feelings is too much for me.  No, I don’t belong in those big cities.

I thanked a woman for working that event I hosted.  She smiled and said “You’re welcome.”  It didn’t matter what her words were, I knew she was sending invisible poisoned darts my direction.  I smiled and moved on.  I can’t change her feelings, and the situation is too complicated to explain here, but I think there’s a big gap between her feelings and her mind, and if you ask me, feelings always win even if the mind doesn’t acknowledge that reality.

Life is more honest in the jungle where there isn’t a need for words and the truth can be felt.  Sometimes I think blogging is a way to express things I didn’t express when I was that feral child in the woods.  I suppose words are necessary so we can all learn from the lessons other people have lived?


  1. Thanks to Brian for the fun illustrations. I'm partial to the boiling explorer myself!

    I also grew up as a bit of a feral child. Wouldn't want it any other way, but yeah, cities can certainly be jungles too. Complete with cannibals with poison darts.

  2. A very thought provoking post Linda, you are indeed a deep thinker and a great writer ;0) I loved your brother's little sketches..they really made me smile... are there that many dinosaurs in his jungle as well as the smoking volcano? Have a great week - I bet you are glad your last one is over x

  3. Love this line, Linda: "feelings always win even if the mind doesn’t acknowledge that reality." I've been struggling with direction and my mind (which says, "oil paintings--especially big ones--sell") and my heart (which says, "I could mess about with watercolors until the world ends and be blissfully happy...") are *definitely* at odds and causing me to lose good sleep. Thanks for your wonderful report of the lush woods (sounds a lot like Point Reyes State Park here in Northern California) and your wise thoughts, as always. Me, Susan...you, Jane!!

  4. I can relate to your words in this post. Growing up in the apartments--a cement jungle of sorts I guess. Yet there was that little patch of woods I loved. Also being by the river at your house, or our trips to PA. It's always felt like home, I love the sounds of the woods, and the quiet of it. Good post. And Brian... what fun little pics. Do make the diarama on Linda's mantel! What a great idea :)

  5. napkin drawings are always a joy.
    they are released from the pressure of preciseness and often are a real joy because of that.

  6. Wow what a childhood! Precious times that are so hard to explain to those who haven't experienced such wonder. My two little boys are growing up in the desert and they are definitely what you'd call feral...but such freedom! Love the napkin drawings! They are the perfect accompaniment for your wonderful tales!!

  7. I'm glad people enjoy Brian's napkin drawings. He's pleased to get positive comments about them. Maybe sometime I'll post some of his more serious work if he lets me, but I'll always love napkin art. It's just fun for fun, and sometimes we forget that art should be fun, like Susan's choice between watercolor bliss and paying the bills. (Go where your heart is, and maybe the money will follow?) It's a blessing to remember my childhood jungle when my grownup responsibilities take too much of my attention. Here's to hoping that we all get out and do something we love this week! Thanks for the comments!

  8. Brian's napkin drawings show your talent runs in the family!

    Your observations on what people say, sense, and send out are sharp and I agree with you.
    Still I'm glad lots of people lie and kindly say 'Thank you' or 'You're welcome'.
    We need those little lies to keep our society liveable. For those who sense beyond words, they often need more time alone to deal with all this double and triple layered communication.

  9. I grew up an only child so I can relate. Your brother did a good job contributing to your post. Which is entertaining as always. I agree it's a jungle out there.

  10. Great napkin art! And I really liked what you had to say about thought and words. There is a saying that I go by: "People will forget what you said,.. but they will never forget how you made them feel." Maya Angelou.

  11. I think I may have to use that quote sometime Nancy. I'm glad I'm not alone with feeling truths behind what people say, or maybe that's part of what makes an artist? Thanks for the comments everybody, and thanks for the follow Ariel!!!

  12. Another thought provoking post....and I just love your brother's napkins...the first one in particular!! :)

  13. Cool! It's like when Billy used to take over drawing "The Family Circus" on Fathers Day.

    Well... not exactly.

  14. There is a little spot in our tiny brains where we can go to get rid of words and reflect and just live. Unhappy people don't know that and sometimes I feel sorry for them... :)

    Nice sketches Brian! Good words Linda!

  15. "Life is more honest in the jungle where there isn't a need for words and the truth can be felt." Love it!

    Occasionally, my brain gets tired, too. I try to tap into some sort of surburban feral state to ease it. The absorption of nature usually does the trick.

    Kudos to Brian! The napkins drawings are good! Wrap some words around them, and he's got a book.

  16. I like that comparison to Billy taking over "Family Circus" :) Brian seems pleased that people are enjoying his doodles. I think if he made a book it would probably be full of gnomes though. Thanks for the comments, and thanks for the follow Nancy!!!

  17. How odd--the post that is in my Reading List, the first paragraph of which I read there, "doesn't exist". What a shame. It was about stock photos, and I wanted to respond, to,say that more and more I'm seeing the need to find my own references, to take my own photos.

    But I agree with you 100% about the wild places. I grew up in the woods too, and have absolutely no desire to ever live in a big city. Bravo to you for knowing your own mind.

  18. Blogger hated me today, but I think the problem is fixed. Thanks for pointing it out!

  19. Thanks Therese! Brian is happy people liked his little drawings :)