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, April 27, 2013


I dreamt this morning about an ex-friend.  Let’s call her “Deb”.  We were friends for many years, she made me crazy, and finally after the last straw of the last straw and the broken backs of many camels, I finally said “farewell” – and I finally had a life where I wasn’t perpetually put out by her dramas.  My life is infinitely better.

“Farewell” is goodbye, but it’s a goodbye with good wishes.  I’m not sticking pins in a Deb voodoo doll.  I honestly wish her well, but it took me a long time to give myself permission to quit hanging out with someone who made me feel awful. 

Each farewell, even a temporary farewell, rips me apart and permanent goodbyes are devastating.  I try to hide this from people because it just makes them feel bad, or it gives them a power to hurt me, but it’s true – and since we all have the ability to create the situations we most fear, I’ve said goodbye a lot throughout my life.  I don’t know which farewell prompted this poem…

My face is wet with tears
And my chest is clenched with pain
Old sadness has come to visit
With me, yes, again.

This all sounds rather depressing, but the flip side of it is that if we have the power to bring what we most fear, we also have the power to get the things we most want.  If we face our fears we can live our dreams.

I recently acquired a houseguest.  I don’t know how long he’s staying.  What I do know is that my quiet, singular life has been disrupted by Sanford and Son repeats, philosophical conversations, and dirty coffee cups – and I find that I don’t really mind, and more, that I enjoy having him around.  I also find myself contemplating my tub with a deep suspicion that there are invisible dead skin cells lurking in it, and remembering past fights from many years ago that might presage future fights – and having enough personal insight to recognize that I might be looking to pick a fight so I can control how this comfortable living arrangement ends.

Which makes me think I need to confront my issues with farewells.  Farewells aren’t always goodbyes, and maybe it’s time to consider opening my heart again?  If I find myself with another friend like “Deb” or a lover like my ex, I’ve proven I can say “farewell” without the world ending.  I don’t have to put up with people who make me unhappy, and I don’t have to pick a fight to avoid rejection.

I signed up for online dating years ago.  I hadn’t really thought about that much because it was just something I tried back when and I’m too busy working now to think about dating… WAIT!!  I’m working for Religion now, and what did I say in that online profile??  I tore through my old papers looking for login info and revised some things.  I wonder how the “safer” profile contradicts my intention of being open?

Hey, well, maybe I’ll try to be somewhat more open in the future?

Sunday, April 21, 2013


This train was a bit of tricky engineering because all of the boxes needed to fit inside each other.  That made it much cheaper to ship the boxes from China.  I did this project for 1800Flowers.  They liked it well enough that I did a similar train for Mrs. Fields.  The two companies were working together, so I wasn’t giving away any state secrets in using the same shaped boxes for both.

I used to go to a meditation group that was near train tracks.  This could’ve been seriously distracting, but the woman leading our group gave us the suggestion to put all our troubles on the train and let the train take them away.  I think there must be a stockpile of troubles in Pennsylvania somewhere, but I took her suggestion.  Whenever I hear a train I think it lessens my load.

Sharon Wagner was kind enough to give me a Liebster Award this week.  Yay!!!  This is for bloggers with less than 200 followers, which gives me one reason to be happy not to have too many followers.  (Though I’d be happy if you wanted to follow J)  Visit Sharon’s site  for “illustrations, globe trotting, kitchen creativity, and photography”.  I like visiting because I never know what she’s going to post.

Okay, receiving awards requires me to give you random facts and answer questions…

Eleven Random Linda Facts: 

1)  Athos is my favorite Musketeer.
2)  Filing papers gives me a sense of satisfaction.
3)  I don’t like Mexican food.  It’s a messy textural thing.
4)  Dolls make me angry.
5)  I forget the names of people I know well sometimes.
6)  I remember my best friend’s phone number when we were in high school.
7)  I like to dance.
8)  I write morbid poetry but don’t show it to anybody.
9)  I propagate aloe and give it away because I think everyone should have it in case they get burned.
10) My winter and fall coats are red.
11) I sulked when my brother beat me at chess.

Eleven Questions from Sharon:

1) What did you want to be when you grew up?  An artist.
2) Who was your celebrity crush as a kid?  Rock Hudson
3) Favorite movie?  Good Will Hunting
4) Favorite book/author/illustrator?  I have too many favorites in this category, but love Mary Stewart, J.K.Rowling, Alexandre Dumas, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Hans Christian Anderson, Robert Lewis Stevenson…
5) Do you believe in ghosts?  Why or why not??  Yes.  “I see dead people.”
6) What is your stupid human trick?  Rolling my tongue.
7) If you could go back in time and tell your teenage self one thing, what would it be?  Life will get better.
8) Most embarrassing moment?  Right, like I’m going to go there!  How about a lesser embarrassment like when I wet myself when the teacher didn’t believe I had to go to the bathroom?
9) What’s the one thing you’d most like to be remembered for when you’re gone (you know, dead…sorry, kind of morbid, but it’s a deep thought kind of question).  I want to feel like something I did made someone’s life a better, but I’d also like some of my creative work to survive me.
10) Do you talk to yourself (out loud, when no one else is around)?  No, but sometimes I tell my dog things.
11) What is your favorite guilty pleasure?  Ice cream.

Now I'm supposed to nominate 5 bloggers with Liebsters of their very own even though this makes me feel like playing favorites and sorry I can’t nominate everybody I enjoy visiting, plus it reminds me that I haven’t been visiting as much as I’d like since I’ve been wasting all my time working lately...

Patti at Patti’s Page
Susan Sorrell Hill (Susan recently relaunched her Etsy site, which isn’t a blog, but still worth visiting)

Sunday, April 14, 2013


Every year my family went camping.  Dad wanted to go as deep into the wild as possible and led us into multi-hour sing-a-longs in the car.  We made words out of the letters on license plates and waved to truckers.

Oh, okay, maybe things got loud when one of my sisters punched me.  I’d holler I didn’t touch her, so her punching was unfair.  “If I have to stop this car somebody’s going to get hurt!”  We believed it too, so we’d behave for a while… until I went back to my favorite pastime looking at Sis #2 in various ways until she exploded and punched me again.  After a while she could sense when I was prepping for another round of looking.  The real beauty of this game is that when my sister screamed “She’s looking at me!!!” my parents had a complete lack of sympathy.  Mom told Sis to ignore me, but Sis was incapable of ignoring me.  This might get us as far as Ontario.

Once in Canada, things settled down into a cement blur of boredom.  Sis #1 studied something useful, Sis #2 would chatter about people in the other cars, and I’d play car games with my parents.  When Bro #1 got old enough, I looked at him too.  I guess I was mastering my future boss persona, and eventually learned that if I look too much at people I’m liable to get punched.

So, after many, many, many hours in the car of family togetherness, we’d pile out and erect a tent on the sharpest rocks in the forest.  Once, we pitched the tent on a patch of poison ivy.  Most of my relatives woke up scratching and complaining, but I was pleased that sensitivity to poison ivy is a weakness of lesser humans.  (I’m afraid to test that theory in more recent times.)

One morning I woke up on the Canadian side of Lake Superior before anyone else.  I remembered the blueberries we’d found the day before and decided to pick some for a blueberry pancake breakfast.  More blueberries were getting shoved in my mouth than going into the colander until I started slowing down enough to notice that I wasn’t the only one shoving down berries.  A black bear was just as interested in them as I was, and he was so close that I could actually see his hair bending under the weight of a black fly walking on his fur.

Oooooooo…. Back away slowly… then… RUN!!!!!

I doubt Mom understood that I could’ve died by bear when she complained I didn’t bring back enough blueberries, but Dad seemed to think maybe we shouldn’t continue camping at this most beautiful place if there were bears around.  I hated to pack up the tent.  The water of Lake Superior was a gorgeous deep blue, we jumped off sandstone cliffs into the pure water, and Sis #2 almost sent herself to America on the raft we built.  Good memories J  Well, maybe Sis didn’t think so because she really did almost get lost on that raft.  Dad had to swim far and fast to get her back while I waved bye from the shore.

I guess it’s a good thing Dad caught her.  It would’ve been very boring to stare at my oldest sister into violence on the drive back.  Besides, Sis #1 punched harder.

This has been a crazy weekend in a crazy week, so sorry, no masterpieces this time.  Besides, it seems to me that I’ve covered “wild” many times in the past.  I asked my brother to be guest artist because I was too tired to draw and this is what he came up with.  I think I should’ve given him a fresh piece of paper instead of having him draw on the backside of a work report.

Saturday, April 6, 2013


I used to walk past The City Mission every day.  Scary homeless guys hung around outside, smoking cigarettes and catcalling.  I put my head down and kept my periphery vision on high alert for sudden movements.  Past that gauntlet, I waded through the monthly line at the Welfare office.  Sometimes fat women with too many kids would yell at me about how I didn’t deserve the luck of having a job.  That was the price I paid for 50 cents/day parking in the big city.  If I had been more lucky, I would’ve paid $15/day and avoided seeing that side of life.

Once I was at work, I looked out my 13th floor window at the ornate capitals of the columns on the next building over.  I listened to my old guys talking about the good old days, and I ate lunch at the Old Arcade  or Terminal Tower.  It was a time of urban renewal, and I enjoyed watching craftspeople restoring long-neglected architecture.  When my work was done, I often drank with my coworkers in The Flats.  It was mostly a good time in life.

Given the opportunity, I jumped ship and took a job in the boonies which is my natural environment.  Whenever I had to wait for geese to cross the road so I could get to work, I thanked God I wasn’t driving in the big city any more.  If a goose made a mess on my windshield, I turned on the windshield wipers and felt grateful I wasn’t watching a homeless guy taking a leak on the street – but sometimes I missed the fun of the city.

Years went by and I ended up working at another urban place, but without the charms or entertainment.  The drive was longer, the traffic was meaner, and the roads were in worse shape.  I didn’t want to go out drinking with my coworkers.  I wanted to get home where I could listen to birds sing.  Sometimes I felt nostalgic for street festivals and eating at the Old Arcade.

My boss gave me a project for graduation.  I gave him a graduation cap.  No, no, no… something more personal.  Why don’t you paint a building?  I screwed up my face.  Why I would draw a building for graduation?  My originally from NYC boss started talking about buildings like they were people.  In fact, I’m pretty sure Manny loved New York buildings more than he loved any humans.  I was pretty sure he was crazy, but okay, I painted buildings.  I guess the client thought he was crazy too because we didn’t sell that job.

Sometimes I think of Manny when I just don’t understand another person’s point of view.  What I think is obviously the only right way to think about certain things.  For instance, my heart bleeds when somebody cuts down a tree.  I had another boss who thought Ohioans are way too fond of trees, which he thought should be clear cut so you could have a better view of houses.

It isn’t just trees vs. buildings.  Sometimes I have to think of Manny when confronted with any foreign thought which runs opposite to my understanding of the universe.  Of course they’re still wrong, and I’m still right, but sometimes I can slow down a little and appreciate some of the things they value.  All that remains is for me to figure out a way to make these people value trees.