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, December 7, 2013


I used to look at my bedroom ceiling and mentally measure the uneven spaces between the dark wood beams that slanted upwards to 15' on one side.  I'd contemplate the texture of the wood grain in each beam and the diseased white paint between each.  It was a humid disaster in the Glen, so Dad covered the paint with acoustic ceiling tiles.  Then I contemplated the textures of the ceiling tiles instead.

I was bed-ridden more than once as a kid, and we didn't have TV when I was really young.  That didn't leave much more to do than study ceiling tiles and beams.  I listened to my heart beat and my breath go in and out, then decided to see how few breaths and heart beats I really needed.  Thdump, thdump became baa... dumm.  Baa... dumm.  In ever widening spaces between each.  I think I accidentally discovered Yogic methods of meditation and healing.

Mom likes to say that boredom is good for kids.  It forces them to amuse themselves, even to the exquisite boredom of slowing down heartbeats.  I counted the dimples in the ceiling tiles and learned to count even through my dreams, waking up and finding the time on the clock with radioactive numbers was exactly what I expected it to be.

Sometimes I miss that kind of boredom.  Not in a way of actually wanting to be that bored again, but missing the control I had over myself.  It's harder for me now to pay attention to the times when I need to slow down the pattern of my breathing, and I can't slow my heart like I did back then.  As we get older, it seems more and more like life happens to us instead of creating it as we go along.

When we learn something for the first time, we don't know that we learned to do something hard or impossible.  When we're older, someone has already told us that you can't do that kind of thing so we probably won't try, or we give up too easily because we don't expect it to work anyway.  Or we have already figured out that there's absolutely no value in counting dimples in ceiling tiles.

Sometimes I think art is the same kind of thing.  Exquisite boredom and focus in a world of possibilities and mysteries.  For me, the joy of art is the process, and sometimes I'm happy to have something pleasant to hang on a wall afterwards.  People who buy art are buying an experience.

I often make patterns when I'm stressed.  It's more useful than examining ceilings, plus I end up with patterns to put in the backgrounds of other things.  I had a job that actually paid me for doing that kind of thing too.  Some of my old clients still carry my designs.  I swear I should've gotten royalties for this stuff.  I'm  only taking credit for the good designs on this site, and I still bemoan this company's product shots.

If you're interested in the production side of things, I created the page of patterns for Williams & Bennett to show how the patterns of a 5-high tower of gift boxes would look in either red or green backgrounds and with metallic gold ink.


  1. Oh wow. That pattern under the headline is just mesmerizing. There is value in ceiling dimples, but I think it's just when we get older our concept of time changes (as it no longer seems so endless). Happy holidays Linda :)

  2. Nice Patterns, Linda...you're brilliant at it! I know exactly what you mean about pattern-making being so relaxing, as well as that feeling of "life happening to me, rather than me creating it." I'm trying to turn that around...some days are better than others. :-)

  3. Why aren't you rich?! My youngest daughter loves designs and would buy all the Chevron, Lilly Pulitzer, and Vera Bradley she could if I let her. If you could get your awesome art on a lunch box and tote bag, my daughter and her millions of local and cyber friends could make you rich. :)

    I enjoyed the story of your artistic beginnings. A precocious little thing, weren't you. :)

    I clicked over the site. Turning the pages was fun; nice sound effect. How much of the work was yours?

  4. Linda, you certainly have a knack for pattern-making. I especially like the one at the top. Because of its old red and antique green colour, it has a late Middle Ages-beginning of the Renaissance feel.
    I often see patterns (and whole paintings) just before falling asleep. Sometimes I toss them down on a notebook.
    I understand the silencing of the babbling mind (as you say it, boredom) has a lot to do with changing brainwaves and allowing inspiration to speak to us.
    Hurrah to boredom, down-time, meditation and inspiration.

  5. It sounded better than counting sheep Linda. Your pattern is awesome, very traditional but so of the moment ;0) x

  6. I'd like to know why I'm not rich too! Ah well. My work in that catalog is on pgs 3-6, 9, and 17, but only the good ones on those pages :) Looking at those pictures reminds me of all the glitter that escaped during those projects. Sometimes I paint things in my head before going to sleep too. Thanks for the comments!

  7. Very nice, and Christmassy! Reading this. I think you're right. There is something very calming in creating patterns. And I'm with your mom, I think boredom is good for kids. All this constant stimulation leaves little to the imagination!

  8. Happy Xmas Linda :) I have also gone down the festive route this week too. Great patterns, nice to see them on finished products. I totally agree with you about a lot of pleasure being derived from the process and creating itself. I definitely feel this way when creating patterns, it's like puzzle solving :)

  9. Patterns are like puzzle solving. Nice, quiet activity, especially when it's snowy outside. BTW, watch Abby's video on her site for a snowy experience and smiles. Thanks for the comments!

  10. Some of my art friends have been talking about and trying Zentangles lately. The patterns are cool but the word sort of annoys me.

  11. Anything that makes people happy to create must be a good thing, right?

  12. Wonderful patterns! The one at the top is so rich looking! I agree - the joy of art for me is in the process, although lately the process has felt so rushed....sigh.

  13. Hello Linda!! Longtime no type. Enjoyed your gift of story telling once again. You have the gift of art and words - very rare. I was there looking up at the ceiling with you! I used to watch cartoons on the inside of my blanket when I was about four - so I can feel what you mean. :) Hope you are well and your plumbing is excellent!! Merry Seasons Greetings from here in Oz :) I know it's early but better early than never!!

  14. I know the feeling about being rushed Mit. I hope we both find more time for a leisurely process sometime.

    Andrew! Where have you been?! I miss your posts. I'll say nothing about plumbing since I don't want it to think I'm taking it for granted. Happy holidays to you too!