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, November 26, 2017


I should either rake leaves outside or clean house inside today.  What I've actually done is watch news and play computer games.  Today is supposed to be the chilliest day of the week so the housekeeping idea is gaining a little traction, and staying inside would allow me to continue my news obsession.

There's all sorts of major things going on in the greater world, but the news isn't talking much about that.  It's mostly about sexual harassment.  You may remember this is a topic that hits close to home since it was major factor at my last job, and most of my other jobs, and it seems people are noticing it happens to quite a few women.

I've had quite a few conversations with men lately on the topic.  Some get it, as well as anyone can who isn't living it.  More seem ignorant or misinformed.  It doesn't occur in front of them, so they have a hard time believing it's as prevalent or serious as claimed.

One male friend asked why I thought it had happened so often to me.  Because I've been single?  Because I worked in a male-dominated profession? Because I'm assertive and accomplished?  Because I turned down cheating coworkers for dates?  As more and more women come out with their stories, I wonder if I'm not as alone as I've felt.  It's part of our culture where a woman is paid and valued less than a man.  This article expresses someof the issues, but it only addresses the conditioning females endure.

I've been adding up the perps in my life and I'm flabbergasted by the sheer quantity of them, and I'm not counting cat callers and ass grabbers.  I've been assaulted, harassed, and discriminated against.  I've suffered stalking, break-ins, window peeping, and phone calls.  Some of this lasted years, and the police and other authorities were useless.  And for the record, I wasn't dressed like a slut and it wasn't my fault.  The perps were usually attractive and well-off.  All were white.

Women forced to leave jobs due to harassment have to work their way up ladders over and over in ways men don't have to do -- which is another justification to pay women less and pass them over for promotions.  Keep in mind, they climb those ladders while coping with the traumas they've been accumulating on the job, and often go home to verbally or physically abusive mates.

We need to speak up and support each other, and that includes good men who are willing to talk about the subject.  Everyone needs to understand that it's going to continue because perpetrators aren't caught or prosecuted.  Too many events are he said/she said without a chance of justice.  But, women are finally getting believed.  It's a start.

Reluctantly climbing off of my soap box where I could rant considerably longer, the leaves are calling.  It's cathartic to listen to the news when perps are finally getting outed, but my lawn is orange with leaves.  Fresh air and exercise feels like it's winning over housekeeping.  This is older art, done at another job where I was harassed and discriminated against, where my boss exposed himself, where his female boss laughed it off as "boys will be boys"... ohmmm... yeah, fresh air, exercise, happy thoughts!

Friday, November 17, 2017


Nobody is born a "master" at anything.  Child prodigies aren't born with skills.  The child sits in front of a piano, loves plinking at the keys, and continues to plink until the noise becomes music.  They're praised, and they plink a lot more.  Maybe the kid was born into a musical family, maybe a parent teaches them some things.  A prodigy develops over time in a fertile environment.  So too with art and any other pursuit that requires skill, even if most of us won't be child prodigies and learn our skills as adults.

I've been in the archives this week.  I'm working on another painting and was looking for reference materials.  In the hunt, I discovered these rare, preschool drawings.  To my knowledge, these are the only evidence of my early art efforts until I started saving my drawings many years later.  I can only wonder about my concepts of anatomy back then, or what was going on around me to inspire love and hate.

I tend to think art is an inheritable tendency.  I'm from an artistic family, and because they're artistic, my parents encouraged me.  I suppose they probably also appreciated the fact that art is a quiet activity and easier for adults to be around?  But, I started out like every other kid with a crayon.  I looked at my world and tried to copy my vision of it.  I got better at doing that over time.  I enjoyed doing it, so I did more of it.  I was competitive enough to want to do it better than my peers.  I wanted praise.  Eventually, I got to the point where I developed some real skills.  I studied and acquired more skills.

Now, it seems like the world doesn't care about those skills that I've spent so many hours accumulating.  The painting I'm working on could be accomplished much faster, and more technically perfect, on the computer.  I've been giving some thought to the practical stupidity of spending so much time on things that aren't going to pay the bills.

And I don't care.

It might be the first time in decades that I don't care.  I'm painting for me.  I'm working through personal issues with paint and feeling a pleasure that I haven't felt for a very long time -- and kind of stumbling into an awareness that this kind of painting is far more important than all the BS I did as an illustrator/graphic designer through the years.

It would be nice to get money for these paintings, but the paintings are more important to me than the bucks.  Of course this is only true because I still have enough money to keep the lights on.  Life would be so much easier if I had a trust fund or a patron.  (If you didn't see the other painting, you can see it here.)

This is just a part of the unfinished painting.  At the moment, it's a mostly empty box which I'm going to fill up with things.  I'm having some trouble planning out how to make things fit inside, but even that problem is a pleasure at the moment.  One thing is for sure though, this painting will go much faster than the last one!

Saturday, November 11, 2017


Sis ate one of my crayons.  It was a broken bit of a useless color like mustard or flesh, but still, eating non-food items was curious, and eating my crayons was criminal.  Even at my tender age of about 4, I wanted to know why she did it.  "A girl in my class eats crayons.  I wanted to know what they taste like."  Well, what did it taste like?  "Like a candle, like wax."  Sis sorted through my colors and picked up another broken bit of an expendable color.  She popped it in her mouth, chewed thoughtfully, and pronounced crayons weren't worth eating.

I waited until she was off to more exciting adventures before sampling an expendable color myself.  Blech.  I felt sorry for that girl in Sis' class.  Something wasn't right about her.  This was before I went to class and found out quite a few kids eat non-food art supplies.  I sampled glue and decided that was right up there with crayons, but paste?  Mmmm.  The paste even had a convenient plastic paddle inside for convenient licking.

"If everybody jumped off a bridge, would you follow them?" Dad asked.  Yes, as it turns out, I would jump off the bridge, but that was quite a few years later.  I felt like telling Dad it was fun too, but then I heard about kids getting paralyzed doing that kind of thing and kept quiet.  I also learned that eating my paste meant I had less paste for art.  Less art is stupid.  Don't eat paste.

Sometimes I look at people and see a world filled with lemmings running off cliffs.  Think for yourself!  I can feel superior in these moments and completely forget that I ate a crayon and jumped off a bridge (plus a plethora of other ill-advised activities).

There are other times I think being an independent minded person is punishing.  I can see the cliff coming.  I can warn others about the cliff.  We all go over the cliff anyway.  Ignorance is bliss until you hit the bottom, and then I'm pretty sure none of the lemmings are thinking about their choices anymore.  Sometimes I'd like to be ignorant too.

We've all eaten a crayon or licked paste or some equivalent action because we saw someone else doing it.  I was going to write that nothing good ever comes from it, but I remembered learning to use a computer.  I tried reading about it, but I didn't get it until I watched someone else use it.  We learn by following.  It's just the next step, tasting the crayon and deciding not to eat another that's important.  What do you do with all of the things you've learned?

In art, we can see when someone takes off their training wheels.  There are millions of Bob Ross knock offs, and then you see a landscape with life and colors that weren't shown on the tv how-to show.  That's the magic, when someone expresses themselves instead of simply copying.  Art mirrors life.  You can feel the joy when someone takes off the training wheels of their lives and thinks for him/herself.

I'm pretty sure we're all some mix of crayon eaters and artists.  We're all works in progress.  It keeps life interesting.

Saturday, November 4, 2017


Harvey Weinstein's despicable behavior may have a positive outcome for women?  The fame of many of his victims has brought national attention to a subject women have known a long time.  The fact that many of the famous women, and Weinstein himself, are Democrats have Republicans excited to report it.  Democrats sin.  Take your attention off alleged presidential treason, tax evasion, and money laundering.  Republicans are also delighted about the Democratic party making a deal with pre-convention Hillary Clinton.

As a Bernie supporter, I'm seriously annoyed with the Democratic party.  I addictively watch news about the varied investigations into the Russian scandal.  T whines he wants investigations into HC's emails whenever he's in trouble though authorities have already said HC made poor decisions without breaking the law.  Let's get to the main issue that effects everybody, sexism.

I'm delighted to hear men talking about the topic.  Granted, a sorry amount of those men seem to completely miss the point of the subject, but they're talking.  It's a start.

Sexism isn't about sex.  It's domination and bullying.  Offenders are often married or in relationships.  They get consensual sex.  Harassing a woman at work makes them feel powerful.  In no way is this a "flattering" or "friendly".  Here's some statistics...

  • Nearly 1 in 5 women report being raped.
  • About 1 in 20 women experienced sexual violence other than rape in the last 12 months.
  • 20% of all US crime is domestic violence and it is the leading cause of injury for women.  The FBI estimates violence will occur in 2/3 of all marriages."
That's enough statistics.  It's a violent world.  That violence follows us through office doors.  The greatest tragedy is that the violence is tacitly condoned by the powers that be.  Human Resources departments exist to protect companies.  Policemen are often child abusers and wife beaters.  Laws are written to protect men in power.  Victims fear to band together because they are afraid they'll lose their positions.

Many otherwise good people seem blind to reality.  Maybe Weinstein's abuses finally breaks through decades of concrete bubbles around other abusers?  When Bill O'Reilly was outed, many enjoyed his downfall without much sympathy to his quickly forgotten victims.  When Anita Hill testified to Congress, she was criticized and diminished while Clarence Thomas was given a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.

Sexism is a huge topic that effects women at work and at home.  I suppose it takes some famous women to make the point, but it happens to your mom, aunt, sister, daughter, niece, friend, neighbor, and maybe to you.  Also, as Kevin Spacey demonstrated, not all victims are female.

Keep talking.  Don't let this bubble fade without awareness and change.

This art is something I did for American Mensa's Bulletin magazine.  In this context, it's a reminder that the world can be a place of comfort and support between genders.