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, October 28, 2018


I hummed to my plants while tending my garden and Bro2 said I was "witch compatible".  This was before I knew anything about Wiccans and I took offense.  Aside from Glinda the Good Witch, witches were ugly and evil.  I looked up Wiccans and decided I agreed with them about gardening.  In fact, they're probably better at it because they pay attention to moon phases though Dad paid attention to that too and I'm pretty sure he wasn't a witch.  He just studied the Farmer's Almanac.

As I'm wont to do, a little research ended up in quite of it before I decided I'm definitely not a witch, and I'm not going to be one.  Live and let live, let's talk about the healing properties of herbs.  Tip: lemon balm and fennel makes a great tea for a stuffed up head.

I'm not sure if I should be embarrassed or proud that I could probably win a Harry Potter trivia contest.  The books soothe me when life is stressful.  Children having adventures in a magic castle is a much better world than one with politically craziness and violence.  I think we'd be better off if our schools had herbology classes too.  Maybe without the biting plants.

The other day I thought about Professor McGonagall.  She's stern and can be forbidding, but she's also dependable and capable.  She got the rules bent for Harry to play quidditch in his first year, but docked him a tremendous amount of points through his school years.  We'd all be better off with a lot more McGonagalls.  Rules, consequences, encouragement, discipline, what more do you want from a teacher?

None of us wants to admit we want these qualities enforced upon us, but we do.  Life is easier when we know what's expected of us.  This is true between student to teacher, child to parent, employee to employer, and between friends and lovers.  Set the rules and stick to them.  If a rule is bent, have a good reason for it instead of just taking the easy path because the short-term easy path becomes the harder road in the long run.

I was with a woman and her young boys in a store.  The boys screamed bloody murder for toys they wanted.  The mom gave in.  I said she'd just guaranteed her boys would scream every time they were in a store.  It would be easier to just say no and stick to it.

This is, of course, much harder to practice in reality than in theory, especially since adults have more wiles than screaming toddlers.  I could give you many examples of times I failed at it miserably.  It's at the root of my failed relationships of different kinds.  I tell someone here's my boundary.  The person steps over the imaginary line.  I feel resentful.  The person looks for more boundaries to step over.  I enforce my boundaries while feeling more resentment until the inevitable explosion.  I bet Professor McGonagall never has to deal with these problems.

It's easier to blame trespassers of my boundaries than to look at my own failed defenses.  I can't do anything about other people, but I can study better methods.  Professor McGonagall is a good example even if she's a witch in a children's book.

Happy Halloween everybody!

Saturday, October 20, 2018


My Girl Scout troop decided to have a séance when we huddled around the fire during a sleepout.  None of my peers had a dead person to call back so I offered my Great Grandpa Winters.  I earnestly chanted with the others until I saw a thick wisp of something that looked like more than smoke.  Aaaaahh!!!!  I yanked my hands away from the girls on each side of me and had a full-blown panic attack.  I loved Grandpa and everything, but I was scared to death to see him in his dead form.

The other girls weren't happy with me for breaking the circle, and I started to wish I'd taken the chance to talk to Grandpa since I missed him.  Shoulda, coulda, woulda... let's make s'mores.

It's one of those days when I stare at the rain and feel uncooperative with the week's word.  There's so many things to write about ghosts and for some reason I don't feel like writing them.  Why should I worry about any lingering spirits' unresolved issues?  Go to the light and leave me alone.

I went to an art event yesterday.  It was fun to attend with live music and plenty of happy, friendly people.  I enjoyed looking at the art, but noticed nobody was walking around with purchases.  Three artists work in a surrealistic style, with Dali-like images.  This isn't original or new.  The paintings weren't even well-done.  Another artist painted vertical lines of different colors which looked like a house painter's samples or a homework assignment.  Another created computer-generated deceptions which pretended to be paintings.  They weren't even original images.  They were knock offs of famous people's photographic portraits.  I started feeling sad.

Thankfully, there were a couple of artists whose work was actually interesting, good, and creative.  They help me keep a grip on my artistic idealism.  Blogland is another way I keep inspired.  Sharing our ideas and work can be inspiring and help us take our work in new directions.  For that matter, even the Dali knockoffs provided some inspiration.  I got on the internet and looked up Dali's work.  I don't care for his melted watches, but I admire other things he did.  In that admiration maybe I can find something that finds a way into one of my efforts?

Sometimes it feels like our muse deserts us.  We stall.  We can feel intimidated by what other people are doing, or superior for that matter.  We can get mired in negatives.  The important thing to remember is the good is always there too.  Inspiration is available.  Find it.  Go to art shows.  Search the web.  Read.  Look at the trees and smell the flowers.  Open yourself up to whatever is around you and explore the good in it.  If you can't get out of your negatives, look for a way to grow in your negatives too.

I finished another painting but there isn't anything ghost-like in it.  Maybe IF will give me a better word for me to show it to you next week?  Wishing everyone a happy and inspiring autumn in the meantime!

Saturday, October 13, 2018


I walked in the park this week wearing shorts and sandals.  Everyone I met smiled and said "hi".  The trees dumped truckloads of ankle-turning acorns all over everything and the squirrels and chipmunks were happily scurrying around.  It was a good day, a magical day.  It feels so long ago.  Now I'm trying to decide whether or not to pick all my green tomatoes before the cold ruins them.  I'm so sick of tomatoes.  I'll be so sorry when I don't have garden fresh tomatoes anymore.

I helped a friend with his fall leaves this week too.  He lives 15 minutes away in a whole different climate.  We spent 4 hours on his leaves but all of mine are still green.  Oh okay, maybe we didn't actually do productive things in that whole 4 hours.  We might've spent 10 minutes or a couple of hours talking in the driveway, but you know, it still counts.  Sort of.  We've got to ease into our fall exercise routine.

Our different climates are due to the Great Lakes.  I live 2 miles away from Lake Erie as the crow flies.  He's more like 10 or 15 miles from the lake.  In fall, the lake still holds the warmth of the summer sun.  That means my world is a little balmier than my friend's.  In spring, the lake is an ice cube making my world colder.  So you see, it all works out about even for everyone, I just feel a bit out of step with most of the rest of the world.  That's fine.  It suits me.

I've always felt a bit out of sync with everyone else.  Maybe we all feel that way sometimes?  I learned how to pretend to be like everyone else while indulging my idiosyncrasies.  Once, I told someone that I was practicing for the day when I become an eccentric old lady.  He told me I could quit practicing.  That's an achievement that still pleases me.  Just wait till I'm truly an eccentric old lady!

At the heart of it, I know we all have to conform enough to get along.  At the same time, what's the point of everyone being the same?  Everything that makes each of us special is where the magic is.  For creative people, it makes our creations interesting.  For everyone, our distinctiveness is what makes us an interesting friend or a valuable employee or boss.  Maybe the people who aren't good at these things aren't good at them because they're trying too hard to row against their personal current?

Unrelated to any of this, I'm currently reading A Deadly Wandering by Pulitzer Prize winner Matt Richtel.  In it, I learned driving while talking on the phone is even worse than drunk driving.  It doesn't matter if you're doing it hands-free or not.  Texting is even worse.  I know many of my loved ones talk on the phone all the time while driving.  Please stop.  Whatever you've got to say can wait.  You can read more about the statistics here.

The book also addresses the neuroscience behind the addictiveness of smart phones.  I haven't finished the book yet, but so far it's an interesting read.  For those of you who find the topic interesting, I'd recommend it.  Maybe we can apply some social pressure to getting people away from their phones to take magical walks in the fall leaves?

Sunday, October 7, 2018


My recent paintings are an autobiography of sorts, and part of the research I do is reading my journals.  Example: Dec. 16, 1990 "I hate the damned cat most of the time."  There was more in the entry about the general havoc and destruction Dash was wreaking on my kitchen at the time.  Dogs at least show remorse when they do something wrong.  Cats seem to glory in it, though when my cat wasn't breaking things he was rather sweet.

I spoke with a friend this week about my ex-bf who read my journal -- and held what he read against me for the rest of our relationship.  My friend laughed and said he'd never be stupid enough to tell me he'd read my journal.  "Would you read it?!" I asked.  "Sure!" he replied.  Seeing as I used to date this guy I asked if he had read my journals.  He said he hadn't, but it was now established that he wasn't stupid enough to tell me if he did.

My journals suffered repeated invasions of privacy by multiple people which caused me to destroy many of them and not to write about my feelings for years.  I think it was a different form of abuse really.  Other people's nosiness caused me to cut off a healthy coping skill and destroyed my trust in those people.

I didn't really hate my cat.  I was just mad at him.  Writing what I felt in the moment with the intention of nobody's eyes but my own was a safe way to vent.  I sometimes wrote about people the same way.  Sometimes I didn't know what I felt and I wrote until I figured it out.

One time, a woman picked up my journal and started to read it in front of me.  Short of a fist fight, she wouldn't give it up.  In the end, I let her read what I'd written -- which was concern about her parenting skills.  Maybe she learned something useful?  I'm pretty sure she still holds what I wrote against me too -- which doesn't mean I should have to give up my self-expression to make her happier.  There's a reason journals are supposed to be private.

Unlike all these other people, I usually don't reread my journals.  Doing research for my paintings has been an interesting journey.  The amount of time I obsessed about stupid things and worrying about other people!  I want that time back.  I guess seeing this is part of the benefits of age and wisdom?

For my current paintings, I summarize my journal entries.  I journal more.  I figure out major themes and type a summary.  When the painting is finished, I've thought and felt all I need to think and feel about the subject.  It's a lot of work, but it's also been enormously helpful in seeing things I couldn't see before in people and events.  Maybe all this sounds too obsessive compulsive?  The thing is, I think everything we feel and experience stays in our muddy brains until it's resolved.  Thinking a lot about some things now means I won't have to think about them anymore.  In other words, less work in the end.

Sometimes we have to just look for the good in bad outcomes.  For instance, I think the US Supreme Court battle has finally cured me of my news addiction.  I can't stand to look at those people in DC.  They're like cats smashing things in the kitchen for fun.  I hope the Democrats win everything in November.