Out of Control

Pestilant Sun, 1990, collage and acrylic on canvas, 65″ x 18″


It’s not yet the end of January, and I’m already feeling a little behind. Yes, that’s right, we’ve barely begun the year and I’m out of control.

I write this in all seriousness, and then I think for a bit and laugh. When is a creative ever in control? Creative people scale high in the trait for openness. Everything is always negotiable until the painting is hung or the poem published, or the music played, and even then, we think: “What if we’d done this, maybe this, and…”

Now, add to that bit, the usual January goal setting. Yes, I know, I told you that I didn’t make any New Year’s resolutions and I didn’t, but for me, there are two times in each year—January and September—when I can’t help thinking, “New beginning.” And with that thought, I’m flooded with delight at all the possibilities. Soooo many possibilities, so many things I could make.

Three weeks later, I’m overwhelmed and out of control.

What to do?

You can make lists, calendar plans, take webinars on how to better manage your time, and so on, but the single best thing I do is to take a big breath and hear the word STOP in my head. Then I let my shoulders fall. It’s amazing how relieved I feel.

For creatives, out of control is who you are, embrace it, take the day as it comes knowing you’ve been here before and you did okay.



(I’m not sure why I named this painting as I did. I’m a big fan of the sun.)

Magic Carpet

Magic Carpet

There was a period of time in my art life that I worked almost exclusively in collage. In the early stages it was partly because I couldn’t afford a  lot of art materials, and partly because I was having trouble with acrylic on canvas, which is what everyone else was using. Of course that isn’t what I told people. I told them I was doing the ecologically decent thing, and recycling.

The early collages were built entirely of bits of paper and pours of diluted acrylic paint, ink and whatever other medium came to hand. I would stick the bits of paper–newspaper, flyers, phonebook–onto a sheet of polyvinyl, and when the painting was dry, I peeled it away, creating a work that was one piece without a backing. Some of these works were very large–8′ x 12′. The problem was how to display them. As time went by I used canvas as a backing, allowing me to stretch the work on a stretcher.

Magic Carpet is approximately 3′ x 3.5′ and has a canvas backing. Funny how I like it so much better now than I did when I created it.

I hope you like it too.