Playing with 13 Rectangles

In making a fused glass version of Kandinsky’s 13 Rectangles, I intended to explore his philosophy of color while translating the painting from oil to another medium. I certainly learned about his use of values, which I didn’t expect; and a bit about blending, which isn’t possible in glass the way it is with paint. After playing with 13 … read more Playing with 13 Rectangles

Copying a master

Art students are always told to study the masters, and to copy them. Coming from a journalism background, I was at first taken aback by this approach – it seemed at worst a kind of plagiarism, and at best an exercise that would stifle originality. But once I tried it a few times, I realized that it … read more Copying a master

Lop lop loppers

On the drive in Friday, Tom flinched every time a branch scraped against Xena on Booger Hollow’s narrow and rhododendron-infested roads. So today, I got out the loppers to trim them back. It was a three-hour chore. But the destructive beast inside me was growling with delight to be off the leash. Loppers were unfamiliar to … read more Lop lop loppers

The most lush spring ever

Self-centered creature that I am, I’ve been feeling as though this spring was designed and built JUST FOR ME. With a long winter of struggling through recovery from brain surgery, I felt shrunken and afraid. Then the flowers bloomed. And bloomed. And kept blooming. It has been a spring of tremendous abundance. I hoped to see one … read more The most lush spring ever

Being an idiot

Stupid. Idiot. Dumb-a**. Fool. Nitwit. Dope. Dipsh*t. Brainless.   You use those words much? I have. They’re insults we throw around all the time: while driving or shopping, in heated Facebook discussions, yelling at the TV. Maybe we even mutter those words at ourselves when we make a big mistake. In nearly seven months since my … read more Being an idiot

Between heaven and hell

Their branches curve thick and muscled as the arms of thugs on the waterfront. Their leaves sprout glossy and tough, built to survive temperatures 20 degrees below zero. Their roots defy attacks, continuing to grow even when everything else on the tree has been chopped off. This plant is not just a survivor, but a warrior. The pollen is violent: … read more Between heaven and hell

Picasso said so

One of my mental blocks about art is that I am always trying to create a masterpiece. After all, Picasso said, Everything you can imagine is real. So if I can imagine a masterpiece, it is real already. I just have to paint it. So I come to the daily practice, reminding myself of another … read more Picasso said so