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

A spooky hike

Yet another day of sunshine and 80+ degrees. I put aside the work I couldn’t finish, and went to do the toughest hike in the community. Fall colors relaxed my eyes as the dry leaves crackled under my feet. But something was strange… The forest was silent. Completely silent. I puzzled over it, then realized that … read more A spooky hike

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

Kandinsky on materialism

Feeling deprived of spirit and art, I started the morning by re-reading Wassily Kandinsky’s “Concerning the Spiritual in Art.” That got my day going right. One of the quotes I highlighted: Our minds, which are even now only just awakening after years of materialism, are infected with the despair of unbelief, of lack of purpose and … read more Kandinsky on materialism


What’s wrong with this picture? Nothing, according to lots of people who saw it on the Facebook page of Robert Elzey. They called this and similar photos that he shot in a local garden “gorgeous” and “beautiful” and “vivid.” I’d call it overcooked. This was apparent even to a non-photographer, who said, “I don’t like the color … read more Overcooked

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

Day 99: Playing with Kandinsky

Can you build a whole painting around a single square of color? You can learn to, if you play around. That’s what I’m doing by playing with colored rectangles derived from those used by Wassily Kandinsky in Thirteen Rectangles. Although the arrangement of Thirteen Rectangles seems random, each shape and its color is part of the dynamic … read more Day 99: Playing with Kandinsky