Wednesday, October 15, 2008

if - Strings

Murphy's law in full effect. I loved to fish as a kid and it never failed that my line would unwind on the spool and get hopelessly tangled. I was forced to watch everyone else pull in fish after fish while I untangled my line....Another one of life’s lessons in patience.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


I'm not really sure what this image is about. It's a continuation of my experiments layering one idea upon another. The original idea started out with a pond packed with lily pads, then I added the frog, and then the lotus flowers, and then the palm shadows.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 25, 2008


I'm really enjoying the japanese print style. I spent most of the week experimenting with different techniques and I planned on painting another one with more of a wet on wet technique but I ran out of time.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 18, 2008

no. 24

no. 23

no. 22

no. 21

no. 20

no. 19

no. 18

no. 17

no. 16

no. 15

One of my favorites.

IF - Island

I'm constantly trying to reduce my illustrations to the purest representation of my personal philosophy.  This is my latest experiment....Back to the drawing board.  Also, I'm having such a difficult time getting my scanner to pick up all of the detail in my watercolors.  If you saw the original you wouldn't recognize it next to the scanned and edit image:(
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

IF - Clutter

This is the clutter we have twice a day. I like Elmo peeking out of the toy box:)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

No. 14

Another good shell for watercolor painting.
Posted by Picasa

No. 13

A piece of coral. Color on screen is very different then what the color is on paper.
Posted by Picasa

No. 12

These asymmetrical shells with small splashes of color are my favorite because they are really good for watercolor painting.
Posted by Picasa

No. 11

Posted by Picasa

No. 10

I was too impatient with the little piece that sticks up in the middle of the shell so it came out looking like a blob:(
Posted by Picasa

No. 9

I like the dark shells.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

IF- Memories

I got the idea for this image after I did a quick comic image in Japanese print style.  Seeing all of the black birds in the prints I researched reminded me of my childhood in Colorado.  I would play all day in the cat tail lined creek behind our house, busy chasing crawdads I never noticed the beauty of the red wing black birds sitting on top the cat tails.  Somehow that image was lodged in my mind and seeing the crows in the japanese prints unlocked that hidden memory.  This was my second attempt...I have a new appreciation for the beauty and simplicity of the Japanese prints.

No. 8

Better than yesterday.  I don't think I captured the uniqueness of this shell, the asymmetrical dot pattern.  I am constantly surprised at how different the paintings look on the computer vs. the actual painting.  I adjust the image in Photoshop to get the color close to the painting but the 'feel' of the image is so different on the screen.

No. 7

No story.  My least favorite shell yet.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

No. 6

I'm thinking about adding backgrounds.  

Saturday, August 30, 2008

No. 5

It was late...Robbie was screaming.  For a brief moment I found peace inside this little painting.

Friday, August 29, 2008

No. 4

Here's big number 4....

This is the first one painted on hot press paper.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Shell-a-day. Number 3

I was tired and uninspired but I'm happy with the painting.  I like the subtle colors of the shell but I'm still trying to find a good soft color for the shadow.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Shell-a-day. Number 2

This is a beautiful shell.  It would be nice piece to make into a necklace. 

I'm listening to the the last episode of WBGH's 'Morning Stories' podcast with tears in my eyes.  The beauty and tenderness of this podcast is what my blog is all about.  Beauty in the everyday.  I encourage everyone to go the 'Morning Stories' website and listen to some of the stories. 
Here are some of my favorites:
"I have my eye on you"
"Goodbye to the God show"
These are touching moments of real beauty.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Shell-a-day. Number 1

Lately I've been intrigued by the incredible diversity in sea shells.  Color, form, structure, etc.  I collected a bunch of shells at the beach last weekend and I thought it would be interesting to paint one a day for a while.  I'll be shocked if I make it more than a week.  Maybe I'll surprise myself. Here's number 1.

Friday, August 22, 2008


A collage of scenes that make up my life with two under 2.....  It's meant to be read from left to right starting at the top left corner with us waking up.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

IF - Detach

Walden Pond, Concord, MA

163 years ago Henry David Thoreau spent two years in a 10x15 cabin here at Walden Pond.  He detached himself from society and discovered what is truly necessary to live a meaningful life.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Book Review - The Tattooed Girl by Joyce Carol Oates

I just heard someone say the other day that it's best avoid any book where the authors name is larger then the book title.  I'm not saying that you should avoid this book but there is probably some truth to that advice.  This it the first book I've read by Joyce Carol Oates..  It's obvious she is a master of the english language and a master writer that being said the book was enjoyable simply for her exceptional ability to craft delightful sentences.  The story is deeply layered but the characters are uninteresting.  I never connected with the main character Joshua Seigel.   Very little happened for 3/4 of the book and then three major events happen in the last 30 pages.  Interesting read but I would recommend finding another Joyce Carol Oates book which shouldn't be difficult considering the number of books she has written.

Sea Shells

I was stuck inside today thanks to tropical storm Fay so I decided to paint a sea shell series.  Again some good and some bad, overall I'm satisfied because I progressed from picture to picture.  Last night I started writing a poem relating life and watercolor painting, alas I gave up because I was tired maybe I'll try it again tonight.  Creatively speaking I'm starting to feel energized.  It's only now at 39 that I'm beginning to get a feel for my creative rhythm.  I know you shouldn't wait for inspiration to do your work but I feel so dead and flat inside when I'm not inspired that I can't decide what to work on.  Another day is coming to an end....

Monday, August 18, 2008

3 Apples Watercolor

My inner voice finally got the best of me last night so I did a quick 30 minute sketch painting of 3 apples.   There are parts of the painting I like and parts I don't like.  I think my fear of painting stems from the fact that I don't control it and I don't know where it comes from.  I sit down intending to do one thing and something else happens, happy surprises.  I want to paint more, I really do.  I also want to write more, read more, and sleep more, spend more time with my family, unfortunately there are only some many hours in a day.  Something has to give and more often then not it's my creative endeavors.  I'm sitting here writing this post when I could be painting or drawing but when I think of painting suddenly my mind is flooded with reasons I can't, why I shouldn't.  I like to watch and read biographies of people that are so focused on there passion that they are willing to sacrifice everything to do what they are compelled to do.  Part of my fear is giving in to that kind of passion, what would happen to me, I worry about my family?  Yet another part of me knows that I'll never be my true creative self without letting go of the fear the holds me back, until that day I am condemned to live here in my self imposed purgatory.

Finger and the Moon

So John....Tell us, what is your blog about?
Good question.  I wish I could say, I know that sounds strange so let me explain what I mean.  I believe laying below the surface of everything in nature is a universal truth, a beauty that can't be named with words.  My creative musings are arrows pointing to the truth hidden below.   "A finger pointing at the moon isn't the moon"  Don't look at the finger, look at what it's pointing to.  In general this blog is about trying to communicate the meaning of the title 'Beauty and Truth' by documenting my struggle to release my creative inner self.  My true self.  

Sounds interesting, but then again I am you so I would say that. 
I see you've done some paintings, would you consider yourself a painter?
Yes and no....I paint but I'm not a painter.  I write but I'm not a writer.  I write poetry but I'm not a poet.  I muse on lofty ideas but I'm not a philosopher.  I use whatever method seems most effective to communicate what can't be said.