Looking at a piece of art, we view it through the lens of what we know.  One thing we know about is the physical world in which we live.  We understand subconsciously what gravity means in our world.  We know how some things should look and interact because we live in ever changing compositions in a world dominated by gravity.

Since about 1980, my work relates to this idea about gravity.  The compositions are always heavier feeling at the bottom because of color choice or number and size of shapes.   It lives up to an expectation, when thinking about balance in a composition, and the piece does not have to fight a battle to stay alive.

That is not to say that a piece where the opposite is true cannot be equally satisfying.  That’s the thing about art.  There are often bad solutions to true questions that can be the most amazing visually.  Or the opposite. The deeper one gets into any discipline, the expansion of those gray areas as opposed to the black and white ones can create insanity in the most superficial of workers.


Since teaching design in the last decade, I have wanted to make thinly orchestrated compositions.  The move is also due to the extreme amount of work necessary when stitching work in the past.  I am past that!  Below is a piece which adheres to my “darker shapes at the bottom” rule.


In spare work, the elements are all very important because there are so few of them.

Comparing the two views of the sculptural piece above, I have questions.  Which composition is better, the first where the front window is parallel to the floor, or the second, where the back window is?


All of us who collect stuff dream of the big find.  A fantastic return on investment,  historical significance, 15 minutes of fame.   It is tantalizing.  Most of what I collect is done because it fits into a house built in 1939.  But one collection is of passionate works by untrained artists.  A lot of this work falls into the category of religion.  Religion arouses passion and the need to create.

Much of my collection also must be guided by the one dollar rule.  This serves to restrict what would be a tsunami of stuff competing for my space and attention.


Bought this little piece made of an old shirt box separated at the seams as a frame, with construction paper binding the glass covering the image.  There are two toned crosses both under and over the glass.  The image is probably from a Sunday school handout depicting Jesus and the Woman at the Well.    It is wonderful and cost one dollar.

In terms of collecting paintings, I prefer the passionate amateur.  My one dollar rule pretty much dictates this.  Sometimes however, the two sets intersect.

1-watercolor with frame

This very nice little watercolor was just one dollar.  It was not done by an untrained person.  The image is swift, deliberate and light.  The shapes are abstracted and done with ease.  It is painted on good paper.


It has no signature, sorry to say.  Or almost no signature.

This little painting is five by seven, and is in one of those cheap plastic frames that has cardboard for the back .  On the edge of the frame are little staples that you can bend into place, or bend out to remove the cardboard and the watercolor.

A year or two ago, messing around late at night and listening to the radio, the painting struck me as the sweet little thing that it is, and I turned it over and undressed it, hoping a signature would be on the back of the paper.  Boy, was I surprised!

1-b and w photo

An old fart with a young chick on his lap!  The photo is also five by seven and was hidden perfectly within the plastic frame between the watercolor and the cardboard back.  What could be the back story here?  Do you think he is the artist and he gave this to her?  Other way around?  Anybody know who these people are?

We see a resort umbrella, sea oats, a brick building with a Pepsi sign that starts a word with “ca”.  My husband thinks this is father and daughter.  I think she is far too pretty to be his.  I prefer an out of town “rendezvous”!  Somebody please tell me he is a famous artist.


Where have I been?  Where are the results of my creativity?  Where is the progress on the shower, the brickwork, the gardens?  Why am I not writing?

I have been down the black hole of technology, smacking down my long time personal demon, one that has never been extinguished because it changes all the time:  photography.  Well not technically “smacking down” this devil,  maybe, punching it into some kind of temporary shape.  After squeezing out a serviceable photo or two, my old lame inability leaps over me like that huge ephemeral genie out of the tiny vessel ( or camera)  and  fills like smoke all niches of this old farmhouse.  And I run screaming into the sunset.

Ah, bane of my existence, itch that I cannot scratch, in recent years you have gained equally surly partners: commands that make no sense, forms I cannot fill out. CDs that don’t burn, and are they like DVDs?  One can make an argument that if you cannot photograph your work, you might as well not make it.  And if you are not present and able on the web, well you can just forget it.

Do you have an on line presence where I can see your work?  Such a simple question!  NOOOOO, all my work looks like crap on line.  It is either too big or too small to photograph well.  What is wrong with me?

There is an opportunity for me here in nearby Columbia.  The city wants a mosaic.  It is a perfect surface, and an idea came to me.  For the past couple of weeks, the idea has been transferred to physical form, and then the government application had to be filled out.  On line.  Baahh.


Here is the space all 16′ by almost 9′ of it.  Virgin cinder block, perfect.  This is why I was working so hard.

The submission is complete, done, out of my hands and into theirs.

In the middle of all this work, another almost lost commission has been taken off the back burner and will happen after Christmas.


1-1-manning 5

Look at this horrible photography!  These drawings are for a chapel in a hospital in a small town going towards the beach from here.  The mosaic will be 8′ x 4′, with the arched line at the top.  The resulting image will be a cross between these two drawings.  Yes, cypress swamp.