Heart to Heart

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I had an amazing day last weekend studying colour theory with my very talented and inspirational cousin Maggie Rose.

A little Goethe as tribute :


“Colours are light’s suffering and joy. “


“You can’t, if you can’t feel it, if it never
Rises from the soul, and sways
The heart of every single hearer,
With deepest power, in simple ways.
You’ll sit forever, gluing things together,
Cooking up a stew from other’s scraps,
Blowing on a miserable fire,
Made from your heap of dying ash.
Let apes and children praise your art,
If their admiration’s to your taste,
But you’ll never speak from heart to heart,
Unless it rises up from your heart’s space.”

-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe



Mind the Gap

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There are beginnings and endings, and there is the space between the two. Or maybe it is a process; turning the ending into a beginning. Either way, I’m finding it a bit difficult, sitting here in this gap. I expect there is a lesson in that.


It Will Have to Be Enough

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Is it New Year already ?

A whole week in – I’m wearing purple and green – does that count ?

I make no special resolution.

Every night I’m full of resolutions; they lay thick on my wrists; they drip from my fingers. If I could live in that first hour after bed, what I wouldn’t accomplish!

I played with beads yesterday evening instead of finishing the painting. Feet to the fire ! I should finish the painting ! The resolutions were flying.

Have you followed a butterfly’s flight ? Perhaps my attention bears too much resemblance. Does painting fit with that ?

I landed on a new name: Curiosity Artist.

It will have to be enough.



How Does Your Garden Grow ?

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Contained in the lovely essay :  “An Absorbing Errand: The Psychology of Mastery in Creative Work“.

The good life is lived best by those with gardens — a truth that was already a gnarled old vine in ancient Rome, but a sturdy one that still bears fruit. I don’t mean one must garden qua garden… I mean rather the moral equivalent of a garden — the virtual garden. I posit that life is better when you possess a sustaining practice that holds your desire, demands your attention, and requires effort; a plot of ground that gratifies the wish to labor and create — and, by so doing, to rule over an imagined world of your own.


As with the literal act of gardening, pursuing any practice seriously is a generative, hardy way to live in the world. You are in charge (as much as we can ever pretend to be — sometimes like a sea captain hugging the rail in a hurricane); you plan; you design; you labor; you struggle. And your reward is that in some seasons you create a gratifying bounty.

Janna Malamud Smith

Oh, I think everyone should have a REAL garden too !

Inside Out

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It is wet, wet, wet outside,

and so I’m listening inside.

Sara Kay


Hurry Ruins

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“Hurry ruins saints as well as artists. They want quick success and they are in such haste to get it that they cannot take time to be true to themselves. And when the madness is upon them they argue that their very haste is a species of integrity.” (Thomas Merton)

I don’t think I have this problem. I think I have the opposite; reluctance. Reluctance to try for success, reluctance to let a piece be finished; a reluctance to fail, a reluctance to count neither time nor product. Reluctance ruins too and carries its own false integrity.

The above quote was part of a post called Just for Today. Well worth the read !



Don’t Get Comfortable

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Artists often talk about pushing themselves; stretching; getting outside their comfort zone; trying something new. You’ll hear athletes, adventurers, business people, and programers say it too. In fact, running a marathon, climbing a mountain or some other means of discomfort or challenge seems to be quite popular in our age – we’re all finding ourselves in adversity. Except, according to one study, doing the one thing that many of us will do. I read this article a few weeks back, and was somewhat surprised by the conclusion. It seems –

” that having a child can have a pretty strong negative impact on a person’s happiness, according to a new study published in the journal Demography. In fact, on average, the effect of a new baby on a person’s life is devastatingly bad: worse than divorce, worse than unemployment and worse even than the death of a partner. “

At the end of the article the author finished by saying:

“The findings are likely to be eyeopening for some policy-makers who are concerned about low fertility rates in their countries and suggest that governments should consider giving additional support to new parents.”

I don’t want to knock support, but my completely anecdotal observations have been that the more people try and keep their old life; their me time; the more they deny the struggle or that they might need to embrace the dark night of the soul; the harder it becomes, even with help, to find happiness with a new baby.

Later the same day I read this blog post that contained the following :

“My midwife once told me not to try to be comfortable.”

Maybe it’s just expectations that rob us of our happiness. Maybe parenting isn’t about being comfortable.  Maybe we don’t need that mountain after all. I know I don’t – I’ve got kids and I’ve got art !