That’s a Wrap


#367/365 Paintings

From the book: How to be an Explorer of the World. Portable life museum. Keri Smith.

“You are an explorer. Your mission is to document and observe the world around you as if you’ve never seen it before. Take notes. Collect things you find on your travels. Document your findings. Notice patterns. Copy. Trace. Focus on one thing as a time. Record what you are drawn to.”


I love this book and it seemed the perfect thing to leave you with after this year of exploring coffee, bunnies, cows, kites, Dr. Seuss, food, wine, horses, dogs, Europe, fishes, literary inspirations and more together. I’m overwhelmed that this project is coming to a close. If I didn’t have so many wonderful things to look forward to creating from it in 2014, I just might be too much of a puddle to conclude it. ; )

I have some wrap up pages for you. One is a calendar of ALL of the paintings over the year. It’s a quick way to see them all and click to the posts. The other is the reflections article I promised. It chronicles in short summation the beginning, middle and end of this project and a few practices that made it happy/healthy. Click on images below to get there.



I intend to keep you in the loop about gallery plans, Kickstarter book stuff, fun photos, coaching, articles and new works when the year long children’s book illustration study course begins in Jan. So this is not goodbye—just to this format. Still, I look forward to some down time — chocolate and bubbly.

H A P P Y   N E W  Y E A R’ S  Change is your friend. So am I!


D O G story: A dog with many lives

#365/365 Paintings. WAHOO!

#365/365 Paintings. WAHOO!

D O G by Niya Christine.

I’m an old dog—a yellow lab as handsome as the day is long. I know that’s a cliché thing to say but I’m not a creative type like my friend Bosely—he’s an Irish Setter. I’m what you’d call a traditionalist. I like to eat exactly at 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. I take my bone with me everywhere I go. I will not carry the poop-bag.

I’ve had three names in my life. Max, Sirus and Jonesy—and this divides my life into three, four year parts. I’m glad I was Max in the first four years of my life. I lived with a family…a pretty good one too! But the woman, Grace…

If you want to read this story in full, click here


I enjoyed writing this story. Max, Sirus and Jonesy had a life that we either pity or envy depending upon your point of view. ; )


Susan Cain: The Introverts Among Us


#366/365 Paintings

Susan Cain. “Quiet” the power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking

“Poets and philosophers have been thinking about introverts and extroverts since the dawn of recorded time. Both personalities appear in the Bible and in the writings of Greek and Roman physicians, and some evolutionary psychologists say that the history of these types reaches back even farther than that: the animal kingdom also boasts “introverts” and “extroverts,” and we’ll see from fruit flies to pumpkinseed fish to rhesus monkeys.
Yet today we make room for a remarkably narrow range of personality styles. We’re told that to be great is to be bold, to be happy is to be sociable. We see ourselves as a nation of extroverts—which means that we’ve lost sight of who we really are. Depending upon which study you consult, one third to one half of Americans are introverts—in other words one out of every two or three people you know. {…}
If these statistics surprise you, that’s probably because so many people pretend to be extroverts.
If you are wondering why I’m going over 365 to a total of 367, I’m making up for 2 sick days (I posted replacements so it adds up to 367 now).
On Monday you will get the final wrap up posts. A painting and a lead in to the reflections article. Ugh, change… I need some chocolate.


Robert Grudin: On Letter Writing


#363/365 Paintings

Robert Grudin: From, Time and The Art of Living

“The simplest form of creative expression available to most of us is the letter. Letters may take us an hour or less to write; but a number of them {Plato, Cicero and Pliny the Younger} have endured for millennia. Whether we write for permanence or merely for communication, the act of producing a letter, even one never mailed necessitates a form of creative concentration that can improve our lives.”


I want to thank Janet Faught for the reminder today in our email exchange about the art of letter writing. It becomes even more precious in these times.

Ann Lamott: What a milking cow and writing have in common


#362/365 Paintings

Anne Lamott. Excerpt from “Bird by Bird”

“I still encourage anyone who feels at all compelled to write to do so.”


“But I also tell my students that sometimes when my writer friends are working, they feel better and more alive than they do at any other time. And sometimes when they are writing well, they feel that they are living up to something. It is as if the right words, the true words, are already inside them, and they just want to help them get out. Writing this way is a little like milking a cow: the milk is so rich and delicious, and the cow is so glad you did it.”


“…the milk is so rich and delicious, and the cow is so glad you did it.”  {love that line}

Bird by Bird. Painting by painting. 5 more to go. Hope everyone’s Christmas was fabulous!

Troubadour and Buddha. A rabbit story. P1.


#357/365 Paintings

One day a young rabbit found himself alone in the family den.

His sister, 10 seconds younger had nuzzled him to go above
to play. But he found the sun, flowers, bees, hay, mosquitoes and an occasional rattlesnake a lot to negotiate one month into life. He decided he would rather snuggle with the cool earth and wait for legitimate ideas and deeds. He was certain there was more to life than the stresses above. So he kept house and sat in just
the right place to have full choice of any of mother’s milk when she returned.

Days went by and neither mother nor siblings came home. He became
very scared, very hungry, very tired.

……………. See next page.