Bas relief ...

This cracks me up and makes me happy at the same time. Spontaneous geometric and color. It's the lid of my pastel box. 

The Gizmo...

A gizmo of my invention, easy to make and helps avoid frustration when wet brushes play kissy face. At home, I use my grandfather's antique crystal doorknob with a lovely beveled metal connection built in. For working at the gallery, I purchased copies. The facets of the crystal keep the gizmo from rolling. A dowel joins the end pieces and a packet of rubber hair bands keep the brushes from sliding into each other. 

Lay over...

Three waves of geese landed at the garden today, hundreds in each contingent. 

Three waves of geese landed at the garden today, hundreds in each contingent. 

The Townies seemed to share my awe. They stopped foraging and stood gawking right along with me. 

The Townies seemed to share my awe. They stopped foraging and stood gawking right along with me. 

When the wild things stop to say hello, I don't feel as abandoned by God and Man here in the city. 

When the wild things stop to say hello, I don't feel as abandoned by God and Man here in the city. 


Stacks, oil, 40 x 18

Stacks, oil, 40 x 18

At school,  a professor challenged us to make a painting a day if we wanted to learn how to paint,  not a wimpy 8 x 10",  a substantial work. I wanted to finish this in a single sitting, however, the format is a bit large to tackle in one day.  Took about six hours over two days to complete this first in a new series of oil paintings, Working The River. 

The goal for the series is to lose the muscle memory of painting in oil since I was 15 and become as free with color as I feel with more recent pastel experiences. I've been tied to a traditional palette in oil and wondering why the pastels are so much brighter when I hardly pick up a brown in pastel. The goal for this series is to abandon all browns, ochres, earth siennas and umbers to create strong browns or lovely grays from clear reds, blues and  yellows.


Does it get better than having fun while you're working?

Photo courtesy of Carlotta Collette.

Tonight was a great evening, the opening of a wonderful show celebrating the history of Oregon City at In Bocca al Lupo Fine Art.  Six of the artists in the show, from left, Gary L. Michael, David Mayfield, Randall David Tipton, Leslie Peterson, Moi and Leland John, photo courtesy of Carlotta Collette. I had a good time hanging out with old and new friends talking shop. The mutual admiration and respect flowed freely, not to mention an abundance of good humor. Times like this I really love my job...


To stay present to the issue of creativity, I have a throw-away piece of writing or art, something I intend from the beginning to have no psychological weight. The unconsidered page or support sits beside the focus piece and absorbs the frustration or ennui when I’ve run out of steam. I’ve found the disposable piece allows me to accomplish active forward movement when I might otherwise consider myself stuck and walk away.  My derrière is in the chair, my face is to the easel for the allotted work time. Often, the secondary piece becomes the stronger work. 



The "Right" Path...

As humans we fight for the right to be right, whether we are or not, and being right becomes a paralysis to creativity. Any movement, in any direction will break the logjam as long as we’re willing to allow we may need to explore several possibilities until the right one becomes apparent. We are free to change direction at any time if we don't like the road we're going down. 

You're It!


For the most part, my reality growing up was continually difficult punctuated by life threatening exercises in survival. I remember the shock as a child the first time I saw someone who looked like an apple doll from a bear mauling - 365 stitches in his face alone. He recovered and went back to living.

There was little companionship in remote areas so I read and my celebrities were from the pages of biographies.  Sidebar: gratitude to my father who hauled a library of classics, Great Books, encyclopedias and vinyl music along each time we moved.

My models and exemplars are the change makers who didn’t realize at the time they were constructing history.  Golda Meir, Mohandas Ghandi, Abraham Lincoln, Clara Barton, Jane Addams, Harriet Tubman and so many more. Contemporary heroes Martin Luther King, Storm Large, Maya Angelou and Einstein. Flawed humans making the world a better place. I have the advantage of seeing their contributions in the context of a lifetime. These examples, more times than I can count, are the reason I get up to try and live life authentically one more time. 

What if your story is the one who will inspire us to pick ourselves up? What if your music will lift our hearts? What if your art will galvanize the political course of the next decade? Do the work. One word, one note, one brushstroke at a time and the world is changed for the better because of your effort. 

Photo Copyrighted

Best Friends...


A conversation sparked considerable pondering on what friendship means and the concept of "best friends."  There are the Friends I've spent the most time on earth with, Friends I've gotten into the most trouble with, Friends I've broken up with, Friends who went their way and were not seen again and Friends who have wandered back into my life after decades. I supposed if I'd spent enough time in one geographical place, I might have a best friend. 

For me a Friend is the person who is looking into my eyes and listening with their heart. In that moment of recognition, I belong to a community and know my worth to another soul on the planet. 

What if we considered every person we connected with as a potential Best Friend? What would happen if we looked across the artificial boundaries of race, religion or nationality into the eyes of the person in front of us? We have the potential to find friends in the most unexpected places. We have the potential to heal a hurting world one Best Friend at a time. 


Working the River series...

Continuing my fascination for architecture and place, Working the River II. In process, I like the drawing marks and may leave them.