Thursday, December 27, 2007


For over a year I have been having problems syncing my iPod. It was so bad the last time that I gave up until I had time to sit and find the solution. Since that time apparently this problem has become fairly common-place and sometimes a drastic solution is necessary – reformat the iPod and completely reinstall the software *and* the music! That was to be my last resort. However, it was never necessary! I am happy to report to all you other iPod users out there that my solution was the simple fix: I simply had to restart the iPod services. I am very happy now and will spend the rest of this evening adding new music to iTunes! If you are like me and experiencing similar problems with your iPod I am providing some very useful links below. You could also consider using a different iPod manager, but if you cannot sync now this will probably not help either considering it was a Windows issue. My little iPod was wearing itself out trying to connect (battery died FAST). You can see my entire blog here. If you need to email me directly, please click here.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


How can you tell when you are either being foolish or wise? It seems like a simple question. But these days you must sometimes wonder at the decisions people make in their daily lives. Everything is about choice. You can choose to go left or right, stop or go, etc.

How do you make this choice? It depends on the situation and your eventual goal. What makes the difference is how you make the decision. Is it with your heart or with your head? For example, do you feel like buying those shoes or that video game? Or do you need to buy those shoes or that video game? Which are you using first? Your heart or your head?

I have been reading a book written by one of my favorite professors, Dr. Kenneth Hanson called "Secrets of the Lost Bible". I am only on page 12 because it has already stirred me to thinking about how I make decisions and what I can teach my son about making wiser choices.

I will be brief: The letter "M" in Hebrew is "moach" meaning "mind". The letter "L" is "lev" meaning "heart". The word "melech" means king and the word "lemech" means fool. In other words, when you put the letter "M" before the letter "L" you are being wise. But if you put the letter "L" before "M" you are doing something foolish. You can practice this the next time you are thinking about pulling out a credit card. I still think it is okay to sometimes put your heart before your head and buy something because you want to. But you must weigh this against your values and goals. Also, consider if there someone else depending upon you to make the right decision. If you are having trouble deciding please ask a trusted friend or family member for help. And always remember to keep your receipt in case you change your mind or it's broken -- the item, not your head.

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Friday, December 21, 2007


Many times I get ideas for a painting or perhaps a series of paintings. This has been going on for me and I have only just this past week begun to fully realize what I will do for my first major series of paintings. It has been an idea for me for the past 1 1/2 years to do paintings of downtown Orlando where I now work. However, this idea has only been simmering in the back of my brain for all this time because it was not ready to be born. I felt this was true and there was no guilt in not starting on my new idea right away! It did not seem appropriate to rush into such a project rashly without a lot of thought and some initial preparation.

Most of the work on any painting or drawing project is done before any paint or pencil touches canvas or paper. You must think through the process first to make sure it will have the best start possible. That is not to say that half-way through you may realize it is going in the wrong direction and not working at all. But that is a topic for another day. For now, the lesson is to realize that running into a situation without thinking first can get one into a lot of trouble. At first things may seem to be okay but watch constantly so you can make appropriate adjustments or corrections.

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Thursday, December 20, 2007


How do I begin the process of making a painting? Of course, there is first the idea. Next, I consider what medium would work best for the painting. Sometimes a black and white subject such as a dapple-grey horse is perfect for a charcoal drawing on dark gray paper. You see a picture of "BJ" on the right as an example. I knew as soon as I saw the reference photograph that it would be beautiful just to be done in black and white only.

Sometimes while I am working on one painting or project I start another. This is especially helpful when I get to a tough area and I feel I will never get the painting done right! I do something else for awhile to give myself a break. When I go back to the troublesome project I work through it until it is done.

Because I frequently have several projects going all at one time, I find I usually finish all or most of them at about the same time. Of course, if there is a due date or it is a commission I do not follow this process exactly. Although, I sometimes find it necessary to step away from an intense project for awhile to relax. For example, if I am working on oil portrait I might pull out my watercolors and work on a fun exercise or work on a sketch for a new painting.

That is a part of the process of creativity in any endeavor. Whether you are at work, school or home, it is sometimes a good thing to do something different for awhile and come back to your original work. It gives you a fresher perspective and maybe some good ideas for future projects!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


I had a lot of fun last night. I met new friends, laughed a lot and talked about many interesting topics. We covered a lot of ground in about one hour while eating so this list is straight off the top of my head and in no particular order. I hope I included everything. Ed, Carol, Shari, Sy -- let me know if I forgot anything! Deep breath, here goes: family roots, where are you from?, the Incas, Nicaragua, Tennessee, Scotland, Lima, England, all over!, caricatures, Big Brother, Microsoft, Vista, Cosmos, Carl Sagan, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Apophis, 2012 or 2032?, warping space, event horizons, black holes!, the speed of light, Einstein, string theory, M theory, gravity, multiple universes, the Russian ballet and the way Sy makes turkey burgers -- very delicious with his own special way of adding flavoring!

Monday, December 17, 2007


I missed my plein air group's Christmas Party! Both Saturday and Sunday I was sick. I am upset about missing the party because it is a chance to talk and mingle with my painting friends and make new ones. Plus, it is the one time of year when we wrap a small plein air painting and we each pick a number and at the end of a delightful evening we all go home with a new painting that was done by another member. I have a special wall in my home where the two I have collected so far hang a wall in my bedroom. I have to admit I had pushed myself through the entire previous week while I was unwell. But two of my landscape paintings were opening in the Comma Gallery on Tuesday and I just started two new watercolor paintings the previous Friday night that need to be done by January and the other by February. And that is in addition to holding a regular fulltime job which I could not justify taking off from if I was well enough for the show opening. I struggled through the week on strong decongestants and a spray to numb my throat. Most evenings I managed to relax and spend time with my son, but it wasn't enough. I thought I was feeling better by Friday so I went out to the movies to see I Am Legend (Excellent!) and Saturday morning I had to go out to a friend's barn to photograph and measure her tack box. She wants me to paint her horse, Tucker, on the front with a saddle and rider. Then I ran two errands and got home before noon. I was feeling a bit weak but assumed I was hungry. So I made a sandwich and thought I'd feel better. Well, I didn't. I won't bore you with the details, but I thought I was getting worse as every breath burned in my sinuses and throat. I finally relented and took an aspirin then lay down in bed and pretty much did not get up again until Sunday afternoon -- *after* the Christmas party had already started. I got NO painting or sketching done. My body had finally found a chance for me to rest and it said REST. I had no other choice in the matter. People should not have to be pushed so hard to do the right thing. I needed rest but thought I was tough enough to keep going. There were things that needed to be done that no one else could do – or so it seemed at the time. My laundry still sits in the bathroom waiting to be done, but it's not going anywhere and it will still be there tomorrow night or Wednesday night – just more of it! (Yes, I am busy tonight and might be Tuesday, too, if I have a student for my painting class.) The dishes got done on Sunday but afterwards I crashed into bed again for several hours. The floor needs vacuuming and there is always dusting to do, but it'll all still be there tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow. In today's world where everyone is expected to be the perfect housekeeper or the perfect mom or dad we must each remember to pick our battles and do what is important rather than what is urgent.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Get Some Perspective

If you have noticed my only other two major blogs you see I only posted once per year for two years. Maybe I set a record -- should I call Guiness? So where have I been? Well, I started this blog and it was a lot harder to keep up than I thought. For one thing, I didn't feel I had anything to say. Since 2006 I have started teaching at JoAnn Fabric's and Michaels. I teach people how to paint and draw in acrylic, watercolor and pencil. Recently, a student took one of my drawing classes. She told me she had learned a life lesson from my class. Since then it has been boiling in my brain to share these lessons online. I knew I already had a blog set up at Blogspot. I was surprised to find Google had bought them. Fortunately, I already had a Google account so I just had to take some time to reconfigure my old blog account into my new one.

Anyway, back to my original thought... My student told me she had learned a life lesson from my drawing class. I asked her what it was because I was not aware that such a thing was possible -- from me anyway! She had been trying to draw a picture of a buddhist temple from a postcard by starting in one corner of the paper and drawing every single detail in that one area first then moving on across to the next section. But when she found the drawing was growing bigger than the paper and everything was getting out of proportion and perspective she crumpled up the drawing and threw it away in frustration. After taking my class she had learned that one must look at things with a wider perspective and not get stuck first in the details. I also gave her a tip about what to do when a drawing starts to get larger than the paper -- just tape more paper to the paper and keep on going!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I'm Back

I actually have two blogs now and at different websites. But this one was first and offers different features the other one does not. The other blog is at This site lists all my artwork and photography for sale and offers them as prints and on products! Very cool! But the RSS feed does not work for the blogs -- only new artwork that I post to my account. I am not sure how I am going to work this but we shall see over the coming months (if anybody even reads this at this point in time!) TX