Archive for the ‘painting’ Tag

04-22-2016 Journal – Creativity!   Leave a comment

I spent the first two hours of my day today in bed drinking coffee and watching a dozen or so TED speeches. If your not familiar with TED I’d recommend it to you whole heartedly. It’s a series of speeches from experts around the world on  a diverse collection of topics. The anagram of TED stands for, “Technology, Education, & Design”.


‘It sure isn’t the Sistine Chapel!’’

My main topics for today concerned Creativity and the Arts.  Listening to people from Bali who design green homes from bamboo or others from Europe who specialize in the creation of designs and art is exciting. It’s nice to know that Creativity is alive and well on this planet and not getting lost in the technological hustle and bustle of our societies.


I’ve always been a proponent and supporter of anyone or anything that creates something.  The best times of my life are those spent where I’m relaxed, alone with my thoughts, and putting paper to pencil. Either writing, drawing, painting, or sculpting, it’s all good.  With that in mind I thought I’d share a quick look at my lair. It’s my oasis filled with my things and represents my life in one small room.  


For twenty years I saved every little doodad, birthday card, and memento from places I’ve been and people I’ve known.  Then I began making a series of collages or “life panels” of those years. It started out as two  small panels but grew  to more than nine with some of them measuring 4’X4’. 


‘This is what I call a workspace.’

I never had a sufficient amount of wall space and I had them in storage for twenty years. I moved them from place to place until I finally settled down here in Maine.  I still didn’t have the wall space for them and finally decided to make them the ceiling of my so-called man-cave.


Now I can sit at my desk surrounded by things that make me happy. I can lean back in my chair and look up at the ceiling and see the people, places, and things that I’ve experienced in my life.  The photos in this posting are a quick peek into the craziness of that  space that I’ve had the pleasure of creating.


01-29-2016 Journal – A Creative Motivational Block!   2 comments

I hate to admit this but I suspect I’m suffering from something akin to writers block. It’s a first for me and it’s puzzling.  In all my years of writing reports, letters, and thousand of blog posts I’ve never had a problem thinking of ideas and putting them to paper. That’s why this current creative hiccup is so bothersome. 

I can’t find any mentions of this malady anywhere so let’s just call it a "creative motivational block". I’m still having all of the creative ideas I could ever want or need but my ability to sit down and get them started has become more difficult.  I have of dozens of ideas everyday that are inventive, interesting and unusual but it seems to take forever to put brush to canvas or pencil to sketch book.  It’s maddening.

The second part of my problem is really not a problem at all. For the first time in my life I’m financially able to spend the necessary money to obtain the supplies needed to do these projects.  In years past it was difficult at times to come up with funds which forced me to step outside the box a little and use materials I never thought possible. Maybe the best part of my projects in the past was that ability to overcome those challenges and still get the job done. I really don’t know for sure.

As always the ideas keep coming and while some of them sound good in my head they’re eventually discarded. Others are easy to do and all it requires of me is to sit down and get started. That’s the bloody rub. 

I’ll be ready to start a current project when all  of a sudden more bright ideas come to me and I get sidetracked by them.  I’ll stop to write a few notes on the new ideas and the interest in the other begins to ebb.  It’s a vicious cycle that I’m trying desperately to put a stop to with only moderate success.


I feel at times that I’m so concerned with getting my ideas exactly the way I imagined them that I’m losing the ability to adapt to changes that always seem to come along.  I’m in the middle of a project now that I’ve been fiddling with for a few weeks.  I’ve thought it through over and over again and visualized it to completion. It’s ninety percent complete but I’m lacking that final push.

I’ve always loved challenges but this one is a doozy.

01-17-2016 Journal – My Creative Process!   Leave a comment

It appears that yesterday’s sleet and snow storm has finally abated. It created quite a mess with an early morning ice shower that virtually shut down the surrounding area. It was bad enough that my better-half wasn’t able to get to work. Of course, you know what that means, right!  A whole day of quality time with me.

For me it was a day of writing, movies, sketching, and reading.  Doing those activities allows me to escape all the dreariness of the day and to get lost in my own head for a few hours. That kind of total focus is a real gift and I’ve always appreciated having the ability. I can actually shut everything out completely which can be a real blessing most of the time.  Sometimes not so much.

My better-half just asked me what I’d be doing today.  How can I explain that to her?  I guess I’ll give it a try so here goes . . . .

Honey, I’m in the process of creating a painting of sorts and the first step for me is to create it first in my head before even picking up a brush or touching a canvas.  I can visualize the entire project as it will appear when completed and then I can begin to slowly dismantle it.  I break the images into layers of color and perspective to determine the order in which they must be addressed.  It sounds a lot more complicated than it actually is.

This process takes a different length of time depending on the complexity of the subject matter.  I enjoy completing these things in my head almost as much as actually doing them on canvas or paper.  It sounds a little strange but I don’t know any other way to get the results I want. 

There are times when you think I’m ignoring or being rude to you but I’m really not. I’m so far into visualizing a project I just can’t take any time out to really listen to you. I’m afraid of losing my momentary focus and be forced to start from scratch once again. This is the way I’ve been doing creative things since I was old enough to remember and don’t see it changing any time soon.

With all of that being said, that’s what I’ll being doing for a few hours today. I have the completed image in my head, the color blocking determined, and I’m only days away from actually starting the necessary pencil sketching.  I’m going to try something new this time that is definitely outside my comfort zone and it’s will be a cross between Salvatore Dali with just a hint of Pablo Picasso.  It’s going to be way outside my comfort level and will be fun to see what the final result will be.

There you go darling . . . that’s some of what I’ll be doing today as I sit quietly next to you in the living room. Don’t take it as a personal slight, I’m not ignoring you . . . it’s just me being mentally creative. 

Who loves you baby?

04/07/2014 Journal Entry – DIY Maniac   Leave a comment


Once upon a time in a galaxy far far away, I was one of those weird folks who loved to paint. Not artsy painting but bathrooms, bedrooms, and living rooms.  For years I was on call for my entire family or anyone else who needed something painted. I never understood my fascination, I just went with it.  I suppose today is as good a day as any to let the world know that that my love of painting is dead. DEAD I tell you!

Dumb Thing #1. I started a house project a few weeks ago that required I remove a rather large window from the living room and to put a blank wall in it’s place.  It was all my idea in the initial planning stages but somewhere along the way it was hijacked by my better-half and turned into a freaking monster. The removal of the window was easy enough but doing it in March in Maine was a stupid plan.  I had the entire house open to the cold weather for three hours until I could replace joists, put in insulation, and attached some vapor barriers.

Dumb Thing #2. I should have seen through her sneaky plan but it was winter, I was fat and lazy, and I said OK to almost anything she wanted.  I thought I could zone her out just a little making me safe from her infamous To-Do list until warmer weather arrived.

Dumb Thing #3. The next thing I know I’m up to my ass in drywall, joint compound, and and breathing a dense cloud of gypsum dust. That shit gets into everything and one of my jobs was to make the big mess, complete the job, and then clean it all up.  I finished the wall except for painting and sat down for a moment to rest and to cough up a few pounds of white dust.  Five minutes later she arrives from Lowe’s with five gallons of assorted paints, brushes, drop cloths, rollers, and sparkle compound. I was quietly informed that now we (Me) had to repaint the entire living room and adjacent hallways. She was sick of the old color and since I’d removed that damn window it was only logical to redo the entire second floor.

Dumb Thing #4.  I’m now in my third day of spackling, primering, painting, and putting masking tape on anything that doesn’t move. Help me please. I’m being held prisoner by a home improvement lunatic and I can’t seem to escape.

04-19-2013   2 comments

Another sunny and warm day here in Maine.  I’m already getting spoiled by all this good weather and it isn’t even May yet.  I wasn’t all that motivated today but after a couple of cups of good coffee I was raring to go. I had a few errands to run and decided to get them out of the way early.

I first made my way to my favorite book store to return a few paperbacks and to buy a few more.  When you read as much as I do it can get very expensive very quickly so a cute little store like this is a god send.  I returned five novels and repurchased six new ones for a grand total of $13.00.  As always I also get fifteen or twenty minutes of excellent and intelligent conversation at no cost.  It’s nice to find a person who is well read and can speak on almost any subject and keep it interesting.

After returning home with my bag of guilt, that once-a-month fast food sin I permit myself, I sat on the deck and ate a thick, greasy, juicy, luscious, and heartwarming hamburger. I can’t even explain what an evil pleasure it gives me along with some salty, oily, and scrumptious french fries.  You know when the slop your eating and clogging your arteries with is good when you‘re required to wipe your hands and arms to remove the excess salt and oil. Soooooo effing good!

After partaking of my weaknesses for bad food the guilt was almost unbearable (I did say almost). I decided as penance that I needed to do something worthwhile today which led me to the workshop for primer and painting supplies.  I primed a section of my remodeled room, got paint all over me, and then said the hell with it.  I cleaned up, took a shower, and settled into the living room with my X-Box. Nothing like a couple of hours of roaming through the world of Harry Potter to relax a person.  It was great as always.

My better-half came home from work and surprise, surprise, neither of us felt much like cooking.  Into the car and off to our favorite sports bar, The Strike Zone.  It just so happened to be “all you can eat” haddock night.  So in the spirit of the moment we sat there with a couple of good drinks and stuffed ourselves with all the haddock we could eat and it was incredible.  There was one low point to the evening which will require me to drop a note to the chef on my next visit.  They have the absolute worst coleslaw I’ve ever tasted in my entire life.  Any person serving coleslaw that tastes that bad should be beaten and then arrested and then have his ass kicked again.

I wish I could be a kinder and gentler person but but when someone screws up my coleslaw it really pisses me off. I think I may need some food style anger management.

03-27-2013   2 comments

I’m a bit tired today after yesterday’s drywall work.  If you’re expecting anything spectacular on this blog today you’re sure to be disappointed.  I often hear people on their blogs complaining about writer’s block. I’ve never had that problem but I seem to be suffering from a block for which I have no name.  It could possibly be called an ‘artists block’ or a ‘remodeling block’, or even a ‘get-the-hell-out-of-bed block’.  I’m feeling like a big giant lump with no motivation to do anything except write about how lazy I’m feeling.  Which for the record is mighty effing lazy. At the same time my mind is racing and I’m visualizing work that still needs to be completed on the remodel tomorrow.

Unfortunately for me when I’m working any kind of project I’m consumed not just by the work that I’ll be doing but by constant mental activity that I can’t turn off. It can also make sleeping extremely difficult.  Even after having my better-half tell me to take the day off, I struggle.  I should be relaxing and enjoying my down time but for me there is no real down time.

She’ll be talking to me about work or family and if I’m lucky I may get every other word or just a general idea of what the subject matter is.  I suspect she thinks I’m getting forgetful but that isn’t the case at all.  It also isn’t that I don’t care or I’m not interested, I’m just focused on my tasks at hand almost 100%.  It’s totally out of my control for the most part and it’s something I’ve resigned myself to dealing with.

Even as a kid I was consumed by my painting, sculpting, reading, and once I started something I kept at it until it was completed.  Especially my art work.  I’d start a painting and would work around the clock with little or no food or drink until it was finished.   I love that feeling of being in the moment and just staying there as long as possible is a real pleasure for me. 

At times I have difficulty getting a project started and will procrastinate a little. It’s not that I don’t want to do the project, it’s because I know that once I start I probably won ‘t be able to stop.  You could be in the same room with me and during those times you cease to exist. Even my surroundings in the room become a blur except for the piece I’m working on.  It can be maddening when interruptions occur  and I lose my temper and become difficult. 

I thought in my younger days that this compulsion would lessen as I grew older but it has not.  It’s been both a blessing and a curse over the years but I’m certain I would miss it if for some reason it just disappeared. I guess I’ll do my best to relax today but both my better-half and I know what I’ll be thinking about.  Tomorrows project.

01-04-2013   Leave a comment

Peace and quiet.  I really think that the older a person gets the more peace and quiet become important.  From now until sometime in late April I’ll have a great deal of quiet.  The peace portion is another matter since I’m in a an intimate relationship that at times can be less than peaceful.  It’s the nature of the beast I suppose.

I plan ahead to these weeks of quiet all year long and set goals for myself to be accomplished before Spring arrives.  I read a great deal, I write a lot, and I examine my life even more.  I’ve always been a good motivator for people who worked for me but I’m even tougher on myself.  I’m my own worst enemy when I feel I’m not getting anything accomplished in a given period of time. 

I have a sculpture I’ve been messing with for almost a year.  I sit and stare at it for hours upon hours looking for something.  I know what I want to do with it but I’m experimenting with some new materials that I’m not sure will work. If they refuse to cooperate it will ruin all of the work already completed and I’ll be forced to start over from scratch.  I know I’m over thinking things but that how I work.  I know that within a week or so I’ll take the plunge and attempt to finish the project, one way or the other. Once I start I’ll work continuously until it’s completed.  The best time of my life are those moments when I’m strictly focused on creating.  I don’t want food, drink, or company, just peace and quiet.  Hours will fly by like nothing and even sleep isn’t important.  It’s the rush of seeing what’s been in my head for months finally escaping to become a reality.

It’s not only sculpture but other forms as well.  Painting, writing, block printing, photography, watercolors, pen and ink, and anything else you can think of.  Those moments of total concentration and focus are more important to my mental health than almost anything.  

So now begins my three and a half months of quiet.  I’ve been waiting for it to arrive and I plan on making the most of it.  My better-half has left for work, the cats asleep some where in the house, the TV and radios are off, the cell phone is off,  and I’m sitting here writing this.  You can hear a pin drop.  I’m in heaven.

Posted January 5, 2013 by Every Useless Thing in Just Saying

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