Category Archives: Writing 101

Day 19: What Happens When the Sun Goes Down?


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

As an artist there are many canvases in my studio stacked off to the side or in a cubby of the large bookshelf in my studio, and many of them have been started, and left half-finished.  I have stopped at many stages of  each of them, or left them in different stages of their completion.  Some speak to me from beginning to end without any problems or glitches, some stop speaking to me shortly after they are started.  Some never speak to me again, leaving me wondering if I  should even be trying to paint at all!  As I sit here wondering if they will ever speak   again, or why am I  fooling myself thinking I’m a painter, or should I get rid of all this stuff, and reduce the clutter, it occurs to me that these paintings must have a life too!  Maybe they are busy with their own lives, just like I am busy with my family, friends, and other things that pull me away from painting!

What happens when the sun goes down, and the lights go out?  

Do the images on the paintings jump off the canvases, and play around in the studio?  Do they do their own sketches, and drawings?  After all  I  do have a studio filled with art toys to delight, and put a twinkle in the eyes of even the most childlike of artists.  When my grandkids are here visiting, the first place they go is my studio, and then it starts….. “Grandma, can we paint today? ”  or “Can we use your markers?”  Their eyes light up just talking about the possibilities,  and if that’s so, then why wouldn’t the images on my canvases want to open drawers, explore, and try the different paints, pencils, markers, and anything else they could possibly find to play with.  I can see them now, dancing to the music, and scribbling on the walls.  Here I thought one of the kids did the little scribbles that I found last week!  Are the paintings  like the toys in toy story where the doors shut, and the lights are turned off, and they come alive…  It is important to remember that..   All work and no play makes Karen a dull girl!

I’ll bet my canvases come alive!

So maybe I should take another approach to getting them to speak to me…..  Maybe if they all stood in a row, to give each other support, and courage, they would tell me what they want from me.  Or just maybe…we should all have a party…in my studio…tonight….when the paintings think I’m asleep, I’ll get up out of bed…tip toe into the party room, and yell Surprise!   Am I being way too up tight about painting?  I am a recovering perfectionist, and that zaps the spirit out of anyone… even though I know this, I fight it all the time!  Looking back, I think that’s why I like to paint intuitively, it takes the element of perfectionism out of the mix!

                         Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people.


Day18: Aloha Spirit


While each of you are trying to figure out what to write on Day Eighteen, I have to be out-of-town.  I needed to leave at O dark hundred, won’t return until later this evening, and after driving all day, I   didn’t have  any time, or energy left to follow instructions…..I hate instructions anyway!

This is my way of fulfilling a writing assignment that I never knew.  In is’t place, maybe a little inspiration would be great for us all, it never hurts!

Day 17: What Do I Fear the Most!

Day 17:  What Do I  Fear the Most!

Being too tall, too fat, too ugly…what?

We all have worst fears, but do they change over the years…That is the question?  Being young, we are afraid to be left alone, our world is small, and everything frightens us!  Get a little older, and our world opens up a bit, leaving us with less fear, and a bigger world for us to explore.  But, if your mother or father is out of sight – well, it’s terrifying, and we become lost, and frightened once again!

Once we leave the diapers behind,  we become down right monsters!!!  We were probably monsters before that, but now we are a force to be reckoned with!  We peck our parents to death, and if they live through raising children, and are still friends by the time it’s’s a miracle!  

Some kids fear everything, some are fearless.  Does that come from the way they are raised, or is it in our genes?  I was raised in a family where my mother was always instilling fear into us.  Fear of God, fear of parents, especially my father, fear of what the neighbors would think, and on and on.  At first when I was younger I’m sure I bought into it, but as I got a little older, I didn’t see the benefit in being afraid of everything.

In the world of today, the media instills a great deal of fear, after all we live in a fear based society!  Society teaches us to be afraid of earthquakes, hurricanes,  tsunamis, people of another color, or religion, people with guns, people without guns.   How sad it that!  Is it really necessary to have all this negative energy in our lives?  I say NO!  If we didn’t have this constant hammering of the need to be afraid of everything, could  we live a peaceful life?

At my age I’ve finally accepted –  that  I’m not going to get any younger, and instead of growing old gracefully….I’m going to claw and scratch all the way to the finish line….with a glass of wine in one hand and a paint brush in the other!  I might add that I’d be covered in paint because that’s just how I roll!

Does that surprise you?

It shouldn’t, and until you are sitting where I am, or in the shoes that have been worn, and traveled, don’t think you won’t claw and scratch all the way to the end also!  Will it help to eat healthy, cutting out bad foods, and working hard to eat only foods without chemicals, who knows?   The one thing I do know is there isn’t any point in worrying about the inevitable!  I just need to make sure I’m staying active, positive, and eat lots of foods that help my nails  stay strong so I can continue clawing, and scratching!

What am I afraid of, what are my deepest darkest fears…


Maybe it concerns me that many of us are frittering away our planet instead of caring for it with gentle, loving  hands, and much effort and concern.  Maybe it concerns me that my children, my grandchildren, and the children after that will inherit a planet that has been abused in so many unnecessary ways.  I believe we have poisoned our environment with chemicals, and emissions, both from our vehicles, and from livestock, and industry.   People have disrespected their environment by throwing trash all over the place, and our oceans are being polluted with plastic bags, and bottles until our fish, the reefs, and the water is extremely compromised.   I don’t think that it was intentional in the beginning, but I do think that it is very well-known now, and there shouldn’t be any question about discontinuing this massacre of anything, and everything living!  Where is the self-respect of the people continuing this behavior?

What am I afraid of…that’s what I’m afraid of!

Day 16: Lost and Found


Clearly, I have lost my ability, and desire to do Science Experiments, but this week my grandson Connor is staying with us, and being the crazy science kid that he is wanted to do a project. We talked about a lot of things , but one thing I learned is that “Bill Nye the Science Guy”  is Connors hero!

Good to know…

Knowing, and being familiar with Mr. Nye gave me a pretty good idea of what I was in for.   As our morning started to unfold Connor asked me if I had any potatoes.  We don’t really eat potatoes, so I inquired as to what he wanted potatoes for, hoping he wasn’t going to try  stuffing them into the tailpipes on our cars!  Finally he whipped out his trusty laptop…the one Santa brought him last Christmas, and pulled up this potato experiment on YouTube.

Making Mud from  a Potato!

So off we went to the closest grocery store to buy the biggest russet potatoes we could find. I pulled out the food processor, and started following directions on YouTube….. what do you know….It Worked!  I could have bought an entire bag of potatoes, but who knew.  Basically, I’m pretty sure we were working with potato starch here, but the results were intriguing..    Once it settled into the bowl it was solid, almost too hard to move around.  But once the solid was picked up,  it started to turn to liquid, and Connor keeps telling’s edible too!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Through this entire experiment, I realized I might have lost the desire to experiment with things like potatoes, but leave it to a nine-year old to help me find the fun in science experiments!

I’m so glad I didn’t try and talk him out of doing this, even though my kitchen looks like kids have been experimenting in it, and when you think about it my inner child must have come out to play because it really was fun, and I wasn’t even worried about my kitchen!

This is pure kids fun, and I found myself loving every minute of it!




Day 15: Will My Voice Find Me?

Day 15:  Will My Voice Find Me?

For years now I have been my happiest when I hold a paint brush in my hand.  It really doesn’t matter if it’s a teeny-weeny paint brush, or a big honker house brush, I love to paint!  Watercolor paper can be laying right in front of me, and I can manage to find something creative to do with it. Or it could be a canvas, a board, or even a wall, I can find a way.

My voice is found in paint, and my artwork!

So when I hit a wall, and my inspiration dries up, I panic.  Pure and simple, it terrifies me that I will no longer be able to create with paint.  This is one of those times. If I have a project going, as I do now, I seem to fight it!  My deadline for this current project is the first of July.  It’s a doozy too!  I have three pieces that need to be finished.  I could eek out a week more, but vacation looming, I really don’t have much more time to spend.  There is another two projects that have to be completed by the first of next week, and I’m really lagging on those.  They haven’t even been started, and that’s a real problem!!!

So What Now?

I think my writing is taking over my love of painting in a way.  I’ve always wanted to write, and now I have the opportunity to learn and grow.  These little month long classes are wonderful to help do just that, but at the same time, my growing has almost come to a complete halt in the creating area.  Weekends have got to be creative especially since I’m so far behind in these projects.  I even sleep better when I’m busy rushing around painting, and pulling ideas together!

Where is your voice anyway?

Do I have two voices…my art, and my writing?  I certainly love them both, but are they my true voice, maybe.  By the way, and this might be the key,  I am a Gemini!  The twins, two sides, two loves, two voices…..  I’m saddened to think one of them might not come back, but it also excites me to think there may be something new, and interesting on it’s way!

Will my voice find me?

It’s been my experience that if you don’t agonized over things, they have a way of working themselves out.  I’m betting that…….

My Voice will find me!

Day 14: To Whom It May Concern,


To whom it may concern,

Today on impulse (The word of the day from page 29), I’m choosing to play hooky!IMG_0128

Having several projects that are due by the end of the month, I need some time to complete them.  My art has gone by the wayside in an effort to be a better, more interesting writer, but today I’m picking up the paint brush instead of playing with the black keys of my computer.

Sincerely, Karen