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Thoughts & Notes

On the subjects I paint

Explore the World & See Within

Thinking & Exploring Life Through the Making of Art

Journal Entry: Water & Sky : Cradle of Life & Art

Reading Time: 10 minutes

Looking Out : Seeing Within

Journal Entry: Water & Sky. Sunset on Kaanapali Beach, Maui. Series: Water and Sky. A pointillist painting of a technicolor sunset common in Hawaii.

Water & sky : cradle & harbor. We are held in comfort and an iron-tight grip. Existence without either is impossible for life as we know it. The atmosphere & hydrosphere abound with possibilty and danger. We sit within a vastness beyond control and not of our making.

Sunset on Kaanapali Beach, Maui

Hydrosphere : Atmosphere

A Light … Art, Culture & History

This journal entry is a search for light and clarity. I am probing shadowy areas of the creative process. I begin with an idea: it is impossible to know an answer without knowing how to ask the question. As an artist, are the answers at the easel or do they lie deeper? Where do the questions originate?

If truths are discovered, what do they reveal and to what are they connected? Language & image allow self-examination, and light my way.

Waveform 1

Art is a method of transcribing mental perceptions. Often, turning the seen and felt into visual images or objects. Viewed from above, my work explores the many aspects of the ecosphere. Within this system, the Earth’s hydrosphere and atmosphere function as components. Penetrating beams of sunlight appear in the guise of language and look deeper.

The difference between ‘nature’ and ‘technology’ is only the latter one is man-made. The functioning of either one can be described by the same conceptual models, and they both obviously follow the same rules of operation. It also seems that the way social organizations behave is not much different. The world does not break up into neat university departments. It is one super-system with myriad subsystems, each one more or less affected by all the others.

Hans Haacke in Conversation w Jeanne Siegel : Whitechapel : Nature

The history of art encompasses a vast and rich catalogue. Artforms capture and convey landscapes, cultures, interior worlds and faith. Art is a complex system filled with codes & cyphers.

gallery-symbols & cyphers

In art, the culturally significant can be represented in the splendor of the land itself. Art is able to designate meaning in a manner greater than that perhaps, of science.

Om: Iron

These words do not point to a far-off, some-where. They explore the present where we often exist in a dream-like state. These words point both within and without. The ecosystem binds me to life and provides the sustenance that makes art possible. In the search for master and puppet I delve deep to find my strings.

The Waters of …

The Ancient & Classical Worlds

Civilization has always flourished around rivers and waterways. Many theorists believe that the Tigris and Euphrates, are the actual cradles of all human life.

gallery-experimental works
Acrylic Abstract #1

The great rivers of antiquity root deeply in humankind’s myths and cultures. Our knowledge of them, anchored in the centuries. Rivers change shape, like the stories we tell about them. Water, intrinsic to life, shapes the way we live. Do we cling to the muddy banks or flow with the current?

Perception flows inward from outward like a river in time. How I think and how I feel can be as mutable as the landscape beneath flowing water. What tides are these emotions, and what flotsom do they bear?

“The Nile appeareth at thy utterance, making men live through the effluxes that come forth from thy members, making all cultivated lands to be green by thy coming, great source of things which bloom, sap of crops and herbs, lords of millions of years, sustainer of wild animals, lord of cattle; the support of whatsoever is in the heavens is thine, what is in the waters is thine.”

Egyptian Book of the Dead
Journal Entry: Water & Sky. Algae Rythms. Series: Water and Sky. An abstrcat pointillist painting inspired by water based plants and algae.

Water and air, along with earth and fire, were considered classical elements by the ancient Greeks. Intricate systems, differences exist at the molecular. All are vast oceans of elements locked in a constant interchange.

Algae Rhythms

Gently drifting clouds, thunderstorms, warm beach waves and crashing surf mesmerize me. The power and forms these forces assume are many. We flail at the power of a tsunami, hurricane, tornado or powerful lightning storm. I stand in awe on an island at the oceans’ shore.

I am made aware of my diminutive size contemplating the forces moving on and around, this planet.

gallery-ocean world
Sunset in Hawaii

“……perceiving that the world is dense, sensing to what degree a stone is foreign and irreducible to us, with what intensity nature or landscape can negate us. At the heart of all being lies something inhuman…The primitive hostility of the world rises to face us across millennia…that denseness and strangeness of the world is the absurd.

Albert Camus

Notebook Post: Hydrosphere & Atmosphere

The Air That We Breathe

The Earth’s atmosphere weighs over 5,000 trillion tons. It is bound by the laws of thermodynamics. As great art can be, the atmosphere is complex and multilayered. It is life’s protective shielding and in its embrace, we prosper.

Journal Entry: Water & Sky. Calder Sky, Volcano National Park. Series: Water and Sky. A view of the beautiful cloud formations visible on trails in the Volcano National Park.

I drift freely as an artist to a place I sometimes touch when I meditate. In the present, the world around me shapes my work. I see this, even when I fail to unravel the complexities.

Caldera Sky, Volcano National Park

Art functions like the atmosphere for my life, on this planet. In art, I am able to breathe. In art’s embrace, I prosper. Time has taught me, it is impossible to walk away from creating. Art provides context and enriches my life.

Photons scattering through the Earth’s atmosphere paint the sky blue. The sky boils and seethes with energy fueling creative inspiration. In current and cascade, the atmosphere circulates as sun warmed pockets of water vapors rise, cool, condense and fall.

Project Board : 10 x 10 x 10 Installation Challenge

Cauldron of Creativity

Searching for Metaphor

“The arts are innately focused, toward certain forms and themes but are otherwise freely constructed. The archetypes spawn legions of metaphors that compose not only a large part of the arts, but also ordinary communication. Metaphors, the consequence of spreading activation of the brain during learning, are the building blocks of creative thought. They connect and synergistically strengthen different spheres of memory.”

E.O. Wilson: Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge

Vapor and ice particles form in the clouds above my head. Changing cloud formations are fed through water evaporation. Nourishment is gained from oceans, lakes, ponds, rivers and streams.


Clouds and the atmosphere are fed by the breathe of all life. The transpiration of plants and the air we exhale find their place in the sky.

Cell: Blue with Green

“A storm is not a thing, it’s a collection of occurrences. A cloud above a mountain is not a thing, it is the condensation of humidity in the air that wind blows over a mountain. A wave is not a thing, it is a movement of water, and the water that forms it is always different.”

Carlo Rovelli: The Order of Time

Water returns to us as raindrops formed around dust and pollutants.

Cell: Green with Blue

At any given moment, there are an estimated 1,800 thunderstorms happening. A single, typical thunderstorm can draw a half-million tons of water into the air. And it can release enough energy to power a city of 100, 000, for a month.

Harbor & Cradle

Source of All Life

Life brought with it, the sea. The human body contains anywhere between 55-78% water. We are oceans within.

Water covers seventy percent of the Earth’s surface. Over the course of evolutionary history increasingly complex lifeforms moved from the oceans onto dry land.

Reflections : In the Queen’s Garden

Water is not a finite resource. Precipitation recirculates drinkable water. And this recirculation happens at a rate much higher than human consumption. Water’s distribution in land held reserves is what is, in fact, non-renewable.

The United Nations has reported that there is enough water for all of us. It is mismanagement, corruption and the corporate lust for power and profit that has hampered equal access to this vital resource. A dark cloud with little of a silver lining, and a sad note to think about in this Journal Entry: Water & Sky.

Each year people die in the thousands and millions due to draught and waterborne disease. The quality of drinking water is expected to decrease. As a result, it is predicted the total number of people dying of thirst and disease will increase. Pollution and waste-water dumping will be huge cause in this decrease in quality.

Flotsam & Jetsam

Adrift in the Hydrosphere

The total amount of water on Earth is equal to roughly 330 million cubic miles. Every cubic mile of water is equal to more than 1 trillion gallons and it never sits still. Water coexists with itself in all forms. It does so simultaneously across the planet as a solid, a liquid and in a gaseous state in complex chemical interchanges.

I gaze into a complex pond. I see water as ice, steam, vapor, snow, fog, dew, rain and cloud. The planet’s hydrosphere borders the cryosphere and lies over and around the lithosphere.

Monet’s Pond

The friction between wind and water generates wave trains that span entire oceans. Vast transports of energy, a one-meter wave can carry over 1,300 horsepower as it strikes the coastline. I flotsam and jetsam as I near the shore of destiny. There is an undertow.

Art gives me the strength to dance with the waves instead of drown. I search for language and images to move with the tides.

Waveform 4

Universe Truth

Spanning the Cosmos

Scientists think that for nearly its entire existence, water has been prevalent in the universe. A vital solvent in our metabolic processes, star formation produces much of the water in the universe as a by-product.

The birth of a star is accompanied by the outward pouring of wind, dust and gas. These shockwaves of force impact surrounding gases. They compress, heat and form water.

Journal Entry: Water & Sky. Starlight is Elemental. Series: Universal Truth. The skys on the Big Island of Hawaii are beautiful, The night skys are filled with stars. because we have very little ambient light pollution.
Starlight is Elemental

Researchers have detected 140 trillion times more water than is held in Earth’s oceans. It was found in a single vast vapor cloud swirling around a quasar 12 billion-million miles from Earth. Water has been detected in interstellar clouds. In our galaxy, it is found in various states in the rings and moons of the planet Saturn. Water has been detected on the moons of Jupiter, Mars, and Pluto.


Water is found in comets. Each year, we locate more water in space. Scientists beleive it is in fact, plentiful. It is our ability to get to it that is limited.



Global Systems

We’ve heard the warnings. Scientists predict warm, hot weather to increase. This hot weather is expected to increase in total number of days each year. In conjunction, these stretches of intense heat are also predicted to last in longer duration. Planetary warming or Dance Macabre?

The Artic permafrost is melting … increased heat & melting contributes to fire-friendly draught conditions.

journal entry
Solar Energy

“Furthermore, the destruction of humanity’s home by humanity’s own actions is not something that can be coped with adequately – and that means, confronted – by our current belief system. This creed, which has held sway since the second world war, has a single, honorable aim: to advance human welfare. It wants people everywhere to be free from hunger and fear and disease, and in so far as possible, to be happy and to live fulfilled lives...it is principled…upright…it is admirable. But there is a gap at its core: the failure to acknowledge that humans are not necessarily good. Still less does it admit that more, there may be something more intrinsically troubling about humans as a species: that homo sapiens may be the Earth’s problem child.”

Michael J. McCarthy: The Moth Snowstorm: Nature and Joy

Fires combust plants and the contained carbon is released back into the atmosphere. A positive feedback loop develops as wildfires burn and plants die.


Conditions are worsened by warming which in turn, worsen the warming of the entire planet.


Art & Possibilty

Thought & Expression

Water and Sky are life’s cradle, and harbor. They are sources of creative inspiration. The world presents many wonders to visually explore. I am searching for those ways these wonders psychologically influence my art.

Art can drive awareness, through its inherent qualities. Art assumes many forms in the ways it can accomplish this. Visual images, words, music, language are all powerful artmaking tools. There are days that I despair, but I try and stay focused on hope and possibility.

Sulphur Banks Trail, Volcano National Park

Art can drive awareness, through its inherent qualities. Art assumes many forms in the ways it can accomplish this. Visual images, words, music, language are all powerful artmaking tools. There are days that I despair, but I try and stay focused on hope and possibility.

“Surrounded by despair, there is a new and unheard-of-theme that artists can offer the world, (philosopher) Ger Groot says. This is how we can be reconciled. Artists have the unique chance to confirm, ‘that life is good to live, despite all that it appears’.”

– Joost Smiers: Arts Under Pressure: Protecting Cultural Diversity in the Age of Globalisation

If I believe the wisdom of sages, ancient and modern, change comes from within. A necessary precursor to any change that happens without. In these words, I search for context in the creation of my work. In art, I find context for living.

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