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Thoughts & Notes

On the subjects I paint

The Journey : Life, Art & Pointillism

Thinking & Exploring Life Through the Making of Art

Journal Entry: Life Takes Shape in Art & Science

Reading Time: 13 minutes

The Journey is Life, Art & Pointillism

In this Journal Entry: Life Takes Shape, the written word wraps and weaves its way around my art.


Where Art & Thought Meet Dream

Thoughts and images come together in order to learn and communicate. My search for self begins here. The forms and structures taken are, sometimes surprising.

The universe is made of stories not atoms.

Muriel Rukeyser

Life and art are unpredictabile. Each is fraught with potential peril. When wisdom speaks, I proceed as if the unexpected isn’t only possible; it is likely, probable. Life takes shape of its own accord. With or without volition, the winds of change blow. In art and life I attempt a mindful embrace of the present to steer my course.

I’ve aged and feel it in my bones. I feel the time I am allotted on this planet has grown short. I am aware that one life is a short time on an old planet.


A mindful use of energy is important, although to stay fully present all the time is not so easy. The effort manifests itself in the books I read, and in my artwork. My impressions at this particular ‘age-state of mind’, are both steady and waivering at times. Patterns flow across my life and fill my studio practice. In navigating the many overlapping spheres I find there, no one path exists, no single timeline.

When I hear waves break against the shore I am reminded life should be enjoyed & be joyful. Hectic days can cloud the horizon, distracting from what is important.

Waveform 3

We take paths in life that prove unchangeable. Once a thing is sometimes done, it is done. There is a darkness that can cloud my mind, a brightness that blinds my vision. It can be a struggle to find my way to equillibrium. Unlike in the movies, there is no guiding voice to say, ‘Don’t go into the light.’

It has been said, we stand on the shoulders of giants. At their feet we find our roots. If we reach only for the stars, we miss the depths within us.

Starlight Is Elemental 2

Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.


The Unknown Beckons

Thoughts & Notes

The unknown beckons in this journal. Lifeforms, art and thought conspire and fill my world and senses with meaning, depth, and discovery. Pointillism asks of me, ‘take a close look at the world in which you live.’ In doing so I find, I face myself. Making art expands radiantly in many different, branching directions.


Thoughts and ideas filter into my creative world from many fields of study. The world and its many forms of life are inspiring. In the turns and cycles of life, I see art.

Monarch Butterfly & Caterpillar

The world has persisted many a long year, having once been set going in the appropriate motions. From these everything else follows.


From a pointillist’s perspective, life is observed up-close and in detail. It could be said its pixelated. I enjoy reading about the subjects I choose to paint in order to better understand their existing, overlapping environments.

As I search, my reading interests fold like time, back into my art practice. I save words and quotes from the writers and thinkers who line my bookshelves. They are inspiration. In their words I find food for contemplation and my work as an artist.

I search fertile grounds in my desire to fully comprehend the system which binds together life, within the ecosystem. The search begins with the basics.

Cell: Orange with Red

Possible Paths Forward

The Journey is a River

I think of life as boat on a river. Everything moves with the current, the water and air buzz with energy and lifeforms. The banks along the river give way to forests and verdant fields. Beyond lies an ocean and a distant horizon. Above, sky stretches into space and I wonder, ‘is there a tiger hidding on this boat?’

I am on a journey as an artist with no foretold end in sight. I choose to make art. If a separation exists between art and life, it is slim. I find cause to celebrate in art. But the reasons behind its making are broad and can be obscured. I am open to opportunities to explore connections.

Project Board : 10 x 10 x 10 Installation Challenge

Below the river water’s surface, in the depths, much lies hidden. From the tiny to the largest, I feel all things are in motion. Life breathes, transpires and even rock has movement. Like dots of paint, atoms, electrons, neutrons and the elements weave space and life together. I dance along a single strand in a larger fabric.

The Journey

… Is Wide & Narrow

Realistic depictions of subjects are not the primary intention in my work as an artist. I seek a distillation of what I feel and see in the world around me. My focus of attention often begins with a form, but there are many ingredients comprising a complicated mix. My work is a visual articulation of searching, science, ideas, and feelings.

To say that the object of art is an artifact is to dismiss what Georg Lukacs calls art’s specialty. Unlike any other human activity, art is immanent not because it claims to distance itself from everything else, but by confirming all that it does is engage a world defined by contingency.

John Baldacchino

Through the act of making art, I arrive at an intimate contact with life. What I find on the outside is brought within. There are no unwanted strays at my doorstep. The doors of perception are flung open wide, and each leads to a new day and discovery.

gallery-symbols & cyphers
Cypher #1

All Journey’s Begin …

It’s the Path that Surprises

In life, art takes shape. Life as an artist has not been what I might once, have imagined. There are constant challenges. I am amazed at the journey behind me and excited about the one that lies ahead.


Life delivers us obstacles whether we seek them out, or not. I admit that not every day is a great day, but most are not bad either.

Cell: Red with Orange

I believe perspective is a key. The ability to reframe situations and occurrances and gain something positive is important. I may not always seperate myself enough from situations to do this, but the knowledge is there, the intention is there, and mindfullness is the tool to use.

“The good lord has not drawn the world with continuous lines: with a light hand he has sketched it in dots, like the painter Georges Seurat.”

Carlo Rovelli: The Order of Time

Discovery and a search for knowledge has always driven my art. The influence on my art practice is explored in metaphors, analogies and similes. It is bound within the paint and fabric of my work.

Torch Ginger

Subjects appear on the painted surface because they are in my mind. They give birth to similar themes revealing new paths to follow. Conceptualization, happens within the conscious and unconscious mind. I write as a way to delve deeper into who I am and what I do.

Boundaries & Predictability

What Challenges, What Limits?

If there is any predictablity in life as an artist, I have not found it. I do know sitting quietly on the sidelines of the creative community doesn’t produce opportunities. Dream, then dive right in.

Orchid #1

Artmaking demands active engagement. It also requires kindness to self. An artist might be born, but the refinement of skill and style require effort and dedication. Self-care begins with awareness. I think when I die, I will still feel I have not spent enough time doing any of these.

I am not the artist I once was and I fully expect, I am not the artist I will one day become.

Cell: Green with Blue

I need to push against boundaries and follow unfamiliar trails. I think my growth as an artist benefits from exposure to new or challenging ideas. Ideas arrive through life interactions.

Actively searching for new ideas has always been a good idea. Figuratively speaking, I’ve had some projects just fall into my lap, but usually there is much more to it than waiting for something to happen. I need to take a step.

Often it seems, we are required to be in just the right place, at the right time. We’ve all heard stories that begin, “If I had not been standing there …” or “If I had only raised my hand.” I think about the many doors I’ve stepped through, the ones I’ve passed, and those slammed shut.

It’s about environments. There have been places I should have stayed longer. In others, the situation was toxic from the start.

In reading I find answers : 10 x 10 x 10 Installation

The Seeing …

Begins the Process

Biological life is represented in my artwork. Their depiction is achieved through the use of texture, color and form. To what degree, is determined by subject, materials, techniques and desire …

Style and mediums play a role in the creative process. How I approach an acrylic pointillist painting is very different from mixed-media or oil & coldwax.


I draw source material from the ecosphere. Even when painting an abstract artwork. There has always existed a love of the biosphere. An appreciation of the cosmic. As a boy, I was out along the lakeshores and in the fields in search of …

Artists may not always create embodied knowledge in the scientific sense but art and artistic processes are evidence of thinking made visible and there is much an artist can do to indentify this production of thought made visible.

G. James Daichendt

In the wilderness of the ecosphere, I was looking for everything from beetle to butterfly, and tadpole to fish. It was in the wilds I felt the most comfortable in my skin – more sure of who I was. I found so much more than I expected. Early experiences are deeply imprinted on me as an artist. To understand them requires an unraveling of memory and perception.

Being …

Involves Awareness


I feel like a perched bird, sitting high on a window ledge. I sit quietly in the hallowed halls of science and I am fascinated by all that has been discovered … and of the creative human mind.

Derby’s Flower Beetle

I sit in wonderment of life. Down to the most elemental of forms. I am astonished by the intertwining interconnections that I perceive. Universal forces shaped my life and yours. Points, dots, daubs, and pointillism – all basic elements in a larger structure.

In art, I find some space to breathe, and some room to dream. It allows me sanity in living. There are no maps, no rules carved in tablets of stone, or singular subjects that guide me.

All of life exists in a state of flux and ideas come and go. I sometimes choose a direction only to see it loose its shape along the way. My recourse is to begin again and let the process evolve once more.

Modern Metal Blue #3

Life in Context

In the Eyes of a Poet

Muriel Rukeyser wrote, “The universe is made of stories not atoms.” The poet’s insightful words point to grand ideas. I started this journal entry out quoting those words, and have come back to them again and again. They reverberate and speak of implications to all the other voices in my mind.

“For we forget our origins; in our towns and cities, staring into our screens, we need constant reminding that we have been operators of computers for a single generation and workers in neon-lit offices for three or four, but we were farmers for five hundred generations, and before that hunter-gathers for perhaps fifty thousand or more, living with the natural world as part of it as we evolved, and the legacy cannot be done away with.”

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

The stories I can tell myself are consuming. So are the ones we are told. Narratives can be helpful, but not if they thrive in negativity. Do any of us willingly choose to tell ourselves stories that are detrimental and undermine our awareness or peace of mind? Mindfullness would suggest I approach these narratives sanely, like dark clouds threatening a clear blue sky.

With the advent of Quantum physics, science and the world have become all the more strange and wonderous. Rukeyser may have been right. We are just story, a subplot in a larger narrative.

The periodic table of Elements : 10 x 10 x 10 Installation

Stories require endings. Only in this one, I think we’re all guessing from beginning to end. In our brief allotted time, how could we fully encompass all that there is?

Here than too, in Rukeyser’s words, I arrive at the power of the story. In a deep appreciation of how important stories are and how crucial to our survival.

The Biophysical

And the Eco- ‘logical’

The biosphere is the global ecological system. It is inclusive of all living beings and their many relationships. These relationships include the various interactions that transpire with the elements of the lithosphere, cryosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere.

“Life presents an indivisible and in-dissolvable whole, in which all parts are interconnected. Both among themselves and with the invert medium of the biosphere”

Vladimir Vernadsky: The Biosphere, (Nature, Documents of Contemporary Art)

We live at the whim of a complex system. Subject to forces we are learning to comprehend. We are a single component in a ‘multi-verse’. A colony of organisms living as one. We are a part with parts, within pieces and parts.

It seems eco- ‘logical’, to believe the universe is composed of both atoms and stories. Webs, waves and layers that grow ever more intricate as we descend into their depths. The creation of the universe is a story woven of science, religion, myth and superstition.

Blister Beetle

“Superstition is the poetry of life. Both invent imaginary beings. Both sense the strangest connections between real tangible elements – an interplay of sympathies and antipathies. Superstition does no harm to the poet, because he can turn his half-delusions into advantage in a variety of ways.”


Science Seeks Understanding

Art Seeks Awareness

gallery-symbols & cyphers

Is life more than theory? If theory, is it all just subject to revision? Is the truth of existence knowable? I choose what philosophical structures and frameworks on which to build my life knowing they are a product of an active and imaginative human mind.


We have overrode the rules, rewritten some code in our collective search for knowledge. If it seems like I am questioning the reality of the world around me, I am. Life and art … art and life.

“Gone is the whiteness of snow – green remains in the grass of the fields, in the canopies of trees, and the airy grace of spring is with us again. Thus, time revolves, the passing hour that steals the light brings a message: immortality, for us, is impossible. Warm winds will be followed by cold”

Horace “Odes” Eng. Trans: Erica Segre/Simon Carnell

My work is an extrapolation of information, experience, and memory. I suspect they are shaped by nostalgia and half-remembered recollections. Together they are crown, case and dial. A clock weighted by the heavy hand of time. Will art and memories become ash? From stardust I came, to stardust I go.

For centuries, our species has engaged in intellectual pursuits. We’ve told stories about the stars. New ways of thinking have been forged in the fires of the old. An endless cycle; it is an eternal rhythm.

Evolving # 2

I am student to the universe, a disciple of the arts. I am enamored by physics, time, and space. I learn best digging in the dirt, at the roots of life. In art, I search for the elusive and the missing. I search for things to old or small to see. The something and the somewhere.

gallery-symbols & cyphers

In the drama that is human development, the atom’s discovery is part of complex and meaningful story. It is a tale of power and devastation.

Searching for Meaning

Borders & Limits

Understanding is bordered by limits. Limits may only be walls built higher than the reach of understanding. There are walls I have yet to peer beyond, or over. Knowledge is a deep pool over a shadowy precipice. What monsters I wonder, lie in the deepest reaches of the pool?

Life is a swelling, dark ocean. Knowledge and wisdom are roped together and form a single raft. The depths sweep away beneath us.

Clone: Green

We imagine ourselves, a highly evolved species. We stand at a pinnacle and benefit from all that has come before. Homosapiens have discovered the elements and fashioned the Periodic Table. We have fathomed the existence of sub-atomic particles and made use of them.

We create art in many beautiful forms. Sometimes in the very images of the gods we worship. There is an intricate exchange at play. Something elemental.

“James (William) does not deny, of course, that human beings are conscious, both of themselves and of the world; what he denies is the existence of an entity called consciousness that stands apart and watches the contents of experience go by. What we feel and know, says James, arises from one part of experience entering into relation with another part, just as happens when we distinguish the separate qualities of an object, or indeed when we divide the flow of experience into objects – all these activities occurring within the flow and serving the needs, practical and intellectual.”

– Jacques Barzun : From Dawn to Decadence

Metaphor & Meaning

Artform & Analogy

We all have a knowledge of science. Possibly just blotches on a Roche Test. Clever apes, what do we know of the great mysteries, of conscious thought? Deep are the waters of universal life and we have not mastered the currents.

“Don’t take your intuitions and ideas to be ‘natural’: they are often the products of the ideas of audacious thinkers who came before us.”

Carlo Rovelli; The Order of Time

In life, metaphors and symbolic analogies are effective forms of communication. As an artist, they are useful in my work. They light inner thinking that forms from deeper thoughts.

I can’t completely predict how work takes shape on canvas. Subjects present themselves as objects for interpretation, changing perspectives, and debate. Abstractly thinking and in truth, dots of paint are molecules.

“The individual effect of a gene, (Ronald) Fischer argued, was like a dot of a pointillist painting. If you zoomed in close enough, you might see the dots as individual, discrete. But what we observe and experience in the natural world from afar was an aggregate of dots: pixels merging to form a seamless picture.” 

Siddhartha Mukherjee: The Gene: An Intimate History

I do know thought visually manifests through the use of materials. They are all essential elements. Sometimes these elements form bacteria, chemicals, and other physical lifeforms. Cohesive compositions come into view and present a rearview mirror, sometimes dark, always truthful.


My artist studio has become a Petri dish. It is inoculated with the mycelium of art, desire, thought and creativity.

Cellular Systems

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