Risk Averse

I was just looking at a post on Facebook by Humans of New York. It was a picture of a nice looking guy who was dressed well and the caption said, “I wish I’d made more mistakes.”

It struck me that while I’ve made mistakes. Plenty of them. I don’t think I’ve really risked anything that really mattered. I’ve not put everything on the line for the big payoff.

I tend to play small when it comes to things that it might really matter. Because they matter. And I think that having them a little might hurt less than not having them at all.

This is flawed logic. But I think it’s the logic my heart/brain has been using.

I’m working very hard to change that.


A new idea.

One wishes that it was possible to function easily in the world without money. Alas, it is very difficult. Especially when the financial situation changes very quickly and unexpectedly.

To that end…


Please help me help you help me.

A Portrait of A Horse, Of Course, Of Course

I’m going to take a moment to check in and say, “Buy my stuff, please.”

Here is a sample drawing I did of our horse Roux (Roo):

Roux Cartoon Collage


So, I posted last time that I was selling cartoon portraits on my Etsy shop .

My friend bought one!

My first sale on there! Woo hoo!catherineCatcatCollage

And she liked it enough to get two more!

CatherineCat2 Collage

CatherineCat3 Collage


Funny Faces

I drew this picture of myself the other day.  Just a quick doodle to use as my profile picture around the interwebs.
Self portraitDSCN8915(looks exactly like me. 🙂 not bad just from memory. I guess I sorta do remember what I look like)

So, the other day I decided to goof around on my computer to calm my brain while I was anxiously awaiting the phone’s ring. I drew a picture of my friend.

Melanie  CollageAnd then one of my uncle.

Uncle Bill Cartoon Collage

And then I thought that maybe people might like to pay me to do these for them.

So I put it on my Etsy page.

Painting, Drawing and such

I made some things.

You can buy ’em if you want.

1266142_576898632372674_437709073_oFirst I cut some stencils.


1040217_655893097755301_535380557_oThen I spray painted them.

After they had dried, I brought them in to work on them some more.

1268699_656367027707908_1460302558_o 1269181_656370754374202_199199983_oThe gold paint is so shiny that I took pictures in the sun and in the shade so it could be seen.


1277759_656368994374378_1593006742_o 1277139_656435537701057_1893808608_o

Full disclosure: I kept working on this ^one after I took the group shot.




Here’s the link to my Etsy shop if you’re interested.


I’m slowly adding things.


Driving Under The Influence

The prompt from WordPress today is this:

Is there a painting or sculpture you’re drawn to? What does it say to you? Describe the experience. (Or, if art doesn’t speak to you, tell us why.)

Photographers, artists, poets: show us ART. 

So, here’s what I think about the artist’s eye.

I’m always surprised and a little saddened when I hear someone say that they aren’t an artist or don’t “get it.”  I suppose it’s at least in part because I have trouble imagining being any other way. I am hardwired to see patterns, light, shadow, colors and other arty terms almost before I see actual objects.



Each art class that I have taken has polished and refined that quality, but it really was already there. So when someone claims they don’t have that, I vacillate between disbelief that it’s even possible and curiosity at what that might be like. But I mostly come down on the side of disbelief or, at least, skepticism.

Because I don’t believe I’ve ever met a child that wasn’t an artist, that didn’t possess the “artist’s eye.”

As those children get older they enter the “critic’s eye.” Someone will tell them that the thing that they are painting or drawing doesn’t look like the thing it is supposed to be. AS IF THAT SOMEHOW IS IMPORTANT.

Gradually, that child will internalise that critic’s eye to the point where they believe it is theirs. They put away childish things and focus on artwork that skillfully recreates actual things*. Often to the detriment of their own vision.

I recently gave a short lesson to a class of 1st graders. It was about how to be an artist. We just did a short activity where we all had the same instructions (draw 4 straight lines, draw 3 circles, color in one circle. that sort of thing). At the end, even though we had the same instructions, every single one was different. This shows us that the artist and his decisions are the difference between art and, well, not-art.

Prior to my talk, I met with my friend (the teacher) to show her some projects and also loan her some books on art that I have. It was parent/teacher conference day and she was squeezing me in between two conferences. As I was zooming through my spiel, the next mom and kid showed up and watched what I was doing. I made the comment that every child is an artist. The mom said, “Yes. but are they good?”

Later, after the class activity, that same kid said something about his not being very good.

It was one of the saddest things I’ve ever heard. And something that no 6 year old should ever think, let alone say.

I tell you this because, to me, art and artist’s eye is like a muscle. If you don’t use it, it weakens. But you can strengthen it. It doesn’t leave. There are exercises you can do to bring it back to life.

I often ask people if they have a favorite color. Or a least favorite color. This is your art muscle showing itself in its small way.


DSCN9222So this is what I know about the artist’s eye:

You have one.

Don’t let anyone tell you different.

Even you.









*I love technically skilled artwork. I just think that it often gets too much attention in schools and young people’s education about art. There is plenty of room for every kind of art. Let’s try not to exclude whenever possible.

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