Tag Archives: creativity

The seeds of inspiration

small hiker in old growth redwood forest

People often ask me where I get my inspiration. I tell them that for writing haiku, it could be literally anything I experience. For instance, getting out of jury duty and going from the courthouse to the beach: sprung  from jury duty the wind in my hair But for paintings, 90% of my ideas come from one place: nature. Whether hiking through sand dunes or exploring Arcata’s marsh and bird sanctuary, I find that spending time out in nature is a wellspring of creative ideas. My family Read more

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One brushstroke at a time

painting of beach scene with haiku

When I first tried sumi ink painting five years ago, I struggled. There was frustration. There was angst. In this ancient medium, you grind an ink stick made of pine soot and glue in an ink stone with a few drops of water, then paint with bamboo brushes on rice paper. Sounds simple enough, right? But in practice, there are many ways to go wrong—and I excelled at all of them. I ground the ink too thin and it dried sad and gray on the paper; I ground it too thick and my strokes ran out Read more

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The truth about being an artist

painting of frog meditating, with haiku

I have been having trouble with frogs. Not actual frogs, which I kind of like, in their funny, damp way, but with trying to capture them on paper. To get the image I wanted for the piece shown here, in a long, frustrating process lasting two days, I painted a frog on a lily pad twenty-three times. Still, each of my paintings fell short in some way. In many there was a problem with the neck, as my 12-year-old, an avid frog-catcher, helpfully pointed out. Others were out of proportion—froggy Read more

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