Brushes Painting. Robot Wallet

I got this at Tesoros, in Austin in 09 or 10. Holds my ID, plastic + cash perfectly.
Fits in a jeans pocket on those rare occasions that I wear pants.


at work: padded wacom stylus

Wacom stylus padded with
dot strikeoff fabric for
better gription

Brushes Painting. Bedside Lamp

I got this in Providence at a place next door to Pilgrim Mills and the Blue Point Oyster Bar on Main Street. I distinctly remember having an aural assault from some loud conservative windbag via talk radio while purchasing. I'm pretty sure the shade was a separate acquisition from someplace else.


Brushes Painting - Shoe

OK, so I got the iPad a while back and one of the things I wanted to use it for was sketching in the Brushes app. Instead, it has become my go to reader for Twitter when I'm lounging on the couch. How timely then, to get this tweet:

Danny's Twitter link
This also came into my inbox from Julien Smith of In Over Your Head: "Those who win are producers, not consumers. The first thing you do each morning should be active, not passive– no Facebook, no email. Whatever you choose should put you in a state of mind for the rest of the day. Choose carefully." [#1 from 19 Thoughts About Finding Your Purpose]

The universe is sending me a message!

I start today with the tired old cow print shoe that is confined to house arrest (though sometimes it escapes and walks around the block). You've seen it before, if you've been reading this blog. If not, it's filed under the tag "shoe 1"


Quick Draw: Freedy Johnston in Encinitas

I had the privilege to go to a house concert with Freedy Johnston, Cindy Lee Berryhill and Severo in Encinitas. The livingroom had the best acoustics - no PA required!


Words of Wisdom from Lesley Riley

What To Do When It's Not Working

In my last newsletter, I wrote about rhythm in art. Rhythm is one of the elements of art. Rhythm is also the result of pulling together all of the elements and principles of art into your work for a pleasing composition. And then there is YOUR rhythm, the key ingredient to successful, moving art.

So, have you got rhythm? Even if you can't carry a tune or cut a rug, the answer is yes. We've all got rhythm. It's an internal thing. Our rhythm shows up in the way we walk, the way we talk and the way we spend our days.

When it comes to art, your rhythm shows up in your subject matter, your color choices and the way you compose things on the canvas/fabric/paper. Most times you make intuitive choices and it all comes easy for you. Other times you may feel as if you are all thumbs, two left feet or tone-deaf and color-blind, especially if you are a beginner. That's when it's time to just walk away. Literally - just walk away. Intentionally take a walk.

This clumsy, awkward feeling of incompetence happens to all artists. We all have days or periods when our rhythm is off. And that's all it is - an off day. The thing is, many (if not all) artists feel that what they do, this creating thing, is magic. And, indeed, it is. You create something from nothing, spin straw into gold. The problem is that because it is magic, you fear it might one day disappear.

Have no fear. It will not disappear. You're just out of synch, off your rhythm. It happens for many reasons but the most common one is that you are not in touch with yourself. You are forcing it, over-thinking it, looking outward when you should be looking inward. Or actually...you shouldn't be looking at all. You need to feel.

What brings tears to your eyes, makes your heart sing, makes you feel like dancing? What do you want to let everybody know? What have you had a lifelong interest in or affection for?

a color?
a shape?
a face?

an idea?
a line?
a time?

When you are truly connected to your subject matter, your work shows it. The rhythm is just there, effortlessly. Personal rhythm is the common thread that appears in an artist's work, no matter what the subject matter. You know it when you see it. It's also known as style or voice.

Those days or times when you're just not feeling it, don't try to force it. It shows. You know and they'll know. The remedy is to just walk away and get in touch with yourself. With your heart. A walk creates and enhances your natural rhythm. Walk until you feel your rhythm return. Walk through the frustration, the doubt, the clumsiness. Add music if desired, but find something just a beat faster than you feel. Let the faster beat of the music raise your spirits and your rhythm to where you feel like dancing.

In my next newsletter, I'll share tips on using your personal rhythm to create good composition.
Lesley Riley, The Artist Success Expert, is the creative founder of Artist Success, Solutions for the Struggling Artist. To receive her bi-weekly articles on creating your own success as an artist, visit www.ArtistSuccess.com.