The Best Thing that Ever Happened to my Writing

A number of things have helped my writing along, but best thing that ever happened was to stop caring so much.  This came about gradually. In fact it took a couple of decades. Rejection hastened things along. “No. Sorry. I’m afraid I’m not the right for this.”  “You have me stumped; I can’t do a […]

The Company You Keep

There’s a curator at a museum here who cuts a certain figure in this town. Smart and smartly dressed, sweet and hard-hitting, he’s built a reputation for cutting right through the rhetoric to get to the point. I was sad to learn that he was leaving for another job, a bigger one waiting for him […]

The Writer as Thief

Once, I had a painter boyfriend who used me as a model—a second-story paint studio flooded with light, one stool in the middle, and endless hours in a warm sun. He must have painted some four or five canvases, flowing long dresses, my hair twisted up on some. I don’t know where any of those […]

How Much Does it Weigh?

I know an artist who works in metal, using tools like anvils and a blow torch in an unheated warehouse studio. Hard-tipped shoes are a good idea if you’re going to hang around and watch. Sparks fly, and the racket of her creation can be heard halfway across the field. In that field, by the […]

Flamingo a-go-go . . . fixing a mistake.

If you’ve never made a mistake, you’ve never tried anything. Artist John Brickels was reminded of this when he agreed to decorate a pink plastic flamingo for a fundraiser to benefit the local arts community.  He incorporated it into one of his clay pieces, thinking he could bring his artistry to bear to “overpower the […]

The Lines

I knew an artist once who stood before a human-sized canvas and drew  lines from left to right, over and over and over, all the way down the canvas from her head to her blue-shoed, paint-speckled toes. I hung around some mornings on the couch in her studio. It was attic space, unheated in that […]

The Flamingo Must Go

It’s my good fortune to know a lot of visual artists. Painters, mostly, but also potters and printmakers, landscape architects, photographers, and people who work in fabric, stone, glass, metal, bottle caps, trash, and who knows what else in this rich community. John Brickels works in clay. All his pieces are brown. In years past, […]

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