La Verguensa

"The Shameful One"

Archive for the month “August, 2011”

moon feather (via Gretchen Del Rio’s Art Blog)

Cool owl.

moon feather I have always loved barn owls. There is some thing very human about their faces. In Beatrix Potter’s ‘The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin’ an owl played an important part…’Old Brown.’ As a child I was both afraid of the owl in this story and in awe of it. In my memory this was a barn owl. But as I look at the story art it seems … Read More

via Gretchen Del Rio's Art Blog

Slow Dance

Have you ever watched kids on a merry-goround,

Or listened to the rain slapping the ground?

Ever follow a butterflies erratic flight,

or gazed at the sun into the fading night?

You better slow down, don’t dance so fast,

time is short, the music won’t last.


Do you run through each day on the fly?

When you ask how are you? Do you hear the reply?

When the day is done do you lie in your bed,

with the next hundred chores running through your head?


You better slow down.

Don’t run so fast.

Time is short.

The music won’t last.


Ever told your child We’ll do it tomorrow,

and in your haste, not see his sorrow?


Ever lost touch let a good friendship die,

cause you never had time to call and say hi.


You’d better slow down don’t dance so fast.

Time is short.

The music won’t last.


When you run so fast to get somewhere,

you miss half the fun of getting there.


When you worry and hurry through your day,

It’s like an unopened gift thrown away.


Life is not a race,

do take it slower.

Hear the music,

Before it is over.



This poem was sent to me by a teenager with terminal cancer (in 2007)


Make no little plans, they have no magic to stir mens blood.

Painting and Meaning

I think painting is an act of courage. My goal is to create images which are true to a set of ideals I have gleaned through reflection and action.

I paint what cannot be photographed. Hence my tendency away from realism. Wonder in painting, lies in expression. I still like to capture understood forms and shapes. But I will often treat a figure like a composition or a shape upon which to experiment with pigment.

I stay true to painting. My goal is not to create a beautiful image to be admired but to discover something of myself and leave it on the paper. I do however think this process reveals beauty. One mystery, to me, is that beauty cannot be created through false intention. It is slowly revealed by  a desire to lay open one’s soul.

How can we reveal personal values with graphite and pigment?

Here is a list of values and an explanation of how I try to exhibit them.

Honesty: I don’t erase.I make marks and I live with them. I seek in the painting what I see in the world, a complex and beautiful dance of opposites. Light/Dark  Large/Small  Bright/Dull  Thin/Fat Life/Death  Transparent/Opaque  Good/Evil Grand/Minute. The list is endless.

Experimentation: I let the painting lead. I do not plan the painting but allow for fluid possibilities. I do not force a color scheme, or technique on the work.

Trust: I believe that the process will reveal something to me.  Beauty is discovered in the seeking, rather than the application of technique or theory. The most important thing is the seeking.

Perfection is a ruse: Perfection as some kind of objective quality is a ridiculous  concept. The act of painting is the point. Suspension of judgement is the key to freedom.

The Cello

Cello is another installment in the bluegrass series. Like most of the other paintings it relies on a mixture of control and abandon.

Pencil 1 at the Botanic Gardens.

Last weekend I took a class which taught me how to draw a leaf and a flower. Thank you Karla Beatty for your gentle yet precise criticism.  That is a real skill. Taking the class was an experiment for me. I left with energy to know more.

I can see that there is an unlimited amount to know and direct applications to Architecture. Frank Lloyd Wright wrote about this, of course. But there is an ocean of difference  between reading about one persons distillation of an experience- and experiencing it first hand for yourself. The class had a sense of community. I love seeing other students work and learning that way. At the Botanic Gardens you get the sense that art, culture and creativity have value. It was also just wonderful to hang out in the garden at lunch and breathe. Below is a sketch of an iris:

A value study:

and the start of a finished drawing:

Thanks again Karla. Much to chew on.

I Don’t Smoke 3

The Final painting looks something like this. It is  4’x8′ watercolor.

I don’t smoke 2

Next the painting is divided into a grid of common symbols commonly seen around Boulder. This is used for the layout of the underpainting.










Under painting:










Finished Under Painting:


I Don’t Smoke 1

I Don’t Smoke.

This is a painting about community.  The painting is also question about what is needed to  negoiate passage in the afterlife. It is loosely based on concepts in the movie “Dead Man” by Jim Jarmusch. In the movie tobacco is a requirement for any kind of movement or transaction.

The underpainting was a process of laying out different community symbols I see here and there and then painting over them with varying degrees of opacity. I suppose these symbols represent a kind of subconscious for the actual painting.

I Don’t Smoke is an Art experiment. It started like this:

Weave pattern of watercolor sheets. The weave is interlocking and a symbolic form.

The Fabric of Imperfection

This is an architectural concept that developed in conjunction with drawing and painting. For years I had been painting and drawing rarely using an eraser. I would just draw darker when I wanted to change an element. That began to evolve into a style that greatly affected (the look of) my drawings. Another outcome was the generation of unexpected ideas through the act of drawing itself. After some years I gave this process and its resulting out come a name. The Fabric of imprefection. This concept has now been borne out in several architectural projects and is very successful. Success being measured by the positive effect on the owners.

Here are a couple of examples:



How do these two things relate?  Well that is a good question. In my mind they are related by the process used to achieve each, which is the same. Intrestingly to me that process became clear through painting and useful in Architecture.

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