In and out of love

One minute I was in love and the next minute that love was gone. What happened to my love? What happened to my perception?

I am talking about the painting I did yesterday, and I just realized today what happened. It looks like art. What’s wrong with that? It’s not what I am going for.

What’s wrong with looking like Art?

I spent years trying to emulate art; To make paintings that look like the ones I appreciated in museums and galleries, but I eventually hit a wall. I no longer wanted to make something that looked like something else. I want to make something new. I know, I am a slow learner but I believe the path is there for a reason and I have walked it faithfully if a little blind at times.

Digital Discovery

I started out on my iPad making a digital painting each night before I went to sleep. With digital painting there are no brushes to clean and I can get an overall view without walking across the room. The rest is the same job of composition, color and line. If you follow me on instagram you’ll know I alternate between semi-symmetrical mandala type images and pure non objective images. I use different apps according to what the work needs and just transfer the work in progress between the different apps to achieve the goal.

Instagram isn’t a carrot

One day I made this image that included smudged black lines and blurred shapes dotted with integrated squares like pixels. I did a few more like this and made one black and white. The temptation on instagram is to follow the path of “likes” but “likes” usually come from stuff that looks like art and that is not my goal this time. I didn’t get as many “likes” on the pixelated paintings as I got on the mandala stuff but they looked like something I had never seen and the idea of an organic, amorphous shape losing its borders and revealing its pixels was an exciting new path and a challenge.

My first attempt is this yellow painting but it feels a bit too forced and fussy for me.


36 x 36 acrylic, oil, encaustic on canvas

Hummer, 36 x 36 acrylic, oil, encaustic on canvas

Natural Resistance

The yellow painting was a different direction but it felt off. That could just be natural resistance as the next attempt was much more like my own style and had an immediate positive effect on my mood. It just seemed right. When I stood in front of it it seemed ten feet tall and infinitely variable. It seemed to change dimension and composition as I watched it. I remember thinking I don’t want to overwork this as it’s great now and if I keep fussing I will discover all its secrets and lose interest.

Blue Painting

unfinished blue painting 36 x 36 acrylic on canvas

Short Attention Span

It’s like a song I play over and over until I tire of it. No matter how great the song is I can wear it out for myself. I am forever excited by the newness. I very rarely rewatch a movie and I’m always looking for new art and music.

Well I guess I wore this one out cause yesterday it confirmed my genius. Today it just looks like something I did years ago and didn’t finish. It still has passages of brilliance and an interlocking composition but I have lost the surge of new discovery. My dopamine has run out.

Why do I keep doing this?

I guess that’s what keeps me painting. If it were just a great painting there would be no need to do another. I remember in each painting that feeling of triumph and the memory of that feeling keeps them alive in the hopes that someone else may get a taste of the feeling somewhere down the line.

I will keep working on the blue painting until I reach a resolution, but I hope that one day when I come home I will walk in to the studio and be surprised again.


  1. lisa honecker
    May 20, 2016

    To me, the blue painting is done, and I swear i saw the word “astonished” in the text below it when I first viewed it. I love your process, and the part where you experienced the work alive and growing before you sounds awesome, and like you were truly in the creation moment. That place is difficult to get to and if later things appear flat, or less animated its because it is. However it does not diminish its aliveness on that other plane in that other place. I think we are allowed only small bites of time there, lest be unwilling to rejoin our fellows LOL

  2. Randy Stark
    May 26, 2016

    Thanks for the inspiring guided tour through some of your creative processes.

Leave a Reply