Daily Archives: December 31, 2015

Timeout for Art: Underway


My daughter, Jennifer, is working hard on the coming issue of the Beacon.

We are running very late.

Considering that we lost two partners, crashed two computers, had to buy a new computer, transfer data and software and then find someone willing to learn the program and put the magazine together (that would be Jennifer, after much begging on my part), I think we are doing just fine.

I wrote, edited and gathered stories. I organized birth announcements and obituaries. I put documents into a folder. I gathered photographs. For the little leftover spaces on a page, I found usable quotations.

That’s not all of my job. I do back office stuff, too: mailings, record-keeping, billing and banking.

What I don’t do…what I am incapable of… (though I feel like I might eventually be able to, if I had no other obligations, and could give it all of my time and attention for a month or two, getting me past the fear and ignorance of technology so that I could possibly begin to absorb and remember the process…) is design and layout. That is where the begging became so crucial, and my daughter’s help so important.

I have opinions as to what the finished product should look like. I offer suggestions and criticism. When she thinks she’s done, I say, “Not quite…” I tell her, “If we’re going to be late, let’s at least look really good.” Sometimes I am able to help with a completely non-technological solution to a technical problem. Mostly, at this point, I let her do the work.

That – along with the hardware having shorter days and days off on the holidays – has allowed some time for me to be in the studio.


I have thirty little paintings underway, with plans for completing one hundred of them this winter. They are only 10″ by 10″ in size, so ideas can be developed quickly. I’ve already “overworked” at least four of them, and will have a struggle to bring them back to life. None are finished yet, but some are showing promise. I’ve already determined to use a few of these compositions as jumping off points for larger canvasses.

I work on four at a time, as that is how many fit easily together on my work surface. That allows me to develop an idea with variations. Each group of four are similar but not the same. They seem to communicate one with another. I think of them as “talking circles,” sharing a broad idea, but each with their own point of view.

I have been awfully negligent about posting “Timeout for Art” over the last several months. In the coming year, I plan to do better. It’s already on my list of resolutions for 2016. So, I’ll show my progress on these pieces as the weeks go by.

Meanwhile, tonight.

I’m making a plate of nachos for dinner. I have a short stack of new self-help books to peruse, and a movie to watch. That’s my New Year’s Eve celebration. I hope yours is wonderful, too!

And, of course, Happy New Year!