When I am inspired to paint something I just do it without considering the commercial viability or ‘artistic worthiness’ of the conception. Art is something I do because it feels good.

NORTHERN EXPOSURE (the 6 season television show that ran in the early 90s) was not on my radar in its original run. I knew it was one of the most popular shows on the air, I just never watched it. I contented myself with the coffee break observations and synopses I received from friends and co-workers. My beloved life-partner, Patrice, had a nostalgic love of the series so she bought the box set for us to watch together. Often our video tastes are polar opposites; what I enjoy is too violent for her and what she enjoys is too sentimental for me. NORTHERN EXPOSURE is a neutral ground on which we can spend an hour together as we eat dinner or while Patrice crochets.

It’s still hard for me to imagine why the show was such a hit. Even so, I’ve come to appreciate Joel, Maggie, Maurice, Chris, Ruth Ann, Holling, Shelley, and Ed. I especially like Chris, the ex-con Radio DJ prone to artistic impulses and philosophical discourse. In one episode, Chris points out to Holling that ‘art’ is the process of creation and should be appreciated for the sheer enjoyment it brings. Selling art is not ‘art’ — it’s commerce. The two should never be confused. Though such confusion is easy to understand in the light of Andy Warhol’s rise to fame and fortune. If we take our cue about art from the mainstream media we will become hopelessly mired in self-defeating artistic neuroses.

Recently I painted an abstract with lots of blue and red. It made me feel good, I enjoyed the process, got that ‘artist’s high’ and that was that. Looking at the finished piece, I thought it was destined to remain on the shelf of canvases in my garage. I assumed it had no commercial appeal. Shortly thereafter I was given the opportunity to hang twenty one pieces of my art in the lobby of the local public library. The first day of that showing, a friend saw the red and blue piece, fell in love with it and bought it. BONUS! That’s what the sale of art should be, a bonus on top of the joy of creation, not the driving, defining force of what we choose to create.

Two years ago I painted an abstract of a river scene. My experiment was to see how quickly and with how few strokes I could paint the thing. I spent about 15 minutes on it. It accomplished the unspoken goal in the back of my mind, but I never believed anyone would pay money for it. At a local pop-up event, I took the abstract river scene along just to fill up my space. A little 8-year-old girl fell in love with it instantly, so her mother bought it for her.

The three overriding benefits of art are: the intoxicating act of creation, the sense of satisfaction that comes from someone liking the piece so much they want to make it a part of their home environment, last (and least) is the money that goes into the artist’s pocket when (if) he/she makes a sale.

I understand that my perspective may be difficult for many folks to embrace, agree with or even understand. I’m pretty sure a few artists get what I’m saying.

Have a great creative day!

We Are All Creative.

I receive academic papers on a variety of subjects. Today I read something that I felt was worth sharing:

“Creativity is largely a decision. Being a decision, it is therefore conscious, aware, rational. This suggests to Sternberg that creativity can be developed. To be creative, one will have to decide to have new ideas. A person may have analytical, synthetic or practical valences, but not apply them to problems involving creativity. Consequently, such person will not become creative.”

The above is from an article published by Paolo Tiago Cabeca on the site Academia Letters.

Often my friends tell me they are not creative. I have convinced a few that creativity is a choice.

Choose to be creative. It enriches life in ways no other activity can.

Artists Don’t Blog A Lot

Okay, so I finally realized it’s been over a year since I wrote a new post for In my own defense I’ll say I have done lots of creative stuff in that time: I made my first feature-length genre movie in over 25 years (CHRISTMAS CRAFT FAIR MASSACRE — a horror comedy which will be released in December. My understanding is it will be available on streaming sites like TUBI.), I painted lots of paintings (and sold quite a few) but, unfortunately, I forgot to post pictures of all of them, I wrote six screenplays in the past year and sold four of them. Now, it’s starting to sound like I’m bragging, which is not my intention. I was just trying to make it clear that I haven’t been just parked on the sofa watching movies (although, I’ve done plenty of that as well!)…

I LOVE doing art. I painted five abstracts today. Patrice, my partner, likes two of them. I knew in advance which ones she’d appreciate. You develop a sense over time regarding which things have broader appeal (are commercial in other words) and the trick is to not let that keep you from doing the non-commercial things you feel an urge to create.

Thanks for looking at my site. I appreciate you.

More later…


We all tend to cling to the familiar. But all our growth happens when we embrace the unfamiliar. Trying new techniques will keep your art alive. There are no mistakes, as our friend Bob Ross used to say. Every time I create I learn things, things about my own mental processes and things about using materials to execute my vision. The more mistakes I make, the quicker I learn what works. Mistakes are your best teacher, so experiment!


Some are morning people, some are night owls. I have friends who do their best work at 3am. For me it’s shortly after I wake up, as I’m starting that second cup of coffee. The caffeine gets my creative juices flowing and it’s very easy for me to access inspiration. Find your creative time of day and designate a time to create on a regular basis. The muse comes more often if she knows when she’s expected to arrive.