Tag: poetry


Advice to young and old artists…but mostly the young ones.

  1. All art is an experiment. If you believe this then you are less likely to be afraid to change course in mid stream. Experimenting means taking chances, trying new things, letting go of what you know to find out what you don’t know. In other words, don’t love your art until it is done. Which leads me to the next point…
  2. Some artists create with a preconceived finished project. Some have a general idea and then allow the process to dictate exactly where it should go. Don’t be afraid to change your mind mid stroke. You can always go back and make the first idea again, but there is a certain magic that happens when you let the mind take a day off and just go with your gut. (This one comes from my amazing sister-in-law who just got her BFA and whose final project was voted Winner of ISC ‘s 2015 Outstanding Student Achievement In Contemporary Sculpture. www.deborahsperry.com)
  3. Live. Just live life. Art comes from experience, from reading and thinking and loving and grieving and…
  4. Find your gang. (This comes from art critic Jerry Saltz) I would rephrase this slightly and tell you to find your tribe of mentors. Art is by definition a very insular activity. Most artists create by themselves. Balance this with connections that are meaningful.Which leads me to the next point…
  5. You will be different than most people in this country. Get used to it. Artists tend to see differently, hear differently, think differently. Most people have no frame of reference for this. But remember…they are your audience, the ones who may buy/watch/listen to what you have lovingly created. Find a way to connect with them somehow. Educate people when you can, love them always, then go back to creating.
  6. Being an artist is fun, being a good artist is work. (This comes from an amazing sculptor friend, Bart Walter). Yes, you can paint, write music/poetry/act/etc. Now you have to do the work to make your art better and put it out into the world. Write a CV, create a website, a portfolio, get headshots, go to auditions, take art/dance/acting/singing lessons, talk to the right people, research galleries, send letters of intent, reply to calls for entries (that all want different sized photographs or written samples), write a blog post, put yourself out onto social media, read about art, go to galleries/plays/concerts, get therapy, get a part-time job to pay the bills until you become famous…oh, wait, there is no guarantee you will be famous. The truth is the world does not owe you anything just because you are a talented artist. Some of the most talented artists don’t become successful. The ones who do, are willing to do the work after they shut the studio door. So do the work, and then do it again and again and again. It can take some time to build up a career but it also takes time to continue it. Don’t stop.

Okay, this is enough for now, I know there is more but my brain hurts. I leave you with another picture of the rust paintings that I have been playing with. (Here’s me doing my work…) These are from the “Oxidation Happens, Chaos” Series #1-3. You can see them at the open studio this weekend (December 5 and 6, 2015 from 10 to 5) along with all of my great outdoor sculptures. Go to www.ccartists.com for more info and a map of all the other participating artists in the Carroll County (MD) Artists’ Studio Tour.


dream world

On a night that brings back

a tinge of winter,

where the windows are closed

and the heat is turned on,

I dream of the days

when the sun

warms the earth

and I complain

that it is too hot

and wish for

a breath of cool air.

dream world
dream world

yellow pages

A week without internet

our lifeline to the world beyond

was an excruciating time

for all involved.


I need to call the florist

what do I do?



time’s a-wasting.


How quickly I have forgotten

how resources used to be found

before bright screens


and emoticons.

A time when bookmarks

were not a category

at the top of my

computer screen

but real objects

made from paper

or metal

or wood

that could be

stuck between

actual pages.

A time when those

same pages

could have the corners folded

written upon

or torn out.

Pages from

an actual book

with words




useful and accessible

for anyone to find

as long as you

knew the alphabet

and could read numbers.

I spent many an hour in new cities

looking at this particular book

to acquaint myself

with all the resources


This book

with yellow and white pages

is the book I need

right this very moment.

OMG, do I even have one

in the house anymore?

I dig deep into a cupboard,

under some CD’s

and DVD’s

(also outdated,

but that’s for

another post)

pull out a book

and flip open to


for florist.

f is for florist
f is for florist

towering above


gather in an



viewing the world,

passing on gossip

and sometimes

getting in a

brief raucous scuffle

over nothing

in particular.

catching up on the news
catching up on the news

I was out test-driving my camera this morning and decided to see what it would do if I tried taking pictures of the starlings on top of the electric tower. I can barely see them with the naked eye (the birds, not the towers) although I knew they were there by their squawking and screaming. It’s kinda thrilling to have a machine that can capture a picture of something you can barely see. I know I still need to work on exposure etc. and I also know that while this camera is good, it still makes things that far away a little grainy but it is so much fun to play like this!

I really like the juxtaposition of the big geometric shapes made out of the linear steel bars and the little curvaceous beings that hang out on them.




Not even 


and stones

can shore up a hillside



and water

conspire against them.


the hillside crumbles around us
the hillside crumbles around us

As some of you know, I have been primary medical and personal liaison for my almost 93 year old father since my mother’s death three and a half years ago. During this time, my siblings and I came to the realization that he has a form of dementia and last year we put him into a nursing home where he would get really good care. He continued to be as independent as possible, going out to lunch and dinner, going out to concerts and staying as active as he possibly could. Recently, a combination of physical and mental changes has caused his caregivers to limit the way he lives his life, purely for safety reasons. He has balked, he has cursed, he has threatened to sue and he has very clearly told me to get out of his life. Life has never been easy with this man but I finally hit the wall, so to speak, and am, for the moment, relinquishing my role in his life to one of my sisters. My hope is that my own life will stop being pulled down the hill by the force of his gravity and my tears. 

For some reason this picture spoke to me tonight. Being a caregiver, even one that is not on the front line, is so very tough, it takes a very large toll on one’s well-being. I am hoping to patch up the hillside of my life and strengthen it so that it can withstand further assaults. We’ll see if I am successful.


The neighbor’s

honey bee

is gorging itself


my flowers.

I have a jar

of honey

in my kitchen

in exchange.

I’m pretty sure

I got the better deal.



one of my naturalist friends has alerted me that this is NOT a honey bee but a bee-like fly. I am leaving the post because it humors me, but I am aware that it is biologically incorrect. I will be doing more research and may write a post about it in the future. Or not.

Thanks Melinda.