Back to Basics

Christmas and the holiday season are quickly approaching.  It’s about this time that I start preparing for the holiday gift bazaars and fairs held in my little town.  I suppose I could venture into areas far and wide, other towns and even other states – I suppose -but that would be like work.  When I create something, it cannot be like work.  If I do, the product suffers.  I get angry and petulant like a child told to sit in the corner.

I know a lot of artist approach their art like its a job.  They get up, put in so many hours writing or painting, take lunch and then head back to the studio or the desk.  If I do that, my stuff looks contrived and stilted.  I guess this has to do with discipline.  I fail at discipline.  And you know why.  I will tell you why.  I have had to be disciplined my whole life – disciplined in school, church, job, home, playground and even the toilet.  I decided when I retired for the last time, there would be no D word dominating my days.

So  of the million types of visual arts I chose to play I think I chose two of the most undisciplined kind – digital art and alcohol inks.

Digital Art is just about the only stepchild in the art world at this time.  Everything else is considered art – multi-media art, fine art (?), pop art,  etc.  Photography is art.  But it is not digital art by my definition – rendering a picture through the manipulation of pixels on a virtual canvas.  I really enjoy drawing with my Apple pen on my iPad using a simple app that gives me the virtual canvas and the ability to mix my colors.  Doing it my way, without an instructor telling me it needs to be looser, it needs to be tighter, it needs to be brighter, it needs more this or it needs more that to be finished.Of course, if I would just follow an instructors direction, I might be a famous artist and sell a billion dollars worth paintings – or just be frustrated, hateful and rich.  There is an example of me drawing on the home page of my website so I could explain to others how the drawings happen without photo shopping, cutting and pasting.


The alcohol inks are free spirits (pardon the pun!)  Watercolors with attitudes! There are ways to control them, but they do their best work if you just let them have their way.  Incredibly beautiful abstract landscapes appear like magic – and that’s where the beauty really hides.

Look at this painting.  Those dragons just appeared after I threw some ink on a 6×6 tile.  I take credit for the placement of the eyes, but the rest just happened with the ink and canned air.  Whats not to love with this medium?

My Dragons

Here is another one that I love, but unfortunately was sold.  I hope the new owner appreciated the fact the art created the art.  This looks so powerful to me.  Just two colors, a white mixative, some canned air and 99% Ethyl Alcohol from the Dollar General Store.

20170112_205227000_iOS - Copy

Then there are these three paintings done on 4×4 tiles that are totally controlled but remain  true to the nature of the alcohol inks.


Starting on the YouTube tutorials seems to help me focus on the “work” to encourage others to try their hand using digital art or the inks.  I have four new ones now, and I think the last one I just made is the best.  If you are interested in the process, I have listed them on my web page under Tutorials.

The end of the month is the day my newsletter gets published.  I have been doing this for almost two years now, and it has grown in subject matter and circulation.  As it has grown, so have I.  Samples of previous months newsletters are posted on the web page if you are interested in content.  (Please sign up for the newsletter.  I promise never to Spam you, or sell off your address to any other entity.) Now, with this new website and blog, I am growing even more in many directions.  That little town I spoke of in the first paragraph has grown to include other continents….amazing.

Gotta run.  Take care.


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