June 23, 2009


Museum of Man, Tower, 1971 or 77. I remember sitting on the median grass drawing this sketch. I remember being so afraid of failure that I had to stop.

Himself: Counting the days: 6 more working days….technically. He’s beginning to move around a bit and accomplish some small things around here. Stirring himself up. At times I hope that one of the jobs he applied for calls. Other times, I want him to have more than three days off after this job ends. Then again, I hope anybody calls.

Herself: Swam….such nice folks swim at that early hour. Shower, Alanon meeting with lunch in hand. Again, wonderful women that made sense. Came home to find Himself had run all my errands. Later, had to go clear out to La Mesa to get a three dollar oiler for both sewing machines so took the off-tension-Bernina out with us. G bought dinner. Today class again. Found old baggage cart, he bought me some bungie cords. My art stuff is easier to transport now. Thanks G.

Reading: Endlessly. The next Dresden. I’ll miss this character in my life when I have finished the series.

Balance: Marion.

I wave paint on paper sure in the ease of it all. In my comfort, I create mush, garbage. A week later, I carefully set up the next scenario with photographs and great planning only to create cacophony. My ability to handle color is still with me, but my art resembles the chaos at the beginning of time. My drawings are distorted, my line is warped, and my sense of humor tweaked sideways when the instructor tells me to use a ruler.

I am beyond disappointed.

“Bring some of your art to the next poetry class,” Marion calls out on her way to Costco.

“No, no, none of it is any good,” I reply. She repeats herself and doesn’t believe.

No one believes me. They’ve all been to my shows. They know my series, they have enjoyed my colors and my passions and enthusiasms right along with me for years. Friends call and ask art questions…..I can still answer. I can frame images in a camera, but I cannot draw.

I could draw right after, but when my gallery retired, I retired. Not putting line on paper was my downfall. Use it or lose it gets me coming or going.

I’m committed to these summer months of putting line on paper and slinging paint. Deeply disillusioned by my inability to draw something that looks like something…..even a doodle, I’m not quitting. Tomorrow, I will take that small sketch book with me, and I will see if I can pencil in the Museum of Man tower. Keeping it simple. Not even complete. Telling myself this is just practice. Treating myself like a new student.

I cannot imagine recovering my ability to draw in one semester, but there I am.

“Don’t have a stroke,” I said in some disgust to someone at the pool this morning.


  1. oh, beautiful! afraid of failure? where? it does not show! or, did you stop because you knew it was perfect right then??

    ink to paper, even if you have to blow it around with a straw! go askew! I love loopy. lose control--you won't need it. just turn the mind off, and what comes from your pen will blow your mind.

  2. Beautiful drawing, I love it unfinished like that, letting our mind complete the movement. Keept at it, it is good, there is such strength behind the line.

  3. The drawing is lovely. The ability will come back. Only Picasso never produced crap. God knows, I have so many junky pieces of art in drawers that I will never be able to use it for anything. I keep thinking I can recycle it into something better, but I know it's so bad there is nothing to be done but toss it. But every now and then I get one I want to keep.

  4. Practicing fer sure. Slightly better but unsure today. Progress.

  5. Why is it we have such trouble believing in ourselves, Mage! Read those nice comments aloud and just listen!


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