“Other people may run themselves ragged for money, fame, and honor, but I would rather lie on the grass under blooming flowers, let the wind caress me, listen to the hustle and bustle of the people-this gives me strength and amuses me-and dream away the day.”

That’s a quote from Otto Mueller, early 20th century German painter.

I have always been fond of the story of the grasshopper and the ants, you know the one, where the grasshopper lazes about all summer long playing his music and enjoying the nice weather while the ants are busy preparing for winter oblivious to the joys of summer, always working and saving. It’s kind of a capitalist tale if you ask me and not a happy ending for the grasshopper as the ants get to say “we told you so”.

So I’ve always felt like the grasshopper being an artist, one has to suspend most ant-like activities in order to find the peace of mind, to create, which to me is like playing. But the older I get the more ant-like I become it seems. There seems to be less time for play as other things crowd my space. And I still have no health insurance.

I’m not sure where this is leading or how it relates to the garden specifically but I wanted to write about it.

As I was preparing the soil and raised beds for the garden my wife told me ” Aren’t you rushing things a bit, it’s still January.”

“True” I thought for a moment but then remembered my father who seemed to always be plotting and planning, amending the soil, drying seeds, canning, digging through seed catalogs. Only in the dead of winter with snow up to your knees did things seem to rest.

I realized that it never truly ceases, the farmer works year round, sun up til down, there is always work to be done. And the same holds true for the artist, even when we have to work the wheels of play are constantly turning in our heads waiting for the moment when we can spin out of control….

New to you, new to me.

People always ask me if I came from an artistic family, were my parents artists?, where does it come from? A puzzled look would be all I could come up with, neither of my parents were artists or even     creative as far as I could tell, at least in a way that directly relates to the making of art objects. I just always assumed that maybe it came from the dysfunctional environment I grew up in, that it was a means of escape, of emotional detachment, a way of expressing pent up thoughts and emotions since little kids usually are overlooked when it comes to their inner lives. Or maybe it was my experiences early on with some encouraging teachers. Somebody somewhere when I was a kid encouraged me to draw and paint, I think it was maybe early on in the first or second grade, I was always picked to be a part of the production of holiday themed decorations or whatever was significant about a particular month. Maybe that’s where it came from.

As an adult(artist) I have always maintained that it only comes from a desire to be loved, to do something that people appreciate you for. To feel worthy. I asked myself “what motivates me as an artist?, why do I spend so much time doing this?” And this was the only thing I could come up with that made any sense.

I started gardening a few years ago, creating a green space in my backyard. My goal was to create a tropical like jungle here in the city. I’ve always been drawn to the density of the forest whether here in the lush greenery of the Pacific Northwest or the steamy exotic jungles of Southeast Asia so I wanted to have that here behind my house. A place to hide.

In the planning and plotting I was surprised at how much time was just spent observing, just sitting there for hours, not really thinking about anything specific but just looking, or rather absorbing. And in doing this it reminded me of working in the art studio, so little of the time spent working on a painting was actually hands on, a majority of the time was spent looking at the painting, sitting with it, turning it over in my mind, trying to sense it’s rhythms. And this is what I was doing in the garden to some extent. Allowing myself to be open to what it had to say.

This brought me back to my childhood as well. I remembered my father often squatting in his large vegetable garden, smoking a cigarette with a beer in hand just staring off into space, I’d ask him what he was doing and he’d just say” Aww nothing boy, just sitting here watching.”

So maybe my father was the artist in my family, watching my father silently coaxing vegetables and food from the ground, his quiet observation of the rhythms of nature at work. The garden was his sanctuary and sustainer. It was his art studio.

The fruits and vegetables of his labor were a great source of pride and accomplishment for him, I only now begin to see that this was his creative work, the work he did for his soul or that which soothed it.

Ok, to be continued……

Hello world!

Welcome to This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!