Life SignsPantheon of Rome - Great Stupa of Sanchi in Bhopal -Santa Clara’s rose window in Assisi - the Aya Sophia of Istanbul …

                    the circle reveals itself again and again.

                                           MANDALAS ALL

Mandala is Sanskrit for circle. And the circle is the universal symbol for the divine state of wholeness. Tibetans see mandalas as diagrams of the cosmos. Native Americans have used healing circles and many Christian churches of old have used the mandalic pattern, or labyrinth, in the floor plans as a point of centering. Centering comes in walking the labyrinth.

Psychoanalyst, Carl Jung, felt that there was an ancient creative instinct in all of us, the mythopoetic or thecollective unconscious. He believed that when mandalas were created spontaneously, allowing this creative instinct to come through, that it was an attempt to heal one’s inner self.

Mythologist, Joseph Campbell said the making of a mandala “is a discipline of pulling all those scattered aspect of your life together, finding a center.”

The Circle, is one of the universal archetypes, and every culture has represented it over and over in grand and small scale. If you consider the circles of life remember to hold to the center of the wheel, not the rim!

          If you find yourself holding on to the rim go find your center!

                                 There is no separation.

                                 There is no separation.

…then let go.

Tao to Ching- 24

She who stands on tiptoe doesn’t stand firm.

She who rushes ahead doesn’t go far.

She who tries to shine dims her own light.

She who defines herself can’t know who she really is.

She who has power over others can’t empower herself.

She who clings to her work will create nothing that endures.

If you want to accord with the Tao, just do your job, then let go.


On the Road, from Ohio Morning, gray and moist, to White Sands New Mexico all striped with cool shadows, thecross-country collages developed. A two-state dust storm smudged up nicely, while Western Pennsylvania even found a page in the book.

People often ask, “of all the places you have been what country is your favorite” I would say all of them. Of all the states we just traveled through which one was the most magnification…all of them.

From the saturated colors of the deep south, oranges, chartreuse and black shadows, to the high key values of the dust storms in Colorado and Kansas, we drove through a full palate of colors.

Visual thinking - color block studies, take it down to the essential color and light. Or blind contour drawing, pen follows eyes then a smudge of color and the image is forever held in my mind’s eye.

I have asked students, how does it feel on those rare times when you believe you have fully captured your subject matter - the times when you “got it” - they tell me, the subject then "becomes part of you".

Responding visually, no matter how realistic or abstract, binds the experience to the creator. I am full of colors!

                                                         Yin - Yang


The Tradition of Betty Boop

On the first Beat adventure Betty was purchased at a gas stop mid-country. The guys on Car Talk rightly told us to have duct tape along. With it we built a still life that reflected our journey. Betty has now finished her third On the Road BEAT trip.  With a total of 39 days and some 22,000 miles traveled she was our first tradition.

So I ponder the momentum of traditions. Traditions give us frame work, from which we can begin to create. The structure of tradition creates foundation, a launching pad. The rules of art act the same way, they are a beginning. Learn them well through disciplined practice. Then break them. Traditions help us build wings to fly.

A Leap of Faith….

They said yes, yes to the all of it. We are going to stuff you in a van and drive across this grand, and huge, land. (Several days were over 700 miles with a grand total of 7100 plus miles in 12 days.)

We will show you all the colors, textures, and curious spaces. Delight in the wonders as well as mysteries.

 And we drew and wrote our way across and back. They said yes to the all of it, abandoned places and empty spaces made us pause and ponder. 

Foods local, were a focus as was chatting with whoever we could question or tell our tale to. Faces stern, at first, opened up as we shared. Every single person said “yes” to what we were doing. All kinds, all shapes, all said “yes”. 

Say yes. And enjoy a palette of all colors, grays included. Just say yes, then climb on board.

Arched splendor here in St Louis but, do get to The Loop too!