“You have not SEEN what you have not DRAWN”

When I first heard this quote from author/artist, Frederick Franck, I thought it couldn’t be true.  Over the years, I have come to believe it.  We look at things all day, but seeing is a whole different experience.  Try this:  Think of something you see everyday… like your car keys.  Close your eyes and try to see it in your mind.  Now pick up a pencil and a scrap of paper and draw your keys.

If you can’t draw it, it is not because you don’t know how to draw, it is because you haven’t really seen your keys.  To prove this, now hold your keys in your hand, study them…look at all the angles and buttons and shadows.  Now you are starting to see.  Now relax, grab another piece of paper and draw your keys while looking at them.  Go slowly; don’t judge your drawing.  When you are done, you can now say you have seen your keys.  If you have a nice drawing of keys, that is icing on the cake, but not important in this exercise.   Now, as Frederick Franck said, go draw the 10,000 things around you.   (If you would like me to tell you next time I am planning a class on seeing/drawing, just let me know so I can put you on the list.)

For my local friends, feel free to join with me and the small summer congregation at Cedarhurst Unitarian Universalist Church in Finksburg on Sunday, June 26 at 9:30 AM.  I’ll be leading the informal service focusing on drawing as a form of meditation which leads to seeing the world around you more clearly.

Thanks, and feel free to share this with others.


When Hobbies, Spam, and Art Merge …

Since I was a child (and back then, our parents didn’t even try to keep track of us!) I used to wake up before the rest of my family, pack my fishing pole, a few strips of bacon from the refrigerator, and sneak off to the pond by General Radio — about a half mile from my house (Concord, MA) to fish.  I was probably in 3rd grade at the time, but I developed a passion for sitting by water hoping for the unknown to rock my world by making my bobber bob.  It was the beginning of my love for trying to understand nature.

Melinda Fly Fishing near North Park Colorado

Fishing near North Park Colorado

I’ve been down a wonderful path of learning about nature and the environment since then.  Nature , fish, insects, the blues…all have become part of my art world which I love to share with you over the years.  Almost all of the work I do in art these days goes back to the fire kindled in my early days as an unsupervised child.

Fast forward to last week.  I try to keep up on my emails.  So a week ago, I was cleaning out my spam folder…delete, delete, delete, delete, then whoa!  In the subject line was the word:  Brookie.  Well Brookie (or brook trout) is the name of one of my linocut prints.  How did THAT get in the spam folder?  I click to read the message and find that a writer in Sweden had nearly completed his book on TROUT and wants to include my “Brookie In Color” in his book.  Wow, so who the heck is this guy, James Owen?  After a few minutes of googling him I realize that he is an exceptional writer for National Geographic on subjects that fascinate me–anthropology. stone henge, Pompeii, Ancient Trees of Sweden… come on, can this be for real??

Brookie in Color

Brookie in Color

A few emails back and forth, and I am totally there.  The book:  TROUT is already being “pre ordered” on  I have no idea how he found my “Brookie in Color” but that is not a problem, I’m just glad he did.  Now I can look forward to having my art published (not the first time–but a significant publication) because this is a passion which has come through all my life.

So who knows what your week has to offer you? Be careful about simply deleting SPAM.  Had I hit “delete all”, I would have missed a grand opportunity.

Art in the Park is over–great show–now I’m lookiong forward to a couple of months of creating from the heart.

Be there.


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