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A Light Which Flickers and Speaks*

A light which flickers and speaks is a light to be taken lightly. Or … maybe it flickers to get your attention. I see a figure in the flame. A woman. You can’t make out her features because she is shrouded in flame. No. Surrounded by flame. Her lips are moving and she is saying something. I can’t hear her. Close your eyes. Can you hear her now? It will be O. K. You don’t know what is going to happen so make the best of what you have now. You have an abundance of food, time, love, things to do, toilet paper. You have no needs that are unfulfilled. You have everything you need in this moment, so stay right here. Now. I see her recede a bit into the flame, turn a white-hot blue but she isn’t completely gone. She is there, ready to flicker again when she is needed. It doesn’t even matter if the flame goes out. She is the message from the flame. You can think of her any time you start to feel anxious, any time you start to worry and she will be there to calm you. She will be there when your heart is full of gratitude, feeling grateful along with you.

*Prompt from Lynda Barry’s book “What It Is.”

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11” x 14” (With frame, 15 ¼” x 18 ¼”)
Dishcloths, cotton thread, acrylic on canvas

The woman looks at you, offering her heart to you. The look on her face is calm. Not serene, not earnest, but determined. She realizes that with all of the anger and divisiveness in this world there is an antidote and that antidote is love. So she offers her heart but not as a greeting. She offers her heart asking you to take care, to act with kindness, to realize that to offer love is the greatest gift but also the easiest if you can see it that way. There is a reason to hope. If we become more real with each other, really look at each other and see what is really there and not just what we want to see, if we can do that with an open mind and an open heart, then there is hope.

Envisioning Hope
St. Paul’s Monastery
St. Paul, MN

In Art Show
Hallberg Center for the Arts
Wyoming, MN

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Playing with grounds


This little painting, 6″ x 6″, is supposed to be a tomato. I’m still learning how to get convincing, saturated reds and oranges on a black ground. A second layer of paint would do it, but I want to learn how to get that color in the moment, not rework the surface to death. Still, you can see shape and roundness of the tomato and I like the energy of the background.