25 May

Flit, Dive, Soar

Nope, not a flying lesson. Though I did try that years ago and loved it, my budget and worries about poor depth perception were impediments to getting a pilot’s license. This title refers to the creative process and a brainstorm I had while trying to fall asleep (which is not my strong suit, being a night owl.)

I realized again how important it is to have quiet time to let the brain wander. And how hard it is to find quiet nowadays, even as we shelter in relative isolation at home. The constant beeps and tweets from phones and appliances make disconnecting difficult and concentration even more so. My only truly quiet moments seem to be late at night, alone in my car (through driving is now rare) and in my studio. That’s why I keep notepads near the driver’s seat, on my nightstand and in my studio.

With quiet my brain has the leisure to ruminate, make random connections, and find sparks of brilliance (well, something like that.) I think about new paintings, names for exhibits, forgotten tasks and themes for my blogs. At night a few scrawled notes in the dark suffice, then I hope they’ll be legible in the morning. In my studio I make notes about things to “fix” on paintings, forcing myself to stop, sit, and just look at them.

This painting was the result of such a process. Initially it had much more detail on the cliffs, where vegetation filled any available crack, and at the bottom, where a river raced through the gorge and trees clung to the sides. However, it wasn’t working. Letting my mind wander over the problem, I realized I needed to stick to the point. The thing that made me stop in my tracks and say “wow” is what this painting was about, and everything else was distracting. What awed me were the gorge itself and the whitewashed town of Ronda perched on top. So I eliminated all the extraneous details and was much happier with the painting.


  1. That really is sort of the point, isn’t it, Martey? After all, life is not a dress rehearsal, so let’s enjoy it while we can. And thanks for reading and commenting!

  2. Thanks, Robyn! The white towns are spectacular, best appreciated from the safety of a bus window (another story) or on foot, as we were in Ronda.

  3. LOL – “cuz I’m blond, yeah, yeah, yeah.” Thanks for the laugh, Michelle. And for the compliments on the painting!

  4. Great job on those cliffs–always wanted to see those white villages–looks like a sight I’d love to see. I need a pad in the car–good reminder,

  5. Wow! Exciting and abstract. . And I’ll try to remember those three words as I paint. Flit Dive Soar! (Or was it, “Duck Magnum Duck!”)

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