When Art is Difficult

There is a lot of art out there that was hard for the artist to create.  Well, maybe that is just not quite right.  It is easy to create, but hard to look at afterwards.  It is to close to something true within and causes pain to see it out in the world.

Today I show a bit of something very true, a bit of my core, my soul, whatever you want to call it.

There are times when one can feel  trapped, chained down, by life or perceived restrictions.

I was having one of those times when I planned and drew this.

I remember every time I look at it or think about it.  I think about it when I am feeling chained down.  It causes a type of pain to look at (think about) if I am emotionally susceptible.  Writing about it brings up anxiety.

Now for the technical stuff on the drawing.  It was done with Micron pens.  It took about 50 hours to draw, 10 hours to digitally edit and color.  I used a photo of a rusty dock pylon for the texture and a bit of color to make it more “rusty” colored.  Yes I have some water marks on it.

Here you go.  The bit of my soul (a creepy bit.)


When life ties you up, dries you out and stuffs you in a box, draw it.


“Creativity means believing you have greatness” – Why ? – Don Charisma’s Prompt

This is a great mental exercise for the creative person.
Do you believe you have greatness when you create?

I do. Well… I touch greatness, bring it into myself and put it on canvas or paper. I may not feel that I am great, but rather that I am a part of something greater and it will come out in the work.

This is a common sentiment among the comments for this post on It makes me wonder if the majority of the art community feels that way. The artist is not great, but the work is.

Anyone else have any thoughts?

Don Charisma

I’m often curious as to why sometimes my readers don’t comprehend my quotes the same way that I do. Language, differing cultures and other factors come into play.


There’s plenty of interesting conversations I’ve had – “devils advocate” is quite fun or who knows I might even clarify what I think it means … depends really on how questions are worded and from whom … occasionally I disagree with my own quotes, just to spice things up …

I posted this quote by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer :

«Creativity means believing you have greatness.»

— Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

And two people asked me “Why?” … very good question, I’m sure plenty of creatives have many answers to that question … For me, it makes an interesting writing prompt.

So write away to your heart’s content – in the comments here, on your own blog or do a…

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Eye of the…



My drawing of Fred’s eye. I think it came out pretty good.

Not how the song or saying goes, but today’s drawing if of Fred’s eye.  I think it came out pretty nicely.  I even edited it Picasa to add some warmth to it.  I had to resize it in MS Picture Manager.  I have not been able to find that option in Picasa yet.  I know it is in there somewhere.

I actually spent time on this drawing. I had a good day and I used that happy energy to keep focused.  I started to lose focus the further away from the focal point I got.  I do not want to drink any caffeine to get the last bit out.  I have to get up in the morning to work.


Referance photo for “Eye of the Lizard.” Courtesy of Mr. Ben, Fred’s “owner.”

On a personal note, it was a pretty good day.  Poked a “bear,” I hope something comes from it (and not my limbs disappearing…) I had a

meeting with someone about an intern / volunteer thing.  Informal right now, but I hope that it will lead to better things.  I need to learn all I can about the Web Design / Development / Administration so I can move on in my career.  I really want this to work out (fingers crossed.)  I get to sit in on a training session next week. *Excited!*

I know this year is going to be better than last year.  I lost all my motivation and creativity got sucked away with it.  This year I have the creativity back and some “happy” so I am more motivated.  I wonder if it has anything to do with my good allergy meds… (that was random…)

Have a good evening!  One more day of Fred drawings.  I wonder what I will do tomorrow!

The World is my Muse

It is common for people to ask well known artists “what is your inspiration?” in some form or another. Some artist actually have a person, place or thing that they feel inspires them. These artists usually use this muse as the focus of their work. Love songs, sculptures, paintings and drawings all relating to the muse.

Some artists do not really have a muse. They create when they are moved by something or have an idea. The world is their muse. They can be walking down a street, for the 100th time, and see something, for the 100th time, and suddenly it is noticeable and amazing. They may be having a bad day and take it out on a canvas (or whatever medium they prefer.) The next thing you know there is something amazing where there was only white.

Of the artists that I know about half feel they “need” a muse to create good works. When they are museless they are usually moody and depressed, waiting for a new muse to show up. Most trudge on, but feel the art is substandard. Some do stop working completely and just mope until a new muse comes along.

I kind of think these guys create for themselves and luck out that people like their work. They have strong connections to their work. (personal opinion!)

The world is my muse. I create off the things I see and things that make me feel.

When I walk down the street and see that lamp post for the 110th time, it may just be the most amazing and inspirational thing I have seen all week. It might make me create something. On the other hand I may store the information for later use. Some of the things that are observed can create new and more interesting creations, if they have time to grow and combine with other ideas. When I get the urge to create I pull these ideas out of my head and put them on paper, canvas, computer, film, or whatever medium they call for. Sometimes it is a sudden creation, a few hours. Others take a lot of time and additional research and can take days or months to complete.

The other half of the artists that I know (me included) create all the time. They never seem to stop. They see something in the world or feel something and out comes art. They may like it, and they may not. It does not stop them from moving on to the next thing. Someone will connect with the piece and their job is done.

I kind of think these guys create because it is fun and are happy that others like it. They have weak connections to most of their work and are happy to “get rid” of it. More space for new stuff! (personal opinion!)

Whatever your stance on Muses might be. Creating something is amazing. Never stop.


Beginning Web Development: Let’s Add Pages!

We have a single page already built.  We do not want to put ALL of our information on the one page, so we are going to divide the information up across a few pages and link them together.

Until you link up your pages you really only have a web page.  A website is a collection of web pages that share a theme or purpose.  Using a .css will give you the theme and your words and images will show your purpose.

Lets get started.

I am going to include some images this time so you can see what I am doing, instead of being lazy and just telling you.

The very first thing you should do is make a folder for your test site, if you have not already done so.  This will be important to keep the website flexible and easy to code.

When building additional pages it is important to start off with a page that you can use as a template.  A page that has all the key elements that you can build upon or modify as needed.

To make a template page we are going to add code our index.html page.  We are going to add the links for our new pages, even though we have not built them yet.

There are many types of links.  We are going to do a relational link for our navigation area.  The route the browser takes to the next page is relative to the current page.  This is why it is important to keep everything in the same folder.

I have chosen to make three additional pages; a page for a portfolio, an about page, and a vocabulary page. I plan on naming them portf.html, about.html, and vocab.html.  Since we know what we are going to call the pages we can create the links, even though they will not work yet.

The code to make a word a link looks like so;

<a href="pagename.html"> Visible Link Words</a>
I have added two "pipes" || to separate the words on the navigation.  The "pipe" symbol is shift + \.

The links for the navigation area in a line. Kind of hard to read…

When we string them together with the rest of the links it looks like this.  Kind of confusing when you leave them strung together.  Since “blank spaces” do not matter to HTML we can organize them however we want.


Reordering the links is easier to read. This works because HTML does not care about blank spaces.

Once we have the navigation set up correctly we are going to copy the file (use Save As and rename the file to the new name.  Don’t forget the file type should be .html!)

All of our page files plus the .css

All of our page files plus the .css

Once this is done you can go in and change the content on the pages.  I encourage you to start with the about page.  It is one of the most important pages in your website.

The about page contains information that people NEED to know about your site.  You should include mission statements, history and why your services are better/different than others.  Remember that a website can be seen by anyone with a connection to the internet.  Do not include very personal things that can leave you victim of Identity Theft or scams.

The shell for the base of our about page.  Make sure you put your information in here. Things that you want to share with the world.

The shell for the base of our about page. Make sure you put your information in here. Things that you want to share with the world.

It is perfectly fine to have a website with only two pages.  The home page (index.html) and an about page (about.html.)  The home page would display any current and pertinent information that customers would want to know and the about page would only be changed if something important changed (you moved to a new building and have a new mailing address, for example.)

There are many sites out there with two or three page websites (a contact page is also common if you have different depts or people that take care of questions/issues.)  You can have as many or as few pages as you like.

This is all for this post.  Check out the website to see how the changes look.

I will be doing another post detailing some of the changes that were made to the CSS and the styles on the vocabulary page.





Something You have Always Done

There are things that I have “always” done. Creating art is one.  As soon as I could I started creating art in the dirt, in the sand, in the mud, pretty much anyway I could.  When I was a kid the local news paper did a coloring and drawing contest.  I got quite a few McDonald’s meals for the family with my incessant drawing.  My mother sent me a photo album with some of the clippings (gotta love moms.)

Red and blue Dancers

Red Dancer and Blue Dancer. Acrylic on canvas.

As I grew up I chose to focus on drawing.  It was cheap and easy to carry around.  I moved from pencil drawings to colored drawings. I love color and crayons and colored pencils soon became more important than pens and pencils.  I still keep a few boxes of each around the house.  It is cheaper to use and they do not warp the sketch book.  When I was in my teens my parents got me into paints and I took off from there.

I love to paint.  It is something I have “always” done.  Even when I am doodling with crayons I am envisioning the way the picture will look in vibrant acrylic paints (I never got the hang of water colors and dislike the effects, oil takes to long to dry and I never really liked the way it looks – on my art.)

I have to say I was not the “best” in my art classes.  I live in my head to much to really appreciate what the teachers were trying to impress upon us art students.  I did learn to love all forms of art from art class.  If I could not paint I would be a potter, I think, that is my next favorite type of art. Pottery is far more useful that painting.  Or maybe weaving.  You can make images just like a painter, only in fabric.

If I was suddenly not able to create I am not sure what I would do.  It has been such a part of my being, that I would be at a loss.  I can image making art if I was blind, lost my hands and a variety of other things that could happen.  I have never considered life without art.  It is such a part of my being, that I just cannot do it.

I do take it for granted some times.  The ability to draw out what is in your head to share it with others.  Not everyone has it, and it is easy to forget that.

What is something that you have always done?

A Head Full of Other People’s Problems

I have a pretty good life.  I have a full time job (even if it is boring.)  I have a great spouse and marriage and I have no children.  I have money to pay the bills and even some extra to spend.  I get to go out and have fun, relax and enjoy myself when  I want to.

My life is so “pretty good” that I let my head get full of other people’s problems.  Other people’s money problems, family problems, and even friend problems. All these problems that I have read about or spoken about roll around in my head waiting for me to come up with a solution. Even if it is not my place to work on these, it happens.

head and bulb

The gears in my head are always turning.

I realized that I am quite boring in person.  Even though I have done and seen things, I cannot tell the story well (just not one of my skills.)  I think have always supplemented my boringness with the problems of other people, things for me to mull over and solve.  Got money issues, I will mull over it and see if I can come up with anything that might help.  Significant other dressing like a slob, I will mull over it and see if I can suggest anything that will change the behavior (just let them know what you think of their cloths.)  Need an idea for a story, game or other project?  Let me mull it over, I will have something for you, probably lots of somethings.

The only time this becomes a problem is when I cannot come up with a feasible solution.  I have tons of ideas on how to market your product (I really do) but you are going to have to invest time and probably money.  If you are broke, that does not really help any.  I wish I had more money to throw at the problem for you, but I cannot afford to do that (not to the amount needed, anyway.)  I have time to help, but I cannot DO it for you.  I wish I could, but I am not as skilled at      (your skill here)    as you are.

All I can do is give you suggestions.  If you choose to put the time and effort into the suggestion, I know it will turn out well.

Today my head is full of other people’s problems, and I cannot do much about it.  I just let them float around and propagate solutions that will probably never be used, so sad.

picassoNot being able to act on the ideas is the most frustrating thing for me, and others like me.  The ideas are there, like ripe apples on a tree.  All you have to do is reach up and take them.  I would rather you take my idea and run with it, then let it rot on the tree.  Yes the idea can come back next time the tree fruits, but it is not always the same and not always as tasty.  Taking an idea is not stealing if I am okay with it.  Plus you taking an idea, vs letting it rot, will allow me to have more ideas, better ideas.

I would really love to make all my ideas a reality on my own, but I am not really able to.  I do not have the skills needed for many of them.

So, let me know if you are in need of an idea.  I will mull over it and let you know.  I will even sketch things out.