Acceptance — Matt Kahn

Acceptance is a recognition of what is happening or has already happened. Contrary to popular opinion, acceptance has nothing to do with whether anything is liked or disliked. No matter how much you like what happens or dislike it for whatever reason, no degree of like or dislike has anything to do with the simplicity of seeing what is happening — from one moment to the next.             Matt Kahn, b. 1966 —   



Samuel Ullman—The Credo of a Kid at Heart

Youth is not a time of life – it is a state of mind. It is not a matter of ripe cheeks, red lips, and supple knees; it is a temper of will, a quality of imagination, a vigor of emotions; it is a freshness of the deep spring of life. Youth means a temperamental predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite of adventure over love of ease.                 Samuel Ullman, 1840 – 1924

From Whence Adult Passions — Dr. Paul Offit

Dr. Paul Offit (b. 1951) said, “I think the scars of our youth become the passions of our adulthood. On some level, we always treat ourselves.”

(Emily Bowbrow, “Vaccine Expert Paul Offit Believes Science Will Win in the End,”  Wall Street Journal [February 5, 2021]:


Going to Pieces

The intention in January was to draw, paint or sketch each day.  Once a week is more realistic and gives me the space to come up with an idea, mentally map out the possibilities and then get down to business. Last week’s project was a collage inspired by a small oil painting my husband and I purchased in Moab  (Utah) some years ago during a plein air festival. I love the colors, that entrancing edge where the sky and rock meet, the narrowing of the Colorado River as it meets the distant hills.  Soon enough, I gave myself permission to improvise. Torn paper bits behave differently from oil paint applied by brush and palette knife. Novice skills cannot match those honed over years of instruction and practice.

Before I began, I wrote myself a note: “This is a learning collage.       A potchkeying painting.” Potchkey is this wonderful Yiddish word that calls to mind a child playing in the sand. Or the mud. To potchkey is to make a mess and have fun in the moment while doing it. So I am learning how to tear paper with a clean (not white) edge, unless I want that edge as part of the overall design. I soaked some of the blue foreground paper in water. With the resulting tint   I toned down the bright orange tissue. I learned that closer objects appear darker; lighten them as they edge toward the horizon line.

At first I thought it was a mistake to have left the sky for last —— wouldn’t I mess the whole thing up edging paint against the mountain peaks? I learned something there too. Not everything can, or should, be planned. Serendipity can lend crucial improvements. The blue in my mind’s eye looked awful when I held a sample close. Adding a bit of black to the blue lent some much needed weight.  The flat brushstrokes contrasted crisply with the land formations; where my hand wavered, so what?

Yes, this was a learning collage and a great potchkeying experience, too. I really enjoyed all the cutting, tearing, and gluing. I loved the tactile messiness of it. The best thing I learned? I loved what I was doing. And that’s all that really matters.

Alas, the artist’s name is illegible.