Tag Archives: albuquerque

Be a creative monk, know your priorities

abstract painting of joshua lance, stage one

Finish what ya started!

Painting is a solitary activity.  You are really a monk of creativity.  Actually there are some similarities in being a monk and an artist.  You’re in a spiritual profession, because painting is a spiritual activity as well as a solitary one.  You must use your monk-ness to your fullest potential.  Of all the bombardment of being “connected” using the internet and all of its social media, the high-pace society we have constantly feel we’re catching up with, sometimes it’s all too much.



we need to slow down…

we need to breathe…

we need to reconnect with ourselves…

You know what I mean?  I wouldn’t be telling you all this unless I was going through the same crap like you do myself.  Fortunately, I’m in a cool profession where I get to not only paint, but to share my life, share my ideas with everyone who wants to see it.

I figured that you have to break your tasks, work, jobs, whatever you want to call it, to not only priorities, but first, second, and third class priorities.

the most complex questions usually have the simplest answers.


We must keep our priorities in order and keep them simple. Sure, we all don’t feel like doing stuff and we do get lazy.  We procrastinate, beat ourselves up, procrastinate, beat ourselves up, and get caught in this vicious cycle from hell.

So let’s break our tasks in priorities, start with mine as an example:

First Tier Priority

This is my #1 priority of the day, which is painting a picture or doing some kind of physical creative activity.  I must create, or my day will feel like it’s fallen short.  I hate that kind of feeling.  So if I’m going to do only 1 thing today, I will create art.  Period.  End of story.

Second Tier Priority

This is the #2 priority of the day.  After the first is complete, then do this priority.  For myself, it is to do my online ESL course I signed up for.  It’s very time consuming and there are times I just don’t want to do it.  But a little bit is better than none, and I will be closer to my goal.

Third Tier Priority

If you have done the first two priorities of the day, congrads!  You are ahead of the game!  Now if you have a third priority, go do it now.  Mine could be updating my website or contacting my clients, or something else.


I’ve read tons of posts about killing your to-do lists and only having one or two things to focus on per day.  All this is good and valuable, but everyone does them differently.  For myself, I like to write them down because they feel more concrete.  Artists must be organized and responsible if they are going to have a successful art career.  I know that I’m on my way, so what’s your priorities?

now I have to get to my first priority; painting!

This post originally was written in 2011, when I was living in New Mexico, USA.  It’s still an important post to me and thought how valuable it would be to my readers if I posted this again.  Thank you for your understanding!

Splat, my next adventure at the Petroglyphs

An outdoor moment at the Petroglyphs

An outdoor moment at the Petroglyphs

My next adventure at the Petroglyphs

I went back out again to the Petroglyphs in ABQ, NM recently.  It was a fine, beautiful day with a touch of strong and breezy wind.  This is my second time out and as you see from the photo, a painting that I did last time with a limted palette of blues and yellows only, I found my senses and my red and white paints and decided to add some “meat to the bone”.Yes, that means that I’m painting over this baby, so I can see how the full potential of this painting will turn out.  You can check out how this first time out there went at your own time, right here.

So which brings me now to is the next part of the story.  Let’s just say that it was nice to be out painting there.  When I’m outdoors, I feel that I can be myself.  I’m pure and innocent like nature.  Just don’t tell anyone else, m-kay?  There were just a few people around, so I went to an isolated area away from the trails, so I can have my own piece of earth to stand upon and majestically paint towards the heavens.

I spent much more time out there, at least an hour, maybe 90 minutes, but it was longer than the first time out.
I’m in peace
I’m in my zone
I am home
I am not alone
Damn, forgot my phone!

Final painting of the Petroglyphs

Final painting of the Petroglyphs

But no worries here, life is good when you’re painting in the moment.  Then before you know it, you’re finished, or at least there’s nothing else you can do or it’ll look like mud.  And soon after I folded my easel up and my painting looking good, a strong and mighty wind blows my easel over.  Like going head first into the ground.  Splat.  Suddenly, dirt infiltrated my painting and like it or not, I get to take a little more New Mexico home with me than I thought.  I wasn’t happy of course, I thought I was being cursed.  Either nature was telling me that my painting sucked or remember who’s  the more powerful one.  Yup, I know right then and there that nature is more powerful, I’m just a small pebble in her world.

Fortunately, I took a picture of the painting before it took a swan dive into Mother Earth.

My next and final part involves you…
If you have been receiving and reading my newsletters for the past year, you may have noticed some changes.  I have a habit of experimenting with my newsletter design, because like my art, I want it to be a masterpiece…and different.  I would rather come off as a simple, inspirational newscaster than a stiff corporate wall street know-it-all.  I want to go more in depth with my stories, show art here before anywhere else, and have some fun I may not do during my usual blog mode.  I have some pretty funky ideas and maybe you do as well.  You’re all special to me and I’ll listen to any suggestions you may have in making my newsletter better, my site better and my art better.  You can make a difference in helping me reach higher than I ever been before.  I don’t forget the supportive people in my life.

Just a bowl?

Some say it’s just a bowl, I call it a work of art.  A very simple drawing of one of my favorite objects, a clay Indian bowl.  Done in the Old Master’s tradition of conte crayon on blue pastel paper.  It demonstrates if you break the art in its simplist components, it can be quite beautiful.



It’s only a bowl you say?

I call it art.


my final disclaimer

Well I did it again, I redesigned my site.  It’s a very simple site and let me go off on it for a bit, I worked really damn hard on it to make it look this clean and simple.  And I’m proud of the results, I want it to be the easiest, attractive art sites around.  I designed it all myself so the focus is on the art and writing itself.  Let me know what you think, so I can keep making this site better all the time while giving you everything that I got.

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