Tag Archives: new mexico

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!

Why retreating is good (& coming back strong is better)

'Taos Pueblo Dog'


Why is my website changing again?  And what was I doing the last few weeks?

a – did the “caveman” thing and retreated to my cave.

b – went senile and found myself…in a thriftshop.

c – quit the art life, now I’m a certified monk.

d- changed my last name to “Picasso” so I’ll finally get some recognition!


If you answered any of these, well then I must be pretty convincing, but no.  None of those things are right.  Though the Picasso idea did cross my mind, hmmmmmm…..

The last few weeks I was going through some major life changes.  There was a time where it was very difficult to do my art.  I “allowed” myself, perhaps for the first time in my life, to make art without expectation.  Expectation can be a dirty word, as you may set yourself up for failure.  Failure of what?  Being a lousy artist or fraud?  Some of those ideas popped in my head, and I made it pop out once I grabbed my graphite and started drawing.  Seems like art can wash away the grim and crap of the material world.

But other changes were not physically done, more of a mental questioning of my beliefs.  Why am I working a day job thatis making me miserable?  Why am I still in Albuquerque?  Why am I still doing art?  Should I do landscapes or portraits?  Or both?

 These are just a few of many, but they all seemed to bombard my mind at the same time.  That’s what made it so tough this month.  I’m grateful I sold a small painting, and even my old Mac that I wasn’t using anymore.  I have also been throwing out or donating stuff that I don’t use anymore.  Rather small things like some clothes or other junk in my home.  The present moment can be real difficult to be, I can understand why people always focus on the past or future instead.  It’s relief from the present pain.  But is it unhealthy to focus away or deal with it head on?

And last I redesigned my site to a “no-frills” theme.  It suits me just find, very simple and uncluttered.  No fancy logo or type.  Just what you see is what you get.  I love the warm white color, it helps humanize the feel of my site.  I love that my name and description are up there and quite a simple font.  The art and words are bigger than my name, that’s the point.  That’s the way it should be.  My landscapes and portraits are now separate pages.  I used a new plugin called “Extend Images” which blow up the image after clicked.  It’s a nice, cool surprise.  You can even move it anywhere in the site.  The presentation of my art has never looked better.  Especially this pueblo dog painting I recently did.  And yes, commissions are available!  Give me a shot at your pet, let me amaze you. 

I feel very proud
of this latest incarnation.  A timeless
website full of great art and writing.
That’s all I really want.  That’s
all I really have to offer.  Hope you
still follow me.  You can’t stop
evolution, and that’s where my life is now.

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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