Thursday, February 25, 2010


I'm finding myself more and more attracted to simplicity, both as a philosophy and as a practice.  I would like to apply this concept to many areas of my life, but, to keep things simple, I'm trying to focus on one or two at a time.  For example, I have for quite some time held the goal of getting rid of some my things.  I have lived in this house for over twenty years, and have accumulated a truly embarrassing amount of stuff, much of which I really don't need.

It goes without saying, however, that this does not apply to books, rocks/shells/fossils, and art supplies.  I have to draw the line somewhere, right?

It's a daunting task, but I am making slow progress. Huge bags of clothes have been donated to Vietnam Veterans of America and other organizations, old toys and baby stuff have been discarded, and one of the attics is practically empty!

It seems that I'm leaning more toward simplicity where my aesthetic sensibilities are concerned as well.  As I scrounge through my photos, looking for interesting images with which to play Photoshop games, I'm drawn increasingly to simpler ones that I may not have paid much attention before.





Artistically, I've been in kind of a rut; just feeling uninspired and unenthusiastic about it in general, and unsure where I wanted to go next.  Again, I started looking through my old work to see what called to me, if there were perhaps some paths I'd once started to go down, but then abandoned.  What ideas had I been interested in that I hadn't been quite ready to followed up on? 

This seems to be a good strategy for me when looking for direction in my work.  To me, it just doesn't make sense to start over from scratch, jumping from one style or medium into an entirely different one with nothing in between.  Like a true scientist (or scientific artist), I prefer to change only one variable at a time; otherwise, I have no frame of reference for evaluating the changes I've made.

Here are some pieces that still interested me.


Are you seeing a pattern here?  I wouldn't quite call these pieces minimalist, but they are definitely simpler and more abstract in composition than some of the other work I've been doing.  I've also been messing around in the studio with the beginnings of a couple of new things that reflect these same ideas.  I'll post them soon if anything comes of them.

The outcome of all this rumination, reflection, simplification, and redirection is that I feel inspired again, and excited to begin exploring some new twists and turns on my artistic journey.  It's about time!


  1. I am glad you are keeping your rocks, shells, fossils-- and books-- I collect them myself-- you have beautiful imagery here and am glad you are finding your inspiration again.

  2. Sometimes you have to discard some extra baggage to gain some altitude. I love all three of your "past" pieces. I notice a spiral in each with ties in with the shells in the first photo. Do I see a motif?

    Happy Creating!


  3. Interesting, Sharmon! I've been dealing with the same things. I'm tired of all the stuff. I've also been giving things away. I think it's something that happens as we grow older. The stuff seems to drag us down.
    Your older pieces are terrific. Can't wait to see what this all brings!!

  4. This is a magical post with the recurring themes and the ever present beauty of your imagery...ebbs and offer important food for thought... we tend to be a culture of more more more when less is so often so much more satisfying.

    the shells are magnificent and so is your timeless work.

  5. I have a tiny home and there is always a sense of shedding needing to be done so that there's still room for me! I love these photos.

  6. I love all these simple things you have chosen to keep Sharmon. Your photos and abstract paintings are exactly the sort of imagery I'm attracted too as well. They offer mystique...a jumping off place for the viewers imagination. I'm so happy to read that you are feeling inspired and I'm looking forward to the fruits that will blossom from this pruning effort.

    gentle steps,

  7. Don,
    thanks for the comment. Spirals are definitely a big thing for me! You could say it's actually more than a motif, it's kind of a guiding principle! more about that later, a post about it will be coming soon.

    Thanks for visiting. Probably it's the abundance of storage space in my house that contributed to my collecting so much stuff; I would think a small house might help to keep that in check! (or not?)

  8. Don't throw away any of my stuff, ok?

  9. Colin-
    I'm throwing ALL your stuff away, so get over it! hahahaha!

  10. I understand! For months I've been so uncomfortable about ... I don't quite know what, but I remember this is a feeling I get when something is brewing. New ideas brimming and waiting to be freed. Not quite knowing where I'm going but conscious of certain areas that make my heart race. Sketches made in my idea book over the last year or more, are coming together.

    Starting something completely new? I feel the same way about starting from scratch. I thought of going back to painting but I'm not ready to leave carving until my back and hands force me to give it up.

    I love the three pieces that still interest you, especially the last two. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with.... which direction you take. Its so interesting to witness new series... new directions in the blogworld. Abstracting is dogging my thoughts too. Exciting!

    Word verification: Stilys .... stylize, abstract hmmmm thats where I'm going.

  11. Oh my! these are fabulous! I love the pieces you are revisiting, along with the rest of your work. I wouldn't say simplicity as much as clarity, if that makes sense!


Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me. I'm happy to reply here, but may not always have time for individual emails.