The Breath

The Breath

Procreate sketch for painting

When it comes to elemental life, the breath seems to be the master teacher. My trying to be present for the breath is very difficult. The breath: the first thing a new born does to signal life.The breath: the last thing the dying does to signal that they are done with this life (as we know it).

Fear- is the monster in my head when it comes to my studio practice. How do I make a body of work? What will the next painting be like? Will they/it be good enough? My imaginings about making art at times causes stress and obsessiveness about a future and opinions I have no control over.

Enjoy the moment, breath, enjoy what I have, enjoy what I am working on, and especially, enjoy the process.

I continue the effort to be aware of my breath not only for awareness potential, but I find that the breath, my breath, to be an anchor to my wandering, imaginative, never settled mind.


This spring we  traveled to Peru to visit my wife’s family but also to do some sightseeing. Lima is a city of 8 million people and has the same richness and busyness as any other city I have been to. The people have a rich history and culture that includes the influence of the native population,  Spaniards, African, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, and more. This mix of people and the geography of the country have contributed to a rich culture and outstanding cuisine.

From Lima we traveled almost 4 hours south to the town of Paracas, which is on the coast, and is the northwest corner of a 7000 square mile desert. I was amazed at how the desert and the ocean were right next to each other. We were told that the area got less than an inch of rain per year. The desert was grand and beautiful. (I checked the water bottle often, just in case…) I loved the space and the various colors of the sand. It had the same feeling to me as standing at the shore of the ocean and gazing out to the horizon.  At one time it was covered in water so there are fossils of marine life to be discovered with a guide.

My friend, on returning, asked how this experience influenced my artwork. I don’t know. I will keep you posted.