Announcing :: Painting by Heart Online (Acrylics Edition)

I am so happy and proud to announce that my Painting by Heart Online class (acrylics edition) is now officially open! Here's the link that you can use to enroll. Thank you to the team that helped me get this from concept to reality and for all the humans who have encouraged me and shown patience with me during this process. I'm very proud of the quality of this product and hope you enjoy it and find it beneficial to your painting journey. If you want to.

With gratitude,


July 21, 2018

To Fight for the Now

KareemThere are so many parts of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's book: Coach Wooden and Me have deeply touched me. I want to talk about them all. But maybe I'll talk just about a couple and how they connect to other dots floating in my mind.

Like when Jabbar explains that when he was a young player, he felt a desire to find meaning in the game, and the fact that he was playing this game galled basketball: "I wanted the game to make sense in my life beyond just having a skill set."

Jabbar also explains that practices with Coach Wooden were highly structured because rather than just running familiar drills from a list, Coach spent hours preparing for each practice, making sure he was coaching per the uniqueness of each player: "... he [Coach] realized that a particular player was not the same player one day that he had been the day before ..." Like Heraclitus who said: You can never step in the same river twice.

I think Wooden knew that the player, like the river was always evolving, always becoming and that a good coach needed to be aware of that.

My favorite podcast as of late is ThinkAgain. Every episode is so packed with interesting info that I often listen to it twice. The latest episode is with Jason Heller whose insights really enriched my appreciation for David Bowie ... and how in his quest to be "inauthentic" and arguably disconnected from community ... with startling and almost non-sensical invocation of scifi fantastic into his music ... that his work became authentic and connected. Free jazz.

Heller also wonders if artistic authenticity is even possible, given that the artist (like the basketball player) changes and evolves ... almost immediately after the art is made. After the play is played. Like the river. Always the same. Never the same.

In Celeste Ng's Everything I never Told You, the character Lydia dies. That fact is not a spoiler alert as it's the first thing we learn. How she dies is a spoiler alert so don't read on if you don't want the spoiler.

So Lydia decides to enter the body of water even though she doesn't know how to swim. She is in that moment who she is and she does what she feels is right in the moment.

Having lost my brother to suicide, I often wonder if in the middle of the act he changed his mind but couldn't take it back. That's the one thing that really bothers me. What if in the middle of Lydia's decent into the water she evolves and changes but can't take it back?

It makes me think about the delicate balance of life. To be in the moment and have the courage to step in that water, knowing we will change and the water will change tomorrow.

But isn't that also true with other choices we make? Like to fall in love? To say yes? To walk away? To say no? To fight for the now?

Coach Wooden lived to be ninety nine ... who said about the game, which applies to life and death: "Players with fight never lose a game, they just run out of time."

Kareem2 Three

628 Pyrex Milk

Pyrex628 Pyrex Milk
6x6 inches :: original oil painting on gessobord
Click here to Buy
I poured a cup of  milk into my Pyrex measuring cup and referenced it for this painting. Though I thought about using the milk to bake a cake, I just poured it out. It's too hot to bake. Almost too hot to paint.

July 17, 2018

The Force Is.

TheforceisConceptually, I support equality for women. It's in college when I opened my eyes to how deep-rooted sexism is, as well as other forms of oppression. It's when I became a radical, structural feminist.


I'm not that comfortable wearing a t-shirt that says "feminist." Or other variations like "the sisterhood" or "love your tribe" or "the force is female." No thanks.

The reason such tees make me uncomfortable is because I'm uncomfortable with the notion that there is some sort of genuine sisterhood among all women. Some of the most egregious acts of cruelty I've experienced have been by women. Truth is, women DON'T help women. Women shame. Women gossip. Women sabotage. Women envy. Women take down. So do men. Not all, but many. That's because women and men are human. And many humans (not all) don't help humans.

I'm also uncomfortable with "the sisterhood" because as Roxanne Gay points out, race remains a big problem within some feminist circles.

And then there are those very special women who go out of their way to support misogyny, white nationalism and ickiness in general to pursue relevance and celebrity ... like Kellyanne, Sarah, Dana, Ann, Tomi ... and quite frankly the 53% of educated white women who helped put disgraceful Trump in office. And in the deep reaches of my radical feminist heart, I say that there are men who are more my sisters than these women.

The force isn't female.

The force is.


July 10, 2018


GoldenYears ago I saw an interview with an educator who worked with poor kids in inner cities. Her thing was about raising funds to take these kids on trips abroad. She talked about how important it is for poor kids to travel ... even if they can't travel as frequently as rich kids ... for them to see the vastness of the world ... to help unleash their potential. And the importance for a poor traveled kid to be able respond to a rich traveled kid who says "When I was in Paris it was foggy" by replying not with silence and ignorance but with direct experiential insight like: "Oh really? When I was in Paris it was raining."

A few years ago I invited poor kids to paint with me. One in particular was crazy talented. I let her use my Golden paints. After class, she came up to me and asked "Where can I buy those paints?" With her talent, I'm sure she had had lots of practice with paints but never the expensive and gold-standard Golden paints. I'm not sure if she ever found her way to a store to buy Golden paints or if she has kept up her practice with the brands that she had been used to.

I was listening to author Lauren Groff on the the Think Again podcast the other day and she said that sometimes she will spend years on something and throw the whole shebang out cause she thinks it sucks. She segued into a discussion about how it's important for creators to have that luxury ... actually that privilege ... to create with abandon. The privilege to create with access to the best materials and best creative environment ... without the pressure for what we make to put bread on the table or clothes on our backs. It is a privilege. It is my privilege too.

So I'll be painting with poor kids again. And this time, I asked if the school budget could allow for Golden paints and all the other good stuff and I got the green light. I'm so thrilled. Perhaps I'm being impractical because what if they experience these beautiful paints but cannot afford them again in the near future?

Maybe, maybe not. I'll give that question to the universe to answer. But I do know one thing. If after we paint together and they interact with a kid who can afford to buy all the good stuff all the time, they won't reply with ignorance or silence. They'll be able to keep up, compare notes about Golden versus other paints ... and perhaps how when they were in Paris, it rained.

July 08, 2018

627 Free at Last

Free2627 Free at Last
30x30 inches :: original acrylic on stretched canvas

Click here to Buy

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

(Emma Lazarus)

July 02, 2018

626 Especially at the Swimming Pool

Summertime626 Especially at the Swimming Pool
6x8 inches :: original oil painting on gessobord
Click here to Buy


"Of course, I do have a few things wrong with me, but those are strictly problems I keep inside. I'd hate to think they were obvious to anybody else. Especially at the swimming pool in the summer." #HarukiMurakami

#allaprima #swimming #summertime #JustKeepSwimming

June 26, 2018

625 Cake

Cake625 Cake
6x6 inches :: original oil painting on gessobord
Click here to buy


I referenced an image by @thebakefeed for this work.

June 19, 2018

624 Nine Slices

Cake624 Nine Slices
6x6 inches :: original oil painting on gessobord
Click here to Buy
I referenced an image of cake slices by @thebakefeed for this work as I channeled my inner Wayne Thiebaud.

June 12, 2018

622 Cheerios

Cheerios622 Cheerios
6x6 inches :: oil on gessobord
Click here to Buy
One day I want to author a book titled: I fed both my kids Cheerios and they came out completely different.


June 03, 2018

621 Them Apples

Main621 Them Apples
20x20 inches :: original acrylic on stretched canvas
Click here to Buy


This is the demo painting I started at last night's art walk and finished this morning.

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