This website is a work in progress, as is the author.

Beginner's Mind and One Handed Clapping

Whenever I undertake the creation of anything, be it a song, making a photograph or a painting, I find myself in a place where I don't know what I am doing. This is a source of frustration to me despite the knowledge and years of experience I have aquired.

I am beginning to realize that this is a desirable position to be in. While holding knowledge in mind, it is often said to let it go in order for creativity to come out. Inviting a sense of play into your work will yield surprising and wonderful results.


Nothingness. A blank canvas, an empty page. It can strike fear into anyone. The best thing to do is to dive right in and start making marks, just get something down. Later on it can be shaped until it is finished. It can be argued that no work is ever finished but just stops in interesting places.

A Dark Topsy-Turvy World

In the course of creating the artist will find himself at a crossroads. There will be things about the work which may be pleasing, however in order to take it to another level it may be necessary to destroy what is there to let the finer vision emerge.

The artist enters a darkness at this point because without the right skills the work can be destroyed and it may be necessary to start over. To put it simply, it may make a mess. It is a difficult decision to make.


I was painting a self portrait and wanted to use expressionist colour. I started to use greens and blues in the shadows and oranges for flesh and I found the experience liberating. The difficulty for me was ‘do I make something people will recognize and appreciate or do I try something new that may not work out?’

Enlightenment and Balance

For most there is a certain insecurity when creating anything. We want people to appreciate what we do, but we want to please ourselves. There will always be people who can only see things one way and then there are those who are more open to different interpretations.

Picasso worked in secret on his groundbreaking work Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, which when it was shown to colleagues and finally the public caused quite a stir. Many where horrified at how ugly the painting was. But over time it was accepted as a masterwork which lead to new avenues in Modern Art.