One-liners are sticky AF. It takes a lifetime to relearn and unstick them.

I can’t count all the times I’ve heard a one-liner or been told something untrue and it has stuck. I can tell you that these sticky one-liners still pop-up, 30 years later, somehow mid-run or mid-bike ride crystal clear with chimes and angles singing like the truth of all truths. A slight punch in the chest reminding you that,

“You’re too sensitive.”

“You’re work is creepy.”

“You draw too light, use black.”

“You don’t have a voice.”
blah blah blah…

My three year olds least favorite thing right now is to be sticky. Hates it. Won’t eat sticky things. Screams. Cries. Detests being sticky. Except for chuppa-chups, those are the exception.
Let’s be like Sophie. Let’s detest one liners. Let’s Scream. Cry. Run from them! No, but really, let’s not eat them up like candy and believe they’re truths. It’s your personal practice, it’s your work, it’s coming from inside you and it’s honest. Keep going.
And let’s use all the meaningless one-liners you once believed to work harder, and stronger, and skyrocket your confidence and your practice.

Pie Face, 2007, oil on linen

Lisa Yuskavage, Pie Face, 2007, oil on linen

And check out some of the gorgeous sticky-honest-beautiful work of Lisa Yuskavage:

How to Be an Artist by Jerry Saltz

Captura de pantalla 2018-12-18 a las 9.16.47“Art is for anyone. It’s just not for everyone,” states Jerry Saltz, New York’s art critic.

This is a fantastic article. Take it in. Enjoy it. And then read it again.

In summary, Do YOU! Play! Have fun! (BE GENEROUS & KIND!) And WORK!

How to Be an Artist. 33 rules to take you from clueless amateur to generational talent (or at least help you live life a little more creatively.)



I remember sitting in my moms car as we drove through the Back Bay of Boston sometime during my sophomore year of college. It was freezing, and she had on brown leather gloves that gripped the steering wheel tight. 

“It was always fun to count to ten with you, mom.” I said. She laughed, cough-laughing uncontrollably in the cold.  It wasn’t noticeable without gloves, but my mom was born with a deformed right pinkie finger, which was removed by age 7. Gloves drew attention to something that wasn’t there, just an empty cavity, the pinkie of her brown leather glove sticking up like she was enjoying afternoon tea. 

Intuitively I must have known how sensitive she was. Round and round I would go, counting to ten on her fingers, filing-in the space with an imaginary fleshy little digit, something that should have been there. It wasn’t until later that I understood the shame she carried, missing a piece of herself.  

It’s funny to me now, this filling-in, this “non-rational” and intuitive way a child puts things together. It’s also how an artist puts things together. Both are bridges, sensitive to their surroundings, filling-in space, working, connecting.

 An artist who I believe follows this “non-rational” and intuitive process is Julie Mehretu. Here’s an excerpt from an interview with ARTS ATL in 2014: 

Julie Mehretu: “I’m constantly playing with these various sides of making, one where you’re trying to make sense of what you’re doing and understand with some kind of rational perspective what’s happening in the work, the intention, who am I in the work, why am I interested in this and what’s really informing this — you ask these questions and you try to use rational means to make sense of that.

Then there’s the process where in order to generate and make work in the way that I’ve always made work, I really follow a much more intuitive form of knowledge-making and trust in the process . . . to be able to make and get my head out of the way.

Then usually after that process, I go back and try and make sense of what I’m doing, what’s interesting, what’s happening, what’s going on with my hand. So there’s this conversation that keeps going back and forth. I think what you said about Guston calling it a third hand is interesting. I think about it almost like this third space, a new space, some other new form that is emergent in the process of making but also in the process of looking and interacting with the painting. So, if you actually spend time and look at painting as a kind of time-based experience, a time-based media, then you can really participate with it . . . where this emergent space exists.”

Julie Mehretu, Stadia, 2004, Ink and acrylic on canvas
Julie-Mehretu-Genius Harlem Church.jpg
Julie Mehretu, painting in an unused Harlem church, a commission for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

You can read more about Julie Mehretu in this NYT article: