Smiles and Poetry and Color

I’ve been experimenting with smiles. I’ve been told a couple times that while my poetry can be uplifting (depending on who you are and how you read it), some of my artwork has too serious looking faces. Expressionless. I’m not sure why that is, but when I really looked at it, I saw that was true.

I’d like to create art that helps people smile, and if my “girls” aren’t encouraging that with their solemn faces, maybe I need to change things up. So I’m experimenting.

The one thing I kept going back to, though, is I’m not a huge smiler all the time myself. I smile for pictures. When I first see someone. But in general I’ve been told I keep a pretty straight face. So I didn’t wanted to paint girls with toothy grins. It isn’t me.

I’ve been experimenting with smirks. Or, a slight smile, like in the picture “Tomorrow I Will Laugh Like a Child.” You can’t talk about laughing if you’ve got a solemn face. Something in you has to realize you’re about ready to smile, so I wanted to paint the beginnings of a smile there.

Maybe I’m over-thinking it, which is probably one reason I’m not much of a smiler. I’m more of a thinker. If you saw me across a room I’d probably have a frown on my face and you’d wonder if I was unhappy. But I’m happy! I’m just thinking.

So anyway, I took a couple poems, one very old and one from my latest book, to help illustrate a couple of pictures. I’ve also been experimenting a lot with color. I love the vibrancy of acrylic paints. Did I ever tell you why I use them? I started out with oils. I loved oils, but one day I got a chemical burn from the products I needed to clean up after painting. I had some paint on my shirt and mistakenly rubbed the linseed oil on it and it soaked through and burned me.

After that, I realized that the space I was painting in really worked better for acrylics. I could clean them with water and no more chemical burns for me.

So back to it, I’ve been experimenting with colors and smiles and poetry. Here are the two new ones.

your talents are embedded in your soul


These words are taken from my poem, “Your Talents” from Yes, You.  It’s available in my Etsy store.

The second one had words from an old poem, “With Every Breath” which was first in The Difference Now and is now available in New and Selected Poems.

i breathe in


It’s available in my Etsy store too. Incidentally, I realized (just this weekend!) that there was a spelling error with this poem that has been carried through from the first book to the “greatest hits” book, and neither me, my editor, or my first readers caught it! In fact, I’m surprised one of my readers hasn’t emailed me with it, because you guys are awesome about pointing out my flubs! LOL! (I don’t take offense. It means you’re paying attention.)

I suppose the spelling error is the way it goes sometimes.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *