Meditation – 06 July 2020

Irwin Greenberg – The Painter’s Primer… 1/5

Irwin Greenberg

He circulated this primer to his students at the High School of Art & Design and the Art Students League of New York. He died, age 87, in 2009.

  1.  Paint every day.
  2.  Paint until you feel physical strain. Take a break and then paint some more.
  3.  Suggest.
  4.  When at an impasse, look at the work of masters.
  5.  Buy the best materials you can afford.
  6.  Let your enthusiasm show.
  7.  Find a way to support yourself.
  8.  Be your own toughest critic.
  9.  Develop a sense of humor about yourself.
  10.  Develop the habit of work. Start early every day. When you take a break, don’t eat. Instead, drink a glass of water.
  11.  Don’t settle for yourself at a mediocre level.
  12.  Don’t allow yourself to be crushed by failure. Rembrandt had failures. Success grows from failure.
  13.  Be a brother (or sister) to all struggling artists.
  14.  Keep is simple.
  15.  Know your art equipment and take care of it.
  16.  Have a set of materials ready wherever you go.
  17.  Always be on time for work, class, and appointments.
  18.  Meed deadlines. Be better than your word.
  19.  Find a mate who is really a mate.


Meditation – 08 June 2020

A poem for World Oceans Day.

Surfer Girl


I’m walking on the beach this cold brisk morning,
the bleached sea grass bending in the wind, when there,
up ahead, in the pewter waves, I see a surfer in his wet suit,
sleek as a seal, cutting in and out of the curl, shining in the light.
I’m on the far side of sixty, athletic as a sofa, but this is where
the longing starts, the yearning for another life, the one
where I’m lithe and long-limbed, tanned California bronze,
short tousled hair full of sunshine. The life where I shoulder my board,
stride into the waves, dive under the breakers, and rise; my head shaking
off water like a golden retriever. I am waiting for that perfect wave
so I can crouch up and catch it, my arms out like wings, slicing back
and forth in the froth, wind at my back, sea’s slick metal polished
before me. Nothing more important now than this balance between
water and air, the rhythm of in and out, staying ahead of the break,
choosing my line like I choose these words, writing my name
on water, writing my name on air.

“Surfer Girl” by Barbara Crooker, from More. © CR Press, 2010.


You really should hear this… I’ve been obsessed with it ever since hearing it on The Writer’s Almanac way back in August, 2014.  Listen here.