My “Get Out of Loony Bin Free” Artist Card

I was coming back from a nature walk last year, thinking about fractals; the repeating patterns in nature. You know how rivers from space look like tree branches, which look like our neural pathways, which look like our circulatory system.

I was thinking that the turtle’s shells had the same pattern as the live oak bark when I looked down at the cracked pavement and it had the same pattern! I got down on my hands and knees to study the phenomenon when I heard voices from the hilltop. “Is she all right?!” One concerned citizen asked. “Oh yeah, she’s just an artist.” “Oh, O.K. then.”

“Aha. This could come in handy!” I thought. Whenever I do something odd, my friends will explain, “She’s just an artist.” When I apologize because the house is messy, they say, “Of course, you’re an artist.” That excuses it. When I moved to Tallahassee, my friends said, “Be sure to tell them you’re an artist.” “Why would I do that?” I asked. “So they know you’re not just crazy” they answered.

Now nobody questions why I have foliage drying in the closet instead of clothes hanging, or rocks and sticks here and there or drop cloths covering the carpets. But am I a good artist? That’s not for me to decide; here’s my gallery: As far as I’m concerned, I fail at least 50% of the time. I call those learning experiences.


Here’s some weirdness from a recent little project: Susan gave me a round gray stone. “Here, you can make something out of this,” she announced optimistically. For months I looked at it and saw a round gray stone. I must have lost my mojo. Then I woke up one morning and saw it. A Colorado River Toad, Sleeping. Obvious. So I added a little polymer clay and gave it to Susan, as sort of a pet rock. She told her brother, who had given her the stone years before and he said HE got it from the Colorado River in the first place! Weird, huh?

But as Shakespeare said, “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s