Monthly Archives: September 2015

A crack in the façade

This summer, I’ve found myself saying, “I’m more tired than I’ve ever been,” and then moving on to discover new frontiers of exhaustion. Last night I hit the limit. While profoundly thankful that my daughter is on a (rapid) road to recovery, I’ve also used burned through energy resources to emergency resources to scrape-the-bottom-of-the-barrel resources. […]

The obtuseness of the effective altruism movement

An op-ed piece in the Washington Post earlier this week suggested that the effective altruism movement could kill the arts. Effective altruism purports to apply rational decision-making to funding charities. In theory, anything that demonstrates a good bang for the buck could be effective altruism. In practice, effective altruism means alleviating world poverty, improving animal welfare, avoiding […]

My pochade box, two years later

Recently I received this email from a reader asking about the cheap, light and easy pochade box I made at the start of my 2014 painting season: I came across your posting describing the making of your lightweight pochade, and would like to make one.  I’m not sure how long it’s been since you made yours, […]

The meaning of love

I have written before on how having children has historically been an impediment to women artists. Although we live in a world where child-rearing is less gender-specific than ever before, this is still true. Chrissy Spoor Pahucki is an exception, and someone I really admire. She takes her three kids in turns to plein air events with […]

Painter of the Taiga

Wandering around Denali last week, I came upon a sign bearing a faded picture of a painting by Belmore Browne. A hundred years ago, this artist came within a few hundred feet of being the first person to scale the mountain then known as McKinley. Now he’s pretty much forgotten. In 1906 explorer Frederick Cook […]

That church you dis

I’m in Rochester, NY, temporarily. When I’m here, I go to church in the Bay-Goodman neighborhood. Its per-capita income is in the bottom 5% of American households. If you want to buy a home here, it will set you back, on average, $33,887. However, more than one in four homes is currently vacant, despite the […]