Sunday, December 29, 2013

Time and Space

Sunset at Polihale Beach, Kauai, Hawaii
When I was a little boy, living in my childhood dreamworld of imagination and wonder, life resembled a beneficent sea surrounding me on my blissful island home. I lived in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, and I remember that in my contentment of the fullness of space and consciousness, the future seemed far beyond the horizon and out of sight. I did not have sufficient experience of time and space, so I could not project ahead. When I was about six years old, in 1958, I knew that the year 1960 was coming, but it seemed an eternity would have to pass before arriving there. In other words, the distance of two years seemed an eternity.
Fifty three years have passed since 1960 has come and gone, and it could be the blink of an eye. When my wife and I argue about something and perhaps the matter is blown out of proportion, she has taken to philosophy to remedy the emotions. She says, “In the grand scheme of things, this is not a big issue.” I understand the sentiment, and agree immediately that the bigger picture of life holds the solution to everything.

Sunday, December 22, 2013


This afternoon I finished an oil painting on panel, and stood back to see if I liked it. The subject appealed to me—two cockatoo birds, sharing a nut between their beaks. The painting came out well enough and I considered it a success. I measure my portraits a success if in the end, the subject seems to speak in some way . . . as if imparting a message. The birds seem alive, and joyful in their camaraderie.
Often when I finish a painting I photograph it and post it to my Facebook page. I posted this picture, and right away, Colleen, my cousin's wife in Atlanta messaged me asking the price. We chatted this way, and she bought the artwork immediately. So, between the time I posted the picture and the time it sold, maybe five minutes elapsed. Colleen said the work had special meaning for her because she had been a zoo docent for 4 years and knew the birds.
My cousin Greg died a few years ago and left Colleen bereft. I call the painting “Lovebirds.” That is what Greg and Colleen were . . . and now, when Colleen sees the painting in her home, she can be reminded of her eternal union with Greg.

Sunday, December 15, 2013


I love the possibilities of living without constraint. Of course, this is impossible, and society requires that its citizens be constrained. In some cases, constraint is advantageous, e.g. when we constrain our eating to only include healthy food and limit its consumption. There are many examples of constraint acting to safeguard what is good.

Yet I have always had trouble with aspects of constraint such as reticence, guardedness, formality, self-consciousness, awkwardness, and obstruction. Deep down, I refuse to be choked off, and from an early age resisted wearing a tie—feeling uncomfortable with any constraint around my neck.

When I was in art college, I made a logo that symbolized myself. It came from my unconscious and arrived quite easily. It is a box, with two half circles bursting out and up . . . as if acknowledging the structure and support, yet being free.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

I Only Feel Elation

I call my wife Heidi Of The Mountains. When we first began spending devoted time together about four years ago, we liked to hike in the mountains, and she enjoyed it so much that when I looked at her with her blonde hair as she hiked, I called her Heidi Of The Mountains. The name stuck, and at times, she has insisted that is what I must call her—Heidi. It is the only way I refer to her online.
A few days ago, we awoke to a fresh blanket of snow, with flakes continuing to fall from the gray sky above. Not to be stopped, we took our dog and snow shoes and drove along the blanketed road toward the Santa Fe Ski Basin, into the mountains. We parked at a trail head, and were completely alone. Our dog Gracie, immediately began frolicking, thrilled to be in the winter wonderland. Indeed, we all felt happy and lunged merrily into the magical woods. The snow continued falling and the temperatures were below freezing, but we were bundled in winter clothes, together by ourselves in the wilderness, and in silence among the snow-laden trees of the forest.
Following a barely traceable trail, deeper and deeper we went . . . the snow falling gently, everything shrouded in white, and serene. The only sound was our feet crunching in the snow, and our voices as we talked or laughed. Occasionally we would stop just to listen to the silence. Nothing, broke the impasse, not wind in the trees or bird song. Gracie would stop too, and listen.
At one point, Heidi Of The Moutains said, “My hands are cold, are yours?” I replied, “I don't know, because I am so entranced and happy, I only feel elation!”

Sunday, December 01, 2013

A Greater Reality

What is distance? It is a system of measurement determined by space and time. Arbitrary units are devised, e.g. minutes, hours, inches, feet, miles, meters etc., to allow for a common agreement and understanding among human beings. These units of thought govern our physical lives and are the basis of our cooperation and communication.

But what about dreams? Dreams exist in other worlds beyond time and space. Cultures that value dream consciousness are most often dominated by those that place greater value with “facts.”

I love the realm of art, because “facts” can be blurred, twisted, or re-arranged. A blue sky can turn pink, a wristwatch can melt, a person can sport both eyes on one side of a face . . . anything can happen. In poetry too, a tree can grow from inside of a heart, birds can flutter forth from thought, an elephant can appear in a living room . . . limitations are obliterated.

Once I was on a trip with friends. We were going to visit a Navajo man who lived on a reservation in New Mexico. We stopped along the way to visit other friends at their home in a town called Gallup. As I sat in a chair, relaxed and at ease, I fell into a dream state, and suddenly arrived at the Navajo man's home. He was outdoors, building a house, brick by brick, trowel in hand. I awoke from this vision, and a couple hours later, we drove up a long dirt road and when I saw the same Navajo man, it was exactly as I had seen him earlier, in my vision. How was it that in dreaming, I escaped the bounds of time and space and arrived at a greater reality?

Sunday, November 24, 2013

First Big Snowfall

Orchids, blooming in a windowsill.
The first big snowfall of this season took us by surprise. We awoke from dreamy sleep, and looked out the window to see the whole lot covered in white . . . and silent. A big cape of white, thrown atop everything—as if to stop the world.
We ventured forth despite the cold and cumbersome streets, slipping our way along to a coffee shop that dared to open. Not as busy this morning. After coffee and the Sunday paper, we trudged for a walk in the old part of town. Our dog, Gracie, liked this new experience very much, leaping about with glee. She comes to us from California, where she never knew what cold is.
I love photographing in snow . . . it is poetic, and shapes become minimal—surfaces serene.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Storehouse Of My Mind

The storehouse of my mind is bursting and begs to be released. The most fluid, direct, and succinct way to accomplish this is by writing. Writing from memory is typically in the form of memoir. For a good memoir, there needs to be vivid recall, and studies have shown that our memories are more profound when they are accompanied by emotion. In other words, a boring life does not make for a good memoir. My life has been far from boring—especially the year that I gave up home, car, typical security, and traveled solo around the globe . . . feet firmly on the ground. I have begun writing chapters from that year; and chosen to write in the third person.

Here is a sample, taken from a chapter on Belize:

They ambled casually together, past the run-down shops, enjoying one another enough that each day when they happened to meet, they grew friendlier. The black man, Hugh, had buttery cocoa skin and wore his hair in dreadlocks. He wore old jeans, a tank top, and flip-flops on his feet. Outside a cafe one afternoon, the traveler asked Hugh if he would have his picture taken. Hugh posed bashfully, eyes twinkling and lips tightly shut. The traveler had to put down his camera and smile himself before Hugh at last grinned. Then the best picture was taken, with Hugh smiling broadly and showing a gaping hole in his top row of teeth—so that his tongue pushed through the gap.
One afternoon, Hugh took the traveler to his house. They walked out of town, about a half mile along the beach, past some respectable private homes until they reached a curve, and then, looking past a little fresh water stream emptying into the sea, Hugh pointed toward an area where it appeared a jungle had marched to the shoreline. "My place is back there," he said. They walked on and soon could spot a ramshackle hut. “My girlfriend Susie is home . . . we been together awhile . . . she is good!” He said, winking at me with his toothless smile. As we neared the hut, I noticed how primitive it was. “I built it myself” he said, “out of stuff I found.” The traveler peered into the windows lacking glass or even screens and imagined what might happen during a storm. “What about when it rains?” he asked. Hugh grinned and replied right away, “My girlfriend and I fight over the dry spots.”
We came to the front steps and Suzie stepped outside, smiling broadly.
She was plump and homely and had dreadlocks like Hugh. They went inside. There was nothing there but a few kitchen utensils and dilapidated sticks of furniture. They went out back and Hugh showed his primitive operation for collecting juice from harvested Nomi fruit, which he marketed. The traveler suggested photographing Suzie. She perked up to the idea, put down her glass of rum and changed into a hand knit dress in Rastafarian colors, barely covering her torso and ended just above her knees.
For some reason, Hugh decided to leave. He gave a knowing smile, and said he needed to go to the store and get something. Inside with Suzie, she flopped down on a chair, leaned backward with her eyes half open and spread her legs. The episode seemed odd, and he got her to stand up and pose on the front porch for photos. In a reverie, she acted sexy and posed like a model. The air was perfect and the sky clear.
Hugh did not come back before the Traveler left. That afternoon, he burned a cd with the pictures of Suzie. The next day he went back to Hugh’s but the place was empty. Looking around at the shack one last time, he placed the cd on the kitchen table and left.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Passage Of Time

When the days grow cold in Santa Fe, at least once a year, Heidi Of The Mountains decides that we will go visit her parents in their second home in Sun City, Arizona. They spend time there when the temperatures are perfect, which is usually between late October and end of April. At other times, it can be blistering hot and nobody goes outdoors. 

On our way from New Mexico, we take highways that go near the Grand Canyon, and this time we stopped there on our wedding anniversary. It is only three hours from Phoenix, but the elevation is higher and the temperatures are much lower—below freezing at night now. It is such an inspiring place—an open book on the passage of earthly time. We rented bikes and rode along trails that border the rim, stopping often at lookouts that offered breathtaking views.

Sun City is a retirement community that is within the Phoenix metropolitan area. It is very clean and quiet, with trim houses of five different designs lining the mostly empty streets. The minimum age to own a home is 55. Children are rarely seen, and for that matter the place seems rather empty, with life limited to the golf courses and shopping areas. Furthermore, it is entirely homogenous, since it is essentially white retirees, and mostly second homes—poor people are not around. 

 A wealthy community of old people with no diversity feels odd to me. On the other hand, it is entirely safe and folks passing by in their golf carts always wave hello. Yet the safety is bought, and comes from being insulated from outside society.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Fascination In Life

My first blog post was seven years ago . . . on October 7. Since then, I have posted 384 times, almost every week without fail. It surprises me to have been consistent . . . since I have posted throughout the seasons and from over twenty different countries.

At times, the challenge has been to find a topic to write about. When traveling, this is not a problem, but through the years, occasionally nothing comes up during the week, and then, I must be philosophical, or simply observe nature, the elements, and emotions.

I find fascination in life, and in my own life which has had it's share of ups and downs. I came from a big, complicated family, lived like a hippie early, became religious, went to art school, had a mental breakdown, traveled across the USA, settled in the southwest, started businesses, married three times, had children, been successful as an artist, had a child die, written books and magazine articles, sojourned around the world and taken 50,000 photographs . . . and kept a weekly blog going for seven years now . . . and counting. 

The archive is on this page.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

A Tinge Of Sad Feeling

There is something about the dying of summer bloom and leaves falling from trees—scurrying to oblivion in cold autumn wind. . . that brings a tinge of sad feeling. Oh, beautiful colors bring delight to the eyes, and often, after a cold night, the air warms to perfection, but there is no holding on; winter comes and with it cold death. 

The beauty to all this is renewal. We know that life comes back again in the spring and with it a new face of youth. And this is the stuff of poetry and art: the wheel of life, death, and resurrection. The eternal working of the Creator in His Cosmos.

Autumn Song
Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1883)

Know’st thou not at the fall of the leaf
How the heart feels a languid grief
   Laid on it for a covering,
   And how sleep seems a goodly thing
In Autumn at the fall of the leaf?

And how the swift beat of the brain
Falters because it is in vain,
   In Autumn at the fall of the leaf
   Knowest thou not? and how the chief
Of joys seems—not to suffer pain?

Know’st thou not at the fall of the leaf
How the soul feels like a dried sheaf
   Bound up at length for harvesting,
   And how death seems a comely thing
In Autumn at the fall of the leaf?

Sunday, October 13, 2013

An Urge

"Feeling The Pinch," oil on board, 12 x 16 inches, by Steven Boone
Sometimes an urge arises inside of me to shake things up—like an earthquake that rumbles forth and topples the established order of things. Only what is true and strong survives. This rumbling has been going on inside of me for years and is seen in my art; with its variations in style that often appear to not have correlations. Revolution keeps me on my toes and far from complacency. 

This weekend marks the beginning of a show I will share with another artist—Dirk Kortz. The exhibit is titled Twisted Portraits. We are both including portraits that have an oddness inherent in them. Something unsettled. It could be a grimacing face, or a hand reaching into the picture, smearing paint, or even a face dangling from a clothesline. I expect that these paintings won't sell easily . . . for they are disturbing. Life too is unsettling . . . and art must reflect life.

"Untitled," six 8 x 10 inch panels, oil on canvas, by Dirk Kortz

Sunday, October 06, 2013

A Remarkable Phenomenon


The mountains above Santa Fe are called the Sangre De Cristos, or, “Blood Of Christ” mountains. They are covered with fir and pine trees, and large swaths of aspens, and rise to 12,000 feet, (3,658 meters). 

Each fall when the days grow shorter and colder, around the 1st of October, the aspens change color and turn golden. It is a remarkable phenomenon and draws crowds of people to hike in this wonderland. Every painting I have ever done of golden aspens has sold. 

There is something charming about the white paper-like trunks of aspens that grow close together, tall and straight, crowned with shimmering gold, splashing against the blue sky  . . . it is like a dream of heaven.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

An Overnight Trip

If I wake with a feeling of sadness, and during the day I panic with a sense life is ending, well, it may be because summer is over and nature is shifting into the season of death for all things green and deciduous. The days grow shorter and the air grows colder.
"Cliffs and Lake" oil on linen, 12 x 12 inches

Heidi Of The Mountains and I took an overnight trip to a beautiful lake and camped out in my van. We do not need much to make us comfortable. All we had was a foam pad to sleep on and an overhead light. Most of the other campers were in expensive recreational vehicles with all the luxuries . . . but that distinction did not help one couple who were several sites away in their RV. After the sun sank below the horizon and darkness fell upon the land, they began fighting and the altercation escalated to what sounded like blows and screaming and crying. 

"Heidi's Mountains" oil on canvas, 11 x 14 inches

It is wonderful to paint outdoors. The first step is to find a location that offers the right view. This can take time . . . to search the landscape for the right elements and perspective to make an interesting and captivating composition. On day one, I made a painting of jagged cliffs at the lake edge. Heidi is becoming an ardent artist and stayed behind at the camp site, choosing a different view to a distant mountain. The wind picked up and we both had our painting knocked over. Mine blew down at the start, before I had begun much work, so I secured it better, resumed, and was able to finish. The wind blew Heidi's into her, and ruined it so that she had to begin again. In the end, she almost cried with frustration since the piece never regained its likableness and she had to throw it away. 

The next day, we decided to paint in the morning before the wind came, and we both came up with artwork we fancied.

"Bluffs at Ghost Ranch" oil on canvas, 20 x 20 inches

To see more paintings go to Steven Boone Paintings

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Artist And The Model

When I first set eyes on my wife Lori, she was undressing to pose nude. I was in a drawing group of about ten people. During the next three hours, she took about ten poses with three five minute breaks between sessions. 

I had recently returned from world travel, and now was getting back to my regular practice of drawing weekly. Over the next few months, I had occasion to draw Lori again, and eventually, the hand of fate drew us together—to become husband and wife.

Last night, we went to a movie called, The Artist And The Model, about an aging artist living in a secluded mountain village in southern France during the second world war. His wife brings home a destitute young woman who lives with them and becomes the sculptor's model. Lori and I sat arm in arm in the theater, watching scenes unfold that were familiar to both of us. 

Lori continues to model, with the agreement that it be for groups only—no private sessions with men. I draw as usual, and over the years have made thousands of figure drawings. It is life.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Gates Of Heaven

At unexpected moments lately, when I am tired or have complaint, a gentle breeze will waft through my being causing me to pause and be thankful. I wonder where this gift comes from and perhaps it is because I am growing older that an inner perspective and appreciation of life's fluidity has arrived. 

 For instance, I might be hot and bothered about cleaning my studio, which takes time away from creativity and is messy drudgery. As I carry smelly garbage bags to the trash bins outdoors, I find myself tired and complaining, and then, in a moment, something comes over me and I laugh about it and take notice of the fresh air outdoors, the light that plays everywhere around me, and maybe I hear a bird call. In an instant, it is as if I am cured from a morose malady and leave the prison of self and enter the gates of heaven.

Sunday, September 01, 2013


It may happen soon that I will be leaving the United States and moving to Andalucia, in southern Spain. Heidi Of The Mountains has determined not to fight my wanderlust, but rather develop in new ways, and will come too. We will have easy access to all of the Mediterranean area, which is rich in history, archeology, and culture. 

About five years ago, after living in Venice, Italy for three months, a shift occurred in my being, and I only wanted freedom like the wind. Since then, I have travelled around the world and become even more like the zephyr. I cannot settle down in one place and have no taste for possessions that most people crave—home, car, television, etc. etc. 

I live in an idyllic town—Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA. It is a tourist destination, and I have a grand situation of owning an art gallery that features my artwork, with a house and studio just steps away. Yet I find the responsibilities a burden and do not want the attachments. I am willing to trade more for less. Heidi is willing to fly with me into the unknown. 

The village in Andalucia is an almost forgotten place with a just a few whitewashed dwellings clustered on a a mountainside. There are no stores in Darrical, and sometimes, only fifteen people live there. But my friends Carol and Rolf have a home with a few casitas, and they have extra space to live in. I have lived with them before, ( see my blog Muy Tranquilo ) and it is a sleepy, ethereal existence perfect for poetry and art without distraction. Last time I spoke with Carol, she divulged the exciting news that Darrical now has internet service.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

I Love Your Stories

“I love your stories Steven. Thanks for them.” 

Reply: ”Every week for over six years now Christine. This kind of consistency in my life is mostly confined to prayer and drinking coffee.”

This brief conversation arrived via Facebook, when Christine McIntyre, a friend I met in Belize, during my trip around the world in 2008 reacted to a posting from my archives that appeared. My blog is getting rather deep, so that now, every so often, I can pull an interesting story from the past and post it on the exact day of the year in the present.

Here are some selections from August postings:

August 19, 2012

Endlessly Changing





August 07, 2011

A Leap Of Faith

August 08, 2010


August 02, 2009

Woven Together Into Eternity

August 10, 2008

Scratch Under The Surface

August 26, 2007

Rainbow Of Chaos

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Summer's Fare

Late summer is always a colorful time at local farmers markets. At our farmers market here in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA, open Tuesday and Saturday mornings, the place bustles with vendors and buyers. Of course, people come primarily to buy the fresh produce, but also the wholesome ambience with music, and flowers, and smells of roasting food contributes to the happiness. Here in Northern New Mexico, there is a tradition of roasting green chilis over flames—and the smell is fabulous.

I am an artist, so relishing the incredible colors and shapes of produce is a treat. Recently I made a still-life painting from items I bought at the market.

Lately, I have been bringing home an armful of fresh food and making flavorful soups that lasts for days.

Sunday, July 28, 2013


And they write innumerable books; being too vain and distracted for silence: seeking every one after his own elevation, and dodging his emptiness.
T.S. Eliot (American, September 26, 1888 – January 4, 1965)

It took me by surprise when I crashed yesterday evening and a feeling of total inertia struck. All my inspiration vanished, and as I sat on the couch with my wife nearby I could not clearly remember a time when I had felt this way. I thought of things to do but lacked motivation. It all felt empty. 
I told Lori how I felt and then got up and turned all the lights off so that we just sat in darkness, not touching. I stretched out and sank into nothingness. Then I began feeling like I was gently being carried on a river and it was peaceful. At some point my wife started a conversation, but all I craved was silence and nothingness.

Today, I am back to my old self, with my normal cares, tasks and ever present agenda. And now I know why people die without sleep.

We cannot let another person into our hearts or minds unless we empty ourselves. We can truly listen to him or truly hear her only out of emptiness.
M.Scott Peck (American, May 23, 1936 – September 25, 2005)
I think about that 'empty' space a lot. That emptiness is what allows for something to actually evolve in a natural way. I've had to learn that over the years - because one of the traps of being an artist is to always want to be creating, always wanting to produce.
Meredith Monk (American, born November 20, 1942)

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Human Family

Each year in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA, during the month of July, the Folk Art Market unfolds to great fanfare. Heidi Of The Mountains and I always go, and visit all the booths, enjoying the fabulous crafts from all over the globe. The artisans dress in their native garb, and seem just as excited as the big crowds of people that come to admire their work.

We always spend money, and usually, more than we intended.

I especially enjoy the grand show of humanity and the flavorful atmosphere. This year, I became nostalgic for my former days of world travel. Seeing the Tuareg silver jewelry reminded me of Morocco, the emerald cotton shirts with simple designs of Thailand, and the fellow from Egypt with his artwork made me remember how welcome I felt there.

This annual market is an example of our glorious world and its human family. In the words of Baha'u'llah, “The earth is one country, and mankind its citizens.”

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Creative Spirit

Mayan Woman in Belize, photo on canvas, 18"x24"
Nexus, Acrylic on canvas, 12 x 12 inches

Koi, mixed-media, 20"x42"
Since I have a creative spirit, I thrive on surprise. So when a friend of mine made the decision to add to his art collection and buy a wide variety of my art in various styles, I felt overjoyed. I could not have predicted that this person would collect six pieces—five last week, and is considering more. What gratifies me most is that he has explored my world, and chosen to be as broad in his collecting as I am in my creating.
Sicilian Coast, oil on linen, 36"x48"

As my friend adds to his art collection, his home grows in stature, ensuring a pleasurable and sophisticated atmosphere.
The Red Scarf, oil on linen, 18"x24"