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Chasing Down The Muse: Living moments of ‘concentrated joy’

“Life is action and passion.”

— Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.


Soft gray clouds to breezy and sunny to wind-swept rain — all in a few hours. What a glorious weather day it was! And a perfect day for a brisk morning walk followed by tax prep and bill paying and a bit of art play thrown in for good measure.


This day was just one of many in a busy springtime beginning.

Our town is a-buzz with activities as we move inexorably toward the chaos of summer in a coastal community. My emphasis — as with so many local artists — at this time moves toward the creation of art for the summer show. This is when we seek to do that something new — maybe outside the usual box — that we have pondered all winter long.

The call for work for “Art That’s Small at City Hall” started it for me this year. My push was to get something “new” ready for this great gallery showing here in town. Mission accomplished, I found myself longing to jump in and experiment and work non-stop until the summer show.

Of course, this was not to be. Life with all its many joys, responsibilities and complications continued pulling in other directions.


Still, the “work” that I do certainly has its many moments of concentrated joy. A rainy Friday and Saturday were filled with the laughter and exhilaration of a couple of Sawdust Studio Art classes taught by our excellent instructors. I am privileged to be involved with this program and get to learn something nearly every day.

The weekend ended on a high note with a Sunday Studio Workshop at my studio. These near-monthly events with friend Suzette Rosenthal are always a great time. We have many regular students and the “newbies” are soon feeling right at home in the camaraderie that exists as we create, nibble and simply enjoy the company of others.

All this creativity combined with the longer daylight hours to prod me to greater time spent on studio pursuits. Commitment to near-daily time in the studio has paid off. There may not be more than a few minutes, but there is always something to be done in those minutes. The rewards are many.

Even a long day spent at Disneyland with my daughters and three grandsons did not deter from spending a few late night moments on art. Prepping a piece of postal art to send to a friend was a nice way to wind down from the activities and noise of the day.

Busy? Sure, but life is for living.

If there is time in there for friends, family and creativity then I am filled with joy. Kinda like that rainbow after the night of soft rainfall on the roof. Pretty neat, eh?

CHERRIL DOTY is an artist, writer and manager of the Sawdust Studio Art Classes in Laguna Beach. Always fascinated, inspired, and titillated by the beauty and the ever-changing mysteries of life, she can be reached at, or by phone at (714) 745-9973.