Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place


Freedom Days

This morning I was trying to remember why I used to paint and why I don’t anymore. I think it has to do with the fact that when I was painting, I had the time to do so, had the room to do so, and had not yet taken on the burdens that life throws at all of us. In other words, I was still a child, or at least a child at heart, when I used to paint.

Now I live somewhere where there is no room or ventilation to paint. I don’t have blocks of time to get into the process of painting. And I just have too many adult concerns to have the freedom of spirit to paint.

I found some of my paintings I did in those freedom days many decades ago. Here are a few of them. These were all done in my late teens and very early twenties:

horse painting late teens

sunset painting late teens 2

sunset painting late teens 1

siamese cat

ljgloyd (c) 2013



What is an Artist?

reader under tree sketchedI have a question for you all.  How do you define “artist”?   And by “artist” I mean a person who engages in expression through any genre or medium:  writer, photographer, painter, sculptor, knitter, film-maker, fry-cook, and the like.   After thinking about how I create, I have formulated this definition for myself:

An artist is one who manifests universal truths through the skillful and imaginative use of tools relative to various media and genres and who draws upon the inspiration of a mysterious external source to accomplish the manifestation.

You may disagree completely with my definition.  That’s okay.  The terms “universal truths” and “mysterious external source” may simply not be a part of your equation.  The definition should be a construct that frames and guides your work.  Whatever works for you.

If you are so inclined, feel free to share your definition in the comments section below.   If you are not inclined to share, that’s okay.  Just think about it.

ljgloyd (c) 2013


Return to Riversleigh, Part II

underwood typewriterContinued from Part I:


On only a handful of occasions have I actually seen Lumina with my own eyes. She usually makes her presence known to me when that perfect sentence suddenly streams through my pen onto paper, or a complex character takes shape in my mind. She is there when I get excited over the start of a new story or when I feel the intense satisfaction when a project is finally finished.  On those few times when he has incarnated herself in physical form, she has manifested her appearance different ways each time.  Once she appeared to me as an elderly woman, another time as a young girl. She has come to me in a variety of skin tones and hair colors. No matter what she looked like, I always knew it was her.

Standing next to the counter, she is a young woman, as pale as an early spring morning. Her hair was unbound, and she wore a diaphanous gown embroidered in gold thread.  Around her was a golden aura and her face seemed to radiate an inner glow.

As I gaped at her, she stepped forward and picked up my hand.  “How are you, my dear?”

“I…I”.   Lumina was definitely not helping me with my words at that moment.  “Um, fine.” I finally managed to stammer.

“Good.”  Lumina turned and looked around the kitchen.

“Miss Lumina,” I began.  “Can I help you with something?”  Immediately, I blushed.  I felt so stupid.

Lumina smiled and her laugh sounded like the tinkling of silver bells.  “You help me every time you create something.”

“Thank you,” I mumbled.  “I guess I was asking…..”

“Why am I here today?”

“Yeah, something like that.”

She let go of my hand and glided around the other side of the stainless steel counter in the center of the kitchen.

“You will be learning to cook?”

I gave a little laugh and shifted on my feet.  “Well, I like to cook and I actually am not that bad at it, but I wanted to learn more….”

“It is commendable to want to learn more, but it is a bit of diversion, isn’t it?


“From writing?”

“Well, see about that – I’m on a little break.”

“No need to explain.  Periods of rest and rejuvenation are highly beneficial.”

“And all my friends are here.”

Lumina smiled.  “Yes, they do seem to be having a good time.  You’ll be joining them, I suspect.”

Lumina strolled around the counter and turned towards me.  She gazed at me with her soft hazel eyes and said nothing more.   I felt like my heart and mind were being scanned.

“Is there something more?”

“Yes, there is.  I understand that you have been unkind to Arvilla.”

I felt like I had been hit in stomach.  “Me?  Unkind to Arvilla?”  I felt my face flush.

“Oh dear, this is worse than I thought.”

“What is?  Arvilla is a —“.  Lumina raised one finger in front of her and I immediately stopped.

“We need to fix this.”

“Fix what, ma’am, if you don’t mind me asking?”

With a nearly indiscernible movement, Lumina nodded her head.

There was another loud pop and flash, and Arvilla materialized.

In a pink bathrobe and her hair bound in a towel, Arvilla appeared to be leaning forward as if she had been looking in a mirror and plucking her eye-brows.   The tweezers fell from her hand and clanged on the floor.

“Great balls of fire!  What moron just teleported me!”  The look of wrath on Arvilla’s face turned to fear and dismay when she saw Lumina.

“Oh, Miz Lumina, I didn’t mean… I am so sorry.”  I struggled to keep from smiling at Arvilla’s discomfort.

“It’s quite alright.  That was a bit impulsive of me, I must admit, but we have a serious matter before us.”

“What is it, ma’am?  Can I be of assistance?”  Arvilla glanced at me.

I rolled my eyes.  What a suck-up.

“Yes, dear, you can.  Both of you can.  I want you both to make up.”

“What?!” I cried.

“You have got to be kidding!  Ma’am, respectfully, this little ingrate had the management ban me from Riversleigh.  Me?  Who does she think she is?   Arvilla gave a little sniff and pursed her lips into a pout.

“Um, ma’am.  I can’t work with her,” I said.  “She has been really rotten to me.  She says all kinds of mean things to me and about my work.”

“Enough.”   Lumina did not raise her voice, but her tone made what seemed like an invisible frost settle around us.   “It appears that I must set down some simple rules since you both seem incapable of acting like adults.”

I cringed from embarrassment.

Lumina turned to Arvilla.  “First, you will stop belittling and demeaning her work.  You may offer suggestions for editing her writing with the goal of making it better, and you will encourage her, NICELY, to get working when she is finding herself—“  Lumina again looked around the kitchen – “distracted.  And you will please refrain from being an insufferable nag.”

Arvilla’s look of indignation withered.  “Yes, ma’am.”

Then she turned to me, and I braced myself.  “You will check your pride at the door and realize that all inspiration and correction come from me and Arvilla.  I am sure Arvilla will be more courteous to you now and that you will take her words of advice and her encouragements to work with a little more grace.”

“I will,” I said, looking at the tile floor.

Lumina stepped forward and lifted my head.  My eyes met her smiling face. “You may play but you must also work.  I promise you that if you show up for work every day – EVERY day – then I will come every day and give you inspiration. Do you understand?”

“I do,” I smiled back.

“Good.”   Lumina gave me a hug, and then said, “Well, I must be off.”  She stepped to the center of the kitchen.

“What about me? She had me banned from Riversleigh?”

“I will speak to the management and I’m sure we can work something out.”

The room began to glow and a shower of gold sparkles descended upon Lumina.  Just before she dematerialized, her attention turned back to Arvilla.

“My dear, have you ever considered electrolysis for that — that eyebrow– thing?”  Then she vanished.

ljgloyd (c) 2013