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Toward a Clearer Vision
Don Berry self-portrait
Self-portrait therapy

January 1—This painting is an attempt to shed pretense and look at myself freshly and objectively, as if observing another person. It's a form of art therapy—an exercise in seeing clearly what is there rather than what one wants to be there or believes is or should be there.

My illustration and drawing classes usually included a self-portrait assignment. Critiques of final work were entertaining and revealing for everyone despite scattered groans when the assignment was given.





This cartoon is an impression left with me after watching the recent inauguration day events.

Rebranding Washington

A suggestion:

The new Apple Campus under construction (photo: Reuters/ Noah Berger) is impressive and ambitious, but a geodesic dome clad with light-responsive panels would create a world of new possibilities for the inner courtyard.

Apple Campus Dome

Journal entry, 6March2017:

12:37 a.m.—A half-moon is muted by an overcast sky. I'm sitting in the loft bed on this mild night while the mind streams thoughts of the stark contast between a calm, inner world and an outer world fraught with division and delusion.


There seems to be no resolution to that outer battle—so many people are committed to a train of thought without awareness that it is an illustion—that what is accepted as real is actually a mental concoction, especially the self-image so fiercely defended.

But there is peace in an individual life when there is peace within—the peace that comes from recognizing and detaching from collected ideas of who we are. Real freedom exists then—real contentment, real ease, real confidence abides when the imaginary self loses the power given by one's identification with it.

Unintended imagry

This is an example of the creative process triggered by random colors and forms. On the left is a composition of quickly painted colors done late one night with my tablet. On the left is an enlarged section where I saw the suggestion of a face that had formed completely by accident.

Flame experiment Flame-1

That section was greatly enlarged in Photoshop and refined to reveal this portrait of the "Flame Princess".

Flame Woman

Sea Creature

The character in this animation was also suggested by unintended, accidental imagry in the corner of a photo that I was processessing. I don't remember which photo it was, but the image took off in my imagination and, after much playful revision, became the creature in the video.

This project places 2D components in 3D space to give the scene more depth (note how the character reveals its flatness when it turns). It is also the first time I've used the Adobe AfterEffectsCC program to make a complete production that includes title, captions and credits without using another video editing program to add those components.

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