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 Art by BJ Keith can be found at

"Keithinsky" 36"x36" oil on gallery-wrapped canvas by my mother, BJ Keith.


This painting is an example of what I would call my mother's "cleanse the pallatte" paintings. She's been a professional artist for close to 40 years, and even she would be the first to say she doesn't yet have a set "style."  She is forever creating, DAILY creating, almost obsessively making art.  As she ages through her 70's now, the obsession grows exponentially.  Throughout the past 15 years, she'd get through 3-5 large paintings in a similar genre, LOVES them...invariably says "THIS is what I've been trying to express all this time!"  Then a month later, she's bored with them and experiencing "artist's block".  To break it, she appropriates the style of a master, because she can't stand to let an hour, much less a day, go by without putting paint to canvas.  She reminds me of those Irving Stone books I read about the lives of Michaelangelo in The Agony and the Ecstasy, or Van Gogh in Lust for Life, or Camille Pissaro in Depths of Glory, three of my all time favorite stories, all signed by the author when I heard him speak in a small reading at Westmont College in the early 1980's.

Her artist's version of "cleansing the pallette/palette" is exemplified in the above case by going to Kandinsky, and in the following case it was Picasso.  

"Kiethasso" 36"x48" oil on gallery-wrapped canvas by BJ Keith.

These aren't really the names of the paintings, but my silly names for them. Unlike mom, I do like words!  I think she spent so many years of having to name the 1000's of metal sculptures she did, that she's sick of it.  Now they're just numbered paintings in numbered collections!


As soon as she's finished with one of these "cleanse the palette paintings," she shoots out of the starting gate, racing through her next series of paintings that "finally express what she's beeing trying to say!"  My God, she inspires me so!  Intimidates me as an artist, yes, but inspires me like no other!


Lately, I have had artist's block...or just fear, whatever.  The result is the same.  A blank yawning canvas.  It stands there, mocking me.


So the lesson for me here, is JUST PAINT!  It doesn't matter what it is, or even if it is any good or not.  Just paint.  Inspiration will come, or it won't, but it surely won't come if you don't paint!  



All photos and text used in this blog are copyrighted by Author of this website, unless otherwise indicated, and permission is required to use any image or text.  No one has permission to use this text, unless quoted and attributed to the author, to write about the art of or artist, BJ Keith.

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