Friday, February 28, 2014

Thought for The Day - Intention

Moving forward

Forward motion...

Incremental. A pace so slow it feels and is perceived to be nil. But desire in your heart moves you forward. The angst in your soul, disgust with life "as is" says "try." Oh but sometimes, that soul-deep plea is barely heard, you might mistake it for someone else's voice. But guess what? You're listening for...something...anything to move forward.

Abandoned; friends and family don't get it. They want you safe...Y-O-U wants you safe and comfortable!!! But there is so little comfort where you are at this moment, you have to go forward.

And sometimes, you go forward in the dark; there is no light around you at the moment. You've come so far, the safety behind you is out of sight. Don't turn back, keep your eyes fixed ahead of you.

There are times certainty is gone and the only thing remaining is the constant beat of your heart; nothing else. And that can be a lonely sound.

Sorry your path is not as certain as that of, say an accountant or the kid who discovered at 12 years old, that she was a basketball phenom. Everything seemed to move into place and it was only "natural" they go into their chosen careers. No, you had pitfalls, listened to "good intentioned PLAN B's" and took so many detours you question your desire to be _________.  But move forward.

At some point, the practice of moving, the routine of getting "something done" gets in your bones. And before you know it, there's a pattern to your pitter-patter, a glide in your step you didn't know existed. And before you know it, others notice it as well. Slowly 'it' makes sense, the path you're on and why it has been so hard.

Keep going...the journey stretches on.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Thought for The Day - The Eyes

...Of the Beholder 18 x 24 pastels

…Of The Beholder

In the eyes of the beholder
There is beauty before them
But in the eyes of the beautiful
What is seen
Behind the eyes of true beauty
What thoughts go unseen
What mysteries and decisions
Are hidden behind those beautiful eyes

In the eyes of the beholder
Eyes, face, neck and body
Are wonderful to behold
But behind the eyes of the beauty
A world unknown
Though traces slip out
Made concrete
Yet the eyes
That mind

Are shrouded in the mystical

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Thought for The Day - Passing the Time

More than fingers pointing in the middle of a circle
Or the numbers that change on your phone
It is what we do,
When we're doing nothing
When we're doing too much
And when we sleep

Time is a companion
Whose stark truth
Makes us regret
How much we've wasted
It's the enemy of romantic love
A moment
An hour
A day
Never enough
to say "I love you"
In new ways

Time does not move fast
But in relation to us
It's a tortoise
Whose shell we chase after
When it's time to go to the place we can't tolerate
It moves far too slow
When we're trying to get away from that same place
And when we allow it
It lingers and slows to an imperceptible pace
When we listen to a good tune

A marker
An indicator
that we were here
And tomorrow we are there

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Thought for The Day - (in process)

Linen (in process - a snippet) 30 x 40 Oils

Nice title; usually I include in parenthetical words: "in process" when I display something I'm still working on. There are times when I display work I've completed, but the joy of having this digital format is I can capture a snippet of the image as it is being developed, and share it in this outlet. I get to share the journey of my work with you.

I'm "in process;" I woke this morning and lay in bed for another thirty minutes, my normal routine of rising early and getting to the gym, broken by "another fall." I'm recuperating and trying not to worry about the falling too much. But as part of my "processing," I have to consider what occurs in the physical, determine if there is a spiritual correlation and if so, what the "breaking, falling and pain" mean in my life. Lying there, I prayed about the significance of my life. I'm a dreamer and have always been. I've always felt like my life had a bigger purpose and praying about it, I recalled hearing clips of Dr. Martin Luther King's speeches played on a local AM radio station between segments. I remember from childhood to young adulthood, hearing those snippets and feeling like his words not only meant something for me, but were there to spur me to my own mission. But I also remembered that at some point, because "nothing was happening" I stilled the stirring emotions. I ignored the light that shines in my soul. Actually, in so many ways, I've done this and in truth, at any given moment, I could do the same again. However, I have to admit, that in so many ways, I know I'm "in process" and much closer to that larger significance than I want to believe.

Being "in process" doesn't mean that once I'm "done," that's all there is to it. No, it's actually like leaving one room and entering into another, leaving one country and passing into another. There remains more work to do and more challenges. All I can do is keep moving.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Thought for The Day - Ship it!

Linen (in process) 30 x 40 oils

Always changing, always moving from "this" to "that." Not really sure where this road leads...

There are times when I feel like I can "taste" the life I want to live. I see it in the words I write, the images I render and those I relate to. It's the life that is both "giving and receiving," an exchange that's near endless and not necessarily self-serving. Day-to-day, I feel like I'm getting closer.

It's been said that I'm probably closer to "production" than I know. I have plenty of work, paintings and drawings in stacks. I've got the work of writing and the art of listening and encouraging. And yet, here I am, waiting for?

I won't give up; I believe the "shipment" date is coming.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Thought for The Day - Uh, Maybe I Don't "Got This"

I start the process, a blank surface in front of me and at times, as blank a surface in my head. No preconceived notion just waiting to be released, but my surrendering to the process. And at times, what comes as a result is what you see in this forum. All too often, in between the times I render, while sitting in this space, I think "what is it Im trying to do?" I examine the lines and colors and how it twists. Like a person riding along in a car seeing faces and horse and elephants in the clouds, I concentrate on the shapes and try to see the same. But like a mature artist, I try to find the storyline in the images as well. All life is full of stories and histories and biographies; we live them out everyday, though we don't realize our story is being unfolded, day-by-day, from dilemma to resolution.

There are times when I "know" which way I want to go, what direction I want the painting or drawing to go. And on rarer occasions, I'm able to complete the piece as I saw it in my head. But all too often, the colors and patterns laid down, change and realign into something I didn't expect. In this moment, I have to say "thank God for allowing me to get back to art at this point in my life!" If I were younger, I would be thoroughly discouraged that things weren't working as I think they should! Oh believe me, it's frustrating, but life experience, a lifetime of disappointments and learning the lesson behind them, allows me to be patient. And yes, over time, "things work out."

This art "work," the creative process is full of twist and turns, I'm not always sure where I'm going. But I'm sure if I keep on the path, I'll get to where I should be soon.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Thought for The Day - I Know What I'm Doing!

Linen - with a little swirl (in process) 24 x 30 Oil painting

...You may not know, but I do!

What's in an artist's mind is probably not much different from yours. Desires, longing, and even expressions are fairly universal. But what is different is how those feelings are communicated. In the latest (in progress) piece, the idea is "Linen - a little swirl." The idea, as well as the image, in still in progress and when it is finished, perhaps, the thought will be complete. But the process remains a very "cerebral" concept.

Linen, as in bed linens; something about that expanse of space where we lie down at night. That space where two come together for sleeping and comfort and love. It can be a large space, like North America, with two countries  blended in one. Or it can be like two countries separated by a desert. In any case, the landscape is filled with dips and valleys and mounds and high places. It's like the sands of the desert, where change is certain; the landscape you saw last night is not what you will see today. This is the concept for this current piece. It is part of a series.

Now, knowing what I'm doing, where I want to go doesn't make the journey easy. I could probably get 'there' much faster without the layers of paint and another media. But between my ears, that path is long and filled with pitfalls and twists; there is no shortcut. So, when I render, I have to allow myself time to work out the details. And from one piece in a series to another, from series to another, I have to allow those thoughts, those steps to manifest. Whether you are patient, interested or not, I have to allow myself this journey.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Thought for The Day - A Moment

A Kiss 9 x 12 pastels

7/31/06 2:44 pm

A whisper
Lost in the wind
A wish
Tossed with a penny in a fountain
A goodbye that lasted longer
But felt like a flash of lightning
As it fades away

The thrill of an early summer bike ride
Cold while the sun is so hot
Dripping and sticky
Sweet and delicious
Filling up your insides
Briefly, for a moment

When your eyes are all cried out
Coming from a memory that pops up
But as suddenly as your grin appears
It’s gone
Chased away by the icy cold of the here and now

A pleasant dream
With a cozy ending
Followed by a gentle stirring
As you awake to a sunny day
You stretch
Full of energy from your mind’s movie
But as your feet touch the floor
The haunting of the same old grind
The car that won’t start
And the….
Plus the…
Send that dream down the drain
Taking with it the joy you felt

A moment
Passes in a minute
Some are lost
‘Cause we are looking in the wrong place
Get called up to remind us
Caution us
Warm our hearts
Or stop our tracks
And somehow
They are lost
Brushed away like pesky flies
When we choose to focus on
The here and now
The “never will be”
And the lost happenstance

Yet they are there
Happening now
Happening way back when
And some are held in reserve

For later

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Thought for The Day - My Journey is not Yours

Soul Dance 8 x 11 Colored Pencils

I've never struggled with this; the logic has always made sense to me. "Everyone can't walk in your shoes," that thought has been part of me as far back as I can remember. As a child, I could sit and look at a book for hours! And as I learned to read I could read book after book. My mother put me in tow with cousins when I was about 8 or 9 years old, to go to the library, a good 6 blocks from our apartment. And what was I reading? Books on Black history, slavery and (my childhood hero) Frederick Douglas. Sure I liked playing with the many cousins who lived nearby, but very early on, I figured out, no matter how close they are to you, people choose to take advantage of kindness and tell your secrets. While I won't say that drove me to the "inner world" of reading and art, it contributed to it.

My outlet isn't yours...

I have a great friend, we met years ago as young men, attending a fairly large church nearby. He owned a car detail shop, where he would clean cars by hand. Now the business was located in the parking structure of a major catalog company at the time, and his enclosed garage within it, was in the basement. But it was always his dream - and still is - to have a location on a busy street. He's an outgoing type, a naturally kind, generous and friendly guy. Years ago, we compared personalities when he asked me to render a building design for him. He wanted to sit with me and tell me step-by-step what he wanted the design to look. I told him that isn't my work style; I prefer you tell me what you want, allow me the time to render a few ideas and then present them. He didn't get it; he said he liked for people to watch him "clean their cars" and show him what he was doing wrong. Honestly, I never believed he wanted that, though, in his head at the time, it made perfect sense. Now I could clean my car by hand; Saturday evenings was the time I would clean my wife's and my car, cleaning them inside and out. I would have jazz music  or maybe Gospel music playing from one car while I cleaned the other. But I always preferred that I have that time alone. I really didn't want someone around telling me "you missed a spot," or "you really should use a chamois rather than a terry cloth towel because ______. " No, let me have this time to do my work as I see fit.

I watched my children as they grew up and wondered what their outlets would be. My daughter has a wonderful, caring personality and speaks well in public settings, but that isn't her "thing." My middle son, when he was 3 or 4, could play for hours with Hot Wheel cars, but he always wanted to build cranes and pulley systems - using my weight bench "grrrr!" When he was about 6, he had a list of 'jobs' he wanted to do, but the one that seemed to get the most attention was "I want to be a working man!" Words he would say with force and his hands stretched out like he was holding a bunch of tools in both. While my daughter didn't have an idea what she wanted to do until she went to college, my middle son figured it out by his freshman year in high school. Both are bold and willing to try out different areas. When I ask my youngest what he wants to do - and believe me I've been asking for a long time - now he says "I haven't figured it out yet." Actually, I'm sure I know what he would love to do, but it's hard to agree that you will spend the remainder of your life in a room "playing video games."

I've found multiple ways to express myself and so very often, it doesn't require that I utter a word. But words, images, concepts and viewpoints are intricate to my way of contributing to the world. Final analysis? Be. Create the means by which you will contribute to this world and surely it will fit in the grand scheme of this world.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Thought for The Day - Slippin'

Triplicate (in process) pastels

"If you fail to plan, you plan to fail."

Yeah...that 'happens.' And it happens to most of us. It isn't that we are without desire of that we don't want to achieve: success, recognition, or live better. But this "planning" and "following through" stuff? Well, that doesn't happen.

So many of us spend our days, miserable at jobs, anxious for the weekend and looking forward to retirement. For the first (full-time jobs), that usually "just" happens; we 'end up' at some company because we applied at 50 of them, we had some skills they could use and they were willing to pay us. We get benefits and enough money to stay miserable. For the weekend and retirement, we hope "it just happens." We hope on the weekend, we will do "something" that's exciting, but usually, we have a bunch of personal stuff to complete, since we're too tired in the week. And then there's retirement; that nagging sinking feeling that the government mandated time is too far away and that we are ill prepared for a fixed income. All-in-all, with all this stuff happening, I think we are digging ourselves a wonderful hole to sink into!

You know, there's something to be said for the people who live their life in spite the warnings and corrections of well meaning 'advisors.' Especially those who achieve. Their "planning" is worked out in their  head, their actions carry out on a daily basis, a practice that allows them to be prepared for an 8 - 5, the weekends and retirement if they choose. But maybe I'm romanticizing a life I'm not living...

Slippin' just happens.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Thought for The Day - Chill in My Bones

Each morning, I go through this process: wake early, leave the comfort of my bed, go to the basement and my carved out space. It's a beautiful 7' x 11' space, exposed brick walls on two of the four walls and a painted concrete floor beneath my feet. On many of the walls, there are reminders of the purpose of this space; my work, pictures I want to do "some day" and inspiration in the form of a poster of Henry Ossawa Tanner's story told in brief. But since it's winter, the space is C-O-L-D!!! I've put in a little space heater with a wonderful thermostat and it's off more than it's on! Sometimes I wonder if the heater "recognizes" that this space is cold - or is it just me? (it just kicked on again - thank God!)

Growing up, living in my parents home, the basement was my refuge! I didn't have art supplies as I do, now. I would use the basement to "practice driving" on a little game board I had, I would practice playing an old organ my parents bought years before, or play pinball on a kid sized machine. I had race tracks and train tracks I would set up and play as well. And there were the jigsaw puzzles I put together. But one thing I remember about that basement is it was always cold! Depending on the outside temperature, that space could be very cold, but I would stay in that space as long as I could! No carpet or space heater, no forced air blowing down on me; this was an old "boiler" heated home and the radiators were on the first floor! There were times I would either refuse to go to the basement or go back up to the house because I could barely stand that temp. It didn't matter how much "fun" I was going to have down there! I hate the cold!

Now in both places, there are times I simply endure the pain - this morning being one of them. And there are times when, once I get to work, the sensation of being cold seems to disappear. When I'm writing or painting, the act of releasing that creative energy seems to chase away the cold. And from childhood, I have wondered if the cold was in "my head" or was I really freezing? There are times, it's best to choose to ignore the pain of my circumstances and allow the beauty of the moment to grab my attention. And then there are times, it's best to climb back to a space that is warm and inviting. But it always comes down, are you up to the task?


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Thought for The Day - Thoughtful

Rise! 18 x 24 pastels

To be deep in thought or to consider; being mindful of other people or things.

Yes, there remain people like this in the world, those who consider others more than themselves. And they do so without feeling inferior. I started this blog with a friend in mind. She was going through a "rough patch" at the time and quite honestly, I didn't know it because she told me or because we discussed it. It was simply a "sense," an idea of the type of work she does. So a quick email, a few simple words to say "it will be alright" and so it began.

Every now and then, people I've connected to through social networks and those I know personally, come to mind. Some, because "distance" has dulled the connection, a simple text or call won't work. So in this place, I reach out and connect. I don't know if they will ever "see" this blog, but it doesn't matter; the word finds it's intended target one way or another. I am sure of that!

There are times I consider what should be written throughout the day; I'm always jotting "thoughts" and impressions. Sometimes those thoughts make it to this space and some don't, but I'm always mindful of the impressions of living this life. I consider the trauma, drama, highs and joys of living along this journey. If you've noticed, I include an image I've rendered and while I try to keep the words and images thematic, there are times I'm motivated to include something I don't immediately see as coupled.

It's about considering, pondering and being aware. This opportunity is about seeing the "big picture" as well as the details. You and I are intricately enmeshed in both the big picture and the "microcosmic" details.


Saturday, February 15, 2014

Thought for The Day - Connected

A link, a bond formed; it happens more often than we know. People we've met, spoke to, a simple nod of "hello" and not much more. We are connected. An interesting link occurs regularly.

Visual cues, familiar sounds, a sense of touch and sense of smell runs deeper than a familiar perfume we know. You know, we are "ON" all-the-time mechanisms, designed to know, experience and communicate to one another. Our awareness is such that certain colors and patterns come to be expected in certain places. Not to mention our sense of smell; it becomes so commonplace that if we "settle" in a residence not our own, it takes a while for our noses to settle because it isn't the home we know. Personally, I can recall getting married and having to tell myself "I'm home" when I moved into our first apartment. It wasn't that I didn't want to be there - quite the contrary, it was exactly where I wanted to be. But the location where the sun came in at dawn was different, the smell of the place was foreign and I felt the difference in the wall texture.

Connected, bound to one another and things...

"merrily, merrily, merrily life is but a dream..."

Friday, February 14, 2014

Thought for The Day - The Brightness and The Light

Of a feather 18 x 24 pastels

Let it in,

The illumination that comes from above,

The possibilities of life lived to the fullest

Not necessarily free of stress or absent of challenges

But celebrating struggle

And growing together

A life accompanied by Guidance and Help

All too often, we are motivated by what hurts us. Either we're trying to avoid it or we are inflicting it to preserve our existence. But it takes moments when we least expect it, to allow the light of God to shine in on our lives. Those moments, when you've "had enough," you can't take another worry or concern and your mind goes blank. But you're mind is never blank or without perception; we are always - especially when we're sleep - aware of our world. And our world is larger than what's visible and perceivable with our five senses!

Allow those moments when you absently stare at a car passing by, or a child playing, to guide you. Open your heart to hear the message waiting to be part of who you are. It will not guid in step-by-step instructions, the path you should take. So many times, you are exactly where you should be. But it will guide you, in the sense of pointing to details you're overlooking, over-analyzing or parts unknown.

Allow the light to shine "in you."

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Thought for The Day - A Little Wider

Elastic 18 x 24 pastel

"Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream
Merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream..."

It's amazing what peripheral vision takes in! Sitting still, in my little space, it isn't that the paintings behind me are "dancing," it's the energy from them drawing my attention and I'm prone to respond! Bright oranges, indigo blues and energetic pinks want to be seen!

Sitting on the train, cars zooming by on the I-290 on either side of the train - or sitting still depending on the pace of traffic - a well maintained Tesla catches my eye. And though I nod my head for a quick "forty winks," I still look up as the train slows to another stop to include more riders on this ride. And I take it all in; I take note of the people off to earn one more days' wages. My ears absorb the rumble of the train as well as the music playing through my headphones.

I know I'm constantly being stretched to take in more and more, and somehow, it's all absorbed, filed and retrieved when necessary. Constantly growing, constantly expanding. And every now and then, a surprise comes along and changes the entire scene!

Keep your "eyes" wide open..."life is but a dream!"

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Thought for The Day...Just a thought

Filtered Divinity  12 x 17 pastels

What if...

What if your life is more significant than your worries?

What if tonight, when sleep wraps over you, it takes you off to a better you?

What if, when you wake you find all the mysteries of life are laid out like intersecting road behind you and you are at the destination of knowing everything?

What if love is more than romance, but less than being "good friends?"

What if...

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Thought for The Day - A LIttle Higher

I will lift up my eyes to the hills - from whence comes my help? - Psalms 121:1 (NKJV)

Years ago, my pastor at the time aptly explained this verse is a series of questions. The writer wasn't saying he would literally expect help from hills and mountains but making the comparison between an uninformed person to one who knows God and expects his help to come from a higher place.

In this moment, I acknowledge I need help from higher than I can reach. My arms are too short to reach heaven to bring down resources needed for the day. A friend mentioned words she heard from a sermon. Joel Osteen apparently communicated we should be praying with the expectation of "N-O-W!!!"I am there; I have reached a point where I realize my need is urgent and I extend my voice, my hand and heart to reach to the heavens!

There are times, in the quiet and stillness of a given moment, when it seems my prayers are answered. Knowledge and insight flow from above.


Monday, February 10, 2014

Thought for The Day - A LIttle Deeper

In the dark and cold of the valley, we learn to "lay our burdens down." Sure we want to walk in the sunlight all the time. We want our days to be full of cloudless days and evenings to look like a beautiful watercolor sunset. But because we are human, even under the best of conditions, pain and suffering occur. And if we're careful, we learn a lesson from the good as well as the troubled times.

At times, I find myself fighting the information I'm given. I look at the "man in the mirror" and see this guy who could use a little more humility. I see this guy who, with the best of intentions, is selfish and wants 'what he wants.' I see a man who needs to find comfort in his art and the lessons life is teaching, rather than searching for it on a plate or elsewhere. This is the guy I see in the mirror.

In the darkness of the valley, I find I'm not alone, though my companions are as 'skittish' as I. "Damaged goods," a people who have learned to keep distance from one another. Not so much because we have hurt one another, but someone who looks "just like us," has hurt us. So we keep our distance, afraid to discover we might be the "salve" to heal one another's wounds.

So we dig ourselves a little deeper. In the valley, we sink a little lower.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Thought for The Day - Just a little further

Enter this space...

I'm Listening 24 x 30 oil painting

If you are bemoaning your current state because it's not where you want to to be, turn around and see how far you've come.

So many days I hated the life I was living. I worked a job where there was no way I would advance and didn't care to. I was on the verge of losing the job and as it was said to me by my boss at the time, it was because "You aren't happy." My car was old and always problematic and though I worked diligently in my church, respected by my students, somehow all the "positions of prestige" were awarded to others. I was depressed, so much so, I could not see any light at all. I held on to my faith, but I wasn't allowing it to hold me. It was a matter of perspective, and quite honestly, I spent each day looking at the ground!

One of the nagging issues in my life for many years was the absence of creativity. Sure I could creatively teach a Sunday School lesson, providing students with "food for the soul" to last a lifetime. I could preach a sermon, taking God's word and allowing it to filter through my perspective. When a friend or coworker needed to talk about their problems, I listened, prayed and opened my mouth to provide helpful suggestions and perspectives. But in my mind, this wasn't enough. I wanted to draw and paint.

It's 2014. I"ve been painting and drawing again nearly every day for five years. I always have an image or an idea for one in my head. At the moment, there's a painting and drawing that I can't wait to put my hand and soul upon!!! And I'm writing. I write every day, nearly all day. I'm sure my coworkers think I'm slacking off because I'm always hunched over my notepad writing something. When people need to talk, I listen. When they need a bit of advice or just another perspective, I'm there.

But the journey does not end there. In my heart, I can be as depressed as I was years ago. But depression, anxiety, even fear have a new perspective for me: they remind me "I'm not done yet!" I am thankful to be creative again. The very idea that I have more projects in mind that I have time to do is both motivating and depressing, but its so much further than years ago! Twenty years ago, I wouldn't allow myself to think about drawing and most certainly not painting. I built a 20' fence around visual expression.

The line from the

song comes to mind and tears flow :"my soul looks back and wonders, how I get over!" I know my journey has taken me much further than I thought possible. I would not tell you it's been easy! But it's not over! There are still people to reach, there are souls to be brought back to life through visual art, and words! And on my shoulders sit motivation and depression, both pushing me further. This is a declaration that until I die, I MUST GO ON... just a little further! 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Thought for The Day - Saturday Feel

My Palette, waiting for paint!

Growing up, Saturday morning was spent cleaning house, listening to music, watching Soul Train, either out shopping with my mom or watching cartoons. Saturday afternoon, I would definitely get outside and play "cars" with neighborhood friends and cousins or play basketball. By the time I was 17, I worked Saturdays at a nearby Sears store and spent the day there. That progression from being a child to a young man didn't seem so traumatic; I earned my own money and got to hang out with peers working at the store.

The "Saturday Feel" changed by the time I married. No more part time job and Saturdays spent in the store; now cleaning the house became my primary responsibility, along with running errands and driving my wife out to shop in an area where he wasn't familiar. For a stretch of time, friends unexpectedly stopped by and Saturday cleaning and errands were suspended. We would run from one mall to another and at some point, we visited new subdivisions and new homes like we were shopping for clothes. So this was adulthood? Much the same as childhood.

These days, Saturdays are much quieter. My children are off in their own world and places and my wife and I, though still running errands and cleaning, have a little more time for ourselves. But I find myself squeezing in moments of dreaming, drawing and painting. Of course, that time is always pre-empted by the needs of others, but I'm working on making my inner world a priority.

The "Saturday Feel" on the surface is this ever changing, evolving active day. But beneath it all, the sense and feel remains the same: a break from the hustle and bustle. It is a sense of having time for personal concerns and desires. And while my love of art seems like a 'starving child," I keep the desire alive. Who knows? One day soon I may be able to have a "Saturday Feel" Monday - Friday!

Enjoy your day!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Thought for The Day - Catching Up

(Working title) With a Twist - in progress 24 x 30 Oils

I think I got this from my dad, the sense of not "leading the pack" or "being the first on your block to buy _______!" Now, don't get me wrong, I really don't follow the crowds or wait to see "what's everyone else is doing," and I typically fume and brood over major decisions. I just need to know that the move I'm making is what's best for me and mine.

So now I'm thinking seriously considering this "art thing." When I think back to childhood, I can distinctly remember having concerns about what I would be when I grew up. Yes, I wanted to be an artist, but I wanted to have a business and I wanted to experiment on things. I think the last aspect, working Information Technology jobs has given me an "up to my eyeballs" experience in experimenting! For the last few years, I've gotten back to my love of art. And just like all major decisions, it seems like it's taking a long time to make up my mind about it.

What I would like is to spend my days creating art. The one aspect of this dream is that I feel like I need to remain connected to people, regularly and at one time, counseling was that channel. I wouldn't say I'm against counseling as a profession, but I am against anything that requires a "full-time" attention. The monotony of being somewhere, each day for 8 or more hours lays heavy on me. I love variety and love to be in control of my day.

So where am I in making a decision? Sitting on the fence, trying to figure out what and where else I can go. Any ideas? I'm open to suggestions.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Thought for The Day - Old Chicago

When my daughter was born or the winter after she was born, I remember thinking she's going to have to get used to Chicago winters. I remember wondering how she would get back and forth from school, on streets where people don't shovel their walks and would she have to walk in the streets. That first winter after she was born, we had the typical Chicago winter, except not as much snow. But it was okay; she was too small to appreciate it. That was the last winter like that.

Through the 90's and into the new millennium, winter's included periods of snow, some mild days and days when it was downright warm! I remember hardware stores begin selling plastic shovel and thinking those won't sell or people will be really disappointed when those things break! And for that 20+ year stretch, you could buy salt almost to the end of the season. But that seems to be changing now! Two weeks ago, I went to buy salt for my house and my parents and they were out of the "good stuff." Mental note: buy 600 pounds of salt next fall, while they still have the good stuff and it's cheaper!

The last few months, I don't think there's been a week that I haven't shoveled snow. I've shoveled and sweated when it 25 degrees and 5 degrees. I've bundled up, worn masks and considered layering in ways I haven't had to consider since 80's. And how is my daughter managing a Chicago winter? She moved to Newark NJ last summer!

Gotta love it!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Thought for The Day - Getting it Together

The above picture was posted to a couple of my social network sites, the other day and with the caption: "this is an empty palette; this ends tonight!" Well, in classic Eddie Hudson fashion, it didn't. I can blame a long day, my knee injury and a bunch of other factors, but the fact is it didn't end that night. Oh it came to an end, I put paint on the palette, even applied most of that paint to the current work and applied more paint, but this struggle is real, and it's with M-E!!!

But it occurs to me, while I'm not where I think I should be, it's much further than 5 years ago. Five years ago, I was in a Master's program for counseling, another one of my 'hats' I wear. I was intent on helping people by listening, glad to transition from one area to another. But there were moments when I questioned if this was the right move. Back in 1998, having begun life as a IT contractor, earning more money and now able to get into companies I only dreamed of. On my way home from work today, the idea came to mind "where do you want to be in ten years?" I said out loud: "in ten years I want to be in my studio painting!" I got excited about that idea and since ten years seemed so far away, I could push off planning for that eventual day. But the discomfort I felt in my soul for the next ten years told me, I should have been working for that day as actively as I plan out my work day.

Well it's much later than 10 years from 1998, and I'm not where I would like to be in the daily practice of rendering, but I'm so glad I responded when the time was right! And yes, slowly but surely "I'm getting it together!"

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Thought for The Day: "...Processing..."

The Birth of... 18 x 24 pastels

Digital age

Information technology age

Storing our facts and stories in the cloud for the world to know

Open your mind and receive the message for the day...


If you would slow your pace at least once a day, rise earlier than is needed to rush to work and listen, you would be surprised at the insight gained in the silence.

If you are one of those whose family "always" wakes earlier and wakes with televisions, music and fighting, a quiet walk or just a small break in the middle of the chaos...take it.

What is gained, what can be known and experienced may not be easily repeatable in conversation, but it is invaluable in the rhythms of life.

Repeat this process enough and perhaps, the days won't seem nearly as hopeless. Perhaps you'll find peace and expression of the same.

Begin the process of "...processing..." there is far more to life than is captured by social media and in our digital landscape.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Thought for The Day - Thousand Day Journey

The Turn (part of a series) 12 x 17 pastels

"The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." - Lao Tzu

I remember hearing, reading and meditating on this saying so many years ago. You know when you're a child or teenager, you have no idea how easy life is for you. It isn't until you get into the "real world" where nearly every purchase, decision, consequence or reward is on you! That's when you realize that having goals is critical, but not always easy! The journey may begin with a single step, but it certainly doesn't end there!

What about a journey of a thousand days? You see, with cars, planes and trains, a thousand miles isn't a terrible journey, though it's beginning is the same: a single step (or action). But a thousand days? That's almost three years! I'll go you one better: what about a journey that spans your entire life? From infancy to an undetermined time in the future?

We are all living a "life's journey" from cradle to grave, but there are times when the "destination" is as vague as London fog! We set goals, we set sail and there are times when our journey seems like it has hit a detour. Worse, there are times when it seems it has come to a standstill. But seriously, seriously: DON'T GIVE UP! No matter how long it seems to take, no matter who berates you for continuing, who will not go with you, continue on your way!

And folks, please believe, I speak this for you and I!

One step more, you're almost there!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Thought for The Day - Discovery

After the Dance 18 x 24 mixed media

We can never know all there is to know and yet it behooves us to know all we can...

Years ago, I dated a young lady who, before I met her, seemed like she would be a complete mystery. Being shy myself and unwilling to face rejection, I was hesitant, to say the least to approach her. I allowed her sophisticated persona to dazzle me. But in spite of all the barriers, I went for it, asked her out or at least offered her ride home from church. We talked on the way to her home and in little or no time, we were getting to know one another. For a few weeks, I would give her a ride from Bible study and even picked her up a few times and in the brief period we dated, I got to know a lot of facts about her life. I found out she wasn't as aloof and sophisticated as I thought. She was no slouch, had a good mind, but she was down-to-earth and very open to talk.

At some point, in one of our long conversations, I said to her: "you're telling all of these details about you, but I still feel like there's much more you're not telling me." Like so many people I talk with, I find it's easy to get the "facts" of our lives out on the table, but we never get to the heart of who we are. We can tell about "this", reveal a little of "that" ("except, I won't tell you about the heartache I suffered as a result of _____ and how that still haunts me at this very moment.") but it amounts to "surface details." I get it, I understand; I'm not an open book, though I hope through this format, a great deal of what I think about and how I feel is revealed. Funny: it just hit me this media is an opportunity to unveil the "secret life of Eddie."

Here's a couple more interesting truths I've discovered:
  • For whatever reason, some people tell a great many "half-truths" about themselves, even when they tell you their being candid, open and honest. If you dig "around" what is said, you find there's far more to the story. It always leaves me wondering why the "whole truth" wasn't told. In sharing what is uttered, I wonder about what "you" want me to know and why it's necessary to withhold what is...
  • The walls we erect and the parts of us we share are all one big picture. When we ignore or highlight only one part, the damage, pain and hurt we hide does not get healed. And like our bodies, these wonderful regenerative vessels we inhabit, what could be healing, when it is 'misapplied' (or should I say "when healing is refused") we create a place where hurt spreads like a cancer.
I leave you with this quote, apply it liberally to you life: "Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part, You will make me to know wisdom." Psalms 51:6 (NKJV)