Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thought for The Day - Decoding

I'm a fan of learning and a fairly wide scope of topics. Sitting here now, there are any number of sites open in tabs in my browser. As I sit here, I feel like I have antennae scanning the room and the house; measuring the state of affairs of the world, my children and determining the messages in lyrics of songs. I dive in deep, depending on the song or I sit at the edge of the pool and observe the depths, waves and light bouncing off the water, for it's beauty. In my opinion, there is no single way to learn and nearly everything is fascinating.

I take pleasure in the process of discovery; certainly there are bumps and hiccups along the way, but there is nothing more rewarding than seeing something through. I often compare the process to working on a jigsaw puzzle or a particularly challenging word puzzle. It's about examining the parts in light of the whole. The steps to assemble, break up, examine and act are critical to this process.

And in all of this, there is a deep underlying message; a word or expression that can set us free! Free from ________ and to ________, well that's part of the mystery! But it's a journey I've been on all my life. And whether I uncover it in part or whole, well that's also part of the challenge! I hope you are doing your part to unravel life's mystery. I feel the process and the goal are equally rewarding!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Thought for The Day - A Measure

Birds of a feather 18 x 24 pastels
I'm Listening 24 x 36 oils

A dip in the container, the amount available surpasses what's needed. But from time to time, we look at the container and the scoop (what's inside us) as if we needed to dole it out in small portions. We measure, we calculate and somehow our calculations don't include the supply. And yet, this supply, the place where we draw from, never runs dry.

Lavish living; not spending every penny earned, but finding joy in what cannot be purchased. Or what is purchased is cherished, valued and enjoyed!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Thought for The Day - After

Open Channel 24 x 36 oils

The Turn 11 x 18 pastels

If I could, I would run a thousand miles."

Energy is high, I am full of life; I should be on vapors but I am vibrant. I am strong. There is no need for bravado or flaring up to prove my strength; those tactics are reserved for those who choose to intimidate (perhaps to hide their own inadequacies). No, I am "me," I remain the guy that fades into the woodwork.

A twist, a turn; you know the path you're on, but cannot anticipate each rain cloud or dip in the road that leaves you wondering about other areas of concern. Stay on the path; it is yours and to be seen through until the end. Remaining true to it is all you have to offer to this journey. We all hope for a "someday, this will make sense," but in truth, that isn't the destination we seek. We want to be okay with the path and to have adapted to the extent, we simply navigate this path until we're done.

I look forward to the day when... but for now, I am here and I take each mile-marker as it comes.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thought for The Day - Grateful

The list of blessings for which I'm grateful is ENDLESS!!! So many things, so many people and so many immaterial things to be thankful for!

I am grateful for family and friends who can't fix everything in my life; indeed they don't try. But every now and then, they put themselves in a position to offer a shoulder, an ear and to remind me how valuable life is. One of the great things that happen over the summer is my oldest son saw my excitement over his single fish and his small aquarium. He wasn't able to buy fish and an aquarium for me, but he convinced my wife that it would make a great birthday gift. Long story short, they put their heads together, researched, shopped and bought a large aquarium for me! It's beautiful! And yes, it's been a journey with many fish bought, lost and ups and downs, but it's been a great year for that!

Yesterday, my wife surprised me with another gift: a 127 pound gift: my oldest child, my miracle baby came home for the holiday! Living in New York, studying for a master's degree, things are tight. So I didn't expect to see her until Christmas. But they managed to put together the money and to keep it a secret until yesterday; my wife said she was running a quick errand for her mother and would be back. When she returned, I opened the door for her, and there stood my daughter!

Again I could go on and on, but I am so grateful for all! I'm especially grateful for friends whose lives grow and blossom. I'm grateful for people I stay in contact with and friends I haven't seen in years, coming back around.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thoguht for The Day - You've Got a "Try" in You

You might look at your hands sometime and say "what do I have? Not much, I can't do much with this at all!" You go to your storage, your pantries and your fridge and take an inventory and think: "not much there!" And in you, there is this _______ ...and it's unidentifiable...not quite unnamed, know it's there.




But don't worry, time and patience...

Come on, it's coming!

Thought for The Day - Crumble

That's about what I would like to do with my "exterior" life. I've read the book "The Artist's Way" a few times and I've come to realize, I have a problem with "playing." Not playing video games, chess or going out for a walk - though that is more like work than play. I don't relax and allow the art to flow! I can produce great work, I love the colors and textures and doing the "work," but there is a mental block that implies I have to be serious about it and that art should become a replacement for my job. There are some mental shifts and changes I need to make and while I look forward to a change, and can imagine how I will be, getting there - especially through the process  of "playing" - it' a mystery!

I know we are trained from childhood, to be responsible adults; to a certain extent, we spend our adult life "pretending" to love working. And in the moment, I am quite envious of those who have discovered a way to balance "play" with "work" to the extent, none of 'us' know which they are doing. But what I don't know is how I will relax this outer shell to be one of those individuals! I have my moments, I can sit and draw or paint, have a great time in conversations, but at some point, in the back of my head,  a clock ticks louder, indicating it's time to get back to work.

No solutions or suggestions in this entry, just me talking.




Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thought for The Day - Coming Soon

Out for a Drive 8 x 11 colored pencils

Every now and then, I take a few minutes to formulate an "epic thought." And up until now, I haven't taken the time to move those themes beyond the scraps of paper I either wrote them on, or print out from my computer to work on, later! No, for the most part, the "thoughts" are like apples on a tree; I stand beneath the branches, reach up and grab what is immediately appealing and drop it on you! I don't think I'm doing a bad job, but there are other approaches to be taken.

I'd like to put out a couple of these in a day, stuff that comes to me randomly. Believe me, in a day's time, insights and perspectives come to me and every thing isn't depressing or fatalistic. This life is an exciting adventure! For me, I have been blessed! I have lived to see my children grow into adults, had the opportunity to write and share my writing. I get to paint and draw and love that I also get to share some of my work. And most of all, whether in writing or conversations, I am allowed to help people.

Coming soon...

"The Success Trap"

"Where are You Now"

Those are a couple of my "epic thoughts." I can literally recite their premise in my head because I am constantly adding content to them! Okay, it's off to the races. Have a great day.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Thought for The Day - Playtime

One of the terrible things about being 'responsible' is you rarely allow time for play. To that end, I have work to, I mean I have playing to do!

This is a progression...something I either have to "work" at or get around myself to do.

I love my writing, I do, but as a part of my life, it borders on a labor of love...

Purposely writing my rambling today, because I realize playtime is something I don't typically allow.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Thought for The Day - Talking

Sometimes it's scary isn't it? The idea of having to talk. Typically the idea of public speaking gets to many. I would say with approximately 28 years experience teaching and preaching, I'm nervous, but expectantly so. And the butterflies in my stomach are trained to fly in beautiful, regimented formation. But there are those times when I have to approach a stranger, someone who might have information. They have been identified as the source or a possible source and depending on the setting, it may take a few minutes or more to formulate my greeting!

Talking is a means of communicating; should be as easy as breathing. But sometimes we can communicate irrelevant details or worse, not be heard when we are talking. Either way, it seems like a waste of this precious gift. Talking, singing, poetry readings even speeches; containers for impressions, thoughts, opinions, the facts and deeper: the truth. I've looked at this gift of communication for a while now and taken note of the lyrics of songs and seen this to be true. I think most of us push music into a category of "entertainment," and assume it has very little to offer in the way of truth. But listen closely; there are ideals communicated that run deeper than simple love songs. Love songs alone, communicate truths that many find difficult to uphold, but they are ideal at best. Love someone, give your heart and devotion to that person primarily, everyone else falling to a lower priority. Now a question for you to truly consider: Why are there so many love songs?

You know, I can write in veiled and flowery expressions; it feels right to do so. It is not contrived and flows from my heart quite easily. But whether I write as if I'm writing a 'thesis' or in the language of a creative, are you listening?

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Thought for The Day - Break

The beginning of "Linen, Remains Calm" 30 x 40 oils

Not as in a loss or dropping a precious crystal vase, but "break" as in stopping the swirl around you for a brief second. Stopping the flow of life, in all it's wonder. The madness and chaos, the joy and adventure of it all. Just to breathe and absorb it all. And it is an A-L-L. It is large and expansive. If one could imagine trying to expand one's recognition of what's happening around you.

You are connected to the internet at the moment. So are millions - no billions of people all over the world. You are in a location where access is possible, whether you are walking along the street, sitting in a car, at home or in Starbucks. You are surrounded by humanity, God's representation of himself in it's myriad expressions. And everything is connected. Each molecule, atom, brick, electrical outlet and fiber of hair. The air, the sky, water, even the sweat on your palms and the oil in yours skin bonds with every other molecule in the A-L-L.

Drink it in.

Pause for a brief moment

The wonder of it all

And yes, you will feel alone, disconnected, out of sorts and out of touch. You have moments when it seems no one wants to know you or feel your presence and yet, in the sea of humanity, in that same breath, that very second, billions of "disconnected" people feel the same way.

We are wonderfully damaged and healing and and communicating beings! We are connected in ways that defy logic and as it should be.


A moment to reflect, grab your corner of the global/universal view.

Now let it go

The world and all of creation continues to spin along as it always has...

Friday, November 21, 2014

Thought for The Day - Tree

I want to be a tree

I want to grow where I'm planted

And dig deeper

And discover greater depth

I want my trunk to grow through obstacles and around them

I want to extend my branches up

out and over

I want people to bask in my height

Take comfort in my shade

In winter

I want my branches and twigs

To echo the crisp whispers of cold air

For people to respect the power of that basic element - Wind

I want the metal fences that should contain me

To be buried in between my trunk and some branches

So that I am a mysterious force

That defies the odds

When I and the wrought iron agree

I want parts of me to give in to the tenacity of the metal

And my life force to grow around it

I want to be a tree

Strong and tall and full of life

And when it's my time to be cut down

I want to leave a lasting impression

That years from now

People will remember

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thought for The Day - Canvas

I start with a blank canvas

A blank space

A white sheet of paper

Or a white electronic page

What I do with that space...

It comes from "here." That space beneath the surface of my skin. It reaches way beyond reasoning or scientific calculations and if I had to map it, I couldn't. I choose what comes up, but what is there is far more than I could write, paint or draw at one time! There are thoughts, emotions, impressions and snippets that blend. There are moments when 'expectations' prevent my writing; I can fume over "what will ______ think? How will this affect ______ as they read it? Am I pushing the envelope and will people accept the image I'm considering?" On and on, again and again, the "fear" prevents me, but practice keeps me going. And I write and write, draw and paint until my soul says "enough!"

A blank space can be filled with anxiety, but that space is your opportunity to talk about it, draw it, dance it. But ultimately, it is your willingness to share who you are!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Thought for The Day - Along the Way

I do this because I've had experiences. I write daily because there's always something on my mind and my heart is not stuffed, but it is full. I am "going through," moving down the road, making my way, not to a destination, but on a journey.

Many twists in my path, places where, though I prayed "a change" would take place, "this" isn't what I expected. I didn't realize in 2011, when I rendered a quick series called "The Turn," that I was preparing for a couple unexpected shifts in my path. Journaled and blogged about it too, but still I didn't know...

There are moments in life when you reflect, you recall, you dwell on things that happen and think "If I could, I would go back and change 'that...'" Since you don't know what's still on your path, don't try to erase scars, wrinkles and grey hair; there may come a time in life where those are the true indicators of brilliance, intelligence and beauty! Live and love today, and when regrets come your way, store them for a time when they are turned into joy!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Thought for The Day - Originality

When I was in high school, much of what we created as art projects were either copied in total or style of other artists. At the time - the late 70's, we were still into the casual, less stylized look and still lifes were the order of the day. College was far more freeing, though, as I look back on it, the environment had a lot to do with it. A college, situated in the Chicago downtown area, teachers working professionals; it's a miracle I didn't come out of there with a series of solo shows!

It wasn't until I put down the brushes and pencils - buried them almost - that I allowed my own thoughts to conjure original subject matter. You will see mostly abstract art in my collection, but even the people are straight out of my head. I have a couple photos around that I would like to render someday! But when I do, there was most certainly be my own unique spin on them.

Why the thought about originality? Because, in a sense, this is our greatest asset as humans. We are all born with a unique perspective, another way to consider life and to lend one's talents and perspective to the collective. We may be influenced by others, maybe emulate them, but when I was in high school and each student struggled to render the same still life, each person's seat in the room, and there unique eye, made each drawing different. And that my friends, is how we build our world! Each one bringing their unique self to the table.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Thought for The Day - A Twist

...and a Turn. Avoiding the urge to manipulate or curl the minds of people to my short term urges. No need when the truth and what is in my heart will do. There is a light within, a source of energy and love that isn't satisfied with tricks and gimmicks, trying to satisfy itself. I only give what's here, what's in my heart.

I'm saying this as much for me as I am stating it for the masses. It's not only my declaration, it is my promise to me to love above all, to give from this place of honesty and live with integrity.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Thought for The Day - Speak

Declare it! With bull horn or a loud voice! Urgency and insistent, let it be known! Because it's in your heart and the abundance is too much to hold in.

For so long, I thought declaration (preaching, teaching and counseling) and creativity (writing, drawing and painting) ran on two different paths and somehow I was trying to run the different paths, but one at a time. Recently, I came to accept that the two aren't parallel or separate, but because they reside in me, they are one in the same. The need to share my life is the same need to be creative. To speak originates from the same vein as writing and painting. And it all declares a reservoir that runs beneath. That source isn't a trickle and is larger than any ocean. It's beginning is unknown and it's end is the same!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Thought for The Day - "I"

I'm Listening 24 x 36 Oil

I am here
This place where you sit
Pouring out your soul
Clamoring for answers

I am Here
Where your eye is
And where it cannot go
I hear each syllable
And the intent of your heart

In the light of day
You look for me
In the faces
The movement of people
And the noise of the day
Oh I am there
But your vision is clouded
Looking for an expression
Perfection in skin and tone

In the darkness
When you sleep
I am
The movements unseen
The silence of a morning
Not quite yet born
I sit perched
And quick as a dart
I am here
Over there
And back here again

Between the hearts of two
And the heartbeat of one
I speak
Between the "whoosh"
And the "thump"
In the silence
Like a gap between notes

In the fruit
at the core
where the seed lies
I wait
In the ground, will I go
Or disappear in the trash
So much more than the question
And greater than destiny

I am the journey
The answer
I am the question you ask repeatedly
And would never move your mind to form
I am the night
And the noon day
The particular love you cannot have
And the mystery of the Shroud of Turin
Am I you ask
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

You wait for a reply
Because you think you've asked for information
But in your heart
You've asked for interruption
A change you control
I am not remote
for your control
I am timeless
And limitless
And just before you breathe your last
I am...

Friday, November 14, 2014

Thought for The Day - Sublime

Sailing under a Penny Moon (in process) 12 x 18 pastels

One of my friends, when she saw my work, said "it's so colorful!" Now mind you, I don't know what I was looking for in that moment, maybe something along the lines of admiration, adulation, a deeper connection to the imagery. But that was her reaction. I didn't question, though in retrospect, I wish I had. Sometimes you want more than compliments or a "like;" you want dialogue, a conversation about impressions and feelings. This isn't an ego thing, this is Eddie, wanting to make connections and have conversations about more than which restaurant has the best chicken or the temperature outside!

When I look at areas of the above picture (in process) I'm struck by the tones and the depths of the color. Again, not an ego thing, but realizing there is a current, a well or vast ocean beneath the surface. Creativity is not something to "own" or "possess." Someone may own the pond that sits on their property, but you don't own it's supply. One may have the advantage of owning a lake, also on property you own, but wildlife that feed on it, the water falling from the sky, the minerals and every organism making up that ecosystem, do not belong to you. We are caught in the beauty of it all and it surrounds us. In truth, it overtakes and dwarfs us!

The colors, the sense of movement; for me the very sense that each color conveys an impression, an emotion and, this is not ego; this Eddie expressing his view of the flow he was fortunate to enjoy!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Thought for The Day - Not Yet

It's a sad reality, that moment when you accept "I'm not ready." And all too often, that realization is followed by "when will my time come around?!" Patience gets tossed out the window in moments like this, but there's not much you can do. Oh, you will wait because there's not much more you can do...

Back to the wood shed! Continue working and practicing and building your skills. Each opportunity you get, you try to showcase your talents, though often you ask yourself why; the end is always the same: rejection or worse, apathy! And each time, you wonder whether you have what it takes, if you are too young, too old, too short or the right race...nagging questions that you dare not ask, because in truth it won't matter what others say. There's a reason you continue to hone your skills, show up for the performance and give it all you've got: you have a message, a song, a move to add to this vast collective! And whether you're "ready or not," you have to press on!

Perhaps, many years from now, the "right audience" or group will see you for who you are. One day, you will be recognized for your outstanding performance, but for now, in the meantime, just not yet...

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Thought for The Day - Searching for...

A new experience

Another nightmare

Lost Love

New Love

The quintessential song

The right words

Spoken in the right time

To the right person

That subtle moment when the colors on the brush

Convey your state of mind

And the state of your emotions

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Thought for The Day - The Spirit

"The wind blows where it will. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit." John 3:8 (NIV)

To me, I have a serious scowl; I often wonder how I get engaged in conversation since, each time I catch a glimpse of my reflection, the frown lines across my brow are fairly intense! But somehow, before I know it, people have me engaged in conversation and they receive the softer, inner core.

Internal motivation; though I struggled with it - and still do - I have come to admit I'm an artist. I struggled with it because there is a very practical, meat and potatoes side of me that believes in a strong work ethic. When I pick up a brush or pencil (working out the psychology as I go, folks, excuse the head turning, surprised expression on my face and the tears) I think there's a part of me that remembers my mother sitting on the phone and doodling. One of the first times I saw her doing this, I wanted to do the same thing. Somehow, relaxed, at ease. And yet the hard exterior of the world required no-nonsense, hard labor and getting stuff done.

And here I am, in my fifties and the many sides of me are being reconciled, brought together. I am an artist, but I am a messenger as well. I have an assignment to share goodness and kindness with people, often being no more than an ear and a smiling face. I allow people moments of ease, to relax and let go of tensions and worries. I see it in their face and body language when they are around.

"...but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going..."

Monday, November 10, 2014

Thought for The Day - Drift

It only take a minute...or three. Sometimes a blink and I'm off in another world. truly been that way since childhood. Just sitting there, I can be at work and I'm gone. Drifting, wandering, off track...

Years ago, television was the perfect distraction...nowadays, I barely watch it. But I drift quite well without it! Out walking to break up the monotony of the day and I'm doing it then. Just as easily as if I were sitting in my chair at home, sketchpad in hand, pencil moving in the direction my unconscious takes it.

But it's setting my boat (my mind) adrift, letting it aimlessly wander out to the deep that I find adventures and dreams; away from the noise of demands for completed tasks, a load of laundry and running errands, I dream of a world so much better!