I completed this piece yesterday. I'm very pleased with it. It takes me back to my childhood when I relied on my strong mother, well, for everything. My mother worked two jobs and raised my sister and I as a single mother. My parents got divorced when I was 4. I didn't have the easiest childhood, but I didn't have the hardest, either. We had enough to eat and wear. We were safe and warm. This painting speaks of these essential things that every child should have.
A child's mother can be like God, angel, warrior, psychologist, protector, provider, story teller, disciplinarian, teacher, or best friend. The strong mother stands out, she shines. The courageous mother shines and glows just like this painting.
Remember your mother for all she did and does. Where would you be without her?
I normally don't blog on Monday's, but this piece is special, so I thought I'd talk about it. It reminds me of myself in many ways. Yes, I can see that the figure in the painting is a woman, and yes, I'm a man, but I am a man with a very well developed feminine side, and no, I'm not ashamed of that in the least. On the contrary, I'm as proud of that as I am any of my other attributes. That being said, let's get back to the topic at hand, this painting. I completed it last night and it really speaks of my life, and I suspect the lives of many of us that have had no choice but to push through some really awful times. I call it She Keeps Going.
When I say "have no choice", obviously, I don't mean no choice at all, I suppose you can just roll over and let whatever the circumstances are beat you, and I'd be lying if I tried to say I didn't have the momentary inclination to do just that. Let's face it, life can be tough, mine was, and is no exception. In fact, in many ways, my life has been almost 49 years of choppy waters with obstacles and sharks popping up out of the dark seas. Some obstacles, I admittedly put there myself, others were deliberately planted by others, motivated by all kinds of insanity (jealousy, fear, anger) and some even motivated by a misguided concern for my well-being. I, as you know, was a misfit from day one, school, the work world, both left me feeling like I was alone in a stormy ocean, bobbing around on a cork, just hanging on until I could find the shore (gotta keep the nautical theme going). Relationships were pretty much the same (until I came back to my true love). When things were good, and of course, there were good times, it always seemed that something came along and threw a monkey wrench into it all and there I was, back on that damn ocean bobbing around again. It seemed to happen so often that I began to spoil the good times with the constant fear of the coming storm.
After the momentary lapses wherein I allowed myself to wallow in self-pity, each time, I gave my head a shake and kept going, because in truth, the only real way through a tough time is to head straight "through" it to the other side. And each and every time, I made it through to something better. And after having to learn the lesson over and over again, it finally stuck, and this piece is a reminder of that lesson, life won't always be smooth sailing, but when the seas get rough, ride out the waves till you see the shore, it may be close, it may be far away, but it's always there. And once you're there, don't be afraid to enjoy it, yes, you may find yourself drifting again one day, but you'll also be back on terra firma. Oh, and as an aside, and an added fun bonus, once you've reached the shore and are finally on good, firm solid ground, boy, does that ever piss off those people that put obstacles in front of your boat! :)
It's a gorgeous sunny morning here as I sit and sip my coffee and contemplate what my day will look like. And as I do that, well, I figured why not talk about my latest piece. I call it Wonderfully Haunted, and I must say, it's one of my favourite crow pieces that I've done. Why haunted? Well, I am a huge fan of horror movies and all things generally scary, or on what people would call "on the creepy side (much to Misty's dismay, she hates that stuff. I even had to promise never to bring the movie The Fly into our house when we reunited after forcing her to watch it with me back in the 80's ... sorry Jeff Goldblum, she's just not that into you (well, she did like you in Law and Order), but I digress. Of course the title and the feel of the piece may have something to do with my love of "the horror", but as always, there's something deeper, what can I say, I'm a pretty clever guy, much to the surprise of most.
Besides scary movies, I also love old buildings. You know, when you're walking by and you see an old house, it's dilapidated, empty, lonely, the yard inhabited only by the crows that hang out on the branches of unkempt trees, partially obscuring the windows, but there it stands, and you can see it's past glory in your mind's eye. How it used to stand, so tall, so beautiful, the huge rooms, the ornate and intricate architecture. You wonder about the types of people that lived there. Who were they? What did they do? Were they happy? What happened to them? Did they all die or just move away? Was there no one to pass this former beauty onto? I imagine who the inhabitants were, but in reality, I guess I'll never really know, that's between the old house and the crows.
Happy Saint Patrick's Day! Well, I haven't blogged for a bit so you're probably wondering where I've been. As it turns out, I've been very busy, prolific, in fact. As the temperatures warm, the days lengthen and sun strengthens, my energy goes way up, and along with it, my inspiration. You can see the renewal of the upcoming season in my most recent works, I think. Themes like water and flowers have made their return and you can sense the joy in these pieces. You can almost see me smiling as I painted them, and I hope they make you smile too.
You may have noticed that most of my recent posts, and paintings, for that matter, have had some mention of spring or summer. Well, can you blame me? I mean, it's been a hellish winter! Okay, maybe hellish is a bit dramatic, but well, I'm an artist and I am nothing if not dramatic. And, for the record, I think 90 km/h wind gusts, bone chilling cold and a never ending series of snow, freezing rain, rain, repeat, is indeed, hellish.
But I digress, this is meant to be a happy post about my latest piece, I call it Spring Window. I'm really pleased with it. It reminds me of this time of year in a way. I'm loving sitting by the huge windows in my studio now, in the mornings, having my coffee, looking out at the crows. The air is still crisp and cool, but that sun, DAYMN! It's got some heat to it. In the mornings, as well as in the early afternoon, it warms my face as I sip my coffee, or work on a painting, or whatever. But by late afternoon, around 3 or 4 pm, that sun, coming in those huge windows cooks up the joint. Seriously, it heats the place up so much that I've had to turn the heat completely off and crack a window. And when the window's cracked, I can smell the freshness in the air, that crisp, "new" scent that tells you everything is about to begin again. I love that smell, and I love basking in the sun by my big window this time of year.
I haven't been writing much, so I figured I'd better check in. Things have been crazy busy around the studio. My book seems to be taking off, and I'm finally receiving a shipment in mid-March so those that have asked for signed copies will be able to order them directly from me (shameless plug: if you wish to have a signed copy of the book, you may contact me through this website's contact form or if you're on Facebook, through it's private messenger). Other than that, I've been painting and trying to stay warm. I know I said a week ago that I could feel spring coming, and I stand by that statement, I can, I feel it in the sun, the sun is getting stronger, it seems the air, however, has some catching up to do.
Oh, and a pretty cool thing happened last night. I was just sitting around minding my business, when I was approached by a guy named Reid. He runs a website and has a blog all about his life and travels as an adult with Asperger's. Anyway, he wanted to do a spotlight on me, you know, as a fellow Aspie, with a special talent. So, I checked out his site, www.aspergerszone.com; it's very good, so I, of course said yes. I mean, come on, who doesn't want an entire page on someone else's blog devoted entirely to them?
Here's a link to my spotlight: aspergerszone.com/spotlight/artist, check it out. And while you're there, have a browse, look around at his other content, it provides great insight into his life on the spectrum in a straightforward, honest way. Be sure to subscribe too.
As I sip my morning coffee, I've found myself gazing at this piece. It's hanging in my living room right beside my big, grey, adjustable, massaging, reclining, super duper comfy easy chair. Until this piece finds it's forever home, that's where she'll remain. I completed it a couple weeks ago and although I knew even then the inspiration behind it and my feelings about it, I waited to write about it. Why? Well, because sometimes inspiration is like a pink elephant, you know it when you see it, but it's not exactly something you can describe, at least not right away.
That being said, I'm ready to have a go at it today. I called the painting Moments in Time, which is the first clue as to my inspiration. Time goes by quickly, especially as we get older. As kids, time drags, everything seems so slow coming. How many times did we all, as children, whine about wishing things would move faster, the school year into summer, summer into the school year, birthdays, Santa's visit. And of course, older people would tell us, "don't wish your life away." We didn't understand it then, in fact, we didn't think we were wishing our life away, per se, we just wanted to get to the good stuff, mainly fun and presents, at that age.
Then you wake up one morning staring down the barrel at 50 and holy crap, does time ever fly. What, little Johnny is 28 already? What do you mean it's been 30 years since high school? How can winter be almost over? But between the youthful desire to rush through life and now, and beyond, there are moments, special moments and special people we share them with, that we enjoy. Some people stay in our lives, some move on, or grow up, and sadly, even some drift away, for some reason or another becoming mere strangers. Many of those moments can't really be recaptured, like that day at the beach with your daughter, or sister, when she was 7 and the air was just perfect, and for some reason you had a red balloon and you walked and giggled and released the balloon, with a note inside, knowing for sure someone across the sea would find it and write to you and you've have a new friend from a distant land. Those moments are so special and wonderful, and we can't get them back, except through pictures and our memories.
The above title may seem oxymoronic, or maybe just regular,plain old moronic, but just follow me here. It's been, and still is one hell of a winter. Snow, more snow,even more snow. When it's not snowing, it's freezing rain. And when something isn't falling from the sky, it's bone chillingly cold and windy. And I'm not exaggerating here, I mean COLD, they've cancelled the mail a few times over the past couple of weeks. THE MAIL, people, you know, that stuff that never stops, through snow, sleep, and all that. Well, that old adage has apparently found it's natural limit and that limit is this winter. Going outside has become an adventure in death defying. The parking lots, sidewalks and streets are little more than bumpy, dirty skating rinks. And just for fun, we're getting a big old snow storm tomorrow, because you know, the four or 5 feet I have of the stuff out back clearly isn't enough!
Yet, even with all that, I feel spring in my heart. There's something in the sun. Don't get me wrong, the air is cold as cold, but there's a new strength in the sun, and as it comes in through my huge windows (and I mean huge, like 5 feet high),it warms me and it heats the house up to the point that I'm whining about the heat. It prompts Misty to open the windows to "air the place out" and to get her "spring clean on". Spring is coming,I swear, it is.
Hence, this piece. I call it Soft Love. It's about the spring in my heart, I feel like flowers somehow, and aren't flowers just the quintessential emblem of spring? It also represents love, because when you're cooped up inside for days on end due to the weather, isn't best to be cooped up with someone you love?
The crows have decided to come back into my work lately, as you can see. This is my latest piece, Welcome Visitors; I completed it yesterday and I'm quite pleased with it. Looking at it, it makes me think about the story of my coming into this world. Apparently when I was born, there was a bird hanging around on the windowsill of the delivery room. It just kinda perched itself there. Hmmmm, makes ya think doesn't it? I wonder if it was a crow, wouldn't that explain a whole lot! :)
It's been almost 2 weeks since I've been able to find a second to write, things have been so busy! It's been freezing cold and snowing to beat the band for what seems like the entire month and we're waiting for a new storm to start tonight. Given the weather, I've been staying inside and painting. That being said, I wanted to take a second to share this picture with you. It's one of the pictures I received today of my piece, Rustic Place, hanging in the Parliamentary Dining Room. Seeing it hanging there, in such beautiful surroundings, alongside the work of other talented artists, makes me smile. And now, back to work, I have paintings to box up for shipping.