January 30, 2011

the present moment

6 x 8, oil on canvas

"Events in our lives happen in a sequence in time,
in their significance to ourselves they find their own order,
the continuous thread of revelation"
Eudora Welty

January 24, 2011

The King of Blues

8 x 16 oil on canvas

Baby, it's cold outside...more snow on the way? But the music is hot in here..."global warming" at its best. Cheers!

here's a little history - "Blues Boy" King began recording in the 1940s and is still going strong today. In the 50s he narrowly escaped a fire when performing; only to race back in and retrieve his $30 acoustic guitar. The fire started when a scuffle broke out over a woman named Lucille, so B.B. named his guitar after her (and subsequent guitars) to remind himself to never fight over a woman.
Because Bowling Green, Ky is halfway between Nashville and Louisville, and a similar distance between Chicago and New Orleans; it became a popular gathering spot for musicians like B.B., James Brown and Ray Charles in the 40s and 50s. Always willing to share his love of music, he has since played with musicians from every walk of life; even opened for The Stones in the 60s. I've written about the 10,000 hours of meaningful practice necessary to become a master..well, you can do the math for B.B. but I can tell you in his case, it all adds up to a new level of mastery called The King. In addition to his many honors and awards, he has received honorary doctorates from six universities - uh, yeah, you read that right.
Let's face it, when you have music in your soul, the thrill is never gonna be gone. Thanks, B.B.!

"Jazz is the big brother of the blues. If a guy's playing blues like we play, he's in high school. When he starts playing jazz it's like going on to college, to a school of higher learning.
The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you."
B.B. King

January 22, 2011

nature's color wheel

Glancing at the clock, I realized it was time for a jolt of caffeine, so I reluctantly put down my paint brush long enough to dash into the kitchen and grab a cup of tea...when I was stopped in my tracks. Mesmerized like someone on a LSD trip, I found myself melting into the moment studying the sunlit image created by a crystal hanging in the window...But the real story has nothing to do with a technical explanation of where rainbows come from. Doesn't even have anything to do with caffeine. It was yet another of life's little surprises not to be missed. Simple and miraculous in the same breath. A fleeting reminder to slow down, savor the moment, and share it with you. Here's hoping breathless little discoveries abound in your life today. Cheers!

"The true harvest of my life is intangible ~
a little stardust caught,
a portion of the rainbow I have clutched"
Henry David Thoreau

January 19, 2011

Paging Paulie

10 x 12, oil on canvas

Paul Cezanne was born 175 years ago today. He knew he wanted to be an artist early on, but agreed to study law in order to please his domineering father. Meanwhile, another artist 10 years his senior, Camille Pissarro, became a father-figure and devoted friend. Pissarro's influence and kindness encouraged Cezanne to find his artistic voice and gather the courage to continue painting amid rejections. And, growing stronger in his convictions to face his fears and live a life of integrity, Cezanne was eventually moved to confess to his parents that he had fallen in love and fathered a child. While they may not have agreed with the career and family choices their son had made, surely they admired Cezanne's honesty, courage, integrity, and desire to live in truth. I certainly do - and so today, in his honor, I paint two of his favorite subjects, apples and oranges.

"Right now a moment of time is passing by!
We must become that moment."...Paul Cezanne

January 2, 2011


6 x 8, oil on canvas
I stare at the cardinal outside my window and he stares back. What is he thinking? What does he see? Does he sense danger, or is he just curious about who and what I am?
Happy New Year. Wishing you new adventures, ideas, and experiences to explore and be curious about!

"Learn from yesterday, live for today, and hope for tomorrow.
The important thing is to never stop questioning...
There are only two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as though everything is a miracle"
Albert Einstein