Seeing Success Through One Lens

16 x 20 Acrylic wash on canvas. K. Cameron

Seeing Success Through One lens

Last  night for an undisclosed reason I woke up 2:30 am. I went back to bed at 5:30 am only to remain in a REM-less sleep. You know the sleep that is not sleep. The one where for all intents and purposes you are awake. In fact I’m still in that state as I write this post. The lyrical description “Day Sleeper” aptly applies.

To pass the time between 2:30 and  5:30 I decided to spend it with my old friend Jack Daniels,er no  ..my old friend Google, who would help me search out and find other accounts of misery. Misery loves company.

The room was quiet and a bit cold. Outside it was -8 degrees Celscius (0 is freezing btw). A small electric heater clicking on and off in a creaky old house with the occasional sound of snow moving on the roof was all that was to be heard.

I felt alone.

I read blogs and stories about people who were going through a tough time in their lives. Most of them could have been bettered by just a small windfall of monies to give them hope. For example, one guy had been unemployed for over 8 years.

They all had one thing in common,these personal stories.  Success is and was defined as one’s failure to overcome a problem in their lives. Money was really at the crux of most of those problems. Job loss lead to divorce, loss of dignity, etc. One lady wrote as if this would be the note they found after her demise.  Sad. She mentioned how much she loved her 7 year old son’s smile but since everything in her life was chaos there wasn’t much point in going on. I can only hope her comment was more of a melodramatic plea but one never knows.

I think this all comes about because, especially in the West, we see life through one lens. We have created a so-called civilization that gauges all of our success/well-being on what we possess or our possess-potential. Once this substructure of thought is wrenched from our psyche we consider the most awful, despicable actions to ourselves or our neighbors.

We suppose we have nothing left to stand on.

We even consider leaving those that we love because in our minds we create their minds lens for success. We don’t even know for sure what the they think of us or that the they even give us any thought at all.

True, sometimes we do know what they think. Usually a dear relative will inform us of our delinquencies and failures as if the very proclamation of them would some how create an answer! Usually their soapbox sermons include a damning list of past and vast failures. This gives us another angle on the saying, ” Keep your friends close but your enemies closer.” In another words, your enemies may be less hard on your mental health than your friends/family.

What to do?

Snap out of it. My idea is tell myself whatever I need to in order to change my thought. If you know me you would know I never swear. In this case though a firm audible/ inaudible “ta hell with it!” might really help. Seriously but move on from there.

Find the ‘7 year old son’  reason to live another day.

I think the smile of a seven year old boy ( or girl) is worth something. It was for Leonardo Davinci! He’s gone but the Mona Lisa’s smile lives on.

Sure, sure…Maybe it doesn’t give you the money to buy him/her an ice cream or a trip to Disney Whirl but who cares!  In a way it’s not all your fault. Society plays a part. If we could lift ourselves even temporarily away from social expectations and see that people lived on this planet for centuries without this thing or that we might see the great crime committed when we even consider doing ourselves in.

I know. Depression is not so simple all the time. It’s a mental illness. However living our lives as if dancing on the edge of failure all the time is indeed to invite depression-disaster.

I think this is where art comes in.

This is my problem when we think about art and money as the same thing i.e. in the same category.

An artist can indeed, be successful without making a dime from their art. The point of art is to get us to see things differently or for how they really are. Being a financially successful artist is no gauge of how successful our art is.

So I say keep trying to sell your art. Sure thing. Although it’s not a measure of how successful you are as an artist or a person. No way!

So with these thoughts I leave you as the guitar strums me out.

All talk of circadian rhythm
I see today with a newsprint fray
My night is colored headache gray
Daysleeper…

My bed is pulling me.
Gravity

R.E.M.

 

 

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Turbulence

Blue Skies. Greenwood Base, Nova Scotia. Acrylic on Canvas. K. Cameron

Airplanes are  fascinating things. They can remain  suspended on basically nothing but certain laws of physics . I’ve always loved airplanes; doesn’t matter if they were super fighter jets or just ordinary (ish) passenger jets. Then there’s those old vintage aircraft that pop up on movies or in airshows like the Douglas DC-3. You gotta’ just love those silver winged ships that were built for sepia adventure in lost jungle lands.

Well I’ve never been on a plane. I’ve stood next to them; photographed them and touched them. I don’t feel at a loss but perhaps that can be chalked up to my latent anxiety of confined social situations.

We all know that turbulence is a word that scares the crap out of most people except perhaps those of some elite RAF or US Navy Seals that almost relish the challenge. Bring it on bitch! That kind of attitude for I which am grateful some of those trained men and women can have.

I don’t believe in spreading  the starving artist myth. To do so is just to  perpetuate this fictional dragon. Artists don’t have to be poor just because they are artists. The reasons for poverty are many but in a money-based society artists can suffer for lack of business acumen. In a western, democratized society I truly believe the reason for starving artists is simply because they have not *yet mastered the business side of art And/Or they do not have access to sound business counsel. To admit that there can be an art business that does not interfere with the creation of said art could be  the first step away from an empty cupboard.

One has to do what must be done. Selling is not copping out. Getting a part time job  is not selling out. The problem here is that the artist (photographer, musician, etc) has to have two heads upon one neck! Yes back to those sepia adventures. Unknown lands of two headed cyclops’s ( can there be such a thing?).  Y’know like the ones we saw in the matinee that introduced the main flick. Ah the good ole days when we spun flattened popcorn boxes like frisbees at the silver screen.

One head must only be thinking of creating art and dwelling in an abstract dream-like-land. The other twin head must be focused on marketing, selling, the books…the cupboard!

Why I almost did not post this.

I will confess to you if you ever followed this blog you will see that I have always been an advocate for not allowing money to determine what gets created. I still believe that. However although  I may have , ” slipped the surly bonds of Earth And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings…” in the process of creation I have ignored the necessity of money’s place in the grounding of our current lives. I do believe in some future world that money will mean nothing.

A caveat:  You can do art without selling it. More power to you. But you must be prepared to do something else for a living or make some kind of arrangement the likes of a  Tom Selleck TV series where you get a Ferrari and lodging in exchange for your skills.

Personally this past year or so has been particularly hard financially for my wife and I. As I said poverty or poverty-like situations can come to anyone. It’s when a series of events i.e. illness, job loss, car problems, confusion -all come calling on horseback like some biblical epic.

I think we are coming through the turbulence now. Nothing but blue skies from now on…, I hope.

Let it be said if you want to make a living from art then, for sure, for damn sure make it your living. Money is not surly. It is not good or evil. It is just a note of trade that will put food in your belly, a coat on your back and if  you wish– silver wings to carry you away!

*This includes myself as well.

Thing to be added: I wrote this. Hesitated a couple days. Then got weak knees, so to speak. This is because I did not want to make it sound like making money from art is an easy thing. It’s not. The best minds in the world can see that. What I am saying is that Selling art has to do more with selling than Making, in most cases. It means that the better you are at marketing and sales in anything , given the right conditions,consumer demand, network,etc., then the better you will be at selling your creations.

Often this is why extremely talented artists struggle financially. Conversely some poorly gifted or unskilled artists are successfully wealthy. This was meant to be more of a get out there and do it, rah-rah post than I just solved your life post.

Thanks for reading!

Why a lot of Men Don’t Become Artists

Perhaps this should be entitled, “Why I think a Lot of Men don’t become Artists”

Yesterday just happened to be International Women’s Day. It’s just a coincidence that this one was in the queue and I mean no disrespect to women in any sense by posting this now. Women in my opinion are the most deserving and yet under-appreciated people on the planet!

If you’re someone who grew up in the sixties and seventies you might find this applies to you. If not it still may be of some help to you, especially if you are male.

Art from where I have seen it is assumed to be either a woman’s thing or for men who are more effeminate. In some way if a man is artistic he is showing his feminine side.

Strange isn’t.

Perhaps I have some unique experience here. Perhaps for you it seems to be the exact opposite or that as many men pursue art as do women.

I worked with a young fellow once who came from the background of the construction industry. In fact he was born into a family who owned a construction business. Once when we were working together on a back shift clean-up-job he shared with me his incredible drawing skills. We often had time at the midnight lunch break to take it easy, joke around and exchange stories. We traded favourite movie scenes; he from James Bond and me from Star Trek. He showed me some fantastic drawings and sketches he did on paper.

I asked him if he would pursue some art or design career. ” Nah, no money in it”, he said. So over the years I periodically met him by chance to  discover he had, indeed kept up in the construction field.

He was not the only male artist that I knew that had had similar experiences. In fact if men can create art sometimes it seems more acceptable for them to paint wildlife,trucks, fishing scenes or other subjects that might lean more toward manliness. I’m certainly not saying there is anything wrong with whatever subject one chooses to paint.

The perception in society is that ‘art’ is not a money maker. It also goes hand-in-hand with the idea that the man is the sole or main bread -winner. As much as I am in sympathy with women and women’s right I think we may tend to forget that out there in the world, still hiding in places is this expectation that men face. Young men want to please their fathers and follow in their foot steps.  I wonder how many men with considerably advanced skills in art or design have followed the perceived path of money to pursue their ancestral, patriarchal dreams?

How many males either don’t see art as a ‘manly’ vocation nor one that will provide the bucks necessary to build a home and family? Besides it’s no insult after all to be compared to female qualities. It’s a good thing!

This would indeed make a good study.  What’s your take on it?

 

Leaving a Mark

My impression of Harvey Specter in a rough sketch.

We hear a lot these days about leaving a carbon footprint. The fact is as  humans we move about the earth leaving behind a life-trail. Sometimes it’s a good trail. Sometimes, not so good- as in the plastic jetsam that is smothering the planet we call home.

This post is not about pollution though. It came about as one of those in the shower moment thoughts. Too much information? Do you ever have those? Like Barney Rubble sometimes our true talent for singing only comes out in the bath or shower. Maybe it has something to do with being baptized in water- a return to the womb , so-to-speak.

This post is not about inspirational talent in the shower.

If you’re anything like me you have moments of what might be called minimalist thinking. When you have an epiphany and it turns out to be so profoundly simple. It occurred to me that most of what I do can be paired down to simply leaving my mark.

This is likely true for all artists. If you think about it then you realize that all art, music, film, sculpture is about leaving a mark whether lasting in the cerebral sphere  and passed on audibly/orally (like music) or something  tangible in the tactile realm- like even a gravestone.

We are all leaving a mark .

I’m not sure why, at the early age of five I was so intent on drawing my first mural on my sliding bedroom door. A large face with stubble and a cigar. ( no one smoked cigars in my family). For some reason some innate desire reached out to that pencil or crayon and began asserting an influence on my surroundings. Since then my interests have been in art, caricature, painting, drawing, drafting, film-making,logo design and of course, writing. All of these are about leaving a mark.

Just like the earliest of scribes who pressed bone into soft clay to create cuneiform tablets we too share in this amazing quest to leave our mark upon history.

Now from here one could ask and point out the obvious. What kind of mark are we leaving? We’re you or I really proud of that painting or Youtube video we did? Of course part of being human is playing the fool. We all make mistakes. Sometimes big ones that just don’t get erased too easily.

However, I’m not going to press those questions. I’ll preach to myself first.

Suffice it to say that artists leave a  mark. Perhaps this post is a bit open ended or anticlimactic. You’re invited to comment or further the discussion. It was, however, the fact that in its simplest form my job or at least my avocation here is to leave my mark; to leave behind a record for others to experience.

This fact has left an indelible impression upon me.

So now what about you? Anything to add to the discussion be it ever small or large ? :^)

On Earth Peace…Toward Humankind

Winter Chicadee. Acrylic on Canvas. K.Cameron

At the risk of sounding irreverent or offensive I must say that I enjoy the post Christmas peace as much or more so as it’s predecessor.

There’s just something about that stillness in the air. Silent days , silent nights. What a way to clear an artist’s palette. I mean  their mental state. Where I live there’s usually a frosting of light , clean snow lying about. Right now we are experiencing minus 16 Celsius not including the windchill factor. Finger-less gloves are in order and a blazing wood fire , although forever grateful I am, seems to provide more flirtatious light than intimate heat.

But in this stillness, this peace on earth , there is the chance for the creative mind to experience a fallow moment that seems to naturally seed the imagination. Metaphorically the white landscape seems to resemble that of a fresh , tight canvas.

From this point there are no limits. None. Anything the mind can conceive it can achieve.

Now I don’t mean this in the sense that we are all gods of our own destiny. The world and the universe is too complex for that. Whether you believe in a knowable God or not there are bigger things that can take over flight control and change our trajectory. We are a small part. A very small spec in an endless cosmos of cosmos. Yet we still have this peace deep within us. Imagine the huge turning of a  far off galaxy.  If your microwave plate makes such a noise as it turns in your oven then try conjuring up the noise a giant stellar disc makes as it spins.  Yet when we look up at night and see such distant lights there is no audible noise.  Although our eyes are full our ears are empty.

It’s that winter silence I so appreciate. Sure the long overcast days of winter will eventually breed discontent and longing for the warmth of the summer sun. All in good time.

Right now it’s a blank canvas- an unexposed film, chords that haven’t yet been struck.

Enjoy it. Relish it. Love it.

Seize the day not in the busyness of having to get something done but in the dreaming of what could be. From there, artist/crafter/muscian/etc go forth and create!

Have a great year!!

KC

 

My Art is not as Good as…

Wolfville Chimney Swift

Robie Tufts Nature Centre Wolfville NS. Acrylic on canvas board by K.Cameron

“My art is not as good as someone else’s.” True or false?

This is a feeling that comes over every artist sooner or later.

The fact that your Mom posts your art on her fridge or more likely her facebook- wall is no real assurance either.

I mean it’s great if she does post to social media (especially if she knows a crap load of art collectors) but she is ,after all, doing what a Mother would do. She’ll likely love your art no matter what.

This is where I’m supposed to come in and console you  by saying it’s the nature of art that there is no such thing as good art. Did that sentence make sense?  In other words it doesn’t matter if you color over or outside of the lines.

Yes it does. If it’s not an abstract piece and it’s supposed to be an architectural rendering then it does matter if you colour outside of the lines.

Or, on the other hand, you might be expecting “You’re art is brilliant!” and you’ve achieved your highest level of skill. In this case you’re only lying to yourself. One day you may wake up and be embarrassed to find out that you’re really not the best painter,singer, writer, etc.

So how do you know if you’re art is any good?

Basically by comparing it to someone else’s in the same genre.

Two things to remember are that :

Art is subjective (poor art can be liked by someone).

It doesn’t have to be the best art in order to sell.

In other words you can still be proud of what you have accomplished and at the same time strive to increase your skill level with the medium you use. Your art does not have to be technically perfect but it has to express, to some degree, the emotions and message you intended it to say (not so much in words).

How to get better at art.

Nonetheless, your art can always get better as your skills increase.

The only way to increase your skill(s) is to increase time spent on said skill(s).

The question of whether your art is good enough to sell is really a  no-brainer since a lot of bad art sells. If you want to get better art then you want to get better at art!

Your art has to please you, to some extent. Otherwise you will have no fun at it at all.

Being good at art means being genuine and honest with yourself and your work.

Being better at your skills means comparing your skill level to someone, like a mentor, who has put in the time to bring out (more) flavour in their art. You will be amazed at what you do if you strive to get better, taking a peek and learning from those more skilled but also having joy and thankfulness for the stage you are at now. Don’t become obsessed with someone else’s level of work; they too had to follow the same path you’re on and are following their own path.

Success as an artist can be measured in many ways but the outcome of such gauging will always lead the true artist to humility, respect and awe for others and the world around them.

Thanks for visiting! join the discussion over at my facebook page if you like!

The Thing about Art (and Artists)

This scene is based on a view near Halls Harbour NS. It’s a beautiful scene of the old house house contrasted with brilliant musk mallow flowers. Available on my Etsy shop. Please click on image.

‘Just read someone’s heart-felt, out-pouring lament about the despair that sometimes seems to cloud over artists.

To be honest I identified with what this woman was saying. All her life she wanted only one thing and that was to be recognized for her art.

The problem seems to be less with ‘money’ as  she says, but a lack of recognition and understanding among family and peers as to her ‘being’ an artist.

Also she says she only started showing her art when she was 48 years old and soon she will be turning 50. She says her “time is running out.”

On her facebook post she gets lots of comments of sympathy and encouragement. So obviously it is an artist thing. Okay I’m kind of mad at myself for thinking in a similar way at times and I’d like a good honest attack on what the heck is really the problem with ‘us’ (artists)! I’ve heard everything from creativity uses up so many ‘happy’ chemicals in the brain ( therefore leaving us depressed) to we were all just raised with a silver brush in our hands and therefore don’t know just how good we have it i.e. ingratitude.

So what’s the problem and what’s the answer?

I’m going to give it my best shot.

I want to dissect her lament (without compromising her anonymity).

First let me work backward and deal with this age thing.  These will be profoundly redundant truths but truths, none-the-less.

  1. Age is meaningless really. Most likely she didn’t start being creative when she was 48. She likely has been creating her whole life in some way; at least ‘seeing’ like an artist. We are always growing!
  2. Chances are she will actually have more time to create now that she’s 50 than since she was 16 ! Maybe not. Maybe she will have to look after an elderly parent or ill ‘child’. But if you factor in the time just spent making a living and raising kids between , say, 25 and 45 it likely took up most of her time. So a year of solid creating or painting is more time than she would have had spending an hour a week for most of her life. ( You do the math..I’m an artist, lol)
  3. She says her time is “running out”. Well I can empathize however a lot of people don’t make it to 50 and a lot more ( in our western society) are making it to 85 ! So the simple fact is WE JUST DON’T KNOW! ha ha ( maniacal laugh). So why even bother to pretend to see the hour glass that belongs to an invisible Creator? We don’t know.

Next she confesses discouragement is part of this creative life. I get what she’s saying. I’ve known (and continue to know) that too. But is it really? Aren’t there hockey players that thought they were just that good and wanted to make it to the big league but now ‘just’ coach the minors on a volunteer basis? Punch! Slam! Pow!  That must have been one big Holy Batman Bag of Hurt!

Then there’s the returning veteran who struggles with scars of night terrors and perhaps horrors that have robbed him of the very limbs he or she needs to lift a paint brush.

So maybe we are just whining and sighing and sounding like a rusty saw.

She says she finds herself often waiting and waiting (the unrung phone, the empty inbox) for someone to ask her to paint something.

Why?!

She , like myself,is looking for Permission! Seriously. What else can it be? Who can ultimately give us permission? I think you know the answer. I think I know the answer. Sometimes she questions herself  as to why  she ever wanted “it” so badly. I take that to be the issue of recognition as an artist. So that’s a whole ‘nother thing. Let’s tackle it. ( Hey I’m expecting you to comment and flesh out whatever I’m missing here).

One last thing about the age thing. Art ( the pursuit thereof) is a lifetime thing…it NEVER stops. It takes years, even decades to become proficient in one’s skills.

Recognizing recognition.

Okay so further on in the comments on her post she mentions a spouse that is “very supportive” and is able to pay the bills. I don’t know about you but this is sounding pretty ideal. In fact I confess to a space of time where my wife was able to pay the bills and I was able to paint and pursue artistic venues full-time.

Recognition is going to come in this life in one or both of two ways.

  1. You will sell your work.
  2. People will tell you in some way that they like/love your work.

Selling Out

This artist, all artists, myself as an artist has to ask one question. How far do you want to go with selling your work? Is that what this is really about I wonder?  We want the phone to ring? ” Hello, I see you are a great artist and I want to buy your work”.  GONG!  It don’t work that way. If your goal is selling out ( of stock) then it means creating, finding, marketing your work and that itself is a freakin’ full time job! Nobody is going to save your a$$. Really.

The good news is, I believe, if you’re willing to put in the time and the good Lord gives it to ya then you can make some kind of living from your work. It means uncovering a market, it means finding your niche. It means study, study, study and work, work , work. Yeah like a mad dog. That’s what it takes. It means getting a thick skin and thinking of the veteran who just took a bullet for you and stop feeling sorry for yourself

The next great news is that with the invention of the internet you can paint while listening to free podcasts and Youtube vids on everything from marketing to creating work. Listen and listen. Replay the best ones until it gets stuck in your head how to do a thing and then practice it.

Falling in Love

After you’re dead and gone and if you could be ‘a fly on the wall’ you would hear a litany of praise on how great an artist you were. People will remember and think of how YOU made them feel better. Young nieces and nephews will say ” Gee Aunt so-an-so was an artist. It means I can be one too. maybe it runs in the family”

Every time your name passes over parting lips you will be remembered as someone who had a great gift, ” a natural God-given talent”. They’ll say stuff about you that will make you smile. They won’t say “she wasted her time”. They just won’t. The few that are saying it now have their own internal,emotional crises and it’s bitter water coming from a bitter well. Why drink from it?!

Fall back in love with your work and that part of yourself which is a special gift to others. It doesn’t have to be sold to be appreciated but it can be. Just remember that creating the art and the business of art are two different things that happen simultaneously. The artist is one who gives- not gets. This giving attitude , I believe, is what it takes to get.

To Be Continued…

 

 

A Stitch in Time – How to Scan a Painting for Print

Star Wars Super 8 Cover

Sooner or later almost every artist will want to copy their work. Often a good digital camera with a great lens will do the trick shooting in diffused lighting.

However, sometime it may be more convenient to use your digital scanner to scan in the image of the print. The plus side with scanning as opposed to camera shots is that you will get an even, flat and highly detailed image. The down side is that you have to keep an eye on your scanner’s settings (are you in professional mode, what’s your dpi, etc.) and you may get too much detail ( like markings on the back of your canvas showing through). Although this is usually not a huge problem.

Once again I must say that these are the methods I use and someone else may get better results with their own techniques.

So let’s say your painting or art work is just a bit too large for your scanner’s surface. This is where stitching comes in handy.

I use Corel Photopaint and it does the trick. Other software likely offers similar options.

First you want to scan in both halves of the painting. Doing one side at a time. I use the settings on my scanner software for Photo at 300dpi and high quality prints/posters. Preview and then scan the image. If given the option to use a mask (a selective, dashed -line frame box) when choosing the area to be scan then choose to scan a hair’s width away from the outer edges of the area to be scanned. Let me clarify. Do not bring the border of the selection box to the very outer edge of the painting preview. Some scanners experience a little drop-off in this zone and you may get a slightly darker sliver of the image that will affect the quality of your final print.  I’m speaking of what you see in the selected preview of the glass on the actual scanner. So you could accommodate for this drop-off by allowing a border area left blank outside of the painting.

Okay..a picture is worth a thousand words I guess 🙂

The yellow area with the green dashed line is the maximum scan area of the glass. I have the painting positioned just a bit inside of that area. The dark dashed inner line (red arrows) is the area in which the software sees to scan. Notice I have that area narrowed a bit cutting the wookie’s face in half and not going all the way to the edge. Okay..let’s move right along.

By now you should have two separate images of high quality which you can open up in Photopaint.

Next you’ll want to crop one of the images to a smaller selection so you’ll have less image to match up and blend (above image). Do leave a little area of overlap as you can see i did for Han Solo’s gun.

Above: The cropped image.

 

Above: Under Image select ‘Stitch’

Above: Now select ‘Add All’

A new screen appears and using the select pointer tool you can ‘grab’ one of the images and match and blend. I have the blend image setting at 5.

Above: A close-up view ( you can zoom in to get a better match up) shows where the two images blend. Now just hit enter and a new solid image will be created from which you can manipulate or save as different files and sizes.

That’s about it. Hope you find that helpful. Check out my design page for further designs. Thanks for stopping by!

Kevin

 

 

The Top Five

Hey,what’s your guys’ take on self-improvement? I’m definitely for it. There is a ‘but’ though. Have you heard of the “Top Five”?

Recent history has given us a plethora of self-ordained life gurus that appear plastered especially across social media. From Youtube talk shows to tweets and posts all telling us how to be a better person and get the good life. Is this where I become Debbie Downer? Ah, no. Maybe I’m being just one more opinionated self appointed life coach. Ah, no.

I’m coming at this as an artist and as just an ordinary human being.

Who are  the ‘Top Five’?

No. 1 Winter Chicadee. Acrylic on Canvas. K.Cameron. This was a break-through moment for me in painting. I studied the works of artist Rod Lawrence

Well for the past few years there has increasingly emerged this idea that we are only as good as the top 5 people we spend time with. ( pause for delayed shock effect)

This showed up in one of the online courses in art that I took and seems to keep popping up everywhere. If you want success and a better life then hang out with 5 people better than you. What’s even more amazing is the likes and hearts and other agreeable emoticons that applaud this thinking. Wait now. Hold on. Isn’t your Spidey sense tingling ?

First lets set aside the notion that higher ethical standards demand we stay with an abusive spouse or be nice to the psychopath that wants to stab us in the back (literally or metaphorically).  Nobody is saying we have to let our guard down and invite danger into our inner circle of sanity. Nobody is saying that we have to pull over and help a person broken down on the interstate which could be just bait to lure us in. Call the cops. They are ( presumably ) trained for that sort of thing.

Also I’m not saying we an spend an exhaustive amount of time with ‘exhaustive people’ that drain us of energy. Everyone has a bad day once and awhile. Everyone gets in a bad place periodically.

A recent study (sorry-no link) showed that surrounding yourself with only agreeable people as staff or in business actually could undermine your success. Why? Because a discordant voice can help us see a different perspective that may avoid a pitfall for which the business is headed.

No.2 TV Dinner Acrylic. K. Cameron For me this one has a special place and I truly felt ‘possessed’ by it when painting. It reminds me of the fun times we had watching TV shows when growing up.

True story.

My father, when I was young, once stopped for a dishevelled hitch-hiker/homeless person and gave him a lift to our home. He invited him to supper for which the vagabond traveler accepted and in a twist of bizarre life-is-stranger-than-fiction moment actually ended up serving us our tea at our table!  The glances my brother and I shared form across the table. hmmm

My heart is not as pure as my father, I’m sure. Besides he did come from a different time and place where travelers were welcome at the supper table no matter their status in life.

No.3 Peace. Lockeport Beach NS. After a very restful week renting a cottage on the beach this painting ‘happened’. It’s a favourite of mine and many others.

So here’s the thing. What if you‘re the one who is not part of the  Special Five. What if you end up with the Dirty Dozen instead? What happened to “Do unto others as you would have done to you” ? What about “ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ “?

What happened to the principle of reaching a hand down to give someone a leg up? They say “What comes around, goes around…” Maybe you or I will someday need the hand up. Should we be so set on refusing it to others or worried that we are in with the top five income earners and the most positive people we can find?

N0.4 Star Wars Super 8 Cover. Acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas. A special gift for my son.

I don’t know how you feel but I certainly don’t want my flag of victory and success  to be raised atop a virtual mountain of skulls. What win is that? In my book, art or otherwise, it’s a loss.

 

No. 5 Old Tree. Thinned oil on canvas board. This was one of my earliest paintings. If you read the post..you’ll understand. 🙂

Once again, thanks for visiting my blog and feel free to comment below.

 

We Can Rebuild Him or something like that. :)

 “Better,Stronger, faster…” I’m not sure about better and stronger but this was definitely one of the fastest design and paint jobs I’ve done for commission !

About 3 days before a visit from brother ( who lives in the States ) he asked me if I had any paintings ( for sale). Well yes I did in a way but I wanted to give him something that would have more meaning between the two of us…you know, something special.

So I thought of this old show called The Six Million Dollar Man starring Lee Majors. My bro used to have the action figure and a lot of the accoutrements . There was hardly even the time for a thumbnail sketch and the final design was basically done in my head and on the fly. I knew I wanted the ‘Bionic Man’ closeup in the center with the rocket to the right and the space X-plane in the upper left. In there somewhere was to be his old corvette and the cardiogram-like analog pattern.

So we were to meet Saturday at my Mom and Dad’s place which is about a 2 and a half hour drive from where I live. By about Friday morning I thought I was never going to get it finished. Just too much work and too little time. I got pretty down about it and felt defeat looming over my shoulder.

I managed to push myself and not give up (which I was really tempted to do).  At 10 pm Friday evening I had one coat of matte finish applied to the whole thing. I did a second coat really early Saturday morning and let the painting finish drying in the back seat of the car.

My brother was very pleased and surprised having not expected the nostalgic memento. I must admit that about half-way through, whether it was a kind of exhaustion setting in or pure adrenaline I, myself got emotional during the process. As one ages, I guess, tears become an oft expression of deep joy rather than sorrow sometimes. I am thankful for the family I have now and the one I had then, so to speak.

Just like the Bionic Man the painting was made from available components so here’s a photo of most of what it took to paint “We Can Rebuild Him”.

Thanks for visiting and we’ll see you around sometime!