Thursday, October 27, 2011

Feral Cats and the Power of "ick"...

It was a cool, early autumn day. The local trees are in mid-change, though no one notices because it isn’t the mountains or some far-away place that isn’t where we live. I notice. I drove with the window down, smelling the autumn air and smiling at people who must have thought I was mad. But the day was a good one.

I picked up some dinner for Laine and I. We already had a couple of Cornish game hens in the fridge, but I needed a few items to go with them. Artichokes, some crusty bread,  . ingredients for chocolate chip cookies…which consisted of a Pillsbury chocolate chip cookie log and some 2% milk… And wine, of course.

I pull into my quiet neighborhood, the trees sliding from green to yellow, some having gone as far as bright orange on the tips, making most of the trees look as if they were on fire. I wave at a woman whose name I don’t know but who’s dog I recognize. She waves back. The dog glances in my direction and then goes back to leading the woman to wherever he was taking her.

I pull into my driveway and get out with my groceries. Near the front door sits a solid grey cat. I’ve never seen the cat before, so I figure it must have come with one of my new neighbors. I advance toward my house, figuring the little scamp will skitter away as soon as I get within ten feet. But, no, this grey feline is brave. And I notice for the first time that he’s eating something near my front door. Not just eating but gorging himself on something. I smile, thinking something like, “aww, the little guy has found himself a prize from someone’s trash.” It was a very Leave It To Beaver moment.

I walked past to my door and the cat barely looks up at me. Kudos. I reach into my pocket to pull out my keys and look down at the cat to see if he has a collar. He does not. I glance to see what it is he’s eating. I guess I was expecting a chicken bone, or a fish head like in those old Disney cartoons. What I wasn’t expecting was watching this cat open its tiny jaws and crunch down on what I think was a robin’s skull.

“Are you kidding me?” I yell to no one in particular, taking a few steps back as if the robin might try to jump up onto my pants leg or something. “Help me, help me!” Or maybe I was worried about dead bird goo getting on my Old Navy jeans. I mean, I paid $11 for these. I’m not about to get Robin brains all over them. Or maybe I was just freaked out. I mean, this was fucking gross! 

I’ve seen my share of death. Hell, I even have a cat. I know I’m statin’ the obvious here, but that’s what cats DO. Still, I couldn’t get my key into the front door lock fast enough. And once I was inside I ran for the kitchen window and stared out at the grey cat and his feast in a combination of fascination, horror and disgust. I couldn’t get the narrator from that Honey Badger video out of my head. “Ew, gross.”

I watched for a full two or three minutes before the cat grabbed what was left of his Kibble’s and Bird Bits and went to go finish in someone else’s yard, leaving nothing but a few stray feathers. And I’m not going to lie: I was relieved to see it go. I took a deep breath and tried to clear this live action Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom out of my mind’s eye.

I start pulling my groceries out of the two plastic bags and open the refrigerator. Two Cornish game hens staring back at me.

Maybe it’s not too late to pick up a few steaks.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Living with Intent and other voodoo...

There is some hocus pocus out there that says you can get what you want in life just by thinking about it. You may call it the Law of Attraction, or Living With Intent, or The Secret, or so many other names. Do I subscribe to this nonsense? Do I believe that “what we think about, we bring about”?

I’m going to have to say yes, but not because I think some genie is going to hear my intentions and make all my dreams come true, or even that God will hear my innermost desires and will start opening doors for me just because He likes me to say things out loud. I believe it because I’ve seen it work and I have a limited understanding of how the attention span of human beings works. It’s all about our limited attention span.
If I tell you to look out your window and spot everything yellow, you will be able to spot yellow things as if they were shining beacons, like they were calling to you. What you might miss are all of the blue, or red, or purple objects. If I ask to borrow your favorite book, you aren’t reading all those titles on your bookshelf. You’re scanning for the red spine that you remember. The rest tends to fall to the wayside.

And so it is with anything. If you wake up in the morning thinking about how shitty your day is going to be, you will notice all the shitty things about the day: the four red lights you caught on the way to work, the fact that the coffee was cold when you got into the office, the weird smell in your basement, the lack of anything appetizing in your refrigerator. “Figures. I should have known there weren’t any Marie Calendar Chicken Pot Pies left in the freezer. Foo.”

But, when you say to yourself that you want to solve your writer’s dilemma then you tend to overhear people who are talking about writing at a table near you, or you introduce yourself to a woman and find out that she happens to teach creative writing. I don’t believe that this is fate or magic or kismet. It’s that you are primed to hear about writing today. If you were thinking about getting some new boots today and you ran into the same woman (and she happened to be wearing great boots), you would notice her footwear and ask her where she got them. And you would probably have no idea that she taught writing workshops, if you even heard her mention it because you were too busy looking at her kick-ass boots!  We see what we are primed to see.

I know I’m just statin’ the obvious, but why don’t we make ourselves see the things that will help us become the people we want to be? Why not state your desires first thing in the morning; out loud, to yourself, to your wife or to a voodoo doll that looks like David Hasselhoff? I doubt you’ll win the lottery just because you say you will, but I bet you’ll hear about a ton of lottery winners and talk to others that play the lottery and hear what the Powerball is up to today. Instead, let’s say you were focused on learning to dance. I’m willing to bet that you’ll overhear people talking about great places to dance, great teachers that have moved to the area, or maybe you’ll be driving along and happen to see a small sign for a new dance studio with cheap enrollment. Fate? Sure, if that makes you feel all magicky inside. Either way, it works.

So, what do you want to learn or have or be? Why not think about it a little harder every day rather than saving it for that once-a-month dream session you have after a few too many vodka tonics? See how many opportunities you spot.

And if I’m wrong, you spent a few extra minutes thinking about something that brings you pleasure.  Sue me.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Interview With the Voices In My Head

Me: I wanted to invite you guys here today because I would like to see how you think. Understanding that will take me a long way to understanding how to approach my art better and will also keep me from having to see a shrink later this week.
The Creator: I’m game.
Captain Artist: What a waste of time.
The Manipulator: Well, I think it’s a swell idea. With some insight into your own mind you can finally determine the easiest, most face saving way to create…as a hobby…without trying to force your art onto others who obviously aren’t interested in it.
Me: Ok. Thanks for that.
Me: Let’s start with some basic questions. Our readers…
THE MANIPULATOR: The three of them, including yourself and your wife.
Me: Actually, my wife doesn’t read this.
THE MANIPULATOR: Just another sign.
THE CREATOR: This interview isn’t about you. Wait for him to ask us a few questions and we can get everyone’s point of view.
THE MANIPULATOR: Quite right. Let’s get on with it.
Me: Great. So, our readers have seen my creative process. If you haven’t, check it out HERE. I don’t think we need to get into that now. What I would like to do is ask questions that other artists may be asking, as well as having something for enjoyers of art who have no interest in the technical side.
THE CREATOR: That sounds like a great idea!
Me: Thanks. First question – what sort of brushes do you prefer to use?
THE CREATOR: Oh, I love Rosemary & Co badger hair brushes. The brushes are handmade and are of the greatest quality I’ve ever used. They feel great in my hands, the bristles are long and just stiff enough to allow me to manipulate the paint while still maintaining a little distance from the canvas. Nothing adds tension to a painting like being right up on it. Agony. These are a little more expensive…maybe a lot more expensive. But they are worth have a few in your collection. Check them out at  And we don’t get any money for the recommendation!
CAPTAIN ARTIST: For me, it’s the Silver Line brushes. They hold a lot of paint, the bristles are just firm enough to offer a little bite for the canvas. And they are incredibly sturdy. We’ve got some that we’ve had for years and they still work wonderfully. Almost all of our brushes are Silver Line.
THE CREATOR: The ones with the green handles!
CAPTAIN ARTIST: No one cares about the handles.
Me: You can thank my Mother-In-Law for some of those. Next question: We’re working on a Tarot series. What drew you to that particular subject?
THE CREATOR: The tarot has such a rich history. And if you look at images of a particular tarot card you will see that they have so many different images, however, those images all have the same feeling. At least, with the good ones. A tarot card has a particular meaning, but it doesn’t have to have the same image. This means that we can come up with a new way of saying something that still gives a similar message.
Me: Isn’t that the opposite of how we usually work?
THE CREATOR: it is! Usually we create a painting and the entire point is that people come up with their own stories and meaning behind it. We’re story tellers, but we also want to fill the world with many stories, not tell the viewer how to think. Usually. But, with this project we are trying to create an exact feeling. It’s fascinating!
Me: Captain, would you agree?
CAPTAIN ARTIST: Hey, the best part of this project is that you have a set number of paintings and you have a set time you want to do it in. This is a project that takes discipline and perseverance. There are 22 cards in the major arcana, and now that it’s started people are going to want to see a finished project. If you’re a quitter, everyone will know it.
THE MANIPULATOR: Assuming anyone is actually paying attention.
THE CREATOR: <rolls his eyes>
Me: We use a lot of models for our work. Do you just ask everyone you see or is there a process to it?
THE CREATOR: Oh god, no! We need particular people. Sometimes there’s a painting that demands something specific. Like “Beneath a Red Halo” needed a red-head. Or “Curtain of Night” needed someone fair haired. “Defending Her Honour” needed someone that the viewer would believe was strong, powerful.
On the other hand, sometimes there is just something about a person that demands being immortalized.
THE MANIPULATOR: Immortalized?
THE CREATOR: Yes! Sometimes some has eyes that are just striking, or a regal air about them. Maybe they have muscle tone that begs to be sculpted out of paint, or maybe they have a look that I can’t get out of my mind. So, I go back and talk to them and ask them to pose.
CAPTAIN ARTIST: Mostly it’s the first one. You need a dark-skinned man for a predominately pale background, I go through my list and find a dark skinned man. You need someone with breasts to lie backward on a table you…
THE CREATOR: It’s not that base!
THE MANIPULATOR: Sure it is. Don’t you think your models know you just want to look at their breasts?
Me: What?? That’s not true!
THE MANIPULATOR: Well, even if it isn’t true I’m sure they think that.
Me: Really?!?! That’s terrible! I admit, many of my paintings have women in them, but that’s because women are more interesting to look at, and not just from men’s perspectives. Also, they tend to have more range. Power, love, lust, hate, trust…I can convey these emotions with female models much easier than I can with men.
THE MANIPULATOR: Also, women have breasts. We all know how you like that.
Me: But I’m not even a breast-man!
CAPTAIN ARTIST: Don’t listen to him. He wouldn’t know what to do with a breast if it came up and slapped him in the face.
CAPTAIN ARTIST: Hell yeah. I know exactly what to do with it. I’d paint it!
Me: Yeah! Tastefully!
Me: Speaking of models, who are the best models to work with?
THE CREATOR: Not by name, right? I mean, that would be sort of crude to just…
CAPTAIN ARTIST: One of our best models, by far, is Bestest. She’s open, takes direction well, and is incredibly versatile. Blondie-No-More is easy and fun to work with. She also takes direction well. That’s important. I need you in and out and you need to do what I say fast. Heels is great with…
THE CREATOR: Hey! Uncool!
CAPTAIN ARTIST: What? He asked…
THE CREATOR: Don’t call people out. What will the people you DON’T name think?
CAPTAIN ARTIST: Maybe they’ll take a hint and get their shit together.
THE CREATOR: Besides, it’s not just about “doing what I say.” Sometimes I need a model who can do somethings on their own. Maybe the pose I have doesn’t work as well as I think. I great model will have ideas of their own, and not be afraid to say “this is more comfortable” or “that seems forced.” They need some creativity of their own, and a willingness to try things.
THE CREATOR: Stop that!
Me: I don’t want specific names. Just a descriptions.
THE CREATOR: Thank you. Anyway...patience, creativity, and pleasure. You have to enjoy it or the whole session is off.
THE MANIPULATOR: Like NerdDream. She can really…
THE CREATOR: Stop that!
THE MANIPULATOR: I’m giving a compliment. Not like I’m saying anything bad. Like how Dude is lazy and I can never get in touch with him when he’s promised to do something.
THE CREATOR: Oh god, we’re going to get sued.
THE MANIPULATOR: He’s too dumb to sue anybody.
CAPTAIN ARTIST: Just like DimeBag. Dumb dumb dumb.
Me: Ok! New question!
CAPTAIN ARTIST: Remember the time StripperMom came to the studio wearing that hideous dress when we specifically told her to wear black slacks?
THE CREATOR: <sobbing>
Me: Ok, last question. If we didn’t make as much money as we do painting, what would you do instead?
THE CREATOR: <sniffs> Um. I think I would continue to paint. It isn’t about the money. It’s about creating something and sharing it with the world.
CAPTAIN ARTIST: I would keep painting. If people don’t like it, screw ‘em! It isn’t about the money; it’s about doing something that you’re good at and continuing to master it. You have to master something, right? Otherwise, you’re a waste of space.
THE CREATOR: Damn it! <runs out sobbing>
Me: How about you, Manipulator?
THE MANIPULATOR: Hmmm. I think I’d be a motivational speaker.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

State of the Studio

It has been a very busy month. I’ve spent many hours on an animation piece for a great local play called The Jade City Chronicles. If you haven’t heard of it, you will. This thing is going to be big!
On top of that, I was in Atlanta for a week participating in the Portrait Society of America’s Art of the Portrait conference. I made some amazing contacts and learned a lot, most of which I’m trying to implement daily.
The show that opened at the Main Street Gallery in Carrboro is a hit. The turnout opening night was better than expected and I look forward to selling a few pieces from the show. But wait, there’s more!
As you know, I’m starting to do some work on the Christmas triptych (see last entry) as well as a series of Tarot paintings. The Tarot will concentrate on the 22 Major Arcana and I’ve already started recruiting models to pose. If any of you have ever wanted to be in your own tarot deck, now’s the time! For that matter, if you’ve ever wanted to be a maid-a-milking, now is also THAT time.
The new Passion Paintings seem to be doing some great things for people (and here I do not make fun, because I think these may actually be some of the most important paintings I have ever done).
 And I’ve decided which charity I’m going to support this year. I will make a bigger announcement about that. But, for you insiders you will get to know ahead of the rest of the pack. This year, 10% of every painting sold will go to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (  The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America is a great organization. According to the website: “85% of expenses go directly to programs and services to help individuals with Alzheimer's disease and their caregivers; the remaining 15% of expenses support administrative and fundraising events.”
There will be more links for that coming soon, including their financial report, recognition, etc. And this one is close to my heart, so we’ll be doing all we can to help!
On top of all that, I’m planning for my next big art show, sometime in September of this year. I’ll be sure to announce the date as soon as I firm it up.
As you can see, I have a very busy year ahead of me. The good news is that I don’t have to do it alone. You guys have been amazing! I love hearing your comments and assistance. Without you I couldn’t do this, so thank you VERY much.
I have a lot to do, and you have a lot to look forward to from Seraphim Studios.
--- Geraud

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Christmas Comes Early

I was looking through an old sketch book of mine when I came across the plans for a Twelve Days of Christmas triptych. For those of you who don’t know what a triptych is, it’s when you do three paintings that COULD stand on their own individually, but look so much better when they are side-by-side. Kind of like the Kardashians.
I’m wondering why I abandoned the idea when I hear the droning voice of Alan Rickman in my head.
“You abandoned it because you couldn’t possibly pull it off,” the Manipulator says.
“Bullshit,” I respond. “I can do anything.”
“I don’t think so. Look at your last attempt at landscape. DIdn’t turn out so well, did it?”
I glance over at one of my paintings and cringe.
“See?” the Manipulator gloats at me. “Any attempt to cram 78 items into 3 paintings AND include any kind of landscape would be torturous for both you and the few viewers you might get.”
“Hmmm. Maybe you’re right,” I agree. Then I put the sketchbook down.
A few hours later The Wife comes home. She steps into the studio and gives me a kiss on the cheek. I smile and get back to what I was doing; putting the finishing touches on ‘Tear Down the Day’. I slip into my own little world for a few moments before I hear The Wife say,
“Hey, this looks like a huge project.”
I look over and see her holding the sketchbook. “Yeah,” I hear Alan Rickman say with my mouth. “But it’s a little too huge for me.”
The Wife frowns. “That’s not true. You could totally do it. It would be like ‘Sirens.’”
“Nah. No one will like it.”
Her frown deepens. She smells the Manipulator. I am not alone in my hatred of him. “That’s bullshit, Staton.” She always calls me by my last name when I’m being an idiot. She’s not the only one.
“Damn right, Staton,” I hear Captain Artist yell in that Keith David voice. “Why don’t you grow a pair and quit being such a…”
“…baby,” The Wife is saying. “You already have it sketched out.”
“Hell, son, you’ve done most of the damned work!” Captain Artist says.
“And,” The Wife continues, “it looks like fun! I bet you can get a ton of people to pose for you.”
“Are you two talking together?” I ask weakly.
“What?” The Wife says.
“What?” Keith David says.
“Never mind."

"You think I can really do it?”
“Hell yeah,” they exclaim in unison.
“I mean, I have already done a lot of the work. The idea is right there on paper. It’s a lot of animals, though. Where am I going to find a partridge?”
“Figure it out,” The Wife says.
“Loser,” Captain Artist adds.
“What about the Tarot series?” The Manipulator asks. “I was going to start that next and it’s pretty big, too.”
“SONOVABITCH!” Captain Artist yells. “Are you a self-employed, honest-to-God entrepreneur, or are you a god-damned prissy pants?!”
“Did you just say…”
“Are you a rockin’, sockin, paint-selling motherfucker, or are you a stinking little art weasel?”
“Ok, now you’re just being…”
“Do you WANT to eat pork and beans from a can and have your wife leave you in the middle of the night with your kids tucked away in the side car of your motor bike? The one she bought you for Christmas last year?”
“I don’t have a…”
“ANSWER ME, YOU LITTLE PUKE!” he roars in my head. “Do you WANT to grow old and pose for a painting done by Thomas Kinkaide called ‘This Guy is an Old Loser Who Never Amounted to Anything’??? Do you WANT to…”
“Fine! I’ll paint the damned thing.”
The Wife smiles. “Good. You’ll be glad you did.”
I watch her as she starts to leave the studio. “Are you sure you can’t hear him?”
“Hear who?” she asks, looking a little worried.
“Never mind.” I turn back to the canvas.
“You’re so weird sometimes,” I hear her say as she leaves the room.
“You’re so weird sometimes,” I hear Captain Artist whisper somewhere in the back of my mind.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A Little Discipline

Discipline is not just something to do to someone with a ball-gag in their mouth. You have to produce. You have to market. You have to paint. I have to paint.
It’s a passion. We all have one. Most of us have multiple passions. If you don’t know what your passion is hit me up and I’ll help you find it. Seriously. I’m getting pretty good at it. Gimme an hour and we'll get to the bottom of that thing which makes you get up every morning...and then I'll paint it for you so that you always have a visual reminder of it.
But, enough about you...
I would paint even if no one paid me to do it. But, I WANT people to pay me to do it. Getting paid to do that which you love most in life is as worthwhile an endeavor as one can hope to achieve. And to be paid enough so that you don’t need to work for anyone else is the dream of every entrepreneur. That is where discipline comes in. 
My mentor is a beautiful woman with red hair and great posture. I’ve never seen Mentor dressed in anything that wasn’t elegant or business-like, even while she painted. And I’ve never seen her with a drop of paint on any of her clothing. Mentor does not sugar-coat things, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Her latest admonition to me was:
“Geraud, you do not paint enough.”
“You’re telling me,” I said.
“I’m serious. You don’t paint nearly enough.”
“I have a full-time job. I can’t paint as much as I would like.”
She crossed her arms. “That’s bullshit.”
I blubbered something that sounded like, “Jibba-whuu??”
“I crunched the numbers. You need to be doing about 50 paintings a year.”
She explains to me how easy the formula is, and then she starts writing out calculations so complex I thought of Dangerous Minds…no, wrong movie. A Beautiful Mind. No. The one with Russell Crowe, not the one with Michelle Pfieffer. The formula works like this:
If I want to make $50,000 a year as a painter, and I make an average of $1000 per painting sold, then I need to do 50 paintings. Seems simple, until you start adding in commissions, what percentage of paintings I sell versus how many I create, etc. It works out that I should be doing nearly 75 paintings a year. Mentor says that 50 is a good place to start.
“Who does that?” I ask.
“Successful artists.” She stares at me.
“How many do YOU paint?”
“A dozen or so.”
“How do you get to paint so few and I have to paint my balls off?”
“When you make $25,000 a painting you can paint less than 50.” I could smell the smug pride radiating from her.
I gaped, swallowed, then managed to say, “Jibba-wuhh???”

I’ve taken her advice to heart. I’m completing a painting a week, and it is not easy. If I do a smaller painting than I need to do two of them each week. Last night I was up until 1am composing two paintings that I’m very excited about. I’m revisiting ‘The Good Old Days’ series that I had done, which included CroneGeezerDistinguished Gentleman, and Captivated, two of which have already sold. I spent another couple of hours doing some preliminary sketches. I went to bed at 1am and I've given myself until Sunday to complete both of them.
I spent this morning composing another painting, and spent a few minutes before work doing some sketches of it. This one is a stand alone piece, and it's going to be HUGE, two kids on carousel horses. That'll be next weeks painting.
And now it’s a little after 11 o’clock. Most of you are curled up in your beds, spooning your mate, or sleeping on a diagonal so you can enjoy the entire bed, or sleeping on the edge of your bed so your mutt can sleep comfortably.
Me? I’m gonna start putting one of these paintings on canvas tonight. And I’ll get up at 6am and go to work just like all the other adults. And I’ll be tired. Maybe exhausted.
The difference is that I’ll be exhausted from doing something I love.
Just be warned: if you ask me any questions before I’ve had a couple cups of coffee the most likely response you’ll get from me will be a blank stare and a, “Jibba-wuhh?” If so, try to cut me a little slack. I'm being disciplined.


Monday, March 14, 2011

Remember When Artists Were All The Rage?

     I met a man, Bojangles, and he danced a jig.

     Ok, that's not true. But I'm going to call him Mr. Bojangles because I met him in the line at Bojangles.

     Mr. Bojangles leans over my shoulder from behind me, invading my personal space and oblivious to it. "What you readin'?"
     I flipped my copy of the Smithsonian closed and showed him the cover, at first not looking back at him. Then, I recovered my manners and felt my annoyance fade. Hey, this guy could be the worlds most dedicated art collector. Or, a talent agent. Or, possibly Gary Sheffield. Instead, I turned to face a tall balding man wearing slacks and an over-sized polo shirt. He looked like a 130lb man who had borrowed his 300lb brother's clothing. Even his pants, pleated (sorry, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy), were too large and cinched around his waist by a belt that, as it turned out, did seem to be the right size for him.
     I gave him my I'm-an-amicable-friend-to-all smile. "The Smithsonian has a article on Gauguin," I said. He frowned, looked closer at the cover of the magazine. He seemed to be focusing on the three zebras on the cover. Maybe he thought they would give him some clues as to what to say next. They must have.
     "You an artist?"
     "I am." I smiled bigger, proud of my line of work.
     "What else do you do?" Mr. Bojangles smiled too. A smile that was obviously his I'm-being-an-asshole-but-I'll-smile-so-you-don't-take-offense smile.
     "Why? Have you seen my movies?"
     He looked at the zebras again.
     "Just kidding," I said. I turned away, only one person away from the counter.
     "I could never do that," Mr. Bojangles said under his breath.

     This got me thinking. Why couldn't he do it? Why WOULDN'T he do it? Artists used to be envied. The Smithsonian article talked about the people that Gauguin hung out with. Bankers and lawyers, people who were in respected professions, who were jealous of Guaguin because they wanted to be artists themselves.
     Artists used to live a wonderful lifestyle. They were even celebrities, like Warhol, Toulouse-Lautrec, Mucha and Gauguin himself.
     There is a lot on the horizon for my art career. Classes are coming up soon, my trip to the Portrait Society of America (thanks to the Durham Arts Council), and an art show that opens this Friday, March 18 at Foster's Market. In all of these things there should be a feeling of excitement for all involved. I am not an artist because I couldn't do anything else. I'm not an artist because I'm a lazy lay-about. I'm an artist because being an artist is a glorious profession, one where I can change the attitudes and points of view of people, where I can affect the emotions of the masses (hopefully for the better), where I can offer another side to a story people thought they already knew, to motivate and inspire.
     Full-time artists, part-timers, Sunday painters, textbook doodlers, you should all hold your heads up high. Do not let this new society screw with your self esteem. Sure, schools are killing the art and music departments by the drove, as if science is the only thing that matters. But they are WRONG. Just because it can't be graded doesn't mean it has no value.
     Mr. Bojangles, go break out your colored pencils and sketch pads. Join us.

     We are artists.
     It is time, once again, that we were all proud of it.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Life in the Sun

The day started with a smell. Ordering a coffee from a local, tiny coffee shop I spoke with the young man behind the counter with a smile. It was warm for a late winter morning and I was pleased to start the day with an Americanized latte or cappuccino. I ordered said drink, with soy milk of course, and while the kid made my drink he was sipping a coke from a cup. He finished the drink and returned to the register. He took another sip of coke and looked up at me. He opened his mouth and instead of speaking a price he gave a soft, quiet belch. Coke burp wafted over at me as he gave me his price. He didn’t even notice. I was seconds away from saying something, and I do not even know what kept me from it. Maybe it was the fact that Coke Burp was so young, maybe 17 years old, 18 at the oldest. Maybe it was that Coke Burp wouldn’t have been able to do anything if I had decided to wrench his voice box from his throat since he weighed slightly more than three loaves of bread. Or maybe it was that the day was so nice or that the dollar was up or there were no Somali pirates about. Who knows. Coke Burp managed to live another day and my soy latte was warm and sweet (after I added two packets of natural sugar). 
 I had decided to take a much needed day off and I was trying to determine what to do with myself. There were so many options. I had a little money in my pocket, a couple Netflix movies awaiting my viewing, some things to watch on Hulu, books to read, good weather to enjoy. Lately I have been doing some thinking about my role in the world. And maybe this is why Coke Burp managed to keep all of his teeth. You see, my role on this world, as well as my mission in my art career were under question and I realize that the answer came with my own name. Well, my nickname. I am the Angel, and my studio has been named as such. Seraphim Studios. And it all came down to the name.
  • Spirit
  • Energy
  • Radiance
  • Adventure
  • Passion
  • Hope
  • Inspiration
  • Mystery
All of my work should represent these ideals. I have had many pieces that did not fit and since I have decided to get rid of these from my collection. I also decided that all the days of my life should fit this list. In remembering this, my decision, though not made, was made easier. My goal is to spend a dynamic life, an energetic life. One filled with passion and inspiration. The E does not stand for ease. The R does not stand for relaxation. My life was meant to be a dynamic one. Hours in front of a television might be fine for some people, but I have decided that this is not for me. This feeling has been growing for many months. Even my favorite TV shows have found more annoyance than relaxation from me. The world is HUGE, in both breadth and the experiences within it.
I returned home, grabbed the dog, and headed out into the sun, a place that will be my new home, as well as the home of the studio, for the foreseeable future.