Western Sky

5 x 3 Feet : Acrylics on Canvas : $Priceless

Longing for another visit to the Southwestern parts of North America. COVID-19 makes that difficult. I pulled my longing out and poured it into this piece. For now I remain in the Mid-Atlantic area, but I will not stay there forever. Western Sky is one of my Favorite American Music Club songs. Hence the title.

My desire for travel is immense, both domestically and internationally, even though I am passport free. I had one at the end of the 90’s but it expired, and truthfully I never felt like I could afford to travel anywhere so ‘why does it matter?’ But then, later, when good opportunities for travel appeared at my job… I couldn’t go because I didn’t have a passport.

This is the cycle of poverty in a nutshell. Even now, after waking up so late in life, the habits of living in survival mode are hard to shake. Poverty is trauma. I can tell you that right now after having been there for a long time. It changes your DNA, your outlook, and your dreams become truncated down to the “expensive” shoes at Walmart that last or the cheapest ones that will not. You make due. You make compromises. Your soul contracts. Your thoughts get smaller. You hide and suspect that your fellow man – your brothers and sisters – are stealing from you. Maybe they are because of the same dynamics. Poverty breaks families. Good people crumble under the strain. There’s your Emergency 911 call. Every day is 9/11 in some communities. Every Day. Think about that.

We have to do better. We have truncated our own development as social creatures by diving into the idea that we are all rugged individualists. I think COVID has shown us many things, but one in particular is that we need each other.

I am an introvert by nature. COVID conditions, for me, have not changed that much of my life. I like being alone, or did… What I find now is when I open a ZOOM meeting and see my coworkers – I want to talk to each and every one of them. I miss us.

I wonder how many others feel the same. Is it really red and blue or is it that we have a social vs isolation preference issue? Country vs City? Perhaps.

Perhaps it is simply the ranking system? If we look at our fellow man as fellow artists, each of us are creating the best work for ourselves based on our experience and resources available to us in that moment. Is there a better or worse then? Is it just a collection of preferences we can maintain based on our income and work choice? Is it money? Maybe.

Money divides everything up into quantities / facts / figures / a date for exploiting moments. Making things efficient. I am attracted to efficiency. That being said it does seem unfair on its face. I have zero retirement savings. My mental health at times during my tour through poverty as a care-giver and artist have changed me like a piece of glass in the surf. Worn smooth by harsh frictions. It cost me in terms of pain and suffering.

Since I have woken up, I appreciate myself more. The soft edges and smooth warmth cultivated like a rare aged whiskey. However, I still have worries about survival. A momentum of pain carrying forward from while I was still asleep.

For some reason, it is not an American value (from a governmental position anyway) that we care for one another. No health care, the minimum wage is so low I don’t know what minimum they are describing. It isn’t the amount you need to survive, at least in the U.S., I’m damn sure of that.

I don’t have an answer to capitalism vs socialism. I wish we could have both though. The efficiencies of capitalism with the few key principles of socialism in terms of holding human life just above those efficiencies, blended together and leaving room for more folks to rise up out of poverty and trauma.

Early Spring

3 x 4 Feet : Oil on Canvas : $Priceless

I really wanted the erosion look, the effect of which is highlighted in this piece. It hangs in my own foyer and decorates my home, so if you want it you essentially must bribe me. I like big numbers. I would sell this for a semi-trailer of good pre-stretched canvas delivered to a place of my choosing. (Canvas of various sizes please: the larger the better maybe stopping around 8 foot dimensions.) I don’t know how to stretch a canvas really: so I buy them. I like “just painting” and get weighed down when being spontaneous by the chore of building a canvas. Help here would be welcomed.

Smoke and Eucalyptus

4 x 3 Feet : Oils on canvas : $Priceless

Australian Wildfires: the eucalyptus trees could not defeat the smoke. It seemed like the world was on fire Down Under. I felt such compassion for the animals and humans displaced by the results of a sudden climate change. Their world was on fire. Our world may soon be.

Where will the rest of humanity take refuge if the world is on fire?

Maybe finding other worlds is a good idea?
There will be risks of course. Some will die giving our species a chance to survive ultimately. Initial sacrifices will likely be made, but the earth will make more of us until the environment changes so suddenly we can’t escape it. I hope we have some new choices by then.

Elon; thanks. You have done so much. I follow your thinking. Appreciate you.

You make sense to me, man. Keep winning. You are a beacon of hope to me. I’d give this piece to you as a gift for a chance to chat and learn from you. I have skills that I could use if I had some capital. I want to be a force for good like you, but over here on the Art and direct empathy side of things.

We need more undamaged creators. After dragging myself through poverty I can tell you that your lack of engineers and creatives at times have something to do with economics in relation to education and structure of education. My kids’ ( I helped raise them so I think of them as “My Kids”) lives got much better after pulling them from public and into a focused private school. Not fancy, just more effective and pretty close to affordable. Choosing to ignore education at the first initial levels and totally focusing on college is very inefficient. Smart children are having their spirits broken on the rocks of economic hardships and the defunding of schools based on violent ideas about economic austerity. They are thinking so small, operating in survival mode and in the presence of the greatest economic era of man to date. This lever needs to be adjusted, but government only concerns itself with the economic gods now. Exclusively. I wonder why that is and I would like to hear your thoughts.

I fear we are about to get pounded by a very strong version of economic austerity (language and policy) here in short order. Do you have any thoughts about ways we can make education generate happier and more effective humans? I know I have a lot of ideas, after raising two complicated and intelligent kids.