Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas 2010

I have promised myself that the space between now and the day after New Year's Day will be Internet free. Therefore, this is my last entry until January 2, 2011. My Christmas wishes are below.

The mixed media distressed painting shown above was made for the front of our Christmas card this year. In that artwork I am directly quoting William-Adolphe Bouguereau’s painting, Madonna & Child. The image is buried under two layers of paint, torn, and scraped, the torn reversed partial image, removed from the complete image and laminated above and to the side of the image's corner. I drew gold leaf lines around the repeated image of Madonna and Child to emphasize the value of the gift God gave to all humankind. The distressed technique lent itself to the expression of my notion that Jesus’ actual message of peace and love has been distorted and – yes, damaged – by the various Christian institutions. No, I do not personally hear Jesus, or converse with him as so many others claim. When I pray, I talk to God, and I ask for things like strength and a better understanding of others. In all humility, God doesn’t talk back. Instead, I sense his presence. How to explain that - warmth inside like a light within, accompanied by a heart-felt flutter, like any of us feel when another person performs an act of love and/or kindness toward us personally or toward another present, whether they be human or animal.

At the same time I know this as fact. God doesn’t have to tell me that Jesus Christ walked on this earth, and that he lacked prejudice against any people or person. Neither race, nationality, ethnicity, religion nor sexuality made him fearful or angry. God doesn’t have to tell me that Jesus Christ did not advocate war. Other men may advocate war. Jesus of Nazareth did not. Most of all, God doesn't have to tell me that all men may walk with Jesus.

With these thoughts in mind, my seemingly impossible Christmas wish is that the spirit of this holiday - in which we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ - will bless us with his love, and the peace he desires for all mankind.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Unfortunately for the West, our creation myth (Genesis) makes it sound as though God gives us this planet to do with, as we will. It does not stress that with God’s gift comes the RESPONSIBILITY of caring for the Earth. Genesis does not emphasize the connectedness of all things through God.

I’ve finished a group of small mixed media distressed paintings (8” x 8”) for the not so new series (Waterworks) that began on the Beach April 20, 2010, the day of the Deepwater Horizon Explosion. I say “not so new” because most all my work, pastel paintings, photomontages, and the mixed media distressed paintings have been and are based on water. As I’ve stated in the past, I’d like to do a show or series of shows based on my concerns about clean water, all life including human, and the planet. The Gulf Oil Disaster demonstrated just how fragile our oceans and seas are – how easy it is for us to kill-off our coinheritors of planet earth, to destroy land and sea through our careless profligacy. It also demonstrated to me how connected we are to that life and this planet. Unfortunately, missing in our Western conceptualization of that connection is the knowledge that it is as much a part of us as we are of it, and we ignore that side of the connection at our own peril.

Monday, December 13, 2010

B-r-r-r-r-r! Is This an Indication of Winter 2011 Conditions?

If the extreme cold pre-winter and national politics have you down – stare at this photo of Paradise Beach, Tulum, Mexico and project yourself into the 84 degree waters of the Caribbean Sea.

Then envision all the maniacal GOP and/or Democratic politicians (depending on your current view of national politics) being projected onto that beach and into that blissful tropical sun and water – actually way out in that water where they either sink or swim to shore. I wonder, could they? Would they? Or would they just thrash about and push each other under and drown.

H-m-m-m-m, in the case of the latter, we are left alone on the beach to enjoy the sun and water by ourselves. I’m not suggesting anything (honest, I’m NOT!), just creating a happy vision to relieve my worn out political nerves.

"I will not dwell on politics until after Christmas."
"I will not dwell on politics until after Christmas."
"I will not dwell on politics until after Christmas."

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

End Export of USA Jobs Overseas this Christmas 2010!

I apologize for this entry because, once again, it is not an “Art” entry. Never the less, I’ve done my own artwork as always. It is imperative that the middle class does everything we can do to bring jobs back to this country because our president, government and politicians in general aren't fighting for us. This entry describes my personal attempt to achieve that goal.

“Good idea,” you say. “But how do I do that?”

There are Websites dedicated to products made in the United States. Just “Google” “made in America,” and/or “made in the USA, and you will turn up a list of those Websites. I’ve been doing most of my Christmas shopping on “made in the USA web pages." It is hard to find some products, because so much of our manufacturing has been shipped overseas. For instance, I could find but two manufacturers of sheets! I ended up buying two sets of sheets from Mayfield on “” because all Mayfield sheets are made in our country. Now that I’ve done my shopping I’ve begun a list of products and companies still manufacturing in the USA. For instance, Calphalon makes all its aluminum pots and pans in Toledo, Ohio, though they don’t make a point of that fact (THEY SHOULD!). Once I have built my list, I can use it to shop in the actual world physically. I found that many of these products do cost a bit more than products made in China. However, the United States has strict regulations on production. Thus, the products made in our country are less likely to contain lead, mercury, and other toxic chemicals dangerous to your health and the health of family members.

So – if everyone with a computer does his/her Christmas shopping at these Websites, it will be a start in trying to convince our foolish corporations to bring jobs back to the United States. I plan to continue shopping ALL United States ALL year long whenever possible. I will also contact each company that I use to let them know why I am buying their products. I’m toying with the idea of starting an interactive blog dedicated to buying products made in the USA. Is there anyone interested in joining such an enterprise?

Friday, December 3, 2010

Breakfast With the Enemy

My partner’s sister and brother in law and the brother in law's sister have been visiting since before Thanksgiving. We all went on a very wonderful trip to the Yucatan Peninsula, stayed in a five star hotel in the special private section for preferred folk, ate haut quisine every night, and were served by an unbelievably attentive staff twenty-four, seven. The weather and water were heavenly. Seven days with no news, no phone calls, just endless pleasantries with the local Mayan and Mexican people, a few other guests and between one another. Above is a photo of the beautiful Caribbean Sea, and a young man who seemed to be walking on water at Paradise Beach near Tulum, Mexico.

Yesterday we returned to south Florida, and this morning my family had FOX news on during breakfast. There was John Boehner wanting huge tax cuts for the rich, John McCain blithering about his hypocritical stand against gays in the military, and Boehner again, fussing about Obama’s Presidential Commission on the National Debt. I became angry and had to go to my bedroom. I pray to God to help me understand and love all my partner’s family, but it sometimes feels like a loosing cause. They are staunch Republicans, all, or vote with the Republican Party. Some of them hate all Arabs and Muslims indiscriminately. Some hate blacks and all people of any color, though they won’t admit it (“I’m not prejudiced. "Besides, he lied, he's only half black."). I don’t get to talk openly about my sexuality, though they all know that my partner and I are (e-e-e-e-u-w!).

Yes, I will work at loving each and every one of them, and in many ways they are wonderful. However, understanding their Republican stance on issues is another matter. They don't register that a large part of the Republican Party separates us all by race and ethnicity, religion, and sexuality, and that the Corporate Plutocracy uses those social issues to separate us as members of the middle class from one another. Yes there are other issues that the Republican Party stands for traditionally, like fiscal responsibility - I use to be one (a Republican, that is - I'm still fiscally responsible) - but more and more it is the Protestant, male, women whose minds are stuck in the 19th century, whites and heterosexuals only party.

Yes, I am trying to accept that this all is simply the world as it stands, that God has nothing to do with it, that Jesus would not be recognized by many Republicans if he walked into their church or homes. I wish I could at least appear to walk on water like the young man at Paradise beach. I also wish and pray that I can be more accepting of views other than my own as was Jesus' example for us all. Never the less this morning with FOX news felt like eating breakfast with the enemy.