Wednesday, June 3, 2015


     The sweet ladies of my ceramic class remind me of my mother.  They are characteristically quiet while they work, meticulous and exact in what they do, and filled with wonderful and artistic ideas.  So you see it seemed easy and natural to  tell them about my mother.  And to, maybe it is because my mother would have been in her nineties if she were still with us. I almost laugh to write that last part because I feel her so close all the time. I have written about her somewhere here in these ramblings.   Her birthday would have been on June 6th.  

     You understand that I am not a boy (in age) and most who meet me consider me rather dangerous and overpowering.  The truth is that I am rather sentimental and tend to be inwardly emotional.  She taught me so much that I can't help but feel her (and sometimes see her) all around me.  I have a sweater of hers, hung on a hanger and in a plastic bag, that I look at (and sometimes caress) every day.  We have her rocking chair that sometimes for no reason just rocks on its own.  (Recuerdos de los seres queridos son fuertes en mi familia).  

     One way to look at life is to see it as a quest, or more accurately, a pilgrimage. We are pilgrims seeking answers and miracles.  We bring nothing with us and depend on the generosity of others along the way.  Events such as love, work, graduations, children, etc. are just stops along the way to get our visa stamped.  Oh! How we covet our "stamps".  We hold them up to others and say, "see, I have more stamps than you do"  or, "my stamps are bigger than your."  

     We forget on whose road we walk.  Who gives us guidance and great gifts.  We moan about the hardships along the road and pray and wail loudly for just a little more time to stay on the road.  

     It is almost my mom's birthday and I miss her, but, I know she walked her journey well.  She was a good daughter, loved one man all her life, loved, educated and cherished her son with all her heart. She believed in God and followed His will in her life.  And, that is the way of life. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Kitsch versus Art?

I attended a lecture yesterday on the subject of the difference between Kitsch and Art given by Christie Johnson as a part of activities by the American Ceramic Society.  All definitions aside, it is not my purview or within my abilities to make the distinction.  No, I write this piece because I think it is important for all of us, artist or non artist to make a personal connection to life.

What do we look at when we see life?  What a question you ask.  I wonder if we really look at this wonderful gift we have been given with eyes that appreciate and honor what they see, or do we just view our surroundings as we might view a landscape through a train window.  When do we take the time to appreciate the world that stimulates our senses? The smell of hamburgers on a grill, the blue of a perfect sky, the sound of a child's laugh, the taste of our lovers lips.  Most people that I notice take more time to be concerned with their jobs, or their electronic devices than to really observe and take part in the wonderful world around them.

All this takes time.  Ah yes!  Time to stop and smell the outdoors after a rain, to hear the chirping of the birds in the trees around you, and so many other things.  How much life are we living?   I tell people that when I began to think as an artist that I could actually feel the stirring on the other side of my brain.  I went from being an anal left brained academician, who sensed only order, facts, results, to sensing textures, colors, shapes and feelings.  Not all will want or be able to make that change, but all of us can take a few moments every day to really live!  To see, smell, feel, and most of all to thank what ever higher power you believe in for the great gifts that are provided for us.

Our time here is brief!  No one knows the number of days or years of their lives.  WORK IS NOT LIFE!  Take time to really become part of the lives of your family and friends, Give to others, Become the symbol of MERRY CHRISTMAS and as "Auntie Mame" always said, Live! Live! Live!CrackedPotsandShards