A Time To Celebrate

Luke and Carina Framed 2500

A Painting and a Poem for my Son and new Daughter on their wedding day.

Inhale this moment with all of your senses and hold it in your heart forever. It will be the second wind that will carry you over the peaks and through the valleys ahead. It will be a cache of gratitude that you will draw upon when the bitter headwinds blow. Pause and feel the warmth of the summer sun on your shoulders. Notice the gentle breeze, how it cools your brow and causes the fields to sway and vibrate. Breathe in the fragrance of the flowers and the fresh perfume of life. Hear the velvet noise of the distant tumbling water, a fitting accompaniment for the Lyric of the songbird.

This moment is special! In your mind’s eye you can see pools of deep turquoise colored water reflecting granite and snow and sky. Emerging trickles meander without haste through the high alpine meadows. Ever so steadily these head-waters gain might and agility and vigor. Youthful streams rush down the mountainsides as if there were no tomorrow and in the mist of the cascades, indigo and violet complete the spectrum before you. In your minds eye, it is here that you witness and celebrate the merging of two streams. From this point forward the path will be carved by the strength of the two together. Yes this moment is special! Inhale it with all of your senses and hold it in your heart forever.

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Jump On The Brand Wagon

Etsy Gallery banner

Roughly half of my life experience was gathered in the pre-personal computer age. By my recollection, The “old days” came to a screeching halt sometime around the mid-80’s when IBM came out with a big box machine that had a whopping 40mb hard drive. Anyone who could afford a couple grand to have one in their own home bought one. Imagine what was going through my mind as I toyed with one of these machines for the first time the year after graduating from business school. I was prepared for nothing.  Learning how to use a Texas Instrument Calculator might as well have been time spent learning how to use an Abacus.  I realized that while I was in school learning the old game the rest of the world was busy creating a new game. Fortunately for me, I didn’t exert all of my youthful energy on academics. I was lucky to have spent my college years in the mountains of Colorado where a fair allotment of my time was devoted to outdoor adventures. Hiking and fishing and back country skiing are the experiences that I now find myself celebrating through my art.

One of the greatest lessons that any of us can learn is that everything is constantly changing and that education never stops. At some point, we are all confronted with changes in technology or changes in health that bring about a need to adapt and re-focus. . My chronic illness has for now taken me away from photography, video production and the client base that I’ve established. Over the course of the last six months I’ve redirected my focus to painting yet my marketing is lagging behind.

I started thinking about the concept of “postcards from the imagination” while writing a recent posts and I think it really represents me well. My paintings are regularly conceived in my imagination and I’ve learned a great deal about composite photography techniques which allow me to imagine new ways to present my photography. For now, my ambitions of doing shows is beyond what my health will allow but thanks to technology I have a storefront window to the world. It’s time for me to start selling some of this new work and all that stands in the way is a little hard work and a lot of education.

What do you think of my new brand?  Which banner is more effective?

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My Uninhibited Impressions Of Lake Atitlan

The Most Beautiful Lake In The World

The Most Beautiful Lake In The World

Ok, so my previous rant about the perfect blog post and the patience of the reader is about to be contradicted. My idea was to begin sharing contact sheets instead of large photos, yea right. It seems that I am so excited about sharing my recent trip that I just can’t help myself. If you don’t have the time or don’t care, give me a like and move on. Otherwise fasten your seatbelt and get ready for a little whirlwind tour of Lake Atitlan.

Panajachel

Panajachel

Textures of Lake Atitlan

Textures of Lake Atitlan

Lake Atitlan is like no place that I’ve visited before. I’ll describe it as I saw it, exotic, noteworthy and unexpected! The Crater lake is huge, it covers over 50 square miles, is over 1000 ft. deep and sits at the base of three prominent volcanos. It’s shoreline is dotted with villages and outposts that are interconnected with a highly efficient network of water taxis. We stayed at on the outskirts of the city of Panajachel at the Atitalan Nature Reserve. At 5200 feet, the same elevation as Denver, I was surprised to find a Sub Tropic rainforest complete with Waterfalls, wild Hibiscus and Bamboo. As guests of the ecolodge we had access to the hiking trails and suspension bridges that climbed and meandered along the mountainous shoreline. The Reserve was home to a healthy population of Spider Monkeys and an impressive Butterfly Pavilion/ Research Center, it was awesome.

Waterfall Bridge

Rainforest Hiking at Reserva Atitlan

Hibiscus Atitlan

Bamboo Texture

The Water Taxis were basically floating chicken busses, nothing fancy. Embarking and disembarking required a level of agility that would disqualify the handicapped and the elderly. I cringed as I watched a healthy young anglo Woman miss the step and fall hard to the floor of the boat. She smiled off the embarrassment but it was obvious that she would be nursing her pains for a while. At 6’3” and on the heavy and out of shape side, I was at a complete disadvantage as I crawled my way through the crowded boat. Most of the locals avoided eye contact with me but I know they must have been scared to death that I would fall on them. I laugh now when I think about it.

Last Boat Home

Last Boat From San Juan

Atitlan Lakeside Homes

Lake Atitlan Outpost

Meet The Haves

Not The Have Nots

It Takes All Kinds

A Home With A View

The shoreline between villages appeared to be inaccessible by land in many places, yet elaborate private residences with there own boat docks are everywhere. The growing global disparity between the very poor and the very rich is on display on this lake that many would say is the most beautiful in the world.

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San Marcos Intersection

San Marcos Courtyard

Cafe Courtyard In San Marcos La Laguna

The first Village we chose to visit was San Marcos La Laguna, a holistic mecca for enlightenment of the mind and body. A narrow pathway led us from the dock into a maze of retreats and facilities that catered to the interests of Yoga, Reiki and Massage among other things. It was on that narrow pathway that I finally gathered my nerve to take a close up photo of two local kids who sold us chocolates. Sure enough I was verbally flogged in English by a self righteous expat of some sort, “How would you feel if we came to your country and took pictures of your children” he lashed out. My luck to have a confrontation with the one guy in town who wasn’t quite succeeding in the arts that he likely came here to practice. I tried to shake it all off, but ended up waking up the next morning with him on my mind and felt compelled to sketch my impression of him.

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Looking For Enlightenment

The following day, we visited San Juan La Laguna and its picturesque artist colony. I loved the way it felt there and if I go back I’d like to spend a night or two there. We spent the afternoon looking at and buying local Mayan influenced oil paintings and fabrics. I’ll show off the paintings we bought in my next post. Anyway, we had a such a relaxing afternoon that we failed to take note of the time and we nearly missed the last boat of the day back to Panajachel.

San Juan Roof Tops

Roofs of San Juan La Laguna

Time And Time Again

                         “And Summers and Winters Scattered Like Splinters And Four Or Five Years Slipped Away” ~ Jimmy Buffet

"Down Before Noon" - oil on canvas - 30"x30"

I have been dying to share my most recent painting but have also been waiting until it is complete.  It has now been a few months since I have picked up a brush and this was the last thing that I was working on when my whole focus shifted to the video production business.  I miss the simplicity of spending days on end in the studio and somehow posting this painting today, unfinished and unsigned makes me feel good.

They say time flies when you’re having fun, I say time flies no matter what.  What is time anyway?  The dictionary says that time is “the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present and future regarded as a whole”.  Aha!, that really cleared it all up for me.  Now I know that time is simply………well……..wait, let me read that definition again.  In Truth, when I try to wrap my mind around the concept of time, I have flashbacks.  I’m sitting in Algebra class, raising my hand and telling the teacher that I just don’t get it.  I don’t think I’m alone here.  Hey, If time is money, why aren’t we all rich?  If time is of the essence, why to most of essentially have no idea what time really is?

I do know that I perceive time to move with increasing velocity as time goes on.  It really doesn’t seem to have anything to do with having fun or not having fun, most of the time anyway.  Sometimes, usually around the time of my birthday I sit and stare out the window(for a very long time) and I try to understand how it seems like yesterday that I was watching first runs of Magnum P.I.   Sometimes I wonder why as soon as I get all of my winter clothing out of the box and into the closet, I am suddenly looking for short sleeve shirts that are packed away in the box.  Sometimes, I wish I could just make time stop, but then again that probably wouldn’t be much fun.

Perseverance and the Painter’s Soul

"Sacred Falls" oil on canvas 24"x24"

“Good for the body is the work of the body, good for the soul is the work of the soul, and good for either the work of the other.”  Henry David Thoreau

With ease and clarity, I can transport my mind back to a day in the late 1960’s, perhaps 1968.  The wheezing of my childhood asthma became almost unbearable and I threw my heavy frame backpack to the ground in the thin Rocky Mountain National Park air.  I was angry at the blistering pace that my Dad was setting as we ascended up a seemingly endless set of switchbacks and I wondered why in God’s name we were doing this.  I knew that there was no way that we would turn around and go home, for my parents had been planning this maiden backpacking trip for some time.

The moment we arrived at Lake Odessa, all thoughts of the effort that it took to get there vanished.  The remainder of that afternoon was spent exploring with my three sisters, fishing, setting up camp and generally having the time of our lives.  I didn’t know at the time that my parents had given me a great gift, they had introduced me to an activity that would be repeated enthusiastically throughout my life.

My time in the backcountry of Colorado has made an indelible impression upon my soul.  Painting provides me with a channel through which I can express the feelings that have come from those experiences.  Just like backpacking, painting is not easy and there are times when I just want to give up.  But I keep going, knowing that just around the next corner or over the next hill is a reward worth working for.