On vacation, shortly after being let go because of cheap Mexican labor… wait, that’s just awfully wrong of me. Let me start over. I was laid off from the company I worked for for almost fourteen years because a business decision was made to consolodate US operations in a more beneficially accommodating labor wage structure in the Mexican state of Durango. Honestly, I got to meet a lot of the people that would be taking my place. Lovely, amazingly friendly, and mostly green people. God bless them all, they had nothing to do with the business decision, but they had to play catch up, and for not a lot of pay. Such is the current business playground.
Nothing against the company I worked for, however. They treated us all very well, and prepared us for what was going to happen. We really were treated more fairly than most, and for that I am much appreciative. Way to take care of your people! It just chaps me because it’s costing more for them to do business down there than it would’ve cost to keep it where it was. What if? What a wasted question that is.
Well after I was given my marching papers, we decided we’d go on a much needed vacation. I took a lot of my art supplies guessing I’d have a lot of inspiration to pick from. Isn’t this funny? While looking at the kitchen cabinets, the knots in the wood seemed to etch out a face. I filled in the empty space with imagination and this is what came of it.
We went to Florida a couple weeks ago. My 92 year old grandfather had been in the hospital, and we were afraid it was his time to go. Nope! He’s recovered and doing extremely well now. Mom and I had some alone time in the back yard, both of us painting. She did an ocean sunset scene, and I, lacking imagination, painted what I saw… a very large crape myrtle. It was a good trip.
I’ve been studying Advaita for awhile now, I guess going on two years now. Being a “seeker”, of sorts, is terribly frustrating, and I envy folks that get it. (You should look at my other blog to see how deep it is) Anyway, Ken B. loaned me a book – “Zen Flesh, Zen Bones” – sometime last year. It’s not a big book, but I’d put it away and finally stumbled upon it last week. It’s a compilation of some Zen and Pre-Zen stories, some of them up to 4,000 years old. Fascinating, and thought-provoking at times. The cover has a very cool Japanese, or Chinese, painting of a monk riding a bull. The bull is significant in Zen, but you’ll have to do some googling to find out why. I had a go at recreating the painting on the cover of this wonderful book.
Zen Flesh, Zen Bones. Watercolor on 4" x 6", 140lb paper.
Well it looks like I’m leaning more towards the abstract side of art. I spend a lot of time looking at other folks’ work. Ebay, Etsy.com, and many other gallery sites. I glance so quickly over all the still life and landscapes and portraits until something grabs me. It’s always abstract that gets my attention. Or something with lots of color and bold brushwork. I see so much boring work, and yes, even mine.
This piece developed after I started out just splotching marks of color on the paper. It sort of looks like a flow chart, or fault tree analysis. What torture it is to be creative and have a technical mind!
I had very sloppily laid a horrendous wash of these three colors on a small piece of 140 lb watercolor paper, and it sat. It sat for a while. I had been inspired by a guy named Adnan, whose Alacati work is unbelievable, and this is what happened. Click here to see some of his work. The building can be found on Main Street in Disney World.
Main Street USA at dusk. Watercolor & ink on watercolor paper.