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Archive for July, 2009


Swamp Blues – Lightnin' Slim

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Lightnin Slim - Otis HicksLightnin’ Slim or Otis Hicks, left our world July 27th, 1974…

Leaving a mark on Swamp Blues – debuting back in 1954, Bad Luck – If it wasn’t for bad luck, I wouldn’t have no luck at all.

I wasn’t even a glimmer in my dad’s eye..but know I’ve heard the name before, and needed to do a little research, low and behold, I figured it out.

Lightnin’ Slim backed mainly by drums (my new hobby) and harmonica, he had a gritty sounding voice and sang Louisiana Swamp Blues, with tunes such as – I’m Tired Waitin’ Baby, Your Old Enough to Understand and one of my favorites – Rooster Blues

Those tunes bring me back to New Orleans 22 years ago, when mom & I sat and drank Mint Juleps (nasty, nasty drink) in a seedy bar on Bourbon Street..  Listening to the musicians that were born with blues in their blood.

When I listen to someone like Lightnin’ Slim, I am instantly transported into a dark, smoke filled tavern in the south. A tavern that the heat is so thick you can see it, the sound is so profound, it rises through the floor into  your toes through the floor boards and grabs you buy the heart so you will sit down and listen.   No one listens anymore, they always interject….

One where people meet, to talk and share their stories.  Stories of how life brought them to this point, whether that story are sad or true, you get a sense that this is where the heart of blues is and will remain clinging to the walls, or clinging to the worn out bar stools.   Their is history there, a history of music and people that walked before us.

Take today to remember someone that walked before you, someone who paved the way, someone who brought something to the table that we often don’t think about..

Categories : Pencil Sketches
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What Happened to Gravity?

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Hands and Feet Pencil SketchIt’s been all around us and no one seems to have a good solid answer.

Do you recently feel that you do not have your feet planted firmly on the ground?

Are they being cradled by faith or held up by some unknown force?

I have listened lately to several people say things, things that are out of character for them.  So many of the stories and feelings are very similar, that I have to question what the driving force is, why now, why so many people have so many questions that are along the same lines?

What is the feeling in the air? Is it the economy? Are the planets shifting? Is it the negativity flying through the air waves on the nightly news?

What happens to us when we feel that our feet are not on the ground? We begin to see things from a different perspective, albeit, that’s not a bad thing.  Focus seems lost and concentration is at a minimum.

Are those that are closest to you feeling the same or have your emotions just overflowed onto them? I find that when my feet are not on the ground that I begin to ask questions that I normally wouldn’t.

When our feet are planted firmly, answers do come more  easily, but is life supposed to be easy? Is uncertainty part of our growth process?  Can we live in a world of constant questioning, no way, can we live with the constant negative spin of the world around us.

When was the last time you turned on the television and picked up a positive story?

Do you hear from co-workers, family members and friends…

“I’ve been wronged”

“They owe me this, that, the other thing”

“That’s not how I would do it”

Take the great depression, do you think that anyone that lived through that era would be able to make a negative spin out of a “free loaf of bread?”

Perhaps our feet may not be grounded, feelings out of sync, questions flying around about the uncertain economy and the future, but somewhere out there, there is someone to hold you up, someone that is in your corner.  That is the positive force that we as a country have lost.

Everyone is aware of 9/11, it rocked our country to the core – do you recall the emotion it brought out in people across the country, people became kind and concerned about others,  people held doors for strangers, they said good morning, people took time for others…

Someone, something, somehow can help us get our feet back on the ground, it’s a matter of believing not only in others, but in yourself as well..

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Spread Your Wings

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Pegasus Horse PaintingThis is a piece I forgot I had in my portfolio of paintings and sketches.

This was the first time I worked on wood of this magnitude.  This is a sign for Merritt and Associates Equine Hospital in Wauconda, Illinois.

Spreading your wings, this can be in any aspect of your life.  Being a self taught artist and self taught blogger I guess that’s a fitting title.  We all have the capabilities within ourselves to spread our wings.

I think back often to a scene in Dances with Wolves, when Kevin Costner is on his horse and rides over a ridge, all you see is vast green land, that was the American Frontier.  I can’t even imagine how breath taking that would be in real life.

Can you imagine spreading your wings and seeing something like that, I envy those that take big chances, but I also know that you can close your eyes and envision things and that will help bring you closer to spreading your wings.

Start spreading those wings – try a new food, a new drink, pick up a camera and take a picture, buy yourself a domain name and start blogging, share a silly secret with a friend, listen to someone’s story about a sad childhood and just be there to tell them they didn’t deserve that,  there are all sorts of ways to  spread your wings.  We all can’t run off to see the American Frontier but we can make our lives better by trying new things and being open to new experiences..

Categories : paintings
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