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Dancing by the Dumpster

I have made a bet with myself that I can find something every day in my ordinary neighborhood in Deepswamp, Georgia that is beautiful enough to paint. When I walked to the mailbox this afternoon I thought I may have lost that bet. Then I saw these trees. I have seen them many times before, … Continue reading

Beauty all around Us

I live in Deepswamp, Georgia. This does not seem to be a promising location for artistic inspiration. Van Gogh wanted to move to Japan, having heard the light there was special but friends convinced him that the light in France was very similar. Well, light falls on the just and the unjust, the Japanese and … Continue reading

Words Have Meanings-Liberal, Conservative, Socialist, Fascist…

Some people just like to rant and name-call like little kids on a school playground-but if you want to have a healthy debate, you have define what to heck you’re talking about. Anything left of Mussolini is communist, socialist, lefty. This is mental laziness or in plain terms-stupidity. There has even been a sustained effort … Continue reading

The Will to Live-Shorty, the Castrated Rooster

Castrated roosters are called capons and minus testosterone, they grown fat and juicy instead of lean and mean. Shorty came in a batch of 50 capons we took home to raise. Castrating a rooster is a bit complicated since their testes are internal. I do not know or want to know how the procedure is … Continue reading

Making Art: A Spiritual Activity

Making art is a spiritual activity in that an artist attempts to look beyond appearances, to see through to some essential truth. This truth is elusive and cannot be reached by normal analytical means. While an artist can be highly trained and skilled, until they can transcend the mask of normality and peer beyond the … Continue reading

Who Belongs to Your Tribe?

After spending 90,000 years in tribes, we humans still carry tribal characteristics and probably always will. One essential characteristic is identifying fellow tribe members-who belongs to your tribe? This was a life and death determination. Is that individual part of the family, a potential trading partner or is he an existential threat? You may say, … Continue reading

Adventures in Poverty-Childhood on the Farm

A typical dinner was grass-fed beef, new potatoes, fresh tomatoes, sweet corn and berries in season. We had so much milk we fed the cream to the pigs. Does this sound like poverty to you? During the season, we kids would whine, “Asparagus, again?” Yet locals lined up in the driveway waiting to buy the … Continue reading

Painting the National Mood: “Blue Crab” (Optimism)

A defining characteristic of Americans is their optimism. As a nation of immigrants, perhaps optimism was necessary to leave everything you knew and set out on a hazardous journey to who-knows-what. We can imagine that the pessimists stayed behind, assuming any change would be a change for the worse. I spent over a week painting … Continue reading

Ted Cruz and Radical Right Cubans

I have had two alarming personal interactions with radical right Cubans. They were alarming because these people claimed they were Christians and their blinding and violent hatred did not line up with ANYTHING Jesus ever said. In a couple of online conversations with “conservative Catholics” who turned out to be Cuban, I came away blistered … Continue reading

Meet a Real Poor Person-Marisa, a working mom

I only met Marisa briefly. She was an attractive woman with a  shy, pretty smile. She was working long hours at a convenience store and taking care of her 12 year-old daughter the best she could. She wished they could afford to live in a better neighborhood, because her daughter was home alone much of … Continue reading