A quantity of unknowns
A composite of all things,
past present and future,
A galaxy of infinite limits,
here to be embraced and devoured
by those of us who hunger for knowledge
Many years ago I ran across a quote very similar to the one above, written by someone whose name I do not recall, or perhaps written by an unknown author. I have taken the liberty of presenting my version of it here using my own words since I do not remember the exact wording. However, the message conveyed above is as true today as it has been in past years. I disclaim the thought, for it is universal.
To our youth I say this; Experience is a great teacher but a decent education softens the bumps on the long trip through life, so consume as much knowledge through education as you can acquire, it will make the trip much easier.
To up and coming young artists: There is no such thing as a "good" or "bad" artist, an artist is an artist. Even elephants and monkeys can paint. Art enthusiasts and entrepreneurs and dealers and gallery owners have their own "cliques" to cater to. How many times have you heard.." we only show foreign work " or "sorry, we have our own artists". Remember to "toot your own horn" for recognition is important, while on the other hand, "fame is fleeting."
Observation: I have found that most visual art promotion, commercially or aesthetically, is done by women (God bless them).
It is important to ask for help when you need it, but do not let the "helper" sidetrack your vision. Avoid falling into the "pecking order of things" syndrome.
To be a conformist is not to be yourself. Non-conformity is inherent in the individual as is the path to independence (but it's a rough road, believe me!)
A while back I was referred to as a painter of Mexican Art thus giving the impression that Mexican Art was all that I painted. At the time I informed those who made the inference that I did not wish to be placed in any particular category since I do paint just about anything that I believe is worth putting on canvas, be it landscapes or people.
Mexican pyramids representing the ancient architecture of many Indian tribes of pre-Hispanic Mexico happen to be a subject that is very interesting. In my case, this subject just happens to depict something beautiful that can be traced back to a partial ancestry of my own ethnicity.
I consider myself to be a portrait painter as well as a landscape artist working with oil paints on canvas.
I do not wish to depreciate my ethnicity in the face of good friends and fellow artists who happen to be Mexican nationals, nor do I wish to be known as a "Mexican" artist. My biography on another page tells you who I am and what I believe. Ahead you will find a little piece that will give you an idea of a philosophy that I have come to embrace over the years.
This Old Man
Looking in the mirror at age 80 plus, at a wrinkled face and a balding head with what's left of the hair now completely gray, you wonder, ' what in the world am I doing, clinging to life at this stage of the game?"
The answer is very simple. Life is just too good to let go on your own volition.
For a guy that expected to be dead early in life (the war, you know) and instead survived to age 40 ( the age that most of us believed that death would be certain) and beyond, ' well, you ask, what in the world is going on?'
Maybe it's the genes.
Now you have children nearing retirement age!
Grandchildren approaching their 40's (that age again) and great grandchildren already in their catastrophic 'teens.
To whom or to what do you attribute this beautiful longevity?
It's a toss up!
So you sit back and mull over the possibilities, wavering but not commiting.
You become an agnostic, a fence sitter if you will ( sitting on a fence is not comfortable but eventually you learn to balance.)
Some will love you for your stance while others will vehemently hate your guts!
Well, you do not live or die by what people think, only by what they do for you or to you.
This guy looking back from the mirror has been around!
Thanks to a Constitution written, signed and set in place by a group of very smart people a very long time ago, this old man has managed to survive through "thick and thin".
And with the aid of some wonderful people who work at the Veterans Administration Hospitals (Hines IL.in particular) this old man may continue to survive a few more years.
The body is weak and uncertain.
The mind is clear and willing to continue (still sitting on that fence!)
PS. I wrote this piece exactly ten years ago.
Heading for 90 in a few weeks!!!!!
Have now reached 91 and closing in on 92 and counting.
Recently I turned 93.......and still kicking!