Category Archives: relationships

Centered

Sorry I haven’t been around. I have drawn some art, but I had a reason to be away.

My mom contracted Covid-19.

So I have been doing my best to make decisions and help with her care, to make sure she RECEIVED care and to find a way for her to know that she was loved, even though we couldn’t be there physically.

She’s in her 70’s, but she is recovering. Also, small town America has no idea what’s about to happen to it. Her entire church (Yes, they STILL went to church) has been infected. Several have died.

So I continue to draw and edit videos. I have a time lapse video of this week’s drawing, but it’ll take awhile to compress it and speed it up.

Plus I’m told that I’m going between genres too often. Well, I try to be consistent, but I’ve been occupied. Hopefully things will get better.

Put It on the Fridge

Happy Mother’s Day! I got to talk with my mom bright and early yesterday. She’s in her 70’s but still has all of her brothers and sister and her mom. Clearly longevity is a family trait.

We were talking and she revealed that she keeps up with my art and loves seeing the stuff that I create. I was surprised by this, but in hindsight I should not have been.

She was my first fan.

When I was a toddler, she gave me my first paints. When I was in kindergarten, she used to put my pictures on the fridge. And when my teachers would complain about me drawing on homework, she bought me typing paper, which was a big deal for me. I had paper just to draw!

So yeah…my mom was always encouraging me. She was stern sometimes, keeping me on the right path, lol. But I never felt that my mom didn’t love me. And I had no idea that she follows ANY of this.

So thank you for allowing me to be me and teaching me the value in believing in yourself. I’ll never forget and always love you ❤️.

Woof

I had a dream about my Siberian Husky, Blizzard. We were going for a walk, except it started with driving with him in the passenger seat of my Amigo, top down as a puppy.

We ended up walking around my hometown. He was a full grown dog at that point in my dream. We were looking for my son. I woke up before we made it to my moms house.

When you have dreams like that, they carry a sense of dread. My Blizzard is gone; but I still feel him and that memory always comes with a slight sliver of pain and sadness. I miss him a lot.

So I decided to draw to help me grieve a little. It’s weird to me because I’ve seen the equivalent of a small village dead at once. I’ve seen severe human suffering.

But it’s always the small, personal wounds to my payche that stay. I feel like I should forget at some point.

But I probably won’t.

I hope I don’t.

Safety over Freedom

It reads like a rant, right? It’s not. I’ll always pick freedom. But I also know better than to think things go away because I wish it.

Anyway…

I rarely draw kids. It’s not that I don’t like them; it’s that I don’t want to be trapped in the business of kids and pets. I have no interest in them.

But I do get it. My son was a little cutie, like this one. Curly hair and all. It took a long time to perfect those ringlets.

Drawing loved ones isn’t the same. It’s an interesting challenge, because you don’t really see the person only. You see them through the lens of your affection for them.

That makes it difficult to accurately judge what you are seeing. Even the most ordinary act can seem to be wonderful in such light, to say nothing of the person. To me my mom looks young and has a special glow.

You aren’t able to see that for the loved ones of others. Sometimes your interpretation of a person or pet can actually upset a customer.

People often don’t understand that an artist has developed a style that they may not appreciate. We’re not Xerox copiers and I’ve had a few experiences where expectations didn’t sync up with the reality.

That’s why it’s important to communicate with your client; if they are interested in a commission of any type, find out WHY they think that you’d make a great choice. Are they fans of your work? Did they pick you out of a hat? What are the expectations of the final work? How do they feel about the subject? Can they tell you a story about them?

Emotional stuff is NEVER irrelevant.

Non

I had to go visit an old Girlfriend in hospice. Cancer. She’d requested to see me, so I went. We talked, a little; she told me why she left and that she liked me. Thought I was one of the nicest people she knew.

I had to be somebody’s, right?

Her mother was there and some cousins. Apparently she talked about me a lot. I answered their questions. I held her hand. We cried some.

She’s gone. Dying quick, even violently, seems like a kindness now.

I’ll be better next week.

Tears in Rain

A lot of people remember Rutger Hauer as his seminal creation, Roy Batty. Not me. I had no interest in the saxophone tuned, smoke filled crime drama. Nope.

My first Rutger film was Blind Fury.

That movie was a weird, fun filled adventure. It made me laugh. Seeing him walking off in the end made me want to see further adventures.

Next was Split Second.

I’ll be honest; I didn’t see all of it. The Mrs and I were really busy making out (newlyweds). But I do remember believing his character was him. He was a sort of action hero, but a more emotionally honest one

I saw Hitcher while stationed overseas in Germany. It was running in a small theatre in Munchen(Munich) And me, being an idiot went in to see it.

It was in German. But I still got the point.

So finally, FINALLY I decided to give Blade Runner a try. There were a lot of versions, but Netflix only had one. I was divorced, cynical and bitter. Perfect timing, right?

I loved it. It didn’t try to explain the world we were seeing too much. I could almost grasp a lot of it. But I enjoyed two people in it the most.

Rachel. And Roy.

I’m not sure what that says about my mindset then. I guess I had lost a lot of my self identity at that point.

I wasn’t a soldier, husband or even allowed to be a dad. I was holding on to a job and had tried to take my own life. I’d been encouraged to. By my wife.

So the entirety of his very eloquent self eulogy deeply affected me. Here was a man who had lost everything and was about to lose the only thing he had left. And all he wanted was one more day.

So I decided to try it. Just be here one more day. That was nine years ago.

So yeah…Mr Hauer saved me while I metaphorically was dangling by the fingertips. So I drew him twice. He died in the same year Roy Batty did in the movie.

Symmetry.

Surprise!

I have to admit; people can still surprise me. Here I am, sitting at my desk and I was drawing a blank. So I decided to change locales and took a lunch at Starbucks.

I decided to draw a car, but from the inside. I used to own a 66 mustang, which seemed like the perfect vehicle; simple and purpose built.

Of course, people started to crowd around. I’m used to it at this point and most are willing to let you work in peace and simply watch.

Most.

This one guy was VERY persistent. To be honest, he was getting on my nerves! But I stayed calm. I was in a public space after all. My desk was starting to seem like an oasis at this point.

The car that lead to the image I drew #rita

So…I explained. Turns out, he owns a 66 mustang. And you know what? He bought the drawing on the spot. I was a little surprised. But I learned a lesson. From now on, I’ll think “customer interaction” BEFORE I think “interruption”.

Specific

Okay… I’m going to try something for the first time.

I’ll tell you WHY I drew something. If you guys like that I may share more stuff like it. WARNING!! It may suck, lol. Anyway…

I drew this picture of my son’s mother, my ex-wife. We talked for mother’s day and afterwards I felt physically ill. She was the love of my life and I still miss her everyday. So I was hit with this certainty that I didn’t exist anymore. I wanted to scream and I wanted to ugly cry.

I started drawing instead.

I did it as fast as I could. I just drew her like she was in the shower, except the water is mine. My tears. And NO ONE would know that. Unless I told them.

So as I went along, creating this little slice of my psyche, I began to feel better. So now you know.

CareFree

Believe it or not, I actually had artwork ready for last week. But I ended up two states away at a hospice center, watching an old aquaintance pass away.

It was interesting in a terrifying way.

I’ve seen people die. I’ve caused it as well (do NOT recommend). But that’s pretty quickly over. You can’t process everything and it leaves you a little dazed.

This was… different.

First the call came and I drove to North Carolina where my friend had retired. I thought he was hurt. Then they explained and I told them that I hadn’t seen him in over a decade. It was awkward. We weren’t super close. But I decided to stay.

I have never had someone look so happy to see me. EVER. We talked a little, got caught up. My brain was having a hard time processing that he wasn’t just….in the hospital. You know? Like he’d get better somehow.

His biggest fear was that no one would come. “I couldn’t think of anybody, man. I was a little scared”.

….

What could I say? Having noone there is pretty much a horrible thing. When he turned and stop talking, I got a break. The nurses thanked me for coming and wanted to hear how I knew him. The more they asked the less I could answer. Finally the question came…

Why did you come?

Those places are very religious. He talked a lot about the Lord and what he believed. Sometimes he just stared at me, like he was trying to memorize my face.

Eventually he was gone.

I drove home. During the drive I thought about how I had pulled away from friends and family. Three years ago, I had tried to end my own life. I thought about this stuff over and over.

Anyway…it was a busy week.

Do try die

I finished this project for someone new. She doesn’t know about the blog. She just thought the image was cool and I agreed.

We talked.

And I was really enjoying myself until this voice inside me asked, very quietly, “what are you doing?”

I finished her picture and packed up my stuff. She seemed confused and I couldn’t explain. We parted. I’ll try to never see her again.

Because #skyphoenix never forgets and the stars haven’t burned out yet.