Honoring Martin Luther King

As I prepared to write a post commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday, I re-read one that I wrote years ago. After doing so, I am stunned that the same post, word for word, could be written today, four years later. So, instead of writing a new one, I offer it to you today, unchanged but for a few edits, in honor of Dr. King’s birthday. You can read the original post here.


This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. ~ An excerpt from Martin Luther King, Jr.s “I Have A Dream” speech

On this day commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King and his birthday, I cannot help but think of the divisiveness that has taken over our nation during the last decade.  For a large segment of this country, agreeing to disagree is akin to an accusation of murder. Differences of opinions are now regarded as personal attacks, and in some cases, may lead to such. Ironically, those who are the first to scream and shout that their First Amendment rights are even slightly infringed upon, are the very same people who shamelessly denigrate the beliefs and points of view of  others, as they champion their own. 

On a grand scale, there is no simple or quick fix to the angry, hateful climate stoked and allowed to fester for more than a decade. We cannot look to the media, politicians, or anyone else for that matter, to fix the problem, because in some cases, they participated in stirring the pot of discord that has infected this nation. The answer lies within each of us. Of course, there are a multitude of actions that we each can take to ensure that we are not part of the problem, but a part of the solution. One suggestion is to begin each day with this affirmation:

“Today I will attempt to see anything I am involved with from more than one perspective. If I feel myself getting stuck in the way I see things, I will say to myself, “I wish to see this differently,” and know that my sincere desire will result in a shift of awareness. There is really no one right way to see anything . To allow my point of view to shift will not only produce insight and relief for a particular circumstance but it will give me practice in letting my mind and move freely and independently. I will allow myself the luxury of relaxing my rigid point of view and letting new light and fresh awareness come into my inner sight. I believe that it is possible to see things in a variety of ways.”  ~Tian Dayton, Ph.D.

How you choose to deal with the problem is up to you, so long as your solution is positive, and does nothing to add to the rancor and divisiveness of the day. Listening and treating others and their point of view with the respect that it deserves, does not mean that we must change our point of view one iota, but who knows, we might learn something. The important thing is that, for the health of this country, we “transform the jangling discord of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood,” as Dr. King envisioned.


Day 2 of 5-day Art Challenge

Wow, I am beat! I admire all the artists who seemingly effortlessly, create multiple works of art a day. It is only the second day of the five-day art challenge  and I feel like I’ve been rode hard and put away wet. (For those of you with dirty minds, (You know who you are.) the saying is referring to a “horse.”) It is exhausting work! If you are scratching your head wondering what I am talking about, read this post from yesterday.

Every day, I am learning something new. For example, I love mixed media work, as opposed to simply painting. Don’t get me wrong, most of the artists that I truly admire are painters and they do incredible work. For my weird personality, however, I find that it confines me. Although I don’t claim that this is the “accepted” definition of mixed media, I see it as a marriage of a variety of artistic expressions; for instance, paints (it can be a combination of acrylics, watercolor or others that work together), stencils, crayons, stamps, inks, markers, chalk, pens, collage, pencil and more.

Today, I realized that I love working with inks, spray and otherwise. I also learned that I don’t care much for “soft” bodied acrylic paints, even though I have a s**t load of them. I’ll use them sometimes, but for the most part, I’m sticking with the “heavy”  bodied acrylics.

I finally understand that over the last 1 ½ years, I have learned a great deal more than I thought. I am thankful that I’ve taken courses from artists with varying styles, because, as a result. I have a huge arsenal of techniques from which to choose. However, my groupings of paintings tend to look rather schizophrenic, but they are the result of what wants to come out at the time of creation, so I am just going with it. This challenge is proving to help me to winnow out those techniques that do not work for me, while at the same time, to embrace those that will ultimately become a part of my own unique style.

Most importantly, the pace is allowing me to let go of the need to both be “perfect” (whatever that means) and paint for others. I have a tendency to worry about whether others will like my work, instead of focusing on whether I like it. I’ve found that the pieces that I like most, are those when I simply zoned out and created from my heart. Sure, not everyone will appreciate the outcome, but then, that’s art, it is open to interpretation. This is a lesson that I will practice every day.

And now, I will stop yapping and get to the point of this post. These are my three pieces for Day 2 of the challenge: