Category Archives: art

Help Me Move My Artwork Across The Country

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Help Me Move My Artwork Across The Country

Many of you know my story that I’m an artist, husband and father of three beautiful girls ages 9, 7 and 3 years old.

My wife and I recently moved our family from Oregon to Central Texas, (Austin Texas area), with the hope of building a better life for our family in this part of the United States.

Like any family on a budget we had to prioritize and could only move the things that we use and would need when we got to our home in Texas. This meant that I had to leave all of my artwork in Oregon, along with large portion of our household items.

It’s been tough getting started in Texas due to several recent financial difficulties and I’ve not been able to afford to go back to Oregon to get my artwork and the rest of our household items out of storage.

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To help me get my art out of storage (so I can start selling it in Texas) I just started a Go Fund Me Campaign.

If you decide to donate to my campaign I will give you one free piece of artwork from my collection.

View my art collection here:

https://www.instagram.com/jeremyraglin/

I will be open to creating one custom oil pastel painting for you as well. This can be either a landscape, still life or special painting based on your idea.

If you’re interested in contributing to my campaign please

visit https://www.gofundme.com/move-my-artwork-across-the-country

All money from this campaign will be used by me to fly back to Oregon, get my artwork out of storage and drive a U Haul truck (with my artwork) back to Texas.

To learn more about this campaign please click on the link above, email me anytime or call (512) 333-2087.

Thanks for reading!

Jeremy Raglin

Jeremy

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New Artwork For A Saturday Morning

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New Artwork

It’s 2:27 am on a Saturday morning and while the kids and my wife are asleep I’m up finishing new art and blogging…..

For me it’s passion that keeps me awake, it’s a passion to create, and I enjoy coming up with new artwork whenever I can.

By day I’m a blogger and I have my own business, but at night after my kids are in bed, and I have some quiet time,I’m an artist, and it’s something that I’ve loved since the day when I first picked up a brush and moved some paint on a canvas, I hope I will still be passionate about art and other things like music, movies and life as I grow older.

Lately I’ve had the sneaky feeling that life is speeding by very fast. Has this ever happened to you?

Days blend into weeks, and weeks blend into months then before I know it, it’s fall again, my kids are getting older and another year is almost over.

These are all reminders that life is gift and it’s time to really focus on if I’m doing the things that I was sent to earth to do because, nobody is guaranteed any time on this earth so we better figure it out and make sure we’re heading down the right path, doing what were supposed to be doing with our lives before they are over.

Over the last couple of years I’ve had relatives die, a parent get cancer, family members moving in different directions and I realize more and more every day that I have to make the moments that I have on earth count, do the best that I can at raising my kids, be a great husband and live the life that I was meant to live all within 24 hours per day.

Sometimes it’s hard to live a full life when you have 3 children in the home and a family that needs your attention but I keep on staying dedicated to my passions because I don’t want to wake up one morning regretting that I haven’t painted or written a word in years and now I’m just too old to do it.

I’m not up until 3 am every Saturday morning because there’s some Friday nights when I’m dead tired by 11:30 pm but when everything lines up just right, and I have a little caffeine in me, I find myself creating.

Picasso once said that artists live so long because they leave their bodies outside the door and I can relate to that because when I create art or write time stands still and the hours fly by fast.

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I recently saw a great movie called “The Shift”, it’s about following your life’s purpose and realizing that if life isn’t working out the way that you thought it should then maybe you’re not living a life that’s aligned with your souls purpose. If you haven’t seen this movie yet I highly recommend it! You can watch it for free on YouTube. 🙂

Stay passionate about whatever it is that moves you and don’t give up on it!

 

 

 

 

Jeremy

 

Give Up On Your Dreams Or Keep Moving?

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When is it time for you to give up on your dreams? If the answer is never, you would be right…..

Over 20 years ago I fell in love with artwork and my passion for it has continued all these years later in spite of getting married, starting a business and having 3 children. Thankfully I still find time to create new artwork, even if it’s a night of drawing, because it’s important to me, and I can’t think of giving up on it in favor of just wasting time.

How do I do it? I find time to create when I could be doing other things like watching TV, or maybe playing a game on the computer. Not that I don’t love computer games, because I also am a Half Life fan, but for me art is more important to me than movies, TV and games especially as I grow older because I have the desire to spend my time doing things that really matter to me.

Sadly, I know many people who have given up on their dreams, including my old friend and mentor Joe who no longer paints and has settled into a life of just surviving. 

What’s your passion? Find time to keep it alive. Don’t settle for just existing, especially if people tell you that your life has to be the way it is. Keep it going, you will find time for it in spite of how busy your life is. 🙂

 

 

 

 

The Passion For Art Doesn’t Die

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Fish School

It’s 3:00 am on Saturday morning and after creating a new painting, I’m still awake buzzing with energy, creative energy that is. 🙂

Since turning 40 in May I’ve stayed productive and continued creating art in spite of growing kids, a great marriage and a good business because I love art and wouldn’t have the heart to stop painting or drawing no matter how old I get.

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For me art literally is a form of time travel because I still feel the same inside like I did at 18 anytime I create art and now that I’m 40 I want to create even more but where does a busy dad with responsibilities fit the time to create art in?

The answer is to create smaller paintings and lately I’ve been knocking out art 8 1/2 x 11 in size, mostly on paper and it’s going great. I’ve even done some work in crayon too and had a great time.

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Where to from here? Hopefully soon I can show a few paintings in a gallery somewhere and maybe even sell a few, who knows?

 

9-11 – The world went upside down in one day

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The day was September 11, 2001 and the world changed forever.

It was a Tuesday morning and my day was starting out normally just like it always did. I woke up, shower, dressed and as I prepared to leave my house for work, my boss called.

“Are you watching the news?” He asked.

“No,” I said.

“I don’t think we will be working today.”

“Why?” I asked.

“We just got attacked! Turn on the TV!” He said.

I hung up the phone and like millions of Americans that day, turned on the television and watched the carnage in New York as the two planes hit the World Trade Center, causing its twin towers to implode. Never in my life had I seen anything like it.

I watched the T.V. like a zombie as the news covered every horrific angle of the tragedy in graphic detail. I felt scared, shocked, and horrified to see it happening live and knew that, right then and there, our world had changed.

I knew that the years of ease and prosperity of my youth were over, and that a whole new world was dawning with dreaded new effects for everyone.

Growing up, War was a foreign subject to me and other than what I saw of old news clips and interviews of Pearl Harbor survivors I had never seen anything like 911.

After September 11, 2001 we could no longer expect to live our lives in peace without the fear of terrorism and destruction.

Things were changing and everyone my age and younger was uncertain what would come of it.

Would there be a bigger attack?

Would it be nuclear?

Would there be a war?

Could I get drafted?

These were the fundamental questions that went through the minds of everyone, especially those in their early 20’s like me who wondered how this event would change our futures.

Over 3,000 people both young and old lost their lives that day due to this act of terrorism and I knew that I could be the next victim of terrorism or I could lose my life fighting for my country.

911 brought out a wave of patriotism like I had never seen and many people my age enlisted in the military.

Men and women, enlisted voluntarily because they wanted to fight for their country and avenge the lives of those that were lost on September 11th 2001.

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Flags were flown everywhere, citizens were united in the grief and for a few days even the politicians were united in the support of the United States and stand against terrorism.

It took only a few days for the truth to come to light about who was responsible for 911 as the media showed pictures and video of the hijackers before they boarded the airplanes that day and informed the world the a terrorist group nobody every heard of called Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for the bombings.

The Governments response was quick and they sent troops into Afghanistan to seek out and destroy the Al Qaeda and its leader, the mastermind of 911, Osama Bin Laden.

Over the coming months war and loss became a part of my life for the very first time as causalities of war were reported on a daily basis from news networks worldwide.

After 911 everything changed. Many companies went out of business because with the loss of the World Trade center, the nation’s financial sector was rocked to its core and the stock markets were shut down for almost one week and transportation grounded to a halt.

The company I worked for also had to downsize and cut back it’s workforce after losing millions in contracts and new business and I was laid off a few weeks later and once again searching for the elusive, “dream job.”

A few weeks after 911, Andy Lakey called me, but this time it wasn’t to talk about art, he was all business and was only interested in if I was going to invest in the Do it all Travel business opportunity or not.

I tried to turn the subject back to art and he lost interest in the conversation and promised to call me back in a few weeks.

I considered investing in the business opportunity because I still craved the opportunity to be involved in the same circle of influence as Andy but after losing my job I was having a hard time paying the bills and decided to pass.

I never heard from Andy Lakey again…….

And a few months later I learned that Do it all Travel went out of business due to the fact that, after 911, people were afraid of flying and the travel industry took a major hit.

I realized that this was a sign that I should stay out of the travel industry and I accepted the decision that it wasn’t for me.

After the letdown of seeing my relationship with Andy Lakey fizzle and my business opportunity in Do it all Travel go up in smoke I searched harder than ever for a job, any job where I could work and get back on my feet.

One of my friends suggested that I get into sales and since I had tired every other career path seemingly known to man I entered the world of sales and found my niche in life and was able to hone my skills working in the best job that I would ever have.

Click here to continue the story!

 

 

Self discovery, pain and celebration

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1999 was a year of discovery, trial and error, and good times.

 

After I had been with the company for a year, I felt like I was finally beginning to get somewhere with my life.

 

I had a good job, a decent income, and a solid base of friends like Dave, Gill, and Joe that I could rely on for inspiration and creative feedback as I worked hard on my painting, with the intention of developing a career in the art world.

 

Every day before I went to work, I passionately painted in my studio for four hours, creating the best paintings I’d ever done since I had dedicated myself to my art.

 

I had nothing holding me back; I didn’t have to adhere to any standards or regulations, or listen to people who told me how or what to paint.

 

I just painted every day because I was in love with my art and couldn’t wait to get back to my studio to see how my art would develop next.

 

Creating s painting is like a romance in the making, and I was in love for that brief time every time every day, that I could work in peace before I had to go to work.

 

Also during that time, I really learned what it was like to get into, “the zone”.

 

“The zone,” is a state of passion where creativity, imagination and spirit beautifully and freely flow, together while the problems of the rest of the world are tuned out.

 

When I enter “the zone,” physical needs like eating, drinking and sleeping don’t matter because my spirit is connected with my creative passion and I get all the food that I need from that passion while I work away.

 

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Picasso once said, “The reason why artists live so long is because they leave their body, outside the door.” That’s why artists are able to withstand so many sleepless nights and long hours of sitting and standing in weird positions while working on the art they are creating.

 

What I found really interesting about this time in my life was that I didn’t stop envisioning and creating when I went to work. Instead of going to work every night feeling like I had been ripped away from someone I loved, I started to carry my creativity with me to the factory.

 

There were always “hot projects,” at the factory each night because management in Japan always put pressure on our company to produce more, more, and more every week.

 

As I worked next to Gill one night I was feeling introspective and decided to write a simple poem about how I was feeling

 

It was just a few lines that rhymed, and after I finished it, I showed it to Gill. He looked it over like the professor he once was and said, “This is great, but if you’re going to write a poem, try to avoid rhyming because, those types of poems sound sissy and you need to learn how to make your poem sound real.”

 

“Poetry today doesn’t rhyme; it doesn’t have thee’s and thou’s in it. Poetry today is life, it’s gritty, and it’s real. For instance poetry is about a girl writing about her experiences, like loosing her virginity, and it’s about a homeless man scratching hopeless words on a box as he slowly starves from lack of food and loneliness.”

 

“Remember, Jeremy, poetry, is about life,” Gill said.

 

And for the rest of the evening, Gill told me all about his favorite writers from the 1960’s who wrote with fire for their cause. And he also told me about other poets he knew who died too young and with them, died a voice of their generation.

 

When Gill and I talked, it was like a new education for me. I absorbed every minute of it, without looking at the clock; because I knew that once I did, the clock would tell me that it was time to go home.

 

“Write about what’s in your heart,” Gill said seriously.

 

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The next evening, he brought me books written by writers from his generation like Richard Brautigan and told me to take them home to see if anything would rub off on me.

 

During the next few nights, I absorbed Richard Brautigan’s book, In Watermelon Sugar, and loved every minute of it.

 

And sure enough, a few days later, after I was put with Gill again for the evening, we started talking and writing poetry, and we couldn’t stop.

 

It was like a jam session when we wrote, even though we had to keep an eye out for our boss, Mike, who was always walking by and pay attention to our parts production so we didn’t get fired.

 

We were like two crazed monsters of creativity exploring our creative passion, anyway we could, while we were stuck in that factory for eight hours or more at a time.

 

During these restrictive times I could almost comprehend what it would be like if anyone or anything took away my creativity from me, forcing me to find ways to be creative in restrictive environments.

 

 

For example, in the movie “The Pianist,” Wladyslaw Szpilman, the famous concert pianist, was forced to hide in an abandoned apartment during World War Two to avoid capture by the Nazi’s, and in the abandoned apartment was a piano that he knew he couldn’t play because if the Nazi’s heard the music they would find him, arrest him, and ship him off to the death camps.

 

So instead of playing, he glides his fingers over the keys while the memory of the sound as his guide, satisfying him as if he were playing.

 

Any artist, such as a painter, writer or musician hungers for a creative outlet, and if they have been away from it for long and will always find a way to create.

 

Once I started writing poetry I was instantly hooked and realized that writing poetry is painting with words and another way for me to express myself in that constrictive environment, making me feel somewhat normal and fulfilled until my night at work was over.

 

Some nights I wrote one poem, other nights, five poems and after each night ended, the environment was like a beat-nick bar as I stood up on my chair in front of my friends and recited the poetry I had written, over the previous eight hours, receiving applause and encouragement after I finished.

 

Finding writing was like finding a release.

 

My friends and family knew what I had done since I graduated from high school, but they had no idea of what was going on in my heart or soul until I was able to write about it.

 

I think that this was the most satisfying and fulfilling time of my life, because I was finally doing what I had wanted to do for years and I was finally moving ahead with my life while possessing and holding onto hope and optimism for my future.

 


 

 

Here are a few poems that I wrote during this important time in my life:

 

My search

Some people are blessed with the answered questions while I’m always lost searching for the answers in the dark.

 

Blessed with freedom, cursed with freedom I’m on the road with my own worst enemy, myself.

 

Sometimes I fall off the road while searching for the answer and then friends and family are always there to bring pull me back to the road with the answers I’m searching for.

 

I always question the simplest answers and start stumbling again and in the end I’m brought back to the first place by wise old soldiers that are also friends.

 

My life

I wasn’t direct when I was eighteen; my mind took me in one million directions while I wanted to be one million different things.

The air, the sun, the sky, and the stars I fell in love with all of them passionately as I walked the path searching for my calling.

But as I journeyed farther I kept being pulled back to the beginning, to the roots I tried to cut in the beginning.

 

These next poems are about how it feels to be an artist:

 

Ecstasy Unraveled

Flashes of anger!

Joy out of the dark,

Near insanity at three in the morning,

I fight with the demon that holds my ideas.

Confused at the time for a single line I fight with frustration to get it out!

At the point of silence my hands come to life.

Passion and joy, they came back!

They give themselves over to me as I beg for more.

Furiously I work as my body cries for rest.

Revelations! Revelations! They engulf me as I laugh with pleasure.

Then neither finished nor on the run I sit back and stare at my pleasure, my painting, my creation.

 

My Creativity

It means the most to me my creativity.

Endless hours, with brush in hand for me is like being in the promised-land.

My work brings me closer to who I want to be.

When I’m painting I feel absolutely free.

 

This poem is how I feel at work every day:

 

At work

Upfront sadness my feelings assault me as my mind runs away wishing I were free.

Dying to get away and do something creative I’m confined for eight hours!

Like the tired ox I labor through my work because it’s Monday again.

Time drags by like a turtle going home before the lunch bell finally rings.

I race with temporary freedom searching for food like a hungry wolf.

In no time at all smiling time pulls me back to my sleepy tasks as I patiently wait for freedom once again.

As time drags on inspiration begins once again as the bell rings freeing me from my temporary prison.

It’s time to go home and be free!

 


 

 

Discovering my poetry, this new way to express my self is what helped me furnish my desire to keep working at the factory and survive those long nights of tedious labor.

 

I had my art and now I had writing to keep me busy every day and night. But even though I enjoyed these things, I began to see that there was something lacking in the work that I was doing.

 

The work that I did every night at the factory was very repetitive, and boring. And when I wasn’t inspired to write, or talk with Dave, Gill or my other friends, the work got on my nerves and I became irritated.

 

Even though I was a simple production worker, working on an assembly line every night, I was also someone who had been a leader in my other jobs in the past and I saw the need for better management in the company.

 

I had gained management skills from my years working on my gardening route when I hired my friends to work with me on big jobs where I needed the help.

 

I had also gained management skills on a summer job that I had worked on as a “job coach,” for people with developmental disabilities. In this position I was in charge of a crew of five developmentally disabled men and women whom I supervised as they performed gardening tasks on properties countywide.

 

At PEC, the employees around me everyday needed a voice, and I decided to be the voice.

 

Rather than letting management treat us like cattle, I stepped up and met with the general manager of the company to voice our concerns, about things that were happening in the factory. I also made recommendations on how management could better handle every day, task and projects. But my ideas were always met with the same results.

 

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Our general manager was a little guy named Gary, who wore a bad toupee that looked like a dead rat on his head.

 

This guy also always wore three piece suits, drove fancy cars, and never walked past someone without letting them know how wealthy he was. Either by talking about his latest big purchase or just by the pompous, conceited way he walked, which really annoyed the crew who were always working harder than Gary ever worked for the company.

 

We all knew that the company paid him a six-figure salary, but every time I tried to recommend a way to improve safety or production, he would say, “Jeremy you know I can’t do that. Our budget is always stretched thinner than the toilet paper in the men’s bathroom,” he said.

 

“You’ve got to trust me Jeremy, I’m in this office because I work for you guys, not the Japanese guys in the office next door. I guarantee that you’re going to see ‘big changes’ in this company within the next few months.”

 

When Gary would say “big changes“, it always meant that he bought us doughnuts to show us that “he cared”.

 

“We’re a growing company, Jeremy. Please be patient,” Gary said in his usual sarcastic manner, while looking out the window at his new BMW, wishing he were on the road driving away from the factory instead of talking with me.

 

“I like you, Kid. I was just like you when I was your age. I was idealistic and was always looking for ways to change things and help people. You can keep coming back to let me know how our employees are doing and I will try to get the owners to make some changes around here, ok?” After my first meeting with Gary I knew that he only intended to keep me satisfied until our next meeting a week later.

 

He didn’t care about my concerns any more than the owners did, and like them, he was only concerned about the bottom line. Getting him to add to the production and safety budget was like trying to catch a slippery eel.

 

Management never ceased to amaze me with the many ways they could avoid buying the supplies that we needed to make our jobs go easier, or the many ways things they did to increase production like telling the machine operators on the production lines to remove their safety guards, just to get a few extra parts per night.

 

Each week, after I finished my latest talk with Gary, My buddy Victor would be the first to greet me to share in any small victories I had gained for the employees or share in my defeat with me.

 

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Anthony Quinn Circa 1960’s?

 

Victor was an older-looking Mexican guy who looked just like Anthony Quinn, and even lived a life similar to the famous actor.

 

On nights that I worked with Victor he always kept me entertained with the stories of his romantic “conquests” during his younger days.

 

Well, what did the toupee one say today my friend?” Victor always asked.

 

Everybody loved making fun of Gary because he was the epitome of the “mean boss”.

 

Victor especially hated Gary because Gary had not given him a raise in pay in over two years. And Gary’s BMW, nice suits and affluent lifestyle continued to add insult to injury for Victor.

 

Victor once had a good paying job working in the aircraft industry like my dad, also like my dad he was laid off with thousands of other people in the early 1990’s due to the recession. Since he was in his early 60’s, he took the only work available to him, like my dad did, which was working for Pacific Engineering Company.

 

Victor had the same dedicated company mentality that I saw in Lazaro when I worked at the golf course.

 

He didn’t like the work that he did, but he realized that it was the hand dealt him, and he had to accept it until something, if anything better, came along.

 

Victor was the hardest-working man in our company because he knew that the closer he got to retiring he’d have even fewer job choices available to him. And he had to provide for his family.

 

Everyone on our shift knew the work that Victor did and how much he produced every night, except Gary, who seemed to take pleasure in holding good people back from the benefits they deserved.

 

Every time I told Victor about my meeting with Gary, I received his typical response.

 

“Fuck him! The only reason why he doesn’t respect you, Junior, is because you don’t have a degree or an MBA next to your name like him! I always tell you it’s a waste of time, to meet with him, don’t I?” Victor responded.

 

“I know, I know, I just wish that management would listen to me and not look at me just like another worker in the factory. I could do a lot more here if they would just give me the chance!” I replied..

 

“Jeremy, I’ll tell you what I tell my sons. You’re never going to get anywhere working for someone else!”

 

“Look at me! I’m 60 years old and still working for peanuts!

 

I should be fucking retired by now, but instead of sipping a cold one at my house in Mexico, I have to work twice as hard because I didn’t use my head when I was your age.”

 

“You got a lot of talent Kid! I’ve seen your art and it’s good; you don’t belong in this place!”

 

Victor loved my art. I had given him a couple of my newest oil pastel pictures the week before and he loved them.

 

“You did these?” Victor asked me as if he was seeing me in new light.

 

“Yeah, I did. I made these last week after you told me that your granddaughter was studying art for the first time. I thought she might like to have them,” I replied.

 

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“Thank you, Jeremy. I don’t know what to say; the only art that my wife and I have is a painting that is hanging in our living room. We bought it while on vacation in Mexico 30 years ago. Nobody has ever given me anything this nice before. Thank you, Jeremy. My family and I will treasure these pictures,” Victor said as he wrapped the pictures in plastic and carefully put them away in his car to show his wife later that night.

 

“If you spend another year in this place, with these old men I am going to kill you!” Victor said.

 

“Get serious about your life and your art, Jeremy! Because if you’re not careful, you’ll end up like my stupid son who got a girl pregnant at age 18, now the rest of his life is ruined because he has to take care of that responsibility instead of experiencing and living a full life!”

 

“Damn him! I hate seeing kids screw up, and having to spend the rest of their lives wishing that things were different,” he said.

 

“Think about it!” Victor exclaimed, right before he thumped me on the shoulder as he angrily walked away.

 

I learned fast that Victor wasn’t a guy to mess with. You had to give him his space, respect him, and leave him alone, or he would get in your face about anything he felt strongly about.

 

Victor used to be an amateur boxer when he was a young man, and he wasn’t afraid to go a few rounds with someone less than half his age if his ego was suddenly offended.

 

He especially wouldn’t think twice about knocking Orion to the ground if Orion was ever shooting his mouth off.

 

On any given night, Orion, being the arrogant Southerner he was, and Victor, being the proud Mexican could easily set each other off and get into a fight. Mike always made sure every night that they didn’t work with each other because he knew what would happen if they did.

 

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If, by chance, Orion and Victor had to work together for the night, any job that they had to do turned into a competition, where they’d try to out-produce each other while swearing at each other and threatening to kick each other’s ass the entire night.

 

After I had the chance to get to know Victor, and saw through his rough exterior, I grew to respect and admire him.

 

He was the type of guy that could easily run circles around anyone younger than he was.

 

He had a bad heart from years of boxing related abuse but that never stopped him from laboriously working with the guys, or drinking a few beers with us, even though his doctor told him not to. I had a feeling that Victor would rather die from a heart attack from working too hard than die from a heart attack doing something boring like sitting in a rocking chair.

 

His comments made me think hard about my future; and he was always right: I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life working for a company like PEC, slowly becoming institutionalized like everyone else.

 

I dreaded looking for another job. I didn’t want to start the whole process of job searching and interviews again when I had only been working for PEC for just over a year. Even though the work that I was doing for PEC was boring and mindless it brought in a steady paycheck, medical insurance and the ability to build a better life but I knew that the mundane, day to day grind was getting to me and I had to find something more fulfilling to do for work.

 

As I was getting used to the idea of job searching again, I felt like a failure as I contemplated my failed career choices and I wondered if I would ever be able to find the one perfect job, that I could settle down with and use as a stepping stone to accomplish my artistic goals and dreams.

 

One night as I was thinking about the choices I had to make I realized something that would give me the strength emotionally to move forward with my life and work harder than ever to accomplish my goals and dreams.

 

I realized that even though I had made many, good and bad, choices since graduating high school, and had worked in many jobs, this was my life path, this was how my life was supposed to be, there were no, “good and bad” decisions, only, “life experience,” that led me on the road to accomplishing my goals.

 

I knew that I had faced many ups and downs in the jobs I worked but one day I would find the right job, settle down, be happy and accomplish my goals in life.

 

Happiness was around the corner for me and I had to keep searching for it my own way until I found it.

 

Part of me wanted to continue working for PEC because it was a good, safe and secure job while the other part of me was ready to go and start searching for another job once again.

 

Security, insecurity, fear, safety, try, fail, survive, prosper, I realized that all of these words were part of life, like the Chinese “Yen and Yang,” and you can’t have one side without the other.

 

Some people spend a lifetime relying on other people to make their decisions for them and tell them what to do because facing the problems and anxiety associated with change is to great for them, and then one day they wake up, look in the mirror and realize that they are older and haven’t learned any of life’s hard lesions because they didn’t want to face them, and find out what life is really all about.

 

I wasn’t going to settle for second best in my life and I prepared myself emotionally to start job searching again, and see what life offered next.

 

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Working On It

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painting

 

After Joe and Becky returned from their honeymoon, they settled into their new married life and their new life rekindled Joe’s desire to re-enter his career and paint like never before.

 

As Joe began to seriously re-enter his art career again he painted up a storm and I joined him in his art studio on many nights working on new paintings of my own, further developing my own style and techniques for art.

 

Joe’s career had once held some promise, but after years of misfortune and bad decisions, he seemed forever stuck at the beginning of his career, unable to move past obstacles that held him down.

 

After I started painting and was beginning to really understand, what I was doing with my art I wasn’t about to let my friend’s career continue to sit stagnant.

 

“I’ll never get anywhere with this shit!” Joe exclaimed one day as we sat in his studio, surrounded by a vast body of work that he had created over the years.

 

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His paintings were sitting around his studio, like ghosts, constantly reminding him of what once was, and what could be again…

 

“You see this one right here?” Joe said, as he pulled out a still life of roses with colors and shapes that were so beautiful, they made you want to cry.

 

“I did this painting one night in Los Angeles, 30 years ago at a loft party, full of other artists, writers and poets. Everyone in the room was doing something creative, so I grabbed a canvas, brushes, and paints from a friend and began to throw this together.”

 

“It was like I had no control over what I was doing; it was fast and sometimes violent and beautiful at the same time. Jimmy Hendrix was playing in the background, everyone was there, the noise was loud, when suddenly, the room, became quiet.”

 

“I was on my hands and knees wrestling with this thing like I was at war, and as I was finishing I looked up and noticed that everyone was standing around me was watching my every move. And right in front of me stood a guy who turned out to be one of Picasso’s art dealers. He was watching me paint while screaming, ‘yes! Yes! Yes! I’ve found the next Picasso!”

 

“He came to the loft that night, from New York, by invitation from a friend to check out another artist’s work whom everyone was raving about. On his way out, he walked past me and stopped.”

 

Picasso was still alive and even at his age continued to hold the respect of everyone in the art world as the greatest living painter, but people were also wondering who would take his place when he was gone? And we wondered what the next major breakthrough in art was going to be, and where it was going to come from?

 

“The art world was looking for the next incarnation of Picasso like Buddhist Monks look for the reincarnation of the next Dali Lama. Everyone in the art world was ready for the next big painter, art school, style, or movement to knock everyone off their feet and take the art world by storm.”

 


 

 

“And here I was only an eighteen year old kid, still in art school, working on this painting that night, when that guy started calling me, the next Picasso.”

 

pablo-picasso

 

“I looked at him and said, ‘me the next Picasso?’ I could barely afford to pay rent, eat, wash my clothes and get to school every day when this guy is comparing me to one of my hero’s that I had loved and respected my whole life.”

 

“The next night, I invited the esteemed art dealer to the space where I was working and after he looked over my portfolio and the new stuff I was working on at the time, he offered me a contract and promised me that he would get me shows in New York and Paris.”

 

“So what happened?” I asked.

 

“I didn’t sign with the guy because I told him I wanted to look everything over before I made a commitment. We agreed that I would call him in New York the following week and that I would sign with him then. The next week I called, but never got through. Every time I tried to reach the guy, he was always out or busy with another client.”

 

 

“Out of frustration, I finally gave up, loaded up my Volkswagen bus, drove to the Monterrey Pop Festival with a bunch of other hippies, got mixed up with that crowd, and here I am”

 

“After I traveled around the country, living the hippy life- style and seeing some great rock concerts like Jimmie Hendrix at Altamont, I got tired of living off the kindness of strangers and I called my mom and asked her to send me enough money to come home.”

 

andy warhol

 

“I later learned that the art dealer I met that night, soon after he discovered me had fallen in love with Andy Warhol’s work and decided to represent him, instead of me.”

 

“How come you didn’t go to New York, find that art dealer and demand that he represent you like Warhol’s? I asked.

 

“I was young and stupid. I got mixed up with the wrong people who were into different types of drugs, I met my first wife who got pregnant fast with my son, and then after he was born, she walked out on me. I was just a kid raising a kid, I had no money coming in so I had to get a job to support my son, my art took second place in my life, and the rest is history.”

 

“That really sucks man but even though that happened it’s time to move on with your life. You can’t live in the past, even though you have gone through pain and a lot hardship in your life.” I said.

 

“How can I move on with my life?” Joe asked.

 

“With faith, you have to have faith in your heart that you still have the same talent now that you did when you were younger. You’re still the same artist, you just forgot who you really are because you’ve been away from it for so long,” I said.

 

“You’re right, Jeremy,” Joe said. And then he picked up his brushes, put away his past and got back to his artwork.

 

“I know I’m right, let’s paint!” I said.

 

“Where do you get your hope and optimism? Anytime I’ve tried to hope or even dream of living the life I want someone is always there to take it away from me!” Joe said.

 

“Damn, Joe, you’re depressing me! Stop wearing your pain on your sleeve! Life is too short to continue on blaming everyone for your problems. It’s time to stop and move on with your life!” I said to him, getting angrier by the minute, I just didn’t see the point in his depression because it always ended up depressing me.

 

“What the Hell do you know? You’re just a kid! You haven’t lived!” Joe replied.

 

As usual, when Joe got like this, I ended by demanding that he get up. Then we walked outside, put on some old boxing gloves and pounded the hell out of each other until I knocked him down.

 

“Feel better?” I asked as I pulled him off the grass after knocking him down.

 

True to form, we usually laughed, shook hands, and went inside his studio, where his sister, who came over often, had food waiting for us. We then devoured it and then went back to our artwork.

 

I don’t know why things ended up like that some nights, but the important thing was that Joe was seriously working on his art for the first time in years. And that those painting sessions would be memorable for years to come.
picasso and braque

 

We were like Braque and Picasso, always checking on each other’s latest works and providing each other with criticism and encouragement to take our artwork to the next level.

 

During these months after I finished a new painting I also brought it to work for Dave and Gill to critique and provide feedback.

 

They loved my work and gradually taught me to accept my own style; they made me realize that I was copying the latest trends and had to be true to my own artistic vision.

 

“Those artists Downtown, produce nothing but crap!” Gill said one night as we were eating lunch.

 

“I was invited to a show at one of the galleries Downtown San Diego over the weekend and didn’t see anything that even resembled art!”

 

“What did you see?“ Dave asked.

 

“Nothing but the type of painting and sculpture that is hot today, like crosses submerged in large vats of urine and garbage lying on empty beds,” Gill replied.

 

“A lot of artists love using urine in their work. It seems like every kid today is getting their inspiration from listening to Marilyn Manson,” Dave said.

 

“You’re right, Dave. I hate Marilyn Manson too!” I exclaimed.

 

“That stuff will never sell because it only looks good in a gallery with lots of people staring at it. Do you really think anyone would want, a vat of urine with a cross in it sitting in their living room?” Gill asked.

 

“Not me! If someone back home did that sort of thing, they would end up in the loony bin with the weirdo’s!” Orion exclaimed as he returned to his work station.

 

We all laughed and agreed with him as we went back to work.

 

“Your work is good, Jeremy. Keep it up! You’re going in the right direction. Sometime soon, I want to introduce you to a few art people I still know in Los Angeles. Maybe I should be your agent instead of an artist,” Gill said laughing.

 

Even though it seemed like Gill was far removed from the art world in Los Angeles, he still had friends there who invited him to parties and openings up there. This added to Gills mystique.

 

And even though Gill worked and lived on crappy wages like everyone else in the factory, he was always going to places and involved in events respectable enough to be broadcast on T.V.

 

Gill also had a sense of style to go along with his mystique. For example, he was able to buy a used 1970 Jaguar that he drove to work with pride every day. I later found out that it was actually the body of a Jaguar with a Ford engine in it.

 

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