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Completed ~ Unity

Often in life we feel that we are wondering our paths alone. Life so often is big, hard and emotionally challenging. Then every once in a while we meet that one person that changes our life our perception of life and the things around us. It’s in these precious moments that we form a union. A bond between two humans is a strong and powerful thing. That being said I was recently asked to paint a piece that represented that union, that bond that so often makes us feel whole. Please enjoy

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Unity
24.5 x 48″
Mixed media
Bmp west coast studio
2014.

Close ups to follow;

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And a couple more,

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Again thank you for stopping I hope that life brings you the things in life you need and the wisdom to realize them.
“Be Brave, Be Bold and thrive in the life you have”

Benjamin
2014
“A life in progress”

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Nesting….

It’s cold tonight colder than it’s been all year… Or colder than I recall.
The chill chases people inside…
Keeps their faces pressed to fogged
Window panes for the chance at a glimpse of first snow…..
But this city is quiet tonight.
The chill has chased the summers glow away and the bitter cold has settled in…
Nesting…. I think winter makes people corral to their own kind, hunker down with warm lover and a good book, perhaps a cup of tea…
It’s 1:09 am pst and freezing rain has started. Slowly the last of the pubs closes and the happy warm get chase to their homes too. For the chill chases people inside…..
Builds fires to keep our demons at bay
And reminds us to live with a warm heart and kind smile…
Always
Benjamin

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Words from the future:

On a day just like today I thought a thought wished a wish and had a dream of being a better man than I was before…. And at that moment I was. I thought of you and cried for the man I should be for you. You make me try harder and for that I’m forever thankful, grateful and yours.

Benjamin
10/02/15
Dream,hope,thrive!!

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Words~All for a better rose.

** All for a better rose**

As we change and rearrange the shapes of ours lives.
It causes me great pause to digest the future in the wind.
To what end do we fill these voids with things and toys
Of girls or boys whispers and noise.
Shall we give it all away and start a new
No that’s been done and it’s no fun
it always just
Starts again.
More stuff and things
big fancy rings, but what
of what we create.
To paint or prose to heal others woes
or listen with eyes wide with Intent.
It’s all so strange as I enter the next stage and watch the colors wash away.
One minute a need, a want a glimmer of hope.
The next your dead, to worms you’ll be feed
All for a better rose

Benjamin
Originally written.
5/12/13
“Sometimes words continue to ring true long after they’ve been written and forgotten.”
B.

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#!?#!? Getting real……….moments of truth

The following is an excerpt from my journal *public, I’ve stayed away from my journal for a number of reasons over the past 4-5 months mostly because the things I needed to experience I needed to do so without being in the eyes of the public. Sorry bout that. Any how this entry is a bit science(y) but it speaks directly to “Pain with Parkinson’s” this was a topic is hoped to never write about again’ matter of fact it was the driving force behind me starting this blog nearly 3 years ago. Any how here’s the entry. I’m going to try really hard to not write about my personal life outside of PD because honestly nobody wants to know what I do behind closed doors lol.

The following entries are a daily recording of my journey with young onset Parkinson’s disease. I don’t sleep check, format, edit my thoughts or words so if harsh language or people being blunt isn’t your thing then by all means go away ;) I will not be discussing or journaling my private life in these pages as those are saved for my eyes and those whom I can trust implicitly. I do how ever feel it’s important for the people who read this later after I’m gone to understand what it’s like to really live with Parkinson’s disease these Are all the things a patient such as myself could never say in the measly 45 min twice a year I get with my specialist team
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The following entries are a daily recording of my journey with young onset Parkinson’s disease. I don’t sleep check, format, edit my thoughts or words so if harsh language or people being blunt isn’t your thing then by all means go away ;) I will not be discussing or journaling my private life in these pages as those are saved for my eyes and those whom I can trust implicitly. I do how ever feel it’s important for the people who read this later after I’m gone to understand what it’s like to really live with Parkinson’s disease these Are all the things a patient such as myself could never say in the measly 45 min twice a year I get with my specialist team
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11/6/14 3a pst
I spent yesterday in bed, sans a small but costly time at PT. I’ve been really depressed lately and it been so hard or impossible to stay focused. Honestly my symptoms have me a bit worried an what’s worse is this isolated little paper tucked away in a website for of a million words is where I decide to tell my story. Sad really.
Pain let’s talk bout pain for sec, pain with pd presents itself to me in2-4 ways. 1. Stiffness. You may be thinking hmmm, but stiff doesn’t hurt does it. Noo it’s the moving after …. Say a whiplash or a major muscle strain. Well now imagine ever single one of your muscles down to the tiniest fiber feel strained.. Got it?? Now imagine that your body wants to do two things PD make your body stiff the medicine make you move = pain. So yes by proxy being stiff hurts ….a lot.
2. Neurological pain. “Central pain” For me this presents itself in 2 ways deep and excruciating muscle and bone pain like the worst Charlie horse you’ve ever had..ie: I once had my left calf “flex” for 3 days… Yes that hurt!!! So basically the signals in my brain forget their purpose and end up doing or telling the body the wrong thing..
3. Neuropathic pain… This one is really fun I’d say that over 3/4 of my body has a greatly diminished sense of touch or feel. So pd takes away my sense of pleasure am has replaced it either pain or a complete lack of sensation to pleasure, pain, heat an cold. Which in some cases can come in very handy ;) and others well not so much. Well that’s my ramble for the day. I’m sick at home with a sinus infection, I’m in 8-9 pain and I’m depressed. It’s not the prettiest story but at least I’m alive to tell it.

10/30/14 3p

Maybe I’m going to keep writing here maybe I’m not, I haven’t decided yet… I started this blog to find people of a like minds and it has taken me on a wonderful an most painful journey of my life and now I find myself wondering what to do with myself. My Parkinson’s is worsening my cognition is slipping and I often simply feel like a bemused observer with in this life. I’ve been feeling so disconnected to my life for some time now. Though it’s odd bc the second I stopped running from my life was the second I was found. And now I find I don’t know what to do with myself. How do I combine the monster and the man, my demons and human fragility with the passion that rips my heart and emotions apart daily as watch this body die…. My life, my heart, my perception.
Benjamin.
10/17/14 1-2am pst
I’ve started sleeping in the studio, it’s far past the time where I immerse myself back into my work and passion.
~~10/8/14 10:30p pst
Hmmm having one of those moments where someone says something that bugs you and you can’t figure out why……. Kind of a uncomfortable feeling. I think I question my happiness everyday. This “new” life is so thin…..
11/6/14 3a pst
I spent yesterday in bed, sans a small but costly time at PT. I’ve been really depressed lately and it been so hard or impossible to stay focused. Honestly my symptoms have me a bit worried an what’s worse is this isolated little paper tucked away in a website for of a million words is where I decide to tell my story. Sad really.
Pain let’s talk bout pain for sec, pain with pd presents itself to me in2-4 ways.
1. Stiffness. You may be thinking hmmm, but stiff doesn’t hurt does it. Noo it’s the moving after …. Say a whiplash or a major muscle strain. Well now imagine ever single one of your muscles down to the tiniest fiber feel strained.. Got it?? Now imagine that your body wants to do two things PD make your body stiff the medicine make you move = pain. So yes by proxy being stiff hurts ….a lot.

2. Neurological pain. “Central pain” For me this presents itself in 2 ways deep and excruciating muscle and bone pain like the worst Charlie horse you’ve ever had..ie: I once had my left calf “flex” for 3 days… Yes that hurt!!! So basically the signals in my brain forget their purpose and end up doing or telling the body the wrong thing..

3. Neuropathic pain… This one is really fun I’d say that over 3/4 of my body has a greatly diminished sense of touch or feel. So pd takes away my sense of pleasure am has replaced it either pain or a complete lack of sensation to pleasure, pain, heat an cold. Which in some cases can come in very handy ;) and others well not so much. Well that’s my ramble for the day. I’m sick at home with a sinus infection, I’m in 8-9 pain and I’m depressed. It’s not the prettiest story but at least I’m alive to tell it.

10/30/14 3p

Maybe I’m going to keep writing here maybe I’m not, I haven’t decided yet… I started this blog to find people of a like minds and it has taken me on a wonderful an most painful journey of my life and now I find myself wondering what to do with myself. My Parkinson’s is worsening my cognition is slipping and I often simply feel like a bemused observer with in this life. I’ve been feeling so disconnected to my life for some time now. Though it’s odd bc the second I stopped running from my life was the second I was found. And now I find I don’t know what to do with myself. How do I combine the monster and the man, my demons and human fragility with the passion that rips my heart and emotions apart daily as watch this body die…. My life, my heart, my perception.
Benjamin.
10/17/14 1-2am pst
I’ve started sleeping in the studio, it’s far past the time where I immerse myself back into my work and passion.
~~10/8/14 10:30p pst
Hmmm having one of those moments where someone says something that bugs you and you can’t figure out why……. Kind of a uncomfortable feeling. I think I question my happiness everyday. This “new” life is so thin…..

So there ya have it a glimpse into my heart, mind, body and soul. A dying man trying to find his way back to happy or at least something that makes me feel connected to something in this life….
** so please remember to always Be Brave, Be Bold and thrive in the life you have. You never know when it’s going to change…. And it will…

Benjamin
2014
“A life in progress”

**sneak peak
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Things to come…… Some science,words and paint.

Another year is quickly coming to a close a year I have to say I never imagined would have happened. If your new to my readership I suggest you find my journals and do some reading if your not then you understand how desperate I am to leave this year behind. It’s funny how Parkinson’s has changed my perception. Be it the chemical changes that happen because of Parkinson’s or because of the medications used to manage the symptoms. What ever the case be it’s a very real and interesting transition. I was discussing with an old friend the other night, he, a far more learned man than I. Discussing the personal journey of being present a ones mind and body become ravaged with time and disease ( disorder ) in my case. It is truly a terrifying and amazing process to watch, feel and be engulfed in. As I watch my hands forget how to loosen their grip once clenched or to watch my leg simply decided not to join me on my morning walk.

Though Parkinson’s has it’s perks. I have a nifty parking pass and I get to color coordinate my canes. If I’m lucky I’ll get to spend the rest of my days painting and writing. Though next year I think I’ll not do as much traveling. I’ve one trip already booked to TX next year and plans to go back to England and see my beloved friends in Derbyshire for what will be my third year in a row. I plan to simply focus on doing 3 shows. NY, LA and Seattle. I have a large body of work just begging me for the time and attention to escape from my mind and find it’s place amongst the living. There are just a few things left to do this year. “Something Red” the event I took first place in my category last year will be happening again here shortly so the pressure to produce another award winning piece is great.
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Though I’ve a few ideas on some work to submit.

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Remember “Something Red” isn’t just about being only red it’s also about the use of red. In Heart Broken I find that using red to create depth not only achieved the desired look but gives this piece a unique take on the use of red. So Art and 2014 a huge year for me. Nearly every piece created in 2014 is out in the world. I traveled around the world, loved, lost, found and finally have landed at home. It took me 9 months of running from my life to find the five minutes it took me to find my future. Now that I’ve found my heart again I do not intend to let it slip away as I’ve done in the past. Now for some science:

Mid-Stage Caregiving

Mid-Stage Caregiving: What Can I Expect in Three to Five Years?
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder, and while medications may significantly decrease symptoms in the first few years of the illness, physical abilities will decrease and PD symptoms will increase as the years go by. The rate of progression varies tremendously from one patient to another. Caregivers are urged not to predict problems, but to be prepared for changes that are likely to occur over time.
Parkinson caregivers with a loved one in the middle stage of the disease may notice the following symptoms:
Less than optimal response to medications. Appearance of “on/off” fluctuations in response to levodopa, sometimes predictable, sometimes not, is common. This makes it hard to plan activities or predict physical capabilities, since Tuesday may be different than Wednesday. Caregiver flexibility becomes a primary virtue!
Mood and cognition (how the person feels, thinks and reasons) may become more problematic than the motor (how the person moves) symptoms. Do you need to negotiate with your PWP a change in patterns and preferences (i.e. should you pay the bills instead of him? Is it time to hire someone to do the yard work?)
Driving an automobile may become too risky, for your own family’s safety or that of others on the road). Giving up driving is an enormous loss of independence to many patients, and can signal a whole new level of burden for the caregiver.
Physical symptoms that are better relieved with non-medication therapies: exercise groups, physical or occupational therapy, specialized speech therapy to overcome the common problem of soft, hard-to-understand communication.
Role conflicts often emerge at this stage of the illness: Patients and primary caregivers rarely adjust to living with PD at the same rate! Renegotiate who can/will do what tasks? Does the very person you’re trying to help resent needing your help? Early signs of caregiver fatigue: the feeling that after several years of more-and-more “taking the lead” in your relationship (with no end in sight), that life is not turning out the way you’d expected or hoped for.
Mid-stage Parkinson’s disease is the ideal time to share more of the details of your caregiving responsibilities with key friends and family members. If you haven’t done so already, make sure crucial planning documents such as a will, durable power of attorney, and advanced directives are in place. Start building your Caregiving B Team, who can help you out in small ways now and establish a relationship with your loved one to fill in for you in the future, as the need becomes greater.
Last, but not least, enlist your care recipients’ help to take care of you as well. It takes a lot of Parkinson’s symptoms to render a patient unable to do a loving foot rub or neck massage!
So…… Yeah Parkinson’s seems to have lots in store for me how very very exciting ( sarcasm ) my goal for the coming years. Love my friends, live my family. Strengthen the relationships I plan to keep and forget the ones I don’t. It sounds callus I know but when one can literally watch the progression of a disorder like Parkinson’s steal the life from the human body the become a huge factor in life, my life and what’s left if it. I don’t fear death because in the in end I’m gone and not here to deal with pain am loss of my passing. What I fear is the stillness and loss of self as Parkinson’s steals my mind and stiffness my body the full weight I the universe behind it. I’m not hopeful for a cure not a magic bullet to appear. To many people have passed before wishing for the same thing and I’ll not be that guy.
Right then as to not end on a negative note, this life is temporary. Fill it each day with the things that make your heart sing. Take small moments from time and make them your own. A sunset, a smile. A warm embrace and a gentle breeze. These are the things that will matter when you close your eyes. Money, homes, cars and things come and go, but the memories we have and the love we feel is ours ( yours ) alone and that my dear friends you can take to the end of the road. So as always.
Be Brave, Be Bold and Thrive in the life you have. For someday it will change.

Much love,
Benjamin
“A life in progress”
2014

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Holding back the Darkness~Completed

Good day and thank you as always for stopping by. I feel a bit sad not being able to post as frequently as before. Life has me fairly swept up at the moment. Between a changing life and changing Parkinson’s symptoms I feel lucky to be able to paint still let alone type. Here is the final framed version of the afore mentioned piece and the customary close ups.
*An excerpt from a press release interview I did last year:
What would you do if you were told you have an incurable disease? Would you give up everything to save the life you have left? Here’s a story about a man who did just that. Please join Benjamin as he openly shares his journey as an artist, a father and a person with Young Onset Parkinson’s disease.

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Holding back the Darkness
26″x38″ framed
Mixed media
Bmp down town studio
2014
400usd

In each of our lives at some point we will all face great grief and sorrow. Great happiness and joy. This piece for me is the embodiment of holding back the sorrow, grief and struggle of normal life. Slowly as I relearn what it’s like to live and love again I keep pushing back the darkness and with any luck will continue to grow as an artist,father, man and friend to many.
Some close ups to end the day.

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#2

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#3

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And lastly a recap:

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“The mind wants what the body can’t have and the heart can’t handle”
Benjamin
2013

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Greetings from the studio~10/2014

I wanted to quickly share some of the development photos of this piece. There are times when an image is so clearly marked in my head that it’s only a matter of process for the image to see its pfruition, please enjoy a short look at a piece I’m calling
Holding back the Darkness

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**early photo

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#2
The most recent paint on this piece, depending on how the last few dozen layers go I should have this piece completed in a few days.

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Holding back the Darkness
24″x36″
Mixed media
2014
****work in progress

Now I’m back off to bed sadly I’ve been fighting a nasty head/chest cold all weekend :(
Please be well and enjoy the day that’s before you.
Much love
B.

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Things I see…… And how I see them…” Morning walks”

Hi there…. It’s nice to see you again.. So care to join me for my morning walk.? These days living in a downtown environment I find it important to get out of the house and walk. During these journeys I try a capture the world truly through my eyes. As an abstract artist I find that it’s key to draw inspiration and motivation from every source available, Mother Nature being my number one inspiration. So please again won’t you join me on today’s walk about.

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One Path~Two Choices
*manipulated photo

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There be Dragons

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Oh the things you’ll see #1

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Oh the things you’ll see #2
All the photos are originals taken on an iPhone and the tweaked in a way that I hope reflects to you the way I see the world. Or to say the world through my eyes.
Today has been a strange day, a few to many ups and downs for my taste but today I have to take credit for that :-/ I’m not the most easy person to he along with….. And now some words

To what end do we express to
Desires and madness of this human life.
Such feelings deep and dark or bright as sun does shine.
For what grows and beats only in the shade of the day and breeze that fills the mind.
Subtle longing sneak behind words paint and prose as the day grows longer.
Busy hands find idle tasks to keep
The days demons at bay.
Butterflies collected along way give
Fill to the heart, body mind and soul
Yet a wolf will always search for home just as a raven will spread it’s wings.
I sit and stare at these blank walls, canvases of my heart and mind.
My souls escape, giving hope to the day, night and tomorrow’s dawn.
Purging little pieces along the path like bread crumbs to the trail of my minds eye.
Such solace gains ground as this body slowly fades for only in action can the peace I seek be found.
Hard it be, the part where the time moves so slow and worse is the day when the clock hands spin freely.
Drink, drink from heart and you’ll taste the want that feeds my soul.
Benjamin
2014.
And last but not least. A thought a single solitary thought… To be held…..

Please remember to be brave, be bold and thrive in the life you have, make the life you want and regret only the the things you haven’t done or where to afraid to do…. Love….. Love hard, love fast and fully. Fill your life with passion for in the end we all die alone.

Benjamin
2014
“A life in progress”

**sneak peak Holding back the Darkness **first paint stage

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Wine, words and women

prewitt1970:

Where to begin….? With a long discussion about Bacchus or perhaps a literary discussion about the finer points of the comma and women oh dear me don’t even get me started on that subject… It’s been a bad week… I know it’s Tuesday ( Saturday now)but remember time and dates for me sadly are drifting away long with the things I used to know. Slowly fading into a book lost along the way and beautiful story with the saddest of endings…. Women…. Eventually I’ll write my book “letters from home” or “death,dying and divorce” some things I’m far to familiar with. Life short my friends… Enjoy what you have..

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“A Tree for Madeline”
I’ve finally clear the table for new work.. Well that’s not entirely true I have a large commission piece that I’ll be doing this November for a very ready friend, writer, poet and all around amazing woman. During the time being my paint table is open and I intend to dig deep in the heart if darkness, love and light for my next collection of work. I feel like I’m on the edge of a new powerful vision just waiting to be born.

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In the interim I’ve started a piece In calling
“Me, myself and I”
10/24/14 well let’s see it’s only taken me 5 days since I started this post to stay focused enough to press the post button. I figure I should press post before I we get any older.
**please know this… Where ever you are and what ever your doing. You have worth, value, talent and strength. I know sometimes it’s hard to see, but that’s what friends are for, to remind us of all the things we can’t see but need the most.

Much love.
Benjamin
“A life in progress”
1970-current.

Originally posted on AngelsAlley24:

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