Many of you know about some of the most private details of my life at this point..
Some of you would even say I’ve over shared…
I guess that’s the beauty of what happens here we all have a choice. To come together under a common bond and share the joys and
sorrows of each others lives. Some to comment, some to watch from the shadows and judge. Either way I made a decision when I first started
blog to be open. Many people forget that this site didn’t start as an Art blog but as my personal journal cataloging my life and struggles with coming to
terms with Young Onset Parkinson’s disease. This journey has taken me around the united states and abroad I’m happy to say I’ve shared every step along the ways, the good the bad and the very ugly personal truths of my life that in reality many of us share in common but would never put out there the way I do.
I’ve said it before and Ill stand by it. I’m a man, no different than any other with the slight exception that I paint and write my heart and soul for all to see. I end 99% of my posts with a kind word. And I pose some hard questions and thoughts because I believe that one man and one voice can change the world.
Art and words have lost their meaning and I will not stand for it another second. For if YOU will not Be Brave and Be Bold or Thrive in the life you have….. I will. If given the chance I would take your hand and shout your name from the roof tops to show the world your brilliance and compassion. Live your words or don’t use them at all. At this point I’ve lost all of it. My job, my career my home and my family and Ill be dammed if I’m going to silence my heart and soul now.
I just received word that I’ve been accepted into a local art co-op. 4 floors of prime down town retail, commercial and loft living space. A place that is positioning its self at the edge of creating an new feel a new scene thriving and ready to make Art believable again. Any person can put brush to canvas, lead to paper and glue a stone to a ring. But only a few can create through there passion to express that love, fear and strength through their art. So again I say…to you.
Be Brave, Be Bold and Thrive in the life you have… No… life is not easy for any of us. But if I can live through the things I’ve seen, done and had happen to me then you can too. I believe in you. I’ve seen your strength, beauty and passion.
That’s all I’ve to say. Namaste Benjamin 1970-current “A life in progress”
The Story behind the Art and Artist of Tempest:
Id like to say my life was a fairy tale full of dreams fulfilled, wishes granted
and time well spent. To do so would be far from the truth and a rather boring story.
In Tempest we see the turbulent clouds of dark purple and green both colors hopeful yet full
of a troubled heart and life. Struggling to find my way on this new path that life has chosen for me.
The form of the figure one could say is female in its curves full of soft sweeping motion and a resemblance
of a musical clef. I her shoulder and breast is a figurative form of infinity giving reference to a belief that I have
that all things are one both past and present. Also in reference to our human cycle of life destined to
repeat our pasts until the puzzle is solved.
She holds her head high above the sky yet in a position of sadness as so often I do. Sad for the hurt in this world,
sad for the hurt in my soul. The window shines a soft yet illuminating light and for me is also the window to my heart
and soul. of two minds hoping to give light to those I encounter in this lifetime and the light that shines out of the darkness
that I so often find myself in. One could ask how someone so tormented could always wishes everyone well, joy, love and happiness.
Its simple I don’t ever want anyone to live through see or feel things that I’ve experienced in my life.
The window, of hope in the darkness.
The spheres find their way to the Tempests side as she stands strong in the calm of the dark purple calm.
Circles, we could write a book on the metaphorical meaning of the circle. Matter of fact there is probably
a guy sipping scotch on a beach somewhere who has. For me in this piece the are eternal, life, death alpha and omega.
From one we have the tree of life emerging from the darkness of the shadow. An ever-present reminder that even in
the darkest of times life will find a way to carry on. From the other sphere we have a cord somewhat of an umbilical
to the tempest also representing the twists and turn of this elegant dance of existence we call life.
Please take from this piece what you will it has and never will be my intent to force my will upon the viewer.
Life is hard, mine, yours, his and hers but life is also beautiful full of hidden graces.
The spring breeze scented with flowers that come but once a year.
Summer sunsets so magical people make a living chasing them down to simply capture the moment.
A child’s first breath and the unconditional love of an old friend.
First kisses and last dances these are the things that make weathering the storm worth living.
So it is with these words from my heart to yours I give you and world. The Tempest.
Tempest ~ My Girl Collection
41.5″ x 48.5′
Inks and Acrylics
Close up 1.
Close up 2.
Close up 3.
Where we started.. As always Be Brave, Be Bold and Thrive in the life you have.
A life in Progress
**Ink sketch done by Picasso
So often when I paint I let things flow, I’ve spoken about it a number of times. I do believe that there is a relationship between the paint and I. It’s not always about me imposing my will upon the piece but a true symbiotic relationship between the paint and I. I’ve been up since 2:30a after catching a few hours of sleep last night. I must say I’m very excited to bring you today’s update. Yes there are still messy edges that need to be refined, and most of the work thus Farrah’s been to the upper half of the piece. I think she’s getting to a point where true nature is coming through. So please let me introduce a work in progress From the My Girl Collection:
Ink and acrylic
I’m going to show a number of shots some maybe similar just with a different light source.
I have to admit this morning as I dragged myself off the couch and into the studio I wasn’t sure if I could do it today. Parkinson’s has taken away a great deal of range of motion and arm strength especially when it concerns holding my arms upright. Not to mention physically gripping the brush for a long period of time. As I started in my arm ached, hips pulsed with pain and a few times I simply sat and looked at her thinking how….how can I do this? Well as always, one moment at a time and slowly but surely she started to come together. My hope is to have her completed before I leave for England this Friday, we’ll just have to see hoe it goes. I do want to take a few moments and thank each and every one of you, especially those who take the time to comment, over the past 3 years I’ve almost given up a number of times but because I’m a stubborn Irish bastard and I have the support of everyone here I haven’t. So thank you, thank you for helping me keep my dream alive. I know that if my dad was alive he’d be proud. As always be brave….be bold…and thrive in the life you have
I’d like to say I’ve been out and about shaking the art world to its very chore, but I’m not sure it has a singular core any more and I’m pretty sure it would take more than me writing to you from the comfort of my sleeping couch.
Though today has been a magical day of sorts. I enjoyed the early dawn hours alone outside and alone in my studio. I painted on one whilst preparing to say good bye to another. My Girl ~ Venus in Blue
Join me in saying good bye.
My Girl~Venus in Blue leaves tomorrow .
She’ll be missed, but I’d rather spread joy than own a piece of my own work.
I was also able to simply spend some time enjoying the studio here are a couple of pics you’d never see unless you were to come over at 1,2,3am.
A little morning music by candle light , always nice.
At this stage with the next My Girl series I’m just doing the color blocking and basic shading. In pieces like this hundreds of hour can be spent doing just shading. Once the lower half get to a good point I’ll start figuring out how I’d like the back ground to fit into the piece. Thankfully in doing so it will give definition and depth to the foreground form. There is still a ton of charcoal shading lines that I’ve not washed off so please excuse the roughness of the edges. Also the introduction of the background will fix the fuzzed line. Well I started my new meds today and I must say they’re pretty strong for me at least, clonozapam. It’s going to take some time to get adjusted to this as it makes me really really sleepy. But on the plus side I’ve only taken 2 of the 6-8 Percocet I usually take a day. Okay well it’s time for dinner around here soon going to disappear for a quick minute.
Much love and light to all.
In our lives we will deem many things important some of them small in size. Some large in the scale of things. When I paint for an individual it’s a very personal thing. For us as the artworks creators an important thing. Thus giving it weight in the universe. For we as humans have given it a real world tangible value and in relation to whom I paint for it’s been given emotional value or weight as well.
With that being said I give you Important Things
**private commission piece
I think one of the things we so often forget in our busy life is that
Everybody has different important things and who are we as individuals
To think our important things are any greater or less than anothers. So the basis of this peace is about, hope, balance, compassion and change(growth) both spiritual and intellectual.
A work in progress
On unrelated news, I have three days left in my travels and I look forward to doing some more painting and writing. Also a bunch of other silly stuff I can’t wait to share.
**This is not poetic, nor happy it’s also not a cry for help. It simply just is.
I’ve come to hate mornings
They leave me broken and tired
Recovering from my dance with the
There was a time when the dawn called my name
with a glorious song and colors flooded my world.
Now I find only pain and the relentless crush of this disease.
There are no words I can give you that truly explain the
persistence of Parkinson’s disease. It simply never stops.
Never let’s go. There are times that I want to just be done
be done fighting. Be done taking pills for pain and pills
to replace the chemicals my brain no longer makes.
There was a time when the mornings song was a gift
the predawn stillness, the first birds of the day.
Me and a strong espresso, dreaming of all the
things I’d fill my life with.
Now its a race, a race for the first pills of the day
a race to stay one step ahead of the pain. A race to
learn the tricks of he brain as my cognitive functions change.
as I sit here and write these words out of my head and heart
placing them in space instead of myself, I feel the sadness settle
in. This sadness tells me its time to go, it tells me I’ve
rested to long in this place of thought and self analyzing
deprecation. So I leave you with these thoughts from a
man who has been graced with a life full of adventure
love and heartbreak. Don’t wait for life to give you the
things you want. You must make them happen. You must visualize
yourself in the place you want to be and make it so. For tomorrow
never comes so must seize the day or forever let it slip away. The Long Road
Acrylics and Ink
2012 Parkinson’s Series
Good morning, I can’t even begin to tell you how absolutely wonderful it is to see you here today. Or for that matter how lovely it is for me to be here this morning. As you may or may not know since my move out to the country I have gained a private studio space, heated with separate entrance real windows and an office. (which still isn’t set up) One of the things that I didn’t take into consideration when I moved was the fact that I was no longer living with some of the amenities of the city such as a the bus, or having my son and daughter even remotely close to the schools that they attend. Oops, poor planning on my part. So there are days when I literally have mere moments to myself before I have to attend to the needs of others.
Such is life. That being said it does give even greater pleasure to the time I do get to spend in the studio. Below you will find a number of pieces **All of which are works in progress, please join me as we take a short walk through my most recent adventures.
This piece is very close to being finish, its comprised of gold flake enamel and various cadmium of yellow, orange and white.
“The Last Dance” 9″ x 12″ mixed media 2014
This piece has yet to receive it final definitive depth coat a signature final varnish or truly be finished but I’ve had this image and feeling in my head and heart for weeks. If you will let me take you to your (our) past. That feeling of the last dance of the night, or a long good-bye from a date that started and ended innocently 24 hours after it started. I know I’m not verbally expressing myself well but that joy and longing, sense of completion yet a yearning for it to go on forever even though you know its time to go…. That is what I’m trying to express in this piece and will once completed. Hopefully to be completed after my morning tasks today.
This lovely miss is just a charcoal drawing that took about 1 minute to do ( 12′x 24″)honestly I am just looking at placement of the figures getting an idea of location, form and feeling. I’m going to be combing (hopefully) a number of styles into this piece. The Goodnight moon, idea with my classic figure style as well as a little surrealism done in the same fashion as Green Girl. We shall just have to wait and see how it all goes could work, could not.
by now everyone should be able to recognize this collection with their eyes closed , yes its a Coral piece one of two and it is very, very early in its development. As a matter of fact it only has one color so now its just a giant orange blob but I guarantee that will change shortly. If you haven’t had a chance to stop by and see the Love piece in its new frame then please do so, I think it turned out rather well. As always, Be Brave Be Bold and Thrive in the life you have. Should you ever need reminding of how truly gifted, special, unique and important you are to the world please come see me and we’ll talk. For it’s always harder to see the light you create for others when your standing in the middle of it.
Life is a funny thing sometimes, full of firsts and last. Today for me is hopefully a day filled with firsts. This morning I shall take “Hearts on Fire“ the first piece to be created in the new studio to be shipped to its new home.
I also will have a first medically. I have my first appointment with my new neurologist today.
Actually she is a “Movement specialist” which basically means she specializes in PWP. I guess because we move funny ;) Sadly I’ll be attending this rather major event solo as M has a surgery to attend to with her Mom. But on a very exciting and highly positive side. The main garage at the back of the house has now been hyper organized and is ready for use…Yes.. The car is happy once again, it gets to sleep inside. YAY!! You forget such luxuries when you always park your car in the garage. Like waking up and climbing into a nice warm car. Or not having to defrost ice and frost off the vehicle before you can go anywhere. Tis often these small luxuries that I forget about until they are gone. Make no mistake it is a luxury having a car let alone a place to put it in. I’m very thankful simply to have a house to put myself and children.
Okay well back on track then, I must say I’m very excited about a few things coming up in life. I just purchased some new wood panels from my wood guys. The reason I love these guys is simple. Most of the time when you walk into a “mans” store ( which is a joke btw) so please don’t take offence, if your not dressed in coveralls’ and layered in a fine powder of construction dust the service it crap and when you finally get some you either get treated like a newbie or simply an idiot. These guys that I buy from are not that way at all which I completely appreciate. I buy the panels in these huge sheets then the guys with their giant wall saw cut it down into manageable pieces for me, they’ve even loaded into my car on days when I feel exceptionally horrid. Wow! I’m wandering tons today… to get back on track I have a ton of new panels cut, some BIG pieces some normal 24×36′s and then my 24×24′s. Point being I’m happy. I have a new home that wont try to throw me down the stairs. I have a new studio in which I can both paint and have friends and clients over to and thanks to M and the kids with the back garage cleaned out I can set up my “shop” area so I can cut my own panels because I still have all of that beautiful vintage paneling I was given a while back.
Something I wanted to mention because it came up in conversation the other day, did you know I take trade as payment for paintings. So if you’ve ever had your heart set on a piece or a print but find that what ever price is listed is not doable please don’t hesitate to ask. I’m far far from being a rich man, I mean think about it. I live on a SSDI check that comes from the government, the things I need in my life are very few and very simple. And yes when you push the “donate” button on this site the funds really do towards pills and paint. I wont even go into the cost of being sick in America. Matter of fact I think a number of people have made documentaries on it already.
Well I’ll be a bit of a ghost around WP today as I’ll be heading out of town to go see my new doctor 3pm pst, if you want to chat you can find me fluttering about on Twitter and Facebook. I may end up staying overnight in Portland tonight depending on how I feel after the appointment. Often these things take a great toll on me physically and mentally so we’ll see how it all goes. Thanks for letting my monkey mind chatter away and sorry to be so wanderrie this morning. As always Be Brave, Be Bold and Thrive in the Life you have.
ps. I need a new laptop ;) mine died.
Good morning, afternoon and evening. I hope this final day of our calendar year has found you well. Here is a quick update on one if the pieces I started the other day. Again it is nowhere close to being completed as the first idea I had for this pieces hasn’t come together yet but as an artist I’ve learned that sometimes what I want verses what the paint needs are different things and often the idea I have will have to wait for another day because a certain panel will ask to be something entirely different than I thought.
I guess you could say it’s all part if the process ;)
So we started here;
And we have found our way here;
Funny thing is the original idea I had for this piece was going to be very serene titled Winter Birch. Subtle abstract trees weaving in and out of and expressionistic snow storm yet it seems this piece may have a different calling. We shall see. To all of you not yet in the future have a safe and happy new year. To those of you already in tomorrow…..Lottery numbers please ;)
Anyhow where ever you are be loved, give love and cherish life.
Good morning, Afternoon and evening I hope your day has been going well. This morning here in my time zone I’ve been working on the pieces I started a few days ago. Currently just establishing some color tones and finding the natural rhythm of the pieces. I’ve always felt there is a relationship between the art, the artist and his/her medium. I as an abstract expressionist painter feel that I need to listen not just to my heart and soul but the piece itself, to nurture it into life. I think that’s one of the things that separate great artist from the hordes of hobbyist. As within any calling in life one must be naturally in tune, it goes for drivers,teachers,surgeons and anyone who is truly separated from their class or profession otherwise all humans would be equal in all of their abilities. Anyhow enough of my early morning rantings, I apologize I’m not feeling well today. The ribs combined with the dyskinesia from my meds make for a crappy combination.
Below we have some paint in various stages of completion.
Here I’m just beginning to develop some depth using the same technique as “the fine art of abstraction” and “As I lay me down to sleep“
Some close ups
And a less blurry pic of the full view;
As chaotic as this piece my seem it is not about the chaos but the calm this piece is about our ability to see past the madness that life surrounds us with from time to time and rest our heads in the peace and quiet during the raging sea. Plenty more development to be done on this piece. I’ve only barely started to block in and shade some of the darker tones. I haven’t even touched the lights yet.
This piece I think will surprise even those who know how drastically my work can change fe start to finish.
Let’s just say that a technique I used when painting “Lost” will at some point be employed durning this piece.
Then Finally the only piece that I’ve shared a name with is this oddity
“The many faces of Me”
Truly a piece to help take me on a journey as I work on these others done in a completely different style one could equate it to a cold drink of water for my mind. As always thank you for letting me share my work with you. Your feedback and comments are always welcome. I hope today brings you great joy, love and strength. Until we meet again.