Thursday, October 23, 2008

God Stopped Me In My Tracks

Another beautiful autumn day in Philadelphia, in fact there have been quit a few fall days that were just perfect since the season began. Funny thing is, I hadn’t noticed any of those days. I used to be so in love with the autumn season, with the changing of the leaves, the crisp air and of course bringing out those comfortable sweaters from storage. The other aspect to autumn that I personally like and some people feel I’m crazy but I like the fact that we turn the clocks back causing it to get dark earlier. I have always been a studio painter and when those long days of summer are here I rarely come in out of the sunshine to paint, I feel I may be missing something by not being outside, I guess.

Today however, I was walking through one of my favorite parks in Philadelphia, Washington Square. I noticed a bench drenched in sunlight that just caught my eye and made me want to sit and bask in its rays. Just then this feeling came over me almost like a trance, the sunshine seemed to be stabbing through the leaves like swords, lighting the ground with brilliant hues of green. Even the trees seemed to be competing with each other as to which had the most shades of orange, red and yellow foliage; it was truly a spectacular scene. I looked up at the sky and almost wept, I never seen such a blue sky. God had stopped me in my tracks.

This was one of those times when I felt the spirit of God. I sat there humbled, thankful and grateful for this experience. I wondered how many times in the past I hurriedly walked by scenes just like this and never gave it a second glance. There may come a time when I may not be able to see and feel these special moments, that’s why it is so important to stop and see it now, absorb these days , drink them in and be thankful.

This painting is the autumn panel from my wine series titled “Le Quattro Stagione del Vino” The Four Seasons of Wine. I love this piece, the textures and colors are warm giving a feeling for the season it portrays. This series of paintings was inspired by a nine year job I held at one of the best Italian restaurants in the city, Ristorante Panorama. Panorama is world renowned for its vast selection of fine wines. “Le Quattro Stagione del Vino is the name of one of the banquet rooms that inspired this series of art. The series is almost complete after four years of work and after almost a decade of collecting the corks I am putting the finishing touches on the summer panel which I expect to have finished by years end.

If you need a creative boost, I suggest not allowing one of these autumn days to pass by without taking time to notice it.

Happy Painting!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Batten Down the Hatches

Batten Down the Hatches is a nautical term meaning “Prepare for Trouble”. Our founding fathers warned that we must protect the Constitution; it is a fragile document. Americans have lost touch with Washington and the politicians we elected to represent us. We are to busy chasing the American dream, working our fingers to the bone paying our taxes, health care, mortgages, college tuitions and putting food on our table. After a hard day of work who has the time to follow up on the bills being passed by our representatives? These people are elected to uphold the Constitution and be our voice in government, instead they have sold us, the citizens who pay for their inflated salaries down the river.
I am so disgusted with what is going on in this country right now and I can’t help but think that our forefathers would be stringing these corrupt politicians up from the nearest tree. What will it take for America to wake up? Really… think about it… what will it take? We are in the worst financial crisis in history where the government is now grabbing up the banks, healthcare is out of reach to millions and companies who do provide it for their employees are going bankrupt trying to pay for it. The world stock markets are crashing down around us, unemployment is at an all time high and violent crime is rampant. Russia is on the move, China is killing babies and Iran wants a world that is governed under the flag of Islam. American troops are being deployed on our own soil , judges are letting criminals back on the streets with just a slap on the wrist and the best we can do is put two clowns on the ballet to be the next president of the United States.
Concerns about John Sidney McCain’s age, health, policies, and lack of passion or enthusiasm to create new ideas for jobs or moving this country forward. If McCain drops dead, Palin is our president… a hockey mom. Then there is Barrack Hussein Obama a community organizer, who was a 20 year member of a racist, anti American church. Obama’s ties to a known terrorist and questions over the validity of his citizenship raise a red flag in my mind. As a matter of fact here in a Philadelphia Federal court a suit has been filed trying to force Obama to show a hard copy of his birth certificate. This case has been going on for awhile and the DNC keeps tying it up in court. Why won’t he show a hard copy of his birth certificate? We as Americans have the right to see it, I am sure a lot of you don’t even know this is occurring. Then of course there’s the big endorsement from Louis Farrakhan calling Obama the” Messiah”. Give me a break, Obama couldn’t even get a job with the FBI with his background and we are handing over the most powerful position in the world to him.
Americans want change so bad we will overlook important details about politicians but scream and yell if there is a bad call during a sporting event or our favorite television show is interrupted by a presidential debate. Where do we start to repair the damage? I suggest getting down on our knees and begging God (not Allah) for mercy and forgiveness, start putting our representatives under the microscope and holding them accountable. Politicians who are corrupt or traitors, throw them into prison, I suppose we will have to build a lot more prisons.
I wish I could say “I hope you enjoy my new painting” but it is a painting I wish I never had to paint.

May God have mercy on us all.