Our English word religion has a Greek heritage. The Greek prefix for Religion is “religio” meaning “to bind up”.
Binding up can be good, as in binding up a wound. But it has another connotation, meaning to restrain.
Now restraint can be fun in some situations… meaning that law enforcement is not involved! But in a religious context, I think Jesus said he wanted to free people, not restrain them. Too often, our religions seek to restrain not only people but God, too.
I don’t think God likes to be restrained. I haven’t met him, so maybe he has kinks. I mean, he said we are created in his image, and I have kinks. Are my kinks His? If so, I feel sorry for him.
I was dragged into doing mosaics. Not willingly… it was Liz’s thing. I did my oil painting, and found object sculptures, she did her multi-media and mosaics.
But the deadline was crashing down on the AtlantiCare mural, 56-foot long, 10-foot high. She had an apprentice assisting, but I was dragged in screaming and kicking. By the end, I was hooked.
I brought in the next commercial job… a friend asked us to do murals for an adult retirement center. I talked him into tripling the stipend, and we installed a three-panel permanent installation.
We did a two-panel install after that, and taught classes in Key West. I did a really cool class with high school art students after that. Since then, we solicit public art projects. The best thing about this is getting paid for doing what we love.
What do you do with an old table that has really no purpose? Mosaic it!
I focused on geometric patterns on this first table. I based the background on nature… sky, earth.
Wood is tricky to mosaic on… it expands and contracts based on humidity. The terrazzo has to be adhered with mastic. Sanded grout is best.
The other table I did was a crappy pine end table. It was so ugly, no amount of refinishing or paint would have helped it.
One year during Artists Open Studio Tours I didn’t feel like painting. When I paint I get covered with oil paint and turpentine and linseed oil. And my paintings often do not make sense until they are completed. So I decided to mosaic an ugly old table.
Again, geometric designs ruled. Just call me lazy.
I was requested to show some paintings that were not from my bar series.
I did some paintings, mixed media on board.
The media is acrylic, oils, spray paint, water.
I wanted to paint nudes, but not the typical nudes. Flowers as vaginas had been done, much better than I could ever do. My previous nudes were lacking, a little stiff. I do not do realism that well, not what I enjoy painting. But I can delve into abstract realism, and this is one of my attempts.
Arizona is the 48th state in the union, the last of the contiguous states to be admitted. We became a state in 1912.
One of the reasons we were last is that Arizona was the first state to give women the right to vote. When we applied to become a state, the other states demanded that we revoke the women’s right to vote. The state legislature did just that, and we were allowed into the union.
That very same year, Arizona then approved womens’ suffrage and joined 8 other states – beating the 19th amendment by 8 years.
The climate is unforgiving here in the Sonoran desert. The plants, the animals, and the climate all bite back. We don’t take a trip to the grocery store without a bottle of water. Rattlesnakes are a challenge while hiking. Monsoon brings flash floods, and dust storms look like something out of a science fiction movie.
So why do I like it here? Independence, maybe. Our saguaro cactus live only here. We have coyotes, javelina, mountain lions, bobcats, bear and other wildlife.
We are still a part of the wild west. We carry guns openly, and people don’t look twice. We target shoot in the desert, camp, fish and kayak. All the things that I grew up with back east as a kid and young adult. This is one of the last places we can still practice those skills.
On our last day in New Orleans, last trip, we stumbled into a bar on the outskirts of the safe district.
This was after hurricane Katrina all but wiped out the birthplace of jazz. Bourbon Street was still half vacant.
The Erin Rose was a local joint. The bartenders and dancers and employees of other NOLA establishments began or ended their day at the Erin Rose. They did not cater so much to tourists as to locals… my kind of dive.
Jack was a bartender with ESP, he knew exactly what you wanted before you asked. We had intended to have a few drinks before our flight left. We have a habit of arriving at the airport two hours before our flight leaves. We leave nothing to chance. Jack changed all that.
Nothing but honest, Jack told us in advance that his goal was to make us miss our flight. A few beers turned into a few beers and a few shots. Then more beers, and more shots. Then more shots. Then he gave us shot glasses and other gifts as we ordered more drinks.
You see, the bartenders at the Erin Rose had a contest going to see who could make the most people miss their flight. The night before, they held a bachelor party captive, and the entire party missed the wedding. All in good clean fun.
We watched as locals came and went, preparing for their shifts or ending their shifts. Yet we stayed. Finally, Liz was the voice of reason and ended our stay. I wanted one more round, and jack agreed. Liz won. We arrived at the plane just as the last passengers were boarding.
When our flight reached Dallas/Fort Worth, we were still drunk. We barely found our connecting flight. When we landed at Philadelphia International Airport, we were still a bit inebriated. But we made it home in one piece.
As much as I like Jack, I am glad he lost that bet!