Art and Bits of Wisdom

After retiring four different times from four different jobs, I finally said, “I’m done.”  But I didn’t want to just sit.  I wanted to keep active. So, I decided to explore the world of art, something I knew very little about, but always wanted to try.
I believe it is never too late to try something new.  I think that’s a good philosophy to live by.  Never stop reaching out to explore something new.  Never stop developing your talents.  Never stop.  Period.  Keep your mind and body active.
So, a year and half ago, I started oil painting.  I’ve also explored pen, ink and water color pencils, and even some paper art.  Though it has been a challenge, I’ve loved every minute of it.  I have no formal training. I’m self taught.  I just decided to jump in and do it.So, “I’m rough around the edges” and still have a lot to learn.
To me, art is a tremendous opportunity to express what words often cannot adequately define.  And it’s more than visual.  Art expresses and elicits emotions.  It searches for and captures what many individuals perhaps miss or choose to ignore.
My art work that is shared here and the accompanying quotes will hopefully lift the spirits and offer a bit of inspiration


Wisdom from the CARDINAL:  arise early, embrace the day, and sing;  be willing to go out on a limb;  add color to your life;  and remember, you can fly.


You can count the  seeds in an apple but only God can count the number of apples in a seed.  So never evaluate your day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.  Happiness held is the seed. Happiness shared is the flower.


The joy of creating art is capturing an image that has caught your eye and forever etching it on canvas to share with others.   Love and friendship is all about sharing.


It’s almost impossible to watch a sunset and not appreciate the blessings that the day has given us, to not be filled with a sense of hope, to not dream, to not have a vision of what the morrow will bring, and to not have a sense of nostalgia about the all the good times experienced in life.


If life gives you a mountain……climb it. Be determined to live an abundant life… live life fully.  Life is  not television.  There are no  re-runs.  Make the life you’re living count.  Choose happiness.  Choose adventure.  Choose compassion.  Choose joy.  Choose to live and not just to survive.


Alone we can do little but together we can do much — we can change the world.  There’s something special about being together that you never forget when you are apart and alone.


Imagination is a wonderful blessing.  It can take you places you could not otherwise go  But to keep your imagination vivid and creative, you must use it often.  An idle imagination limits the joy and adventure that awaits you. Open your mind and travel the world



Let your dreams set sail.  You cannot change the direction of the wind, but you can adjust your sails to reach your destination.  So dream big and make whatever adjustments you need to in order to reach your goal.  Never give up.


We can never go back to an earlier time in our lives, but memories make it possible to recall with fondness the people and special times in our lives that mean so much to us. What a blessing it is to have the gift of memories.


We all have an anchor to be used to hold us  in one place for a period of time.  But we will never experience what lies beyond, we’ll never experience places unknown, if we don’t lift anchor once in a while and seek adventure.




Patriotism is love of country.  But you can’t love your country without loving the people who live there.  We don’t always have to agree but we must empower each other, support each other, tear down walls and build bridges across our differences to pursue the common ground.  Faith becomes a bridge between where we are ad where we want to go.



The leaves will soon be falling, announcing the arrival of autumn — heartwarming rich colors, crisp cool breezes, a time of harvesting and gathering together, the carving of pumpkins, sipping cider, and tasting the delicious flavors of apple pie.  If we take the time to truly enjoy this beautiful season, we will never lose it, for that which we love deeply becomes part of us…..always.


A little  boy once asked  his father, “Daddy, how will  I know  if  I find the right woman?”  The father replied, “Son, don’t worry about trying to find the right woman.   Focus instead on being the right man.  The right woman will notice.”  A wise person once  said, “Don’t spend your energy trying to chase people.  Rather  be yourself and be  the very best example you can be.  The kind of people you would like to have  in your life will notice and be attracted.”  Too often we worry about things  that are beyond  our control..  We allow worry  to  cloud our minds. Another wise person once said, “You would never invite a thief into your home to steal from you.  So  why would you allow thoughts to make themselves at home in your mind and steal your JOY?”  Good food for thought.



I’ve always been a dreamer, but I’ve not always had clearly defined goals to make my dreams happen  It took a while to realize that even if I set goals to make my dreams come true, I still needed to have a plan.  Someone once told me, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.”  I found that to be true.  Trying to reach a goal can sometimes be discouraging….my plans sometimes didn’t work.  A wise person told me, “If your plan doesn’t work, discard it, but don’t discard your goal.  Make a new plan and try again.  Always keep your eye on the goal.”  When I painted the hunting dog above, it made me realize how nature’s animals keep their eyes on their goals (prey).  They’re good examples.  I learned you have to keep focused and not give up…..keep trying.  Yet another wise person told me something that makes all the difference in the world:  “The difference between TRY and TRIUMPH is a little ‘umph.’”
2899F44F-A451-46F6-82E2-7779848B4C98There is nothing more precious than to be loved by those individuals who have practiced loving for a lifetime.  Their love is a little richer, their hugs a little longer, their smile a little warmer. What they give they give from the heart.  They love life not because they are used to living, but because they are used to loving


Nature is so full of beauty.  And often the beauty is found in the smallest of things.  The peacefulness of a lake.  The soft breeze that gently sways the trees.  The scent of a bud that has freshly flowered.  A bird that sings a morning song.  The rainbow of colors that light up a forest. Perhaps, though, the most beautiful things in nature cannot be seen or touched — they must be felt with the heart.


Because beauty is in the eye of the beholder, look inside your own being to see the good and awesome wonder that is there.  Like people who stand in awe of majestic mountains, look at yourself and stand in awe of yourself, who you are and what you have to offer. Appreciate your uniqueness.  Celebrate your being.  Everyone and everything has beauty, though not everyone sees it.


Real success in life is measured by effort, not by achievement.  Whatever you do, give it all you’ve got.  Feel good that you did your best.  Your talent may not be playing the violin, but it may be making a violin.  Each person has a unique talent. That includes you.  Do your best to nurture your talent.  Give it your best effort.  And even if you make mistakes, remember, mistakes are proof that you are trying. Sometimes the greatest thing to come out of your hard work, your best effort, is not what you get out of it, but who you become for it.


Success is like a game of chess.  You have to make the right moves to win the game.  Your most important move is often your first one. Just taking that first step. Choose something you want to accomplish and make your first move. Dream big.  And remember, only those people who are willing to get into the basket of a hot air balloon will SOAR high off the ground.  So, make that first move and be determined to SOAR to new heights.


Ask yourself what it is in life that inspires you, makes you come alive and causes your heart to beat faster.  Then go experience it, even it the smallest way.  Don’t miss the opportunity  to come alive because, like the cherry blossoms in the above painting, most opportunities are fleeting.  They come and go quickly.  Grasp them before they disappear. And if you think no opportunities come your way, create one on your own.  One habit you don’t want to form is waiting for something to happen.  Get up and go after it.  Life is happening now.
E95B47C7-3135-4EBC-9E74-5ACDB9D72527Sometimes troubles and difficulties come in life like a downpour, a rain storm that clouds our day.  Yet, in the midst of the storms, if you love life, life will love you back.  It may not love you the way you expect, but look for the blessings between the raindrops.  Get out your brightest umbrella and put it over your head and walk in the rain.  Keep walking until you see glimpses of the blue sky. It’s there…..just temporarily blocked by the storm.