Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I Want To Spend The Rest Of My Life Alive

So I've been pretty obsessed with this song lately.  Jon Foreman (lead of Switchfoot) descibes the rapid flourishing of the pharmaceutical companies as indicative of their claim, and our belief, that drugs bring abundant and true life, -on the market drugs and off the market drugs.  I agree with him.  This era, among other things, is the chemical era. The chemicals intially appear to help but eventually they enslave and cripple.  I don't know when we started to believe that life shouldn't be painful or hard or depressing -at times, but whenever that was, we figured out chemicals could soften it, or mask it, or whatever.  Once we've softened or masked it we don't need to work as hard at figuring out the reason for the pain or struggle.  We can get rid of the problem by numbing ourselves to it.  Alcohol used to be the old numbing agent, but that has become easy for people to identify as a problem.  The chemicals our good doctors prescribe and the world around us endorses are much easier to justify.  I am one that happens to believe that life, at times, will contain pain and emotional valleys that will quite frankly be crippling.  And that's OK.  I know sometimes it's horrible and suffocating.  But that's how life is... sometimes.  Society seems to think we should find a chemical to make it all better so we can get up and go to work, or school, or whatever else is expected of us and be fine.  There's a couple problems with this.  First, this isn't life.  Life is good and bad, fun and hard, that's just the way it is, sometimes I believe we're supposed to be terribly horribly miserable.  And second, it doesn't work anyways.  The chemicals usually just mask and numb and put off dealing with the problem.  The problem is still there and now you have potential chemical dependence on top of it.  If you are struggling with a dependency on a chemical, on the market or off, for an "unidentifiable cause," I encourage you to work very very hard at stepping away from it. Yes you may be sad, or in pain, or miserable, but you'll be alive and one day you will rise out of that and be happy -and it will be a better happy than the chemical happy.  I want to spend the rest of my life alive.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

I Like This Painting

KAMROOZ ARAM Supreme Elevation II, 2009, Oil on canvas, 182.9 x 274.3 cm
This is a painting I really like.  It is by Kamrooz Aram.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Good Stuff

My friend Pat Perry is a talented, hard working artist. His art and his blog are worthwhile stops. Check out his most recent video, I think you'll enjoy it. I will be posting a wrap up video from ArtPrize here soon too.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Rainy Days and Mondays Always Make Me Smile

I have to be at work by 9:30 but there's just enough time to sip a little coffee and turn a few pages of a book. Just picked up this new book by Ed Dobson.

I like it so far. Mostly because it's interesting but also because its a little weird. I've come to appreciate weird. Normal is...well...normal. Ed sat with me for maybe half an hour on a park bench in front of where my sculpture is showing and he talked to me like we had been friends for a long time. He liked my sculpture which made me like him even more. With his ALS, long beard, and red white and blue track suit on, he looked like a homeless man. That made me like him more too. Anyway, the book came out yesterday, I'll let you know what I think. Or you can read it too and tell me.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

What a beautiful morning. -Or at least it was. Where did all the fog come from? Hey, with all this talk of ArtPrize, my friend Pat Perry is in ArtPrize too and his entry is super sweet. Check out his blog for some images and updates.
I don't know if you "subscribe" to blogs or not but not that long ago I figured out to use Google Reader (it isn't very hard) and I love it. Basically I "subscribe" to any blog OR webpage I want to stay up to date on and it auto-loads all of them on one page for you to keep track of. No having to remember to check someones blog, or a band's website for tour news or album releases. Just subscribe to the sites and your reader will post the update when it happens. Most of you probably already know all of this, but I threw it out there just in case you were like me a few months ago and had no idea at the technological convieniences available to me.

Monday, September 21, 2009

So here's number in the ArtPrize production videos. Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Here's the newest installment of our ArtPrize Production Video. I hope you enjoy it. More will be coming soon.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

We always want things to stay the same but they don't. They can't.

We had to put our 11 & 1/2 year old Bernese Mountain Dog, Annina, to sleep today. She was an amazing dog. We loved her. She had two beautiful litters of puppies. She was stubborn and strong-willed, but that made her the confindent girl she was. She was faithful and loving. Gentle and Kind. We miss you and love you Good Girl.

All this has me thinking.

One of the hardest truths I'm struggling with is not death right now. It is the changing of life. Death is tough, -maybe the toughest thing about life. But it is something we think about often, at least I do. I'm having a hard time with the changing eras of life. Something I don't spend too much time thinking about. Annina dying today kind of signified the end of an era for Molly and I.

We were young and married. We were full of ambition and optimistic dreams. We lived in a little house down by a stream. And we had Pepper and Annina. We didn't have human kids, we had puppy kids. They were what we poured our love and lives into. I played outside with them daily. Long walks through the fields and wading down the stream. I made a special porch bench for them so they could see out the front windows. They slept on our bed with us and we didn't care a bit.

We put Pepper down about a year ago. It was one of the toughest things I've ever had to do. Now, a year later, Annina has joined her. They are remembered by stone-marks graves down by the lake and right now I hurt very badly. But with their passing so also goes the era. We have three beautiful girls now. We have busy young-family lives now. Our kids weren't there in that era. They don't know the history and memories we have from those days. It isn't less of a life, in fact in most ways its much better. But it's different. And Annina leaving us today was the final tether to that former era.

Life is just like that I guess. We always want things to stay the same but they don't. They can't. And that is really really tough to realize. I know from a bigger more logical view it all works to make God's plan develop. But that doesn't keep you from being sad, -very sad for the passing of the era. -Not just the passing of a friend.

The thing I'm taking from this as I go forward is to realize I cannot stop this progression, but rather, thoroughly enjoy the era I'm in right now. One day I will be mourning this era and it's passing. I love my wonderful beautiful wife. I love the girls I'm so richly blessed with. I have, currently, an amazing life. I am amidst the very moments I will look back on with fondness some day.
Thank you Lord. Help me move past this sadness.

[the images are graphite drawings i did a few years back. Annina is the top one, Pepper the bottom]

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The coloring of the rocks has begun

Here is a little update on the ArtPrize project. We finally got all of the rocks brazed together in groups so they can be attached to the board later after they're colored. Today Thomas worked on the stand that will hold the piece and I stated coloring the rocks with various chemicals and treatments to get some vibrant colors out of them. The stand Thomas is building is amazing! I will post some pictures of it soon. He is building a stand that kind of hands the sculpture out in front without you really seeing the stand too much at all. He is crazy detailed about getting it perfect. The Lord definitely gave me the right person for the job. The rock coloring is going well. I am really excited by the way they turning out. Sorry I don't have any picture to put on here yet.
One thing I want to take a moment to say is how thankful I am for all of the help I have received from others so far. My dad, Brad Savickas, Scott Ouzts, Josh Koziej all have helped with the production part of it. Laurie and Thomas have done so much for me in this I can't even begin to list it. Insisting I eat with them has been just one of the great blessings. Kellie Norton and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (the venue) have been GREAT too. This has all been a wonderful experience so far! I will post again soon. Please feel free to ask any questions you have in the comments section, I would love to answer any questions I can for you.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

New ArtPrize Video! (Vol. 4)

Here's the latest video documenting the production of my sculpture for ArtPrize. I posted it here because unfortunately I used a copywrited Mute Math track for the background audio and they turned the audio off on Youtube. I think if you view it from my channel on Youtube though and you can still hear the audio, it really is much better with it. The track is The Nerve from Mute Math's brand new album Armistice which is great.
Last night, while working on the sculpture, I got a good burn from the acetylene torch. It turns out 800 degrees is pretty hot afterall. Tonight we will be continuing to attach the rocks together in groups of 20-40 so they can be attached to the backgroup in several large chunks. We are also going to be making the waterline on the three big rocks that need to appear that they are sticking out of the water. We're going to do this by actually putting them in a kiddie pool, filling up with water and making a line on the rocks where the water comes to. maybe I'll get some pictures. I', hoping I get done in time to make it to our friends house for smores tonight.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Start of a Big Week

So tomorrow at 5am I'll be kicking off a mad week of work on this artprize project. I hope the furry of manpower does not negatively effect the quality of the final product. By the end of this week we should be done or almost done with it. Pray for Thomas and I if you think about it, we'll be putting in like 16 hour days mon-tue & thu- fri. -then my brother in law's wedding saturday which all of the rest of my family is in. I'll try to pop in here and update but if not, you know why.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

It's a New Day

After night
comes the light
dawn is here
dawn is here
it’s a new day
it’s a new day
everything will change
things will never be the same
we will never be the same

As I sit here this beautiful Saturday morning the sun breaks through the trees at a sharp angle from left to right. Fewer leaves are being disturbed by the subtle breeze than those that are not. The upside down copy of the trees on the lake surface is competing with the original for "best in show."

As I sit here I have been blessed to remember something. We can come to this spot, and by this spot I mean any one of an infinite number of places amongst creation, with the heaviest of burdens or weightiest of occupations, and be blessed with a truth that the created world is insistent on reminding us. -That HE is forever making all this new.
The cycle of day and night. -Fall Winter Spring and Summer. -Death and resurrection. -Old put away and new sprung open. Everywhere it's built-in, -can you see it? It's a new day. Everything will change. Things will never be the same. WE will never be the same. Breathe in the air of the fifteenth of August two thousand and nine. This day has never been lived yet, -by you or anyone else. Live it. Be a good steward of it.

And should you mess it up, it will die and there will be another born tomorrow.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Jumping Back in to the Blog Pool

So here I am returning to this place of forgotten intentions. I figured since I was working on this ArtPrize project I would start my blog back up and not only document its progress day to day but throw in some random thoughts about life from time to time. I will do my best to make it worth your while but definitely no promises there. I still plan to do a weekly YouTube video on the production of the ArtPrize sculpture that you can find here.So... regarding the sculpture: FINALLY all of the
rocks are are formed! I cut, hammered, and welded the last one today. I'm sure once we start attaching them to the board we will have to alter or redo some of them, but for now no more making rocks. phew! Now... well now is the next fun phase of grinding all of the excess welding material off all of the rocks. That's 10-20 welds per rock x about 300 rocks. I ground rocks for
about 10 hours today.
Thomas Ouzts is the metal fabricator that is helping on the project (I could never have done it without him). He finished up some of the welding when he got home from work today too.
One of the best things about this project has been getting to know and working with Thomas. He listens to the same country radio station all the time and somehow I don't even care!
ArtPrize announced the 1000th artist today. I'm not sure how I feel about that. I'm really excited for this whole thing and what it is bringing to the city. I just hope it does good for the cause of art. We'll just have to see how it all shakes out. Anyway, tomorrow its another day of grinding rocks in at the shop in Cedar Springs.