Are You Ready for Some Kickball?!

Are You Ready For Some Kickball?! 22″x28″ acrylic on canvas

It was roughly 1982, and I was attending Phoebe Hearst Elementary School in Metairie, LA. Our P.E. uniforms were all green, with our school logo in yellow, not the most fashionable attire, but I don’t think school uniforms ever really are.

So with my favorite pair of green tennis shoes , my sweatband in place & my jock socks pulled up all the way, I was ready for some kickball action. I was the tallest & lankiest kid in my class and I was never really good at any sports, but one sport I was pretty good at was kickball.

There were several perks about this particular sport that seemed to work in my favor such as but not limited to:

  1. The ball was big & red, which definitely was a bonus for my poor vision.
  2. Unlike other sports, it was customary for the person serving the ball to ask you “How do you want it?” My response was always the same: “Slow and Bouncy!”
  3. The 2 previous perks allowed me enough time to brace myself, prepare my ridiculously long leg to swing, and with the bounce element factored in, I was also able to time my large foot exactly where it needed to be: right under the ball as it was coming down from a bounce.

With all the above in place, I swung with all my might, sending the giant red ball farther than most anyone in my age group, but never far enough for a home run. Though I had pretty decent kicking skills, my awkward stature made me a super slow runner. Either way, at the very least, I was able to impress the masses with my kicking ability, even if it only was just for a moment 🙂

Would you like to own your very own piece of fine art that celebrates the innocence & joy of childhood? Check out my For Sale page for available works.

OPERATION: Bring Art to the People (What Happened to the Chickens?! Edition)

In an effort to spread the message about the power of art, I took my children’s book illustrations for my story called, “What Happened to the Chickens?!” on my latest road trip and shared them with random people in random locations through random art drops. To read the entire story visit: What Happened to the Chickens?!

Even though I’m back from my road trip, I still have a handful more of illustrations to share periodically through the coming weeks so stay tuned 🙂

If you want to learn more about this public art project, read the back story here: OPERATION: Bring Art to the People





The Bus Stop Memory…

So, tomorrow is my mom’s birthday and I can’t help but stop and be amazed at the incredible creation that she is. With so many odds stacked against her, she has persevered, conquered, & overcome so many things in her life in a way that many could never imagine. As a single immigrant woman, she saw many hardships & pain, but her strength and faith in God got her through some very dark chapters in her life.

Often, when I go by bus stops, I try to imagine what it must of felt like for my mom, being so vulnerable & exposed in a foreign land, with no one to turn to and 2 little girls completely dependent on her. Though most of my painting are usually focused on the happy-go-lucky simple times of my childhood, this one has a slightly darker side touching on what might of been my mom’s emotions during that period of her life, while still emphasizing the warmth & refuge she provided for us.

OPERATION: Bring Art to the People- Road Trip to Chattanooga Edition

Anyone who knows me, knows that when I tell a story, I like to start from the beginning. So to tell you about my latest trip to Chattanooga, you guessed it, I have to start from the beginning. So here it goes:

In 2003, after a messy breakup from a an almost 3 year relationship, I found myself  being a single dog/cat “parent”, without a place to live or even a bed to sleep on. My fairly new BFF came to my rescue and offered me a place to stay in her one bedroom apartment with her Japanese Akita dog lovingly named, Jade.

The tight living quarters posed many challenges. For one, my “bedroom” was actually the dining room and second, our dogs were having a super hard time getting along because of their conflicting personalities. Jade, due to her breed, is naturally stubborn, protective, and bossy while Gambit, for who knows what reason, knows he’s not the alpha dog, but that doesn’t stop him from trying to prove otherwise any chance he gets. So needless to say, there were many scuffles between my 50lb dog and my BFF’s 100+lb dog, but eventually, they learned to get along and became BFFs themselves.

Fast-forward several years and many countless memories and life changes later, and my BFF & Jade, have since moved from sunny Jacksonville, FL to Chattanooga, TN and last week I got the phone call that I knew would one day be coming in one way or another: it’s time to let her go. So with much sadness, but with much happiness for a chance to see her one more time, I started to plan my trip to Tennessee. My mind kept going back to just how blessed Jade was to have found my amazing BFF and just how blessed my BFF was to find such a wonderful dog like Jade.

Dogs are truly amazing creations. It’s not hard to imagine them as angels in disguise, whose sole purpose it is on this earth to give us companionship, unconditional love, protection, comfort and so much more. Most of my art work is based on both my first dog, Snoopy (he’s the blue & white dog in my Childhood series) and my current dog, Gambit. If you can’t tell, I have a very warm place in my heart for these wonderful creatures.

So as I prepared for my trip, I realized this was a good opportunity take OPERATION: Bring Art to the People with me on the road for a few Sneaky Love Art Drops, and not only would it be a good distraction from the reality of the visit but, a chance to share the love of art with the focus of the work being on: Doggie Love.

I selected a couple of my favorite works, loaded them & the dog into the car & hit the road. My first drop was at a rest stop somewhere along I-75 North about 2 hours south of Atlanta. As I got closer and closer to Chattanooga, the reality started sinking in again and I couldn’t wait to spend some quality time with my BFF & Jade, and as an added bonus her other BFF & her dog, Brinkley, also drove up and joined in on the get together.

That night, we all talked, we laughed, we cried, we ate, we took pictures, and we loved on the dogs, especially Jade. There were moments when we acted normal, almost as if we had forgotten exactly why we were all there, but then reality would strike us again & the mood would quickly change, but then one of the dogs would do something ridiculous and we’d be right back to laughing uncontrollably. It really was a bittersweet experience.

The next morning we took all the “kids” to the dog park and watched them frolic and play without a care in the world. It was sad though to see how differently the dogs played now compared to 10 years ago. There was less running, less fighting, but there was still so much love & happiness oozing from each of them that we couldn’t help but smile.

Then it was time to say our good-byes to Jade…

We were all numb afterwards, not really knowing what to say, how to act, it didn’t seem real. My BFF didn’t want to go home, she wanted to be distracted, so I suggested an Art Drop and she was all for it, but I have a feeling, if I had told her that I wanted to balance & rotate my own tires, she probably would of agreed to tag along just so she wouldn’t have to stay home. It was amazing how quickly we got distracted looking for the perfect spot to drop the piece, the excitement of trying to go unnoticed, and the exhilaration as we ran away from the scene of the “crime.” For a few minutes, we allowed ourselves to enjoy the present moment before we reconnected with reality.

The next day, I woke up early and started my journey back home with Gambit. Two hours into my drive, I got off at one of the first exits for ATL for the the final Sneaky Love Art Drop of my journey, where a super cool looking diner called the OK Cafe caught my eye, so I strategically dropped the last painting into some bushes for a random person to find. From that same exit, I refueled the car with gas, the dog with some water & myself with some coffee and hit the road again. As I drove down I-75 South, I reflected on my trip with an appreciation for the blessing that my BFF is on my life, for the blessings that our dogs are in our lives, for the moments and memories, both good & bad, that are made a little easier just by releasing the love in our hearts towards each other, whether it’s your best friend or a complete stranger. Our lives are short on this earth, we really need to live everyday with purpose, figure out what we were put here to do, and with a loving heart push through and get it done, help people along the way, never stop searching for wisdom & understanding and embrace every precious moment as the blessings come pouring in…

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