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Wednesday, June 29, 2011


In life and most artistic expression.We as a whole can find ourselves and the things we choose to do so easily misunderstood.As a human I know one thing I appreciate and rarely receive is understanding.If it be that a person doesn't look into it as far as I do or that life in its own ways forms these misunderstandings.I feel we all have a natural want to be understood.To have someone understand that there is a true meaning behind the things we do.These misunderstandings may cause confusion,conflict,or may simply go un-noticed but none the less still misunderstood.Perception seems more often than not to create this chaos. Take a book or a piece of art for instance.These things are created by a artist to portray a story,feeling,or emotion.Although the person reading the book or viewing the art may see the story or the painting differently than the person who created it.They may feel different emotions due to that persons life.Now the best part is that even if it means something different it still materializes itself inside the person receiving it.Does that mean that it was misunderstood though seeing as how it was not portrayed the way the artist had hoped?I don't know honestly.I just know personally in my life I have been so so so misunderstood as to my true meanings,paths and ventures.The method behind my madness so to speak.So as always be aware as to how you portray yourself as that you may alleviate some of these misunderstandings.Or stay in the misunderstanding as that may be your intent to be the type nobody really saw the genius in.All in all though given a certain situation remember there are a million variables allowing the room for misunderstanding to grow bigger by the second.Do with it what you will and enjoy your days.Live laugh and Love.....Life is too short.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The beauty of a flower

The beauty of a flower is a perception I watch take shape.As masculine males sometimes say that appreciating the beauty of a flower is feminine.I am not saying this pertains to all males but I watch some males become skiddish is pointing out that something society may call feminine is beautiful.I personally look at flowers and see a beauty that is sometimes so hard to recreate in painting.This natural thing that takes on life and blossoms into this magnificent piece of artwork all on its own.The color the shape the many things so often overlooked.Much like an insect in the sense of I can paint an insect and I will get a different reaction be it a caterpillar or a beetle.Is the insect in itself more masculine or feminine then the flower?A man may appreciate a cool looking bug a women may embrace it or run but,what is the difference between the flower and the bug as far as masculinity goes?The flower and the bug co-exist in real life.Is there a line?Is one more feminine then the other.Also I am only making these statements being that a person passes these subjects daily.How do they recognize them.Do they see beauty.Does it automatically get categorized as feminine or masculine?Or does it get overlooked all together?Does it get appreciated?The next time you walk through the woods or walk down a path or even through the city.....STOP take a look around.How are you perceiving things?It all becomes a beauty in its own rite I suppose...Depending on how you choose to see it....

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Truth be Told

Art is a love.Art is a way of life.Something may take the arts from the artist but,will never take the arts out of the artist.Artist's are different in many ways then those that are not artist.The outside the box point of view.Every artist like every human is different.Every artist like every human is allowed a certain amount of freedom or freedumb.Every person given some self exploration has art instilled in them to a degree.All of us are capable of art regardless of how it is carried out.All of us are capable of overcoming life's circumstances given strength.There is a saying DO NOT FEAR THE ARTS FEAR THE ARTIST....This pertains to life in many ways regardless of if your an artist or not.The saying do not fear the arts fear the artist means something to me that may or may not be similar to what someone else thinks about it.To me this is a non-threatening statement only stating do not fear the piece of artwork itself or the symbolism within.Fear the imagination of the person creating and giving life to the things many of us choose to run or walk away from.In life this becomes relevant in the terms of education upon many other things but,Don't fear knowledge.Fear the person that has the knowledge to use to their advantage and progress farther than you in life.Something like knowledge though is so widely available that to me there is no excuse not to gain it provided you have an interest.And let me back up a bit by saying do not fear either in the sense of intimidation.Just be conscious and aware of your surroundings at all times understanding what you have accomplished and what you are up against.Do not fear something as in its literal term of being scared but understand the variables.Understand the circumstances.Be aware of what may or may not happen.Also be healthy about it try not to let it consume you.Something that consumes you even if it be art for example isn't such a bad thing but,To be consumed by something has its ups and it downs.I myself let things plague and consume me.I am only trying to give an explanation and encouragement.Life has a way of taking its toll.There are things just beyond are control but our reactions to these things is a some what conscious decision.You have a choice to embrace,be in fear,get angry,be happy,be sad or be motivated.The choice is yours do with it what you will.Life is your art make it a masterpiece! 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

That Fine Line

As I was sitting here working on some public art proposals I am getting ready to do.I was doing all this fine line work.Line after line I had made a comment to someone.About being confident of myself and not cocky..As they and I both shared a laugh.Well then it hit these lines in life that like art or anything for that matter exist...The questions started flowing and I realized that there is a fine line between almost every opposite.That threshold that you cross if it be by lack of caring or by a conscious decision.Lets look at some.There is a very fine line between:Love and Hate,Confidence and cockiness,Gifts and bribery,Gain and loss,Up an Down,Positivity and negativity,and many many many others just let the mind wander.!?Where joy becomes job....These lines so often overlooked and crossed are always there and almost always have their own form of repercussion.One step forward or one backward and you have ventured from one side to the other.As an opinion we live life walking the line.Some strictly stay to one side or the other but life has a way of unbalancing us from one side or the other therefor allowing us to walk the line so as we can jump from one side to the other as a defense mechanism in a way.These lines are like state lines or the border to a canvas for framing as though they are not seen but do very much exist.The line between thinking and being neurotic.Leaving me with another couple of questions for you to ponder if you choose.When does the threshold begin?When do these unseen yet so well defined lines show themselves?With them being opposites you would figure well there must be a positive and a negative outcome but,Negativity may motivate someone and with everyone having a certain way of dealing or their own defense mechanisms well what may be destructive to one persons thought may not be to the next.So do we all carry our own set of lines?Are we all applicable to the same rules?And again without a response from the line crossing and without keeping it in mind all the time how do we distinguish just how close we may be to a line at any one given moment?If we all have lines existing they probably exist in different places for different people.Leaving it to the individual to figure that out.Does that line in a given situation describe you or your morals?Does that line like so many others exist simply to be crossed and learned by?As I release this random thought I think I am crossing a line.What does it matter?Some of this is common sense.But if I can get someone to ponder on a healthy thought or to be aware of the lines in their life or art well then I have brought someone to an understanding of themselves.Once we understand ourselves well we may make more conscious healthy decisions.So as I end this rambling I realized something else where is the line in humble?Is it just merely etiquette.If not etiquette well than at this point in my journey I have only to wonder if these imaginary lines make us who we are as people.And if they do I guess it is up to the individual to distinguish these lines and handle them or ignore them as they see fit.So hopefully there is some insight gained from this.I am not trying to confuse anyone.Just where I am in my journey well these thoughts arise from time to time.So enjoy your lines embrace them or ignore them but realize there is a fine line or a threshold to be crossed in almost every given situation if you choose to look for it.Thank you all for reading.Leave a comment and let me know what you think.The blog is now set up so everyone can leave comments.They have to go through a moderation process for profanity but I encourage feedback so please let me know what you think.C.Raab 

Monday, June 6, 2011

The definition of insanity

The definition of insanity in it's literal sense would be to show unstable mental health or bouts of madness..Now in life pertaining to human nature we have that definition and this one.Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.I am guilty of this very thing.I catch myself and some others I know falling victim to this scenario all the time.I am amazed at myself when I catch myself doing it.Wondering why I have allowed this thought process to begin.As humans it becomes easy to do something over and over due to optimism that it will work to our advantage.And some times it does.But much like mixing paint if you mix black and white you will get grey.The shades of grey may vary,but all in all you still have grey.I find myself wondering as I watch others and myself why we think we can mix black and white and get blue.Now there are variables to every situation.So if you have changed the circumstances it then loses its insanity because you have changed the rules so to speak.This is were a gift becomes a curse-I mean if you think about it.There is a phenomenal amount of optimism involved in trying something repeatedly to try to effect or change the outcome you have received so many times.The persistence.Yes this persistence is what keeps some moving.I thrive on it sometimes.When does persistence become insanity though?And does it ever become insanity?If you think about it persistence is what may make or break something.There has to be a certain level of optimism in order to keep progressing.If an artist see's a canvas with no vision of what to paint on it they may or may not paint and it may or may not become a masterpiece.So if it can be what makes something progress or if it is part of a transformation so to speak why is it referred to as insanity?Why is persistence considered insanity when without it painters would never become famous,Artist's of any kind would never make it for themselves,Inventors would have given up after the first try,Kids wouldn't strive to get good grades and we as humans would become stagnant.So if insanity is repeating the same thing over and over expecting different results and expecting different results is considered persistence and persistence being what helps things evolve well how can we call progress insanity?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Imagery Imagination Influence

We as children start out with this wonderful perception.This child like innocence so to speak.This belief structure which is based on how we imagine it and is very open to suggestion.We see things like art.Now a piece of art mat evoke reaction or emotion thus changing the way you looked at something if even for a moment.Art in itself being a form of imagery or a sense of the body, has the capability of completely changing one's mind.As an artist I can look at wood grain and see faces in the grain or a way I may want to carve a particular piece of wood.A dancer or musician may hear sound and the urge to move or create may happen.This imagery especially as a child is even more influencing and as a child we are more susceptible.As adults we are overloaded with imagery of all kinds all the time.It may be visual it may not be but it is in a constant state of fluctuation and is happening at almost every given moment.These circumstances may change how we view or react in life very much.This constant battering of imagery is taking its toll.It may be positive it may be negative.That in itself is left in the eye of the beholder.This imagery can influence our imagination also if it be a help or a hinder it is almost always an influence.Imagery in some rights makes people what they are.If you watch the same type of shows all day long and you end up in a casual conversation with friends this imagery will most likely find its way into the conversation.If you happen to be particular to one artist or one style of art this may also become the main key to decorating in your living area.The icons,images,and many things we see everyday may have more of an influence than we think.I saw a child the other day so happy to just be doing whatever it was they were doing.And leave it to something shiny or something with lights to catch their attention.I thought how nice it must be to be so easily amused but,We are....So maybe it wasn't something shiny.Maybe it was(laughing).But we as adults fall victim to the same types of imagery just on an adult standpoint and perspective.Example:You drive past a mcdonalds and you may think wow I am kind of hungry.Now if you want the mcdonalds itself is irrelevant.What if it would have been 10 more mins. before you passed something with food displayed on it?What if you didn't see the imagery whatever that may have been maybe you wouldn't have realized you were hungry right then?We again being battered constantly with imagery have become almost oblivious to the fact that we think about something before we even recognize what put the thought in our head to begin with.This overflow of imagery leaves me with a bunch of questions.Is this (imagery)messing with our imagination?Is it adding or subtracting from our imagination and if so is it positive or negative?Do we realize that the imagery has taken its toll before the imagery has already made us do something subconsciously?Now imagery is like an attitude or a fad it's kind of contagious so are we spreading imagery ourselves without even realizing it?The influence is strong.I personally believe it is done on purpose but,that is just an opinion.There is actually a psychological way to paint things to make people look at or like something they would have never spent time pondering on.Is that tricky?Is it positive?Is it negative?How often is it really being done?What happened to the child like innocence that allowed us to have are (own) un-influenced thoughts so to speak.I look at a child and think the mind state isn't full of the clutter,the worries,the negativity and the many other things that come through imagery.A child's imagination is bar none phenomenal in the sense they can imagine something so vividly in their mind it actually exists.The pessimism that we as adults have from time to time as a child isn't even a concern.So we as people in ourselves are walking paintings or billboards.We ourselves are imagery to others.We need to take the positive reaction to imagery being that we can influence or motivate others in positive light and well.....Be that imagery.Spread that contagious imagery as though the person influenced may do the same.We also can have that child like innocence if we choose!!!There is a time and a place for everything but,you can still be aware and have the ability to take things in stride.And this again is my opinion but,when others see your imagery be it smiling all day,optimism,goals being reached,and taking life very seriously but having a sense of well being humor and caring at the same time then those people receiving your imagery or billboard so to speak will consciously or unconsciously pass it on...But if the whole conundrum is going to exist anyways regardless well make the best of it.  

Thursday, June 2, 2011

expressing an o(pain)ion

Art is an expression which I see restrictions on daily.How do you restrict an expression or freedom?Life is also full of restrictions.Like art some of life's restrictions are meant to keep you from progressing and some of them are for the safety of you and those around you.Who makes these restrictions?I understand that life and art have obvious restrictions being in life not to use drugs or in art not to paint a nude in a family friendly venue but,aside from the obvious things most human beings would call common sense why is there the artistic interrogation when it comes to placing artwork somewhere.When you are judged based on others views,opinions,restrictions or beliefs are you really exercising your own imagination?Also why must you reach a point of notoriety or fame to overcome that restriction?Are there different rules for different people?In life you have people that use drugs.You have those who seek help.You also have judgement there too!Your freedom is not freedom in the sense of I cant count on the many times any one individual who truly wants to get sober cannot receive help yet the person with the money,fame,or notoriety is accepted into treatment no questions asked.They somehow have skipped this interrogation.What if the individual without the resources has a stronger intent to get sober?Like art there is restrictions.And these restrictions are not always based on the best interest of the individual.In my opinion the restrictions are based on underlying factors whatever they may be in any one given situation.I have personally hit restrictions in both art and life.In art I have been widely accepted and widely disliked depending on the viewer but, one factor that seems to always remain the same is that as I gain more notoriety as an artist via newspaper articles,galleries,or things like being placed in the rock and roll hall of fame I am able to overcome these so called restrictions.I am happy to have my expression and freedom slowly released as an artist but,it is not fair and wouldn't be a problem provided no such restrictions existed in the first place...In life and sobriety before I got sober I was offered help when I had health insurance.Although when I chose to consciously get sober and had no money or insurance well now there were these restrictions.There was a list of rules and things for which when I had money before just were not a problem.Now I understand the money has to come from somewhere and that if everybody wasn't interviewed to an extent well the money would run dry and the system to get people sober would cease to exist.On another note though I have also seen in my own life and others people turned away because a treatment center was helping those from jail or those that had insurance and there were no more beds or room.Now what if the person turned down truly wants to get sober with every ounce of their soul and just needed that helping hand.?And what if that artist provided they did not have to paint around this set of rules or restrictions was allowed to let this imagination and creativity flow?Would that be preventing or promoting progress?Does that become counter productive?Is this just a chance we take given our mistakes or our job title?Restriction in itself is a funny word....It obviously means to restrict something. Leaving it open to restrict both negative and positive actions.A double edged sword.Now understand this blog is not a complaint and it is not meant to down grade any system or venue.It is only an observation on how rules change given an individuals status,how personally living both sides at one time or another I have seen it.Now me being able to express my opinion I can bring it to the peoples attention provided they have not already realized it,and it is only an opinion and like any opinion or given situation there is always a variable,exception,and it is always given to change at any one moment.I will leave it on this note.When you see a homeless person what is your first thought?It may be sad,bad,or ignorant based on a lack of understanding.Now that person may continue to be homeless until they pass or they may go on to own a company but,We usually just see that they are homeless.Now I have had many accomplishments for which I am happy about but also consider vanity and am very humble about.Now when you look at the fact that 4 yrs prior to having my art shown in the rock and roll hall of fame I was walking the streets homeless,I overdosed on 6 1/2 times the lethal limit of a drug and nearly died 5 yrs ago,and that I as a child used to use drugs with my mother who overdosed shortly after my 18th birthday,and that I now have over 5 yrs sober. What happens in your head as a mental process?Do you see a success story or do you look at me different cause I was homeless for three months and had some hard knocks in life?Are you,me or we as a whole being restrictive?Just food for thought..