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Home 2018-01-19T11:38:59+00:00

The Hard Things in Life

An adobe fireplace is warming me on this chilly morning as I sit in my room, smelling burning mesquite wood, hearing the crackling embers, and staring sleepy-eyed at the brown adobe walls, the dark, carved wooden doors, and photos of Native Americans in ceremonial clothing.

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Beating “The System”

Tweeting took on its original meaning as I awoke to the golden orange sunshine, which places a rim of intense light around the edges of my scrub oaks this morning. The weeds, bushes, and tall grasses are glowing like fire.

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Warm Memories

Peaceful? Not exactly how I’d describe what I was thinking might be a quiet morning. The roar of passing cars fills the air, road rage with someone laying on the horn for what seemed like a full minute, and some muffled sounds of obscenities screamed out a car window. I thought that even Philadelphia would be immune to noise this early. I was wrong.

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Emotional Spring Cleaning

Today’s brilliant cobalt blue sky is filled with big, puffy clouds, dark on the bottom and rim-lit with yellow sunrise light. Tiny feather-like light green leaves are showing up on the bare branches, and blossoms of pink and white are filling my favorite tree. Birds are chirping out “Spring is in the air!” and I’m finally able to get back to my porch without a blanket or sweater. Soon bluebonnets will fill nearby farmers’ fields, seducing me and my easel.

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The Impossible Dream

Dark billowing clouds are dancing overhead and the muted orange sun is streaming rays out over the Atlantic ocean. Balmy air is met with a quiet breeze as palm fronds playfully move about from side to side. Cathedral bells ring out and echo off the old historic buildings. Unexpectedly, I hear distant music in the streets, the soundtrack of Cuba. I’m up earlier than normal this morning and instead of the usual porch in the backyard, I’m on the upper deck on top of a hotel in Havana.

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Being Deliberate

Nestled in my art studio this morning, my bare feet wrapped under a blanket, which covers me keeping the chill off. The whir of a small space heater trying to play its part. Chilled raindrops slowly and methodically pinging on the metal roof above me.

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When Moments Matter

This soft Sunday morning on the back porch sees a deep and thick fog covering intense backlight from the rising sun, creating a tunnel like those in a movie scene where they “walk into the light.” Color is absent; the yard is reduced to shades of gray. Distant gnarled and twisted oak branches are silhouetted and are lighter in the distance, darker and bigger as they come close. This morning would be a good painter’s lesson on perspective, atmosphere, and values (the scale of light to dark).

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The Recipe for a Great Life At Work and Beyond Work

A warm orange glow dances across the blades of grass and lights up the trunks of my oak trees on this crisp morning. The warming sun and my hot coffee have removed the chill here on the back porch. I’m wondering if spring has begun or if it’s only a teaser before the cold Arctic blasts return. I’m hopeful it will be an early spring, not uncommon here in Austin, and a great time to paint fields of blue and orange when the Texas bluebonnet season arrives.

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The Baby Steps to Giant Dreams

Purple-gray hills are peeking over the tops of the trees of my very rough, unkempt, natural backyard, which is filled with gnarly live oak trees, prehistoric limestone rocks, sage-colored prickly pear cactus, and dusty orange and rich green cedar trees.

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The Art Barriers We Create

My palms were sweating. Should I go in, should I not? Do I belong here? “Maybe this is only for special people,” I was thinking. The sounds of noisy Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale were silenced as the glass doors slowly closed behind me. Immediately I was overwhelmed, seeing walls and walls of shimmering gold-framed paintings that matched any in a museum. This art was different from any I had found in a gallery before, and though I had an untrained eye, I could tell it was somehow better, higher quality than anything I had seen.

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Eric Rhoads
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