Making Dreams Come True

A symphony of birdsong fills the morning air as the early-rising sun streaks through the trees, making long purple shadows and golden light as it hits the tops of the tall grass and pear-shaped cactus. A bright yellow spider makes its way across the glass door of my little brown art studio, probably frustrated after his web across the doorway was deconstructed in a split second. Cool breezes move the trees and chill the air slightly before the afternoon blast of heat melts everything in sight. It will soon be time to escape the summer heat, if just for a week or two. My painters’ event in the Adirondacks, starting this weekend, will be saturated with deep green forests, cushy reddish brown pine needle forest floors, and gushing waterfalls, all waiting to be preserved in paint.


I’m Cured of a Disease

Whiirrrr goes the ceiling fan overhead, trying its hardest to move the thick, hot, sticky air inside the little fenced-in back porch. To my left is a small two-story rabbit cage, complete with a little pet bunny. At my feet lie three dogs, two tiny and one fairly large. Orchards in the garden are in full bloom and the scent fills the air.


An Unexpected Detour

Warm sunshine peeked through a slot in the closed blinds of the bedroom, aiming right for my face as if to tell me it’s time to wake. Covers quickly went over my head, yet the sun had done its job and I could sleep no more. So I meandered to the coffee pot, then made my way to the pollen-covered porch to enjoy the perfect spring morning.


The Perfect Mother’s Day

There are days that, in spite of the bright light, the cheery spring flowers, and the perfect spring weather, are not perceived as they are meant to be. Today, for me, is one of those rare days when I’m a lot bluer than normal.


The Impact of Your Pebble

Spring sprinkles kiss the tall green grass as a light wind makes the stems flow like dancers in unison. The long porch is entertained by the droplets pinging off the metal roof like BB’s. Mindlessly I watch droplets dangle off the branches of wet spring foliage and drop into the puddles below, each drop creating a circle of waves as it hits, pushing farther and farther out from its center until one circle intersects another. These puddles are filled with waves created by the little circles. Though there is science behind the inertia of the droplet, the energy and movement, I can’t help but wonder what purpose they serve.


Follow the Little Voices in Your Head

The Fog has been rolling across the Golden Gate Bridge and I’ve been standing outside with my easel against the stinging winds while painting the bridge. Today is our last day of the Plein Air Convention here and today we paint in Wine Country. Forgive me for the break but, after last night's Big Hippy 70's Party and an early rise this morning, I’m tapped out. This week magic happened and powerful stories emerged as a result of people coming to the Convention. Tears streamed down my eyes as these stories were told at last night's closing ceremony. One woman felt lead to the convention and almost did not come, but because she registered herself in our directory, a true miracle occurred. Thirty years ago her young son disappeared. She has not known where he is or what happened to him — no idea if he was alive. Little did she know of his search to find his mom; Googling her name constantly in hopes of finding her. Suddenly his search found her name on our site as an attendee here at the Plein Air Convention, and yesterday the two were reunited. Here at the Convention he showed up, found her,


Finding Your True Self

Goosebumps rise on my skin as I open the creaky old door from the house to the sun-drenched porch. A blast of arctic air sends a message that winter is fighting hard not to let go, not to lose control to spring. The two have been fighting it out for a couple of weeks now. Soon, hopefully, spring will win, and then before long spring will lose to summer.


A Bright Spot in a Dark World

A flash of light so bright it jolted me out of my bed, and less than a second later, the ground shook like a mega missile had struck. I remember counting seconds from the flash of light to the sound of thunder. This one was so close it had to be one of the old oaks on the property of this old Texas farmhouse.


Living with Cause and Effect

After a cold week, the porch is drenched in warm sun, the plants on the property are glowing as the sun streams in to light their edges, and the mountain in the distance is still purple gray. Thank goodness for spring. “Your Ideas Are BS, Eric” Last week I received an e-mail from an artist who had read my new marketing book. In the book I talk a lot about the importance of managing your own mindset and its impact on your life, to which she suggested that “positive thinking is complete BS.” Her words were a little stronger than that. My Tortured Friendship In my response I told her what I’ve learned about this recently and the story of my dear friend Chris, whom I met when I was about 18. Chris ran a local radio station, and I was a young budding broadcaster. We became friends and remained friends as he moved up the ladder to different jobs across the country. We shared a love for radio broadcasting. Yeah, But Though Chris was a dear friend, the one thing I used to kid him about was how negative he was all the time. He too thought positive thinking was


Doing Your Soul Work

Brilliant spring greens lightly cover the recently bare twisted oaks. Buds of fuzzy pussywillows signal spring’s arrival. Blankets of deep-blue bluebonnets and orange “Indian paintbrushes” cover miles of roadways and farms, bringing rich, vibrant hues to the otherwise dusty sage colors here. A soft warm breeze moves through the treetops like ballerinas quietly tiptoeing the moves of Swan Lake. I’m like a prisoner freed from the shackles — spring has released me from the indoors and the heated air as I return to my special place, the old long porch looking out over the vast distant hills and tall grasses.


Mining for Gold

Distant layers of rolling hills are barely visible this foggy morning, each layer lighter and bluer than the one before. A lone light on a hill in the distance shines brightly against the gray background, making me think that me and the person in that house are the only people awake this early. If I knew Morse code, I’d blink a good morning message. Everyone else is sleeping, and though I enjoy my alone time, I’d love to have a chat with someone over coffee about now. The sleep has left my eyes, and I’m caffeine-infused and ready for action.


The Pathways to Excellence

An overnight cold front swept in, taking our beautiful spring warmth to a sudden chilly, rainy, gray day. As I stare out over the porch, which is too wet and cold for writing this morning, I see subtle movements and the silhouettes of deer moving through the backwoods. I counted five this morning and have counted as many as 12 on some days. Quiet and graceful, they move through the land, alert at all times and skittish at the slightest sound, always ready in a split second to make a life-saving run. When I walk through my woods, there are paths they’ve worn, paths they typically follow, generation after generation, following the direction of their elders.   Which Path? We too have pathways. In the past I’ve talked about how we tend to follow the pathways of our elders and often adopt patterns that live on for generations. It’s a rare person who invents their own pathway because that requires deliberate thought. And though the road less traveled involves more roadblocks, rougher paths, and more pioneering, it can make for a life of excitement, while the roads frequently traveled can lead to sameness and following the masses. The pathways you choose


Eric Rhoads
Entrepreneur, writer, artist, marketer, and speaker.
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