Sunday, February 28, 2010

Ricko Manifesto Update

Within a few hours, month number two for the new year will be history. So how am I doing with the challenges and goals I put on my plate for 2010?
The answer is that all in all, it has been a very good month. My major focus has been getting healthy and staying that way.
During February I totally reprogrammed. I changed my diet, and I began using free weights three days a week and I am working at aerobic exercise seven days a week. I also spend time each morning on the ole yoga mat doing some stretching and meditation exercises. On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the best, as for eating healthy I give myself a 9. No processed or fried foods for an entire month!
In the exercise category I give myself a 5. That's low but in the past it would have been a negative figure. I will do better!
Don't think I told you this, but as part of my efforts to gain more inner peace, I made a vow to eliminate as much idle chatter or chit chat as possible. Instead of talking so much, I am trying to be the "observer" or "listener".
There are two conversations that I observe, first is the chatter that takes place inside my head, the "inside" voice. The second conversations are those that take place with the "outside" voice.
Observing the inside voice has exposed how many angry conversations that are taking place, in my head, in any given day. Did I say day, hell, I mean minute. With the inner voice I am continually giving myself and others hell. This discovery has let me know to a large degree, just how far I have to go, to gain "real" inner peace. However, I can't get down on myself, as Eckhart Tolle says, "awareness is the first and most important step on the road to discovery, to inner peace." Now, I am aware! The challenge going forward is to silence that inner voice, that inner chatter, that is blocking and holding me back from true peace.
Observing the outside conversations that take place around me and those I join in, has made me aware of how much "war" takes place in daily conversations.
I have noticed that I and many others, spend a major portion of our time lifting ourselves egos)above others. I refer to these conversations as "war talk". The act of lifting ones self above others is warfare, a struggle, regardless of how innocent the words may sound.
Here is an example, I can't believe he didn't do that! or I can't believe she did that! Such statements are warfare because they imply that "I", the speaker, would never do something so wrong or heartless, therefore I am a better person and they are below me. Such statements put others down and lift us up to an imaginary, higher moral ground.
So, what have I learned?
#1. To be at peace, I must control the inner conversations and the tongue.
#2. My conversations about and with others, reveal if I am a person of peace or war.

My best quote of the month comes from the book Rumi, The Book of Love. "Judge a moth by it's candle." (Now that's powerful!)


Changing one letter expresses the disappointment many Americans now feel in Mr.Obama. Not since Harry Truman has a president experienced such a sharp drop in popluarity over such a short time in office.

Title: Nope
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 16" x 20" unframed
Price: $250.00
I can visualize this on the rear bumper of over a million autos in America. At a dollar each, that makes me a millionair in the making.
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Two Soldiers

For the past few days, in addition to working on landscapes, and graphite drawings, I have been working on some political statements. I have an new friend that made the comment that I should consider writing and I agree. I have always wanted to be a writer and in a way I guess I am. Paintings like this one and the one before I consider to be two visual essays.
This painting is about contrast. The contrast of the black and the white and the contrast between two soldiers and their military uniforms. The soldier on the left is Gandhi, the soldier on the right is the American modern day soldier. The implied contrast is the opposing views of each. Those of you that know me know where I stand on these opposing views.

Title: Two Soldiers
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 16" x 20" unframed
Price: $250.00 plus shipping
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Wind Brake

This is also a painting of a scene from Folly Beach SC.

Title: Wind Brake
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 6" x 12"
Price: $150.00 plus shipping
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Low Country Marsh

This painting has special meaning. It is the view from the balcony of Meghan's Condo at James Island, SC. I did the painting over the course of a couple of days. I would love to keep this one, but a guy has to make a living.

This Painting:
Title: Low Country Marsh
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 12" x 24"
Price: #325.00 plus shipping
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Low Country Textures

I have been working on this painting, on and off for a month. I have wiped it out and started over three time! It just sits agains the wall and haunts me. What I visualize in my head I just can't seem to get on canvas, however, I do like the the textures I have created. If you like this painting as it is, and will give it a good home, I will make a real deal.

This Painting:
Title: Low Country Textures
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 18" x 22" Framed in solid oak
Price: $25.00 plus shipping
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Blake's Painting

Back in 2004 I must have done a couple of dozen paintings similar to the one you see here. I called the series, Rick's Chicks. Blake, my youngest daughter decided she was going to muscle in on dads turf and show me what she could do by creating her own lady. Her creation is the painting you see here. I was and remain damn impressed.
Now six years later, Blake has gotten married and she and her husband Nick, who is in Iraq, have made a creation of their own. He, their creation, has a name and it is MR.Cowen Danger. Danger is due to plant his little baby feet here on planet earth in approx. 30 more days.
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