Ty, the Rambling Artist
The art of making drawing smiles and making connections, anywhere in the world.
Imagine if you will, its a brilliant sunny Sunday morning. You wake up refreshed from a long evening of making a crowd of smiles and you are eager to seize the day. What better way to Carpe Diem than to knock out those pesky 10,000 steps that we are all suppose to have at the end of the day? So you leash up your hyper energetic one year old lab mix and pounce out the door. A quicker than coffee pace down two flights of stairs and out into the bright warm sunny world.
You're being pulled by fifty plus pounds of canine energy. Tongue wagging with joy in the fresh morning air. The dogs tongue, not yours. At first its a strenuous isometric exercise, his energy pulling on your still, slightly sleepy human form. You strain your upper shoulders, arms, chest and back muscles for the first thousand steps or so. Then the pace begins to even out. “This is good for me," you think to yourself." I can feel my heart rate escalate to a reasonable workout rhythm.”
Quickly passing the centennial asian couple holding hands in the park on the walkway, you and your canine partner are spreading joyful energy throughout the parkway. Waving to joggers, cyclists and of course the cute asian centennials. Its a glorious, joyful day. Hurray.
Oh look, up ahead, a blue swallowtail butterfly, fluttering among the bushes. How pretty. Then just as you and fluffy come within fluttering flight space of said pretty blue swallowtail butterfly, your high energy fifty plus pounds of momentum instantly changes course on you to chase this beautiful natural distraction. Within a blink of your eye, your quick pace fast walking, sorta jogging pace takes an instant change of direction without warning. “Pop! Snap! Pain!” goes your shoulder as your canine partner now has jolted into a full forceful leap and bolting run in an opposite 160° direction. Instinctively you grab the now loose leash with your other hand as your current holding arm simply dangles in pain at your side. Your now stumbling through well kept shrubbery being dragged by your turncoat canine partner whose only goal now is to catch the butterfly.
People are screaming, children crying the cute asian centennials are having a heart attack because of the chaos you and your demon dog of doom are causing in the public park on this once wonderful Sunday morning. You’ve easily ceded your goal of 10000 steps. You’ve exhausted your canine companion. The pretty blue swallowtail butterfly has fluttered off into the distance, with a certain smirk of joy on her face.
You hobble home with an exhausted fifty plus pound puppy, You with your cuts and bruises and occasional twig or two in your shoe strings, your hair, your torn t-shirt and your worthless right arm, in pain, just dangling by your side, like a toy action figure whose shoulder stitch has come undone. There is not enough aspirin, ibuprofen, or wine in the house to ease the pain of not only your shoulder, cuts and bruises, but of your ego. The day started with a bright energetic ego of yours, convinced it would seize the day. Your ego was convinced it would become the model citizen in your neighborhood and do all the right things network society tells us is the right way to live. Your ego was ready to change the world, but now it’s damaged, wounded and suffering in a pain equal to your dislocated shoulder. Your egos only current helpful medicinal assistance comes from the very source of its damage. Your fifty plus pound energetic ball of fur and supreme muscle of a beast that caused this damage. Here your canine partner quietly, softly, gently rests his head in your lap with his sad puppy eyes looking up at you. As if he’s saying, “sorry, I didn’t catch that pretty blue swallowtail butterfly for you. Next time I will. I hope you feel better tomorrow, so we can do it again. "
*This post was created with voice dictation.” It took forever.” Now I wish there was a voice dictation or an eye controlled digital drawing tool so that I could get my work done today.”
Have a wonderful Sunday, Carpe Diem everybody, but leave the canines at home.
Wouldn't it be great to see drawings and sketches from people as they visualize this story?
A few weeks ago I had a visit with a NASA engineer. A friend of my wifes from high school. He’s an engineer that works on the air traffic control systems that the FAA uses. He’s also a marathon runner and a single father of twin 11 yr old boys. A great guy. A very active and a very creative mind. Highly intelligent. That should be a given. He’s a NASA engineer.
The reason. Bring him up in is because during our tour of Disney we got on the topic of creative thinking. Disney seems to bring out the best in peoples creative thinking. Imagine that. He was curious about the work I do, drawing smiles. I was extremely curious about the work that he was doing in his little corner of NASA. He is one of the engineers that works on the systems in air traffic control operations. Forecasting and planning years ahead in the safety of aviation, really interesting stuff and of course most of everything he said was way over my head. Still my imagination could see the idealistic visions that he shared with the rest of his NASA family.
One of the coolest things I learned is that for down time and stress release that he is into, aside from running marathons, he is also a master at the art of origami. That’s that. I said origami. When you think about this it makes perfect sense. A NASA engineer playing with the art of folding paper. The instinctive mathematics that goes into his creations. The planning, the per-conceived visions that it takes to turn a simple piece of paper into something clever and interesting. Recently NASA launched a new living quarters to the space station. Guess what? It was folded up inside a payload capsule. Then released into space and unfolded effortlessly to its full size and then easily installed in place on the space station. Origami on the largest scale imaginable created by your local origami artists at NASA.
All of the energy for satellites and the space station are generated by solar panels. Huge unfolding wings of solar panels. That when switched on, systematically unfold into their enormous size and instantly become fully operational, generating all the power they need. So to hear this NASA engineer brag about his master origami skills was just a wonderful example of genius ability and creative thinking to me. The bonus is that he has passed on his artistic skills to his twin 11 year old boys.
He and the twins will pass time at restaurants, in lines at movies or in Disney, in the lines for attractions. Together they will kill time by creating origami critters and little people then leave them n places all over the theme parks, restaurants, bathrooms and any unsuspecting public places for other pope to discover. Passing along their creative magic to others. Little magical treasures. This is something after my own heart. I just love it.
Imagine if you will. Your standing in line at the airport waiting for the TSA and you notice sitting on top of the little stand that you throw all your liquids into, a little origami man made of a metallic checked black and red paper waving at you. It is a good chance this NASA engineer or one of his twin sons were there before you and wanted to leave someone like you a little unsuspecting magical moment.
Isn’t that a great example of passing the creative magic along? It certainly is a great example of using your down time in a positive creative way. If you have any similar ways of creatively killing time or relieving stress, I’d like to here from you? Are any of you master origami craftsmen? Share your stories with me, I’d love to hear them. Please and thank you and have a creative day.
This reminds me of Dale Bedford. A technical engineer guy for fiber optics. Who I met drawing caricatures at Six Flags over Texas. He was a grown man with an established career that wanted to loosen up and rediscover his creativity of his childhood. He did okay, drew like an engineer. Kinda tight,stiff drawings. Not a lot of flow or rhythm in his work.
Eventually life separated our pathways we went on our individual ways. Then as life randomness often happens,we met up about ten Years later. I was drawing at a blues festival. I had some time so it visited the arts guild tent. And in this tent was a booth full of these large elaborate Italian baroque. Period catholic paintings of Jesus. Dark emotional masterpieces with drama in every brush stroke of heavenly light coming of the flesh of Jesus. They stopped me dead in my tracks with their beauty. I would never hang one in my house mind you, just not my style, but wonderful works none-the-less.
Then I hear this familiar voice behind me. "Got's pretty good hasn't I?" It was Dale.
These? Are yours? I asked in amazement. And yes, they were his works of original paintings. Here's what happened in the time he left our group of caricaturists back then.
He left our group feeling a lack of confidence when he compared himself to the rest of us. I wish I knew this. I'm sure I'm. Guilty of leading him to that conclusion with knowing I said something lightly that was taken in the wrong context or whatever..
So he picked up a new hobby. Ti Kwan Do. He became very good at the martial arts. In fact it was during one of his black belt requirements that he got kicked just above the left eye. Knocked him cold. Concussion the whole shebang. A week after the accident he felts as if he was able to drive to the store. During his trip he blacked out and ran into a tree. In the hospital they ran scans and tests and found that some bone fragments had broken off from his eye socket of his skull and were loose digging around in his brain, causing all sorts of problems. In short, they had to do surgery to remove them or he would face very serious damage.
Well the operation and damage caused by the accident left him not knowing how to read or write. A major part of his rehabbing required relearning from about the sixth grade level and up from there. And part of his personal addition to all his newfound school work was learning to draw simple cartoons. From a "How to draw cartoons" children's book. He got pretty good at drawing everything in the book, then he got another "how to" art book, then another. And started accelerating his drawing skills and knowledge as re rehabbed. The he was so confident in his art skills he took an oil painting class at the community college. And the "this just started to happen. I found myself duplicating art history examples from. The Italian baroque period. " Dale explained.
All of this story of his was unfolded before me by him over a nice Little lunch. My only response to this was "Dale, you have a sock hanging out of your pant leg and no sock on your foot, but you have your shoe on."
"That's what happen to it!" I was looking for that sock all morning.
All of this recollection about Dale moved me to look him up and reconnect, but this is all I found. I've once again missed an extraordinary personal opportunity to better myself by knowing someone remarkable.
The last memory I have of Dale was visiting him after a class he was teaching an art class for people with demnsia. He had a little two legged chihuahua with him that rode around in his backpack.
This was a listing in Google that I found on Dale.
November 5-28, 2010
The third part of the themed November exhibit is work by the late Arlington artist and teacher Dale Bedford whose artistic talent blossomed after he suffered traumatic brain injury in an accident. Dale's large scale oils on canvas have a depth of meaning and spiritual content."
From Ty Walls:
After four decades drawing smiles I often encounter remarkable people. I've learned to create little special moments for people from all around the world with my simple smile-drawing skills. But sometimes, life creates little magical moments for me. This blog is my attempt to share them with you.