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LEAVINGS

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“We leave something of ourselves behind…we stay there, even though we go away. And there are things in us that we can find again only by going back there.” - Pascal Mercier (Night Train to Lisbon)
When I was young I had a small art studio where I painted in an old building full of other artists. Another painter, Eric had the studio next to mine. He had found great success in the art world, commission after commission poured in for his abstract paintings. They all fit a pattern clients loved, he turned them out one after another. Still there was a certain restlessness in Eric.



I often saw him spending a lot of time looking at the marks left on his easel board and mixed hues left on his pallet. I ask him why he did that? Eric replied, “There he found his true self, unbounded by client needs. These were the leavings of his passion and work. Where he would find the inspiration to someday do art just for himself.”
It was many years later when I was in the midst of a long business career, that…

ORDINARY LETTERS

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Every person’s handwriting has always been unique, a signature of their soul. This is changing. Handwriting is becoming like the digital age, uniform blocks of letters printed, not scripted.
So when you find a collection of old letters, the beauty of the writing causes pause. An art form on their own. Most of the time, the letters record ordinary happenings, a train ride, a wedding, school, a relative or maybe a new love. It doesn’t matter, there is beauty in the writing. We write and strive all our lives to become the unique beautiful person our writing promises.
You wish you could see the person, ask them about their lives, watch them write. You can’t of course, but you can add your own hand, a clipping or photo to paint in their lives, to imagine different happenings. All in honor of the art that flowed in ordinary letters from their hands….
David Young













ASSEMBLAGES

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You find objects and things when you wander. Some remind you of the scene you see and feel. Others are just art by themselves. ASSEMBLAGES are attempts to put these found objects together and make them art.
The roots of this art are as ancient as the pile of rocks in the desert or the cubist constructions of Picasso. They can take the form of almost anything including idle collages, simple groupings of objects and sayings, to  just objects in their own right. They all share a sense of impermanence, like a sand sculpture on a beach. A new perspective drawn by the artist, but not there for long.
Assemblages are uniformly hard to photograph. Perhaps the reason is as Marcel Duchamp (The Bicycle Wheel) said. He felt a work of art was not complete without the presence of the viewer. It is only the viewer who can generate the energy of imagining reflected by the art piece.
Good photographs or not, I will always take pleasure in viewing how objects I find look and how they might fit together. It…

ROUGH EDGES

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There is another city, away from the glitz on its rough edges. A place where railroads cross, trucks run and work is done.
Here you will find the pieces that make the city work, build buildings, fuel engines and factories. Some are vital and humming, others forgotten scraps. All supported by a legion of workers, the keepers of the city.
Once in a while you may find an artist or inventor working in humble surroundings with big dreams. Most often though, there are just workers whose dreams are measured by long days, a paycheck and being a part of these special places. They are proud of what they do, not afraid to wear worn gloves and dirt on collars.
If you wander these rough edges with your camera, rewards abound. You find colors and beauty only forged by the wear of time. You realize life is not always the well ordered place you are used to. Special skill are needed in the rough edges to live and work there.
The initial risk and trepidation you feel going to these rough edges soon disappe…

WARRIOR

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I face the city everyday. Traffic, work, people, demands.
I keep it bundled inside. The warrior in me.
It runs wild sometimes. Asking to be set free.
My inhibitions keep it in its cage. My afraid-ness the keys.
How I want to let it free. The being cast in a million years.
Its painted face and spear. How it helped us all survive.
The city says, keep it in the cage. Oh, how I want it to be free...

NICK

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It was just a business hotel, a lobby, a small reception desk and the bar across from it. The walkway attaching the hotel to the commuter station the only distinguishing feature. The grit of Newark edged at it from every direction. The rooms were half the price of NewYork and the airfare cheap to fly into Newark. The place attracted the business traveler on a budget.
Joe the bartender looked in the mirror as he polished the wine glasses, the lines he saw on his black face a reminder of how long he had been there. He laughed to himself; Hell, Joe wasn’t really even his name, people just called him that. The old Sinatra song he guessed..
Usually, the bar filled with commuters wanting fortification before heading home. The east coast cold of this night seemed to have scared them off. Only a lone drinker at the bar. One Joe had not seen before.
“422, Don Guy,” the man said to Joe who marked it on the tab near the register. Guy looked well traveled, Joe took him for the journeyman middle age …