When I think of what kind of person I want to truly be, and what qualities I to live my life by, I think of these three people. Barry White, who regardless of his size and looks was a sexy bad ass crooner and was not the typical out of the box entertainer. Bob Ross, who always made it clear that if you mess up, make it a happy accident, and Batman, because despite having no super powers, he honed what skills he had, and he never gave up or quit trying despite being just a man.
I learned today that my mentor, friend and teacher Jim Lebick passed away last May. I knew him for over 20 years. I lost touch with him over the years, and I had been trying to contact him for months. He last contacted me around the time of his death, but I did not afford him of my time. He was sick and on pain pills when he called me, and not totally coherent. I did not realize how sick he was. I was not there for him when he needed me. Apparently his funeral service was private and there was no newspaper mention of his him or his life.
I will honor my friend with what I can: his story, his artwork and his teachings. He was a master artist who was not limited to painting(these are his attached)and drawing; he engraved on bull horns and antlers, did amazing pottery, bead work and he also was a master chef. He was trained as a medicine man in the Navajo reservation in Tuba City, AZ, was an illustrator and graphic designer before computers , worked in Chinatown as artist of traditional Chinese paintings, and an adept master of the Kabbalah and was also a humble janitor. Above all these things, he was a private, humble and gentle soul who was always kind to anyone, even those who judged him for his choices and his path. I was not there to honor him when he passed, but I will honor his teachings by teaching others, and keep his spirit of kindness and gentleness alive in this world that needs a spirit like his more than ever.
I found a very cool company (the art of wear) from Canada that prints artwork on lots of different women’s clothing like yoga leggings, fitted skirts, dresses and even shorts. So I went crazy with some of my abstract pieces and made some wearable art! I think it’s pretty cool and I bought some for my wife to try out. Please check it out and let me know what you think.
Well, I sold 5 paintings, donated one painting to the Friends of the Fox River for their August 10th fundraiser. Got some press in the Daily Herald and met some awesome artists. Thanks to everyone who came out to see me.
My dad was an artist, and lived a frustrating life proving to himself and the world that he was a great artist. He believed himself to be a failure since he wasn’t a famous artist by 40. His father was an Everyman and an artist too. My grandfather was a boxer, teacher, engineer and painter, but not a very good father. So here I am, a father and an artist too. Trying to break a cycle and represent my family of artists in the same breath.
As I experience life as a father of three, I see my father in a different light, not a good or bad one, just different. I wish my adult self could talk to his younger self. I would tell him: “You don’t have to be famous to be loved or appreciated”, and I would tell my grandfather ( as my adult self) : “It’s not just about you”. So these are things for me to hear as well to break a cycle of sadness.