Glenwood Arts & The Art of Todd

Glenwood Arts Opening Poster by Art of ToddGood gracious, ya’ never know what pops up on the internet now days. Found this article recently from the Glenwood Arts Opening in 2009. It was really cool participating…but the highlight was having my art featured on the opening poster!

Glenwood Arts Opening a Success
Friday, 17 July 2009 07:20

Glenwood Arts celebrated its gala opening recently with an evening of art, wine, film, food and live performances enjoyed by a huge turnout. A video highlight of the evening can be viewed at Glenwood Arts website:

Glenwood Arts director of fine arts and Glenwood resident Jason Paradis curated a showing of 12 artists of diverse styles in the newly-renovated Glenwood Arts gallery. The Aeros Quintet led by Glenwood resident Michelle Haim performed an exciting array of classical and contemporary music. New York City storyteller Regina Ress enchanted the crowd with a performance of her original “Village Vignettes.” The evening was capped off by a screening of the award-winning, entertaining short film, The Quality of Mercy, directed by Long Island’s own Stephen Marro, who was in attendance. Local singer-songwriter and artist Art of Todd, kicked-off musical festivities and also created the commemorative poster that will be on sale online.

Ayers DCunha from ADI, Director Stephen Morro, Doug LeClaire from Asbury Shorts NY, Greg Sturge from Glenwood Arts.
Ayers DCunha from ADI, Director Stephen Morro, Doug LeClaire from Asbury Shorts NY, Greg Sturge from Glenwood Arts.

A spokesperson said, “Glenwood Arts wishes grateful thanks to its contributors and the evening sponsors: Glen Head Hardware, Roots Restaurant, Grassroots Bakeshop, Bonhomie Import Wines, Cove Wine & Discounts, Sal Spina of Sea Cliff, Anti-Gravity Lab for Web Design and Analog Digital International, Inc for film screening and post-production support.”

Glenwood Arts is a non-profit center of the arts with the two-fold mission of featuring a diverse selection of high-quality arts and performance, while also hosting and nurturing local talent. Glenwood Arts is located at the historic Glenwood Community Church, 71 Grove Street in Glenwood Landing.

To view more information or to make a tax-deductible online donation in support of Glenwood Arts, visit

The Obeah Symphony & The Tao of “Ball Don’t Lie”

The Tao of Ball Don’t Lie!
The ball is essentially, the unbiased judge who will not reward the basketball player by going in if the apparent foul was indeed bullshit. (source: Urban Dictionary)

"Ball Don't Lie"Humbled to have my music currently featured in a most amazing Off-Broadway play – The Obeah Symphony, written by Kesi Foster & Jackie Alexander in production through June 30, 2013 at the legendary Billie Holiday Theater (Brooklyn, NY).

What’s the Tao of “Ball Don’t Lie” have to do with Off-Broadway theater? EVERYTHING! It’s like love – two people tell the world ain’t nothin’ going on between them…but every time they see each other, even Ray Charles can see they can’t stop that special flow of energy. BALL DON’T LIE!

Having seen The Obeah Symphony twice now, BALL DON’T LIE! The sold-out theater audience laughs like Ed McMahon on the couch gettin’ paid to laugh out loud at a Johnny Carson joke. They get the poignant moments. They are touched by the depth and relevancy of the songs.

The Obeah Symphony is EXACTLY what Black theater should be…a universal story that speaks to all people. no cheap shucking and jiving like some writers lower themselves to (Tyler Perryism cross-dressing, gun toting, sassy, oversized Black grandmas, etc.) The Obeah Symphony characters are prideful, possess a sense of self, have real loving relationships (imagine that!), are poignant and incredibly funny .

Laugh it up at The Obeah SymphonyBack when I first began writing on my acoustic guitar, Trevor Gale of SESAC fame told me you gots ta get out of your basement and test your songs on a live audience. So I took Trevor up on his advice and played out…haltingly at first, singing/playing like a newborn trying to walk down a staircase. I wrote “Someday (This Gift of Life)” and Jackie Alexander heard me play it at my first live gig at The Bitter End. It stuck with him over the years and now is featured in The Obeah Symphony.


The Billie Holiday Theater - Brooklyn, NYThe Obeah Symphony is selling out! Call in advance to buy tickets. It’s an an incredibly moving play. Honored to have my music included in such a first class production that includes a brilliant cast (B. Douglas Jones, Ito Aghayere, Marcelle Gover and Patrick J. Mitchell).


Peace & Blessings – Art of Todd

The Tao of “Ball Don’t Lie” translated to music – The audience is the unbiased judge who will not reward a songwriter by applauding for bullshit music. They will be bored silly and the song will have no legs (staying power) if it is indeed deemed not heartfelt (Source: ArtofTodd).

Art in the strangest of places…

I sold this piece and didn’t even name it. It’s definitely inspired…by what I couldn’t begin to tell u.

It’s red acrylic on a canvas smothered in Rustoleum Aluminum High Heat Paint…oh with a few blue sprinkles thrown in for good measure. I asked the patron where it will be placed and she said…the BATHROOM! Guess long as she appreciates it, it’s all good.

All’s well that ends well or something like that.

Peace yo – Art of Todd


Jon Weber…A New York Yankee Hero Not Quite Good Enough?

“The Adventure you’re ready for is the one you get. Life is short. Go for it.” – Joseph Campbell.

Jon Weber led the world champion New York Yankees in batting average this spring training. In spite of dude’s metronome consistency, he’s still being sent down to the Yankees’ minor league AAA farm club.

The New York Times wrote an article about Mr. Weber today entitled A .483 Batting Average? Not Quite Good Enough. I admire this guy because he’s 32, has never tasted even a cup of coffee in a real major league game & has a family to support. Yet, he is so passionate about his journey that he teared up while discussing this latest disappointment – and is still going to keep trying.

Life is short and Weber, like an old reliable Timex watch, is gonna’ keep on tickin’. The lesson I think we as artist can learn from Jon Weber is that perseverance counts for everything in this life. We all have our adventure and NOTHING precludes us from going for our dreams. Weber has every excuse in the book to quit and go coach somewhere – he’s old by baseball standards, is a left-handed hitter with a franchise in need of righties and, is battling the perception of being a minor league lifer. Whatever – he persists!

It’s his adventure, his journey, and he is living it. I bet most of us would like to be overnight successes (whatever individual definitions of success may be) like the knighted Yankee Derek Jeter , but few of us are. So we have to accept our adventure and go for it. Be free 2 dream and pursue yo!

Maybe the Times article should have read A .483 Batting Average? Not Quite Good Enough? Notice the question mark AFTER ENOUGH?.

Spiritually, Jon Weber is PLENTY good enuf. It would be great to see him called up, appear as a pinch hitter in the World Series, and win a game with one life-changing hit. But if we don’t ever see this day come true, there is victory in how he lives his life. There is victory for all of us.

Peace, Love & Light – Todd
the funky one yo!

p.s. – shout out to my dawg Frank at the NeedMoreLight music blog for the Joseph Campbell quote. Check his blog – it’s real!

p.s. II – Minor League outfielder Jon Weber won the Yankees’ 2010 James P. Dawson Award, presented annually to the team’s most outstanding rookie in Spring Training.


Basquiat – The Radiant Child Trailer!

Jean-Michel Basquiat remains one of my favorite all-time artists. Died young like Tupac and every bit as important as an artistic presence. This documentary looks really interesting…can’t wait for it to come out on DVD.

Trailer of the new documentary Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child.

Directed by Tamra Davis, the documentary features never-before seen footage of the prolific artist painting, talking about his art, and existing in the two years prior to his death in 1988.

The OST features music from Mike D and Ad Rock.

Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child was released on Feb 21st, 2010.

Peace – Art of Todd…That Funky Long Island Artist


SELLING OUT or GETTING PAID – The Artistic Dilemma

I loved this post by Libby Rosuf of The Art Blog and it so made me think about the life of an artist. Specifically she quoted blogger Annette Monnier :

I am reminded of being a young artist and saying something to a friend about this or that person “selling out” to which my wiser friend replied “you can’t tell me that you wouldn’t have done that had it been offered to you.”

An Underrated True 2 The Game Artist

This is such a dilemma for artists, be they musical or visual. Me being both – I completely understand. As a Hip-Hop/R&B writer/ producer when R&B was transitioning to more urban/ghetto messages – the mantra in my ear from A&R folks was less message, more sex (What are you, some kinda’ message band)! In art, going to Black galleries I thought would understand me, the message was we like more overtly BLACK images (read: not the muti-colored folks you are presenting – our audience will not understand).

For me, I ALWAYS reference Spike Lee. To paraphrase, as you enter the business, that’s what you are.

Think about it. If an artists makes big money for a gallery painting little green, three breasted men riding Shetland ponies, why would a gallery or his agent all of a sudden want him being true and painting like Renoir? Conversely, if a singer makes it big on the Lady Gaga vibe, the label surely doesn’t want the next CD to be lyrically deep like Dylan. Ca-CHING!

Being authentic, of course, could lead to delayed gratification or none at all if folks don’t get you (and, I do have friends like this). On the flip side, can you blame someone for taking the bucks to get some publicity & support themselves and their family.

At the end of the day, whatever choice we as artists make, we have to live with it and look ourselves in the mirror each and every morning. Are you happy with what you see? That’s ALL that matters.


Art of Todd, the Funky Long Island Artist


p.s. – I am now a singer/songwriter ( so I can express my thoughts as I choose, being true to myself and my soul. The art still comes from my heart.

Back in the Saddle Again…Getting Creative Juices 2 Flow After Some Time Off

I usually am not a big fan of abstract art, but while searching around for inspiration, came across the blog of abstract artist Lynn Taetzsch. I really like her art. It’s very colorful and lyrical. In her blog, she has nice philosophies to share too. About getting back in rhythm after time off, she said:

I try to stay as relaxed as possible, letting the lines flow, but the beginnings still feel awkward. Once I’ve got something started, then I can intuitively develop the colors, shapes, lines and composition.

This is SO accurate about all creative endeavors. The beginnings often seem a bit rough and awkward.

Opposites attract right? The self-imposed pressure of creating at a specific time after a long break versus trying to relax and let go while in the pressurized state of creativity. This is like getting Godzilla to befriend Mothra yo!

Sometimes, with our busy schedules, the hardest part is finding time to start creating after a break. The trick is relaxing and letting go. So as Taetzsch said – let’s relax, let go and create a friendship between Godzilla and Mothra (okay – I said that part ha, ha)!

Peace – Art of Todd, the funky Sea Cliff, Long Island African-American Artist!


There is Always Something New 2 Learn in Art

Came across the most interesting blog post entitled Painting Like the Old Masters by an artist blogger named Byrne Smith.

The hippest concept about his post is the following:
The point is, as you’ve heard me say before, there is always something new to learn in art.

Daddy!!!  I'm BORREEEDDDD!!!How many times are we artists like five year old children sitting on the play mat on a Sunday afternoon? I’M BORED DADDY!
Well, Mr. Byrne says it doesn’t have to be that way at all. He has been working with watercolors lately and writes about challenging himself to learn more about the muted colors used by Old Masters such as Leonardo Da Vinci. Specifically, his palette and techniques. Deep!

Me, I recently experimented with a Picasso-like technique using acrylics on a canvas painted with Aluminum Krylon metal paint – taking me far away from my oil pastel comfort zone.

Musically, I am experimenting with alternate tunings on my back-up guitar, screwed up the tunings on one string, and created my own tuning (I guess). Then using the Miles Davis technique of play it first and tell you what it is later, wrote a beautiful song entitled Bread on the Soup Line. Looking forward to debuting this one when I play Valentine’s Eve at The Hideaway in Glen Cove, NY.

We are artists! We should never feel trapped creatively. Thanks Mr. Smith for the instruction and confirmation.

Peace – Todd


My 15 Minutes Today…Sex, Art, Music & Practice

Contemplation  ©ArtofTodd.comIn follow up to the blog post by Alyson Stanfield on painting 15 minutes a day to stay connected with one’s art, I had to follow her instruction and my agreement with her advice.

So, I spent 15 minutes painting yesterday (no, I won’t bore you by sharing creativity everyday!) and I feel waaaayyyy more spiritually connected to my art than waiting for that big 4 – 6 hour stretch to create (which is so difficult to come by & which I’ve been doing). Kinda’ like how I make every effort to do 15 minutes of yoga each day. 15 minutes will most certainly help me in morphing to bigger pieces.

Oil pastels are a little more time consuming for me than acrylic, but this is a great start. Gotta’ hit the skins some today as well.

Enjoy! Thanks Ms. Stanfield!

Peace – Todd B., the funky Long Island Artist yo!

The point of the 15 minutes is not to try to create a masterpiece within that short time frame. The point is to stay connected with your art every day. This connection will feed you. It will make you a happier person and a less frustrated artist. – Alyson Stanfield


Sex, Art, Music & Practice…A Healthy Diet for Artists in 15 Minutes Per Day

My grandmother, Bessie L. Banks, once said sex ain’t never changed, that’s how we all got here. That’s all part of a steady diet.. So what does 15 minutes per day have to do with this yo?

I came across this interesting blog post by Alyson Stanfield on the ArtBizBlog for the bizness of being an artist. She said – I wrote my book in 15 minutes a day. Honest! When I felt disconnected with the content, my coach advised me to “check in” with my book every day. I promised just 15 minutes a day. It worked!

I recall Miles Davis saying he believed in practicing by osmosis (definition – all fields of knowledge apparent in one’s surroundings being effortlessly absorbed through the pores of the human brain solely based on proximity). And, I must say – Ms. Stanfield is dead on with her 15 minute theory. It applies to sex, art, music…EVERYTHING! And it works surely as learning by osmosis does.

Whenever I go to Manhattan for a meeting, I usually carry my trusty Martin Backpacker with me. Even if I can’t stop somewhere like Bryant Park and strum, I’m writing & vibin’ via the proximity of my guitar huggin’ my derrière. And, my guitars are laying all over the house so I can easily pick one up and strum new chords I am assimilating – even if just for 15 minutes.

So, with this in mind, I’m going to devote at least 15 minutes per day to my visual art. The discipline will make me vibe even when away from my oil pastels.

Ms. Stanfield says it’s difficult to be a serious artist without regular studio time and one has to find a way to make art on a consistent basis. I say, to be passionate about anything, you gotta’ DO IT on the regular!

The point of the 15 minutes is not to try to create a masterpiece within that short time frame. The point is to stay connected with your art every day. This connection will feed you. It will make you a happier person and a less frustrated artist. – Alyson Stanfield

Sex, Art, Music & 15 minutes of FURYall part of a daily diet! Let’s get tantric!

Peace yo – Todd the Funky, Sexy, Musicfied, Long Island Artist yo!