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.

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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

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Dreams…I Need A Yoko (new song excerpt!)

SisyphusI don’t know about all this goals & objectives stuff people talk about. Write ’em down…it will happen or so far too many self help experts say. I used to do this back in the day when I was pursuing music production/writing with my bro…but we’d always do everything up to actually signing a deal – which was the goal. So pursuing goals this way made the process almost seem like a waste. And, it sapped my spirit.

99 consecutive steps taken, miss the last one and start all over again as if the first 99 never existed. Talk about disappointment!

But…ain’t life about change or so they say? Well, this year decided to write down my dreams. I don’t necessarily like the phrase goals & objectives because to me life is a journey. Always changing…constantly reshapingl We’re all in some way trying to make a dream come true.

So my first step in my artistic journey that has no end was to have a solo art show before end of year. BONUS ROUND! I not only had a show, but also had an opportunity to play my music with my artwork in the background. Gotta’ thank the amazing Sue Giordano for the opportunity and blessing. This video features my art & an excerpt of my new song entitled I Need a Yoko.

My Pops said “this could have been the ultimate love song John Lennon wrote to Yoko had he lived.” And, I agree. So my Pop’s line will now be the intro. every time I play it yo! Play the video if u please!

Next up – Jimmy Kimmel Show by January 2010! Then Oprah in late 2010!!

Peace Yo!

Todd
The funkiest Human, African-American, Black, Negro, Pan-African, Colored, Universal, Higher-Primate, Opposable Thumb Havin’ Artist-like dude faith based in Long Island

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One Drop of Water…the Art of Saving the World Ripple Effect Style!

One Drop Creating the Ripple Effect!
Visited Montreal recently and ‘dove’ into AQUA, (The Journey into the World of Water), a fascinatingly sober (by American standards) multi-sensory experience at the Montreal Science Centre. Based on this experience and other readings, I imagine water may be the resource wars are fought over one day too soon.

Every Eight Seconds A Child Dies For Lack of Drinking Water

Save the worldAQUA was eye-opening. In America, we take so much for granted…clean water for flushing toilets, showering, brushing our teeth, washing clothes, producing goods, etc. Water flows like…WATER here. Other places around the world, it’s a source of poverty, sickness and death.

But rarely do we EVER consider how many worldwide are forced to survive on less clean water per day than we use to brush our teeth. CRAZY YO! So many things in life to worry about…but this is HUGE!!

I’m Starting with the Man in the Mirror…

Man in the Mirror -  www.bernicesteinbaumgallery.comTo paraphrase Michael Jackson’s ‘Man in the Mirror’ – we have to change our ways. Me, I’ve committed to keeping waterways clean and cutting back on water consumption. No fertilizer this year on the lawn. Granted, the weeds are in full effect…but no runoff in the Harbor! And, no more bottled water at home. And I’m slowly migrating over to environmentally friendly hygiene and cleansing products. Oh, and using both sides of the paper when I’m printing. Baby steps yes, but think of the ripple created by all of us doing just one thing!

One Drop 2 Save the World

Guy - One DropGuy Laliberté, founder of Cirque du Soleil and the One Drop Foundation – is soon to become Canada’s first private space explorer and the first person at the International Space Station to perform a Poetic Social Mission in Space. The purpose of his mission is dedicated to making an impact on how water, our most precious resource, is protected and shared. He’ll convey info. on our world’s water related issues using a singular poetic approach. Should be very interesting to say the least! All this to say – peep out his site….follow his mission…join in saving the world.

Make that change! Water for all, all for water yo! Join me in saving the world one drop at a time

Peace & Love,

Todd
aka – the funky Nassau (Long Island, New York) Artist

p.s. – much like love, art is expressed in many ways…thanks to Siedah Garrett, Glen Ballard and Michael Jackson for “Man in the Mirror” and to the Bernice Steinbaum Gallery for the “Man in the Mirror” sculpture picture!

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Free Original Art Sketch with Print Purchase & Artistic Musings on…the RECESSION

Pride & Tradition by Art of Todd Displayed at a Gallery
In light of the recession, BUY AN ARTOFTODD.COM funky fine art print and I’ll include an original 8″ x 10″ sketch free. You name the topic, I’ll paint it freestyle, sign it for u and ship it with your print purchase.

Yup, I said it – we are in a recession and recovery honestly ain’t nowhere near in sight. Not unless of course, Treasury printing Monopoly money, Gov’t givin’ away vehicles (cash for clunkers program), banks not loanin’ dollars, pulled from my ass free healthcare program, or mad stimulus dollars for nationwide home improvements classifies as a recovery effort

Obama Dollar(Ya shoulda’ been on my recent road trip to Ohio…traffic backed up on I-80 for miles as the near bankrupt state of Pennsylvania evidently was using OBAMA DOLLARS to repave miles of road with about three layers worth of pavement. Problem was, the road looked like it might have been a few years away from needing work.)

No slight on President Obama…anyone who won the election would be in the same raggedy ass boat – wingin’ it and prayin’ for a miracle. So since I’m in this boat too, I’ll keep faith that somehow this works out!

There are solutions, but not sure anyone in DC (or more importantly in the corporate offices) REALLY wants to implement what could ultimately help…things like redistribution of wealth from the top down, bringing back jobs & manufacturing, stronger unions (I was once in one, and there are benefits). Simplistic perhaps, but sometimes simple is what works. But, I digress!!!

Smile, you're on candid cameraGet your free art sketch with the purchase of a creative funky fine art print. Recession pricing to get your flow on.

Peace and keep the faith yo,

Todd the Funky Long Island Artist

The Thrill(er) is Gone – RIP MJJ

The Thriller

The Thriller

I could go on…but I won’t. Genius can not be adequately described or explained. It just is. A simple thank u 4 living. God Bless U MJJ. Tell Marvin, ‘Pac and my Mom hello…

Obama and the Art of Dreams & Visualizations of Others

May 30, 2009 Sketch

May 30, 2009 Sketch by Todd

Was eating at a diner in Queens the other night with my wife and son. Like most 4 year boys, he was putting on a show…talking, bouncing around, being loud.

This elderly Irish couple sitting next to us took a shine to him (LOVE the NY melting pot thing). So they began to chat with him; asking questions and playing around a bit. The woman thought my son was really smart. And, after interacting for a while, the gentleman, who I think was in his 70’s or 80’s, said to my son, you might grow up to be uh…Senator or something. His wife smiled affectionately upon hearing this. I know he was referring to President Obama.

Horizon - Photo by Rich Harris - http://47photo.wordpress.com

Photo by Rich Harris - http://47photo.wordpress.com

Boy oh boy, my son’s horizon is far different than mine was at his age. The oyster is larger, the ceiling is higher. I think he can do the seemingly impossible – break through and touch the sky.

Growing up, I had big dreams. But dreams and visualizations of reaching the pinnacle of society reflected onto me by others really did not exist. Oh if every child is so blessed…imagine a world dreaming with them.

Change is a slow train coming, but if we listen closely, a whistle blows in the distance, and it will arrive at the station.

Life is art and the world is our canvas. We all are one.

Peace & blessings – Todd

p.s. – Thanks for the photo Rich!

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The Art of Singing in Church

Flowers 4 God

Hot off the press!

Took my son to church on Easter Sunday.  And I realized, just like when I was a child, I can’t sing hymns worth a lick!  Not quite sure what the dynamic is behind this…seems it just is.

As a child, I was pretty shy and just plain could not sing.  But as a grown up (ok, that’s debatable!), I’ve honed my skills a bit.  But when in the pews – just can’t seem to find a comfortable key.  So I end up with this whispery, no bass, half a boy contralto voice.  I sound like the other N’Synch dudes not named Justin Timberlake!  

Anybody have any technique they can share on the art of  singin’ in church?  It’s just not human for my son to listen to this!

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Staying Fresh Art-Wise with the Oil Pastels (View Work in Progress!) & Michael Phelps on Swimming 4 Kidz

…I paint on my sketch pad while my son takes his swim class…staying fresh and all.  Figure practice makes BETTER (not trying to be perfect)!  Hope u enjoy.  Doin’ that funky art thing yo!

Woman of the World

These are like my C grade oil pastels so I don’t get all sloppy while trying to drive home from swim lessons.  A or C grade, painting is painting, flow is flow yo!  Someone asked why is her hair the same shape as the hut in this painting.  I honestly have no idea why!  I do know I  just love fadin’ out when I am painting so stuff like this occurs.

One of the reasons I have my son in swimming is because Michael Phelps mentioned in Sports Illustrated magazine that drowning is the top cause of death for 5 – 14 year olds.  God bless him for making the spreading of this gospel one of his priorities.  

On the Music Tip & Random Thoughts…

Met with my boy Dan Z.  today for breakfast – discussed what he hears production wise with my music.  Collab should be interesting.  Now gotta’ spring the time to meet while doing the art show thang.

 A good friend was let go at work last Thursday.  The rich get richer and the rest of the sentence don’t have to be completed.  My boy G who’s in the Army now is struggling with life stuff.  I miss my Mom but still don’t know if her passing has… hit…me… just… yet.  But – Thank God for my Dad!   Feel like downloading that ol’ skool M.C. Hammer joint – ‘We Got to Pray’.  

Peace and blessings – Todd

p.s. – I’m off to read some Christy Merry poems…spiritual therapy before I pick up my ax to practice.

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T.D. “Fakes” or T.D. Jakes? Repositioning Yourself – Living Life Without Limits!

Devoted One - copyright ArtofTodd.com

Just painted this one last week...the dream continues!

I’ve heard about Bishop T.D. Jakes for 4ever and a day.  

  • Preacher to the stars
  • Leader of the 30,000 member Potter’s House megachurch in Dallas
  • Shakin’ hands with Presidents
  • Makin’ crazy dollars

I alway wondered if he is like so many of these other pimped out prosperity preachers, or is he real with something real to say.

So – I put my money down to find out and picked up Bishop Jakes’ book,  Repositioning Yourself – Living Life Without Limits.  

tdjakes.jpgGotta’ say – Mr. Jakes is NOT Mr. Fakes.  His message is sincere!  And he has something to say that is of great spiritual benefit.  You don’t have to be a Bible totin’, scripture quotin’ person to get it either.  His lessons are spiritually based using examples from his life and the Bible as reference points.

The book is an easy read.  In particular, I enjoyed the story about humbling oneself to reposition oneself citing the Biblical character Zacchaeus.   “Will you allow yourself to act like a kid again, to think outside the box and go beyond the socially acceptable behavior for someone of your stature?…Like Zacchaeus, we must continually look ahead…”  Me personally – I strive to be like Zacchaeus as I work to convert dreams into reality on this journey.

Additionally, enjoyed Bishop Jakes’ stance on repositioning for your children, managing finances, his words for women and, his stance on mediocrity.  

T.D. Jakes is a spiritual warrior and seems his soul extends beyond Bible based religiosity(though he obviously is steeped in the Word).   This is the kind of book that restores faith in living and helps revive belief in dreams.

If we are what is on our bookshelves, I’m glad Bishop Jakes is on mine yo!

Peace – Todd

Living the Life of An Artist…

“God bless us everyone” – Tiny Tim (A Christmas Carol)

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