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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Is Formal Training Needed to be an Inspired Artist?

Robert Ryman

If you care to be recognized and esteemed by the art establishment, I think that the whole idea is to first convince the art community that you know what classic art is, that you know how to be an “academic” artist. Ilan Lichtnayer (artist in his Absolutearts.com blog post

This is such a funny statement and I could not agree more! Now that I’m doing the gallery thing, it’s all good until some fellow artists and patrons find out either by reading my bio or by speaking with me that I did not study formally.

My wife has noticed a literal change in perspective towards me in a few cases. The infamous – I LOVE your work and use of color. Then…the pause…the pensive silent oh…the you are self-taught walk away?!

Like many self-taught and trained artists, I’m pouring every drop of my being and spirit (and beer) into each work. Life, loves, music, angst, pain, joy. So – a guy can place a dot on a white canvas and call it Black Dot on White Paper and it’s valued because he studied at the École des Beaux-Arts? But if an unknown does the same, it’s not cool. It’s all about the art, right?

Art is art and value is in the eye of the beholder’s wallet. After all, to again quote Mr. Lichtnayer, Art does not judge and so doesn’t God. God makes the artist, society makes him successful, but all for a reason, always. And the reason is karma. We as artists, no matter the way of arrival, are meant to create.

So with this in mind, I think artists create regardless of formality. Creativity is karmic and inspired. No license necessary to drive!

Classes will dull your mind, destroy the potential for authentic creativity.
– Dr. John Nash, Nobel prize winner in economics, 1994

Peace – Todd
The Funky Long Island Artist

p.s. – Okay, I am a formally trained musician! But I’ve thrown away the books to compose on my guitar. Sort of agree with Dr. Nash.

p.s. – Find Ilan’s art at Findigart.com.

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Warhol…the Artist…Nothing need more be said…

If I am EVER so blessed as to be interviewed for my music or art…substitute black for white skin and this will be me responding to every question. Wouldn’t it be great to go through life like this! Brilliant!! The wonders of the creative force in full display. Ha, ha

Peace yo – Todd, the soon to be reclusive Black artist morphing into a little man with white skin

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The Art of the Nintendo Wii & Wii Fit!

Buy a New Wii for $199.00!  Just click the picture!

Buy a New Wii for $199.00 on Amazon.com! Just click the picture!

The Nintendo Wii is surprisingly changing my life! Woke up this morning, did 20 minutes of yoga, 10 minutes of rather strenuous hula-hoop & 10 minutes of strength training all on the Wii Fit. Plus – it measures my BMI (Body Mass Index) and weighs me in like a heavyweight champ before every workout. The bonus – when my son woke up to get ready for school, he decided to get in a “Basic Run” for 10 minutes on the virtual running path in my 2nd fav town – San Franciso! Then he proceeded to do a couple of slalom ski jumps for good measure. The fight against childhood obesity starts at home!

YOGA on the Balance Board!?
images (1)I know what many think – this is a toy and could not possibly get one in shape. Au contraire yo! The yoga, due to the virtues of the separately sold Wii Fit balance board, actually make you work accurately, the aerobic hula hoop on the higher level is torturous and the strength training is pretty impressive as well. I even like the little meditation thing they have in there. There truly is enough variety within the Wii Fit program to keep one going and actively engaged for a LONG time.

Heavyweight Champion of the WORLD!Think I heard the statistic that 80% of people who have a gym membership never show up after the first month. Well, for basically the same price as a gym membership, buy a Wii and Wii Fit Balance Board, work out at home, and have something with which to entertain your friends.

I would highly recommend the Wii & Wii Fit (with Balance Board) for both kids and senior citizens. Wii is Art in it’s highest form. Sure beats gettin’ carpal tunnel and fat eatin’ chips while seated playing ol’ skool video games.

Peace – Todd, the funkiest original print selling artist! Keep your soul 2gether…

This will help him give up the nicotine yo!

Obama Mii? This will help him give up the nicotine yo!

p.s. – wonder if President Obama has one of these Wii Fit joints on Air Force 1?
p.s. II – support an artist (namely me, ha, ha) and buy a wii through my blog! i really believe in this product. thanks!!

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Everybody Needs A Theme Song – the ARt of Music

Don't cha wish a DJ could follow u around?!I think everybody needs a lil’ personally selected theme song – theme music all their own – to help make it through the daze. Wouldn’t it be great to have a DJ escort you around and spin it when u need it yo?!

Here’s the theme song for The Blog of ArtofTodd.com courtesy of the legendary Rick James (just PRESS PLAY):

And, my personally handwritten theme song/anthem 4 the world (under my pseudonym Dylanblack):


gOTTa’ Be A Revolution (lyrics)
copyright – artoftodd 2009

(verse 1)
people, needin’ people
so many needy, always feedin’ the greedy yo
enuf to feed the world, a loaf of bread some bbq chips
but i can’t conceive, eatin’ off my crumb filled dish

(chorus)
gotta’ be, gotta’ be, gotta’ be a revolution
movin’ like a hurricane, ‘cross the ocean in the dark
today gonna’ rise up start a revolution
eye of the hurricane, brewin’ in my heart

(verse 2)
u don’t, have to take it
born into this fire, though u didn’t make it yo
plans and scams of a greedy man, make u stoop instead of stand
so release yourself, your God’s got a better plan, for u

(chorus)

(change)
wake up, WAKE UP, rise up, rise up
throw your fist up , punch it through the sky
rise up, rise up, stand up, stand up
throw your fist up, punch it through the sky

(rap)
everyday, everyday sippin’ gin and juice
’cause the world is makin’ u crazy, cry a bottle of colic like a baby
all alone in your crib screaming save me
green eggs and ham, like sam i am, want something real, world tastes like spam
i gotta’ open up my eyes, open up my eyes,

(chorus)
copyright – artoftodd 2009

Stay up…stay open…stay creative…stay honest.

Dream of Peace – the Artist

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Yoko Ono & the Art of Lyric Writing

“Yoko is the world’s most famous unknown artist. Everybody knows her name, but nobody knows what she does.” – John Lennon

Let’s HAVE SOME FUN YO!Todd Plays I LOVE the Newsweek article on Yoko Ono. As I have learned more about her, her philosophies, her spirit, over the past month or so after writing the song “I Need a Yoko”. I’ve been nothing but moved by her zest for life.

76 and still doing it well! Very similar to how I feel about Bruce Lee philosophically actually. God, I pray I keep growing and stretching as an artist. No artist wants to grow stale like a five year old Snickers bar.

YokoSo funny, I’m learning so much from her creatively just through writing a song while not knowing much about her at all. And now, I’ve been serendipitously blessed with the opportunity to fill out my knowledge base. Funny now life works.

I’ll download Ms. Ono’s (Between my Head and the Sky) new music, but this is of minor consequence compared to the breadth of her artistic life.

Enjoy the lyrics…can’t wait to share the recording…it is hauntingly beautiful…

I need a Yoko

ever been afraid of love, blind coincidence?
Ever met the one, let love walk away
due to circumstance?

don’t be afraid of love, take it, and u will find
the love u seek

I need a yoko, in her auburn shades
stand by me, through yellow submarine parades
wave white linen sheets, ‘gainst the southern wind
show the world, the kind of love we’re in

indescribably, amazing
beyond beautiful – to me

don’t wanna’ wish, for one more day, to tell u how I feel
one more day, a senseless wish away
why hesitate, when we’re standin’ here

don’t be afraid of love, let’s make it
take a chance, and make this moment real

I need a yoko, in her auburn shades
stand by me, through yellow submarine parades
wave white linen sheets, ‘gainst the southern wind
show the world, the kind of love we’re in

indescribably, amazing
beyond beautiful – to me
where is my yoko?
© ArtofTodd

Peace,

The Funky Artist – ArtofTodd

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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

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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