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

Funky Original Art Prints & the Art of Video!

Press PLAY and don’t delay

Geez…slight oversight on my part! How could I 4get to post my promo video featuring a cut by the incredible Dj Morphiziz (Are You Lovin’ It). The blimp is straight representin’ my hometown Akron, Ohio yo! I’m livin’ the Akron Art scene vicariously! Straight NY but midwestern at heart
Sea Cliff Arts Council group shot

Recently participated in the Sea Cliff Arts Council Summertime in Sea Cliff group show with my new work entitled Sun, Shade, Heart. It’s a charcoal joint illustrating a day at the beach. Okay, I know…charcoal and the beach…a little odd! But, charcoal was the flow I was feeling & who says artists aren’t odd. There were some incredible artists at the show and really enjoyed their work. Creating for shows keeps my chops fresh.

sun, shade, heart - copyright
Have music shows coming up on August 9 and 16th (at the beach). Got Woodstock in my cross hairs too. So looking forward. Plan to have this new song about my love 4 Manhattan worked out!

Practicing Peace as the Long Island Artist – The Black artist painting about the universal experience (aka ArtofTodd)

p.s. – thanks to Kathleen DiResta for the photos!

Lainie Kazan & the Art of Getting Schooled

Lanie Kazan - Award-Winning Actress from “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”

Lanie Kazan - Award-Winning Actress from “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”

Checked out Music Under the Stars tonight at Harry Tappan Beach (Glenwood Landing, Long Island). Figured I’d cruise by with the family…didn’t even know who was singing.

So we stroll up and I hear this voice…a voice that obviously knows how to rule the stage, a pure voice that cracks when needed to show life experience in reaching a note almost out of reach, a voice conversely soft as a mother’s caress. A presence able to simultaneously keep the risqué patter up with the audience while singing beautiful, heartfelt classic songs from days gone by.

So finally, I walked up to an older gentleman and asked, “Who is the singer tonight? She sounds amazing?” He said – Lainie Kazan in that ‘what, you don’t know fool!?’ kinda’ way only an older dude can drop on you.


T - Memorial Park - July 16 2009I performed a couple of times over the weekend but OBVIOUSLY have a lot to learn and a LOonnnggggg way to go. Feel like I received a singing and stage presence lesson tonight. No pro like an old pro (no offense Ms. Kazan) that’s for sure. In particular, her version of The Man That Got Away was impeccable (Harold Arlen is actually one of my fav all-time writers). Her band was totally up to the task.

ToddAnd to think…this was free. Hearing a seasoned professional like Ms. Kazan was absolutely artistically inspiring. On the beach, by the water, the smell of the sea in the air, a touch of sheet lightning to lend presence to the evening sky. Wow! I hope you feel my flow on this one.

Singers like the gorgeous Ms. Kazan are American treasures. Last year we saw Leslie Uggams on this very beach & she was equally inspiring. Will be interesting to see how this experience impacts my music, my singing, and my art. Music is music no matter the vein.

Pop radio is virtually an embarrassment compared to the emotion expressed not only with the art of Ms. Kazam, but with this style of songwriting as well.

Check out our treasures whenever you can, no matter your musical taste. I got a lotta’ homework to do…

Thanks for the lesson Ms. Kazan!

Peace yo,

Todd the Funky Long Island Artist Painting ‘Bout Our World

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…

Yoko Ono & the Art of Writing Serendipitous New Music

Was speaking with a couple of friends, discussing the possibility of 4ever kinda’ luv, especially related to marriage. And, without much knowledge of this situation, for some reason, Yoko Ono and John Lennon kept creeping into my head. The bed-in, give peace a chance, sex with the muse, artistic souls…seemingly unconditional and eternal…u get the drift.

So – been learning new guitar chords to expand my vocabulary, but realized as I went along, this very well could make me sound like everybody else. But I proceeded cautiously. Then, one night – BOOM!!! Chords I never played popped in my head and this song about Yoko came to me.

This song has been dominating my consciousness for a full 11 days now. So woke up at 6:20am this morning to go to the beach and finish it. Envisioned a big change of pace for the tune but once on the water, realized it just needed to flow with a subtle kind of change instead. Funny how the sound of waves brings perspective.

serendipityThe seredipity – a man and woman passed by the bench on which I was playing, walking their dog. We exchanged pleasantries and he said – “Do you take requests?”. Then he said laughingly, “I’d like to hear some Beatles…like Hey Jude?”. I replied I really only do originals and thought to myself – how bizarre yo!

Then, later in the day, went to the library to pick up some new books for my boy. And on the shelf – BIG AS DAY – was a children’s book entitled Yoko Writes Her Name! U KNOW I had to check it out for him.

Needless to say, this new tune about Yoko is one classically beautiful song. Once I lay it, I’ll post it 4 sho’!

Peace, be one wit’ the process, and be all up in the serendipity of life yo!

Inspirational musings 4 circles who don’t fit in the square holes
The Continuing Life of A Funky Artist

“Sell peace the way other people sell soap” – Yoko Ono (Thanks to Joan Athey – Curator of the Give Peace a Chance photo exhibit featuring the photography of Gerry Dieter, for this quote)

art that moves

ever been into someone so much that u know their most vivid dream and u want it to happen 4 them so bad that it comes out of u subconsciously? amazing how releasing let’s the subconscious flow with no thought or restrictions.
dreams come tru (sketch) oil pastels & paper cut outs

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 -

Photo by Rich Harris -

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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Glenwood Arts Gala Opening…Bringing the Funkiest Art to Long Island, New York

Hey Yo! What a thrill. Was blessed to participate in the Glenwood Arts Gala Opening on May 9, 2009. *The debut of this gallery space was amazingly well run, well attended, and off the chain creative (tip of the hat to CEO Greg Sturges and curator Jason Paradis)!

Check out the opening video (yup – that’s me!) –

At the gala, there were some very talented Long Island artists displaying their art. Jason did a wonderful job of selecting and hanging the art.

regina_ress_1The lost art of storytelling was brought back to the present by the extraordinary Regina Ress who weaved incredible tales of emotional complexity out of everyday NYC Village life. The fact that she conveyed her stories in the sanctuary of the church made this an even more intimate experience for all. And, she even changed the title of my song Someday to Someday (This Gift of Life) after listening to me play outside the gala. Thanks Regina! Rappers ain’t got nothin’ on you!

Also featured was the Aeros Quintet, who played some lively, inspired classical and traditional songs from the sanctuary. And, we watched a HILARIOUS short film starring Mary Louise Parker called The Quality of Mercy, by award-winning director Stephen Marro. You never know what to expect with short films, but this one was well directed, acted and generated a ton of laughs from the audience.

The next show is scheduled for June 6th at 8:00 PM in the gallery space. Check it out…the art is as good as any and the vibe is pure creativity. Feel free to donate too.

(This version features a little live music by yours truly! That’s CEO Greg Sturges in the white cap)

I close with this quote from Glen “Big Baby” Davis of the Boston Celtics. Glen "Big Baby" DavisI was trying to write some new music on the beach this past Saturday morning and couldn’t find my flow. Then I remembered this!

“You have to be focused…and basically think without thinking and just shoot it,” Glen ‘Big Baby’ Davis (Boston Celtics) said. “Every time I shoot I see myself making game-winning shots. If you see it, you believe it. You shoot millions of shots like that, and every time you shoot it you believe you’re going to make it. And when I shot it, I didn’t even hesitate. It was just a feel.

Feel, be, be in the moment…

Peace – Todd

*Okay, I’m a little biased as that’s one of my works featured on the opening poster (Sax Player) and, a new work I created was featured as well in the show (oh, and I played a few tunes too). BUT… outside of all of that :-)…it was a GREAT show yo!

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Better Beer, Better Art? The Art of Growth & Change

I have an art show coming up on May 9 at Glenwood Arts and wanted to paint something inspired & in that funky art style for it.  Tried a few things but wasn’t really working out for me…acrylics on canvas, oil pastel on black paper, charcoal on white paper… just couldn’t find my artistic mojo.

So, last week, had lunch with a friend.  Was telling her I couldn’t find my mojo.  Said I was drinking  Budweiser while painting.  She laughed and said I’ve upscaled my life since when I started painting so grow up and graduate to a higher quality beer!  Mmmmm…

Ironically enuf, while playing an acoustic  gig at Roots in Sea Cliff (still my favorite eating spot and great place to hang!), bartendress extraordinaire Kool Kristen suggested I try out her favorite brew called Maudite (a Canadian brew).  Off the CHAIN yo!   This beer is incredible and actually is the first beer brewed in America that improves with age.  

Did I mention how much I LOVE things Canadian – Quebec City, Gino Vanelli, Le Château Frontenac, Montreal…ok, I digress!

Then last weekend, was watching the movie Baracka (no, not related to President Barack Obama) and it absolutely inspired me (the Blu-Ray version is so vivid).  Now moved spiritually and properly lubricated, I began painting a new piece (with an assist from my friend Frances who exorted me to …paint, paint like this is your last piece of work).

The Mojo Yo!One week later- many late nights,  paint stained hands, new brushes, new oil acrylics & paint sticks, funky paper, and a few swigs of Maudite – I found my creative soul!  Gotta’ say, me and Maudite…the perfect combination…oh, along with a touch of India Pale Ale (almost equally amazing).  

So here it is, inspired art with my mojo workin’ and all (with an assist from the muse)!  

Pride and Tradition (The Blessed Damned One)

Pride and Tradition - copyright

Better beer, better art yo!

Be at Peace – Todd…life of an African American artist continues.

P.S. – Isn’t it just ironic…Maudite translates to ‘the damned one’ in French and Baracka translates to ‘blessed’ in many languages.  Maybe the name of this piece should be changed to just the Blessed Damned One.  Maybe just maybe that’s the juxaposition of tradition in our rapidly advancing modern society.

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Is There Room for Art in the Age of Homogenized “Greedalization”?

homogeneous, homogenous – all of the same or similar kind or nature;  “a close-knit homogeneous group” 


MilkWas having a conversation with this eclectic woman at work.  She had the funkiest hand warmers on and I commented on them.  This led to  a discourse on how difficult it is to find unique, funky stuff in New York City.  

untitled (acrylic on canvas) -

Seems the Village has morphed into a bunch of banks;  SoHo has a Bloomingdale’s;  Harlem is now filled with every minimum wage payin’ store chain one can think of along with African art made in China;  and,  Brooklyn is filled with 2 many Yuppies opening shops trying 2 hard to be 2 hip.  

The Bronx CheerHeck, I don’t even think you can get a hardy Bronx cheer at the new Yankee Stadium anymore considering the ticket prices.

So, I have an art show coming up on May 9.  Went downtown to Pearl Paint to pick up some funky paper on which to flow.  And – SURPRISE – Pearl’s selection was about one step up from a Hallmark store!  No more velvet paper, no more banana paper, very little of that unique funky stuff that made Pearl pop back in the day!   So has even my beloved Pearl stooped to the lowest common denominator? 

Häagen-Dazs on the Champs Elysees, KFC in Bali, a bank office opening on every corner in the the world (and I thought they were broke).  

Don’t think I’m liking this homogenized society.  Making us one is making us dumb.  Pretty soon art will all be the same, music will be the same (seems commercial music is almost there already), and we’ll all wear identical clothing.  Have you peeped Wall-E?  That’s the future if we don’t fight now (great movie too) !
Globalization is just “Globaligreed” yo!

Peace & B who U B – Todd the Artist
…Livin’ the life of an artist…


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