"How to Live : A Thought"

tom hlas edges artist connecticut

 İTom Hlas 2014. All rights reserved.
Mixed Media on Canvas, 36” x 18”

Do your best, your very best, today. 

That’s all you or anyone can expect. 

Don’t accept mediocrity. Don’t make excuses.

Your best today is not the same as your best was yesterday. And it won’t be the same as your best tomorrow.

Strive, don’t settle and you’ll close each day knowing it was a day worth spent.

"Creativity: An Inside Look"

Abstract painting by Tom Hlas, Connecticut artist.

İTom Hlas 2014. All rights reserved.
Mixed Media on Canvas, 56” x 46”

What is creativity?

Is it something some people have while others don’t, something innate or learned?

Is it the attribute or expression of being able to take mundane materials, languages, or ideas and turn them into something spectacular or at least innovative? 

Or is it simply a way of looking at something afresh, in a way others may not immediately see an object, situation or relationship?

Are creative people “creative” because they have recognized their own creativity or have they been deemed so by others?

While we may or may not be the next Michelangelo, Marie Curie, Jane Austen or Steve Jobs, I suggest creativity is the birthright of all individuals.

In what ways are you creative?

“I Like It But"

Abstract landscape painting by Tom Hlas, mixed media artist in Norfolk, CT.

“Beyond the Hills” 
İTom Hlas 2014. All rights reserved.
Mixed Media on Paper, 5” x 7”

Over and over again, I, along with multitudes of other artists, have heard the comment, “I like your work but I just don’t have any more room in my house.”

What if (if one truly liked a painting or other work of art) that potential art buyer stepped out of her or his usual way of thinking and thought, “I like that and I’ll make a place for it in my home.”

It’s not too difficult to remove an existing painting or photograph that hangs on your wall, store it safely in a closet, cupboard or the attic and replace it with the new piece you admire. Not only do you get to enjoy new art for a while, but you’ll have the renewed joy of rotating back to the originally hung artwork when the mood strikes. A person might even try to acquire new art in sizes similar to artwork they already have so the pieces can be replaced without moving the nail or hanging hook.

Alternatively, if you have a painting or photograph hanging in your home, why not hang another work above it, below it or next to it? Hanging artwork vertically, one above another, can help open your living space visually by giving the impression of increased height in a room because the verticalness draws your eye upward; similarly, art hanging in horizontal groupings can have the effect of making a room seem longer or wider.

"Behold the Beauty or Not"

Small collage painting by Tom Hlas, Connecticut mixed media artist.

“Patterns for Living: Simplicity” 
İTom Hlas 2015. All rights reserved.
Mixed Media on Paper, 7” x 5”

For several years I’ve reflected on, or at least noticed, how the beauty of the objects I own affects me. 

I admit, I do like beautiful objects around me; which is not to say the items need to be expensive or valuable nor do I need to be surrounded by a lot of possessions. 

But the question arises, “Why do I like some objects more than others?” 

I’ve come to realize time and time again when I see or touch some objects, I feel a sense of joy whereas with other objects I don’t. It could because of its color, texture, finish, shape or even a pleasant memory of who gave it to me.

Similarly, I’ve been thinking about clutter, or more precisely, the act of decluttering.

Perhaps it’s time to take inventory and discard or pass along to others those possessions that no longer kindle a sense of joy within me.

“A Simple Gift"

Mixed media collage painting by Tom Hlas, abstract artist in Connecticut.

“Patterns for Living: Encouragement” 
İTom Hlas 2015. All rights reserved.
Mixed Media on Paper, 7” x 5”

It seems there’s so much hate in the world today. Has it always been the case? Or are we more aware of it because of the ubiquitous news and social media that permeate our lives?

What if each day, every woman, man and child offered a big smile and cheerful greeting to someone they didn’t know?

It may be a simplistic idea but perhaps it may be the candle that lights the darkness, a way to tell the recipient, “I don’t know you or what you’re dealing with but we’re in this world together.“

Could that glimmer of shared joy be contagious? Could it be the Achilles' heel in the armor of divisiveness?

“The Key to Joy"

Small assemblage painting by Connecticut mixed media artist, Tom Hlas.

“Patterns for Living: Confidence”
İTom Hlas 2015. All rights reserved. 
Mixed Media on Paper, 7” x 5”

How do you find balance in your life? 

How do you let life’s positive moments outshine the negative emotions that infiltrate your days and nights when you hear of tragedy, pain and violence happening around the world or in your own inner circle of friends and family?

It may not be easy to do but it’s critical for continued mental health for one to tip the scales toward goodness and kindness and inspire others to find happiness and peace amid the daunting threat of suffering.

The path to daily joy and well-being is the not same for everyone. But it’s inside everyone. Give it some thought; search and find your key. And help others do the same in their own way.

"Look Beyond"

Tom-Hlas Look-Beyond-300

“Look Beyond” İTom Hlas 2013. All rights reserved. Mixed Media on Paper, 7" x 5"

Procrastination. Distractions. Avoidance. Thoughts I'll never get everything done.

Rather than letting it get me down, I look at it all as an opportunity to renew my vigor, to start again and move forward.

After all, to get to our destiny we can either drive ourselves or let others tow us in the direction they want us to go. And I don't see any power in being towed.


See this painting and other new works:

"To Touch or Not"


“Entrance” İTom Hlas 2013. All rights reserved.
 Mixed Media on Paper, 7" x 5"

It's not easy to explain but you know that feeling of sitting around with comfortable people, whether friends, family or a new acquaintance. It's that homey sense of shared conversation, a meal, a drink or the cozy silence between spoken words.

What can be more important than being content with oneself and with others?

It requires a certain amount of vulnerability and openness to let someone into your mental and emotional space and allow them to move around in it freely.

Perhaps that's the difference between art that connects with others and art that doesn't. It's not a question of relating with the multitudes but an issue of quality, a bond with the few and a matter of hearts joined together.

Let down your guard and let your spirit be moved.

See this painting and other new works:

"Yes or No"

Tom-Hlas Neighbors 300

“Neighbors” İTom Hlas 2013. All rights reserved. Mixed Media on Wood Panel, 18" x 18"

I'm sure we've all at one time or another fallen short of our intentions. We meant well but just didn't quite get that thing finished or even started.

So where do you go from there? What's the next step or follow up?

Beating yourself up or feeling guilty wastes valuable energy, doesn't solve anything and does nothing to create a positive situation.

If the intention is powerful and still with you, go ahead and take steps to accomplish it. But if it no longer drives you, simply let it go.

"Passion Plus"

Tom-Hlas Edges-36x18 -300

“Edges” İTom Hlas 2013. All rights reserved.
 Mixed Media on Canvas, 36" x 18"

I recently read an inspirational quote posted on Facebook that talked about how amazing it is to watch a person's eyes light up and see the way they fill with light when they talk about their passion. 

You know, passion - that thing in life that wakes us up in the morning, keeps us awake late into the night, fires our heart and breathes energy into our daily life.

Of course a person isn't limited to just one passion. You might be passionate about an all-encompassing activity, a drive or a particular individual. 

But if you limited it to a thing or an activity, what is your passion? What is it that makes you most fully alive?

And do you follow its call?

İ Tom Hlas 2004-2018