“Neighbors” ©Tom Hlas 2013. All rights reserved.
Mixed Media on Wood Panel, 18″ x 18″
Perhaps you’ve noticed after a rain or fog (especially while driving in the country) that the colors outdoors seem clearer and crisper.
Greens seem greener, blues bluer, browns and blacks more dense and yellows and pinks more vibrant.
I can’t explain any scientific reasons for this change if, indeed, there are any. But it seems to me the rain drops wash the air particles. Therefore, we see more distinctly colors’ true hues. They aren’t diminished by distractions in the atmosphere.
I wish there were as simple a way to wash away the negative, unproductive thoughts and emotions that cloud one’s mind and thereby entertain only positive, productive thoughts.
“Noteworthy” ©Tom Hlas 2013. All rights reserved.
Mixed Media on Paper, 7″ x 5″
It’s finally spring at my home in Norfolk, Connecticut.
As I drive through the small village, countryside and neighboring towns I’m struck by the brilliance and welcome of spring colors after a long winter. Not that winter is bad, it just has a very different color palette.
The refreshing chartreuse of budding trees, the energizing yellow of blooming forsythia and daffodils, the sensual pinks of azaleas, the enchanting lavenders of lilacs and the alluring whites of dogwood flowers all awaken the senses and renew hope for the beauty of coming days.
As an artist, I noticed the colors I’ve used recently in my work have expanded to include softer, gentler but no less vibrant hues. Could it be the influence of nature or is it the stirrings of renewal within me?
How have the colors and memories of spring affected you?
“Gathering” ©Tom Hlas 2013. All rights reserved.
Acrylic on Paper, 7″ x 5″
I once read that the contemporary artist Chuck Close said something like, an artist shouldn’t wait for inspiration, she or he should just show up and get to work. That’s a loose paraphrase but it captures the essence of what he was saying.
This is great advice for all of us, not just artists.
What does one really want in life? Once you know that, go after it even on days you don’t feel like it and don’t sit around waiting for it to be served to you because that day may never come.
We may not always get what we want but going for it can be its own reward.
And who knows, you might just get it.
“Dance in Delight” ©Tom Hlas. All rights reserved.
Mixed Media on Canvas, 36″ x 36″
Are you or someone you know working toward a personal goal, a new project, a dream job, a satisfying relationship or struggling with a piece of art that has you stymied or healing an ailment?
If so, here’s a key — consistency.
Keep moving forward, one step at a time and if you take a few steps backwards consider it an opportunity to take even more steps forward.
Look to those around you for support, let them know what you’re up to and ask for their help.
No one ever said your dreams and goals have to be solo trips. Call on all in the universe that’s available to you.
But don’t rely on others to do it for you. They’re here to help not fulfill.
“Improvisation in Red and Orange”
©Tom Hlas 2013. All rights reserved.
Mixed Media on Wood Panel, 18″ x 12″
Events over the last weeks and months have reminded me, fear is a powerful tool.
We see it sway political conversations and elections. We see it pit person against person, neighbor against neighbor. We see it bind folks together in the name of religion or other ideologies. We see it squash individual’s and communities’ inherent goodness and genius.
But can we be bigger than fear itself and those who try to regulate us with its use?
Can we reach across borders (material, geographical, relational or doctrinal) and live together as family even if it’s just one person by one person by one person?
“Untitled” ©2013 Tom Hlas
Mixed Media on Wood Panel, 6″ x 6″
There are people in our lives that make a huge impact and imprint on us. Because of them, our lives will never be the same.
That’s one of the beauties of love and friendship. It’s not limited to physical boundaries, whether they’re still living among us or if they’ve moved beyond, since we carry them in our hearts.
Take a moment today to think of those special people.
Take a moment today to remember all they have given us.
And take a moment today to thank yourself for being open enough to let them creep (or barge) into your life and find a place to settle.
“Tone Cluster” ©2013 Tom Hlas
Mixed Media on Paper, 10″ x 8″
Have you ever said to yourself and those around you, “I can’t do that,” or “I wish I could do that better,” or “I’m no good at that,” or “it was nothing,” but yet get the total opposite, genuine critique from others?
Maybe you should listen to and live into their assessment of your abilities rather than your own opinion. It might be a more powerful and constructive way to live.
Perhaps you’re too hard on yourself and don’t see your talents and accomplishments with clear, unfiltered eyes.
Perhaps you think acknowledging your gifts and achievements is self-puffery and the humble thing to do is to degrade yourself and minimize your skill.
Or perhaps it’s a misguided way to draw attention to yourself.
Regardless the reason, just stop, listen to the informed, productive comments of others and go from there rather than be shackled by self-negativity.
“Improvisation in Yellow” ©2013 Tom Hlas
Mixed Media on Canvas, 18″ x 18″
I read recently a blog article in which the author asked readers to reflect on what they wanted to do when they were five years old and pointed out the importance of keeping their dreams and optimism alive.
When I was five years old, or thereabouts, my sister asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up.
Without hesitation, I said I wanted to be an artist and she replied, “You won’t make any money!”
My dream and excitement died immediately and it took 35 years for my aspiration to again raise its head. But it did and my passion for making art is alive and well.
It’s true, I may not be making as much money as I would be had I stayed working in the traditional business world but I’m far more richer.
What hopes and goals have you put on the shelf that just need to be dusted off and nurtured?
“Journey Inward” ©2012 Tom Hlas
Mixed Media on Wood Panel, 12″ x 12″
It’s easy to let negativity infiltrate one’s daily thoughts and conversations. At least I find that so in my life.
What would the world be like if everyone filled their days and nights with positive thoughts about themselves and others?
What would be possible if all our energy was charged with kindness, enthusiasm and constructive support?
What could be achieved if every comment that came from our lips furthered the cause of compassion?
I think that would be a game worth playing.
And all it takes is a commitment by the one each of us sees in the mirror.
“Improvisation in Grey” ©2013 Tom Hlas
Mixed Media on Wood Panel, 18″ x 18″
It is said that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.
So that puts you in the driver’s seat.
What is it that’s beautiful around you?
It might be the sunlight as it sparkles on the side of a colored glass bottle that sits on your window sill; your Grandmother’s cup and saucer; the smile of the cashier at your local grocer; the soft, worn knit of your favorite sweater; the melody streaming from a radio that brings back sweet memories; or the smell of brewing coffee that soothes your senses.
Notice the sights, smells, sounds, tastes and textures that catch you off guard with their simple pleasures. And revel in those things that perhaps only you find beautiful.