Beauty In the Storm

Beauty in the Storm

In New England, we just had another winter storm.  During times like this, when I feel I cannot control what is happening in my environment and the world, I’m grateful that at least I have a set of daily rituals that always cheer me up. My daily rituals aren’t much different than most people.  In fact, like most people, my day also starts by taking a moment of meditation with a cup of coffee, not only to wake up my senses but also to gather my thoughts and ground myself for the rest of the day.  As an artist, personally I prefer starting my day looking at art with my cup of coffee for inspiration.   Lately after watching the news, and all the violence of TV,  I’ve let the troubles of the world bring me down. 

Fortunately, for inspiration, immediately after returning from Italy I planted the bulbs of spring flowers indoors so I could experience the beauty of spring in winter. That’s why this beautiful spring flower (seen above) is now blooming inside so full of life and color in vibrant red right now.  In here beauty blooms, even in the dead of winter while the world outside is still so cold and freezing that the storm left so full of snow.  This beautiful spring flower blooming like this in winter speaks directly to me and my heart.  While beauty may be out of season right now, my blooming flower boldly keeps inspiring me to continue my personal motto and unique way of living in the world.  I know this may be hard to believe.  But I can feel my  flower's love! My flower s message to me is so loud and clear:  

“Leave your trouble outside.  In here Life is Beautiful!”  

So inside, as my flower and I remain sheltered from the coldness of the world outside, seeing beauty is how I am committed to living my life.  Despite what's happening in the outside world, fortunately in here I am feeling like my regular self committed to my own unique purpose in living 

“The Art of Happiness.”  

Besides, how can I ever inspire others if I am not able to inspire myself?  As an artist, naturally, I care very deeply about living in a world filled with art and beauty.  In this world I desire, everyone also lives happily in world of peace.  But I am artist.  Not a politician!  I also have to accept my own limitations.  So when I allow the events of outside world to bring me down, I must leave that to the politicians.  As an artist, I must accept that there is nothing that I can personally do to prevent all the violence and negativity happening in the world. Despite the storms of life, it’s now time for me to return to practicing what I preach.  Fortunately that’s why I am leaving the troubles of the world outside while here in my American in Paris Gallery I am now celebrating that “Life is beautiful!”  

So rather than spending so much time outraged and frustrated watching the violence in the world on TV like what recently happened to the school children in the Florida shooting, instead I am now back in the studio putting my emotions on the canvas where they belong!  In fact, even as I was thinking about these innocent children and the bloody massacre, instead of spreading more negativity in the world, as I was painting instead I let my emotions turn that powerful force of negative energy running wild like a bolt of lightening in me into something constructive and even beautiful. 

As an artist, that's the best way I could possibly honor the lives of these precious children in Florida.  That's why I honored and expressed my feelings with paint directly on the canvas creating a new work of art.  This latest painting was inspired by all the emotions this devastating event made me feel inside. To be sure, as an expressionist, it is an “emotional” expression on canvas.  As an artist, I did my job. I found beauty, even in the midst of a storm.  Creatively, what came out of me was a bunch of roses in a storm rising from the depths of the darkness of the ground up into the sky of heaven. The title of this painting is now called:  "Beauty in The Storm”.  

Even though this oil painting is still wet, it is already in a frame and now on exhibit in my “American in Paris” Gallery.  For me this painting is a breakthrough not only in terms of theme, mood, style, colors, and technique, it also made me personally respect and value how I spend my time. That's why I am announcing that I will no longer be spending precious time and energy blogging in my hopeless attempts trying in my own small way to inspire the entire world.  Therefore, this will be my last post, at least for a long time. It’s now time for me to get back to work staying focused in my art studio creating more works of art.  So until then, where ever you are in the world, I hope my life, my work, and the articles like this one that I’ve personally taken the time to write and share on this ZermenoGallery blog over the years have in some way inspired you in your own life to appreciate that “Life is Beautiful!”


Lesson of the Day

Atlas holding the World on his shoulders

Lesson of the Day
Do you ever feel like Atlas holding the world on your shoulders?  I can totally relate!  As an artist, in my attempts to inspire the world, even I admit to often feeling like Atlas, especially when I spend so much of my time blogging constantly giving of myself unconditionally trying to inspire others around the world.  Knowing I've inspired others as an artist gives me joy!  Here's what I've learned.  I also have to remember to give as much to myself as I give to others so freely and unconditionally.  In fact, that is why I will be blogging less and less in the future.  So if there's one important point I choose to say by sharing my photograph with you taken of Atlas in Venice it is this:

We are all responsible for the choices we make in our lives.  

That includes how we spend our time.  So this is a friendly reminder to take time to give as much to yourself as you give to others.  There has to be a give and take.  That's called having "balance".  Right now I am feeling like Atlas carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders.  I've been giving and giving and giving...   While I appreciate all your interest in me and my work, at this time, I ask for your understanding while I replenish the well.

Sneak Preview


Seafood as Art

Seafood as Culinary Art

When it comes to "culinary art" artful dishes featuring seafood like this are always my personal favorite.  Venice is well known for its exquisite cuisine, especially seafood.  This particular plate of octopus salad was actually during a stop to dine in Bologna.  Honestly, this dish was so delicious I ended up ordering it twice.  Eventually the chef came out to personally meet me and ended up treating me to a local after dinner drink to cleanse my palate.

Venetian Entryway

I love the way I feel each time I enter entryways of buildings like this in Venice.

City of Inspiration

The Heart of a Lion

The Heart of a Lion

     I've often been told I have the heart of a lion.  So whenever I come across an image of a lion, I immediately identify with it.  While most people admire the lion's outer strength and courage, when I see a Lion, that's not what I see.  I see just the opposite.  To me the qualities that I admire most about the Lion is just how truly "sensitive" and "loving" they are.  The Lion always goes full out and does not hold back.  That's how I feel about love!  In fact, standing here, what particularly inspires me about this beautiful Lion sculpture in Piazza San Marco is not just its majestic beauty.  Instead, what really inspires me is how I can actually "feel" the genuine heart of the artist who created it for others like me to appreciate his love.  This artist went full out and did not hold back.  That is what inspires me about this majestic and gracious lion. 

     As an artist, with my own life experience and lifetime of creating art, I know that "having heart" is what actually transformed a heartless slab of stone into this beautifully majestic lion.  This is especially true about people.  Personally, it's not about Shakespeare's "To be or not to be".  For me, "To have heart or not to have heart."  That is the question!  That is what really matters in life.  Even though I've been told I have the heart of a lion, at times even I have to stop to ask myself:  "Right now am I living in "love" or "fear"?  That's why I find that "having heart" is especially important when choosing the quality of people I allow to share the beauty of my life.  In any case, just something to think about...  I hope this post is as inspiring and meaningful to you as it is to me.

A Way of Life

"Art as a Way of Life"

I love that Venetian artists specialize in creating works of art as decor for the home, much like in the Art Nouveau period where artistic designs were seen as functional works of art that enriched the quality of human experience in everyday life.  In this tradition, my Venetian apartment has a chandelier created completely in glass in its own unique Venetian style.  As an artist, the art nouveau period in the history of art continues to personally inspire me because it coincides with my personal belief that "art is a way of life".

A Place to Dream

The Romance of Venice

The Romance of Venice
If this view looking out the window showing the romance of Venice with the foot bridges in the distance doesn't inspire someone nothing will...

View Of San Marco

View of San Marco

Venetian Living

Venetian Living
I love how each region in Italy has its own unique sense of style.  The style in Venice is clearly "decadent".  My apartment while in Venice has several decadent parlors fit for a museum.

Quick Sketch from Piazza San Marco