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fairy dragon | vietnam
A Dragon-Fairy Tale

Perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave. – Rainer Maria Rilke

I crossed the border into Vietnam by bus from China. It was one of those buses that stop in every small town, stop when the driver needs a restroom, a bite to eat or spots a friend to talk to, invariably turning what should be a three-hour ride into an all-day affair. I was reading a story about the origin of the Vietnamese people, that they were descended from the love of a dragon and a fairy. But I’m interrupted by (more…)

havana streets | cuba
Three Little Words

Beautiful. Cheap. Fascinating. In my younger days, say pre-thirty-three or so, I’d use those three words to describe myself to some lucky lady at the bar before asking her to buy me a drink. Honestly, fellas, in my world it didn’t work as well as you think it would. In fact, it was easier getting in and out of Cuba as an American than it was making that line work. (more…)

ganges | oil on panel
Beginning Again at the Beginning

“Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one’s mistakes.” – Oscar Wilde

Play it Again, Saraswati
This is my painted interpretation of the Ganges River in Varanasi, India, a holy place in the Hindu religion where people make pilgrimages to die and be reborn in another form. I like the idea of reincarnation – the idea that you can live a life of mistakes and still have another chance at getting it right. I also like the idea that I can summarize the beliefs of an entire religion in one sentence. I’m pretty sure that the ability to do that (more…)

cyclo | vietnam
Big Bang Theories

I took this photo in Vietnam – one of those places in the world that explode in color – color so bright and vivid and saturated, that it doesn’t seem real. I have all these theories about color and its relation to different cultures. I believe that there are unwritten cultural rules regarding the uses of color and that the way we use color tells us a bit about ourselves. For example, in east and south Asia (more…)

girls on fire | oil on panel
Great Big Balls of Fire and Courage

On Second Thought
I saw these girls in India, preparing to perform a ritual dance with urns of fire balanced on their heads and my first thought was, “That’s a painting waiting to happen!” Actually, that was my second thought. My first was, “These girls are on fire, boy! I bet I can light up this room, too! Just give me a pole to dance on and break out the dolla-dolla bills, y’all!” But I’m a seventeen year-old boy trapped in a body twice his age. Wisdom gained through years of painful experience has taught me to refrain from expressing my initial thoughts aloud. (more…)

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