Friday, October 05, 2012

Art - Bringing the dream to reality

Movies and art are two very similar mediums of escape to take you to a new realm of
possibilities - a place in time, a new world or a distant place or dream you long for. Art gives us
a chance to dream, to create and breathe new life into things that would otherwise never exist.

When we look at movies that capture our attention and look at what comes from these movies,
often science fiction breeds science fact. I never will forget the example that former Computer Science Professor Randy Pausch used. He was talking about Star Trek and the realms of
possibilities it created. He took out a communicator that was just a prop from the TV show, then pulled out his cell phone that was a flip phone and said "I now own of these and it is smaller".
What was once Science Fiction, just a thought, an idea scribbed on a napkin in some Hollywood
Studio, is now something everyone across the world uses and take for granted as a common
everyday item.

As an Artist, when I look at how art, movies, music and so many other art forms affect our
culture and every day being, I am amazed at the idea that schools would even think about
cutting out art classes for students. What a boring world it would be without art to stretch us, entertain us and most of all, challenge us to create art of our own and put it out in the
world to either be embraced or stomped on by critics.

I think of how Art has stretched my education and skills, it has shaped who I am today and
stretched me to take my ideas, write them down and then slowly and methodically bring them to

This is what schools need to teach our children. To use our imaginations, to dream, innovate
and come up with new ideas. This is what builds society, fuels new products, businesses and
ideas and ultimately fuels the economy.

Another thing I have learned about art is that it is truly recession proof. Good art always sells.
If people like it, they will vote with their pocket books. Look at the movies, music and artwork
that has launched successful careers and carved fortunes out of thin air. All because someone
had a dream and they were not afraid to create it and breathe life into it.

In the business world, I have met so many people who are tinkerers, innovators and have
wonderful ideas but for some reason, they just cannot seem to make those ideas materialize.
They tinker and pick ideas to death, constantly changing them, constantly saying it is great one minute, then hating it the next. These are people who live in fear. You have to have the tenacity,
the determination and the discipline to bring those ideas to life. Most of all, you have to believe
in yourself and believe in your ideas. Some ideas may spread wings and soar to new heights,
and some ideas may go down in flames but you get nowhere without seeing the idea through to
completion. Build it. Bring it to life. This is my mandate to you, the reader. You have the dream
now go after it. I have had to face the same challenge in my life and am facing it now. The
dream is there but it will never come to reality unless I see it through.

As a child, I often got into trouble for daydreaming in school. I still daydream to this day.
I dream of new paintings, new digital art, new websites to create, new articles to write, new
engineer ideas to help the world. Some ideas have been a hit, some have taken a while to take
off and be accepted and some have sat unnoticed by the public eye but that is ok. The beauty is
the idea is out there and someone somewhere will see it and be inspired to either buy it, embrace
it and create new ideas of their own and therein lies the true beauty of art. Someone was inspired enough to go out and put something into the world just as our Creator put us on
this world to inspire, encourage and help each other fulfill our destiny on planet Earth.

But one word of caution... people who are not dreamers, don't like dreamers. Because you have
a vision for your life and they do not. They will seek to destroy you, but realize this.. Joseph
had a dream and his brothers sold him into slavery and wanted to kill him over it but God saw
that vision true and Joseph saw that vision become a reality in his life. God gives us these
heroes in the bible to encourage us. Because you may be a Joseph, a Daniel, a person of vision.
Pursue it, and dont let those who would block you get in the way.

Bring that dream to life and let it take you to new places in life. Meanwhile, enjoy the dream
that God has put into your heart to fulfill the reason He made you.

- Rick Short, Artist
October 3, 2012

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Art truly brings people together - A social commentary about visual art.

Art truly brings people together - A social commentary about visual art.

            When I look at all the things I could have studied to earn a living and all the different ideas I have come up with over the years as a possible career path (everything from being a Computer Programmer, Architect, Teacher to becoming an Accountant), there is one thing that constantly reminds me of my main purpose in life, which is to create art. When I find myself alone with my thoughts, what comes to mind is fun new ideas to paint, whether it be a colorful new wildlife painting, children’s art or a digital 3D rendering. I dream in Technicolor and I dream of fun, colorful animals, architectural buildings that defy the laws of physics, children’s toys that come to life and new worlds to create on canvas or digitally. I have always had a vivid imagination and as an adult, I still daydream and have constantly since I was a child in grade school.

Society does not always want dreamers or people with a vision but number crunchers, computer programmers and engineers. I love being an engineer and have been one for twenty years but I also find that there is a calling that God has put on my heart to create and what solidifies and verifies that calling are two things – the recurring dream itself and the realization of that dream materialized.

The dream is the easy (or potentially nagging or haunting) part but seeing the dream realized – putting on art shows, selling art and having smiling, happy and satisfied customers is the exclamation point and the proof that you are capable of making that dream come true. There are many people who call themselves artists and they are in their own right but the proof if you will or the validation by society comes when you are a paid artist making money with your vision. I have seen that realization come true in my life and it brings joy and satisfaction to see my art sell but more importantly to impact people in a positive way. I have also seen the realization of my dream by putting on one man art shows both in my home town and here in Florida.

One thing I have observed at most of the art shows I have attended or hosted is that Art as a medium truly brings people together. I will never forget one art show at the former OVAL art gallery in downtown Orlando, Florida that was well attended. There were homeless people, rich people, young and old people all alike in this crowded art gallery. There were artists with tattoos smoking outside, artists wearing formal clothes and people from all walks of life gathered in this exhibit hall for one common purpose – to enjoy a night of culture and art. It was like watching a painting in motion or seeing a movie come to life being filmed in front of you. It was a picture itself of life as it should be and as it ought to be.

You could see it in their faces –the look of wonder, the look of amazement, the look of being kids in a candy store and scarcely being able to take it all in. There was no snootiness, no prejudice, no social class and no division. I found myself sitting back being an observer, taking in the flurry of activity going on around me. I greeted people, answered questions about my art, ate and mingled with the crowd all the while watching people taking in the sights, colors and sounds of the evening.

My other similar art show experience was a “one man show” that I hosted as a solo exhibitor in Winter Park, Florida one year. It was a year where Florida was heavily hit by hurricanes and there was not even fresh drinking water in Winter Park the week of the show. The local newspaper advertised the show in the morning edition, flyers, emails and phone calls had gone out but I had no idea if anyone would even turn out due to the devastation the storms had brought.

Much to my pleasant surprise, there was a great turnout. Friends and strangers alike showed up to see my art and photography, have some finger foods and fresh bottled water and soft drinks. The crowd was a great mix of children and old people but everyone seemed to have a really good time. There were smiles, greetings, a flurry of activity along with tables and chairs for people to sit, eat and talk. It was a great environment but what impressed me the most was seeing absolute strangers pull up chairs and sit and break bread together. One friend brought her son who thought for sure he would be bored but ended up being inspired enough to sit down at a desk and do some drawing of his own , smiling and taking in the experience and having a good time doing so.

I have observed on many if not all occasions that Art truly does bring people together. It does what music often fails to do but is supposed to do. Music is said to bring people together and yet with all the various styles of music from classical to rap to heavy metal, it often tends to divide and even alienate people based upon the audience and their musical preferences.

As an Artist that has struggled to ‘make it in the world’ since I was a child, I have found there are some constants at work in the art universe. One thing I have learned is that art is recession proof. If someone sees something they like, they want it. As one customer over the internet once wrote to me, “I want it, I don’t care how much it is, I just have to have this painting” and she got it. I stayed up until midnight bubble wrapping two art prints in a box that was 2 feet wide by 3 feet high. The result was a happy customer, a friendship and even repeat business that led to her purchasing other prints from me down the road. Proof that art does sell itself when it speaks to someone’s soul and can bridge the gap of time, distance, language and other barriers.

- Rick Short
February 21, 2012

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Surfer Surfing off the coast of Hawaii original acrylic painting - The Tube Ride

                                                                  "The Tube Ride"

There is something about the ocean that stirs at people's souls. The rushing waves, the power of the crashing waves on the shore, the constant churn of the water and the magnificent power of the ocean. I have always enjoyed seeing the calm seas at night at sunset and watching surfers tame a mountainous wave.

When I was in high school I started to paint seascapes. Particularly waves and surfers surfing on the waves. This painting is one of my most popular selling paintings since 1982 when I first created it as a Junior in High School. This year I decided to recreate the original painting using acrylics just to restore the color and lustre of fresh paint that has been lost by making prints over the years.

This is a surrealist view of a surfer surfing inside the tube of a wave off the coast of Hawaii. The original painting is for sale and comes matted and ready to frame. It measures 24" high by 35" wide including a white acid free matting mounted on foam core board and signed by me in the lower right hand corner. I have a small growing collection of surfing art that I will share here and on eBay, Redbubble and other art sites where you can find my work so stay tuned and 'Aloha!'.