When it just feels right…

It has been a while since my last post, and a fairly hectic couple of weeks. Although I don’t mind the work…This week has been a bit more leisurely. I took off the week from the factory job to celebrate my birthday, not that I’m really celebrating it. but it just seemed like a good place to burn a weeks vacation. ūüôā ¬†AC work has been routine maintenance things and “When you have time” coil cleanings. So less urgent and I don’t really have time this week kind of attitude. I don’t guess I realized how much I needed the me time, but I have thoroughly enjoyed not living by the clock the last couple days.

So last night I was up late and browsing property for sale, still searching for a landing place since the divorce. The past 3 years have mostly been about patience and getting by cheap. Working towards no longer settling for anything less than inspiring. I think an artist needs that in his home space.

I had seen this property before on the listings and wondered what it looked like. 18 acres at a very reasonable price. I looked again last night and decided today was that day. So after calling for details from the Agent involved I set out for a drive in the country.

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Past the old country church and up the hill

 

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Turning down this road I was starting to really like the area. This was also where my GPS told me I was entering an area with little map information … proceed with caution. I have never had a¬†GPS tell me to be careful. hahaha

There were no road signs back here and I wasn’t really sure where the property was located , but as one road deadended into the other at a hard right turn… I wasn’t sure that I wasn’t entering a private driveway. As if the GPS knew to be cautious, I ran across these signs as I drove by. Not wanting to stop and take pictures this one got a little blurred. But the bottom sign says “If you are found here tonight…You’ll be found here in the morning” Haha…Well let me just turn around and get that realtor lady back on the phone ūüôā

 

 

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Due to the rising cost of ammo, there will be no warning shots!

No she said, keep on driving past that , its back there a¬† good ways. ūüôā ¬†With that cleared up I continued on my search for the property.

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Finally.. the place I’ve been coming to see . I backed into an opening and started up the rest of the way on foot.

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A very peaceful place and full of wildlife. The birds were singing, and the wild turkeys calling. I heard the snort of a buck and eventually watched him run across the ridge above me. Two hawks screeched and sized me up  for awhile. Eventually figuring I might be two heavy to carry off, they went about their business

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I walked around about an hour taking it all in, There is a lot of cleanup to do but I think its wonderful and sustainable.

There are still a lot of questions to answer before I make an offer, but this place has a great vibe to it and I would love to own it and finally take that massive step towards settling into the future.

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The SOAC Mural Art…Start to Finish

 

10 Artists, 11 Days, 1 Incredible Work of Art!!

Wow!! What an incredible adventure this turned out to be, for the Outdoor Adventure Center and the town of Smyrna, AND our growing artist group, the Smyrna Artist Cooperative.

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When Co-op member, Susan Gulley ( Carpe Café/ Carpe Artista ) initially presented this opportunity to the group in one of our monthly meetings, I honestly had some reservations on how a group mural may turn out. Although we have a lot of talent within the membership. Obviously we are all completely different styles of artist.. I for one am proud of how this team pulled together and accomplished the mission at hand with a depth and cohesion that appears as if it had been done for the most part solo.

The Place

The Smyrna Outdoor Adventure Center is located at 100 Sam Ridley Pky E. Within the remodeled Smyrna Event Center.

 

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Opening in the spring of 2017

 

The Artists

From left to right: Phyllis Razzo, Leah Boorse, David Fultz, Jimbo Eanes,  Charles Cole, Suzanne  LeBeau,  Susan Gulley , Larissa Reed , Anna Creel, Gracie Jay Vanlangen

 

 

The Art In Progress

Day 1

It began on Saturday morning at 9am. The 17th of Feb. Working from Phyllis Razzo’s initial watercolor sketch that she composed from a handful of hiking photos and google animals. The idea was to do a woods and water theme which included Tennessee state specific animals, flowers and trees. An education room as it is, the mural would be used as a teaching aid.

 

As Phyllis and I began sketching out the shape of the water and the general placement of things. Larissa jumped into the sky color while Susan planted a large corner tree.

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The day continued with Charles giving a basecoat to the dirt and deciding where some rocks would live. While Leah and her daughter Rocksea began shading the water, Larissa continues the sky.

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End of Day 1

Day 2

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It was an incredible experience for me to watch everyone attack different areas, and how quickly this scene started to look like something. So much vision and understanding in what they see.

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Day 3 and 4

Unfortunately for me I missed out on the fun due to work . But was amazed to see how many things had “grown” while I was away As Phyllis, Susan,¬†Leah, Suzzanne and Larissa kept painting away.

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Day 5

By day 5 we had enough of a foundation for the animals to begin showing up.

13 year old Anna Creel brought a nice raccoon to the scene. One of Larissa’s art students, this child gets it!! I saw her artwork in¬†the first Smyrna¬†Art Crawl ¬†last year and¬†I could not believe the drawing ability of a 12 year old. I’m glad we had the chance to include her on this project and hope it encourages her towards bigger things in her future art career.

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Suzanne paints as I search for the right shade of SmallMouth Bass color

 

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Day 6

Progress continues and it’s really coming together quite beautifully

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At this stage, the background trees have a nice shape and shadow.¬†Larissa has the depth of our forest coming together and¬†I’m getting really anxious for that white extinguisher box to disappear. ūüôā

The Next 3 Days

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Red tailed Hawk Referenced from the wildlife photos of Bob Timmerman, of Wizardpix Photography fame. Big Thank you to Bob for all the inspiring work! We could fill the wall with your birds and animal photos.

 

 

 

 

 

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Ahhh, Much better ūüôā What a difference it made to the entire scene when (¬†former Artist Cooperative President ) Jimbo Eanes came in to work his magic and made this unsightly box disappear into the hole in the tree.
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Thanks to another one of Larissa’s art students… 16 year old Gracie brought us a nice coyote to sit near my rattlesnake. I love to see young artist involved!!¬†¬†¬†And I love the touch added in the distant dark of lightning bugs. This group has thought of everything.!

One thing that amazed me with this group, which turned out to be 10 in all. Was the ability to work together cohesively like we had done it before. Though we started with a sketch and a general direction. Several beautifully creative minds and a lot of “what if we did this?”‘s later it just all came together. It isn’t always easy to do that with artists and their singular visions, Where I may be weak they picked up and vice versa . I could start an animal and come back to it finished , and it worked! A very enriching process to say the least!

Wrapping it up

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This could have went on for weeks, refining and adding detail, But at some point you have to call it done. There are over 30,¬†State of Tennessee symbols, flowers, animals, or state specific items included in this educational¬†wall, Including¬†a Saber-tooth tiger fossil, and representations of thousands year old¬†Native American¬†artifacts found here by a collector friend of mine.¬†¬†I think collectively as artists , we are all very pleased with the end result. Something bigger than any of us individually. Not only did we succeed in giving the town of Smyrna¬†exactly what they asked for,¬†I believe, together, we¬†exceeded expectations. The best part of this journey for me though is that I think we all became a little more of an art family through this process. We laughed together, and shared some music. (Sorry if you didn’t like it, lol) ¬†Scratched our heads and wondered together , We were inspired together . As Vice President of the Smyrna Artist Cooperative, THAT was worth the trip!

 

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Included in our signature rock¬†is a Cherokee pictograph , the symbol for “WE” as arrowhead artifacts lie near the waters edge. The hand print (painted in purple for Smyrna)¬†reminiscent of the painted war ponies, signifies Success. Mission Accomplished!!

Well Done Team! I cant say enough about each and every one who came together to make this happen in 254 combined man hours. May the children of Smyrna enjoy it for years to come!

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The Smyrna Artist Cooperative meets monthly to promote art and opportunities for artists. Feel free to contact me for more details!

 

 

New year, Same me…a year in review

 

As I reflect back over 2016…¬†I see that life is good. I’m Happy and I’m on track.

 

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I started out with nothing, and I still have most of it left.

 

 

This past year has held some Major life events…

To begin:

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Completing school in¬†February with a one hundred percent score, and one of a couple, to receive the highest HVAC¬†tech level, was something I never saw happening.¬†My best friend and now working partner has been in this business, as a sideline, for about 7 years. And for about 7 years he has been twisting my arm to come work with him. “It’s not for me” I told him. “Honestly , I’m not a real mechanically minded guy, I’m an Artist” “I really don’t think I can wrap my brain around it… I mean laws of thermal transfer, refrigeration cycles and¬†TXV metering ??? …that’s not a natural thought process for a guy who is captivated by the golden hour of sunset, or the way light seems to emit from a pretty smile.”¬† I observe things, I’m one who notices beauty in all its forms. An artist eye….¬† But it seems it was about the second class in the fall of 2015 that the light bulb just came on and it made sense. ¬†So with a Universal EPA certification and an understanding and simplifying of the diagnostic process, ¬†I have something to fall back on and continue building on. I’ve also been blessed with some invaluable field training from a great teacher with 37 years in the business.

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Crane setting a rooftop unit as Jim directs the driver.

 

 

To follow my¬†completion was My twins, my BABIES ūüôā Graduated from High School in May 2016

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It’s kind of surreal that all 4 of them are grown and such beautiful people. It wasn’t always easy raising them and I did work a lot …¬†but it was always fun. So many experiences and laughs when these four start drumming up memories. I love the bond they have as siblings. ūüôā ¬†It does my heart good to know they are close and can count on one another. Although I probably¬†cant take credit for that. ¬†Any problems I’ve had with their mother doesn’t change the fact that she’s tried hard to be good momma and taught them some valuable things to carry through life.

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My oldest son also got engaged¬†last year to that pretty little thing on the right ūüôā

 

June brought yet another major event. The Divorce

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It’s been a long time coming and we had been separated since about this time 3 years ago.¬† All the tragedy that was the end of that lifelong love affair¬†had already been dealt with and long since¬†healed from. The finalization just 3 days from what would have been our 25th anniversary, was viewed as a final and official freedom from a distant memory. A clean slate to officially start life anew and build it as I see fit. It’s funny though to consider,¬†how someone who was once your closest ally and bedmate, can become such a stranger over time. It is as it should be though and was a blessing in disguise.

2016 also brought me closer to a lifelong love affair with ART

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As well as buying a camera and beginning to learn to use it manually. The old school me has been painting and mingling. Through association with and being a founding member of the Smyrna Artist Cooperative, I have come in contact with some pretty amazing people in our local art community. I’ve made new likeminded friends, strengthened bonds with old ones,

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and for the first time in my livelong life, I participated in showing work in two shows this past year. (as well as creating its logo and media)

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For the Love of Music. 2016 held a lot of live shows!!

 

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One of my faves… Lincoln Durham at Nashville’s Exit/In

 

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2016 saw my first CD cover design and band logo go to print

Through the friendship established with these guys, I’ve had the opportunity to meet a lot of fine musicians this year. I’ve attended a lot of live performances , and it makes me happy. Music decorates the silence as visual art decorates a space. The two are and always will be close to my heart. So¬†in true Dave fashion I¬†wrapped up the year with a New Years Eve performance at the Revelry with Fargo Strut , Stack, Denman, and Nashville Independent Music Association Award winning Killing Grace .

Fargo Strut

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Stack

Denman

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Killing Grace

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So no resolutions for me¬†really, I made those 3 years ago. I’m well into my five year plan. I’m on track, making strides daily. This year is about MORE,MORE,MORE. More friends and family time¬†, more art and music, More learning and earning…. New Year , Same Me ūüôā

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYBODY!

YouTube Time Suck

As is the case with youtube… I went on to look for a specific song by Jack White to listen as background music¬†and¬†an hour and a half later …Here I am watching video after video by this young lady. Jess Greenberg. ¬†Not that she isn’t just¬†captivatingly beautiful …but wow she has talent! Her guitar skills are evident in songs like the cover of Pride and Joy , a Stevie Ray Vaughn hit. Or Hendrix, Voodoo Child( Slight Return). But this Stairway to Heaven was something for the ears to sink into and it gave me chills when she hit the ramp up towards the end. I am joining the vast list of new¬†fans.

Do yourself a favor and spend a minute on her channel .

 

 

Main Street Music Mito Benefit

 On November 26, my friends took the stage to raise money and awareness for Mitochondrial Disease.  As it hits home for two of the bands pictured here.

 

 These are photos from the event at Main Street Music in Murfreesboro TN

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(it’s interesting to note in the picture below, The name Jackyl carved into the beam to the right. That was carved with a chainsaw by¬†Jesse James Dupree during a performance there of the song “lumberjack” ) maybe its just interesting to me because I’m a Jackyl fan. lol

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Fargo Strut

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Spacegrass

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Ballistic Whiplash

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It was a great turnout and a rockin show for a great cause!!

So what is Mitochondrial disease ?

We all have mitochondria in the cells throughout our bodies. They are responsible for creating 90% of the energy needed to sustain life and support organ function. When the mitochondria malfunction organs start to fail. Less energy is generated within the cells. And the largest cell groups are affected first. The heart, the brain, muscles and lungs.

Symptoms are different from person to person and hard to diagnose. But they include seizures, strokes, severe developmental delays, inability to walk and talk . to see or digest food. If three or more organ systems are involved…Mitochondrial disease should be suspected.

Thanks Main Street…Until next time

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A desperate cry for help

On November 23rd, the day before Thanksgiving, Sgt John Toombs a US Army veteran of Afghanistan (and a close friend of my oldest¬†son) took his own life on the campus of the Alvin C. York VA hospital…This isn’t easy for me to say …I debated whether to share…But I think it’s important. This isn’t just a statistic.

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Talking to my son, John had been living in the dorm for about a month. He went there seeking help for PTSD, depression and drug addiction. Then for reasons still not released he was asked to clean out his room and leave.¬†They aren’t saying why, as the internal investigation is going on. There were notes left¬†too that may give more details as to why. But those are being held as well. I guess there was premonition in the words that were in his Facebook bio and fixed at the top of his wall. “All it takes is one..bad..day. Then what you fear the most will meet you half way”

It’s just a damn shame! John knew he needed help, he called his family to say he was going to try to apologize and get back in…He had nowhere else to go. I wished he realized that he did. Before this altercation or whatever had happened, sources say John was doing well in treatment. He had even started to help teach a class. Sad as it is,¬†Maybe this was his way of raising awareness for fucked up vets like him. It breaks my heart to know it didn’t have to end like this. He was crying out for help and asked to leave the one place that should have helped him.

Sometime Wednesday John sat in his car and filmed this last statement, wrote some notes to the ones he loved…the next time he was seen was when campus security found him hanging in an empty construction area at the VA. It’s hard for me¬†to hear him say they have opened up a Pandoras Box inside of him and then kicked him out.

I knew John through my son as a little manic depressive. Somedays at the bar I stop in occasionally he would be singing duets with Deven on Kareoke night and having a blast. Some nights I would see him choosing to sit in the corner and drink alone. Those nights I could barely get a hello out of him as whatever was eating at him seemed to have him consumed.¬† In the words of my son “John was fucked up and depressed, but when he was good, man he was good. A great friend and a great dude”

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I do hope in this tragic ending of the life of a young man, a young veteran. Some things change in how we take care of the men and women who serve to protect us. That we notice in the friends around us. And that if you think you have nothing left to offer and there is no one that cares.. I pray you realize there are people who do !

R.I.P. John