Flower Power

Flower Power 20 X 32

Flower Power (Mixed Media/Acrylic 20″ X 32″)

In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s the concepts of peace, love, alternative lifestyles, desegregation, equal rights, the environment, and “cosmic awareness” were brought to the forefront of American consciousness in the form of the “Hippie” movement.

From time to time I pause and wonder, what happened to all of those ideas and ideals, did we lose our way, and did we “sell out to the establishment?” Was the whole thing just an excuse for a big party and nothing more than that?

As is often the case, my answer came quietly one day when I was wandering the countryside. I came upon an old barn on an abandoned farmstead that, at one time, must have housed a small Hippie Commune or a something similar. Among other clues to the farm’s former existence, there was a Pop Art style mural on one of the barn doors and barn was surrounded by flowers of all colors. The barn was gradually falling apart and the mural had faded to the point that it was nearly gone, but the flowers were still going strong. I looked around and it dawned on me. The Hippie movement, like the mural, had faded away. However, the ideals and ideas espoused by the movement, like the flowers, are still with us. The methods of change were not those of violence and force, they were techniques of persuasion, integration, education, and enlightenment. We tried to change the social landscape by planting seeds, not bulldozing the landscape to match our desires. We tried to improve things by joining, and then reshaping, society. We realized it was not “Us” against “Them”… it was just “Us”.

These methods do not produce sudden overnight changes; rather the changes unfold slowly over time. Change that happens gradually is easy to overlook. It is only when you look at a snapshot of how things were then and compare it to a snapshot of how things are now that you realize that progress has been made.

In this painting, we see an old barn being overrun by flowers planted by the former occupants of the farm, a testament to the power of persistence and gentle persuasion…“Flower Power”.

Image and Text © James Golaszewski 2015

Black and White

Black & White 18 X 30

Black & White (Mixed Media/Acrylic 18″ X 30″)

The truth is a strange thing. So much hinges on what the truth is, or isn’t. Some of the darkest truths oftentimes are known by only two people, the truth-teller and the deceiver. These are the truths that cause the most chaos. These are the truths that cause the most pain for the truth-teller. These are the truths that cause the most pain for those that trust the deceiver.

How much pain can one person cause because they will not tell the truth? How much damage can one person do, because they will not tell the truth? How many people will one person hurt, because they will not tell the truth? How narcissistic and selfish must one person be to think their status, comfort, and well-being is more important than the truth?

The deceiver wants you to think that the truth does not exist, that all things are really shades of gray… versions of the truth. But even if this deception is successful, the deceiver is short sighted. Even if it is obscured by lies, the truth remains unchanged. The truth cannot be manipulated.

In the end the One that matters for eternity, knows.

It is as simple as Black and White.

Image and text © James Golaszewski 2015

Fragments Of Yesterday

Fragments of Yesterday (18x30)

Fragments of Yesterday (Mixed Media/Acrylic 18″ X 30″)

Fragments of Yesterday

I painted this because I wanted to express my feelings about how events of the past influence our day-to-day emotional health and thought processes. I have come to realize that our past, tragedies and triumphs alike, cannot be ignored. If you try to ignore the past it will find a way to make its presence felt. Since the past cannot be changed or ignored, what are we to do? If we happen to have a painful past, are we doomed? Are we prisoners to tragedy?

This painting is my answer to this question. The tattered remnants of an overnight storm attempt to obscure a brilliant sunrise, but they only serve to enhance the splendor.

We are all haunted by “Fragments of Yesterday”. Those fragments shape us, but they do not control us. You just never know when a Fragment of Yesterday will wander by, to blot out the sun… or make it sparkle like a diamond.

Image and text © 2015 James Golaszewski