Posts Tagged ‘painter’

A Novel Idea – Part I

Life is a novel that is written as we go. We add to the pages each and everyday. Over time, eventually, gradually, it becomes the story of us, who we are, what we’ve done, and what we are yet to do.  We are a piece of history, each of us contribute to the legacy. In a sense a new novel is redundant to say, being that the word novel actually means new. For me as of right now it is applicable being that I am now writing a new novel. I am entering into something that is quite new, a new beginning, a new start. Unlike adding a new chapter to an old book. I am starting a new book with a new title, a novel idea.

PLC Panel

An Instrumentation Panel that I designed and fabricated. In a sense, my art.

My last day at a company I worked at for over 10.5 years came on June 30, 2014. I walked in, was escorted by security, signed a paper, said a couple goodbyes, and that was about it. For me saying goodbye wasn’t the part that mattered to me. The events that occurred from the day I was hired up to my last day are what truly mattered. The people I met and the things I learned along the way are what are valuable to me. Many will be my friends for life, we were a family. We worked together, we set goals together, we struggled, we conquered, and we lost together. We shared our lives with each other. In the end, the company we worked hard to build was sold. All the things we did together to create a business that had meaning and purpose was taken from us and given to someone else who knew nothing about what we did to make it what it was. Sure they read the newspaper articles and had all the documentation, but they did not feel what we felt. At the end of the day, that is what matters. What do you feel? Is it purposeful, does it have meaning? Are you making a difference? Are you happy? The last couple of years the answer to each of those questions was a resounding no!

The Passage

The passageways of my former life.

In the last quarter of 2008 we went through a very large reduction in force. My good friend and boss Dan Cooper was also let go during this lay off. It was a very disappointing and difficult day for many of us. We were reminded how vulnerable we were and how quickly life can change. This became a pivotal moment in time.  After Dan left I had to work for people at the company who really did not know me, they did not know where I came from, they did not watch me grow the way Dan did. Dan and I started our relationship in 1990. We met during Navy Electronics school in Orlando, Florida. So we have a pretty solid history of working together that is very unique and personal. My new bosses did not even know me, at all. They did not know my capabilities. Likewise with my fellow co-workers, who found themselves in a similar situation. The people that hired us were gone. The slate was wiped clean. Our new bosses did not know us, they were forced to take us on, and to no real fault of their own did not have the same appreciation for us as those who hired us. Sure they asked us questions and walked around and looked at what we did, but they knew nothing about us. Our value diminished day-by-day. Within a couple years we learned quickly that we were being prepped for a take-over by a much larger international corporation. Morale was at a all time low and our day-to-day activities were few due to the many changes. Very few projects were taken on. My work in particular revolved around projects, expansion, and growth. As an Instrumentation & Controls Engineer for the company I got to do some really cool stuff! Much of what I did, few understood or cared to understand, they just knew I did it. They let me do what I needed to do as I saw fit as it applied to the needs of the company. Again it was largely in part due to my original boss knowing me and knowing my capabilities. He trusted me and that trust built confidence.  I took on responsibilities that were typically sent to outside vendors and contracted out. I saw a need and I saw that it could be done better. Whenever and wherever possible I applied my creativity to my job, in that environment it was my art. It kept my mind and my hands busy. When all of that began to change, it became very difficult to get up in the morning and go into work. It was torture being there.

Fortunately over the last year or so I was given certain liberties to work on my next career move. Being that my next career move was much different than other’s this meant spending considerable time on social media, networking and branding myself. So what exactly is my next career move? Here is where one book ends and my novel idea begins. (to be continued in Part II)

 

Vernon Finney

 

The Creator by Vernon Finney

“The Creator” An intricately intensely detailed masterpiece depicting creation and the amazing power of the mind.

 

It has been a little over a year since I first saw the work of Vernon Finney. Giclee prints of some his paintings were hanging near some of my photographs in the Incredible Artist Art Gallery located in Cathedral City, California in the Palm Springs area.

Vernon Finney

Vernon signing a printed copy/pamphlet of “The Seven Days Of Creation” a seven piece painting depicted the first chapters of the book of Genesis.

The Starmaker by Vernon Finney

“The Starmaker” an amazing painting depicting the creation of the universe.

Vernon’s art stands out sharply from everyone else’s art, as good art should. I’m no great art expert. I did not study art. I took a few art classes. However I am privileged to have seen first hand the works of Michelangelo, Monet, and many others. Walking where Michelangelo walked doesn’t make me anything special. However, regardless, every now and again we get the opportunity to cross paths with people that are not part of the mainstream crowd. In my opinion these things happen for a reason and have significant purpose. When you meet them you instantly know they are something special, you know they are a gift and are gifted, and you want to absorb as much of them as possible. Vernon Finney is one of those people. A modern day, living breathing Rene Magritte, a friend who is a Salvador Dali. Though I did not meet any of the great artists of the day, I am happy to say that I have met Vernon Finney and I am very content with that. Vernon celebrated his 90th birthday in May of this year. Much of his 90 years has been packed full of adventure and loving life. Whether climbing some of the highest mountains, painting celebrities homes, running the art department in a leading advertising agency or creating amazing masterpieces of art. He was always up to the challenge. Though he drew and sketched most of his life.  In the 60’s Vernon began sketching and drawing in a manner that stood out from everyone else. He found his groove sort-of-speak. It was the 60’s after all. I sat down and pored over several of his worn out tattered sketch books from that period. So many ideas. So enlightened.  He was ahead of his time, with the open mindedness and the ideas that he expressed freely. Ahead of his time in a way that people just were not ready for his style of art, the good thing is he did not let any of that stop him. He is bothered very little if any at all by what other people think. Today the world needs the art of Vernon and it is finally ready. We need something that grabs a hold and pops and is original! His paintings are as original as original gets. Vernon grew up poor in Oklahoma. Coming from a conservative family, he wasn’t allowed to freely express his creativity. Today Vernon believes in “Just get out there and do it, don’t worry about it.” He believes in creating and freeing the mind and doing that often. I told him “I don’t want to be the best, I just want to be better. I don’t ever want to be in a place where I think I am the best.” He replied quickly, “Don’t worry about that, you become better by doing. As long as you are doing, you will get better and the rest will all fall into place.” I believe what he said is very true and I will do my best to practice that philosophy.

Reach by Vernon Finney

“Reach” in its full glory. An epic work of art that speaks volumes without capturing a single facial expression. Must be seen to comprehend this enormous wonderful work of art!

I stayed at Vernon’s, Cathedral City home for three days in late June and was given the opportunity of a lifetime. Spending time with the master was a privilege of epic proportions. We went shopping together, ate at an Italian and Mexican restaurant, and he cooked dinner for me. We even went to see Maleficent in 3D at the Mary Pickford Theater! Yes, we had a very good time indeed. Best of all we talked! We found common ground. He gave me advice and also reinforced what I already know and what I am already practicing. The several things that we spoke on that I would like to pass on to everyone who reads this is 1. Believe In Yourself! 2. Get rid of fear! 3. Get out there and do it! 4. Don’t LOOK back!! 5. Don’t Give Up!!!

Vernon_Finney_Drawing_SM

Sketches for Vernon’s latest work titled “Who’s Afraid Of Mary Jane?” A piece that will cast a light upon female injustice and affliction.

Vernon started painting full time around the age of  5o. He came to the place in his life where he felt that it was time to do what he was passionate about. In his lifetime he has painted over 400 oil paintings. Some he was commissioned to create, others he sold, and some he gave away. Some have been lost and he is trying to recover them. Several pieces are being looked at to go to either private collections or to hang in major galleries throughout the country. Up until my recent visit I had not seen any of Vernon’s original paintings. I have now seen over 30 of them. I have my favorites: Memories, Reach, and The Creator. Many of these took several years to paint. Reach took about 4 years to create, it is a huge painting 10′ x 9′, that’s 90 square feet! Many of his paintings are big. Bigger than life! This way it gets the message across, it has more impact. The great artists did the same thing. Vernon’s work can be considered thought provoking, surreal, and controversial. He is a modern day surrealist painter, when you see his work it will leave an indelible mark upon the thought processes of your mind!! Meet the man as I have and you will forever be changed. My short blog doesn’t do him justice. Keep an eye on Vernon Finney he is the next big thing! I look forward to hanging out some more with my new friend!

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