By: Rick Rotante

There comes a time, if we are fortunate enough, when we get an opportunity to look back. Reflect on our lives and take stock. When I was a young man I was so busy looking forward, I had little time to spend pondering what had come before. My successes and failures are all balanced, or imbalanced on an imaginary ledger somewhere in my mind. Stored there until such time you sit down, like now, and take a long look at what you have accomplished and the rush to get what I wanted or though I wanted.

We travel through our lives and it seems that the phrase “rushing to the end” seems not to bother us in our youth. We fill our lives with activities, events to mark the passing of time – birthdays, holidays, weddings, births and of course deaths. Cycles of things, people and events that all add up to what we call our lives.

Well nowBut this is an art column, so how does this relate to art? you may ask.

Well now that I’ve reach a respectable age where I can reflect, I realize there have been too many distractions. I don’t mean those mentioned above, I mean the way we seek to hide. We hide and rarely discover who we are and what we really should want out of life.

Especially today with all the gadgets we have; electronic devices that may or may not make our lives better. Many are the distractions I am talking about. We are looking for faster, better, more exciting, fun; things to take our minds off the real issues of personal growth. Okay so how does this relate to Art you ask again?

When I decided to be a professional artist more than 45 years ago, I had a hard time adjusting to what it takes to create good art. I was filled with all the trappings of a society that was only interested in the next new thing. I was, like many then and today, concerned with making a living and working toward “being comfortable” in later life. I was one that was rushing to a finite end.

Life is moving faster today. Yes, I understand that this may be the opinion of someone working on the latter portion of life. But I don’t think so.

Art has taught me the meaning of slowing down and looking more closely at my surrounds; my relationships past and present. In my case, since I am a portrait artist, it allowed me to look at other people; explore their lives and in the process get a better understand and discover my place in the universe. It has shown me the true reality of discovery. Not with iPads, PlayStations or any current toys we use to divert our attention from discovering our personal psyche.

Art allowed me to open my eyes. To share with others the beauty of the world we live in. If we are given anything of real value in life, it is time.

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