Archive for February, 2020

Reaching for that Point of Support

February 10, 2020


He would think of it later, he thought; one moves step by step and one must keep moving. For the moment, with an unnatural clarity, with a brutal simplification that made it almost easy, his consciousness contained nothing but one thought: It must not stop me. The sentence hung alone, with no past and no future. He did not think of what it was that must not stop him, or why this sentence was such a crucial absolute. It held him and he obeyed. He went step by step. He completed his schedule of appointments, as scheduled.

Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

The new week opened with a sprint for me this morning. I enjoyed quiet and rest for most of December and January, because I knew February’s brutal calendar. Tomorrow afternoon will begin the first of a two-day watercolor class I’ll teach at Show Me the Monet Gallery in Arlington, Texas. For $115 I’ll teach new students to paint a Texas longhorn. We’ll meet 2-5 Tuesday and again Saturday at the same time. If any of you are interested, please contact me at 817-821-8702, or the gallery at 817-313-6327.

On Thursday I will give my public presentation on “Memories from a Small Town” at C C Young Senior Living in Dallas during the Meet the Artist event at 3:30. My one-man-show of 33 watercolors now hangs there and will remain for the rest of this month. Meanwhile, I have finished a pair of commissions (pictured above) and have two more in the hopper that need to be completed.

I laugh at how often days of my life unwind like a bad novel. Waking this morning, early, I knew all the errands that had to be run today. But my dryer not functioning was not a part of my schedule. So, I smile now as I sit at a coin laundry, drying a load of wash, using my smart phone to tap out this blog . . . I anticipate that come nightfall I will be able to slow down the pace. Until tomorrow.

Reading Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand a moment ago, I was arrested by the musings of a woman who struggled to find “her only point of reassurance in a world dissolving around her.” I closed the book and thought of that sinking feeling one gets when wondering what really matters in life, paticularly when circumstances in our current society appear so disjointed and threatening. The text reminded me of Thoreau’s point d’appui that he discussed in Walden:

Let us settle ourselves, and work and wedge our feet downward through the mud and slush of opinion, and prejudice, and tradition, and delusion, and appearance, that alluvion which covers the globe . . . till we come to a hard bottom and rocks in place, which we can call reality, and say, This is, and no mistake; and then begin, having a point d’appui, below freshet and frost and fire, a place where you might found a wall or a state, or set a lamp-post safely . . . 

Point d’appui is translated “point of support.” Thoeau’s quest for a firm foundation to life has profoundly haunted my life for over thirty years now. While relaxing in the quiet residence of an old country store yesterday I pondered my own point d’appui and found satisfaction in the reality that I am alive. This life alone is a gift. I find happiness in the knowledge that I can create. Create art. And create meeting for my life. I recall years ago reading Nietzsche’s meditations when he concluded that his life had no meaning, contained no inherent meaning. He concluded that he could create meaning for his own life, since it was not given. Following that notion, I continue my own quest to carve out a niche in this life where I can be myself and pursue actions I believe are important.


Yesterday’s Refuge before Today’s Storm

The clothes are ready to come out of the dryer, and I am ready to chase today’s appointments. So until later . . .

Thanks for reading.

Shultz reduced

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Return to Heidegger’s Hut

February 9, 2020


Pre-Dawn at my Favorite Hideaway

At most a city-dweller gets “stimulated” by a so-called “stay in the country.” But my whole work is sustained and guided by the world of these mountains and their people. Lately from time to time my work up there is interrupted by long stretches at conferences, lecture trips, committee meetings and my teaching work down here in Freiburg. But as soon as I go back up there . . . I am simply transported into the work’s own rhythm, and in a fundamental sense I am not in control of its hidden law. People in the city often wonder whether one gets lonely up in the mountains among the peasants for such long and monotonous periods of time. But it isn’t loneliness, it is solitude. . . . Solitude has the peculiar and original power of not isolating us but projecting our whole existence out into the vast nearness of the presence of all things.

Martin Heidegger, “Why Do I Stay in the Provinces?”

I don’t recall how long it has been since I have stayed in this old country store that my dear friends have made available for my visits. My art and public speaking endeavors have managed to pack my calendar, even in retirement, to the point that I seem to spend most of my time in the city and sleeping in the suburbs. But I arrived well after dark last night, driving nearly three hours from the city, and stood outside, looking at the surrounding pastureland illuminated by the snow moon that lighted my way down the dirt road on my final stretch.

I set my alarm for 6:00 this morning, so I could rise while still dark and enjoy the sun rising over the deep forest that borders the east of this property. The lowing of the Angus herd to the south of the store was a soothing sound to me as I looked out the door of this bedroom and saw the herd moving to the barn in anticipation of feeding time.


Making Their Way to the Barn

I read this morning that philosopher Martin Heidegger often chose to walk the eleven miles from Freiburg to Todtnauberg in the Black Forest where he built his cabin for the purpose of getting away from city and university life. In the quote above, he favored the preposition unten (below) to describe city life, and oben (above) depicting life at the cabin. So much he loved the cabin life that he turned down the chair of philosophy at University of Berlin in 1934. All his best writing was done in the seclusion of this cabin.

I feel that much of my best work, in writing and especially in painting, was done in this remote store where I just don’t seem to find enough time to dwell. In this morning’s pre-dawn, I spent sacred time poring over the Greek text of Homer’s Odyssey and felt the rush of excitement I knew long ago in seminary days when I translated from the Greek New Testament, uncovering layers of meaning as I lingered over those words inscribed in the ancient past.

Having excavated these words from over 2700 years ago, I am now choosing to translate the opening line of the Odyssey as follows:

Describe to me, Muse, this multi-layered man who experienced a great many directional changes in his wanderings.

What a penetrating statement that all of us can relate to our own experiences. Our lives are a journey, an odyssey, filled with twists and turns. These experiences shape every one of us, chiseling us with so many facets that make us unique. Every one of us is a work of art (Greek poiēma from which we get “poem”), fashioned by our own unique experiences.

Temperatures are expected to rise to 72 where I am today. If that is the case, then I’ll be able to take my art outdoors and enjoy painting under natural light. Meanwhile, I wish to post the paintings made in this store in years past that I still count among my favorites. All of them are featured in my one-man-show now open at C C Young Senior Living in Dallas. Next Thursday, I will give an oral presentation during the Meet the Artist event there at 3:30. I hope any of you within the area will be able to attend. I would love to spend time with you.

Heideggers Hut darkened and muted

Heidegger’s Hut


Beyond the Door

Memories from a Country Store

Memories from a Country Store

Thanks for reading, and please check out my website

Shultz reduced

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

New Watercolor Class Offered

February 8, 2020


I am pleased to invite any of you interested to take a two-day watercolor class with me next week.

No prior experience is necessary, and all materials are provided. Our subject will be the Texas longhorn.

The class will meet Tuesday, Feb. 11 from 2-5, and again Saturday, Feb 15 from 2-5 to finish the project. Cost for the two-day class will be $110.

Our location will be the new gallery in Arlington, Texas, Show Me the Monet, located at 4720 S. Cooper St. in the Gracie Lane store. If you are interested, please contact the gallery at (817) 313-6327 or you may phone me at (817) 821-8702.

Thanks for reading.

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Installation of my New Show

February 1, 2020


The youth gets together his materials to build a bridge to the moon, or perchance a palace or temple on the earth, and at length the  middle-aged man concludes to build a wood-shed with them.

Henry David Thoreau

Again, the wit of Thoreau draws a laugh from deep inside me. I am deeply appreciative of the many years granted for this earthly wandering, and laugh now when I recall grandiose dreams from my youth that remained only that–dreams. However, in one aspect of my life, I have enjoyed success–I have managed to hold on to the passion for making art and have amassed a large body of work that illustrates my journey.

Today, my one-man-show “Memories from a Small Town” opens in the Point & Pavilion at C C Young Senior Living in Dallas. I managed to hang the show last evening. The printer at the facility is waiting repairs, so hopefully the labels they created for the paintings will be installed on Monday. But the show is up, and I am grateful now for this Saturday of leisure. The past week has been exhausting beyond measure, getting things ready for this event.


Installation in Progress


Waiting for Labels to be Installed Monday


Thirty-three watercolors have been selected to hang, illustrating images from small town life as well as the great outdoors. Because the venue is an assisted living facility, my genuine hope is for the residents to experience the same feeling looking at this show as they know when flipping through a photo album. I wish for my memories to invoke similar ones of their own. Last night, I got the feeling that this could happen, as quite a group of residents gathered to peruse the works as they were being hung. I enjoyed overhearing a number of the observations being made as the viewers shared stories from their past. I call my company Recollections 54 because that is my birth year and I have tried throughout recent decades to focus on subjects from 1950’s America. The husks and shells of those buildings and vehicles are gradually fading from our landscape, but not from my memory.

On February 13 at 3:30, I will present a powerpoint lecture in the facility and remain to answer questions and greet those who attend. If you are in the vicinity, I hope to see you. Here is the link to the facility:

Thanks for reading. I hope you will check out my website at

Shultz reduced

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.