Eternal Love

Heart and roses that represent eternal love

One day I was thinking about how perfect my wife is for me. This made me think of the saying of “Two hearts beating as one”. This thought invoked the vision of an actual heart that would represent our hearts beating as one with the two roses representing our souls. To finish this I would add the torso bones that would symbolize that they have petrified and turned to stone while also being encapsulated in the stone surrounding it. This represents that it has been and will be that way for all eternity.

 I imagined an Archaeologist chipping away at a stone wall then the stone falls away to reveal this inside after millions of years.

 I decided to make this for her Valentine’s day gift.

 If your husband/significant other was an artist, would you prefer flowers delivered or something they made for you?  

“The Clock”

Functioning SteamPunk Clock…

It was around fall of 2016 and I was 2 years into my recovery from Brain surgery. I envisioned the clock and decided to take it on as the next major piece in my “TIME” Series.  (No.4) The idea was to take an 1800’s clock that was given to me by a neighbor and make it into this microcomputer driven clock. The original clock had actually broke a spring and the spring tore through the right side of the case. It had irreparable damage. I would program it to keep accurate time with the option to plug it into the internet to do automatic updates to hold it’s accuracy year after year. I also wanted it to chime a tune at noon every day using solenoids and clock parts to make the sounds.

 I know what your thinking. Such an over-ambitious project! Not so much for me. My background before my surgery is comprised of being an Electromechanical Technician. This means that I have a long number of years working in the field that combine electronics and mechanics. I have been an engine and programming specialist in the trucking industry. I was ASE certified and Nissan certified when I worked for the “INFINITY” car company. In my last working years I spent them as a Sub-Sea robotics technician working for Offshore drilling companies. I even worked at the BP spill site in the Gulf of Mexico where I was lead technician on the system that installed the subsea oil filling lines. With my background, this should be a breeze! I was wrong!

  You see, it was around this time that I still had some issues, that in my mind, would not affect my ability to learn something new. This something is programming or writing programs for the microcomputer.  “If a High school kid can do it then surely I can.” I could not add 2 plus 4 at the time but I could build just about anything so why not! WRONG!

  I jumped in head first and built the project completely from scratch. This took months and months to get to the point you see in the photo. This is when I realized my life may never be the same again.

  At this point in my recovery and for years to come I was still working on it when I could. Like everything I work on, every time I had a good moment, I took advantage of it. In the beginning it was minutes a day. As the years past it was a few hours a day to now when I have about 8 to 10 good hours a day. If I’m lucky I get more and sometimes it’s less but they’re never in succession. I often wonder sometimes how much I could accomplish if I had full days of being able to work!

  Over the years I have come to realize that I may never get the ability to learn new things again. It does seem to be getting better but very slowly. My math came back about 3 years ago and I have the ability to do some pretty complex stuff so that’s a bonus. Even though I still find it hard to learn new things, I still have hope that one day that will change too. Until then I can only dream of what it will be like to bring this piece to a working point. Maybe one day I’ll be able to dig it out of storage and make that dream come true!

I want to end this with a poem I wrote during my early stages of my recovery…..

“Day Dreaming”

In my head the thought of who I could be

The places I’d go, the people I could meet

Forced to be silent, forced to be unseen

Taunting me with memories, only ones that can be dreamed

The illness that plagues me

Trying to make peace with it all

Being proud of who I am

Trying hard to stand tall

What would I do when the sickness is gone

Make a new life, most definitely move on

                                                                    Jon Ivan

An Artist??

What is being an artist? At one point in my life I thought “When can I call myself an artist?” I felt like I had the talent, but what happens that “Allows” me to call myself an artist? I concluded, at the time, it was when I was paid for doing art work. I think it was a reasonable conclusion and believe me, I worked for that first $100!
Now what?! Where do I go from that point? I knew after that, what the term “Starving artist” meant. If it wasn’t for me having a full time job, me and my family would have starved, literally! One thing my parents taught me was that a career was my first priority and to have a backup plan for that. Art was just a hobby and never a backup plan to a job. This kept my finances good while as an artist. “It cost money” not “made money”. If you add up all the money in paper and pencils alone, it was far more than the $100 for my first drawing.
At this point it may sound discouraging and that’s because being an artist is discouraging! Surviving as an artist is even more discouraging!!
If I look back I would now say that defining myself as an artist was not the $100 I made on that first drawing. It was the inner struggle that is constantly in me over being an artist or not. Choosing to be an artist is not half the battle but the “Whole!” battle!!

The Signs

As an artist I think I struggle the most when it comes to which direction to take.  I feel like this happens to me more often than most but I think that’s what most people feel. I’ve found that patience in these situations is the hardest thing to have but it is the one essential key to making the right decisions in that moment. Taking a step back to take a deep breath and clear your head also allows decisions to come at the right pace.  Believe that you are part of something bigger than the moment you are caught up in. Timing is everything and even though we may feel like we made the wrong decision after the fact, it is later in life that we find out it was the right one.

John Ivan