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Posts Tagged ‘William Bell’



In the beginning
You really loved me, oh
I was too blind
I could not see, now

But now that you left me
Ooh, how I cried out, I keep crying
You don’t miss your water
‘Till your well runs dry

You Don’t Miss Your Water, William Bell



The painting at the top is a new piece, 9″ by 12″ on canvas, that is headed to the West End Gallery for next month’s annual Little Gems show, which opens February 12. After it was completed, I was really looking deeply at it as I tried to discern what it held so that I could title it. I felt that the scene in it was from the dawn  of the day, the start of the new day.

I normally see this time symbolically as a beginning filled with great potential and optimism, brimming with energy. But there was something else in this piece that didn’t seem to be looking forward. Instead it felt almost remorseful, looking back. For me, I sense this in the Red Tree’s posture toward the rising sun and in the tone and density of the sky’s color.

It’s like the character represented by the Red Tree is trapped between the duty of the coming day and lure of the past and what has been lost.

The feeling of this piece brought to mind a favorite song of mine from Otis Redding, You Don’t Miss Your Water. The first verses are at the top and the first 10-15 seconds of the recording, after the distinct opening chords when Otis first sings “In the beginning,” always sends chills down my spine. Glorious chills.

That’s where the title for this painting originated for me.

The song was originally written and recorded for Stax Records by William Bell in 1961, four years before the Otis version. Bell’s version is wonderful but Otis took the song to another dimension. Interestingly, Bell wrote the song in NYC and it was actually more about his homesickness for his Memphis home than lost love.

And maybe homesickness and the remorse for what is lost in the past plays a part here in this painting. I can’t say for sure and only time will reveal it’s true meaning. Maybe it will take on a whole new demeanor as time passes, as sometimes happens.

That’s the way of art. It is often never fully one thing forever.

But in the beginning…

Anyway, here’s the immortal Otis Redding and You Don’t Miss Your Water.

Have a good day. Keep hope alive.



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Thanksgiving. 

 It would be pretty easy to meander into maudlin territory when writing about such a day so I’ll spare you that today.  I will say that I am thankful for many, many people and things in my life and try to keep that in mind every day.  We often overlook those things which give our lives meaning and depth and focus instead on the negative aspects of life.  What we are not.  What we don’t have.  What we haven’t done.  Too much time is wasted with these thoughts, especially given the limited time we have in this world.

So, today, I ask that you look at your life as though it were a painting in a frame.  See it for the beauty it holds, the colors and texture that are present.  It may not be a Rembrandt, but what does that matter?  Appreciate the uniqueness of it and treat it as the  precious thing that it is.  Treat yourself and the world around you with respect.  Today and every day.  Then every day will truly be like a holiday.

Here’s a song that carries the theme amd title of this post.  It’s from William Bell who recorded on the legendary Stax/Volt label.  I love this song and can’t get it out of my head whenever I stumble across it.  Enjoy and have a great Thanksgiving.

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