Art, Life

Can you say OCD?

There are times when getting carried away can be a good thing. I am one of those people that is always busy. I like to think of it as being productive but most often it is more of an anxiety sort of thing where I just can’t sit still. Much of what I accomplish may be urgent but rarely important.

And, yet yesterday I was able to sit down at my art table and pour my energies into drawing with new pastels that I received as a gift at Christmas. Time just slipped away…

“Thomas” Pastels drawing, 9×12 inches, Mark Schutter ©2016

Pictured above are 9×12 inch pastel drawings based on the black and white photo in the upper left corner of the picture. These are drawings of “Thomas”, my daughter’s full breed Arabian horse. My creativity has always seemed to come in bursts of frenetic activity. I guess today has been no exception. This makes me happy. Being busy is okay, being productive is better and when that happens abandon yourself to the process and flow. What positive activity do you lose yourself in?

It is not enough to be busy. The question is: What are we busy about? ~Henry David Thoreau
Adventure, Animals, Photograph, Poetry

Love at First Sight


    Love at first sight
    A beacon across the cold night
    Two hearts held tight

     ~Mark Schutter ©2015

If you’ve followed me here on the blog or on any other social media you probably know that my daughter loves horses, as do I. She has been competing for two years riding a horse owned by her trainer, which she kindly gave my daughter half ownership of until she got a horse of her own.

Well, next year she moves up in class and the competition is sure to get tougher. So we started putting out feelers to see what horses might be available, not really expecting much and having plenty of time to look.

We immediately were contacted by three people who had horses for sale that fit what we were looking for. The first two were a no go. My daughter was frustrated and not looking forward to go see and ride the third.

You can guess what happened next. Yep, love at first sight. They seem to be a perfect match and her trainer says this is a horse that has the potential to take her as far as she wants to go. We are currently leasing the horse to see how it goes before we shell out money to buy. My daughter has been riding everyday except one over the past week and is trying to come up with a name.

His registered name is Silver Sight, full blooded Arabian.  Oh my, what are we getting ourselves into? Just helping our little girl chase her dreams, we love our children don’t we? This story is sure to be continued, stay tuned.

Art, God, Life, Poetry

How Do I Make Sense of This?

Colored pencil drawing on white paper by Muppin ©2015, 8x11 1/2 inches
Colored pencil drawing, by Muppin ©2015, 8 x 11.5 inches

How do I make sense of this?
It leaves me breathless.
As I stare into the dark abyss.

I am unsure how I should feel.
A life now transcended.
Could this be another path to heal?

~Mark Schutter ©2015

This past week my 10-year-old daughter drew the above portrait. The woman in the picture is ‘Ruth’ my first wife who died of cancer over 22 years ago. My daughter never has met her or seen a picture of her. She only recently began to deduce, by overhearing comments, that her daddy may have been married once before. When she came out and asked the question last week, her mother and I did not want to lie to her so we told her the truth, minus a lot of details that a 10-year-old does not need to know at this point. We (I) had always planned on telling her someday, just figured it would be on our time-table not hers. Oh, well, some secrets are not meant to be kept hidden.

Well, the next day when I returned home from work my daughter quietly came into our  bedroom and left this on the bed for me to find. Needless to say it rocked my heart. This little girl had more compassion already than I will ever hope to have. Suffice to say, the drawing comes pretty close to capturing the physical look and even more so, the soul of Ruth. My daughter cares deeply and has told her mother she does not want to make me sad, but she also wants to know all about this lady that was part of her daddy’s life before she was ever born.

I have puzzled over this turn of events in my mind all week-long. I wrote another poem that same night and will post it eventually. Yet, I keep coming back to this picture drawn by a 10-year-old girl of a woman she never met who was a huge part of my life when I experienced tremendous joy and ultimately my darkest pain. You can read a little more if you about that on my about page, A Cowboys Heart.

The phrase ‘How do I make sense of this?’ has kept going through my mind. Well, God moves in mysterious ways and it occurred to me that maybe, just maybe this is a way He is bringing deeper healing to places in my heart that I still refuse to go. So the short poem above came to me today and I added the text to the photo. I love my girl, and her momma, with all my heart. God has blessed me beyond measure and my gratitude often goes silent and unspoken. May I learn to love deeply and honestly, like my little girl. May we all chose to #JustBelieve that #GraceWins and #HopeLives.