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works and words from...

Ed Caldwell (Bear)
Canton, Georgia USA

Photo credit: Phoebe Chen


The Early Years...


Art - it’s an audience that completes a work...


art awakens the senses
composing reflections from life's reasoned fences
encoded skill and mind is the foundry
beyond the grip of night's emotional boundary

Manic Depression

1978 - Pen and Ink


Inspired by my early years of endured emotional experiences, this work represents bipolar mania and depression. My “feelings” rendered in two dimensions from before I learned about bipolar illness but knew there was something wrong with me.


i moved the wind from nowhere to nowhere
cradled among heaven's bright and beautiful
unbound in uncharted abode

i lost the wind from nowhere to nowhere
ordered midst the dark and distant
bound firm in toxic anguish


i am the wind from nowhere to nowhere


For more about me and my bipolar experience go to the Meetings webpage.

Space is Out There


We sail on a ship without sails courtesy of the Big Bang and are collectively perpetuated through space by cosmic forces beyond our control... thank God!... I can't even control my cat. Can you imagine if Earth had a steering wheel where we would wind up!


I've always loved the thought of outer space adventure... dreaming of starships, hostile alien defeats and strange but beautiful planet explorations. You could say I've always viewed outer space through the "eyes of a child". And after several decades of living I still do... but now with layman based science as a looking glass. 


I’ve been told that the following is a little like throwing a bucket of cold water on a Star Trek Wars fan then offering them a towel... I liked the analogy......


Distant stars are there to see and study but not visit...!? Thanks to folks such as the people and friends supporting APOD (my favorite example)... we have at our internet fingertips an impressively large quantity of very high quality artistic and scientific images from the seeable universe. These are wonders to behold and some would argue enough for our astronomical appetite. But for others the thought of exploring space from the comfort of a faster than light starship is a bit more palate pleasing. 


I think the most important thing we've learned from extraterrestrial exploration is that Earth teems with life like no other body in our solar system. But whether you believe the universe is infinite, sprang out of nothing or was designed out of nothing, it is difficult... nearly impossible, after looking out into the incredible vastness of space, not to imagine there's more life elsewhere in the universe. But what if there isn't advanced life beyond Earth? What if we are alone in this awesome and inspiring cosmos? And even if there is life elsewhere, how would we get to it/them if/when we discover evidence? These are disheartening questions for those of us who grew up imagining space travel to distant galaxies and have since been faced with relativity. Travel to even our nearest stellar neighbor is well beyond a reasonable human journey today.


Astronomers measure stellar distances in "light years"... how far light travels in one year. The distance light travels in one hour is 1,079,252,848.8 kilometers. So multiply 8,760 hours (a non-leap year) times 1,079,252,848.8 kilometers to find the km distance for one light year... it's a whopping big number.


Sadly, Einstein’s general relativity theory tells us that the universal speed limit for objects with mass (such as spacecraft) is just below the speed of light. And so far, the speed record for space travel is just a meager fraction of that speed. So unless we are somehow able to actually build a much faster spaceship and unless Einstein’s theory is debunked, we are resolved to only dream about traveling even to the closest neighboring star which (currently) happens to be Proxima Centauri at about 4.2 light years distant. 


But these space traveling dreams so many of us have likely indicate possibility. I believe we look and outreach with hope to the heavens because it's part of our nature. How the distant star trekking dream is fulfilled... who can say!


life’s flame burns like fusion
propagating emotion like starlit nebulae
who can hide from its beckoning
to the stars… onward outward… ever reaching
for love’s reward

Space Traveler

1978 - Acrylic and ink on acetate with background photographic print


"We see through the glass darkly". This is my rendition of Ed White's history making 1965 spacewalk. The above space traveler was drawn with black ink on one side and painted on the opposite side with acrylic in the fashion of early animation cel production. I like to imagine that's me in the spacesuit... free-floating... suspended in a deadly environment with art and science as my lifeline. The metaphor being that bipolar can be deadly just like outer space so medications and controlled behavior become like the life supporting space suit and tether when properly configured.


Exploration and discovery can come at great cost. Tragically, Ed White died along with Gus Grissom and Roger Chaffee in an accidental January 1967 Apollo 1 command module fire.


1977 - Acrylic and ink on acetate


This started as a drawer handle sketch and evolved. It's called "Balance" due to its compositional symmetry. If you look closely at the center of the image you will see two separate humanoid heads merging together to form a third... two looking toward the center and one looking at you, three perspectives from one source... Kind of like how two people in marriage can act as one. This work is intended to be a fun visual experience targeting an overall impression of an oriental dragon head. 

Ken's Ride

1979 - Acrylic and ink on acetate


"And I'm hovering like a fly, waiting for the windshield on the freeway..."  lyric quote from the band Genesis, Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, released 1974 - The highlight that I painted on Ken's windshield reminds me of the inevitable bug collisions experienced on a motorcycle. I reckon it's a good argument for a full face helmet...

Angle Wrangle


1982 - 11x14 Lithograph


I did the "whole nine yards" production of this work including sketch, pen and ink, rubylith, grayscale screens, camera ready mechanical, graphic arts camera work and printing with a 1250 Multilith offset printing press. I have a few dozen of these that I printed with the idea that I would sell them but then I put them in a drawer instead.



1980 - Metal Etching/Carving


I made two of these (left and right) for my 1979 Kawasaki LTD1000 motorcycle (below). The two holes align with a gas tank mounting bracket. It started as a pen and ink drawing that was etched in magnesium then carved out of the etch panel and painted.



1976 - Watercolor


Another "space traveler", I love dragons! I've always been fascinated with the symbolism. This one might symbolize an evolved product of itinerant emotions! Kind of a spirit portrait.

Log Cabin Church

1981 - Acrylic watercolor on illustration board


This is my personal favorite work. My adopted mom said this was my masterpiece. I discovered this beautiful church in 1973. I like how the Christian Bible is reflected as "old" (wooden log cabin) and "new" (stone/rock building). The original church was held in the small log cabin. In 1981 the stone church front doors were green but they have since been painted red. I think red is a better color for the doors as the red best reflects Jesus's life and purpose. And furthermore, I see the color white as reflecting the Father since white contains light’s entire color spectrum and I see the color blue as reflecting the Holy Spirit like the sky that is all around usRed, White and Blue... has a familiar ring doesn't it.


1971 - Original pencil sketch

2008 - Wacom Intuos3 Drawing Tablet, MS Paint

This work was a study for a Christmas card.
Can you see the dragon's head?


Who of age has not pondered life’s destination... whether it is to a final resting place or another beginning? And who does not want truth as the foundation of reason?


Believing in something does not make it real... we humans are not that powerful. Truth makes a something real. Truth is what we seek and humility is what we should know.


climbing the tree
what to see

dare i aspire
a journey higher
to find key
beyond the lee
stars of fire
twigs of pyre

soul to rest

in angelic nest


1974 - Pen and Ink


As in 'Get a Grip' -  Don't be satisfied with all you have learned... the earth will too soon blanket this life in quiet solace.


1975 - Acrylic and ink on acetate


My first work in this medium... I dusted it off and made this photo with my smart phone.



1974 - 1977 Pen and Ink or Pencil


A few early drawing selections done for animation with old and newer music and film caption quotes for fun.

"Watching... and waiting... for a friend to play with..." Moody Blues words... Peter Gabriel outfit...

"Eruption..." Erupting guitar master Eddie Van Halen

"I had to get it out of me, if you know what I mean..." Back in NYC, Genesis 1974

"Which way did he go, George? Which way did he go?" Willoughby wondered

"Trapped in birth on celluloid..." Peter Gabriel, imagery engineer

"The crawlers cover the floor..." But not for long... more Peter Gabriel imagery engineering