The Eyes Have It

I’ve been trying to figure out what my niche is. I love drawing so many different things but throughout the years I’ve realized my image is kind of muddy. Each piece is great on its own but when I would put together a portfolio, there was no consistency. I had a little bit of this and a little bit of that. I need some kind of structure.

I have finally decided what I am going to focus on. The eyes have it! I did a piece a few years ago that was going to be part of a series called “The Eyes Have It”.

I never really did much more with it but I have decided that this will be my baseline as an artist, eyes. Eyes say more than words ever could. Your eyes cannot lie. Some say they are the window to the soul. It can’t be denied that to look into the eyes of another living creature is like seeing a whole new universe. A galaxy all it’s own. This inspired my latest piece and it’s title “Universe”.



I feel like all conversations can be made through eye contact, no words, no sound. “Almost nothing need be said when you have eyes.”(Tarjei Vesaas) This is more easily experienced with animals in my opinion. People rely heavily on their voice to express what they mean to say or feel. Many times this gets us into trouble. But when we close our lips and open our eyes the true feelings can be expressed. I have learned many lessons through the eyes of animals. It’s amazing what you can hear in the silence, if your willing to listen.

“An animal’s eyes have the power to speak a great language.” (Martin Buber)

Detail of “Universe” by FSM

I have always been drawn to eyes, no pun intended. I think we all can relate. In Egyptian cultures, the eye of Ra is a symbol of life. It’s fitting. Often times, it is the eyes that pull us towards each other. We understand so much with just a glance. Some even believe in love at first sight. Perhaps there is truth to this. In eye contact, we make a connection. A tug on that invisible string connecting one soul to another. It is difficult for one to lie to another while making eye contact. Maybe the eyes really are a window, allowing others to peek into your being, your universe.

Do you see the world in someone’s eyes? Share your story in the comments below! I hope you enjoyed seeing the latest piece. I am inspired and motivated to do so many more. Stay tuned!

Until next time,

“The eyes chico, they never lie.”


Pagan Holidae: A Horse of Leisure

There is a new Pegasus in the spirit realm. His name is Pagan Holidae. He is a short and stout palomino with spunk and spirit. His best friend in fact was called Spirit. This Pegasus named Holidae galloped across the physical world, as a horse, alongside my mother. This is their story.


My mother, being a bookworm and knowledge junkie, had many subscriptions to equine magazines. One of which was entitled “trailBlazer”. She was reading an article about proper saddle fitting and how to avoid discomfort for your horse. The images used for the article had a unique saddle in them, atop a horse, demonstrating proper saddle placement. My mother awed at the saddle. She had been searching many years for the perfect saddle and there it was being used as a reference in an article. She wanted one for herself, provided it fit her horse properly. She looked everywhere for it. She couldn’t even find information on the kind of saddle it was, let alone the saddle itself. She searched online; she searched every tack shop; she even tried contacting trailBlazer magazine to see if anyone knew anything about it. Still, nothing.

IMG_2565 Holiday

A year or so had passed and my mother had forgotten about the elusive saddle. The time had come to add another equine familiar to the barn. She started searching online for horses for sale. She came across a beautiful little palomino called Special Edition. Unfortunately he was in Colorado; my mother was in Ohio. She took a chance. He was portrayed as an amazing trail horse with a great temperament and my mother knew he was “special”. She contacted the owner, Susan Gibson, struck a deal, and the palomino was on his way to Ohio! My mother changed his name to Pagan Holidae. (Can’t blame her, a horse named Special Ed? Funny but no thank you.)


Oh, before you think this origin story is over, did I mention that Susan Gibson was the editor for trailBlazer magazine. Light-bulb! My mother took a long shot and asked if Susan knew anything about the saddle published in that article from a while back. Come to find out, the saddle was Susan’s and Holidae was the horse in the article! Susan had it custom made in Chile specifically for Holidae! So Susan sold her the saddle. What are the odds! My mother asked the universe for the saddle in the magazine and a year later she gets THAT exact saddle and the editor’s horse to go with it! Talk about the law of attraction!

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Photo by Laurie Schmidt

Holidae carried my mother all across the country. One of the most relaxing things to experience is a good ole’ fashion trail ride. That’s what Holidae was built for. That was Holidae’s demeanor. Relaxation. Calm. Quiet. Chill. On the trails at least. Don’t let him fool you though. He could be quite a stinker at times too, when his “grumpy old men” attitude kicked in. He played the tough guy card but underneath that yellow fluff was a kind soul. He would always have my mother in mind when they were trail riding; carefully bending around tight spots to ensure he wouldn’t bash her knee into a tree. When he was in the pasture grazing, he would perk up when he saw her coming. She would give a little whistle and he would come running up to her. There isn’t much on this planet that is stronger than the bond between horse and rider.

Photo by Keith Schmidt

After many happy trails, my mother eventually retired him. He developed Cushing’s Disease which is a dysfunction of the pituitary gland. She gave him a calm, quiet and chill environment to relax in, as he did for her. Sadly, Holidae closed his eyes for eternity last week. Though his eyes have closed, his heart remains open. That’s the power of a horse, my friend. Even in death, the companionship of a horse lasts forever. Each horse has a lesson to teach. Holidae’s lesson was to sit back and enjoy the ride! Relax and don’t fret because you never know when the world will drop off your dream saddle and a palomino to carry you away! R.I.P. Pagan Holidae. You will be missed.

8″ x 11″ graphite/colored pencil drawing “Little Friend” A butterfly takes a rest on Holidae’s mane

I also would like to pay my respects to Susan Gibson who also passed away this year. Perhaps her and Holidae are together again, soaring through the clouds.

“For one to fly, one needs only to take the reins.” ~ Melissa James

Until next time…

So long, partner!

IMG_7838 Together WM
24″ x 24″ charcoal and conte crayon on canvas “Together” Holidae & Spirit


Holiday scan
8″ x 11″ pencil drawing, “Holidae Grazing”


Best Buds
Photo taken by Keith Schmidt
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Photo taken by Laurie Schmidt