Igor, Art and Freedom


This was created for me by a talented artist named Igor Lukyanov from Ukraine.  He saw some photos of me on a bodybuilding site and made this for me.  I love it, and have it on the wall in my office.

I’ve been thinking about Igor a lot these days.  Russia has a hold on the Crimea region and people are in danger of losing the little bit of autonomy they managed to hold onto for a while. It reminds me how precious freedom is and how it is always in danger of being encroached on or worse, lost altogether.

I know many American citizens take freedom for granted, never considering how it was won, maintained or consequently how it can be lost.  It’s always been paid for by the few; by the thinkers, the watchers and by our military with grit, determination and great sacrifice.  Yes, paid for by the few but enjoyed by the many.

I look around this beautiful country of ours and I know how much small groups can accomplish and I’m proud…but I also worry that perhaps one day there will be too few standing. Matters of liberty are hardly the stuff of general conversation.  Too many people seem entranced by what the Kardashians are wearing or who the next Idol is going to be.  It’s not that we don’t need time off to think about light matters and to enjoy sunshiny days, trips to the zoo with our children and parties with friends.  It’s just that it seems to be the meat we chew, what we live on and not just the icing on the cake anymore.   It would be well to remember that each generation must do their part. We must watch for and stand against people who dedicate themselves to eroding the liberties we enjoy. We must always be vigilant, knowing that what was once won, can also be lost.

President Reagan once said “Freedom is never more than one generation from extinction.  We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where people were free”




19 responses

  1. Reminds me of the classic nose art from WWII fighters. Great art!

    1. I LOVE that nose art! They aren’t allowed to put things like that on planes, tanks or ships anymore. Too bad. It serves as a form of motivation but gee…it might offend someone.

      I do happen to know a guy who put pics in his kevlar helmet….

      1. I love that era of pinup art, like Vargas. So beautiful and sexy! We’re so PC these days. I mean seriously! It’s a warplane. Who cares if it offends someone.

      2. …and Alberto Vargas is a favorite of mine. He did a redhead in a black negligee that they painted on a couple of planes…one of them a B-24 Liberator called Strawberry Bitch. She’s one of his lesser known pin ups but she’s absolutely fantastic.

      3. I had stepped aboard a B-17 bomber that was making the rounds a few years back. The nose art was nice, but not Vargas. I’ve looked up Strawberry Bitch, and she reminds me a bit of that old cartoon Red Hot Riding hood:

      4. I just learned something. I always wanted to know how people embedded links in their text…not cut and paste but they made the text take on a different color and if you clicked it, you’d link to another page. I whipped up a post for tomorrow about nose art and referenced you (not by name but as a fellow blogger). I wanted to put a link to your blog in my post and lo and behold I managed to do it the modern way. Ha, ha….you CAN teach an old dog new tricks!!

        Just tell me if you don’t want the link in my post and I’ll take it out. I won’t publish it until tomorrow…

      5. I’d be honored, Lynn! Feel free to use The V Pub or my name, Rob. It’s up to you. You’re doing a post on nose art?? I can’t wait to read it!!!

      6. Thanks! This one is just about the Strawberry Bitch. I did one about other nose art a couple years ago with lots of fun pics of the ladies on planes. It was so much fun to put together. I learned a lot of trivia regarding the planes themselves, the pilots, battles, etc.

      7. Is it still on your blog? I’d love to read that as well.

  2. marekzyskowski | Reply

    There is a lesson in the Ukraine for all countries. It is just too long to explain in a simple comment. But Reagan was right when he talked about freedom and how it is just a generation away from being lost. Great post.

    1. Thank you. I feel distressed when I see some American citizens who don’t realize that it’s necessary to stay informed and to participate in civic life. I think they do believe that freedom is passed in the bloodstream and that nothing is required of them to maintain it. On the other hand we have people very devoted and involved. I just wish there were more of that type of dedication especially during these perilous times. Glad you stopped by!

  3. Beautiful portrait. I agree with what you say here. In this day and age, people seem to be wrapped up in such insignificant happenings, myself included. I force myself to read the paper and be abreast of real issues that affect us all.

    1. I think Igor does such great work. Really happy to have him use me as a subject. It’s so easy to be distracted from the pressing issues that affect us but citizens have a responsibility to do so…otherwise we may wake up one day and realize we’ve lost liberties we’ve taken for granted. Delighted to hear that you’re paying attention. Hope your workouts are going well. It’s almost beach time for me so I’m excited…can’t wait!

  4. I must have this same conversation with everyone all the time. It saddens me to see the how little people seem to care what is happening to the country I love so dearly. ..but I digress. So are WE ready for our trip? You did get that extra large suitcase right?

    1. We are ready!! I got the biggest suitcase you can bring on the plane but if you happen to miss the flight, I’ll take you along in my heart! I really can’t wait to to have a little break. I’ve been working very hard lately which I’m happy about since I’ve accomplished a great deal but a few days off will be so nice. I just love the ocean. I find it very relaxing…

  5. Beautiful, simply beautiful portrait of you.

    1. Thank you Matt! I thought he did a great job too. He’s a very talented guy…plus I always wanted to be a “bombshell.” You know I love that pin up art stuff!

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