I will begin by posting some OLD AND SLIGHTLY

USED STUFF.  I have arranged these talks 

somewhat chronologically on the page from

the most recent to the oldest.

Although if you are an art historian 

and you're planning on writing the


 I did shuffle the deck a bit.


Soon my mother was a veritable fount of "UNSOLICITED ADVICE"..

I believe it all started out somewhat innocently at first .....

“ Ed I saw the prettiest little bird painting the other day, maybe you could try doing paintings of birds”….

she might say.

Then as the years progressed my mother seemed to pick up steam.......

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I gave this talk at the Albuquerque Museum.

It was supposed to be short.

It can be read in one sitting....

or one standing ....with the dryest mouth imaginable.



Chapter one: life


I am 7 years old.

I am Thomas Alva Edison.

His middle name starts with “A”

My middle name starts with “A”

His last name starts with “E D”

My first name starts with “E D”

I am deaf ….he is deaf.

His first name Thomas…

Well… there’s not much I can do with that….

Maybe it got screwed up in the reincarnation process or something.

At any rate when you are 7 years old and you figure out who you are, what difference does it make?

I’m Thomas Alva Edison and all I have to do now is invent some stuff…. a light bulb or something.


Actually over the years I have been quite a few people. (That reincarnation thing was going full blast when I was born…)

I have noticed that rarely is anyone the reincarnation of a janitor or an ax murderer.

As For me, I have always been someone pretty important:  Leonardo Da Vinci, Francisco Goya, maybe Carl Jung.

(We have all bedded down together now and its mighty cozy) ……

But my first memory of a genuine reincarnation was Tom Edison

And at 7 years old He was all I needed to be.

Edison was easy. He was a broad tree of a man… with roots and branches and plenty of room to climb.

He invented stuff. I invented stuff.

He was a mechanical genius.

I am a mechanical genius.


In time I will invent everything I can think of…

Put stuff together…discover something new.

That IS what I Want To Do!

It all makes perfect sense …besides I can see the stuff as plain as day when I shut my eyes.

It’s all you really need…

The rest of the world goes by and there you are in whatever corner you can muster, thinking a bit, and getting the stuff to all go together.


The adults that hung around back then were not sure what to do with me.

After a while they threw up their hands and declared “Art !“

Ed will be placed in the “Art” category.

“Art” did seem to mesh pretty well with the young Edison that had popped out

and realistically can anyone see a big difference between a painting and a light bulb?


It was the 1950s and I was in Ft Worth Texas. They had what we called the Children's Museum.

I went there a lot.

When I was in the 3rd grade I won a prize for art in the Public school system and received art lessons for 2 years at the museum...

My teacher was a vicious woman named Mrs. Sylvestry.

I actually learned a lot.

I could really draw back then...much, much better than I can now.


In my family I was somewhat lauded for my artistic abilities.

My drawings were hauled out and shown to the relatives…

However my father and mother worried about practicality and money…. they thought I was better suited to be a plumber or an electrician.

“You can always do your art in your spare time”

They said.

I got even with my parents. I learned to do nothing truly useful.


My brother was a genius

(Or so I was told...

By him)

He was often put on display as a young, soon to be famous Van Cliburn type....

He played Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, all that junk and I was awakened every morning for most of my early life with an overture or a sonata....

Stuff like that.

I always woke up angry


My sister’s job I think was to smile and be nice.

I was not too good at that myself.

So I suppose “Art” helped me secure a place in the family


I stayed away from art after elementary school and became a motorcycle hoodlum.

Gradually I forgot about Edison


Years would pass… then I found myself hauling art and a motorcycle through New Jersey.

I suddenly saw a sign that said

“Edison New Jersey ...Menlo Park. “

I thought,

“ That sounds like something the reincarnation of Thomas Alva Edison should see”

And off I went in the big rental truck...

I got the truck stuck under a bridge,

in rush hour traffic.

It didn't look too bad till the tow truck driver yanked it out and scraped the top half of the truck off...

I did not see Edison New Jersey or Menlo Park


Art had subsided through adolescence to be replaced by shop classes, motorcycles and girls.

But when I went to college I like the others

had no idea what to do with myself....

so I took art classes again.

One thing lead to another ...I never quit


I have never felt compelled to limit myself much in this thing called the creative process...

Whatever emerges is often as surprising to me as to anyone else.


I am a chaser of tangents and ephemera:

The stuff that the wind so often blows about.


Carl Jung and I have learned to turn our faces from the wind, to close our eyes and hunt in the thickets.

There we find small threads left by tangents that have blown by.

With luck a tangent thread leads on

and we may get a glimpse from where it comes or where it’s going ….

I never know which.


We chase them as far down the trail as I can go…

And while I may be able to describe them somewhat. I wont.

Ephemera don’t like it.


This sculpture “Child Flight “ comes from a recent body of work.

The thing that struck me about this body of work is how much of it is about wheels, machinery and the like.

Once Again I have regressed

to my Thomas Alva Edison phase.


Machines have surfaced in my work before...

Out in my field there is a piece titled

"Invention for Dreaming" which I put together almost 30 years ago.

It is currently in bad shape after I accidentally ran over it with my forklift.

Some dreams and aspirations are like that:

Squashed by reality.

And along the way there have been other bits of machinery tangled into this mix that I call my work.


I have a few things to say about my childhood love affair with machinery:

When I was 12, I would ask to wander the aisles of a hardware store "just to look"

I still like hardware stores but I rarely go to just look


A few years later I fell in love with motorcycles …I fell hard in love . My mother would drive me to look at Hondas through the storefront window.

That was the beginning of something that still persists today.

It was also some how tied in with a strange and compelling attraction to women.

Because of time restraints I will have to delve into that later


However, I was once given a chemistry set for Christmas

(My parents were intent on my betterment from the beginning)

And I can tell you from experience that testosterone mixed with gasoline creates a dangerous chemical reaction.


Another memory stirred up by this sculpture was when I was younger 5 or 6 maybe:

The relatives were sitting around the table. Perhaps both Uncle Georges were there.

One Uncle George lived in Midland Texas

He had been in the Air Force during the war and had flown airplanes.

The other Uncle George lived in Dallas and was also involved in aviation.

He was the editor and founder of Flight Magazine.


He knew everyone in the aviation world and always seemed larger than life.

Talk of airplanes drifted in and out of the adult conversation,. as did the stock market and other impossible things.

Suddenly I jumped up from the table and ran to the back yard.

" I want to build an airplane! " I thought.

A vision of flying had gotten a firm hold on me...

I picked up a handsaw.

I was not concerned with anything except how to move the large sheet of plywood that I found in the garage.

I wanted to start sawing immediately and build the plane.

I was obsessed.


The materials were heavy. WAY too heavy.

I was forced to get my mother to help me move the plywood.

She came out, listened to what I wanted to do and somehow managed to put out the fire that was raging in my mind or at least tame it for a while.

That vision of an airplane never really died… but it did lay dormant for a good long time.

Years went by and the world waited….

waited for Thomas Edison and I to get back to building more stuff … some stuff that could fly.

To accomplish it I might have to get a PHD….

Or at least get big enough to move the plywood.


In the meantime however, Carl Jung and I have taken up flying on our own.

We go out at night after we shut our eyes.

Not much instruction has been required…

And I never see machinery lying about



are readily available to jump over….

And once you clear the trees the rest is easy.

I often land on rooftops and look down.

Why don’t those people on the ground join Carl and me? I think.


So at last I have built something from back then

Something that will fly

Perhaps I will make a bunch of them and sell them cheap…

but leave the instructions out.

And the instructions will be damned expensive.


BUT… maybe , and maybe I’m overly optimistic here….

Maybe we already have all we need

In time perhaps, we will all learn to shut our eyes and get where we need to go.


The wind, after all is blowing all day and night

you can almost leave on time if you can find it.

Just open your eyes once they are shut

The wind will blow all the long night long…

Ive seen it blow a night clear into day

But if you sleep you’ll miss it

It will bring you right along


Just open your eyes once they are shut

And gather up all the transitory that you find

get as firm a grip on it as you possibly can…

Lift your foot, the one you tied down way back when….

Now the other

and tell the wind the stories you have forgotten to tell

The wind will do the rest




I did the work of the audience for them by supplying both the answers AND the questions.



What is art?


Art is  the scratch that relieves the itch .........or it might be the itch causing us to  scratch ....either way anyone involved in art is reasonably miserable.

another answer:

For the  slightly nuts or the full blown crazy person art is therapy ..... for the rare sane person  it will drive you nuts

Then of course once again art makes good therapy


Where do you get your ideas?

Answer :

Before my mother died I used to call her up and she would give me  some good  ideas  and a lot of bad ones.... I've tried this with my wife but for some reason I find I'm always getting mad at her I quit asking..... now I just go on line to www. art ideas .com

question from a kid :

asked in a nasty whiney voice

What is THAT supposed to be?


shut up kid





We lived at the top of a hill in an area of west Ft Worth called Ridglea Hills. My father was one of the first to buy a lot there and build a house. when I was little you could look out and see the golf course and empty fields  .You could even see Western Hills Motel which was in itself a very unique world.  This was soon after the war and in rapid order Ridglea Hills was filled and overfilled with houses and parents and kids .You couldn't spit without hitting another baby boomer.

At the time, however I was blissfully unaware of just how vast our army was. All I could concentrate on was the hill that we were on top of and the half a dozen or so kids on either side of us.

Soon all manner of stuff was being flung off that hill :

wagons , sleds, roller skates  ,bicycles, go carts, motorcycles, running and not, unicycles, random wheels nailed wildly to boards, and God know what else all went down that hill.

And with each voyage from the top of the hill down came an exhilarating abandonment to the fates and a inexorable trudge back up the hill.

As with all hills there were two sides to it .

One side arced more gently and gracefully, fast enough for mild thrills.... yet tame, its final safe uncoiling came in a slow even leisurely pace, which allowed for both contemplation of the ride and  a refocusing on what came next. Bill McDonald lived on that side, on my left as I hurtled down, his father was a doctor and a much coveted go cart was sitting in their carport awaiting my glance.

At the bottom of that side of the hill ,again on the left, a beautiful and mysterious girl could be seen moving swiftly from car into house.... car into house. The tantalizing  silent scene replayed itself daily as I passed by.

The other side of the hill however, what would have been the north side, must have been created by men still angry after the war . Maniacal 1950s asphalt  laying, road building ,engineers of death. That side of hill  crashed suddenly at its base with a cross street .....A poignant yet fruitless stop sign standing menacingly on the right.

It was only for the older wizened child, the child who sought the sickening sensations felt on roller coasters  and tilt a whirls, the dreamer of bigger more dangerous dreams.

Well here I sit editing this thing with little time left before I have to give this talk...There is so much more...Richard Ellwell, the bad kid that lived on the dangerous side of the hill The three girls ...I cant remember their last names....or their firsts....... also lived there. I had a very vivid dream years ago about those girls......... I think  it was when I hit puberty or something like that was going on and........I will save this dream for my analyst

But this thought is about wheels nailed to boards and me zooming down the hill past it all......I will have to finish it later




Early on (a few weeks ago in fact) I thought perhaps I would write an all inclusive speech that would encompass the history of art, mankind, and the universe as we know it. This talk would be the basis for a trilogy that I have planned to write for some time and that will be a bestseller and this will allow me to continue to live in the style to which have become accustomed .

Later I changed my mind and thought I could possibly get a short but decent book out of these ideas.

Still later I have at times thought this talk would be the basis of a children’s book,  a low budget movie script, a reality TV show and a self help book for the artistically deluded. My ideas have continued their metamorphoses until as I sit writing this perhaps this talk will best be what you might call “a collection of random thoughts,”

I suppose the main point I want to get across to students at this point in my life is that as an artist I am to be pitied and not scorned. Yes, I have chosen this life, but I did it when I was young and innocent and inexperienced in the ways of the world, and in addition I want to plead insanity.

Like some of you I thought being an artist was a noble, maybe a sort of romantic endeavor. I assumed it would be full of hardships but those hardships would all be surmountable. So at the age of 54, with my life spent in the pursuit of art. I find I missed the warning label.

Let me spell it out:

Art can be hazardous to your health.



......But I do want to talk about Lawyers however.

I think I am at last emerging from a “midlife crises” which has griped me this past year. I assume most of you are young, and you may not yet understand the relationship between Lawyers and a “mid life crises”, but let me assure you there is a definite relationship.

I will not go into all the cultural myths of those in the throws of mid-life.

Most of you assume it has something to do with red sports cars, Viagra and women and you may be right, but my ”mid life crises”  has been about art, money and lawyers.

For my fifty third year I hired a lawyer…an art lawyer in fact.

It all has something to do with the city of Albuquerque, a large commission, the Army Corps of Engineers, the city council, a Zoo director, a woman and her husband who went to Tibet, a man with some money.  4 years of my life, Prozac, water, trees, imagination,indigestion,  Zen and God.

I cussed a lot more than usual during this last year. I confessed to my friends that I haven’t been so mad since I had to deal with my ex wife.

It has affected my artwork drastically and I am now working on a series I call “Letters to my Lawyer”

In fact I am still mad and don’t want to talk about it…. but since I brought it up let me say this: If you are considering a life in the arts, hire a lawyer before you start.

Lawyers get lots of money.

You will want to learn to do their jobs for them so that you can save your money.

It’s not really all that hard.

First learn to type.





I wrote the above paragraph  [DELETED FOR THIS POST] or rather the one I just read, or however I should say it, about a year ago …Another show….. another talk....another time. It was in Arizona, on a rainy  rainy day ....I think

I haven’t learned much since then so I will still use some of it and a bunch of the old stuff in this talk..

I have improved my typing skills (which are minimal) and I am better at this cut and paste stuff on the computer,

so I plan to essentially edit the hell out of this talk and make it sound better and more meaningful.

Laziness is the mother of invention

Here goes:

[Im cutting this paragraph as you may have already read it in another post]

Ok. Truthfully, it (a life in the arts ) is not that bad….It’s just that to elicit pity it’s necessary to recount all the hardships and then some and then to dwell on them. Endlessly


The August 2005 Ed Haddaway will here delete the next sentence or two and say honestly I don’t have a clue what is truthful anymore ….Art IS bad for your health for all I know …...Its killing me and …I feel old …My feet hurt….My teeth hurt ……..etc….. etc….etc

I am however, a believer in the art as therapy school of thought. We are all sick and need help (so they say)

Art holds out the promise of a cure but it rarely delivers.

[More Perfectly Good Material Here on the Chopping Block]

Wow That sounds pretty good…… kind of deep and meaningful ….. I guess it stays in

But I’ll cut this……….

and this …….


I do want to talk about Lawyers however.


No I don’t want to talk about lawyers.  At least not now….. maybe later


Shit! right here in real time  I just realized I am typing into the original document…I don’t have a copy on the computer of the old talk ….I need to stop and start over on this thing before I really screw it up. I need to cut and paste

I’m a bit nervous this thing wont work

(That’s one of those double meaning deals….)

I am unsure of the computer and unsure if the talk will work.