"The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery." Francis Bacon

I’ve noticed a preponderance of publications lately on the subject of happiness. There are entire sections in bookstores devoted to achieving happiness. Newspaper articles and  magazine features tell us where to live to be happier, what foods we should eat to make us happy, what colors induce happy moods, even the amount of income we should endeavor to earn to be a happier person – the list goes on.

But is it really necessary or even desirable to be happy ALL of the time? If we walked around in a perpetual state of bliss wouldn’t that gleeful high lose its effect and become mundane? Would we appreciate a sunny day as much if we didn’t have a little rain now and then? Am I the only person who thinks there is something very wrong when a person needs instruction to be happy –  doesn’t everyone have an innate capacity for happiness?

A close friend recently related a story that reinforced my belief that you don’t  need an instruction manual to learn happiness. Standing under a cherry tree while walking the dog, my friend was caught in a sudden wind burst that caused thousands of cherry blossoms to rain down creating a maelstrom of pink petals and making them the living centerpiece in a spring snow-globe. It was a moment of sheer bliss, one of those ordinary extraordinary moments that remain forever etched in your memory.

A few days later on my way to work I found myself stopped at a stop sign that happened to be under a cherry tree. The wind blew and cherry blossoms formed a funnel cloud swirling around my car simulating my friend’s blissful experience. As I attempted to snapshot the feeling, the car behind me began honking wildly, the driver giving me a very un-blissful-like gesture. Moral of the story – one man’s bliss is another man’s miss.

I did have my own blissful experience this month though, when I discovered an amazing blog devoted to forgotten, under-appreciated or little known artists. I emailed the blogger and was thrilled to receive a quick response and ecstatic to hear his thoughts. Once again, the question arises as to whether or not Hubert really exists or is merely a random name assigned to etchings to make them appear more authentic and desirable. Although I must accept this as a possibility, I can’t help but believe that there really is a Hubert because all of the works are of the same style and seem to be created by the same person. It was also suggested (and here it gets very interesting) that a good match for my etchings might be Albert C. Hubert (1878-1935), an Austrian artist. The dates match up, however, I could only find one example of his work with which to compare likeness to my Hubert. The style was quite similar but the work was a different medium,  making it difficult to tell for certain. So far, I’ve had little luck in obtaining information on Albert C. Hubert but I’m just happy to have a new road to follow, even if my road to happiness is filled with potholes…

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