A Tribute In Honor of Artist Steven P. Thiel 1957-2009

Far away in a beautiful countryside house lived a man, surrounded by his art collection and a gorgeous garden that he was passionate about. He had a cat he named “My Lovely” — his only companion for a long time.

He never got married and was without children. A man with dashing good looks: tall, confident, with a face like porcelain. He had kind of a shy smile that could light up a room when he was happy, a silky-smooth voice to die for, dark mysterious blue eyes, and long light brown curly hair that flowed to his shoulder and smelled like roses… In addition, he had a knack for baking, making the most delicious banana bread ever!

Just looking at him tending his garden flowers was like a vision of Paradise. His face was red from working in the sun. He had a cute beauty mark on his face, a final charming touch! Sometimes he could give the impression of a dark angel hiding from the charmed ones, especially when dressed in a long sleeve black sweater.

Beautiful and pure. He was a handsome Prince, the kind you’d read about in fairy tales. He had many women during his life, but none could hold his heart for long. He had the best material things in life, but spiritually something lacked.

He hibernated in his country home, where he dedicated himself to his garden, art and composing music… A true artist in heart and soul, he knew and understood real life and human beings. He was delicate like a piece of fine art – yet at the same time was strong and vulnerable, an enigma, a man with a fine sensibility for the beautiful things in life.

One day he found a “Smiling Lady” with whom to share his thoughts and feelings. He felt reborn and began to shine like the sun, blossoming with the flowers, and his imagination started to fly like butterflies… They became close friends for a long time. Soon he felt happier than he’d ever felt in his life.

Ms. Smiling was curious about him and wondered about his hidden secrets. She asked many questions but with caution. The more she knew about him, the more she wanted to know. Artists are emotional creatures…

He had a unique nickname that intrigued her. She asked the origin of the names “Puskin” and “IpKiss.” IpKiss, she learned, was part of a nickname a friend had given him. The friend had a stuffed animal named “Puskin IpKiss” which had provided her comfort when she felt homesick overseas.

IpKiss communicated with her often, but he did so in the abstract. He sent beautiful poems that he said he wrote specifically for her… Many times she had to look up the meaning of his words. He was teaching her the magic words of life. IpKiss said to her: “Perhaps it’s the interest in the arts, music, and life that unite us.”

They continued a long and beautiful friendship based on kindness, respect, trust and love… Neither could wait to hear from the other. IpKiss never knew Ms. Smiling saved his messages and remembered all his words. It became a kind of romance with a touch of Shakespeare In Love.

He told her that he liked her easy nature, warmth and smile — his trust in her was complete. Her smile, he said, reached out and brought him light and peace. He said she inspired him to create. “Hope your day is one of beauty and love,” he wrote. “Here is the sun and it opens me up to writing. The first crocus flowers appeared today and soon the daffodils. Write me a long gorgeous letter. I can’t wait to hear from you again.”

He wrote often. “It’s a soft sky today. The sun is blending with light clouds. I’m drinking Peruvian coffee. I walked through my garden, and prepared some flower beds, and it’s the most gorgeous ever because of all the rain we have had and winter snow… It’s the most beautiful time with spring flowers in bloom. Late spring and summer garden should be good too with roses and other perennials growing and getting ready to bloom. My neighbors came by with their pooches on their morning walk….”

A few days later he wrote more. “It’s a gorgeous Sunday… How are you dear? Here comes the sun! Warm today! I wrote a new song. “Sojourns Journey.” I like to play it and worked on that yesterday… I need to learn it better… It’s been busy here with so many projects around the house. It’s great and I feel good. It feels like everything has flipped for the better. I woke up thinking of you this Sunday morning. Let me know if I can be any help to you. I will encourage you and support you. It’s a talent to interact with people. That’s an art unto itself. I’m hidden away here not looking yet for discovery. I’m quiet and do my work and enjoy my garden. I do well here but it can be lonely sometimes. But it helps drive me to think and create. Now I have you and I’m not lonely anymore my sweetie…”

She accepted him for the person he was from one beloved soul to another. They had beautiful moments together. He made Ms. Smiling feel so special for a long time and his words and thoughts were only for her until the end.

Then one sunny Sunday morning IpKiss surprised Ms. Smiling saying he went to the florist and bought pink roses to plant for her. She said, you have so many flowers in your garden already. Why not just put a single pink rose in a vase. He said absolutely not; he created a path of pink roses especially for her. “It’s in the drive way, so when I leave the house and come home I think of you,” he said.

Ms. Smiling couldn’t believe what she was hearing. Her eyes welled up with tears of joy. She was so right about this man. He was rare indeed.

She was becoming a part of his daily life. He told her he wished she would live with him in his beautiful house! She was his inspiration and he was hers. Life was turning beautiful with her IpKiss by her side. Both started their days together with morning greetings and good night kisses.

Then one night Ms. Smiling heard strange noises in her sleep. She tried to wake up, but couldn’t. Finally, she awoke. It was morning. That day was her birthday but a weird feeling took control, a deep, inexplicable sadness in her heart. IpKiss failed to wish her a happy birthday. Why, she wondered, hadn’t he contacted her? She felt sad that day and for many subsequent days she cried a lot.

The pain didn’t go away. She thought of a poem she had discussed with Ipkiss called “Empty Vessel.”

I was trying to unite illustrate the body was the form
the vessel/ the mind rested upon.. The spirit inhabits
the body. We are united by our similarities more than
by our habits, routines, religious convictions. We
cling to our nationalities, our customs and routines
almost to a fault and often instead of admiring
variances in cultures they are used to separate us by
corrupt leaders and people who are manipulated easily
to hate.

We are all back to back ~ A time where we need to
necessitate a change of philosophy a critical time to
explore new relationships with others.

Nothingness ~ A goal to dissolve the personal and to
realize the infinite.

Let go of desire for oneself and as I wrote to unwrapped and ‘be’ part of the Universe…instead of the thought you ‘are’ the Universe…

A brief start to an explanation… kisses

Thank you so much for asking about Empty Vessel. It has been a while since I thought these thoughts and it’s stimulating to explore them.
xoxo ! Ip

Ps: You’ve given me a great gift… Beautiful friendship.

Ms. Smiling was no longer smiling. She was worried about Ipkiss…. She flew to his hometown. But it was too late. Her family and friends were already memorializing him. There they were surrounded by his beautiful art, music and poetry.

IpKiss was an enigma for Ms. Smiling and always will be. He left a part of her empty… For the first time in her life now she can say that she tasted a bit of love between a man and a woman, all those things that he did for her were proof of love.

IpKiss’ final words to Ms. Smiling: “I’ve been thinking and wondering about opportunity and action to follow… I hope it comes spontaneously by intuition… otherwise I may think for eternity… I feel as if everything (life) keeps wrapping in and in and eventually it should be unwrapped like the Universe and the secrets it holds.”

She asked him what he meant. He just said that he meant a lot. For the first time he didn’t answer her, but by his silence she understood him.

The night when Ms. Smiling had felt a sense of dread, he wore his most beautiful suit, looked for the last time at his garden, wrote a letter and a farewell to life.

She was surely in his final thoughts. IpKiss in the end said the three magic wonderful words that she’d been dreaming to hear for so long, but by this time it was too late… IpKiss took to eternity the love he could not share with her during life.

But the memories will be with her always. So many beautiful things to say but she will keep only for herself. She will move on with her life, smiling, hoping, shining and happy… She will miss him dearly but will continue living life to the fullest to make him proud, for he always wanted her to be happy and to enjoy every day.

She misses him deeply. There are moments when his gorgeous face comes to mind and her eyes flow with tears. When she’s feeling sad she just closes her eyes. He flies in her in dreams, embraces her small waist with his long white wings, resting her head in his chest comforting her saying: darling you will be just fine. I’m here for you and always calling her name. He sings the song “Sojourner’s Journey,” and lulls her into sleep. He flies away, leaving the smell of roses in the air, his mark on her.

Ms. Smiling every year will light candles, make wishes and blow kisses to her IpKiss in Heaven.

With Love and Pink Roses.

Naked Smile
Turquoise sea
Feet splashed by whales
Pulled in by strong hands
Breathing underwater comes easy to you
A naked smile is welcome
Push-Box locks
Conveyor whirs
Mystery voyage
Dream filled, drowning
Island fantasy
Black beach
Devil grin
Naked Smile.

~ Steven Paul Thiel

Steven Paul Thiel artworks will travel the world, and funds raised will be donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

image of Steven's concert flyer


We’d love to keep you updated with our latest news and offers 😎

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.