Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Kalman Aron

Kalman Aron‘s (1924-2018) successful career spanned eight decades.

Born a child prodigy in Riga, Latvia in 1924, Kalman Aron began drawing at age three and at age seven had his  first gallery show of drawings which sold in one day.

In 1941, his life changed forever.  The Germans invaded Latvia, killing his parents.

Assigned to slave labor for the duration of the war, Aron was moved through seven concentration camps from Riga to the Baltic Forest, to Poland, Germany and then Czechoslovakia over the course of four years.

In the Riga ghetto, Aron was able to survive when German soldiers discovered his skills as an artist.

Camp guards and officers asked Aron to make small portraits of family members in exchange for scraps of bread.

Aron’s artistic skills also helped shield him from grueling slave labor that killed many other Jewish inmates.

Aron painted through all decades, it is his Holocaust art that is most moving, most memorable.

 

More of Kalman Aron’s art can be found at https://www.kalmanaron.com.

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I’m Going For It

I’m going down in a blaze of glory
Take me now but know the truth

~ JON BON JOVI, Blaze of Glory Lyrics @ Universal Music Publishing Group, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

Have you ever gone for it…put all your eggs in one basket…taken a chance for something you want that you’ll probably not get but thought what the he]], why not?

That’s what I’m doing today.

Later this afternoon is my performance review at work. Don’t know how bad it will be, and, really trying to be a glass-half-fill kinda gal, hope it will be positive.

Positive enough that I can push my agenda One More Time.

I’ve worked my way up through the company, from order clerk to coordinator to Internet Data Conversion Analyst Specialist to Digital Writer to Writer. It’s been a long time coming, and I’m coming to the end of the road career wise. With a company that is in the middle of a growth flux (and every hire and fire that goes with it), there still is no social media person/director/expert.

Don’t know much about history
Don’t know much biology
Don’t know much about science book
Don’t know much about the French I took

~ SAM COOKE, HERB ALPERT, LOU ADLER

I don’t have a college degree, am not a young 30’s hipster on social media, but I do know sales. I do know social media and writing.

And I do know what I want.

So today, if the review goes well, I’m going to submit three pages of ideas and tell them why I’d make such a good social media coordinator.

I suppose I’m in a unique position. I don’t have 30 years of paid employment ahead of me. If I continue on the path I’m currently on, I’ll be retired by December. And that is just fine with me. I’ve put in my dues for over 50 years.

But if there’s a chance — just a chance — that I can finally do what I feel I was born to do — write — then I’m going to take that chance.

Best case scenario — I get the job and love it.

Second best case scenario — I get the job and hate it.

Worst case scenario — I am presumed presumptuous and fired.

Second worst case scenario — I am not fired but relegated to updating the website.

Either way, I’m going for it. I’m nervous, hesitant, full of doubt and insecurity. I also am optimistic, positive, and know what I know.

I’ll let you know either way. But either way, if there’s something within your grasp, don’t fear going for it either.  Grabbing and falling is much better than not grabbing and rotting from not moving.

Have you ever “gone for it”? How did it go?

 

 

Welcome to Terrible Tuesdays

Do you have a day of the week that’s more stressful than others? Is this kind of stress all in your mind, or is there really a particular day that causes some people get more whacked out than others on certain days?

Around here, Tuesday is the day from Hell

From a working girl perspective, you would think that day would be Monday. You’ve had a great weekend, slept in, went jogging, had a good time. Your first day back to rules and regulations can be very stressful.

But for many of us, for my friends, Tuesdays seem to knock our legs out from under us. It’s like a full moon full time around me. Crabby people, tired people, overworked people, lost people. All trying to get it together and not really caring if they do so. It’s stress and misunderstandings and bad weather. It’s like someone knocked your coffee cup and some of it spilled on your nice white shirt. And you have to wear it the rest of the day.

I myself don’t have a real cure for the Tuesday Blues — it’s more an endurance thing. Get through the day and the night will play out differently. Of course, it often doesn’t. It’s usually a continuation of my crabby old lady self. It usually turns out that the dog has gotten into the garbage or there is still tons of laundry watching me walk around the house or I burned my grilled cheese until it looks like a wrought iron gate.

But at least I have my own form of salvation waiting for me when I get home.

I have wine, I have my dog, I have a couple of cats.  I have a story I need to continue writing, a few shirts I want to sew beads on, and a couple of books waiting for me to read. I have an enjoyable TV show (Downton Abbey) to binge watch if I so desire, and I have milk and cookies if wine isn’t for me.

What kind of stress relief do you have on the other side of your rainbow?

You need something, you know. Maybe that’s why I push arts and crafts and writing and the esoteric things in life. There is relief in the evening breeze, in sitting down and writing a poem. There is hope for tomorrow in watching TV sorrows and successes, and worlds to explore in someone else’s writing.

It’s okay to have Terrible Tuesdays.

It’s also okay to to have your own world to retreat to when the day is done.

Ice cream, anyone?

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Vesna Krasnec

Vesna Krasnec is a self-taught artist living in Vienna.

Each of her pictures is a window to a world of relationships: between man and animal, between man and plant, between mother earth and her children.

The viewer finds a world in which man, as a seeker, has found his destination in the Garden of Eden. In this garden we rediscover our lost innocence.

Through her distinctive talent for drawing and her strong compositions, Krasnec is able to convey her image idea with conviction and in a forceful way to the people. 

She keeps away from today’s common attitudes to want to be modern in the art scene, knowing that all contemporary and current are short lived.

She believes that it is only important that her work retains the authenticity which is the characteristic of an art that originated in the middle of the person.

More of Vesna Krasnec‘s work can be found at http://vesna-krasnec.com.

Faerie Paths — Blue Night

 

 

It was a marvelous night, the sort of night one only experiences

when one is young. The sky was so bright and there were so many

stars that, gazing upward, one couldn’t help but wondering how so many

whimsical, wicked people could live under such a sky. This too is a

question that would only occur to the young, to the very young; but

may God make you wonder like that as often as possible!

~ Dostoevsky, White Nights

 

 

 

You’ll Never Know

I had some thoughts early this morning. Dangerous, I know…

One of my friends/acquaintances on Facebook posted a selfie of herself five years ago when she was diagnosed with cancer, and today when she is cancer-free.

And it made me think.

For all the sad stories, the friends and mothers and sisters we have lost, there are still a lot of survivors out there.

We don’t always bring attention to ourselves, but we are there, right by your side. Working, laughing, crying. Praying the cancer doesn’t come back.

We don’t want flags or parties or, often, acknowledgement. We just want you to know that we survived.

So say “good morning” when you pass us in the hallway at work or walking around the block. Give a compliment to someone’s shirt or shoes or new hair style. Know that for every one we have lost there is someone who is still here fighting the fight.

I told my friend I was proud of her. And I am. We are the lucky ones who are still here and able to make others feel better. And we will always try to do that.

You never know where they’ve been.

Are We Alone?

I am still in the working world. And around here, Tuesday is the worst day of the week. Suddenly I was inspired to write a poem. This is for Ivor and Walt and Dwight and all of you who know what poetry is. I really don’t. But I do feel better.

Are We Alone?

 

Here is my photo of

distant galaxies

So far away at the

edge of the universe

Even our minds cannot reach.

See the large one

on the left?

Spiraling magnificently

somewhere at the edge

where we can never go?

Do you see the wisp

that curls upwards

on the left?

Right there where the

mass splits.

There are billions of stars

in this galaxy alone.

And millions

in this little split.

Do you think

there is a planet circling

around one of those billions

of sun-like stars

full of

life unbounded

where an older woman

with hair of gray or green

depending upon the atmosphere

is sitting at her desk saying

I hate this job

too?

Can we talk?

 

 

Horses and Turn-of-the-Century Men Beware

These Monday creativity posts are getting addictive. Both writing them and, I hope for you, reading them.

So tell me…what are some of the problems you come up against in your craft? Not the I-don’t-have-enough-time ones, but the technical ones. I’d love to hear of others’ struggles.

Me? Today?

Lately I’ve got two problemos — the first one is I’m a baby, the second one is I’m not a man.

Let me explain.

Problem #1. I have a psycho in my book. It’s 1895, so that in itself is rough. But what do psychos do back before the turn of the century? Murder, arson, rape. The usual. I want my bad guy to set a livery on fire, killing one (or a number) of horses.

And I can’t do it.

I know it’s all not real, that the horses are nothing more than letters on a computer screen. But horses are important to my hero and no better way than to get his ire on fire than to destroy one or many of his horses. I know how I would feel if I read that. I would hate the bad guy tenfold.

But it’s so cruel to the horses.

I’m such a baby.

My second problem is that this third book is really the same story as the second book but told from the man’s point of view. A man of the turn of the century.

I’m an emotional modern woman to begin with. I hated the play “My Fair Lady” because of the awful things Henry Higgins said to Eliza Doolittle. My hero can have a little forward-thinking in him, but he is not a modern man by any means. Every writer wants their lead man to be rugged and bold with that soft center of melted caramel. I too want that, but I just don’t think that’s a real man in 1895. They talk different, they think different, they have different morals and values than today’s men.

So I don’t know how to write him either, without him being me on the page.

I did want this book to be different. To be a challenge. To be more literary than a romantic novel.

Beware of what you ask for.

What are your problems? Have you solved them? Any advice? Need any advice?

All of creativity has to be easier than me murdering an innocent barn of horses by fire….

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Carl Peverall

Carl Peverall has always been a stone gatherer.

Even on backpacking trips, where the weight of everything has to be considered, Carl is unable to resist bringing heavy stones back home.

Stones are arranged in balance with minimal alteration to a point of resolve, then fixed permanently by invisibly drilling and anchoring with steel.

  Peverall sees stone as a profoundly alluring medium, and his search for the right rocks is tireless.What Perevall hopes to do is connect the material with some sort of visual poetry. He is drawn by the opportunity to give ancient, silent stones, wrought over millions of years, a special chance to ground viewers in their near immortal beauty and soulful presence.

More of Carl Peverall‘s creations can be found at http://www.carlpeverall.com/.

 

Saturday Morning Flashback — Am I There Yet?

I have always considered myself a pretzel logic (scratch the logic) kinda girl. I love a little bit of everything, and there is never a straight path from point A to point B for me. I’ve learned to live with that, and so has my linear, straight line hubby.

But I do have a few common sense rules I stick by. My Facebook is only for my family and friends, people I’ve communicated in real time with (even if it’s only been once). I don’t really see the importance of Twitter, although I use it for my blogs. I need to get artists up on Instagram but haven’t really conquered that app. Don’t use Snapchat or other viewer apps (nothing like me first thing in the morning before a shower….)

But I digress. As usual.

What I do like about FB is that they show me memories of past posts, everything from when my grandbabies were born to concerts I’ve attended to blog posts.

This one came across this morning from four years ago. It’s funny how I’m still in the same quandary as I was back then. I know you will say “you are who you are” and all that, but it’s rubble because I still want to be that BoHo Lady. I really do. And I still want to shake that conservationism that is stunting my growth. I”m so much better, but I still have a long way to go.

Anyone else still working on letting go? Changing? How’s it going?

For those who are interested, here’s the blog from 2015….

Be a Fashion Plate — Not a Platter

For all of you who are tired of making sure your blues are all the same blue and you wear only one pattern at a time:

This morning I complimented a girl on the color combinations of her outfit. She was wearing a purple t-shirt over a pink shell, with a bright green jacket. I didn’t notice her pants, because I’m sure they were the basic black/navy/dark brown. And that’s point number one.

I didn’t notice her pants because they were very basic.

Despite the fact that she was half my age and weight, she carried off the rainbow pretty well. And I told her so. (I like to give out compliments when I can.) That led to my second thought — if I were dressed like that, I’d look like I was heading off to the circus.

Tada dum. An instant putdown to a healthy thought.

Now, the outfit wasn’t offensive in any way. It wasn’t too short, too small, too tight, too sloppy. It was a play on colors I had not seen together. And — I liked it.

Yet I hide in my black-on-black and silver-and-black and pink-and-black. Summer may throw in some whites and greens, but it’s pretty much old lady old. Last year I wrote a blog called Old Lady BoHo (http://wp.me/p1pIBL-uu) where I was going to lighten up my wardrobe and wear flowy skirts and peasant tops and whatever felt good.

And here I am, writing this blog, dressed in black pants and a black-and-white mosaic shirt. Woo hoo.

And I think — I can’t do this any more.

I know there are plenty of women who are perfectly happy in the monochromes of the world. But deep inside I am not. I think I’m so afraid of “stepping out of the (color) box” because I’m afraid of looking stupid, so I pass on a lot of fun, comfortable, ME things.

I’m not totally helpless yet — I do have tops with promise, and I have bought a few of those cotton dresses from India for summer evenings.  But I sure could use some advice — and a boost of confidence. I’m sure there are other readers out there who could use a boost in the wardrobe department, too. Or who have taken the plunge and never looked back.

I want to be that person.

I know I can’t (nor do I want to) dress like I’m 20 or 30. I might have the legs for mini skirts, but my buttocks and stomach aren’t quite as accommodating — or forgiving. But there has to be fun colors and patterns out there I can put together and not look like the a haushalterin. But my color palate is like the image above and right. Always moving, always confusing

The first step is stepping over the conservative barrels our youth set out for us. Catholic schools are at one end of the horror spectrum, big city public schools the other. We have to shed this heavy coat of conservatism and find a middle ground.

And I really do want to start this today. I only have 20 or 25 years to get this right.

Better start sooner than later.

How about you?

Come And Visit the Gallery!

Hope you had a lovely weekend.

A lovely, crazy, wild, serene, inquisitive, jovial, restful, whirlwind, boring, or otherwise refreshing weekend.

I thought I would take a Monday evening to show off some of the beautifully intricate and unusual and amazing art I’ve come across since I started my Sunday Evening Art Gallery blog. 

I cannot tell you how much each one of these artists have taken my breath away with their talent, their determination, and their creativity. Hope you appreciate the galleries, and if you are interested, come on over to the main Sunday Evening blog and see a lot more of their magic. Follow if you wish — just peek in now and then if you don’t. But no matter where you go, keep an eye out for the unusual, the beautiful, the world of art.

It’s all around you.

 

Waterdrops
https://wp.me/p5LGaO-4jbn

 

 

Michael Parkes
https://wp.me/p5LGaO-1eg

 

 

Luke Jerrram
Swine Flu
https://wp.me/p5LGaO-35

 

 

Debra Mager
https://wp.me/p5LGaO-1tH

 

 

Spencer Biles
https://wp.me/p5LGaO-15H

 

 

Tal Peleg
https://wp.me/p5LGaO-pu

 

 

Quilts
https://wp.me/s5LGaO-quilts

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Masayo Fukuda

Japanese artist Masayo Fukuda is a master paper cutting artist.

 

 

Mastering the craft known as Kirie, the traditional art form involves cutting intricate forms from a single sheet of white paper and then contrasting it against a black background to reveal the design.

 

 

This amazing form of art requires tremendous patience and a steady hand.

 

 

At first glance, the beautiful artwork looks as though it was rendered using fine-tipped pens, but Fukuda carefully cut every detail from one sheet of paper.

 

 

 

Fukuda create mind-boggling detailed designs using simple tools: a cutting mat, blade, and paper.

The finished products are more than amazing. 

More of Masayo Fukuda‘s work can be found at https://kiriken.thebecos.com/en/.

Just Go Dancing

Jeffrey Vanhoutte

Saturday evening was going to be the time.

I hadn’t written, edited, daydreamed for a couple of days. So once hubby was off to his every- other- Saturday evening job, that was going to be the time.

Had it all planned. Wine. Music. Outline. Images. First a walk. Maybe a bubblebath.

Then I would go dancing with my writing.

Yet there I was Friday night. College basketball in the background. A half drank glass of milk. Dinner dishes still in the sink. In my jammies.  No bubble bath. Didn’t even wash my face.

And I was dancing with my writing.

I love when creativity comes knocking. I don’t bother — I just go dancing.

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery on Friday — Martin Marcisovsky

Martin Marcisovsky is a 36-year old Slovakian photographer and artist currently based in Dublin, Ireland.

Martin’s photography captures some interesting silhouettes fixed in equally engaging landscapes.

The person often seems out of place, but unquestioning of the environment they are in.

Marcisovsky’s images lead us into a fairy tale, catch us within a blink of an eye or take us on a journey to our inner ego.

The surreal imagery leads one to believe that these worlds are perhaps within the minds of each subject.

Perhaps his images are nothing more than a reflection of our own center of creativity.

More of Martin Marcisovsky’s creations can be found at http://www.marcisovsky.com/.

 

 

Don’t Sweat the Changes, Dog!

A funny thing happened on the way to writing my third book.

I’ve had book One and Two done for like ever — the first one for 15 years, the second for maybe 8. I’m not published; I’ve sent the ideas out to a few publishers and agents during my years, but I was always busy doing other things like working full time and fooling around with my kids and grandkids.

I would whine (I’m a lovely whiner) that I wasn’t published. I hadn’t even sent it to friends to read. The second book was more my favorite than the first. Wouldn’t touch it for the world.

Then I started book three.

And since book three has taken a life of it’s own, I’m going to have to do some changes to book Two now.

Does your life ever work out like that?

Just when you think you know where you’re going something comes along and changes you all around helter skelter?

Why change it all?

Because you have changed.

Something somehow has changed your direction, your thoughts, your interpretations. And it will bug you till the end of your days if you don’t change the things around you (if you can).

Changing your wardrobe to fit your new attitude. Changing the music you listen to. Your job. Getting rid of toxic friends. Life is always a change.

And you must change along with it.

You can’t hold onto the past just because it’s there. It fits like your grandfather’s coat. Big and bulky and totally out of style. Even if you’re a retro kinda person.

I hate change. I love change. Being creative I love and hate everything. But I am smart enough to go along with it when I can see how it can benefit me.

I went to a concert last night to listen to the High Kings for St. Pattie’s Day. They are an Irish tenor kind of group. They sang all these Irish songs that I love. And somewhere between “Finnigan’s Wake” and “Wild Mountain Thyme” I realized my main character in all my books is Irish, and this third book is about him. Not my heroine’s interpretation of him, not the narrator’s interpretation — it’s about him and his Irish roots. Why he is like he is.

And it makes me want to put a musical experience in the book.

Which would change him and his lady and the reader.

And since it’s based on the same experience from the second book but from his point of view, I will now have to rewrite the second book so they “match”.

They say there is no rest for a writer. I’m sure that’s true of a poet, a painter, or a potter. I think that’s a good thing. I want this story to be the right story. Not my version of the right story. But his.

If you have to change, change. Don’t big deal it. Change that shirt, that purse, the color of your hair. Make your painting pink instead of blue if that’s what the cosmos tells you. Don’t sweat the logical stuff.

It’s all you in the end, anyway…..

Sunday Evening Art Gallery on Friday — Chairs

We look at an old chair and wonder 


whose bottom once sat there. 


Was it someone Royal 


or someone posh 

 

with lots and lots of dosh, 

or was it someone poor 


that treasured a comfortable seat. 


No matter whom it was, 


just look and wonder 


at the history of that old chair, 
then just sit on it 


and put more history there.

David Harris

Let’s Fly Together!

Sometimes, when I get in that groove, that unusual, special groove that you can’t always find, I feel like I’m flying. I know it won’t last long, and that it will come again, but it definitely is a change of heart, a change of dimension.

I get going … for me it’s writing … and all I want to do is keep going. Writing.

And I find I want everyone else to keep going too.

So here I am with my Monday Morning Pep Talk. MMPT. How goofy. But it’s how I feel.

Are you stuck in your writing? Wondering what to write? To paint? Poetry stuck in your throat?

Come and share those hesitations with me. If I can, I’ll work with you and give you ideas from the faerie gypsy goddess’s point of view.

Just what you need. I know.

But I know how good it feels to break through those barriers. I’m breaking through them all the time.

This isn’t a class, this isn’t an advice column. It’s not a solution nor is it me trying to be you. It’s me trying to help you FIND you. To nudge you into getting started again.

Ask me a question, throw some ideas my way — let me know what you do and where you want to go. Vent, wonder, share, throw some of your solutions out there too. I follow a lot of creative people, so I’m sure if you’re stuck, they may have been stuck, too, and have a solution.

Share your ups and downs, and let’s go down this path together. There’s so much in the world waiting to be created!

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Margaret Keane

Sometimes it’s the first influencer who is the true artist, not the artists who come later..Born in 1927 in Nashville, Tennessee, Margaret Keane has always loved to paint and draw since an early age. She first made her paintings famous in San Francisco’s North Beach in the 1950s.Margaret’s work drew little accolades from art critics but was loved and admired by the world.Margaret went on to become one of the most successful living artists in the early 60s to present day.Margaret’s art gained wide favor and started a big-eyed movement in the early 60s, influencing a large crop of big-eyed artists who may have become more familiar with the public.Originally recognized by their wistful and sad-eyed children, Keane’s works now feature happy children, animals, or both, all with her signature large-eyes, in delightful places and situations.“The eyes I draw on my children are an expression of my own deepest feelings. Eyes are windows of the soul,” explains Keane.More of Margaret Keane’s delightful work can be found at https://www.keane-eyes.com/.

Creativity Unleashed

Often times, when I feel like actually writing my post, it comes off as a rant or a dejected viewpoint of myself or the world around me. As I age, be it not as gracefully as I’d like, I have learned not to hit “post” right away. As emotional as I may get at that moment, I’m trying to remember that was, indeed, only a moment.

And readers might not be interested in that “moment.”

I try not to blabber on the positive moments either, for one’s lemonade is surely someone else’s lemon. Even if there’s a little sugar sprinkled on top.

But when it comes to encouraging creativity I have a hard time not pushing the “publish” button. For I am living proof that if you want something bad enough, practice something long enough, good things, good emotions, happen.

I’ve been writing for most of my life, more actively the last 20 years. I’m not published, but that hasn’t stopped me from creating new worlds and poetry and an occasional novella. To me it’s therapy; the more it evolves, the more it’s like homework.

To do a really good job at writing something new you have to do your homework. You have to do research and maybe do an outline and dig into your characters. You have to give them a background and scars and highlights, even if those points will never see the light of day.

You have to see what makes them tick so they can tick around others.

I have written two novels about a middle-aged woman who time travels through time. Kinda like Outlander but not really. It is 3rd person, she did this she thought that, she wondered such and such. They were pretty straight forward, discovering those worlds from a modern point of view.

Now I’m attempting something new for me. I’m trying the third book in literary style. I think I mentioned in an earlier blog that it’s not easy for me to analyze feelings and write them; to dig into psychological conditioning and more “now” moments than generalizations to move the plot along.

Well,  the last couple of times I sat down to share the man’s version of the story, it was almost like I was channeling him. Very weird, very out-of-body.

I’ve heard other writers say their story took a life of its own, that their characters went somewhere the writer wasn’t expecting. I haven’t been moved quite like that, but the literary style, the long wrapped-around images and sentences, seemed to flow easily through me.

To say I was shocked is an understatement.

I found … still find …. myself saying, did I write that? Did I really write that?

We all have that ability to try something new. To experiment with what we know. To try…and sometimes fail…at a new color or point of view or emotion. We always downplay our potential, saying “I can’t do that” or “that’s not me.”

The point of this quicky blog is to tell you that all of that is you. We are all and we are everything. It’s just that life and time and others push down those parts of you that aren’t as popular or talented, pigeonholing you into who you are today.

You want to paint people instead of landscapes? Crochet a jacket instead of a scarf? Write a murder mystery instead of a poem?

Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t. Don’t let that little demon voice inside chuckle at your attempt.

As the shoe company says, Just Do It.

You just might find that your creative side expands ten times its size. Like Alice in Wonderland and her potions, you will be amazed at what you find.

It might not be literary fiction…it may not be good at all. But I’m having a great time impressing the hell out of myself…

Sunday Evening Art Gallery on Friday — Alekos Fassianos

Born in Athens in 1935, Alekos Fassianos is a Greek painter with a flair  for mythology.Fassianos studied violin at the Athens Conservatory, and painting at the Athens School of Fine Arts from 1956 to 1960 where he was taught from Yannis Moralis.He then went to Paris on a French State scholarship (1962–1964), and in 1966 he lived and worked solely in Paris. From 1974 he on he divided his time between Paris and Athens. Fassianos couples these two countries into  his work, combining ancient myth with modern situations.

His work is filled with heroic characters and intellectual allegory set among everyday life. Motion is present in every image, usually hair or cloth waving in the breeze.

The figures are often posed in a salute or signalling to the viewer either a forthcoming or an already-won victory.They recall a folk-memory of a mythological past and add an heroic edge to the mundane truth of daily situations.Fassianos’s work empowers both viewer and subject as demi-gods. His art is fun, creative, and reflective of his heritage.More of Alekos Fassianos‘ beautiful work can be found at Fassianos and other places on the Internet.

Faerie Paths — The Hills

Vinicuna Rainbow Mountain, Peru

 

 

“You must first understand,” said I, “where Fairyland is: it lies a little way farther than the farthest hill you can see. It lies, in fact, just beyond that hill. The frontiers of it are sometimes a little doubtful in any landscape, because the landscape is confused, but if on the extreme limits of the horizon you see a long line of hills bounding your view exactly, then you may be perfectly certain that on the other side of those hills is Fairyland. 
~Hilaire Belloc

 

 

 

Top 10 Perfect Moments

Life is a curious thing. We may complain about it, wonder about it, and celebrate it, but it is an individual experience. Yours and yours alone. And although we sometimes don’t have a choice as to which way it goes, we do have a choice as to how we experience those directions.

We all have things to be thankful for. Our children, our religion, and our friends are big sources of happiness. That’s obvious. But what about the little things that make us feel good over and over again?

Life is a series of moments. Here is my list of 10 things that bring joy to this humble experience I call life.

  1.  Laying in bed in the early morning under stacks of blankets, listening to the wind howl outside.
  2. Sitting on the porch on summer evenings, watching thunderstorms roll in.
  3. Listening to live music.
  4. Warm bubble baths.
  5. Fresh oatmeal raisin cookies.
  6. Back scratches — both giving and receiving.
  7. The sounds of a summer evening.
  8. The twist near the end of the movie you really didn’t see coming.
  9. The end of a good book.
  10. Music. In the morning. When I clean house. In the evening. Mood music, new age jazz, hair bands. Whatever calls me.

What you need to do is make a top 10 list for yourself of what truly  makes you happy. Don’t write down the givens — going to church, cuddling your grandkids. You already know those biggies. Write down the things that give you a heart flash. Write down the perfect moment.

We all have them.

You may think you only have 5 or 6 things to list. You may have 50. It doesn’t matter. Take a look at your life and find what really washes you clean and write it down. Then look at it when you feel blue.

Do what you can to make it a wish list. You may have to wait until summer to check off some of the feel goods, but know there are plenty of things within reach that can make you feel good about yourself and the world.

We only walk this way once. Why not feel good about it?

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Jeremy Mays

Jewelry maker Jeremy Mays designs wearable pieces from the layered pages of vintage books, transforming their content into unique works that are nearly impossible to trace back to their paper origin.

Three Musketeers

 

To make these multi-shaped works, May first laminates hundreds of sheets of paper together.  

Hans Christian Anderson Fairy Tales

 

He then creates the shape for the piece and finishes it off with a high gloss coating.

Murder on the Orient Express

 

After production, May often inserts the works back into the books, bringing the transformed and colorful pages back to their material source.

Middlemarch Vol.II

 

The rings may lose the words and image of the original book, but May keeps references with photographs and copy of the ring’s former life.

Shota No Sushi

 

The rings May makes all are inspired by books he thinks are perfect examples of literary beauty.

World Without End

 

A beautiful way to keep the written word.

More of Jeremy Fly‘s jewelry art can be found at http://littlefly.co.uk/.

Sunday Evening Art Gallery on Thursday — Ron Ben Israel

Ron Ben-Israel is an Israeli pastry chef known for his wedding and special occasion cakes and for his detail in sugar paste flowers.

Ben-Israel was born in Israel. His mother was born in Vienna and was rescued from the ghetto by American volunteers, later immigrating to Israel. His father, Moshe, lost most of his family in the Holocaust, and survived Auschwitz. His father worked in the printing industry, while his mother worked in map-making for the government.

He loved baking in the kitchen as a child.

He started a dance career at age 21, right after leaving the army.  He danced with the Israeli dance companies Batsheva and Bat-Dor over a period of some 15 years, and toured internationally.Near the end of his dancing career, he moved to the United States and fell in love with the art of cake baking all over again.His dedication to his art is both reverent and joyful at once.Each time he fashions a cake—and he’s designed thousands of stunning, one-of-a-kind gateaux in his career—he’s as thrilled as he would be if it were his first masterpiece.

More of Ron Ben-Israel‘s cakes can be found at https://www.weddingcakes.com/.

Faerie Paths — Singular

 

 

Tink was not all bad: or, rather, she was all bad just now, but, on the other hand, sometimes she was all good. Fairies have to be one thing or the other, because being so small they unfortunately have room for one feeling only at a time. They are, however, allowed to change, only it must be a complete change.” J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Round Houses

Around the world, I’ve searched for youI traveled on when hope was gone
To keep a rendezvousI know somewhere, sometime, somehow
You’d look at meAnd I would see the smile you’re smiling nowIt might have been in County Down
Or in New York
In gay Paree or even London TownNo more will I go all around the worldFor I have found my world in you….

~  Around the World, lyrics by William Fuller, Oladapo Torimiro, Brett Young ~

Changing Styles

“How Do I Start This Story?”

You know I love to write. I love the process of developing worlds and chaos and love and confusion. As if real life is any different.

Well, I’m thinking of writing another book.

Every now and then I try a new style, just to see if I can “do it.” I put those words in quotations  because it’s not easy for me to go from one style to another. From a murder mystery who-done-it to a historic love story. From a modern-day time traveler to a scientist in the future.

I still have a hard time writing 3rd person. I’m much better writing from one person’s point of view, not several.

But I’ve been reading some  literary fiction lately, and thought about giving that a try.

What is literary fiction, you may ask?

So do a lot of others, it seems. There are as many answers as there are stars. But basically genre writing highlights a specific area, is narrative driven, has a predictable formula, and provides entertainment. Literary writing is language driven, there is not any real style formula, and it provides meaning and cultural value.

When I think of genre writing I think of what I’ve written: time travel, other worlds. Genres includes horror, historical fiction, and mystery romance. Stephen King and Harry Potter. When I think of literary fiction I think of Jane Eyre and The Handmaid’s Tale.

I know I know — write what you know. Who you are. All of that.

But don’t you sometimes want to try something different?

If you play tennis, don’t you want to try squash sometime? If you bake nothing but chocolate cakes, doesn’t a complicated strudel call you now and then?

In order to grow, to explore, to be a master at creation, you have to test the water of new worlds. It doesn’t matter if you succeed in those worlds. But you have to immerse yourself sometimes in something new and different.

I am also drawn into the Gothic style of Poe and the Lovecraftian style of H.P. Something deep and flowery and intense and full of obscure words and inferences. I suppose you had to be there to write like that, but why not experiment a little?

I’ll let you know how the experiment goes. If it rocks the roof or just sounds like Claudia on mind enhancing drugs. I can’t totally destroy my style, but I can try and change my shoe size now and then.

I will just have to stuff the toes with kleenex…

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Francis Meslet

French photographer Francis Meslet roams the world searching for abandoned places and striking architectural structures.Like time capsules, testifying to a parallel world and perfect for enabling the mind to wander and ponder, Meslet’s melancholic images brave the passage of time, making way for silence after the memories often left behind by human habitation.In these deserted places, no more than the rustling of the wind can be heard through a broken window or the sound of water dripping from a dilapidated ceiling.These silences nonetheless invite the spectator to slip into these well-guarded and mysterious places captured by the photographer and attempt to bring to life that which has been forgotten.

Meslet’s worlds are the reflection of perfection forgotten.

More of  Francis Meslet ‘s amazing photography can be found at http://mindtravelsseries.com/. 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery on Friday — Jamie Winn

Jamie Winn is the owner and operator of Ghost Light Gallery, specializing in paintings and amazing woodworks.

Drawing Down the Moon. Hand cranks makes bird fly.

 

Winn’s  automated sculptures are both eerie and humorous, often reanimating deceased creatures and depicting nighttime animals.

A Traveling Flame. Hand crank makes candle flicker.

 

Often using watercolor on wood and custom lighting, there’s also a vintage quality to much of the New Orleans artist’s work. 

The Second Stag. Middle antler lights up.

 

 

There is always a moving part to Winn’s creations — something that always catches the eye.

Baba Yaga’s House. Turn middle crank and house’s legs dance.

 

Her works are unique, whimsical, and sometimes a touch eerie. 

Home. House lights up.

 

Which is how she likes it.

Scardy Cat. Turn the crank and the mice move.

 

More of Jamie Winn‘s magical works can be found at her website, http://www.ghostlightgallery.com/

Still Here.Crank makes skeleton ring the bell.

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Edvard Munch

Edvard Munch (1863-1944) was a prolific yet perpetually troubled artist preoccupied with matters of human mortality such as chronic illness, sexual liberation, and religious aspiration.He expressed these obsessions through works of intense color, semi-abstraction, and mysterious subject matter.

Munch came of age in the first decade of the 20th century, during the peak of the Art Nouveau movement and its characteristic focus on all things organic, evolutionary and mysteriously instinctual.

A majority of the works which Munch created, were referred to as the style known as symbolism, mainly because of the fact that the the paintings he made focused on the internal view of the objects, as opposed to the exterior, and what the eye could see.

Emotions such as love, terror, and loneliness were depicted by the contrasting lines, the darker colors, blocks of color, somber tones, and a concise and exaggerated form, which depicted the darker side of the art which he was designing.More of Edvard Munich‘s art can be found at https://www.edvardmunch.org/.

I Am Creativity

Just had our best friends over for dinner. Greek night. A time of good food, good times.

We talked a little about what we’re up to in our personal life. I told my friends I just wrote a ditty on the fly to remind myself that I am still a writer.

Do you ever take a break and then hesitate?

I have spent a lot of time lately final editing what I’ve written so I can print it out and share it with my friends.

I’ve also spent a lot of time collecting art for my Sunday Evening Art Gallery. I have found so many new artists, I am knocked off my feet.

But I’m a writer first. At least here on my sofa, in front of the TV.

Do you ever have to fly off and do something quick to reassure yourself you are what you are?

How funny the human ego is.

What is a writer? A painter? A calligrapher?

Just because you spend your spare time doing anything creative, does it make you what you think you are? Are you an artist just because you wield a paint brush? Are you a writer, even if you only write email copy?

I have learned you are whatever you call yourself. The world does not care for your title. Maybe  corporate America puts a value on what your company has called you. But in the scope of life, no one cares.

That’s why it’s important to call yourself what you are. And not be intimidated by your title.

Do you paint? Do you spend your spare time crocheting or scrapbooking or quilting? Do you scour the Internet for ideas for your art gallery or ceramic blog or your instructional video?

Look.

The world will go on whatever your call yourself. So find a title that fits your soul. Own it.

I am a writer. I may only write a couple of lines for email copy at work, but I am a writer. It doesn’t matter if I’ve written poetry or short stories or full length novels. I have written and preserved copy that can be passed on to generations. 

That’s all that matters.

Follow your calling and shout your “title” loud and clear.

No one will respect you until you respect yourself.

Sunday Evening Art Gallery on Friday — Oleg Dou

When you first look at Oleg Dou‘s  work, you may think…..no.

The monochromatic look, the androgynous style, is something strange and unusual.But take a moment and look closer.Dou transforms photographic images of human faces, manipulating them with computer software to produce stylized features and airbrushed skin.Dou is interested in producing images that are both alluring and unsettling.“I am looking for something bordering between the beautiful and the repulsive, living and dead,” he has said. “I want to attain the feeling of presence one can get when walking by a plastic manikin.”

More of Oleg Dou‘s beautiful artwork can be found at http://olegdou.com/.

Keep Chillin

This is the second day of my weather-imposed sabbatical. Yesterday the temperature was -16 (without wind chill figured in), this morning they are -26 without windchill. Not the weather for the faint of heart. My car won’t start so here am.

Of course, I was wrecked with guilt yesterday until I went out and bought some bird seed. I would be afraid those little guys would be feather pops unless I got them something to warm them from the inside.

I can see why the weather effects emotions so much. 

WoMan fights her/his whole life to be in control. In control of their life, their thoughts, their direction in life. And sometimes we half-way succeed. Then we get hit with something that keeps us from exerting that newly found control, and it’s frustrating. 

Hey! I just made plans to go to a museum by myself! I just bought new kicker shoes for work! I just got out of a bad relationship and I’m free!

And here we sit frozen into the house. All this positive pumped-up energy bouncing around our living room walls.

Of course, you could spend your freeze days and rainy days inside, cleaning, organizing, reading that book you bought two months ago. You could waste your time watching TV or not waste your time making cookies. 

There is a universe inside your universe that works for you every day, too. 

You don’t need to slay dragons every day. 

You can take assurance that there are bigger and more powerful forces around you that own you plain and simple. And your job is to work with them to continue moving forward.

So on this frozen Thursday morning I bow to the power of the Freeze and think I’ll go through my WordPress reader and read some fellow writers. I’ll make some cookies today and make sure the bird feeder is full.

And I shall charge up my turbo spaceship to the stars and try again tomorrow.

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Carsten Wieland

Carsten Wieland is a watercolor painter from Essen, Germany.

During visits to the United States, Carsten fell in love with abandoned buildings, and began his watercolor journey.

Painting became his daily therapy and obsession.

Carsten believes the process is much more important than the result.

He believes the process of nature being taken back by nature will keep him painting for the next 10 years.

If you take a look at his art on his website, you hope he continues painting for a lot longer than that.

More of Carsten Wieland’s amazing watercolors can be found at https://brushparkwatercolors.wordpress.com.

Sunday Evening Art Gallery on Friday — Gabriel Dawe

Gabriel Dawe (born 1973) is a Mexican-born artist living in Dallas, Texas whose work is based on investigations of the visible spectrum of light.

He has gained renown for his large-scale Plexus series of installations of sewing thread, though he also creates works on paper as well as other media.

In search for creative freedom he started experimenting and creating artwork, which eventually led him to explore textiles and embroidery — activities traditionally associated with women and which were forbidden for a boy growing up in Mexico.

Because of this, his work is subversive of notions of masculinity and machismo that are so ingrained in his culture. 

By working with thread and textiles, Dawe’s work has evolved into creating large-scale installations with thread, creating environments that deal with notions of social constructions and their relation to evolutionary theory and the self-organizing force of nature.

More of Gabriel Dawe’s amazing thread/string work can be found at http://www.gabrieldawe.com/.

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Paul de Lamerie

For well over 250 years Paul de Lamerie (1688 – 1751)  has been universally considered not only one of the most important English goldsmiths, but among the most important English craftsmen of all time.

His extraordinary works range from the elegant simplicity of the Queen Anne style to the elaborate rococo style for which he is most remembered.

 

It was de Lamerie who was one of the first to incorporate French rococo design with English silver, raising his art to a standard that had never before been seen, nor since duplicated.

In 1703 Paul was apprenticed to Pierre Platel  from which he learnt the art of working in silver and gold.

De Lamerie entered his first mark at the Goldsmiths’ Hall in 1712.

Although De Lamerie presumably received a number of Royal commissions in the course of his career (was made goldsmith to the King in 1716), he was never appointed to the coveted post of Royal Goldsmith.

.Although inspired by the work of other masters he was always able to maintain and express his own thoughts through his mastery of detail and craftsmanship. 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery on Thursday — Frank Stella

Frank Stella i(1936-) is an American artist best known for his use of geometric patterns and shapes in creating both paintings and sculptures.

Arguably one of the most influential living American artists, Stella’s works utilize the formal properties of shape, color, and composition to explore non-literary narratives.

For those of us trying to get a grip on modernism, Stella’s paintings  expand the initial monochrome palette to bright colors….

….and later brings his paintings into the the third dimension through the incorporating other non-painterly elements onto the canvas.

He ultimately creates large-scale freestanding sculptures, architectural structures, and the most complex work ever realized in the medium of printmaking.

Stella’s virtually relentless experimentation has made him a key figure in American modernism.More of Frank Stella’s modernism paintings can be found across the Internet.

Faerie Paths — Singing Stars

a Spectre in the Eastern Veil

 

 

 

I want to be magic. I want to touch the heart of the world and make it smile. I want to be a friend of elves and live in a tree. Or under a hill. I want to marry a moonbeam and hear the stars sing. I don’t want to pretend at magic anymore. I want to be magic.  ~ Charles de Lint

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Michelangelo

Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (1475-1564) was a sculptor, painter and architect widely considered to be one of the greatest artists of all time.Tomb of Pope Julius II                   

As a young boy, Michelangelo was sent to Florence to study grammar under the Humanist Francesco da Urbino. However, he showed no interest in his schooling, preferring to copy paintings from churches and seek the company of other painters.

Battle of the Centaurs

At 13, he persuaded his father to allow him to leave grammar school and become an apprentice to the artist Domenico Ghirlandaio, one of the most successful fresco painters in Florence.

Angel

Michelangelo spent only a year at the workshop the moved into the palace of Florentine ruler Lorenzo the Magnificent, of the powerful Medici family, to study classical sculpture in the Medici gardens.

The Rebellious Slaves

At the age of 22, Michelangelo moved to Rome and sold his first important work: the Bacchus and another Cupid, now lost.

Bacchus

 He was only 24 when he finished sculpting the Pieta for the French cardinal Jean de Billheres. Michelangelo went to the marble quarry and selected the marble for this exquisite piece himself.

Pieta

At age of 27 Michelangelo returned to Florence, which had become a republic, and received an order from the local authorities to sculpt a colossal marble statue of  David. 

David

In 1508, when Michelangelo was 28, Pope Julius decided to decorate his uncle’s chapel  (called the Sistine, after Pope Sixtus IV) and ordered Michelangelo to fill the ceiling with frescoes.  He protested that he is no painter but the Pope insisted and Michelangelo began to work alone and in great discomfort. He finished the Sistine Chapel frescoes in 1512.

Sistine Chapel

His amazing work throughout his long life can be found on many sites on the Internet, especially https://www.michelangelo.org/..

Sunday Evening Art Gallery on Friday — Alexa Meade

Alexa Meade didn’t plan to be an artist.

One of her professors asked her to create a sculpture that felt like a landscape but was not a sculpture of a landscape. She had no idea what that meant, and he told her it was up to her to figure out.

Meade decided to see what it would look like if she put black shadows on the human body.

And then she started painting not only shadows but also a full mapping of light in grayscale, highlights, darks, everything coming together in a mask of paint on her human palettes.

 

Meade could make people and things look like two-dimensional paintings of themselves

After she discovered this, she left politics behind and made her job teaching herself how to paint, through the process of inventing this new style of painting.

More of Alexa Meade‘s paintings can be found at https://alexameade.com/

The Magic of the Blog

I have purposely avoided writing blogs lately, as I feel I don’t really have much to contribute to the universe.

Do you ever feel that way?

Do you ever feel that, no matter what you have endured, what you have experienced, it just doesn’t matter in the long run?

I don’t know if you believe in an afterlife. A reward for everything you’ve been through. An ending to your sacrifices and bliss. I don’t know what I believe, but I do know that I want to make the world, life, the future, easier than I had it.

How do I do that?

Again, I don’t have many answers. I try to listen to what my family, my friends, say. What they are going through. And find a way to bring them to a peaceful place. 

I do the same online. 

I don’t know if anyone online has ever benefited from my experiences, from my point of view.

But I always hope that someone gets the gist of what I’m saying and starts to believe in themselves. That they realize that not everything is their fault. That the world goes on as it will, smashing and crushing and sprinkling its darkness to whomever is in the way.

We all get hit by adversity.

What makes humans magical is that we have the ability to rise above all the shit and make the world ours. Bend it to our desires, to our needs. 

I guess we all have an intention of where our blog goes. Your thoughts and projections are different than mine, than your friends, than the person who has a blog that sounds just like yours.

You need to claim your stance and make it your own.

Whether you have 15 followers or 10,000 followers, it doesn’t matter. Be yourself the whole time. Whether your expertise is music or poetry or pottery. It doesn’t matter.

You will find friends everywhere. People who “get” you.

Write when you want. Share what you can. If you change one single life, you are better off than when you started.

That means everything in this world.

And that’s why we’re friends.

 

Creating ‘The Journey to Ukazoo’ Book — Craig L Haupt

I have always loved Craig’s work. Since however I found him some time ago, his art is magical, fun, and so wonderfully creative. He’s working on a book of all his magic (correct me if it’s already out, my friend), but I suggest you wander over to Craig’s blog and see just how wonderfully enchanting his work is!

(I’d love to meet those guys in the boat some day!)

 

 

Continuing to address the three components for creation of this book. After the First, the ’Frontmatter’ which I wrote about in the previous Ukazoo Book Posts, the second component of this book is the ’Body’. The ‘Body’ is divided into three parts – The Journey, Snapshots & Memorabilia, and the Art Exhibit. The first part, […]

via Creating ‘The Journey to Ukazoo’ Book — Craig L Haupt

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Adam Hillman

Art comes in all forms, in all materials.

It all comes down to whatever pleases the eye.

New Jersey-based Adam Hillman is often referred to as a “master organizer.”

He pushes his precisely organized patterns of everyday objects into increasingly more complicated designs.

His tightly controlled symmetrical layouts take hours to measure, cut, and arrange.

The New Jersey-based visual artist sifts through multitudes of colorful everyday objects and foods which he organizes into zen-like patterns, towers, and gradients.

He has lifted everyday objects into patterns of beauty and mathematics.

More of Adam Hillman‘s amazing arrangements can be found on his Instagram account.