Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Carsten Wieland

Carsten Wieland is a watercolor artist from Essen, Germany. 

During his journeys to the United States he fell in love with abandoned buildings,  and after he spent some time drawing them, decided to paint them in watercolor.

He started filling up hundreds of sketchbook pages with small paintings of abandoned farmhouses until he felt brave enough to paint his first watercolor on quality paper in early 2016.

Painting watercolors became his daily therapy and obsession.

His watercolor scapes include houses, scenery, boats, and anything else that calls to him.

You can find more of Carsten Wieland‘s amazing watercolors at 




Thursday Evening on the Veranda — Alexa Klienbard

Alexa Klienbard has focused her work on what human beings must protect in the garden of our Natural Environment.

Individual plant shapes have been cut out of birch wood and feature leaves, blossoms, pods, fruits, and insect pollinators, jaggedly silhouetted and richly painted with traditional oils.

She has  been driven to work on paintings that hint at the potential silence that will be left in our remaining habitats if more and more species are lost forever.

These shaped paintings are each a single character unto themselves, each one reads overall as a single medicinal plant, complete with “dancing leg” roots, standing brave to the onslaught of man’s collective drive to put his species above all others.”

Kleinbard’s paintings, with their close up view of a healing plant and their far away view of a silent world, offers the viewer a chance to ponder the future of our planet.

Her multi-colored creations are beautiful as well as a message to the planet itself.

Alexa Klienbard has no website, but are  for sale across the internet.

The Rocker

William Balfour Ker


She sits alone in the rocking chair

At times it seems as no one’s there

She dresses in her Sunday best

And faces the fields out to the west

A soft blue dress and hat of white

A pair of shoes that now are tight

She hums a song that once brought tears

And slips back gently through the years

They danced beneath the tall oak tree

To Goodman and Miller and Peggy Lee

He held her close and sang a song

Of life and death and love gone wrong

They farmed the fields and raised a son

But never finished what they’d begun

He drove away one summer’s morn

Through fields of grass and golden corn

She sat in the chair and began to rock

And kept her eyes upon the clock

The night came fast and next the dawn

The morning dew sparkled upon the lawn

She never knew where he had gone

Or why she couldn’t come along

Her heart was broken that summer night

And never again could mend it right

She sits and rocks for most the day

And hums the song they used to play

She waits for him to come back home

Until that day she rocks alone


 ~Claudia Anderson



Huzzah! It Has Returned!

Hark all ye who read this blog with any regularity! The holy grail has been found! I bow to the north, to the south, to the east….blah blah blah.

It’s good to have my cord back.

Now one would think that now that I’m whole again with computer on my lap I would be lost in the world of Brigadoon or Etruria or Paris. Stories and poems and downloading new images for my gallery.


I’m really crashing this Monday night. But fear not, creative friends…I shall be dreaming of new stories that may turn into magical stories.  Or discovering artists of unbelievable breadth and insight .But not tonight.

So what have I learned from this foolish debacle of senility and long distance longing?

Ah, my friend…all it means that I need to pay attention. I need to make lists, I need to make bullet points and Post-it Notes and write notes on my arm and tie strings around my fingers and look behind every couch and chair.

In the long and short of things, I just need to slow down and pay attention.

Sound familiar to any of you?

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Sharon Johnstone

Sharon Johnstone is a Birmingham, England based fine art nature photographer.  She completed her Fine Arts degree at the University of Creative Arts in 1993, specializing in printmaking.

Of her dew drop photographs, she writes:

‘With macro photography I escape to another little world. I love exploring the tiny details in nature that often get overlooked.”

“I love finding beautiful colors and abstract compositions within nature. I think I am at my happiest when I am crawling around on my hands and knees exploring a small patch of moss dripping with sparkling dew in the early morning sun.”

Sharon takes a unique view of the world through her photography.

And our world is better for it.

More  Sharexon Johnstone’s art can be found at

Driving and Flying

Some time ago a fellow writer told me that he used a voice dictation device (app or purchased product, I don’t know) to get his stories down on paper.  I kind of Googled that this morning, and there are indeed all kinds of apps that allow you to dictate your story while you’re doing laundry, picking up dog doodoo or driving.

Do any of you use that sort of device?

I always have a lot of ideas bouncing around in my head. I’ll see something or hear something and think “that might make a good story/poem.” So I fumble around for a notebook and pen and try and jot the input down. Well, you can’t really pull over to the side of the road every five minutes when you’re driving 50 miles per hour to jot down story ideas. Nor can you sneak into the bathroom the same amount of time and write something down while at work.

So I thought…gee…this could be the device for me!

Then I thought about it.

Here’s me, driving down the backroads on my way to work, talking away on my phone/computer/bluetooth device, blabbering away scenes from chapter fifteen. And just when the killer reveals himself, there’d be a 90 degree turn in the road, and I’d miss the turn and blabber straight off the road into the cornfield.

Or what if I’m dictating a poem and I don’t notice the car in front of me has stopped? I have a hard enough time paying attention to the car in front of me the way it is.

So okay. Instead of typing on my computer (which doesn’t work because the cord is 4 hours away…you already knew that..), I dictate chapter three on my phone or Ipad from the livingroom. Again, I know me. It would go something like this:

“At this Vera stood, her well-worn dress falling down to cover Get down from there! the tops of her feet once again. She fumbled with the few buttons at her neck, her eyes and cheeks puffy I told you to get off the table! Stupid cat with sleeplessness, her scar swollen Oh shit I knocked the glass over slightly from her seated vigil all night.”

I think I’m pretty darn good at grammar and sentence structure, as I am a writer and proofreader at work. But the truth is I don’t speak as I write. I’m much more eloquent on paper than I am speaking aloud. So instead of saying, “Clouds and rain and mud and bushes all swirled together in some hideous form of vertigo. Grasping the steering wheel, all Anna could do was hold on. Her brain was being jarred, her body bouncing around as branches cracked and split under the forward motion of her car….” I would find myself saying “She crashed her car in the bushes.”

As much as I love technology, it’s not always my friend. Of course, dictating might get rid of all the “as if”s and “it seemed” and runaway semi-colons. It would save me rereading the story fifteen hundred times to catch all the repetitions. Or all the “he said” “she said”s.

I guess I’m always going to be a computer writer or a pen and paper writer, putting the words down one by one. I’m not the world’s best when it comes to multi-tasking.

And anyway, when writing, it’s like a different person enters my body and speaks for me.

And that person doesn’t drive…



The Youth of the Faire

Do you ever anticipate an event in your life that you eat, sleep, and dream it until that day comes? Do you fantasize the day, the evening, so much that you’ve worked out a couple of different scenarios, either of which could be the ultimate experience?

And then do you go to this marvelous event, just to have the event not be anything like your fantasies?

That happened to me yesterday.

I went to the Renaissance Faire yesterday. For you who do not know, it is a medieval world ruled by Queen Elizabeth and her lovely court and her manly advisors and knights. People dress up in authentic garb, anything from  bodices and a farthingale to men in doublets and codpieces.

The faire is made up of all kinds of vendors hawking everything from Elizabethan garb to dragon necklaces. There are entertainers everywhere, some on big stages, some standing on the dirt path. It is a jolly good time.

This time I went alone. Now, I have been going to this Faire off and on for 30 years. Times have changed. That’s fine. It’s bigger and better. They have now “theme weekends” to attract more visitors. Swashbuckler Weekend, RenCon Weekend, Monsters and Magic Weekends. Thinning out the original purpose of the faire to attract more visitors.

I used to dress up for these things. My bed and breakfast was the poor man’s Renaissance atmosphere.  I collected dragons and unicorns. I bought wreaths of flowers for my hair and mugs and pottery with dragon heads on them.

But this time it felt different. It’s been feeling different the past years.

The vendors were different, the acts were different. No problem. There was the same youthful vigor and fantasy in all the young people there.

All the young people there.

Suddenly I felt I was on the other side of the gate, looking in.

Now you know I’ve got this problem with getting older. It’s a mindset that sucks and that I’m trying to get rid of.

But sitting on a bench in a dress (no costume this year), trying to write down story ideas from lords and ladies that passed by, I realized that all the women dancing around the maypole and all the men dashing with swords were my kid’s age. The singing and the dancing and the bawdy words and acting were all done by kids half my age.

And that made me feel distant.

When I was a Rennie Groupie I was in my late 30s. I made friends with some of the vendors, bought banners and dragon napkins holders — the whole nine yards. I had had a spot (more like a strip of green) where I advertising my B&B.

Now I sit on the sideline, the old vendor’s shop now a broom market; the only banners I find (which I bought 30 years ago) are on the souvenir shop walls. None of what I thought were “quality” items were to be seen. Like those guys moved along, too.

Why does this change bother me?

I truly believe mankind needs to evolve. Each generation takes whatever’s out there and makes it their own.

Maybe I just don’t want them to take  my  worlds.

It’s like a blog I wrote some time ago about going back and walking the block where I used to live. Nothing was the same. Houses changed, streets changed. Some so drastically I was shocked.

The Renaissance Faire, other faires, are for the young and young at heart. Bringing the thought of gallantry and virtue and unicorns and dragons into a child’s heart and thoughts starts them off on a cleaner path through life.

There’s not a lot of room for crones there.

Or maybe not crones who decided to go alone and became disillusioned.

Maybe next year I’ll get all my over-50 friends to dress up and shop and drink and laugh and dance around the Maypole.

If I’m getting old I’m taking everyone else with me…


Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Shaka — Marchal Mithouard

French artist Shaka (Marchal Mithouard) explores a wild intersection between painting, sculpture and graffiti with his colorfully explosive base-relief sculptures that seem to cross from the canvas into reality.

In his compositions, bodies are jostled about, represented in permanent imbalance, destabilized by a natural or human force.

The objective is to reveal, through classical themes (The Ascension) or basic human emotions (selfishness or anger) human relationships and the absurdity of certain behaviors that typify our society.

By depicting these powerful yet fragile bodies, the artist expresses his own contradictions, but more importantly the complexity of human nature.

His artistic playground includes building murals, paintings, and sculpture.

More of  Shaka’s amazing work can be found at

Practicing My Sigh

It is the end of the night. I have gone grocery shopping, given the doggie her bonie, and watched The Twilight Zone. But after my busy day, I am still looking longingly and sighing at my dead computer. As you recall, my charging cord is 4 hours away, and no one is going that way for a couple of weeks.

My friend Ivor (, my friend and a really fine poet (check him out!) is in worse shape than me. His computer is broken…taken apart, in pieces, finuto. He manages to post via phone and the library.

I should be so versatile.

I would rather gaze longingly at my uncharged computer, lamenting the fact that the charging cord is four hours away.  And no one is going that way for at least two weeks.

I do have a couple of OLD computers that I think I’ll convert into  modern day word processors. I still can research artists for my Gallery during my lunch hour, and here I am with my IPad.

So what all this pseudo complaining just shows me that if I want to write …really want to fulfill my passion…I have to find a way to do it. Not give up. Persevere. Go for it.

This is what all artists do. Don’t have Cerulean blue for your painting?  use turquoise! Run out of gold beads? Use copper! Maybe the change is not what you planned. You don’t care for turquoise. You aren’t doing copper, your piece is gold.

So what would you rather do? Stop your painting until the weekend when you have time to run to the store to buy Cerulean? Do you put your necklace on hold because you’ve run out of gold beads?

You have to learn to work with what you have AT THE MOMENT.

Life is nothing but moments. Don’t put your creative moment on hold  because things aren’t going your way. Take the situation and make it yours. Find a way to do what you want to do.  You want to write a few chapters but your computer’s on the fritz? Write them in a notebook. Need to get that poem written?

Do what Ivor does. Write it on your phone. Don’t let your amazing moments slip away. That same moment will never come again.

Look at me! Writing all of this on an IPad! At night! And my spiral notebook will be by my side until I convert my old clunko laptop into my shadow buddy.

I still am going to look longingly at my actual computer, though…



















Bumpin’ Around

Well, I’m sitting at my desk at lunch time, eating a turkey wrap, pretending it’s evening time and I’m writing to you from the comfort of my sofa.

I went away for four days with my grandkids and had a busy, wonderful, loving time. I was pretty together…being 65 around an 8- and 3-year old doesn’t take much alteration.

Packing up from a house that looked like someone set a bomb off, I packed up my computer but left the plug in cord plugged in up there. Unbeknownst to me, we drove 4 hours home sans cord, and I didn’t realize said mistake until I sat down to do my Sunday Evening Art Gallery blog.

I can’t stand when I get hit with the stupids.

And it’s happening more and more.

I mean well. I really do. I try and slow down and pay attention. I don’t think I’m a Ferrari or a cheetah. I move mid- to mid-slow and make notes.

And I still forget.

I couldn’t find my glasses yesterday morning, so I had to wear an old pair to work. Called home and hubby said they’re right here on the kitchen counter.

I always hang up  my keys when I walk in the door. Today on my way to work they weren’t there. Five minutes later I fortunately find them on that same kitchen counter under a loaf of bread.

It’s getting to be normal. And I don’t like it.

I know it’s a part of getting older, but that’s a battle I refuse to lose. I’m never getting old. I’m not leaving this earth  until I’m damn well ready.

But since I turned 60 I’ve been falling apart limb by limb, organ by organ. Brain cell by brain cell.

So as I wave goodbye to both my lunch time and you, know I’m thinking of you all the time, and can’t wait until I can snuggle in with my computer and a glass of wine and show you more gallery images or just sit and talk.

And to think…I just had a great idea for a short story….

Sunday Evening Art Gallery (on Tuesday) — Tatsuo Horiuchi

Meet Tatsuo Horiuchi, a 73-year-old Japanese artist who creates highly detailed paintings with the most unexpected software – MS Excel.
















The newly discovered artist has been interested in graphic arts for a long time, but only since his retirement 13 years ago he finally got the time he needed for the new hobby.

The idea of trying out something new in life came naturally to Horiuchi – his retirement was approaching quickly and uncompromisingly.

As in many cases, a new hobby becomes a must. Horiuchi had been interested in graphic arts for quite some time.

However, as graphics software often can be quite expensive, Horiuchi chose to challenge his artistic capabilities by creating his beautiful and highly intricate pictures with Excel.

Tatsuo Horiuchi, does not have his on website, but his work can be found across the Internet.


Life is Love and Love is Life

I am going to be away for a few days…running away with my hubby and my grandkids. So sorry, but there will be little time to post or read or think about this world I have created.

I will be busy fishing, throwing rocks into the lake, picking out t-shirts, and watching Spaceballs. I will be eating corn dogs, french fries, and watermelon. I will be hugging and kissing and laughing.

I will be living like never before.

Ruth Goode said it best:

Grandchildren accept us for ourselves, without rebuke or effort to change us, as no one in our entire lives has ever done, not our parents, siblings, spouses, friends — and hardly ever our own grown children. ~Ruth Goode

Find someone and love them to death. Someone who totally accepts you for YOU. Children are preferable, but they can also be family members, dogs and cats, or good friends.

Hope you find as much love as I will this weekend….


Just Do Something Different

Rage Against The Box …. Kafia Haile

I finally wrote something new last night — a narrative poem.

Doesn’t it feel good when you create something new?

I’ve been working on the third book of two trilogies and I feel like I’m walking one way into the desert. Plod Plod make it to the Oasis. I love these books, and I love the endings I have in mind for them. But I’ve been working on these sets for so long I’ve forgotten how it feels to write something new and fresh and different.

I wonder if that’s a metaphor for our life.

We do the same things over and over again. Drive the same way to work, eat the same lunch, make the same meals for dinner. We play the same games, mow the lawn the same way, sleep in the same bed night after night.

Nothing wrong with any of the above, but what if we slept in the guest bedroom one night? What if we took a different route home from work? Mowed the lawn in a criss cross fashion?

I think we often don’t realize how boring we are.

Painters paint the same styles because they are good at it. Landscapes, abstracts, portraits. Jewelry makers create the same bracelets and earrings because that’s what sells.

But I wonder if that same jewelry maker has a couple of knockout pieces that defy logic (except for what it’s used for)? I wonder if off in a closet somewhere the painter has painted a whole canvas full of boxes just because?

It feels good to get out of your conformity, doesn’t it?

It feels good to do something weird and fun and different, doesn’t it?

We all need to do that. Some more than others; some more often than others. Life is too short to be boring. Make a splash. If your project is taking a long time, take a break from it now and then and try something fresh. Leave your projects to the side now and then and create something quick and fun and so-not-you.

Discover another side of your awesome personality.

You’ll be glad you did.

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Alberto Giacometti

Alberto Giacometti is best known and admired for his tall, thin human figures in bronze.

In this series of sculptures from the years 1945-1960, by his own account Giacometti is influenced by the impressions he takes from the people hurrying in the big city.

Giacometti’s figurative sculpture came to be a hugely influential model of how the human figure might return to art.

His figures represented human beings alone in the world, turned in on themselves and failing to communicate with their fellows, despite their overwhelming desire to reach out.

The relation between figure and space becomes the central issue of his artistic work.

More of Alberto Giacometti‘s work can be found a various art galleries around the Internet including the Guggenheim and the Art Story.

Live In The Moment

Many of us are smack in the middle of summer…hot, humid, sunburning summer. It’s the time for outdoor activities to the max — at least until the mosquitoes find you. Then it’s hell.

I am trying more and more to live in the moment. Today.  Now.

I have a decent past, but not one I’d care to linger in for too long, for I would rethink my mistakes and go head-over-heels in angst wishing I could have done something different.

We’re stuck with our past.  So why do we wish we could change it?

We all fell in love with the wrong person. We all did something shady. We all were promiscuous when being promiscuous was taboo. Yet now and then we glance back and say “Wow..I could have died there!” or “Wow..if only I’d listened!” or “Wow..Why didn’t I do that?”

We are all guilt machines of our own genetic makeup. Some are lucky enough to say who cares and so what and move along. Others can’t get their other foot out of the past.

Back to living in the moment.

The moment is really all we have. Whether or not we go to heaven or get reincarnated or take a spirit quest to Mars, it will be what it will be. So why not live today to the max?

I know quite a lot of young people who live like that. They don’t worry about their employment future; there will always be another job somewhere. Insurance? Maybe they need it, maybe they don’t. If they can’t pay their bills they can’t pay their bills. So what?

Every generation has it’s own way of thinking and believing. My generation went out and got a job right after high school or college and stayed in said job for 10, 15, 20 years. Perhaps we weren’t the gold watch generation, but we worked long enough to get social security and a senior discount.

I’m trying to live in the moment and not complain that I don’t enjoy the heat when it’s above 90 and the mosquitoes are making a pin cushion out of me and it’s too hot to even water my plants. The Now is embracing said heat and humidity and making the most of every day no matter how sweaty you are.

After all, it’s only 165 days, 12 hours, 17 minutes, and 40 seconds (give or take) until Christmas.

And that’s a moment that can wait until I get there.

A Referral and a Reflection

This evening’s blog is more for my girlfriends out there. Of course you boys can read too, but I think my gal peeps can identify more with this.

I read my friend LA’s blog Waking Up On The Wrong Side of 50 called  My Secret Obsession. It is a delightful blog about her reasoning for buying creams and delicacies for her saggy eyes. 

The reason this blog stuck in my mind is because LA hit upon a nerve most — if not all — of us women suffer from that same affliction. Self Worth.

From a very early age, women are brought up to be pretty. Attractive. Lovely. The way we were…some say still are…brought up is dictated by men who design everything for us from dresses to shoes to underwear. Beauty is defined by how thin you are, how few (if any) laugh lines, or lines at all. Our hair is supposed to be thick and wild, our lips full, and our temperament gentle and understanding.

Now, of course, there are more and more women in the designing field, designing clothes that make sense, fit well, and wrap us in colorful colors. 

But face the truth. Society still sets the beauty bar with models and TV stars and movie stars.  We are expected to be thin (or thinish) as we age, no wrinkles, no limps, no waddles. 

We judge by our eyes first, and are judged the same way.

Now most of us are way past the need to be that perfect model. We have aged according to our lives; birthing babies, running marathons, sitting at a desk all day, all contribute to how we look and feel. 

We are beautiful inside, and most of us know that. If I were to gauge my inner beauty and love I would be off the scale. Truly. But my looks put me more at the lower end of the scale. Truly.

Which leads me to LA’s great blog. 

Not knowing her age (but somewhere, as she states, past 50), she is concerned about bags under her beautiful eyes. And knowing her, that is only the beginning of her concerns. 

I have always said that if I came into a bunch of money the first thing I’d do is have these big hereditary bags under my eyes removed. I have pretty green eyes too, but you can’t really focus on them because of these puffs beneath them.

Why are women so concerned about their looks? Who are we trying to impress? The men who dictate how we should look? Not our husbands and friends, but corporate and young hip designers?

We all want to be presentable We want to be clean and smooth and bright. The sad thing is that those traits are controlled by our inside self, not our outside self. Outside we need to use makeup or spanks or curlers to make our outside as pretty as our inside. Which is a losing cause from the beginning, for nothing can be as brilliant and cosmic as our inner self.

I am the first to admit it’s hard to let go of old habits. Heaven forbid I don’t curl my hair or try and soften those circles every day. I know many of you have left that sort of vanity behind, but you still buy clothes that look good and feel good, and perhaps shower with scented soap or brush your hair so it falls just so.

I know LA is a beautiful person just from her writing. And her discoveries about herself are normal for any woman who ages from day to day. 

What we need to do is stop judging ourselves. Stop comparing ourselves to movie stars and pop singers and all those distant points of light we’ll never reach. 

We are pretty just the way we are. No problem if we want to cover up a bit or dress up a bit. That’s the fun part of being a girl. But we can’t spend our time trying to change things we can’t change. 

Aging does a number to us all. We just balance it out with the amazing things we’ve experienced and have yet to experience.












Sunday Evening Art Gallery – Bansky

Arguably the most controversial street artist in the world, Banksy has developed an entire art subculture devoted to his works. Banksy’s art can impact any location at any given moment.

His identity remains unknown, even after over 20 years of being involved with the graffiti scene. He has worked with many different types of street art media and street art types.

His work not only includes many powerful, often controversial images, but they may also be found throughout the Internet as viral images.

Very little is known about Banksy himself, as he refuses to be interviewed and keeps his identity carefully maintained.

A world-renowned mystery man, Banksy has risen through the ranks to become one of the world’s greatest street artists partly by creating an urgency to understand his character.

Bansky is the most enjoyable artist because he is now. He is everywhere. He is where you least expect him to be.

More of Bansky‘s art can be found at and a wall near you.



Sentimental in Camelot

Do you have songs or movies you can barely watch a second time for they bring such an emotional knot in your chest you think you cannot handle it?

Sounds so dramatic, but I think you know what I mean. Perhaps it’s the words, the meaning, the inference, that swirls around our minds and hearts and ties everything into a knot. Perhaps it’s a really romantic ending, or a crossed love or missed opportunity. Someone dies before reconciliation. Something so simple yet so personal you surprise yourself at your reaction.

I don’t mean movies where someone dies  at the end. Those are endings I try to avoid. I mean feel good/sad endings that tug at your heart strings in that awful way.

Now, I looked around online for “movies that will break your heart at the end.” There were some doozies there. I have to admit I haven’t seen most — if not all — of them. So everyone’s list is different, depending on the texture of their heart.

For instance, I loved the movie Passion of Mind, 2000, with Demi Moore. She lives one life during the day and another at night. Her letting go at the end makes me cry deep and mournful tears every time I watch it.

It’s only a movie, missie..

Or how about the movie Camelot? That antique medieval musical where the queen marries the king and sleeps with the prince and breaks the king’s heart. The song ‘If Ever I Should Leave You” still gives me goosebumps. True, unrequited love.

There are a number of other deep movies that click my heart, but you know what I mean. Like a love song you can never let go of. Like a dream you can’t hold onto.

I think I’m a hopeless romantic. That is why I love to write. I can create my own dynamic, heart wrenching scenario and feel it over and over again. I can bring people together, punish evil, create ghosts and extraterrestrials and virgins and middle-aged goddesses. Who cares, as long as I’m in control of the heart strings.

That’s what you should do with your creativity. Love it. Embrace it. Get your heart pumping and create like there’s no tomorrow. Scare yourself. Embrace yourself. Make yourself laugh. Whether you are writing or painting, put yourself out there.

You should love it, too. After all, it’s all magic. Just ask King Arthur….


Each evening, from December to December,
Before you drift to sleep upon your cot,
Think back on all the tales that you remember
of Camelot.

Ask ev’ry person if he’s heard the story,
And tell it strong and clear if he has not,
That once there was a fleeting wisp of glory
called Camelot

Where once it never rained till after sundown,
By eight a.m. the morning fog had flown…
Don’t let it be forgot
That once there was a spot
For one brief shining moment that was known
As Camelot.


Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Mark Ryden

Blending themes of pop culture with techniques reminiscent of the old masters, Mark Ryden has created a singular style that blurs the traditional boundaries between high and low art.

His work first garnered attention in the 1990s when he ushered in a new genre of painting, “Pop Surrealism”, dragging a host of followers in his wake.


Ryden has trumped the initial surrealist strategies by choosing subject matter loaded with cultural connotation.

 Seduced by his infinitely detailed and meticulously glazed surfaces, the viewer is confronted with the juxtaposition of the childhood innocence and the mysterious recesses of the soul.


A subtle disquiet inhabits his paintings; the work is achingly beautiful as it hints at darker psychic stuff beneath the surface of cultural kitsch.



More of Mark Ryden‘s work can be found at

How Short Is Too Short?

Lately I’ve been opening my blogs with a reference to my getting older. I guess instead of fighting it I need to embrace it. Or whatever. I don’t cherish getting older…nor do I relish it, look forward to it, or use it to my advantage.

But I know I suffer from what my parent’s generation and my grandparent’s generation suffered from…what is this world coming to?

I wrote a novel about a woman who goes back in time to 1880. Talk about repression. And men were the ones who not only suppressed but designed the clothing they were forced to wear. I mean, long sleeves and a bustle in 90 degree weather?

I survived the bellbottom years, the polyester years, the shoulder pad years, and the overhalls-with-one-strap-down years. I’ve survived looking at underwear sticking way up over jeans, mini skirts and turban wraps.

But I can’t survive the clothing of the 18’s.

Now let me explain my personal hangups first.

I have always had a self-image problem. Certain parts of my anatomy were always too large for fashion, so everything I wore was conservative. I loosened up in my 20s, but was never brave enough to show it all off, as it were.

I try and have an open mind when it comes to fashion, knowing that each generation pushes it to the limit in one way or another. Women should not be afraid to dress the way they want. It is a free world, after all.

I went to an outdoor concert last weekend, and it was a perfect evening for people watching. And did I watch. Every age, every color, every height and weight. It was fascinating. But what I wasn’t fascinated with were the lengths and tops of the younger girls.

Here comes my old biddie attitude.

They were wearing tops as dresses. I was glad none of them bent over while walking by. They were wearing clothes that were too tight for their figure or too low cut. Now I have been known to wear low cut on occasion (especially after I’ve lost weight), but there was too much information pushed together as amazing cleavage to suit my taste.

These weren’t models in their mid-20s either. These were high school and college girls, big girls, skinny girls, not a care in the world as to who sees what.

And I wondered. Is this the fashion of today?

There was sex written all over these outfits. That come-hither look was as popular as the band playing country music. Now before you think me a prude, I’m all for sex and showing what you’ve got and teasing and shining and all that. But how far do you go to show it off?

I hate saying “in my day”, but in my day there were also girls who pushed the fashion limit. They didn’t bother me then. They would bother me now, though.

Now not everyone dressed for a day at the beach. The majority were shorts and tops and sun dresses. (I was in the sundress category.) There were families, couples, singles, all walking back and forth from one stage to the other. The shorts women were just as happy as the shirt/dress women.

I just wonder why it bothered me so much.

Was I jealous because they were young and carefree and I was not?

Was I worried that they gave the impression they were ready for what short skirts usually bring even if they were not?

Was I all hung up on sex when no one else was?

Alas, I’m sure the girls had a great time as did their friends and dates. And not one was disturbed at the message they were promoting. If they were promoting at all.

Maybe it’s a mom thing. A grandma thing. Or, dare I wonder, if it’s a woman thing.

Yes, I hate getting older. And the judgement that comes with it.



Unique Is A Wonderful Word

Although I’ve done a pretty good job of keeping up with technology, when I talk with real technology gurus it’s like talking to someone who only speaks Chinese.

I do love the ability to turn on a machine and write away, save it, delete some, insert some, and not having used half a tree to do so.

I  also am loving the unique and unusual art I am finding for my gallery.

Most of my loyal readers know this blog has a feature called Sunday Evening Art Gallery. I post 5-6 pictures every Sunday with a short intro to the artist. A few weeks later I post the mother load on my actual Sunday Evening Art Gallery website, showing you the magnificent works these artists create.

I dabbled in painting when I was in high school. I never took formal classes, but I loved being able to create something  unique. I found it was easier for me to take up writing, creating something unique with every word.

With today’s technology I am able to discover artists I’ve never heard of, or research artists I’ve known my entire life. It’s an amazing world out there, and I love the beauty of discovery.

I didn’t realize this was an advertisement for my art gallery site until just now. But if you haven’t taken a look over there, please do. You will find you get lost in worlds you never knew existed.

Oh! And by the way — if you know or have a favorite artist, email me at and let me know. I want to know what you love, what you enjoy, what you like but don’t understand.

Come on over and wander one evening. You never know who you’ll see there.

Have a beautiful week, my friends.

Graham Muir


Stairway to Nowhere




Guido Daniele


David Kracov


Spencer Biles


Jackson Pollock


Dean Russo




Glass Frames







Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Stanislav Aristov

Stanislav Aristov presents a whole new way of shocking through a snap shot. It only involves a couple of burnt match sticks. And loads of fun.

Admittedly, it also probably involves Photoshop. But nobody really cares.

Stanislav Aristov, also known as Pol Tergejst, is a 30 year old photographer from Ekaterinburg, Russia, that can truly make macro – miracles happen, within the seconds needed for a match stick to quietly burn.

 He describes his “Спички” ([spitch-kee] – meaning “matchsticks” in Russian) series as capturing “the big lives of the tiny wood splinters”.

This again goes to prove that a true artist can find artistic potential even in the smallest and most commonplace objects around him.

More of Stanislav Aristov‘s amazing art can be found at


Life Really Never Changes

I must admit that I am embarrassingly addicted…it should be alcohol or drugs, but no such luck. I’m addicted to Chinese TV Series with English Subtitles.

I know that sounds geeky, and perhaps it is. But let me encourage you — once you get involved you’ll find it hard to stay away.

I watched these TV series (on Netflix) backwards. First was King’s War, mostly about the a lowly peasant who fought wars against the Qin territory and became the first Chu emperor in 202 BC. I love the series because of the drama, the costumes, the vastness of the world of China. 

Of course, at one time, the Qin army surrendered to the Chu encampment, and since the Chu couldn’t feed the extra 200,000 men, they slaughtered them all, including pushing many of them over a cliff.

In the series I’m currently watching, Qi Alliance, I’m already on the 5th chapter. I love the series because of the drama, the costumes, the vastness of the world of China.

And in the first five chapters there was a war that demolished 80,000 soldiers in one sweep.

I think that besides being enchanted by the Asian world, it rocks me into reality about how barbaric the world has always been. Our World Wars and our Civil War doesn’t hold a candle to the barbaric savagery of the ancient world. 

As much as it crushes us every time there is a death in our lives and in our world, I imagine the wives of the soldiers of Chu  were crushed as well. Most of the army was made up of peasant soldiers or tradesmen that ate nothing but rice and perhaps chicken twice a year and a handful of vegetables scraped from the earth.

How do you feed 200,000 extra soldiers, then? 

Of course, those two examples are only the tip of the death iceberg. Consider:

In the Tai Ping Rebellion civil war, which lasted from 1850 to 1864, the total casualties (including civilians) were reportedly anywhere from 20 million to 100 million. 

The Mongols, a tribe of nomadic horsemen from Central Asia, may have killed as many as  18.4 million people in East Asia alone throughout the 13th century .

Today the numbers are much smaller. But there are still numbers. 

I myself can’t figure out how two positions can hate each other so much that their only solution is death. But it has been so since BC, and now it’s AD and we are still killing each other.

I imagine the mothers of the sons of the Chu and the mothers of the sons of Vietnam all wondered the same thing.

Back to the movies, though…they are quite entertaining. The Chinese and Japanese points-of-view are refreshing and curious, to be certain. To me it’s like another world. Like Mars or Alderan.

And I love to escape when I can. Far away from our daily war.




Take Care of Yourself

Sorry I haven’t been around much lately…a weekend stop for the whole weekend at the hospital does put a cramp on your writing and socializing. I developed a medical condition that needed liquid IVs. Happy to say I am home and so much better so all is well.

But being alone for 2-1/2 days with nothing but stat checks and veins that wouldn’t cooperate was cause for mental munching. And I wondered…could this have been avoided?

This is not a case of self-condemnation — it’s a case of being human.

And wondering if we all do it.

We get a cut. We wipe it off with our sleeve and think it’s okay, when we know there’s a chance of infection.

We run across the street because we’re late for work, in rain, in sunny weather, all seasons. We know there’s a chance we could slip and fall, but we ignore it, because we are in good shape.

We develop a cold that moves into our chest, but we don’t believe it will turn into pneumonia because it’s really not that bad.

How many times do we as humans take the short road? Ignore symptoms and predicaments and swim away like a newly released fish? We weigh the odds, the options, the worst-case scenario. And most times we bet on the the popular vote — it’s not that serious.

And most times we are right.

But there are other times we pay for that glib choice. We know we’ve dug open a sore one too many times. Taken cold medicine and gone out to conquer the world. Eaten a decadent desert even though we’re diabetic.

And sometimes it all comes back to bite us in the arse.

I’m thinking I’m in the latter group. I knew my “condition” might trigger something worse… I’ve beaten the odds so many times. So this time would be the same escape as before.

But it wasn’t.

We as adults need to pay more attention to our bodies and take care of them the first sign of trouble. That doesn’t mean your sinuses flair up and you stay home from work for a week — it means taking care of the illness when it first flairs up.

It means paying attention to weird twitches and shortness of breath and pain in body parts and open wounds. It means not worrying what others think of your precautions, but following through on treatment. It doesn’t mean calling the doctor for every little ache — it means paying attention to that ache and noticing if its getting worse.

In our minds, all humans want to be invincible. We want to be strong and healthy and to be able to take the world on without a complaint.

But we’re not that way. None of us. We are mere human beings that just want to stick around on the planet as long as we can.

So put your big boy (or girl) pants on and take care of what needs to be taken care of. Better to take a visit to the doctor than a visit to the hospital. Or the grave. And believe me, there are many around you who want you to stick around a lot longer.

And if you don’t want your co-workers to know you spent the weekend in the hospital, tell them you jetted to Paris for the weekend.

Unless you live in Paris. Then you’re caught.


Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Mary Cassett

Recognized as one of the foremost 19th-century American painters and printmakers, Mary Cassatt (1844-1926) is known for her prolific career and Impressionist artwork.A native of Pennsylvania who lived as an expatriate in Paris beginning in 1874, Mary Cassatt started formal training as a painter in 1861.

In 1865, she took her first trip to Europe, where she would remain for the next four years, traveling and studying in Paris, Rome, and Madrid.

Edgar Degas saw Cassatt’s work at the Salon, and in 1877 he asked her to exhibit with the Impressionists.

Cassatt’s painting style and subject matter changed greatly because of her association with Impressionism. She abandoned colorful costume genre depictions in favor of scenes from contemporary life.

Throughout the latter half of the 1880s, Cassatt produced etchings and drypoints of members of her family.

Her failing eyesight prevented her from working for the last 15 years of her life, but because she had been an exceptionally prolific printmaker, she produced more than 220 prints during the course of her career.More of Mary Cassett‘s marvelous artwork can be found at

Let “What If” Guide Your Story

I usually don’t write a blog two nights in a row, but I’m on a writing high these days, and so many ideas are running through my head and dancing in my hair.

I am a fantasy writer, but it’s fantasy with a modern twist. Usually my heroine is female, and she finds herself in improbable and impossible situations.  It’s my way of dealing with the bizarre.

You can do it, too. All you have to do is start with….What If?

I know I wrote a blog about “what if”, but this is an exercise in getting a story written. Here are some ideas.


What if you were driving home from work one afternoon and in the distance, over the tops of the trees, you see a giant ant ripping off tops of houses?

What if you went to bed one night with your special someone and the next morning they had a totally different face?

What if you walked through a cornfield and came out in another world?

What if you went for a walk in the evening and you actually met an elf  or a dwarf?

What if you were driving and you lost control of your car and crashed, waking up in the 1800s?

What if you were relaxing one night, watching TV, and you say something to your dog, and he answers you in English?

What if someone  crystallized into your living room one morning and asked you to come along with her/him on an adventure?


I know it all sounds goofy, but think about it. Close your eyes and just think if any of the above happened to you. Or to your friend. Or to your cousin. What would they do? For real?

My favorite form of writing is to put a modern day person in an absolutely wacky situation. Their situations are REAL. There really is a giant ant walking behind the trees. The person really walks through a cornrfield and finds a different world at the other end.

That is how you get inspirations for stories. A few of the above are my story ideas.  And I’ve had a ball with all of them.

Your “What If?” can be anything you want. It doesn’t have to be out-of-this-world — it could be What If you witnessed a murder? A kidnapping? Someone stealing from the books?

Let your mind wander into various What If Worlds until you find one that appeals to you. Then keep it real within the parameters of the main character.How they deal with the strange and unusual is up to you. 

Let the unusual be as real as you can make it. 

Then go for it. You can’t lose.

Don’t Be Afraid To Live In Your Fantasy World

Let me be clear. I have a good life. I do. I do not want to leave it behind, dump it, change it, or erase it. I am blessed, and I know I’m blessed. And I am thankful.

But I also have a life outside of this plane of existence. It’s a world of my own making. I control the characters, the lies, and the pain. I feel the love, the confusion, and the magic of the world around me.

No, I’m not psycho nor psychic.

I am a writer.

I tend to get lost in good books too, but I am finding I am falling in love with the worlds I create. In my books there’s passion, insecurity, fear, and curiosity. There is no war, no prejudice. There is making love and fun sex but not pornography. It may seem quite vanilla in my worlds, but, to be honest, there is enough crap going on in the world around me that I don’t need to deal with it in my fantasy world.

Are my stories reminiscent of Harlequin novels? You know — girl meets boy, they don’t hit it off at first, they both have a problem to overcome, they are attracted to each other, they fight the problem, they overcome it, then fall in love and get married.

In some form, yes. In most other ways, no. In my stories they lovers don’t always wind up together. Or they do. Or they want to but can’t. Or they can. It doesn’t matter because it’s the journey that counts.

We all have our way of writing. Our own themes. Our own demons. As I’ve said in past blogs, I often wonder how authors like Stephen King or Dean Koontz get into the blackness of the mind and spread it across their books. Do they get off on digging deep and writing scary stuff? Do they become the madness, the psycho, at least for the time they are writing about it?

I believe that if you are passionate about your writing you can’t help but get lost in your stories. Whether they are short stories, novellas, or novels, you can’t help but take a particular point of view. Are you the antagonist? The victim? The virgin? The pompous ass?

Each character you develop helps you get lost in your fantasy world. You want your pompous ass to really be an ass, you want your troubled couple to be passionate about each other. You want poverty or wealth to be real, and your fantasy names to be easy to read.

Sometimes I want to spend more time in my fantasy worlds than I do in my real world. I love my fantasy worlds, my time-travel worlds, and my modern worlds. I work hard to make my worlds believable, along with the people who populate them.

Perhaps that’s why I get so lost in my own creations. I still cry in certain parts, and feel my heart flutter and race in others. I still get pissed off at some people and feel lost when they feel lost.

I hope that you get lost in your writings, too. Don’t hold your story at arm’s length. Get into each chapter, each character. Leave your world behind. Forget the politics, the job, the housework. Find a place both physically and mentally and just let loose.

You won’t always be hot..You might not always “feel” it. But don’t give up. Because when it comes back it will hit you like a lightning bolt. And when it does you better go with it.

Come back to your reality when you have to, but live in your fantasy world as often as you can.

You won’t be sorry.


Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Davide Bonazzi

Davide Bonazzi was born and raised in Bologna, Italy.

Bonazzi aims to create clever visual solutions to represent complex topics, as well as narrative, witty images.

His style combines digital media with textures of scanned found objects, in order to give his illustrations a warm and evocative atmosphere.

Most of Bonazzi’s work is for magazines, corporations, and advertising.

More of Davide Bonazzi’s marvelous graphic work can be found at

Can You Fall Asleep?

I have been having trouble falling asleep for quiet some time, now. So going back through my post I found this one from a couple years ago. Anyone else have this problem?

You Are (not) Getting Sleepy…

Do you suffer from the modern-day dilemma called insomnia?

It’s just after midnight, and I’m still wide awake. Through time I have done all the things I’m supposed to do to fall asleep. I’ve taken a warm bath, sipped chamomile tea, listened to soft music. I’ve listened to no music at all. I have cut out caffeine during the day and take my meds in the morning instead of night. Except for right now, I am off the computer by 8; I’ve read books, tried meditation, melatonin, boring movies, and total silence. I have picked up the pace of walking, both at work and after work. Tried carbs, no carbs; sugar, no sugar. Bedtime snacks. No snacks.

And yet here I am.

I’ve heard various statistics about those who suffer from insomnia. Without doing extensive research at 12:06 a.m., I believe about 60% of older people suffer from some sort of sleep interruption. Not too long ago I read an article that said that as you get older, your body rhythms change, throwing off your sleep patterns.


I have tried prescriptions, and even though I get a hard night’s sleep, I’m the Walking Dead the next day. So those are out. OTCs are more trips into Zombieland. There are dozens of articles on the Internet telling me why I can’t sleep, but that doesn’t change the fact that I can’t sleep.

Sooo…I prefer to think of this stage of my life as preparing for retirement.

I believe that somewhere in the cosmic timeline is a bend in the road, a crack in the sidewalk that says enough is enough. This fifth dimension astro influence is saying: “You’ve worked your a$$ off all your life, first getting up at all hours with your babies, then staying up all hours waiting for your teenagers to get home, husbands on second shifts getting home at 5 a.m., getting up for work at 6 a.m. for the past 45+ years — enough is enough. Us higher forms of consciousness are preparing you for the day you don’t have to get up to an alarm, don’t have to punch a time clock, don’t have to put data in a computer, or drive to and from work in blizzards and thunderstorms and fog.”

Of course, the cosmos’ clock and my biological clock are two different things. The cosmos doesn’t get that I still have a few years left before I can sleep in and/or stay up all night. That I have bills to pay and obligations to meet before I can sleep till 10, have a cup of coffee on the deck, go for walks, play in the garden, and take naps whenever I want.

Did our parents have this problem? Our grandparents? Is it because we don’t work the fields for 10 hours a day that our bodies don’t work to their peak performance? Stress is always a factor. But our parents had stress, too. As did our grandparents. And so on.

It is true we are living in a whirlwind society. That technology moves faster than the speed of light, and if we don’t at least make an attempt to keep up with it, we become as rigid as the statues in our gardens.  With TV and movies and music blaring in our faces and politics boiling our blood and self-centered people taking over our every day world, it’s hard to slow down enough to sleep, no less breathe.

I know my retirement won’t be much of a slowdown. But I will let my biological clock take over, and go wherever the wind blows.

Until then, I’ve found some really cool gemstones on the Gemtopia Shopping Network…

Are You Your Main Character?

Since I am so into writing at the moment, I have a question for all of you writers/thinking about writing/someday maybe writers.

When you write, are you the main character? Do you have any connection to the main character?

They say there’s a part of us in every character we create. If you can think it you are it because it came from you thinking it.

That’s a lot of psycho babble, with a string of truth running through it.

I have to admit that so far I am part my main character. She does things I wouldn’t do, says things I’d love to say, and gets into situations I will never in my lifetime find my way into. She…and sometimes he…is my alter ego.

I get an emotional reaction from in the connection of my characters, both when they’re fighting and loving. So is that being my character?  I don’t often base a character on someone I know, but it has happened. I change the name and the looks and sometimes their philosophy but it’s still someone I know.

I envy writers who can write a main character that is the antithesis of everything they are. Murderers and psychos and nymphs and puritans. I actually find it hard to go against grain with characters. But it’s a challenge I think I’m going to take.

But I’m afraid my bad guy won’t be bad enough, psycho enough, crazy enough. I’m afraid my moral compass will get in the way. I always wondered how Stephen King did it.

Is there a part of you in everything you write?

I’d love to hear your point of view. I really would. I’d love to see where your characters, your inspiration, comes from.

And that goes for you poets. I know a lot of your poetry comes from  personal experience and emotions, but do you ever write a poem from someone else’s point of view? Something totally “not you” yet you know it’s “you”?

I’d love to hear your answers.


Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Caspar David Friedrich

Caspar David Friedrich (September 5, 1774 – May 7, 1840) was a landscape painter of the nineteenth-century German Romantic movement, of which he is now considered the most important painter.

A painter and draughtman, Friedrich is best known for his later allegorical landscapes, which feature contemplative figures silhouetted against night skies, morning mists, barren trees, and Gothic ruins.

His primary interest as an artist was the contemplation of nature, and his often symbolic and anti-classical work seeks to convey the spiritual experiences of life.

Friedrich came of age during a period when, across Europe, a growing disillusionment with an over-materialistic society led to a new appreciation for spiritualism.

This was often expressed through a reevaluation of the natural world, as Friedrich sought to depict nature as a “divine creation, to be set against the artifice of human civilization.”

Today he is seen as an icon of the German Romantic movement, and a painter of international importance.

More of  Caspar David Friedrich‘s wonderful paintings can be found at

June is for Writing

I am so glad to see that others who write have their unconscious hangups! Thank you all who answered my query.

I used to be a “like” person…as in “her thoughts were like oatmeal..” I got over that only to adopt “as if”, like “It was as if he had lived before.” Good lord. I had to find and replace just to find all the repeated lame phrases I wrote.

Same with semi-colons. I dread finding other hangups.

Wonder if you’re in the same boat? Make a list of common mistakes and see if you made any of them. It’s hard, I know. Too many adjectives? Too much movement? Too many repetitions of the same word? Too many !’s and ; and …?

That’s what’s great about  writing. You get an idea…it doesn’t even have to be a full idea. It can be someone who struck you as unusual, a spot on your walking or driving route, a dream you had…anything can spark a story. I jut watched an old Twilight Zone the other night and enjoyed the storyline so much I might give a short story a try based on it.

Don’t worry if you’re stealing someone else’s idea, a TV show or book premise, or poem. You are not stealing anything unless you rewrite it word for word. Idea for idea. But let outside influences influence you. Try a poem based on characters in a play or movie. Try a short story about what happens AFTER the TV show is over.

Your mind is unique — and so are you. Your life’s stories, ups and downs, and encounters are all you need to get that pen writing (or computer keys clicking).

I want to encourage all of you who want to write to write. If you don’t want someone to read it, write in a journal. If you want input, ask someone. Easy to say, harder to do. But if you’ve got that writing bug inside of you (makes me think of the Mummy and all those beetles inside that guy), let it come out. Don’t be afraid to try. You can only get better with practice.

You see…I’m still practicing. And using Crissouli’s downfall…ellipses…

Bloggers Are A Unique Breed

I think that a lot of the time bloggers spill their secrets to their followers so they can get whatever it is out of their system. You can’t see the facial responses or audio cues through this two dimensional world…no one can really judge you face-to-face, so why not tell your tales of woe?

I know I do a lot of that. I used to be a lot worse when I kept a journal. I’m older and less a drama queen, so the tits and tats I share on my blog won’t rock the Rockies.

I do a lot of counseling to myself every morning on my drive to work.  Every morning I say “starting today…” or “from now on…” Early morning I’m full of piss and vinegar. The world is mine, I can do one of a hundred things that I’ve been meaning to do but haven’t gotten around to doing.

But often by my evening ride all I can think of is writing and laundry and picking out clothes for tomorrow. So my blog seems to be a perfect outlet for my stumbling tumblings.

We bloggers have to be careful, though, about how much we whine and emote through our writing. Readers can take adversity only in small doses. Considering the average attention span of blog readers is three paragraphs,  us bloggers have to use a lot of discretion in what we share, how we share it, and if there is a solution to our problems.

To me there is an energy when someone reads something and says “Yeah! me too!” I’m not really looking for understanding as much as camaraderie. My mess ups are your mess ups. Your misunderstandings are my misunderstandings.

I also think that life is too short to beat yourself up for your mistakes. You are you, after all, and there are quirks to all of us. I manage to laugh at my goof ups…that is, after I feel embarrassed and remorseful. I figure if I chuckle and learn something from my misconceptions, you can identify more with your own similar guffaws.

We all have our reasons for blogging. I follow all sorts of blogs…poets, painters, writers over 60, writers under 60. I learn about living with a chronic illness, being homeless, and life without one’s partner. I watch the steps it takes to create a painting, write a novel, or grow a garden.

But I also know my role in the blogging world is to give my readers a wry smile now and then. When I say I’m a semi-colon queen they know what I mean. When I write how awkward it is to climb up into my husband’s old pickup truck they know what I mean. And when I say I’m obsessed by my grandkids they definitely know what I mean.

So don’t be afraid to share your quirks, your puzzlements, your amazements, and your foibles. Don’t be afraid to whine, wonder, or wish. We are all human. We all have to get things off our chest. You will find what you’re looking for in your followers. A little tea, a little sympathy….

…an the realization that you use too many damn semi-colons…



Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Graham Muir

Precariously resting atop a pedestal, these wave-like glass vessels by Scottish artist Graham Muir seem to defy gravity as if frozen in a moment before crashing into the ocean.

Using techniques perfected over the last decade, Muir achieves delicate shapes that seem almost chiseled or fractured, but are in fact accomplished when working while the glass is still hot.

According to Muir, “I find glass to be a material that does not respond well to being dominated by the artist.”

“For me the concept of the work is just the starting point for a conversation between the artist’s idea and the material.”

“The artist flags up the idea, the medium responds and the discussion begins.” 

“However the material must not dominate proceedings either and hot glass, as most who work in it know, can be very persuasive in having its own way.”

More of Graham Muir’s amazing glasswork can be found at

What Have You Been Up To?

Well, my friends, happy Monday Evening.

It has been a busy week…highs and lows. I’m sure the same for you. Today’s blog will be one of catching up  (like you are interested in my ups and downs). But really I think you can identify with a few of either direction.

I had my review at work…I am now not a ‘digital’ writer but a writer. Which is so fantastic because for the first time in my 65 years when someone asks me what I do for a living I can say I AM A WRITER!! I mean I can put that title on my BUSINESS CARD (if I had one for work) and stuff! 

My starting a writer’s group is a sleepy time failure. I mean, I don’t feel too bad about it…it has only been three weeks…but somehow I had the airy thought that there were lots of writers out there looking for camaraderie and guidance. But I haven’t heard from one person. Think I airyed the wrong direction. I’m not giving up…Ah  well…try again later.

I am behind in reading my reader…I’ve popped in and out but I’ve been busy working and bribing my way over to see my grandkids. No excuse for skipping over some really good blogs, though. But I see help in the distance….I am going away Up North at the end of the week. No TV,  DVDs only (and that’s only at night), polkas on the radio, half of block to the water, sitting on the deck with a pina colada…and five free days to read blogs and write.

So tell me. Are you writing? Editing? Taking pictures? Making jewelry? Working on a quilt? Any vacation plans?  I’d love to hear how spring is treating you. I love reading your responses and talking back to your talking.

Let’s do this!

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlode Rivera,  born Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderón  (July 6, 1907 – July 13, 1954), was a Mexican artist who painted many portraits, self-portraits, and works inspired by the nature and artifacts of Mexico.

Inspired by the country’s popular culture, she employed a naive folk art style to explore questions of identity, post-colonialism, gender, class, and race in Mexican society.

Her paintings often had strong autobiographical elements and mixed realism with fantasy.

In addition to belonging to the post-revolutionary movement, which sought to define a Mexican identity, Kahlo has been described as a surrealist or magical realist.

She was left disabled by polio as a child, and at the age of eighteen was seriously injured in a traffic accident which caused her pain and medical problems for the rest of her life.

 Kahlo’s always fragile health began to increasingly decline during the 1940s. She had her first solo exhibition in Mexico in 1953, shortly before her death in 1954 at the age of 47.

By the 1990s, she had become not only a recognized figure in art history, but so regarded as an icon for Chinanos. the Feminism movement, and the LGBTQ movement.

More of Frida Kahlo‘s wonderful art can be found at

The World of Musicals

As I watch and wonder about the generations following me, I wonder if they will ever appreciate the simple things that were a part of their parents/grandparents/great grandparents lives.

I just watched a movie made the year I was born…Hans Christian Anderson. I haven’t seen this oldie for many years. And I found I could still sing all the words to the songs…The Ugly Duckling, Wonderful Copenhagen, all the wonderful nonsense sung by Danny Kaye.

These days my kids and grandkids would say Danny Who?

Like the songs in old musicals. 76 Trombones. Luck Be A Lady Tonight. Some Enchanted Evening. I Got Rhythm. Songs from musicals today’s kids probably never heard of. Simple, enchanting songs. Nonsense songs. Sing along songs. Offhand I don’t know if high schools do a musical every year; I know my senior musical was South Pacific.

I also love big band music. Say those two words together to someone younger and often they look like they just bit a lemon. They’re heard of it, kinda, maybe, I dunno. But it’s like time travel. Slipping backwards into a black and white world where love conquers all and true romance is two people singing love songs to each other.

Of course I know that underneath this band-aid of time travel and music and daydreams is the real world of infidelity, rape, scandal, neglect — all the things that musicals tried to escape. Now the only place you can find big band is on Sirus radio, or on AMC Classic Movies.

Today’s generation may know Frank Sinatra, but unfortunately  that is merely an iconic name like Elvis and Abraham Lincoln. Not many will take the time to explore the musical worlds of the 40s and 50s, for their own world’s musical creations exist, and what’s more important to a generation than their music?

Maybe that’s what evolution is all about. We can’t expect the next generation to cherish what we cherish. That’s why we drive around in cars instead of chariots. The times must change.

But all I can say is they’re really missing something.

But then again, they could say the same thing about Eminem.

A Stutter in the Connection

Getting older is so much fun.

Your body makes all kinds of new noises, your legs or knees or back give out more readily, and you find yourself saying “What?” a whole lot more often. My temperature runs from freezing to hot flash and back in a matter of minutes. I laugh and tell my friends that I was doing great until I turned 60 — now everything’s falling apart.

But I take the deconstruction with a grain of salt. After all, I’m still working, running (or rather walking fast) around with my grandkids, working in my garden, and watching Chinese TV series.

What I am finding that I’m not too keen on, though, is that I’m stuttering in my mind when I speak.

I have always been a talker. A lot of it is nonsense and houey, but I usually had a thought and comment for everything. I suppose in our youth we all think we have something to say. But now when I talk to people, I feel the marbles rolling around in my head before I speak. As I said, I view this as a stutter in my mind, which makes me lose confidence before the words come out of my mouth.

I can still write great blogs and letters and lines for e-mails. While my language has always been so much better when written rather than spoken, I’m starting to find that my spoken words don’t really flow like I want them to. It’s like my brain can’t keep up with my thought patterns. When writing that’s okay. But when speaking it’s a little different.

This whole situation has me a little spooked. It’s doesn’t happen all the time, just now and then. But it makes me feel like I’m slow. It’s like I’m waiting for the next intelligent word to come along but the bus doesn’t pick you up, it just drives by.

Let’s not talk brain tumors and Alzheimer — let’s just talk about it being a symptom of getting older. Which sucks in the flower of life. So tell me — Does this ever happen to you?

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Mother’s Day

I am blessed to be a mother

I am blessed to have had my mother for 54 years

I am blessed to have friends who are mothers

I am also blessed to have friends who have left it to

Others to be a mother.

Life is Short………Be What You Want.

Happy Mother’s Day!


Vincent Van Gogh’s Mother



Whistler’s Mother


Barker Gang’s Mother (Ma)



Pablo Picasso’s mother


Mother Theresa


Rembrandt’s Mother


Juan Gris’ Mother

Sunday Evening Art Gallery on Friday — Guy Laramee

Montreal-based artist Guy Laramée created sculptural works, highlighting his evolving ability to excavate mountainous landscapes, cavernous hollows, and sloping watersheds from the dense pages of repurposed books.

One of his favorite mediums are bound stacks of old dictionaries and encyclopedias which he carves using a method of sandblasting to which he later applies oil paints, inks, pigments and dry pastels, crayon, adhesives, and beeswax.

When photographed up close the works appear almost realistic, as if the viewer is looking at aerial or satellite topographies of Earth

Among his sculptural works are two incredible series of carved book landscapes and structures entitled Biblios and The Great Wall, where the dense pages of old books are excavated to reveal serene mountains, plateaus, and ancient structures.

Laramee says, “I carve landscapes out of books and I paint Romntic landscapes. Mountains of disused knowledge return to what they really are: mountains.

They erode a bit more and they become hills. Then they flatten and become fields where apparently nothing is happening.  Piles of obsolete encyclopedias return to that which does not need to say anything, that which simply IS.”

More of Guy Laramée’s work can be found at 

Your Artist Is Right Next Door

I love television shows on creativity.

I am fairly humbled when I see what the competitors can do. It’s their life, it’s their future; it’s what they are when they wake up and what they are when they fall asleep. They are all just A-1 talented.

Some time ago I wrote a blog about Face Off, the show where artists compete in making science fiction, fantasy, and outrageous prosthetics. These artists are incredible. Movie-quality makeup.

And who isn’t fascinated by Chopped, where contestants make appetizers, main meals, and deserts out of a dizzying array of weird foods? Or Iron Chef, where these super-sized chefs make the most incredible, out-in-left-field dishes that make you drool? Where do these creative artists get these ideas?

There are plenty of talented people all around you, too. You just don’t know it. People who have given their soul and their free time practicing their art. They are probably in your department, or your neighbor, or your kid’s friends.

You just don’t know it.

Iron Chef competitors are in one layer of atmosphere. Prosthetic artists another. Their talents happen to be what TV producers are looking for these days.

But what about your friend (hi Christine!) who makes remarkable jewelry? Or your other friend (hi Robin!) who makes quilts and crochets sparkling scarves that could sell for $40 at the department store? Or your other friend (hi Christell!) who has the most amazing scrapbooks you’ve ever seen? Or your other friend (Yeah, you John!) whose work was so amazing I dedicated a blog and a gallery to him?

I’m sure there is a modern painter not far away, or a landscape artist, a sculptor, a calligrapher, a woodworker, or a garden artist right around the corner from you. Someone who makes birdhouses and engravings and magical cakes and deserts. Someone you’d like to know.

You can fill in the blanks with the creative people around you. Trust me. They are there. All you need to do is ask. Inquire. Look around. You will be amazed what your friends, co-workers, your friend’s kids are creating. Ask about their art. Ask if they have pictures or a blog.

You will be amazed at the talent around you.

And you’ll make them feel good about their work, too.



Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Snowglobes

Erwin Perzy, a surgical instruments mechanic, accidentally created the first snow globe in 1900 as a result of an experiment to try to improve the brightness of the newly invented – and then not very bright – electric light bulb.

He was inspired by the shoemakers of the time, who to get more light from a candle mounted a glass globe filled with water in front of the flame. This gave them a light spot the size of a hand.

One day he found a white powder, semolina, used for baby food.

And he poured it into the glass globe, and it got soaked by the water and floated very slowly to the base of the globe.

This effect reminded him of snowfall.

And this was the very first, the basic idea for inventing a snow globe.

Though Perzy—who patented his globe in 1900—didn’t invent the snow globe, he and his brother are responsible for catapulting the souvenir into the position of tchotchke primacy it holds today.

Seizing on the invention, the pair opened a shop, Original Wiener Schneekugel Manufaktur, in Vienna.

Today there are as many styles as fill the imagination.


To Write or Not Write…That Is The Question

Okay. I think I’m out of my mind, but…I am going to start a writer’s group.

I was in a writers group years ago when I was really active in my state writing association, Wisconsin Writers Association (check it out all you from Wisconsin!). I was a board member of the organization, and joined a local, small group just to be able to sit and talk about writing.

That was long ago and feels far away. I’ve got this A.D.D. thing about writing, and my hubby isn’t really “into it”, so it’s time to get around other people who are A.D.D. about writing too.

I’ve never organized a group before. I’m not published, although I’ve written five novels. I don’t have a college degree, nor have I spent my professional life writing (until the last few years). I’ve pushed for my Digital Writer position, but if things don’t change I’ll be retired before I write much.

On the plus side I am a pretty good proofreader, having done it professionally as well as personally, and I have a good hold on grammar.

So I figured there must be other frustrated writers that want to just start something or do a better job with what they’ve written. So why not get together every couple of weeks and perfect our craft while whining and showing off?

We’ll start with 10 members. I don’t even know if there are  10 people around town that want to write better. But it’s worth a try. Maybe someone can recommend a publisher who is looking for a fantasy fiction time travel modern woman who gets caught in a time warp.

Or maybe we’ll just find somebody who likes to bring treats.



Wussying Out On My Crone Night

I think I am failing Crone 101.

For those of you who wonder, a crone is an older woman, wise in the ways of the world, confident in where she’s been and where she’s going. She is the accumulation of life’s ups and downs, and all that knowledge seems like magic to some.

I used to be more in a magic way. I didn’t cast spells or levitate glasses or dance naked before the bonfire (wouldn’t THAT have been a scene!). I was, am, a believer in the magic that is in each and every one of us. You can have magic and be Catholic or Lutheran or Baptist or Atheist. The magic inside is your soul. Your connection to this world, to the galaxy, and everything inbetween.

My husband works  3-4 nights a week. So I’m home alone, which, for me, is great, because I’m either writing or editing or doing nothing but watching a Chinese TV series. Well, last night was a big, bright, beautiful full moon. I didn’t really see it until it was over the treetops in my back woods. So I looked online and thought, “Hey! Even though the moon tonight will be 98.2 percent full, I can go out to the back gate and watch it rise!”

Now I’ve told you before that I have to cross a big wide “yard” and go down this little path through the dark woods until I get to the back gate that sits on a little road that lines a great big cornfield. Perfect moonwatching place.

I went out early. It was dusk outside, a nice cool spring breeze. So I stood at the back gate and realized I was 25 minutes early. Great. Then I start hearing things in the woods as it started to really get dark. Sticks falling down from the top of the trees, leaves blowing down the dirt path…all kinds of little things.

If you are a writer then you know where I’m going with this. It doesn’t take much to set my imagination off. And as it got dark and I’m waiting for moonrise I’m thinking of Slenderman who hides in the forest walking down the path towards me and I can’t get the gate open and he walks up to me and starts talking and waving those abnormally long arms around and I’m alone and even my dog is on the front deck so she’s no help but I have my phone but by the time I’d call my hubby or the police he could already have pulled out a knife and started slashing my legs so I couldn’t run and….

You see what I’m getting at. I worked myself up so much I decided to head back to the house and enjoy the moonrise through my locked back window. Now the chance of someone walking into my fenced woods is slim to none. But as I’ve said before in my blogs, I’m a little lady with no punch and too much imagination.

So back to my first thought. I wanted to welcome the full moon, wrap my Croneness around it, pull strength and wisdom from its moon rays, yada yada. It’s all a game but it makes me feel good.

Now I’m sitting inside, my magic rumbling that it didn’t get its true moon fix, and all I want to do is finish watching my Chinese war TV series.

What’s magical about that?

I think I’ll write a story about this. Maybe if I get this paranoia out of my system I can go watch the full moon rise next month. With my dog. And my husband. And my son. And a police officer. And a Navy SEAL….

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Eric Standley

Eric Standley, Associate Professor of Studio Art for the School of Visual Arts at Virginia Tech, brings a whole new meaning to the term “cutting edge” with his methodical stained glass windows created entirely from laser-cut paper.

Standley  brings a whole new the term “cutting edge” with his methodical stained glass windows created entirely from laser-cut paper.

Standley stacks well over 100 sheets for many of his pieces which involve months of planning, drawing, and assembly.

The artist says his inspiration comes from the geometry found in Gothic and Islamic architectural ornamentation which he somewhat jokingly calls “folk math.

Eric’s technology-infused studio practice enables him to create complex artifacts within a realm of precision of that is often reserved for industry, mass production and scientific research.

 In Standley’s words; “Technology circumscribes boundaries, as do artists. We are extended in body and mind by the advancements of what we envision and create.”

More of Eric Standley’s amazing art can be found at 



Do We “Get” Each Other?

There is a certain responsibility as a blog writer and a blog follower.

You need to write content that is entertaining, whether it be sad, provocative, funny, or informative. But you need to read the blogs you follow, too.

I’ve been lax in that department.

I always manage to read the first few that pop up in my reader, but it takes a few thumbing motions downwards to see what all I have missed. And often it’s alot.

I follow blogs that haven’t had anything written for 6 months or even a year. I always figure they will come back sometime. I follow writers who post every day. I sometimes feel bad I don’t connect with either of them as often as I should.

Which makes me wonder. I wonder if those who have 5,000, 10,000 followers, how many blogs do they follow? Do they read them all? Respond to them all?

I’m a believer that you shouldn’t “follow” someone unless you are really following them. Learning their story, enjoying their painting or photography. Maybe you don’t have to comment on every post you read, but it’s nice to say something nice about what you’re reading.

I get to wonder about those who have thousands and thousands of followers. Especially on places like Twitter. If you’re not online when someone else tweets, what does it matter? Their important words will never be picked up by your reading public. I sometimes try to go into Twitter and pick someone I follow and read all their tweets going back a few weeks. But time is of the essence, and I’d rather read other’s blogs.

Then you circle back and wonder if all the people who follow you really read you. Really look at your images. And do numbers really matter.

I hope you write because you love to write, and have found an outlet for your emotions in the form of a blog or a tweet. You will find those who really click with you commenting over and over again. Those are the people who make me feel special. Liked. Like they really get me.

Get your blogs ‘a blogging and get someone!

Not Every Situation is Fight or Flight

The big thing these days is “be who you need to be…stay true to who you are…don’t listen to those who will bring you down…the future belongs to you…”

I am very much on that “be true to yourself” bandwagon. Sometimes I wish I had jumped on way back when I was 30 or 40.

But what if you can’t always be on that “be true to yourself” bandwagon? Especially in relation to the reality around you?

I believe in being true to yourself. No one can make you happy — or unhappy — but you. I believe in never betraying your soul. But there are times when being true to your choices can cause eruptions in your daily life.

Say you truly want to go to Las Vegas or Paris or the Florida Keys and your significant other wants to stay home and plant trees. Do you stay true to your desires and fly away anyway?

I doubt it.

Say your friends all want to try out this new Mexican restaurant and you really don’t like Mexican. Do you stay home while everyone else goes?

I doubt it.

These are trite examples, but they state an honest message — you can’t always be true to your desires and beliefs.

I would rather write or read all day outside in the warm weather, or inside when its gloomy, but reality (in the form of work) gets in the way. I would love to sleep in on Saturday mornings, but my grandson’s soccer games get in the way. I would rather go to art fairs and renaissance fairs and craft fairs than clean house, but reality gets in the way. I believe in compromise (especially when it comes to housework).

I don’t believe in forcing my opinion in a crowd of people if it goes against what everyone is talking about. I may not agree on the point of view, the topic, the solution, but if there’s a chance of getting “into it” with friends it’s not worth it to me. I believe what I believe. I don’t need to convert them.

We all want to be ourselves at every turn. We want to do what we want when we want to, say no without repercussions, and voice our opinion on everything. We all want to say “I am a child of the universe and I answer to no one!”

But this is reality. It’s an every-man-for-himself kind of world. A survival mentality. If you are strong enough to take your beliefs to the next level and become public, do it. If you want to protest, make a change, do it. But most situations are not a fight or flight response. You have to calculate how important it is to give in to keep the peace. How you can do what others want without compromising your values. How to have conversations on sensitive subjects without hurting feelings or getting hurt yourself.

Face it. In most situations it’s easier to give in and move on. Find a way to be yourself without offending or messing with your everyday life. This is not the same as giving in. If you are abused, depressed, afraid, you need to actually do something about it. You have a right as a human being to be happy and healthy.

But if someone is a different religion or likes different music or would rather spend their day planting trees than gambling in Vegas, you can still retain your soul’s self worth and help plant trees too. Work on what you want. If it can’t be A make it B. Or F. Who cares, as long as you connect with your dreams?

Be who you want to be. Believe in what you believe. Follow your dream as far as your reality allows. But don’t make it a do-or-die choice. Friendships and family aren’t worth a surface compromise.

Hold true to yourself. Even if you feel a little slippery.



Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Chemistry Cat

Alright…I know that Chemistry Cat images are not real art…but since they are a part of every chemistry teacher’s culture, perhaps they are.

Chemistry Cat (sometimes known as Science Cat) is an advice animal image macro series which consists of a scientific pun and a picture of a cat with a bow-tie and glasses sitting in front of a board.

These puns are usually based on the names of chemical elements from the periodic table or various laws of science and physics.

While the source of the image remains in veil, it is likely a stock photograph, possibly of Russian origin.

A significant portion of the puns are actually derived from chemistry jokes that have been in circulation for awhile, particularly in the context of K-12 education on chemistry and the periodic table.

The earliest known instance of “Chemistry Cat” series can be found in a Reddit thread posted on April 19th, 2011, of an image originating from the ICanHasCheezburger[2] blog:

The macro series didn’t take off until the third week of July 2011, when image templates began to appear on image generator sites.

The rest is Chemistry Cat history. 

And he is funny.

Birds in my Feeder

I have always enjoyed watching birds at the bird feeder.

Off in the middle of my back yard there are two feeders that I try and keep full year round. When the weather’s nice I sit on the back deck and hope to catch the dive bombers as they come in for lunch.

Last fall I decided to attach a smaller feeder on the corner of my front deck. It has been Grand Central Station ever since.

I sit on my sofa and am constantly entertained by the parade of species stopping by for a seed or two. It’s amazing. Wrens, sparrows, a male and female cardinal, starlings, mourning doves, a red-headed woodpecker, and even the jaybirds stop and grab a bite.

It’s an entertaining soap opera. This little one pushes its same kind away so they can eat first, some knock it out of the feeder so they can eat it off the deck, and some just bask in the afternoon sun.

My feeder always has something going on. It gets to the point of being distracting should I be sitting on the sofa and watch TV or work on my computer.

I’m glad I could help the birds through this snow-filled winter. They are very diligent — they push away the snow on the feeding trough before I get out there to clean it, and  they practically stand in line to feed.

Help your fellow birds out. Extend your kindness to a bird and fill a feeder for the little ones. Then sit back and watch the crowds at the restaurant.

You will be quite entertained.

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Hiëronymus Bosch

When one thinks of Surrealism movement (1920s-1960s) they think of Salvador Dali or Rene Magritte.

But Hiëronymus Bosch (1450-1516)  was considered a highly imaginative “creator of devils” and a powerful inventor of curious creations full of satirical and moralizing meaning.

His paintings are sermons on folly and sin, addressed often to initiates and consequently difficult to translate.

Unable to unlock the mystery of the artist’s works, critics at first believed that he must have been affiliated with secret sects.

Although the themes of his work were often religious, his choice of symbols to represent the temptation and eventual ensnarement of humans in earthly evils caused many critics to view the artist as a practitioner of the occult arts.

More recent scholarship views Bosch as a talented artist who possessed deep insight into human character and as one of the first artists to represent abstract (surreal) concepts in his work.

No matter what  Hiëronymus Bosch’s beliefs and involvements, his art was quite surreal, especially for the 1400’s.

More of Hiëronymus Bosch’s marvelous art can be found at


What Is Abstract Art?

Alright, all you lovers (and merely friends) of Art….

Yesterday, my SEAG blog was about Infinity. As you can see, most of of the images are abstract, i.e., art that does not attempt to represent an accurate depiction of a visual reality but instead use shapes, colors, forms and gestural marks to achieve its effect (per Tate Gallery).

Now, I am a landscape scenery kind of affectionado — a fan of surealistic fantasy scenes and purple skies. But I want to feel comfortable around abstract art. I may not understand it, but I often get a “feeling” from it.

From those of you who appreciate abstract art…what it is about it that you like? What part of it do you understand? What does it MEAN?

Although it may look to the contrary, abstract art is not just someone spatting paint on a canvas. There is a reason, an emotion, a question the artist is trying to convey.

How can you learn to appreciate it, though?

Through the Gallery years I have shared what I thought was creative modern art. I read about the artists, got an idea what he was trying to convey, and shared their work so that you could get a different taste in your mouth.

But I’m sad to say I don’t quite get it. And I’m not making fun of abstract art. I’m just trying to understand it.

I suppose it’s like poets writing free verse poetry. To me it sounds like creative writing broken up into stanzas. There are only a few poets that write like that that I truly feel are sticking to form. But I love what I read, so the style doesn’t always mean as much.

So all of your modern art affectionados — how do you look at abstract art? Or minimalism art? What do I look for? How do I understand it?

Any clues you can give me will be appreciated.

As long as they’re not abstract thoughts…


Upper Right Painting

Vir Heroicus Sublimis (1950–51), Barnett Newmane

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Infinity

What is Infinity? Is it space that goes on forever and ever? A number that has no limit? Is it a concept we have yet to grasp?

Here are other’s ideas of infinity.

Infinity ~ Christopher Westfall


Infinity ~ Connie Pirtle


Infinity Kinetic Sculpture ~ David C. Roy


Infiniti Mosaic Cool ~ Paula Ayers

Birds of Infinity ~ Pris Roos


Infinity Mirrors ~ Yayoi Kusama


Infinity ~ Sandra Bauser


“The power of imagination makes us infinite.” — John Muir

Cats — a Rerun

My cats have been acting wacky lately — I am blaming it on Spring Fever.

With that in mind, I was perusing some older blogs and came upon this one. Maybe I should sit down and read it to Tom and Mysty…

Cat’s Eyes
August 17, 2016 ~ Claudia ~ “Cat’s Eyes”

My life has been a whirlwind these past few weeks. I’ve taken off to North Carolina and visited my bff and a city that was fun and busy and full of Southern charm, went to work for two days, then took off to Northern Wisconsin and noshed and laughed and cackled with friends while we hid from the rain.

It seems everyone had fun these past few weeks except for one.


My Cat.

Do you ever get punished by your pets for going away?  I have two cats, a toughy, lovey boy tuxedo named Tom, and a once-tiny-now-balloony girl Mysty. Tom could care less when I come and go. He sleeps with whomever is around, including sometimes the dogs.

Mysty is another story.

Everytime I go away and then return she makes eye contact, barely acknowledging my return, then gives me the cold shoulder for the day.

I didn’t think cats held grudges. But this one does.

When I’m home she’s on my computer, twisting her cute little head sideways, insisting on pets. She sleeps by my head, climbs all over me when I watch TV, all that cute little cat stuff.

But when I’ve been gone a few days — worse, when the whole family has been away and the cats have been left alone — well, hell hath no fury like a kitty scorned.

Of course, things are back to normal after a long day. I don’t think cats have that long of a memory span, and besides, they want to be fed. And pet. But for those few first hours, I swear my cat pouts and looks forlornly out the window, dreaming of a house where her master momma stayed home and played with her every day.

Maybe that’s why I didn’t leave my first born until he was 2 or 3. Just think of the dramatic sigh a toddler would make, looking forlornly out the window, dreaming of a house where his momma stayed home and played with him every day.

That is, until grandma or grandpa gave him popcorn or a Butterfinger or took him to the park. Which was instantly after I drove away.

Maybe I should offer a Butterfinger to Mysty…


Sunday Evening Art Gallery (on Monday) – Tina Lane

Tina Lane works in truly a multimedia arena.
She works with photography, painting, and glass works.

“It is always difficult to explain my work,” she states.

The concept is to use the “inarticulate mind,” allowing the subconscious to speak without the pre-determination of an outcome.

I often find out as much about myself at the same time as the viewer.More of Tina Lane‘s amazing art can be found at



What If…

What If

Those are the words of imagination. Of exploration, of conquering new worlds. Of trying a new style of clothing, car, or food.

What If

I suffer from a lot of What If. None of it destructive, mind you, although it does hit me when I’m driving to and from work a lot (it’s on an empty back road so don’t worry…I still pay attention..). What if I drove into the middle of that cornfield? What if I turned around and drove straight to the airport and bought a ticket to San Antonio? What if I looked up into the evening sky and saw a dragon flying across the horizon?

What If can be fun. They can be dangerous. 

But they also can be illuminating.

What If takes you out of your comfort zone. Out of your self-conscious ego and self-damaging thoughts. It takes you to worlds where hobbits talk with faeries and American spies get thrown into Russian prisons. It makes apples purple and skin scarlet.  

What If makes you think and daydream without getting hurt. What if there really was a zombie apocalypse? I mean what if zombies were trashing the city, town, closest to you? What would you do? Where would you go? What happens if zombies are everywhere? And you’re stuck in your house? How long would it take you to run out of food? Would you sacrifice your dog or cat so they would go away?

Or what if you were walking through the park on a summer evening and a gnome walked out of the bushes and stopped and looked at you on your path? Or if a faerie landed on your shoulder? I mean, really! What would you do? How would you react?

What If can obviously take you in dark places. What If you and your friend drove off the cliff like in Thelma and Louise? What if you drank a soda that turned out to be poison? What if you fell down the stairs and you weren’t near a phone and lived alone and no one ever came to visit you?

What Ifs are a creative person’s best friend. You can take funny, scary, wonderful thoughts and turn them into make believe. Like a painting. A painting of walking down the street of 1890’s Paris is all make believe. The painter never walked those streets, saw those streetlights, or said good evening to people walking past in hats and long dresses and suits.

But they did say…What If I were walking down the streets in 1890 Paris? What would I see? How would they be dressed? What would the stores look like? 

I  wrote two novels about What If. What If by some accident you woke up in 1880? You knew nothing about the times, the manners, the ambitions of the people you encounter. What would you do?

Keep those What Ifs going. Write them down, paint them, grow them. Let your imagination take you on a magic carpet ride.

Which leads to…what if there really was a magic carpet and you could sit and ride on it? Where would you go? Would it be windy? Could you fall off? Would you fly into birds and bugs and….

Friday Night Gif Nite

It has been quite a while since I’ve shared some fantastic gifs. To me, gifs are magic. I have no idea how they are made…like a movie, I just sit in awe and get lost into their magic.

So it’s about time to share this magic with my besties. You. Use them on your posts, your emails, your blogs and your stories. Just dance in the magic!








The In-Between

Good Evening My Friends! I’ve missed you all!

I am sitting on the sofa this evening, curled up in the corner under a blanket, watching the birds land in and out of the feeder before it gets dark. The weather is cool, rainy, almost snowy. It’s that in-between weather that brings on this in-between feeling.

Is it Spring by you? I mean warm, sunshiny, flower popping, sweet breezin’ kind of weather?

Mine is on hold.

Hold for me means not in the mood for doing much of anything. No writing, no cooking, no cleaning. No reading.  No wardrobe enhancements. Just being a slug until the sun shines a little brighter…and warmer.

I like to think of this  in-between time as all those seeds of creativity that have been brooding all winter getting ready to pop. All my ideas, notions, and plans are percolating right beneath the surface, finding their way around rocks and through soft spots and say hi to the worms on their way to the surface. And once they burst into the sunlight…

That sounds all well and good. Tomorrow. Ah yes….everything looks better Tomorrow.

So tell me! How do you cope with the in-between time? Do you plan new projects? Vacations? Do you sketch ideas for future paintings? Do you plan new meal ideas? Try new recipes? Do you reread your writing? Watch movies?

Love to see how you ride the in-between!

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Georgia O’Keeffe

Georgia Totto O’Keeffe (November 15, 1887 – March 6, 1986) was a 20th century American painter and pioneer of American modernism best known for her canvases depicting flowers, skyscrapers, animal skulls and southeastern landscapes.

Considered the “mother of American modernism,” O’Keeffe moved to New Mexico after her husband’s death and was inspired by the landscape to create numerous well-known paintings.

She remained independent from shifting art trends and stayed true to her own vision, which was based on finding the essential, abstract forms in nature.

With exceptionally keen powers of observation and great finesse with a paintbrush, O’Keeffee recorded subtle nuances of color, shape, and light that enlivened her paintings and attracted a wide audience.

Her primary subjects were landscapes, flowers, and bones, explored in series over several years and even decades.

The images were drawn from her life experience and related either generally or specifically to places where she lived.

Georgia O’Keeffe died on March 6, 1986 at the age of 98.

More of Georgia O’Keeffe’s wonderful paintings can be found at

Sunday Evening Art Gallery on Thursday — Kang Dong Hyun

Korean artist Kang Dong Hyun constructs hollow animal sculptures from a system of metallic branches.

 Hyun creates animal-shaped, metal figurines that look as though they are formed from delicate tree branches and twigs.

 His works often have a high concentration of these sprig-like elements constructing the animal’s face, which allow the distinguishing characteristics of his house cats, birds, bulls, and elephants to take form.

In one particular piece a lion’s full facial features are brought to life through his network of sculpted twigs, a furrowed brow projecting a look of worry or remorse.

When placed outdoors, each sculpture takes on a new life of its own as the sun hits its reflective surface.

You can see more of Kang’s interpretations of the animal kingdom at My Modern Met.

How Do You Do It?

Well, I’ve done it again.

There was a time not so long ago I swore off of Social Media Headlines. All the crap I had to wade through to find out real news wasn’t worth it.

News is one thing. I also enjoy entertainment articles. Thinking I could slide over the main page and go directly to Entertainment, I was brought down by today’s Entertainment headline:

Here’s what we know about the person who bit Beyoncé.

Does this madness ever end?

I know I know…I brought it on myself. I could have listened to the top 3 news stories on the radio on my way to work and know all I have to know about the world. But sometimes I want a little more.

What is more in today’s world?

Since the time of orators in the middle of Roman squares, people have wanted to know what was going on. Not only about war and crucifixions, but which Roman Senator was dismissed from his duties for actions unbecoming to a Roman Senator.

I admit I like a little gossip in my life. My family life is fantastic, albeit not changing much from day to day. My job borderlines boredom. What gossip there is around the office is lame at best. I hate most TV shows and I’m bored with the book I’m reading.

So what’s wrong with a little news and entertainment in my life?

Unfortunately, with the good comes the bad. For every informational headline there is Tyler Perry reveals the best part of being rich and Did New Mom Kylie Jenner Just Dye Her Hair Blonde? ‘I Think I Was Meant to Be’ She Says.

How those headlines mix with those on sexual harrassment, marriage and divorce I’ll never know.

I think it’s important to keep up on the news, no matter how sickening it is. But there is a line between real news about real situations and who’s tweeting what. Same for entertainment. Or sports.

How do you take your news? How do you balance what you need to know with trash you don’t?

I’m going to do my best to keep away from the junk. It only pumps me up. I’ll glance over the words if I have to, looking out for key words if I don’t. But I don’t know how long I can keep it up.  I am weak.

Tell me how you do it.



Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Robert Finale

The powerful and captivating works of the artist Robert Finale flow naturally from a deep-rooted passion and God given talent for capturing the intrinsic beauty in humankind and nature.

The artist is no stranger to struggles and adversity. At the tender age of two, he along with his family left the country of Cuba for a life of freedom ad opportunity in the United States.

His paintings transport you to a time and place of private charm, a haven of pure and quiet delight.

Each painting is a journey of unspoken words and hidden whispers of freedom, nurturing the hopes and dreams that exist within all of us. These feelings are resurfaced and unveiled through beautiful city images in romantic surroundings placing the viewer in the dream world of unconscious thoughts.

As Robert places the final brush strokes on the canvas, he is conscious of the fact that the art is a universal language. Therefore, one canvas represents the window to millions of different emotions that have existed and exist through all of us, giving the viewer a powerful, tool to look within his own world, for the understanding of life’s journey.

More of Robert Finale‘s wonderful paintings can be found at

I’m Turning Into My Mother

I’m turning into my mother.

Well, really, my sweet Irish mother passed away at 54, so I don’t know what she would have been like as an old lady.

I’m turning into everyone else’s mother.

And I don’t think I like it. But I can’t do anything about it.

I always used to wonder why my father-in-law was such a bastard when he got older. He hated everything (except his grandkids), enjoyed trash talking everything from politics to ethnicities. And he enjoyed it.

Now I’m not a bear like he was, but I find that more and more things are just bugging the heck out of me. Like I’ve constantly got an itch that I can’t scratch.

Like politics. Not getting into ANY discussions, but damn, someone should take Twitter away from that man. The news about his son, his staff, all just makes me sick.

Or traffic. I went into the city a few weeks ago and it bugged the heck out of me. Drivers are ignorant. They wander where they want to when they want to. And forget about signals. That’s as foreign as Jiaozi (Chinese dumplings).

I love old time rock and roll music (thanks, Bob Seeger), but not screamy high pitched or eternal guitar solos, especially at 7 am when I’m going to work or 4 pm when I’m headed home. Its the same old songs on the same old radio stations…no wonder I’m beginning to hate Styx.

See what I mean? I’m turning into one of those old crabby ass people.

My idea of a summer evening is sitting on the deck, listening to the birds and all, feeling the breeze on my cheeks. No parties, no barbeques…just peace and quiet.

That’s an old person’s favorite thing to do.

My idea of music at work is upbeat classical or smooth jazz. Who can listen to Metallica or Green Day while you’re typing figures?

That’s an old person’s view of music.

I really try not to fall into the black hole of old peoplehood. I run around with my grandkids, go to Gaelic Storm concerts, go for walks for exercise a couple of times a week. I love reading, writing, and doodling. I try new food and don’t care for most of it.

Maybe it’s just that I’ve had a lifetime of politics where nothing has changed. Friends of mine went to the Peace Corps after high school. They are still bombing where they visited. People are bringing guns into schools and shooting anything that moves.

The names have changed but the situations haven’t.

That’s why I’d rather sit and watch grass grow. I’m not afraid that it’s going to come to my house and murder me in my sleep or steal my car or bomb my apartment.

Maybe that’s not being old after all. Maybe it’s just being smart.

Spring is Here

By the time you read this, Spring will be officially here (at least for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere…you southerners have had it long enough!)

One of the parts of being old that I really love is that I can start to say, “I remember when…” I do that alot. But I digress. But I remember when I was younger that winters were more winter-like. We froze from December until March, feets of snow (is there such a phrase?), dug out every other week, and had a jolly old time jumping off roofs into the huge snowbanks. Now we get snow and after a few days it’s nothing but dirty mush. What fun is that?

I must admit we have some odd habits here in the middle of the U.S.

The first sign of spring around here is when you spot people in sweatshirts and shorts. I don’t know — I think it’s a Wisconsin thing. But it can be 40 degrees out and everybody’s in shorts. Not yet t-shirt weather, they make due with sweatshirts.

The number of joggers/walkers/runners seem to increase the day it turns 45 too. Although the ranks thin out during the summer, I applaud those who run through the puddles of melted snow just to make it around the block.

Starting the first week in April our stores are jammed with perfectly amazing plants and trees for your garden. Of course, they never look as fresh and blooming when you get them home as they do hanging on the Walmart rack, but hey! You can do it too! The ground is usually still frozen in the beginning of April, though, so that just means you have to prevent all your flowering gems from wilting or frosting by keeping them inside the back door until thaw time.

I myself am the harbinger of the other spring past time — driving with the window open, blasting music to beat the band. I have been known to open the window at 40 degrees, even 37 if it’s sunny and there is no wind. I just crank up the heater by my feet a little, and pretend I’m in a convertible.

Spring is the time to air out your car, your clothes, and your lungs. It’s the time I want to quit my job, go wandering hither and tither, lunch on the hill, put my toes in the lake, watch the moonrise, stay up until 3 am, then sleep in. Of course, I don’t have a hill or a lake or an open view of the moon.

But there is something about the first warm day after a long, long winter than makes new life possible. I don’t know how many springs I have left, but know that as soon as it’s 50 I’m grabbing my shorts and sweatshirt and jogging around the block.

What do you do when spring comes?

Sunday Evening Art Gallery on Monday Evening — Chris Maynard

I have so many wonderful artists to share with you, I decided to bring you to the Gallery on a Monday Evening…Enjoy…


Chris Maynard has worked with feathers since he was twelve. His unique feather shadowboxes are recognized by art collectors, bird lovers, and a wide and interesting variety of people from around the world.

He only has time to turn a small portion of his ideas, which fill many notebooks, into his shadow box feather designs. His favorite tools are the tiny eye surgery scissors, forceps, and magnifying glasses passed down through his family.

Maynard combines his strong backgrounds in biology and ecology into not only his art, but also a tabletop book and engaging and informative talks on the beauty, function, and meaning of feathers. He is a member of Society of Animal Artists and Artists for Conservation.

Feathers mark nature’s pinnacle of achievement: the intersection of function and beauty. They make flight possible; insulate against water, sun and wind; and their colors and patterns help them hide and attract mates.

To Chris Maynard, each feather is a small bit of perfection. When birds shed or discard their feathers every year, he recycles them in his art.

The feathers Maynard uses are from private aviaries and zoos. Most feathers used are from birds not native to North America—even the crow feathers. The exception to using feathers from North America are those from turkeys and grouse. All feathers used in Maynard’s artwork are legal to have and sell.

More of Chris Maynard’s incredible feather work can be found at