Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Jess Bell

Jess Bell is a Canadian photographer and animal lover.Bell is very passionate about animal photography, and recently created artistic images of animals in action.The bright colors and dynamic swirls are captured in  real time,  the powder acting as a perfect action amplification device.As a result, every single image is unique and highlights the amazing differences between how dogs of various breeds and body shapes move. Bell says, “Animal photography is my passion. I endeavor to create impacting images that go beyond the standard photograph to become true works of art.“I use light, color and the beauty of the natural world to bring images alive; to convey the love and energy embodied by our four-legged companions.”“As a result, every single image is unique and highlights the amazing differences between how dogs of various breeds and body shapes move.”

More of Jess Bell‘s amazing photography can be found at http://www.jessbellphotography.com.

 

 

I Need Some Inspiration!

Some evenings I am so pumped up to work on my writing I can’t sit still. I do research, first drafts, correspondence, quotes — my resources are endless. Other evenings I sit like a frozen Popsicle in front of the computer screen, fingers poised to write, nothing coming out.
It’s like the heart is there, but the mind is not. It is in a million other places. And nowhere.
Do you ever feel like that?
How do you get your engine revved up after you finish a big project? Do you have to wait for the next inspiration to hit you before you can move forward? Do you do “busy” work in the background, like clean up photos, arrange or delete or arrange notes until inspiration returns?
My A.D.D. can’t take sitting still, imagining nothing.
My book about going to Paris was so tough — and so pleasurable — I have no idea where to go next. I look back on past work, and I just don’t feel like going back in that direction. Time travel, love, misunderstanding self and the world around them. I don’t feel like making up worlds like a couple of other books. I don’t feel like “visiting” Italy or Japan at the moment. Nor traveling between realms.
Can creative people ever sit still?
Let me know how you deal with restlessness. Where you get new ideas from.
Being locked down in the pandemic, real travel is out of the question. Astral travelling is on hold as well. No spaceships or faerie trains leaving the station for a while. Crystal caves and church crypts are closed for construction now, too. It’s too hot for glam camping, and all the art and music festivals both around here or over at Rivendell or Shangri-La have been cancelled this year as well. All the mythical beasts I can catch a ride with are already booked with other travelers.
I could try and find a few 1930s/1940s movies to take me back somewhere. I wonder where Fred Astaire got off to? Probably having dinner with Captain Kirk or Randolph Scott. Figures I wasn’t invited this time. Maybe one of Al Capone’s speakeasies are still open for late night drinks! Or at least one of those all-nighters like the Mos Eisley Cantina or Quark’s Bar should be open.
Don’t worry — I’ll come up with something.

Sunday Evening Art Gallery (midweek) — Tiffany Lamps

A Tiffany Lamp is a type of lamp with a glass shade made with glass designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany and his design studio.Famously associated with the Art Nouveau movement, the extravagantly decorative Tiffany lamps are rare and highly-sought collectors’ items.Hand crafted, the iconic stained glass lamps, lamp shades, lights and window panels were created by soldering together small pieces of colored glass to produce enchanting and individual objects.Genuine Tiffany lamps were made between 1890 and 1930.Tiffany studios used confetti glass which changes color when the lamp is lit. They have a bronze base; however, there were no zinc, wood or plastic versions.Over twenty years of time, Tiffany designed many specific styles of his lamps.Most of his luminaries can be grouped into one of seven specific categories, defining their detailed characteristics: the Irregular Upper and Lower Border, Favrile, Geometric, Transition to Flowers, Flowered Cone, and Flowered Globe Lamps.Genuine Tiffany lamps can be found at reputable dealers and websites across the Internet.

 

 

Get Creative — Then Get Outside!

A beautiful summer’s day outside. I should be out there, walking, or at least fetching the dog, walking down the paths, daydreaming of new story lines or what color to color my hair.

Instead, I’m inside, sitting in front of my computer. Final editing, I say. Looking for dinosaur remote cars for my grandson, I say. Ordering the six disc Lord of the Rings/Hobbit movies, I say.

This is insane. 

I’m going outside in five minutes. I just wanted to share that I have found so many amazing, beautiful, unusual artists for upcoming Sunday Evening Art Galleries that I’m about to burst.

Humankind can be sooooooo creative. Amazing to the point where they put me to shame.

Happy, it’s okay shame, so to speak.

Here are a couple of pictures of upcoming blogs: Take a look and be amazed, too.

 

 

kalamkari

 

 

Jeff Bell

 

 

cars

 

Ellen Jewett

 

 

There are more, more, more. I hope I don’t overcrowd your Reader. But I want to get the majesty and quirkiness and beauty of the Arts out there where it is loved and appreciated — in your hands. 

Continue your creative quest. Keep trying. Don’t be afraid to be the same; don’t be afraid to be different. 

And share your creativity with those around you.  With me. With the world.

Gotta go outside now……

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Morgana Wallace

 

Morgana Wallace is a Victoria, British Columbia based artist.Her mixed media compositions are created through a fine treatment of collage working the paper to create multiple layers and various textures.Additionally, she will apply gauche to many of her works to add detail.Each piece brings together references of various mythologies with fantastical and dream like elements, creating engaging and complex works of art.Wallace often uses Japanese linen paper in her work because of her attraction to its texture, mixing it with thin card stock to create her characters’ flowing hair.Other materials used in her works include X-ACTO knives, water colors, gouache, and pencil crayons.To create depth and shadows she also uses foam board which adds to the painterly quality of her scenes.

More of Morgana Wallace‘s work can be found at http://www.madronagallery.com/artists/morgana-wallace. 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery (flashback) — Snowflakes

December, 2014. Snow. Blow. For many of us, thoughts of a winter landscape are still six months away. But reflecting back on the beauty of these ice formations, I tend to think of them more as spun glass than ice crystals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Find more snowflakes in the Gallery — open all day and night!

Epiphany amidst the cacophony

A wonderful repost today from a blogger I’ve followed for quite a while. A reflection of what is going on around us … yet hope for the future.

A Journey Called Life ...

At 6 AM everyday, I see an old man sitting alone in the park, sipping hot coffee from his Peet’s mug. He keeps his mask under his chin, and watches the birds flying above. I try to keep the social distance, tip-toe, and  balance my steps with my foggy glasses and cotton masks. Yet I wonder why he is there, for months, at that time of the day, alone.

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Keeping The Past in the Past

First photograph of woman, 1840

Do you ever do anything that, frankly, surprises you?

Not necessarily something that brings out your heroic side or your demonic side — more like something that pops up and you react to it, then are surprised about your reaction?

I think it started with an email I received. I don’t remember the actual trigger, but I found myself going online and searching for my maiden name. I’d never done that before, or, if I had, it was so long ago I didn’t care.

So I found my maiden name, and there were a couple of us. That’s no surprise. But then there was a picture of my mother and father at my very first wedding 45 years ago. That marriage barely lasted a year, and is such old news it could be filed along with the Great Depression and the Drafting of the Constitution of the United States.

Way back then there was no Internet. No social media. No Facebook.

How did that picture wind up online?

I didn’t even recognize the couple. It had to be my parents, yet I don’t remember even having a photographer back then.

I started to freak out.

Now, some of you would continue researching photos and Ancestery.com and other family members to see just what the Internet has on your past. After all, it is YOUR past. My late brother’s picture kept popping up, a wonderful man who died way too soon for all of us. And there was an old picture of a couple who could or could not have been my parents (it was too fuzzy to see without paying a history service).

But I froze. I suddenly didn’t want to look back that far into my past.

I felt like I was looking up someone’s skirt. The past was the past. Not terrible, not wonderful — just life. And a life so far removed from my family of today that I felt no real connection to it. When I lost my brother I lost the last of my family. I was alright with that.

Why did seeing my maiden name online freak me out so much?

I realized that I don’t look that far back at my past at all. I try not to think about old friends, old family get togethers, old jobs. I don’t have haunting memories or terrible experiences to expunge; I don’t really have any regrets about the choices I made. And  past boyfriends don’t really matter, as I’ve been happily married for 38 years. I loved my parents and still dream of them now and then. So there’s no psychological mumbo jumbo to work through.

I know my present is much more across the board on the Internet these days. Writing a blog, using online services, and having friends who also carouse the Internet, makes keeping your current name and place public knowledge. We all have more info online than we want to admit.

But information from 45 years ago? That’s nobody’s business. I don’t really feel it’s any of my business, either. Not after all these years. How strange.

This adverse reaction surprised me at the time, but really, it shouldn’t. I’ve swept off the road behind me for some time now, concentrating on where I am today and where I am going tomorrow. My little brain cannot possibly multi task like that without short circuiting somewhere down the line. 

And I have enough short circuiting going on as it is……

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Rebecca Louise Law

Rebecca Louise Law is a London-based installation artist, best known for her breathtaking interactive large-scale installations consisting of thousands of suspended flowers. 

Rebecca is widely recognized for colossal floral artworks sculpted using her signature copper wire.She works with fresh or dry flora and allows the work to change naturally.Large scale artworks are site-specific, designed with the space, patron and local culture in mind.Smaller scale sculptures are encased in Victorian-style vitrines that
serve to preserve the contents – flowers, foliage and sometimes
insects – in a moment of time.Law has been working with natural materials and flowers for over 17 years. Her work is underpinned by her love of exploring the interlinked relationship between humanity and nature.Law is passionate about natural change and preservation, allowing her work to evolve as nature takes its course and offering an alternative concept of beauty.More of Rebecca Louise Law‘s amazing work can be found at https://www.rebeccalouiselaw.com/.

 

 

We Are All The Gambler — repost

A post from three years ago — it popped up (again!) in my Facebook feed.  I think it’s even more appropriate now.

 

 

We Are All The Gambler

You’ve got to know when to hold ’em
Know when to fold ’em
Know when to walk away
Know when to run
You never count your money
When you’re sittin’ at the table
There’ll be time enough for countin’
When the dealin’s done.

 

It’s a precarious ledge we stand on, isn’t it?

Do you know when to hold your ground? When to give in?

When to walk away? When to Run?

It’s not as easy as it seems, is it?

We want to run away, we want to stay and fight.

We say it’s not worth it, yet sometimes it’s all there is.

Pick your battles.

Fight the fights worth fighting for.

Blow off the rest.

A stay in a hospital isn’t worth it.

Nor is a broken soul.

 

Every gambler knows
That the secret to survivin’
Is knowin’ what to throw away
And knowin’ what to keep
‘Cause every hand’s a winner
And every hand’s a loser
And the best that you can hope for
Is to die in your sleep.

~Kenny Rodgers

 

Shopping for Gallery Bits

 

Sometimes I find the flow of discovering unique artists fascinating. Sometimes my wandering leads me nowhere — other times it opens doors of pure delight. 

What is Art?

We all have our definition as to what has an aesthetic quality and what is just nonsense. I don’t mean the artist’s work is nonsense; it means you now and then come across something that is fascinating, yet so different, that you can’t make heads nor tails of it.

How do I choose whom to highlight? And whom to pass by?

I hate passing by any artist I come across. Each artist puts their soul into their work, whether it’s intricate or massive. Some are called by color; others by texture or complexity. Some are called by the dark side. Others — angels. You get what I mean.

How do I know which artists to share with you?

Sometimes it’s hard. 

I try and stay “unique.” That’s the big ticket. What’s the difference between “unique” and “bizarre”? I guess it’s the story about the artist that cinches the deal. I try to find art that can be disturbing yet is ingenious. Amazing yet understandable. I’ve seen a few lately that make me wonder.

It’s all such a whirlygig. But it’s interesting and fun. Suggestions are always welcome.

I really hope you are enjoying these unique artists. They are all part of the glowing, growing world of art.

Art with a capital

 

 

 

Repost of a Collaborative Poem — I can not find any way alone (ft. Ryan Hair)

 

I came across this post the other eve, and I absolutely love the idea of a collaborative poem. I love the way each other’s words swirl around each other.  Thank you, Lucy!

 

__________________________

This is a collaborative poem between me and Ryan Hair. I wrote the lines in italics, while his lines are in regular font. I do hope you enjoy our poem; it was quite thrilling to write it together.

 

As I go through this journey of life, I can not find any way alone. I need you by my side. I need you to be my true north, my compass, and my guide.

Subdued, my dear.

Unreeling in the emptiness

in limb by limb

we are dreaming;

the wind howls

and endures the body of the crow

and pigeon,

It consumed me, as I walk in the world. Know that I am lost and alone. I button my coat and hug myself, trying to shield myself from damp and dark.

You see me, I see you

the waves cast illusion

into the eye of the eve;

dead flowers

my bare fingers

trace

each white catalpa dead, and a sea

continues to flow  

My only companion is the cold winter wind, which is cutting through the wool of my coat

Blood sweat falls from the thorns

and white petals

like fingernails; the winter wind shuts

my eyes, I see you, I see you,

but in prose, these pleas are lost;

our madness deadens the membrane

of us.

(more)

……… https://lucysworks.com/2020/07/18/i-can-not-find-any-way-alone-ft-ryan-hair/

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Franz Marc

Franz Marc (1880-1916) was a German print maker and artist.He not only had an influence on art during his time, but was considered to be one of the key figures of the Expressionist movement in Germany.Influences such as Fauvism, Cubism and Impressionism all impacted on the way in which Franz Marc created form. After early experiments with Naturalism and Realism, Marc later eschewed those styles in favor of the greater symbolic potential of abstraction.He is most famous for his images of brightly colored animals, especially horses, which he used to convey profound messages about humanity, the natural world, and the fate of mankind.Color was extremely important for Marc. Not only did he understand the potential for color to affect mood, he developed a specific theory of color symbolism.Franz Marc spent time analyzing the use of color within art history. He then formulated a method of color for his own work.Blue tones would symbolize strength and masculinity, yellows for the feminine side, and red with the physical and violent modern world.More of Franz Marc‘s beautiful art can be found at http://www.franzmarc.org/.

 

Let’s Go There Together

This popped up on my Facebook history this morning from four years ago. Had to repost it. Come on everybody — let’s go crazy together!

Humoring the Goddess

two-old-ladiesIt is truly the beginning of Summer — 85-90 degrees, thunderstorms out of nowhere, sweaty body parts and streets that wave in the heat (who ever thought?)

Trying to find time to finish my Sunday Evening Art bloggeroonie, along with cleaning, cooking, watering the plants, catch up on Game of Thrones, play fetchie with the dogs, and run around with my grandson. I don’t remember being this busy 30 years ago when my own kids were little. All this running around with lists and markerboards and post-it notes full of things I don’t want to forget make me begin to wonder.

I sometimes wonder if I am at the beginning stages of dementia — I forget names, I forget occasions. I get turned around at the drop of a hankie. I was talking to my bff in the car on the way to the Art Fair Saturday: we were in…

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I’m Finished!

After months of angst and woe and apprehension, I have finally finished my book.

It feels amazing.

I am a lame duck in the writing world. I have written many a novel, a short story, a poem. But I don’t toot my horn often and I haven’t been published, except for an article here and there a number of years ago.

Of course there is editing editing editing to do. But I have followed the road to its end.

I am of the strange sort that it doesn’t really matter if I get published or not. It’s the thrill of the chase that sustains me.

Surely you have had creative moments where all you want to do is — create. You have this nebulous or fairly detailed idea in your head of something you want to make. Pick an art. It doesn’t matter. We all start from a seed, and, if we’re lucky, it grows into a fine, tall, sturdy tree.

Sometimes the seed splits and doubles and all you have to show for your progress is a couple of bushy, out-of-control bursts of color.

Other times, though ….

I don’t know whether I’ll try to get this one published or not. There’s always an e-book or whatever if I just can’t stand not having the world hear about Paris.

But more importantly, I have a finished creative product in my hands.

Something that came completely from my head.

Something that turned this way and that until it became a beautiful vase on the potter’s wheel. A landscape painting of immeasurable beauty. A song that gives you goose bumps every time you hear it. A movie that makes your heart burst out of your chest because it’s so poignant. 

It’s like birthing a baby. You don’t know what it will become, but your life has become richer for it.

Keep your creativity going. Don’t stop. Not if you really want to feel free.

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Tohukiro Kawai

Tohukiro Kawai is a Japanese surrealist contemporary artist who’s best known for his regal cat paintings.Unique and whimsical, the paintings of royal cats look both majestic and kingly while at the same time putting a smile on the spectator’s face.By drawing inspiration from the Renaissance style of painterly technique, Kawai delivers a unique visual style full of myths, legends, and fantasies.Kawai wants to work on the fragile bond between story and picture to bring the two into reunion.Since gods and faith are less related to our modern society, Kawai “complements the theme with his own imagination,” the artist’s official page reads.Kawai’s paintings are always illustrations without chapters with classical technique portraying stories of modern lives.

More of Tohukiro Kawai‘s whimsical paintings can be found at http://www5.plala.or.jp/kawaitokuhiro/Top.html.

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery (flashback) — Crowns

Could it only have been December of 2014 that I introduced the world of Crowns to my friends and followers? One stone on one crown on one head could pay for your house. Two stones would allow you to fly around the world. Let’s go play in the imagination and see what royalty would bring us!

 

Royal Crown of India

 

Queen Mary’s Coronation Crown

 

 

Minor Imperial Crown of Russia

 

 

Crrown of Iran
Crown of Iran

 

 

Imperial Crown of the Holy Roman Empire

 

 

Queen Crown of Bavaria

 

 

Crown of King Martin I of Sicily and Aragon

 

 

Crown of Hallie Selassie

 

 

Tiara of Pope Pius IX

 

 

Crown of Empress Kunigunde

 

 

Kiani Crown of Persia

 

A lot more Imperial Crowns can be found over at the Gallery. Come on over and try a few on!

 

 

Hamilton and Beyond

Last night I watched the play Hamilton on the Disney Channel. I have wanted to see this production since it came out four years ago, but never made it to a theater near me.

There is something about live performances that is nothing like a movie or a video or a string of pictures. It’s something fresh and raw. You share the energy directly with the actors; you don’t have an editor cutting out mistakes or miscues like in the movie world. You are right there with every breath they take. Every tear they hide.

This performance was amazing.

That is the first word that comes to mind when I think of the performance.

Amazing.

What is more amazing is that Lin-Manuel Mandala did it all. The music, the lyrics, the dialogue.

Every now and then you come across someone who is classified as a genius in their special field. Newton. Einstein. Currie. Plato. Aristotle. People who were able to think “out of the box.” So much so that they are the best of the best in their field.

I cannot judge if Lin-Manuel is in the same category as Einstein, but his creativity provided two hours of magic. Rapping, dialogue, story line, music — a magical explosion of creativity.

We are all genuises in our own way. Every time you create some sort of art you are expanding and changing reality to fit your own personal vision. Sometimes, if you are lucky enough, you pop through the ceiling and find a way to share your talent with the world on a massive scale. Lin-Manuel certainly did.

But if you can’t pop through that almost impermeable ceiling,  should you just give up and go back to your day job?

What if your creativity is your day job?

What I have seen, through all my years, all my desires and dreams, is that you just have to keep being you. You have to push yourself, both creatively and socially. You want to get more people to view your work — work on it. Want to move forward on the tract of notoriety? Work on it.

Fame doesn’t just walk in the door and say “let’s go.” It may knock and run, pass your door completely, or say “I’ll be back later.”  You have to work hard no matter what comes your way. Work hard to improve, to diversify, to perfect your craft.

And enjoy what you do every day you do it.

It took Lin-Manuel Mandala seven years to write Hamilton. He worked hard, created hard. He crossed the barrier from creative sprite to genius. Maybe you can, maybe you can’t. But never give up. Give your art all you have.

Einstein will be proud.

 

 

I See You Peeking In …

I have noticed that the number of followers for my blog has been slowly increasing lately, and for that I am soooo grateful. It means so much to me that you are either enjoying my BoHo Chic Old Lady offerings, my newly discovered Faerie Paths, or my love of discovery of unique art.

And I’ve been thinking. I would bet that more than a few of you are artistically inclined. The spectrum of creativity is far and wide. And I’d love to know about it. About YOU.

I’ve gone on about others’ creativity for years. I have made friends with poets, painters, fabric artists,  and potters. I’ve shared their art and websites to encourage my readers to explore further the gifts we all are given.

If you are developing an artistic talent, why not let me know? You don’t have to be first in your field to talk about your creative direction — just someone who loves what they do.

Send me an email at writing.unicorn@gmail.com and tell me about your art. Do you have a website? Do you have pictures of your work? Are you trying to learn a particular skill? Have questions?  You can also answer this post and I can go through it and put something together.

True artists get excited about other artists. Help promote each other. Encourage each other.

Let me share a little bit about you!

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Benjamin Sack

Benjamin Sack is an American artist who received his BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2011.Sack’s work explores architecture as a flexible medium capable of expressing the unique space between realism and abstraction; where interpretation and our ability to create meaning is in flux.

Sack draws a majority of his inspiration from art history and classical music.By combining these interests, Sack’s works become symphonies of ink.Skyscrapers, bridges, cupolas, and arches all packed densely together create a city that could hardly be navigated, but when viewed from above result in a sort of chaotic perfection.His work invites the eye to explore drawings of the “big picture,” to gaze into a kaleidoscope of histories and to look further into the elemental world of lines and dots.More of Benjamin Sack‘s intricate work can be found at https://www.bensackart.com.

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery (flashback) — Wine Glasses

Back in February of 2015 I had a blast creating a Sunday Evening Art Gallery about Wine Glasses. Sometimes it was hard to determine what was a wine glass and what was a goblet and what was a chalice, but, hey — to drink out of these is to take a drink on the wild side!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can find a lot more fun wine glasses in the Gallery! Have fun!

A Warm Monday

It is a wonderfully warm-to-hot Monday  here in the Midwest. The butterflies, although fewer in number this year, still come and check out the flowers on my deck, and at night the faerie fireflies tantalize me with hints of their world just beyond my sight.

My sinuses have been rearing their nasty heads lately — I don’t know if it is allergies or sinusitis or just plain old lady sinuses.  But they do make concentrating for any serious amount of time laborious.

It’s the kind of day to sneak in visits to the shaded part of the porch just to enjoy the breeze that tickles your hair and tinkles the windchimes.

If I were a sketcher it might be a perfect time to sketch the black and white butterfly who likes to alight on the white plastic rocker, or the indigo bunting who finds breakfast in the bird feeder.

If I were a painter I would highlight the multi colors of a potted zinnia or the bright pink geraniums that punctuate the lines of the deck, or the different hues of the variety of trees that line the yard.

If I were a potter I would mimic the textures of the leaves and the stones in the driveway and the webbing of the chairs and the beading of the macrame plant hanger in my next creation. My work would reflect the color of the sandy soil, the clay pots, or the weather-worn wood that surrounds my house.

If I were a song writer I would use the staccatos of the birds singing and the notes that accompany their song to create a new and fresh summer melody. I would include the tones of children’s laughter in the distance and the pitch of the dogs’ howls and the sound of the wind blowing through the pine trees.

If I were wood carver I would create wonderful pieces made from fallen trees in the woods. And if I were a creative artist I would combine the rocks from the driveway and the sand from the grandkids’ sandbox and make the most lovely rock gardens and if I were a gardener I would create amazing flower and vegetable gardens that would make the specialty grower jealous.

But I am none of these.

I am merely an average writer who is suffering from sinus pressure and a momentary lapse of inspiration.

Aren’t we all that at one time or another?

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Shirley Quaid

A child of Oklahoma, Shirley Quaid has lived in numerous states as an adult,  but the trail always led back to home, Oklahoma.Her early upbringing on her grandfather’s farm in her formative years had a great influence on her work.Shirley began painting after her children were raised and had her first studio in the back of her husband’s offices in Wewoka, Oklahoma.Her childhood fascination with all things in the 1880’s fueled her eventual concentration on Western Art.She is fascinated with the spirit of living beings, both human and not,  and is happily surprised and delighted when she can reveal their life’s light in her work.Rural Oklahoma called her back in 2016 where she can be found on a daily basis in her studio happily painting images of the people of the American frontier in a representation style.More of Shirley Quaid’s amazing work can be found at https://www.shirleyquaid.com/

 

 

Happy Creativity

I’ve been having the most marvelous time these past few weeks writing my novel.

Now, hopefully we all have times of pleasure pursuing our creative endeavors. Otherwise, why would we bother?

But I had to chuckle. Not long ago I was writing blogs about fearing research (Research Overload) and overthinking and overwhelming (Am I/I Am Overthinking?).

These were, and ARE, legitimate concerns for most of us any time we think about taking on a project larger than ourselves. And we should  be cautious. We should give thought about exactly what we want to accomplish and how we will get there.

But once we push through all the intimidation, apprehension, and false starts, once we start moving forward on creating our dream work, we find that we can really enjoy the ride.

I found that I didn’t need to fill in the days and nights ahead of time. I didn’t need to have every encounter outlined, every reaction accounted for. That I could follow a general direction and fill it in one research day at a time.

Did I worry myself into an early grave? Hardly. But at the beginning it felt like it. 

At the beginning I couldn’t see how I could possibly create a life-like situation from a non-life situation. How I could be the participant in an adventure I never went on.

Then I started to write.

An introduction. A general feeling. A general direction. I loved to write, so I knew I wouldn’t let my inability to research or function stop me. I researched every place, every reference, every food. I thought about how I would react if I were really to see and do the things my lead character does.

And it became easier.

Your projects will become easier, too. 

Sometimes you do need an exact outline, an exact layout, of whatever it is you wish to create. You can’t willy nilly a landscape painting without wondering about the trees, the houses, the season. Same is true for the design of a mosaic or a mural.

Once you get that general feeling, that general outline, in your head, you can start creating. You can go wild, stay straight, or take a quick left turn, if that’s what your muse tells you to do.

You can break the rules once you know what the rules are.

I still have quite a few things to work out, including the big last night climax. I haven’t a clue yet as to who it is with or what it is or what they will talk about. But I know it will come.

Here’s to each and every one of you having a blast with your creations. Hard work pays off, if only in the heart, often in ways you cannot imagine.

And there is nothing greater than a payoff from the heart.

 

 

Dreams — A Second Time

stock-photo_george-redhawkI was going to write about some weird dreams I’ve been having lately, but when going through my blog topics I came across this one. I’d rather share what other people think about dreams….

October is for Dreams

With the growth of social media, people are throwing out inspirational and tell-tale quotes left and right. So in honor of October, the month of Dreams, I have gathered some wonderful ditties you can post away whenever you are in need of something deep, warm, and mystical to say……..

 

Yes: I am a dreamer. For a dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world. ~ Oscar Wilde

I believe in everything until it’s disproved. So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it’s in your mind. Who’s to say that dreams and nightmares aren’t as real as the here and now?  ~ John Lennon

It is by no means an irrational fancy that, in a future existence, we shall look upon what we think our present existence, as a dream. ~ Edgar Alan Poe

All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake up in the day to find it was vanity, but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. ~ T.E.  Lawrence

A garden to walk in and immensity to dream in–what more could he ask? A few flowers at his feet and above him the stars. ~ Victor Hugo

I’ve dreamed a lot. I’m tired now from dreaming but not tired of dreaming. No one tires of dreaming, because to dream is to forget, and forgetting does not weigh on us, it is a dreamless sleep throughout which we remain awake. In dreams I have achieved everything. ~ Fernando Pessoa

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. ~ Edgar Allan Poe

All human beings are also dream beings. Dreaming ties all mankind together. ~ Jack Kerouac

The best thing about dreams is that fleeting moment, when you are between asleep and awake, when you don’t know the difference between reality and fantasy, when for just that one moment you feel with your entire soul that the dream is reality, and it really happened. ~ James Arthur Baldwin

All men whilst they are awake are in one common world: but each of them, when he is asleep, is in a world of his own. ~ Plutarch

Dreams are often most profound when they seem the most crazy. ~ Sigmund Freud

Dreaming is an act of pure imagination, attesting in all men a creative power, which if it were available in waking, would make every man a Dante or Shakespeare. ~ H.F. Hedge

Dreams are more real than reality itself, they’re closer to the self. ~ Gao Xingjian

In sleep, fantasy takes the form of dreams. But in waking life, too, we continue to dream beneath the threshold of consciousness, especially when under the influence of repressed or other unconscious complexes. ~ Carl Jung

Dreams are illustrations… from the book your soul is writing about you. ~ Marsha Norman

A dream is a microscope through which we look at the hidden occurrences in our soul. ~ Erich Fromm

Dreams are the most curious asides and soliloquies of the soul. When a man recollects his dream, it is like meeting the ghost of himself. Dreams often surprise us into the strangest self-knowledge…. Dreaming is the truest confessional, and often the sharpest penance. ~ Alexander Smith

The answer is dreams. Dreaming on and on. Entering the world of dreams and never coming out. Living in dreams for the rest of time.” ~ Haruki Murakami

You know that place between sleep and awake, that place where you still remember dreaming? That’s where I’ll always love you. That’s where I’ll be waiting. ~ J.M. Barrie

I was born to catch dragons in their dens
And pick flowers
To tell tales and laugh away the morning
To drift and dream like a lazy stream
And walk barefoot across sunshine days. ~ James Kavanaugh

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Amy Giacomelli 

Amy Giacomelli started her career in art in 1988 by joining the Entertainment Industry union as a mural artist.Over the years she has painted countless murals and backdrops for studios such as Disney, CBS and Warner Bros., as well as lots of independent shops.Her colorful gallery includes cats, birds, flowers, dogs, landscapes, and other subjects that burst with color and imagination.For Amy, color is at the core of her style.She does a fabulous job of conveying emotion and movement through vibrant shades, well mixed to create bright and beautiful pieces.Often depicting nature, her work draws inspiration from real life, while translating it into more abstract expression..With a background in painting murals, it should be no surprise that Amy enjoys large pieces, sometimes broken up into multi panel works..More of Amy Giacomelli’s work can be found at https://amy-giacomelli.pixels.com/ and https://www.etsy.com/shop/AmyGiacomelli

Faerie Paths — Saturday Morning

 

Saturday morning was come, and all the summer world was bright and fresh, and brimming with life. There was a song in every heart; and if the heart was young, the music issued at the lips. There was cheer in every face and a spring in every step. The locust-trees were in bloom, and the fragrance of the blossoms filled the air. 

 ~Mark Twain

 

 

 

Gif Time!

I realized the other day that I haven’t shared any gifs lately… gifs for you to enjoy, for you to download, or for you to ask “how do they DO that??” Sometimes I use them for blogs — other times I just sit and watch them move.

Although there are millions of gifs all over the Internet, I thought I’d share a few that I found truly unique. A hot June day is the perfect time to share the mesmerizing and delightful world of Graphics Interchange Formats  — gifs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can find more fun gifs on my past posts:

Went Gif Shopping Today!

Been Gif’n Again

Gif A Roonie

Gif Today – Gif Tomorrow

Give-A-Gif Thursday!

Thursday Evening on the Veranda (with a sweater) – gifs

 

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery (midweek) — Alexandra Spyratos

Alexandra Spyratos was born in Kenya where she lives most of her life surrounded by the exotic beauty and wilderness of Africa.Influenced by her colorful background, translating the heat and the exotic beauty of the African wildlife to canvas has become Spyratos’ passion and spiritual goal.This prolific artist has become known for her bold and individual style.Her paintings are rich and textured with oxidized patterned gold and copper leaf, recreating the physicality and textures of the wild that inspires her.Her medium sees a diverse direction evolving into the elegance and glamour of gold, silver and copper leaf combines with the fluorescence.The combination is dynamic and adds a fresh and energetic dimension to her art, aptly termed as “Bohemian Chic”.Alexandra’s artistic presentation of the elephant, ostrich, buffalo, giraffe and predominantly the regal zebra, swirls about and leaps to her palette in representational form.It is this deep inspiration from the heart of Africa that has emerged in Alexandra’s painting of the wildlife and has evolved into a style that straddles all genre and is uniquely her own.More of Alexandra Spyratos can be found at www.facebook.com/alexandraartart/.

 

 

 

 

Get ‘er Goin’!

I thank you for visiting me and the Goddess this week while I was on vacation with my family up  nort’. Again. It is just a wonderful reprise to the daily grind of politics, viruses, hoarder houses, and such.

Even though these weekends are stressful as far as running around with three kids and three dogs, they are fulfilling. At least until my energy runs out. What these getaways also do is refocus my being to things that really matter in life.

But then you come home, kids go one way, you another. And there you are. Vibrating on the sofa, re-circling, refocusing, recharging and open like a toddler.

And you think — what now?

Who wants to go back to washing and folding laundry and doing dishes and mowing the lawn and sitting at a desk answering phones all day?

Who needs it?

If I have learned anything from this C19 nightmare is that most of us need it in one form or another. Kids need to get out of the house and go to school and see friends and stress over math assignments. Moms and dads need to get out of the house and go back to the office and deal with know-it-alls and office gossip and sales goals. Even retired grannies need to get out of the house and join community organizations that help people in one way or another and meet friends for coffee and get back to quilting or writing or whatever they do.

Sitting in the house day after day with nothing but the TV and radio is not good for the creative spirit.

I have written some of my best stories based on people I’ve worked with, places I’ve driven, conversations I’ve either overheard or had myself. The green trees and grass and wild fields around my house are beautiful, but after a while they lose their stimulation ability.

We need to be curious outside our parentheses. We can’t hide from the world and get settled in and do nothing. The world will keep changing but you will not. And one day visitors won’t be able to distinguish you from the beige flowered couch you sit upon.

After a while without people and places and things you find yourself with nothing to talk about. Grandkids can only tell you so many times about the fish that got away or how many hot dogs they ate one day. You can only talk about the old days so much before you finally become boring.

Without outside connections, without outside interactions, you really can turn into a slug. Even if you’re surrounded by grandkids and dogs.

If they aren’t stimulated by something new, neither will you be. If you can’t get out there and bring new and interesting things into their world they will turn out to be 8am-8pm internet slugs…. and so will you.

So, as much as I loved my time away, I am very happy to be back in my up and down world of the mind. I have projects to finish, projects to plan, projects to give up. And it’s only Monday!

Get on up and out today!

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Girl Grey Beauty

Canadian makeup artist Andrea Reed has been busy transforming her lips into colorful and spectacular works of art and it hasn’t gone unnoticed.

Going by the online name of Girl Grey Beauty, Reed has earned herself more than 100,000 followers on Instagram for her lip transformations than can range from Tartan patterns to classical artworks.

Andrea’s feed, which has 900 photos of her lips covered in complex images, were all drawn (and designed) by her, using liquid lipsticks, liquid eyeliners, and a ton of skinny brushes.

“I like to use tiny painting brushes from the art store to create each look,” Andrea shares.

If that sounds impossibly time-consuming, Andrea assures that it most definitely is.“The application alone takes around one-to-two hours, depending on the difficulty and detail level of the lip art,” she says, adding that the entire process (from conception to retouching and editing) can take up to six hours.Her work is whimsical and spectacular. A bit of fun with a lot of talent.

More of Andrea Reed’s amazing beauty work can be found at https://www.instagram.com/girlgreybeauty/ and https://www.facebook.com/girlgreybeauty/.

The Morning Fog

http://www.brendajwiley.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the day
To dream
To sit in the middle
of the grey sky
And watch the mist
swirl by.
Take the day
And embrace
the nothingness.
No rules.
No goals.
True inspiration
A glass that’s never full.
The fog rolls in
At its own pace
Not asking, not caring
What rules are broken
What direction
It should take
Sleepy distraction
The soul whispers
Today is the day
Words to a forgotten story
A glimmer of days passed
And future hopes
Subtle strings coax
Music from the soul
And just for the moment
You are there.
In the future
And the past.

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery (flashback) — Big Heads

MlmI’m certain we all know of people who have “big heads” — those who think they know more than they really do. But I had fun back in December 2014 sharing with you artists’ versions of the big head. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Giant Heads can be found in the Gallery at https://wp.me/p5LGaO-3E. 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Mark Messersmith

 

Mark Messersmith (1955-)  was born in Kansas City, Missouri lives and works in Tallahassee, Florida where he teaches at Florida State University.

The artist extends beyond the frame of his central images surveying man’s ruin. He also includes a small frieze of vignettes at the bottom and sculptural adornments at the frame’s edge.

His work explores themes of spirit and struggle within the modern world’s natural environments.

Messersmith likes to focus on the habitats of Florida’s animals in the way they live and react to one another.

In his words, “My work is really about our relationship to all other living creatures at this precarious moment, a place midway between hope and despair.”

His works reflect plants and animals, which are still able to survive,  often in small isolated natural habitats, and the effects of their inevitable forced migration, dislocation, or isolation.

His works build on stories (either real or conjectured), along with observations and concerns for the creatures that move within the shrinking environs they inhabit.

More of Mark Messersmith‘s inspirational work can be found at https://markmessersmith.com.

 

Knee-Jerk Response

Today was a step into the Twilight Zone. Between being spacey from pain meds for my dental work yesterday to trying to finish up cleaning a house in another city to driving to the DNV to find it closed two days in a row, I have been feeling quite disjointed.

Then today happened.

Walking into the police department (where the DNV was), a van was honking at me. I ignored it and went inside. Closed. Came back outside and the van was pulled into the parking lot across the street. I pulled my car out of the parking spot and noticed the man from that van heading towards me.

There was nobody else around. This middle-aged, balding man with a mask was walking towards my car. 

I, in my infinite wisdom, thought, “Oh no. Here comes a terrorist coming to kill me.”

“Did you honk at me?” I asked. Flight or fight. Flight or fight. I am too chicken to fight, too self-conscious to drive away. The man came up to my car. My window was wide open (I have no A/C in this car.)

“Can you help me please? I cannot find this place,” he said in a heavy foreign accent. More terrorist feed, like tempting a kid with candy before snatching them up and disappearing. 

I put my car into park. He held out his phone to me. On it was a picture of a business card of a financial

something-or-other. The address was one I wasn’t familiar with. I should have said sorry, no, and took off.

But instead I said, “I’m from a different town. But let me check my GPS on my phone and see where this is.” So I did just that. 

Turns out he was just on the wrong side of Main Street. “It’s over next to the library,” I offered. 

“You know where that is?” he asked. I nodded. “Then will you take me there? Please?”

So now what do I do? What do you think I did?

“Sure,” I said.

This man thanked me and blessed me and blessed my family. He wished me long life and blessings. He followed my car down the street, across Main Street, and, turning in from of the library, I pulled over, pointing him to the building across the street. He thanked me and blessed me and blessed my family again. I blessed him too.

And I felt like such a heel.

I hate that knee-jerk reaction when someone different than you talks/looks/approaches you. It’s a generational thing, to be sure. From our parents to us, racial discrimination and judgment is real. We don’t necessarily feel that prejudice, but somewhere in our past we’ve been exposed to it and our automatic flight or fight instinct turns on. And the news and social media and events of the past few days hasn’t helped.

I was ashamed I was afraid of this man. Yes, people do get murdered or attacked in small towns everywhere. But the actual percentage of it being you is so small that the odds of someone attacking you in particular are practically nill. 

And it’s more important to help than to run. At least it is to me. I can’t be afraid of the whole world my whole life. What will be is what will be. 

I am glad I helped the man find his building. I am glad he blessed me and my family. I blessed him and his family, too.

I wish the rest of the world could learn a lesson from this.

Today Is The Day

How many times have you said, “Today is the day”?

Not like in “today is the day I catch a plane to Paris” or “today is the day I see the dentist.”

It’s more like “today is the day I’m going to change” or “today is the day I am going to exercise” or “today is the day I’m going to tackle my insomnia.”

I think more times than we care to admit.

Today I’m going to write. Today I’m going to eat healthier. Today I’m going to take a walk with the dog. Today … Today … Today.

And Today comes and goes and we haven’t done one thing to better ourselves.

I’m not sure why that is. Maybe we’re too busy. Maybe our attention is focused elsewhere. Maybe we are a little more depressed or tired or confused and don’t have the energy to pull off our Today.

I know I’ve said that phrase more times than I can remember. I can’t remember what I was changing, but Today was always going to be THE DAY.

I would sometimes get half-way through the promised land and get distracted. Or up and quit and say who cares. I would give up or plain forget about my life changing vow.

Maybe that’s just being human.

Maybe it’s more than that.

Once again I have started today with good intentions. I’m not conquering the world: I’m not climbing Mt. Everest or working at a hospital saving lives or driving to Chicago to stop the rioting.

I’m merely starting my journey today, one step at a time.

I need to regulate my sleeping. I need to stop drinking caffeine after noon or, better yet, not take it in at all. I need to make a point of walking more, even if it’s around the yard a couple of times. I need to stop shoveling in carbs every time I’m hungry.

You see — your journey isn’t really all that hard. Don’t try and change the world; don’t try and change you. Not all at once.

Hold the words “Today is the day” as if they were sacred whispers. Don’t make your goals bigger than you can handle in one day.

After all, today is only one day.

But it can always be THE day…..

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Frank Lloyd Wright

Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) was an architect and writer whose distinct style helped him became one of the biggest forces in American architecture. 

Taliesin

 

Wright started his own firm and developed a style known as the “Prairie School”, which strove for an “organic architecture” in designs for homes and commercial buildings.

Dana Thomas House

 

These were single-story homes with low, pitched roofs and long rows of casement windows, employing only locally available materials and wood that was always unstained and unpainted, emphasizing its natural beauty.

Fallingwater

 

Wright believed in designing structures that were in harmony with humanity and its environment, a philosophy he called organic architecture.

Grady Gammage Memorial Auditorium

 

As a founder of organic architecture, Wright played a key role in the architectural movements of the twentieth century, influencing three generations of architects worldwide through his works.

Unitarian Society Meeting House

 

Wright designed original and innovative offices, churches, schools, skyscrapers, hotels, museums, and other structures. He often designed interior elements for these buildings, as well, including furniture and stained glass.

Affleck House

 

Considered one of the most radical architects in history, Wright used revolutionary building technologies and materials and experimented with using the natural landscape as part of his designs.

Lewis Spring House

 

Wright was a great originator and a highly productive architect. He designed some 800 buildings, of which 380 were actually built and a number are still standing.

Nathan G. Moore House

 

You can find out more about Frank Lloyd Wright at https://franklloydwright.org.

I’m Still Standing — And So Are You

I just finished watching the 2019 movie Rocketman about the early days of writer/singer Elton John.

Everybody has heard of Elton John.

But not everybody knows the extent of his talent and his vision. I certainly didn’t.

I could (and still do) boogy around the living room to Crocodile Rock and Love Lies Bleeding in My Hands. I can get sappy with Candle In The Wind and twinkly romantic with Tiny Dancer.

The movie brought home just how many talented artists are out there in this big, wide world. Singers, dancers, lyricists, composers — the list is just as strong as painters, sculptors, and fabric artists. Just as much amazing talent. Just as much amazing dedication. Just as much sparkle as anyone who loves the Arts.

Watching movie Elton John play the piano as a child brought me back to my own childhood piano lessons. I was barely a blink in the eye of the piano world. Not even a full blink.

The real Elton was a child prodigy, teaching himself how to play the piano when he was only four years old. He won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music in London. The rest is history.

I sometimes wonder if we pay as much attention to our children in the arts as much as we pay attention to them in math or economics. Talk always floats around about cutting funding for the Arts — it’s the first program to be cut in grade school and high school when funds run out, and not the first career parents encourage for their kids.

Things are probably a lot looser these days — but they are probably much harder, too. A lot more competition, a lot more talent. With social media and U-Tube and thousands more movies and concerts and recordings made per month than during the 70s, it’s hard to get by on talent alone.

That is why, when I see raw talent, whether young or old, domestic or foreign, I zoom in on it. Feel it. Explore it. Share it. Even if it’s only in passing, I find pleasure in those whose talents are fresh and raw and evolving and turning and growing.

Elton John had growing pains, too. Drugs, alcohol, dealing with his sexuality, his family — all played a role in honing his talent and legacy. Turning pain into perfection often works on many levels.

But we don’t have to always hit bottom before we hit the top — sometimes a developing artist has a fairly stable life.

That’s why, no matter what you have gone through, that part of your life is over. You can learn from it, reflect on it, then let it go. You take the beauty of who you are today, and let that guide you through whatever form of art calls you. 

You may not be as flamboyant and successful as Elton John, but you are every bit as imaginative. You and your art are powerful expressions of your growth and understanding of yourself and the world around you.

 

You know I’m still standing better than I ever did
Looking like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid….. ~Elton John

 

Fabric Art by Laura Kate

I am always in awe and respect of other artists’ works. So many are so good at what they do — I love sharing their talent.

So for this Tuesday blog I’d like to share the recent creativity of Laura Kate from Daily Fiber and her fiber and fabric work. It’s just amazing.

 

Return to Lake Montgomery

It’s been a while since I shared the turtle in the pond fiber object. As a reminder, it was inspired by a photo taken by Bill on a recent camping trip at Lake Montgomery.

I loved the light, the colors and the texture of this image. I knew right away that I want to create my own version in fabric……….

 

Please click on over to her website and see how creates a great piece of art from this photo! 

https://dailyfiberfun.wordpress.com/2020/05/26/return-to-lake-montgomery/

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Molly Hatch

Molly Hatch is an artist designer with a formal education in drawing, painting, printmaking and ceramics at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University.

She received her BFA from the Museum School in Boston, and her MFA from the University of Colorado.

Hatch, an artist-designer, creates everything from fabric patterns, furniture, jewelry, prints, pen to ink drawings and painting.

Her installations have been featured by the Philadelphia Art Alliance, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Clayarch Gimhae Museum in Korea, and Philadelphia’s The Clay Studio, among others.

Hatch installed her largest museum commission to date at the Newark Museum in Newark, NJ. Commissioned by Chief Curator Ulysses Dietz, Hatch designed and executed a triptych of almost 600 plates for a wall installation for permanent installation titled Repertoire.

Hatch has a remarkable talent for putting together a myriad of designs with plates of all colors and sizes.

Her ceramic installations, inspired by historical decoration, have been exhibited and collected all over the world and has garnered her a loyal and fervent following.

More of Molly Hatch‘s wonderful designs can be found at https://www.mollyhatchstudio.com and at https://toddmerrillstudio.com/designer/molly-hatch.

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery (flashback) — Svetlana Bobrova

I think one of my favorite Sunday Evening Art Gallery posts was from back in November, 2014, when I shared images from the artist Svetlana Bobrova. A surrealistic artist from Russia, the figures in her paintings are hauntingly beautiful. I cannot get enough of her and her imagination.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can see more of Svetlana Bobrova‘s amazing work at my Sunday Evening Art Gallery blog or at the blue link above.

Going Up Nort’

Well, the self-imposed lockdown has been lifted here in Wisconsin, giving 5.822 million of us here in the state a chance to run around free.

You will find two camps here — one who has to make money and wants their economic freedom back; the other still wearing masks and fearful of every passing shopping cart pushed by someone without one.

I am not getting into any discussion of either side. Both have valid points; both are sure they’re doing the right thing. After my brother-in-law’s brush with C19, plus knowing that 459 families are missing someone here in the state because of it, I tend to stay on the conservative side.

That doesn’t mean I’m not taking advantage along with precaution these days.

I don’t hang out at bars or restaurants, I still wear a mask when shopping, I take my temperature every day — all those precautions many of the “older generation” tend to take to squeeze every extra day out of life we can.

I also am going away on vacation for a week. Away from TV, most social media, broadcasters and newscasters and boring B movies I’ve been finding on my Internet service.

Is spending a week four hours north from here any different than spending a week here at home base?

I would like to think so.

The cabin we share with my kids was originally my father-in-law’s home. He has gone to the great hunting grounds in the sky, although you can’t tell me he doesn’t stop by the place now and then to check in on us.

Anyway, “the cabin” (as we and our grandkids call it) is a half block from the Chain of Lakes, gateway to boating and fishing wonders still waiting to be explored.

I myself always have a different reason to go up nort’.

It’s easy to avoid TV news and propoganda and politics and gossip when you have no TV. And we intend to keep it that way. We have video games out the gazoo, a radio that picks up a few local stations, and the internet connection is so bad we have to drive to McDonald’s if we want a real signal.

But it’s quiet. It’s cozy. It’s fresh air and a little portable fireplace in the middle of the front yard and swimming for the dogs (and people if it’s warm enough). It’s family sitting around and talking. Sharing tales of the old days. Of new things coming up. It’s catching up with what’s going on in school and at work and, if we’re lucky, someone’s love life.

It’s playing card games on the kitchen table at night or on a rainy day. It’s taking naps any time you want, as long as you wake up in time for dinner (especially if you are cooking).

It’s finally reading the books you never seem to get around to reading at home. It’s coloring mandalas in a coloring book with colored markers or typing a short story or knitting a sweater.

It’s peace and quiet.

No one to tell you what to do; no politicians on Twitter or mass shootings in everyday places or animals being tortured or people dying of the Coronavirus.

Not that it stops reality from continuing. We are all aware of what’s going on outside our sanctuary. But for a few days we can pretend that we’re just outside of heaven and the world and life is all about US.

Not a bad way to spend time, I’d say…..

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Mandalas

A mandala is a geometric configuration of symbols with a very different application.

It can be understood in two different ways: externally as a visual representation of the universe, or internally as a guide for several practices that take place in many  traditions, including meditation.

The word mandala comes from Sanskrit, an ancient Indian language. Literally mandala means “circle.”

The circle is seen as a magical form, without beginning and end, just as the universe is believed to have no end.

In  religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Shintoism, it is used as a map representing deities, or specially in the case of Shintoism, paradises, kami or actual shrines.

The word mandala conjures up steady breathing and concentration patterns.

The circle is seen as a magical form, without beginning and end, just as the universe is believed to have no end.

. The mandala can also be filled with all kinds of patterns: geometric figures, Buddhist saints, flowers, designs, nature, and more.

Mandalas can be found in stained glass windows, floor paintings, paintings, carved pieces, books, scarves, clothing — any place you can focus on while mediating, praying, thinking, or dreaming.

Next time your heart or mind is racing, find a mandala that calls you,  take time to look at it’s beauty, and calm yourself.

Sunday Evening Art Gallery (flashback) — Aquariums

Nothing soothes the savage beast (or is it the savage breast) like water. Like gentle things swimming around in water. Back on Nov 23, 2014, I showcased a variety of Aquariums. Such a cool way to keep fish! Here is a flashback with a few more added…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More wonderful unique aquariums at https://wp.me/p5LGaO-2E. 

 

 

Ah-Ha vs. Good Grief

I am usually happy with who I am. From a writer and painter to a bleeding heart animal lover to unicorn collector, I’ve finally become comfortable with myself.

That is, until I take the backwards road to find an answer to something.

I’ve often said I am of the “pretzel logic” variety — I get to the same place everyone else does, but it takes me longer, for I take side roads, open closed doors, and often get stuck in the mud or in a sandstorm.

I have developed a patience for this lifestyle, but at times I frustrate myself to death. Like “Why didn’t I think of finding that information the easy way?”

Today was a great example of this. I wasted an hour trying to find the original publisher of a book I wanted to credit in a novel I’m writing. Instead of looking in the Library of Congress, a catchall for any book you want to research, I went to this website and that website and read a dozen articles that never once said the publisher was Brace and Company.

That’s in the same category as “Why doesn’t this thing turn on?” when all I had to do was find the hidden switch, or “Why did I drive five miles out of my way when I could have cut over on Highway D?”

Why do I waste so much time going the pretzel way?

Some have attributed this half-conscious sabotage on moving before thinking. Or speaking before thinking. Or acting before thinking. But, being 67, I have slowed down. Thought things out. Reasoned and Researched.

It’s not only my age. I’ve been pretzelling for 40 years or more. Probably even when I  was a teenager. My sons are really good at what they do and how they speak and how they react. So I know it’s not genetic.

But there are times when, by the time I get there, the answer is so obvious I am embarrassed to have shown up at all. That the answer is so obvious my grandkids could have answered it while I was still fooling around.

Now, there is nothing wrong with being this way. Obviously we finish what we’ve started/where we’re going/what we want to do. It just takes us sooooo much longer to get there.

Do you ever feel that way? That you “take the long way home” like Supertramp sings, even if you’re looking for the shortcut way?

I can’t really “hurry up” any more. I mean, I can find more efficient and direct ways to do things, but time is not something I can control. I also can take on fewer tasks in general, which I’m trying to do, with limited success. 

If you find a way to straighten your pretzelly path without taking away from who you are, let me know.

Until then, I will just hope that my “ah-ha!” moments catch up with my “good grief” moments.

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (1606-1669) was a Dutch draughtsman, painter, and printmaker.

An innovative and prolific master, he is generally considered one of the greatest visual artists in the history of art and the most important in Dutch art history.Rembrandt’s works depict a wide range of style and subject matter, from portraits and self-portraits to landscapes, genre scenes, allegorical and historical scenes, and biblical and mythological themes.Rembrandt’s portraits of his contemporaries, self-portraits, and scenes from the Bible are regarded as his greatest creative triumphs.Rembrandt’s foremost contribution in the history of printmaking was his transformation of the etching process from a relatively new reproductive technique into a true art form.He was also an avid art collector and dealer. Rembrandt lived beyond his means, buying art, prints, and rarities, which probably helped his bankruptcy in 1656, by selling most of his paintings and large collection of antiquities which included Old Master paintings and drawings, busts of the Roman Emperors, suits of Japanese armor, and collections of natural history and minerals.Unfortunately, the end of his life was far from the famous painter he would become.Rembrandt died in 1669 in Amsterdam and was buried as a poor man in an unknown grave in the Westerkerk. After twenty years, his remains were taken away and destroyed, as was customary with the remains of poor people at the time.

More of Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn’s amazing life and art can be found at http://www.rembrandtpainting.net/ and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rembrandt.

Sunday Evening Art Gallery (flashback) — Numen / For Use

Back in November 2014 I came across a group of artists that did amazing things with tape. Yes, clear package tape. Going back to their website, I was pleased to see they have expanded their repertoire, filling their site with more — tape art. Take a look at their marvelous work!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More unusual art — tape and more — at http://www.numen.eu/.

You Can’t Go Wrong With the Arts

Since we all can’t be out dancing in the street or go to the movies or even hang at the pub with our friends, what are you all doing to keep busy and out of trouble?

I am hoping you have either found a hobby/art/creative outlet for your cooped up creativity, or are working on the outlet you already have.

I remember hesitating and angsting and worrying about researching and writing my next novel. It was too overwhelming. Too confusing. My real life and pretend life were getting too mixed up.

Has that ever happened to you? 

You decide to step out of your comfort zone and try something bigger, better, more challenging, only to be knocked back by the logistics of the whole thing?

I was ready to give up. After all — who can buck the tide? Climb the mountain? Swim the ocean?

Well, after I calmed down, I found out that ~I~ could buck the tide, etc., etc. 

All it took was taking a step back, then moving forward one step at a time. I’m still doing a lot of research before each chapter — I want it to sound right, feel right. 

And most importantly, I wanted to have fun with it.

You may get to a point where you can’t control where your story goes, what you really want your painting to look like. You might get frustrated at not being able to find exactly the right shape or color or material to make your work move forward. 

And you do get to that point where you want to chuck it all in the garbage. After all, it’s easier to do something you know. Something you feel comfortable with.

I am living proof to not give up. To not listen to that little demon on your shoulder that tells you what you want just doesn’t exist.

The arts are a little easier to maneuver through than, say, swimming the ocean. It’s more creative, more forgiving, more expansive, more liberal. And you don’t have to risk life or death to make a point.

I hope that during this lock down quarantine period of your life you are taking care of what matters most in this world. You. Your creativity. Your mind.

Still tossing possibilities around? Stop tossing and start choosing. Make a poster or outfit or put together an art show or start a blog. Try learning that new piano piece or building that jewelry box — stop thinking about it and just do it. Don’t let fear intimidate you. 

Remember — you can’t go wrong with the Arts.

Any of them.

Let me know what projects you have finally undertaken ….