An Evening Alone

Do you ever wish you had an evening or two to yourself? All by yourself?

That seems to often be a fleeting thought to new moms, seasoned moms, wives, husbands, and roommates.

I am not talking about losing someone for good  or forever — I mean, getting rid of the nonstop chattering, crying, whining, chatter of your household. Peace and quiet for just one night. An evening to do whatever you wanted. Watch whatever you want. Eat whatever you want. Write or paint or do some research without disturbance.

Then suddenly you have that opportunity. The kids are going by grandma! Hubby or wife is going out to dinner with friends! Husband is hunting or wife is at a seminar. You have the whole afternoon/evening free!

Oh, the things you will do! The projects you will start/finish! Now you can finally watch that R rated movie you couldn’t with kids around. You can make that shrimp/pineapple pizza you wanted to try or make yourself an ice cream sundae and not have to share!

Then the time comes.

You are like a zombie. 

Don’t know what to do first. 

So you start with having a glass of wine or soda. You look at the pizza ingredients — you’re not sure you want to waste time making something from scratch. And all that clean up! A ham sandwich would do just fine. 

Then it comes to projects. There are so many! I’ll write. No — I’ll finish cutting out that pattern. But then you spot the movie you’ve been waiting to watch. So you decide to watch the movie, then write. 

But there is a pile of laundry in the washer and your kids will need their soccer clothes in the morning and while you’re changing around laundry there are a few dishes you should really put in the dishwasher. 

You didn’t mean to get so sidetracked so early in your freedom. But do just a few little things and your guilt won’t be so heavy. After all, even though you did promise to make a cake for the party tomorrow, you can always pick one up at the store …

And so it goes. The movie isn’t as good as you thought it would be. You couldn’t think of a thing to write. Grammar was boring. You’ve already watched Downton Abbey or Game of Thrones a hundred times, so no power watching there.

You get an upset stomach from the wine, and really wish you would have made that pizza. That bubble bath you promised yourself suddenly feels like a lot of work. Maybe just pj’s and to bed early with a good book. That’s it — you’ll read all night!

Five minutes after you climb in bed you have to go to the bathroom. Fifteen minutes later the dogs need to go outside. You start to read and the phone rings. Campaign robot reminding you to vote. You find your place in the book again and you find you need to go to the bathroom. Again.

Finally, you give up, turn out the lights, and go to sleep at nine.

This is usually how my “night alone” goes. The best laid plans often get waylaid, messed up, dashed, or postponed. 

Don’t let it get you down. The cosmos has plans for you, and sometimes it decides to mooch in on your private time. If nothing else, your sidetracked ideas will last until the next time you get to be “alone.”

And next time tell the cosmos  to mind its own business.

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery (midweek)–Debbie Smyth

Debbie Smyth is textile artist most identifiable by her statement thread drawings.These playful yet sophisticated contemporary artworks  are created by stretching a network of threads between accurately plotted pins.

Her work beautifully blurs the boundaries between fine art drawings and textile art, flat and 3D work, illustration and embroidery, literally lifting the drawn line off the page in a series of “pin and thread” drawings.Debbie plays with scale well,  creating both gallery installations and works for domestic interiors.

Her unique style  lends itself to suit corporate environments, public spaces, window display, set design, graphic design and illustration.By collaborating with interior designers, architects and other creative practitioners, Debbie pushes the expected scope of her work even further.

More of Debbie Smyth‘s remarkable thread drawings can be found at  debbie-smyth.com. 

 

Faerie Paths — Clamour

 

Margaret Morgan

 

Blind folk see the fairies.
      Oh, better far than we,
Who miss the shining of their wings
Because our eyes are filled with things
      We do not wish to see…
Deaf folk hear the fairies
      However soft their song;
‘Tis we who lose the honey sound
Amid the clamour all around
      That beats the whole day long…

~Rose Fyleman, “White Magic,” 1918

 

Is Your Work Oatmeal or Coq Au Vin?

I find I’ve been following poets a lot more lately.

Funny, for out of the many worlds of creative art available for our perusal, poetry is not really my first go-to. But I am finding I am being drawn to the poets’ words more and more these days.

Perhaps they give me hope. Perhaps they make me smile. Perhaps now and then they break my heart.

Perhaps I enjoy them because, for the most part, poems are quick reading. Not like a book. (Hey.. want to read my novel? It’s only 225 single spaced pages!)

Maybe reading poems is akin to art. I can spent one minute or five minutes really getting into what’s being offered. The intricacies of artists like Gordon Pembridge and his woodwork, the papercutting skills of Masayo Fukuda, the sky photography of Matt Molloy, or the horror scapes of Zdzisław Beksiński can keep my mind occupied for more than five seconds.

Poetry can do that too.

I just read a poem by The Ink Owl called Sinister Countdown- Damned Love that left me with a haunted tingle in my soul. I just reposted my friend Ivor’s poem Faerie Pantomime that gave me pause for more than a minute. My friend Dwight Roth inked a haunting poem about books called A Found Book. Catherine Arcolio and her blog  Leaf and Twig share beautiful images and haikus every day.  One bite at a time. Jonathan Caswell‘s busy blog By the Mighty Mumford is full of short delights, sure to make you smile. Boundless Blessings by Kamal and Walt’s Writings always stir my heart, too. And my newest addition, Lucy of Lucy’s Works, writes the most haunting and beautiful poetry.

That’s just some of the poets whose paths I cross. Hopefully you have your wandering paths, too.

In the Northern Hemisphere we are starting to buckle down, cocoon, and gather food, drink, and supplies to keep us busy through the winter months. We’ve had plenty of practice the past six months with Covid 19, so now it’s easier to stockpile projects for the future.

I can’t believe that I’m actually entertaining the idea of writing a second book on visiting Paris. It’s still a bubbling cup of water, but I’m starting to get excited.

I also am working on preparing one of my books for free download on this blog. I mean, you all need something to read during the cold days!

So don’t let the Covid and the change of seasons get you down. Write a poem like my friends above do. Can’t concentrate on a whole book? Do a short story, Or a journal.

You may be streaming oatmeal instead of coq au vin, but practice is practice.

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Frederic Sackrider Remington

 

Frederic Sackrider Remington (1861-1909) was an American painter, illustrator, sculptor, and writer who specialized in depictions of the Old American West, specifically concentrating on the last quarter of the 19th century American West and images of cowboys, American Indians, and the U.S. Cavalry.A Dash for the Timber

 

Remington studied art at Yale University (1878–80) and briefly at the Art Students League of New York. Thereafter he devoted himself primarily to illustrative work.A Cold Morning on the Range

 

In the years between his schooling, he traveled widely, spending much time west of the Mississippi River, and he made a specialty of depicting Native Americanscowboys, soldiers, horses, and other aspects of life on the plains.The Emigrants

 

On those trips he sketched and photographed continuously, amassing material to take back to and work from in his studio in New York City.The Hunters Supper

 

During the 1880s and ’90s many of Remington’s illustrations were printed in such popular magazines as Harper’s Weekly and Scribner’s Magazine.The Trooper

 

During the Spanish-American War he was a war correspondent and artist. Remington was primarily a reporter, recording the image of the thing seen; his work is notable for its rendering of swift action and its accuracy of detail.The Apaches

 

More of Frederic Remington‘s inspirational paintings can be found at https://www.frederic-remington.org.

 

Faerie Pantomime

I have a soft spot for faeries — and for Ivor’s poetry.

 

 

Ivor.Plumber/Poet

Mid morning and here comes the sun

The Wala* goddess smiles on everyone

Enriching the bloody goodness in our veins

And saturating our skin when the sky rains

Is your blood the same colour as mine?

Does your skin drip-dry under the same sunshine?

Are your dreams moonbeam snippets of time?

Do you imagine the world to be a faerie’s pantomime?

And we the audience, laughing at their mystical rhymes

Together dancing and ringing the city’s peace chimes

*Wala: Aboriginal mythical sun goddess.

Ivor Steven (c) October 2020

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Dreaming of Godzilla

Some say dreams are manifestations of your deepest fears. Others say dreams show you who and what you really want to be. 

I am not a dream analyst, nor a psycho-analyst, but just someone who wonders where dreams come from.

I get the obvious ones: your significant other leaves you, you suddenly become a motivational speaker. And I’m not talking about Godzilla in the distance or some movie star flirting with you. 

The ones that make me wonder are the ones where you could have, should have been a better person. 

Aren’t we always striving to be a “better person”? 

If so, why do we not measure up in our dreams?

I had a dream last night that my mother was in the hospital and some strange people were cleaning her house, and that one social worker told me I might not be able to find out where she was staying because I was a bad daughter and moved out of state.

In reality, my mother passed away long before I moved out of Illinois, long before I got married and had children and grandchildren.

Where does the fuel for that dream fire come from?

I was a good daughter. My mom and I had a really good relationship. My dad remarried, and it took quite a long time to reconnect with him in the same way, but we did reconnect and he was a blessing to me until the end.

I’ve always worked hard to keep friends and family close. It doesn’t matter what you call them — friends, sisters, cousins — love is love. And there should be no rationing because of title, distance, or circumstances.

I’m not here to throw about past relationships. I know in my heart I was a “good person”, contrary to what my dreams portray. And I will continue to do so, for, as simple as it sounds, being a good person makes me feel good.

I just wonder where my head gets these ideas from.

Probably the same place that tells me Godzilla is coming this way and I have to hide in a closet to get away from him.

Where do your dreams come from?

 

 

Creativity Blossoms on a Monday

Red October

After a weekend of beautiful weather, beautiful thoughts, and a few picture Art Galleries, I often like to start off my Monday blogs talking directly to you.

I always think about asking how your weekend was — if you even had a weekend. This blog is not like a chat room; I don’t get a lot of feedback from readers as to what they’ve done or what they think or what they feel. Which is just fine. Not many want to “emote” online.

Except for our President.

But I digress.

The face of the Internet has changed in the past twenty years. Like everything else around us, change is often necessary, not always popular, and scary. Maybe not while you’re going through change, but looking forward as change tries to zoom past you.

I truly believe in order to keep your sanity — and your edge — you need to find a way to work creativity into your life. Once a day if possible. You need to do something, try something, read something you’ve never done/tried/read before.

With a full work schedule, kids, grandkids, cleaning, homework, errands, and more, it’s not always easy. Nor, should I say, on the top of your list.

But we all have to find a way to make it so. (sounds like Captain Picard!) Only when we peek into the imaginations of others can we get a better grasp of our own abilities.

Some minds are waaaaay out there. I just did a little research on Aleister Crowley, an English occultistceremonial magician, poet, painter, novelist, and mountaineer, for a possible Art Gallery blog. Ummmmm, he is definitely waaaaay out there. Putting a hold on that idea.

On the other hand, I’m finishing reading the book Shōgun which has given me insights into the world of the Japanese in the 1500s, their art and their beliefs.

There is always something you can glean from things around you. 

I also truly believe that you should learn one new thing a day. Doesn’t matter what. Look at something new, listen to something new,  experience something new. And I don’t mean watch a new TV show.

With all of us being confined to our houses because of Covid, that’s easier said than done. I don’t always trust what I learn on TV or in a movie. After all, watching the movie “The Hunt for Red October”  I thought there really was a  caterpillar drive – “a ‘magneto-hydrodynamic’ propulsion system that renders the submarine silent by mimicking seismic anomalies.”

There’s not.

But it certainly was a creative mind that created one.

I’m going to start testing my Angel Tears this week (sparkles on a fishing line), and maybe … MAYBE … consider a sequel to my book “I Dreamed I Was in Paris.”

What creative, imaginative, outside-the-box things are you up to this week? 

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Alan Wolfson

Alan Wolfson creates handmade miniature sculptures of urban environments.Complete with complex interior views and lighting effects, a major work can take several months to complete.The pieces are usually not exact representations of existing locations, but rather a combination of details from many different locations along with much of the detail from the artist’s imagination.There is a narrative element to the work. Scenarios are played out through the use of inanimate objects in the scene.Wolfson usually works in ½ in = 1 foot scale, which is half the size of dollhouse scale. The first few pieces Wolfson did were in dollhouse scale, but he decided to change to the smaller scale so he could build more intricate environments in the same-sized space.There are never people present, only things they have left behind; garbage, graffiti, or a tip on a diner table, all give the work a sense of motion and a storyline.If you weren’t aware you were looking at a miniature, you would think you were looking at a scene from the past.More of Alan Wolfson‘s amazing miniatures can be found at http://www.alanwolfson.net/.

 

 

Faerie Paths — The Ages

 

As the air I breathe is drawn from the great repositories of nature, as the light on my book is yielded by a star a hundred millions of miles distant, as the poise of my body depends on the equilibrium of centrifugal and centripetal forces, so the hours should be instructed by the ages, and the ages explained by the hours.        

~Ralph Waldo Emerson, History

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery (midweek) — Dawn Waters Baker

Born and raised a missionary child in the Philippines, Dawn Waters Baker learned to look for beauty in the cracks and crevices of lives much harder than her own. Baker lived in a provincial area in the shadow of Mt. Isarog, an active volcano, which gave the landscape a rich earth and lush color.

After she turned 10 they moved to the big city of Manila where poverty became the normal view into everyday life.At the age of 19 she moved to the US to go to college where she learned how to find her own way to express her heart through painting.It was through a long road of finding her particular way that she finally came back to the landscape and what she believes is her “window” into the spiritual.“I like to think of my work as another world: touching the delicate light with a still hush as through a clouded pane of glass,” Baker says.“It’s almost as if you have walked into an enchanted place where the trees and sky can talk, where everything is a metaphor of our gritty world. Only, here, it has been given a softness of light, a feeling, a glimpse into the mystery of something more real than this life.”More of Dawn Waters Baker‘s enchanted art can be found at https://www.dawnwatersbaker.com/.

 

 

Appreciating Blogs One Day at a Time

Adam Hillman

Well, haven’t I been busy this morning!

Every week (if not more often) I try and go through my Reader and read all the posts from those I follow. A daunting task for all of us, I know. 

But we followed this or that blog for a reason.

Sometimes we are pulled away from that reason just living our lives. 

Some follow blogs religiously. Every post, every day, every spurt of creativity. Some follow a thousand blogs. Some follow ten. Some follow blogs for entertainment. Others for ideas for their own blogs. Some follow to learn; others to explore. Some don’t follow any blogs — they just wander through the WordPress universe, stopping here and there, commenting, and moving on.

We all follow blogs for our own reasons. And often feel bad when we don’t follow them as often as we should.

I signed up to follow three more blogs this morning. Duh. I could have signed up to follow thirty more, but I want to be fair to those I read. 

As if there is fairness on the Internet.

I’ve stated in the past that not long ago I went through my Reader list and found dozens of bloggers who haven’t posted in a year. 18 months. I wonder what happened to them. Moved on, grew up, became a kid again and didn’t want to waste any more time writing. Who knows.

I try and be loyal to those I follow. Even those I don’t. Time is so precious these days, I know. We need to live every day to the fullest, blah blah. We all know that. And part of being “full” is reading what others think and feel now and then.

Nothing anyone posts is going to change the world.

Mine included.

But I just read a blog called “Unresolved Trauma vs. Unresolved Trauma ∞The 9D Arcturian Council,” an uplifting connection that made me smile, so maybe changing the world comes after all …

One blog at a time.

You will find meaning in life… — Purplerays

A beautiful thought, beautiful feeling, for the morning …..

 

You will find meaning in life only, if you create it.

It is a poetry to be composed.

It is a song to be sung.

is a dance to be danced.

 

Osho photo credit: Richard Sagredo – unsplash – Text and image source: The birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees https://www.facebook.com/695285933892742/posts/3407209282700380/

You will find meaning in life… — Purplerays

Cleaning Up Your Act

My friend Chrissy over at Chrissy’s Fab 50’s has been blogging about going through her closets and drawers and other places of secret stashes and cleaning out, rearranging, and thinning out her house — and life.

I love it.

Over the last few months I have been cleaning up and straightening out too. I am so proud of my (finally) thinned out and organized closet, and am eyeing the buffet in the dining room as we speak.

I have also been cleaning up, straightening up, and re-evaluating my Sunday Evening Art Gallery blog. I’ve been checking links and spacing and image sizes, trying to make it more esthetically pleasing.

That may not sound like a big deal to most. That is because most take care and time the first time around. 

I just feel like I didn’t take enough time with my work. With my presentation. Like I ran helter skelter around the woods looking for violets when if I would have just followed the path I would have found them.

It’s not that I didn’t pay attention — I did. I loved the art, I loved the showcase. But these days I can’t help but wonder — where was I going when I was in such a hurry to post in the first place? What was so important that I couldn’t have used a little more time to make a precise, pleasant presentation?

This is the funny thing.

The older I get, the more precise I’m becoming. The more organized I’m becoming. The more thorough I’m becoming.

Maybe that’s because the older I get, the more I’m forgetting. The more I’m knocking things off the shelf and knocking things over. The more I lose things, break things, forget things.

Cleaning up my blog or my closet or my pantry are ways to take back what control I still have over my body and my mind.

The positive thing out of all of this is that you’re never too old — or young — to pay attention to anything you do the first time. Or the second time. There’s always time for cleaning up your act. 

Don’t be in such a hurry. Take pride in everything you do. Everything. It sounds so simple, but in reality it’s quite hard. We all have places to go, projects to finish, schedules to keep. 

But our personal space, our personal Art, is just as important as keeping precise spreadsheets at work. You don’t need to be perfect — you just need to pay attention. Take your time. Do it right. Clean it out. Straighten it up.

You’ll love your outer space — and your inner self — when you’re finished.

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Nancy Cain

Nancy Cain has always been fascinated with handcrafts, whether it was clay, paper, buttons, fabric or simply found objects.

Cain studied art in college and worked as a graphic artist for 16 years, all the while exploring various handcraft techniques. She found her artistic niche in beads.Cain’s favorite stitch is peyote and over the years has only added two other stitches, netting then herringbone.  

She calls these three stitches ‘sister-stitches’, since they transition from one stitch to the other effortlessly.

Her style is clean and contemporary with minimalist embellishment. She likes the structure to shine through.“I feel that the beads alone give me the most inspiration. If you understand the physics (mechanics and technicality) of the stitch, then you can create whatever your heart desires.” Cain explains.

:Knowing what each bead size, shape and finish will do and how they react with each other, plus how the beads respond to thread weight and use, the sky is the limit for designing.”

 

More of Nancy Cain‘s amazing beadwork can be found at http://nancycain.com/. 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery (flashback) — the Universe

The Universe has been around long before my blog post in June of 2015. But the images, the inspiration, the vastness of possibilities has always and will always exist.

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of star stuff”.  Carl Sagan. 

 

Cone Nebula

 

Hercules Globular Cluster

 

Ghost Nebula

 

Whirlpool Galaxy

 

Mystic Mountain, Carina Nebula

 

Centaurus A

 

 

Saturn

 

These and other beauties can be found in my Gallery, or at the mother of all space image sites, HubbleSite.

Art is Peace

Bringing together the worlds of Art

Is the only healing we have

In this turbulent time, only appreciation for the esthetic itself will get us through.

There is real ugliness out there. Verbally, socially. Ugly confrontations, ugly resolutions.

I know people are only trying to survive.

Why can’t we try to survive together?

Why is there always a “bad” guy? An “evil” guy? A “color” guy?

Art is the answer.

But  no one is listening.

Creativity, imagination, possibilities and impossibilities.

All keep us alive.

Bringing us humanity.

So much I don’t understand.

So much I don’t want to understand.

But Art — I DO understand.

In a primitive, sensual, emotional way

I DO understand.

And I know you do, too.

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery (midweek) — Kalamkari

Kalamkari is an ancient Indian art that originated about 3000 years ago. It derives its name from Kalam meaning Pen, and Kari meaning work, literally Pen-work.The Kalamkari artist uses a bamboo or date palm stick pointed at one end with a bundle of fine hair attached to this pointed end to serve as the brush or pen. The process of making Kalamkari involves 23 steps. From natural process of bleaching the fabric, softening it, sun drying, preparing natural dyes, hand painting, to the processes of air drying and washing, the entire procedure is a process which requires precision and an eye for detailing.Most of the colors are prepared using parts of plants – roots, leaves along with mineral salts of iron, tin, copper, alum, etc., which are used as mordants. The Srikalahasti style of painting draws inspiration from the Hindu mythology describing scenes from the epics and folklore. This style holds a strong religious connect because of its origin in the temples.

In recent times, two other types of Kalamkari patterns have also emerged, based on the states where it is created. Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh are two prime states in India, where two different types of Kalamkari patterns are done.The Andhra Kalamkari borrows design inspiration from forts, palaces and temples of India, along with motifs of animals and birds.The Gujarat Kalamkari depict motifs of mythological characters such as Krishna-Arjuna from Mahabharata, Lord Krishna, Lord Ganesha, Lord Buddha, and others.

Kalamkari work can be found at websites across the Internet.

Rain and Boredom

Another rainy Fall day. Makes me want to take a nap.

In the meantime, I’ve been looking around for my energy. I KNOW it was here someplace. It’s been deteriorating steadily the last few years. You know — a chip off here, a dent there. But it was always there for me when I needed it.

Now with the rain and clouds it wants to play hide and seek. Good thing I’ve cleaned up and out a lot of clutter in my house in the last eight months.

But, like a lot of others I’ve talked to (or read from), there are a number of us who are losing our energy — creative, kinetic, spiritual, or otherwise.

Easy to blame Covid19. Why not? I blame it for ruining what social life I had. Not exercising? That’s my own fault. Upside sleep schedule?  You can’t blame the man who’s bringing home the bacon. Weather? I love the cool days and evenings.

I’ve been taking the easy way out for my lack of energy. I’ve been finding such great artists for my blog. But life is more than an art blog, isn’t it?

I’ve often thought of getting a part time job. Stimulate my energy and my mind. But not much is available when I’m available. And, anyway, I worked 50 years to be able to enjoy my time off.

I’ve been reading a lot every day. This time around it’s Shōgun . Love it. But reading is a quiet sport and it doesn’t take long for me to start jumbling up the Japanese words. I have been going through others’ blogs and reading their contributions — that’s been fun. I’ve even started going through every Twitter account I follow (only about 400) and reading and liking what they post.

Somehow this feels and sounds desperate, though.

I need a new idea for a short story. Or a novel. Or a set of novels. I think I’m only really happy when I write.

I have about a dozen starts in my Unfinished Folder that could use a jump start. Looking for the Unicorn (writing about dementia from the patient’s point of view), Grandfather’s Room (story about my daughter-in-law’s grandfather moving to assisted living), Of Elves and Madness (unhappy girl runs into sexy elf in woods and goes with him to his world), The Rock (another unhappy wife jogging through the woods — who knows what was supposed to be next?), The World is All An Illusion (wonder if that was the start of an ethereal blog way back when?), Speaking With Aliens (goofy factory worker talks to aliens through his TV), She Looked Out the Back Window (another disgruntled female getting ready to go for a walk in the rain… is there a pattern here?), Fairy Circle (little girl calls up a naughty fairy and years later it comes back to haunt her), Game, Set, Match (sharp, sexy girl meets man in bar .. I’m sure he’s a magical something…), Three Faeries Doing Faerie Things (read this outline and it doesn’t feel familiar. Was it someone else’s idea? A dream? Good and bad faeries fighting.)

A lot of starts, not enough finishes. Food for thought, perhaps. What do you think?

Maybe it’s time for that nap ….

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Lorenzo Quinn

Contemporary Italian artist Lorenzo Quinn is a leading figurative sculptor whose work is inspired by such masters as Michelangelo and Rodin.

His monumental public art and smaller, more intimate pieces transmit his passion for eternal values and authentic emotions.

Quinn is best known for expressive recreations of human hands.“I wanted to sculpt what is considered the hardest and most technically challenging part of the human body’, he asserts. ‘The hand holds so much power – the power to love, to hate, to create, to destroy.” Quinn’s creative ideas spark quickly into life: ‘The inspiration comes within a millisecond’, he says, as he is driven to sculpt by observing life’s everyday energy.Yet a finished project takes months to realize, and it has to carry clear meaning. Quinn’s work appears in many private collections throughout the world and has been exhibited internationally during the past 20 years. 

More of Lorenzo Quinn’s sculptures can be found at https://www.lorenzoquinn.com/.

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery (flashback) — Martin Koegl

 

I can’t believe it was way back in late December of 2014 that I brought the magic of Martin Koegl and his water drop photography. Well, back then I did call it Waterdrops. So I have cleaned up the gallery, dedicated to the original photographer Martin Koegl, and now bring you …. Water Drops.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can find more of Martin Koegl‘s amazing photography at my Gallery, or his website, http://waterdrop-photography.com/

 

Kitties and Puppies Make the World Go Round

It’s been a long time since I’ve written about puppies and kittens. Who doesn’t love pictures of puppies and kittens? They are innocent, mischievous, full of life and love and cuddles.

Forget about the going-to-the-bathroom-on-your-kitchen-floor messes; forget about having to let them outside at 2 a.m. or them howling in the middle of the kitchen in the middle of the night for no reason. Or sitting on our face. Or tripping our feet. Forget the chewed shoes and scratched up side of the couch.

For no other reason than to get you to say “awwww…” and “sweeeet” and “what a waste of a post…”, here are a few kitty and puppy pictures to make you smile.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rearranging My Closet

Bella Systems

The other day the Goddess told me it was time to switch my wardrobe from summer to winter.

Now, some people have been doing that forever. Packing vast closets full of bikinis and sundresses away to make room for wools and sweatshirts. Shunning sandals for slip-ons. My closet has never had that kind of variety. Depending on my situation (and my body heat index) I can wear sweaters in the summer and sleeveless T’s in the winter.

But I digress.

I don’t have a lot of clothes to switch between. One closet does it. Actually one bin does it. But the last few years I’ve been working on a wardrobe change to clothes that both fit better and reflect the semi-bohemian me I want to embrace. That means more clothes have been going to GoodWill than ever before. Of course, I’ve been bringing back clothes from there as well.

Again I digress.

Packing away some of my flowy gauzy summer dresses, I became a bit sad. I didn’t really wear many of my BoHo, soft, swimmy clothes this year. Being retired since last November, I’ve had no reason to dress up. This summer Covid19 had put a squash on any summer gatheriengs I dared to dream about.

No art fairs to wear my white and flowered Indian-sh gauze dress and wide brimmed hat. No evening concerts to wear my long black sleeveless lightweight dress and beaded shawl. No weddings to wear my sparkling parrots dress, no dinners with hubby on verandas with magnificent views, clad in a flowered long skirt and semi-sparkly top.

Just when I was determined to finally be ME, free of caring about what others thought of what I wore, comfortable yet special, I once again found a reason not to do it.

Oh, you say, clothing doesn’t make the woman. Her spirit does. I’m not going down the esoteric path today — I’m going down the woe-is-womanhood path.

I had so many plans for this summer and fall. I wanted to start taking a class (free for seniors) at the local university. I wanted to finally go to a live Shakespeare play at an outdoor pavilion an hour or so away. I wanted to wander through the Art Fair on the Square in Madison, finding new artists for my blog, fighting 90 degree temps with a blueberry vodka slush.

Packing away my fun summer clothes made me think how much I’ve missed, and how those opportunities, if they return, will be so different next time around.

Of course, I did keep out the dirty sneakers and stained jean capris I wore when I went camping with the kids. I didn’t touch the half rack of sweatshirts I’ll wear when I go for walks in the chill of evening. I will still hang up my t-shirts with the uni-kitty and leprechaun waving hello and the “This is my awesome Grandma Halloween costume”  and the one that says “I park diagonally in a parallel park universe.”   I can still wear bling with my University of Wisconsin sweatshirt and my all-season dark print leggings.

After all, I’m always looking at new artists and reappreciating the older ones while I wander through the art gallery; I’m listening to live concerts through my computer as I write, and can have a glass on wine with my hubby on the patio whenever I choose.

Clothing doesn’t make the woman. Neither does her location.

Her spirit and imagination makes does.

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Ken Grimes

 

Ken Grimes was born in New York City in 1947 and grew up in Cheshire, Connecticut.For more than 30 years, he diligently maintained a stark palette of black and white, which he believes to be the most direct way of illustrating the contrast between truth and deception. Grimes’s works are conceptual, never-ending reflections on the themes of extraterrestrial intelligence and cosmic coincidence.
He opens a window to a world where aliens may have and continue to exert some forms of influence on the thoughts and actions of humans here on Earth.

Grimes is diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic, yet has never let his condition stop him from sharing his vision.
Grimes is a visionary, passionate artist and a dedicated and obsessive researcher who ceaselessly explores myriad bits of arcane data drawn from popular accounts of scientific research, as well as science fiction, news reports, and his own life.The artist’s work is in the permanent collections of the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, and he received a Wynn Newhouse Award in 2013. 

Artists always find their calling and share it in their own way. Grimes’ work makes you stop and think of art in a different light. More of Ken Grimes‘ work can be found at https://www.riccomaresca.com/ken-grimes-works-on-paper/ and https://www.outsiderartfair.com/artists/ken-grimes.

 

I Remember a Time …

Ben Brain/Digital Camera Magazine

“When I was younger …”

“I can remember a time  ..”

“When I was a kid …”

I’m too young to be starting out a sentence with those phrases. Yet here I am, sharing a tale with you, that starts:

I can remember a time … when you’d go to the eye doctor and sit in front of this huge machine that held a thousand little round lenses, and the doctor would lower these huge, thick sections in front of each eye, and go through a hundred different lenses to test your eyesight.

I say that today because I just got home from an all remote eye test. Well, except for the receptionist/assistant. Filled out a questionnaire on a tablet, went into one room where three different machines took three different images, (they still had the puff-of-air-in-the-eye test), then went into a second room where a nurse/doctor/assistant appeared on a TV monitor and remotely controlled the rest of the eye exam on a fourth piece of equipment. That nurse/doctor/assistant then sent the results electronically to the eye doctor who looked over your results and gave you your prescription.

Fast, clean — no contact with the living.

Welcome to the 21st century.

I have no problem with this new technology, especially with Covin hanging around every corner. But gone are the heavy, clunky machines of yesterday. The “click click” as the eye doctor turned the lens around. “A? (click) or B? (lots of whirling and clicking) A? (click click) or B?”

Of course, there are now virtual doctor visits, virtual job interviews, and virtual grocery shopping. I mean, who doesn’t know what a 5 oz. (142g) can of tuna looks like?

Virtual is all well and good. We need to keep up with it, understand it, use it.

But we also have to physically see other people now and then, too. We need physical hugs and in-person smiles to let us know we’re not alone. We need to pull a leaf off the tree and look at its structure, or play with the levels of petals on a zinnia or a dahlia so we can marvel at the physical world around us.

We need fresh air and friendship and the sunshine on our face. Be sure you are finding it all.

The “I remember a time…” part — I haven’t figured out how to deal with that yet.

 

You couldn’t make this shit up.

This is so much reflective of life today. Enjoy!

Musings of a mountain wondering weaver of Magic .

I’m sitting here relaxed watching David Tennant in Des.

Absolutely best thing I’ve watched in ages.

Window is open

We here a loud splash.

Brian the cat has fallen in the canal chasing mice again.

Within a minute he’s out.

He comes bounding over the garden wall like a bloody racehorse.

Through window ginger dripping streak comes flying at me over back of the sofa..

Dripping drops still live mouse on my boobs I’m wearing a sun dress.

Wet mouse crawls in-between my boobs .

I scream

Mavis the dog runs away.

I jump up mouse drops onto sofa. Lies there stunned.

I’m swearing at knob head wet ginger cat.

Scoops mouse up.

With old towel.

He’s stopped moving.

Everywhere is soaking .

Brians so pleased with himself!

I’m reiking the mouse who it’s soon apparent is dead.

My hubby is laughing so much he’s crying..

Surreal moment of.

Is…

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Been Workin’ On The Gallery!

 

Have been working diligently on my Sunday Evening Art Gallery main site. Here are some of the newer galleries I’ve added….more images, more variety … Can’t wait for you to come on over!

 

Jellyfish

 

Kathleen Kills Thunder

 

Kathryn Vercillo

 

Franz Marc

 

Tohukiro Kawai

 

Tiffany Lamps

 

Diana Al-Hadid

 

 

Hope to see you over there!

When I’m Not Looking, Art Bombards Me!

David Silva

Are you a fan of the “Arts”? What sort of art calls to you?

Encyclopedia Britannia says: Traditional categories within the arts include literature (including poetry, drama, story, and so on), the visual arts (painting, drawing, sculpture, etc.), the graphic arts (painting, drawing, design, and other forms expressed on flat surfaces), the plastic arts (sculpture, modeling), the decorative arts (enamel work, furniture design, mosaic, etc.), the performing arts (theater, dance, music), music (as composition), and architecture (often including interior design).

I can dig all those categories.

Some of us are very invested in the Arts. We are musicians, painters, sculptors, novelists. We show and sell our interpretations of life and the world to others who want to feel what we feel.

Others of us are merely voyeurs. Nothing wrong with that — our lives are so busy  that there’s not often a free moment to just sit and stare at a watercolor or pen and ink drawing. We look, we say, “hey! That’s cool!’, and go on our merry way.

At least we stop.

I think if you love creativity it’s hard to follow only one path. I have a couple of friends in here that do everything from quilting to watercolor painting, from drip art to portraits. It’s such a wide and encompassing world it’s hard to resist playing in it, either by being a voyeur or a participant.

Last night I spent a couple of hours downloading images from an amazing jewelry shop in Japan. Why would I do that? What was I doing there?

As often the case, I don’t know how one thing led to another to another and another and there I was, appreciating the craftsmanship and style of a culture way on the other side of the world from me.

Is it art, though?

I realize my Sunday Galleries are always art from my point of view. You may love Andy Warhol or Claude Monet. You may prefer jewelry artists to barn artists. Surrealism to Abstract Expressionism.

That’s the beauty of Art. It’s something different to everyone.

We all have our tendencies, even if we think we are totally objective. I can see I like structure, texture, and designs that make sense (to me). I like landscapes, jewelry, and sparkly things.

But I try and balance that with truly unique art I’ve never seen before. Discovering artists such as Bisa Butler (quilting) or Ron Ben-Israel (cakes) or Tina Lane (glasswork) or Chris Maynard (feather art) has been the most rewarding and fun times of my life. I mean — who knew they were even out there?

Sometimes an idea pops into my head (scary thought!); other times I see a sample on Facebook or a reference online someplace or even while reading. Some pan out, others are just one special thing among a hundred blah things.  And, OMG, just now, while Googling “What is Art?” in images I just found about six or seven new, wonderful, creative artists! See? You can do it, too!

Stick with me. This ride will open your eyes to the creative world around you.

So tell me. What kind of art do you like?

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Lana Privitera

 

Originally from Spain, Lana Privitera  graduated in 1983 from the Fine Arts School of  Zaragoza, where she majored in Fashion Design and Art History.After working in Advertising for a few years, she moved to the USA in the early 1990’s.  After a long hiatus, she returned to painting watercolors again in 2014, focusing this time in highly realistic Still Lifes.Privitera’s large watercolors have been accepted and exhibited in numerous USA and International competitions, winning top awards in a number of them.Her work is incredibly clean, clear, and full of light and life.Sometimes you will find yourself asking — is this a photograph or a painting?Everyday things take on an extra depth and hue in Privitera’s watercolors.

More of Lana Privitera‘s amazing paintings can be found at https://www.watercolorsbylana.com/.

 

 

 

We Have Not Forgotten

 

Thousands of firefighters and emergency medical personnel responded to Ground Zero, including over 350 trained search and rescue dogs to Ground Zero and the Pentagon. 

The dogs were extremely important in locating human victims, by using their sense of smell and agility to direct workers to the location of those injured and deceased. But according to the American Kennel Club, only about 100 were prepared for the size of the disaster.They deserve our respect and remembrance, too. We will never forget. Victims, rescuers, and search and rescue dogs. 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery (midweek) — Peter Greco

Peter Greco is one of America’s most experienced practitioners in the art of traditionally inspired, hand crafted lettering and typography.His continuous exploration and passion has enabled him to reach beyond design into the realm of fine art.While residing in the LA arts district, he was a founding member of the Downtown Artists Development Association and the Concerned Artists Action Group.Greco continues to design logos and lettering art by hand as well as to produce “calligraffitti” street art, hand painted signs, and interior and exterior typographic murals.

His work has been exhibited in various art galleries in both the Los Angeles area and throughout the United States.In addition, he has created an authentic body of Renaissance manuscript art as a library exhibit and as a graphic novel.Exquisite color palettes, deliberate paint strokes, meticulously chosen words and phrases concealed within metaphysical symbols all encourage the viewer to look for deeper meaning in each piece of art.

More of Peter Greco’s amazing designs can be found at petergrecoart.com.

 

Changing Seasons

A touch of Fall in the air today. Cloudy day, cool breeze, cold rain. 

My kind of morning.

I know the dark and moody weather is on its way. These days it seems to match many of our moods. There is sunshine deep inside every one of us, but as the days shorten it seems to hang around with its friend Cloudy more and more often.

This weather tends to encourage more contemplation, more introspection, more struggling for inspiration. I know it’s the cycle of life, and we all go through it, but the older I get the more interesting this cycle gets.

I think our bodies automatically shift gears in fall, storing nuts and fat and ideas for the days when we are hiding behind three feet of snow.  Memories of family and friends and those we have lost seem to hang around a little longer. We can snuggle more with our pets without breaking out in a hot sweat.

As I contemplate this snuggling, reflective mode, I think of my fellow writer and poet Ivor. A wonderful writer and human being, he lives “down under” and is probably looking out his window hoping the temperatures soon warm up so he can walk around in short sleeves again. Funny how all of us can be on the same reflective wavelength yet our weather be so different.

Do you make plans for each season? Do you have projects that work better in one season than another? Books you want to read that you’ve left until under-blanket-time? A short story or crocheting you’ve been mulling around in your head that can’t come out until the temperature drops below 30 degrees?

I do love this time of year. I have a  few projects that don’t take a lot of energy or sunshine to carry out. I want to try to draw one of those pictures full of designs and lines like my last Sunday Evening Art Gallery artist (Rachael Pease). I have wind swirls I want to make for art fairs next year (if they ever come back), I’m even planning on rereading Shogun again (1,192 pages). I also have started taking long walks in the gray, listening to my creaking bones along with the birds and wind (the creaky bones are loudest).

What are your plans for the next season?

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Rachael Pease

Rachael Pease’s lush drawings, crafted in India ink on frosted Mylar, create mystical settings from trees and plant life observed in reality.

Pease grew up in rural Indiana surrounded by vast lands and forests, which influenced her works.Her pieces often start with a trees she’s come across – in the woods, at national parks, and sometime in the city.She takes pictures from different angles, prints them, and stitches them together to make collages, transforming what she’s observed in her daily life into surreal and timeless landscapes that contemplate the impermanence of the natural world.

She also consciously frames the drawings in a circle or oval, which seems to emulate the perspective of binoculars or a telescope.

In some works, the branches of the trees dominate the composition, in others, it is the strong labyrinth of roots.Her work is inspirational and lively, intricate and magical.More of Rachael Pease’s intricate drawings can be found at .https://www.rachaelpease.com.

Sunday Evening Art Gallery (midweek) — Woodrow Nash

Born in the late 40’s in Akron, Ohio, Woodrow Nash is the product of sanctified churches, 1950’s television images, and black inner city neighborhood schools run by predominantly white middle-class educators.

Nash’s consuming passion to elevate the human spirit takes the form of sculptures, building a sense of mystery and charisma into each piece. 

Through his work, Nash achieves his goal of integrating expression, complex symbolism and sophisticated aesthetics to yield striking embodiments of the human soul and sensuality.Examining the contemporary male and female physique, he explores the body’s natural form and mythology.Incorporating various styles and techniques utilizing stoneware, earthenware, terracotta or porcelain, Nash’s work is fired electronically, pit fired or via a “raku” effect – creating an “African Nouveau” trademark that’s solely his own.While the images are African, in general, the concept is 15th century Benin with the graceful, slender proportions and long, undulating lines of 18th century Art Nouveau.More of Woodrow Nash’s colorful sculptures can be found at https://woodrownashstudios.com/. 

 

 

Cleaning up to Gallery Perfection

Lately I have been going through my blogs over at my Sunday Evening Art Gallery, double checking links, adding more images, correcting picture spacing, turning it into the blog it’s SUPPOSED to be.

Funny how, at first, I was more anxious about getting the images up and running, not thinking through what I would want to see and experience if I were visiting for the first time.

I think we all are over anxious at one time or another.

I don’t have as many followers over there as I do here. I still start out sharing unique art as a Goddess thing. It’s only after a few months that I give the artists their own world, their own room,  so their creations can be slowly and thoughtfully and individually perused.

Quality should be in everything you do. When they say “quality over quantity” that is so true for so many things we do these days. The quality of one or two friends overrides mass popularity on Facebook or Twitter. The taste of homemade spaghetti sauce that has taken hours to prepare rocks over the $1.99 jar substitute.  Going to a live concert/sports game/class is far more rewarding than seeing the same on TV or the computer screen.

That’s why I want the images I share with you be clean, communicative, and organized. Just like you were strolling through a gallery in an art museum. The gallery should be dedicated to just one artist. No extraneous words or music; no distractions. Just a chance for you to take your time and really look at the creativity around you.

Here’s a few gems I have come across that I almost forgot about….

 

 

George Rodrigue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Doors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nathan Sawaya

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Liu Bolin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stained Glass

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you take time to wander around a gallery or two. Follow if you’d like; just stop by if you don’t. It’s amazing how much unique art there is around the world. 

And I plan on discovering it all one gallery at a time.

 

 

The Cosmos Calls Back

Back in August of 2016 I wrote a blog about the Cosmos calling me. It popped up in my Facebook feed last night, and it’s still so on the mark. I wish I still had ideas like this….

 

Hellloooo….Cosmos Calling

The Cosmos is always calling — are you listening?

I tend to block incoming calls, leaving a message that I’ll get back shortly.  And, of course, when I call back, it’s too late. The message has disappeared. Moved On. Taken a Hike. Good Bye.

So today is a good day to start remembering and rewriting some of the messages my old friend Cosmos has been sending.

  •  When the Muse is there She’s there. When she’s not she’s not. Quit trying to make wine out of hot dogs. You can’t force the words, the strokes, the stitches. Leave the door wide open but take your trek elsewhere for a while. As long as it’s creative, even if it’s mindless, it encourages Her return.
  • If it doesn’t have anything to do with your realm, keep your mouth shut. Your conservative or over-the-top opinions won’t change the state of politics or sports or Hollywood. Misery loves company and yakkers need an audience. Don’t be the bigmouth or the enabler.
  • DO stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves. Abuse is rampant. Child, animal, elder — A bully is always a bully. Speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. If you notice something, and don’t want to confront the culprit, report it. Tell someone. Be their strength.
  • There is no such thing as a leisurely dinner outside. Especially this time of year. Quit trying to sell us wine and laughter and best friends sitting at a big table surrounded by land and woods. It doesn’t work that way. Just ask the mosquitoes and flies. Or the chiggers that chew your ankles.
  • Wine, chocolate, and whipped cream are the answers to all of life’s problems.
  • Organization is the name of the game. Most of us are O-Negative, but with an infusion of creativity, energy, and optimism, even the smallest o can grow to be a fairly decent sized O. Just put away what you take out, close what you open, measure before you cut, and find yourself a Muse or Spirit Guide to give you a pinch in the keester now and then.
  • Taco Cat spelled backwards is Taco Cat.
  • Universal Truth #6327: Everything makes sense to someone.
  • The Cosmos is full of random moves disguised as calculated theories. So it is with winning. A few odds: winning the Powerball, 1 in 292,201,338; dying from an asteroid strike, 1 in 74,817,414; attacked by a shark, 1 in 3,748,006; getting struck by lightning, 1 in 1,107,143; being killed by a vending machine, 1 in 112,000,000; being killed by a coconut, 1 in 270,000,000. Since the odds never make sense, odds are that you might as well give up the odds and go with a sure thing. Like I before E. Except after C. Oh, and there’s an A in there too…
  • Don’t be fooled by the “peaceful life” in the country. It can be just as loud as the city. Birds are worse than car horns.

The Cosmos gave me a bunch of messages this past weekend, and this time I was listening. Friendship is forever: there are stories around every corner; if you connect your soul with the soul of the universe, anything can happen. Then I gave the o’l Cos some advice I’ve learned along the way.

  • Love. There’s 1,000s of chances to find it.
  • Life. There’s only one chance to live it.
  • Creativity is a way of life.
  • Jon Snow is not dead.

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Chad Knight

 

Chad Knight is a 41-year-old visual artist from Portland, Oregon.Chad was a professional skateboarder  for 16 years. During that time, it served as his creative outlet.Now he creates mind-bending 3D drawings and incredible sculptures that highlight issues such as global warming and loss of habitat for animals.Chad Knight’s amazing and incredible sculptures seem so realistic that people sometimes  want to choose them as their travel destination.According to Knight, “Everything on my work represents something or someone. My art is very much like an encrypted journal that I can share publicly.”Knight laughs that he has a very overactive, noisy mind.“Now that I do not have the opportunity to do it (skateboarding) as often, combined with being less enthusiastic about broken bones, my visual art explorations have become my new outlet.”You have to admit that all of these concepts blow your mind in one way or another. They do look real to me.

More of Chad Knight‘s amazing digital art can be found at https://www.instagram.com/chadknight.

 

 

Faerie Paths — Warm Nights

 

James Michalopoulos

 

To my ears, jazz sounds better in warm weather and after the sun has gone down. While I will listen to some of my favorite jazz records in cooler weather, it’s the warmer nights that really make them come alive. Something about those sounds and the heat of the night really makes it happen for me.   ~ Henry Rollins

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery (midweek) — Nick Reynolds

Nick Reynolds is a social documentary photographer based in Kent, England.His connection with the world around him is reflected in the photos he so consciously captures in black and white.Reynolds refrains from framing or creating too much meaning or explanation of his work other than that which strikes the viewer directly and immediately.Too much explanation or pre-interpretation on his part would undermine the viewer’s freedom to experience the work simply as it appears to be.Reynolds believes that art is the realm in which we can express most purely and deeply that which lies hidden in both our personal and collective unconscious.A glimpse into the world of shadows and light, his photography speaks for itself.

More of Nick Reynold’s photography can be found at https://nickreynolds.myportfolio.com. He also has experimental blog of thoughts and ideas at http://nickreynolds.art.blog.

 

 

Any Reaction is a Good Reaction

I wanted to address the reactions to yesterday’s Sunday Evening Art Gallery, Bruno Pontiroli. Bruno is a surrealist, and his paintings are creative in an uncomfortable way.

Those of you who responded that they made you uncomfortable; that you didn’t really care for the vibes the images gave you — Thank you. I can’t tell you how good feedback feels.

That is the purpose of Art. 

I don’t remember how I found Bruno, but I’ve had him in my gallery repertoire for some time. His paintings are clear and expressive. But the images themselves made me take a step back and wonder. Should I? Or shouldn’t I?

I honestly enjoy all the artists I highlight. In that same vein, I’m not always comfortable with their art.

Look at Zdzisław Beksiński. or Anton Semenov.  H.R. Giger. Even some of Salvador Dali‘s work is mind bending. Who knows what their motivation was.. Haunting visions of reality.

Some art is really hard to look at. To understand. Hard to like.

I am proud of those of you who had adverse reactions to yesterday’s art and said so. You said nothing derogatory about the artist — just the form the artist took.

Keep your minds open.

Its good for you, it’s good for the world of art. If a certain style or piece of art stirs something inside of you — good OR bad — then the artist has achieved what they’ve worked a life time to achieve.

A Reaction.

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Bruno Pontiroli

Bruno Pontiroli is a French surreal artist, whose aim is to “turn the narrow vision that we have of the world upside down and disturb our imagination while shaking an accepted reality with images that are as comprehensible as they are familiar”.In Bruno’s fascinating and unusual body of work, he begins his artworks with easily-recognized animals that he then shapes “the way a child plays with modeling clay or a building set.”An admirer of René Magritte, Bruno finds inspiration in situations, books and images that surround him.Pontiroli creates mind-bending explorations of the relationship between humans and animals.The artist shies away from labeling his work as Surrealist or Dadaist, instead proposing a new version of reality without categorization.His work is so enjoyable precisely because it’s familiar yet strange.According to Pontiroli, “My aim is turn the narrow vision that we have of the world upside down and disturb our imagination while shaking an accepted reality with images that are as comprehensible as they are familiar. Distorting a symbol or mixing opposing universes allows me to question the identity of things so that I can reinvent them.”

More of Bruno Pontiroli‘s  mind-bending work can be found at https://www.instagram.com/brunopontiroli.

Saturday Morning Cartoons

A cloudy, humid Saturday morning.

It’s funny that, even though I’m retired, I still look forward to Saturday mornings. Years of working Monday through Friday can do that to you.

But whaf if you’re a nurse or a waiter or a postal worker? Many people never get Saturday off. And it’s like no big deal. They get a different day off — one where the rest of us are toiling away.

When the Boston Store was in business, I worked a lot of Saturdays. And Sundays. And holidays. It wasn’t too bad either, except I had to work Monday through Friday too.

Maybe the magic of Saturday started in my youth. Saturday morning cartoons. Going for morning bike rides. Making plans for Saturday nights with girlfriends. Doing things only kids can do on Saturday.

Of course, no memory is as glorious as the one you try to remember. Most Saturdays were probably spent fighting with siblings or doing chores or catching up on homework. Saturday nights often did not include a date,  and, if you were like me, there were no friends to hang around with, either. If you were too young, you probably wasted the evening with a babysitter or watching boring movies you didn’t understand and having to go to bed long before you were tired, just because. 

I choose to remember my youth ( what parts I CAN remember) as gauze wrapped sparking gems in time that always began on Saturday morning and ended when Bonanza was over Sunday evening. I can do that.

And, for the most part, I can finally spend Saturday mornings the way ~I~ want to. I can do that, too.

Where is the cartoon channel?

Creativity Starts in the Evening

Leonid Afremov

I always have the good intention of going to bed early and getting a good night’s sleep. It’s not until closer to midnight or 1 a.m. that I slip under the covers. I could say it’s bad habits, unhealthy sleep patterns, or old age. I’d probably be right on all three counts. 

But I find that as the evening progresses I find more and more things to read and research and update than during the daylight hours.

Unconsciously — or maybe consciously — I relegate the daylight for activities. Cleaning house. Grocery shopping. Weeding the garden. Visiting the grandkids. Even though I’m retired I feel like I should always be “doing” something during the day so I don’t turn into a slug.

But then evening comes.  Evening is my favorite time of the day. Every day.

TV has been a bust lately. Hubby’s not home three or four times a week. Dishes are done, laundry is folded. It’s magic time.

Of course, I don’t have a lot of energy going into the evening, but I push through anyway, and sure enough, a second wind comes along about 10 p.m. That doesn’t bode well for a long, good night’s sleep … but I can’t seem to resist.

I love reading other blogs. I love researching artists for my blog. I enjoy editing things I’ve written. I enjoy looking around for something to write about. I enjoy exploring other art galleries. And I love doing it in the peace and quiet of the evening. I look out the window, keeping an eye on a beautiful sunset, having an evening snack — what could be more productive?

I just should learn to be productive before  7 p.m. Not 11 p.m.

When is your most creative time of the day?

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Paul Stankard

Paul Stankard is an internationally acclaimed artist and pioneer in the studio glass movement..During his ten year scientific glassblowing career, he became a master of fabricating complex instruments.In 1972, Paul left industry to pursue his dream of being creative in glass full time.His translucent orbs bursting with activity and life are made entirely from glass.When Stankard suddenly directed a decade of industrial glass working techniques into the interpretation of flowers, bees, vines, and leaves encased in glass, it wasn’t long before art dealers discovered his work and he began to create art full-time.According to Stankard, ““By blending mysticism with magical realism, I work to express organic credibility through my botanical interpretations.”“Crafted in glass, I reference the continuum of nature and celebrate on an intimate level her primal beauty.”

More of Paul Stankard’s amazing glasswork can be found at http://www.paulstankard.com/.

 

 

Your Favorite Opening Sentence

Language is the foundation of many of the Arts. To instruct, to classify, to share your Art you must understand and communicate with words. Then, of course, command of the language is essential to mastering the craft of reading and writing.

Everyone has their “own”  version of their language. There is slang, dialect, style, and dozens of other ways that writers turn language into something powerful and creative.

When I first started writing I had a more stylized repertoire of words and phrases in my head that I could call on to write copy. But as time went on I realized I was not a “formalized“ writer. My style is more relaxed and personal, like I’m sitting across the table talking to you.

Our favorite authors are  chosen based on their ability to be creative with their words. Lately I have been dipping into H.P. Lovecraft from the early 1900s, an American writer whose style is more Gothic, like Edgar Allan Poe and Mary Shelley.

Sometimes an opening passage really sets the tone. Here is the beginning of his famous work, The Call of Cthulhu:

 

The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.

 

His use of the language of the times is crisp and graceful. At least to me.

Which leads me to the point of this blog.

Whose writing style do you enjoy reading? Share their name and, if your time permits, the opening sentence from your favorite book. I realize if you love to read, you embrace many styles for your many moods, but maybe there is a sentence or opening passage that just rings your bell.

I’d love to see what styles appeal to you, my friends in the blogging world.

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery (flashback) — Luke Jerram

Way back in October of 2014, I asked the question:

Glass is exquisite in its delicate beauty. A crystal vase, a hand-blown wine glass, a stained-glass window, all stir the pot of reactions that make the word “sparkle” sparkle. Working with glass is an incredible art. It is so delicate, so refined, a true art of mind over matter. So what if glass represents a disease? Is it still “sparkling” and “refined”?

In the midst of today’s pandemic, Luke Jerram seems to have found a way.

 

Covid19-Coronavirus

 

 

Foot-and-Mouth Disease

 

 

Avian flu

 

 

salmonella

 

 

Zika virus

 

 

Ebola

 

 

HIV

 

These, and other microscopic cells and diseases made of sparkling glass, can be found at my Sunday Evening Art Gallery and at https://www.lukejerram.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Dog Is Smart

People say animals aren’t smart. Oh, they can mimic and bring the ball back and react appropriately to your words. But they’re not smart.

I am here to say — I honor your opinion, but my dog is smart. My dog can tell time.

My mother-in-law used to give the dogs treats when they’d go outside and do their business. Bad habit or not, I picked up that one. Then somehow or another that turned into giving the dogs a bonie at 7 p.m. Another bad habit, perhaps.

That habit went through a few dogs through the years. But now I have my son’s dog — now my dog — and I swear she knows whenever 7 p.m. comes around. 

Wherever we are, no matter what we’re doing, my dog sits down right in front of me at 7 p.m. every day. Time change? Doesn’t matter. Sitting outside? Doesn’t matter. Rain? Sleet? Snow? Doesn’t matter. No clock in sight? Doesn’t matter. Every evening at 7 p.m., there she is. Watching me. Pacing. Panting. Asking politely for her 7 o’clock B.

If I ignore her, she continues her quest. Moving around. Laying down. Sighing. Squealing softly. Changing positions. Watching. Always watching. Until I get up, go to the pantry, and pull out a chewie and give it to her. It used to be rawhides, but since her teeth are getting bad we’ve moved to dental stix.

But it’s always at 7 p.m. Or should I say, it STARTS at 7 p.m.

Does this sound like I spoil my dog?

I’d like not to think so. I’d like to think that I have created yet another habit that I give her credit for. Like bringing the ball back. That she’s still as dumb as a box of rocks.

She taught my brother-in-law’s dog (who is staying with us now) when it’s 7 o’clock, too. 

See? She even knows how to train other dogs…..

 

 

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.