Friends, Friendship, Friends Forever

A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.

~ William Shakespeare

 

I just came back from meeting one of my besties for lunch (Hi Andi!). My friend is fun and witty and loves doing things with her family and friends. I had a great time.

Last week I went shopping and stayed overnight with four of my besties from my old neighborhood. We hadn’t seen each other since the memorial, and we shopped and laughed and and talked till 1:30 am. We all had a great time.

A month or two ago we met our two besties half way between Tennessee and Wisconsin and toured Indiana’s covered barns. We ate and laughed and drove around and camped and had a great time.

Two months ago we went over to our besties house and had dinner. We talked about kids and upcoming craft fairs and had a great time.

Whenever I go to my kid’s house, no matter what kind of day we’ve all had, we always manage to talk and laugh and gossip and have a great time. (Hi Sarah!) Bring in her parents and every day is a party — even when we all are dog tired and can’t move off the sofa.

You may say I’m lucky.

You may think I have the gift of friendship or the gift of gab — or both.

But friendships come easy, right?

The minute you hang with someone you can tell if they’re going to be lifelong pals and confidants or if they’ll just do for the evening. That’s the easy part.

Real friendship takes work.

It takes calling them, even if you’re the last one to make contact. It takes driving longer than you want to drive just to meet for dinner or shopping. It means giving up something you want to do to do something your friend wants to do.

It means asking — and taking — help, even if you don’t think you need it.

You can have one best friend or a dozen. Your bestie can be a male, female, or gender neutral. They can be your classmate, your neighbor, or your mother-in-law.

Friendship has no boundaries, no parameters. It just is. 150% of you. All the time. No matter what.

Sometimes friendships get tested. Distance, morals, misunderstandings. Things said and misunderstood. Things misspoken yet heard correctly.  Friendship can be roasted, toasted, and tested.

Some make it through fire and ice.

Others break apart and drift away.

But we all can have friends. We all need friends.

True friends love you just the way you are — with all your quirks, with all your weaknesses, with all your dreams.  Friends are there to pick up the pieces and glue you back together.

And, if you are a true and honest friend, you will glue them back together too.

Give your friend a call this evening. Drop them a text. Even if it’s been a year. A month. Yesterday. Give Give and Give some more. Don’t ask for anything back — just enjoy the giving part. That’s who you are. 

If your gift of love is used and abused, that’s not your problem. It’s theirs. Tenfold.  You were always true to yourself. So move on. 

One never said friendship was perfect. But one thing I do know —

Make sure you are your own best friend first. 

 

 

 

Is Creativity Considered an Art Thing?

Now that I’m done running around for a few weekends I am ready to stay home for a few weeks and CREATE a few things.

First off, of course, is to create a version of a clean house.

But I digress.

After all the “chores” that need to be caught up on, before I start the assembly line for new Angel Tears for my Fall show, there are things I want to do around here that are basically …. creative.

I wonder if I am being an artist while I rearrange the pots on the front deck to look like an outdoor room? If going through the stack of artwork we have collected in the last 30 years to find fresh pictures to hang on our bedroom walls is a form of Art Appreciation? Is moving a plant from the bathroom counter to the window sill testing the esthetics of the world of art? 

Repainting my bathroom and closet and bedroom was the biggest art project I’ve been involved with in years. Two tones of gray, painting the edges of the shelves a different color, new rugs, new shower stall, all were brought such a wonderful feeling of contentment when finished. I picked out the perfect water glass,  moved a wrought iron sun from a forgettable place in the basement to the top of the cabinet, and bought the cutest pots to repot plants we received at the memorial.

It was so much fun. It felt like I was creating Installation Art.

Is this what an artist feels before they paint their next picture? Before they carve their next statue? 

Dictionary.Com has a few descriptions of this very big three-letter word:

1.  the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance. 

2.  the class of objects subject to aesthetic criteria; works of art collectively, as paintings, sculptures, or drawings: a museum of art; an art collection. 

That covers a pretty wide territory. But does it cover making a dinosaur garden in the backyard with my grandson? Does it include taking the pile of “stuff” off the kitchen table and replacing it with a vase with pretty flowers in it? 
Art is many things.  You are an artist, whether you believe it or not. If it brings you pleasure, a feeling of success, if it is satisfying and organized or just plain pretty, you have created art.
I hope our Creative friendship lasts a long time. I love hearing what you do to make the world a more attractive — dare I say prettier — place.
Don’t be afraid to share your artsy ideas. We ALL would love it!

Swallowed by The Sun (Revised) — Ivor.Plumber/Poet

I have turned a fellow blogger into a friend — someone whose work makes me happy. Ivor is that sort of poet. Poignant, clever, hitting the notes of current events with delicate yet form strokes. I really feel this poem. Please go to his site sometime and check out all the great things he’s written.
 
You won’t be sorry.
 

On a fiery hot suburban street Cobblestones are melting the crowd’s feet Bursting blisters, of the ignorant Burning souls, in the innocent Ultraviolet rays are scorching everyone Our world is being swallowed by the sun Oh, what have us human’s done All the rivers are running dry Fish lay on barren land, wanting to die […]

Swallowed by The Sun (Revised) — Ivor.Plumber/Poet

https://ivors20.wordpress.com/

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Painted Stairs

In tackling this Gallery, I decided to go through the front door and pick out art that has been hand painted on stairways. There are many other ways to decorate your stairs: peel off stickers, ceramic tiles, and wallpaper to name a few. I included stencils because even though you have a ready-made pattern you are still doing the painting.

I am trusting that these wonderfully unique painted staircases will be your “Stairway to the Stars.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Am Still Running

My notifications told me today that I am on a 9-day streak on Humoring the Goddess.

I didn’t realized I yakked that much.

Maybe it was that I filled every other day with a ditty to be published so I wouldn’t have to worry about losing my readers. Maybe every other day turned into every day when I left my computer charging cord at home and began to panic. Maybe it was the frustration of typing on that old mini computer where the cursor flipped, skipped, and deleted at its own whim.

I came back from the boys’ fishing trip yesterday and saw that my calendar is stuffed beyond stuffed pepper mode for the rest of the month. Discovering a new way to type a story over the weekend squirreled away the last energy I might have saved up.

 I am already exhausted.

It’s not that I don’t want to see and do everything. I really really do. It’s just that I can’t seem to put a halt on the spinning part.

Seeing grandkids is always a priority. Seeing my friends who helped me through my recent hard times is a priority. Travelling to our cabin to get “away from it all” is also a priority. And now that I’m hot to trot on writing this new novel, THAT is a priority too. 

That’s just the top tiers.

I have too many priorities, I think. I’ve got to slow down.

How do you do it all?

I know I know — prioritize. Learn to say “no.” Limit your time on the get togethers that happen more often. Assign more “me” time.

I’m afraid none of those alternatives are going to happen.

I’m going to be 70 in six months. I hope I make it till then. I hope I make it another 20 years past that. I don’t want to visit people when I’m on the other side. I might scare them away with my angel wings. You know?

So I feel like I’m living in a whirlwind NOW NOW NOW state of body and mind. Like if I don’t do it all and think it all and feel it all and keep it going everything will stop, and so will I.

Let me know how you do everything you do.

Or what you tell yourself as you collapse on the bed every night……..

 

 

Sunday Evening Art — Auguste Rodin

 

François Auguste René Rodin (1840 – 1917) was a French sculptor, generally considered the founder of modern sculpture.

The Old Courtesan (La Belle qui fut heaulmière)

 

Rodin endured a somewhat tumultuous life in his early years that nearly discouraged him from becoming an artist.

The Three Shades

 

He wanted to attend the prestigious École des Beaux-Arts in his teens, but was denied three times. He worked for decades as a craftsman, but completely abandoned his pursuit to be an artist after the death of his sister in 1862.

The Kiss

 

Rodin joined a Catholic order that same year, but it was Saint Peter Julian Eymard who noticed Rodin’s incredible talent and encouraged him to resume his life as a sculptor.

The Thinker

 

 

A trip to Italy in 1875 sparked his creativity after having studied the sculptures of Donatello and Michelangelo.

Young Girl with Roses on Her Hat

 

After this, Rodin was inspired to create a number of masterful pieces of sculpture that are considered to this day to be among the greatest works in history.

Monument to Balzac

 

Rodin stripped away many of the narrative references to classical myth that were still attached to academic sculpture in the late-19th century and placed a new stress on the dignity of simple human moments.

Burghers of Calais

 

Rodin was a naturalist, less concerned with monumental expression than with character and emotion.

Madame X (Countess Anna-Elizabeth de Noailles)

 

He dedicated most of the last 40 years of his life to working on an expanse of sculptures that formed what Rodin titled The Gates of Hell.

The Gates of Hell

 

The pieces associated with this work are considered to be Rodin’s greatest accomplishments.

More of Auguste Rodin’s sculptures can be found at https://www.musee-rodin.fr.https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/rodn/hd_rodn.htm and https://www.artst.org/rodin-sculptures/.

 

 

I Am a Fan of Top ___ Lists

I am a sucker for top 10 or 20 or 30 lists.

I don’t know how the creator/writer of these things gets their info; for all I know it’s the author’s faves and nothing more. Google the top 10 and see what comes up. The same top 10 differ from site to site. (The blue copy links to the founding site.)

But I digress.

What a way to waste an afternoon.

But here are some random “tops” that will make you smile this warm Saturday afternoon. If you don’t agree with these tops, fear not. There’s always another top 10 list somewhere…..

 

Top 10 Best Guitarists of All Time

1 .  Jimi Hendrix

2 . Jimmy Page

 

18 of The Most Amazing Photographs Ever Taken

A pickup truck flees from the smoke and volcanic ash ( pyroclastic flows) spewing from the Mt. Pinatubo volcano that erupted during 1991 in the Philippines

Daredevils Gladys Roy and Ivan Unger Play Tennis In Sky, riding on the wings of a biplane as it flies over the city in November 1925.0

 

Top 10 Pop Songs of 1999

1 . Britney Spears – Baby One More Time

2 . Ricky Martin – Livin’ the Vie da Loca

 

Top 10 Scariest Animals on Earth

1 . Human

2 . Shark

 

Most Expensive Air-Jordan Shoes

1 . Air Jordan 12 ‘Flu Game’ Shoes — $300,000

2.  Air Jordan 12 OVO Shoes — $100,000

 

10 Most Popular Foods in the World

1 . Pizza

2 . Sushi

 

The 12 Deadliest Insects in the World

1 . Mosquito

2 . Tse-Tse Fly

 

AFI’s Top 100 Films of All Time

1 . Citizen Kane

 2 . The Godfather

 

Top 10 People Immortalized as Foods

1 . Ruth Cleveland — Baby Ruth

2 . John McIntosh — Apples

 

Top 10 Most Expensive Teas in the World Money Can Buy

1 . Original Dong Hong Pao — $645,000 Per Pound

2 . Panda Dung — $31,700 Per Pound

 

Top 10 Fastest Cars in the World

1 . Bugatti Bolide —  500 kmph

2 . Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+ — 490.48 kmph

 

10 Most Famous Statues in the World

1 . The Thinker — Auguste Rodin

2 . Statue of Liberty — Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi

 

The 10 Most Beloved Christmas Cookies, Ranked

1 . Pillsbury Sugar Cookie

2 . Chocolate Snowball Cookies

 

 

Top Ten Tallest People Currently Alive in around the World

1 . Sultan Kösen, 251 cm, 8 feet 3 inches

2 . Brahim Takioullah, 246 cm, 8 feet 1 inch

 

Top 30 TV Shows of 2006

 1 . 24

2 . Psych

 

10 Favorite American Foods of All Time

1 . Burger

2 . Cheesecake

 

Top Ten Most Dangerous Bacteria on Earth

1 .Tuberculosis2 . Streptococcus

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — DZO-O

Under the odd name of DZO (in capital letters) is Olivier, a self-taught artiphist, symbols explorer, and freelance designer from the South of France.Thanks to a family with an artistic affinity, Olivier graduated from the School of Fine Arts of Toulouse and begun a successful career in graphic design.But with the creation of the artistic counterpart that is DZO, the French artist wanted to go deeper into his exploration of the “noosphere”, a philosophical concept about human thought.

His dynamic drawings are incredibly complex. They swirl with archetypal figures, animal totems and symbols that threaten to burst off the page.

His art speaks to the old etchings and engravings of religious and occult manuscripts while it flirts with alchemy, witchcraft, and blasphemy. 

It is at the same time disturbing, haunting, and stimulating.His intricate drawings, full of enigmatic detail, mix sensuality, darkness, and mythology.The message beyond the lines have a seemingly secret meaning, surrounding the world of DZO with mystery and fascination. More of DZO-O‘s mesmerizing work can be found at http://www.dzo-o.com/.

 

 

Will I Getter Done This Time?

INSPIRATION ►INTENTION ►OPPORTUNITY ►RESULT

This is the way our personal growth should go.

*Get inspired to do something.
*Set out a plan to get it done.
*Find the opportunity to work on this something.
*Finish project — getter done.

This is the way I hope to get things done through the end of the week.

But I know me.

Get inspired to do something. All the time. Over inspired and over excited. Set out a plan to get it done. I outline, research, strategize. Got it figured out. Find the opportunity. Five days at a cabin, being by myself all five days as the men go fishing every day. Finish project. After I go for a walk, read a few chapters of a book, reread the plan, reread the previous written books (if necessary), take a nap, read my Facebook, text a few friends, flip through a magazine, make a sandwich, color a mandala, and check my email.

Is this ever you?

A perfectly planned day/few days/week of finally getting your artistic inspiration off the ground and up into the stratosphere. You’ve got your material, your paints, your sketches. Your storyline. Your collage materials. Your wood.

And now the time has come.

You get distracted. And keep getting distracted. And before you know it you’ve wasted a half day or more doing everything but your heart’s desire.

What’s the matter with us?

Or is it only me?

I’m going away for a few days with “the boys.” The boys plan on fishing all day and watching stupid movies all night. The perfect atmosphere for me to take advantage of. I don’t want to stay home by myself — I don’t want to hang around someplace where there are a dozen housekeeping tasks waiting just for me.

We don’t have TV or Internet at the cabin. I have a hard drive full of great music, a computer full of research, a kitchen full of healthy snacks, and two dogs to keep me company.

The perfect atmosphere to write.

But I’m weak when it comes to distraction.

Not every moment is filled with distraction — there are many times I’m lost in the creative moment. I love it. But there are always bread crumbs — or maybe cookie crumbs — that beckon me to follow. To waste time. To lead me astray.

Let’s hope that I get some real writing time in this week. My fortitude is not what it used to be. Words are just a little harder to come by these days; I know that not too long in the distant future the words might even fail me. There’s a few more stories I’d like to tell before the words fade away.

I’d hate to waste that precious time surfing the Net for kitty pictures….

 

 

Walking. With Moment that Sticks. — Live & Learn

 

Yin and Yang everywhere you look. All you have to do is look.

Take a few moments and read….

4:33 a.m., or so. You are so damn precise with your clock. I pulled into the Cove Island Park parking lot, my headlights illuminated her…sleeping. Hold that thought. It’s been 770 consecutive (almost) days on my daybreak walk. Like in a row. I was going to share a different story.  A running story. I page […]

Walking. With Moment that Sticks. — Live & Learn

 

 

 

 

Gift Rocks

My family went camping this weekend, and my little six-year-old grandson found a Friendship Rock at the campsite playground. For those of you who might not know, a Friendship Rock is just a (usually) flat rock that someone has painted and left behind for someone else to find.

Friendship rocks can have words on them, scenery, abstract designs — anything. They are so fun to find — you feel like a faerie has left her work behind for you someplace.

So the next day we bought some acrylic paints and found a handful of flat rocks throughout the campground and had a paint fest. All ages joined — four-year-olds through 70-ish flower children. Some of us wrote a message, others made abstract designs.

It was  a come-together moment for all of us.

Our little group.

Painting the words “Peace” and “I Love You” for someone else to find. To make someone else’s day.

Life is made of small moments like this. Moments of gratitude, of comradery and friendship and pockets of love. Not doing anything special but sending friendship up into the atmosphere and into the rocks we were painting.

Sometimes the answers are so simple. The solutions to mankind’s woes can be found in small brush strokes or made up songs or making stained glass out of construction paper.

No war was fought. No shootings. No shouting matches.

Everyone got to express their inner thoughts with paint and rocks.

The next day we drove around and left our little gifts for others to find. Down by the beach, on a rock near the walking path. We hoped that the next person who found them would smile and feel good and share that feeling with others.

Find your own peace through Art. It will make you feel better.

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — The Art of Food

The articleThe Fascination with Food in Art History” by Elena Martinique at Whitewalls states that, as a cornerstone of our very existence, food has always played a significant part in our social and cultural lifestyles. Thus, it is no wonder that the depiction of food in art spans across cultures and all of recorded human history.

Just as majestic as any portrait or landscape, the depiction of food through painting is an arduous and creative talent.

As we sit and enjoy our Sunday dinners, let us wander through the world of food artistry and enjoy some of the more famous interpretations of the sight and taste of food.

 

Apples and Oranges, Paul Cézanne, 1895

 

Vertumnus, Giuseppe Arcimboldo, 1590

 

Mound of Butter, Antoine Vollon, 1875-1885

 

Still Life with Apples, Vincent van Gogh, 1887

 

Viva la Vida, Watermelons, Frida Kahlo, 1954

 

Eucharistic Still Life, Salvador Dalí, 1952

 

Fruit and Vegetables with a Monkey, a Parrot, and a Squirrel, Frans Snyders, 1620

 

Still-Life with Cheeses, Almonds and Pretzels, Clara Peeters, 1615

 

Still Life with Cherries, Strawberries, and Gooseberries, Louise Moillon, 1630

 

Cauliflower And Pomegranates, Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1890

 

Still-Life with Ham, Lobster, and-Fruit, Jan-Davidsz de Heem, 1652

 

 

 

Some Interesting Galleries

Since (at the moment) I am hanging around the campground, trying to relax after running back to town to watch my (four-year-old) grand daughter’s dance recital, I thought I would share a few amazing and fantastic Galleries I’ve shared in the past.

Maybe hold on till evening — grab a goblet of wine or chocolate milk — and have a tour! Love you all!

GLASS HOUSES

 

Mézesmanna — Judit Czinkné Poór

 

Masayo Fukuda

 

Remedios Varos

 

Bubbles

 

Chris Maynard

 

Valeriya Kutsan and Alexander Khokhlov

 

 

 

 

 

 

Faerie Paths — Faerie Trails (a poem)

Faerie Trails

Pearlescent sponge-painted hues
Pink and blue and grey

Reflect the morning sunrise
Down the dew-covered path
Rose-colored diamonds
Sparkle on blades of green
Plodding steps
Announce my arrival
Into her delicate sphere
Fairy prints
Blushes of pixie dust
Tinge the edge of the leaves
Marks of a carefree spirit
Dancing through the woods
Her laughter is reflected
In the tinkle of wind chimes
The dawn’s breath quickens
Bending strands of leaves
And delicate flowers
Guarding the edge of the field
Dissipating her scent
Into the wind
In the arms of emerald green
I glimpse the sparkle of wings
And the glitter of freedom
My leaden steps follow
Tiny prints on velvet green
Wind chimes choir in the distance
Musk and earth and pine
Mask the scent of her passing
The morning sun spikes
Between the trees
Blocking my view of forbidden realms
Leaves tremble yet remain steadfast
She is gone
Protected by the world beyond
Leaving me to wonder
If the rose-colored diamonds
Were hers at all

 

Claudia ~ 2011

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Richard Royal

Richard Royal is recognized internationally as one of the most skilled and talented glassblowers in the studio glass movement. Having spent his early years as a ceramicist, he began working as a glass sculptor in 1978 at the Pilchuck Glass School. The birth of this new and exciting artistic movement appealed to the young artist.

Royal worked his way through the ranks to become one of Dale Chihuly’s main gaffers.This relationship lasted several years and consequently led to Royal’s emergence in the art market in the 1980’s.Royal’s explorations delve into the theory that all things have a geometric significance or a mathematical sequence.  Royal’s vision is to create organic sculptures  using rigid components to portray this concept of growth and clarity in form.His shapes are unusual, striking, and bright, just as glass should be.More of Richard Royal’s geometric masterpieces can be found at https://richardroyalstudio.com/. 

 

 

The Power of Love

Let’s be brief.

The world out there is messed up. Mass shootings at grade schools,  graduation parties, and outside of bars. The horror of death is everywhere.

It seems like the world has gone mad. It certainly has tinted our view of the future.

Yet….

I went to one of my youngest son’s bestie’s wedding Saturday. It was a lovely affair.

You know that my son was killed in February by a mad gunman. Sitting in the church before the wedding, I kept thinking that the bride and groom should have been my son and lady.

But I digress.

Before, during, and after the celebration I was surrounded by the love and support of his friends and friends’ wives and parents and friends of friends. It was phenomenal.

I tried to keep the emotions in check — after all, this was a friend’s wedding, not a memorial. My husband and I were honored to be invited. I mean, we’re parents of someone else’s kid. 

The point of this blog is that the world is not going to hell. Individuals may be, but not the world as a whole.

There are wonderful people all around you. People who love openly, who fear death and love life just like us. And they are there for you and me.

A wedding cannot bring back what has happened, but it can bring together people who love and remember. There is no better support group. I will always love these guys.

Give the world another chance.

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — We Make Carpets

 

The Dutch collective We Make Carpets has spent the past decade transforming everyday objects and materials into site-specific installations, and has taken the world by storm since its formation in 2009.

Pasta Carpet

The trio has exhibited their work at reputable museums from Australia to the United States, in continuous pursuit of new forms and possibilities.Cup Carpet

 

They are guided by a simple belief: that mass-produced objects and materials lose their exceptional beauty due to their sheer quantity and availability and the carelessness with which they are used and thrown away.

Sponge Carpet

 

Even if they take a close look at something like a simple scouring sponge, a chip fork or a clothes peg, it’s hard to identify their quality, technical ingenuity and colors.

Candy Bar Carpet

 

We Make Carpets works patiently and diligently for days to create a pattern and ultimately a fragile carpet never intended for anyone to walk on.

Paper Roll Carpet

 

The carpets are temporary, made on the spot with no thought out plans or sketches beforehand.

Shuttlecock Carpet

 

The three artists cast each other a knowing look when the first patterns begin to emerge, seemingly out of nowhere (the only real preparation is buying the product in bulk and getting a feel for the space).

Army Carpet

 

Eventually, a work of art starts to materialize on the floor; a transient and vulnerable carpet made from items in the same product family: chip forks, scouring sponges, clothes pegs or countless other disposable items.

Mussel Carpet

 

The hard work and the meticulous placement of identical materials or objects in ever-changing patterns and directions generates unexpected results.

Hardware Carpet

 

The stunning patterns, the breath-taking colors, or the austerity of black and white suddenly raises questions about usage, disposal, and longevity.

Stirrer Carpet

More of We Make Carpets can be found at http://wemakecarpets.nl/.

 

 

I Suffer From Mindyourownbizitis

Occasionally I find myself suffering from mindyourownbizitis.

Has this affliction ever affected you?

It starts almost unnoticed. Someone asks your opinion, and you give it. Someone else asks for your advice, and you give it.

After a while you find yourself offering your thoughts when someone else is conversing. Sharing your ideas even if the discussion has nothing to do with you or what you’re doing.

Before you know it you’re telling people what to do, how to deal with their problems (and non-problems), and how to think. How they can do better, feel better, how they can free themselves from whatever it is you think they’re suffering from.

It doesn’t take long to turn from innocent helper to know-it-all busy bee.

I think I fall into the latter category more that I should.

I find myself sharing my opinions even when I’m not asked. Advising friends and family members who never really asked for help. They’re letting off steam; I’m opinionating.

Now, having an opinion is fine and dandy. That’s what makes us human. Citizens of the Earth and all. Sharing your opinion is fine and dandy as well. People should know who you are and what you stand for.

Telling someone else how to raise their children or deal with their job or their extended family members is not the way to go. Especially if you’ve never had their kind of job or their kind of kids.

We all try not to do it. But we all do it.

We are all asked to help, advise, listen, and share. And we all want to help, advise, listen, and share.

But we have to realize that our opinion is our opinion. That we are neither right nor wrong but just an opinion. We don’t know what others are going through. We don’t know their secrets, their background stories, their small triumphs and minor setbacks.

All we know is what others want us to know.

We have to be smarter than our old selves. We need to understand when we are being asked for an opinion and when we are being asked to be a sounding board. We have to learn to share without pushing. Give our thoughts without proselytizing. Offer our support without trying to change lives.

We cannot change someone else’s life — we can only support them when they decide to change it themselves.

We can all use someone else’s thoughts, point of view, love and support. But in the end we don’t want someone else to tell us what to do.

Especially if that somebody else is a know-it-all busy bee.

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Christina Bothwell

Christina Bothwell (born 1960),  is an American contemporary fine arts glass maker.Bothwell is known for glass, ceramic, and mixed media sculptures that portray the processes of birth, death, and renewal.She studied painting under Will Barnett at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, but gradually moved to working three-dimensionally using ceramics and cast glass as well as antique toys, taxidermy animals or small furniture parts. Increasingly drawing on animals and the natural world around her, she saw the potential for combining glass with the materials she was already using to bring lightness and delicacy to her work.Bothwell’s pieces are often a union between her own mythology and lucid dreams.She challenges herself to portray the soul, inner awareness, and the connections between life and nature through her art.“Art has always been a form of retreat for me,” Boswell shares. “I view my studio time as an anchor, a compass that orients me toward the things in life that feel good and bring me joy.”

More of Christina Bothwell‘s art can be found at https://christinabothwell.com and https://www.hellergallery.com/christina-bothwell/.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Memorial Day — Sergeant Stubby

Copied from the Dogington Press 

 

MEET SERGEANT STUBBY: THE MOST DECORATED WAR DOG IN HISTORY

Before he became the most decorated war dog in American history, Sergeant Stubby was homeless: unwanted, unwashed, unloved, and scrounging for scraps on the streets of Connecticut.

For his valorous actions, Stubby is recognized as the most-decorated dog in American history. But before he was a hero, he was homeless: unwanted, unwashed, unloved, scrounging for scraps on the streets of New Haven, Connecticut in 1917. His fortunes changed, however, when he ran into a young Soldier training on the grounds of Yale University – Private First Class Robert Conroy of the 102nd Infantry Regiment – who adopted the scrappy little stray and named him Stubby for his short stature and tail.

Stubby

The U.S. military didn’t have an official “military working dog” program at that time, but Stubby’s natural survival instincts and devotion to his adoptive family quickly made him an invaluable addition to the men of the 102nd. He received only one piece of formal training from Conroy and his buddies. When their commanding officer demanded to know why there was a dog in the ranks, Stubby raised his right paw to salute, rendering the officer speechless and ensuring Stubby’s place as the official mascot of the Yankee Division.

When the Yankee Division arrived in France, Stubby was given special orders to accompany them to the front lines and saw action in four offensives and 17 battles, serving for 18 months on the western front. He located wounded Soldiers in “No Man’s Land” and – since he could hear the whine of incoming artillery shells before humans – became adept at warning his new family when to take cover.  His keen sense of smell gave him the ability to detect incoming mustard gas attacks, once saving an entire company by alerting the men to don their gasmasks.

Following the retaking of Chateau-Thierry by the U.S., the women of the town made Stubby a chamois coat on which were pinned his many medals. Able to differentiate between English and German, he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant after catching a German spy and became the most decorated war dog in history. Following the war, Stubby returned home to a hero’s welcome, touring the country leading victory parades, meeting three sitting U.S. presidents (Woodrow Wilson, Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge), appearing on Vaudevillian stages and serving as the mascot for Georgetown University, where Conroy was studying law.

On March 16, 1926, Stubby passed away peacefully in his sleep, in the arms of Robert Conroy. On April 4th, 1926, the New York Times published the heroic pup’s obituary. You can read the full text here: http://ow.ly/KqXo50E0h29.

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Watches

You can wear an expensive watch and still be late.
Mokokoma Mokhonoana

 

 

Nsquare Snake Queen Automatic Watch

 

Xeric Halograph II Automatic Rosewood Limited Edition

 

Jacob and Co. Billionaire Watch

 

Space Invaders Watch

 

Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Tourbillon Watch
Lady Arpels Planetarium Watch

 

Devon Tread-1 Watch
Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet

 

Bird Repeater Watch

 

Xeric Trappist-1 Automatic NASA Edition Blue Supernova Watch

 

Graff Diamonds Hallucination Watch

 

Be brave enough to live life creatively — Purplerays

How can you not love a message like this?

 

. Be brave enough to live life creatively. The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover will be yourself. ~ Alan Alda 💚 Text and […]

Be brave enough to live life creatively — Purplerays

Good Times Are Ahead

I made some resolutions earlier this year. 

Not New Year’s Resolutions nor Solstice Resolutions nor Mother’s Day Resolutions. Just some Creativity Resolutions.

The first one comes due next Saturday. My first Art Show of the Season.

Am I ready? Is anyone ever ready for their next step into the world of creativity?

Making Angel Tears is one thing. Painting plates is one thing. Crocheting hangers on kitchen towels is one thing.

Showing them to the public is another.

I keep telling myself I’m too old for this $hit. That to be afraid of who I am at nearly 70 years old is ridiculous. I mean, how can I be any more off-center than I already am?

So anyway, my first art show is this Saturday. I’m doing the final count, the final packing, the final polishing. I swore I’d be done way before this weekend, but guest what — life got in the way.

Good and Bad.

So I’m taking my wares and my gauzy summer dress and my hat with lots of strings of tears that didn’t turn out so I wrapped them around the band and a new sparkly tablecloth and making my way up north. I’m going to play some instrumental medieval tavern music softly in the background and hang up my sparklers and do what I was born to do.

Sell Creativity.

I’m going to talk about Tears and Art Fairs and friends who are crafters. I am going to watch sparkles across the pavement and sneak away during the slow time and check out the other artists who are hanging around and down the main street with me.

Once I get back I hope to start working on my second Creative Resolution.

Offer one of my earliest books for free on my website.

Why not? I can’t share the magic if I don’t share the magic. I’m not up to making money on my writing — I just want to share (what I think) is some great writing.

Next I’m going to do some research and send out some of my short stories and poetry to publications and see if anyone is interested in a woman who is forever driving through a cornfield or someone who is chatting on their computer with someone who may or may not be right in their vicinity or a little girl who made friends with a dwarf.

If I sit in the background for the rest of my life that’s where I will be when I pass on to the next level.

In the background.

And I will not have  shared my excitement about my world and my craft and creativity and the beauty of love and life to anyone.

What a shame that would be.

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Yeesookyung

Korean artist Yeesookyung received her MFA in Painting, at Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea, in 1989.The artist creates sculptures by combining discarded shards of porcelain, assembling them to make new forms and fusing them with gold leaf.The resulting works are often organic in shape, resembling soap bubbles or other biomorphic forms.Her series titled “Translated Vase,” was first inspired by the Korean artisan tradition of destroying porcelain works that are not deemed pristine, and she has continued to make the fused pieces since 2001.Intrigued by these tossed aside works and shards, Yeesookyung began saving fragmented tea cups and pots rejected by contemporary masters.The artist collected broken shards from artisans who worked in Korea replicating historical vessels from the Goryeo (918–1392) and Joseon (1392–1897) dynasties.Honoring the works’ dismantled states, she traces each crevice in 24-karat gold leaf in the style of Japanese kintsugi, merging the unwanted works together in a way that heightens the beauty of their distress.By ‘translating’ these porcelain elements, Yeesookyung highlights the fragility and imperfections of human existence as well as the inevitable failure of any attempt to construct historic continuity.More of Yeesookyung‘s wonderful creations can be found at https://www.yeesookyung.com/ and https://www.instagram.com/yeesookyung_/.

 

 

 

Do The Mess Around

Ah, you can talk about the pit, barbecue
The band was jumpin’, the people too
Ah, mess around
They doin’ the mess around
They doin’ the mess around,
Everybody doin’ the mess around

Ray Charles

 

That’s me. That’s my life lately.

Not quite hanging around the BBQ, but Mess Around. Messing Around. Messing Up. 

The other day I must have pushed a wrong button or wrong file button and everything was being filed on my One Drive. Since I don’t use One Drive and didn’t know what it was, I freaked out. I stopped it half way through whatever it was doing and deleted the files it was transferring and wound up deleting a good portion of my art files for my Gallery. Both the new artists and the file with the ones I needed to put on the ACTUAL Gallery.

I also lost some other stuff. I found some stuff later, but that’s not the point.

Now, my writing and  research is backed up on a flash drive. Back it Up. Back it Up. You would think I would have been smart enough to back up future gallery work too.

They doin’ the mess around
They doin’ the mess around,
Everybody doin’ the mess around

THIS is what happens when you are too smart for your britches. Too cool for school. Too sly for an art guy (rather girl). This is what happens when you only do a partial. 

So why am I grumbling to you this fine day?

BACK UP YOUR WORK!!

All the time. Every day. Don’t leave it for tomorrow or the weekend or when you get enough work done to make it worth saving.

Also…

Don’t be dumb. Learn your computer’s programs. You don’t need to be a computer programmer to learn what One Drive or Microsoft 365 or Google Photos are. Don’t cut something off in the middle of its function.

Stop Messin’ Around.

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Optical Illusions

What is an optical illusion?Optical illusions, more appropriately known as visual illusions, involves visual deception.Due to the arrangement of images, the effect of colors, the impact of light source and other variables, a wide range of misleading visual effects can be seen.Optical Illusions can use color, light and patterns to create images that can be deceptive or misleading to our brains.The information gathered by the eye is processed by the brain, creating a perception that in reality, does not match the true image.

That’s why some optical illusions seem to move when in reality they don’t, or can look like a face and a background at the same time.

Perception refers to the interpretation of what we take in through our eyes.

Optical illusions occur because our brain is trying to interpret what we see while making sense of the world around us.Optical Illusions are dizzying, mystifying, intricate and interesting.

When people say “I can’t believe my eyes!” now you know why.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Time To Play What If? Again

The Bench that Dreams Beneath the Pink Trees,
Tara Turner

When the moon is full (last night was the Super Flower Blood Moon total lunar eclipse) and Mercury is in retrograde (until June 2nd), it is time to get creative. (The beautiful evening outside my door doesn’t hurt, either!)

As I was multitasking last evening (as I often am) I started thinking about “What If?” again. I wrote a blog about What If back in 2018 about keeping your What If’s going; writing them down, painting them, growing them. Later that year I wrote another blog called Let “What If” Guide Your Story about letting your mind wander into various “What If “worlds until you found one that appealed to you.

I seem to often talk about letting your creativity take you to new worlds, new thoughts, new possibilities.

Not everyone cares to participate in the speculation of the future. After all, we have enough trouble handling the speculation of today.

But with full moons and retrograding and any other excuse you can make up, this is the time to change your wardrobe and try on something new. Something wild and different. Something stern and conservative.

Something different from the same old you.

I have lost faith in a lot of movies lately; they are the samO samO plots, language, and emptiness. Like many books, paintings, stories, music, guitar solos and such that have come before, we have heard it all.

But now and then I come across a movie that is stark, interesting, and different. Twists I didn’t see coming, emotions that came out of somewhere deep and unpredictable, endings that surprise everyone.

When being creative, don’t you sometimes want to do the same?

Surprise your readers? Paint a scene that was at the edge of what is real? Fire a bowl or vase that is unique all onto itself? Take a picture at an angle that most people never consider?

Sometimes What If’s don’t work quite right. If I What If‘d a realistic park scene with pink trees, unless my genre was pop art or Abstract Expressionism, it wouldn’t work.

But what if I did decide to paint a landscape with pink trees? What if I decided to make water yellow and plants purple? 

If I could actually pull it off, how wonderfully creative that would be! If I used my understanding of color and shading and texture and make everything look real, what difference would the colors make?

That’s what What If is all about.

Taking the familiar and making it do unfamiliar things.

It’s the what-if-you-were-standing-outside-looking-around-and-suddenly-you-see-a-gigantic-spider-climbing-over-the-trees-towards-you sort of moment.

Something you’re not likely to see in this lifetime, yet, if you did ….

I hope you are working on your What If moments.

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Jenny Foster

Growing up in a small town on the Colorado River in Arizona, Jenny Foster gravitated toward art at an early age.Foster studied fine art at Arizona State University and graduated with a degree in graphic design.Her style is both primitive and contemporary, and she delivers it with a combination of abstract shapes and happy colors and symbols.To many artists, it is a great challenge to express feelings of personality in their art without injecting some realism.But Foster has mastered the art enough to do this through symbols and abstract forms.Foster’s works are inspired by her appreciation of nature, happy colors, and the spirit of life.The artist lets her palette and brush express her imagination.She prefers to achieve quality without adding too much detail or sophistication, keeping everything simple and fresh.

More of Jenny Foster’s inspirational artwork can be found at  http://jennyfoster.com/.

 

 

 

 

Henry, Margie, Devin and Flying Lavender…poems — Rethinking Life

Something about those chicklets — they get to me every time —

Meet a few of them!

 

Hi My name is Margie the chicklet in the air is named Lavender she’s one of the ones who refuses to believe that chicklets can’t fly she says that they can and she’s proving it right now but we know that flying on a wire is not the same thing as using one’s wings still […]

Henry, Margie, Devin and Flying Lavender…poems — Rethinking Life

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Thunderheads

 

Thunderhead:  The upper portion of a cumulus cloud characterized by dense, sharply defined, cauliflowerlike upper parts and sometimes by great verticality.   ~ Dictionary.com

Thunderhead:  The swollen upper portion of a thundercloud, usually only recognized by people who enjoy having great breadth, but little depth of knowledge. ~ Joe, Urbandictionary.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watch Your Words

What do you think of when you hear the word…..

BUSY

NICE

EVIL

STUPID

Words are what make the world’s languages understandable. Gestures add to that understanding when possible, but we all have preconceived notions of basic words that may or may not be the same as others.

Skipping various degrees of emotion, we all know what someone means when they say the word LOVE. We understand the word HOT and  SLEEPY and HUNGRY. We all pretty much picture love as a good feeling between two (or more) people; hot means high temperature; sleepy means a need for rest; hungry means… well… breakfast, lunch or dinner time.

But what about more nebulous words like EVIL or BUSY?

Nebulous, you ask? What’s “in the form of a cloud or haze; hazy” about being busy? Or being evil?

We all have different ideas when it comes to certain words.

EVIL may mean murderers, psychos, or oppressors. It’s a negative word that conjures up monsters, dictators, and torturers.

What about BUSY? Like “Sorry, I’m busy tonight.”

Busy can be maddingly over your head in schoolwork or job work. It can be too many steps in the instructions or too many thoughts in your head.  It can be a sign of importance, organization or overscheduling.

Then there’s words like STUPID and NICE.

STUPID is a word that conjures up visions of forgetfulness and worse. It can be as light as forgetting to close the door behind you to forgetting your name or where you live. Stupid connotates a negative image of not knowing or not caring. It can be used to describe the mentally challenged, the old, animals and those prone to act before they think.

Or Nice.

NICE is one of those generic words that can be interchanged with many other words like pleasant, bland, and okay. Nice, with it’s positive notation, can be used to describe flavors, personalities, the weather, interactions, and views. There is no threat behind that word; no highs or lows in the complement, no color. Just a positive wave of feel good.

So what’s the point of all this nonsense today?

Mostly it’s that words, simple as they are in our minds, can dictate the world. Can be misunderstood by those who have a different interpretation or experience of life. And your meaning can be misconstrued with one utterance.

BUSY can also be interpreted as I don’t want to, I’m too important to be bothered, or find someone else.

EVIL can be extended to people taking a stand, a different point of view, or those who make life difficult.

HUNGRY can slip into wanting more, the need to dominate, or starvation instead of sustaining.

To some, NICE is not caring enough to do more, not challenging enough, being bland, lazy, and safe.

STUPID has been interchanged with retarded, foolish, low class, and lazy. It easily slips off the tongue as condescending, bullish and dismissive.

Just sayin’ … be aware of the words you use to describe not only your life but the lives of others. How you put certain words in sentences, both in person and online, can be taken differently by those on the other end.

Change your vernacular. Choose your words, your tone, carefully. Chill on the negative words like STUPID and EVIL. People are indeed evil, hungry, and  stupid. But they are also complicated. Emotional. Not grounded.

People  evoke the worst emotions from people. And the best.

Do what you can with those you label negatively: help where you can, let go where you have to. You cannot change the world — you can only influence it now and then by your own attitude.

You only get one chance to attitude it through life. Make it a positive word. Not a negative one.

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Happy Mother’s Day

Today is ONE of 365 days that we celebrate mothers — all kinds, all sizes, all species. To be a mom is a tough gig. Happy, sad, melancholy, sentimental, pissed off — all moms of all kinds have felt it all.

In past Mother’s Day salutes I’ve saluted Famous People’s Mothers, More Famous Peoples’ Mothers, Mother Idioms,  and, way back in 2016, an almost-Mother’s-Day-Salute Holy Mother and Child.

Being the creative sprite I am, I was trying to think of other ways to celebrate being a mother/grandmother/mother’s friend/auntie/great grandma.

That’s big shoes to fill.

I thought I might try “bad” (see the quotes?) mothers, but people might get the wrong idea. (There’s actually websites like 13 Worst Celebrity Mothers Alive on This Planet and Bad Women in the Bible!)

So this year, how about — Famous Mother Female Rulers?

You go, mom!

Cleopatra VII Philopator (69 BC–10 August 30 BC) was Queen of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt from 51 to 30 BC, and its last active ruler. She was also a maritime pioneer, linguist, and healer. She studied math, logic, debating, and science, and spoke no less than nine languages. Cleopatra had four children.

Anna Eleanor Roosevelt (1884 – 1962) was an American political figure, diplomat, and activist. She served as the first lady of the United States from 1933 to 1945. She was an early advocate of civil rights, independent and outspoken on the rights of women and African-Americans. She pressed the United States to join and support the United Nations, and became its first delegate. She served as the first chair of the UN Commission on Human Rights, and oversaw the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. She had six children.

Hatshepsut (1507 BC–1458 BC) was the fifth pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt, the second historically confirmed female pharaoh. Hatshepsut was one of the most prolific builders in Ancient Egypt, commissioning hundreds of construction projects throughout both Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt. She also improved the country’s infrastructure.   She had one daughter and one adopted son.

Rani Lakshmibai, (1828 – 1858) famously known as ‘Jhansi Ki Rani’, was one of the leading warriors in India’s First War of Independence. Also known as the Rani of Jhansi, she died fighting British colonial rulers near Gwalior in a place known as Kotah-ki-Serai. She was one of the first women freedom fighters of India who revolted against the British in 1857. She had two children.

Catherine II, most commonly known as Catherine the Great (1728 – 1796), was the last reigning Empress of Russia and the country’s longest-ruling female leader. She was a patron of the arts, literature, and education. Under her long reign, she led her country into full participation in the political and cultural life of Europe. She championed the arts and reorganized the Russian law code. She also significantly expanded Russian territory. She had two children.

Empress Wu Zetian (624 CE – 705 CE) was the only female emperor of Imperial China. She reigned during the Tang Dynasty and was one of the most effective and controversial monarchs in China’s history. She broadened the system of civil service exams, elevated the status of Buddhism in Chinese society, and waged a series of wars that saw China’s empire expand further West than ever before. She had four children.

Queen Victoria (1819-1901) was queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland for 63 years. Her “Victorian era” saw the United Kingdom evolve scientifically, politically, culturally, and industrially. She  expanded the British Empire to include territories all across Asia and Africa, and democratized the country, including the establishment of the secret ballot, easing of voting requirements, and enacting of wage increases for the working class. She had nine children.

Empress Suiko is known as the first reigning empress of Japan in recorded history (rather than an empress consort), reigning for 35 years.  She established Buddhism as the main religion in Japan, and initiated steps to centralize the state under imperial rule. The most famous of her accomplishments was the Seventeen-article Constitution, Japan’s first constitution focused on the morals and virtues of government officials. She had seven children.

Just Some Fun

After all the heavy metal of the past few posts, it’s time to smile again. Here are some of my past blogs that may tickle your funny bone. Follow the links for more.

Always make room for a smile.

 

Earrings

 

Bruno Pontiroli

 

Ray Villafane

 

Stairways to Nowhere

 

Chairs

 

Dean Russo

 

Chemistry Cat

 

Alain Delorme

 

Hair

 

Food Art

 

Chris Campbell

 

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Frank Moth

 

Frank Moth creates digital collage art – mainly human-centered – from a distant but at the same time familiar future.Moth makes digital collages and compositions with specific, distinctive color palettes, in a critically acclaimed style that is immediately recognizable.Frank Moth is actually two people: a soon-to-be doctor and a former editor.The main person behind Frank Moth has been designing for several years as a hobby and under another name.This enigmatic duo creates magical collages, balancing between what’s real and unreal, to give us a true feast for the eyes.Calling their art nostalgic postcards from the future, they create dreamlike compositions with a hint of romance and a touch of 60s vibes.Their art creates dialogues between different, distant worlds, irreconcilable styles, and unthinkable ideas.Their art is creative, fun, and imaginative. Even if one is really two.

More of Frank Moth‘s creative art can be found at https://frankmoth.com/.

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — May Day

Still Life of Flowers, Ambrosius Bosschaert, 1614

 

Tulip, Judith Leyster, 1643

 

Flowers in a Terracotta Vase with Fruit on a Stone Balustrade, Rachel Ruysch, 1700

 

Light of Iris, Georgia O’Keeffe, 1924

 

Water Lilies, Claude Monet, 1906

 

Butterfly and Chinese Wisteria Flowers, Xu Xi c.970

 

Vase with Twelve Sunflowers, Vincent van Gogh, 1888

 

Lilacs in a Window, Mary Cassatt, 1880–83

 

Margareta Haverman, A Vase of Flowers, 1716

 

Flowers, Andy Warhol, 1970

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Emily Kame Kngwarreye

Emily Kame Kngwarreye (or Emily Kam Ngwarray) (1910 – 1996) was an Aboriginal Australian artist from the Utopia community in the Northern Territory of Australia.She is one of the most prominent and successful artists in the history of Australian art.Her remarkable work was inspired by her cultural life as an Anmatyerre elder, and her lifelong custodianship of the women’s Dreaming sites in her clan Country, Alhalkere.Kngwarreye began painting on canvas in her late seventies after decades of ritual artistic activity and batik fabric painting.Unlike most desert painters at the time, Kngwarreye did not use stylized representations of animal tracks or concentric circles in her designs.Instead, she employed richly layered brushstrokes or dabs throughout her abstract compositions.Her free handling of paint using various implements, keen sense of color, and dynamic compositions earned her international fame.It was in Alhalkere that the essence of her being resided, and it was her Dreaming that was the source of the creative power, of her knowledge.So profound was her identification with Alhalkere that it infused her life and her belief system, and governed her kinship relations and connections with other people.More of  Emily Kame Kngwarreye‘s  amazing original works can be found at https://www.wikiart.org/en/emily-kame-kngwarreye and https://artguide.com.au/art-plus/emily-kame-kngwarreye/.

 

 

I Wrote a Poem

I wrote a poem the other night.

A painful one.

I wrote it in here, in my blog space. Out of the blue. Out of the black.

I didn’t know if I was going to post it — I still don’t. It’s not the kind of melody most followers and friends want to hear.

According to verywellmind, “People who have experienced emotional trauma, physical violence, domestic abuse, anxiety, depression, and other psychological issues can benefit from expressing themselves creatively.

“People do not need to have artistic ability or special talent to participate in art therapy, and people of all ages including children, teens, and adults can benefit from it. Some research suggests that just the presence of art can play a part in boosting mental health.”

I do believe in the Arts as therapy. Therapy for loss, for pain, for confusion. In more severe cases, Art Therapy should be under the care of a trained professional, for there may be deeper issues than just sadness or loss.

But for me — for most of you — an endless doodle or coloring in an adult coloring book (gel pens and books or some great ones online) is just the therapy we need.

We all need to vent. To unfocus. To focus. To let go. To hold on.

Oh, it’s all so confusing.

I don’t know if I’ll post my poem in the future, but I know it’s here. Waiting. Thinking. Debating whether or not it should be shared with people I hardly know.

Tomorrow is another day. Another chance.

Another poem.

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Stephanie Law

Stephanie Law‘s images dance along the boundary between dream and reality.She delves into the delicate language of allegory, exploring mythology in watercolors and inks.Early on, Law’s career moved through the illustration and the gaming world, but in recent decades she has focused more on her own delicate and yet intricate paintings.She interweaves texture, watercolor, gold and silver leaf, and ink to create intricate layered pieces with resin and custom designed frames.

Her art journeys through surreal other worlds, populated by dreamlike figures, masked creatures, and winged shadows.Her paintings are delicate and soft, full of magic and mystery and simple representations.Law has been a dancer for almost two decades, and her experience of how the human body moves and emotes connects to her art in the most basic of ways.Look close and find fairies, birds, cats, dragonflies, and all kinds of mystical creatures in her soft pastel colors.More of Stephanie Law‘s magical artwork can be found at https://shadowscapes.com/.

 

 

 

It Hasn’t Always Been This Hard…Has It?

Last night and again this morning I started doing research for my second book on “visiting” Paris.

I have written the outline, the general story, and now it’s a matter of researching where (physically) to start and where (physically) to end my story.

It’s not as easy as closing your eyes and pointing to a city on a map.

I want the story to make sense. I want the story to sound real. I mean, no one would wonder if I drove a car from A to B, or landed in A and drove to B, but I know me. I wouldn’t drive from A to B nor is there an airport in A or B.

Plus — I want to suspend belief until I start chatting with Colette or Alexander Dumas (or someone just as ghostly).

I just don’t remember the research being this hard the last time around.

Do you do research for your projects? No matter if it’s painting, writing a story, or building a garden, do you do your homework first? I find I have to — I hate projects that are all baloney and no substance.

I find that the more you “know” what you’re talking about, the more you can turn reality into fiction and back again. Only when you know how things work or where things are can you adapt the truth to your own version of reality.

My problem is multifold.

I want to go to Paris one day, but even if I did visit the city of love it wouldn’t be the way my character is visiting it. So it’s hard to go to places she would go rather than places ~I ~ would go or places I would actually go with a partner.

I love the idea of these mini chats with famous dead Parisians, but I like to take direction of the conversation from real quotes from the ghost in charge. But what if there are no quotes available for famous Frenchmen? Am I being too picky?

 I often get headaches of I spend too much time on the computer. My eyes need a break. But how can I write, how can I do research, without my eyes?

The answer to all these dilemmas is to just take my time. Research one thing at a time. Write one section of the story at a time. Stop worrying about the story’s next day and next day and next day. Pay attention to where I’m at at the time and give it my all.

Isn’t that how you create?

We often bite off more than we can chew. And nobody can understand us with a mouthful of mush.

Take your time. Plan. Organize. Then go crazy. Then stop. Breathe. Repeat.

And, if you need to, get a new pair of glasses.

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Dog Accessories

 

The best things in life are free. The second-best things are very, very expensive.

~ Coco Chanel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amour Amour Dog Collar, 7-carat, D-IF, brilliant-shaped center diamond, 1,600 hand-set diamonds,  18-carat white gold, crocodile leather,  *$3.2 million

 

KO-Couture Dog Tutu, hand made, 4,000 Swarovski crystals, *$6,000

 

Swarovski Crystal Dog Bath, 19th-Century clawfoot style, hand set crystals, *$6,995

 

Gianni Versace Barocco Pet Bowl, fine porcelain, ornate gold and black scrollwork,  22 carat gold leaf edging and accents, *$754

 

Hello Kitty Crystal Pet House, 7,600 crystal beads,  cushion/pillow in the shape of Hello Kitty’s face, *$31,660

 

Louis Vuitton Dog Carrier, signature monogram canvas,  brass S-lock, natural leather handles, zinc dish for food or water, air vents, and space specially reserved for pet owner’s photograph, *$58,000

 

Jonathan Adler Acrylic and Brass Dog Bowl Set, acrylic with polished brass corners,  *$600

 

Roberto Cavalli Track Suit, *$1,200

 

 

La Jeune Tulipe Dog Collar, 1.52-carat marquise-cut diamond, marquise-, pear-, and brilliant-shaped smaller diamonds,  *$150,000

 

 

The Couture Domed Pavilion Dog Bed, fine imitation crocodile skin on the outside and handmade, embroidered silk on the interior linens, *3,900

 

Crystal Aurora Borealis Leash, Swarovski precision-cut faceted crystal beads, platinum tone electroplated brass chain handle, woven genuine leather,  *$495

 

* Prices are approximate.

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — My Favorites

You all know that I absolutely LOVE my Sunday Evening Art Gallery. Through the years I have found one fantastic artist after another, one fantastic movement after another, and one interesting interpretation after another. I truly hope you get as much enjoyment perusing through the Galleries as I do creating them.

But, you may ask …  after posting unique and surreal art every week, what are your favorites?

I’m so glad you asked!

Here, for your art walk pleasure, are some of my favorite items (in no particular order) from some of my favorite Galleries over at the Gallery itself (and, mind you, this is the most difficult thing I’ve done all week!)

 

Clark Little

 

Pianos

 

Cathedral Windows 

 

Tokuhiro Kawai

 

Evening in Paris

 

Bisa Butler

 

Leonid Afremov

 

Liu Bolin

 

Melissa Schmidt

 

Reflections

 

Yayoi Kusama

 

Matt Molloy

 

 

 

It was amazingly difficult to choose so few of my favorites. Every artist was chosen because they are my favorite. Take time and wander through the gallery some time. Tell you friends! Your groups! Your best friend’s cousin’s friend!

Love you all … 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Naoto Hattori

Japanese artist Naoto Hattori imagines small fluffy animals with healthy doses of fantasy and some unnatural hybridization.The painted creatures often feature round heads and disproportionately large and reflective eyes.

At once adorable and unnervingly surreal, the fantastical creatures  seamlessly meld the myriad textures and colors found in nature into unusual hybrids.They’re often fluffy, equipped with horns in surprising spots, and bear eyes so inordinately large and glassy that they reflect full-scale landscapes.These acrylic paintings are small, typically measuring less than 3 inches by 3 inches when unframed.The artist’s style has been labeled as pop surrealist, but Hattori says it’s just what he sees in his mind.Of his work, he says: “My vision is like a dream, whether it’s a sweet dream, a nightmare, or just a trippy dream. I try to see what’s really going on in my mind, and that’s a practice to increase my awareness in stream-of-consciousness creativity. “The creatures in the paintings are avatars for entering the world of my imagination. The eyes feel like an entrance to the world of visionary memories.“I often paint a piece which visualizes myself as a hybrid creature entering the visionary world,” Hattori explains.More of Naoto Hattori’s wonderful surrealistic artworks can be found at https://www.naotohattori.com/.

 

 

 

S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y night!

S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y night!
S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y night!

Gonna keep on dancing
To the rock and roll
On Saturday night, Saturday night
Dancin’ to the rhythm
In our heart and soul
On Saturday night, Saturday night

Bay City Rollers, 1973

 

Today’s thoughts in the clouds are more of a shake, rattle, and roll of the brain in general and memory in particular.

I was wondering — how important was Saturday night to you? Moreover, how important was Saturday night to you when you were 16, 17 years old?

I heard this song on an oldies station the other night. I happened to be driving home, the sunset orangy and red and beautiful, the weather on the tip of being warm. And I thought about  how special Saturday Night was once upon a time. Especially to young dreamy girls. (Maybe guys too — I never asked!)

The generation 10 years before me sighed and danced to All I Have to Do is Dream by The Everly Brothers and hoped and prayed someone would ask them out on a date to a soda shop or drive-in or record shop. Having a date on Saturday night was very important to one’s ego and status back in 1958. 

Back then, the ultimate proof of a successful Saturday night was “going steady.” Tokens of that depth of commitment were getting pinned, wearing your boyfriend’s letterman sweater, or exchanging school rings. 

My generation of 1968 was not much different. Being pinned or exchanging high school rings was still important. I remember going steady during part of my high school life, and always needing to do something on Saturday nights. I was dreamy eyed listening to  Love is Blue by Paul Mauriat and spent hours either talking on my pink princess phone to girlfriends or reading Modern Bride or Seventeen magazines.  

This song got me to thinking. The Bay City Rollers were sooooo excited to go out on S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y night. Even in 1973 that was the  highlight of the week! The ultimate goal! The pièce de résistance!  

Time moves forward. Things change. Times change. Girls and women change. And I wondered what dating life was like for girls 16-17 years old back in 1988. Or 1998. Or even 2008.

I dunno — even though my late high school days were an emotional mess, I miss having a special date night of the week to plan for and to look forward to. Not that I still don’t go out on Saturday nights — maybe I just miss the innocent anticipation.

Was Saturday night a big deal to you? Is it a big deal these days?

I would love to hear your stories. Your experiences. Your thoughts.

♪♪ Blue, blue, my world is blue …. Blue is my world now I’m without you ♪♪♪

 

What To Do With The Past

Okay. Okay okay okay.

I haven’t written anything on my latest novel. I have barely made any Angel Tears. I haven’t read much of my book about the Titanic nor started my sparkly bead tapestry.

I’ve actually been busy redirecting, rearranging, repainting and re-carpeting my bathroom, closet, and bedroom.

That’s not a big deal.

Well, it is.

Everything I own from two of those rooms are in three big plastic containers or in a big huge snow-like pile in another room.

Twenty-some years of clothes, jewelry, unicorns, jewelry boxes, hats, colognes, TV remotes, cards, beads, used football tickets, and more.

Now that I have brand new carpeting, a new shower and cabinets in the bathroom, closet shelves, black-out blinds, and two less pieces of furniture, I’m lost.

I am fortunate. Of this I have no doubt. This is my hubby and my last hurrah before he retires in a year. What will be here will be it. My retirement in paradise will be parenthesized by what we are able to do these months.

But these are new colors for me. New style. Sanded and re-stained furniture. Even plants in the bathroom.

What am I supposed to do with all these leftovers?

I already reorganized my bathroom drawers. Got rid of tons of stuff, bought little clear bins to organize, even learned how to fold bath towels a new way so they’d fit in the new cabinet.

But the things in these bins.

Like the things still lurking in my breakfront in the livingroom and on the shelves in my work room downstairs.

Memories, souvenirs. Slips and scraps of the past I’ve kept all these years. Chicago Bears tickets, games I went to with my sons. Jewelry I wore when I worked. Cards from my grandkids. Hair clips and party beads and little green tiaras and a sun hat with bling I made 15 years ago because it was “the” thing.

Unicorn statues out the gazoo. A unicorn rug my late mother in law made for me to hang on the wall. A cool street painting from Las Vegas we picked up 25 years ago. A bell ringing tapestry from the Renaissance Faire when I used to go.

So many things that bring back so many memories.

Yet I’m doing my best to downsize.

I have done a lot of that throughout my house this past year as I’ve remodeled and repainted rooms. I have cleaned out three hoarder houses in my life and do not want my kids to have to go through that with my junk.

How do I decide what to keep?

How do I decide what to give away?

How do I decide what to give to Good Will?

A bunch of said items came from Good Will once upon a time. That world is a treasure trove of helpful items, wall paintings, water pitchers and plates for under plants and wrought iron planters.

But I digress.

This will be the hardest thing I’ve had to do in a while. And memories are a sensitive subject in my life at the moment, too, if you remember. Make them, keep them, I always say.

I have told myself that I should give a few things to the girl grandbaby, but not too many. She doesn’t need an old granny’s junk in her bedroom at four years old. I should ask a few people I know if they would like this or that, knowing that they would.

The remainder?

Send them with love and kiss back into the world so they can bring joy to others. I mean, who couldn’t use New Orleans party beads or pretty bling bracelets and earrings?

Okay — that takes care of three things —

 

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Armando Mariño

Armando Mariño is a renowned painter, sculptor and installation artist, and one of the most popular Cuban contemporary artists.Born in Santiago de Cuba, living and working in the U.S., Mariño received his art education at the Pedagogical Institute of Arts from Havana, and the prestigious Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam.

He is widely praised for his mesmerizing works that offer a unique and sarcastic approach to art as a space of power and exclusion.The imagery in Mariño ’s work is usually part of media reports about everyday social issues like refugees, war, economy crisis, and ecology that he incorporates in his art.

Mariño’s paintings are characterized by his distinctive and highly saturated color palette – bright pinks, oranges, greens and yellows that are offset by deep, dark shadows.

Influenced by periods of time living in the varied landscapes of Cuba, the Netherlands, France and New York’s Hudson Valley, the artist’s large-scale works explore relationships between the figure and the natural environment.

Each of his paintings is build up with multiple layers of a strong, vivid, intense, and fluorescent palette of oil or watercolors.

Indeed, Mariño has described painting as an idea that uses color in order to think.

More of Armando Mariño‘s colorful artwork can be found at http://armandomarino.com/  and https://www.widewalls.ch/artists/armando-marino.

 

I DO KNOW Something, Jon Snow!

Self Portrait

I know everything. Just like the Genie. Just Ask Me.

“You know nothing, John Snow.”

Truth is, we all know what we need to survive and that’s about it.

Now survival is a big category. It’s life and death and everything in-between. We know how to wash dishes to get the germs off the plates and water plants so they don’t die in your window. We know how to fix scratches and cuts on little ones’ toes and elbows, and know how to hug someone who just needs a hug.

The rest of the world in-between is all… what’s that phrase … catch-as-catch-can. (This phrase is so old I had to look it up [1833] — I thought it was catcher’s cat can.)

The world can’t be controlled, masterminded, cleaned up, or understood. All we can do is the best we can for ourselves, our families and friends, our neighborhoods, and our little section of the planet.

So back to the beginning nonsense.

I know what works in my world. And many worlds around me. And I’m here this morning to share this knowledge with you.

Most of you, my friends, already know what I’m going to say. I say it all the time.

GET YOUR CREATIVE MOJEY GOING!

Get that Creativity out there!

  •  Draw pictures with others — kids, grandparents. Have a coloring party night with the girls! Pull out a bottle of wine or Cherry 7-Up and a huge box of colored pencils and gel pens and find your inspiration and go for it!
  • Start — or improve — that blog you’ve been thinking about for so long. Articles too long? Too many pictures? Is anybody learning anything? Who will read it? Who will listen? Who cares? Use the creative process to create your own style, pick a topic, add your own pictures, and get it out there. Looks good on a resume (not that you’ll ever need one) and, believe me, it takes a while to find your style and voice.
  • I’m a writer, so I’m always promoting writing first. Surprise. The point is, I have picked up on a few of my friends’ desires to write, and I have been encouraging them every time they mention it. You don’t have to be an expert at it — but they might be. Help make them feel GOOD about themselves. Crafts do that.
  • Label yet don’t Label. Are you interested in Medieval Music? Modern Pop Art? Making swirl galaxies out of beads? A sign maker? There is one truth about any artist. Anywhere.
      • (needed a sub dot for this) THERE IS NO ONE KIND OF ARTIST. We are all artists — every one of us. Even if we never lift a guitar or a paintbrush. If you look at a sunset and say “wow” or enjoy the texture of a chenille blanket, you’re an artist.
      • Figure out what types of art attract you and find a way to become a part of them. Even collectors of music, salt thrones, and seashells are artists. Show off your work. Ask others questions. Learn!
  •  Talk to other creative people. This point is electric. It’s truly magical. Artists love their craft. They love to explore it, talk about it, practice it. Most artists keep this enthusiasm under wraps, because not everyone else is as into it as they are. When you find fellow artists, don’t be afraid to open up. Get them to open up. Find a way to explore the Arts together. Find a way to encourage each other to continue experimenting and exploring.
  •  Make time. Nothing is a bigger, flatter, more obvious an excuse (albeit legit) for not playing around with clay or gel pens or bead art or woodworking than I DON’T HAVE ANY TIME. Make time, damnit! This is for YOU. You go this way only once….

I hear the gears grinding. Monday mornings are good for that. I myself am going to go take a shower then work on some suncatchers. I have a book about returning to France that I’m really wanting to start writing, and some plants to repot to turn my home into a garden paradise. Oh yeah … and those bulbs and lavender need planting…and the bead art my daughter-in-law gave me …

I hear YOUR gears grinding too. Get started today!

“You do know something, Jon Snow!”

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Ivan Khlebnikov

Ivan Khlebnikov (1819–1881) was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, a son of a diamond and jewelry merchant.Khlebnikov’s remarkable career began in 1867, when he opened his own jewelry firm, Ivan Khlebnikov Sons and Co. in St Petersburg.His factory of diamond, gold and silver jewelry was well equipped with the latest technology for all kinds of work, and its products were considered one of the best in Russia.His  work reinvented traditional Russian style and folk art through originality and a colorful palette.Khlebnikov became known at the World Exhibition in Vienna in 1873, where by the serious consideration of experts, he earned two medals. By 1882, around two hundred artisans were employed at the firm, and Khlebnikov also established an in-house school of design and sculpture for students.Two of Khlebnikov’s most significant projects were the renovation of the Palace silver dinner sets, and the decoration of Christ the Savior, for which his firm produced nearly fifty religious objects such as chalices, incense burners, icon lamps and more.Khlebnikov’s more commercial work for the mass market centered largely around dinnerware and jewelry.More of Ivan Khlebnikov’s amazing work can be found at  .https://vsemart.com/russian-jeweler-ivan-khlebnikov/ and other sites across the Internet.

 

 

Friends and Creativity

Dreamtime

This is what Creativity is all about.

This is what friendship is all about.

Graphic Design Artist and Photographer John Lemke has been a friend of mine since I started my last job 19 years ago. He was a catalog artist, I was a catalog coordinator. Between us (and a bunch of other people) we made catalog magic. He laid out the pages, I proofread the pages. 

Both of us have gone on to bigger and better things.

This includes Art.

I highlighted John’s graphic artworks back in 2015 and his photography in 2021. I also published a boatload of his work in the Gallery in August 2015 and December 2021. 

John is a friend but also a phenomenal artist. His work touches spots deep inside that have no description, no explanation. His photography makes me feel good.

And this is what today’s blog is about.

Practice your Craft.

Promote your Craft.

Promote your friend’s craft.

Spread the word of how phenomenal creativity can be.

Here are a few more of John’s photographs: