Crafts. Again.

Last week I was going to start off talking about my past week, but found the poetry world more fascinating. This week is starting off with 10 inches of snow, grey skies, and zero temperatures. I’d rather talk about crafts instead.

I follow a number of really creative people (to say the least). Some I’ve highlighted before, others are new to my world.

Claudia McGill and her Art World is a fun, creative place with a lot of sketchbook images, along with real ideas that she’s combined in her paintings to make a whole new art world.

 

Anne Fisher has a delightful blog eat with an artist: fact and fiction, that melds famous artists with delicious looking food.

 

I’ve boasted about my artist friend Kate and her thoroughly entertaining and informative blog Daily Fiber. She is an adventurous sort, trying sketching, knitting and sashiko (Japanese embroidery), but it’s her quilting that continuously fascinates me. Instructions included.

 

Darlene Foster at Darlene Foster’s Blog is my inspiration for writing. She has published a number of books about a girl named Amanda and her adventures exploring cities around the world. Her whirlwind visits include Amanda in Arabia: The Perfume Flask, Amanda in Spain: The Girl in the Painting, Amanda in England: The Missing Novel, and  Amanda on the Danube: The Sounds of Music.

 

And pottery. Who doesn’t love pottery? I love everything over at The Alchemist’s Studio, including their vases, pots, cups, and jewelry. And they show their process, their designs, and their thoughts. What’s not to love?

 

Be sure to check them all out! And share ones that delight YOU!

It’s a quiet time of year; I’m sure other artists I follow are busy planning, prepping, and shoveling snow. Share your ideas! Your experiments! Your highlights and your missteps! I love them all.

Maybe next week I’ll highlight inspirational blogs! My own, of course, being first in line ….

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Bridges

 

Bridges are perhaps the most invisible form of public architecture.
~ Bruce Jackson

 

Charles Bridge, Prague, Czech Republic

 

Royal Gorge Bridge, Colorado

 

The Wind and Rain Bridge, Sanjian County, China

 

Gateshead Millennium Bridge, Gateshead, UK

 

Millau Viaduct, Tran Valley, France

 

Rialto Bridge, Venice, Italy

 

Golden Gate Bridge, California

 

The Confederation Bridge Prince Edward Island, Canada

 

Khaju Bridge, Isfahan, Iran

 

Vasco da Gama Bridge Lisbon, Portugal

 

Stari-Most-Bridge, Mostar, Bosnia

 

 

 

What About Tomorrow?

Duality, Daniel Arrhakis

I am writing this blog on a Friday night for a Saturday morning.

How do I know what I’ll want to talk about in the morning?

We all live in such duality. We live in today and tomorrow. Today and yesterday. We live in the moment and in the future.

How do we keep ourselves straight?

How do we know if we’re coming or going?

Most of us are in a jumble day in and day out anyway. The pressures of work, kids, housecleaning, doctor appointments, bill paying — there’s always something to do. To feel. We are hardly in the moment before the moment becomes tomorrow. And yesterday becomes last year.

As you can tell, it’s been one of those days where reality has blurred and whirled by me before I could catch my breath. Perhaps that’s a side effect of being retired. You have so much you want to accomplish and so much still to accomplish and so much that you have accomplished that it’s hard to compartmentalize. Yesterday really was a few years ago. Tomorrow is really yesterday in a blink of an eye.

Don’t you just love how the world ying and yangs us through life?

I really think that’s what makes the world go round. The yings and the yangs. Turning today into tomorrow into yesterday. Once you realize time is fluid you don’t have to worry about making mistakes or getting lost or repeating yourself. 

You will already have fixed the mistake, found your way, or said something for the first time.

At least in one of your timelines….

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Kim Tschang-Yeul

 Kim Tschang-Yeul’s most well-known paintings, in which droplets of water appear to protrude from monochromatic canvases, are in fact optical illusions, melding abstraction and figuration. Born in 1929 in the north of the then unified Korea, Tschang-Yeul migrated to the south to escape the communist regime.He subsequently left for New York to pursue his artistic dreams before finally settling in Paris in 1969.There, he began to nurture, over a period of forty years, a unique motif: the drop of water.This motif stems from traditions of Eastern philosophy, acting both as a therapy for the artist’s traumatic memories and a meditation on eternity.“My water drop paintings are accomplished under the encounters of my life experiences and my plasticizing experiences,” Tschang-Yeul explains.“Each clear, impeccable water drop is in its initial state since purification, as if it is a recurrence of absolute nothingness; the water drop is also what it finally returns to.” More of Kim Tschang-Yeul’s  wonderfully unique paintings can be found at Tina Kim Gallery and Artnet. 

 

 

Poetry. Again.

I was going to start off the week talking about my past week, my remodeling disasters and my attempts at crafting.

But I think I’ll talk about poetry. Again.

Sunday evening I went through my reader and started some long-overdue reading,  and noticed that this time of year seems to bring out the poet in people. 

You people are good. Really good.

You have the right rhythm, pacing, and imagery to bring my mind in line with where you are. Or where you want us to be.

There is just something, about words. Creative words.

Since I’m sooooo into Creativity, I could also show off Buddha Busts from the Alchemist’s Studio, or a Things in Motion painting by Tiffany Arp-Daleo, or a photo of a stumpy willow entitled Misty Cotswold Reflections by Candia, or my favorite subject, Chicklets, in a Valentine’s Day float at Rethinking Life’s blog.

But then I’d have to write a whole new blog. 

Have time? Check ’em out.

Keep going, poets. 

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Xavi Bou

Xavi Bou is a photographer from Catalonia, an autonomous community of Spain. Bou graduated with a degree in Geology from the University of Barcelona.In 2004 he went on to complete his studies in photography, and for the next decade, Bou worked in the advertisement and fashion industry combining it with teaching photography.Bou’s love of nature was always present, so in 2012 he embarked on Ornithographies — photography inspired by his curiosity about the invisible patterns traced by birds in flight. These patterns are made up of dozens, or even hundreds, of birds in flight.The intriguing and unconventional wildlife images show us the familiar in a completely new way.“My intention is to capture the beauty of the bird’s flight in a single moment, making the invisible visible.Ornithographies moves away from the purely scientific practice of chronophotography (an antique photographic technique that uses a series of photographs of a moving object for the purpose of displaying successive phases of the motion)  which Bou feels is a balance between art and science.

“It’s a project of naturalist discovery, and, at the same time, an exercise of visual poetry.”

More of Xavi Bou‘s amazing photography can be found at http://www.xavibou.com/.

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Oscar-Claude Monet

Oscar-Claude Monet (1840-1926), born in Paris, was raised on the Normandy coast in Le Havre, where his father sold ships’ provisions.Banks of the Seine, Vétheuil

He gained a local reputation as a caricaturist while still a teenager, and landscape painter Eugène Boudin invited the budding artist to accompany him as he painted scenes at the local beaches.Chrysanthemums

Monet went to Paris in 1862 to study painting and there befriended fellow students Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley, and Frédéric Bazille, who would later form the core group of the original impressionists.The Cliff-at Etretat Sunset

By the end of the 1860s Monet had largely abandoned ambitious, large-scale figurative painting in favor of smaller, spontaneous landscape works executed en plein air.The Water Lily Pond

Monet fled to London during the Franco-Prussian War, and in late 1871 settled at Argenteuil, a suburb just west of Paris, which soon became known as the hub of impressionist painting.Boats on the Beach at Etretat

Financial difficulties forced Monet to relocate to Vétheuil in 1878, and a few years later, in 1883, he settled in Giverny, where he would live for the rest of his life.Water Lilies

Executed outdoors, he employed seemingly spontaneous brushstrokes to capture the ever-changing effects of light and atmosphere.Woman with a Parasol

In the 1880s Monet expanded his motifs, turning his attention both to the Mediterranean and to the rugged vistas along the Normandy coast.View of Le Havre

In the 1890s he undertook a number of paintings produced in series, including pictures of poplars, grainstacks, and Rouen Cathedral; each work captured a specific atmospheric effect and time of day..Haystack

More of Claude Monet‘s magical paintings can be found at https://www.claudemonetgallery.org/ and https://www.claude-monet.com/.

 

 

An Ancient Stab at Poetry

3/27/2007, 7:19 a.m. Date created.

I don’t know why I don’t write more poetry. It seems everyone is doing it.

Perhaps I’m afraid of flooding the market with useless ramblings or feeble attempts at rhyme or weak sestinas or epigrams. I suppose I could write poetry all day until I burned out or got bored. Such is overdoing any one craft. 

Nonetheless, here is an attempt I made way back in 2007 to be poetically creative. 

 

Mozart’s Catacombs

In the pre-dawn hours
I dig through the catacombs
For something to write
Who am I?
What am I?

Guidelines send me awhirl
Down the vortex and up again
The choice of words
Cutting edge?
Metered Rhyme?

Or should I keep familiar
Witty quips
Fantasy escapes
What words fit?
Which ones work?

Something white bread soft
A choice once so easy
Now so complex
Who am I?
What am I?

I can keep it safe
Metaphors and clichés
Bedtime stories and morality plays
Who is the narrator?
What is the theme?

Or I can go over the top
Madness and mayhem
Fusion and futility
Madness approaching
Genius achieved

I need to start again
Dig deeper into the vault
Turn the box inside out
Who am I?
What am I?

In the end
I close the drawer
There never was an answer
Silent echoes
Empty paper

Leaves are falling
Time is passing
Allusions and Illusions
What was the point?
What does it matter?

Mozart’s delight has turned
Sour with the morning light
It seems I will never know
Who am I?
What am I?

 

 

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Cutting Cable

I am not a big fan of commercials.

No matter if its for food, car insurance, or an upcoming television show, I cannot stand all that noise and blabber. The mute button and I have become best buds.

I also find myself watching less and less regular TV.

It all happened when we cut our satellite dish out of our lives.

Our Internet bill was getting out of control. Through the roof. Wads of wampum. We found our bills inching near $300 a month. And for what? Out of 100 or 200 or 500 channels, how many did we really watch?

How many channels did we really need?

So we took the plunge. We bought an inexpensive outside antenna that picks up 50-ish local channels, cancelled our satellite dish, and hooked up with our telephone provider for the internet. We bought an Amazon FireStick (although friends have bought Roku sticks too), ONE extra monthly service (we bought Disney+, but you could pick up anything from HBO to Showtime to dozens of other services) and saved over $100 a month while still riding the internet.

So what does that have to do with hating commercials?

I used to watch a handful of TV programs religiously — if I couldn’t watch it I’d record it, accumulating a big pile of sitcoms and dramas for future perusal. But now that I can’t record said TV programs, I find I don’t miss them as much as I thought I would. That I don’t miss crimes and sitcoms and variety shows and TV relationships as much as I thought I would.

If I really need a sitcom fix there’s plenty of shows available. I can dip back onto regular TV with my antenna any time I want, and everyone from the Golden Girls to Leverage to NYPD Blue are just waiting for me to binge watch on my streaming service.

I’ve also found that now that I’ve gone through the “popular” movies on said channels, I’m going back to watching movies on DVDs. We had a decent collection before satellite dishes and cable took over the world, and most of those I’ve collected are worth a second watch. Or tenth watch. Goodwill and five-dollar bins at retail stores fill in the gaps that come from missing first-time releases five years ago.

I also have found I could care less about the newest series and stupidity and fake laughter tracks that haunt the networks. Instead I am exploring the world of Chinese and Japanese ancient dynasties and the History of Rome and the Universe and what life was like in 1800s England. All on my own time, any time.

If you’re thinking of “cutting the cable”, do it.

You might find you have a lot more time to do the things you really want to do in life. Watch just what you want to watch when you want to.

And you don’t have to listen to blasting, obnoxious commercials.

 

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Grayson Perry

Grayson Perry is a contemporary British artist best known for his ceramic vessels, printed tapestries, and designs.

Over the Rainbow

Perry is best known for his ceramics, which draw on both the aesthetics of classical pottery and on contemporary iconography.

Boring Cool

Perry’s forms and content are always incongruous: classic Grecian-like urns bearing friezes of car-wrecks, cell-phones, supermodels, as well as more dark and literary scenes, often incorporate auto-biographical references.

Defender

Perry’s vases have classical forms and are decorated in bright colors, depicting subjects at odds with their attractive appearance.

Found Body

There is a strong autobiographical element in his work which often features his alter ego, Claire, which narrates a troubled childhood.

Two Children

“I draw as a collagist, juxtaposing images and styles of mark-making from many sources,” he said of his practice.

I Want to Be an Artist

“The world I draw is the interior landscape of my personal obsessions and of cultures I have absorbed and adapted, from Latvian folk art to Japanese screens.”

Barbaric Splendor

Some of Perry’s major themes include the roles of gender, class, taste, and religion in contemporary life, particularly in the United Kingdom.

Saint Claire 37 wanks Across Northern Spain

More of Grayson Perry‘s pottery and paintings can be found at https://www.saatchigallery.com/artist/grayson_perry and https://www.artsy.net/artist/grayson-perry. 

 

 

Have You Started Being Creative Yet This Year?

Here it is, only January 6th in this grand new year of 2022, and I’m already bugging you, asking if you’ve started on your “art” projects for the year.

Here in the Midwest it’s supposed to be only 9°F by the weekend. I’m busy thinking about keeping warm, let alone artsy crafty things.

But yet this is the time of year most of us start planning and preparing for the coming year. The coming spring and summer. Art fairs, garden projects, painted signs and landscapes and new numbers on our mailboxes.

Now, I don’t imagine many of us know today what we will want to display in June, but there is always some sort of creativity dancing around our auras, teasing and tempting us with new ideas and directions.

I don’t have much energy to dance with my aura at the moment.

But I do have some ideas already.

I have a little granddaughter I adore, one who loves unicorns and My Little Ponies. I’m thinking of making her — AND me — a fairy garden this spring. I’m still in the dreaming stage — I don’t know if I want a big saucer-like creation, or a little corner of the yard, or even a tiered fiasco. I admit I try not to wander Pinterest and the Internet in general for ideas, for each one brings ten more ideas into focus.

I also think about making some Buddhist stacking stone monuments around my property (they are gestures of asking or wishing for good fortune to be bestowed on the stacker and his/her family), but I need to find some stones first. Not in this weather, though.

Every day I try and go down to my library/craft room and make some Angel Tears. They may not have much sparkle in the cloudy winter, but before you know it the breezes will be blowing and the art fairs will be calling and I’ll be in need of stock.

But that’s just me.

What about you? Any creative muses knocking at your door these days? I know for some of you it is summertime. What are ya doin’? What new projects are you entertaining?

Maybe it’s just me having too much wandering mind time. I tend not to wander far from my blanket, music, computer, or hot chocolate this time of year.

But, as the wise Yogi Berra said, “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.”

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Ernesto Neto

Ernesto Neto is a Brazilian Conceptual artist whose installations offer a chance for the viewer to touch, see, smell, and feel his artworks for a truly sensory experience.Neto was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from a generation of Brazilian artists that witnessed the more liberal approach to art that arose during the 1950s and 1960s.Neto has produced an influential body of work that explores constructions of social space and the natural world by inviting physical interaction and sensory experience.Most of his sculptural environments are site-specific crocheted nets and cocoons, sewed with nylon, and often carrying surprising substances.Aromatic spices, candies, sand and colorful Styrofoam balls are stuffed into these nets creating pendulous sculptures that fall like raindrops from the ceiling.Other times Neto creates human-scale spaces that appear almost surreal.He works with transparent materials and unusual textures, attending to both the inside and outside of the sculptures.The resulting shelters or vessels, unlike conventional architecture, are meant to be experienced as nature: his materials beg to be touched.More of Ernesto Neto‘s amazing work can be found at http://www.artnet.com/artists/ernesto-neto/.

 

 

Creativity is the Only Way to Go

This is the time of year for New Year’s Everythings — New Year’s Resolutions, New Year’s Blogs, New Year’s Toasts, New Year’s Texts.

I’ve given up on the resolutions part — I make new ones year-round. Keep some, forget some. 

But in reading my friend Judith at Artistcoveries‘ end-of-the-year blog named Toast, I find the kind of resolution we all can make. It just makes me feel anything is possible.

A bit of her advice:

So, how can I apply this to my art? For me the answer is in the idea of celebration. Over the next 12 months, I hope to honor myself as an artist, to welcome myself to the studio each morning, and to celebrate each new thing I learn, each new experience, and each success I have. This all means being more accepting of who I am and the art I create. I will no doubt make a lot of bad art in 2022. I’ve learned that bad art is a necessary part of my personal art process. I’ve found that making bad art has helped me immensely. Through bad art I’ve learned that it’s all right to make mistakes — everyone does — and I’ve found an incredible new sense of freedom. This, in turn, has led me more toward finding my own unique style.

This is the kind of inspiration we all need. It is a combination of self-healing, acceptance, and change. It’s letting go and holding on. It’s trying and failing and trying and succeeding. 

Let us all make a commitment to celebrate every day, for every day is an opportunity to learn something new. To teach someone something new. To feel something new. To accept the now and change the now. 

Here is Judith at Artistcoveries‘ entire blog, Toast. Give it a read if you have time!

 

 

 

 

https://artistcoveries.wordpress.com/2021/12/31/toast/

 

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Anne Scarpa McCauley

Anne Scarpa McCauley began making honeysuckle baskets as a girl while out tending goats.Born in Windsor, Vermont, she moved with her family at age four to the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia.Anne often had the job of taking the herd of about twenty-seven goats to better browsing areas on the large unfenced parts of the property where honeysuckle grew abundantly.While the goats were feasting on the leaves, Anne sometimes made little circles or wreaths for her hair with the nearby honeysuckle vines.At age twelve she made a little basket with her own pattern. It is the same pattern she uses for all her baskets.        Soon after making her first basket, Anne saw a majestic and vivid picture in her mind of a beautiful vase which has been her main guide and inspiration since.The amazing part of Anne’s development is that she has never taken lessons, read books, or talked with other basket makers for ideas on making baskets.    The honeysuckle she uses is kept natural. She does not use coloring or any kind of finish on the honeysuckle or the completed baskets.The skinned honeysuckle starts out light green in color and turns a beautiful gold which deepens the more it’s in the sunlight.More of Anne Scarpa McCauley‘s amazing baskets can be found at https://www.honeysucklebaskets.com/.

 

 

 

Before-The-End-of-the-Year Gallery Tour

 

Yes Yes Yes. You knew it was coming.

How could I finish this magnificent year without highlighting Galleries from 2021?

Where did 2021 go, anyway?

There’s not much that gives me more joy than discovering and sharing unique, different, and spectacular artists. Every time I come across something new I can’t wait to share it with you.

I go back and wander through my galleries often — I am always amazed at the individual and different kinds of creativity that wait back there for me — and you — to explore.

So allow me a few minutes of showing off. Here are some of the highlights from the Gallery of 2021.

 

Tom Banwell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nancy Cain

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hinke Schreuders

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Splashes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Silver

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Andy Warhol

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emeralds

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carolynda MacDonald

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Mountains

 

 

 

 

 

 

Doug Adams

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

William Utermohlen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aiko Tezuka

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unusual Flower Arrangements

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Léa Roche

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MAY YOU ALL HAVE A HAPPY, PROSPEROUS, AND VERY CREATIVE NEW YEAR!

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Arnau Alemany

Arnau Alemany was born in Barcelona in 1948, at the foot of a hill in one of those neighborhoods that have grown in an anarchic way, without order or planning.Up the mountain in a range that imprisons the city, buildings were built in unusual places with difficult access, creating an unusual urban complex, close to nonsense.Alemany is Spain’s foremost painter of surrealistic environments and industrialized cities of the past/future, and is recognized worldwide as one of today’s leading surrealists. He conceives his work as an effort to challenge the viewer, not to leave him indifferent, be it for better or for worse.The artist creates imaginary urban landscapes, either with signs of destruction or general abandonment, which he hopes will show that visual surprise is possible through the use of magical realism.With the security of long years of drawing, graphic, pictorial and sculptural training, Alemany works to elaborate plausible and unreal landscapes.In his world, non-existent cityscapes with a perfect geometry and coherence in their individual elements, impossible to achieve in the real work, form what he calls an “imperfect landscape”.Surreal or not, his art makes us wish we could visit his world in person.

More of Arnau Alemany‘s amazing landscapes can be found at http://www.arnaualemany.com/. 

 

New Week Inspiration 💕🌞 . . . l will greet this day — Purplerays

A perfect poem — a perfect image. The only thing I would change would be to call it a New YEAR Inspiration ~  Let us greet EVERY day with love!

 

 

I Will Greet This Day with Love in my Heart

I Will Greet This Day
with Love in my Heart.
And how will I do this?
Henceforth, will I look on all things
with love and be born again.
I will love the sun for it warms my bones. […]

New Week Inspiration 💕🌞 . . . l will greet this day — Purplerays

 

 

 

Hows the Party in your Spam Folder Going?

I have been writing blogs about my spam folder for years now —

Sep 8, 2013 — Have I Got a Deal For You

Nov 22, 2013 — Sneaky Little Spammies

Jan 5, 2014 — Comments 101 

Jan 5, 2016 — Enjoying My Backyard?

Nov 19, 2015 — Common Sense Spammie Rules

Mar 1, 2021 — What’s Going On Back There?

 

Well, here I am, a week before the new year, and they’re back.

Do you ever glance through your spam before you delete delete deleteIt’s a zoo back there. Sometimes amazing, mostly pornographic, always worth another blog.

It seems I speak Russian (Разместите свои объявления на доске во всемирной паутине), Chinese  (歐客佬精品咖啡), and Japanese (ore no kanojo to osananajimi ga shuraba sugiru). I am interested in soccer (When you get the tennis ball in soccer, ensure that you listen to it quickly), Smoothy Man E-Juice (Has anyone ever tried Smoothy Man E-Juice SALT E-Juice), something about dating Russian ladies (your own serious needing russian Lady who is also an official person in a Severe decided agency has Ready their self before jane choose to join u), something else I cannot figure out (New proffer! 3 500 as soon as after registration for a lodge), something about bitcoin (The article is his favorite cryptocurrency miner written in c bfgminer), something about a canvas (Is your canvas being stubborn and not flattening out? An peaceful plodder is to unprejudiced peel bad the cap layer a pygmy at each side until the canvas flattens and then include it back), and need advice for a Vape Pen (Choosing the valid vape fountain-pen or mod can sometimes be a daunting task.)

These comments come from blogs posted anywhere from last week to three years ago.

Doesn’t the spamming public have anything better to do?

Of course I never open any of those emails. WordPress Spam folders show you what the spammy is saying. Most of it I can’t understand anyway. Nor do I want to. 

And I guess I should be glad there are no conversations going on back there any more.

So the purpose of today’s blog is NEVER OPEN AN EMAIL FROM YOUR SPAM FOLDER. Along with that, DELETE YOUR SPAM FOLDER OFTEN.

I don’t trust spammies. They are sneaky little devils trying to lure you into the world of viruses and porn and malevolent programs that want to steal your soul along with your personal info and bathrobe size and the name of your firstborn’s mortgage company.

In my book they rank right up there with telemarketers and TV evangelists.

Blogger — spare thyself.

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Meredith Woolnough

Meredith Woolnough‘s elegant embroidered drawings capture the beauty and fragility of nature in knotted threads.

Woolnough is an internationally acclaimed, award winning artist from Newcastle, Australia.Through the use of freehand machine embroidery and soluble materials, she creates a new version of the natural world.

The exacting application of the simplest of stitches is used to create amazing embroidered works that reflect the beauty of life itself.Woolnough creates new pieces using references from physical specimens, taking care to examine and understand the construction of each piece.

She first maps out the complex arrangement of her design onto a cloth and then uses a sewing machine to create the sculpted piece.

When she is finished, the base fabric dissolves in water, leaving only the artist’s beautifully detailed stitch work.

She then mounts each piece with pins onto paper, setting it slightly away from the background to create shadows and depth that add to the allure of the piece.

More of Meredith Woolnough‘s elegant embroidery can be found at http://meredithwoolnough.com.au/.

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Alana Jones-Mann

Los Angeles-based designer and stylist Alana Jones-Mann is  a stylist and designer with an intense passion for crafting and baking. After six years of planning large-scale events at a leading PR and marketing agency in NYC, she  decided to focus her energy into her passions for creating and designing, full-time.Jones-Mann’s  specialty is to layer thick buttercream onto her cakes, creating pastries that are closer in resemblance to lush floor coverings than typical birthday fare.From high-pile, ornate sheets to vibrant geometric rounds, the pointillist-style cakes often have a retro aesthetic that evokes either classic shag rugs or the psychedelic, wall-to-wall carpet popular in the 1970s.Alana Jones-Mann creates beautiful cakes that come to life with texture.
Thanks to her background in design, she has no trouble picking out the perfect colors and abstract patterns to really give her cakes that added depth and design.“The reason I moved on specifically to cakes is because of their surface area. I felt like I had a proper canvas to really work on,” she said. “Cake is my medium.”More of Alana Jones-Mann‘s fantastic work can be found at http://alanajonesmann.com/ or at https://www.instagram.com/alanajonesmann/.

 

 

 

Are We Irrelevant?

I’ve been caught in a deep thought spiral the last few days.

I normally don’t care for these states of mind. They tend to be too reflective; they delve into the past and the future with wild abandon, full of should have’s and should do’s and what is the points of  anything. I tend to close the mental door on these vagrancies, as they do nothing more than stir the pot on a stew that slowly cooking away.

I had a great conversation with my son the other day. I was babysitting and he works from home and we had lunch together. We talked about my boomer generation and what we’ve done and what those behind us will have to do to steer the world back on track. 

I saw the world from the point of view of someone young and vigorous and concerned. And it was so different from the 69-year-old logic sitting next to him.

And I thought that, as we get older, we get irrelevant.

Not in a bad way — steer back onto the road. We are important to our family, to our friends, to the economy. But as you get older you do see the world zooming past you, and there’s really not much you can do to keep up with it. Nor, most times, do you want to.

The generation behind me is concerned about jobs, careers, paying for their kid’s college. They are in the midst of chaos and calm, struggling to make their jobs work and their money stretch and keeping their kids from drugs or worse. They are the ones who have to staff the overcrowded hospitals, pay for the world’s unemployment, and who have to evolve with the ever-changing education system.

I don’t have to worry about any of that.

Sometimes I look around and the biggest crisis I face is should I put away today’s laundry today or tomorrow.

At this point in my life I can’t change much. I can’t go out and get a job that matters; I can’t go to parent teacher conferences and school board meetings to make a difference. My vote or opinion on presidential candidates or additives in foods won’t matter much in the long run.

I find that even the things I used to do come with a bit of static these days. As Rachael’s blog (and my repost from yesterday) indicates, even my writing has changed. I no longer think and angst about writing full-length novels;  even short stories look like a hill I have no energy to climb. I have to contend with the fact that blogging might be my only future writing outlet.

Which, at this point in my life, is okay with me. 

But somehow that all makes me feel … irrelevant. That I can’t “contribute to society” anymore.

But, realistically — did I ever? Did anything I did at my last job really change the world? It made it an easier place to get around, but things have changed since then. Was I any good at being a parent? I have two sons who are the sunshine of my life, but did I really clear the pathway for their future? 

See — this is what happens when I open that door. 

All I can do is hope I make a difference somewhere. Maybe in the love I give my grandkids, the Angel Tears that sparkle in someone’s window, or with the words I find are easier to write than to speak. 

Perhaps, in the long run, that’s all any of us can do.

 

Writing in old age: changing formats, topics, style and purpose — Write Into Life (repost)

When I write my blogs it is to share, to instruct, and to encourage artists of all worlds and styles to follow their hearts and to go for the gusto.

It seems I have found a co-heart in exploring my world. The world of getting older, sharing and connecting with others, of changes in both creativity and interests.

Let me introduce you to Rachel McAlpine. As she shares, ‘once a child, always a writer.’

Give her a read!

My writing regime has changed as I grow older. So has the substance. Are these changes voluntary choices or a natural result of aging? The post… 16 more words

Writing in old age: changing formats, topics, style and purpose — Write Into Life

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Horses

A horse is the projection of peoples’ dreams about themselves – strong, powerful, beautiful – and it has the capability of giving us escape from our mundane existence.

~ Pam Brown

 

Clydesdale

 

Appaloosa

 

Golden Akhal-Teke

 

Tennessee Walking Horse

 

Dutch Warmblood

 

Highland Pony

 

Holsteiner

 

Welsh Pony

 

Paso Fico

 

Shire Horse

 

 

Writing is Sooo Hard …. Waah …

Even though it’s one — if not THE — favorite of my pastimes, sometimes writing is so hard.

And it takes soooooo long.

Here comes the sympathy tears … waah. After all the crybaby tactics and listing of facts (both real and made up), the fact remains.

Writing is sometimes so hard. And it takes sooooo long.

Let me explain.

Last night. In the Midwest the winds were howling, singing forlornly as they whipped around the corners of my house. I went to bed, the tempestuous atmosphere the perfect background for the dark, and put on one of my Amazon Music playlists I call Late Night Minor Chord Piano. (I listen to music before bed to try and slow my chatter brain down).  Snuggled all comfy under my comforter, sleepy-eyed, my thoughts were slowing down when my muse stopped by.

“Isn’t this the kinda sounds just perfect for a story?” she asked, sitting on my pillow.

“Go away. I’m trying to sleep.”

She laughed. “You know you won’t fall asleep until midnight. It’s only ten o’clock. I’m telling you! There’s a story here! Night! Wind! Spooky music!”

Well, she was right. There was a story in this rare atmosphere.

But I was in bed. In the dark. My computer was in the other room. My dream journal (the one I’m trying to write in when I have a great dream) was nowhere to be found. My legs ached from walking most of the evening, and my valerian was starting to kick in.

But there was a story in the nightly wind.

Something nebulous started to form in my mind. I saw a stopwatch — maybe a grandfather’s gold watch. A younger woman looking at said watch. Some time travel element, maybe. Or flashback story.

And there I was, laying in bed in the dark, not willing to get up and give it a whirl.

Getting up and writing would have been so hard.

And besides — by the time I’d flush out a decent story line — even letting the story take a life of its own as I typed — and set the atmosphere, the place, the characters, the plot, the dialogue, the turning point, it would be a month down the line. Six months. And, knowing me, rewrites, grammatical corrections, and all the rest.

I know — ANY craft takes time. You can’t just slop paint on a canvas and call it a painting. Or knit a row or two and call it a pair of socks. It takes planning ahead of time. An idea. A plan. An outline. Instructions. Research.

And you can’t do any of that from your bed. At night. In the dark.

In the light of day today the story idea still lingers. But the winds have died down, I’m getting ready to go to my grand daughter’s Christmas concert, and have an apple crisp baking in the oven.

I don’t hear atmospheric music, see gold watches, or have a glimpse of grandfather’s life in the 20’s.

But I’ll be back.

True artists never give up. They follow their leads to see wherever they may go. And they go through the birthing process every time a new idea takes shape.

Just not once I get into bed and turn out the lights. 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Viktor Schramm

Viktor Schramm (1865-1929) was a Romanian painter and illustrator.He was a member of the Munich School, an association of artists either active in Munich or who had studied at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste München.Schramm’s paintings offer an intimate and staged glimpse into the everyday life of the upper middle class.His oil paintings are characterized by a special devotion and sensitivity to materiality and décor.Schramm not only staged the intimacy of the presented moment, but also created a detailed description of the bourgeois salon, which was characterized by its stimulations of touch and motion.Among other things, Schramm’s specialty was depicting elegantly dressed young women.The artist was able to capture the texture and light of dress fabrics and the play of colors over the silk.Information across the Internet is scarce, but more on Viktor Schramm can be found at https://areaofdesign.com/viktor-schramm/.

 

 

Overload on a Monday Morning

I got up this morning, sleepyheaded and in need of chocolate raspberry coffee. I had an idea for a blog, and in a daze started rummaging through ten years of blogs looking for references.

It would have been easier to walk through a corn maze blindfolded.

But then I came across one from  Nov 11, 2019 called My Muse Says I Should Be a Grand Poobah that referenced an earlier blog from Jun 28, 2017 called Keep a Calendar — or a Muse which referenced a blog from Jun 25, 2015 called Calendar Girls which was about bout a conversation with my Creative Muse.

Oh my goodness. Now I see in writing why I’m such a whirlwind pretzel logic kind gal. It gives me a headache. I need more coffee.

But I digress.

There is a blog I follow called Rethinking Life. Every now and then she posts conversations she has with her cat, like Conversations. 

I figured if she can have conversations with her cat, I can have conversations with my muse. So here is my conversation from — when? — I dunno — I’m lost in the past. But it encourages jotting down all the creative ideas you have for projects that you may want to do someday. 

 

Calendar Girls

My Irish Wench Muse came to visit me last night. She was all full of her usual Irish self. I wasn’t writing or researching or hanging with my family, so I knew something was up.

“Read yer blog the other day,” she said, smiling, wiping the kitchen table off.

“Oh? Great! Which one?”

“The whinneh one.”

I should have been upset, but how can you be upset at your truthful conscience?

“Whiny? Why was it whiny?”

“A lotta ‘I wants’ and “I’ canna haves’. And no solution. What kenna blog is that?”

I sat straighter in my chair, watching her bend over a drop of gravy and start to scrape it. “Hey! All bloggers get down now and then. It’s part of the creative process!”

“Aye, and a lotta bees sting people when they’re nah looking, too. And they still manage to make the honey.”

I had to see where this was going and fast.

“Well, I didn’t see it as whining. I saw it as voicing the universal truth of too much to do and not enough time to do it all.”

“Nay — the ‘Universal Truth’ is more like ‘Leave your dog inside too long and he’s bound ta poop somewhere.’ That’s why you need a calendar, lass.”

“I already have a calendar at work. And it’s packed full.’

“Do you get everything done on the calendar?”

“Well, duh. It’s work.”

“Then, my darlin’ writer, you need a calendar at home, too. A Grand Poobah Calendar.”

Tickle me with an oak leaf. That’s how much sense she made. “A calendar I get. But a Grand Poobah Calendar? What is that?”

Viola finished scraping the drip and headed towards the crack between the leaves. A dangerous area. “The term is from one of those operas. The Poobah has all the titles and ‘na much else.”

I didn’t get what that had to do with me and my whining…er…woes.

“If  ya canna make time in your head, write it down. Make the time on the calendar,” she explained, pulling out a butter knife to scrape the caverns between leaves.

“But that means I’d have to be — organized! How can a pretzel be organized?

She shook her head between grunts. Must have been extra crumbs down the crack.

“How does the Gran’ Poobah get things done? Too many titles, too little authority. At least if he writes the bloomin’ things down he can see what he wants to do first. And he can pretend to do everything, even if everything is 5 or 10 minutes a day.”

Well, that made sense. I helped her scrape the bread crumbs out of the crack and she smiled her little Irish smile.

“You’ve just got to know how to do a calendar, luv. Jam them with all sorts of rot.  Then when you start the day, start crossin’ off. Lines through rot are good for the soul! Makes you pick and choose your rot!” She spit on a slide of old milk. ” You know, I may be a muse but I’ve got other ‘tings I have to do too. I canna babysit you all the time. “

I nodded sheepishly.

“I’m yer creative Muse, ya know. A lot of work goes into finding projects for you and fillin’ your head with ideas and suggestions. Makes my brown beer turn green half the time!”

“Well,” I said, “you know I love your company. And your ideas. I wish I would have listened to you 20 years ago, before I had grandkids.”

She threw out a hearty laugh. “Darlin’ 20 years ago you had your own kids, and were just as busy! and 20 years before that! Where do you think all that stencillin’ you did at the B&B came from? Or those sky space paintings from yer youth? Or that story you wrote about you and that English guitar player — Paul? Or that story about the beep bopin’ alien growning his own…”

“I get it. I get it. Make a calendar. Put it all down. Bring your plans out of the 4th dimension in to this 3rd dimension so I can get a handle on it and do a little bit of everything instead of none of a lot. I get it.”

Viola nodded and stood. She was beautiful — green eyes, full figure, Irish brogue and all.

“Donna forget — I’m riding up to the cabin with you this weekend. I’ve got a great idea for a poem! Oh, and my sister from Italy is comin’ too! She noticed you have a bare wall downstairs, and she’s oh-so-up with Italian Frescoes!”

Uh Oh..

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Fountain Pens

A fountain pen is a writing instrument which uses a metal nib to apply a water-based ink to paper.

Visconti the Forbidden City HRH Fountain Pen — $50,000

 

 It is distinguished from earlier dip pens by using an internal reservoir to hold ink, eliminating the need to repeatedly dip the pen in an inkwell during use.

Caran D’Ache La Modernista Diamond Pen — $265,000

 

The pen draws ink from the reservoir through a feed to the nib and deposits it on paper via a combination of gravity and capillary action.

Fountain Pen Patron of Art Hommage à Scipione Borghese — $8,900

 

There are several factors that allows a company to dictate extremely high prices for these writing tools.

Mystery Masterpiece by Montblanc and Van Cleef and Arpels — $730,000

 

Each item features superior engineering and is a part of a long history of the brand.

Caran d’Ache Leman Yellow 18ct Gold Limited Edition Pen — $26,575

 

Many Fountain pens are expensive because of high material costs and high production costs.

Luciano Pavarotti Limited Edition 888 Fountain Pen — $9,200

 

One contributing factor is the material of the nib. The tip of the nib is sometimes of a different material than the rest of the nib. Hence, you might have platinum tips, or iridium tips, or gold tips, in short tips of precious metals.

Aurora Diamante Fountain Pen — $1,470,000

 

The other factor that determines a high price for the pens is certainly their supreme quality. Craftsmanship and several hours of manual work are required to produce each item.

Varese Limited Edition Pens by Ferrari da Varese — $9,800.00

 

It often takes more than 100 steps for production of the whole pen.

Graf von Faber-Castell Pen — $2,000

 

A lot of effort and skills are required to give it the perfect symmetry and shape.

Caran d’Ache 1010 Diamonds Limited Edition Fountain Pen — $1,000,000

 

Enjoy my expensive collection of fountain pens and feel free to add your own discoveries!

 

(fountain pens and prices posted on the Internet 12/21. Actual prices may vary)

 

 

Faerie Paths — Roads

 

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Sophie Woodrow

The work of Sophie Woodrow is both mystical and eccentric.

She takes the art of porcelain figurines to a surreal place, one that is inhabited by species not yet discovered.Based in Bristol, United Kingdom, Woodrow is a graduate in the Studio Ceramics program at Falmouth College of Art who has been working professionally with malleable clay materials since 2001.Using an intricate, labor-intensive technique, each piece is hand-built, involving coiling, incising and impressing to create a delicately textured surface.Her work has been inspired by her interest in the Victorians as the first generation who chose to define nature as  a spirit of wild curiosity, tinged with fear, turning each piece into a highly romanticized work of art.Woodrow’s sculptures are not visitors from other worlds, but the ‘might-have-beens’ of this world. Each creature has eyes and a story of its own it wants to share.

More of Sophie Woodrow‘s porcelain works can be found at https://www.instagram.com/sophiewoodrow/ and  https://www.waterandrock.org/sophie-woodrow.html.

 

 

 

Not in the Mood

Today is my birthday.

I’m not impressed.

I am planning on seeing all of my kids and grandkids and going out to dinner to celebrate. Who wouldn’t be excited about all of that?

It’s one thing to be excited about turning 21. or 30. I had a grand party when I turned 45, not wanting to wait until the big five-oh. Lots of people came and celebrated with me and signed a poster for posterity and it was a lot of fun.

It was also 24 years ago.

Why do people have to get old? Why do people have to get achy and forgetful and slower and not often wiser?

I ~do~ appreciate my life and friends and experiences and blah blah blah. I do. But I resent getting slower, both physically and mentally. I am doing all that others are telling me to do to keep sharp — eating well, going for walks, reading books, keeping creative.

But I don’t think any of it is working. Not in the long run.

Birthdays are rewards for having made it through things others have not. And for that I will be eternally grateful. I have lived long enough to love and play with my grandkids, go to my goddaughter’s wedding at a beach resort in Georgia, and to write a blog that some people really enjoy reading. I’ve written a number of books which have given me immense pleasure.

I could go on and on with the blessings in my life. We all could.

It just feels different viewing it from the half-empty side of the glass, knowing that there are fewer years ahead than behind. No matter how optimistic I am, the body aches and head aches and heart aches will persevere. 

The future will hold what the future will hold. Nothing I can say or do can change moving forward in time.

So I will do my best to party hearty and move along creaking and laughing and forgetting what that drink was that I liked so much last summer. The good thing is we all all moving forward together. That’s what family and friends are for.

I’m glad you all are my friends.

❤❤❤

Artists Are My Friends

 

I know I’ve shared my friend Carsten Weiland‘s watercolors before — there is something about the rough strokes and hues of his paintings — especially mansions and landscapes — that bring an authenticity to all his work.

I used to live in a Second Empire home/mansion — a beautiful bed and breakfast in a small town. Times as they were, after eight years it was too hard to keep the business profitable. It was with a bittersweet sigh that we sold it and moved on. A wise and positive decision.

But Carsten’s paintings bring back the days of mansard roofs, balustrades, and stained glass windows, a delightful memory on a winter’s eve.

Do stroll through his website some time — it will be well worth your wandering.

Weathered Mansions in Watercolors

https://brushparkwatercolors.wordpress.com/

 

 

Game of Thrones Way of Thinking

(SPOILERS AHEAD!!)

The premise of this blog is for those familiar with the TV series Game of Thrones, but others may get a kick out of its conclusion, so please — read on.

Bored with regular TV, the hubby and I have started re-watching Game of Thrones. For those few of you uninitiated, it’s an eight-year series about nine noble families who fight for control over the lands of Westeros, while an ancient enemy returns after being dormant for millennia.

There are articles across the Internet about who is the smartest in the series.

Screen Rant (https://screenrant.com/game-of-thrones-cast-smartest-characters/) thinks Says Tyrion Lannister is the smartest:

“Although he exhibits self-destructive behaviour, such as drinking himself into oblivion and cavorting with ladies of the night, his quick-wit, natural intelligence and sharp tongue mean he can, and does, keep up with the best of them.

Collider  (https://collider.com/smartest-game-of-thrones-characters-ranked/) thinks Davos Seaworth has proven to be one of the keenest and practical-minded characters on the show.

No doubt, his experience during his smuggling days has honed his judgment and opened his eyes to the true nature of man. It’s also made him a master of abstract thinking who has learned to anticipate all given outcomes. It’s that level of preparedness that makes him quite proficient, and not just in a street smart way either.

Human Performance Technology (https://blog.dtssydney.com/the-3-smartest-characters-in-game-of-thrones)  likes to give the smart crown to Lord Varys, aka “The Spider.”

(Varys) is cunning, clever, mysterious, and in my opinion the most dangerous mind in the game. It is no small feat that Varys raised himself from poverty to power, selling secrets as his route to becoming the wealthy and well-informed “Master of Whisperers.” If you take his raw intellect, as seen in the quick-witted exchanges with Tyrion, stir in the high-level knowledge accumulated at the royal court, and layer over the life skills acquired at street level, Varys looks formidable.

And even Forbes (https://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2013/03/30/in-game-of-thrones-whos-the-smartest-tyrion-petyr-varys-or-tywin/?sh=1fc289c67df6) chimed in.

Petyr ‘Littlefinger’ Baelish has no background, and no backing. He has nothing to fall back on and he fights alone. Petyr sees through people, and he never lets his emotion gets in the way.  While other people simply react to what’s happened to them, Petyr actively creates chaos, stirs up the dirt, purposefully sabotages relationships, creates suspicion, frames innocent people … when everyone is fighting each other for reasons they don’t even fully understand, he was laughing in his head.”

Yet, the most fascinating point of view – and one I really agree with – is CBR (https://www.cbr.com/game-of-thrones-drogon-smartest-character/)They conclude that:

“But in a show where Jon knew nothing and did everything, Bran knew everything but did almost nothing, and a swath of questionable — and at times, dumb — decisions led the Seven Kingdoms to the brink of collapse, it turns out this decision by Drogon (the dragon), as well as what he did after incinerating the king’s seat, truly paints him as the smartest character in the entire series.
“Drogon shows an awareness of something a lot of folks just weren’t cognizant of, which is that the Iron Throne represented lust, greed and corruption, all of which tore Westeros apart and repeatedly led it to the brink of collapse.
(Tyrion,  Daenerys) …didn’t see the throne as pure evil like Drogon did, and while you may think he’s just a fire-breathing beast to command, the creature proves to be the hero who knows what’s best for the future of the Six Kingdoms because the end of the throne inevitably means a resetting, a recalibration and a new map towards tomorrow.
“He’s suffered just as much and, while it may be a form of ham-fisted symbolism, focusing his dragon fire on the item so many died for over the past eight seasons (was) his way of not just letting his frustration out, but doing what Dany couldn’t do — let go.”

When you think about it, this reasoning makes perfect sense. There were thousands upon thousands of deaths in the GoT universe, all for the right to rule a kingdom. To be king (or queen). To be the be-all do-all.

All contenders fought with a future dream of ruling with justice and fairness and peace. But ruling in itself was the madness to the method. It was still persecution. Oppression. Someone/a group of someones may have been needed to show others right from wrong, but in Westros there was no choice. Right and wrong was whomever won the battle. Whomever had more soldiers. Whomever had more people alive in the end.

The dragon tired of man’s constant destruction of both each other and the planet. So he said the hell with all of you – I will destroy the symbol that you all have fought for. After all, the symbol is only an illusion.

My vote goes with the dragon. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Chris Campbell

Chris Campbell is the head artist and ‘baker’ behind Shoe Bakery, mixing a lifelong passion for sweets and desserts with a love of shoes and style.From concept to the final product, Chris takes a completely hands-on approach with every pair of shoes to make them as sweet and unique as possible.Chris’ passion for these one-of-a-kind works of art was contagious enough for his wife to join him on this adventure, and the two run Shoe Bakery together as a truly family affair of style.The mission for Chris to put so much time and detail into each and every pair of shoes is simple, and he states, “I feel that every woman deserves to feel special, and not have the same shoes that someone else does.”The amount of intricacies put into each item reflect the artistry and passion behind them.From cupcakes and ice cream, to donuts and cinnamon buns, Chris shows no sign of slowing down his confectionary footwear, and with his wife adding her talents to Shoe Bakery, the shoes, handbags, and more, will only keep getting sweeter.It is amazing where one’s sweet passions can take an artist!More of Chris Campbell’s amazing shoe creations can be found at https://shoebakery.com/ and at Bored Panda.

 

 

Too Much For The Sorting Hat

I am full of thoughts this cool Saturday evening — a lot dancing around is going around in my pumpkin head. Yet I am not in the mood for sorting this eve — even if my sorting hat is not far away. 

So how about I highlight a few Sunday Evening Art Galleries? One where the artist seems quite — in a whirl?

 

Colin Batty

These are called Victorian Cabinet Cards. These people look like they came out of a cabinet.

 

Liu Bolon

Come Out, Come Out — Wherever You Are

 

Face Off

All you need is a little make up — a little prosthetics — and a little creativity

 

Rene Magritte

Is that an apple in your face? Or are you just happy to see me?

 

Nightmare Food

Just looking at these delicacies gives me nightmares.

 

Have a great Saturday Night!

The chicklet’s tree is up…for the moment at least…wishing you a Merry Chickmas. — Rethinking Life

Everyone should have chicklets in their life ….

 

The chicklets do this every year.  They make the chicklet tree and then someone gets hungry, or their feet hurt, or their claws dig into the chicklet underneath them, or someone has to go to the bathroom, or any number of things. They’re very excited when they begin, but a “live” tree like theirs just […]

The chicklet’s tree is up…for the moment at least…wishing you a Merry Chickmas. — Rethinking Life

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Ertan Atay

 

The mantle of Creativity, of Art, is a wide and multicolored veil of experience from all over the world.Turkish artist Ertan Atay began his career as a graphic designer, evolving into art direction and photography before becoming the in-house Creative Director for a production company in Turkey from 2007-2013.After opening his own creative agency, Atay began collecting imagery that appealed to him, and in his downtime started making fun collages and collage videos on his own Instagram account.Under the name @failunfailunmefailun on Instagram, Atay’s work fuses the famous paintings by historical artists with some popular culture elements.He combines his artwork with works by painters like Edvard Munch, Leonardo Da Vinci, and Van Gogh.The works are then mashed up with television characters, current musicians, and film works.“I like to make a difference in perception,” Atay says.“There are collages in anachronism, Neo-Dada, and surrealist styles in my work.“I like to bring different objects together. And I like to combine unexpected things with the simplest and humorous language by blending my work with both emotional and humorous language.“I can say I’m happy as long as I create. Other than that, I love creating special feelings that bring people together.”We have to admit that his creative playfulness make us happy as well.

More of Ertan Atay‘s whimsical art can be found at https://www.instagram.com/failunfailunmefailun/.

 

Should I Have Said Anything?

Through the years I’ve been told I share T.M.I. Too much information. That I have a tendency to tell too much. Spill the beans. Tell more than the whole story.

I ‘d like to think that’s more of an honest trait than a talk-too-much thing.

But the other day at a major retailer I had a moment I wondered if I should curb my sharing or say something “constructive.” (Constructive being relative, I know.)

I had ordered a laptop online on Black Friday, and was able to pick it up the next day at said major retailer. Showing up at the customer service counter, the young girl told me to pull up my order on the kiosk. Since no one was around she helped me out. I was digging through my emails on my phone, looking for my order claim number, and she said all I needed to do was put my name in the computer. So I did. The order popped up and I waited for someone to bring the computer up to the desk. I waited and waited some more.

Customer Service started to get busy, and before I knew it there were six people in line. I asked about my computer, and the girl quickly put her head in the back room and told someone I was waiting. Just like that they brought out my computer. Wonderful. Did I need to sign anything? No — all was good.

As I stood adjusting my sweater and purse, I realized how easy it would have been to walk out with someone else’s computer. I mean, I could have hung around the service area, overhear someone put their name in the computer, then, perhaps, since they were waiting around that long anyway, tell the customer service person they were going to run into the store and buy a few things and be right back. Customer Service would get busy, a different employee would bring out the goods, not ask for an ID or a order number, and just hand the computer to the wrong person.

No one double checked my ID, my receipt, even my phone number.

I wondered if I should tell someone. If I would have been considered a tattle tale. I had my goods, no one was hurt, so why not take it and go home.

Well, jabberjaw me thought I should tell someone. Maybe someone in management.

So I walked over to the kiosks where people were self checking out and told one of the employees. I was really nice; I said I didn’t want to complain or get anyone in trouble, but I was a little concerned that no one asked me for any identification. I went through the scenario I just told you and noted how easily it would have been for me to walk off with someone else’s goods. The girl was very nice and said they would mention this to electronics. I was very nice and walked out with my computer under my arm.

Yet I wondered.

Did I get the Customer Service girl in trouble? Did I make up this scenario that didn’t happen just to cause trouble? I mean, no one was hurt. Everyone had gone merrily on their way, no less for the wear.

Why did I have to open my big mouth?

I have not suffered any repercussions from my moment of honesty. But I realize that, with my luck, that could have happened and I could have come back from picking up a few things and someone could have walked off with my computer.

But no one did. 

I’d like to think that in some big cosmic way I helped the world of commerce run smoother that day. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and all that.

But most likely it’s just that I have a big mouth.

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Arnold Böcklin

 

Arnold Böcklin (16 October 1827 – 16 January 1901) was a symbolist Swiss painter.Children Carving May Flutes

 

Considered one of the most important visual artists of the 19th century in Europe, Böcklin was one of the main representatives of German Symbolism, which broke with the dominant academic painting and the prevailing naturalism of the second half of the 19th century.Fight on a Bridge

 

Influenced by Romanticism, Böcklin’s use of imagery derived from mythology and legend and often overlapped with the aesthetic of the Pre-Raphaelites.Idyll

 

Many of his paintings are imaginative interpretations of the classical world.Centaur in the Village Blacksmith’s Shop

 

Böcklin was one of the most successful modern artists of the late nineteenth century in terms of his popularity with the general public, taking advantage of a new market for prints and reproductions of paintings in Germany around that time.

Self Portrait With Death

 

His art often portrays mythological subjects in settings involving classical architecture, often allegorically exploring death and mortality in the context of a strange fantasy world.Faun Whistling to a Blackbird

 

While other painters of his era experimented with ever more pronounced forms of abstraction and stylistic experiment, Böcklin immersed himself in the history of painting from the Renaissance onwards, drawn to all that was dramatic and extravagant.Meerestille Calm Sea

 

His paintings certainly had the mass popular appeal. but they also became a touchstone for many modern artists, particularly those interested in combining naturalistic representation with bizarre subject matter.The Isle of the Dead

 

More of Arnold Böcklin‘s mythological paintings can be found at https://www.arnoldbocklin.org.

 

 

No Regrets — Kinda

Having just posted my Sunday Evening blog on Pianos, a wave of nostalgia passed through me.

Piano lessons.

As I’ve said many times, I have no regrets about my choices in life. I’ve learned from every one of them. They’ve made me who I am today.

But I could have continued my piano lessons.

I should have continued my piano lessons.

Being a kid is hard. No one likes you, or everybody likes you, and you are too busy building Lego buildings and playing records and fantasizing about (for me) dating Paul McCartney or Davey Jones to do something as boring — and important — as piano lessons.

I don’t remember how many years I took lessons, but it wasn’t very many, but it was a long time ago and I wasn’t very good. My parents even bought me a piano, which I lugged around with me until my husband and I sold our first house in the suburbs. By then I hadn’t played it in years and the new owners had a child who was taking lessons.

But I digress.

How wonderful it would be today if I could slide along the piano bench and let my fingers do the talking and walking of even the simplest of tunes. I wouldn’t have to have been Liberace — a simple completion of Beethoven’s Für Elise would have been a crowning achievement in the art of piano.

Or should I say  .

Yet another crown of sparkle in the world of Creativity.

I am in love with piano music. I am amazed that ten fingers can play such intricate music without getting tangled with each other. Or miss the correct keys.

I suppose my fascination with the diligence and hard work put into an art such as playing a musical instrument goes hand in hand with those who can create perfect miniatures, sew quilts, blow glass, or any of a thousand other crafts just waiting to be explored.

I’m too old for piano lessons now. I don’t have a piano and sheet music looks like Chinese to me now. But my love for the creations that come from others in any form still brings a whiff of “if only.” A soft, easy nudge that says it’s okay that I didn’t, but still …

Wait — I still remember how to play chopsticks ….

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Pianos

 

The piano keys are black and white but they sound like a million colors in your mind.

– Maria Cristina Mena

 

Erard Grand Piano, 1905

 

Fazioli M Liminal Piano by NYT Line

 

Steinway & Sons Louis XV-style Giltwood Grand Piano

 

The Casablanca Piano

 

Blüthner Lucid Hive Grand Piano

 

Boulle Upright Piano

 

Kawai GL-10 Grand Piano

 

Gebrüder Knake Renaissance Revival Piano

 

Boganyi Grand Piano

 

Liberace Baldwin Grand Piano

 

Graham Piano, 1872

Creativity Never Takes A Break

The cold weather is starting to find its way to and through my doors and windows.

No, it’s not that my windows and doors leak. I’d like to think of the sentence above as more of a metaphor for the thoughts and feelings of mid-November in the Midwest. It’s the time of year that squirrels scurry to the warmer underbrush and bluejays boldly take over the bird feeders and sitting on the sofa evenings offers the added pleasure of an additional blanket across the lap.

Curiously, at this time of year I find my interest in arts and crafts and creativity waning as well.

This bothers me a little.

I would hate for my imagination to disappear, never to appear again in the future. Such a drastic thought, I know.

But wouldn’t you be worried, nay, bothered, nay, concerned if your creativity suddenly waned out of existence?

What would you do with all the yarn, paper, research files, beads, crystals, frames, photos, ribbons, wires, feathers, oil and acrylic paints, brushes, bottles, ink pens, sketch books, colored pencils, molds, canvases, thread, yarns, clay, wood, and a dozen other supplies you have accumulated through the years?

Michaels or Hobby Lobby (craft stores in my area) might go out of business if you stopped collecting and organizing your creativity.

The one fact that keeps me hopeful is that for every waning mood there is a waxing mood along with a full mood. What goes up must come down and vice versa.

Changing weather connotates changing moods. With “the holidays” looming ahead of us, there are a lot more things to think about and carry out than what our next painting or sculpture should be.

There are food banks to contribute to, kids and grandkids and family members to connect — or reconnect — with, breads to bake and traditions to carry out.

Don’t have holiday traditions? Start some! If you don’t believe in celebrating the holidays, make Thanksgiving Day (or whatever day you choose) a day of celebration in your own way. Bring dog treats to the shelter. Buy a Christmas present and put it into the big empty box at the front of every retail store. Call your sister or grandmother and actually have a conversation with them. Watch football and make homemade kabobs or pierogis or chutney and send the recipe to a dozen of your friends.

Creativity never leaves a person. It may change like the seasons, change physical states from gas to solids to liquid and back again, turn into a sprite or a wolf or bubble or piece of steel.

But it never really goes away.

For which I am totally thankful. For I have way too many rhinestones and crystals downstairs to get rid of at the moment.

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Mark Gee

Mark Gee is an award winning photographer, time-lapse filmmaker and digital visual effects supervisor based in Wellington, New Zealand.His love of the New Zealand landscape is a big part of the inspiration for his photography.

Gee has always been interested in the night sky from very early on in life, but never experienced its full effect until he moved to New Zealand in 2003.He often ventures out to the darkest, most remote skies all around the country, enjoying the challenge of combining New Zealand’s striking landscapes with the ethereal beauty of the night sky in new, creative ways.“Planning, patience and persistence is the name of the game,” Gee says.“Believe me, some of my planned shots have taken me over a year to get right.”“Constant obstacles from bad weather and bad timing to landslides and equipment failures all make it a very frustrating pursuit.”“But in the end, after all the failures when you finally do nail the shot, astrophotography then becomes one of the most rewarding forms of photography there is.”More of Mark Gee‘s amazing photographs can be found at https://theartofnight.com.

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Thrones

Call it a Throne
Call it a Chair
Whomever holds the power
Will always sit there

 

Throne of Napoleon I at the Tuileries

 

Golden Throne of King Tutankhamen

 

The Silver Throne, Stockholm

 

Throne of Charlemagne

 

The Dragon Throne of China

 

King Edward’s Chair (the Coronation Chair), England

 

Roman Throne 1st century CE

 

The Peacock Throne of Iranian Qajar King Fath Ali Shah

 

Lion Throne of Burma

 

The Throne of St. Peter Rome

 

The Iron Throne, Kings Landing

 

 

I want to age like sea glass — Purplerays

I am about there — I hope someday you will be too —

 

– . I want to age like sea glass. Smoothed by tides, not broken.I want the currents of life to toss me around, shake me up and leave me feeling washed clean.I want my hard edges to soften as the years pass—made not weak but supple.I want to ride the waves, go with the flow, […]

I want to age like sea glass. — Purplerays

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Alex Chinneck

British sculptor Alex Chinneck creates temporary surreal architectural sculptures that show social awareness, humor, and an interest in regeneration.

The artist is a Chelsea College of Art alumnus and is a member of the Royal British Society of Sculptors.His work animates the surrounding urban landscape in an ingenious combination of engineering, architecture, and art.Chinneck’s pieces merge sculpture with architecture to create masterpieces that play with both our visual and social expectations.“I like to make work that blends in with its surroundings, but which at the same time stands out,” Chinneck says. “Illusions are visually engaging, mesmerizing and accessible – everyone can understand and enjoy them.”More of Alex Chinneck‘s sculptural creations can be found at https://www.alexchinneck.com/.

 

What’s Important to YOU Today?

Happy Monday! Or is it? 

We all try and start the “week” off on a positive note. As the jokes/memes say, it’s only downhill from here.

I tend to disagree.

Sometimes it can go uphill from here.

I suppose, barring unexpected occurrences, most of us can expect a normal UP and DOWN kind of week. It depends on what we’ve planned for ourselves.

I hope you have planned some positive experiences.

I know I know — you can’t plan gifts from God or sparkling experiences from Gaia. They just come when they come.

But you can plan activities that bring you extra pleasure. 

Of course, you know I’m referring to Art. Crafts. Writing. Piano lessons. Painting a mural on your garage door. Anything that makes you happy.

There is something about starting fresh on a project/projects you love that plants that sparkle in your heart that eventually flows all through your body. Even if you aren’t over-the-top in getting back to your Art, once you get there, the world changes.

Your flops aren’t really flops. They’re lessons. Your completions aren’t really the end, but just the beginning. 

If you can stop listening to that little demon who whispers that you’ll never be any good, you will be amazed at how finishing the book you are reading or sewing that last piece together can make you feel.

Give yourself a chance.

I have lots of demons dancing in and out throughout the day. I’ve learned to either ignore them or, if need be, let them scream their garbage and then kick them out the door. I am who I am, and all that hoo hah. But I’m always working on improving “who I am.”

For me, that’s perfecting my crafts. Always writing something, always fooling around with Angel Tears. I have a boatload of projects just waiting for me to open the door, but I promised myself I’d stick to just a couple for the time being.

Give Monday a chance. Let it be the beginning of new chances, new worlds, new universes. Well, universes is quite a big quest …. maybe start with something smaller …. like solar systems.

Go for it!

Tell me what your creative plans are for the week!

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi

Historian, Curator, Author, Lecturer, Artist, Mentor, Founder, and Facilitator — the remarkable and tireless Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi has left her mark on many lives.Trained as an aerospace engineer, Mazloomi turned her sites and tireless efforts in the 1980s to bring the many unrecognized contributions of African American quilt artists to the attention of the American people as well as international art communities.

From the founding of the African-American Quilt Guild of Los Angles in 1981 to the 1985 founding of the Women of Color Quilters Network (WCQN), Mazloomi has been at the forefront of educating the public about the diversity of interpretation, styles and techniques among African American quilters as well as educating a younger generation of African Americans about their own history through the quilts the WCQN members create.Her pictorial narrative quilts make plain her personal themes: family life, women’s rights, political freedom, and musical legacy.Mazloomi’s quilts have been included in over 74 exhibits and she herself has curated 21 extensive exhibits of quilts made by members of the Women of Color Quilters Network, many of them traveling exhibits.“I look at the quilt makers as culture bearers because there’s a long history of quilt making in this country and I want to see it carried forth to the next generation,”  Mazloomi explains.“And because most of the stories within the African-American quilt community are narratives and tell the story of our culture, what would be more important than people seeing these quilts and noting history?“It’s important because we as a people have our footprint noted on this canvas called American history, so people have to know the role that we played and that we were here and that we contributed positively to history in this country, so it’s important for that aspect.”

More of Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi‘s amazing life and quilts can be found at https://carolynlmazloomi.com/.

 

 

Saturday Morning in the Gallery

Saturdays are filled with good feelings.

A chance to sleep in a little longer, add a little more to your walk, plan for the weekend.

I realize the world of reality and experience are different for everyone, but most have memories of routines that brought order and pleasure to young and old. 

I’ve written blogs and shared Faerie Path quotes about Saturdays — Saturday mornings, Saturday musings, Saturday cartoons, and Happy Saturdays.

I came across a blog about Saturday Morning Gallery Tour and thought this morning was a perfect time to show off some past Sunday Evening Art Galleries for your perusal! The diversity is endless ….

 

Stairway to Nowhere

Beatriz Hidalgo De La Garza

 

Niyoko Ikuta

 

Bansky

 

Michelangelo

 

Quilts

 

Waterfalls

 

Willard Wigan

 

Ruby Silvious

 

Adam Hillman

 

Ruby

 

Rita Faes

 

There are more — so many more. The diversity is amazing.  I had to stop sharing. But you would love wandering through any of my Galleries. Come stroll through. Any Day. Any Time. Even on Saturdays.

http://www.sundayeveningartgallery.com

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Salman Khoshroo

Iranian painter Salman Khoshroo uses a palette knife and sizable layers of paint to create the emotive portraits in his recent series, “White on White.”In contrast to his previous work that relied on swirling reds, blues, and yellows, Khoshroo’s latest impasto pieces are monochromatic.Starting with a hunk of paint, the artist then forms the portrait’s outline before shaping the rest of the face that lacks distinct physical features.Viewers can follow his creative process step-by-step by looking at the edges of each stroke.Khoshroo hopes to capture a human spark with minimal intervention and create portraits of people that make you feel something, people you didn’t even know you were looking for.Painted with a single pigment in a sandbox method, these faces are the result of taking a chunk of paint and molding it.It is amazing that one can see so many features in such few movements.

More of Salman Khoshroo‘s diverse art can be found at http://salmankhoshroo.com/ and https://www.ignant.com/2019/12/30/a-portrait-of-anonymity-salman-khoshroo-molds-emotive-faces-from-smeared-paint/

 

 

Go With the Flow

I had a lot of cosmic thoughts and revelations over the past few weeks — weddings, renewals, coming full circle in a number of relationships. I had flashes of words about bursting hearts and life and bonds that never end. All that deep, esoteric stuff.

Yet I sit in front of the computer today and it’s all gone. The emotions, the brilliance, the meaning of it all. In trying to find the words and thoughts I wanted to share I’ve come up empty. 

Sometimes getting deep and sentimental and cosmic is a lot of work. It takes a lot out of you.

I sometimes wonder if it’s all worth it. The long nights, the connecting the dots, the forgive and forget. The ulcers we’ve created changing our fate. The insomnia we suffer trying to figure out what went wrong. How we could have changed things. Made the world a better place.

Perhaps it’s that I’m getting older, but I am tired of the toll over-thinking and over-feeling has taken on me. Everybody feels, everybody emotes, everybody thinks. Many of us, though, over-think and over-feel. And that’s not good for our heads nor our hearts.

Nothing wrong with feeling good and feeling great and making a difference in someone’s life. We all should try it. We should all do it. But I don’t think we should get carried away with it. 

When we think too much or feel too much it’s hard to come back to center. Your emotions play tricks on you on both ends of the scale. Think too much and your stress levels shoot through the roof. Think too little and you miss a chance to actually accomplish something.

I was all hepped up  a few days ago to tell you about my highs and lows and discoveries. But after I calmed down and thought about my feelings I found my calm center again and realized I didn’t need to use this platform as a sounding board. That I could feel and understand and move forward all on my own. That I didn’t have to report every little emote.

My true calling in life these days is to encourage people to create. To let their experiences guide them to another world, another dimension, that is directly connected to this one, and to bring something back to this reality. To take their own highs and lows and super emotes and use them to create something beautiful in any art form. 

Maybe what I’m trying to say is don’t over-think and over-feel everything.  Let the moments just flow, and let that flow create something that is truly you.

 

 

Am I Really an Artist?

A question so many of us have. If we’re not famous, not selling, not well known, are we still what we strive to be? Judith believes we all are what we want to believe. If we only believe.

Artistcoveries

I’ll cut right to the chase here. Yes, I am an artist. I might not be a very good artist, but that’s almost irrelevant. The point is, I am indeed an artist.

Recently, though, I found myself asking that age-old question, wondering all over again if I could truly call myself an artist. When I began this blog in March 2016, I did not consider myself an artist, but finally came around to seeing myself as someone who was becoming an artist. I was learning, I was developing new skills. But I was definitely not an artist, if only because I simply could not associate that word with myself.

Being an artist, I’ve learned now, has a lot to do with choice. It’s not all a matter of talent or training. It’s partly attitude, too.

Of course, anyone who enjoys drawing, painting, or other forms of art may be…

View original post 1,071 more words

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Sheet Music

There’s an element to songwriting that I can’t explain, that comes from somewhere else. I can’t explain that dividing line between nothing and something that happens within a song, where you have absolutely nothing, and then suddenly you have something. It’s like the origin of the universe.

~Nick Cave, Musician~

 

Johann Sebastian Bach’s ‘The Art of Fugue’ Original Manuscript

 

Canción Rota, Federico-Hurtado

 

Goodbye Waltz, Michele Gonzalez

 

Clair de Lune, Claude Debussy

 

Beethoven, Erika Iris Simmons

 

Unity_Capsule, Ferneyhough