Sunday Evening Art Gallery (midweek) — Emeralds

 

No matter what anyone says or does, my task is to be emerald, my color undiminished. 

~ Marcus Aurelius

 

Mogul Mughal Emerald

 

Chinese Silk Jacket

 

Emerald Box, Persian Crown Jewels

 

Australian Emerald Dragonfly

 

Antique Baccarat Paperweight

 

 

 

Stotesbury Emerald

 

Villa Pisani Labyrinth, Italy

 

INK Sweets

 

Echeveria Emerald Ripple

 

Emerald Oracle

 

David Morris

 

Everything’s Coming Up Roses

 

This past week has been the beginning of something good. Positive. Promising.

We are always warned not to get too excited about things we want to see or do or accomplish. After all, it may not happen. Then where will we be? Standing in the middle of the road with egg on our face because we got excited over nothing.

I’m here to tell you that’s the worst advice anyone could give you.

Anticipation is one of the most positive energies you can experience. It’s okay to be super excited about the last day of school before summer vacation or going camping with your family next month.

Why can’t you be just as excited about your creative future?

I got accepted into my first Art Fair last week. Whether shoppers will be interested in my wares is another story. THIS story is that I get to set up a booth and show off my sparkles and bring some smiles into other people’s lives.

Will I make any money? Probably not much. Will I make back my initial investment? Who knows? But I’m doing something I’ve never done before and am looking forward to having fun with it, no matter what.

I’m also excited because in a few months I’m going to expand my blog. I’m thinking of offering Angel Tears to my friends and readers, although I’m not sure how big of an expansion step I’m ready to take yet. But at least I’m thinking about it.

I’ve also started my second I Dreamed I Was In Paris book. There was a lot of research and stress and imagination involved, but I loved every minute of it. I do so love writing, and I want to experience that again. 

Speaking of writing, I also am going to put my first Paris book online for a free download just because. I’ve got other books, too, that I want to eventually share. I don’t care about being published. E-books? Maybe down the line. I’m more interesting in just making people happy right now.

People who hide their work, waiting for the right time to share it with friends and strangers, will never find the right time. No one is ever going to read or see your work if it stays hidden. 

And that’s sad.

What if no one likes my Tears? My books? What if I don’t recoup the investment I’ve made in time, materials, research, and physical effort?

Who cares?

Do you ever recoup your investment in dinners you make that no one eats? Do you recoup the effort put into learning new skills that your employer has no use for? Or the investments you’ve made in buying trombones and pianos for your kids who only want to play video games after school?

I always say it’s the journey that counts, not the destination.

Your thoughts may be, “Ah .. but when you get where you’re going, then what?”

I say, “Great! Where do we go next?”

Better to have a lot of places to see, things to do, dreams to aim for, than to sit home, never venturing out at all. Better to share than never to know.

It’s all there waiting for you. Go and have fun with your creativity.

After all — Everything’s Coming Up Roses for Me and for You!

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — David de la Mano

David de la Mano is a Spanish contemporary artist best known for his stunning murals often depicting silhouettes, trees and other monochromatic imagery.Born in Salamanca in 1975, de la Mano has a degree in Fine Art from the University of Salamanca and PhD studies in Public Art from the University of Valencia.

He is known for his minimalist aesthetics while using black and white themes depicting human figures.His large-scale, black and white pieces provoke reactions among the viewers and encourage their emotions and ideas through a minimalist aesthetic.De la Mano is particularly interested by the theme of the link between human beings as a mass which evolves, in groups, as a flow, or the link between human and nature also as a danger or a union.He observes others and their social or anti-social behavior, exploring every corner of both in his practice, using silhouettes of men, women, or the masses as narrative metaphors.Through these figures, he gives poetic visions of the the human condition in society and the ways human perceive the world.

More of David de la Mano‘s imaginative work can be found at and at  https://daviddelamano.blogspot.com and https://bottleneckgallery.com/collections/david-de-la-mano.

 

Spooky Repeat

I was watching the movie Predator  the other night, and the scene of the “invisible” predator reminded me of this blog from 2016. I still feel the same way. I still won’t walk through the woods at night. Have fun!

Something Is Out There

20161210_215909I was watching TV the other evening. A horror flick. Or SF. Or both. No matter.

Predator. You know — the Sci Fi movie with Arnold and a bunch of special forces macho men. You know the story line — the alien who comes to Earth to hunt humans for sport.  Well, there was one scene closer to the beginning of the movie that made me pull out a camera and take a picture of the TV screen — a scene that flashed the words blog topic into my brain.

The men are walking through the jungle, in and out of clearings, when one of the soldiers stops. Just stops and looks ahead. At the trees, at the jungle. Silence. When asked what was up, Billy said there was something out there watching them. Something you couldn’t see.

That kind of terror gets to me much more than blood and guts.

The fear of the unknown.

Some people can sense something’s not right way before it hits you like a pie in the face. We all have intuition, but some just live with it turned on high, while others barely crack the surface.

Do you ever sense things that are — unnatural? Nebulous? Out of our sphere of reality?

I don’t care for the scientific explanations. I understand them, I agree with them. But that doesn’t stop me from wondering — what if something was watching us? Something invisible, fifth dimension-ish and all that?

I’ve seen dogs avoid places in the wild; some would rather pee on themselves than check out some particular place. I’ve heard stories of birds avoiding certain trees and wild animals refusing to walk through certain areas.

It’s like seeing something out of the corner of your eye. If you turn and focus, the thing is gone. But for that fleeting moment you swear there is something there. It is hearing songs on the wind when everyone else hears a lawn mower. Or seeing a glow in the woods that everyone else says are lightning bugs.

I know that none of these abnormalities exist — at least not on a scientific level. The guy I dated 40 years ago dashed a lot of my airy faerie ideas out of my head when he insisted science is much more fascinating than imagination.

But through the years I’ve regained some of my fascination with the “unknown.” I love to entertain the impossible. The improbable. The ridiculous. For within those worlds lies even more remarkable truths. At least for the person experiencing them.

I have never seen the clear, wavy distortions of a Predator before they become visible. I’ve never seen a unicorn drinking from a stream or a faerie dancing through the night.

Or have I?

We all see things that aren’t there. As we get older and memories fade, what we think we remember isn’t necessarily what happened. The conversations change, the situations change — we rework the past to fit our current psyche. So what I thought my father said before he died might not have been what he really said. The punchline of an old movie might not be the quote I spout out to friends and family.

To be honest, I am spooked by things I don’t understand. I don’t like walking through the woods in the dark, or driving down unfamiliar deserted roads at night, or playing Mary Worth in the mirror. Whether it’s an overactive imagination or the true sensing of something beyond reality, I prefer to deal with the unknown my own way.

Avoidance.

I figure don’t tempt the gods.

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery (midweek) — Carolynda MacDonald

 

Carolynda MacDonald is a painter with a Bachelor of Science Honours in Biological Science, and a Fellowship from the Institute of Medical Laboratory Sciences with The Special Examination in Bacteriology from Paddington College of Technology, London.When it comes to her paintings, though, her explanations seem to come from a totally different direction.According to MacDonald, her paintings occupy an analogous realm, operating in a space reminiscent of daydreams or areas of quietude within the mind.She tries to bring together both landscape and still life painting in ways not normally encountered. In an increasingly busy and confusing world, MacDonald feels it is important to find solace for the soul, whether it is in art, music or literature, and her paintings are her way of contributing.Her paintings imply a stillness which is integral to the whole and provides a tranquil space for thought and reflection.MacDonald often chooses a bird to rise up in symbolic celebration of finding oneself in such a place or state of mind.More of Carolynda MacDonald‘s ethereal paintings can be found at http://www.carolyndamacdonald.com/ and https://www.tathagallery.com/artist/carolynda-macdonald.

Hope For Classic Editor

I have been fretting for some time about WordPress blocking access to Classic Editor.

I’m old fashioned. I’m technically challenged.  I’m lazy.

I like Word Press just the way it is. I don’t need nor want fancy new blocks and all that go with it. I’ve been around my block enough to know that I want to stay on my own one-way street.

So this morning I set up a little chat with the Word Press Support Group. This is how it went: (I’m red)

Support Chat

Is WordPress totally getting rid of classic editor? I know many who are moving away because of the change.

Hello there

Morning!

There are no current plans to fully remove the Classic editor as of now. The Classic Block will be in the editor for many years to come and we do still allow you to use the full classic editor for your site.

Thank you. I much prefer the “old” way and have talked to other bloggers planning on leaving wp because of the change.

Sure, that’s understandable! Many users really like the way the classic editor works and we wouldn’t want to just remove that from you.

How long will classic editor be available

I don’t have a date that I’d be able to provide as the WordPress community works on making those changes together, but as far as I know, there won’t be any changes to that for the next few years.

I will pass along the word. Thank you.

So there you have it.

To WordPress Support: you have great support people. Please don’t stop giving us a choice. 

To those of you who follow this blog and have backed away from your own because you are confused as to how to get back to classic editor: come back.

We all have our ways to get into Classic Editor. I’m sure there’s a legit, sensible way. But you know me. I’m hardly ever sensible.

I create a document in block; I type one word in the title then save the blog. I hit the “back” button and go to my left sidebar to “all posts.” I find the one I just created (the one with only one word), and click on Classic Editor.

Voila! I’m back in the Dark Ages! Where I like it just fine.

If you have a different way of getting to C.E., let us know. If you love the new blocks, Hoo Ha! I am proud of you. 

Keep blogging. No matter how confused you may feel. Creativity is our life line.

We can overcome and hold on to Classic Editor — at least for a couple a’more years.

 

 

 

A Little Poetry

Something different.

A poem from 2011.

Reflections before/during/after writing my first book.

Come along.

 

 

Eternity Road

I see you driving down the lane
Golden leaves guiding you home
Your heart is not in your world
It floats in seas blue and green
Not of your world
You search for shadows
Hoping to make them real
To bring them into your light
And make them whole.

Time and space are curious things
They take shape in the mind
And vaporize in the void of now
We reach to make them our own
Yet they laugh at our being
Our very nerve

You wait, heart in hand
Driving tirelessly to the ends of the earth
I wait for you
Lost in another world of time and spirit
Empty wine glasses
Hold the promise of eternity
Yet somehow I know
You are lost on the highway of dreams

The golden leaves have turned to icicles
The music has stopped
The building has closed, the doors locked
Yet I see you driving down the lane
Trying to find me
Lost in your own world
In your own dreams

It’s too late, it didn’t work
I came to the end of my book
The last page of our hope
Shelved with the dreams of others
Dickens, Mitchell, Austen
Explanations that came too late
Roads that never made their way home

I never give up hope
That you will follow the hidden pathway
To my arms, to my heart
I will wait for time to tick forward
Ever evolving, ever flowing
My heart holds yours in trust
Until you find your way back home

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery (midweek) — Ruby

You have no need to travel anywhere – journey within yourself. Enter a mine of rubies and bathe in the splendor of your own light.

Rumi

The Delong Star Ruby

 

 

Magical Ruby Red®  Hydrangea

 

 

Carmen Lúcia Ruby

 

 

Shleton Claret Red Tuxedo

 

 

Timur Ruby

 

 

Ruby Red pomegranate

 

 

Imperial Ruby Charriol Perfume

 

 

Elizabeth Taylor Ruby Necklace

 

 

Salvador Dali’s Ruby Lips

 

 

Liggy’s Cake Company

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Ruby Silvious

 

Ruby Silvious is a Philippines-born, US-based artist who has found an ingenious way to regenerate used tea bags into stunningly intricate works of art.She draws, paints, prints and collages moody, evocative and sometimes whimsical art on used teabag paper.Silvious attended Art Print Residency in Arenys de Munt, a municipality in Catalonia, Spain.While at the printmaking residency, she found time each evening to paint a used tea bag, usually inspired by random activities or places she had explored that day.By the end of her stay, she had amassed several used tea bags and a small, intimate collection of miniature paintings.In 2015 she started a project called 363 Days of Tea, a visual daily record of her impression of the moment, using the emptied-out tea bag as her canvas, and altering it to create a new work of art every day for 363 days.Silvious wants viewers to keep an open mind and think beyond the boundaries of what they may consider traditional art.“It seems to me that even non-tea drinkers are fascinated with my work. Maybe it’s because it’s just a unique canvas,” she reflects.More of Ruby Silvious’ ingenious paintings can be found at https://www.rubysilvious.com/.

 

 

What View Inspires You?

Is there a particular place you go to find inspiration for your craft?

Is there a view that inspires you every time you experience it? Music that makes you want to write or paint or knit or carve? Walks or vistas or scenery that triggers your creative muse?

Years ago I used to walk the path behind the University in my town. The paths took me past an open field, into the woods, down groomed and ungroomed paths, to a spot where a huge tree had fallen to its  forever-sleep position some time earlier.

I used to dream on those paths. I planned my B&B strategy there, my novels, my travels, the new-and-improved ME there. A lot of stories came to light in those woods — a lot of love and angst and fantasy came alive as I walked in early morning sunlight or late afternoon twilight.

That was many years ago. Before retirement, before grandbabies, before the pandemic. Days when I vainly tried to turn my data computer job into a writing job. When I dreamed of being published or being thinner or whatever daydreams haunted my world back then.

What made me think about this question today was that I drove down a winding road this morning on my way to the Vet. A road that I haven’t driven on, really, since I left/was let go of my job.

This drive inspired two novels and a couple of short stories and at least one poem I can think of. I hadn’t driven down this road for so long I’d forgotten what inspiration felt like.

Old inspiration.

I now walk my own little patch of woods, looking for faeries and a cornfield that leads to another world and an archway that takes me to Paris. I think my Angel Tears are somewhere in there, too.

But I think it’s time to walk a new woods. Sit on a new shore. Time to find inspiration in a new place, while keeping a foot in my current one.

It’s time to experience the transcending moment true inspiration brings.

How about you?

 

The Beginning Is Everything

Last August I wrote a lovely little blog about Your Favorite Opening Sentence. How Language is the foundation of many of the Arts. To instruct, to classify, to share your Art you must understand and communicate with words. 

And how important an opening sentence and/or paragraph can be.

I shared one of my favorite openings, the first paragraph of H.P. Lovecraft’s Call of the Cthulhu:

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

I love the atmospheric set up for the whole piece.

Another great opening paragraph is in Charles Dicken’s Tale of Two Cities:

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

And, a final tribute, the opening paragraph from The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson:

No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood for eighty years and might stand for eighty more. Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone.

I realize two of my three examples are from the macabre side of town, but that’s precisely it — how you know from the opening paragraph what the feel of the book is about.

There are many ways to start a story. A book. Conversations, descriptions of locations, someone’s thoughts on their life. First person, third person, omnipotent. All need be done with skill and flow if the conversations and descriptions and locations are to bring us into their world.

It’s not easy. I have written many books, and some beginnings are better than others. It’s not easy catching a reader’s attention in just a few sentences.

From: Corn and Shadows:

“You cannot live in both worlds.”

The words echoed in the back of Anna’s mind like waves hitting the breakwater. Soft, rhythmic. They made no sense, at least not in their current context. She tried to hold onto the silver threads, but they slowly faded into meaningless whispers. All her mind could focus on was the slow, continuous beeping that radiated from some distant point.

From: I Dreamed I Was in Paris

To write a book about traveling to Paris is like …
To write a book about staying in Paris is like …
To write a book about what I learned in Paris is like …
Nearly impossible.

And finally, from: Gaia and the Etruscans:

My name is Gaia Borealis.

I was told most introductions, most self-driven non-fiction recordings, start out with a name and an insight. Well, as you can see, my name is not of the usual variety. I suppose you could say the same about my life. Of course, doesn’t everyone say that?

 

All my beginnings are different. Different styles, different emotions, different points of view. Sometimes the beginnings came easy — I knew the perfect start. Others I wanted to set the personality of the main character in the first paragraph..

The point of this blog is that, if you are a writer, your opening paragraph is the most important piece of writing you’ll ever do. You need to make your beginning insightful, curious, tempting, flowing, and indicative of things to come. Catch our attention. Give us a feel for the rest of the book.

What are some of your favorite opening paragraphs? I’d love to hear what sets your reading rockets off!

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery (midweek) — Collin Lynch

Collin Lynch of Essarai Ceramics crafts custom ceramic mugs, plates, and bowls that are clustered with dazzling crystals.Riding the fine line between practical object and sculpture, Lynch adorns his creations in 3D rather than the standard 2D illustration or patterning; the conventional dishware silhouettes are elevated with glazed geometric forms protruding from them.His palette sets the stage for the vibrant layered crystals that seemingly burst from the side of the vessel and extend from its base to the lip. Lynch works from his home studio in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he allows each crystal formation to take shape as it is constructed.In addition to alluring surface aesthetics, Lynch also finds inspiration in his efforts to “unveil perfection through imperfection, which is where Truth lies.”Lynch notes that “nature, being the most delicate yet enduring example of this paradox, is where through the rough surfaces and shattered angles, we are reunited with ourselves.”More of Collin Lynch‘s creative ceramics can be found at https://mymodernmet.com/custom-ceramic-mugs-essarai-ceramics/ and https://www.instagram.com/essarai_ceramics/. 

 

 

 

 

 

Anthro … What?

I hate being anthropomorphic.

No — that’s not a political state of mind, nor a medical condition. The word comes from Anthropomorphism. The attribution of human traits, emotions, or intentions to non-human entities.

I am very anthropomorphic.

This is not to be a conversation/discussion of if and how animals think and feel. I will leave that to philosophers and researchers. 

I just hate feeling three-dimensional about animals. 

Most emotions are straight on. Agree, disagree. Understand, Don’t Understand. Understand yet don’t like, don’t understand.

Sifting through the emotions I feel when I see dead animals on the side of the road or in healthy zoo environments is not always an easy line for me to follow. 

I went to the zoo today with my family. The Zoo is a wonderfully clean and organized sanctuary for endangered and non-endangered animals. The animals have doctors, caretakers, chefs, and zoologists to take care of them — more than many of us have. If it were not for zoos many people would never know what some animals like rhinos or giraffes look like.

So I get it.

But when I look into the eyes of a gorilla or a seal I sometimes feel they are speaking to me. Talking to me.

And it creeps me out.

Thinking that orangutans are reading my mind or giraffes are asking to be set free in the wild is, for me, a step across the line. I mean, free the giraffes just to have them be eaten by lions or starve to death? Thinking the gorilla is wondering in human words “What are you looking at?” when he has no idea who or what ~I~ am, does nothing but arouse unneeded guilt, grief, and remorse in me. 

This cosmic picture is much bigger than I am.

I think this all goes back to the life and death and life-after-death thing. The one-minute-you’re-alive-the-next-minute-you’re-dead thing. I don’t deal well with that topic so I try to think about other things, which leads my wandering mind to think about others trying not to think about it either, including animals.

One reason I shouldn’t dwell on these things is that my mind is so convoluted when it comes to mixing reality and fantasy.

I’m glad I got to see the animals with my grandkids, and hope I instilled a respect and reverence in them for life in general and zoo animals in particular. Sometimes that’s all you can do.

Don’t overthink things. Don’t put your thoughts in someone else’s head.

Even if that head belongs to a giraffe.

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Visarute Angkatavanich

Born in 1970, Visarute Angkatavanich is a Bangkok-based Thai photographer  based in Thailand. He graduated in Communication Arts majoring in advertising from Chulalongkorn University, Thailand. 

His stunning crystal-clear photos of Siamese fighting fish as they dance in the water make it seem as though they are suspended in air instead of water.Their quick, elegant movement  is a mesmerizing scene, captured perfectly by Angkatavanich – their unique sense of motion frozen in time through his brilliant photographs.The Siamese fighting fish, known simply as the betta in the West, is a small fish that originates from the rice paddies of Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia.

They have been bred since the 19th century (and possibly sooner) for their flamboyant appearance and for their territorial aggression.

In some images, they don’t appear like fish at all, but rather swirling clouds of colorful ink suspended in water, or snapshots of flowing pieces of silk. His currently unnamed and ongoing series of betta portraits is captured through the lens of a Nikon D800, with only a simple strobe light to emphasize the spectacular coloration and flamboyant fins of the beautiful fish.Angkatavanich’s series transforms the common misconception that Siamese fighting fish are disposable by using them as weightless and isolated subjects, showcasing their incredible coloration and elegant movement.More of Visarute Angkatavanich‘s amazing photography can be found at https://lalanta.com/artists/visarute-angkatavanich and https://500px.com/p/bluehand?view=photos. 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery (midweek) — Barbara McCraw

 

Retired teacher and pathologist Barbara McCraw is a Master Quilter whose pieces have been exhibited across North America and Europe.McCraw grew up on the south side of Chicago and later received her degree in English at Illinois State University in 1973. In 1986 she earned a degree in Medical Technology.She grew up in a Chicago tenement, and became in awe of how her mother took second-hand scraps of fabric, furniture, and hand-me-downs and turned them into a palace of a place for them to live.McCraw believes no artistic form is more closely associated with African American culture than quilt making, which represents skill, aesthetic beauty, and utilitarian need.She feels that quilting offers an outlet for women’s emotions, adversities, and triumphs.Her artwork is most influenced by her imagination, the encouragement she receive from her friends, and the memory of her mother. Her colors  are vivid, recalling movement, Nature, and the beauty of people.McCraw has great respect for traditional quilting and loves to imagine and learn the history behind the patterns. But her true interest is in creating one-of-a-kind, uniquely designed quilts using more contemporary techniques.More of Barbara McCraw‘s remarkable quilting can be found at http://www.quiltasart.com/

 

Am I THAT Person?

I don’t want to be that person.

I don’t want to be the person that follows hundreds — dare I say it — thousands of blogs, yet reads nary a one. 

The one that pops in once every few months to quick read a few posts, only to gain zero knowledge of the person behind the posting.

I’m not saying we all should be best friends through our blogs. The world is too big for all of us to constantly connect. We’d be like a plate of fried eggs sooner or later, dry with only an over-cooked center to show for our efforts.

But I can’t help but hit the “follow” button when I follow a lead which leads me to more of what makes me feel good. Often it’s poetry, but lately it’s been crafts, photography — words and images that touch my center.

And I add yet another name I don’t get to enjoy as often as I should.

I don’t want to be one of those people.

One of those empty followers.

I want to absorb a bit of every post I read, understand and identify with some, be entertained by others. I want to nod my head in agreement or smile in reaction.

I don’t want to be one of those people who once a week go through their ledger and click on those who I follow and read a couple of their blogs before moving on to the next person. 

But I feel like one.

That’s why I tried not to follow too many people when I first started blogging. Some have stuck around, others have wandered down different paths. I wanted to show I was loyal to their following me, and returned the F in kindness.

Then I started discovering blogs through other people’s blogs and opened up a whole new world of creativity. 

How could I say no?

Thank goodness I am retired — I have a bit of time each day to at least read today’s contributions. 

Is this the kind of follower you want to be?

Is this the kind of follower who follows me?

Am I just a notch in someone else’s never-ending belt of a blog once read and soon forgotten?

And should I care if I am? At least I’m on that belt.

Then I look out the window on a Sunday morning, lovely music in the background, coffee perking, a day’s worth of creativity (I do my best to make housework creative, too) in front of me, and know that creativity often does not come with rewards.

It doesn’t always come with first-place ribbons or shiny trophies or extra dollars in your pocket for your labor. 

Creativity is self-rewarding. We create because it makes us feel good. If we pick up admirers on the way, that’s frosting on the cake. But it’s the actual high of making something out of nothing that is the thrill of the chase.

Thank all of you who read the Goddess, and thank all of you who just pass through and wave. 

We all are making the world a better place for each other.

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Miles Johnston

The female characters inhabiting the world of London-based illustrator Miles Johnston appear to be undergoing near perpetual transformation.

Binary Sequence

 

Johnston spent the first few years of his early childhood living in Brunei, Borneo, something that he is sure had a major effect on him.

The rest of his school years were in Hampshire, England. After getting involved in art forums as a young teenager, he moved to Sweden to study at the Swedish Academy of Realist Art at the age of 18

Inflation

 

The totally different environment gave him the intuition early on that there was no true state as ‘normal; in hindsight he has always been interested in anything that helped to transform his perception of the mundane.

Johnson works primarily in graphite and oils, using the human form as a vehicle to attempt to process the intensity and profound strangeness of the collective human experience.

Melancholia

 

The distortions and transformations his subjects undergo serve to represent the experience of our internal state during crucial moments in our lives.

Shame

 

It is almost impossible to look at his subjects and not consider what must b going on for them internally, an effect elicited by the emotive poses of Johnston’s figures, in combination with his use of distortion, repetition, division and illusion.

For Johnston, evoking an emotional reaction is key; the relationship between a piece and a viewer is what makes a piece of art complete.

Johnston believes a piece can be technically sound and meticulously rendered, but what brings it to life is how it affects those who see it.

Self Reflection

 

More of Miles Johnston‘s  unique and extraordinary art can be found at https://www.milesjohnstonart.com/.

IN BLOOM TODAY

Can you smell its beckoning fragrance? I”d love to live in GweniesGardenWorld !

GWENNIESGARDENWORLD

BLUE HYACINTH

These blue hyacinths are in bloom today in my garden. I couldn’t resist putting one in a yellow vase, I love the combination blue and yellow. I just took one flower as they bloom much longer in the garden than in a vase.

After I took this photo I put it in my livingroom on the coffee table, my whole house smell’s like Spring now !

Have a great weekend all !!

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Happy Vernal Equinox!

Purplerays

    Happy Vernal Equinox!
    Mother Nature is blessing us with a new cycle of regeneration and renewal!
    On this sacred day of equal hours of day and night, we are reminded of importance of finding balance as we grow into our new selves. It is a call to birth our dreams into reality and celebrate new life and beginnings!
    Blessings to all!

    ❤ Rivers in the Ocean
    Art by Lucy Grossmith

            Text source: Rivers in the Ocean https://www.facebook.com/222770714439924/posts/3985206421529649/

            Image source: Snowwolfs Woodland Nook https://www.facebook.com/531188960392510/posts/1803266199851440/

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            Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Splashes

            There is something about the photography of liquid splashing that really challenges a photographer’s attention. No matter if it’s computer graphics or  something more like freeze motion or water splash photography, it is an exquisite form of art that demands being shared.

             

            Jay P Morgan, The Slanted Lens

             

            Arcus La Buvette Packaging

             

            Gert Lavsen

             

            Chris Stein, Getty Images

             

            Jean Bérard

             

            Amundn

             

            James Stiles Photography

             

            Pixers

             

            Adorama’s 42West

             

            Momentsintime

             

            Sunday Evening Art Gallery (midweek) — Yarn Bombing

            Yarn bombing (also called also called wool bombing, yarn storming, guerrilla knitting, kniffiti, urban knitting, or graffiti knitting) is a type of graffiti or street art that employs colorful displays of knitted or crocheted yarn or fiber rather than paint or chalk.You are likely to see yarn bombing on trees, bicycle racks, and statues, but there have been popular “yarnstallations” that cover vehicles, benches, and even entire buildings.The “bombs” began slowly.  A few poles, and then some trees, and a few other “normal” objects started to get this new “look”, providing them with a positive vibe that people maybe didn’t see before.Initially, yarn bombing was almost exclusively about reclaiming and personalizing sterile public places and giving them a personal touch.Having a need to create something fun, unexpected and beautiful, these artists used yarn to create warmth and comfort inside the urban environment that was often perceived cold, depressing and unfriendly. It has since developed with groups graffiti knitting and crocheting worldwide, each with their own agendas and public graffiti knitting projects being run.In the midst of the growing popularity of the medium and practice, yarn bombers also are striving to maintain an awareness of the environment they are working in, being careful to limit the life of their craft on trees and other live canvases.Showing up on trees, lamp posts, monuments, benches, and other elements of everyday cityscape, the practice is a new artistic form that has been invading our streets in brilliant colors, bringing street art and craft together.Yarn bombing can found on sites all across the Internet. Have fun exploring!

             

             

             

            Another Monday is Here!

            Now that I am retired I am not as much against Mondays as I was when I punched a time clock at work. If the day has nothing in particular scheduled, I sleep a little later, enjoy my coffee a little longer, and waste a little more time on my computer.

            My Sunday Evening Art Gallery folder is filling up fast. Plus I have 2 pages of possible unique artists to explore. 

            I know no one is as excited or interested in the array of unusual and unique artists I’ve discovered, but I think that’s true for all of us, no matter what our creative outlet.

            I’m a unique art fan. I also love writing and crafting (only one particular item). My family isn’t terribly interested in any of the above, which is alright by me. At least I’m not in competition with any of them.

            But it’s nice to find others who are interested in the same things you are. I’ve let writing simmer on the back burner for a while now, but I have friends who are writers and poets and I love where they are going with their work. I have friends who have turned from active poets to active painters, and others who are active woodworkers or crocheting superstars.

            I believe in shining no matter how good or talented you are.

            But that’s just me.

            But I digress.

            The Gallery folder is filling up faster than I can post. I can’t even keep up with the actual gallery, although it doesn’t get as much traffic as my blog. 

            The seat of creation has to lie somewhere, doesn’t it?

            Here are a few images of artists waiting in the wings:

             

            David de la Mano

             

            Ruby Silvious

             

            Yarn Bombing

             

            Dino Rosin

             

            I hope you all stay around for the ride. I love this stuff! I hope you do too. And stop by the Gallery and see all of the artists I’ve added!

            Happy Monday, kitties!

             

            Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Rock Formations

             

            What are men to rocks and mountains?
            ― Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

             

            Delicate Arch, Utah

             

            Twyfelfontein Organ Pipes, Namibia

             

            Acacus Mountains, Libya

             

            The Hoodoos at Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah Wilderness Area, North Mexico

             

            Arbol de Piedra, Bolivia

             

            Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland

             

            Immortal Bridge, Mt. Tai, China

             

            Devil’s Tower, Wyoming

             

            Kjeragbolten, Rogaland County, Norway

             

            Nanya Rock Formation, Taiwan

             

            The Wave Rock, Arizona

             

            Faraglioni dei Ciclopi, Sicily, Italy

             

             

            Cats and Dogs and Kids — Oh My!

            Those of you who dream of housefuls of dogs and cats running around happy and free most likely have never had cats and dogs running around free.

            Oh, I’m not against having more than one pet per household. I have had two dogs and two cats at one time, and loved them immensely.

            Maybe I should rephrase that.

            Those of you who dream of housefuls of dogs and cats running around happy and free have never babysat several dogs from several different families at one time.

            We took our current dog as a donation from a family member because she was too crazy as a pup around a newborn. We have been taking care of a different family member’s little dog for over a year, (I believe she is permanently mine now), and just took in my son’s young lab for a few days while they move. 

            We also have a cat who doesn’t leave the closet for the duration of my son’s dog’s visit.

            Throw in two grandkids under 5 and it becomes true chaos.

            The visiting puppy relentless pursues the older dog for wrestling matches, and chases the littler dog just because he can. The cat was almost eaten the last time the dog visited, and all three mooch popcorn and cookies from the little ones. 

            The visiting dog has to sleep in his cage, which promotes whines and barks at 2 a.m., the other having escaped his madness by sleeping on our bed (along with the hiding cat). The three-year-old constantly chases kitty to give her an oversized squeeze hug, and the five-year-old smothers the little dog when he gives hugs.

            Food falls from tables and little hands into waiting mouths, and all this excitement makes the dogs need to go outside every hour.

            Indeed, it’s mass chaos.

            I’ve been taking care of my grandkids a little more this past month as they pack and get ready to move to their new house this weekend. 

            And I realized God knew what he was doing when he decided that 68-year-olds can’t get pregnant.

            I love them to pieces — I love their visits and their hugs and their stories. I am blessed with their being in my life every single day.

            And I definitely like the affection of dogs and cats.

            But by Sunday afternoon I’m in search of a comfy chair, a book or computer, and nobody around. Peace and quiet. All alone. 

            Hoping you  find a way to fit mad pets and kids into your life. They add years to your life, and help you enjoy the peace and quiet even more.

            Sunday Evening Art Gallery (midweek) — Luke Nugent

            British portrait and fashion photographer Luke Nugent takes glorious, powerful photos of women of color featuring some of the most fabulous hair ever seen.

            Nugent studied photography at London’s University of Greenwich, and has been shooting professionally since his late teens.

            He  captures a wide range of style, beauty, and personal expression in his creative photo shoots, for which he often works with London-based hair stylist Lisa Farrall.

            Nugent highlights women of color in his varied series, from the more subdued everyday styles in Emancipate to the Afrofuturism-inspired Armour, which was a finalist for the 2016 British Hair Awards.

            Working primarily in the fields of music, portraiture and fashion, Nugent works with top models, musicians and personalities to develop imagery of a high technical and aesthetic standard.

            His work, his models, are so striking, so bold, so beautiful, it’s hard not to notice his perfect eye for detail.

            More of Luke Nugent‘s marvelous photography can be found at https://www.lukenugent.co.uk/.

             

             

            Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Dasil

            Dasil (David Silva) is a professional, self-taught Mexican-born painter.

            Born in Mexico City, Dasil has been a resident of Montreal since the spring of 2002.In parallel with a multi-year career in commercial photography, corporate communications, and television programming production, Dasil has developed a rich pictorial work, original and very personal.Once he arrived in his new adopted country, Dasil devoted himself to the development of his painting.Working with acrylics, oils and inks, Dasil presents imaginative figurative paintings, responding to a mix of influences going from surrealism to classicism, fantastic, allegoric or sacred art.The finesse and precision of his drawings are enhanced by the richness of the colors and hues.

            This allows Dasil to share his passions such as music, mythology, and history.The whole of his work is meant to be a celebration of life.To the careful observer, Dasil offers fine composite and complex images, with hidden details and compositions that reveal a secondary vivid symbolism.More of David Silva‘s — Dasil’s — artwork can be found at http://www.dasil.ca/index_ang.html.

            Do You Have a Spirit Guide or Two?

            Do you have a spirit guide that you work with?

            An archangel that gets you through the rough times?

            A spirit animal or totem that offers you guidance and wisdom?

            Some people believe God sits right next to them, guiding them through creative adventures and balancing the books. Some swear by Archangel ___ or Egyptian Goddess ___ for their inspiration. Yet others feel stronger with someone like Creatura, the Creative Faerie, having their back.

            I believe in all of the above.

            I don’t think there’s anything wrong with pulling strength out of the cosmos to help you with your creative struggles.

            This cosmic connection is different (yet in the same family) as God/Spirit/Counsellors helping us through life’s struggles.

            This sort of guide lends moral support in an artsy way. When you struggle on character development, color choices, or your final quilt size, it helps to have a faerie or angel or spirit from the past give you guidance.

            Some decisions we can’t make on our own. That’s where divine intervention comes in.

            I didn’t realize I had help until I wrote my first book. Being inspired and stuck at the same time, I asked the cosmos (in general) for help. Somehow it stuck in my head that I had help from an ancient Greek spirit. The sequel was nudged along by a heavy-set French mistress from the late 1800’s. I’ve also been known to consult a philosopher from the Tang Dynasty and a priest from Middle Ages.

            How do I know I’ve been contacted by spirits to guide me along my bumbling way?

            Because I choose to believe.

            A little bit of reality and a little bit of fantasy, mixed with daydreams and aspirations and hard work, I don’t believe I’ve gotten this far in life without a little help. A little inspiration. A little guidance.

            The world is bigger than we can imagine. More mysterious than we can imagine. More beautiful than we can imagine. And when I get stuck in one rut or another, it feels good to have someone behind me to keep my creative juices flowing.

            This is above and beyond the help of the divine. We need those pillars, too.

            But sometimes I just need someone to talk to. Someone I can bounce ideas of off. Someone who can listen to my ideas and see my colors and understand what I want as my end product. Especially when I get inspired in the middle of the night or while I’m driving down the road.

            I’m shopping around now for a spirit guide for the next step on my creative path. Angel Tears. I realize there’s more going on than meets the eye. After all, I’m a faerie girl. Not an angel girl.

            Yet here we are. Here we go.

            Looking for a little direction in your creative life? Feel free to find a past spirit or mythical creature or divine being to accompany you on your next wild and rewarding journey.

            We need all the help we can get!

             

             

            Sunday Evening Art Gallery (midweek) — Naoko Ito

             

            Naoko Ito is a Japanese artist based in New York.Born and raised in Tokyo, Japan, Ito received a BA in Science of Design with a concentration in museum studies from Musashino Art University.Her project “Urban Nature” was inspired by the relationship between man and nature.Ito cuts the branches of trees into several pieces and places them in glass jars.Her choice of material originally stems from a desire to replicate the luminosity and fragility of ice, a natural material that shares the quality of preservation with jars.Stacked precariously on the concrete, the works are evidence of an unfaltering hand.Her offerings are unique, fragile, and symbolic.More of Naoko Ito’s exhibition can be found on her website, https://naokoito.com. 

             

             

             

             

            What’s Going On Back There?

            Well, it’s Monday Morning, my first morning in a while where I can just sit quietly and go through paperwork and emails and try and get moving in some direction.

            Checked my emails — I have 49 spams. And I just cleaned it out the other day!

            I have written blogs before on this ongoing phenomenon — just for fun, if you have time, go check out Comments 101, 1/5/14,  comments having nothing to do with my blog; Enjoying My Back Yard?, 1/5/16,  conversations in my spam; or No Phishing for You!,  1/17/16, good reminders about phishing scams. 

            All deal with the nonsense that’s going on behind our backs.

            We all love when people comment on our blogs. It’s good for our psyche, good for our souls. Especially because most readers don’t comment. 

            So some slicksters take to making positive comments that sound like a complement, yet trick you into clicking onto a link that takes you God Knows Where. 

            Now, I always look in my SPAM before I delete them all just in case, by chance, someone who’s name looks familiar and legitimate was picked up by the SPAM police by mistake.

            But that doesn’t happen very often. Trust me.

            This batch of kudos surrounded my Sunday Evening Art Gallery posting for Craig Haupt, a fun and creative artist. But I posted him on Sep 20, 2015. And am getting lots of comments about the post today. 2021

            Here are a few very recent comments about his art:

            Everything is very open with a very clear clarification of the issues. It was really informative. Your website is very helpful. Many thanks for sharing!

            You’ve made some decent points there. I looked on the net for more information about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this site.

            Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude! Thank you, However I am encountering issues with your RSS.

            An intriguing discussion is worth comment. I do believe that you ought to publish more on this issue, it might not be a taboo subject but typically people don’t talk about these issues. To the next! All the best!

            I’m amazed, I have to admit. Rarely do I come across a blog that’s both equally educative and amusing, and without a doubt, you have hit the nail on the head. The problem is something that too few people are speaking intelligently about. I’m very happy I stumbled across this during my hunt for something regarding this.

            How reassuring that I am so “spot on.”

            But do you see how close these come to being real comments? Nothing about a specific topic, artist, or thought. General positive comments that want you to respond to them in your blog so they can get inside and wreak havoc on whatever they can get their spammie grubbies on.

            Check your spam now and then just in case a friend sent you a message. Just remember every responder is not your friend. then

            DELETE*DELETE*DELETE!

             

             

             

             

            Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Unique Libraries

            In a good bookroom you feel in some mysterious way that you are absorbing the wisdom contained in all the books through your skin, without even opening them.  ~ Mark Twain

             

            Geisel Library, University of California, San Diego

             

            Library of Birmingham, United Kingdom

             

            Joe and Rika Mansueto Library, Chicago, Illinois

             

            Vancouver Public Library, Vancouver, Canada

             

            Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri

             

            National Library of the Czech Republic, Prague

             

            National Library of Korea, Sejong City, Korea

             

            La Bibliotheque Louis Nucera, Nice, France

             

            Stuttgart City Library, Stuttgart, Germany

             

            Central Library, Seattle, Washington

             

            Qatar National Library, Doha, Qatar

            The Mask … err, Masque of Red Death … CPAP Here I Am

            Tom Banwell

            I got my first CPAP mask and machine two days ago.

            This is a picture of what I look like wearing it at night.

            Okay, not really. This fine art of Tom Banwell just reminds me of how I felt the last two nights with it on. Gears and tubes and pushing air in and out of my mouth and lungs, drying out every corner of my mouth like the Sahara Desert, just because I stop breathing sometimes at night.

            Sleep apnea, they call it.

            Sleep apnea causes short pauses in one’s breathing while they’re asleep. Nowadays, it’s become known as one of the most prevalent sleep disorders. About 22 million Americans have sleep apnea.

            That’s a pretty big club to be a member of.

            Most of us don’t even know we have any breathing issues. We toss and turn and wake up feeling more tired than when we went to bed.

            The pauses in breathing caused by sleep apnea can occur 30 times or more per hour.  Normal pauses are around 5 per hour. This can lead to a boatload of conditions, including severe daytime drowsiness, fatigue, high blood pressure (hypertension), risk of recurrent heart attack and stroke, abnormal heartbeats, developing insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and abnormal results on liver function tests. Not to mention loud snoring that can keep anyone who sleeps near you from getting good rest as well.

            Who would have guessed?

            So based on being a little stout (overweight), constant sinus drainage, and calling hogs (snoring), I had a sleep apnea test and passed with  flying colors.

            Actually, so far all is well and good. I had two decent nights’ sleep and adjusted to my octopus apparatus fairly well, considering. Although last night I must have moved it around on my face too much that it was loud enough to sing the song of my ancestors to my dog.

            Somehow my vision of nocturnal beauty is shattered by this proboscis protruding from my face.

            Remember the movie Alien? Remember the spider-like creature that attached itself to a crewman’s face, the creature with eight finger-like legs, and a long tail that tightly wraps around the neck?

            Okay. Okay. Being a creative writer has its disadvantages as well as advantages. It’s easier to find a special way of describing the mundane, the ordinary, the necessary.

            And sleeping well through the night is necessary. If you snore, are restless, overtired, sleepy during the day, talk to your doctor. Take the test. Take the mask.

            You’d rather be wearing a breathing mask than the The Masque of the Red Death (thanks, Edgar Allan Poe).

             

             

            Sunday Evening Art Gallery (midweek) — Brian Froud

             

            Brian Froud (born 1947) is an English fantasy illustrator

            Froud graduated with Honors from Maidstone College of Art in 1971 with a degree in Graphic Design.

            Soon afterwards, he began working in London on various projects ranging from book jackets, magazine covers to advertising as well as illustrating several children books.

            Froud soon realized that fairy tales and legends were something which would never get old.In collaboration with his friend and fellow artist Alan Lee, Froud created the 1978 book Faeries, an illustrated compendium of faerie folklore.Upon discovering Froud’s lavish and mysterious drawings in his books, and recognizing his complex and singular artistic vision of the faerie world,  Jim Henson chose him to help him create a unique otherworld feature-film which became known as The Dark Crystal. Soon Froud developed his own magical distinctive style and experimented with three dimensional designs complete with gnomes, goblins, warlocks and dragons.Through Froud’s unique style utilizing acrylics, colored pencil, pastels and ink, he has created some of the most well known fantasy images of the Twenty-first Century.More of Brian Froud‘s amazing workmanship can be found at https://www.ferniebrae.com/brian-froud.

             

            One Step Closer to Being Me

             

            As quiet as a shadowed whisper, I have added a new page to my Humoring the Goddess blog.

            Angel Tears.

            Tears of joy shared by angels who bless us with love and magic (still working on that … rolls eyes).

            I’ve finally committed full force to my new craft, which  means I am ready to craft, create, and sell my sparkling wares.

            It’s all very exciting.

            It’s all very frightening.

            I have applied for three craft art fairs this summer. Too many? Too few? What am I doing?

            I have already been turned down for one fair. That’s the game. I threw the dice and we’ll see what numbers turn up. Is sharing my crafts with others any different than sharing my joy for writing? Or art? Or my family?

            I wonder why I’m so hesitant. So afraid. Why should it make a different if someone likes what I’ve made or not? Am I still not me?

            This could lead to a whole psychological discussion, one I’m tired of having. Thinking. I’m going to do what I always tell others to do.

            I always say — and I truly believe — that life is too short not to make yourself happy. When you make yourself happy you make others happy. The world swirls around us no matter what we do, and if you wait for others to make you feel better about yourself you’ll wait forever. So why not jump into the foray now and then and share what truly makes you feel good?

            I have had fun exploring, creating, and sharing my suncatchers. If I come out with nothing more than new experiences, I have been very fortunate indeed.

            Take a look at my new page when you have time. Tell me what you think! Have you taken the next step in your creative world? I’d love to hear about it, too!

            P.S. If you can come up with a phrase about angels and their tears that would make a prospective buyer go “Wow. I get it!” hold onto it. I will be holding a little contest with a suncatcher as a prize. 

            Sounds like an angel gift to me!

             

            Short Stories full of wisdom and insight……. Boundless Blessings by Kamal

            This was a feel-good blog from February 11th. The simplest things are always the most important. It feels GOOD to share….

             

            A FATHER’S ADVICE: Today, my father told me, “Just go for it and give it a try!  You do not have to be a professional to build a successful product.  Be motivated and courageous. Amateurs started Google and Apple.  Professionals built the Titanic.” THE POWER OF UNIQUENESS: Today, I asked my mentor, a very successful […]

            Short Stories full of wisdom and insight……. — Boundless Blessings by Kamal

            Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Maps

            Maps show us where we’re going
            Where we’ve been
            Where others have been
            Where others are going
            And where we can go
            If that is our choice

             

            Al-Idrisi’s World Map, 1154

             

            Antique Maps of the World, Double Hemisphere Map, George Louis Le Rouge, 1744

             

            Ortelius’s Map of the World, 1564

             

            Map of the Northern Sky, Albrecht Dürer, 1515

             

            Tang Dynasty Telestial Celestial Map, 618-909

             

            Mappe Monde, Jean Baptiste Nolin, 1755.

             

            War Map of Europe, Daily Mail, 1914

             

            Comparative Heights, of the Principal Mountains and Lengths of the Principal Rivers in the World by William Darton and W. R. Gardner, 1823

             

            Leo Belgicus, Hondius and Gerritsz, 1630

             

            Map of Ancient Rome, 1602

             

            Sound and Texture Gratification

            I have discovered something new — well, it’s really not new, but it’s taken front row in my realm.  I call it Sound and Texture Gratification.

            There is something oddly satisfying about certain combinations of sounds and sights experienced together. There are communities known as “subreddits,” on Reddit such as oddlysatisfying that cater to this strange phenomenon, or apps like RubberBand Cutting where you cut rubber bands off of objects that my grandkids play all the time.

            Think about walking on thin ice down a path and hearing and watching it crack beneath your feet. The perfect swirl of frosting on a cupcake. Cutting down a tall stack of thinly layered pancakes or phyllo dough. Textured paintings. Videos of assembly lines punching and folding and smoothly moving along.

            You get what I’m saying.

            Google “Oddly Satisfying” and you will get the gist of this enjoyable phenomenon.

            I don’t know how to explain it. There is something oddly satisfying about certain motions and sounds that are perfectly in sync with your senses. I myself would rather bite through a stack of thin spaghetti strands than chew up one thick piece of pasta. Something about the click-click-click of going through the layers gives me great pleasure. 

            It’s not every sound, every vision. It’s not the same satisfaction as looking at the red/pink colors of sunsets or the precision movements of a classical pianist. Those are different satisfactions.

            I am talking about the effect of sound and/or texture and/or vision that  become three dimensional. The simultaneous sight and sound of glass shattering.  Perfectly round bubbles rising in a champagne glass. Rows and lines of things that blend perfectly into one another. Liquids that swirl into mesmerizing rainbows or the experience of running your fingers across corrugated cardboard. The sound and visual gratification watching thousands of precisely lined up dominoes falling. 

            Our senses are magnificent transmitters. They send us pleasure on many levels all at one time, often overloading our personal processing centers. In a good way, of course.

            If you have experienced what I call Sound and Texture Gratification, come along and share! We all love a good textile experience!

            Here is a video that is “oddly satisfying” …

             

            https://www.instagram.com/metdaan.cakes/

            Sunday Evening Art Gallery (midweek) — Utagawa Kunisada

            Utagawa Kunisada, (1786-1865) has been called the most prolific of all the painters and printmakers of the ukiyo-e (pictures of the floating world) movement in 19th-century Japan.Born in Tokyo (then called Edo), Kunisada was the son of a moderately successful poet, who died very early in his life.The young artist began sketching very early and developed not only a passion but a clear skill in the craft which caught the eye of the master of the Utagawa school of ukiyo-e, Utagawa Toyokuni.Kunisada started his career as a pupil of Toyokuni I whose name he adopted in 1844, becoming Toyokuni III. While he changed his names several times, he is commonly referred to as Kunisada or Toyokuni III.Almost from the first day of his activity, and even at the time of his death in 1865, Kunisada was a trendsetter in the art of the Japanese woodblock print.

            Always at the vanguard of his time, and in tune with the tastes of the public, he continuously developed his style, which was sometimes radically changed, and did not adhere to stylistic constraints set by any of his contemporaries. 

            Kunisada’s prints mostly consisted of kabuki actors, the popular trend of the period, but as he continued to perfect his craft there was a growth in the number, and the experimental nature, of shunga works which Kunisada produced.

            In addition to actor prints (yakusha-e) and book illustrations (kuchi-e), he produced erotic prints (shunga), pictures of beautiful women (bijin-ga), landscapes and privately commissioned prints (surimono).

            In his later years, Kunisada had truly perfected his craft. The depth, blends of color, and complex perspectives of his artwork truly set him apart.More of Utagawa Kunisada‘s prints can be found across the Internet, including http://www.kunisada.de/.

             

             

            Finish Your Sentence the Right Way

            You know — there are days when I would post 2 or 3 or 4 times if I let myself.

            There are others’ blogs I’d like to share, new Galleries I’d like to showcase, photos I’d love to show you, topics I’d like to yammer about.

            But I can only take me one day at a time.

            It’s not like I know a whole lot about anything. I am one of those who dabble in a dozen things at one time and am neither an expert nor a consistent follower in most. But how can one not want to share other’s creativities? 

            I get so excited when I see other blogs and the things they’ve created. The thoughts they’ve had. The discoveries they’ve made. And I want to show you what I’ve found.

            I’m sure what I see and experience is only the tip of the iceberg out there. But it’s the seeing and experiencing that wears me out.

            When I look from the outside in, it all looks quirky and fun and a little bit on the wild side. Who wouldn’t love to have this much enthusiasm for sharing?

            But looking out from inside, I’m exhausted.

            Like I said in last week’s blog, I’m Too Old To Be This Busy, this “do ten things at one time” makes me tired. Makes my brain tired.

            Working 9-5 used to make me tired. Raising my kids made me tired. Now running on creativity makes me tired. I know it’s not some blood disease; I work closely with my doctor to make sure all my meds are in line and appropriate. 

            It’s the mental chatter that sometimes drives me nuts.

            Write a blog! Find a new unique artist for the Gallery! Create a page for your crafts in case you ever sell them! Figure out PayPal! Take some product pictures! Call your friend to see if she got the job! Make a ledger! Read some blogs!

            See what I mean? The list is endless.

            I’m not really complaining. As a matter of fact, I’m excited that others are finding their rhythms and doing their thing and being creative while juggling a dozen other tasks too. Like I always say. I LOVE creativity. No matter what you’re creating, editing, fixing, refinishing, making, crocheting, painting, I love that you’re doing something. 

            I just need to calm down a little and share things one at a time. Do something and complete something. I can’t leave dangling participles out there looking for something to modify. 

            And just what is a dangling participle, you ask? Here’s a few from Thought Co.:

            • Oozing slowly across the floor, Marvin watched the salad dressing.
            • Coming out of the market, the bananas fell on the pavement.
            • She handed out brownies to the children stored in plastic containers
            • I smelled the oysters coming down the stairs for dinner.

            If my mind doesn’t slow down soon, I’ll be doing all of the above.

            In triplicate.

             

             

             

            Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Saint Valentine’s Day

             

            My bounty is as boundless as the sea,
            My love as deep; the more I give to thee,
            The more I have, for both are infinite.

            —William Shakespeare

             

            Love, Robert Indiana

             

             

            Cupid, Michelangelo

             

             

            Dragons in Love, Darin Lazarov

             

             

            El Beso, Victor Delfín

             

             

            Eros, Alfred Gilbert

             

             

            First Love, Irakli Tsuladze

             

             

            The Kiss, Rodin

             

             

            Romeo and Juliet, Milton Hebald

             

             

            A Heart Shared by Two, Made Wirata

             

             

            I’m Too Old To Be This Busy

            I’ve been quite busy lately, helping my kids update and fix up their new house before they move in next month.

            I have never been a cleaner by choice. I’ve survived, my kids have survived, yet my house has never been a front runner for Architectural Digest or Better Homes and Gardens.

            Because of both retirement and Covid, my house is the cleanest it’s ever been. I have a new refrigerator that I keep meticulously clean, and my clean counters and organized pantry are finally proof of my boredom.

            I mean, I’ve always been clean — I’ve just always been messy. Disheveled. Sidetracked. At the end of the night before I go to bed I retrace my steps of the day and take 20 minutes putting everything back where it came from.

            I so envy my daughter-in-law. She is clean, organized, and keeps up after three kiddos, a husband, and a dog. I’m always getting organizing ideas from her, including bins, shelves, and lists. 

            I’m lucky if I can sort yesterday’s pj’s from last week’s.

            Every time I come home from her house I am inspired to put more away, get rid of more clutter, and organize the rest so that I can find what I want when I want. 

            But I believe it’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks.

            I still have a tendency to go three directions at one time, start projects I don’t finish, and extend my energy way past my 68-year-old limit. I want to do ten things at one time, including art projects, writing a new novel, sewing beads on my t-shirts, finishing the two books I started reading, and watching a 52-part Chinese TV series with English subtitles.

            One thing is pretty darned clear.

            I will have to live until I’m at least 95.

            I can’t see getting everything done and organized before then.

             

            Expanded Galleries

            For those of you who enjoy my Sunday Evening Art Gallery entries, I have added quite a number of beautiful images in many artists’ galleries. The depth of these artists (and many more) is  just amazing.

             

            Waterfalls

             

            Alan Wolfson

             

            Chad Knight

             

            Rita Faes

             

            Ronnie Hughes

             

            Sally England

             

            Unusual Buildings

             

            Come stroll through the Galleries any time! 

             

            The Art Fair Across the Street

            This is the downer part of being a creative sprite.

            My application for my first Starving Artist Art Fair was turned down. 

            The woman I was in contact with was very nice, very supportive. The jury preferred that every piece of my artwork — Angel Tears — should be hand made. 

            I get that. I knew that. I know all of the hard work that goes into making something from scratch. That’s where the blood, sweat, and tears come from.

            I chose to use a combination of purchased items and assemble them to my own specifications. The entire process is mine, just not the physical pieces.

            The woman who sent me my rejection email suggested I try the smaller, local art fair across the street from their bigger one. Same day, almost same place.

            Probably the best suggestion I’ve had all year. And I’m going to do it.

            I would imagine many of you out there go through the same amount of angst, pride, doubt, and excitement about every piece you create. 

            Why am I doing this? Making this? Making this particular style of this? Is it any good? Who would want to buy this? Can the purchasing public see this flaw or this wrong flash of color or this odd texture or this slipped stitch?

            Your first rejection. Your first return. Your first complaint. They didn’t like it. They hated it. They hate my work.

            I went through this same angst, pride, doubt, and excitement with every piece I wrote, too. My fear of never being published, never being read, never being understood. I write and delete and edit and throw out chapters and stanzas and stare at my computer screen and watch kitty videos.

            Why do I put myself through this? This up and down, heart-and-gut-wrenching doubt about my beloved product?

            I am happy to say that I ignore most of those wasted emotions lately. I plan on sharing now rather than hope for tomorrow.  I believe my writing is that good. And now my crafts.

            Do you believe you are creative?

            Do you enjoy what you do?

            Do you like your end result?

            Are you willing to work at getting your art out there?

            I am excited about trying a smaller venue. Face it. I’ve never offered my art before to the public. Ever. Not my writing, not my crafts. 

            I’ve never offered my dreams before, either.

            I love the feeling creativity gives me. It lifts me. It’s therapy after a crazy day or a depressed night. I enjoy working on something that started as a thought in my mind and evolved into something tangible. 

            Don’t let a road block in one direction stop you from turning and going a different way. There are dozens of ways to get your work out there. It doesn’t have to be a sales route. It can be work shared with friends and family, shared online, on a blog, or in your own online publication. You can enter half a dozen art fairs, craft fairs, or start your own art fair or a neighborhood art fair.

            If you love what you do, don’t give up.

            I’m not!

             

             

            Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Richard Savoie

            Richard Savoie is a Quebec painter born in Moncton New Brunswick.

            Savoie comes from a family of artists, including an uncle who is part of Canada’s National Gallery.

            Savoie is known for his beautiful oil paintings of winter landscapes and urban environments.

            The subjects of his paintings become part of the mystery as they slowly walk further into the distance with their back turned on the narrator.

            Many of his works specializes in frosty winters bursting with light, even if depicted in the middle of the night.

            Savoie astonishes with an impeccable visual memory, a skill with which he paints and, in turn, places the viewer at the exact place and time as experienced by the artist himself.

            Each work reveals another fragment of the universe in a tapestry of light and color that allows viewers to savor the finesse of his fresh and spontaneous approach.

            Richard Savoie‘s work can be found in major galleries throughout Canada and is also part of some of the country’s most important collections.

            You can also find his work at https://balcondart.com/en/savoie-richard/.

             

             

             

             

            Sunday Evening Art Gallery (midweek) — Maki-e

            Maki-e (蒔絵, literally: sprinkled picture) is Japanese lacquer sprinkled with gold or silver powder as a decoration using a makizutsu or a kebo brush.

            George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum

            The oldest Maki-e in existence now is the ornamentation on the sheath of the Kara-tachi sword with gilded silver fittings and inlay in Togidashi technique held by Shōsōin in Nara, Japan.

            Kara-tachi Sword (replica)

            Maki-e objects were initially designed as household items for court nobles; they soon gained more popularity and were adopted by royal families and military leaders as a symbol of power.

            Kōami Shinzaburō

            To create different colours and textures, maki-e artists use a variety of metal powders including gold, silver, copper, brass, lead, aluminum, platinum, and pewter, as well as their alloys.

            British Museum
            Edo Period

            Maki-e can be left to dry, as is maki-hanashi, or relacquered and polished (togidashi maki-e).

            Ida Senshū

             It is frequently decorated with reed-style pictures (ashide-e) or combined with inlays of other metals or mother-of-pearl (raden). 

            Laquered Karabitsu
            Late Edo

            Hiramaki-e has a low-relief design, and takamaki-e has a high-relief design.

            Bamboo tubes and soft brushes of various sizes are used for laying powders and drawing fine lines.

            Igarashi Dôho

            As it requires highly skilled craftsmanship to produce a maki-e painting, young artists usually go through many years of training to develop the skills and to ultimately become maki-e masters.

            Namiki

            Maki-e artwork can be found all across the Internet.  

            Creativity is Multi-Dimensional

            There is something about artists that is unlike most of the population.

            We all do the same things — eat, sleep, love, laugh, cry. We all juggle ten things at once, including kids, jobs, cooking, insomnia, and more.

            But artists are often so diversified when it comes to creativity. We mostly stick to what we know — or do best — but then after a while we get an itch to try something new. Different. Easy or difficult, it doesn’t matter. We just want to try one more thing.

            Bloggers I follow such as Laura Kate at Daily Fiber and Eva Mout at Ursus Art not only shine in their respective fields, but have expanded to include photography, miniatures, painting, knitting, quilting, and a dozen more worlds. I myself have drifted away from writing the Great American Novel #7 to making sparkling crafts to hang in the sunshine.

            The point of all of this is to assure you that it’s alright if you put your heart’s desire and life’s work aside for a while to try something new.

            Maybe it’s being hibernated by Covid-19 or a stinging winter or temperatures so hot you want to melt that makes you squirmy in your seat. Makes you want to do something new. Something different. Something quirky or something conservative.

            It doesn’t matter. You don’t need permission to try a hand at something different.

            In the coming weeks I am going to highlight some of the artists I’ve already showcased to share another side of their creativity. To be honest, sometimes I’d find a painting or sculpture or quilt that I just adored, only to go to their website and find a whole array of different projects, styles, and explorations. How do you decide which to show off to your followers?

            How do you decide which of your own talents to showcase?

            Let all sides of you shine. Show off your work on your website, on Facebook, email your co-workers or have a show off party where everyone brings something new they’ve tried! 

            Life is here. Life is Now.

            And we all are creative. In every sense of the word. Even if your creation is not up to “professional” par, try it anyway! Show it off! Go for It!

            You have heard of “Nailed It!” , haven’t you?

             

             

            Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Norman Lewis

            Norman Lewis,  an Abstract Expressionist painter and teacher, was born in 1909 in Harlem to Caribbean immigrant parents.

            Too Much Aspiration

             

            As an artist, Lewis diverged from his native Harlem community of artists in choosing abstraction over representation as his mode of expression.

            Jazz Club

             

            Lewis studied with sculptor Augusta Savage from 1933 to 1935, at which time he also took art courses at Columbia University.

            Baule Mask

             

            Those years brought about fruitful encounters with many artists and writers. Lewis joined the 306 group, a salon of artists and writers who met in Harlem and aimed to promote and support the careers of emerging African American artists.

            Girl With Yellow Hat

             

            In 1935, with members of the 306 group, he became a founding member of the Harlem Artists Guild.

            Street Music

             

            Lewis moved away from creating social  realism works in the early 1940s because he found the style was not effective to counter racism.

            Street Scene

             

            Abstraction proved an important means to both artistic freedom and personal discovery, a strategy to distance himself from racial artistic language, as well as the stereotypes of his time.

            Cantata

             

            Lewis said he struggled to express social conflict in his art, but in his later years, focused on the inherently aesthetic. “The goal of the artist must be aesthetic development,” he told art historian Kellie Jones, “and in a universal sense, to make in his own way some contribution to culture.”

            March on Washington

             

            In his last 20 years, Lewis created and developed his very own unique blending of abstraction and figuration. His rhythmic lines and shapes now hinted at figures moving through his layers of colors. 

            Green Mist

             

            More of Norman Lewis‘s timely artwork can be found at https://www.wikiart.org/en/norman-lewis and  http://www.artnet.com/artists/norman-lewis/.

             

             

            Atmospheric Art is an Art

            Creating dark, atmospheric art is not as easy as one would think. It’s more than black backgrounds and scary faces. It takes thought, planning, and the right mixtures of a blend of greys, blues and blacks.

            This is something Eva Mout at Ursus Art does well.

            Eva does marvelous portraits and photography, but there is something about her shadowed art that calls you in and makes you ask questions of the dark. Here is one of her most recent paintings and blogs, Spirited Off:

             

             

            There are many more delights on her website, Ursus Art. You really should take some time and wander through her rich variety of creativity.

             

             

            Amazed by Card Makers!

            In taking some time to go through my Reader and actually READ other posts, I came across another amazing artist and her work. 

            My friend Candice has a blog she calls This Made Me Smile Today, and she notes that lately she has been “dabbling in card making.”

            Here is an example of her work:

             

             

            I suggest you go take a look at her blog entry Card Crafting and see all of her amazing artwork for yourself. You will have an enjoyable time!

             

            Bright Colorful Paintings Make Me Smile

            Tiffany Arp-Daleo has spent over 20 years painting, and has probably spent more time than that in being an art lover. I just love her bright, colorful work. At Tiffany Arp-Daleo Art, she is always experimenting with new colors, new paints — so much fun! 

            Her latest blog, Create and Inspire, talks about creating cards using mostly watercolor and alcohol ink, a little acrylic, and paper cut-outs. Here is her current project:

             

            How could not love those colors?

            Take some time and wander through Tiffany’s blogsite. Her work is bright, inviting, and full of life.

             

             

            Oohhhh… the Pleasure of Sharing

             

            Boundless Blessings by Kamal is a blog filled with Spirituality & Beautiful Musings. Always full of life and affirmations, I really enjoy her fresh outlook on life. Do go and give the blog a read. Here is one of her most recent blogs: 
            Flowers in the Wind…….. 
            Image result for images of flowers in the wind

            I see fresh little Flowers

            Dancing in the wind

            Merging in petals ecstasy

            Unfolding as tulips, cherries, daffodils,

            Sunflowers, roses or lavenders

            Wrapped in corals, reds or pinks

            Unharmed in wooded greens

            A coat of rainbow’s hymn

            Wind blowing them upon my skin

            And sunshine reflected in my hair

            Little dewdrops falling daintily

            I find delight in their scented smells

            Gazing at the falling flowers

            I long to see a flower pure

            And wish to reach the sky azure

            Every moment is a priceless joy

            With my sling bag in tow

            I love to run wild with the whistling wind

            Among the healing greens that I call home

            And with my spirits full of excitement

            I walk with the flowers in the wind………………

             

            Fun Mixed Media Art

            I love creative art!

            My friend at SKETCHUNIVERSE reposted this delightful blog by Kawaii Corner. This particular blog is about creating a mixed media piece. The painting begins with a collage of Japanese language newspaper, tissues, paper napkins and even Christmas wrapping paper!

            I think you will enjoy her creations! Go check her out!

             

             

            Today some intuitive mixed media painting but not following a class this time. I thought to see how I could integrate what I’ve been learning so far and create independently.
            …………….. MORE

            Today is the Day Part 2

            How is your “Today is the Day” going?

            Last June, when the sun was high and the breeze was warm and the windchimes twinkled in the trees, I wrote a blog called Today is the Day about making a day to finally do something you’ve put off, forgotten about, or waited to do.

            Often Today comes and goes and we haven’t done one thing to better ourselves. Well, it is now 2021, and it’s time to start making Today the Day. Are you ready?

            I have made some forward movement towards a few of my Todays. I decided that while I was stuck inside (Covid and winter) I’d start a craft project. And I did. I’ve made dozens of Angel Tears, and have contacted two craft fairs to see if I can get in. It’s a start. I also have come up with an idea for a second novel to follow my book about my “trip” to Paris. I love writing, and have missed the bug biting me every time I turn around, so I’ve started my research.

            I also had vowed to clean out my refrigerator big time. And my medicine cabinet. And my dining room buffet. Last weekend and this weekend were the days. The cabinet is shiny clean, I can see the glass shelves in my breakfront, and we are getting a new frig tomorrow, but that is neither here nor there. I made these days THE days.

            A lot of the time I’d rather be a vegetable than do anything productive, but fortunately my curiosity and A.D.D. won’t let me sit around for long. 

            Sometimes moving forward is awkward. Hard. Slow. It’s easier to put off until tomorrow what can be done today. But it feels so darn good once we start moving forward, doesn’t it?

            I believe in encouraging others to move forward, too. I know how they will feel once they get the procrastination monkey off their back. Moving forward allows for new ideas, new chances for discovery and growth. That feels so darn good, too.

            Take baby steps if need be. Do one thing today, a second step tomorrow. Keep track of your progress. Show yourself you really can move forward towards what you want. Make a list of what you’d like to accomplish. Don’t make any task too daunting. Just make it doable. 

            You will feel so good when you can check something off your list. 

            My medicine cabinet hasn’t shined like this since I put it in 15 years ago! Woot Woot!

             

             

             

             

            Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Andy Warhol

            Andy Warhol was born on August 6, 1928 in Pittsburgh, and worked as a successful magazine and ad illustrator.

            Mao

             

            Warhol’s works span over a range of paintings, silk-screening, photography, film and sculpture.

            Marilyn Diptych

             

            His works often research the correlation between artistic expression, advertising and celebrity culture that was seen flourishing in the 1960s.

            Birth of Venus

             

            Most times, the subject of his work changes from symbolic American objects to fiction, to celebrities to traditional concepts. His paintings triggered a turn around in the way art was perceived.

            John Lennon

             

            Instead of portraits, landscapes, battle scenes or other subjects that experts thought of as “art,”  Warhol took images from advertising, comic books and other bits of popular culture and created the “pop” in Pop art

            Flowers

             

            He is known for his drawing and repetition, using a single object multiple times in a painting.

            Queen Elizabeth II

             

            Andy Warhol made art available to the masses so that people could learn to see the beauty of everyday things and understand that everything around them is beautiful in its essence.

            Martha Graham, Letter to the World

             

            He made art fun.

            Banana

            As Warhol once said, “The idea is not to live forever, it is to create something that will.”

            Coke Bottles

             

            More of Andy Warhol‘s amazing work can be found at https://www.warhol.org/. 

             

             

            Make it Homemade!

            One positive result of being cooped up inside during this Covid-19 barrage is that most of us are honing our cooking skills. Fewer — if any — restaurant  visits and over-salty and over-fatty fast food stops make cooking from scratch even more appealing.

            I don’t have the flair of Gordon Ramsey or the talent of  Joël Robuchon, the French Chef of the Century, but I have been looking through cookbooks and Pinterest a lot more lately. My family and friends are watching a lot more Food Network and Master Chefs these days, which is a whole lot better than the nonsense that passes for television shows these days.

            My mother wasn’t a very talented or diverse cook. Back then it was a lot of meat, a can of potatoes, and a can of vegetables. But there were times she “experimented” with recipes, and there were good times around the dinner table.

            Raising my two boys, we had our fill of “experimental” meals, too. Some recipes made it through the years, others have been forgotten (to the betterment of mankind). But one thing I always insisted upon was having dinner together.

            No matter how much homework there was, how many soccer and baseball games, or how much hanging with friends loomed in the distance, we always made a point of having dinner together. Sharing laughs and complaints and events of the day was essential to keeping our family a family. Dinner time was a time my kids and I could regroup. Refocus. Take a break from work and school and friends and just be ourselves. Even if we didn’t have much to share, we were there. Together.

            I miss those times.

            Maybe my re-interest in cooking and baking and experimentation during this isolation reconnects me with the days around the kitchen table with family and friends. Memories of my mom making golumpki or me making homemade lasagna for my own kids pop up in my kitchen these days when I’m making chocolate chip cookies or spaghetti and meatballs.

            There is no restaurant, no diner, that can match the excitement and affection we put into our own creations. I find cooking real food in real time brings real love to my kitchen. 

            And to the world.

            Hoping you are adding love to your kitchen and to your world every day, too.