Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Cactus (Houseplant Size)

 

Be a cactus in a world of delicate flowers.
~ Unknown

 

Rainbow Hedgehog Cactus (Echinocereus Rigidissimus)

 

Burro’s Tail (Sedum Morganianum)

 

Buddha Temple plant (Crassula Ovata)

 

Bizanguita (Turbinicarpus Alonsoi)

 

Ribbon Plant (Trachyandra Tortilis)

 

Dragon Bone Cactus (Euphorbia Lactea)

 

Cooper’s Haworthia (Haworthia Cooperi)

 

Blue Cactus (Echeveria Secunda)

 

Living Stones (Lithops-Dorotheae)

 

Wine Cup Cactus (Crassula Umbella)
Dinosaur Back Plant (Geometrizans Cristata)

 

 

Encourage or Convince?

How do you give an extra nudge to a creative person who is standing at the edge of the pool, thinking, contemplating, planning on jumping in, but just can’t get around to doing it?

Mind your own business may be your first thought. They will jump in when they’re ready. And you would be right. Kinda.

What do you do when your friend or co-worker or your cousin is really good at some form of art and they want to start “the” project but they just can’t get started?

Encouragement.

Everybody needs it, deep inside everybody wants it.

Creative people are no different.

Most artists have a knack for what they love, and love what they have a knack for. People who write usually love to write. People who mold pottery into vases or bowls or abstract art love the process of creating something from wet, soft, loose, earthy materials such as clay. People who lay out amazing gardens have a knowledge of color and depth along with materials and weather.

So when you see someone who has that love, that potential, to take the next step into creative awesomeness, how do you get them to actually take that step?

I have a very good friend who has had, shall we say, a colorful life. She is quite intuitive and magical and has had success with her own blog, along with a radio show and her private business.

Now she has an idea to write a second book, this time under the guise of fiction, about some unbelievable things that happened in her life. I myself think it’s a great idea. She thinks its a great idea.

But, like me and others, it’s hard to take this great idea and actually do it. Outline it. Write it. Publish it.

There is a line between encouraging someone to follow their dream and trying to convince them to go for it. All the reasons you have for wanting them to succeed might not be their reasons to succeed. You’re not in their head — you are merely a reflection of what they share with you.

Having said that, I think it’s up to all of us to encourage creativity whenever we can. Talk them through it. Listen to their hesitations. Their ideas. Ask questions. Get excited. Share your excitement! You don’t have to understand the process in order to encourage mutual enthusiasm.

My friend is going to write a whopper of a book. Just like you are going to make amazing pottery and popular Christmas wreaths and knit fashionable  sweaters.

Everyone needs encouragement. Don’t be afraid to share yours.

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Pierre-Philippe Thomire

Pierre-Philippe Thomire (1751–1843) a French sculptor, was the most prominent bronzier, or producer of ornamental patinated and gilt-bronze objects and furniture mounts of the First French Empire.

One of the most remarkable bronze makers of his generation, Thomire is recognized for his production of furniture bronze under the Ancien Régime (Late Middle Ages (c. 1500) until 1789 and the French Revolution). He raised this trade under the Empire to its highest level of quality, while creating an industrial company in the early 19th century whose influence was monumental. 

He had received his training in the workshop of Pierre Gouthière, the outstanding Parisian ciseleur-doreur working in the Louis XVI style, before establishing his own shop in 1776. Thomire’s big break came when he began assisting Jean-Claude-Thomas Duplessis, the artistic director of the Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory, in making mounts.When Duplessis died in 1783, Thomire took over his job, supplying all the gilt bronze mounts for the porcelain. This work kept him in business throughout the French Revolution, when many other producers went bankrupt.In 1809 the Emperor Napoleon made him ciseleur de l’empereur (Engraver to the Emperor).Because of the large number of pieces Thomire supplied to the palaces, his firm became fournisseur de leurs majestés (Furniture Suppliers to their Majesties) two years later.His most prestigious commission was the execution of the cradle for the King of Rome which was designed by Pierre Paul Prud’hon and in which Thomire collaborated with the Imperial silversmith Odiot.
He became one of the bronziers attached to the Manufacture Royale de Sèvres, creating the bronze mounts for most of the important creations of the day.Thomire’s business managed to survive even after Napoleon’s downfall, winning numerous medals at various exhibitions.

More of  Pierre-Philippe Thomire‘s amazing sculptures can be found at www.lapendulerie.com  and cedricdupontantiques.com .

 

 

 

 

 

The Cat — Part 2

I don’t know if you remember, but last September I wrote a blog called “The Cat” which was about a cat showing up out of nowhere on the day we had a memorial get-together for the son I had lost in February.

I had noted that “During the day’s festivities, this gray and white cat appeared….she came down and started loving up everyone….. She was not phased by any one or any thing.”

After all kinds of pets and love, she disappeared that evening, never to return. It was a magic moment, a family moment, a passing moment. 

As I noted, I didn’t believe in signs, the afterlife, or a higher power, especially after a traumatic event like I experienced. But. Was this cat merely a stray that wandered into my party? Or did my son send me a sign that all was well on the other side?

Thanksgiving.

Our traditional get together at my house, a full house of cousins, grandparents, kids, grandkids, and brothers. A turkey in the oven, card games after dinner — always a delightful reunion.

As we prepared for our get-together, guess who should show up at the back door?

The Cat.

Out of nowhere, not seen since September. Standing at my back door. I called my grandkids over, and we went outside and picked up and loved the cat. She purred and I’m sure she smiled. We also discovered she was a he.

The cat that wasn’t mine.

The cat that had never been seen since the day of the memorial.

Stopping by on the day that our family was getting together to give thanks. For life, for love. A day we would toast my son who couldn’t be with us, along with others we’ve long loved and missed.

One of my dogs ran to the door and made a fool of himself barking, making the cat uncomfortable. So we put him down and he took off, down the stairs, across the rock drive that led to my back door, and down the path to the fields and houses in the distance.

We named him Mikey.

 

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Mark A. Pearce

Mark A. Pearce is like many of the artists showcased in the Sunday Evening Art Gallery – there are so many fascinating facets of his craft (painting, print making, linocuts) that showcase his marvelous eye for nature.Pearce learned the art of printmaking at Carlisle College of Art, then continued his studies at the Norwich School of Art in England.A professional printmaker and landscape artist living and working in the coastal village of Ravenglass, the local landscape provides much of the inspiration for his work.Of all his many creative talents, Pearce is his well known for his vibrant multi-colored reduction linocuts.A design is meticulously cut into a linoleum surface with a sharp knife, V-shaped chisel or gouge, with the raised (uncarved) areas representing a reversal (mirror image) of the parts to be printed.

The linoleum sheet is inked with a roller and then impressed onto paper or fabric.Pearce’s work shares the colors and serenity of his world with a steady hand and precise determination. More of Mark Pearce‘s paintings and linocuts can be found at https://markapearce.co.uk/.

 

What Did You Think?

I did not want to do this, but the suspense is killing me.

On August 3rd I posted my first free e-book for your pleasure and download.

Corn and Shadows.

I decided long ago that there was no point charging for my writing — I don’t even know if it’s ~good~ writing. It made me feel good to offer something I’ve created to others who love Creativity.  So I did.

My WordPress Record Keeping (as it were) notes that there have been 40  downloads. How wonderful! How exciting!

But my comment section is … how should I say it … bare. So I decided to push through my uncomfortable wall of self-doubt and self-consciousness and ask …

How was the book?

Did you enjoy it? Did you think it stupid? Would you be interested in Book Two of the set? Did it make sense? Did you enjoy the characters?

I’ve thought about offering the set on Amazon, but it’s just too confusing at this point in my life. All I want to do is share my type of creativity and maybe make someone else feel something good.

Soooo …

If you’ve read it, let me know in the comments section. Either here or over on the Book page. If you have an opinion on it, let me know in the comment section.( I can take criticism, so unless you will be burning it in effigy to the Dark Lord because of its horrid and vaporous nature, go ahead and post.) If you’ve never heard of my free e-book, here’s a description and the link: 

Midlife covers a wide range of emotions and second thoughts, and 43-year-old Annabella Powers was experiencing them all.  Frustrated with her job, her husband, and herself, all she wanted was a little excitement in her boring life.
Crashing her car at the bottom of a rain-soaked hill, Anna wakes up in 1880 Claremont with broken ribs and a punctured lung.  Doing her best to recover, she is drawn into an atmosphere of suppression and strict social mores as she befriends the 17-year-old daughter of the estate while matching wits with the domineering matriarch and her bullish son. Besides all of that, Anna finds herself falling for the estate’s caretaker, a handsome rogue half her age.
A story of twisted relationships and forbidden love that may tear the family apart, this is a novel of self-discovery as a woman comes to grips with her age and emotions in a world not her own. 

Download your free copy of Corn and Shadows here.

Okay. The self-promotion part of the blog is over. Have a great Monday!

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Davide Salvadore

Dating back to the 1700’s, Murano glassworker Davide Salvadore is the 11th generation on his mother’s side credited with creating glass pieces.Cocoe Series, Colando

At a young age, Salvadore began following his grandfather, Antonio Mantoan, into the furnaces of Murano, first learning how to build the kilns and later working in the studios of Alfredo Barbini, who is often recognized as the ultimate glassmaker of Murano.Chitamarra Series, Romin

Later, he worked as a glassblower in multiple well-known glass studios, learning from each and improving his abilities.Chitamuro Series, Zuali

In 1998, Salvadore made a conscious decision to turn away from traditional functional glass work. At approximately the same time, he began demonstrating his unique murrine technique.Spingarpa Series, Siego

Salvadore’s love of music influenced him to produce a popular series of full sized glass stringed instruments. Each series is named a unique name he created.Tiraboson Series, Steso

Salvadore’s process takes longer than most would imagine and has many separate steps.Bechino Series, Bascila

Salvadore thinks about the piece he wants to create, settles in his mind on the idea, the colors and shape and then over the following week collects the glass canes and makes the murrines  specifically for that piece.Chitamarra Series, Leca

Murrines are created by stretching a compact mass of hot glass into a long, narrow, multicolored cane. Using his unique process, Salvadore cuts these canes into thin slices which are incorporated into his work in a variety of different shapes and sizes.Chitamuro Series, Ingaua

Then they go into the annealing oven to prepare them to be added to the form being blown. When the glass sculpture is fully cooled, it goes to the cold shop for further detailed work, which makes every piece a one-of-a-kind piece.Cocoe Series, Lupula

 

More of Davide Salvadore’s amazing creations can be found at https://www.davidesalvadore.com/.

 

 

 

Changes

Paternity Court S5 E109

Yesterday morning, in trying to keep our third dog from barking while my husband slept (he works the night shift and the dog is a butt), I thought I’d turn on the TV and flip through all the local (antenna) channels and really look at what was on each one. (I dunno … I get these weird ideas sometimes.)

At 10 a.m. there were four different “court” shows broadcasting. You know court shows — did he/she have sex with this or that person; he/she didn’t pay the last month’s rent because there was a rat in their toilet; he is my child’s baby daddy; she was supposed to be a wedding planner, not a wedding crasher… those kinds of things. And I wondered…

Who are these people?

What kind of people go on these kinds of shows?

Who airs their dirty laundry for the whole world to see?

And these weren’t even the big guns — Judge Judy, The People’s Court.

Okay. First to admit I’m the older generation everyone talks about. The Boomers who have ruined half the country with their ideas and stubbornness. Those who supposedly don’t understand racial inequality and climate change. 

Well, these high-glossed participants accusing partners of personal faux paxs is another thing a lot of us don’t get.

You know me. I’m not saying that all of the above doesn’t exist. Half the time the world and its participants suck. But what that ultimately means is that you have to take care of yourself and those you love. Fix it with the legal system or talk to the people involved or get out of the bad relationship. Get help. Self empowerment.

Not take it to a local TV show and overact and overemote about personal problems and ask thousands of viewers what you should do.

The people in these shows are a hoot. They are loud, sassy, opinionated, and in-your-face. I often wonder if they are encouraged to just “let it go and act it up” in front of the camera, because they do.

I wonder if the judges are real judges.

I wonder how many people really watch these shows. (I’m sure hundreds of thousands as these shows are on every day).

Sometimes I hate being old. Not fitting. Not understanding. Not going with the flow. I understand just enough, and make it a point to learn something new every day (which I do!). I try and help others who ask for my help, and have survived as many ups and downs as anyone else. But there are lots of things I don’t understand.

Court shows and their followers are one of them.

I don’t understand the metric system, either, and yet it exists and works all over the world (except in the U. S.). 

If I haven’t learned it by my age, it’s apparent I’m not going to understand it at all.

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Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Maria Prymachenko

Maria Oksentiyivna Prymachenko (1908-1997) was a Ukrainian village self-taught folk art painter who worked in the naïve art style with drawing, embroidery and painting on ceramics.A peasant woman, Prymachenko was born in the village of Bolotnya in the north of the modern Kiev region of Ukraine.Born to humble means, Prymachenko earned fame in her lifetime for dazzlingly colorful and wildly inventive scenes of animals — lions, birds, horses, and other beasts — covered in riotously hued, almost psychedelic patterns.Born to a peasant family near Chernobyl, the artist suffered from polio as a child, an illness that left her confined to bed for much of her childhood (a later surgery would enable her to walk independently).Her illness instilled a great sense of empathy for the suffering of others, and her caring for all living creatures was to become an important element in her art.Prymachenko found her sources and themes in the decorative wall paintings that were prominent features in Ukraine, in lullabies, folk legends, and fairy tales, and in the nature that surrounded her.In her pieces, the artist unites her marvelous internal world with the age-old tradition of folk  and pagan culture.In 1966, Prymachenko was awarded the Taras Shevchenko National Prize of Ukraine, one of the country’s highest honors, and in the last decades of her life admirers supplied Prymachenko with materials to create larger format works.More of Maria Prymachenko’s inspirational ethic art can be found at ArtNet and WikiArt.

Faerie Paths — Premonition



Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
You fritter and waste the hours in an off-hand way
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way
Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today
And then the one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun
And you run and you run to catch up with the sun, but it's sinking
And racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in a relative way, but you're older,
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death
Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
The time is gone the song is over, thought I'd something more to say...

~ Roger Walters, Pink Floyd, 1973




Temporarily/Permanently on Hold?

I find whenever I have a creative dilemma I come to all of you for help or understanding or to just vent. There is not always a solution to every problem, an answer to every question. Sometimes just “putting it out there” solves half of the problem, period.

So. My thoughts and questions this fine Monday morning are thus:

I haven’t felt like writing/finishing/exploring my current book works in quite some time.

That’s not me. That’s not the writer in me, the explorer in me, the dreamer in me.

What’s different, you may ask? I may ask the same question.

Do you just run out of creativity now and then? Out of mental energy? Out of research energy?

I’m not exhausted nor preoccupied. I am working on losing a few pounds, working around the house, playing with my grandkids when opportunity allows. I am still on the computer a portion of each day, still chatting with friends, both through this blog and in my own world. So I don’t feel like any of that has changed.

But I haven’t been over-enthusiastic about writing big or long pieces in a few months. Maybe longer.

Do you ever feel like you’ve run up to the wall, and instead of climbing the ladder to go up and over you’d rather sit on your side and have a picnic?

Not being creative bothers me. Especially when I extol its virtues at every turn.

Try another craft, you may say. Go for a walk. Clear your head. Visit someplace you’ve never been. I can see all those working in one way or another. Yet none of those seem to go more than skin deep.

I am not moved by my passion for writing like I used to be.

Is that normal?

At this senior age (which is young), will I ever find that heart-pounding urge to write long, adventurous novels like I used to? Is it even worth worrying about?

There are plenty of things to keep me busy during the day and evening, so it’s not like I’m staring quietly out the front window all day. It’s just this particular blister that seems to be bothering me.

I was just wondering if anyone else has reached this stopping point in their lives. I’m not giving up writing — that’s impossible. But the form of it, the shape of it, the substance of it may be changing. 

And I’m not sure if I like it.

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Friedensreich Hundertwasser

Friedensreich Hundertwasser  (1928 –2000) was an Austrian artist and architect who spent his whole career championing the curve of organic nature against the straight line.

Children’s Day-Care Centre Heddernheim, Frankfurt, Germany

 

Born Friedrich Stowasser in 1928, the Viennese artist most commonly known as Friedensreich Hundertwasser (or ‘Kingdom-of-Peace Hundred-Water’) started his artistic revolution by adopting a new name.

The Waldspirale, Darmstadt, Germany

 

Even though Hundertwasser first achieved notoriety for his boldly-colored paintings, he is more widely known for his individual architectural designs.

Kuchlbauer Tower, Lower Bavaria, Germany

 

The common themes in his work utilize bright colors, organic forms, a reconciliation of humans with nature, and a strong individualism.

Hundertwasser House, Bad Soden, Germany

 

From the mid 70s, all his amazing buildings were ergonomically curved and ecologically integrated with natural features of the landscape.

Kunsthaus Abensberg, Abensberg, Germany

 

There are no corners, edges or straight lines. Instead, there is the courage to create organic forms, colors, joy, and include the human dimension –  living works of art.

Hundertwasserbrunnen Fountain, Zwettl, Austria

 

Many of his creations highlighted architecture with uneven floors, unique windows, and spontaneous vegetation.

Green Citadel , Magdeburg, Germany

 

Hundertwasser stood out as an opponent of “a straight line” and any standardization, expressing this concept in the field of building design.

Ronald McDonald Kindervallei, Valkenburg, Netherlands

 

More of Friedensreich Hundertwasser‘s amazing architecture can be found at https://hundertwasser.com/  and https://www.touropia.com/hundertwasser-architecture/.

 

Two Fun Creative Blogs to Check Out!

Happy Friday Friends!

Today I read two fun, amazing, creative people and their blogs that I follow that  you must check out!

One you have already heard me talk about — Daily Fiber with Laura Kate. This quilt is just amazing. And so different.

 

Friday Finish: Badlands

The second is from a blog I just started following — jingersnaps …by Jinger. Her knitting is fun and amazing and different — as is her enthusiasm!

Zau. Ber. Ball.

Posted on 
I love Creativity in ALL its forms!  Any referrals?
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Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Edas Wong

Hong Kong-based street photographer Edas Wong takes photos that result in both optical illusions and funny moments.Wong chose street photography because it didn’t require for him to learn advanced techniques or buy expensive gear – the small camera he had was more than ideal for a beginner like him.
The artist started dabbling in street photography in 2012. Some call his work “accidental photography,” but it’s more that Wong manages to be in the right place at the right time.He accomplishes his distinct style by using layering, lighting, juxtaposition, and merging the foreground and background.He has developed a distinct eye for sensing when the ordinary is about to briefly turn miraculous, a split second of intuition and anticipation.“At any given moment, there exist fleeting instants of oneness where by some cosmic power, or perhaps plain luck, two things merge together,” Wong explains.Wong approaches the process of street photography as a somewhat meditative experience, always trying to clean his mind as much as possible and concentrating on whatever he’s capturing.
“Street photography actually saves me,” Wong cexplains.“I empty my mind, observe all connections between objects, and concentrate on everything around me on the street.”More of Edas Wong‘s exceptional photography can be found at https://www.instagram.com/edaswong/ and on Facebook.

 

 

 

 

More Swirls in Your Sky

Those of you in the Northern Hemisphere are starting to gather blankets, wood for the fire, pumpkin pies, and TV series DVDs for the cold weather ahead.

On the other hand, those of my friends down South — way down south — are opening windows, selecting vegetable plants and patio furniture for spring.

Are all of us creative people on the same page, though?

Does the solitude of pre-winter stimulate creativity just as much as the wide open spaces of spring?

For us Northern dudes and dudettes, the morning starts in the dark and ends in the dark. Our joys include snow, ice, rain, clouds, no fresh corn on the cob, and no jumps in the pool (unless it’s inside). For our Southern friends, their joys include mosquitoes, sweat, heat exhaustion, and flies in the pie.

Are we both leaving room for inspiration?

My first impulse is to sleep until spring. Being older does that to people. But one that impulse passes, it takes me a bit to get my energy level back up. Once I get used to the blankets and limited sunlight, my creativity makes a turn back into the writing world. I mean, what better place to write than cuddled with a laptop and a mug of hot chocolate?

One winter friend tells me freshly fallen snow inspires her to go to her craft room and start beading. Another does quilting year round — no weather stops her shopping for fabric. Another friend who designs wonderful gardens turns her designs into home baked creations.

Summer artists use the beautiful weather to push them to greater heights. I mean, who’s not inspired to write or sculpt or carve with warm sunshine and temperatures surrounding them?

But for now I am in the first phase. I’ve already gone through the Deadwood DVD series, and keep eyeballing Harry Potter books  or Game of Thrones DVDs. The warm weather is scheduled to take its final bow tomorrow or Thursday, opening the door to cold, crummy weather and cloudy skies and, before you know it, slush and snow mounds.

If you are lucky like I am, though, the stalemate won’t last long. My creative muse is a pain in the __ __ __, coming up with more writing ideas (and alternatives) than I can handle. Don’t worry — yours is hanging around, too.

Be sure to never close the door on them  — you never know what creative and inspirational wonders might come through. Like the Boy Scouts, always be  prepared …

 

 

Momentarily — A Poem

 

When the words won’t come
The dreams far away
And night never rests
A poem comes to mind

A brief version
Of the day’s confusion
The evening’s pain
Whispers from beyond

We can’t find the phrase
The tenor
The breath
For what hides inside

Even spirit has flown
Buried beneath the leaves
The dying snow
The bumbled rags

The heart is not broken
But merely flat
A marvel to behold
Even in deflation

Until spring returns
The letters will be dark
The sugar not so sweet
The story without words

Tomorrow the sun
Will be brighter
Smells will be sweeter
And words will flow again

 

©2021 Claudia Anderson

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Tony Cragg

Tony Cragg is a British sculptor best known for his sculptures which use diverse materials ranging from found objects to the more traditional bronze, wood, and glass.Cragg was born in Liverpool and spent two years working as a lab technician before attending the Gloucestershire College of Art and Design and the Royal College of Art in London.Cragg incorporated materials such as pieces of plastic, detritus from construction sites, and household wares into his sculptures, creating flat mosaics and three-dimensional works with serrated and stacked elements.In the early 1980s Cragg gradually moved away from installation art and began to examine more closely the individual objects used as parts of his larger constellations.This was the beginning of his engagement and experimentation with the properties and possibilities of a wide range of more permanent materials in the form of wood, plaster, stone, fiberglass, Kevlar, stainless steel, cast iron and bronze.Craggs’ sculptures embody a frozen moment of movement, resulting in swirling abstractions.His work investigates the possibilities of manipulating every day, familiar containers and the ways in which they can morph into and around one another in space.

More of Tony Cragg‘s wonderful sculptures can be found at https://www.galerieklueser.com/en/artists/tony-cragg/ and http://www.artnet.com/artists/tony-cragg/.

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Dean Dykema

Dean Dykema has been drawing and sketching his whole life, but years ago he started to expand his creativity.Now  Dykema specializes in original, one of a kind, acrylic paintings on one or more wild turkey feathers.

The artist has always dabbled in painting, but a few years ago he literally stumbled upon something new. During a walk with his dog, he picked up a feather.“I started running my fingers over it and I thought, I wonder if I could paint on this? Just to do something unusual,” Dykema said.People give him an idea or sketch of what they want and he takes it from there, using dabs instead of strokes.And when you’re working with plumage there’s little room for error.It’s meticulous and detail-driven, but the results are eye-opening.“My sketching is with the paintbrush on the feathers because I can’t just draw. The only way to draw it out is to paint it on the feather,” Dykema said.

“I love the fact that I can give them something that they truly enjoy that they’ve never seen before and it just makes me happy.”More of Dean Dykema‘s amazing art work can be found at his online studio Painted Feathers by Dean https://www.paintedfeathersbydean.com/ and https://dean-dykema-xyrd.squarespace.com/.

 

Your Past is Over There in the Pile

I don’t know if I should be talking about this — I don’t know if I’m tapping into a federal investigation or infringing upon 18 U.S. Code § 1703 – Delay or destruction of mail or newspapers, or just relaying an experience (and the implications thereof) of something that happened to me.

So let’s say that one day last week this “lady” received a reminder from her state’s Department of Motor Vehicles to renew her license plates for 2005. For the year 2005.  A few days later she received a bulb from Holland Bulbs, a gift ordered on March 13, meant to be delivered in October, yet never received a notice of the gift when it was first given. So this “lady” felt like a fool, acknowledging receipt of the gift she originally believed was never sent.

This “lady” proceeded to remark to her husband this strange occurrence. He, in turn, relayed the tale to a co-worker. It turned out the co-worker knew someone  working at this post office, and relayed information (which was later confirmed by dozens of people  in response to her posting an inquiry for information on Facebook) about this strange mail incident.

It turns out there was an employee of this facility who had been keeping bins of undelivered mail in their house for the past 16 years. The  purported purveyor of other people’s mail only got caught because their ex- turned them in.

I’m not making this up. And — surprise — I’m that “lady.”

I have no idea how much mail has yet to filter back to my house. One person reported receiving a birthday card from 16-1/2 years ago. Another also got a DMV notice from 2005. Another just received a Confirmation card from 2013.

I don’t know what happened. I’m not so much into the losses as I am to what others may have never received. A DMV notice from 2005 I can live with. An acknowledgement for a gift for my son’s memorial, getting a bit more personal.

But what about those who never received birthday cards and letters from someone in the service or their grandma across the country or money to help them make it day to day?

What happens to those memories?

Not being able to say thank you. Not to be able to answer someone’s card or invitation. No way to respond to letters of love sent by those no longer in this world.

Sixteen years is a long time.

I don’t care about the personal life of the person who did this. I don’t care about their ups and downs and their confusion with life. Just like I don’t care about the mental state of the man who took my son from me.

They both were wrong. Legally, socially, morally wrong.

There is no excuse for piling up bins of mail for 16 years because you wanted extra money or gift cards or wanted to get back at your employer. This thief took away the past 16 years from a lot of people in the neighborhood. And they had no right to do so.

Yet they did.

The world is such a curious place, isn’t it?

 

 

Yin and Yang — Or Bing and Bang?

I don’t know about you, but I often feel smarter at the beginning of the week than I do by the end. All things considered, life and beyond is easier to think about on a sunny Monday morning.

Earlier I responded to a comment on my creepy Sunday Evening Art Gallery Halloween blog from my friend Michelle Lee, saying it’s weird how spooky and unusual sits side by side with breathtaking and unusual.

What a brilliant and witty response!

But I digress.

Although it is neither witty nor brilliant, it is true. The world of Art encompasses an extremely wide variety of imagery and products. For every lovely Claude Monet painting there is a haunting Anton Semenov. For every sparkling glass art piece by Věra Lišková there is its counterpart in the strange and impractical ceramics of Katerina Kamprani.

Each style takes planning, dedication and a creative flair. Artists are artists because they can (for a moment) ride the dragon of individuality up above the clouds — or below in the pits of hell — and come back to tell the story.

My friend  at gwenniesgardenworld asked if I liked horror, especially with a lineup such as yesterday’s. I replied that I am more interested in the art side of horror.  I hate blood and gore and do not watch those kind of movies. A little psychological horror is okay. But I am fascinated by good horror art. The details, the emotions it evokes. 

And I think that’s true of all of us.

There is a lot of emotional art coming from black and horrible places in the soul. The experiences are broken, sad, lost moments in life. Yet the artist has been able to capture that pain and angst and put it into canvas or ceramics and share their emotions. 

Look at William Utermohlens drawings as he slips into dementia. Or Zinovii Shenderovich Tolkatchev and his sketchings from a German concentration camp. They break my heart. 

Yet they are art, as sure as Auguste Rodins sculptures or Chris Campbells fun shoes.  Even in art worlds like music there is a big difference between Johann Strauss IIs The Blue Danube Waltz and Will Smiths Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It.

That’s why I enjoy exploring unique and unusual art. They may not be the most common  or popular art pieces ever created, but they do showcase the amazing way the human mind works — and has worked for centuries.

If you have any artists you enjoy that create that sense of awe and fascination and maybe even give you goosebumps, let me know. I have a whole portfolio of artists I’ve yet to showcase, and there’s always room for friends in the folder.

Happy Monday!

 

Faerie Paths — Faerie Tales

Amy Brown

 

I love fairy tales because of their haunting beauty and magical strangeness. They are set in worlds where anything can happen. Frogs can be kings, a thicket of brambles can hide a castle where a royal court has lain asleep for a hundred years, a boy can outwit a giant, and a girl can break a curse with nothing but her courage and steadfastness.

~ Kate Forsyth

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Lighthouses

Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining.

~Anne Lamott

 

Crisp Point Lighthouse, Michigan

 

Gay Head Lighthouse, Massachusetts

 

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, North Carolina

 

Jeddah Lighthouse, Saudi Arabia

 

Tourlitis Lighthouse, Andros Island, Greece

 

Eldred Rock Lighthouse, Alaska

 

Makapuu Point Lighthouse, Hawaii

 

Bell Rock Lighthouse, Angus, Scotland

 

Lindau Lighthouse, Germany

 

Earhart Light, Howland Island

 

Petit Minou Lighthouse, Brittany, France

 

Lighthouse of Genoa, Genoa, Italy

Switching Gears

Another week has started in the farms/small towns in southeast Wisconsin. Nature, in her ever moving glory, has dumped most of her glorious hair on the ground to eventually turn into mush and mulch and hiding places for various little things until spring.

Today is the last warm day — the so-called Indian Summer — trying to coax us out of the house and go walking or biking or fetching the dogs one more day before it invites the colder air to come and visit.

Do you, as artists, change your routines when the weather changes?

I know my friends down Australia way are going through the lovely growth of Spring, thinking about picnics and boat rides and art fairs and dinners on the patio with friends.

Their counterparts up here in the U.S. for the most part are waving goodbye to the hot, melting vibrations of sunlight, settling instead for a weak, yet still bright, effort from the sun.

Many of you are artists — even if you don’t acknowledge yourself as one. You arrange gardens, build patios and put up swing sets, paint in watercolors and oils, cut up pieces of magazines and cloth and broken glass and make the most glorious collages. 

We all do something with our spare time — how can we not?

But cold weather does put a damper on outdoor activities. Perhaps not a damper, per se — you can still enjoy outdoor activities, walk in the snow and make snow angels — but cold weather does tend to keep one insider a lot more.

Do you do the same activities you did in the blazing hot summer? 

Technically I suppose I could do many of the same things inside as outside. Keep my plants growing, paint rocks at the kitchen table, ride an exercise bike rather than a purple 10 speed down the road. But some of it’s not the same without the grandkids or warm weather.

I am fortunate — writing is a year round project. I wish I was as versatile as the sport allowed (short stories, novels, poems, essays, opinion pieces, blogging, research papers, sonnets, tweets). I like to stick to the blogging and novel writing end of the pool.

In the winter time, when you’re stuck inside, blowing, tearing wind and snow and ice and nothing but a cabinet full of popcorn and ice cream, you would think your concentration focuses even finer.

It’s not even winter time and I find myself dissatisfied with everything.

Is this another passing phase? Should I find something new to write? Some new type of art to dig into?

Or should I just enjoy the popcorn and ice cream and take a break for a while?

What do you do?

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Jason Edmiston

A fine artist and commercial illustrator since 1996, Jason Edmiston has shown his paintings in galleries, as well as worked for advertising, editorial, packaging and book publishing clients internationally.Megatron

Edmiston is primarily a traditional artist, painting in acrylic on wood panel and watercolor paper, but also works digitally when the assignment calls for it.Billy

His style can be referred to as “ideal realism”, and usually emphasizes the figure with high contrast and saturated colors.Dracula

Edmiston is often inspired by the world of pop culture, adding his personal spin to characters and subjects from movies, comic books, toys and retro style advertising.Mars Attacks

Many of his portraits feature well-known entities, while others defy familiarity.Angus

His style is vibrant and high contrast, producing a dramatic lighting style that he favors. Monster Mash

But in Edmiston’s world — the monster, the creep, the villain — are front and center, heroes of their own story.Accessories

More of Jason Edmiston’s illustrations can be found at http://jasonedmiston.com/

 

 

Nothing Melts a Heart Faster Than …

 

Google Searches related to nothing melts hearts faster:

 

 

 

nothing melts hearts faster than light
nothing melts hearts faster than fire
nothing melts hearts faster than the sun
nothing melts hearts faster than sound
nothing melts hearts faster than life
nothing melts hearts faster than death
nothing melts hearts faster than the wind
nothing melts hearts faster than gold
nothing melts hearts faster than air
nothing melts hearts faster than blood
nothing melts hearts faster meaning
nothing melts hearts faster than water

They just don’t get it, do they?

 

 

Nothing melts hearts faster than kittens

Nothing melts hearts faster than puppies

Nothing melts hearts faster than babies

Nothing melts hearts faster than kids

Nothing melts hearts faster than LOVE.

 

Start melting TODAY!

 

 

My Favorite Way To Tap Into My Creativity (repost)

On my way to researching something else   —  as usual —

My seven-year-old grandson has developed a wonderful imagination. Sometimes he uses this imagination to create excuses, but I digress…

He and I love to play the game WHAT IF …

He comes up with some doozies. I hope this stimulates his creative streak in future endeavors. Here is the blog I wrote about just such creativity:

 

What If…

 

 

Dizzy from TMI?

After starting my work week on a Monday for a hundred thousand years, I still feel like this day is the beginning of the week. Having rarely worked weekends, this day sticks in my memory banks as the popsicle stick that marks the new row of freshly planted flower seeds.

I usually try and spend Monday mornings reading through others’ blogs, answering, commenting, thinking about what they said and how it relates to me. 

Some blogs have 40, 50 responses. Others nary a one. And often the topics are similar; an image and quote, a sensitive tale about someone, a writer reflecting on their choices or life or future decisions.  Some are mostly pictures, others are paragraphs and paragraphs. 

But there is a universal need in bloggers to get their story out. Even if their story is about someone else.

And since there are blogs for every story, every point of view, every age and size and intelligence, it made me wonder what other kinds of blogs those who read me follow.

I sometimes get disheartened when no one responds to something I think is gripping or telling. It shows me that my mind is not necessarily the same as my next door neighbors.

So I wonder — what kinds of articles make you respond?

What is it that you’re looking for in a quick read that hits you hard enough that you want to say something?

I agree that time and place constraints can be suffocating sometimes. Reading blogs on the train going home from work or while going to the bathroom (come on.. we all do that), may not be conducive to a response.

What kind of articles make you want to say something?

I chuckle at Facebook. My only connections on FB are people that I know personally. No friends of friends of friends or neighbors (unless I hang with them). And once in a while my friends will go on a tirade of one sort or another that makes me want to pop off a quick snarkly response.

But I don’t. I mind my own business and move on.

I wonder if that’s what happens to all of us when we share out thoughts and wisdom online.

Maybe you are nodding as you read my blogs or Laura Kates blog or Ivor’s blog or Davids blog, agreeing, smiling, then move on. But once in a while we all wonder what everyone else is thinking…about everything.

Then it’s Ack! Mind explosion! TMI!

And everything is such a big word…..

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Matthias Jung

Matthias Jung is an artist and graphic designer based in Germany,  known internationally for his surrealist collages.Jung worked as an illustrator before making his way to painting, developing an unmistakable collage style.The artist takes individual photographs in different locations, mostly in northern Germany, before carefully assembling them into one cohesive piece, abstaining from sensational effects and superficiality.By artistically arranging scraps of reality, Jung intensifies the picture in a way the human eye can only partially detect – and it is through our own associations that his constructions come alive.Jung often sets fantastic building facades afloat amidst vast landscapes,  their pointy domes and tall arching windows reflecting a possible surrealistic yet realistic world.Jung calls his surreal works “short, architectural poems”, incongruous images that are intended to challenge perceptions of space and architecture.According to the artist, the individual elements of the image tend to generate an electric tension with each other.  This tension leads to new worlds in which the entire beauty of his art is revealed.“Collages are like dreams,” Jung reflects.  “Or maybe dreams are like collages.”More of Matthias Jung‘s surrealistic artwork can be found at https://www.lumas.com/artist/matthias_jung/ and https://www.singulart.com/en/artist/matthias-jung-12125.

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Dmitry Lamonov

Dmitry Lamonov is an artist from St. Petersburg, Russia who combines tradition and modernity in his calligraphy.

Lamonov was born in 1987 in Leningrad, and in 2008 began his career as a graphic designer.His work has been inspired by Old Slavonic letterforms, characterized by motives of Russian culture — elements of Russian ornaments and traditional Russian writing (ligature).These motifs, combined with modern graphics, create a distinctive, recognizable style.Having studied the basics of the traditional Russian writing, Lamonov saw the potential in it and was so fascinated that he started using the basics in his various artworks.“It inspires me to combine the incompatible,” Lamonov explains.“My principle is that there’s always a concept behind a work, preferably one easy to be comprehended. And the form through which you comprehend this idea is secondary, but still of no less importance.“My form of expressing ideas is basically calligraphy and printing.”More of Dmitry Lamonov‘s unique calligraphy can be found at http://lamonov.art/ and https://www.instagram.com/dimalamonov/.

 

 

Wordless Storybook Pages 23 and 24 — Claudia McGill and Her Art World (repost)

 

I read this blog this morning by my namesake Claudia at  Claudia McGill and Her Art World, and I think is is a wonderful way to create, to give a gift, and to recycle. Her intent on making a collage book and a keepsake for someone she cares about hits my creative soul — you know?

Follow the link and maybe “recycle” something for your kids or grandkids or your best buddy’s kids!

Thanks, Claudia!

 

In 2021 I completed a wordless artist book for my little granddaughter, who was about a year old at the time. I produced it by converting a discarded kid’s library book, using the same process I’ve used for similar books in the past. Look here if you want to see more about how I make […]

Wordless Storybook Pages 23 and 24 — Claudia McGill and Her Art World

 

 

 

Sometimes I Feel Like a Mad Hatter

Is this you?

You go through the day, every day, doing what you’re supposed to do. Work, taking care of your kids, calling the dentist. You make dinner, do the dishes, catch a little TV or read a good book. Maybe write a blog or a haiku or record your thoughts in a journal. Normal stuff.

Then your creative creative muse stops by. 

And you better be taking notes.

Out of the blue your inspirational little sprite drops in and has all these great ideas for you to carry out. Most of the time it’s artistic stuff (depending on your craft), but it could just as well be places to go on vacation, a new recipe she wants you to try, or new varieties of houseplants you should be looking at.

Heaven forbid you are busy. She won’t wait.

Yesterday I forced myself to sit down and finish up researching a couple of artists I had on my list. I love discovering unique art — I love bringing this art to you. So it wasn’t a burden in the least.

So that evening, when I was finished, getting ready to close up shop and watch a movie, here she comes with an artist here and and an idea there. 

I get my inspiration from everywhere — people I follow on Twitter, a popup on Facebook, a recommendation from a friend. Sometimes I even Google specific topics like Famous Spanish Painters or Hammered Copper Artists.

I learn, you learn.

Well, last night she wouldn’t stop. I found leads on another glass artist, an architect, and someone who is a freelance artist, apparel designer, and comics creator.

I’m shaking with exhaustion — and excitement.

So tell your friends, tell your neighbors, tell your co-workers. Anyone looking for unique, beautiful, unusual art?

Stick around.

My muse will be right back….

 

 

 

Faerie Paths — Rose Leaf Coat

 

 

Did you ever see a fairy in a rose-leaf coat and cap
Swinging in a cobweb hammock as he napped his noonday nap?
Did you ever see one waken very thirsty and drink up
All the honey-dew that glimmered in a golden buttercup?
Did you ever see one fly away on rainbow-twinkling wings?
If you did not, why, how comes it that you never see such things?

~ Evaleen Stein

 

 

 

The Stress of Too Many _ _ _ _

(this is NOT my house)

Collectors, beware.

Souvenir shoppers beware.

Old People, beware.

There is this disease of sorts that seems to be running around the world these days — worse than Covid 19, worse than malaria. Well, worse in the fact that so many of us suffer from it.

Sometimes we recognize the symptoms and can live with them; other times we ignore the signs until it’s too late. It can strike young, middle-aged, or old people. 

Yes, it’s a people disease.

It’s called SAVING THINGS.

Come on, be honest — how many of you have way too many unicorns, shot glasses, signs, or spoons from places you visited 40 years ago? Your kids baby teeth, their first artwork, their second artwork, their 354th artwork. Yard implements you might someday actually use. Cute pots you may eventually use to transplant overgrown houseplants. A jungle where your patio door used to be.

I’ve felt the strain of this disease for years. Years ago our kids lived with us for a while while looking for a new house. They found one. Half of their stuff was moved out. Five  years later they found another house. The rest of their stuff finally found its way to the door.

I was getting close to 70 (still am), and find I cannot handle all this clutter I’ve collected through the years. I thought I binge cleaned and donated a few times already but this disease is like watching a pot of water boil… little bubbles keep popping up, one bubble at a time, until you turn around and the pot is boiling over.

What made me think of this is looking out on my front deck at three dogs. None are my original choice, but I opened my heart and took them in at various times in my life. No regrets.

Except there’s too many dogs in my house.

I am getting old and need peace and quiet. 

Maybe that’s why I’m purging my house of knickknacks and extra rugs and baby toys and all sorts of things that have long outgrown their use. It’s not hoarder stuff — it’s clutter stuff. 

I think that’s worse.

I need to be able to walk through a room without knocking something over, or smile fondly at a few unicorns in a cabinet and not think of having to dust 00 more or stop tripping over the pots I’ve stacked by the back door to bring to Good Will a month ago. I want to go for a walk without having to yell a three sniffers/wanderers/adventurers to get back here or else.

Ahhh…. my dream world.

What is yours?

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Philip Jackson

Philip Jackson is a contemporary Scottish artist known for his bronze sculptures depicting life-sized elongated figures.Jackson went to the Farnham School of Art (now the University for the Creative Arts), and a year later joined a design company as a sculptor.Half of his time is spent on commissions and the other half on his gallery sculpture.Jackson creates  figures both imposing and operatic in their narrative and presence, which are recognizable worldwide.Powerful and beautifully sculpted, Jackson’s meticulously precise posturing of each piece creates an overwhelming sense of drama.The figure statues he created are full of mysterious ancient temperament, like characters from a narrative opera.“My sculptures are essentially an impressionistic rendering of the figure,” Jackson says of his work. “As the eye moves up the sculpture, the finish becomes gentler and more delicately worked, culminating in the hands and the mask, both of which are precisely observed and modeled.”

More of Philip Jackson‘s sculptures can be found at https://philipjacksonsculptures.co.uk/.

 

 

 

Christofori’s Dream

I usually don’t highlight music on my blog, for everyone’s dreams are linked to so many different songs, lyrics, and memories that it’s hard to bring new energy into their lives.

Today’s blog will be different.

Today I will share — and I will ask you for suggestions.

Christofori’s Dream by David Lanz is (one of) my favorite songs. My favorite piano song. My favorite dream song. (It’s a great album, too!)

I know — favorite is a BIG word.

As I get older I get away with “my top three” … my top three foods, my top three movies, my top three desserts. It’s so much easier to have multiple favorites rather than one thing that stands heads and tails above the other.

Back in May of 2021 I wrote a blog asking which three books would you take back or forward into time? Hard, wasn’t it? Good thing I didn’t ask which one book would you bring back — one  book to describe life, civilization, history, and emotions, just wouldn’t work.

At least for me.

But listening to a play list I made on Amazon Prime (more on that later), Cristofori’s Dream came up. Every time I hear that song I stop and listen. It is categorized as New Age, but that’s just huffy puffy. It’s instrumental piano. I would put it in the same category as Chopin’s Nocturne  Op 9 Number 2 in E Flat Major (or the like).

Christofori’s Dream to me is magic, a touch of melancholy mixed in with a universe of possibilities. It is my creative muse in musical form. It gives me calm inspiration, if you know what I mean.

I have other inspirational songs I listen to as well, but there is something about the way David Lanz plays this that makes me want to stop and dream for six minutes.

And I do.

So for today (at least), this is my favorite song.

One fact I found out on this journey — the album was dedicated to (and named after) Bartolomeo Cristofori, who is widely regarded to be the inventor of the piano.

So now. Tell me.

What is your one go-to song? How do you feel when you hear it? What does it make you think of?

I’ll be sure to follow your link and find out what you’re all about.

 

 

 

A Gift Because of a Blog

My friend Ivor is such a wonderful poet … and he seems to always be on the same wavelength as me, even though he’s in Australia and I’m in Wisconsin in the States…

His gift to me — a reaction to my blog Faerie Paths — Quilts:

Thank you, my friend.

 

 

A Quilt, For A Good Man

A quilt, made by hand.
Definitely for a man.
Bold and beautiful.
But again, I was a fool.
A quilt for lonely nights.
Definitely made for a cool moonlight.
Patterns of music notes and instruments.
But a gift, not Mozart’s 1st movement.
A quilt, reminds me constantly.
Definitely not unpleasantly.
Like winter leaves, grey and black.
And again, there’s no turning back.

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Charles M. Schulz

 

Charles Monroe Schulz was born in Minneapolis on November 26, 1922,  and grew up in Saint Paul, Minnesota.Throughout his youth, Schulz and his father shared a Sunday morning ritual reading the funnies.

In 1937, Schulz drew a picture of Spike (his dog) and sent it to Ripley’s Believe It or Not!; his drawing appeared in Robert Ripley’s syndicated panel, and Schulz was hooked.Schulz’s first group of regular cartoons, a weekly series of one-panel jokes called Li’l Folks, was published from June 1947 to January 1950 in the St. Paul Pioneer Press.In May 1948, Schulz sold his first one-panel drawing to The Saturday Evening Post; within the next two years, a total of 17 untitled drawings by Schulz were published simultaneously with his work for the Pioneer Press.Schulz had also developed a comic strip usually using four panels rather than one, and to his delight, the syndicate preferred that version, although they had to change the title for legal reasons, and selected a new name — Peanuts.

Peanuts, with its cast of characters including Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, and Snoopy, made its first appearance on October 2, 1950, in seven newspapers. The weekly Sunday page debuted on January 6, 1952.After a slow start, Peanuts eventually became one of the most popular comic strips of all time, as well as one of the most influential.Schulz drew much of his comic strip from his own life including his own shyness and melancholy,  having an intelligent dog when he was a boy, and Charlie Brown’s crush on the little red-haired little girl.

The continuing popular appeal of Peanuts stems, in large part, from Schulz’s ability to portray his observations and connect to his audience in ways that many other strips cannot.Schulz’s understated genius lay in his ability to keep his well-known and comfortable characters fresh enough to attract new readers while keeping his current audience coming back for more. His humor was at times observational, wry, sarcastic, nostalgic, bittersweet, silly, and melancholy, with occasional flights of fancy and suspension of reality thrown in from time to time. More of Charles Schulz’s wonderful comic strips can be found at https://schulzmuseum.org/ and https://www.animazing.com/charles-schulz.

 

 

 

No One Wants To Be Old

Let’s face it.

The only ones who ever want to be “older” are under 10 or near 21. Once they are “older” they will be able to do what they want whenever they want however they want to do it. No one to tell them what to do, where to go, what to eat; no one to tell them to sit up straight, don’t shuffle your feet when you walk, or make sure you eat a balanced meal.

One day you look around you and you wonder why no one told you not to eat that loaded pizza or date that iffy weirdo or to go to bed early.

There’s no one there.

I went camping over the weekend with good, good friends. No kids, just grandparents. Driving through one of the touristy northern Wisconsin towns, I couldn’t help but notice that there were nothing but old people walking the streets, shopping, eating, holding hands or walking 15 paces apart.

Where were the kids? The kids with their kids? Where were the lovers, the blind daters, and the honeymooners?

All that walked up and down the crowded streets were old people.

I couldn’t possibly fit into that category.

Old people were bent over and white haired and feeble minded and  wear North Face outerwear and tan sun block sun glasses. Old people scour the menus in restaurants for senior citizen discounts and always drive five miles per hour under the speed limit. They can’t see, they can’t hear and they’re stubborn in their opinions of the world.

That’s not me. That will never be me.

Now, if you believe that, I’ve got a three-eyed raven to sell you.

I am a senior citizen and then some.

I don’t like it, I don’t admit it, I don’t want it. That’s always the other person. Not me. I’m too young and bright and clever and amusing to be old.

Not like there’s anything wrong with old people, mind you. The world is full of old people. All shapes, sizes, colors, income levels, and energy levels.

The stigma of being “old” has been with me all of my life. Don’t know if it was bred into me as a kid, a fear and easement through my youth, an excuse for messing up, or fear of making the wrong choices.

But there’s no way I am almost 70 with a lifetime of tales behind me.

I found myself telling my hubby this weekend that I loved just sitting around the campsite in the peace and quiet just sitting. Not running after grandkids, not going shopping, not throwing in another load of laundry. Just sitting and looking at the trees, listening to the birds, and feeling the cool breeze across my face.

How boring.

How 70ish.

There’s so much more I want to do in my life. I’m done with Angel Tears for the season, but there’s turning a doll house into a haunted house I need to do with my granddaughter, Deer Hunter Widow’s weekend to plan, movies I want to watch, stories I need to finish, and books I want to read.

Not sitting around and watching the leaves blow.

The happy ending to this story is that at this point in my life I can do what I want, go where I want, be what I want. 70 or 50 or 15.

And there’s not one thing wrong in looking at the senior citizen menu. OR the blowing leaves.

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Micah Ofstedahl

Micah Ofstedahl is an artist from Austin, Minnesota who enjoys creating what some have called abstract surrealism.Inspired at a young age by the art of Salvador Dali, Ofstedahl went on to study sculpture in college before focusing on surrealist painting.Ofstedahl’s paintings are semi-representational, and in creating his abstract art he is drawing on the rich diversity of forms found in nature.He explores in his work the hidden sides of reality, his focus often on such things as microscopic patterns in nature and the composition of the cells in our own bodies.These are subjects that biology and microbiology continue to explore, from the neurons in our brains to the fabric of the universe.Upon immersing observers within the acrylic painter’s inspirational environments,  the artist’s glassy, shimmering spectrum ripples are finally visible.“In my quest for inspiration I am constantly being amazed by the hidden beauty and complexity of the world and this is largely what I hope to convey to my audience,” Ofsterdahl explains.More of Micah Ofstedahl‘s unusual paintings can be found at https://www.micahofstedahl.com/ and https://www.instagram.com/micahofstedahl/.

 

 

New Week Inspiration 💕🌞 . . . And let that love embrace you as you go into the world — Purplerays (repost)

* * May a kind word, a reassuring touch, a warm smile be yoursEvery day of your life,And May you give these gifts as well as receive them.Remember the sunshine when the storm seems unending.Teach love to those who know hate,And let that love embrace you as you go into the world. (Sandra Sturtz Hauss) […]

New Week Inspiration 💕🌞 . . . And let that love embrace you as you go into the world — Purplerays

Fall into Autumn — janbeek (repost)

 

Fall
Summer’s gone
Experiencing cooler weather
Enjoying the changing colors
Autumn

(Elfchen are poems with 11 words
The pattern is 1+2+3+4+1)
I enjoy reading Richard’s at Big Sky Buckeye…..

Changes
Green – Orange
Temperatures affect them
They decorate the branches
Leaves

 

 

Fall into Autumn — janbeek 

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Nicolas Party

Best known for his unique approach to landscapes, portraits and still lifes created in pastel, critically admired New York-based Swiss artist Nicolas Party directs his idiosyncratic choice of medium toward otherworldly depictions of objects, both natural and manmade.

Born in Lausanne in 1980, Party is a figurative painter who has achieved critical admiration for his familiar yet unsettling landscapes, portraits, and still lifes that simultaneously celebrate and challenge conventions of representational painting.

The artist’s childhood in Switzerland imprinted upon him an early fascination with landscape and the natural world, and the influence of his native country places Party firmly within the trajectory of central European landscape painting.Based in New York and Brussels, Party studied at the Lausanne School of Art in Switzerland before receiving his MFA from Glasgow School of Art in ScotlandHis works are primarily created in soft pastel, an idiosyncratic choice of medium in the 21st-century, and one that allows for exceptional degrees of intensity and fluidity in his depictions of objects both natural and manmade.Transforming objects into abstracted, biomorphic shapes, Party suggests deeper connections and meanings.His unique visual language has coalesced in a universe of fantastical characters and motifs where perspective is heightened and skewed to uncanny effect.In addition to paintings, Party creates public murals, pietra dura, ceramics, installation works, and sculptures, including painted busts and body parts that allude to the famous fragments of ancient Greece and Rome.More of Nicolas Party‘s colorful works can be found at https://kaufmannrepetto.com/artist/nicolas-party/ and https://www.hauserwirth.com/artists/25115-nicolas-party/.

Variety is the Spice of Life……….. — Boundless Blessings by Kamal (repost)

 

Life has much in store for you to receive, it is how open you are to receiving it is in your hands only. The importance of good people in our life they say is just like the importance of heartbeats. It is not visible but silently support our life. Either you can make the best […]

Variety is the Spice of Life……….. — Boundless Blessings by Kamal

 

 

Sharing the Magic

First a bit of positive vibes —

Had a great time at my craft fair up north in Wisconsin this weekend. Lots of traffic, decent sales, cloudy weather, Angel Tear sparkles, and lots of interesting people walking by.

Very interesting people.

But I digress.

Last night and today I tried catching up on other’s  blogs. What a backlog! What a delight! 

There were a number of wonderful, feel-good blogs back there. I left my computer smiling, twinkling, and looking forward to tomorrow and the next day and the next.

So I’ve been thinking of reposting a few of those good-news-and-feelings posts this week. With the weather changing, the daylight getting shorter, and getting ready to wrap up summer/fall with one more camping trip, I hope you feel as good as I did when I read them.

Here’s my own offering today — feel-good sayings from around the world. Love you all.

 

May your home always be too small to hold all your friends.
Irish Saying

Das Leben ist bezaubernd, man muss es nur durch die richtige Brille sehen.
Life is wonderful, you just need to see it through the right glasses.
German Saying

Kahuna Nui Hale Kealohalani Makua
Love all you see, including yourself.
Hawaiian Saying

Qui vole un œuf, vole un bœuf.
Eat well, laugh often, love abundantly.
French Saying

Sin che si vive, s’impara sempre.
As long as you live, you always learn.
Italian Saying

De músico, poeta y loco, todos tenemos un poco.
We all have a little bit of musician, poet and crazy person in ourselves.
Spanish Saying

一只鸟不会唱歌,因为它有答案。 它唱歌是因为它有一首歌
A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.
Chinese Saying

We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love; and then we return home.
Australian Saying

Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
American Saying

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Katrin Vates

Katrin Vates is an embroidery artist that has started to gain a following for her beautifully embroidered landscapes.Vates grew up in a small town in Siberia, but now calls the United States home where she raises her family.Using bleached canvas as a base, Vates works with thread in natural color palettes of greens or autumnal hues that she lays in variable lengths and thicknesses.Vates evokes the lushness of the great outdoors through embroidery. Her meticulously detailed landscapes depict tall trees and hidden houses via tiny stitches.She rarely sketches a preliminary design and never attaches a hoop, which allows more freedom to adjust both the image and the ways weather and sunlight impact the scenes.If you’ve ever stitched before, you might think Vates’ work is all French knots— the tiny balls that dot the surface of the fabric.And while French knots are part of her stitch repertoire, Vates also employs the regular straight stitch and chain stitch.“I have learned how to use the straight stitch in such a way that it can be difficult to distinguish it from a French knot,” Vates shares.“Such technique allows me to bring more realism into my embroidery.”More of Katrin Vates’ extraordinary stitchery can be found at https://taplink.cc/katrin.vates and https://www.instagram.com/katrin.vates/.

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Noah Deledda

Noah Deledda is an American can sculptor and artist who transforms everyday aluminum cans into works of art using nothing but his fingertips.Despite the absence of a formal art education, Deledda gained notoriety in the 1990s, first as a graffiti artist, and then as a graphic design artist.

Deledda carefully presses and creases intricate geometric patterns into the surface of plain cylindrical cans using carefully placed pressure from his fingers and the edge of his nails.

His blank canvas begins with a simple beverage purchase; it is stripped of its painted exterior using a special acid wash, leaving a shiny silver face for his sculptures.Denting, creasing and crushing is then carried out by hand; a process that is repeated and refined into many different forms.“Through sculpture I try to create something unique out of an ordinary object. In this case, a common disposable object,” the artist explains.“The technique itself also embodies this theme of elevation by implementing the incidental gestures of disposal, the ‘scratch, dent and crease.’ Through artistic principles these actions are re-imagined.” More of Noah Deledda‘s creative art can be found at https://www.noahdeledda.com/. 

 

 

A Blog With No Name

I usually try and save Monday Blogs for sharing thoughts, inspirations, and, if possible, gossip.

Monday came and went, and I made no effort to stop it.

I was feeling like a heel. I was going to meet one of my good blogging friends for coffee, a meet-and-finally-greet kind of thing as she and her hubby were travelling to and from Wisconsin to visit family. I wound up canceling our meeting because I’m over my head in Angel Tears, and feel like I’m going to sparkle my way out of existence.

Do we often bite off more than we can chew?

We can’t spit it out, we can’t immediately swallow our choices, so we often sit with an overly full mouth of food like a hungry squirrel.

I want to be busy, yet when I’m busy I want to do nothing.

I want to feel special, yet when I start feeling special I want to be ignored.

And often, in the middle of all these wants I find myself tripping over my own feet.

I think I’ve told you that I have a big craft show coming up this Saturday. I’ve only been in two shows in my life, both in the same town. One was not bad, the other was in the rain and fog and cold weather. This one is going to be part of Octoberfest in a big northern Wisconsin city, and the weather is supposed to be cool and partly sunny. This one is going to be bigger and busier than I’ve ever been.

And I don’t think I’m ready.

I never thought I was a negative person by trade. Life comes and goes and the sun shares the billboard with rain and I’m good with all of it. Yet the pressure I put on myself not only made me miss a chance to meet a friend, but encouraged messy mistakes I have no business making.

I know I will survive this fun and busy time. I always do. I have no choice.

You will survive your silly and important tests, too. Never doubt yourself. There is only one way to go in life and that’s forward. Whether you want to or not.

You may not always like where you’re going or where you wind up. But that, too, is temporary.

Love is always around you. So is success. It just takes a little extra effort to open your arms and let them in.

Just make sure your arms aren’t full of craft supplies.

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Koos Van Den Akker

Koos Van Den Akker (1939 – 2015) was a Dutch-born fashion designer who lived and worked in New York City.

Van Den Akker was recognized for his Koos fashion label (1969-2015) which featured flamboyant idiosyncratic garments adorned with Koos’ unique collage work and cuts.

Born Koos Van Den Akker in The Hague, the Netherlands, Koos taught himself to sew using a simple sewing machine and his first creation was a dress made from a white bed sheet for his sister.At just age 15, Van Den Akker bypassed the 18-year-old requirement age to attend the Royal Academy of Art where he studied fashion and made window displays for a department store until he was 18.

After two years, Van Den Akker voyaged to Paris to design window displays for the renowned Galeries Lafayette, but realizing he needed more formal training, enrolled in L’Ecole Guerre Lavigne (l’Ecole Supérieure des Arts et techniques de la Mode, Esmod) which was located in the same building as the Christian Dior workrooms.

Christian Dior picked Van Den Akker as an apprentice, and, after three years, Van Den Akker moved back to the Netherlands and started his own business  in The Hague where he slept in a small room in the back.For Van Den Akker,  fabric was always the focal point. Not just a single luxury fabric, but a riotous mix of fabric patches and panels combined into a surprisingly unified whole.Though the designer rejected the haute couture emphasis on the relationship between the body and garment, his painstaking and detail-oriented design process revealed his training in the haute couture.

Each piece was hand-cut and manipulated on the foundation until the desired effect was achieved, and after each element of the collage was basted to the foundation, applique, quilting, slashing, bias tape and other techniques or embellishments were used to create additional texture and visual appeal.By his obvious love of fabric, color, and form, Van Den Akker was able to translate those emotions into incredible and breathtaking garments.

More of Koos Van Den Akker’s creations can be found at https://www.threadsmagazine.com/2015/02/05/tribute-to-koos-van-den-akker and http://www.fashionencyclopedia.com/To-Vi/Van-Den-Akker-Koos.html.

 

 

Faerie Paths — Faeries

 

Gail Shumway

 

Grandfather says that sometimes,
When stars are twinkling and
A new moon shines, there come times
When folks see fairy-land!
So when there’s next a new moon,
I mean to watch all night!
Grandfather says a blue moon
Is best for fairy light,
And in a peach-bloom, maybe,
If I look I shall see
A little fairy baby
No bigger than a bee!

~ Evelyn Stein

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Gil Bruvel

Gil Bruvel is a visionary artist, capable of translating complex ideas and fleeting impressions into stunning works of art.

His art emerges from a deep contemplation of images, emotions, and sensations, which he refines continually before he casts them into material form.

Gil Bruvel was born in Australia, but raised in the South of France.

His father, a cabinetmaker by profession, taught him furniture design and wood sculpting. Once he gained these skills, he began his studies at an art restoration workshop in Chateaurenard, France, where he learned the techniques of old and modern masters.

It was here that he got a chance to enhance his knowledge about wood and within no time was crafting portraits in wood.

Bruvel’s work displays a mastery of technique and high-level craftsmanship.

His sculptures in bronze, wood, and stainless steel, as well as his functional furniture and mixed media, all reflect a well-defined move towards three-dimensional representation.

A look at Bruvel’s works makes it evident that this visionary artist is certainly capable of transforming his unique ideas into stunning works of art.

More of Gil Bruvel‘s marvelously creative woodworks can be found at https://www.bruvel.com/ and https://chloefinearts.com/artist/gil-bruvel.

 

 

 

 

 

I Almost Missed National Live Creative Day

Today is National Live Creative Day. And I have never heard of it.

This is not to be confused with National Creative Day, which is May 30th. Which I’ve never heard of, either.

Here I am, miss Creativity, pushing being creative all the time, never hearing of a holiday — or holidays — devoted to just this topic.

What kind of ambassador am I?

National Live Creative Day was introduced in 2016 by an American company called “Creative Promotional Products.” Founded in 1994 and located in Illinois, Chicago, the company provides full-service promotional products to brands. They provide a wide range of services, which include brand awareness campaigns, custom-decorated apparel, corporate and executive gifts, incentive programs, and printing services.

National Creativity Day in was created in 2018 by Hal Croasmun and ScreenwritingU who created this national celebration to celebrate the imaginative spirits everywhere and to encourage them to keep creating.

Well, you and I know we don’t need a particular day to be creative. Do we?

I celebrate being creative every day. Even if I don’t do one creative thing.

I think “being creative” is more like an aura that follows you around like talcum powder. Hanging around in the air, leaving a slight residue on the furniture, slightly scented in your favorite fragrance or like the fresh air outside. It’s all part of your breathing process, always there, always tickling your senses, until you are ready to sneeze it out into something new and unusual.

Okay. So I’m not the greatest at metaphors.

But I am great at celebrating your and my creativity. Each and ever day. 

Don’t wait until you find time, space, or materials. Doodle an entire page of a lined tablet. Sketch a landscape on the back of a receipt. Research your novel while you’re waiting in the doctor’s office. Record notes as a draft email or pull over to side of the road and write them down on your way to the grocery store.

Creativity is a part of you. You don’t need a particular day to celebrate it.

And, since you don’t need a special day to celebrate your talent, you won’t feel bad if you forget the date.

 

The Cat

A rare personal story …

Over the weekend we had a Memorial Bonfire for my son that I lost in February because of a random shooting.

We had all kinds of family and friends over for food, fun, and fire. It was an emotional and wonderful day, full of love and sadness and bonding.

We built a cairn (a heap of stones piled up as a memorial or as a landmark) in the corner garden from a pile of rocks that were dumped under a tree in the back yard before we even moved here.

During the day’s festivities, this gray and white cat appeared. My dog initially chased her up a tree, but that did not deter her one bit. Not long after, she came down and started loving up everyone. She would lay on the wood pile, at people’s feet, even on the top stair of the staircase leading to our front deck. She was not phased by any one or any thing.

The dogs began to merely sniff her, then eventually ignored her. She was picked up, loved, pet, and fed.

The thing is — this wasn’t my cat.

I had never seen this cat before.

Two of my friends wanted to take her home. Another named her Stella. Much debate ensued throughout the evening, and it was finally decided that if she returned the next day I would take her in and tell my wannabe cat mamas.

The last time I saw her was in late twilight, walking away down one of the paths we have running around the landscape of our property.

I haven’t seen her again.

And I wondered …

I don’t believe in signs, the afterlife, or a higher power, especially after a traumatic event like I experienced.

But.

Was this cat merely a stray that wandered into my party?

Or did my son send me a sign that all was well on the other side?

I prefer not to judge nor make a decision about what happened that day. I will leave the truth to the powers that be.

But you made my day, Stella …Thank you.

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Georges Braque

Georges Braque (1882 – 1963) was a 20th century French painter best known for inventing Cubism with Pablo Picasso.

Houses of l’Estaque

Cubism was a highly influential visual arts style of the 20th century that was created principally by the artists Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque in Paris between 1907 and 1914. 

Interior with Pallette

The two artists worked closely together until the outbreak of World War I, upon which Braque joined the French Amy and left Picasso’s side.

Violin Melodie

After his return from the war, in which he was seriously wounded in the battlefield, Braque moved away from the harsh lines and sharp pointed complexity of the cubist style, and instead began to paint pieces with bright colors and eventually return to the human figure.

Still Life with Grapes

Throughout his life, Braque’s work focused on still life and means of viewing objects from various perspectives through color, line, and texture.

Still Life with Bottle of Bass

Along with Cubism, Braque used the styles of Impressionism, Fauvism and collage, and even staged designs for the Ballet Russes.

The Portuguese

He never strayed far from Cubism, though, as there were always aspects of it in his works.

The Man of the Guitar

More of Georges Braque‘s work can be found at https://www.georgesbraque.org/.