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 all 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/.

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Kiva Ford

Kiva Ford‘s passion with glass is anchored by his college degree in Scientific Glassblowing.

Now the glass artist draws from his vast experience in scientific glassblowing to create perfect miniatures of wine glasses, beakers, and ribbon-striped vases.Some pieces are scarcely an inch tall.

Kiva’s pursuit of technique, form, and precision are apparent throughout his work.

“In this business, you really have to understand what certain glass pieces want to do, and what they don’t want to do.”

So not only has Kiva perfected his technique at work, but also in his world of miniatures.More of Kiva Ford‘s miniatures (and more) can be found at https://www.kivaford.com/.

 

 

Wednesday Rewinds

I know most people are in a hurry when they read blogs — they need to grock all the information in a short time so they can digest it later.

To those of you who write longer blogs, I salute you. I enjoy you, too. I used to write paragraph after paragraph, telling the story as I danced through to the punchline. Now it’s either I’m more A.D.D. or have a smaller attention span, but my blogs have shortened through time.

But I was wandering back BACK through my history the other day and came across a few blogs that at least brought a smile to my face.

If you have time, click on one of the links below and see where my mind was eleven, nine, seven years ago…..

 

COSMIC CHATTER– 7/11 — Trying to concentrate in a world of chaos (939 words)

 

Dancing in a Too-Tight Tutu — October 2011 — What’s acting our age? (786 words)

Karma in the Troll Hole — October 2013 — Payback doesn’t always come the way you want it to…or does it? (702 words)

 

When is a Cherry not a Cherry? — June 2014 — Giggling as I type certain words for work…and beyond (601 words)

 

Take a few minutes out of your busy day and look back at some of your own work. A trip back in history never hurts!

 

Long Live Robin Hood!

I have a question for my younger readers this eve.

First — let me set the scene. Since I’m over movies on the paid outlets (Amazon Prime, Netflix, Tubi) in general, I often stop at Good Will or other resale shops and look through their DVD collections. I often find great movies I’ve seen before, all around $1.99 a piece… so much less than renting a movie.

Last week hubby and I came across the movie Robin Hood with Errol Flynn and Olivia De Havilland from 1938. For us boomers, it’s a classic. 

When I sat down tonight and watched it, I also went to IMDB to read the trivia about the movie (I LOVE behind the scenes gossip!)

In IMDB there are 15+ movies named a version of Robin Hood, plus a number of TV series with similar titles. Many attempts to portray the legend, only one real version. The 1938 version.

But that’s a baby boomer talking.

So my question for my younger friends — do you even know about the Errol Flynn version? Do you hold it in high regards? Or are you more in tune with the more modern versions?

I’d love to know the movie tastes of my younger creative muses. My son is in that category, and he really likes the oldie version. But that is more because we as parents made him watch it a half dozen times during his 39 years on earth.

I love today’s movies — I love special effects, CGI, I enjoy stories about topics that were taboo 10 or 20 or 30 years ago. Today’s actors are knock outs, today’s women foxes. Makes me wish I were 25 again.

But there’s something about the classics that never get old. They are always fresh and sometimes overdone and bright and delightful.

Many are from a time when technicolor was new. There were no light sabers or space travel or computer generated dinosaurs. There was a bit of trick photography, a lot of cardboard backgrounds, and a fuzzy hue over most photography.

But the old movies have such a solid place in cinematographic history. When movies first became popular it was all the entertainment civilization had. 

Think of Robin Hood. Casablanca. White Heat. Gone With the Wind. Perhaps not the most realistic of photography or dialogue or staging. But it was new and real. 

And that’s why I was like a kid at Christmas to find Robin Hood in Good Will discount DVD section. It was like finding a ruby on the sandy beach. We snatched it up before someone else dare find it.

My younger friends — would YOU have snatched up a movie from the late 30’s? 40’s? 50’s? 

What do you consider a classic? A keeper?  I’d love to know what you consider a classic.

Even if you are yet to BE a classic….

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — James Lipnickas

James Lipnickas, a New Haven, Connecticut-based artist, creates towering sci-fi structures filled with futuristic labs, clashes with aliens, and massive laser beams shooting from rooftops.Working in graphite, Lipnickas uses heavy shading to shroud his architectural renderings in mystery and unfamiliarity as tentacled creatures crack through the walls and humans become science experiments.Mystery is a strong theme in his work.

He has always gravitated towards reading and watching stories involving detectives, the supernatural and the unexplained (UFOs).Amidst the machines and eerie contraptions, the artist interrupts each building with a level containing a garden bed or an illuminated tree grove.He finds inspiration in his wandering mind, envisioning absurd events that could occur in ordinary situations.His black-and-white images are set in rural environments, where cabins and lone wanderers are beset by tentacled, multi-dimensional beasts that seem curious or passively destructive.“The future holds many unknowns (technology and lifeforms).  We can’t forget the natural world while we move further from it,” Lipnickas shares.More of James Lipnickas‘s magical sketches can be found at http://jameslipnickas.com/.

 

 

Is It Art If You Don’t Like It?

Blue Dot, Scott Schafer

This past weekend I went to another live music event — a Smooth Jazz Festival held in a beautiful music and concert hall in Milwaukee.

There were three performing segments — wonderful, upbeat music. Saxophones and Base Altos and guitars and drums all melded to make peppy, feel-good music.

Until the third band. The most famous band. The artist I’ve followed for more than 40 years. His form of smooth jazz was, well smooth. Melodious. Bright. Mellow. Did I say melodious?

Somewhere in the past 40 years my main man had gone a little contemporary. A little hip hop. A little infusion.

And that’s all his portion of the concert was.

I tried to find and follow a melody in all the songs he and his little band played. I am used to jazz players going off script a bit, throwing some fancy key strokes in and above what the song calls for. A lot of musicians do that.

But every one of his songs added a mess of notes that matched nothing. Riffs and repeats and wrong keys and 10 minute drum solos and base solos that played the same riff over and over and a saxophonist who played the same four or five notes 15 times in a row before moving the next four notes, repeating the jam again. 

I hated it. I felt bad, but I hated it.

It was painful to listen to. My hopes for a melodious conclusion were smashed against the rocks. I couldn’t wait until the set was over. Eventually it was.

The audience loved it.

They cheered and screamed and yelled yeah baby after every solo, after every piano riff, after every jam and hip hop funky fusion song.

So my question to you today is — was that performance still art?

The musicians were spectacular. Amazing drum work. Smooth steady base playing. The saxophonist played the flute as well, and he was spot on. The headliner ran his fingers over the keyboard like Liberace.

Yet every song grated on my nerves like some abstract art painting.

Was the music still art if I didn’t like it? If it didn’t sound like music? If it didn’t ebb and flow and bring joy to some of the hearts in the audience?

I think over 40 years everybody changes. We are not the starving artists of our 20s. We are more mature these days, more confident, more willing to try something new and exciting. 

Just not like this.

What do you think?

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Unique Flowers

Flowers have spoken to me more than I can tell in written words. They are the hieroglyphics of angels, loved by all men for the beauty of their character, though few can decipher even fragments of their meaning. 

– Lydia M. Child

 

Calceolaria (Calceolaria-corymbosa)

 

Bat Face Cuphea (Cuphea Llavea)

 

Beehive (or Honeycomb) Ginger (Zingiber spectabile)

 

Glorybower (Clerodendrum trichotomum)

 

Brazilian Dutchman’s Pipe (Aristolochia sylvicola)

 

Purple Passion Flower, Hardy Passion Vine (Passiflora incarnata)

 

Orange Pincushion Protea (Leucospermum}

 

Pitcher plant (Nepenthes spectabilis X ventricosa)

 

Star of Persia (Allium cristophii)

 

Soprano Lilac Spoon (Osteospermum)

 

Blue Kalanchoe (Bryophyllum delagoense)

 

Japanese Snake Gourd (Trichosanthes pilosa)

 

Tropaeolum Tricolor (Tricolor Nasturtium)

 

 

 

Saturday Night — Tell Me A Story

 

 

Wandering as I usually do, I came across this photo, and I fell in love with it. 

Besides the obvious Poe reference, it calls for a story. 

What kind of story would YOU write?

I’ll go first:

It’s a story about a little girl with dark brown hair and green eyes hidden by wire rimmed glasses. She is only nine — feeling much older, of course, when she has to keep an eye on her little brother.

But that’s besides the point.

It’s once upon a midnight dreary because it’s Christmas Eve — heck, past Christmas Eve — and, sneaking downstairs sometime after midnight, the little girl discovered that Santa had not come yet! How dreary!

 

 

 

Who Are You?

In digging around my website today, I saw that I have 2,213 followers.

No way.

There is no way that 2,213 people are interested in what I have to say.

I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to click that little button that says “follow.” But its more than that. So much more than that.

I have always managed to throw a little magic, a little BoHo, a little philosophy, a little old lady wisdom into my posts, along with a lot of unique art and moral support for creative people of all sorts. I really believe in encouraging and discovering each other’s possibilities. 

But 2,213 people. 

Who are you?

What are you all about?

Dipping into the followers names I see SheDesigns and KHartless and Perfectlyimperfectme5 and MalloryHasler  and junemurphy57 and JeffFlesh and hundreds more, and I wonder — what are you all about? What is your life about? What do you do for a living, for fun, for inspiration?

Is your life full of heartbreak? Happiness? Confusion? Are you an artist? A brick layer? A dancer?

At this semi-advanced age I would have a hard time remembering everything you shared, yet I would love to know how you got to where you are now. Where you are going. What you want to be when (and if) you grow up.

I’d love to know if followers like empressakosua and AprellMay and scottatirrell really read me now and then, if I share anything worthwhile, make any of them smile.

Do followers like lorraineanne and JacR and santmarcair enjoy my art galleries? Do friends like Jaypatel and thebetterhouseco and cgusti find any inspiration from my walks down Faerie Paths?

It’s a wide, wonderful, horrible world out there. There are some losses I will never overcome, other blessings I will never forget. Like all of you, I love and hate and laugh and dance in front of the stereo and read the classics and make Angel Tears that sparkle in the sunlight. Writing makes me feel good, walking through the woods makes me feel good, and you all make me feel good.

It’s something we all should do. Feel good, that is. And share. Who we are, what we’re doing, where we’re going.

That’s what makes life so sweet.

 

 

Faerie Paths — Night

 

Athwart the star-lit midnight sky
Luminous fleecy clouds drift by,
As the mysterious, pallid moon
Sinks in the waveless still lagoon.
Now that the queen of night is dead,
The starry commonwealth o’erhead
(Softer and fairer than gaudy day)
Sheds lustrous light from the Milky Way;
While the Dog-star gleams, and the Sisters Seven,
Float tremulously in the misty heaven.
Faintly, afar the horse-bells ring;
Myriads of wakened crickets sing;
And the spirit voices of the night
Sing snatches of fairy music bright,
Old-world melodies – lang syne sung –
Recalling days when the heart was young,
Whose wonderful cadences fall and rise,
As the wind in the casuarina sighs;
And the world seems ‘gulfed, this summer night,
In a flood of delicious, dreamy light.

~Harry Breaker Morant

 

 

Getting On Track Monday Morning

It’s Monday Morning and I already feel the creative juices flowing as I sip my morning coffee.

I am one of those fortunate creatures who are able to start creatin’ in the morning, as I am retired. I have a tendency to look forward with trepidation, as I DO have fewer years ahead of me than behind, but I make a point to not think about what I won’t be able to do and focus on what I can do.

I went to an Irish music festival over the weekend, and I can tell you, there’s nothing more motivating than watching music and creativity and talent all shining through individual and group entertainers. The excitement, the power of emotions, the precise notes matched and enhanced, the wonderful combination of traditional and modern, all swirled and melded into wonderful music and wonderful inspiration.

I am forever in awe of artists who can play a piano or a guitar or sing with grace and talent. It’s all hard work — to begin, to continue your craft. There are no shortcuts to fine tuning any skill.

Those of us who are not “born” with talent still have a chance to show off our skills. With practice, dedication, and love of our art, there is no reason why we can’t show off our worth, too.

We may not be an Ernest Hemingway or an Itzhak Perlman or a Georgia O’Keeffe.

But then again, we might be.

We never know until the very end. Even then we have no idea where our creativity will wind up.  So why not have fun with what we’ve got and where we’re going?

Don’t give up on your piano, your knitting, or your writing. Go abstract! Go traditional! Go wild!

Make your Monday Mornings count for something… even if you can’t get going ’till Monday Evening!

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Maria Rivans

Maria Rivans is a contemporary British artist known for her scrapbook-style collage artwork.A mash-up of Surrealism meets Pop-Art, Rivans’ work re-appropriates vintage collectables to create dreamy realms which transport the viewer into fantastical worlds of the imaginary, each one suffused with vivid color, arresting imagery, and intricate detail.Rivans’ collages have a firm running theme of vintage Hollywood films, B-movies and old television shows. Her process begins with her extensive collection of vintage papers which she scavenges from antique books and retro magazines.She is always on the look-out for that perfect ‘something’ in second-hand shops and at market stalls.Like piecing together an unruly jigsaw puzzle, Rivans begins to collate and assemble the skillfully cut-out fragments and scraps, laboring over long periods and making alteration after alteration, until the collage begins to take shape.Through an intense attention to detail and an artistic sensitivity to color and composition, each of Rivans’ artworks is the product of months of careful deliberations and decisions.Her collages are fun, inventive, and full of familiar faces and extensions. The collage pieces that stand in for the hairdos of movie stars of the past create a harmony and connection between today and yesterday.

More of Maria Rivans creativity can be found at https://www.mariarivans.com/. 

 

 

Everything you see has its roots in the unseen world. — Purplerays (repost)

 

I always find such inspiration in these posts — I hope you do, too!

 

* * Everything you see has its rootsin the unseen world.The forms may change,yet the essence remains the same.Every wondrous sight will vanish,every sweet word will fade.But do not be disheartened,The Source they come from is eternalgrowing, branching out,giving new life and new joy .. ~ Rumi ~ Artist Credit : Anne Marie Bonehttps://www.annmariebone.com/ * […]

Everything you see has its roots in the unseen world. — Purplerays

I Love the Impossible

It’s funny how often we are expected to suspend belief in how things work in order to be entertained.

I myself am somewhat a “duh” when it comes to technical anything, so I am one of those people who barely know the difference between possible and impossible. Real experiences and CGI. Possibility and Impossibility.

I am one of those people who watch movies and  say “Can they really do that?”

There are many movies in which what they’re doing is impossible. Liquid nitrogen freezing bodies instantly. Stealing $160 million from a casino right under security’s nose. Hijackers taking over Air Force One. Outrunning fireballs and jumping through glass walls and not getting cut. Hacking government computers.

I mean, all those ideas help move the plot forward. What’s more exciting than a tank of piranhas eating someone alive in an instant? What’s better than hot wiring some ancient alien rig to so you can ride like a cowboy across the land? Or riding on a cable from one flying airplane to another before it runs out of fuel?

I love being entertained. And I love watching something that sits right at the edge of impossible.

Now, I know there is no such thing as training raptors or landing on a space station half way between the moon and earth. That there are no such things as three-headed dogs or fire-breathing dragons. No such scenarios as ghosts befriending homeowners or dogs that talk.

But through the magic of today’s technology, all of that is possible. 

For all the madness and sadness around each of us, it is still a wonderful time to be alive. Anything you can imagine, movies can create. You can really feel like you are hacking through the middle of the jungle, wandering through the ancient pyramids, standing side-by-side with the emperor of the Qin Dynasty, or walking deep under ground through the worlds of dwarves.

Books have been around for centuries, successfully spinning the same sort of tales, but only in the last 20 years can you actually see something that does not exist.

How they do it I have no idea. Like magicians and their tricks, I’m not sure I want to know how it’s done. I’d rather float in the pool of ignorance and have a good time believing the impossible.

There is nothing wrong with being fooled by the magic of technology and the possibilities of the mind. The singer/actress Cher sums it up best:

 “Until you’re ready to look foolish, you’ll never have the possibility of being great.”

 

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Cloisonné from the Ming Empire

 

The art of Cloisonné first developed in the jewelry of the ancient Near EastFrom Byzantium or the Islamic world, the technique reached China in the 13–14th centuries.Cloisonné is the technique of creating designs on metal vessels with colored-glass paste placed within enclosures made of copper or bronze wires, which have been bent or hammered into the desired pattern.Known as cloisons (French for “partitions”), the enclosures generally are either pasted or soldered onto the metal body.The glass paste, or enamel, is colored with metallic oxide and painted into the contained areas of the design, which is then fired in a kiln then polished.The craftsmen in the Ming Empire (1368-1644) made enamelware by firing different powdered minerals into long-lasting enamel.The earliest known Ming era example of cloisonné was produced sometime around the year 1430. But it isn’t known when the craft was first practiced.Initially, craftspeople in the Ming Empire mainly created cloisonné artwork on metal objects such as brass or bronze vases, kettles, or other objects. But they also innovated beautiful cloisonné artwork on porcelain vessels.In the first half of the Ming dynasty, the court actively recruited painters from across the empire to serve in an academy producing works on themes that acclaimed the court’s majesty and glory.])The Ming enamels, bold in design with fine depth and purity of color, were never surpassed in later epochs.Although cloisonné is a world-wide art form, the colors and style of ancient Chinese history offer a unique and beautiful reflection of a people and their craftmanship.

 

Words

Do you think that certain words are overused these days?

In conversations, in publications, in social media, there are words that are repeated over and over so much that they often lose their appeal. Their purpose.

I know ~I~ tend to overuse certain words when writing. I’ve caught myself repeating words like “like” and “as if” every other sentence. That’s one of the words/phrases I double check for when I read through something.

I also find myself saying “cool” and “wonderful” and “amazing” a lot. I suppose it doesn’t take much to impress me, and those are the words that instantly come up when I describe something new that I like.

The media is just as guilty of overuse to get a reaction, too “Exciting,” “cutting edge”, “innovative,” and “unprecedented” are just a few of the over-used words referred to in polls on the Internet.

Often these words, when seen, loose the punch they were meant to give. Especially if you overuse them in the same article/story/conversation.

But I also find that when you substitute words for the most popular ones, your pattern of speech changes. If I change out “I had a wonderful day yesterday!” with “I had a superb day yesterday!” does it feel the same? Flow the same? If I say “Her artwork is stunning” instead of “Her work is marvelous,”  does it mean the same thing?

I was thinking this morning about a name for this blog.  I wanted to talk about sharing information or advice or other blogs I enjoy with you. Sharing links or ideas or snippets of conversation that may bring a smile to your face.

Of course, you can also share drugs, diseases, gossip and hatred. Perhaps that’s the double edged sword of many words. They  can be taken either way.

All this came about because I wanted to let you know I enjoy sharing other people’s blogs with you. I know there are a million blogs out there, everyone creating their own niche, their own following. And that you already have too many blogs you are already committed to.

But like a great recipe, if there’s truth and/or humor and/or information to share from someone else’s offerings, it’s worth sharing. If you share because you are impressed and delighted by what you experienced, that’s good. If you share because it is an unpopular opinion or because you want others to be “on your side”,  that’s not as positive.

Try to extend and renovate your vernacular. Wonderful and amazing are great words, but use them sparingly. Find other adjectives for your same-o same-o. Shake it up! Reinvent yourself!

Sharing is cool. So is language. Use both to your embetterment!

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Giuseppe Arcimboldo

Giuseppe Arcimboldo (1527–1593) was an Italian painter best known for creating imaginative portrait heads made entirely of objects such as fruits, vegetables, flowers, fish and books.

He was a conventional court painter of portraits for three Holy Roman Emperors in Vienna and Prague, also producing religious subjects and, among other things, a series of colored drawings of exotic animals in the imperial menagerie.Arcimboldo’s conventional work on traditional religious subjects has fallen into oblivion, but his portraits of human heads made up of vegetables, fruit and tree roots, were greatly admired by his contemporaries and remain a source of fascination today.

Art critics debated whether these paintings were whimsical or the product of a deranged mind, but the  majority of scholars hold to the view that given the Renaissance fascination with riddles, puzzles, and the bizarre, Arcimboldo, far from being mentally imbalanced, catered to the taste of his times.Arcimboldo did not leave written certificates on himself or his artwork.After the deaths of Arcimboldo and his patron, the emperor Rudolph II, the heritage of the artist was quickly forgotten, and many of his works were lost.When the Swedish army invaded Prague in 1648, during the Thirty Years’ War, many of Arcimboldo’s paintings were taken from Rudolf II’s collection.His paintings have been cited as precursors to Surrealism and were highly prized by Salvador Dalí and other members of the movement.

More of Giuseppe Arcimboldo‘s wonderfully strange paintings can be found at https://www.giuseppe-arcimboldo.org/ and https://www.wikiart.org/en/giuseppe-arcimboldo.

 

 

Where Your Thoughts Dwell | Heavenletters — Rainbow Wave of Light (repost)

 

Reach out for the diamonds and the rubies of the universe. 

Wonderful thoughts for a Saturday morning.

 

God said: You have to get out of thoughts about yourself, not because you have to be unselfish, but because thoughts about yourself are on a limited track. You can go only so far with thoughts about yourself. They are in a one-way direction, or they go round and round in a small circle. You […]

Where Your Thoughts Dwell | Heavenletters — Rainbow Wave of Light

 

 

Birth Is Easier Once It Happens

It felt like I birthed a baby. Although at 69 that would be somewhat of a miracle. 

The anticipation, the anxiety, the apprehension of putting something out there in front of the masses is an experience unlike any you have undergone.

People may laugh at your work.
People may make fun of your work.
People may not like your work.

For all that and more, most of us are not willing to put ourselves out in the open for others to view.

I know that’s how I felt when I had my first craft show. I mean — what are Angel Tears? Why would I want one? They’re homemade, not precisely crafted by a machine. The stone is a little off here, a little off there. 

Yet….

I birthed yet another fruit of my loins (so to speak) last Monday.

Put a book out there for people to download. For free. Something that had been percolating in various stages of embryonic development for 20 years.

Yes, 20 years.

I have written a lot more books since Corn and Shadows, but none like the first. The biggest hurdle has been jumped over, or, in my case, climbed over with a ladder and landing pads.

Isn’t that how your creativity goes?

Isn’t there something about your first creation that holds a special place in your heart?

Maybe it wasn’t your best work. Maybe it was rough at the edges or painted a little darkly or the stitches weren’t quite even.

But it was the first. Your first baby. And letting it go out into the world was a tough experience for you. Wasn’t it?

But if it wasn’t for that first release, that first foray into worlds not yours, for eyes not yours, emotions not yours, you would never have moved on to create what you do today.

For some, once is enough. For one reason or another, Vincent Van Gogh only sold one painting during his lifetime. Margaret Mitchell only wrote one book.

For others, hundreds of paintings or books or ceramic pieces aren’t enough.

But for me, Corn and Shadows was a start.

Don’t be afraid to share your work with the world. People just want to feel you, know you, through your work. Just another phase of taking one step out of the door. It is frightening and nerve wracking.

But it is also the most liberating feeling you will ever get from your own true self.

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Boguslaw Strempel

 

Boguslaw Strempel is a photographer living in Dankowice, Śląskie, Poland.Strempel is know for showcasing the charming landscape of his country and of the Czech Republic.There is something at once magical, mysterious and eerie about fog, but Strempel focuses mainly on the former.He enjoys shooting landscapes in what appears to be the wee hours of the morning to capture the mist that hovers above tree lines and mountain ranges before being evaporated by the sun.Highlighting the stunning picturesque scenes in his own native country,  Strempel eeasily tempts people to travel to those beautiful countries.Full of staggering beauty, his portfolio captivates the magic of the land and the wilderness. A step into Strempel’s photographs is a step into the past.

More of Boguslaw Strempel‘s breathtaking photography can be found at 500px and at ArtPeopleNet.

 

 

Corn and Shadows is Available as a Free E-Book

 

I am thrilled to be able to offer you my first book for free download!

 

Corn and Shadows

 

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. 

 

Just go to the Corn and Shadows page and click the title.

I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Comments, criticisms, and questions are always welcome.

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Jennybird Alcantara

Jennybird Alcantara is a Contemporary Surrealist painter from Oakland, California.

Deeply inspired by mythology, transformation, and the logic of liminal, dreamlike states, Alcantara is celebrated for her oil paintings of fantastic worlds populated by whimsical creatures and symbols.Characterized by ornate forms painted in luminous colors including pinks and reds, Alcantara’s style appears to be influenced by both academic realism and popular Surrealists.

Her art has been described as morbidly romantic, with a dreamlike narrative at its core, reflecting the connections between living beings and their environments.

Some works combine human and animal forms as well as flowers and decorative objects in a single composition that resembles a portrait or silhouette.Alcantara combines these motifs to create a symbol of the universal connection between all beings.She claims that she takes an intuitive approach to creating her brilliantly hued paintings.Alcantara’s art uses the symbolism of duality to explore the connection of life and death and the veil in between, as well as the relationship between the beauty and cruelness of nature, that of the natural world as well as human and animal nature.

More of Jennybird Alcantara’s wonderful art can be found at https://www.jennybirdart.com/.

 

 

Faerie Paths — Fairy Child

 

Children born of fairy stock
Never need for shirt or frock,
Never want for food or fire,
Always get their heart’s desire:
Jingle pockets full of gold,
Marry when they’re seven years old.
Every fairy child may keep
Two strong ponies and ten sheep;
All have houses, each his own,
Built of brick or granite stone;
They live on cherries, they run wild–
I’d love to be a Fairy’s child.

~ Robert Graves

 

The Weird World of Evil

I’d like to do a little speculating, a little exploring, a little wondering today. Come play me……

Let us first clear the way with this  miserable disclaimer just so we can talk:  I am not challenging anyone’s faith, doubting anyone’s truths, nor making sport of anything sacred, eternal, or inspirational. 

Now.

The movie Solomon Kane begins:

There was a time when the world was plunging into darkness and chaos
A time of witchcraft and sorcery.
A time when no one stood against evil.

Now you know me. I like to play with ideas and words and dreams. And the beginning words of this movie made me wonder.

What exactly is evil? What turns people into evil creatures? 

Let’s leave out the devil for a moment. The Prince of Darkness, Antichrist, and Diabolus, too.

Evil begins as a state of mind. A state of emotional instability.

Now most of us are emotionally unstable now and then. Many of us are questionable, period. But we don’t turn evil — we don’t kill or maim or abuse. We don’t haunt or terrorize or cause irreputable damage to minds or bodies.

Babies aren’t born evil. I don’t believe there is a code in one’s DNA that says “this one is evil.”

So where does it come from?

Is it bred into someone from birth? Is it manifested by abusive parents or negative sensations or  bullying at school? Is it a result of a bruised ego? A broken heart? An unbearable pain?

Hitler was an evil man. His part in World War II contributed to over 42 million deaths (and that’s a conservative estimate).  Was he evil because he merely wanted to keep the species pure? Qin Shi Huang, the First Emperor of the Qin Dynasty (259–210 BCE),  was responsible for the death of over a million people just because he wanted to build a wall to keep out the nomadic tribes of the north. Genghis Khan (1206–1227)  was reported to have killed upwards of 40 million people building the great Mongol Empire, having reduced the world’s (then)  population by as much as 11%. Did he manifest all that evil just to be the boss? An estimated 30-40 million Chinese died as a result of Mao Zedongs repeated, merciless attempts to create a new “Marxism–Leninism” China. Was he evil because he wanted all of his people to think alike?

Then there’s small time evil. Ted Bundy. John Wayne Gacy. Jeffrey Dahmer. Scott Pederson. Columbine. Sandy Hook. Uvalde. The list could fill — does fill — pages in the history books. 

You see what I mean? 

These people were the personification of evil. Self centered, single minded, steadfast in their point of view. I do not one teeny tiny bit understand nor condone their thoughts, their actions.

But were they evil? Or merely misinformed? Misguided?

Evil is not the thing of sorcerers and demons. It is a human-bred mental illness that spreads from the host to those around them.

I often wondered why Sauron wanted to rule all the people in Middle Earth in Lord of the Rings. Or Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones. Fiction is just as full of evil doers who want to rule and don’t mind killing half the population to get their way. Was it for the money? For the fame? For slights against their character, real or imagined?

Evil is so much more complicated than black and white statements. It doesn’t come from talismans or mirrors or crypts or buried crosses. Evil doesn’t arise from spells or enchantments or curses.

It is much more personal. Which makes it much more real.

You have to admit, evil is one of those esoteric topics that never really have an explanation or reason. 

Where do you think evil comes from?

 

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Terhi Tolvanen

Terhi Tolvanen was born and raised in Helsinki, Finland, and studied silversmithing at the Lahti Institute of Design and Fine Arts.She moved to Amsterdam in 1993 to attend the Gerrit Rietveld Academy and the Sandberg Instituut, from which she graduated with a master’s degree.Though she began with silver, Tolvanen later began to and make sculptural jewelry using unconventional materials.The artist is revered for her observations of nature transformed into stunning, sculptural jewelry.Juxtaposing wooden branches with silver metalwork, concrete, pearls and stone, her wearable sculptures transcend expectations and norms. Her repertoire of materials is amazing: silver, metalwork, concrete, opals, light and dark pearls, stone, and more; woods include cherry, Corkscrew willow, hornbeam, pear, heather, lavender, and elm.This amazing artists creates all forms of jewelry, but for this showcase I chose her necklaces for display.Tolvanen makes no compromises, yet they feel comfortable in their scale as they are comfortably built for wear, as if nature intended them to be just as they are, and for them to be worn.“I feel as if making jewelry is a dance,” Tolvanen shares. “I feel I should go along with materials, not work against them. What I’m trying to do is isolate the best in the material, to use it in a logical way.”More of Terhi Tolvanen‘s unusual and wonderful jewelry can be found at https://www.terhitolvanen.com/. 

 

 

I Want to Go Somewhere!

I know — it’s usually in the depths of winter when the snow is blocking the doorway and cars are slipping into the ditch and the temperatures barely reach zero that people get cabin fever and want to get out and go somewhere.

Here it is, the beautiful full days of summer, green fields and golden corn and lazy fishing in the late morning and I want to go somewhere!

Anywhere!

I don’t have much money, my husband doesn’t have any vacation time left (except for the scheduled fishing and hunting trips), I have a craft fair coming up in a few months that I need to make inventory for, grandkids to see and entertain, and yet…

I want to wander aimlessly down some artsy street and stop at some nameless café and watch the people wander by as I sip a glass of Moscato or lemonade.

I want to wear oversized flowy dresses and boho hats and lots of fun crafty jewelry and stop at art galleries and copy down names for my Gallery blog and find an off beat bar that plays jazz and swoon until I get sleepy, then wander to my hotel and fall heavily and blissfully asleep.

I want to try local cuisine and buy homemade crafts and try not to look too touristy while I try and pick up their local accent. I want to get confused with the time change and local customs and sit in the park and listen to their neighborhood orchestra do their best to play Moonlight Serenade.

I want to watch the crowds on the city streets ebb and flow with a natural rhythm that is special to that particular part of town, and enjoy the city’s night lights from a quiet bench not far from where I’m staying. I want to try a small town’s version of Chinese food and a big city’s attempt at a Chicago-style hot dog.

I want to sleep late and stay up late and sample the local news and weather reports and watch the crop reports when it’s raining out. Then I want to find the rain and dance like Gene Kelly in Singing in the Rain.

I want to watch sunrise on the lake and sunset over the mountains. I want to feed popcorn to the birds and chocolate truffles to myself. I want to cry for those who couldn’t be there with me and text those who wish they were.

I have cabin fever right smack in the middle of summer.

Where should I go?

 

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Alisa Lariushkina

Russian artist Alisa Lariushkina molds countless coiled ribbons and small twists from air-dry clay to create idyllic scenes brimming with color and texture.

Based in Vilnius, Lithuania, Lariushkina erases the line between painting and sculpture with her mesmerizing polymer clay art.

Instead of paints, this Lithuania-based artist uses these versatile modelling medium to draw the images on a flat canvas.

Thus, she creates tactile paintings that you can both see and feel.

She renders scenic landscapes by sculpting pieces of clay into expressive, swirling shapes that resemble lines.

The individual pieces of clay that make up each artwork are by formed by hand and glued together.

Describing her work, Lariushkina says, “I make figures and framed landscapes of clay. I developed my own style in 2015, using various materials for sculpting: air-dry clay, paper clay, acrylic paints, crystals, and beads.”

“…I can tell you that I came to [clay sculpting] quite spontaneously…Since then, I improved the technology, found the best materials, and made my products more durable and of better quality.”

More of Alisa Lariushkina’s delightful sculptures can be found at https://www.instagram.com/liskaflower and at https://mymodernmet.com/alisa-lariushkina-polymer-clay-art/.

 

 

Faded Memories — Tiffany Arp-Daleo Art (repost)

I love the colors, I love the thought of Asemic writing. Tiffany always seems to capture my mood through her paintings. Especially on this Saturday night.

Maybe her colors and her style will capture your mood, too….

There’s something mysterious about Asemic writing. What does it say? What does it mean? What language is it?? The answer is nothing. Asemic writing is just scribbles, marks, and nonsense. It adds whimsy and character to abstract art. It can suggest a love letter, a dear John letter, all kinds of scenarios! I’m constantly reminded […]

Faded Memories — Tiffany Arp-Daleo Art

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Normalynn Ablao

Artist Normalynn Ablao has taken her talent for crocheting to a whole other world — the world of food.Based in Lathrop, California, Ablao creates amazing-looking food out of yarn. Her creations are so delicious-looking they often leave you hungry. Swapping starch for stitches, crafter Ablao (aka Copacetic Crocheter) crochets “fiber-rich” crocheted cakes, cookies, and pasta made of 100% yarn.

The pieces are charming in their scale while paying homage to comforting meals.Ablao views the possibilities of a crochet hook in the same way a lettering artist would see a pen.

“The dynamic between the crochet hook and yarn continues to amaze me,” she says. “The crochet hook is like a pen, and together with yarn, it’s as if I’m writing in cursive, which represents beauty and grace.”“I have a profound appreciation for edible art and am grateful I can create fiber food for all of us to enjoy its transient nature over and over again.”

Ablao is a non-profit intermediary helping to raise funds for non-profit organizations.

Her reward, she shares, is fourfold: crocheting is therapeutic; contributing to charity provides the support it needs; helping to improve the welfare of the environment, people and animals are self-fulfilling; and the entire process makes her happier each time.

More of Normalynn Ablao‘s delicious looking creations can be found on her website, https://www.copaceticcrocheter.com/, and at showcases such as Instagram and  https://mymodernmet.com/normalynn-ablao-crochet-food/.

 

 

A Victim By Choice

One of the reasons I have too much on my plate is that I overfill it all the time.

I suppose that’s acceptable if it’s Thanksgiving dinner, otherwise the pressure  to get it all done in a respectable amount of time is pretty high.

Now, I am not an over-achiever — far from it. I do my best to finish what I start, and most time do a pretty good job of it.

But now and then (more now than then) I get some sooper dooper idea and get all pumped up at the front end and once I put my foot in the water it’s too late to pull it out.  I have to go in all the way.

Sometimes I wait a spell before I jump in. Finding (and paying for) a booth at a craft fair. Making plans to meet family or friends for dinner. Flying out of state for a wedding.

Other times I jump in without thinking. Booking (and paying for) a second craft fair. Offering to bring a dish to tomorrow’s whatever and not having a thing in the house to cook.

I suppose we all do that. Get swept away in the moment. Fall for the grander scheme. I mean gee — it seemed like such a great idea at the time!

I’ve been thinking/dealing/researching getting older and how it affects us all for quite a while now, either as a participant or an assistant or a planner.  I put together some thoughts and a five topic outline and want to make it part of a weekly blog for five weeks here.

Man, that’s such a great idea up front!

But what about two weeks in? Will I have enough information? Will I be able to make the point I’m trying to make? Will I get responses and interactions from my audience?

This time I’ve taken a paumse between idea and implementation. It’s like the menu I made last night for dinner doesn’t look as sparkling in this morning’s light.

That’s the point of today’s ramble. Don’t discard you flashes of insight, your great ideas, your real out-of-the-box experiences. There is a reason you get these feel-good, lots-of-work ideas. Don’t suppress them — let them out into the daylight!

You don’t have to act and react to them immediately or even do anything about them. But you should acknowledge them.  Toss them around like shrimp in butter. Think about how they cook. How much work it would be. If you’ve been looking for something new and different to try.

It’s all good. Believe me — you can do it!!

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Wilfried Grootens

Glass artist Wilfried Grootens was born in Uedem, a small town in the German countryside near the Dutch border.At the age of 15, Grootens first apprenticed as a glass painter at the Derix Company in Germany where he learned to restore antique stained glass windows.Four years later he left on a near decade-long adventure to travel the world, play music, and experience the cultures of Asia and South America before eventually returning to his work with glass.In 1988, he received a Master Craftsman’s Diploma in Munich and by the following year had opened his own studio in Kleve.By the 1980s, he had mastered the optical float technique where he paints, stacks, laminates and polishes layers of glass to create his sculptures.The cubes are cut and polished to perfection. His painted patterns seem to float within the cube, creating a magical display of optical illusionThousands of very fine brush strokes of varying tones on each layer recede or expand in size gradually and, when seen together, form a miraculous three dimensional globe which seems to be suspended in the cube.“With my glass painting I fill transparent, geometric spaces whose visual explorations produce surprising variations in forms,” Grootens explains. “Different perspectives on apparent spherical floating built-up forms of linear brush strokes reveal to the viewer new perspectives within the object‘s space.

More of Wilfred Grootens‘  amazing glass work can be found at https://wilfriedgrootens.de/en/wilfried-grootens-glas-artist/ and https://contempglass.org/artists/entry/wilfried-grootens.

 

A Few Blogging Thoughts

According to Website Setup, in 2021 there were over 600 million blogs on the web.

Think about that. 600 million blogs. 600,000,000 individuals decided to put their thoughts, their experience, their advice on the Internet. That’s THREE TIMES the population of the state of California (Population: 39,613,493).  That’s more than the 2022 population of the United States (332,529,000).

Think about that. A lot more than attended Woodstock in 1969 (500,0000),  more than the largest attendance of a Super Bowl (Super Bowl XIV, 103,985), more than Mick Jagger’s net worth (500 million).

That’s how many people who were offering their thoughts/opinions in their own setting called a blog in 2021.

Where do we all fit in?

I didn’t check, but if 600 million writers published three blogs a week, that would be 1,800,000,000 chances to read or learn something new in one year.

Again … where do we all fit in?

It’s easy to get overrun by numbers. Like a non stop train from Chicago to St. Louis, once it get going there’s not much (short of catastrophe) that can stop it.

I myself am NOT a numbers person. I’m more than lost in a crowd of five. So you would think being faced with such numbers, such odds, would be overwhelming.

It’s not.

In a world as big and diverse as blogging, writing what you write won’t matter to approximately 409 million people who view more than 20 billion pages a month (Ultimate List of Blogging Statistics and Facts, Updated for 2022)

But it will matter to you. To those one or two people who “get it.”

That is why you have to constantly work on perfecting your craft. Know who you are and what you want to share. Be an authority on what you write, even if you are still learning (and don’t be afraid to say you’re still learning!)

Have a purpose to your story. Whether it’s a parable, lesson, advice, or encouragement, do your best to connect with your readers.  Even if your blog is sharing grief or confusion, share it in a way that others can learn from it or understand it a little easier.

Next week I’m getting together with my bestie mother/daughter team to help them both get started on their own blog.  What they’re going to write I don’t know. But I want to show them how to start … how to keep it going. And how to keep excited with every new offering.

I might not be as good as 599,999,999 other teachers, but I’m alright. 

Get your own gig going! And spread the word!

 

 

I Love When Creative People Get Excited

I want to talk about a friend’s blog this morning — a friend that I made through this blog. I’ve never met her in person, but from her creativity I can tell we’d be besties in no time flat. That’s because I find her constantly creating, constantly experimenting, constantly exploring.

Laura Kate over at Daily Fiber is always doing something. Quilting, knitting, collage. I’m already envious of her expanding boundaries. But Laura writes about everything — the beginnings, the ends, the frustrations, and the victories.

She is but one of the creative sprites I’ve met on this magical journey.

That’s what we should always strive for. Trying something new, loving it if we don’t succeed, loving it more if we do. Creativity is an open ended road. Curving, climbing, keeping straight for long stretches of time. But it’s always moving forward, always evolving. Always improving.

Let me know how YOU deal with that creative muse that’s always tickling your fancy. And click on the link below to see the beginning of her knitting project!

 

Cast-on Monday: Search and Swatch

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Sunday Evening Art Gallery 1

Today’s blog is for those of you who love art. Unique Art. Amazing Art.

I have been going back over past Sunday Evening Art Gallery blogs for various reasons, and it has brought back phenomenal feelings and memories of artists of various fields.

My first year of posting art was 2015. I published 37 blogs that year. a mere drop in the bucket to later years. A mere drop in the bucket for many of you.

But what artists in those 37 blogs! They were amazing! ARE amazing!

I can’t share all 37 here, but I thought I’d start sharing 10 at a time. Just as a reminder. Just as another way to show you the magic of Creativity.

 

Stairways to Nowhere

 

Clark Little

 

Martin Koegl

 

Stilettos/High Heels

 

Kurt Wenner

 

Crowns

 

Guido Daniele

 

Svetlana Bobrova

 

Nathalie Miesbach

 

Kaleidoscopes

 

 

Three Shades of Midnight

 

 

It’s midnight…and my feet are off the floor.
Whether to keep me away from monsters under the bed
Or to help my dreams I do not know
Danger lies in what you cannot see
And more so in what you can
and fear of the unknown a constant
The world is strange and wonderful
Yet it’s midnight and my feet are off the floor.

 

It’s midnight…and my feet are off the floor.
I don’t think it helped with the monsters under my bed tonight.
They slipped outside when I wasn’t looking.
I ran onto the deck and shouted at the screams hey hey stop that
After an intense struggled and haunted response it stopped
I shot a beam into the darkness. Two beady silver eyes looked back.
My dreams will be alive tonight, taking me where they will.
But it’s midnight and my feet are off the floor.

 

It’s midnight…and my feet are off the floor.
I barely made it, imagination stalking my heels.
I must stop this falderal and fiddle-dee-dee.

The moon is almost full and poetry this is not.
Too much goes on in this world I will never understand.
Better to deal with the monsters under my bed and dreams in my head.
Nonsense is easier to bear when it comes from within.
All is well now, for it is midnight and my feet are off the floor.

http://www.rasaint.net/ - Glitter Graphics

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Il Lee

Il Lee is best known for his ballpoint pen artwork; large-scale abstract imagery on paper and canvas.He also creates artwork in a similar vein utilizing acrylic and oil paint on canvas. Lee, born in 1952, is a Korean painter who currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.Lee received his B.F.A. (painting) in 1976 from Hongik University, a Korean school said to be “Western oriented.” He then moved to America; first to Los Angeles, then to New York, where he earned his M.F.A. from the Pratt Institute in 1982. He studied etching as his minor at Pratt, and the sharp needles became a preferred tool. The sharpness of its line interested him enough to continue pursuing it through other avenues.

 The earlier works were all drawn on paper, but Lee soon began to work on large, primed canvases.The artist spends weeks, sometimes months, applying layer upon layer of ink to each artwork.Linework is built-up through a “scribbling” technique reliant upon the “speed, spin, and angle” of his pen in repetitive motions, sometimes becoming so dense that the line-work becomes a flat field of ink.The thicker layers can appear coagulated on the surface of the paper or canvas, with the dried ballpoint ink giving off a shiny purplish-blue hue.When working with paint on canvas Lee utilizes empty pen casings and other tools such as bamboo sticks, scribbling in the same gestural manner onto a wet surface layer to reveal colors underneath — an inversion of his ballpoint method.

More of Il Lee‘s distinctive artwork can be found at https://artprojects.com/il-lee/il-lee-ballpoint-pen-on-paper/. 

 

 

Cool Me Off

A humid, cloudy, lazy Saturday here in the U.S. Midwest.

It’s summer. Smack dab in the middle of heat, mosquitoes, and humidity. This is the type of weather that we go to art fairs, Renaissance Faires, and family picnics. We sit outside and sweat while we play baseball or bags, admire paintings we can’t afford, and push the kids on the swings.

We also try and get a lot of chores done during this hot, sticky, unbreathable weather. Not only do we undertake bi-weekly tasks like mowing the lawn and pulling weeds, but work on the car, walk the dogs, barbeque everything, and go to baseball games.

We are very active in the summer. Just like we’re supposed to be.

My problem is that I sweat walking across the street during this weather. My pores get a cleansing whether I want them to or not. It’s hard to look beautiful when your skin is shiny with sweat and your hair is up and you’re wearing the least amount of clothes possible.

Not that beauty matters anymore — but hygiene does. Comfort does. Endurance does.

All the art fairs and music concerts and medieval times around here are all in the hottest months of the year, July and August. They are fun,  family oriented, and entertaining. Artists finally get to show their wares, cream puffs and funnel cakes take center stage, and you can stop and listen to almost any kind of music your little rhythm heart desires.

So what is the point of all of this?

I had to stop and think of this one. Seeing as when I started writing I was going in one direction, and between cream puffs and music I got lost.

Maybe it’s just that there is always something to do during the hot summer months. There is no reason to lock yourself away or complain that there’s nothing to do. The world offers so many things to explore, and summertime is no different than other seasons.

Yes, there are uncomfortable parts to summer….bugs and sweat among the top 10.

But there’s also so many rewards. The thrill of watching a little kid hit a baseball. The fresh air of the morning while you take yourself or or dog for a walk. The beauty of pottery or metalworking or watercolors from hard working artists. The beauty of flowers bursting in full colorful blooms everywhere you look. The thrill of nature that surrounds you when you are camping or riding in a canoe.

The heat will pass. So will the mosquitoes. Prepare well, then get yourself out in the world. It’s waiting for you.

What kind of activities are you all about in the summer?

 

 

 

 

It’s TIme to Open the Doorways to Our Minds … (repost)

A repost of my friend’s Sketchuniverse repost of Janet’s blog at My Life as an Artist (2)…  (whew! I kept it straight!)  It’s a beautiful post — a feel-good post — check both of their sites out!

 

It’s time to Open the Doorways to our minds so that we can adapt to our changing world.

capturing shadow play on courtyard steps in Olhao Portugal – watercolour.   Disappearing steps symbolise for me – the unknown….

 

If ever there is a place that is conducive to exploring the creative process….it has been the school in Olhao, Portugal where I have been fortunate enough to teach for quite a few years.      A place I have come to think of as a second home….

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Spiral Staircases

 

The mind spirals down
The swirling staircase
Searching for its quick escape

Spiral Staircase,  Mira Matar

 

Spiral Staircase, the Louvre , Paris

 

 

Living Staircase, Paul Cocksedge

 

 

St. Stephen’s Basilica, Budapest

 

Umschreibung Stairs, Munich, Germany

 

 

Baroque Staircase, Melk Abbey, Austria

 

 

Siller Stairs

 

Garvan Institute, Sydney, Australia

 

The Sprinkenhof,, Hamburg, Germany

 

 

Life is always interesting, isn’t it?

Craig Haupt

Life is always interesting, isn’t it?

Just when you think you know something, something else comes along and pulls the rug out from under you.

Sometimes, if you’re lucky, there’s a big foam pad to fall on.

I had a blog written for today, one that was about people being contradictions, saying one thing and doing another. It was a whiney little blog that, on one hand, was therapeutic, on the other said nothing new.

Then I talked to one of my best friends.

One who transferred jobs and picked up and moved three states away, leaving us friends back in Wisconsin forlorn and texting. 

It was a delightful conversation.

We complained about the usual things, laughed about family and people and personalities and told each other how important it was for us — for women — to have our own personal time and personal space, and talked about getting older and aches and pains, and shared camping stories. 

And the fog lifted.

Why do I bore you with this triviality?

To show you that it doesn’t take much to turn things around. To turn half empty to half full. To turn adversity into a learning, growing opportunity.

We all get into ruts. The same old job, the same old family disputes. The same dinner menu on Mondays and the same shopping schedules on Wednesdays. Nothing wrong with ruts, except you never get anywhere. It’s like being stuck in quicksand. 

All you need to get out of the rut is a shot of friendship. A meeting of the minds. A dip in the pool of Creativity. Whether you are connecting with an old friend, a new friend, or Vincent Van Gogh, all you need is a peek in someone else’s mind. A glimpse of someone else’s dreams. 

In making intellectual connections you are able to rise above the ruts and find a way to make a better life. Better choices. A chance to work on those dreams you’ve kept hidden for so long.

That’s why I am always pushing Creativity. In all its forms, all its diversities. The art of friendship is no different than the art of painting or calligraphy. All are enlightening, all are opportunities to shake off the gloom and moodiness that comes from ritualistic routines.

Talking to my friend reminded me that it’s time to get back into my own Art Experience. There’s always something new waiting around the corner. 

For you and for me.

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Christel Assante

French artist Christel Assante creates detailed carvings on egg shells using  knives, vinegar, and a diamond coated mini drill.Born and raised in France, she grew up with no artistic education, more of just regular school, and  did not go to college.Assante likes to draw a lot, and is not sure what got her into egg art, but possibly the idea of symbols being transformed to a 3D environment.She uses emu, ostrich, nandu, goose, pheasant, duck, and quail eggs for her art, but prefers the nandu because it is thick and gives more possibilities, but very difficult to find.While she is carving, she prefer to hold the egg shell in her hand to minimize vibrations.It can take her up to eight hours to carve a goose egg shell and one week for an ostrich egg shell.Once her piece is completed, a light bulb is placed inside the carved shell through a hole which magical reveals every tiny, intricate detail in her creation.“The egg shape allows to present scenes which evolve as you turn it around,” Assante shares. “I like this idea …”More of Christel Assante‘s amazing carvings can be found at https://www.art-et-artisanat-du-monde.com/francais/boutique/Liste_oeuf_christel.php.