Hands — Live & Learn

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

As part of a closing hand-off ceremony for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games and the 2024 games in Paris, choreographer Sadeck Waff worked with 128 performers in a dizzying performance focused on arms and hands. The French dancer and choreographer has become known for his limb-centric performances which you can watch more of on Instagram. […]

 

David Kanigan  — Hands — Live & Learn

You HAVE to watch this! I LOVE creativity in ALL its forms!

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Ellen Jewett

Artist Ellen Jewett refers to her sculptural work as “natural history surrealist sculpture,” a blend of plants, animals, and occasionally human-made structures or objects.Her artwork is deeply informed by an extensive background in anthropology, medical illustration, exotic animal care, and even stop-motion animation, all of which accentuate the biological structure of each piece, while freeing her imagination to pursue more abstract ideas.Over time, Jewett has become more focused on minimizing materials and relying a negative space.

“I find my sculptures are evolving to be of greater emotional presence by using less physical substance,” she shares.In addition, she eschews any potentially toxic mediums like paints, glazes, and finishes, opting to use more natural, locally-sourced materials.“This, unavoidably, excludes most of what is commonly commercially available, and has sent me on a journey of unique material combination and invention.”

By employing these more uncommon materials, and leaving traces of fingerprints and other slight imperfections Jewett hopes her work leaves a more authentic impression.More of Ellen Jewett‘s delightful work can be found at http://www.ellenjewettsculpture.com/.

 

 

Faerie Paths — Cats

 

At evening when the lamp is lit,
The tired Human People sit
And doze, or turn with solemn looks
The speckled pages of their books.
Then I, the Dangerous Kitten, prowl
And in the Shadows softly growl,
And roam about the farthest floor
Where Kitten never trod before.
And, crouching in the jungle damp,
I watch the Human Hunter’s camp,
Ready to spring with fearful roar
As soon as I shall hear them snore.
And then with stealthy tread I crawl
Into the dark and trackless hall,
Where ‘neath the Hat-tree’s shadows deep
Umbrellas fold their wings and sleep.
A cuckoo calls – and to their dens
The People climb like frightened hens,
And I’m alone – and no one cares
In Darkest Africa – downstairs.
 

— Oliver Herford

 

 

What Is Art Really Worth?

I would like to have a discussion this morning about pricing your art. Not mine — not necessarily yours. But those in the Art world.

Let me explain. 

I truly am curious to find our how someone comes up with a price for a piece of their work. In doing research on various artists (or rather those who have actual price tags on their work), I have seen a variety of price points on sculptures, paintings, and other marvelous creations.

Now I’m not talking about famous artists such as Picasso or Pollack or O’Keeffe, I am talking about popular artists who have their circle of followers and the love of their critics and are a few steps beyond Art Fairs and Exhibitions. Close to Museum quality — perhaps at Gallery level.

For those websites that did show prices, paintings from one of my artists were offered from $45,000 and a few at $180,000. A 30-inch brass and stone sculpture went for $3,500. Another statue maker charged $3,000 for a resin statue and $32,000 for a bronze. Colorful paintings of animals can run $1,400 a piece or more.

I am not dissing these prices at all. What I am wondering is — how do you determine how much your work is worth? How can you tell if your Art is worth $40 or $400 or $4,000?

I know it’s more than material. It’s time. It’s experience. It’s talent. It’s having a vision that is worth spending hours and days and months developing.

I understand the ethics behind creativity.

I just don’t understand how people know what to charge for their creativeness. 

It’s one thing to price Angel Tears, made of fishing line and rhinestones and chandelier crystals. I made a work plan based on my cost, how long it takes to make one, labor, all of that. Figuring out what to charge for me is based more on what I would pay to buy one at a craft fair..

But when you make a bronze statue, a ceramic vase, a mosaic mirror frame, how do you know what it’s worth? How do you know to price something at $100 or $1,000? What about pieces whose asking price is $15,000? I won’t even touch larger pieces of sculpture and steel that stand in parks and in front of office buildings.

This is where you, my artist friends, come in. Maybe you have created masterpieces that you have sold. Maybe you have a friend or family member whose works hang in a gallery or on a corporate wall someplace.

Share your thoughts. I’d love to understand the Art World around me a little better!

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Tia Crystal

A Visionary Artist, Jewelry Designer, and Energy Healer, Tia Crystal always knew there would be a deeper meaning to her life.Some of the most valuable expressions under the umbrella  of “Spiritual Art”  relates to the inclusion of crystals, spiritual quotes,  and affirmations woven into the art.Crystal has long attracted a select and international circle of collectors, drawn by her organic style and enchanting persona.Years ago, a vision came to her in a dream guiding her to Italy. In response, and with complete trust, she left to embark on a journey that would have a profound life changing impact on her.While walking in silence in the countryside of Assisi, Tia stumbled upon an old paintbrush lying under a bush. Next to it, there was a bottle lid with a T on it.Everything within her told her to pay attention to the message  of these discoveries, and so began her journey of creating Art that leaves one not only mesmerized but intoxicated with inner and outer peace.Crystal’s work is unmatched in its color’s, scope, variety, and deep spiritual meaning.More of Tia Crystal‘s magical art can be found at https://tiacrystal.com/.

 

 

Artists Are Pouring In!

I am just tickled pink about all the new artists I’ve found for my Sunday Evening Art Gallery blog! I’m so glad I decided to extend Sunday night to a couple of evenings during the week, too. 

Sometimes the well is dry, meaning I have only about six or seven artists lined up and ready to visit you all. But other times it’s like I’ve hit the jackpot with unique — and I mean unique — ways of expressing art. Every once in a while my “unique” entails strange, uncomfortable, or off-the-wall sorts of creativity.

Other times there’s just enough “awww” factor or “ah ha!” familiarity for you to say, “I didn’t know they created that!”

I try and keep it interesting and amazing. I hope I’m doing that. I know I keep saying “WOW” to myself when I find new artists and their over-the-top talent. 

Do me a favor — tell ONE person about my art blog, Sunday Evening Art Gallery. Just one. If you know someone who loves unique and unusual, send them my way. I will do my best to keep them entertained.

Here are a few artists I have in mind for the future:

 

Natalie Ciccoricco

 

 

Michal Trpák

 

 

Timothy Nevaquaya

 

 

Maxim Shkret

 

 

 

Frank Moth

 

 

Come See the Magic! Here AND There!!

Thanks a million!

When Is Your Best Not Your Best?

We all should be proud of what we do.

At work, at home, with our kids, with our health regimes and our multi-tasking.

In these lofty aspirations there always hides a corner of doubt. Of shame. Of embarrassment. Like we are proud of what we did — at the time — yet now have readdressed the moment of pride and find ourselves wanting.

I am proud of my Angel Tears.

I think they’re pretty, dazzling, delicate, and unique.

But now that I’ve had my first sales round and am working on updating my product and my presentation, I have found that I packed up some that were, shall we say, less than perfect.

No big deal. People would have bought them and thought them pretty, dazzling, delicate, and unique. But what I saw was sloppy work.

Glue drips. Crooked matchups. Too long a string on this one,  unclipped string on this other one. By themselves, none of them will cause bridges to collapse or tornadoes to form.

But I’m disappointed in myself. In my sloppiness. In the carefree and sometimes careless way I packaged some of my Tears to go.

I’d like to think I picked the best ones for display and sale my last art fair. I know I did look closely at every one I hung, every one I sold.

But those others —

I am on a campaign to inspect everything that’s left over. Every Tear that was wrapped. Every color that was chosen.

And I’m going to pull out every one that is sub par. Every one.

Do we really give our best, our all, when we say we do? Can we honestly say we haven’t rushed through something just to get to the end and get it over with?

Does giving our best take too much time and effort?

I suppose if this is the worst thing I’ve done in my life I can go to the pearly gates fairly guilt free.

But my sloppiness has taken its toll. In a good way.

From now on I am going to take my time — I mean really take my time — to make sure every Angel Tear looks like it came from an angel.

I know my customers will feel better — and so will I.

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Kathleen Ryan

Artist Kathleen Ryan creates a conversation between the beautiful and the grotesque in her oversized sculptures of mold-covered fruit.Ryan turns blight to beauty, using precious and semi-precious stones like malachite, garnet, opal, tiger’s eye, and smoky quartz to form a design of common rot on beautiful, ripe fruit.

Her larger-than-life foam bases are modeled on ripe fruits such as lemons and cherries.She uses variously-sized faceted stones; stones cut into spheres, cubes, and tetrahedrons; stones carved into shapes, for example, blossoms; as well as raw rocks and seashells.Ryan is redefining the interpretation of rotting fruit — bruised, green and white mold, even a gathering of fruit flies become sparkling masterpieces as beauty turns into ugly and back.Her “Bad Fruit” sculptures are a representation of the innate beauty and life of decay.“The sculptures are beautiful and pleasurable, but there’s an ugliness and unease that comes with them,” Ryan says. “They’re not just opulent, there’s an inherent sense of decline built into them.”More of Kathleen Ryan‘s amazing work can be found at New York Times and the Green Art Gallery.

 

A Paragraph then a Request

There is nothing more sensual, more enlightening, more surreal than someone in command of the English (or their own native) language.

I don’t mean “The King’s English”, or perfectly pitched tones and articulations. I’m talking about passages from books that, to the reader, are breathtaking.

Not every book is impressive like that. Readers look for different things in their reading material: convincing characters, landscapes you can get lost in, true love, lost love — the reasons to love a good book are endless. And I have read many books that are just plain great without getting overly wordy or ornate.

Previously I wrote a blog about how important opening paragraphs are to one’s writing, sharing the first paragraph from H.P. Lovecraft’s Call of the Cthulhu as a delightful setting for his story.

Recently I started reading The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Here is a paragraph that just caught me:

The lights grow brighter as the earth lurches away from the sun, and now the orchestra is playing yellow cocktail music, and the opera of voices pitches a key higher. Laughter is easier minute by minute, spilled with prodigality, tipped out at a cheerful word. The groups change more swiftly, swell with new arrivals, dissolve and form in the same breath; already there are wanderers, confident girls who weave here and there among the stouter and more stable, become for a sharp, joyous moment the centre of a group, and then, excited with triumph, glide on through the sea-change of faces and voices and colour under the constantly changing light.

This paragraph describes the feel of one of Gatsby’s parties. You can just imagine yourself on the lawn behind a gigantic mansion, beauties and wannabes all vying for attention in the evening light.

It’s not easy to write sentences that will capture your audience. And not all novels are written with the same cadence, the same inferences and tone. What impresses me might not impress you. That’s the beauty of writing. Good writing.

Now to my request.

Do you have a paragraph from a book that just totally impresses the heck out of you? Something that inspires you, moves you, makes you want to read more?

Would you mind sharing it with the rest of us?

It’s something every writer strives for. No matter if it’s a novel, a letter to your grandma, or a description of yourself on Facebook, how you write it tells so much about you.

I would love to read what enchants you!

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — William Blake

William Blake (1757-1827) was a English Romantic painter, printmaker,  poet, and radical visionary who expressed his mystical views through paintings, engravings, and poetry.

Isaac Newton

 

Born in London into a working-class family with strong nonconformist religious beliefs, Blake first studied art as a boy, at the drawing academy of Henry Pars.

Jacob’s Ladder

 

He served a five-year apprenticeship with the commercial engraver James Basire before entering the Royal Academy Schools as an engraver at the age of twenty-two.

The Angels Hovering Over the Body of Christ in the Sepulchre

 

Although William completed much of his commercial work in line engraving, for his own projects he used his skills as an engraver to expand on the traditions of “stereotype” (a 16th century process whereby a metal cast is made of a wooded engraving) and created a new procedure called relief etching.

The marriage of Heaven and Hell

 

Yet Blake was the archetypal romantic painter, always depicting his subjects in heightened colors and scenes.

The Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed with the Sun

 

He was a master of allegory and often raised eyebrows and even ire by his choice of expression.

The Ghost of a Flea

 

Although the majority of his early work was inspired by religious or classical figures, much of his later art was fuel by his inner landscape and informed by his religious visions. 

Archangel Raphael with Adam and Eve

 

Many of his contemporaries considered him quite mad as he readily spoke about his visions and fantasies with people and it was common knowledge among the artistic community of the day. 

The Temptation and Fall of Eve

 

Whatever his inspiration, William Blake has left a legacy of poetry and paintings behind.

The Ancient of Days

 

More of William Blake’s wonderfully imaginative paintings can be found at http://www.williamblake.org.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Druzy Stone

A druzy is a set of tiny crystals of minerals that form on the surface of another stone or inside a geode.

This particular crystal appearance reflects a notable geological process that occurs when water brings minerals to the host rock’s surface.When the water starts to evaporate, the cooling phase happens and the minerals are left behind to form and accumulate tiny crystals on top of the host rock, forming a layer of crystallization on the stone.These crystal not only grow over Agate stones, but malachite, chrysocolla, and rhodochrosite, and a host of other types of quartz as well.Depending on the type of mineral that’s deposited, druzy formations can come in a wide variety of colors such as green, pink, black, or white.

The tiny crystals are considered beautiful because their overall appearance resembles that of sugar that glitter and catch rays of light.The bewitching exquisiteness of this gem jewel provokes the creativity of the lapidaries to carve into a stunning jewel design.

Druzy is an enchanting colorful and shiny crystal that helps you feel balanced and covered with soothing light and bright energy veil of total harmony and relaxation.This glittery crystal supplies your everyday life with warm loving energies and assists you to diminish stress levels and feel genuinely decompressed. 

 

 

 

Tiers — Repost

As usual

On a mission, looking for something else, I came across one of my first blogs from Jul 28, 2013 — a blog about friendships and tiers. I can’t believe it still rings so true eight years later —

 

Tiers

I believe our lives are divided into tiers. Think of a wedding cake. The more layers, the larger the base has to be.  Not too complicated, eh?  Well, what I’m finding is that the older I get the more tiers there are on my cake and the chubbier ~I~ get.

Let’s go through this extra-spacey theory.

First is the top layer. Small, spectacular. Room for only one statue. You. It has to be you and you alone – after all, you are the only one in your head and heart, your thoughts and….well, you get it.

The next tier is only a quarter of an inch lower than the head tier. That’s the one you stand on. That is the one for the people closest to your heart. I know – you love everybody. But just run with this one. This second tier contains your life partner, children, parents, and brothers and sisters (if you’re still talking to them). These are the peeps that are there for you 24/7, through life and death and throwing up spells.

The tier beneath that are the people that you love and grown fond of through the years. Sometimes they are closer than family. And sometimes they switch places with the available spaces on the tier above. These are best buddies, in-laws, cousins. These are peeps that are there for you 24/7, but usually after there’s no one available from the upper tier.

The next tier consists of just good friends. Co-workers, classmates, neighbors, church friends. People you really like. People who are fun to be around; who ask what you did over the weekend and are you all right and do you need help with anything. This tier is great for doing  things with like bowling or complaining about your employer, or meeting for beer and pizza.

This is where the layers start to get kind of thin. The next tier is composed of people who you don’t really hang out with, but like them anyway. They are other people that work with you, friends of friends, kids of friends. People you exchange gratuitous comments and complements with. People you wave at when passing them in the store or at work or at the park.

The tiers could go on and on, but let’s let the bottom layers speak for themselves. There could be a number of tiers, depending upon the depth of your don’t cares and dislikes and out-and-out hates. These people only bring us down, so we tend to say good luck and leave them as “character builders” on the bottom.

So what is the point of these tiers, anyway? Is it to bring to the surface how many people you love or should love or can’t love?  Is it to show you how big your life’s cake really is? Is it some wonderful philosophy that combines life and love and frosting and chocolate and strawberry filling?

I suppose I could say that I use this metaphor to remind myself about my lower tiers, and how important they are to my desert called life. After all, they are there to support me, too. That’s why they’re in my life.

But I’m not that noble.

I  analyze my tiers when I daydream about winning the lottery and how I would share my winnings. Who I’d bring along for the ride. And who I’d leave standing in line.

I know – you love everybody. That is a noble thought. I try and adhere to that most of the time. But there are times when you just have to kick out the weak posts holding up the upper tier and replace them with something — or someone — who really will support you.

Choose those on your tiers carefully. Know it’s not a universal palate. And not everyone is here to help you hold up your cake.

Some are merely interested in eating your winnings. Err … cake.

Every single tier’s worth.

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — John Lemke

Everyone takes pictures these days.

With cameras as part of most phones, the world is out there just waiting to be photographed.

John Lemke is the sort of photographer who sees the world through a little different lens.

A graphic designer by trade, John has used his camera to find unusual angles and exposures from the world around him.

Already featured on my Sunday Evening Art Gallery, John continues to move forward on the artistic trail.

He uses no photography tricks — just his imagination — to share the beauty of the world around him.

Lemke believes anyone can find inspiration for art. All you need to do is go outside and open your eyes.

There is cool stuff everywhere.

I love this kind of thinking.

John is available for consultations, design projects,  and creative photography. 

John Lemke’s artwork can be found at Humoring the Goddess, Sunday Evening Art Gallery,  and at LinkedIn.

Did I Really Write That?

Sunday evening I decided to take a walk through time, back to some of the stories I started but never finished years ago.

What an odd sort of feeling.

I wonder if other writers see an evolution of sorts as they grow older, semi-wiser, and (hopefully) more confident and carefree. 

I started my first novel, Corn and Shadows, waaaay back in 2003.

Holy shit. I just reread what I just typed. 2003. Two years short of 20 years ago.

But I digress.

I’ve been done with my first novel for years now, sending it out now and then to publishers but planning on offering it for free on Amazon or something.

THAT novel sounded like me. It still does.

I wrote the follow up novel, Time and Shadows, back in 2006. That one is finished too, although I keep peeking at it now and then to “tidy” it up. 

I wrote a third novel, A Gentleman’s Shadows, telling the story of Time and Shadows from a 1895 male’s point of view, at the beginning of 2019. What a time jump. That book was fun. That was creative and curliqued as I tried to write as a turn of the century man would.

I’m happy with all three.

I’ve been thinking about the one I started back in 2007 about Emerald Le Roque and her following an Elven man through a cornfield to another world. I liked the idea — still do — but I think I got stuck on where to go once she got there. I think it was supposed to be super sexy but I ran out of super sex juice or something.

So I opened the dusty document and started reading it again, and I began to wonder — who wrote this? It isn’t the same style, the same cadence, the same feel as my previous works. 

I know every painting is different. Every vase and cup is different. Depending on the time of day, water quality, temperature, atmospheric pressure, lifestyle and mood, every creation is its own entity.

So it is with different writings from different periods. 

I wrote my latest novel about my “trip” to Paris in 2020. The second one is a work in progress, 2021. This style, too, is different, but in a much more positive way. It’s more upbeat, fun, and a tad more loopy than my other serious writings. 

But that middle one about Emerald …

I don’t think I’m going to try and resurrect that one. Good idea for the time — but the times are a changin’. ~I~ am a changin’.

It’s more like my writing attitude has changed. I’m not as sour with my point-of-view as I was back then. I am still an escapist, a fantasy writer, but I’m not as bitter with the world as my main character was/is. I can still write about loneliness and magic and relationships, and even make my main character a crab at first and a delight at the end.

But there’s something about that world way back then that doesn’t feel right anymore. No need to fix something that’s broke — it really is more like leaving her on her own to deal with the Elves in her own way.

Are you ever less-than-satisfied with projects you once started and thought about finishing?

Do you finish it anyway? Or move on to something different?

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Salt Thrones

The salt throne or salt chair is often associated with its origin in Russian rural life, its historicism and the importance of its ornamental and decorative tradition.

The ‘izba‘, the small wooden house, represented an important link to peasant life and romanticism and had a double influence on the shaping of salt chairs.Salt thrones are well known in the older Russian welcoming ceremony. When entering as a guest through the door, you were invited to a piece of bread and salt,  often from a throne in silver in the shape of a chair or throne.Thrones are often made of silver, pewter or silver plated metal, decorated with bright colored cloisonné enamel. The back of the throne evokes the classic izba, the small wooden house of Russian rural architecture, which you can find nearly anywhere in the northern part of that country.

Holes on the back of the seat represented the windows on the house front, while the superior edge evoked the characteristic undulating finish of Russian ‘isbas’.

The chair had a container under a lid where the salt was kept, and the salt space was most often gold plated to protect the silver from corrosion.

The back side of the throne has usually a most refined look as, opening the salt cellar, the view of the front side is covered by the seat.

The salt throne became a standard repertoire of clever silversmiths at the turn of the century, adopting innumerable and seldom duplicated shapes which today can be valued up to five thousand dollars or more.

Salt thrones information and images can be found across the Internet.

An Observation Not a Poem

This is the kind of morning I’ve waited for my whole life.

Bright. Cool. Quiet.
Nowhere to go. Nothing to do.
No job. No children. No blaring TV.

At the moment
The world is standing still.

I am neither young nor old
Sickly nor healthy
Fat nor skinny

I am not a writer, a data analyst, nor a sales clerk
I am not retired nor working.
I am not a grandmother, wife, nor best friend

I am not worried about Covid nor my car breaking down nor being a cancer survivor.

I am not plagued by memories of bankruptcy, moving, nor losing my parents and in-laws.

Sitting outside on the morning deck
For a few moments
I am here.
Only here.

I am the warm sunshine on my face and the tinkling windchimes in the wind.

I am the bumble bee that stops to feed on my butterfly bush and the frog singing in the damp field and the strange bird that chirps just out of sight.

I am the plastic ornaments that sparkle tirelessly between the railings and the blooming cactus patiently waiting for my turn in the sun.

I am the airplane high above the clouds and the song of flying geese passing by.

At the moment
I am not worried
About life or death.
Breathing or not breathing.
An afterlife or a void.

In this moment
The only thing that matters
Is the beauty of life
The fragility of now

Sixty-eight years have run through this body in the sun
A brief thought of sixty eight more flashes through me

But this morning
This moment
Is enough.

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Cathedral Windows

 

For me a stained glass window is a transparent partition between my heart and the heart of the world.  ~ Marc Chagall

 

Cathedral of Our Lady of Chartres, France

 

 

Chichester Cathedral, West Sussex, England

 

 

Cathedral of Brasília, Brazil

 

 

Cathedrale de Reims, France

 

 

Baptistry of Coventry Cathedral, West Midlands, England

 

 

Christ Church Cathedral in Nassau, Bahamas

 

 

Cathédrale Saint-Maurice in Vienne, France

 

 

Chapel of Thanksgiving, Dallas, Texas

 

 

Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, France

 

 

Isaac’s Cathedral, St. Petersburg, Russia

 

 

Dom Bosco Sanctuary, Brazil

 

 

University of Cambridge’s King’s College Chapel

 

 

La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

 

 

St. Joseph’s Church, Le Havre, France

 

 

What’s Your Dog’s/Cat’s Name?

They say what you name your children is a reflection of you and your significant other. Your personalities, your experiences.

Kids names don’t hold a candle to the reasons we name our pets.

I’ve had a Rennie (Renaissance Faire, pretty self explanatory), Dickens (C Dickens Write, pretty self explanatory too), Kahlua (we all know what that means), Holly, Harley, and my father-in-law’s Indy (Independence Day Girl).

Cats included Mysty (really lame I know) who we usually call Fat Cat, Jazmine (from the Aladdin movie), Tom (he was one cool cat), and Persephone (someone else named her… too many syllables for me).

Over the weekend I went to visit my friend’s daughter and fiancé, and they have a dog named Charlie. Not bad. Their old dog was named Kochani, which is Polish for sweetheart. Other names at the table were Peso (a monetary unit) and Kohana (meaning swift) and a cat named Ty’setzu (who knows what that means!)

The one I loved the most was the dog named Butters. I didn’t ask where that came from, but, since the evening was FULL of stories, I’m sure there was one there, too.

People are more clever with their pet’s name. More adventurous. More likely to tie them to someone or something famous, goofy, or familiar. I know a Briggs (for Lance Briggs from the Chicago Bears), Coda (the concluding passage of a piece or movement, like the concluding member of the family), King Tedward of Fluffernut (that explains itself), Payton (Walter Payton), Nestle (because he was brown like the drink), and Izzy.

I am tickled to hear the stories behind pets’ names. I barely take time to think about my character’s names in my books — whatever comes to mind and sounds smooth works. No reference to TV stars, family members, or people I used to work with. I’ve even made up names which, to my credit, have worked fairly well, too.

But pets.

I can see some cat names:  Tom. Mittens, Patches, Boots. And dogs — Max, Bear, Rocky.

But Butters? Rennie

An article from The Dog People says that among dogs and cats, the name Covi is up 1,159%, followed by Rona (up 69%), Corona (up 24%) and Covie which is also trending up in popularity.

Go figure.

I love creative names — especially for our little guys. I can see me someday, standing in my yard, screaming at my runaway dogs — Burrito! Taco! Get over here!  Whiskey! Here!  You’d better listen, Banana Peel!

What are your dogs/cats names?

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Kirsten Hassenfeld

 

Kirsten Hassenfeld studied at the University of Arizona, Tucson and the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence.Originally a printmaker, her work has shifted from paper sculpture to assemblies of recycled materials and large-scale woven wall works. Her translucent sculptures are characterized by a hand-made uniqueness.Since 1999 Hassenfeld has been using ordinary material like paper to create elaborate works where she expresses his obsession for highly detailed constructions. Her works use a commonplace material like recycled gift-wrapping paper to create hanging sculptures and woven intricacies.

Her art begins experimenting with the material she uses, reflecting the revival of traditional craft techniques.Hassenfeld’s work is an example of the new ornamentalism found in contemporary art, which has seen a resurgence in the United States over the last decade and directly challenges the hierarchy between the decorative and fine arts.Her mixed media projects are both light and intense, using each material to its ultimate potential.As she says, ” I started making environments that were about abundance and splendor, but almost in a generic way about the shape of the gem form, the universally understood symbol for treasure.”

More of Kirsten Hassenfeld’s wonderful art can be found at http://www.kirstenhassenfeld.com/.

 

 

#FridayFantasy . . . Trees in Autumn — Purplerays

The true feel of Autumn. …

. Trees In Autumn THE poets have made Autumn sorrowful;I find her joyous, radiant, serene.Her pomp is hung in a deep azure skyThat turns about the world by day and night,Nor loses its bright charm.And when the trees resign their foliage,Loosing their leaves upon the cradling airAs liberally as if they ne’er had owned them,—They […]

#FridayFantasy . . . Trees in Autumn — Purplerays

Giffy Giffy All The Way!

Ah yes … it’s been some time since I’ve shared some gifs. I have a weakness for these moving pictures. I myself think them fascinating. Some may be repeats, but I try not to double dip. I’ve got so many …

If you enjoy gifs as much as I do, here are some past links to past fun:

Spring Gifs Let’s Get GiffyGif Time Went Gif Shopping Today!Been Gif’n AgainGif A Roonie Gif Today – Gif Tomorrow Give-A-Gif Thursday! Thursday Evening on the Veranda (with a sweater) – gifs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Creativity Sheds

 

I love every phase, crack, and field of Creativity.I don’t care what you try, what you excel at, what you blunder through.To create is to live.Wouldn’t it be great if you had a special place — just for you — that you could use to your heart’s desire?So it can be with what I call Creativity Sheds.There are She-Sheds, Work Spaces, Get-A-Way Sheds — all with their own ambience.But what I had in mind is more than an escape shed full of couches and pillows and personal mementos — it’s a magical place where you can explore your craft and move forward in your own way.I have wandered through the Internet to find images of the perfect writing spot.The perfect painting spot.The perfect scrapbooking spot.Here are some ideas to take away your breath and get your creative juices going.These pictures are of interiors only — we’ll let the outsides (of which there are many amazing ones) for another blog.Which one would you choose?

 

Every Picture Tells a Story, Don’t It?

 

An empty street full of stories

‘Rue Malonat’ in Nice
#France #painting by Guido Borelli

 

Can you imagine the stories this street could tell? Where does it go? Who walked down these steps?

This is the beauty of writing.

If you write for your own entertainment, for a publication, for a company, or for the one you love, your imagination can be endless.

I came across this post on Twitter. Simple, thought provoking.

What stories could be told from the following images from blogs I follow?

 

Designing an ArtStory book, ‘Bob & Bob’

Craig L Haupt

 

 

Crow Bait

Eva Mout, Ursus Art

 

 

Still Water

Nancy Wolitzer — Nancy Wolitzer

 

 

Digital Fantasy

Rose Elaine  — Rose Elaine Digital Art

 

 

Street Level

Tiffany Arp-Daleo — Tiffany Arp-Daleo Art

 

 

Catbird Sings

Laura Kate — Daily Fiber 

 

 

September

Brushpark-Watercolors — Carsten Wieland

So don’t say you don’t have anything to write about. If you love writing, write. It doesn’t have to be War and Peace. Set your soul free. Have fun.
As Rod Stewart sang — Every picture tells a story, don’t it?

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Tom Every

A couple of weeks ago my wonderful friends took me to an outdoor art sculpture garden in the middle of Baraboo, Wisconsin.Dr. Evermor’s Sculpture Park is a marvelous, amazing world of creatures, spaceships, gazebos, rockets, telescopes, birds, and more.Made from industrial scrap, the sculpture park includes a decontamination chamber from NASA’s Apollo project, dynamos built by Thomas Edison, and scrap metal salvaged from an army ammunition plant.For most of his life, Tom Every was a professional industrial salvager, collecting odds and ends and treasures from old factories, breweries, power plants, and rail cars he dismantled. When Every retired in 1983, he decided to create created a whole world of mechanical creatures, insects, birds, and other creations. He created the persona of metal, and the world has been delightful ever since.Dr. Evermor manifested his creativity in the Forevertron, the world’s largest mechanical structure built by a human. Every took pride in allowing the original materials to remain unaltered as much as possible, using their original forms in new juxtapositions to create his whimsical creations.Tom Every passed away in April 2020, and now his wife Eleanor has taken the reigns to keep her husband’s dreams alive.According to the Dr. Evermor legend, when the time is right, the famous mysterious scientist will climb the winding staircase and enter the Forevertron’s egg-shaped travel chamber,  flip on the thrusters, and fly off to heaven propelled by an electromagnetic lighting force beam.Dr. Evermor’s Sculpture Park is a delight in every sense of the world. More information about Tom Every and his Park can be found at http://www.worldofdrevermor.com.

This Question is for YOU

I was mowing the lawn the other day, daydream as I often do (seeing as it takes a couple of hours just to do the front), thinking about Thurday’s blog and all the stories I’ve started and never finished.

And it made me wonder — what are YOU working on?

Come on! I KNOW that out of all my followers there are at least a couple of dozen people out there who write. Short stories, plays, novels, poetry — the list is endless.

Let’s be honest. Only a small percentage of the writing world gets published. Yes you can publish your book yourself on Amazon. Yes you can connect with a publisher or agent if you’re lucky and become the next Dan Brown. Yes there is a chance you win a contest and get your work posted in a magazine or online somewhere.

Most likely the closest you’ll ever get to having someone else read your stuff is to send it/print it/share it with others who are actually interested.

Well, I’m interested.

You know you want to talk about it.

You know you want to share a chapter or two. Or ask a question or two.

You love what you write as much as chocolate cream pie. Deep down inside you want someone else to love it just as much as you do. But you don’t dare share it because you’re afraid of being laughed at, marveled at, and probed as to why you’re not working harder to get it published.

I am all of the above.

So I’m going to take a poll. PLEASE answer the following few questions to see if I should devote a page of this blog to “What Are You Writing?” or “What Plot Line Should I Use?” or “What Do You Think?”

We need a place to show off our work. Our ideas. Our plotlines.

Why not here?

I haven’t decided exactly how I want to address this empty void. Maybe just what we’re working on. Maybe links to our finished products. Maybe we can pose a question. Maybe it can be once a week. Once every other week. On a Wednesday. Or another non-happening day.

The Goddess is always Humored no matter what path I wander down. She knows that I just want everyone to be proud of their own creativity, and to show it off to the world. There are not a lot of outlets to do this through.

Maybe this can be one.

Let me know what you think. Since I suck at making polls, please answer the following couple of questions:

 

Would you be willing to share your storylines?

Would you be willing to share a link to your work?

Would you be willing to ask for and give advice if requested?

 

All your responses will be read by me first before sharing them in the blog. Nothing inappropriate, smarmy, or nasty will ever get through. Writers need encouragement, not sass.

What do you think?

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Viktor Mikhailovich Zundalev

 

Mikhailovich Zundalev is one of those artists that have very little personal information online, yet whose paintings bring a warm, fresh feeling to the heart.Zundalev was born in 1953 in Ryzan, Russia.After graduating from the Art School named after G. K. Wagner, Zundalev began painting colorful flower arrangements. According to his scant biography, he paints, participates in exhibitions,  and at the same time works as an artist for many years in the Art Fund of the city of Kaluga.In 1989, he was admitted to the Union of Artists of the USSR.His paintings are textured, colorful, and full of life. One can only dream of having one of his vased bouquets  in the center of their table.

Zundalev may or not be an actual painter, but his works reflect the beauty of light and scent and nature.

Viktor Mikhailovich Zundalev‘s lovely paintings can be found scattered throughout the Internet, including ArtNow .

 

On My Way To Something Else …

I am always so easily distracted …..Today I was looking for a specific blog and came across this one from last year. I did a little research and found a number of additions to my list:  Gaia and the End, the third and final novel in a trilogy about a woman transported to a past civilization on a distant planet; Spells, a book about a woman who finds an old journal in her new attic (a reflection of my journals of yore); Evelyn, a story about a woman living for a very long time just outside of Area 51;  and Brianna, a tale about a young herbalist in ancient times who falls for the king’s son who kidnapped her for his own father.
I can’t say I haven’t been thinking through the years.
Maybe it’s time to visit old worlds. 

Rain and Boredom

Another rainy Fall day. Makes me want to take a nap.

In the meantime, I’ve been looking around for my energy. I KNOW it was here someplace. It’s been deteriorating steadily the last few years. You know — a chip off here, a dent there. But it was always there for me when I needed it.

Now with the rain and clouds it wants to play hide and seek. Good thing I’ve cleaned up and out a lot of clutter in my house in the last eight months.

But, like a lot of others I’ve talked to (or read from), there are a number of us who are losing our energy — creative, kinetic, spiritual, or otherwise.

Easy to blame Covid19. Why not? I blame it for ruining what social life I had. Not exercising? That’s my own fault. Upside sleep schedule?  You can’t blame the man who’s bringing home the bacon. Weather? I love the cool days and evenings.

I’ve been taking the easy way out for my lack of energy. I’ve been finding such great artists for my blog. But life is more than an art blog, isn’t it?

I’ve often thought of getting a part time job. Stimulate my energy and my mind. But not much is available when I’m available. And, anyway, I worked 50 years to be able to enjoy my time off.

I’ve been reading a lot every day. This time around it’s Shōgun . Love it. But reading is a quiet sport and it doesn’t take long for me to start jumbling up the Japanese words. I have been going through others’ blogs and reading their contributions — that’s been fun. I’ve even started going through every Twitter account I follow (only about 400) and reading and liking what they post.

Somehow this feels and sounds desperate, though.

I need a new idea for a short story. Or a novel. Or a set of novels. I think I’m only really happy when I write.

I have about a dozen starts in my Unfinished Folder that could use a jump start. Looking for the Unicorn (writing about dementia from the patient’s point of view), Grandfather’s Room (story about my daughter-in-law’s grandfather moving to assisted living), Of Elves and Madness (unhappy girl runs into sexy elf in woods and goes with him to his world), The Rock (another unhappy wife jogging through the woods — who knows what was supposed to be next?), The World is All An Illusion (wonder if that was the start of an ethereal blog way back when?), Speaking With Aliens (goofy factory worker talks to aliens through his TV), She Looked Out the Back Window (another disgruntled female getting ready to go for a walk in the rain… is there a pattern here?), Fairy Circle (little girl calls up a naughty fairy and years later it comes back to haunt her), Game, Set, Match (sharp, sexy girl meets man in bar .. I’m sure he’s a magical something…), Three Faeries Doing Faerie Things (read this outline and it doesn’t feel familiar. Was it someone else’s idea? A dream? Good and bad faeries fighting.)

A lot of starts, not enough finishes. Food for thought, perhaps. What do you think?

Maybe it’s time for that nap ….

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Judith Scott

Judith Scott (1943-2005), a fraternal twin, suffered from Down Syndrome. She was also deaf, a condition that was misdiagnosed as mental retardation until she was an adult.In 1987, Judith was enrolled at the Creative Growth Art Center in Oakland, California which supports people with developmental disabilities. There, Judith discovered her passion and talent for abstract fiber art and she was able to communicate in a new form.For the next eighteen years of her life, Scott created sculptures using yarn, twine, and strips of fabric, to wrap and knot around an array of mundane objects she discovered around her.Using the materials at hand, Judith spontaneously invented her own unique and radically different form of artistic expression, sculpting with an unprecedented zeal and concentration.Taking whatever objects she found, regardless of ownership, she would wrap them in carefully selected colored yarns to create diverse sculptures of many different shapes.Scott’s vivid and enigmatic sculptures, which evolved in shape and material throughout her career, expressed her imagination in ways she could not through speech.More of Judith Scott’s remarkable work can be found at https://www.wikiart.org/en/judith-scott and https://www.edlingallery.com/artists/judith-scott.

 

 

That’s Life

That’s life (that’s life), that’s what all the people say
You’re ridin’ high in April, shot down in May
But I know I’m gonna change that tune
When I’m back on top, back on top in June

I said that’s life (that’s life), and as funny as it may seem
Some people get their kicks stompin’ on a dream
But I don’t let it, let it get me down
’cause this fine old world, it keeps spinnin’ around

 

Yep. That’s Life. My second craft show has been cancelled. Not enough volunteers. Not enough food vendors for the fest. And a hundred other legitimate reasons.

I’m sure Covid has a lot to do with it. People are still not sure about crowds and people and people not covering their mouths when they cough. And the thought of 300,000 people not covering their mouth when they cough is enough to scare a daredevil.

But I digress.

No craft show. No Angel Tears.

No making more strands like a crazy woman, no reorganizing my bins, no cleaning up sloppily put together bags. 

At least not within the next two weeks.

Although I am sad I can’t show my wares to the wandering-past public, part of me is glad I have more than two weeks to get my sh$t together.

I have a lot of sh$t to get together.

Like I’ve said before, I learned so much my first time around. What I offer, how I package, how I pack. How to keep organized. How to talk to people. How to plan and how to breathe.

I am quite happy with how much I’ve grown in the past few months. I learned to stay focused, to take pride in my work, and to more forward one step at a time.

We all need quests like this.

Maybe not selling your wares or publishing your book. 

Quests can be as simple as finishing balancing your checkbook. By completing a walk around the block. By repotting your overgrown plants.

There is always some task we need to finish before we start the next one. It’s so easy to make a half effort then move along, forgetting what we promised ourselves. Meaning well but never following through.

Let me tell you. It feels good to have accomplished something. And it frees me up to take on the next task. 

So until next time …. 

What’s next?

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Guy Clement Cohen

 

Guy Clement Cohen was born in Egypt in 1951 to a French Jewish Father (whose own father was a rabbi) and an Italian mother.

As a university student he graduated in Electrical Engineering.

One of his favorite hang-outs in the heart of Paris were Les Halles where the Centre George Pompidou Museum was created.

He developed some of the earliest Computer-Aided Art and several of his pieces were shown at the opening of the Museum in the early 70’s.

Years later, after a successful career in cutting-edge technology and product design, the engineer with the soul of an artist decided to dedicate himself to his lifetime passion and became a sculptor.In each sculpture, Cohen reveals elements of the creation and oneness.He is an intuitive artist and brings to his art the multi-cultural and multinational flair and experiences to which he has been exposed all his life.

“I am able to remove all undesirable thoughts and tendencies and I project into my sculptures a dimension of my senses and feelings in a very organic way that imbues my art with a remarkable wisdom, wholeness, peace and fulfillment, the sculptor says.

More of Guy Clement Cohen’s works can be found at http://guyclementcohen.com/.

 

 

 

Good Kind of Guilt

I’ve been feeling guilty lately.

I know. I hear you saying “Geez! What now?”

It’s not that kind of guilty. Not a complaint. Its a good kind of guilt. At least for me.

I miss writing.

“What?” you say. “You are a writer! You can write anytime!”

True.

You can. And you can’t.

As creative sprites (like you) know, it takes all you’ve got to be good at your craft. It takes time, dedication, and repitition. Concentration. Devotion.

And that’s just for one craft.

What if you have a couple of passions? Can you love both or three or four of them at 150% 100% of the time?

Love is such a relative word.

Your craft needs your attention and devotion in order to succeed. You can cut corners in your devotion, bit it all depends on what you are trying to accomplish.

Trying to paint something for an art competition? Knitting something for a gift? Promise to make a collage for your friend’s living room?

Just like a 9-5 or part time job, you have commitments.  You have set a particular goal for yourself.

You are obliged to meet that goal.

Yet another craft always seems to be hanging around on the other side of the room. Watching. Waiting impatiently for their turn. Bugging you. Tempting you.

Yes, you can momentarily slip over to the other side to get your fix. But your first commitment will still be there. Waiting expectantly for you to finish.

And after all, isn’t there some hokey saying about ‘My Word is my Bond’?

So it is with me and my Angel Tears.

Love making them, looking forward to my last craft show in a couple of weeks.

But I’ve another “trip” to Paris to write about, and some novels to final proof so I can offer them online. Ive got worlds to explore and stories to create.

Can’t spend all my life gluing mirror squares together, you know.

So that is the extent of my guilt. Alas, I will survive.  Creativity is often seasonal.

I think I just need a couple of more seasons.

How do you balance your creative urges?

 

 

What I Learned From My Craft Fair

It was a partly sunny, partly windy Sunday afternoon at my first craft fair for Angel Tears. The crowd ebbed and flowed up and down the walk around my booth. I got a lot of compliments about the beauty of the crystals and colored stones, which I gratefully acknowledged. I perhaps made back 1/5 to 1/4  of my total first-year investment in sales, which surprised me for a first time outing.

It was a great day. A tiring day. A learning experience. Here’s some things I learned:

  • Give yourself more time than you think you need to set up. For me, two hours wasn’t nearly enough time. I know. What is there to setting up?
  • Be willing to change your layout on a whim. This spot enabled people to walk up and down both sides of the booth, and I had planned for only one side. Had to adjust so both sides could see the sparkle.
  • Some customers are chatty, some come up and say “I want this one.” Some just walk by and say “pretty.” Be friendly to all.
  • Know that setting up and taking down at a fair is a lot of work. I never underestimated the work that went into selling your wares, but I never experienced it, either. There’s a lot more to it than what you see.
  • Learn how to use your credit card reader (if you have one). My helper and I stumbled a few times in getting the darn thing to work. Embarassing.
  • Don’t take yourself so seriously. Know the day is important and stay focused, but don’t be a Debbie Downer (sorry Debbie) about everything wrong that happens. Product will blow over. Fall over. You won’t have the color or the shape or scene your customer is looking for. Oh well. It happens. 
  • Related to the above, offer to make a custom order. The customer loves a certain color or scene? If there is a real chance for a sale there, offer to make their request, unless it’s an intricate piece of work. Then it’s what’s there is there.
  • Bring everything you think you need your first time out, then trim down your supply bucket. In my case, no one wanted a receipt (except electronically), didn’t need extra  crystals or pens or, surprisingly a guest book. In my case, it was a snatch and buy business.
  • Hang your price sign high enough for people to see it. Setting it on a bucket that was holding down water jugs that held down the canopy was not an ideal site.
  • Have a helper. I can’t tell you how many times the moment’s rush almost got away from me. Maybe it’s just that I’m not a good multi-tasker. I can’t wrap and answer new questions and chat about where to hang Tears and replacing stock and trying to get the reader to work all at the same time. I’m a simpleton in that world.
  • Don’t sit all the time, nor don’t stand all the time. The small of your back and your hips will take the brunt of the abuse, and there’s nothing more embarrassing than standing up after a long time and moaning in pain.
  • And finally, have fun with your day. Observe and learn and listen. Learn where people want to put your piece, the colors they like, and which food vendor was the best. An art/craft fair is a wonderful people watching place. Don’t be afraid to make eye contact and say hello to those looking at your wares as they pass by. You never know who will come back and purchase something.

I was a nervous wreck all week, and all day before the fair started. The adrenalin kept me alert and adaptive. But when all was said and done, it was just another day.

A good day.

Be happy and thankful you were a part of it.

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Lady Pink

Whether portraying women as provocative street warriors in the concrete jungle or as mythical goddesses placed in surrealist environments, Lady Pink, the long-reigning queen of graffiti, consistently elevates the female figure through her murals and paintings by incorporating themes of fantasy, spiritualism, her South American heritage, and indigenous iconography.Lady Pink was born Sandra Fabara in Ecuador in 1964 and raised in New York City.She started making graffiti at the age of 15 and quickly became well known as the only prominent female in the graffiti subculture.Pink’s beginning focus was on painting subway trains.She had first solo exhibition at 21 and her paintings are included in important collections like the MET, The Whitney Museum, The Museum of the City of N.Y. and others.Pink has gone great lengths to fight for equality, justice, and women’s rights.She expresses her private opinion to public work, without any censors, although she never reveals the idea in fullness.She cleverly states out what is important, and warmly put her artwork open to interpretation.Pink’s  tradition is to practice mindfulness and to be as sensible as possible to the community.“Art is about a binary relationship, and the audience is free to make assumptions and interpretations as they like,” she says about her work.More of Lady Pink‘s murals and paintings can be found at https://www.ladypinknyc.com/.

 

 

 

Scratching The Surface — Tiffany Arp-Daleo Art

 

I love Tiffany’s art. And I love there is always a story behind it. And I am learning how abstract art can express all kinds of emotions and thoughts. 

Give her website a visit — you might start understanding, too!

12″ x 16″ Mixed media painting by Tiffany Arp Daleo

Scratching The Surface — Tiffany Arp-Daleo Art

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Ingrid Siliakus

 

Ingrid Siliakus discovered Paper (Origamic) Architecture by seeing work of the originator of this art form, Masahiro Chatani.Paper Architecture is the art of creating an object out of a single piece of paper.The process begins with drawing, then cutting, then folding, until a large and detailed piece is amassed. The patterns are made from scratch and carefully cut, and they evolve through trial and error.Since there’s no margin for error, Siliakus sometimes makes twenty or thirty studies before deciding on a final design.To design a pattern from scratch, Siliakus needs the skills of an architect to create a two-dimensional design, which, with the patience and precision of a surgeon, becomes an ingenious three-dimensional wonder.Using only a sharp X-ACTO® knife, she carves away at both loose leaf paper and books, transforming them into scenes from MC Escher, historic churches, stately buildings, and architectural day dreams.“Working with paper forces me to be humble, since this medium has a character of its own that asks for cooperation,” Siliakus  says.“I experience an ultimate satisfaction at the critic moment when the paper, with a silenced sigh, surrenders and becomes a blade-sharp crease. The sound of the paper, which guides this surrendering, to me is incomparable.”

 

More of Ingrid Siliakus‘ amazing work can be found at https://ingrid-siliakus.exto.org/.

 

 

A Letter to My Friends

Dear Friends —

How are you? I am doing fine.

Kinda.

I just returned from five days of camping with my kids and grandkids, and am turning around in a few days to make another trip away from home, which includes my upcoming first-ever in-person craft show on Sunday.

I’ve been so busy that I didn’t get a chance to publish my Sunday Evening Art Gallery. So behind in preparing for this craft show that I am still fixing, polishing, and bagging product while I watch basket after basket of clean laundry pile up in the corner of my bedroom.  I still have to figure out how to use a credit card reader, I have a long distance wedding I have to plan for, a second wedding to think about —

What a whiner.

I figure who better to whine to than those who have gone through similar pressure cooker moments. You have all burned the candle at both ends. Jumped out of the plane with a questionable parachute. Flew high and crashed and burned all in one day.

How do you get through it all?

I know I’ve written about this subject a bijillion times. And have come up with the same bijillion answers. 

Have faith in yourself. Have faith in your decisions. Write it all down. Be honest about your physical and mental ability to accomplish what you’ve set out to do. Cut yourself some slack, but stay to task. Don’t belittle yourself. You can have down moments, but you can’t stay there.

Be realistic. About your life, about your goals. About your abilities. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I hated asking for it, but life became a whole lot easier when I did. Know you are the Do-All Be-All of the universe. But at the same time know you don’t always have to prove it. Bring somebody along to be a Be-All with you. That’s what friends and family are for.

Reach for the stars. Accept Jupiter. Try reaching for Alpha Centauri again next week. It’s not going anywhere.

See you soon.

Cordially,

Claudia — the Writing Unicorn

 

 

Come On Over!

I was looking through my Sunday Evening Art Gallery the other morning for an artist’s name I wanted to reference in my blog (Richard Savoie) and could not help but marvel at some of the artists I’ve featured through the years. I mean, these people are amazing.

So since I will be out of town for a few days with my family I thought I would share some of the stars of the past and hope you will go check out more of their work for yourself.

Creativity is amazing. In all its forms.

So are all of you.

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery

 

Elizabeth Berrien – Wire Sculpture

 

Shirley Quaid — Old West Painting

 

Yayoi KusamaJapanese Installation Art/Infinity Rooms

 

Glass Houses

 

 

Williard Wigan — Miniatures

 

Nick Veasley — X-Ray Photography

 

 

Santiago Rusiñol i PratsSpanish painter

 

 

Chris Maynard — Feather Cutting

 

Ice Sculptures

 

Spencer Biles — Wild Forest Sculptor

 

Jennifer Maestre — Pencil Sculptures

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Robert Walker

 

Color Color Color is the first thing you notice in Robert Walker’s paintings.

Wizard Power

 

Bright, bursting, symmetrical color.

Osebac

 

Robert Walker is a Los Angeles based artist and art historian.

Ten Speeder

 

 

Walker taught art history at the college level for 25 years and has lectured at universities in both the US, Japan and Thailand and numerous museums in Southern California.

E-maze II

 

During his 45 year practice he has fabricated paintings and sculpture that reveal his deep interest in Eastern religions and practices.

Rachguine

 

A common theme is the bold use of color and patterns, inspired by the Buddhist mandala tradition; the effect is colorful, expressive and almost hypnotic.

Awiroh

 

Walker’s paintings often have a sculptural element, using the materiality of paint to create bas-relief areas across the canvas.

Captcha III

 

You can feel the Eastern influence in all of his work if you only look.

Maieutic

 

More of Robert Walker‘s colorful art can be found at http://www.robertwalkerstudio.com/.

 

 

How’s Your Summer/Winter Going?

Sitting here on a Monday morning, waiting for the thunderstorms to pass through so I can go grocery shopping, I wondered:  How’s your summer/winter going?

I have a hard time believing we’ve gone through seven months already in this glorious year of 2021. It’s already back to school for a lot of our kids and grandkids; what happened to summer vacation?  I’ve seen Halloween displays already.  It’s only August and football is on TV.  It’s 124 days until Christmas (let’s not go there!). Teachers have their classroom plans done for this/next year. I’ve been planning camping trips with one hand while planning our annual family ski weekend with the other. 

No wonder I feel like I’m dancing the whirling dervish. Has life always gone this fast?

Or has Einstein’s time dilation thing just become more real the older I get?

I think there was more order in my life when I worked a full time job. Up at 6, out the door at 7, in the office from 7:30 to 4, come home, make dinner, and squeeze in all my household duties on Saturdays.

Now I’m up anywhere from 6 to 9, household duties every day, creative ventures a good portion of the day (especially now that there’s two deadlines approaching), taking advantage of grandkids still off school, getting the car fixed, doctor appointments, camping, mowing the lawn, birthday parties, musical fests — you know what I mean.

The humidity has zapped my energy (what little I had), the heat has melted part of my brain, and the anxiety of two upcoming craft fairs is kicking my patience out the door.

These are the days that make me think of cold, snowy winter days, nowhere to go, just crafts and hot chocolate and soft, relaxing music and reading a good book and petting my cat. You know — those Richard Savoie paintings that make you think of gentle winters past.

But whose world is that? Certainly not mine. Ever. I think most of us feel more like a Salvador Dali painting.

My father-in-law used to say he’d sleep when he’s dead. I know what he meant. Life’s too short — and time too fast — to get it all in in one day. You’ll never catch up, so why worry about it? Go at your own pace. Prioritize. Then sit and watch the thunderstorms pass through.

How’s your summer/winter going?

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Adam Goldberg

When Adam Goldberg, Creative Director and Co-Founder of Santa Monica-based studio Trüf,  isn’t crafting work for a client, the designer likes to engage his creativity with an ongoing series of minimal illustrations titled FAÜNA.The pieces combine black and red shapes and linework to form stylized versions of animals and insects.FAÜNA is an ongoing illustration project where he takes a very basic interpretation of the animal kingdom. His many years in branding has influenced the style and execution of illustrations and not necessarily the other way around —although it is a merger of both aesthetics.Goldberg describes the project as “a minimalistic and strange interpretation of the animal kingdom that only exists in our heads.”Although Goldberg is directly inspired by artists such as Joan Miro and Alexander Calder, he is also influenced by the client work he has completed over the years.“The simplicity, geometry, and composure that we try to achieve with our branding work rubs off on the artwork,” he explained.“I think more in terms of composition and balance more now than I ever have — and that’s because of the branding work.”More of Adam Goldberg‘s wonderful art can be found at www.trufcreative.com and https://www.messymod.com/.

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Erin Hanson

 

Combining the emotional resonance of 19th-century Impressionists with the lavish color palette of Expressionism, Erin Hanson’s unique style has come to be known as “Open Impressionism.”Erin Hanson began painting as a young girl, voraciously learning oils, acrylics, watercolor, pen and ink, pastels, and life drawing from accomplished art instructors. She began commissioning paintings at age ten, and by age twelve, she was employed after school by a mural studio, learning the techniques of acrylics on the grand scale of forty-foot canvases. Graduating high school at age sixteen and once again demonstrating that she was a child prodigy, Hanson next attended UC Berkeley, excelling further in her studies and creative development and attaining a degree in Bioengineering.Two years later, a high school scholarship took her to Otis College of Art, where she immersed herself in figure drawing.After graduating from college, Hanson entered the art trade as a professional, inspired by landscapes and vantage points only beheld by the most adventurous.For the past decade Hanson has been developing a unique, minimalist technique of placing impasto paint strokes without layering, which has become known as “Open-Impressionism.”Her passion for natural beauty is seen in her work as she transforms vistas familiar and rare into stunning interpretations of bold color, playful rhythms and raw emotional impact. “I am not trying to re-create a photograph, I am trying to get my viewers to open their eyes and see their world a little differently,” Hanson said.More of Erin Hanson’s imaginative paintings can be found at https://www.erinhanson.com/.

 

 

Art Can Be Found Anywhere

Vilas County, Wisconsin, is a small community of citizens in the almost-northern part of the state. Established in 1893, the county boasts a population of a little over 22,000 people. It’s a rural community, a farm community, and a tourist destination for fishing, hiking, and snowmobiling.

It also is the home of the Vilas County Fair.

The fair itself is small, held together by the carnival that moves in for three days and tradition of having your cows, jams, and art work judged by professionals.

The hearts and minds of artists dwell within this small community fair, too.

A competition that barely fills one pole barn, the artists of tomorrow are showing off their creativity, their inspirations, and their talent. Walking through an art show on this small of a scale can fill you with awe and pride and enchantment just as much as walking through the Milwaukee Art Museum.

No matter how big, no matter how small, you can feel the heartbeat of creativity in everything you see.

Take time to visit small art fairs, county fairs, and school art shows. You’ll love what you find.

 

Vilas County Schools Art

(for safety I did not take or record names)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Women and the Taliban

indiatimes

Yesterday I posted a picture with no explanation.

It was on the news the previous few days — I wonder if anyone noticed it.

It was an image of a painter painting over images of women in the window of a Kabul beauty salon in Kabul, Afghanistan. The photo was shared by Lotfullah Najafizada, the head of the Afghan news outlet Tolonews TV, on Sunday.

Image

 
It was a reflection of the state of mind of the Taliban. 
 

According to a Yahoo News article, under the hardline version of sharia law that the Taliban imposed the last time they controlled the capital, women and girls were mostly denied education or employment. Full face coverings became mandatory in public and they could not leave home without a male companion. Public floggings and executions, including stoning for adultery, were carried out in city squares and stadiums.

Is this what the world has gone back to?

Is this where the world is going to?

I won’t pretend. I can’t even begin to imagine an oppression like that. 

Yet there it is. The thought. The apprehension. The fear of this way of life returning to the women of Afghanistan. 

One woman’s thought echoes the feelings of millions of women standing on the edge:

“The fear just sits inside your chest like a black bird,” added Muska Dastageer, a lecturer at the American University of Afghanistan, which opened its doors five years after the Taliban were ousted. “It opens its wings and you can’t breathe.”

Let us hope that this time things will be different.

Let us pray that this time things will be different.

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Wawiriya Burton

Wawiriya Burton is an Australian Aboriginal artist known for her acrylic paintings.

Burton belongs to the Pitjantjatjara, an Aboringinal people of the Central Australian desert near Uluru.She was born in outback central Australia sometime during the 1920s, and grew up living a traditional, nomadic way of life.

She originally specialized in baskets and punu (wood carvings) from spinifex (a  perennial coastal plant) at the Tjala Arts Centre in Southern Australia in 2008, but later learned to paint from other women.

Her paintings are representations of sacred stories from the Dreamtime.Like other Aboriginal artists, the representations are blurred (or encrypted) for cultural reasons.The full meaning of her artworks can only be understood or deciphered by people who have been initiated.Burton is a ngangkaṟi (traditional healer), so she has more knowledge about sacred traditions than most in her community.

More of Wawiriya Burton‘s soul filled paintings can be found at Wikipedia and Aboriginal Signature.

 

 

Craft and Rock and Roll

I am “up north” this weekend, working on Angel Tears and reading books while the boys are out fishing all day.

Nice, quiet woodsy world up here. Lots of birds singing, deer walking up and down the road, boats on the water at the nearby chain of lakes. So quiet. So peaceful. So ideal.

Until I couldn’t stand it anymore.

Peaceful spaces and renaissance thoughts and quiet classical music in the morning suddenly gave way to my “cleaning” play list on my computer. Then …

B A N G ! !

Kick Start My  Heart by Motley Crue!

Bodhisattva by Steely Dan!

Conga by Gloria Estavan!

Sweet Home Chicago by the Blues Brothers!

Runnin’ Down a Dream by Tom Petty!

 

My whole world became a rock and roll blow out. At least for a little while.

I can take subtle, quiet, meditative states for only so long.

I believe contemplation, focusing on your creative passions, reading good books, all help expand our consciousness.

But so does loud rockin’ music.

Any upbeat music will do. Classical (anything by Tchaikovsky), Country (I only know country rock like Charlie Daniels), Spanish Guitar (flamenco is the best), rock n’ roll (I do love the Beatles loud too), all turned up full volume is good for the soul.

How can it not be?

It vibrates at a wavelength that pierces the coldest heart, the hottest head, and calmest shoreline, taking you on a journey through time and space. An almost out-of-body experience at times.

Singing along is a bonus point, of course. The louder the better.

It’s the jamming, shaking, soul-filled action of sharing the movement of the musical spheres at any particular moment that, as the song says, kick starts your heart.

I hope you all have music in your life.

Either you play it, listen to it, compose it, or sing it. Music adds so much to your life. And soul.

Which song do YOU jam to at full volume when no one’s around?

 

Repost — Hidden Paradise — The Ink Owl

A magical poem by a magical writer … 

 

Herein we find ourselves, Upon a broken ridge of baked clay. What wastes lie behind our worn soles, Each rock and dried root has been memorized. But now between two sloping mountainsides, Is a slice of what could only be paradise. Running water drips to fill a mind with madness, And from this rushing water […]

Hidden Paradise — The Ink Owl

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Georgie Seccull

Australian sculptor and installation artist Georgie Seccull creates large-scale stainless steel sculptures of animals and other creatures seemingly locked in motion.

Her work explores our individual and collective perceptions of polarities in existence, and how these observations inform our reality.Comprised of numerous pieces cut from metal sheets, the materials lend themselves to organic forms like feathers, scales, wings, or the armaments of crustaceans.Working meticulously by hand, Seccull transcends hard heavy steel into fluid expressions of life force, each piece an exploration into the delicate aspects of the natural world through paradox in subject matter and use of materials.Seccull’s work scales up dramatically in her installation practice where she’s filled entire rooms and atriums with suspended pieces.

“My process is much the same. I begin with a thousand pieces scattered on the ground, then working almost like a jigsaw puzzle, I pick them up one by one and allow each piece to come together organically and dictate the outcome,” the artist shares in a statement.

More of Georgie Seccull‘s amazing sculptures can be found at https://georgieseccull.com/. and https://www.instagram.com/georgieseccull/.

 

 

Listening to the Rain

It’s early Monday morning. I’m sitting here, listening to the thunderstorm move through, the rain pouring down on the plants and round table and plastic chairs on my front deck.

The house is silent except for the steady cadence of the rain — a welcome gift here on a hot August day.

You would think there is a story here somewhere.

Or at least a poem.

It’s funny how the most atmospheric places and times often fail to yield to the force of Creativity. How the perfect setting, emotional state, or piece of music fails to inspire us to our creative heights.

I have often had the perfect surroundings to write on my novel or sketch something in my art book. A beautiful sunset, a country setting. Maybe everyone is gone and I have the house to myself. Maybe a bit of romantic music from the past comes on the radio. Rain and thunderstorms and the quiet of the gray around it.

Perfect settings for writing, painting … for self reflection and relaxing daydreams.

Yet I sit here, doing nothing. Feeling nothing. Except maybe like I want to take a nap or pour another cup of coffee or wonder what I’m going to make for dinner.

It seems my Muse sabotages me at every turn.

I believe that creativity and imagination are like soft electrical currents that are always running in the background. They make us feel good; they give us a sense of self worth, of achievement, and enjoyment. Look at how high you feel when you’re in the groove. On a roll. In the thick of things.

I also believe you can’t just call on the Muse and have her instantly appear.

You can’t make inspiration. You can’t make imagination.

You can encourage it, develop it, explore it. But you can’t make it. It comes at its own time. At its own speed.

I can’t seem to find my muse and her creative spark at the moment. There surely is a reason for that.

Maybe she wants me to just sit and listen to the rain.

 

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — May Parlar

 

May Parlar is an image based conceptual artist based in Berlin, New York City, and Istanbul.Parlar is an instructor of Art and Design, leading architectural design courses and lectures on sustainability at various universities.Through her photography she can document her reality and, at the same time, recreate it.Placing people and everyday objects in unordinary constructed realities, Parlar explores the human condition and the idea of being.

She often uses outdoor open spaces for her impressive fine art photographs; open landscapes with colorful elements like masses of balloons and accessories separated from human wearers.Most of her works are self-portraits, reflections of her in different shapes and forms.“For me, they are both spontaneous performances turned into an image and playful memories frozen in time,” she says.Her images constantly tell us about the games we play between loneliness and company, between belonging and alienation.

More of May Parlar‘s remarkable photography can be found at https://www.mayparlar.com/gallery.

 

 

Not For Us to Understand … But to Help

 

Yesterday I had a musical video montage on in the background while I did some busy work both on and off the computer. I found a playlist that contained Michael Jackson videos. I love his music — I love his movements. And it was perfect pick-me-up music.

As I worked I kept peeking at the videos, and found myself watching one called Smooth Criminal from his album Bad (1987).  As I watched his phenomenal performance, his singing and dancing and marvelous moves, I wondered …

What happened?

I have no idea what led up to that fateful day where Michael Jackson died of cardiac arrest due to too many drugs in his system.

None of us do.

But I always wonder when someone of great talent ends their own life …

Why?

Michael Jackson was a superstar. He was a teacher, influencer, father. He could be anything he wanted to be. Do anything he wanted to do. Help the poor, influence younger artists, play with his kids.

And yet he chose not to do so.

There are other celebrity deaths that dance in that same haunted circle.

Ernest Hemingway

Robin Williams

Prince

Whitney Houston

Philip Seymour Hoffman

Anthony Bourdain

The list goes on. Artists from all fields of art. Creative, real people who loved what they were doing. People who had, one way or another, contributed to the Artistic Culture of the World.

We don’t know what led them to take one too many pills. What led them to walk into the woods and shoot themselves. What led them to hang themselves.

I don’t mean to be a downer about all of this — but suicide is a downer.

Translate that to someone you know. Someone you’ve heard of. Young kids. Old people. Successful business people. Housewives. College kids. People commit suicide every day. Their pain, their trials, their confusion, become too much to handle. To understand. There seems to be no way out.

I don’t even pretend to understand what’s in the head of those who choose to leave this world. With most of us fighting to stay here one more day, to give up even one more hour than necessary is something I will never understand.

Perhaps it’s something that’s not meant to be understood by everyone.

But it’s meant to be addressed.

If you, or anyone you know, is inordinately depressed, lost, or in trouble, cross the personal boundaries and call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.  Or text HOME to 741741 for free.

If you yourself are feeling overwhelmed, help is just a phone call or text away.

Don’t waste your wonderful artistic talent. Don’t let go. 

Don’t leave the rest of us not understanding.

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Daniel Libeskind

The son of Polish Jews and Holocaust survivors, Daniel Libeskind has dedicated much of his illustrious career to commemorating his heritage through visually dynamic buildings, often with a striking angularity that seems to defy gravity.

Frederic C. Hamilton Building, Denver Art Museum

 

Libeskind began his career as an architectural theorist and professor, holding positions at various institutions around the world.

Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Dublin, Ireland

 

His practical architectural career began in Milan in the late 1980s, where he submitted to architectural competitions and also founded and directed Architecture Intermediate, Institute for Architecture & Urban-ism.

Metropolitan University Graduate Centre, London, England

 

He founded his firm, Studio Libeskind, in 1989 with his wife, Nina, as the principal architect, and achieved international fame with his addition to the Jewish Museum Berlin, which opened to the public in 2001.

Jewish Museum, Berlin

 

His work is often described as Deconstructivist, a style of postmodern architecture characterized by fragmentation and distortion.

The Sapphire, Berlin, Germany

 

Yet Libeskind aims to create architecture that is resonant, unique and sustainable.

The Museum of Zhang ZhiDong, Wuhan, China

 

“To create a space that never existed is what interests me; to create something that has never been, a space that we have never entered except in our minds and our spirits,” Libeskind has said.

Bundeswehr Military History Museum, Dresden, Germany

 

“I think that’s really what architecture is based on. Architecture is not based on concrete and steel and the elements of the soil. It’s based on wonder.

Mons Congress Center, Belgium

 

“And that wonder is really what has created the greatest cities, the greatest spaces that we have had. And I think that is indeed what architecture is. It is a story.”

Lee-Chin Crystal, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada

 

More of Daniel Libeskind‘s work can be found at https://libeskind.com.

Repost — The Endeavourers’ Reveal Day, August 2021 — Opposite Day — Deep in the Heart of Textiles

Another amazingly creative Artist! I love her work! Go check out how she did this!

 

Once a quarter I make an art quilt for an online group, The Endeavourers.  This time the theme was “Opposites Attract.” I had a very hard time coming up with anything, but finally I remembered the fun of having “Opposite Day” when my kids were little — eating dinner for breakfast (starting with dessert), wearing […]

The Endeavourers’ Reveal Day, August 2021 — Opposite Day — Deep in the Heart of Textiles

 

I Am Smiling … Aren’t I?

I’ve just paid for the insurance for my craft booth on Labor Day.

I’m catching up on the inventory I need for my first craft fair ever.

I have no idea how much inventory I need for my first craft fair ever.

I have no idea why I have to purchase insurance for six hours of sitting in the hot sun under a canopy smiling, chatting, sharing, and shaking from nerves.

Needless to say, I’m a nervous wreck. And I’ve still got four weeks to go.

How do you deal with a persistent case of nerves?

I imagine everyone goes through the same anxiety highs and lows before any event: giving a speech or presentation at the office; reading your latest writing out loud to fellow writers; teaching a class; preparing for an intense discussion with someone.  There’s all sorts of things  in our lives that make our stress needle go off the charts.

I’m so afraid I’ll forget something. Not do something. Say the wrong thing. I’m afraid that an Angel Tear will fall apart in someone’s hand.

I’m interested to hear your scare stories. How they developed, how you dealt with them. How you (hopefully) lived happily ever after despite the breakdown you created for yourself.

I believe that none of us would truly take on a project if we didn’t think we could handle it. Speaking in front of others, teaching someone something, writing something for work  or school — there are a million things we do every day that leave room for judgment and performance.

We all make it through our experiences. With a bit of luck, and talent and a positive attitude, we have fun along the way, too.

There’s only one way to go — forward. Might as go that way smiling … 


 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Pablo Picasso

Pablo Ruiz Picasso (1881 – 1973) was a Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, and theatre designer who spent most of his adult life in France.

The Old Guitarist

 

Regarded as one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, he is known for co-founding the Cubist movement, the invention of constructed sculpture, the co-invention of collage, and for the wide variety of styles that he helped develop and explore.

Guernica

 

Picasso demonstrated extraordinary artistic talent in his early years, painting in a naturalistic manner through his childhood and adolescence.

Family of Saltimbanques

 

During the first decade of the 20th century, his style changed as he experimented with different theories, techniques, and ideas.

Girl before a Mirror

 

After 1906, the Fauvist work of the slightly older artist Henri Matisse motivated Picasso to explore more radical styles, beginning a fruitful rivalry between the two artists, who subsequently were often paired by critics as the leaders of modern art.

Three Musicians

 

Much of Picasso’s work of the late 1910s and early 1920s is in a neoclassical style, and his work in the mid-1920s often has characteristics of Surrealism.

Gertrude Stein

 

His later work often combines elements of his earlier styles.

The Weeping Woman

 

Exceptionally prolific throughout the course of his long life, Picasso achieved universal renown and immense fortune for his revolutionary artistic accomplishments, and became one of the best-known figures in 20th-century art.

Picasso Statue, Chicago

 

More of Pablo Picasso’s wonderful art can be found at https://www.pablopicasso.org/ and http://www.picasso.com/.

Faerie Paths — A Toast

 

 

In ancient crystal glass I see
Reflections of how it used to be
The finest wines in heaven poured
In vessels fit for any Lord
Finely crafted of wood and glass
A stem created from materials past
To hold God’s work in one’s small hand
Is to drink His brew throughout the land
So fill your glass with revelry bought
Whether water or wine it matters naught
Drink to love both present and past
And friendships made that ever last

 

©2015 Claudia Anderson