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

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Volcanoes

 

Gray fog, rains of ash
Culmination of pressure
Earth shows dominion

~ Travis J. McRoy

 

Mount St. Helens, Washington

 

 

Ontake, Central Japan

 

 

Eyjafjallajokull, Iceland

 

 

Krakatoa, Indonesia

 

 

Mount Fuji Shizuoka, Japan

 

 

Mount Vesuvius, Campania, Italy

 

 

Cotopaxi, Equador

 

 

Volcan de Colima, Central Mexico

 

 

Mount Redoubt, Alaska

If I were a …

In one of my endless wandering stages (this time looking for a picture for my feature Faerie Paths) I  came across this post from a 2010 blog Being Alive called Only If …

Quite interesting. Quite revealing. Quite fun. Not as easy as I thought it would be. I wonder what your answers would be?

I wonder if you would change your mind once you thought about it?

IF I WERE….

 

If I were a day, I would be … Saturday. Every day.

 

If I were a planet I would be … Earth. Fertile, green, bursting with life.

 

If I were a month, I would be … May or October? Spring or Fall? I’ll take May. Eternal birth.

 

If I were a time of the day, I would be … If I could wake up naturally, 5:30 a.m. The world comes alive about that time. I also love 1 a.m. The world is still then. Pick one. 5:30 a.m.

 

If I were a season I would be … Fall. Which is totally opposite of which month I would be. Go figure.

 

If I were an animal I would be … a lot harder. Eagle, so I could soar high above the world.

 

If I were a bird I would be a … Wait! I just answered that! 

 

If I were a piece of furniture I would be … a TV tray. Mobile, invited to every party, always holding food, can even watch TV now and then.

 

If I were a liquid I would be … I should say water, as it is the basis for life. But I’d rather be a Cookie Crumble Frappé. Sweet and strong and dancing with a bit of whipped cream on top.

 

If I were a tree I would be … the obvious choice is Oak. Strong, long living, solid base and big arms. But you know me — I opt for a Weeping Japanese Maple Tree — delicately cut leaves, colorful, dramatically weeping — the whole shebang.

 

If I were a tool I would be … a tool like a hammer? Or a creative tool, like a paint brush? Clarify, please … 

 

If I were a flower I would be … a Double Delight rose. The most beautiful bicolored rose in the world, its large creamy blossoms are edged with striking red. It is also renowned for its intense spicy fragrance. That’s me.

 

If I were an element I would be … I had to go to the periodic table for this one. An element can be a distinct part of a composite device; any of the fundamental substances that consist of atoms of only one kind and that singly or in combination constitute all matter; or any of the four substances air, water, fire, and earth formerly believed to compose the physical universe. Maybe they just meant earth, water, fire, and air. I’ll say water (an answer I passed on above), as it is the basis for life.

 

If I were a gemstone I would be … no thought. Diamond. Ultra sparkle, ultra hard. Can be part of saws and drills, rings and necklaces, and record needles. Just think — I could be pressed hard against the Beatles album Meet the Beatles!

 

If I were a musical instrument I would be … a piano. I love the music that comes from such a beautiful instrument. Plus I’d be big and strong and it would take a lot to push me around. 

 

If I were a color I would be … Royal Blue. My favorite. A close second is purple, but we’re only talking one choice here.   

            

 

If I were a sound I would be  … a baby’s giggle. What could be closer to heaven?

 

If I were a Scent I would be … I thought about bleach, as it is a purifier and sanitizer, keeping the world around me clean and fresh. But I think I’ll go with lavender. My favorite.

 

If I were a Song I would be … another almost impossible one. Something sappy like “A Wonderful World”? My favorite rock n roll song, “Kick Start My Heart”? A wonderful classical delight like the “1812 Overture”? Ack! Music is too personal subject. Pass to the next question.

 

If I were a Body Part I would be … forget this one. I AM my body, every chubby piece.

 

If I were a place … Is this a specific country? A view? The place I met my husband? The place I took my kids and grandkids? Another Ack — I’d like to be the shoreline of a hidden lake in the woods. With a flower garden not far from sight. And a fountain. And some windchimes. And a good book. And a pillow. And And And …

 

If i were an emotion I would be … Easy Peasy. Which emotion would you want to be? 

 

See? I can’t even play the “If I Were …” game right! Oh well — how about you? Pick one or several — tell me what YOU would be if you were … I’d LOVE to hear your answers!

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Olaf Wieghorst

Olaf Carl Wieghorst (1899-1988) was born in Viborg, Denmark, and is known for his Western genre, Indian, cowboy, and horse paintings.

El Dorado

 

During his career, Wieghorst learned to master oil painting and watercolor painting, as well as numerous other art mediums.

Break Away

 

After three years of service with the Fifth Cavalry along the Mexican border, Wieghorst was mustered out of the military in 1922, and pursued the life of a cowboy, during which he wandered extensively throughout the Southwest, sketching whenever he could.

His Spotted Pony

 

In 1924, Wieghorst joined the New York City Police Department where he became a Mounted Police Officer with the Department.

Turning the Remuda

 

Due to his knowledge of horses, he was quickly sent to the Remount Section of the Mounted Unit where he broke and trained horses for the Unit.

Salt River Canyon

 

Olaf’s drawing and etchings have been displayed at the Madison Square Garden Rodeo and in the Rodeo’s Official Magazine.

Roping the Dunn

 

From 1938 to 1953, Olaf’s art was also featured on the covers of a Rodeo magazine published in Tucson Arizona titled “Hoofs and Horns.”

Wagon and Remuda

 

After retiring and moving to El Cajon Olaf settled down to paint, steadily gaining recognition for his classic cowboy and Indian subjects and became a master painter of the western scene.

Drifting

 

Wherever he went, he sketched and painted the Western culture he loved.

Comanche

 

Olaf was honored at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City on November 15, 1974 for his contribution to Western Art.

Changing Outfits

 

More of Olaf Wieghorst‘s remarkable Western Art can be found at https://www.wieghorst.com.

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Leslie Cobb

Leslie Cobb has shared her life with cats since she was a child and cannot imagine living without them.

Cobb tries to capture their unique qualities in her art.She uses acrylic paint because it washes easily out of cat fur when some of her models choose to take a more active role in the artistic process.Cobb is mostly self-taught; her formal training  limited to high school art classes and a couple of drawing courses at a community college.She began painting in 1998 after the death of her one-eyed cat, Esmeralda.The two had been together for 19 years; Cobb’s early paintings were an effort to honor her memory and cope with her grief.Cobb’s work has been displayed at art galleries, craft fairs and cat shows.She is also the illustrator of “Good St. Dominic’s Cat,” a children’s book by Ed Noonan, and her art appears on the covers of the Crazy Cat Lady mystery series of books by Mollie Hunt.

More of Leslie Cobb’s wonderful cat paintings can be found at http://www.lesliecobb.com/.

 

 

Dreams

This blog is dedicated to my close friend Robin who lost both of her parents a little over a year ago.

Last night I had a dream.

I had spent the day with my mom at her house. I don’t know exactly what we were doing — cleaning, my guess. And talking. 

I was in the living room watching TV, and I yelled into the kitchen, “Where’s dad? I haven’t seen him all day.”

“He was sleeping in there — you must have missed him,” she replied. Then a deeper voice answered. “I’m right here.”

So I went into the softly lit kitchen and there they were, my mom and dad, sitting at a small kitchen table. There were wood scraps on the table; my dad was a carpenter all his life, and was always working on something.

I remember coming and kneeling next to him. Something didn’t feel quite right. Like neither one of them was supposed to be there.

I had a thought in the back of my mind. 

“What’s it like over there?” I asked. 

My dad smiled and nodded but said nothing. So I continued.

“Is it beautiful? Eternal? Spiritual?”

“Yes it is,” he said, smiling.

 

I lost my mother 49 years ago, my dad 15. Yet I still dream of both of them.

I don’t care what psychologists and scientists and textbooks say about the origin of dreams. It’s the one world man really doesn’t fully understand.

And I believe dreams are a portal. A connection.

Our only connection.

Dreams hold our fears and experiences, along with our passions and imaginations. Those points in our life never leave us. And even if you say you don’t dream, you do. You just don’t remember them. They are a way to remind us who we are. How we got here. 

Dreams are our connection to those who have gone before us, proof that all is well.

In this world and the next.

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Freakebana

Freakebana is a new “ugly-cool” way of arranging flowers, coined by Stella Bugbee, Editor In Chief for The Cut.Inspired by magazine covers, Instagram posts and arrangements encountered while out and about, Bugbee wanted to identify the new style she was experiencing, so she coined it Freakebana.Much like the traditions of Ikebana, Freakebana focuses similarly on the lines, shapes and colors of the elements used in the arrangement, but there’s a different take on the style, as incorporated amongst the flowers are an array of unusual add-ins.

The flowers are enchanting, but the look is definitely  … different.There are all sorts of items artfully placed in the arrangement, such as stems and roots, along with vegetables, plastic forks, cans of Spam, and tin cans.Designers use these everyday objects like they would any other media, creating impressive structures that command viewers to see the beauty in their strangeness.This style elevates things often overlooked, emphasizing their potential to become, or contribute to, works of art.

The crazy, different art craze called Freakebana can be found on Internet sites such as The Cut and The Curbed Gallery.

 

 

Healing Together by The Alchemist

This post is a great example of how Creativity helps heal the mind, the body, and the spirit.

LIFE DOES NOT STOP DURING THESE STRANGE TIMES

Though the perspective is surely changing. With the world shifting each day, I am able to see more clearly those things which are truly important to living the life I want.

I am taking this time to reflect on the kind of life best lived for me (don’t worry, pottery is of course in there) and personally, helping with healing is part of that best-lived-life.

IN 2019

I was contemplating how I might integrate my own healing into my artistic process and how I might involve and possibly help others with their healing. After contemplating this for sometime, I came up with the concept for The Healing Vase’.

I WOULD LIKE TO EXTEND AN INVITATION TO YOU

Join the Healing Vase project for 2021.

More ….   https://rakupottery.ca/2021/07/19/healing-together-2/

 

 

I Want to Be a Dark Fae Again

Amy Brown

I found some “ambient” music on YouTube a few weeks ago — background music, really.  (You should really check it out … instrumental music for all tastes). Great for crafting or reading. I came across this one long track, Relaxing Fairy Music – Dark Fae/Soothing, Sleep, Peaceful. It’s kind of slow and mysterious, nebulous and a touch enchanting.

It makes me want to role play a dark faerie again.

As I talked about in a blog from 2012, What Is Role Playing and Can I Do It By Myself, 

Through the initial excitement of wandering through Internet worlds, I stumbled upon chat rooms where people typed to each other as if they were face-to-face.  Interesting.  I didn’t have to fess up that I was a 40-ish year old housewife/innkeeper … all I needed to do was make up a name and race and I belonged.  Can you imagine the doors that opened for a writing goddess like me?  Role-playing was like a video game with instant feedback.  I could write my own dialogue, fight with swordsmen, disappear or have flames shoot from my fingertips, all with a sentence or two. 

For those of us on every level of creativity (and I know that’s almost all of you!) there is something exciting of creating something with its own  charms and purpose. 

That’s the biggest reward of writing. But I digress.

I was a dark faerie named Dream Regret — half human, half fae. I was beautiful and clever and sexy. I could flirt as well as discuss strategy, chat with unicorns and trolls, or learn to hold a sword or javelin. I could get into philosophical discussions about the cosmos or the maturation of the Fae race or how to metamorphose into a dragon for a few hours.

It was all nonsense and it was all escapism. 

The really good players fed you dialogue as well as you could dish it out. Enemies fought with swords and laser beams. They lied, cheated, and proclaimed their love.

I miss being that clever. That alluring. That magical.

There’s something about reality that sometimes takes the shine off of your crystal dome. Nothing could be as intricate as what is in your head. Nothing as full of unlimited possibilities.

Nothing can be as complicated — or as simple.

The older I get, the more I crave simplicity. Simplicity in real life, complexity in creativity. I love the challenge of a hard-to-design pattern, a harmonious color scheme, or a biting slice of dialogue while in the Creative mode. But I also like to be able to drop the pattern and the color scheme and dialogue when I’m done for the day. 

I don’t like to deal with the complexities reality often brings along with it. Those challenges don’t fade with the sunset.

The days of creative chat rooms are over. I’ve put away  my wings and my long dark blue hair and headed down a different street, searching for creative people and minds and hobbies.

But I’ll always have a bit of Dream Regret in me. 

I’ll never let her fire go out.

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Albrecht Dürer

Albrecht Dürer (1471 –1528) was a German painter, printmaker, and theorist of the German Renaissance.

Praying Hands

 

He was a brilliant painter, draftsman, and writer, though his first and probably greatest artistic impact was in the medium of printmaking.

Saint Jerome in his Study

 

Born in Nuremberg, Dürer established his reputation and influence across Europe in his twenties due to his high-quality woodcut prints.

Adam and Eve

 

He was in contact with the major Italian artists of his time, including Raphael and Leonardo da Vinci, and from 1512 was patronized by Emperor Maximilian I.

Portrait of Emperor Maximilian I

 

He believed that geometry was essential for producing harmonic artworks, and thus that it should be taught to all young artists, alongside other mathematical rigors.

Feast of the Rosary

 

Despite his decidedly Renaissance interest in Humanism and mathematics, Dürer continued to produce extremely detailed studies of the natural world, particularly animals, be they newly discovered in Europe (such as the mythical rhinoceros and lion) or common native creatures (such as the hare, owl, or cat).

Young Hare

 

Dürer was well aware of his own artistic genius, which equally tortured and enlivened him.

The Knight Death and the Devil

 

He painted a number of empowering self-portraits, and would often appear as a character in his painted commissions.

Self Portrait

 

More of Albrecht Dürer‘s art can be found at http://www.albrechtdurer.org.

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Amber Cowan

Amber Cowan is an artist and educator living in Philadelphia.She is a faculty member of the glass department of Tyler School of Art, where she received her MFA in 2011 in Glass/Ceramics.Cowan’s sculptural glasswork is based around the use of recycled, upcycled, and second-life American pressed glass.She uses the process of flameworking, hot-sculpting and glassblowing to create large-scale sculptures that overwhelm the viewer with ornate abstraction and viral accrual.

With an instinctive nature towards horror vacui (filling of the entire surface of a space or an artwork with detail),  her pieces reference memory, domesticity and the loss of an industry through the re-use of common items from the aesthetic dustbin of American design.The primary material used for her work is glass cullet sourced from scrap yards supplied by now defunct pressed glass factories as well as flea-markets, antique-stores and donations of broken antiques from households across the country.Cowan uses these found pieces to create remarkable one-of-a-kind objects that reference the rise and fall of US glassware manufacturing, while simultaneously offering a new narrative.More of Amber Cohen‘s amazing glasswork can be found at https://ambercowan.com/.

 

Little things 💐🌧️☘️🍰🏖️💗 — Heartfelt

A little light and a lot of love from my fellow blogger!

 

To know you’re alive by feeling the blood flow through the vein, To dance in the rain, To help irrespective of loss or gain, To smile through the pain Life is indeed about the little things. Magical rains🌧️🥰 To have little, yet be happy to share, To sing without a care, To have sand at […]

Little things 💐🌧️☘️🍰🏖️💗 — Heartfelt

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Sapphire

Logan Sapphire

 

 

 

 

Bismarck Sapphire Necklace

 

 

Sapphire-throated Hummingbird

 

 

The Star Of Asia

 

 

 Sapphire Sentinel Blue Dragon, Andrew Bill 

 

 

Queen Emma of the Netherlands’ Sapphire Parure Tiara

 

 

 

Antique Blue Sapphire 19th – 20th Century Carved Phra Hin Buddha Statue

 

 

Blue Sapphire Damselfish

 

 

Blue Giant of the Orient

 

 

Sapphire Dragon Tree

6 Ways To Bring Readers To Your Blog/Site/Life Part II

Back on Oct 10, 2019 I posted a blog about 6 Ways To Bring Readers To Your Blog/Site/Life.  

It included:

Animals  

 

Bright Colors   

 

 

Laughing Babies/Little Kids   

 

 

Scenery 

 

Memories 

 

and Food 

 

 

How did those work for you? Smashing, I hope.
Well, I have found six other topics that may amuse you and bring you more fame and (possible) fortune.

 

Lists of Anything.

These are the sucker’s ways of seeing where their favorites fit into your favorites. Topics include Top Places to Vacation, Best Restaurants in Your Neighborhood, or Must-Haves to Start Your Paint Supply Cabinet. Be sure to throw a few numbers in front of your titles — just not too many as to discourage new learners.

 

Free Stuff

Who doesn’t love free? Especially when it doesn’t cost anything? Unless you have a big marketing budget, you won’t be able to handle the costs of mailing freebees to your followers. But hey! This is the Internet! Surely you can send them links to remarkable places and works of art and virtual tours of neat places and YouTube videos that emphasize the point you’re trying to make.

 

Humor

Who doesn’t like an opening line that makes you smile? Not everyone is always in a good mood in life, and what better way to get readers addicted than to show a funny face, tell a funny joke, or show a picture that goes along with your humorous antidotes. After all, isn’t there always something funny going on?

 

Nostalgia

 

Who now days doesn’t look fondly back on rotary phones, penny candy, pet rocks, and bell bottom jeans? A majority of your readers are past 30. Past 40. Shall I go on? Bring/write/show items and ideas from the past into the modern arena. We all love to feel that little tickle/tingle of nostalgia from our childhood. Especially penny candy and the Beatles.

 

How-Tos

Everybody could learn to do something better — cooking, writing, sky diving. But most of us want the easy way to the other side. You can provide that. Talk about what you’re good at. Or what someone else is good at.  Surely there is plenty of knowledge inside of you (or someone you know) that you can share with the world. Do you know how to can tomatoes or make a fairy garden or write a poem? Share that knowledge. Show us know how to do it!

 

Feel Good Stories

Needless to say, most of the time we have fairly simple things to share. That a-ha moment. The finished task. The cosmic question. Stories and questions that, in the end, make you feel good. Even if there is no answer, you want your reader to feel  that all will be okay in the end. A successful blog starts with writing from the heart. Be enthusiastic, be honest, believe in what you’re writing. You are you, and that’s what your readers want. Not a pretend version.

 

Well, friends, I hope you find inspiration from my so-called ideas on how to bring readers to your blog. Even if you don’t get one extra reader from all this falderal, know I enjoyed writing it almost as much as you snickered reading it.

Onward, Upward, Forward, and in my case, Loopidy Loopward!

 

Wow!

Okay okay!

I need to take a breath!

I’ve been catching up on my Reader reading these past few days, and have I found some interesting, spectacular, enjoyable art of all kinds from my artistic friends! I mean, WOW!

I can’t decide if I want to highlight all of them in one blog, do one blog a day for five days, one blog a week, give them full spread value, mix them up between my wit and wanton words …

I cannot believe I am so fascinated with the world of ART. I mean — it’s only a way to pass the time, isn’t it? It’s only using a pair of scissors to cut out a design.  A bit of glue and fabric on a piece of paper. A few brush strokes on a piece of canvas. 

Of course, if you believe that, our relationship is tainted.

Seriously, though. 

When one practices what they love over and over again, miracles happen. Little miracles, big miracles. Half miracles. Because it’s the soul, the ether, the cosmic power of life and beyond coming through.

Whew! Big words! Big emotions! Big exclamation points!

I think I’ll showcase them — and others — a couple of times a week.  There are sooooooo many people whose work I enjoy, and I’m always making new friends out there, too, whose work is ever inspiring. Just last week I highlighted Carsten Wieland and his creative painting videos — just sitting and watching him create is amazing.

I should make up a week about celebrating artists. But I’d be celebrating 52 weeks a year. And I already do that!

Keep on being inspired! Keep on Creating!

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Dino Rosin

 

Dino Rosin was born in Venice, Italy on May 30, 1948.

At the age of twelve, he left school and began work as an apprentice at the Barovier and Toso glassworks where he remained until he joined his brothers, Loredano and Mirko, at their factory, Artvet, in 1963.

Rosin continued at Artvet until 1975 when he moved to Loredano’s newly established studio as his assistant. There he collaborated with his brother for almost 20 years.

He was Loredano’s right hand in the “piazza” and a master in his own right in cold work.

In 1988, Dino Rosin was invited to Pilchuck Glass School in the state of Washington to teach solid freehand glass sculpture with Loredano and the American glass artist, William Morris.

In 1992,. Dino assumed the role of “maestro” and began single-handedly to produce his brother’s old designs and ultimately his own.,

His skillful use of Calcedonia glass (glass made with silver and other elements  developed in Murano during the mid fifteenth century) is unique and makes his pieces recognizable and highly collectible.

Dino rediscovered the formula for this unique, striated glass and has continued to improve the coloration.

Today he is able to achieve brilliant cobalt blues, deep rose and even a fiery red, varying on the metals used, temperature and duration the glass is in the furnace.

Each piece is different; the exact flow of lines and color of calcedonia cannot be duplicated.

More of Dino Rosin‘s beautiful glasswork can be found at https://www.paragonfineart.com/artists/dino-rosin.html and https://www.rosinartestudio.com/en/.

 

 

Life Doesn’t Care

Life is always taking a swing at us.

No matter what we’re doing, what we’re feeling, it always stands behind the curtain, waiting to catch us off guard.

It’s not always sadness waiting around the corner; it can also be excitement, satisfaction, or a myriad of other positive vibes.

But no matter what “vibe” life throws at us, dealing with it is another matter.

Yesterday my chocolate lab herniated a disc in her back. Who would have thought she could do that? She’s in perfect shape, loves running and swimming, and is of the run-run-run variety. Well, somewhere in all that running, she messed up one of her discs. A quick run to the vet got her medications and crate rest for four weeks.

One minute running and fetching and happy just to run around in the yard with us. The next, semi-paralyzed back legs, curled tail, whining, and pain. Lots of pain.

This can happen to people as well as our furry friends. And, as we get older, pulls and falls are much more in the scope of reality than ever before. 

Life doesn’t care.

Life doesn’t care about your pain, your bad luck, your body falling apart. It doesn’t differentiate between cancer and car accidents, between colds and Covid. 

There seems to be a payback for beautiful sunsets and primeval woods and flowing rivers and fields of bright flowers. It feels like there’s always a price to pay for love and companionship, for satisfaction and achievement.

Maybe “payback” is a bad choice of words. Life is not punishing you for being happy — it’s just letting you know to beware — there is always another side to the coin. A yin to the the yang and all that.

Life moves forward, whether you want it to or not. That moment of nirvana cannot last forever. Nor can the pain of inconsolable grief. 

We have to let both flow through us, around us. Like the river constantly flowing around the boulder, we have to BE that river, ebbing and rushing and sometimes still as night, flowing around obstacles that are immovable.

I am hoping puppy will be better in due time. I am hoping you will be better in due time. Just take the good and bad, the ups and downs, feel them and then let them flow away.

Remember — there’s still a lot of life out there waiting to take a swing at you.

#worldwatercolormonth – Daily watercolor no.02 Carsten Wieland – Dancing Brushes

 

If you find yourself with a free 9-11 minutes, I highly recommend watching Carsten’s videos, starting with this one. This is how a true artist works. He is amazing! And there are more at his website, https://brushparkwatercolors.wordpress.com/.

It is always a delight to watch someone in their element, isn’t it?

 

brushpark-watercolors

Celebrating the #worldwatercolormonth I am going to present a timelapse watercolor painting any day of July from my daily practice. All shown paintings are free improvisations in pure watercolor, done without any preparing sketches – just from the mind to the paper. Painting, music & video by Carsten Wieland, 2021 Using paints from Lukas Aquarell 1862 / @Lukasfarben #CarstenWieland #brushparkwatercolors #wielandfineart

Zur Feier des#worldwatercolormonthwerde ich jeden Tag im Juli ein Zeitraffer-Aquarell aus meiner täglichen Praxis präsentieren. Alle gezeigten Malereien sind freie Improvisationen in purem Aquarell – entstanden ohne vorbereitende Skizzen – einfach vom Kopf aufs Papier. Malerei, Musik und Video: Carsten Wieland, 2021 Ich verwende Farben von Lukas Aquarell 1862 / @Lukasfarben

Free watercolor tutorials:

https://freewatercolortutorials.wordpress.com/

Happy Watercolor How-To eBooks Tutorials step-by-step:

https://www.etsy.com/de/shop/WielandF…

Website:

https://www.wieland-fineart.com/

Watercolor Improvisation – 042_2021 Watercolor/ FABRIANO® “Disegno 5” fine, ca. 70 x 50 cm / 19.7 x 13.8 in / Lukas…

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It’s Not That Hard

We all look for acknowledgement in our lives.

Whether we admit it or not, we are brought up to seek “approval” from our parents, our friends, our aunts and uncles and fellow churchgoers and those in our social circle.

As we get older, it’s not so much the strict sense of the word “approval” as it is more “kudos.” Words of praise. A slight nod of the head to show that what we are doing is appreciated.

Yet, bad relationships, bad choices, slipped steps and miscalculations lead us to think that kudos and praise and acknowledgement are for other people, not for us.

I am happy to say I am a survivor and purveyor of good news.

Appreciation is always appreciated. 

It’s funny. The blogs and artists I hesitate to post are the ones everyone loves the most. The Angel Tears I make and wonder about others really like. 

Every time I believe in myself and my work, something comes along to sow that seed of doubt. Then the world wobbles and I wonder what in the world I was thinking of. But then a kind word comes my way and I’m back up dancing on the clouds.

And it’s all because someone said something nice to me.

I mean, how hard is it to say someone, something, looks great? Smells great? That someone’s ideas kick butt? That someone looks good in purple? Or that their bright red tennies rock?

I am always trying to find something nice to say to both those I know and those I pass by. I’ve tried to do this most of my life, but more so now days.  With Covid and unemployment and other downers everywhere you look, the world needs a little bit of appreciation.

Your compliment never goes unnoticed, although the degree of reaction varies from person to person.

So does your “Thank You,” your “Great Job”, and your “Awesome.”

So to all my readers, those who comment and those who peek in then pass by, thank you.

You rock.

And so do your tennies.

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Matthew Grabelsky

Using the New York City subway system as the setting for his work, Matthew Grabelsky paints surreal portraits of people who are seemingly normal from the neck down, but who have had their heads replaced by animals, both wild and domesticated.Grabelsky graduated Cum Laude from Rice University in 2002 with a BA in Art and Art History,  along with a BS in Astrophysics.Grabelsky’s paintings are inspired by the years he spent riding the subways in New York as a kid and by his early fascination with Greek mythology.Small details including zoo posters, stickers, T-shirts, and toys add humor to the art, while light reflecting off subway tiles and molded sets show the artist’s technical ability to paint hyperrealistic scenes.Grabelsky’s paintings are an exploration of human nature and of the way that animals represent various parts of the human subconscious.“The characters are symbolic of the kinds of thoughts that lie under the surface of people’s minds, and they reveal that the most extraordinary can exist in the most ordinary of everyday settings,” the artist has said.“This theme is communicated through the juxtaposition of these ostensibly irrational images with otherwise completely mundane scenes.

My idea is that my creatures are not original but are ultimately part of a much larger cultural continuum.”

More of Matthew Grabelsky‘s delightful art can be