The chicklet’s tree is up…for the moment at least…wishing you a Merry Chickmas. — Rethinking Life

Everyone should have chicklets in their life ….

 

The chicklets do this every year.  They make the chicklet tree and then someone gets hungry, or their feet hurt, or their claws dig into the chicklet underneath them, or someone has to go to the bathroom, or any number of things. They’re very excited when they begin, but a “live” tree like theirs just […]

The chicklet’s tree is up…for the moment at least…wishing you a Merry Chickmas. — Rethinking Life

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Ertan Atay

 

The mantle of Creativity, of Art, is a wide and multicolored veil of experience from all over the world.Turkish artist Ertan Atay began his career as a graphic designer, evolving into art direction and photography before becoming the in-house Creative Director for a production company in Turkey from 2007-2013.After opening his own creative agency, Atay began collecting imagery that appealed to him, and in his downtime started making fun collages and collage videos on his own Instagram account.Under the name @failunfailunmefailun on Instagram, Atay’s work fuses the famous paintings by historical artists with some popular culture elements.He combines his artwork with works by painters like Edvard Munch, Leonardo Da Vinci, and Van Gogh.The works are then mashed up with television characters, current musicians, and film works.“I like to make a difference in perception,” Atay says.“There are collages in anachronism, Neo-Dada, and surrealist styles in my work.“I like to bring different objects together. And I like to combine unexpected things with the simplest and humorous language by blending my work with both emotional and humorous language.“I can say I’m happy as long as I create. Other than that, I love creating special feelings that bring people together.”We have to admit that his creative playfulness make us happy as well.

More of Ertan Atay‘s whimsical art can be found at https://www.instagram.com/failunfailunmefailun/.

 

Should I Have Said Anything?

Through the years I’ve been told I share T.M.I. Too much information. That I have a tendency to tell too much. Spill the beans. Tell more than the whole story.

I ‘d like to think that’s more of an honest trait than a talk-too-much thing.

But the other day at a major retailer I had a moment I wondered if I should curb my sharing or say something “constructive.” (Constructive being relative, I know.)

I had ordered a laptop online on Black Friday, and was able to pick it up the next day at said major retailer. Showing up at the customer service counter, the young girl told me to pull up my order on the kiosk. Since no one was around she helped me out. I was digging through my emails on my phone, looking for my order claim number, and she said all I needed to do was put my name in the computer. So I did. The order popped up and I waited for someone to bring the computer up to the desk. I waited and waited some more.

Customer Service started to get busy, and before I knew it there were six people in line. I asked about my computer, and the girl quickly put her head in the back room and told someone I was waiting. Just like that they brought out my computer. Wonderful. Did I need to sign anything? No — all was good.

As I stood adjusting my sweater and purse, I realized how easy it would have been to walk out with someone else’s computer. I mean, I could have hung around the service area, overhear someone put their name in the computer, then, perhaps, since they were waiting around that long anyway, tell the customer service person they were going to run into the store and buy a few things and be right back. Customer Service would get busy, a different employee would bring out the goods, not ask for an ID or a order number, and just hand the computer to the wrong person.

No one double checked my ID, my receipt, even my phone number.

I wondered if I should tell someone. If I would have been considered a tattle tale. I had my goods, no one was hurt, so why not take it and go home.

Well, jabberjaw me thought I should tell someone. Maybe someone in management.

So I walked over to the kiosks where people were self checking out and told one of the employees. I was really nice; I said I didn’t want to complain or get anyone in trouble, but I was a little concerned that no one asked me for any identification. I went through the scenario I just told you and noted how easily it would have been for me to walk off with someone else’s goods. The girl was very nice and said they would mention this to electronics. I was very nice and walked out with my computer under my arm.

Yet I wondered.

Did I get the Customer Service girl in trouble? Did I make up this scenario that didn’t happen just to cause trouble? I mean, no one was hurt. Everyone had gone merrily on their way, no less for the wear.

Why did I have to open my big mouth?

I have not suffered any repercussions from my moment of honesty. But I realize that, with my luck, that could have happened and I could have come back from picking up a few things and someone could have walked off with my computer.

But no one did. 

I’d like to think that in some big cosmic way I helped the world of commerce run smoother that day. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and all that.

But most likely it’s just that I have a big mouth.

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Arnold Böcklin

 

Arnold Böcklin (16 October 1827 – 16 January 1901) was a symbolist Swiss painter.Children Carving May Flutes

 

Considered one of the most important visual artists of the 19th century in Europe, Böcklin was one of the main representatives of German Symbolism, which broke with the dominant academic painting and the prevailing naturalism of the second half of the 19th century.Fight on a Bridge

 

Influenced by Romanticism, Böcklin’s use of imagery derived from mythology and legend and often overlapped with the aesthetic of the Pre-Raphaelites.Idyll

 

Many of his paintings are imaginative interpretations of the classical world.Centaur in the Village Blacksmith’s Shop

 

Böcklin was one of the most successful modern artists of the late nineteenth century in terms of his popularity with the general public, taking advantage of a new market for prints and reproductions of paintings in Germany around that time.

Self Portrait With Death

 

His art often portrays mythological subjects in settings involving classical architecture, often allegorically exploring death and mortality in the context of a strange fantasy world.Faun Whistling to a Blackbird

 

While other painters of his era experimented with ever more pronounced forms of abstraction and stylistic experiment, Böcklin immersed himself in the history of painting from the Renaissance onwards, drawn to all that was dramatic and extravagant.Meerestille Calm Sea

 

His paintings certainly had the mass popular appeal. but they also became a touchstone for many modern artists, particularly those interested in combining naturalistic representation with bizarre subject matter.The Isle of the Dead

 

More of Arnold Böcklin‘s mythological paintings can be found at https://www.arnoldbocklin.org.

 

 

No Regrets — Kinda

Having just posted my Sunday Evening blog on Pianos, a wave of nostalgia passed through me.

Piano lessons.

As I’ve said many times, I have no regrets about my choices in life. I’ve learned from every one of them. They’ve made me who I am today.

But I could have continued my piano lessons.

I should have continued my piano lessons.

Being a kid is hard. No one likes you, or everybody likes you, and you are too busy building Lego buildings and playing records and fantasizing about (for me) dating Paul McCartney or Davey Jones to do something as boring — and important — as piano lessons.

I don’t remember how many years I took lessons, but it wasn’t very many, but it was a long time ago and I wasn’t very good. My parents even bought me a piano, which I lugged around with me until my husband and I sold our first house in the suburbs. By then I hadn’t played it in years and the new owners had a child who was taking lessons.

But I digress.

How wonderful it would be today if I could slide along the piano bench and let my fingers do the talking and walking of even the simplest of tunes. I wouldn’t have to have been Liberace — a simple completion of Beethoven’s Für Elise would have been a crowning achievement in the art of piano.

Or should I say  .

Yet another crown of sparkle in the world of Creativity.

I am in love with piano music. I am amazed that ten fingers can play such intricate music without getting tangled with each other. Or miss the correct keys.

I suppose my fascination with the diligence and hard work put into an art such as playing a musical instrument goes hand in hand with those who can create perfect miniatures, sew quilts, blow glass, or any of a thousand other crafts just waiting to be explored.

I’m too old for piano lessons now. I don’t have a piano and sheet music looks like Chinese to me now. But my love for the creations that come from others in any form still brings a whiff of “if only.” A soft, easy nudge that says it’s okay that I didn’t, but still …

Wait — I still remember how to play chopsticks ….

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Pianos

 

The piano keys are black and white but they sound like a million colors in your mind.

– Maria Cristina Mena

 

Erard Grand Piano, 1905

 

Fazioli M Liminal Piano by NYT Line

 

Steinway & Sons Louis XV-style Giltwood Grand Piano

 

The Casablanca Piano

 

Blüthner Lucid Hive Grand Piano

 

Boulle Upright Piano

 

Kawai GL-10 Grand Piano

 

Gebrüder Knake Renaissance Revival Piano

 

Boganyi Grand Piano

 

Liberace Baldwin Grand Piano

 

Graham Piano, 1872

Creativity Never Takes A Break

The cold weather is starting to find its way to and through my doors and windows.

No, it’s not that my windows and doors leak. I’d like to think of the sentence above as more of a metaphor for the thoughts and feelings of mid-November in the Midwest. It’s the time of year that squirrels scurry to the warmer underbrush and bluejays boldly take over the bird feeders and sitting on the sofa evenings offers the added pleasure of an additional blanket across the lap.

Curiously, at this time of year I find my interest in arts and crafts and creativity waning as well.

This bothers me a little.

I would hate for my imagination to disappear, never to appear again in the future. Such a drastic thought, I know.

But wouldn’t you be worried, nay, bothered, nay, concerned if your creativity suddenly waned out of existence?

What would you do with all the yarn, paper, research files, beads, crystals, frames, photos, ribbons, wires, feathers, oil and acrylic paints, brushes, bottles, ink pens, sketch books, colored pencils, molds, canvases, thread, yarns, clay, wood, and a dozen other supplies you have accumulated through the years?

Michaels or Hobby Lobby (craft stores in my area) might go out of business if you stopped collecting and organizing your creativity.

The one fact that keeps me hopeful is that for every waning mood there is a waxing mood along with a full mood. What goes up must come down and vice versa.

Changing weather connotates changing moods. With “the holidays” looming ahead of us, there are a lot more things to think about and carry out than what our next painting or sculpture should be.

There are food banks to contribute to, kids and grandkids and family members to connect — or reconnect — with, breads to bake and traditions to carry out.

Don’t have holiday traditions? Start some! If you don’t believe in celebrating the holidays, make Thanksgiving Day (or whatever day you choose) a day of celebration in your own way. Bring dog treats to the shelter. Buy a Christmas present and put it into the big empty box at the front of every retail store. Call your sister or grandmother and actually have a conversation with them. Watch football and make homemade kabobs or pierogis or chutney and send the recipe to a dozen of your friends.

Creativity never leaves a person. It may change like the seasons, change physical states from gas to solids to liquid and back again, turn into a sprite or a wolf or bubble or piece of steel.

But it never really goes away.

For which I am totally thankful. For I have way too many rhinestones and crystals downstairs to get rid of at the moment.

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Mark Gee

Mark Gee is an award winning photographer, time-lapse filmmaker and digital visual effects supervisor based in Wellington, New Zealand.His love of the New Zealand landscape is a big part of the inspiration for his photography.

Gee has always been interested in the night sky from very early on in life, but never experienced its full effect until he moved to New Zealand in 2003.He often ventures out to the darkest, most remote skies all around the country, enjoying the challenge of combining New Zealand’s striking landscapes with the ethereal beauty of the night sky in new, creative ways.“Planning, patience and persistence is the name of the game,” Gee says.“Believe me, some of my planned shots have taken me over a year to get right.”“Constant obstacles from bad weather and bad timing to landslides and equipment failures all make it a very frustrating pursuit.”“But in the end, after all the failures when you finally do nail the shot, astrophotography then becomes one of the most rewarding forms of photography there is.”More of Mark Gee‘s amazing photographs can be found at https://theartofnight.com.

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Thrones

Call it a Throne
Call it a Chair
Whomever holds the power
Will always sit there

 

Throne of Napoleon I at the Tuileries

 

Golden Throne of King Tutankhamen

 

The Silver Throne, Stockholm

 

Throne of Charlemagne

 

The Dragon Throne of China

 

King Edward’s Chair (the Coronation Chair), England

 

Roman Throne 1st century CE

 

The Peacock Throne of Iranian Qajar King Fath Ali Shah

 

Lion Throne of Burma

 

The Throne of St. Peter Rome

 

The Iron Throne, Kings Landing

 

 

I want to age like sea glass — Purplerays

I am about there — I hope someday you will be too —

 

– . I want to age like sea glass. Smoothed by tides, not broken.I want the currents of life to toss me around, shake me up and leave me feeling washed clean.I want my hard edges to soften as the years pass—made not weak but supple.I want to ride the waves, go with the flow, […]

I want to age like sea glass. — Purplerays

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Alex Chinneck

British sculptor Alex Chinneck creates temporary surreal architectural sculptures that show social awareness, humor, and an interest in regeneration.

The artist is a Chelsea College of Art alumnus and is a member of the Royal British Society of Sculptors.His work animates the surrounding urban landscape in an ingenious combination of engineering, architecture, and art.Chinneck’s pieces merge sculpture with architecture to create masterpieces that play with both our visual and social expectations.“I like to make work that blends in with its surroundings, but which at the same time stands out,” Chinneck says. “Illusions are visually engaging, mesmerizing and accessible – everyone can understand and enjoy them.”More of Alex Chinneck‘s sculptural creations can be found at https://www.alexchinneck.com/.

 

What’s Important to YOU Today?

Happy Monday! Or is it? 

We all try and start the “week” off on a positive note. As the jokes/memes say, it’s only downhill from here.

I tend to disagree.

Sometimes it can go uphill from here.

I suppose, barring unexpected occurrences, most of us can expect a normal UP and DOWN kind of week. It depends on what we’ve planned for ourselves.

I hope you have planned some positive experiences.

I know I know — you can’t plan gifts from God or sparkling experiences from Gaia. They just come when they come.

But you can plan activities that bring you extra pleasure. 

Of course, you know I’m referring to Art. Crafts. Writing. Piano lessons. Painting a mural on your garage door. Anything that makes you happy.

There is something about starting fresh on a project/projects you love that plants that sparkle in your heart that eventually flows all through your body. Even if you aren’t over-the-top in getting back to your Art, once you get there, the world changes.

Your flops aren’t really flops. They’re lessons. Your completions aren’t really the end, but just the beginning. 

If you can stop listening to that little demon who whispers that you’ll never be any good, you will be amazed at how finishing the book you are reading or sewing that last piece together can make you feel.

Give yourself a chance.

I have lots of demons dancing in and out throughout the day. I’ve learned to either ignore them or, if need be, let them scream their garbage and then kick them out the door. I am who I am, and all that hoo hah. But I’m always working on improving “who I am.”

For me, that’s perfecting my crafts. Always writing something, always fooling around with Angel Tears. I have a boatload of projects just waiting for me to open the door, but I promised myself I’d stick to just a couple for the time being.

Give Monday a chance. Let it be the beginning of new chances, new worlds, new universes. Well, universes is quite a big quest …. maybe start with something smaller …. like solar systems.

Go for it!

Tell me what your creative plans are for the week!

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi

Historian, Curator, Author, Lecturer, Artist, Mentor, Founder, and Facilitator — the remarkable and tireless Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi has left her mark on many lives.Trained as an aerospace engineer, Mazloomi turned her sites and tireless efforts in the 1980s to bring the many unrecognized contributions of African American quilt artists to the attention of the American people as well as international art communities.

From the founding of the African-American Quilt Guild of Los Angles in 1981 to the 1985 founding of the Women of Color Quilters Network (WCQN), Mazloomi has been at the forefront of educating the public about the diversity of interpretation, styles and techniques among African American quilters as well as educating a younger generation of African Americans about their own history through the quilts the WCQN members create.Her pictorial narrative quilts make plain her personal themes: family life, women’s rights, political freedom, and musical legacy.Mazloomi’s quilts have been included in over 74 exhibits and she herself has curated 21 extensive exhibits of quilts made by members of the Women of Color Quilters Network, many of them traveling exhibits.“I look at the quilt makers as culture bearers because there’s a long history of quilt making in this country and I want to see it carried forth to the next generation,”  Mazloomi explains.“And because most of the stories within the African-American quilt community are narratives and tell the story of our culture, what would be more important than people seeing these quilts and noting history?“It’s important because we as a people have our footprint noted on this canvas called American history, so people have to know the role that we played and that we were here and that we contributed positively to history in this country, so it’s important for that aspect.”

More of Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi‘s amazing life and quilts can be found at https://carolynlmazloomi.com/.

 

 

Saturday Morning in the Gallery

Saturdays are filled with good feelings.

A chance to sleep in a little longer, add a little more to your walk, plan for the weekend.

I realize the world of reality and experience are different for everyone, but most have memories of routines that brought order and pleasure to young and old. 

I’ve written blogs and shared Faerie Path quotes about Saturdays — Saturday mornings, Saturday musings, Saturday cartoons, and Happy Saturdays.

I came across a blog about Saturday Morning Gallery Tour and thought this morning was a perfect time to show off some past Sunday Evening Art Galleries for your perusal! The diversity is endless ….

 

Stairway to Nowhere

Beatriz Hidalgo De La Garza

 

Niyoko Ikuta

 

Bansky

 

Michelangelo

 

Quilts

 

Waterfalls

 

Willard Wigan

 

Ruby Silvious

 

Adam Hillman

 

Ruby

 

Rita Faes

 

There are more — so many more. The diversity is amazing.  I had to stop sharing. But you would love wandering through any of my Galleries. Come stroll through. Any Day. Any Time. Even on Saturdays.

http://www.sundayeveningartgallery.com

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Salman Khoshroo

Iranian painter Salman Khoshroo uses a palette knife and sizable layers of paint to create the emotive portraits in his recent series, “White on White.”In contrast to his previous work that relied on swirling reds, blues, and yellows, Khoshroo’s latest impasto pieces are monochromatic.Starting with a hunk of paint, the artist then forms the portrait’s outline before shaping the rest of the face that lacks distinct physical features.Viewers can follow his creative process step-by-step by looking at the edges of each stroke.Khoshroo hopes to capture a human spark with minimal intervention and create portraits of people that make you feel something, people you didn’t even know you were looking for.Painted with a single pigment in a sandbox method, these faces are the result of taking a chunk of paint and molding it.It is amazing that one can see so many features in such few movements.

More of Salman Khoshroo‘s diverse art can be found at http://salmankhoshroo.com/ and https://www.ignant.com/2019/12/30/a-portrait-of-anonymity-salman-khoshroo-molds-emotive-faces-from-smeared-paint/

 

 

Go With the Flow

I had a lot of cosmic thoughts and revelations over the past few weeks — weddings, renewals, coming full circle in a number of relationships. I had flashes of words about bursting hearts and life and bonds that never end. All that deep, esoteric stuff.

Yet I sit in front of the computer today and it’s all gone. The emotions, the brilliance, the meaning of it all. In trying to find the words and thoughts I wanted to share I’ve come up empty. 

Sometimes getting deep and sentimental and cosmic is a lot of work. It takes a lot out of you.

I sometimes wonder if it’s all worth it. The long nights, the connecting the dots, the forgive and forget. The ulcers we’ve created changing our fate. The insomnia we suffer trying to figure out what went wrong. How we could have changed things. Made the world a better place.

Perhaps it’s that I’m getting older, but I am tired of the toll over-thinking and over-feeling has taken on me. Everybody feels, everybody emotes, everybody thinks. Many of us, though, over-think and over-feel. And that’s not good for our heads nor our hearts.

Nothing wrong with feeling good and feeling great and making a difference in someone’s life. We all should try it. We should all do it. But I don’t think we should get carried away with it. 

When we think too much or feel too much it’s hard to come back to center. Your emotions play tricks on you on both ends of the scale. Think too much and your stress levels shoot through the roof. Think too little and you miss a chance to actually accomplish something.

I was all hepped up  a few days ago to tell you about my highs and lows and discoveries. But after I calmed down and thought about my feelings I found my calm center again and realized I didn’t need to use this platform as a sounding board. That I could feel and understand and move forward all on my own. That I didn’t have to report every little emote.

My true calling in life these days is to encourage people to create. To let their experiences guide them to another world, another dimension, that is directly connected to this one, and to bring something back to this reality. To take their own highs and lows and super emotes and use them to create something beautiful in any art form. 

Maybe what I’m trying to say is don’t over-think and over-feel everything.  Let the moments just flow, and let that flow create something that is truly you.

 

 

Am I Really an Artist?

A question so many of us have. If we’re not famous, not selling, not well known, are we still what we strive to be? Judith believes we all are what we want to believe. If we only believe.

Artistcoveries

I’ll cut right to the chase here. Yes, I am an artist. I might not be a very good artist, but that’s almost irrelevant. The point is, I am indeed an artist.

Recently, though, I found myself asking that age-old question, wondering all over again if I could truly call myself an artist. When I began this blog in March 2016, I did not consider myself an artist, but finally came around to seeing myself as someone who was becoming an artist. I was learning, I was developing new skills. But I was definitely not an artist, if only because I simply could not associate that word with myself.

Being an artist, I’ve learned now, has a lot to do with choice. It’s not all a matter of talent or training. It’s partly attitude, too.

Of course, anyone who enjoys drawing, painting, or other forms of art may be…

View original post 1,071 more words

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Sheet Music

There’s an element to songwriting that I can’t explain, that comes from somewhere else. I can’t explain that dividing line between nothing and something that happens within a song, where you have absolutely nothing, and then suddenly you have something. It’s like the origin of the universe.

~Nick Cave, Musician~

 

Johann Sebastian Bach’s ‘The Art of Fugue’ Original Manuscript

 

Canción Rota, Federico-Hurtado

 

Goodbye Waltz, Michele Gonzalez

 

Clair de Lune, Claude Debussy

 

Beethoven, Erika Iris Simmons

 

Unity_Capsule, Ferneyhough

 

Etude 81, Alexei Lyapunov and Lena Ehrlich

 

 

Preludio, Jana and JS

 

The Marriage of Figaro Overture, Amadeus Mozart

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Igor Morski

Igor Morski  is a famous Polish illustrator and graphic designer whose surreal art is as thought evoking as they are beautifully created.Morski graduated with honors from the Interior Architecture and Industrial Design Faculty at the State Higher School of Fine Art in Poznań (now the University of Arts).His surreal  illustrations often portray the relationship between humans and nature.Morski’s surrealism appeared a little bit by accident. For 20 years he has been a press illustrator with the Polish weekly magazine “Wprost”.The beginning of cooperation with “Wprost” coincided with the decision by the publisher of this magazine to illustrate with only one type of illustration, based on photo manipulation.This, he admits, made a great impression, because people were not familiar with Photoshop, and many illustrations were taken literally, as if what was shown in the illustration was really true.The fact that since then he has worked on photographic material has caused realism to appear in his work.Morski feels that  Poles have quite specific sense of sensitivity.“Wars and many other horrors that have flooded our country have made it acceptable for us a kind of narrative, difficult to accept elsewhere.  For people who viewed them, they were scary.”“As an allegory, I placed a labyrinth of stairs in the human head. In Poland, people focused on the hidden meaning, and the Dutch drew attention to the fact of head “mutilation”. They were interpreting this very literally.”More of Igor Morski‘s wonderful surrealism can be found at https://igormorski.pl/

 

Weight Loss Teletubby Style

Like some of you, my weight leaves a lot to be desired. My activity level, my energy level, my senility level, all feel like they’re in eternal flux.

For most of us, life’s biggest struggle is shedding pounds. 

It’s not that we don’t have determination. Desire. Resolve. Motivation. It’s just that it’s so HARD. It’s hard to be healthy. Both physically and mentally. It takes work. Dedication. Discovery.

Just when you think you’re on the right path a big semi truck crashes in front of you and you have to swerve off the road and into the chocolate factory. Just when you are able to walk down the driveway the city blocks off your street and you’re forced to go inside and watch Judge Judy.

You know what I mean.

There’s always an excuse waiting to happen.

After a trip this weekend to a beautiful resort in warm, sunny Georgia for my goddaughter’s wedding, my husband is starting keto. His motivation is his company and his A1C. This is the first time I’ve seen him so dedicated to an idea, and you know men — if they are determined enough they will carry out anything.

I myself am shaking in the shadows.

This is my chance to take off at least 25 unneeded, unwelcome pounds. Yes, I’m built like a Teletubbie. Not good for my health or my mind.  I could use a makeover of 50 pounds, but even 20 would help my health.

But I digress.

I want to jump on the weight loss bandwagon, but I’m old and lazy and fairly scatterbrained. It’s hard for me to focus on any one project for too long.

I want to follow in my husband’s healthy footsteps, at least for a little while. But his method seems so drastic.

Why are we always afraid to commit to change?

Why do we find excuses to blow off things we know we need?

Life and love and health all fall into that blowing off category.

So I’ve decided to follow him half way into Ketoland. 

He says I can’t do it half way, which gives me the motivation to go half way and beyond. Don’t tell me I can’t do it my way.

I will be big on the proteins and the veggies he can eat. I will add my own veggies, fruits, and sugars. I will leave out the extra cheeses, oils, and butters that keto is known for. I will not give up dairy, carrots, nor bananas.

I will go on my own hodgepodge journey and see where it leads me. 

Twenty pounds lighter by summer, I hope. But more than that, I want to honestly say …..

I did it myyyyyy waaaaayyyy…..

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Day of the Dead

 

Dia de los Muertos—the Day of the Dead—is a holiday celebrated on November 1.The Day of the Dead is a holiday to remember loved ones by sharing a meal with them as one would when they were alive.Dia de los Muertos honors the dead with festivals and lively celebrations, a typically Latin American custom that combines indigenous Aztec ritual with Catholicism, brought to the region by Spanish conquistadores.Assured that the dead would be insulted by mourning or sadness, Dia de los Muertos celebrates the lives of the deceased with food, drink, parties, and activities the dead enjoyed in life.During Dia de Los Muertos, small decorated sugar skulls are placed on the altars.

Traditional sugar skulls are made from a granulated white sugar mixture that is pressed into special skull molds. The sugar mixture is allowed to dry and then the sugar skull is decorated with icing, feathers, colored foil, and more.

There is nothing grim about these skulls; they are decorated with colorful edible paint, glitter, beads, and sport huge smiles.Sugar Skulls are part of the Ofrenda,  a collection of offerings dedicated to the person being honored.A brightly colored oilcloth covers the table and on top of that sits a collection of photographs and personal items of the departed person. The lower portion of the altar is where the offerings are placed, from traditional Mexican cuisine to other items that represent the honored person’s particular tastes.All in all, the Day of the Dead celebrates life — the afterlife. And our connection to those who wait on the other side.

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Maxim Shkret

Moscow-based illustrator Maxim Shkret conjures the flowing hair of people and the tangled fur of beasts in this lovely ongoing series of digital illustrations.Mixing a unique method of 3d modeling with carefully applied shadows, each piece evokes the form of a paper-like sculpture.One of his key flairs is lavish swoops and sweeps that detail his 3D designed images, giving that captivating look of something expertly sculpted with such conviction.Shkret believes that advancing technology is a powerful tool that can be utilized to bring the most dreamy and clever ideas to full realization.And this ideology certainly shows in his endeavors through the stunningly eccentric concepts that unravel before viewers’ eyes.“Being a strong advocate of experiments on the intersection of digital and physical, I firmly believe that imagination is free from any constraints and boundaries,” Shkret says. “It is a powerful engine that fuels the creative process allowing to propel the aesthetics of the visual art to new heights.”

More of Maxim Shkret’s amazing graphics can be found at www.shkret.com.

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Jewels from the Persian Qajar Dynasty

The Qajar Dynasty  was an Iranian royal dynasty of Turkic origin specifically from the Qajar tribe, ruling over Iran from 1789 to 1925.

Emerald Sunburst Tiara

 

The Qajar jewelry and artifacts are like time capsules, the physical aesthetics and the technical way they were made had a lasting impact of how jewelry developed, and influenced other cultures.

Badge of the Order of the Lion and the Sun

 

Qajar kings were known for their extravagant jewelry.

Qajar Period Pearl and Enamel Ring

 

Following their leaders, both men and women wore stylish accessories, a trend that is conspicuous in the paintings of the era.

Qajar Dynasty diamond

 

In actual fact, the craftsmanship of the jewelers and artisans of the royal court had become so sophisticated that they made a considerable impact on how jewelry was viewed throughout the world.

Gold, Cabochon Emerald, Cabochon Ruby, Diamond, Qajar White Sapphire and Enamel Diadem

 

The Kiani Crown, put on the head of a newly coronated king, was adorned with thousands of priceless gems like rubies, emeralds, and diamonds.

Kiani Crown

 

Other pieces of jewelry created during the Qajar Dynasty bring into focus the power, vision, and culture of a truly impressive era in history.

Medal Of The Qajar Order Of The Sun

 

The royal family and its ranking officers often went to extremes to decorate their outfits and uniforms with diamonds, rubies, pearls, and other precious stones.

A Court Lady Playing a Santour

 

More articles about the fantastic Qatar Jewels Collection can be found at Reena Ahluwalia  and Afra Art Gallery.

On My Way to Researching Something Else …

As usual, I was researching something on the Internet this morning and wandered off track and came up and across a website with 10 things …

Now, I’ve written blogs in the past about 10 (or so) ways to do several things:

10 Ways to Kick Start Your Creative Project (this one was a good one)

Top 10 … no, 20 … no, 5 … List (a little self-blog promotion back in 2014, but it was clever too)

Top 10 Perfect Moments (back in 2019, something we all should do ALL the time).

So I started cruising the Internet for 10 Ways. What a valorous timeth! (from English to Shakespeare website). Here are a few I came across:

10 Ways to Love Your Brain | Alzheimer’s Association

10 Ways to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse by Don Zolidis

10 Ways To Immediately Improve Your Cooking – Shared Appetite

10 ways the world is most likely to end, explained by scientists

10 Ways To Be a Shakespeare Expert

And it got me thinking. Do I know 10 Ways to do anything?

I mean, I’m smart … I’m experienced … I’m knowledgeable. I can add two and two and find my way to Walmart and know how to make Bavarian Meatloaf.

But 10 Ways? Isn’t that confusing to most people?

These days, people are lucky to know two different ways to do the same thing. You drive from Milwaukee to Green Bay one way. You plant bulbs in the garden one way. You make Hollandaise Sauce one way.

Give people too many choices and they will mess it up all the time.

I taught myself to make the above mentioned Hollandaise Sauce years ago. Simple, yet you have to pay attention. Then I look in the cookbook and there’s a totally different way to make it. My friend’s mother makes it a different way too.

I know me. If I venture off the familiar path I’ll wind up in Hollandaise Hell.

But I think the 10 Ways thing is meant to get you to focus on 10 positive things or ways of life. The blogs I wrote gave positive reinforcement to esoteric things. Creativity. Writing. Appreciating the good things you have in life.

We often focus on what we didn’t do or don’t have instead of the possibilities of tomorrow. The sunshine (or thunderstormy) ways of tomorrow.

As I’ve said countless times, we can’t change the past. All we can do is say thank you for the mistakes and lessons learned and blessings given and more forward.

There must be 10 Ways in your life. 10 thoughts. 10 blessings. 10 projects. Focus on those. And have fun with them.

But 10 Projects? Oh no – I can’t handle the ones I already have!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Cosmos is Revolving — Again

“The cosmos is revolving.”
I absolutely love this phrase.
And you will enjoy the ride on Judith’s blog this morning.
Hold On!

 

 

Artistcoveries

The cosmos is revolving.

This is an expression I use often, so if you’ve followed along with my art journey for a while, it’s already familiar to you. Others might refer to it as synchronicity or maybe simply as coincidence, but whatever you call it, it’s been happening a lot around my art studio recently. In fact, The Revolving Cosmos is the title I’ve given to this monochromatic nocture:

This painting represents several different influences that have come together recently. It represents my new appreciation for loose, intuitive painting and an individual style I’m only now beginning to develop.

I painted this — it’s another “color family exercise” — immediately after I’d finished the Blue Abstract painting I recently shared. Remember me saying that I’d taken out a sheet of canvas paper? Since it was sitting near my easel, and since I still had left-over paint on my palette…

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I Make Myself Laugh

There are things I do sometimes that make me roll my eyes and laugh.

Never really over-the-top embarrassing things (although I’m sure that’s down the road for me), but just things I do trying to fool myself into thinking I’m doing something when I’m really doing something else.

Now that I’m retired I’m home during the day, but I am busy from dawn to dusk. If not my “fun” projects its the wear and tear of daily housekeeping.  I’m keeping control over my daydream projects, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have too many to begin with.

Sometimes in the afternoon I get really tired. That two o’clock sugar drop thing. When I was at work I’d hit the Coke machine. At home, I’m sometimes tempted to just take a 20 minute nap.

But you know me. I can’t sit still for five minutes. I can be dog tired but can’t keep my eyes closed long enough to get ten minutes of anything.

So now during early afternoon hours I sit in my warm, bright living room and work on the computer. I have a half dozen projects that really need working on. So I turn on music or TV babble in the background and start. And before I know it I’m slipping in and out of dreamsville, typing nonsense or losing my way online.

Who am I fooling?

When the body tells you to take a break, you take a break.

You don’t pretend you don’t need a break and go on to do A or B or C and do them poorly because you can’t keep your eyes open.

That’s in the same vein as dealing with regular sinus headaches.

I feel them coming and tell myself I need to take some sinus meds and sit and close my eyes before they get worse. But I want to fix one more Angel Tear. Fold one more basket of laundry. Download just a few more images for the Gallery.

One more One more One more until it’s too late and the headache blasts through my head like a nuclear explosion.

What is with me?

Why don’t I listen to myself?

I think more of us are like me than not. That’s why we’re stressed. We don’t take the time to take care of ourselves up front before a drop turns into a bucket full.  Then we waste precious time doing what we were supposed to do in the first place instead of doing what we scheduled ourselves to do.

All confusing. All encompassing. I am getting tired of laughing.

Are you like that too sometimes?

Are you laughing?

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Natalie Ciccoricco

 

Natalie Ciccoricco is a Dutch collage artist, living in California.After moving to the United States in 2012, Natalie started making mixed media collages and illustrations inspired by her new surroundings.Ciccoricco went viral last spring for her iconic Nesting series, a collection that celebrates reconnecting with nature and your inner self while sheltering at home.While being under quarantine at home, she started creating embroidery artworks using materials found in her yard, her deck,  or on nature walks.Exploring the juxtaposition between geometric shapes and organic elements, the series is an ongoing exercise to find beauty and hope in challenging times.Stitching lengthy, varicolored rows around found twigs,  Ciccoricco juxtaposed the organic forms of nature with her meticulous embroideries.The California-based artist crafts her Nesting series on white, handmade paper with unfinished edges.The stark backdrop complements the precisely laid thread that seems to suspend each twig, while the natural borders offer an additional organic element.More of Natalie Ciccoricco‘s amazing fiber art can be found at https://www.mrsciccoricco.com/ and https://www.novel-b.com/blog/mrs-cicoricco.

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Onyx

 

Onyx is a semi-precious form of chalcedony which has alternating straight bands of color.

Chalcedony is the group name for a large family of stones, all of which form from silicon dioxide, also known as quartz. In order to be classed as chalcedony, a stone must be milky, and translucent to transparent often with layers or bands of color.

The onyx stone is often known for for its gorgeous black or brown coloring and striped bands.

But not all onyx stones are black. In fact, they come in vibrant colors weaved with magnificent bands.It typically comes in a wide array of yellow hues due to the presence of iron deposits, but other common colors are green, white, orange, gold, pink and brown.

Throughout history, onyx has been thought to bring powers of strength, protection and a strong link to the Earth.The magical properties possessed by onyx stone also gives its owner a sense of stability and confidence.

 

 

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 .