Probably my favorite winter-word of all. Apricity is the warmth of the sun on a chilly day. ~Susie Dent
Bruno Pontiroli is a French surreal artist, whose aim is to “turn the narrow vision that we have of the world upside down and disturb our imagination while shaking an accepted reality with images that are as comprehensible as they are familiar”.In Bruno’s fascinating and unusual body of work, he begins his artworks with easily-recognized animals that he then shapes “the way a child plays with modeling clay or a building set.”An admirer of René Magritte, Bruno finds inspiration in situations, books and images that surround him.Pontiroli creates mind-bending explorations of the relationship between humans and animals.The artist shies away from labeling his work as Surrealist or Dadaist, instead proposing a new version of reality without categorization.His work is so enjoyable precisely because it’s familiar yet strange.According to Pontiroli, “My aim is turn the narrow vision that we have of the world upside down and disturb our imagination while shaking an accepted reality with images that are as comprehensible as they are familiar. Distorting a symbol or mixing opposing universes allows me to question the identity of things so that I can reinvent them.”
More of Bruno Pontiroli‘s mind-bending work can be found at https://www.instagram.com/brunopontiroli.
Alexandra Spyratos was born in Kenya where she lives most of her life surrounded by the exotic beauty and wilderness of Africa.Influenced by her colorful background, translating the heat and the exotic beauty of the African wildlife to canvas has become Spyratos’ passion and spiritual goal.This prolific artist has become known for her bold and individual style.Her paintings are rich and textured with oxidized patterned gold and copper leaf, recreating the physicality and textures of the wild that inspires her.Her medium sees a diverse direction evolving into the elegance and glamour of gold, silver and copper leaf combines with the fluorescence.The combination is dynamic and adds a fresh and energetic dimension to her art, aptly termed as “Bohemian Chic”.Alexandra’s artistic presentation of the elephant, ostrich, buffalo, giraffe and predominantly the regal zebra, swirls about and leaps to her palette in representational form.It is this deep inspiration from the heart of Africa that has emerged in Alexandra’s painting of the wildlife and has evolved into a style that straddles all genre and is uniquely her own.More of Alexandra Spyratos can be found at www.facebook.com/alexandraartart/.
Sarah Kaufman is a Nashville, Tennessee-based artist who creates magical, textural mixed media paintings that explore aspects of the human experience “through the lens of surreal and ethereal narratives.”
Starting with a with a blank canvas, Sarah smears, drizzles, and splatters it with venetian plaster and gesso to create texture, then seals it with layers of translucent acrylic paint.
Once the base of the painting has settled, she paints her idea brings it to life with oil paint.
Sarah’s paintings are often soft and bright, yet sparkling with ethereal feelings.
According to Sarah, “The idea of being separate and distinct from the world around us is an illusion…”
“…we are simply a collection of energy for the moment. The houses represent our concept of self, with energy swirling around us in the sky, ground, trees and animals.”
More of Sarah Kaufman‘s lovely art can be found at http://www.sarahkaufmanart.com
https://artandinventiongallery.wordpress.com/art-artists/artwork/sarah-kaufman, http://www.larkandkey.com/artists/sarah-kaufman/, and can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/sarah.kaufman.14.
A native of Brooklyn, New York, Dean Russo draws inspiration from urban landscapes and his love for dogs to create truly unique artwork known for its brilliant colors and bold abstract designs of mesmerizing shapes and symbols.
To create these one of a kind images he uses a minimum of ten mediums per painting including pastels, ink, oils, pencils, wax, charcoal and spray paint.
“I used to paint portraits of rock icons and Hollywood stars for so many years with my dogs by my side. Till one day I thought, why not paint my two favorite subjects?” says Russo.
Initially inspired by his two cocker spaniels, Dean began working with rescue centers to raise awareness and donate his work.
Dean strives to communicate a message that encourages people to choose adoption, to acknowledge the world-wide failure of breed specific legislation and to combat dog fighting around the world.
“When a child sees, hears and acts upon my message, I feel successful. Anytime someone puts a message of love or respect towards people or animals into the universe it builds like a ripple. I hope I live long enough to see my ripples come back to me. That will make me smile.”
You can fulfill your love of Dean Russo‘s art and dogs at :
The world is full of gimmicks — full of one-liners and sensational promises for everything from growing hair to making money while staying at home. Just do this. Only $19.95. Follow these 5 rules and 10 guidelines and you’ll be smarter, prettier, richer, and so on.
Well, I want to cash in on that rigmarole, too. Every blogger wants to be popular. Well read. Recommended. Vital to the survival of the planet. Admit it — we don’t care about statistics, yet every time we get a new follower we do the Snoopy Dance.
So in that same (silly) vein, here are tried-and-true rules for you to follow if you want to be a popular, magnetic, P’s and Q’s type of over-the-top blogger.
* Write about kittens/cats and puppies/dogs. No one can resist the cuteness of baby animals. Even if they poop in your lap or chew your new pair of shoes, there’s something cute about the whole thing.
* Pictures. People love pictures. Nature’s a good one: flowers, trees, paths. Can’t beat Mother Nature for a Stress Buster. Makes ya just wanna go out and do the Sound of Music thing, doesn’t it?
* Use pictures of food. Even if your recipe/story/antidote doesn’t have anything to do with the pic, who can resist an image of ooey gooey caramel or creamy, cheesy lasagna or a bead-sweating glass of whatever? Makes my mouth water just to think about it.
* Quotes. People love stories that start or end with quotes. Surely Mel Brooks or Clint Eastwood carry the same charisma as Dali Lama or William Shakespeare. Try a “Roses are Red, Violets are Blue” kinda lead in. You’ll knock ’em dead.
* Lists. People can’t resist lists. The top 5 to 10 of anything is enough to hold their attention. Now, no one says these lists have to make sense — no one pays much attention to the rules once they leave your blog anyway. But they certainly are eye-catchers!
* Talk to make-believe characters. People love being entertained. I know of a blogger who talks to cheeseburgers and gargoyles. Why not you? And, who knows? They may be more informative and entertaining the evening news.
* Go overly long on the length of your blog. I know you want to unburden your soul, explore the possibilities, make new friends, share recipes, etc., etc., etc. But you and I know that the attention span of most readers is less than that of a gnat. At 600 words you’ve still got an audience. By 800 people are starting to open a second window on their computer. 900 to 1000 words people are throwing a load of laundry in between sentences. Anything on it’s way up to 2000 words might well be voted “Novel of the Year.”
* Steal — borrow. The Internet is full of ideas. Borrow what you like and make it yours. If you DO borrow directly from someone, give them the credit they’re due. Readers don’t necessarily care if your words sound familiar — they just don’t want to get sued for reading them.
* Talk about the same thing over and over. If you are sharing pain, share it. If you are sharing music, or thoughts on television shows, share it. Then talk about something else. Show your progress. Your research. Your over-vivid imagination. People love getting lost. Let them get lost in your mind.
* Make sure every sentence counts. You want to reach as many readers as you can with your message, no matter what that message is. Good bloggers are followed, not by the quantity they pump out, but by the quality. A story that makes you think, makes you feel, makes you chuckle, will stay with the reader a lot longer than one that flashes in the night.
And — (wait for it…) Who needs hot flashes in the night anyway?
Alright. Sad news first. My yellow labrador Renaissance Faire passed away yesterday. She was 11; a great huntress who was sweet and quirky and always knew when it was 7 p.m. and time for her 7 o’clock B(bonie). I was by her side to help her transition to the land of open fields and T-bone steaks; a daunting task, unnerving to say the least. We buried her under a tree next to my favorite cat Jasmine and my father-in-law’s dog Indy.
(Thanks for the good thoughts, btw)
Now the humorous part.
Here I am, 60 years old, walking through tick-infested grass and doggie mines not yet picked up with bare feet to give Rennie her final, eternal 7 o’clock B. Crying, wiping my snotty nose on my shirt, my mind taking over and remembering all slights and hurts real and imaginary, piling them together on top of my loss, fueling the fire that burned out of control. I was whispering baby doggie talk to the grave, babbling nonsense that only a dog would understand.
To the dog.
Not a child, a family member, friend or distant relative. A dog. Dogs and cats are dogs and cats — lower rungs on the food chain that do such innocuous things as lick their butt or eat other animal’s…well…you get my drift.
How many of you have done this?
I’m not sorry for my over reaction — I can stand back and chuckle at myself. For what is life but knowing who we are? Yet I ask…How do dogs and cats become our 1st or 2nd or 3rd child? And where do they get these…personalities?
I know one person whose cat looks at him and poops right in front of him every time he comes home from a long vacation. Another person’s dog won’t go outside to do her duty when the grass is wet. Another person’s cat talks on the phone along with its owner. My own Rennie had the uncanny ability to know when it was 7 pm no matter where we were and what we were doing. Where do they get these quirks? And why is it us that has to do the adjusting?
I know humans tend to anthropomorphize (give animals human traits). We give them personalities and assume they understand what we are saying. Why else would we talk to them so much? Many stand firm on their belief that animals think and feel and react as humans do. And on many levels that is true. I am not here to debate the validity of such things. What I will say, however, is that it is amazing how one little canine or feline can change your life. They listen without complaining; they don’t hold a grudge when they come to sleep with you at night, and want to be with you all the time. They listen while you go on and on about your crummy day at work or your overbearing mother-in-law or the barking dog down the street.
I’m also not saying that pets are for everyone. Cleaning out kitty litter boxes and scooping up lincoln logs are not for everyone. Often it’s easier to spoil someone else’s dog or cat. Why not? Their love is universal. Their devotion and energy should say something about how the world should work. They don’t care about the color of your skin or how fat you are or what religion tickles your fancy. Their needs are basic — love, food, and pets. Something the world should take note of.
The moral of this little ditty is to just love your pets, or your family’s pets, or the pets at the shelter. Treat your fellow humans that way too, and you’ll never be sorry.
Just make sure you always make time for your 7 o’clock B.