Repeating a Repeat

I was flipping through movies the other night, looking for something to watch — something different, something spooky, something — unusual. The horror genre came to mind.Now, I’m not into gory, bloody horrorfests — the sections of the public who love those kind of movies can keep those movies.I prefer movies that make me think. Make me wonder. Make me suspend belief for a couple of hours. I don’t really believe in spirits and ghosts and the supernatural, but I enjoy letting those who know how to manipulate the genre manipulate me. I love twist endings. Surprise endings. 

The strangest things frighten us. For some it’s spiders. For others it’s aliens. Or ghosts. Or monsters. Or internet predators. Or walking through the woods alone at night. In the dark. 

It’s okay to be frightened now and then, as long as you know what’s real and what’s not, and not let your fears rule your life.

I wound up watching Zoolander. So go figure. 

Which leads me to a blog I wrote back in 2016. Holy Moley! 2016!

 

Something Is Out There

20161210_215909I was watching TV the other evening. A horror flick. Or SF. Or both. No matter. Predator. You know — the Sci Fi movie with Arnold and a bunch of special forces macho men. You know the story line — the alien who comes to Earth to hunt humans for sport.  Well, there was one scene closer to the beginning of the movie that made me pull out a camera and take a picture of the TV screen — a scene that flashed the words blog topic into my brain.

The men are walking through the jungle, in and out of clearings, when one of the soldiers stops. Just stops and looks ahead. At the trees, at the jungle. Silence. When asked what was up, Billy said there was something out there watching them. Something you couldn’t see.

That kind of terror gets to me much more than blood and guts.

The fear of the unknown.

Some people can sense something’s not right way before it hits you like a pie in the face. We all have intuition, but some just live with it turned on high, while others barely crack the surface.

Do you ever sense things that are — unnatural? Nebulous? Out of our sphere of reality?

I don’t care for the scientific explanations. I understand them, I agree with them. But that doesn’t stop me from wondering — what if something was watching us? Something invisible, fifth dimension-ish and all that?

I’ve seen dogs avoid places in the wild; some would rather pee on themselves than check out some particular place. I’ve heard stories of birds avoiding certain trees and wild animals refusing to walk through certain areas.

It’s like seeing something out of the corner of your eye. If you turn and focus, the thing is gone. But for that fleeting moment you swear there is something there. It is hearing songs on the wind when everyone else hears a lawn mower. Or seeing a glow in the woods that everyone else says are lightning bugs.

I know that none of these abnormalities exist — at least not on a scientific level. But through the years I’ve regained some of my fascination with the “unknown.” I love to entertain the impossible. The improbable. The ridiculous. For within those worlds lies even more remarkable truths. At least for the person experiencing them.

I have never seen the clear, wavy distortions of a Predator before they become visible. I’ve never seen a unicorn drinking from a stream or a faerie dancing through the night.

Or have I?

We all see things that aren’t there. As we get older and memories fade, what we think we remember isn’t necessarily what happened. The conversations change, the situations change — we rework the past to fit our current psyche. So what I thought my father said before he died might not have been what he really said. The punchline of an old movie might not be the quote I spout out to friends and family.

To be honest, I am spooked by things I don’t understand. I don’t like walking through the woods in the dark, or driving down unfamiliar deserted roads at night, or playing Mary Worth in the mirror. Whether it’s an overactive imagination or the true sensing of something beyond reality, I prefer to deal with the unknown my own way.

Avoidance.

I figure don’t tempt the gods.

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — George E. Ohr

, the so-called “Mad Potter of Biloxi,” was a wild, inventive ceramic artist in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but his work was largely misunderstood during his time, and languished in a Mississippi garage.George Edgar Ohr (1857-1918) has been called the first art potter in the United States, and many say the finest.Although active from 1879 until around 1910, it was not until his pottery was rediscovered half a century after his death that Ohr began to enjoy the reputation he felt he deserved.Ohr is considered the most important US ceramic artist for several reasons. First, he was a pioneer of the art pottery movement in the United States.His work challenged the traditional notion that ceramics were purely functional objects, and instead presented them as works of art.Secondly, Ohr was highly experimental, constantly pushing the boundaries of his medium. He was never satisfied with simply replicating existing techniques; instead, he sought to invent new ones.This led to the development of his signature ” coil and pinch” method, which produced uniquely organic and asymmetrical forms.Lastly, Ohr’s work has been highly influential in the field of ceramics. His unique style and approach to clay-making has inspired generations of artists, and his pots are now highly sought-after by collectors.Today, Ohr is recognized as a major pioneer of American ceramics.His work has made a lasting impact on the ceramics community and the art world alike, and has inspired generations of artists working in ceramics to innovate and work with the medium in unique ways.

More of George E. Ohr’s pottery can be found at https://georgeohr.org/george-ohr/, https://mshistorynow.mdah.ms.gov/issue/george-e-ohr-americas-first-art-potter, and https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-eccentric-mississippi-artist-pioneered-american-ceramics.

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Paitoon Jumee

Born in 1978, Paitoon Jumee is a contemporary Thai artist known for his portrayals of the female face.Jumee studied at the Thai Vijitsil Art School from 1993-1996, later graduating from Pochang University in 1998.The artist was trained in multiple disciplines including lithography, sculpture, and xylography.Of his collections, the series of paintings depicting female portraits remains his most popular. The majority of these faces feature calm serene expressions, often with closed eyes and pan-Asian features such as almond-shaped eyes.Jumee applies painting techniques such as the superposition of repetitive patterning to create layers beneath the surface of the portrait.Perhaps this reflects the idea of a portrait which reveals the person’s many aspects of character beyond surface deep.The use of the drip technique, among other textural effects, can be considered Jumee’s signature touch.

These flourishes add depth and melancholy to what would otherwise appear a clean and detached portrait. Jumee’s works display his innate sense for textural depth and allow his work to be instantly recognizable.More of Paitoon Jumee’s unique art can be found at https://onarto.com/artists/paitoon-jumee/ and https://tuskgallery.wordpress.com/thai-artists/paitoon-jumee/.

 

Every Line is Not a Straight Line

Today has been a rough day, although all the roughness is in my own head. 

Do you have days like this? Where you just can’t function like you’re supposed to for one reason or another? Yet you have to?

And this frustration runs through the rest of your day.

What I wouldn’t do to be perfect.

Everything written out, scheduled, cleaned, detailed, caught up, thought out, followed through, crossed off, and completed.

Logic has never been my best friend. Nor has written out, scheduled, cleaned, detailed, caught up, thought out, followed through, crossed off, and completed.

It’s all cute and forgivable when you’re 12 or 13.  When you’re older it feels like you’ve been left behind.

When I do things my way it’s often the screwy way, the backwards way, the long way. I don’t mind, because I never really notice that it’s the screwy way, the backwards way, or the long way. I just do it my way.

People then ask why I make so much more work for myself. Why I didn’t go directly from A to B. Why I make things so complicated.

They’re right. I’m just wired wrong, I guess. I get everything done sooner or later. It’s often not perfect, but I’ve always made a decent effort. Unfortunately, a decent effort doesn’t always cut it.

At this point I don’t know how to change my flow. 

And I don’t think I can.

I’m beginning to see why younger people get so frustrated with older people. We don’t move or think fast enough, straight enough, purposely enough.  We don’t mess things up on purpose — to us we’re doing it the right way, just like everyone else.

I’m frustrating to myself these days.

Some of us used to walk that straight line quite well, but now have a hard time staying on it.

I think I wandered off that line a long time ago. As a matter of fact, I’m one of those who often think…

….What line?

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — the Fibonacci Sequence

The Fibonacci sequence is one of the most famous formulas in mathematics. Each number in the sequence is the sum of the two numbers that precede it. So, the sequence goes: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, and so on. It’s been called “nature’s secret code,” and “nature’s universal rule.” Just take a look at the pattern it creates and you can instantly recognize how this sequence works in nature like an underlying universal grid. A perfect example of this is the nautilus shell, whose chambers adhere to the Fibonacci sequence’s logarithmic spiral almost perfectly. This famous pattern shows up everywhere in nature including flowers, pinecones, hurricanes, and even huge spiral galaxies in space.

Jonathan Cleveland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It Doesn’t Stop .. Not If You Don’t Let It

 

Here I am, late Sunday night, listening to the above music, reflecting on what just happened in my airy fairy world.

I have talked to many people who believe there are signs of otherworldly things around us. Messages and thoughts being sent and left behind and forwarded to and through us all the time. All we have to do is sit and listen.

Now, I don’t have a direct connection to any celestial/spiritual being. Not that I know of. Although I must say in the last few years I’ve been getting connections I never believed existed. Take The Cat Story about the cat who showed up at my son’s memorial and also at Thanksgiving, The Cat Story — Part 2. 

I got a text from a long-time-ago friend a few weeks ago; someone I hadn’t talked to in ages but remained friends with (if that’s possible). She asked if I wanted to go to Paris with her. She was also going to ask my sister-in-law to go.

I haven’t heard from her directly in 30 years.

I only started seeing my sister-in-law last December when her daughter/my goddaughter got married.

I didn’t even know friend A knew sister B.

Okay. That in itself freaked me out, because somehow through the past few years we had communicated my desire to see Paris. A kinda bucket list thing that would probably never come to fruition.

And she was ready to start making plans.

Well, it just so happened that last year I wrote a story called “I Dreamed I Went to Paris,” which is a 67-year-old’s version of going to Paris for a week. (No real trip was ever involved).

Tonight I decided to send my friend the story for her perusal.

Sent the thing, went to bed, went to my phone (which was on Messenger) and I absently dialed her number. (I had to go there to get her email addy). I “butt dialed” her number.

I couldn’t figure out how to disconnect fast enough and she answered.

A friend I hadn’t talked to in over 30 years.

And we talked on the phone for over an hour.

Like it was just yesterday.

There are no accidents, my friend. We shared the pains and joys of our past years, realizing that we were still so very much alike. Our dreams, our airy fairyness, our laughter and our experiences.

We just hadn’t shared them with each other lately.

I don’t believe it was an accident to butt dial my good friend. It was the same fate faerie that brought Mikey the cat my way. The same faerie who brought me back together when a friend I thought I’d lost years ago. The same faerie  that encourages me to dream, physically and mentally and inspirationally.

The faerie that has put sharing in my heart and creativity in the air.

There are no accidents, my friends. Don’t try and explain the cosmos. Just go along for the ride.

You’ll not believe the things you will experience!!

 

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Tin Yan Chan

Born in Hin Kwong Village of Kwangtung, China to a family of artists in 1942, Tin Yan Chan became a popular floral and landscape artist in Canada in the late 20th century.Deeply moved by his first encounter with the western work of art, Chan found himself filled with inspiration and imagination.At 16 he was admitted to the Wuhan South Central China Academy of Fine Arts.Chan attended the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts where he began to realize the joy of creating bold compositions and expressions.In 1968, the artist immigrated to Canada and started his career as a professional artist. With his experience in China and France, which embraced both ancient and modern Impressionist abstract and contemporary works of arts, he became confident in creating his own style of art work. Chan creates a compelling blend of Asian and Western aesthetics in his snowscapes and floral scenes, producing  works in both watercolor and oil.Delineation of tree branches recalls the curves and strokes of Chinese calligraphy, as does his subject choice of serene natural scenes.Even when working in the strict discipline of the Chinese brush painting tradition, he  scatters exuberant and undisciplined patches of brilliant color throughout his compositions.More of Tin Yan Chan’s colorful art can be found at https://koymangalleries.com/artist/tin-yan-chan/.

 

 

 

Select a Category … Any Catagory

A lot of you are professional bloggers, weekend bloggers, once-a-month bloggers, daily bloggers — it doesn’t matter how often you write but that you write.

The other day I was re-reading/proofreading my blog on Creativity, adding categories and tags to encourage further reading under those … categories.

Now, I know the more you can narrow the fields of tags and categories, the more likely the Google search engine will find your blog. At least I think that’s how it’s supposed to work. I’m not a techie in any stretch of the imagination, so I really have no idea.

But I glanced over to my categories. It’s been a long time since I’ve checked them out.

I probably should have been looking at them a little more closely.

Many categories make sense — popular words like creativity, encouragement, love, babies, and camping are familiar to all of us.

But let me share a few that stirred something else in me. Puzzlement.

  • Amazing. The whole world is amazing. I am amazing. You are amazing. No one searches for “amazing” unless there’s a noun after it.
  • Being ____. I know there are better words for being busy, being cold, being crazy, being fooled. Offhand I don’t know  what they would be, though.
  • Same is true with action phrases that start with Getting or Losing. 
  • Blank paintings. Is that the same as a blank canvas? A blank wall? I wonder what blog that was for.
  • Bugs. The creepy crawly kind or the way some people affect you?
  • Cockroaches. Same as above.
  • Digital arat. How many people search for that misspelling?
  • Same for firewors, menopuse, and time trael.
  • Messing around. What does that actually mean?
  • Paper cutting and papercutting. Pick one, would you?
  • Reflexion. I suppose that’s supposed to be Reflection, but it’s from the England side of the ocean.
  • Sculpture or Sculptures. In this instance, plural means the same as single.
  • The … followed by any number of nouns. The Arts, The Blues, The Gambler, The Mind, The Seasons, The Unknown, The Woods. Are you seeing a pattern here?
  • w. Nuff said about that typo.
  • WATER PHOTOGRAPHY. Kinda looks like the caps stuck on that category.

As you can see, my categories need some of work. Haste made waste, and all of that. 

Haste also made for some unique category names.

 

 

Is Creativity a Solitary Sport?

With the start of the “New Year” (you know how I think — that the New Year starts every day you wake up, but still ….) I started thinking about 2023 and the creativity it will bring. MUST bring. New ideas, new inspirations, new directions.
Today I met one of my besties for breakfast. I always love seeing her, being with her, sharing with her. She’s at the point in her life where kids and her job take up all her time, which is pretty normal for this point in life.
On the other hand, I found myself pouring out some of my new ideas for Angel Tears, my blogs, and other artsy things I may or may not do during 2023. She offered to help me take photographs of my crafts so I can move into the Millennium and onto Etsy.
And I wondered.
Is creativity a solo trip?
Yes, you have to do the work; you have to do the research and the buying of equipment and you have to find the time and you have to stick with it.
You you you.
But isn’t it much more fun when you can share your excitement with others?
I used to belong to a Wisconsin writer’s group. I loved the energy shared by all the writers when we got together for conferences. It was palpable. Encouraging. I met great people there, and have kept one of them for my writing buddy bestie.
Your solitary excitement is important. Vital. But it’s awfully nice to have someone else encourage you, too.
I have another bestie I’ve been encouraging to write a book about a personal story that would knock the socks off of most readers. Another young bestie of mine, a high school graduate this year, wants to start blogging, and I’m there with her, giving her ideas, pointers, and encouragement. Two of my besties have a room they want to turn into their Creativity Shed. She Shed. I’m right there talking colors and shelving and places to sell their wares should they want to.
I get so excited about everyone else’s artistic dreams. I can’t help it.
Which is why I’m always asking about yours. I love to watch how you put together collages and knit sweaters and draw characters with big wide eyes and haircuts that match your personal hair style.
Have a friend teetering on the edge of entering the Arts? Encourage them. Fuss over them. Don’t worry if they don’t reciprocate your enthusiasm.
Art in any form starts with you. Ends with you.
But all that creativity and good vibes in the middle is good for everyone!

Speak to your children as if they are the wisest, kindest, most beautiful…

Some loving thoughts from a magical friend….

Purplerays

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“It is easier to build strong
children than to repair broken
men.”

🧸 Frederick Douglass

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Text and image source: Poet’s Corner Esquina Poetica https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=pfbid02JCprMvq1CUNH1H3R3aWopjjduozKHkH2eHZF8FXhhvpukBdj4poR5MECwiHPo7PPl&id=100033838135937&mibextid=Nif5oz

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Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Colin Richmond

Sometimes Art (with a capital “A”) is more than just paintings hanging on a museum wall or statues in a famous courtyard.

Alpine Steinschaf Sheep

Sometimes Art can be as simple as homemade crafts that have that special something that catches your attention.

Suffolk Sheep

Colin Richmond, an MBA-turned-sculptor, is the artist and creator of Colin’s Creatures in Asheville, North Carolina, started in 1993.

Herdwick Sheep

The artist creates handcrafted creatures made from a unique combination of materials including porcelain, castable stone, and imported woven fur, all chosen for their quality and ability to imitate the characteristics of each animal.

Highland Cattle

Richmond initially begins with thorough research of the breed.

Cotswold Ewe

He often travels across the globe to visit heritage farms, attend agricultural shows, and meet with breeders dedicated to the stewardship and conservation of ancient breeds of livestock.

American Bison

Once he feels he has an understanding of an animal and its specific traits and personality, Richmond carves the heads, legs, horns and other parts that will eventually be cast in porcelain.

Beulah Speckledface Sheep

Porcelain is just one of the keys to capturing what he describes as the “expressive nature” of his animals, which have porcelain heads and legs and solid hydrostone bodies.

Blacknose Valais Sheep

Richmond uses hydrostone, the hardest and strongest plaster available, which is chosen for its stability and solid weight in the hand.

Alpaca

He pours the smooth, clay-colored liquid into handmade molds, fastening them together with a large rubber band, and sets a kitchen timer which dings when it’s time to release the creature from its formative binding.

Sarda Sheep

When the creature is formed, he finish it with high-quality imported fur, resulting in a life-like creature with personality and charm.

Border Leicester Sheep

More of Colin Richmond‘s animal creations can be found at Colin’s Creatures, https://www.colinscreatures.com/.

 

 

Fun For Fans of Fashion

Going through my past in here, looking for something else (of course), I came across this blog about Older Women Fashion.

Now that I’m retired, work and fashion (and this past blog) are almost nine years in the past, I do admit that this thought was based on a co-worker (whom I really did like). But I still always try to look good.

I rolled my eyes back then.

I rolled my eyes this morning, too.

Here are a few fun fashion no-no’s not only for those over 50, but for most under 50 too. 

 

Seven Fashion NoNos for Goddesses of All Ages

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — John Paul Miller

John Paul Miller’s (1918 – 2013) fastidiously crafted jewelry depicts natural creatures both large and small, wearable forms in enamel and gold that are, at once, visually opulent and mildly unsettling. Miller is further recognized for having introduced granulation to the postwar studio jewelry field. This ancient technique of affixing small beads of gold or silver to a similarly corresponding substrate dates back to the third century BCE.Miller reinvigorated the technique in the mid-1940s and employed it as one tool in his vast arsenal, creating exceptionally beautiful forms in gold that dazzle the eye and celebrate nature’s tiniest creatures.Throughout his career Miller produced bold wearable forms that, while extraordinarily beautiful, were not – neither in their scale nor in their subject matter – for the timid or the faint of heart.“I was always fond of animals, all animals…animals and life in the wild, the natural world, were a really important part of my life,” Miller shared.“So when I got involved with jewelry…and with granulation, I began to think about things in nature.  There was something about their design that suggested the character of granules.” 

“Decorating with enamel an already almost revived creature, I always tried to show that play of light, those refractions of rays that so fascinated me in childhood.”More of John Paul Miller’s beautiful gold jewelry can be found at https://www.clevelandart.org/exhibitions/jewelry-john-paul-miller.

Always Fine Tuning

I don’t know if it’s the artist in me, the insecurity in me, or the pride in me, but it’s hard to leave some projects alone.

Many of you in your various arts get your creations right the first time around. You’re that good. I know I know … there’s mistakes in there too. Ideas gone crooked, characters flushed out the wrong way, a stitch that’s too big, not enough Chromium Oxide Green for your trees.

But you eventually finish and move onto the next thing.

I do that, too. But in writing anything, there can always be a revision of some sort lurking in the shadows.

I’ve tried not to go back often and reread the books I’ve written. Except for a typo here and there (God Forbid!) I’m very happy with the outcome. 

But other things like art blogs and Angel Tears, I tend to work too fast at the beginning and see too many slips towards the end.

Like my Sunday Evening Art Gallery blogs. The ones that come out now are pretty near perfect. But the earlier ones look sloppy. In a rush. Not enough pictures or way too many. That’s mostly because I wanted to GET THE BLOG OUT. 

Faerie Paths and chat blogs like today usually turn out decent, because I’ve given the topics some thought and took my time finding the pictures that go along with them.

Well, today I’m going to start in yet another direction. I want to dedicate a page to my Angel Tears. You know — those rhinestone and crystal sparklers that hang in your windows or trees. This is my full second year of this business and I want it to shine this year. I want it to work. I want to have inventory and Etsy pages and show it off to you, my friends.

For me, that’s sounds easier than it is.

These things don’t photograph well. So I’m working on that. I have sales account and bank account and even an accountant. So I am serious about this type of fun.

This time I want to get it all right. I figure I have enough experience to know what I want, what I want to say, how I want people to feel.

I want others to feel the way I do when it comes to sparkle in the sun.

Don’t you feel that way when you start a new creative project? Everything you make can’t just be for you — you need to step out of your creative comfort zone and offer your work to others so that they can feel what you feel when they look at your work.

Satisfaction.

I’m still working on it.

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Anna Berezovskaya

Anna Berezovskaya was born in the town of Yakhroma in Russia,  and became a student of Abramtsevsky Art and Industrial College in 2001.

Her paintings are easily recognizable by their unique signature style, which Berezovskaya refers to as “Poetic Realism.”Berezovksya brings together techniques unique to realism, abstraction and surrealism to create imaginative and creative worlds and subjects.Her pieces are riddled with symbolisms which the viewer must tease out in order to find the multiple meanings and layers to them.Berezovksya’s use of universal themes, inspired by the artist’s own life and imagination,  resonate and reflect the viewers’ own emotions and the values.She uses symbolism to create timeless works on canvas and paper, carefully selecting subjects that convey her ideas and emotions about the Russian world around her.Berezovskaya’s works are built on a world which she has created — a visual world — where she tells her stories through childhood memories of books read and images embedded in her dream-space.“I still draw on stories that I love from my childhood but in terms of development I realize I have developed and grown and my ideas are becoming more interesting, sharper, more developed,” the artist shares.“I mainly use ideas from my normal regular everyday life but these can still be serious things that I try to convey in my paintings in a humorous way.”More of Anna Berezovskaya‘s whimsical art can be found at http://www.annaberezovskaya.com/.

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Adolf Wölfli

Adolf Wölfli (1864–1930) was a Swiss artist who was one of the first artists to be associated with the Art Brut or “outsider” art label.Wölfli was abused both physically and sexually as a child, and was orphaned at the age of 10, leaving him to grow up in a series of state-run foster homes.He was very disturbed and sometimes violent on admission, leading to him being kept in isolation for his early time at hospital. He suffered from psychosis, which led to intense hallucinations.At some point after his admission Wölfli began to draw. His first surviving works (a series of 50 pencil drawings) are dated from between 1904 and 1906.A doctor at the Waldau Clinic took a particular interest in Wölfli’s art and his condition, later publishing Ein Geisteskranker als Künstler (A Psychiatric Patient as Artist) in 1921 which first brought Wölfli to the attention of the art world.Morgenthaler’s book detailed the works of Wölfli who seemed to have no previous interest in art and who developed his talents and skills independently after being committed for a debilitating condition.In this respect, Wölfli was an iconoclast and influenced the development and acceptance of Art Brut.At a glance, Wölfli’s work oozes the sentiments of Psychedelic art with its kaleidoscopic swirls of colorIn truth, they’re the relics of a man orphaned in the 1800s, whose life was bookended by the abuse he both received and committed.But that madness also incubated one of the most jaw-dropping works in Art Brut history: Wölfli will paint, compose music and write a semi-biographical book that has 45 volumes, approximately 25,000 pages, and more than 1.600 illustrations that is filled with reptiles, knights, dancing shadows; and insect musicians, along with Algebra and melancholic sheet music.Wölfli’s work has been described as one of the three or four most important a  bodies of work constituting an artist’s lifework of of the twentieth century.More of Adolf Wölfli‘s mesmerizing artwork can be found at https://www.adolfwoelfli.ch/ and  Adolf Wölfli: mad genius.

Still Trying To Figure It Out. Literally.

This is one of those late Sunday night I’m-overtired-and-starting -to-get-a-wee-headache-but-this-is-such-a-great-confusing-idea-I-need-to -ask-my- friends-about-it blog.

In the future I am going to feature Anna Berezovksya and what she sees as bringing together techniques unique to realism, abstraction and surrealism. Her paintings are colorful, imaginative, and a delight to the sensibilities of us all. Here is one of her pictures:

 

 

Okay. If you can get past the initial shock of weirdness about it, it’s really finely done: the faces, the detail, the texture. 

If you want to take a bit and “study” the picture, what is it saying? People following each other to the edge of the cliff (that’s my first thought). Okay. Different personalities are reacting differently. One has a movie camera, one is dangling their feet, one is a sailor, one is a king.

What does the seagull have to do with it? The fish skeleton? The apple? Why is the crescent moon hiding in those long braids? What is the book the king is holding? Why is the sailor wearing a hoop earring?

Okay Okay. Those questions are neither here nor there. We can interpret this painting however we wish. I’m sure Miss Berezovksya has her own explanation, too.

Here comes the spacey thoughts.

I am a writer. We are taught to be thorough (though not lengthy) in our explanations and descriptions. We have to create mood, atmosphere, and rhythm in our writings. 

How would I explain this picture? Or the story of this picture?

This is in the same stratosphere as describing a Jackson Pollack or a Juan Gris painting.

I believe there is an explanation for everything. A reason for everything. From why cacti have needles for spines to why a spider has so many eyes. So there is an explanation for Abstract Art, Abstract Expressionism, Cubism, Conceptualism.

Some paintings are crystal clear. A portrait. A landscape. A Still Life. And many modern styles need no explanation — they are more of a tool to elicit response and emotion rather than make sense.

But I wonder if some are not meant to be understood.

Writing always has to make sense. Otherwise you will follow the rabbit down the rabbit hole never come out the same. You would be like “what did I just read??” Your brain would scramble to make sense of sentences and tenses and made up words.

So the question of the day is — how do you describe the indescribable? The nonsensical? The busy and the confusing?

As you can see, it’s way past my bedtime…..

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Debra Bernier

Debra Bernier is an extraordinary artist from Victoria, Canada.She uses natural materials, mostly driftwood, shells, and clay, to create amazing sculptures.These intricate pieces represent the spirits of nature as human fusing together with the natural material.“When I work with driftwood, I never start with a blank canvas,” the artist explains.“Each piece of driftwood is already a sculpture, created by the caresses of the waves and wind.Bernier’s talent lies in using the natural curves and depths of her driftwood to connect with that which most sacred in the world – children, animals, nature.  “The wood tells a story and I try to think of its journey as I hold it in my hand.“I extend or shorten the curves and contours that already exist into familiar shapes of animals or peoples’ faces.”More of Debra Bernier‘s amazing sculptures can be found at https://www.etsy.com/market/debra_bernier and https://www.instagram.com/shapingspirit/.

 

Is New Years Really New?

Here it is — NEW YEAR’S EVE!!!

Getting ready to push 2022 out the door without even a see ya later consolation prize, keeping our fingers crossed that 2023 will be filled with

__________  (fill in the blank)

 

 


* more money*
*peace and quiet*
*children and grandchildren*
*the ability to sell my house/car/stock*
*peace in my soul*
*time to read more books*
*a new best friend*
*more exercise*
*fresh air and walks in the woods*
*less doctor appointments*
*a best-selling novel*
*the ability to travel*
*new gardening ideas*
*a new understanding between myself and my friend/brother/husband/mother*
*the ability to forgive and forget*
*more involvement in church or the community*
*the strength to quit smoking*
*less pain in my hands and legs*
*acceptance for who I am*
*the drive to start a new creative project*
*cooking lessons*
*chances to find a celestial power again*
*a fresh coat of paint in the Livingroom*

Don’t we all wish one of the above wishes every new year? 

I know I start every new year with a determination to be a new and improved person. This could be by taking a class to reading more to trying new recipes to walking two blocks instead of one. I strive for more self-acceptance, less self-doubt, time to work in my garden, meeting more friends for lunch, hitting more art fairs and outdoor concerts. 

But I know I already am a better person. A better person than last year.

Last year made me weak, and last year made me strong. Last year brought both pain and love in abundance, something the previous years didn’t.

So.

As I wave goodbye to 2022 (it was the best of times and the worst of times), I leave the door wide open for 2023. No expectations. No resolutions. No repremands. Every day I’m going to try and grow in a positive direction. 

It’s just that I’m so tilty whirl and airy fairy and forgetful that I’ll likely forget what I pledged two weeks earlier. That’s okay — I’ll just make up some more things I can improve/change/get rid of. The list is endless.

Don’t waste your time with resolutions. You are already better than last year. Can you improve? Possibly. Should you try? Why not? Improvement is part of our evolution. Do. Or Do Not. There is no Try. Not really. Not in the end. 

What are you planning to do or not do in 2023?

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Area Rugs

Are rugs Art? Area rugs, throw rugs – are they artistic? If they are not created individually by a Monet or a Chihuly, are they still pieces worthy of collection? What makes them unique — the color? The shape? The fabric?

Like the unfathomable number of stars above, each rug glows with its own light. If one believes a rug tossed in front of a sofa or bed is artistic flair, so it is.  If it calls to you, sends you on your own private journey into the world of beauty and pleasure, so it is. 

 

 

 

On My Way To Do Something Else — For the 100th Time

Some people are afraid of wandering around too much, helter skelter, carefree, no compass, no sense of direction. Others possess all of those keys and still manage to wander down alleys and up staircases and into deep woods and never fear a thing!

This morning I was reading my friend Raylatest story called Shared Truth on his blog Mitigating Chaos, (feeling a kindred spirit in his blog title), where he talks about another blogger, Steve Layman, and his blog A Layman’s Blog  (which he admires a lot) and who has made the list of Culture Offering’s list of 25 Blogs Guaranteed to Make You Smarter (of which I follow 3 or 4).

Did you follow all of that?

Well, while I got side tracked into following Ray’s trail of blog crumbs, I turned around and went back into the list of those ~ I ~ followed (which is where I was going in the first place, before I got pleasantly distracted by Ray) and found a Judith, a blogger who hadn’t posted on her blog Artistcoveries in about six months, but whose discoveries I always enjoyed. Taking a break, I hope she comes back soon! 

See — this is what blogging is to me — dropping names of writers and artists I think you’d enjoy. I’m here to hang with you!  

uh … where are we going?

 

 

Go Bold! — Artistcoveries

My daughter, Liz, you may recall, is quite an accomplished collage artist. I’ve previously shared the iguana she drew and collaged for me, and she recently completed this parrot for her aunt, my sister Jill. Collage Art by Elisabeth Sherwood – June 2022 If you look closely, you’ll see that she made this from pieces […]

Go Bold! — Artistcoveries

Merry Happy Stupendous Reflective Holy Moley Christmas!

Whether you are gandering the goose, baking the cookies, celebrating the celestial, thanking the Lord, or wrapping heirlooms, I hope your holiday weekend brings you all the peace and joy your little big heart can hold.

Friends are forever — so are family and strangers, too. Give a little of yourself to all three — you will feel blessed.

From your little toe with the toenail that’s always too long to the thinning of your hairy or non-hairy head, my love to you and yours.

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Geisha

In Japan, a Geisha is a member of a professional class of women whose occupation is to entertain elete male clientele.The word Geisha itself literally translates to “artisan”, and the women are known for their distinct make-up and attire, their elegant and graceful dance and movements, and demure conversation. They use their talents and well-practiced techniques to provide entertainment for customers on the occasion of banquets and performances.Eizan Kikukawa

All geisha must learn to play the shamisen, alongside additional instruments that often accompany the shamisen, such as the ko-tsuzumi (small shoulder drum) and fue (flute), as well as traditional Japanese dance.In addition to being skilled at physical arts, the Geisha excel in making conversation.Other talents showcase flower arranging, performing the tea ceremony, and calligraphy.Katsushika Hokusai

 

Their distinct appearance is characterized by long, trailing kimono, traditional hairstyles and oshiroi make-up.Geisha entertain at parties known as ozashiki, often for the entertainment of wealthy clientele, as well as performing on stage and at festivals.

The Geisha system is thought to have emerged in the 17th century to provide a class of well-trained entertainers set apart from courtesans and prostitutes.Kitagawa Utamaro

 

While Geisha themselves are not prostitutes, their roots can be found in Saburuko, late seventh century Japanese women who were forced by eroding economic conditions and social displacement to exchange sexual favors in order to survive.

Modern Geisha still live in traditional geisha houses called okiya in the hanamachi areas, particularly during their apprenticeship. Many experienced geisha who are successful enough eventually choose to live independently during the later part of their careers. 

Today, the Geisha who exist in areas such as Kyoto, Kanazawa, and Tokyo are some of the most highly developed and valued professional entertainers of the region.

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Jungho Lee

Jungho Lee is a surrealistic illustrator and artist based in Seoul, Korea.Lee studied graphic design at Hongik University in Seoul.He has worked as an illustrator for various media since 2007.

The artist creates surreal illustrations incorporating books into our everyday surroundings.

Lee hand draws his images with charcoal and watercolors before scanning and digitally layering them to reach the desired illusory effect.These whimsical illustrations  incorporate the beauty of books into everyday environments, creating thoughtful, dream-like scenes.Lee’s books work as an open door, a star-filled lake, a morning slice of pie or an airplane’s wing.More of Jungho Lee‘s whimsical work can be found at http://www.leejungho.com and https://www.facebook.com/ejungho.

 

 

I Continue to Survive

I got a little drunk the other night.

I don’t drink often, and when I do, it’s usually a glass of wine with dinner. My body just cannot take the abuse alcohol gives it.

When I have had too many drinks, I tend to get a silly, talky kind of drunk. I don’t get overly dramatic, overly loud, or, apparently, overly clever. My mind still tends to wander in ten directions at one time, but much, much slower.

The reasons for imbibing too many cherry vodka and cokes is multi-reasoned. (Isn’t it always?) We had to put one of our dogs down because he just was too mean and unpredictable, and had already bit my son’s kids and my other dog.

This is not wondering about being right or wrong — it’s done. But what it made me feel still lingers.

Do you think we’re often too sensitive for our own good?

That, although we know the truth about unpleasant situations, we still cannot help but over react?

I sometimes get tired of being over sentimental. Over emotional. Over reactive.

I’m much better than I used to be, but if it were tree huggers on the left and reasonable minds on the right, I’d be first in line on the left.

Occasionally I get overly over the top. I think I wrote a blog about this very condition — anthropomorphism. The attribution of human characteristics or behavior to a god, animal, or object. I seem to give human thought to everything …. birds, rabbits, snakes. Like they’re thinking in human terms and words.

There is nothing wrong with being empathetic. Compassionate. Loving. We should be all of the above.

There is, however, a line that needs to be drawn between human thoughts and reactions and those of a bird … or a dog. 

If you don’t get a grip on giving other creatures human thoughts you will be drowned out by the thoughts of millions of ants in the ground and elder bugs crawling on trees and salmon swimming upstream to spawn.

I think you get my drift. 

Back to my earlier point.

Drinking was a knee-jerk reaction to coping with things I didn’t want to cope with. And perhaps for 20 minutes I didn’t. But then life circled back again, especially in the morning when I woke up with a banger headache and remembered why I don’t drink any more.

The experience was still there. The truth had already been spoken. And I still had to handle it all.

As I always say, the past cannot be changed. Deal with it. Life goes on, whether we want it to or not. So accepting every day as it comes is the best way to live long and prosper. Drinking ourselves into oblivion solves nothing. No matter if you’re 20 or 50 or 70.

Even if it did taste good going down. 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Mark Eliott

Australian artist Mark Eliott worked as a novelty and scientific glassblower before making sculptural glass art.

Initially, Eliott worked as a novelty and scientific glassblower to supplement his music studies at the Conservatorium of Music, becoming an accomplished saxophonist..He completed a Master of Visual Arts and Master of Studio Arts at Sydney College of the Arts as well as associate diploma in Jazz Studies (saxophone) at Sydney Conservatorium of Music.His whimsical sculptures reveal a strong ecological message behind the work.What sets Eliott apart from many other makers is the breadth of ways he works the hot glass flame to channel his ideas.He uses the flame like a scribe as he creates 3D illustrations and installations incorporating various media such as music, stop-motion animation and wood carving.

A characteristic of Mark’s work is that at first glance the viewer is drawn like a magnet to his objects because of their lively, colorful, and whimsical appearance.However, as he speaks in layers, what is revealed is the strong ecological message behind the work.This is best explained by describing some of the works which underpins the wide range of highly skilled applications to support his ideas when using the flame with glass. More of Mark Eliott’s wonderfully imaginative art can be found at https://www.markeliottglass.com/.

 

 

A Peek Into Past Galleries

I’ve been having a ball collecting new and unique artists and art for upcoming Galleries. My life has had a few baseballs thrown at it, and sometimes the only way out of it or around the center of it is to concentrate someplace else.

So the Gallery is my escape place.

I thought I would bring a few of the more lost and (perhaps for the moment) forgotten artists that I’ve highlighted in my Sunday Evening Art Gallery. 

Do you remember…….

Natalya Sots

 

Jennifer Maestre

 

 

Spencer Biles

 

 

Anton Semenov

 

Bathsheba Metal

 

Loïs Mailou Jones

 

 

Dream Food

 

 

Marc Giai-Miniet

 

 

Vladimir Rumyanrsev

 

 

Sharon Johnstone

 

Jellyfish

 

 

Earrings

 

Stop by any time!!

 

Channeling and Township — Tiffany Arp-Daleo Art

The thing I enjoy about Tiffany’s art is that she brings the world of Abstract painting into mine with a simple explanation. Or really no explanation is at all.

I am still new to the worlds of Minimalism, Abstract,  Cubism, Surrealism, Fauvism,  and many other -ism art forms. I am pleasantly surprised to learn there are more than portraits and landscapes out there in the painting world.

Some forms of art, like Picasso’s Cubism and Dali’s Surrealism, are hard for me to understand. Especially when the art is representative of a person or a mood. 

But I am learning.

I am certain there are parameters and categories in Tiffany’s art, too. There is meaning and feeling and inspiration in each creation. 

Perhaps I understand better on a beginner’s level because of the squares and cubes and other simpler shapes that I can understand and feel.

I hope you take some time and hop over to her website and see what I mean. 

I love that being a beginner in Modern Art is not as traumatic as I thought it would be.

 

https://tiffanyarpdaleo.com/2022/12/07/channeling/

 

 

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https://tiffanyarpdaleo.com/2022/11/13/township/

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Rukiye Garip

Rukiye Garip was born in 1964 in Bartin, Turkey.She graduated from Gazi University Vocational Education Faculty in 1985.

After her graduation she lived in Ankara, working as a graphic designer.

Garip went to a ceramic workshop in 1987 with a group of friends, and in 1989, started working as an art teacher.

After working in different provinces and schools for 20 years, Garip retired and opened up her own workshop in Balıkesi.

The main distinguishing feature in Garip’s artwork are hidden in the details. She enjoys the peaceful effect of blue and green in her pictures.“Everything that looks good to me in nature can be the subject of my pictures,” Garip explains.

“I want to illustrate as much as possible natural beauties that disappear rapidly and cannot be returned. Not getting rid of the details — I want my work to be noticed for the tiny, beautiful, happy details.”More of Rukiye Garip‘s enchanting paintings can be found at https://www.instagram.com/rukiyegarip/ and https://wooarts.com/rukiye-garip/.

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Vita

Vita of the Vitraaze Glass Shop is a glass painter from Kyiv, Ukraine who decorates teapots, mugs, plates, and various other glassware in striking hues to look like stained glass. Each vibrant piece is hand-painted with non-toxic paint and then heat-set so the designs don’t come off when washed.From floral designs to seasonal motifs, each colorful piece is a functional piece of art.Vita uses non-toxic enamels approved for use with food, then fires the pieces so their designs last as long as possible. They may not be dishwasher safe, but Vita says they’ll hold up to everyday use. I’ve been fond of painting since childhood,” Vita explained.“When I was a student, I read an article about glass painting and decided to try it out. I took a glass bottle and bought special paint for glass in the nearest shop. I then created a very simple design on the bottle, it wasn’t nice at all.”However, Vita didn’t let it discourage her. On the contrary.“I decided to try and perfect it,” she said. “I am crazy about doing everything as well as possible and fell in love with glass painting as I was doing my best to improve. Now, I’ve been at it for 6 years and still love it very much.”The artist usually finds inspiration in nature. “I adore how motifs of the natural world look on tableware and other pieces of décor. It’s a classic.”

More of Vita‘s amazing painted glass can be found at https://www.etsy.com/market/vitraaze_vita and https://mymodernmet.com/hand-painted-glass-mugs-vitraaze/.

 

 

 

Christmas Is Not Always About You

This should be the time of year that good times, good food, and good movies bring us all together. It will be Christmas in a few weeks, the babe will be born, angels will sing, and a little boy will drum a song for the new born king, giving the babe’s mother a headache.

Some of us decorate for the holidays. Some go overboard (I love to visit those houses!) Some barely put a string of lights up in the window. This winter, with my husband’s recent shoulder surgery, we managed to put our Santa collection and singing pieces of coal around for festive interactions. That’s about it.

There’s always the other side of the Christmas season, though. Family  members seem to get sicker this time of year; sons and daughters are celebrating a thousand miles away from home, people are losing their jobs, houses, and self esteem. These things happen all year around, of course, but with sacred and melancholy music pouring out of every musical pore, these tragedies seem more obvious during these last three weeks of the year.

It seems we are always being tested this time of the year, too. On a diet? Try passing up the Christmas strudel and homemade Snickerdoodles. When the song White Christmas blares from the TV, it reminds you that you haven’t seen your grandma or your dad in ages.  Buying all your presents online, filling your carts with gift cards instead of things hand picked for that person may rattle your guilt cart a little, too. 

Christmas season is becoming more stressful in brand new ways. Families used to worry about not having enough food on the table. These days people worry that they won’t be able to replicate the Venti iced skinny hazelnut macchiato, with sugar–free syrup, extra shot, light ice, no whip that your mother-in-law gets at Starbucks all the time.

Christmas provides a neutral ground to start all over again. You could always pencil in a lunch date or a trip to the zoo to go with that gift card, or find the recipe for that intricate coffee drink and include it in your package. It’s never to late to make all kinds of calls on Christmas Day, even if they only last for two minutes a piece.

All kidding aside, everyone doesn’t need to be bubbly happy during the Christmas holidays. Some people have to work Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Some are in the hospital and can’t come over for dinner, others are in rehab and won’t make it for Christmas Eve punch. Some will be missing the ones who made the holiday special, and some will have a migraine from stress and not be able to appreciate all the effort you put into your holiday lights.

Christmas is a special day, but every day should be a special day in your life. We can’t go backwards; we can’t go back to simpler times (which they weren’t), or find the same sacredness that kept the people enthralled three hundred years ago.

I’m dealing with a bunch of stress and garbage this holiday season myself — I almost bah-humbugged putting up lights, nor wanted to listen to “Its The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” or watch Christmas Vacation.

But I did, and am a better person for it.

Life will go on — Christmas celebrations will go on — whether I choose to join them or not. And who knows whose heart I might touch in a special way with just a word or a laugh or a story if I venture out to see family and friends? Who knows which little kid will hold close my compliment on their clothes or toys or their ability to sing all of Jingle Bells?

Remember. Christmas is not always about you.

 

 

 

Be That One Noble Person……….. — Boundless Blessings by Kamal (repost)

A lovely repost for a lovely Monday Morning…….

 

One sparkling smile can bring a friendship to blossom One helpful hand can lift a soul out of misery One constructive word can frame the goal of life One word of cheeriness can bring so much joy One candle lit with an intent that can wipe out darkness One uproarious laughter can conquer gloom One […]

Be That One Noble Person……….. — Boundless Blessings by Kamal

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Nikita Golubev

The whole world is an artist’s canvas, and they can turn almost anything into works of art with their skill.

Nikita Golubev is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Moscow.He has experimented with painting, sketches, and digital art, and even though he doesn’t live near any beautiful natural places, a busy town always gives him new ways to express himself. Golubev uses layers of dust and dirt to take amazing pictures on the surface of cars and trucks, turning the dirt of the city into works of art.He uses dirt and filth as paint to make beautiful pictures of animals, flowers, people, and fictional characters.The artist said that he always tries to make his drawings simple and clear, but he also enjoys putting  depth in the images.The most difficult part of the creative process is to start, but so it is with any art.“One thing is that you can’t undo what you painted, but I find it to be beneficial since it helps me to finish my work and learn when it’s the right time to stop,” he notes.“I get lots of feedback from all around the world, and many come directly from truck drivers. It seems that most people are impressed with that and understand my messages, which is inspiring to me.”More of Nikita Golubev’s artistic handiwork can be found at https://www.instagram.com/proboynick/ and https://mymodernmet.com/dirty-car-art-nikita-golubev/.

 

The Magic of Unusual

You have seen the wonder of my Sunday Evening Art Gallery through this blog since I first opened the Gallery September 14, 2014.

2014. Holy Moley. That sounds like such a long time ago.

And I am still finding amazing, unique, wonderful, different artists and their work.

The world is an amazing place. I may not always agree with its politics or ignorance or boldness but there is always room for Art.

I sometimes wish I could just show everyone what the art world is about. But there is so much of it that I don’t understand. Don’t know the history nor the mechanics or the explanation for so many creative things.

But that doesn’t mean they’re not beautiful. Or unique.

Or strange.

As I always say, beauty in art is relative. The Holocaust was not beautiful. Documenting your dementia is not beautiful. Sketching and painting monsters, both inside and outside of your brain, is not necessarily beautiful.

But they are all necessary if you want to understand more of human nature.

Now, I’m not always sure I want to “understand” more of human nature. The positive side is like heaven; light, sunny, colorful. Positive vibes. Acceptance. Understanding. A comfortable psyche and aura.

As for the dark side of human nature, it can keep its distance. It can stay far away — along with thoughts of denial, erasure, and destruction.

Yet we cannot ignore what exists. And many artists have been able to take that pain and confusion and turn it into something that can be brought into this dimension, at least for understanding and explanation.

That’s why art, in all its forms, is magical.

Looking back through all my Galleries, it’s amazing what I have found. From royal crowns to harps to giant flowers to ancient landscapes to carved food to demons and fairies, there is something for everyone.

As Maximus asks in the movie Gladiator — “Are Your Not Entertained?”

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Cactus (Houseplant Size)

 

Be a cactus in a world of delicate flowers.
~ Unknown

 

Rainbow Hedgehog Cactus (Echinocereus Rigidissimus)

 

Burro’s Tail (Sedum Morganianum)

 

Buddha Temple plant (Crassula Ovata)

 

Bizanguita (Turbinicarpus Alonsoi)

 

Ribbon Plant (Trachyandra Tortilis)

 

Dragon Bone Cactus (Euphorbia Lactea)

 

Cooper’s Haworthia (Haworthia Cooperi)

 

Blue Cactus (Echeveria Secunda)

 

Living Stones (Lithops-Dorotheae)

 

Wine Cup Cactus (Crassula Umbella)

Dinosaur Back Plant (Geometrizans Cristata)

 

 

Encourage or Convince?

How do you give an extra nudge to a creative person who is standing at the edge of the pool, thinking, contemplating, planning on jumping in, but just can’t get around to doing it?

Mind your own business may be your first thought. They will jump in when they’re ready. And you would be right. Kinda.

What do you do when your friend or co-worker or your cousin is really good at some form of art and they want to start “the” project but they just can’t get started?

Encouragement.

Everybody needs it, deep inside everybody wants it.

Creative people are no different.

Most artists have a knack for what they love, and love what they have a knack for. People who write usually love to write. People who mold pottery into vases or bowls or abstract art love the process of creating something from wet, soft, loose, earthy materials such as clay. People who lay out amazing gardens have a knowledge of color and depth along with materials and weather.

So when you see someone who has that love, that potential, to take the next step into creative awesomeness, how do you get them to actually take that step?

I have a very good friend who has had, shall we say, a colorful life. She is quite intuitive and magical and has had success with her own blog, along with a radio show and her private business.

Now she has an idea to write a second book, this time under the guise of fiction, about some unbelievable things that happened in her life. I myself think it’s a great idea. She thinks its a great idea.

But, like me and others, it’s hard to take this great idea and actually do it. Outline it. Write it. Publish it.

There is a line between encouraging someone to follow their dream and trying to convince them to go for it. All the reasons you have for wanting them to succeed might not be their reasons to succeed. You’re not in their head — you are merely a reflection of what they share with you.

Having said that, I think it’s up to all of us to encourage creativity whenever we can. Talk them through it. Listen to their hesitations. Their ideas. Ask questions. Get excited. Share your excitement! You don’t have to understand the process in order to encourage mutual enthusiasm.

My friend is going to write a whopper of a book. Just like you are going to make amazing pottery and popular Christmas wreaths and knit fashionable  sweaters.

Everyone needs encouragement. Don’t be afraid to share yours.

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Pierre-Philippe Thomire

Pierre-Philippe Thomire (1751–1843) a French sculptor, was the most prominent bronzier, or producer of ornamental patinated and gilt-bronze objects and furniture mounts of the First French Empire.

One of the most remarkable bronze makers of his generation, Thomire is recognized for his production of furniture bronze under the Ancien Régime (Late Middle Ages (c. 1500) until 1789 and the French Revolution). He raised this trade under the Empire to its highest level of quality, while creating an industrial company in the early 19th century whose influence was monumental. 

He had received his training in the workshop of Pierre Gouthière, the outstanding Parisian ciseleur-doreur working in the Louis XVI style, before establishing his own shop in 1776. Thomire’s big break came when he began assisting Jean-Claude-Thomas Duplessis, the artistic director of the Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory, in making mounts.When Duplessis died in 1783, Thomire took over his job, supplying all the gilt bronze mounts for the porcelain. This work kept him in business throughout the French Revolution, when many other producers went bankrupt.In 1809 the Emperor Napoleon made him ciseleur de l’empereur (Engraver to the Emperor).Because of the large number of pieces Thomire supplied to the palaces, his firm became fournisseur de leurs majestés (Furniture Suppliers to their Majesties) two years later.His most prestigious commission was the execution of the cradle for the King of Rome which was designed by Pierre Paul Prud’hon and in which Thomire collaborated with the Imperial silversmith Odiot.
He became one of the bronziers attached to the Manufacture Royale de Sèvres, creating the bronze mounts for most of the important creations of the day.Thomire’s business managed to survive even after Napoleon’s downfall, winning numerous medals at various exhibitions.

More of  Pierre-Philippe Thomire‘s amazing sculptures can be found at www.lapendulerie.com  and cedricdupontantiques.com .

 

 

 

 

 

The Cat — Part 2

I don’t know if you remember, but last September I wrote a blog called “The Cat” which was about a cat showing up out of nowhere on the day we had a memorial get-together for the son I had lost in February.

I had noted that “During the day’s festivities, this gray and white cat appeared….she came down and started loving up everyone….. She was not phased by any one or any thing.”

After all kinds of pets and love, she disappeared that evening, never to return. It was a magic moment, a family moment, a passing moment. 

As I noted, I didn’t believe in signs, the afterlife, or a higher power, especially after a traumatic event like I experienced. But. Was this cat merely a stray that wandered into my party? Or did my son send me a sign that all was well on the other side?

Thanksgiving.

Our traditional get together at my house, a full house of cousins, grandparents, kids, grandkids, and brothers. A turkey in the oven, card games after dinner — always a delightful reunion.

As we prepared for our get-together, guess who should show up at the back door?

The Cat.

Out of nowhere, not seen since September. Standing at my back door. I called my grandkids over, and we went outside and picked up and loved the cat. She purred and I’m sure she smiled. We also discovered she was a he.

The cat that wasn’t mine.

The cat that had never been seen since the day of the memorial.

Stopping by on the day that our family was getting together to give thanks. For life, for love. A day we would toast my son who couldn’t be with us, along with others we’ve long loved and missed.

One of my dogs ran to the door and made a fool of himself barking, making the cat uncomfortable. So we put him down and he took off, down the stairs, across the rock drive that led to my back door, and down the path to the fields and houses in the distance.

We named him Mikey.

 

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Mark A. Pearce

Mark A. Pearce is like many of the artists showcased in the Sunday Evening Art Gallery – there are so many fascinating facets of his craft (painting, print making, linocuts) that showcase his marvelous eye for nature.Pearce learned the art of printmaking at Carlisle College of Art, then continued his studies at the Norwich School of Art in England.A professional printmaker and landscape artist living and working in the coastal village of Ravenglass, the local landscape provides much of the inspiration for his work.Of all his many creative talents, Pearce is his well known for his vibrant multi-colored reduction linocuts.A design is meticulously cut into a linoleum surface with a sharp knife, V-shaped chisel or gouge, with the raised (uncarved) areas representing a reversal (mirror image) of the parts to be printed.

The linoleum sheet is inked with a roller and then impressed onto paper or fabric.Pearce’s work shares the colors and serenity of his world with a steady hand and precise determination. More of Mark Pearce‘s paintings and linocuts can be found at https://markapearce.co.uk/.

 

What Did You Think?

I did not want to do this, but the suspense is killing me.

On August 3rd I posted my first free e-book for your pleasure and download.

Corn and Shadows.

I decided long ago that there was no point charging for my writing — I don’t even know if it’s ~good~ writing. It made me feel good to offer something I’ve created to others who love Creativity.  So I did.

My WordPress Record Keeping (as it were) notes that there have been 40  downloads. How wonderful! How exciting!

But my comment section is … how should I say it … bare. So I decided to push through my uncomfortable wall of self-doubt and self-consciousness and ask …

How was the book?

Did you enjoy it? Did you think it stupid? Would you be interested in Book Two of the set? Did it make sense? Did you enjoy the characters?

I’ve thought about offering the set on Amazon, but it’s just too confusing at this point in my life. All I want to do is share my type of creativity and maybe make someone else feel something good.

Soooo …

If you’ve read it, let me know in the comments section. Either here or over on the Book page. If you have an opinion on it, let me know in the comment section.( I can take criticism, so unless you will be burning it in effigy to the Dark Lord because of its horrid and vaporous nature, go ahead and post.) If you’ve never heard of my free e-book, here’s a description and the link: 

Midlife covers a wide range of emotions and second thoughts, and 43-year-old Annabella Powers was experiencing them all.  Frustrated with her job, her husband, and herself, all she wanted was a little excitement in her boring life.
Crashing her car at the bottom of a rain-soaked hill, Anna wakes up in 1880 Claremont with broken ribs and a punctured lung.  Doing her best to recover, she is drawn into an atmosphere of suppression and strict social mores as she befriends the 17-year-old daughter of the estate while matching wits with the domineering matriarch and her bullish son. Besides all of that, Anna finds herself falling for the estate’s caretaker, a handsome rogue half her age.
A story of twisted relationships and forbidden love that may tear the family apart, this is a novel of self-discovery as a woman comes to grips with her age and emotions in a world not her own. 

Download your free copy of Corn and Shadows here.

Okay. The self-promotion part of the blog is over. Have a great Monday!

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Davide Salvadore

Dating back to the 1700’s, Murano glassworker Davide Salvadore is the 11th generation on his mother’s side credited with creating glass pieces.Cocoe Series, Colando

At a young age, Salvadore began following his grandfather, Antonio Mantoan, into the furnaces of Murano, first learning how to build the kilns and later working in the studios of Alfredo Barbini, who is often recognized as the ultimate glassmaker of Murano.Chitamarra Series, Romin

Later, he worked as a glassblower in multiple well-known glass studios, learning from each and improving his abilities.Chitamuro Series, Zuali

In 1998, Salvadore made a conscious decision to turn away from traditional functional glass work. At approximately the same time, he began demonstrating his unique murrine technique.Spingarpa Series, Siego

Salvadore’s love of music influenced him to produce a popular series of full sized glass stringed instruments. Each series is named a unique name he created.Tiraboson Series, Steso

Salvadore’s process takes longer than most would imagine and has many separate steps.Bechino Series, Bascila

Salvadore thinks about the piece he wants to create, settles in his mind on the idea, the colors and shape and then over the following week collects the glass canes and makes the murrines  specifically for that piece.Chitamarra Series, Leca

Murrines are created by stretching a compact mass of hot glass into a long, narrow, multicolored cane. Using his unique process, Salvadore cuts these canes into thin slices which are incorporated into his work in a variety of different shapes and sizes.Chitamuro Series, Ingaua

Then they go into the annealing oven to prepare them to be added to the form being blown. When the glass sculpture is fully cooled, it goes to the cold shop for further detailed work, which makes every piece a one-of-a-kind piece.Cocoe Series, Lupula

 

More of Davide Salvadore’s amazing creations can be found at https://www.davidesalvadore.com/.

 

 

 

Changes

Paternity Court S5 E109

Yesterday morning, in trying to keep our third dog from barking while my husband slept (he works the night shift and the dog is a butt), I thought I’d turn on the TV and flip through all the local (antenna) channels and really look at what was on each one. (I dunno … I get these weird ideas sometimes.)

At 10 a.m. there were four different “court” shows broadcasting. You know court shows — did he/she have sex with this or that person; he/she didn’t pay the last month’s rent because there was a rat in their toilet; he is my child’s baby daddy; she was supposed to be a wedding planner, not a wedding crasher… those kinds of things. And I wondered…

Who are these people?

What kind of people go on these kinds of shows?

Who airs their dirty laundry for the whole world to see?

And these weren’t even the big guns — Judge Judy, The People’s Court.

Okay. First to admit I’m the older generation everyone talks about. The Boomers who have ruined half the country with their ideas and stubbornness. Those who supposedly don’t understand racial inequality and climate change. 

Well, these high-glossed participants accusing partners of personal faux paxs is another thing a lot of us don’t get.

You know me. I’m not saying that all of the above doesn’t exist. Half the time the world and its participants suck. But what that ultimately means is that you have to take care of yourself and those you love. Fix it with the legal system or talk to the people involved or get out of the bad relationship. Get help. Self empowerment.

Not take it to a local TV show and overact and overemote about personal problems and ask thousands of viewers what you should do.

The people in these shows are a hoot. They are loud, sassy, opinionated, and in-your-face. I often wonder if they are encouraged to just “let it go and act it up” in front of the camera, because they do.

I wonder if the judges are real judges.

I wonder how many people really watch these shows. (I’m sure hundreds of thousands as these shows are on every day).

Sometimes I hate being old. Not fitting. Not understanding. Not going with the flow. I understand just enough, and make it a point to learn something new every day (which I do!). I try and help others who ask for my help, and have survived as many ups and downs as anyone else. But there are lots of things I don’t understand.

Court shows and their followers are one of them.

I don’t understand the metric system, either, and yet it exists and works all over the world (except in the U. S.). 

If I haven’t learned it by my age, it’s apparent I’m not going to understand it at all.

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Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Maria Prymachenko

Maria Oksentiyivna Prymachenko (1908-1997) was a Ukrainian village self-taught folk art painter who worked in the naïve art style with drawing, embroidery and painting on ceramics.A peasant woman, Prymachenko was born in the village of Bolotnya in the north of the modern Kiev region of Ukraine.Born to humble means, Prymachenko earned fame in her lifetime for dazzlingly colorful and wildly inventive scenes of animals — lions, birds, horses, and other beasts — covered in riotously hued, almost psychedelic patterns.Born to a peasant family near Chernobyl, the artist suffered from polio as a child, an illness that left her confined to bed for much of her childhood (a later surgery would enable her to walk independently).Her illness instilled a great sense of empathy for the suffering of others, and her caring for all living creatures was to become an important element in her art.Prymachenko found her sources and themes in the decorative wall paintings that were prominent features in Ukraine, in lullabies, folk legends, and fairy tales, and in the nature that surrounded her.In her pieces, the artist unites her marvelous internal world with the age-old tradition of folk  and pagan culture.In 1966, Prymachenko was awarded the Taras Shevchenko National Prize of Ukraine, one of the country’s highest honors, and in the last decades of her life admirers supplied Prymachenko with materials to create larger format works.More of Maria Prymachenko’s inspirational ethic art can be found at ArtNet and WikiArt.

Faerie Paths — Premonition



Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
You fritter and waste the hours in an off-hand way
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way
Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today
And then the one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun
And you run and you run to catch up with the sun, but it's sinking
And racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in a relative way, but you're older,
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death
Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
The time is gone the song is over, thought I'd something more to say...

~ Roger Walters, Pink Floyd, 1973




Temporarily/Permanently on Hold?

I find whenever I have a creative dilemma I come to all of you for help or understanding or to just vent. There is not always a solution to every problem, an answer to every question. Sometimes just “putting it out there” solves half of the problem, period.

So. My thoughts and questions this fine Monday morning are thus:

I haven’t felt like writing/finishing/exploring my current book works in quite some time.

That’s not me. That’s not the writer in me, the explorer in me, the dreamer in me.

What’s different, you may ask? I may ask the same question.

Do you just run out of creativity now and then? Out of mental energy? Out of research energy?

I’m not exhausted nor preoccupied. I am working on losing a few pounds, working around the house, playing with my grandkids when opportunity allows. I am still on the computer a portion of each day, still chatting with friends, both through this blog and in my own world. So I don’t feel like any of that has changed.

But I haven’t been over-enthusiastic about writing big or long pieces in a few months. Maybe longer.

Do you ever feel like you’ve run up to the wall, and instead of climbing the ladder to go up and over you’d rather sit on your side and have a picnic?

Not being creative bothers me. Especially when I extol its virtues at every turn.

Try another craft, you may say. Go for a walk. Clear your head. Visit someplace you’ve never been. I can see all those working in one way or another. Yet none of those seem to go more than skin deep.

I am not moved by my passion for writing like I used to be.

Is that normal?

At this senior age (which is young), will I ever find that heart-pounding urge to write long, adventurous novels like I used to? Is it even worth worrying about?

There are plenty of things to keep me busy during the day and evening, so it’s not like I’m staring quietly out the front window all day. It’s just this particular blister that seems to be bothering me.

I was just wondering if anyone else has reached this stopping point in their lives. I’m not giving up writing — that’s impossible. But the form of it, the shape of it, the substance of it may be changing. 

And I’m not sure if I like it.

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Friedensreich Hundertwasser

Friedensreich Hundertwasser  (1928 –2000) was an Austrian artist and architect who spent his whole career championing the curve of organic nature against the straight line.

Children’s Day-Care Centre Heddernheim, Frankfurt, Germany

 

Born Friedrich Stowasser in 1928, the Viennese artist most commonly known as Friedensreich Hundertwasser (or ‘Kingdom-of-Peace Hundred-Water’) started his artistic revolution by adopting a new name.

The Waldspirale, Darmstadt, Germany

 

Even though Hundertwasser first achieved notoriety for his boldly-colored paintings, he is more widely known for his individual architectural designs.

Kuchlbauer Tower, Lower Bavaria, Germany

 

The common themes in his work utilize bright colors, organic forms, a reconciliation of humans with nature, and a strong individualism.

Hundertwasser House, Bad Soden, Germany

 

From the mid 70s, all his amazing buildings were ergonomically curved and ecologically integrated with natural features of the landscape.

Kunsthaus Abensberg, Abensberg, Germany

 

There are no corners, edges or straight lines. Instead, there is the courage to create organic forms, colors, joy, and include the human dimension –  living works of art.

Hundertwasserbrunnen Fountain, Zwettl, Austria

 

Many of his creations highlighted architecture with uneven floors, unique windows, and spontaneous vegetation.

Green Citadel , Magdeburg, Germany

 

Hundertwasser stood out as an opponent of “a straight line” and any standardization, expressing this concept in the field of building design.

Ronald McDonald Kindervallei, Valkenburg, Netherlands

 

More of Friedensreich Hundertwasser‘s amazing architecture can be found at https://hundertwasser.com/  and https://www.touropia.com/hundertwasser-architecture/.

 

Two Fun Creative Blogs to Check Out!

Happy Friday Friends!

Today I read two fun, amazing, creative people and their blogs that I follow that  you must check out!

One you have already heard me talk about — Daily Fiber with Laura Kate. This quilt is just amazing. And so different.

 

Friday Finish: Badlands

The second is from a blog I just started following — jingersnaps …by Jinger. Her knitting is fun and amazing and different — as is her enthusiasm!

Zau. Ber. Ball.

Posted on 
I love Creativity in ALL its forms!  Any referrals?
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Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Edas Wong

Hong Kong-based street photographer Edas Wong takes photos that result in both optical illusions and funny moments.Wong chose street photography because it didn’t require for him to learn advanced techniques or buy expensive gear – the small camera he had was more than ideal for a beginner like him.
The artist started dabbling in street photography in 2012. Some call his work “accidental photography,” but it’s more that Wong manages to be in the right place at the right time.He accomplishes his distinct style by using layering, lighting, juxtaposition, and merging the foreground and background.He has developed a distinct eye for sensing when the ordinary is about to briefly turn miraculous, a split second of intuition and anticipation.“At any given moment, there exist fleeting instants of oneness where by some cosmic power, or perhaps plain luck, two things merge together,” Wong explains.Wong approaches the process of street photography as a somewhat meditative experience, always trying to clean his mind as much as possible and concentrating on whatever he’s capturing.
“Street photography actually saves me,” Wong cexplains.“I empty my mind, observe all connections between objects, and concentrate on everything around me on the street.”More of Edas Wong‘s exceptional photography can be found at https://www.instagram.com/edaswong/ and on Facebook.