Sweet Dragonfly.

Lovely bright thoughts … love Purplerays!

Purplerays

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Sweet Dragonfly.

You will see me when it’s light,
My colors dazzle and delight.
I’m ancient in the world you live
And if you ask me, I shall give…

The wisdom that is mine, is yours
A set of keys for all the doors
You’ll need to open, one by one
Until your earthly work is done.

With love and magick, you shall weave
Together all that you believe.
To form a blessed soul connection
And find a path of new direction.

Take my energy deep within
And feel the transformation begin.
On my healing powers, you can rely
For I am you, Sweet Dragonfly!

~ Janet K. Rauch

Art Liza Lambertini
Text & image source: Snowwolfs Woodland Nook https://web.facebook.com/Snowwolfswoodlandnook/

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Burning Philosophical Questions

Every now and then my mind tries to tackle the bigger questions in life. Questions that don’t have exact answers. Some are humorous, some are disturbing. How I get off on these tangents I’ll never know. But did you ever wonder ….

  • The Great Pyramid took about 20 years to build. A study calculated how many men would be needed daily to deliver “340 stones each day” and determined there were likely 1,200 people in the quarry and 2,000 transporting the stones, while others must have cut stones and set them into place. There were also cooks, cleaners, and caretakers for the equipment. Assuming one bowel movement per day, where did all of these people go to the bathroom every day?
  • On a more sobering note, the Battle of Cannae (where Hannibal crushed the Romans) in 216 BC, the battle cost the lives of almost all of the Romans involved – nearly 90,000 — in one day. Even if the numbers are skewered a bit, what did that battlefield look like in the end? What happened to the bodies?
  • Did toddler Jesus throw tantrums and curl up in a ball or scream for 10 minutes when he didn’t get his way? Did he write on Mary’s walls with mud or play fetch with a dog or yell at Joseph “Weave me awone!” ?
  • The world now has an idea of the construction of Stonehenge:  the first phase around 3000 BC was little more than a circular bank and ditch with the main structure built of wood;  the second phase began about 2150 BC and continued for 150 years (when the first of the bluestones were moved into place);  then the early Bronze Age, between 2100 to 1500 BC, which brought the outer circle and trilithons (the ruins we see today). Fine. But how did they lay those humongous lintels (cross stones) across the tops of those pillars?
  • The first person in history whose name we know is Kushim, an accountant from Mesopotamia from around 3200 BC, 33 centuries before Christ, who chiseled his name on a tablet. Who gave him his name? Did they have a name?

And a few still unanswered questions from my Cosmic Questions quest back in February of 2016:

  • It is a fact that the closer you get to the speed of light, the more time slows down. So isn’t a moot point to drive faster, when you actually arrive at your destination later?

and ….

  • If infinity is infinite, and we can see no end to it, how do we know it’s even there?

Whew! I feel so much better that I got all these questions out of my head ….

Sunday Evening Art Gallery (midweek) — Rainbow Clouds

A Rainbow Cloud is a meteorological phenomenon known as cloud iridescence. Iridescence like this happens when the clouds are very thin and are made of similar-sized water droplets. What you’re seeing, essentially, is part of a corona — when a rainbow-like halo engulfs the sun or the moon — and the bands and colors change as the cloud evolves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank You For Being a Good Person

Funny thing. On the way to somewhere else, some other topic, some other problem …

Something as small as an oncoming car dimming their brights as they approached my car on the road last night made me think that there are still so many good people still around.

With all the political madness, with all the over-the-top Tweets and Facebook responses, there are a lot of cruel, senseless people out there. We see them on the news, read their posts, see them on video channels. One sentence can shake the ground  under your feet. One jeer can stab your heart. One boast can scramble you senses. Make you wonder what is wrong with people.

Then you see someone with really bright lights coming towards you on a dark highway dim them so you can see the road. You see someone knock something off the grocery shelf and the person behind them pick it up. You see the receptionist at the doctor’s office offering to help patients fill out paperwork. People you know and don’t know still go to work in hospitals and clinics, knowing they are putting their health — and life — on the line every single day.

You see people visiting loved ones through glass windows at nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Food drive-throughs give away dog cookies for your canine partner in the back seat along with your burger and fries. You see teachers learn a whole new form of education in mere months, just so they can reach out to their students.

People still hold doors for other people. People still pull over to help the accident in front of them. People still call 911 for others.

There is still a lot of goodness in the world.

What has changed is our perception of what is good.

Many of us tend to see goodness as a great, big balloon that shimmers and shines above us. Feeding the poor. Sending stimulus checks to those in need. Rescuing children from slave traffickers. 

These are indeed great acts of goodness. They are above and beyond the call and reach of most people. These people are truly a positive influence in this dark world.

But there are also a hundred different good things that happen that one never really think about. Someone stops at a stop sign. Someone rounds up on their purchase so the extra can go to a charity. People throw a dollar into the Salvation Army bucket every time they pass one. People donate old coats and eyeglasses to charity drives and furniture to Goodwill.

These are good people, too. We are all good people.

Liking a post. Wearing a mask. Turning the TV down. Carrying out food from a local restaurant rather than a chain eatery. Asking how someone’s mother or sister is doing with their illness. Signaling when turning left or right in your car. Saying a prayer for someone.

Don’t underestimate the good in the world. It is these small gestures that make our lives easier. Sweeter. Safer.

I thank you all for all your small gestures.

 

 

Infinity’s Rings

Light and love and just something beautiful… from a fellow writer/blogger …

The Ink Owl

Let me capture infinity unfolding.

A picture that contains twilight and dawn.

So begins each cycle within cycle.

Thought within thought.

Dream within dream.

As age greets youth with loving embrace.

Where green vine traces dried root.

And fresh blossoms highlights dropping petals.

What a round we find ourselves in.

Alway seeing what is around us but not beyond the bend.

Take this time to appreciate our world’s unity.

Moments within moments within time.

Connected and yet running parallel to each other.

Captured in a never ending blink of an eye.

-M.E. InkOwl

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Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Scott Hagan

Scott Hagan, known as the Barn Artist, specializes in hand-painting larger than life designs on various types of buildings, especially schools and barns. 

Hagan has painted a variety of signage, murals of all types and more across Ohio and 18 other states for the past 23 years.

Located in Jerusalem, Ohio, Hagan’s  career  began when he was hired as part of the Ohio Bicentennial barn painting campaign.

After finishing his last Ohio bicentennial barn in 2002, the Belmont County man kept right on going.

People wanted his freestyle paint jobs — Hagan still uses an old-fashioned brush — on their barns, silos, grain elevators, storefronts and gym floors.

His portfolio has grown to include not only the 88 Bicentennial Barns, but more than 800 additional barns, silos, and other structures across the country.

In 2015, Hagan began painting Ohio History Barns, commissioned by the Ohio History Connection and local historical societies, to present Ohio’s rich heritage of significant people, places, and achievements, and to whet the public’s appetite to learn more.“This is such a lost art or forgotten art,” Hagan says. But not forgotten by everyone.

Hagan is trying to keep an old tradition going — one gallon of paint at a time.

More of Scott Hagan‘s amazing over-sized paintings can be found at http://barnartist.com/.

 

 

Lazily Giving Thanks

Here it is, Saturday night. 

No Black Friday. No nine extra people over for Thanksgiving dinner. No sitting on the sofa after Thanksgiving dinner going through a hundred sales flyers looking for tons of things we don’t need. We did it as a family tradition, and just had fun with it.

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was such a miniaturized version I didn’t even recognize it. Football games Thanksgiving Day were postponed because of Covid 19. Stores were closed Thursday, and I read shopping on Friday was down 52%.

My house looks like a bulldozer ran through it, knocking over towers of Hot Wheels and Frozen dolls and Hungry Hungry Hippos with no balls in sight (the grandkids stayed over for two nights).

So here it is, Saturday night. I’m exhausted. Nothing on TV worth a second look. Reading will give me a headache. Just ain’t gettin’ that creative vibe this late at night. Yet I wake up every morning and thank the heavens and the galaxies and the powers that be that I am alive and well and have so many blessings in my life. 

I think this Covid-19 thing has made monsters out of the weak and heroes out of the  reticent. People are not themselves. Or are pretending to be more than themselves. Or are turning into alternative forms of themselves. But they are all affected by the isolation. The loneliness. The fear. And deal with it differently.

It’s one thing to pull away on purpose, cutting the social media ties, and read a book, paint, sit and quilt, or go fishing for as long as you want.

It’s something else when you are forced to do it alone. Day after day. No sharing, no hugs, no conversation, no eye to eye contact.

I have known a few who have been stricken with Covid-19. Two survived, one did not. And I am reminded every day that I awake without a fever or delirium or pain how blessed I am. I can be creative or lazy or loving or depressed and still have a bed to sleep in and food in the frig. 

Not everyone has that luxury.

Or those basics.

I have met a lot of great people through this blog, and I am enjoying all the writing and poetry and quilting and just talking you all are doing. I love how you keep things real. Normal. Funny. Bittersweet. And unpretentious.

Let’s keep it going. 

And, you know — I could still order three, get three free at Bath and Body Works online — Super Sunday and all — that’s kinda Black Friday-ish —

 

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Most people who blog will write a Thanksgiving blog thanking the universe for the abundance and blessings they have.

I am one of those blog people.

But I will keep it short and sweet — gotta get baking —

 

 

Thank you for following

For sharing

And caring

For reading and breathing and 

waking up every morning

knowing you have another chance

to be creative

to be loving

to be nice

to make a difference

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

 

Now — back to making that apple strudel —

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery (midweek) — Hadieh Shafie

Hadieh Shafie, a Tehran born artist based in Brooklyn and Baltimore, constructs intricate designs with low-relief paper sculpture.

Many of her works are comprise of tightly coiled strips of brightly colored paper bearing calligraphy, arranged in patterns.Shafie described them as “part sculpture, part drawing, part artist’s book.”In works comprised of paper scrolls, Shafie creates individual strips of paper that are marked with the word “eshghe,” both hand-written and printed in Farsi.

While the most direct translation of “eshghe” to English is “love,” its expressive power is “passion.” Shafie chose this word because it encompasses her longing and search for acceptance and understanding.

Writing by hand on strips of paper, Shafie repeats what is printed, filling in gaps to emphasize a particular, existing form.

As Shafie rolls the paper, the colors on the edges of the strips align, creating bands of alternating hue that stand along side one another, while at once, seeming to merge into new color formations which are often delightful surprises.

During the repetitive process of adding paper strips to create individual scrolls, text and symbols are hidden within these concentric rings of material as the scroll grows outward.

The results are mesmerizing, detailed, colorful representations of Shafie’s passions.

More of Hadieh Shafie’s inspirational and amazing art can be found at https://www.hadiehshafie.com/.

 

 

Let’s Get Giffy!

I thought about writing about the craziness that’s creeping onto Facebook posts from people who have been locked in by Covid19  for too long today, but I thought — why whine about things you can do nothing about when you can share some wonderful gifs?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Need a little more gif in your life? Here’s links to my other gift fests:

 

Gif Time!

Went Gif Shopping Today!

Been Gif’n Again

Gif A Roonie

Gif Today – Gif Tomorrow

Give-A-Gif Thursday!

Thursday Evening on the Veranda (with a sweater) – gifs

 

Have fun!

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Tom Banwell

The beauty of art is in the making– the time and dedication put into each unique creation. That is what makes the work of Tom Banwell so fascinating.

Banwell is a leather worker, steampunk artist, and mask maker who creates handcrafted leather plague doctor masks, costumes, and accessories.Largely self-taught, Banwell was innovative in the way he learned to imitate bronze, marble and wood using resin.In 2008, he hit his stride in the discovery of leather mask-making, his passion and business to this day. He incorporates resin with his leatherwork, which adds to the richness of his masks.A plague doctor (Italian: medico della peste) was a special medical physician who treated those who had the plague. They were specifically hired by towns that had many victims in times of plague epidemics.In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, some doctors wore beak-like masks which were filled with aromatic items to protect them from putrid air, which (according to the miasmatic theory of disease) was seen as the cause of infection. 

Thus the influence for Banwell’s steampunk-tinged hand-made masks and other works.More of Tom Banwell‘s extraordinary work can be found at http://tombanwell.com/ and https://www.etsy.com/shop/tombanwell/.

 

 

Creativity — Again and Again

John Lemke

I know that word is my catch phrase lately, and that lately has extended for the past few years in all kinds of directions.

I never went to college; I was one of those work-right-after-graduation kinda gals. I never took formal art classes of any sort, but I’ve always been in love with creativity.

Being “stuck” in our homes because of this Covid madness, I am finding more and more people are striking out on creative endeavors of their own. If for a commercial end or a play end, people are connecting with that fourth dimension and having the best time hanging out there.

I’ve mentioned before that I have quite a few creatives in my life; one best friend crochets these amazing blankets and jackets; one creates scrapbooks that are museum quality; one has taken to making impressively creative signs to hang around the house or patio. One friend from long ago makes quilts to die for, and another burns the most amazing animal scenes into wood.

Online, everywhere I turn I am finding people talking about their crafts. Even if it’s only in passing. I follow a potter, a quilter, and a number of painters, poets, and writers. Some of those I follow take gorgeous photographs. It’s everything and anything.

It’s so much fun, isn’t it?

Just when I think I’m burned out of ideas and inspiration, I come across someone who has done something wonderful and it gets me going again.

Creative people don’t need to be crafters, either. Some are redecorating their homes, including murals, colors, and textures. Some create garden scapes every spring. Some are refinishing furniture or restoring old cars.

It’s all in the movement.

It’s all about allowing yourself to have fun. Not judging your quality or quantity or expertise.

It’s all about finding that sparkle that’s buried deep inside you and letting it tickle you.

I myself have created what I am going to call Angel Tears, mobiles of a single fishing line made with mirrors and colored crystals. The Angel Tear is the big crystal teardrop that weights the mobile.

Who knows where this will lead. An art fair, an online business — or merely Christmas presents for family and friends.

If you have an inkling about doing something creative, stop thinking about it. Just do it. Don’t judge, unless it’s with your technique that will only improve with practice. Don’t worry who will like it, buy it, talk about it, or throw it away.

That’s not the purpose of art. Of ART.

Let’s have fun this Covid season! What have you got to lose?

Tell me — what is your side creativity project?

 

 

There is divinity in the clouds …. Lailah Gifty

I thought about making today’s post a Sunday Evening Art Gallery, as it is all about art. The art of the sky. Mother Earth’s cloud formations are so amazing there often are no words. Nature is indeed a gift for all to enjoy. So come and see her in all her glory. It’s much more than a Gallery today.

Where possible I have added the photographer’s moniker.

 

Arcus clouds, Wellington, New Zealand — PhillipC

 

 

Asperatus formation, Canterbury, New Zealand — wittap

 

 

Cloud Mothership

 

 

Cloud Phenomenon over Moscow

 

 

HDR Mammatus, NYC — MMooney

 

 

Lenticular cloud at sunset in Puerto-Natales — stiffupperlip

 

 

Island with Cloud Hat

 

 

Wave clouds, Tadrart region, Algeria –Wikimedia Commons

 

 

Thunderstorm cloud and mammatus effect — Alan Dyer

 

 

Roll cloud, Punta del Este, Uruguay — Jeff McNeill

 

 

Kelvin-Helmholtz instability effect — Amy Christie Hunter

 

Help — Still Relevant

Heard this song/these lyrics today as I was folding laundry. Usually hits of the past don’t stick to me, but these did. Maybe it’s the times. Maybe its the atmosphere. Maybe its the truth.

 

When I was younger, so much younger than today
I never needed anybody’s help in any way
But now these days are gone, I’m not so self assured
Now I find I’ve changed my mind and opened up the doors

Help me if you can, I’m feeling down
And I do appreciate you being round
Help me get my feet back on the ground
Won’t you please, please help me?

And now my life has changed in oh so many ways
My independence seems to vanish in the haze
But every now and then I feel so insecure
I know that I just need you like I’ve never done before

Help me if you can, I’m feeling down
And I do appreciate you being round
Help me get my feet back on the ground
Won’t you please, please help me?

 

Monday Again?

Here it is — it’s Monday again.

The typical drag-your-derriere out of bed, increase your coffee intake, turn-the-sound-down-on-the-news kinda morning.

Now you would think that, since being retired for a year, I’d be over that kind of gut-kick reaction to just another day of the week.

I’m not.

Maybe my first reaction is a form of habit. After all, I worked for fifty years, all on the day shift, always having to get up at 6 a.m. five days a week. I don’t think you can just “turn off” that kind of Pavlov’s dog reaction.

Maybe it’s because there’s always something that needs to be done. No matter your country, state, town, marital status, or pant’s size, there’s always something you need to do on a Monday morning. Laundry. Call the plumber. Send your kids off to school. Go to a doctor’s appointment.

There’s always something waiting for you Monday Morning.

I do admit that days here tend to blur into one another. I find myself asking myself (or others) what day it is. Isn’t today Tuesday? Don’t we have to drop something off at the post office today? Did we talk to the kids about Saturday yesterday? Or three days ago?

I think with being home every day with the fear of Covid 19 striking you or those you love tends to blur your thoughts and memories after a while. I never thought I was going to be a jet setter once I retired, but there were things I was going to finally be able to do.

UhHuh. Not yet. No way. Sit down.

I think we all take a major sigh Monday mornings because it gives us a sense of routine. Of beginning again. Even if we don’t do the things we used to do, it gets us in the mind set that there are daily responsibilities we need to take care of every day.

Acknowledging Monday makes retirees blend in better with those who still have to work five days a week. Gets us into a  fixed rhythm like doing homework five days a week. Gives us a sense of routine. Of setting goals and finishing them all within a specific time frame.

For most of us, weekends are still the time we set aside to do things we don’t normally do during the “work” week. Vacation. Visit family. Mow the lawn. Change the oil in the car. Stay up late. Go to the Farmer’s Market.

We need to keep our special time special. We can’t allow one day to melt into the next into the next. It gets too easy to let go and have life become one melted puddle day after day, week after week. No differentiation to remind us that we are always growing, always learning, and always making order out of chaos every single day.

Today is Monday. I’ve already had a slice of cheesecake for breakfast, thrown in a load of laundry, brushed the cat, and made a to-do list for the week. I may not be punching a time clock like days of old, but I feel that I still fit in the rhythm of the day and of the week. That I fit in with the buzzing world around me. At least for four more days.

Can’t wait till Saturday!

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Hans Holbein the Younger

Hans Holbein the Younger (1497-1543) was a German painter, draftsman, and designer, renowned for the precise rendering of his drawings and the compelling realism of his portraits, particularly those recording the court of King Henry VIII of England.

Henry VIII

Holbein the Younger was one of the most celebrated portraitists of the sixteenth century.

Jean De Dinteville and Georges de Selves

At an early age he won commissions to paint portraits of prominent merchants in Basel, and in later years he attracted powerful patrons in England, including Sir Thomas More.

Sir Thomas More

He also produced religious art, satire, and Reformation propaganda, and he made a significant contribution to the history of book design.

Anne of Cleves

Holbein’s art has sometimes been called realist, since he drew and painted with a rare precision.

Edward, Prince of Wales

He was never content with outward appearance, however; he embedded layers of symbolism, allusion, and paradox in his art, to the lasting fascination of scholars.

Jane Seymour

His portraits were renowned in their time for their likeness, and it is through his eyes that many famous figures of his day are pictured today.

Henry VIII

More of Hans Holbein the Younger‘s portraits can be found at https://www.hans-holbein.org/

Listen to the Wind Once in a While

Well, a little too much surfing, a little too many nameless movies in the background, a little too much tightening of my blogs, and poof! Internet slowdown! I can’t get enough speed to watch my Chinese movies with English subtitles; can’t post on my blog, nor go to a Zoom conference without turning on my phone’s hot spot.

How did we survive before today?

How did we make it without the Internet? Without a thousand movies to choose from to watch at any given moment; or without playing nonsensical games online where you can stab and slash and overtake others to your heart’s delight?

I blame the Pandemic.

Of course, these days I blame the Pandemic for everything —  my weight gain, my non-existent social life, my writing lull, my lack of motivation. One can only sit and watch the bluejay eating out of the front deck feeder for so long before you want to get out there and snack yourself.

The Internet is a curious thing. I have made friends in Australia, Spain, and Tennessee. I have found amazing artists that I never knew existed. I have walked through the streets of Paris and down some backroads in cities I’ve never heard of through Google Maps. I have learned about pottery and quilting and growing flowers from wonderful people I follow online.

Yet I have wasted countless hours sifting through images, reading celebrity gossip, and watching terrible movies that never should have been made. All that boredom had caused me to go past my high speed Internet throttle, slowing everything down to a crawl. 

Life is not a crawl — it’s a sprint! Get it all done in one day! In one hour! Don’t waste your time, for one day you will turn around and you will have no more of it!

Without the Internet as my best buddy I had to go back to reading hard-covered books and hand-making wind sparklers. I had to watch some of the DVDs that have been gathering dust downstairs and take the dog for a fetchie walk at least twice a day. I’ve had to clean my house a little more thoroughly and actually talk to people in real time.

How dare my zest for life and creativity turn me in an entirely new direction?

Actually is is good to get away from the ease and madness of electronics. To go for a walk in the wind or pull some weeds or feel the pages of a real book. It’s good to use the silence around you as background music once in a while. To bypass the jibber jabber of mindless TV personalities and formula movies that are the same no matter what the title.

My new monthly Internet allotment arrived this morning. Writing this blog was priority number one. Why?

Habit.

But I’m still sitting in silence, listening to the wind blow around the windchimes outside, watching the clouds roll in, thinking about making some more Angel Tears.

The Internet and it’s boredom isn’t calling so strongly today. And I like that.

I like being my own person again.

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery (on Monday) — Jamie Moreno

How do select a truly unique jeweler/artist to showcase? There are as many jewelry designs as there are stars in the sky.

Jamie Moreno was born in 1943  in Madrid, Spain.

Not only is he a renowned jeweler, but a regal horse breeder of the Pure Spanish Race, “El Caballo de Pura Raza Espanola.” Designer of signature jewelry, Moreno has created numerous jewels, many of them published in International and Contemporary Jewelry Yearbooks and in different specialized journals.

Moreno displays his jewelry in various Spanish jeweler shops in Madrid, Marbella, Asturias and Castellón,  and in other  art galleries in Madrid.

In order to execute pieces of high jewelry he uses gold, silver, gems and semiprecious stones acquired in the most prestigious international gem fairs globally.His jewelry is modern, yet holds the tradition of centuries of fine jewelry craftmanship in Spain.

With his stunning ideas and beautiful, colorful exhibition of color in his pieces this designer honors some of his Spanish heritage.

More of Jamie Moreno‘s unique and signature jewelry can be found at www.jaimemoreno.com.

Sunday Evening Art Gallery Blog — Don Esser

Since I have crossed my Internet usage limit until Tuesday, I thought I would repost this one from 5 years ago today!

 

I have often found that letting the artist explain his craft is the most rewarding explanation of all.

riding-the-wave

So it is with Don Esser: Blacksmith, Metal Artist, and Sculptor.

odin-with-winged-helmet

Since 1976, using hammer and anvil, I’ve been pounding, twisting, and shaping hot metal.

chi-scroll

As a self-taught artist, my approach to life and art has always had an element of fearlessness to it. From childhood on, art has always been a natural, joyful part of my life.

rooster-with-glass-heart

There is a fluid lightness to my work partly because I’m enjoying making it and partly because, after so many years, I have learned the language of my materials.

balancing-act

I try to capture the essence in as few lines as possible, with a sense of fluidity and grace that can be achieved working in the forge.

vortex

It is a little like stealing fire from the gods and my goal is to put a bit of that sense of wonder into each piece I make.

arrow-to-the-sky
That playful quality in my work also means that most of my pieces are one of a kind. 

Breaking the Tape

People often ask, “How long does it take you to make it?”

journey-of-life

My answer is, “36 years of practice, 50-plus years of training, and a lifelong desire to make art.”

atomic-rock

More of Don Esser’s remarkable work can be found at Steel Wool Studio (http://steelwoolstudio.com/don-esser.htm).

Sunday Evening Art Gallery (midweek) — Tom Hussey

Sometimes we need photography to create a complex interplay between reality and illusion. Welcome to Tom Hussey’s world.

Tom Hussey is an American photographer specializing in commercial advertising and lifestyle photography.

His “Reflections” campaign was based on a portfolio shoot to illustrate the concept of thinking of yourself as younger than you are.The idea struck him after meeting Gardner, a WWII veteran who was turning 80. He told Hussey he just didn’t feel it was possible he could be 80 years old.Since he himself was getting older, he realized he was thinking the same thing, and imagined it must be a very universal feeling.So Hussey photographed Gardner staring into his bathroom mirror and seeing himself as a 25-year-old man.Most notable about Hussey is that he allows himself the freedom to continue the random exploration of all things visual.The results connect all of us with our younger selves.More of Tom Hussey‘s wide world of photography can be found at https://tomhussey.com/. 

 

 

The Passing of Indian Summer

I love Indian Summers.

For those who live in a perpetual warm climate year round, an Indian Summer is a  period of unseasonably warm, dry weather that sometimes occurs in autumn in temperate regions of the northern hemisphere during September to November.

It’s a beautiful time.

The days are warm and often sunny, the nights chilly and clear. The air seems to sparkle with highlights that still linger from hot summer days. 

Of course, here in the Midwest, the trees shine in glory with their pageant of the year, turning colors of gold and bronze and red and a warm, soft orange. They remind us that nothing lasts forever … beauty, vitality, all are in a moment’s glory. That as much as we wish it to be otherwise, life turns and twists and goes on.

Today is the madness of the election for the president of the United Sstates. Never in my 67 years have I seen such chaos, hatred, and ignorance from both sides. If there is a true heart that beats for the wellfare of the people, it is well hidden under layers of misunderstanding, frustration, and sensationalism.

Perhaps it is in the folds of warm November days and cold November nights we can find solace, one way or another.

The U.S. Sun wrote an article shares the origin of the phrase “Indian Summer”:

It’s claimed the term was first coined by the Native Americans, and it was used there in the late 18th century. The first reported use of the word was recorded in Letters from an American Farmer in 1778 by American soldier turned farmer J. H. St. John de Crèvecoeur.

“Then a severe frost succeeds which prepares it to receive the voluminous coat of snow which is soon to follow; though it is often preceded by a short interval of smoke and mildness, called the Indian Summer,” he wrote.

 The world has been observing this second warming of the land ever since the pilgrims settled in America; since Europe started building castles, since the Chinese started building dynasties. It may skip a year or two; it may be hot as sin one day and snow the next. 

Nature is wonderful in its beauty and ebb and flow.

The waves of politics will always ebb and flow, too. All we can do is hold on, seize the day, and continue doing what we were brought onto this Earth for.

Continue to live — to live and love and walk with the sun on our faces and the breeze in our hair. To find the good in each other and nurture that feeling so it flows as easily as fall to winter or day to night.

Let the good moments surround you and become a part of you.

Like Indian Summers.

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Niyoko Ikuta

A sculpture made of glass that appears as if flowing effortlessly like water, exuding a dancing rhythm – such is the beauty created by Japanese artist Niyoko Ikuta.

The artist started making these sculptures in 1980, as she was fascinated by and explored the capacity of light to reflect and refract while passing through broken sections of plate glass.Thus she laminated together sheets of glass, exposing their cross sections to create these sculptures.Breaking boundaries of imagination, in these sculptures the artist gives form to feelings of “gentleness and harshness, fear, limitless expansion experienced through contact with nature, images from music, ethnic conflict, the heart affected by joy and anger, and prayer.”The one thing that makes this art form so engaging and accessible is that these are not arbitrary forms created for aesthetic appeal.Rather, they stimulate and bring forth these feelings in the viewer, breathing life into their surroundings.More of Niyoko Ikuta‘s delicate work can be found at https://lighthouse-kanata.com/artists/niyoko-ikuta and http://www.artnet.com/artists/niyoko-ikuta/.

 

 

 

Happy Halloween!

 

It’s close to midnight and something evil’s lurkin’ in the dark
Under the moonlight you see a sight that almost stops your heart
You try to scream but terror takes the sound before you make it
You start to freeze as horror looks you right between the eyes,
You’re paralyzed

‘Cause this is thriller, thriller night
And no one’s gonna save you from the beast about to strike
You know it’s thriller, thriller night
You’re fighting for your life inside a killer, thriller tonight

You hear the door slam and realize there’s nowhere left to run
You feel the cold hand and wonder if you’ll ever see the sun
You close your eyes and hope that this is just imagination, girl
But all the while you hear a creature creepin’ up behind
You’re outta time

‘Cause this is thriller, thriller night
There ain’t no second chance against the thing with the forty eyes, girl
Thriller, thriller night
You’re fighting for your life inside a killer, thriller tonight

Night creatures call
And the dead start to walk in their masquerade
There’s no escaping the jaws of the alien this time (they’re open wide)
This is the end of your life

They’re out to get you, there’s demons closing in on every side
They will possess you unless you change that number on your dial
Now is the time for you and I to cuddle close together
All through the night I’ll save you from the terror on the screen,
I’ll make you see

That this is thriller, thriller night
‘Cause I can thrill you more than any ghoul could ever dare try
Thriller, thriller night
So let me hold you tight and share a killer, thriller, chiller
Thriller here tonight

Darkness falls across the land
The midnight hour is close at hand
Creatures crawl in search of blood
To terrorize y’all’s neighborhood
And whomsoever shall be found
Without the soul for getting down
Must stand and face the hounds of hell
And rot inside a corpse’s shell

The foulest stench is in the air
The funk of forty thousand years
And grisly ghouls from every tomb
Are closing in to seal your doom
And though you fight to stay alive
Your body starts to shiver
For no mere mortal can resist
The evil of the thriller

~Rod Temperton/Michael Jackson

Faerie Paths — Baking

 

 

The measuring and mixing always smoothed out her thinking processes — nothing was as calming as creaming butter — and when the kitchen was warm from the oven overheating and the smell of baking chocolate, she took final stock of where she’d been and where she was going.  Everything was fine.

― Jennifer Crusie, Maybe This Time

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery (midweek) — Cars

Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz
My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends
Worked hard all my lifetime, no help from my friends
So Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz

~Janis Joplin

 

 

Mercedes-Benz 500K

 

Rolls Royce

 

1896 Roberts Electric Car

 

Cheetah 700

 

1957 Chevy Bel Air

 

1899 Fiat-3.5 CV

 

Stout Scarab

 

1931 Duesey Torpedo Side

 

Lancia Stratos Zero

 

Delahaye 175S Saoutchik Roadster

What Are You Afraid Of?

Anton Semenov

Sitting here this evening, listening to Danse Macabre by Camille Saint-Saëns (you must listen to the entire danse if you haven’t already), thinking about Halloween coming up, thinking of all the boring scary movies I’ve tried to watch, and I wonder — what are you afraid of?

I don’t mean DEATH or Dismemberment or Alzheimer’s — those topics are scary on the sunniest of days. Or blood and guts. That’s a given.

I mean spooky-wise. Creepy-wise. 

As I’ve told you before, I live on 14 acres, some of which are natural fields, a spot in the middle that is cleared, then woods in the back. There is a trail that goes through the woods to the back gate/fence. It is a beautiful walk in the daylight … it’s safe and not very long.

I will not walk that path down to the gate at night.

During the day it looks like Ireland. At night it looks like the Haunted Woods From Hell. There’s no telling who or what is hiding right off the side of the trail. Uh huh, no way. Nope.

I also am afraid of spiders. Not really afraid — just creeped out. It is 1/1000 my size, and I scream when one crawls on  me. Flingomatic — I don’t kill them, but I do have one hell of a flicker finger or stand-up-and-shake move. They are nature’s helpers. They spin awesome webs. An artist couldn’t do better. Just not on my person.

I also don’t like walking around in the dark. The dark is atmospheric. Comforting. Quiet. Maybe it’s just that I can’t see well at night. More likely it’s that I watch too many scary movies. Just tonight I watched the second chapter of The Haunting of Bly Manor, and the au pair is playing hide and seek in a huge mansion with two creepy little kids — in the dark.

Are they fudging nuts?

Despite the fact that this is supposed to be a spooky, haunted series, who in their right mind plays hide and seek in the dark in a big, huge house? Especially one that has a wing that no one is supposed to go into?  I wouldn’t like to play hide and seek in my own house in the dark.

On a lighter, spooky note, I am fascinated by creepy art and artists. Not ones who show ripped open insides and mangled bodies. Ick. I mean artists who really know what scares us. Anton Seminov instantly comes to mind. Delightfully creepy. The abandoned places photography of Christian Richter are haunting as well. Or how about the weirdness of Colin Batty? His “postcards” are enough to give anyone nightmares. 

I don’t mean to get you thinking about scary things before you go to bed. Do check out the artists in my Gallery, and feel free to share new ones I can add.

But, for real. 

What would you do if, one sunny, beautiful afternoon, you looked out in the distance and saw a spider the size of a football field crawl over the houses in the distance coming directly at you?

I shudder to think ……

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Beatriz Hidalgo de la Garza

 

Beatriz Hidalgo de la Garza is a Mexican painter, architect, wife, humanist, mother, and above all … Proudly Mexican.Hidalgo was born in 1967 in southern Mexico. She graduated from TIBA University of Painting and Fine Arts, where she studied the art of drawing with pastels and charcoal. The desire  to transfer the beauty of the world around her to the canvas encouraged Hidalgo to develop a brilliant career, first as an architect and then as an artist.Hidalgo portrays all feelings for Mexico and its people in her never-ending project “Soul of Mexico.”Her secret of creating beautiful art lies in the deep love and respect she has for her people and her country.“Everything I paint has a story to be told when those eyes of the soul come to listen,” Hidalgo shares.Indeed, the beauty of the children, the old people, and the country, is reflected in every brush stroke.

More of Beatriz Hidalgo de la Garza’s amazing paintings can be found at https://www.facebook.com/Beatriz-Hidalgo-De-la-Garza/  or https://www.tuttartpitturasculturapoesiamusica.com/2010/12/beatriz-hidalgo-de-la-garza.html. 

 

 

An Evening Alone

Do you ever wish you had an evening or two to yourself? All by yourself?

That seems to often be a fleeting thought to new moms, seasoned moms, wives, husbands, and roommates.

I am not talking about losing someone for good  or forever — I mean, getting rid of the nonstop chattering, crying, whining, chatter of your household. Peace and quiet for just one night. An evening to do whatever you wanted. Watch whatever you want. Eat whatever you want. Write or paint or do some research without disturbance.

Then suddenly you have that opportunity. The kids are going by grandma! Hubby or wife is going out to dinner with friends! Husband is hunting or wife is at a seminar. You have the whole afternoon/evening free!

Oh, the things you will do! The projects you will start/finish! Now you can finally watch that R rated movie you couldn’t with kids around. You can make that shrimp/pineapple pizza you wanted to try or make yourself an ice cream sundae and not have to share!

Then the time comes.

You are like a zombie. 

Don’t know what to do first. 

So you start with having a glass of wine or soda. You look at the pizza ingredients — you’re not sure you want to waste time making something from scratch. And all that clean up! A ham sandwich would do just fine. 

Then it comes to projects. There are so many! I’ll write. No — I’ll finish cutting out that pattern. But then you spot the movie you’ve been waiting to watch. So you decide to watch the movie, then write. 

But there is a pile of laundry in the washer and your kids will need their soccer clothes in the morning and while you’re changing around laundry there are a few dishes you should really put in the dishwasher. 

You didn’t mean to get so sidetracked so early in your freedom. But do just a few little things and your guilt won’t be so heavy. After all, even though you did promise to make a cake for the party tomorrow, you can always pick one up at the store …

And so it goes. The movie isn’t as good as you thought it would be. You couldn’t think of a thing to write. Grammar was boring. You’ve already watched Downton Abbey or Game of Thrones a hundred times, so no power watching there.

You get an upset stomach from the wine, and really wish you would have made that pizza. That bubble bath you promised yourself suddenly feels like a lot of work. Maybe just pj’s and to bed early with a good book. That’s it — you’ll read all night!

Five minutes after you climb in bed you have to go to the bathroom. Fifteen minutes later the dogs need to go outside. You start to read and the phone rings. Campaign robot reminding you to vote. You find your place in the book again and you find you need to go to the bathroom. Again.

Finally, you give up, turn out the lights, and go to sleep at nine.

This is usually how my “night alone” goes. The best laid plans often get waylaid, messed up, dashed, or postponed. 

Don’t let it get you down. The cosmos has plans for you, and sometimes it decides to mooch in on your private time. If nothing else, your sidetracked ideas will last until the next time you get to be “alone.”

And next time tell the cosmos  to mind its own business.

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery (midweek)–Debbie Smyth

Debbie Smyth is textile artist most identifiable by her statement thread drawings.These playful yet sophisticated contemporary artworks  are created by stretching a network of threads between accurately plotted pins.

Her work beautifully blurs the boundaries between fine art drawings and textile art, flat and 3D work, illustration and embroidery, literally lifting the drawn line off the page in a series of “pin and thread” drawings.Debbie plays with scale well,  creating both gallery installations and works for domestic interiors.

Her unique style  lends itself to suit corporate environments, public spaces, window display, set design, graphic design and illustration.By collaborating with interior designers, architects and other creative practitioners, Debbie pushes the expected scope of her work even further.

More of Debbie Smyth‘s remarkable thread drawings can be found at  debbie-smyth.com. 

 

Faerie Paths — Clamour

 

Margaret Morgan

 

Blind folk see the fairies.
      Oh, better far than we,
Who miss the shining of their wings
Because our eyes are filled with things
      We do not wish to see…
Deaf folk hear the fairies
      However soft their song;
‘Tis we who lose the honey sound
Amid the clamour all around
      That beats the whole day long…

~Rose Fyleman, “White Magic,” 1918

 

Is Your Work Oatmeal or Coq Au Vin?

I find I’ve been following poets a lot more lately.

Funny, for out of the many worlds of creative art available for our perusal, poetry is not really my first go-to. But I am finding I am being drawn to the poets’ words more and more these days.

Perhaps they give me hope. Perhaps they make me smile. Perhaps now and then they break my heart.

Perhaps I enjoy them because, for the most part, poems are quick reading. Not like a book. (Hey.. want to read my novel? It’s only 225 single spaced pages!)

Maybe reading poems is akin to art. I can spent one minute or five minutes really getting into what’s being offered. The intricacies of artists like Gordon Pembridge and his woodwork, the papercutting skills of Masayo Fukuda, the sky photography of Matt Molloy, or the horror scapes of Zdzisław Beksiński can keep my mind occupied for more than five seconds.

Poetry can do that too.

I just read a poem by The Ink Owl called Sinister Countdown- Damned Love that left me with a haunted tingle in my soul. I just reposted my friend Ivor’s poem Faerie Pantomime that gave me pause for more than a minute. My friend Dwight Roth inked a haunting poem about books called A Found Book. Catherine Arcolio and her blog  Leaf and Twig share beautiful images and haikus every day.  One bite at a time. Jonathan Caswell‘s busy blog By the Mighty Mumford is full of short delights, sure to make you smile. Boundless Blessings by Kamal and Walt’s Writings always stir my heart, too. And my newest addition, Lucy of Lucy’s Works, writes the most haunting and beautiful poetry.

That’s just some of the poets whose paths I cross. Hopefully you have your wandering paths, too.

In the Northern Hemisphere we are starting to buckle down, cocoon, and gather food, drink, and supplies to keep us busy through the winter months. We’ve had plenty of practice the past six months with Covid 19, so now it’s easier to stockpile projects for the future.

I can’t believe that I’m actually entertaining the idea of writing a second book on visiting Paris. It’s still a bubbling cup of water, but I’m starting to get excited.

I also am working on preparing one of my books for free download on this blog. I mean, you all need something to read during the cold days!

So don’t let the Covid and the change of seasons get you down. Write a poem like my friends above do. Can’t concentrate on a whole book? Do a short story, Or a journal.

You may be streaming oatmeal instead of coq au vin, but practice is practice.

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Frederic Sackrider Remington

 

Frederic Sackrider Remington (1861-1909) was an American painter, illustrator, sculptor, and writer who specialized in depictions of the Old American West, specifically concentrating on the last quarter of the 19th century American West and images of cowboys, American Indians, and the U.S. Cavalry.A Dash for the Timber

 

Remington studied art at Yale University (1878–80) and briefly at the Art Students League of New York. Thereafter he devoted himself primarily to illustrative work.A Cold Morning on the Range

 

In the years between his schooling, he traveled widely, spending much time west of the Mississippi River, and he made a specialty of depicting Native Americanscowboys, soldiers, horses, and other aspects of life on the plains.The Emigrants

 

On those trips he sketched and photographed continuously, amassing material to take back to and work from in his studio in New York City.The Hunters Supper

 

During the 1880s and ’90s many of Remington’s illustrations were printed in such popular magazines as Harper’s Weekly and Scribner’s Magazine.The Trooper

 

During the Spanish-American War he was a war correspondent and artist. Remington was primarily a reporter, recording the image of the thing seen; his work is notable for its rendering of swift action and its accuracy of detail.The Apaches

 

More of Frederic Remington‘s inspirational paintings can be found at https://www.frederic-remington.org.

 

Faerie Pantomime

I have a soft spot for faeries — and for Ivor’s poetry.

 

 

Ivor.Plumber/Poet

Mid morning and here comes the sun

The Wala* goddess smiles on everyone

Enriching the bloody goodness in our veins

And saturating our skin when the sky rains

Is your blood the same colour as mine?

Does your skin drip-dry under the same sunshine?

Are your dreams moonbeam snippets of time?

Do you imagine the world to be a faerie’s pantomime?

And we the audience, laughing at their mystical rhymes

Together dancing and ringing the city’s peace chimes

*Wala: Aboriginal mythical sun goddess.

Ivor Steven (c) October 2020

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Dreaming of Godzilla

Some say dreams are manifestations of your deepest fears. Others say dreams show you who and what you really want to be. 

I am not a dream analyst, nor a psycho-analyst, but just someone who wonders where dreams come from.

I get the obvious ones: your significant other leaves you, you suddenly become a motivational speaker. And I’m not talking about Godzilla in the distance or some movie star flirting with you. 

The ones that make me wonder are the ones where you could have, should have been a better person. 

Aren’t we always striving to be a “better person”? 

If so, why do we not measure up in our dreams?

I had a dream last night that my mother was in the hospital and some strange people were cleaning her house, and that one social worker told me I might not be able to find out where she was staying because I was a bad daughter and moved out of state.

In reality, my mother passed away long before I moved out of Illinois, long before I got married and had children and grandchildren.

Where does the fuel for that dream fire come from?

I was a good daughter. My mom and I had a really good relationship. My dad remarried, and it took quite a long time to reconnect with him in the same way, but we did reconnect and he was a blessing to me until the end.

I’ve always worked hard to keep friends and family close. It doesn’t matter what you call them — friends, sisters, cousins — love is love. And there should be no rationing because of title, distance, or circumstances.

I’m not here to throw about past relationships. I know in my heart I was a “good person”, contrary to what my dreams portray. And I will continue to do so, for, as simple as it sounds, being a good person makes me feel good.

I just wonder where my head gets these ideas from.

Probably the same place that tells me Godzilla is coming this way and I have to hide in a closet to get away from him.

Where do your dreams come from?

 

 

Creativity Blossoms on a Monday

Red October

After a weekend of beautiful weather, beautiful thoughts, and a few picture Art Galleries, I often like to start off my Monday blogs talking directly to you.

I always think about asking how your weekend was — if you even had a weekend. This blog is not like a chat room; I don’t get a lot of feedback from readers as to what they’ve done or what they think or what they feel. Which is just fine. Not many want to “emote” online.

Except for our President.

But I digress.

The face of the Internet has changed in the past twenty years. Like everything else around us, change is often necessary, not always popular, and scary. Maybe not while you’re going through change, but looking forward as change tries to zoom past you.

I truly believe in order to keep your sanity — and your edge — you need to find a way to work creativity into your life. Once a day if possible. You need to do something, try something, read something you’ve never done/tried/read before.

With a full work schedule, kids, grandkids, cleaning, homework, errands, and more, it’s not always easy. Nor, should I say, on the top of your list.

But we all have to find a way to make it so. (sounds like Captain Picard!) Only when we peek into the imaginations of others can we get a better grasp of our own abilities.

Some minds are waaaaay out there. I just did a little research on Aleister Crowley, an English occultistceremonial magician, poet, painter, novelist, and mountaineer, for a possible Art Gallery blog. Ummmmm, he is definitely waaaaay out there. Putting a hold on that idea.

On the other hand, I’m finishing reading the book Shōgun which has given me insights into the world of the Japanese in the 1500s, their art and their beliefs.

There is always something you can glean from things around you. 

I also truly believe that you should learn one new thing a day. Doesn’t matter what. Look at something new, listen to something new,  experience something new. And I don’t mean watch a new TV show.

With all of us being confined to our houses because of Covid, that’s easier said than done. I don’t always trust what I learn on TV or in a movie. After all, watching the movie “The Hunt for Red October”  I thought there really was a  caterpillar drive – “a ‘magneto-hydrodynamic’ propulsion system that renders the submarine silent by mimicking seismic anomalies.”

There’s not.

But it certainly was a creative mind that created one.

I’m going to start testing my Angel Tears this week (sparkles on a fishing line), and maybe … MAYBE … consider a sequel to my book “I Dreamed I Was in Paris.”

What creative, imaginative, outside-the-box things are you up to this week? 

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Alan Wolfson

Alan Wolfson creates handmade miniature sculptures of urban environments.Complete with complex interior views and lighting effects, a major work can take several months to complete.The pieces are usually not exact representations of existing locations, but rather a combination of details from many different locations along with much of the detail from the artist’s imagination.There is a narrative element to the work. Scenarios are played out through the use of inanimate objects in the scene.Wolfson usually works in ½ in = 1 foot scale, which is half the size of dollhouse scale. The first few pieces Wolfson did were in dollhouse scale, but he decided to change to the smaller scale so he could build more intricate environments in the same-sized space.There are never people present, only things they have left behind; garbage, graffiti, or a tip on a diner table, all give the work a sense of motion and a storyline.If you weren’t aware you were looking at a miniature, you would think you were looking at a scene from the past.More of Alan Wolfson‘s amazing miniatures can be found at http://www.alanwolfson.net/.

 

 

Faerie Paths — The Ages

 

As the air I breathe is drawn from the great repositories of nature, as the light on my book is yielded by a star a hundred millions of miles distant, as the poise of my body depends on the equilibrium of centrifugal and centripetal forces, so the hours should be instructed by the ages, and the ages explained by the hours.        

~Ralph Waldo Emerson, History

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery (midweek) — Dawn Waters Baker

Born and raised a missionary child in the Philippines, Dawn Waters Baker learned to look for beauty in the cracks and crevices of lives much harder than her own. Baker lived in a provincial area in the shadow of Mt. Isarog, an active volcano, which gave the landscape a rich earth and lush color.

After she turned 10 they moved to the big city of Manila where poverty became the normal view into everyday life.At the age of 19 she moved to the US to go to college where she learned how to find her own way to express her heart through painting.It was through a long road of finding her particular way that she finally came back to the landscape and what she believes is her “window” into the spiritual.“I like to think of my work as another world: touching the delicate light with a still hush as through a clouded pane of glass,” Baker says.“It’s almost as if you have walked into an enchanted place where the trees and sky can talk, where everything is a metaphor of our gritty world. Only, here, it has been given a softness of light, a feeling, a glimpse into the mystery of something more real than this life.”More of Dawn Waters Baker‘s enchanted art can be found at https://www.dawnwatersbaker.com/.

 

 

Appreciating Blogs One Day at a Time

Adam Hillman

Well, haven’t I been busy this morning!

Every week (if not more often) I try and go through my Reader and read all the posts from those I follow. A daunting task for all of us, I know. 

But we followed this or that blog for a reason.

Sometimes we are pulled away from that reason just living our lives. 

Some follow blogs religiously. Every post, every day, every spurt of creativity. Some follow a thousand blogs. Some follow ten. Some follow blogs for entertainment. Others for ideas for their own blogs. Some follow to learn; others to explore. Some don’t follow any blogs — they just wander through the WordPress universe, stopping here and there, commenting, and moving on.

We all follow blogs for our own reasons. And often feel bad when we don’t follow them as often as we should.

I signed up to follow three more blogs this morning. Duh. I could have signed up to follow thirty more, but I want to be fair to those I read. 

As if there is fairness on the Internet.

I’ve stated in the past that not long ago I went through my Reader list and found dozens of bloggers who haven’t posted in a year. 18 months. I wonder what happened to them. Moved on, grew up, became a kid again and didn’t want to waste any more time writing. Who knows.

I try and be loyal to those I follow. Even those I don’t. Time is so precious these days, I know. We need to live every day to the fullest, blah blah. We all know that. And part of being “full” is reading what others think and feel now and then.

Nothing anyone posts is going to change the world.

Mine included.

But I just read a blog called “Unresolved Trauma vs. Unresolved Trauma ∞The 9D Arcturian Council,” an uplifting connection that made me smile, so maybe changing the world comes after all …

One blog at a time.

You will find meaning in life… — Purplerays

A beautiful thought, beautiful feeling, for the morning …..

 

You will find meaning in life only, if you create it.

It is a poetry to be composed.

It is a song to be sung.

is a dance to be danced.

 

Osho photo credit: Richard Sagredo – unsplash – Text and image source: The birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees https://www.facebook.com/695285933892742/posts/3407209282700380/

You will find meaning in life… — Purplerays

Cleaning Up Your Act

My friend Chrissy over at Chrissy’s Fab 50’s has been blogging about going through her closets and drawers and other places of secret stashes and cleaning out, rearranging, and thinning out her house — and life.

I love it.

Over the last few months I have been cleaning up and straightening out too. I am so proud of my (finally) thinned out and organized closet, and am eyeing the buffet in the dining room as we speak.

I have also been cleaning up, straightening up, and re-evaluating my Sunday Evening Art Gallery blog. I’ve been checking links and spacing and image sizes, trying to make it more esthetically pleasing.

That may not sound like a big deal to most. That is because most take care and time the first time around. 

I just feel like I didn’t take enough time with my work. With my presentation. Like I ran helter skelter around the woods looking for violets when if I would have just followed the path I would have found them.

It’s not that I didn’t pay attention — I did. I loved the art, I loved the showcase. But these days I can’t help but wonder — where was I going when I was in such a hurry to post in the first place? What was so important that I couldn’t have used a little more time to make a precise, pleasant presentation?

This is the funny thing.

The older I get, the more precise I’m becoming. The more organized I’m becoming. The more thorough I’m becoming.

Maybe that’s because the older I get, the more I’m forgetting. The more I’m knocking things off the shelf and knocking things over. The more I lose things, break things, forget things.

Cleaning up my blog or my closet or my pantry are ways to take back what control I still have over my body and my mind.

The positive thing out of all of this is that you’re never too old — or young — to pay attention to anything you do the first time. Or the second time. There’s always time for cleaning up your act. 

Don’t be in such a hurry. Take pride in everything you do. Everything. It sounds so simple, but in reality it’s quite hard. We all have places to go, projects to finish, schedules to keep. 

But our personal space, our personal Art, is just as important as keeping precise spreadsheets at work. You don’t need to be perfect — you just need to pay attention. Take your time. Do it right. Clean it out. Straighten it up.

You’ll love your outer space — and your inner self — when you’re finished.

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Nancy Cain

Nancy Cain has always been fascinated with handcrafts, whether it was clay, paper, buttons, fabric or simply found objects.

Cain studied art in college and worked as a graphic artist for 16 years, all the while exploring various handcraft techniques. She found her artistic niche in beads.Cain’s favorite stitch is peyote and over the years has only added two other stitches, netting then herringbone.  

She calls these three stitches ‘sister-stitches’, since they transition from one stitch to the other effortlessly.

Her style is clean and contemporary with minimalist embellishment. She likes the structure to shine through.“I feel that the beads alone give me the most inspiration. If you understand the physics (mechanics and technicality) of the stitch, then you can create whatever your heart desires.” Cain explains.

:Knowing what each bead size, shape and finish will do and how they react with each other, plus how the beads respond to thread weight and use, the sky is the limit for designing.”

 

More of Nancy Cain‘s amazing beadwork can be found at http://nancycain.com/. 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery (flashback) — the Universe

The Universe has been around long before my blog post in June of 2015. But the images, the inspiration, the vastness of possibilities has always and will always exist.

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of star stuff”.  Carl Sagan. 

 

Cone Nebula

 

Hercules Globular Cluster

 

Ghost Nebula

 

Whirlpool Galaxy

 

Mystic Mountain, Carina Nebula

 

Centaurus A

 

 

Saturn

 

These and other beauties can be found in my Gallery, or at the mother of all space image sites, HubbleSite.

Art is Peace

Bringing together the worlds of Art

Is the only healing we have

In this turbulent time, only appreciation for the esthetic itself will get us through.

There is real ugliness out there. Verbally, socially. Ugly confrontations, ugly resolutions.

I know people are only trying to survive.

Why can’t we try to survive together?

Why is there always a “bad” guy? An “evil” guy? A “color” guy?

Art is the answer.

But  no one is listening.

Creativity, imagination, possibilities and impossibilities.

All keep us alive.

Bringing us humanity.

So much I don’t understand.

So much I don’t want to understand.

But Art — I DO understand.

In a primitive, sensual, emotional way

I DO understand.

And I know you do, too.

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery (midweek) — Kalamkari

Kalamkari is an ancient Indian art that originated about 3000 years ago. It derives its name from Kalam meaning Pen, and Kari meaning work, literally Pen-work.The Kalamkari artist uses a bamboo or date palm stick pointed at one end with a bundle of fine hair attached to this pointed end to serve as the brush or pen. The process of making Kalamkari involves 23 steps. From natural process of bleaching the fabric, softening it, sun drying, preparing natural dyes, hand painting, to the processes of air drying and washing, the entire procedure is a process which requires precision and an eye for detailing.Most of the colors are prepared using parts of plants – roots, leaves along with mineral salts of iron, tin, copper, alum, etc., which are used as mordants. The Srikalahasti style of painting draws inspiration from the Hindu mythology describing scenes from the epics and folklore. This style holds a strong religious connect because of its origin in the temples.

In recent times, two other types of Kalamkari patterns have also emerged, based on the states where it is created. Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh are two prime states in India, where two different types of Kalamkari patterns are done.The Andhra Kalamkari borrows design inspiration from forts, palaces and temples of India, along with motifs of animals and birds.The Gujarat Kalamkari depict motifs of mythological characters such as Krishna-Arjuna from Mahabharata, Lord Krishna, Lord Ganesha, Lord Buddha, and others.

Kalamkari work can be found at websites across the Internet.

Rain and Boredom

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Somehow this feels and sounds desperate, though.

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

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

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

Maybe it’s time for that nap ….

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery (flashback) — Martin Koegl

 

I can’t believe it was way back in late December of 2014 that I brought the magic of Martin Koegl and his water drop photography. Well, back then I did call it Waterdrops. So I have cleaned up the gallery, dedicated to the original photographer Martin Koegl, and now bring you …. Water Drops.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can find more of Martin Koegl‘s amazing photography at my Gallery, or his website, http://waterdrop-photography.com/

 

Kitties and Puppies Make the World Go Round

It’s been a long time since I’ve written about puppies and kittens. Who doesn’t love pictures of puppies and kittens? They are innocent, mischievous, full of life and love and cuddles.

Forget about the going-to-the-bathroom-on-your-kitchen-floor messes; forget about having to let them outside at 2 a.m. or them howling in the middle of the kitchen in the middle of the night for no reason. Or sitting on our face. Or tripping our feet. Forget the chewed shoes and scratched up side of the couch.

For no other reason than to get you to say “awwww…” and “sweeeet” and “what a waste of a post…”, here are a few kitty and puppy pictures to make you smile.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rearranging My Closet

Bella Systems

The other day the Goddess told me it was time to switch my wardrobe from summer to winter.

Now, some people have been doing that forever. Packing vast closets full of bikinis and sundresses away to make room for wools and sweatshirts. Shunning sandals for slip-ons. My closet has never had that kind of variety. Depending on my situation (and my body heat index) I can wear sweaters in the summer and sleeveless T’s in the winter.

But I digress.

I don’t have a lot of clothes to switch between. One closet does it. Actually one bin does it. But the last few years I’ve been working on a wardrobe change to clothes that both fit better and reflect the semi-bohemian me I want to embrace. That means more clothes have been going to GoodWill than ever before. Of course, I’ve been bringing back clothes from there as well.

Again I digress.

Packing away some of my flowy gauzy summer dresses, I became a bit sad. I didn’t really wear many of my BoHo, soft, swimmy clothes this year. Being retired since last November, I’ve had no reason to dress up. This summer Covid19 had put a squash on any summer gatheriengs I dared to dream about.

No art fairs to wear my white and flowered Indian-sh gauze dress and wide brimmed hat. No evening concerts to wear my long black sleeveless lightweight dress and beaded shawl. No weddings to wear my sparkling parrots dress, no dinners with hubby on verandas with magnificent views, clad in a flowered long skirt and semi-sparkly top.

Just when I was determined to finally be ME, free of caring about what others thought of what I wore, comfortable yet special, I once again found a reason not to do it.

Oh, you say, clothing doesn’t make the woman. Her spirit does. I’m not going down the esoteric path today — I’m going down the woe-is-womanhood path.

I had so many plans for this summer and fall. I wanted to start taking a class (free for seniors) at the local university. I wanted to finally go to a live Shakespeare play at an outdoor pavilion an hour or so away. I wanted to wander through the Art Fair on the Square in Madison, finding new artists for my blog, fighting 90 degree temps with a blueberry vodka slush.

Packing away my fun summer clothes made me think how much I’ve missed, and how those opportunities, if they return, will be so different next time around.

Of course, I did keep out the dirty sneakers and stained jean capris I wore when I went camping with the kids. I didn’t touch the half rack of sweatshirts I’ll wear when I go for walks in the chill of evening. I will still hang up my t-shirts with the uni-kitty and leprechaun waving hello and the “This is my awesome Grandma Halloween costume”  and the one that says “I park diagonally in a parallel park universe.”   I can still wear bling with my University of Wisconsin sweatshirt and my all-season dark print leggings.

After all, I’m always looking at new artists and reappreciating the older ones while I wander through the art gallery; I’m listening to live concerts through my computer as I write, and can have a glass on wine with my hubby on the patio whenever I choose.

Clothing doesn’t make the woman. Neither does her location.

Her spirit and imagination makes does.

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Ken Grimes

 

Ken Grimes was born in New York City in 1947 and grew up in Cheshire, Connecticut.For more than 30 years, he diligently maintained a stark palette of black and white, which he believes to be the most direct way of illustrating the contrast between truth and deception. Grimes’s works are conceptual, never-ending reflections on the themes of extraterrestrial intelligence and cosmic coincidence.
He opens a window to a world where aliens may have and continue to exert some forms of influence on the thoughts and actions of humans here on Earth.

Grimes is diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic, yet has never let his condition stop him from sharing his vision.
Grimes is a visionary, passionate artist and a dedicated and obsessive researcher who ceaselessly explores myriad bits of arcane data drawn from popular accounts of scientific research, as well as science fiction, news reports, and his own life.The artist’s work is in the permanent collections of the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, and he received a Wynn Newhouse Award in 2013. 

Artists always find their calling and share it in their own way. Grimes’ work makes you stop and think of art in a different light. More of Ken Grimes‘ work can be found at https://www.riccomaresca.com/ken-grimes-works-on-paper/ and https://www.outsiderartfair.com/artists/ken-grimes.

 

I Remember a Time …

Ben Brain/Digital Camera Magazine

“When I was younger …”

“I can remember a time  ..”

“When I was a kid …”

I’m too young to be starting out a sentence with those phrases. Yet here I am, sharing a tale with you, that starts:

I can remember a time … when you’d go to the eye doctor and sit in front of this huge machine that held a thousand little round lenses, and the doctor would lower these huge, thick sections in front of each eye, and go through a hundred different lenses to test your eyesight.

I say that today because I just got home from an all remote eye test. Well, except for the receptionist/assistant. Filled out a questionnaire on a tablet, went into one room where three different machines took three different images, (they still had the puff-of-air-in-the-eye test), then went into a second room where a nurse/doctor/assistant appeared on a TV monitor and remotely controlled the rest of the eye exam on a fourth piece of equipment. That nurse/doctor/assistant then sent the results electronically to the eye doctor who looked over your results and gave you your prescription.

Fast, clean — no contact with the living.

Welcome to the 21st century.

I have no problem with this new technology, especially with Covin hanging around every corner. But gone are the heavy, clunky machines of yesterday. The “click click” as the eye doctor turned the lens around. “A? (click) or B? (lots of whirling and clicking) A? (click click) or B?”

Of course, there are now virtual doctor visits, virtual job interviews, and virtual grocery shopping. I mean, who doesn’t know what a 5 oz. (142g) can of tuna looks like?

Virtual is all well and good. We need to keep up with it, understand it, use it.

But we also have to physically see other people now and then, too. We need physical hugs and in-person smiles to let us know we’re not alone. We need to pull a leaf off the tree and look at its structure, or play with the levels of petals on a zinnia or a dahlia so we can marvel at the physical world around us.

We need fresh air and friendship and the sunshine on our face. Be sure you are finding it all.

The “I remember a time…” part — I haven’t figured out how to deal with that yet.

 

You couldn’t make this shit up.

This is so much reflective of life today. Enjoy!

Musings of a mountain wondering weaver of Magic .

I’m sitting here relaxed watching David Tennant in Des.

Absolutely best thing I’ve watched in ages.

Window is open

We here a loud splash.

Brian the cat has fallen in the canal chasing mice again.

Within a minute he’s out.

He comes bounding over the garden wall like a bloody racehorse.

Through window ginger dripping streak comes flying at me over back of the sofa..

Dripping drops still live mouse on my boobs I’m wearing a sun dress.

Wet mouse crawls in-between my boobs .

I scream

Mavis the dog runs away.

I jump up mouse drops onto sofa. Lies there stunned.

I’m swearing at knob head wet ginger cat.

Scoops mouse up.

With old towel.

He’s stopped moving.

Everywhere is soaking .

Brians so pleased with himself!

I’m reiking the mouse who it’s soon apparent is dead.

My hubby is laughing so much he’s crying..

Surreal moment of.

Is…

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Been Workin’ On The Gallery!

 

Have been working diligently on my Sunday Evening Art Gallery main site. Here are some of the newer galleries I’ve added….more images, more variety … Can’t wait for you to come on over!

 

Jellyfish

 

Kathleen Kills Thunder

 

Kathryn Vercillo

 

Franz Marc

 

Tohukiro Kawai

 

Tiffany Lamps

 

Diana Al-Hadid

 

 

Hope to see you over there!