Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Round Houses

Around the world, I’ve searched for youI traveled on when hope was gone
To keep a rendezvousI know somewhere, sometime, somehow
You’d look at meAnd I would see the smile you’re smiling nowIt might have been in County Down
Or in New York
In gay Paree or even London TownNo more will I go all around the worldFor I have found my world in you….

~  Around the World, lyrics by William Fuller, Oladapo Torimiro, Brett Young ~
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Changing Styles

“How Do I Start This Story?”

You know I love to write. I love the process of developing worlds and chaos and love and confusion. As if real life is any different.

Well, I’m thinking of writing another book.

Every now and then I try a new style, just to see if I can “do it.” I put those words in quotations  because it’s not easy for me to go from one style to another. From a murder mystery who-done-it to a historic love story. From a modern-day time traveler to a scientist in the future.

I still have a hard time writing 3rd person. I’m much better writing from one person’s point of view, not several.

But I’ve been reading some  literary fiction lately, and thought about giving that a try.

What is literary fiction, you may ask?

So do a lot of others, it seems. There are as many answers as there are stars. But basically genre writing highlights a specific area, is narrative driven, has a predictable formula, and provides entertainment. Literary writing is language driven, there is not any real style formula, and it provides meaning and cultural value.

When I think of genre writing I think of what I’ve written: time travel, other worlds. Genres includes horror, historical fiction, and mystery romance. Stephen King and Harry Potter. When I think of literary fiction I think of Jane Eyre and The Handmaid’s Tale.

I know I know — write what you know. Who you are. All of that.

But don’t you sometimes want to try something different?

If you play tennis, don’t you want to try squash sometime? If you bake nothing but chocolate cakes, doesn’t a complicated strudel call you now and then?

In order to grow, to explore, to be a master at creation, you have to test the water of new worlds. It doesn’t matter if you succeed in those worlds. But you have to immerse yourself sometimes in something new and different.

I am also drawn into the Gothic style of Poe and the Lovecraftian style of H.P. Something deep and flowery and intense and full of obscure words and inferences. I suppose you had to be there to write like that, but why not experiment a little?

I’ll let you know how the experiment goes. If it rocks the roof or just sounds like Claudia on mind enhancing drugs. I can’t totally destroy my style, but I can try and change my shoe size now and then.

I will just have to stuff the toes with kleenex…

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Francis Meslet

French photographer Francis Meslet roams the world searching for abandoned places and striking architectural structures.Like time capsules, testifying to a parallel world and perfect for enabling the mind to wander and ponder, Meslet’s melancholic images brave the passage of time, making way for silence after the memories often left behind by human habitation.In these deserted places, no more than the rustling of the wind can be heard through a broken window or the sound of water dripping from a dilapidated ceiling.These silences nonetheless invite the spectator to slip into these well-guarded and mysterious places captured by the photographer and attempt to bring to life that which has been forgotten.

Meslet’s worlds are the reflection of perfection forgotten.

More of  Francis Meslet ‘s amazing photography can be found at http://mindtravelsseries.com/. 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery on Friday — Jamie Winn

Jamie Winn is the owner and operator of Ghost Light Gallery, specializing in paintings and amazing woodworks.

Drawing Down the Moon. Hand cranks makes bird fly.

 

Winn’s  automated sculptures are both eerie and humorous, often reanimating deceased creatures and depicting nighttime animals.

A Traveling Flame. Hand crank makes candle flicker.

 

Often using watercolor on wood and custom lighting, there’s also a vintage quality to much of the New Orleans artist’s work. 

The Second Stag. Middle antler lights up.

 

 

There is always a moving part to Winn’s creations — something that always catches the eye.

Baba Yaga’s House. Turn middle crank and house’s legs dance.

 

Her works are unique, whimsical, and sometimes a touch eerie. 

Home. House lights up.

 

Which is how she likes it.

Scardy Cat. Turn the crank and the mice move.

 

More of Jamie Winn‘s magical works can be found at her website, http://www.ghostlightgallery.com/

Still Here.Crank makes skeleton ring the bell.

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Edvard Munch

Edvard Munch (1863-1944) was a prolific yet perpetually troubled artist preoccupied with matters of human mortality such as chronic illness, sexual liberation, and religious aspiration.He expressed these obsessions through works of intense color, semi-abstraction, and mysterious subject matter.

Munch came of age in the first decade of the 20th century, during the peak of the Art Nouveau movement and its characteristic focus on all things organic, evolutionary and mysteriously instinctual.

A majority of the works which Munch created, were referred to as the style known as symbolism, mainly because of the fact that the the paintings he made focused on the internal view of the objects, as opposed to the exterior, and what the eye could see.

Emotions such as love, terror, and loneliness were depicted by the contrasting lines, the darker colors, blocks of color, somber tones, and a concise and exaggerated form, which depicted the darker side of the art which he was designing.More of Edvard Munich‘s art can be found at https://www.edvardmunch.org/.

I Am Creativity

Just had our best friends over for dinner. Greek night. A time of good food, good times.

We talked a little about what we’re up to in our personal life. I told my friends I just wrote a ditty on the fly to remind myself that I am still a writer.

Do you ever take a break and then hesitate?

I have spent a lot of time lately final editing what I’ve written so I can print it out and share it with my friends.

I’ve also spent a lot of time collecting art for my Sunday Evening Art Gallery. I have found so many new artists, I am knocked off my feet.

But I’m a writer first. At least here on my sofa, in front of the TV.

Do you ever have to fly off and do something quick to reassure yourself you are what you are?

How funny the human ego is.

What is a writer? A painter? A calligrapher?

Just because you spend your spare time doing anything creative, does it make you what you think you are? Are you an artist just because you wield a paint brush? Are you a writer, even if you only write email copy?

I have learned you are whatever you call yourself. The world does not care for your title. Maybe  corporate America puts a value on what your company has called you. But in the scope of life, no one cares.

That’s why it’s important to call yourself what you are. And not be intimidated by your title.

Do you paint? Do you spend your spare time crocheting or scrapbooking or quilting? Do you scour the Internet for ideas for your art gallery or ceramic blog or your instructional video?

Look.

The world will go on whatever your call yourself. So find a title that fits your soul. Own it.

I am a writer. I may only write a couple of lines for email copy at work, but I am a writer. It doesn’t matter if I’ve written poetry or short stories or full length novels. I have written and preserved copy that can be passed on to generations. 

That’s all that matters.

Follow your calling and shout your “title” loud and clear.

No one will respect you until you respect yourself.

Sunday Evening Art Gallery on Friday — Oleg Dou

When you first look at Oleg Dou‘s  work, you may think…..no.

The monochromatic look, the androgynous style, is something strange and unusual.But take a moment and look closer.Dou transforms photographic images of human faces, manipulating them with computer software to produce stylized features and airbrushed skin.Dou is interested in producing images that are both alluring and unsettling.“I am looking for something bordering between the beautiful and the repulsive, living and dead,” he has said. “I want to attain the feeling of presence one can get when walking by a plastic manikin.”

More of Oleg Dou‘s beautiful artwork can be found at http://olegdou.com/.

Keep Chillin

This is the second day of my weather-imposed sabbatical. Yesterday the temperature was -16 (without wind chill figured in), this morning they are -26 without windchill. Not the weather for the faint of heart. My car won’t start so here am.

Of course, I was wrecked with guilt yesterday until I went out and bought some bird seed. I would be afraid those little guys would be feather pops unless I got them something to warm them from the inside.

I can see why the weather effects emotions so much. 

WoMan fights her/his whole life to be in control. In control of their life, their thoughts, their direction in life. And sometimes we half-way succeed. Then we get hit with something that keeps us from exerting that newly found control, and it’s frustrating. 

Hey! I just made plans to go to a museum by myself! I just bought new kicker shoes for work! I just got out of a bad relationship and I’m free!

And here we sit frozen into the house. All this positive pumped-up energy bouncing around our living room walls.

Of course, you could spend your freeze days and rainy days inside, cleaning, organizing, reading that book you bought two months ago. You could waste your time watching TV or not waste your time making cookies. 

There is a universe inside your universe that works for you every day, too. 

You don’t need to slay dragons every day. 

You can take assurance that there are bigger and more powerful forces around you that own you plain and simple. And your job is to work with them to continue moving forward.

So on this frozen Thursday morning I bow to the power of the Freeze and think I’ll go through my WordPress reader and read some fellow writers. I’ll make some cookies today and make sure the bird feeder is full.

And I shall charge up my turbo spaceship to the stars and try again tomorrow.

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Carsten Wieland

Carsten Wieland is a watercolor painter from Essen, Germany.

During visits to the United States, Carsten fell in love with abandoned buildings, and began his watercolor journey.

Painting became his daily therapy and obsession.

Carsten believes the process is much more important than the result.

He believes the process of nature being taken back by nature will keep him painting for the next 10 years.

If you take a look at his art on his website, you hope he continues painting for a lot longer than that.

More of Carsten Wieland’s amazing watercolors can be found at https://brushparkwatercolors.wordpress.com.

Sunday Evening Art Gallery on Friday — Gabriel Dawe

Gabriel Dawe (born 1973) is a Mexican-born artist living in Dallas, Texas whose work is based on investigations of the visible spectrum of light.

He has gained renown for his large-scale Plexus series of installations of sewing thread, though he also creates works on paper as well as other media.

In search for creative freedom he started experimenting and creating artwork, which eventually led him to explore textiles and embroidery — activities traditionally associated with women and which were forbidden for a boy growing up in Mexico.

Because of this, his work is subversive of notions of masculinity and machismo that are so ingrained in his culture. 

By working with thread and textiles, Dawe’s work has evolved into creating large-scale installations with thread, creating environments that deal with notions of social constructions and their relation to evolutionary theory and the self-organizing force of nature.

More of Gabriel Dawe’s amazing thread/string work can be found at http://www.gabrieldawe.com/.

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Paul de Lamerie

For well over 250 years Paul de Lamerie (1688 – 1751)  has been universally considered not only one of the most important English goldsmiths, but among the most important English craftsmen of all time.

His extraordinary works range from the elegant simplicity of the Queen Anne style to the elaborate rococo style for which he is most remembered.

 

It was de Lamerie who was one of the first to incorporate French rococo design with English silver, raising his art to a standard that had never before been seen, nor since duplicated.

In 1703 Paul was apprenticed to Pierre Platel  from which he learnt the art of working in silver and gold.

De Lamerie entered his first mark at the Goldsmiths’ Hall in 1712.

Although De Lamerie presumably received a number of Royal commissions in the course of his career (was made goldsmith to the King in 1716), he was never appointed to the coveted post of Royal Goldsmith.

.Although inspired by the work of other masters he was always able to maintain and express his own thoughts through his mastery of detail and craftsmanship. 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery on Thursday — Frank Stella

Frank Stella i(1936-) is an American artist best known for his use of geometric patterns and shapes in creating both paintings and sculptures.

Arguably one of the most influential living American artists, Stella’s works utilize the formal properties of shape, color, and composition to explore non-literary narratives.

For those of us trying to get a grip on modernism, Stella’s paintings  expand the initial monochrome palette to bright colors….

….and later brings his paintings into the the third dimension through the incorporating other non-painterly elements onto the canvas.

He ultimately creates large-scale freestanding sculptures, architectural structures, and the most complex work ever realized in the medium of printmaking.

Stella’s virtually relentless experimentation has made him a key figure in American modernism.More of Frank Stella’s modernism paintings can be found across the Internet.

Faerie Paths — Singing Stars

a Spectre in the Eastern Veil

 

 

 

I want to be magic. I want to touch the heart of the world and make it smile. I want to be a friend of elves and live in a tree. Or under a hill. I want to marry a moonbeam and hear the stars sing. I don’t want to pretend at magic anymore. I want to be magic.  ~ Charles de Lint

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Michelangelo

Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (1475-1564) was a sculptor, painter and architect widely considered to be one of the greatest artists of all time.Tomb of Pope Julius II                   

As a young boy, Michelangelo was sent to Florence to study grammar under the Humanist Francesco da Urbino. However, he showed no interest in his schooling, preferring to copy paintings from churches and seek the company of other painters.

Battle of the Centaurs

At 13, he persuaded his father to allow him to leave grammar school and become an apprentice to the artist Domenico Ghirlandaio, one of the most successful fresco painters in Florence.

Angel

Michelangelo spent only a year at the workshop the moved into the palace of Florentine ruler Lorenzo the Magnificent, of the powerful Medici family, to study classical sculpture in the Medici gardens.

The Rebellious Slaves

At the age of 22, Michelangelo moved to Rome and sold his first important work: the Bacchus and another Cupid, now lost.

Bacchus

 He was only 24 when he finished sculpting the Pieta for the French cardinal Jean de Billheres. Michelangelo went to the marble quarry and selected the marble for this exquisite piece himself.

Pieta

At age of 27 Michelangelo returned to Florence, which had become a republic, and received an order from the local authorities to sculpt a colossal marble statue of  David. 

David

In 1508, when Michelangelo was 28, Pope Julius decided to decorate his uncle’s chapel  (called the Sistine, after Pope Sixtus IV) and ordered Michelangelo to fill the ceiling with frescoes.  He protested that he is no painter but the Pope insisted and Michelangelo began to work alone and in great discomfort. He finished the Sistine Chapel frescoes in 1512.

Sistine Chapel

His amazing work throughout his long life can be found on many sites on the Internet, especially https://www.michelangelo.org/..

The Magic of the Blog

I have purposely avoided writing blogs lately, as I feel I don’t really have much to contribute to the universe.

Do you ever feel that way?

Do you ever feel that, no matter what you have endured, what you have experienced, it just doesn’t matter in the long run?

I don’t know if you believe in an afterlife. A reward for everything you’ve been through. An ending to your sacrifices and bliss. I don’t know what I believe, but I do know that I want to make the world, life, the future, easier than I had it.

How do I do that?

Again, I don’t have many answers. I try to listen to what my family, my friends, say. What they are going through. And find a way to bring them to a peaceful place. 

I do the same online. 

I don’t know if anyone online has ever benefited from my experiences, from my point of view.

But I always hope that someone gets the gist of what I’m saying and starts to believe in themselves. That they realize that not everything is their fault. That the world goes on as it will, smashing and crushing and sprinkling its darkness to whomever is in the way.

We all get hit by adversity.

What makes humans magical is that we have the ability to rise above all the shit and make the world ours. Bend it to our desires, to our needs. 

I guess we all have an intention of where our blog goes. Your thoughts and projections are different than mine, than your friends, than the person who has a blog that sounds just like yours.

You need to claim your stance and make it your own.

Whether you have 15 followers or 10,000 followers, it doesn’t matter. Be yourself the whole time. Whether your expertise is music or poetry or pottery. It doesn’t matter.

You will find friends everywhere. People who “get” you.

Write when you want. Share what you can. If you change one single life, you are better off than when you started.

That means everything in this world.

And that’s why we’re friends.

 

Creating ‘The Journey to Ukazoo’ Book — Craig L Haupt

I have always loved Craig’s work. Since however I found him some time ago, his art is magical, fun, and so wonderfully creative. He’s working on a book of all his magic (correct me if it’s already out, my friend), but I suggest you wander over to Craig’s blog and see just how wonderfully enchanting his work is!

(I’d love to meet those guys in the boat some day!)

 

 

Continuing to address the three components for creation of this book. After the First, the ’Frontmatter’ which I wrote about in the previous Ukazoo Book Posts, the second component of this book is the ’Body’. The ‘Body’ is divided into three parts – The Journey, Snapshots & Memorabilia, and the Art Exhibit. The first part, […]

via Creating ‘The Journey to Ukazoo’ Book — Craig L Haupt

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Adam Hillman

Art comes in all forms, in all materials.

It all comes down to whatever pleases the eye.

New Jersey-based Adam Hillman is often referred to as a “master organizer.”

He pushes his precisely organized patterns of everyday objects into increasingly more complicated designs.

His tightly controlled symmetrical layouts take hours to measure, cut, and arrange.

The New Jersey-based visual artist sifts through multitudes of colorful everyday objects and foods which he organizes into zen-like patterns, towers, and gradients.

He has lifted everyday objects into patterns of beauty and mathematics.

More of Adam Hillman‘s amazing arrangements can be found on his Instagram account.

Sunday Evening Art Gallery on Thursday — Johan Scherft

Johan Scherft was born in 1970 in Leiden, the Netherlands. At an early age he showed great talent in drawing, and also an interest in animals and nature.

The birds he observed inspired him at a young age to make birds out of paper, hand-colored with colored pencil.

With these self-created models, and other drawings, Scherft was accepted to the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague.

Johan Scherft has been working as a free artist since then, working in various disciplines such as painting, etching, drawing and illustrating.

Scherft designs  cardboard models of animals, especially birds.

He meticulously paints these realistic and life sized animals and upon completing the craft they look as though they would fit seamlessly into nature. 

More of Johan Scherft’s incredible work can be found at http://www.johanscherft.com/

 

The New Year is a New Chance

It’s New Year’s Eve. Time for reflecting on the past year, and, for many, make resolutions for the new one. I’ve started reading other blogger’s year-end pieces, inspiring me to write my own.

My biggest discovery was that I have hyperthyroidism. It is a relief that most of the weird symptoms I’ve been going through have had a reason behind it besides me getting old. I am getting better, thank you, but it is good I get a yearly checkup. You should too.

What does that have to do with my year-end resolutions?

I think my creativity is going to take a slightly different direction  in 2019.

I have done this blog since 2011, each post an evolution upon itself. I have loved writing and sharing my opinions and thoughts on a myriad of subjects. I’ve toted my creativity through words, then the Sunday Evening Art Gallery.

And now?

I’ve decided to talk in my blog less and share the visual more. I want to share more artists, more magic, more images and less “advice.” You don’t need to hear what you’ve heard in other circles. You are smart enough to go for it yourself 

What passions are you bringing to the forefront in  2019?

I send all of you magic and faeries and the power to make dreams come true this upcoming year!

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Marc Giai-Miniet

French artist Marc Giai-Miniet’s works may look like doll houses at first, but they’ll give you the chills.

Giai-Miniet creates miniature boxes with gloomy old-school scifi laboratories, attics, libraries, storage and interrogation cells, and houses full of dusty, rusty rooms.

All of these miniature houses are filled from floor to ceiling with tiny books, machinery, household junk, storage boxes and odd experiments.

Giai-Miniet’s dioramas, or miniature 3D theatres or boxes, are disturbing metaphors for the human condition that succeed in rattling our curiosity wide-awake.

Containing the aftermath from scenes of unknown experiments, interrogations and slaughters, the works form an exploration of the physicality of memory.

Even though the spaces are cluttered with tons of little objects, “Les Boîtes” (The Boxes)  are still neatly organized and truly resemble real buildings as they might look through transparent facades.

More of Marc Giai-Miniet’s works can be found at :www.marc-giai-miniet.com.

Come Visit the Gallery!

Bored this Friday night? You know you can’t read a book or go dancing every night…..

This is just a reminder that if you liked the short version of my Sunday Evening Art Gallery blog in here, you can find even more of their work at the actual art gallery, Sunday Evening Art Gallery. At last count there are 202 galleries…something for everyone!

Maybe you’d like to see….

More of Charles Joseph Hullmandel’s alphabet?    

More graphic art wonders of Davide Bonazzi?

More jewels from Cartier?

More dogs from Dean Russo?

More landscapes from Kurt Wenner?

There’s so much more over at the gallery! Stop by, follow, and check out the amazing art that has been collected for 202 galleries!

What Now?

Well, the Big Day is over. Friends and family have gone home, presents stuffed in beat-up bags. The turkey and ham and hors d’oeuvres have been scarfed, bottles of wine and cartons of egg nog emptied, toys played with and abandoned. Parents can finally get some sleep, grandparents can once again start putting money into their savings accounts for next year’s presents, and the dog is still looking for leftovers dropped on the floor.

I still have my Christmas lights up — do you? If I had my way I’d take down the tree and leave the lights around the window and across the arch up until at least July. The Santas can go, except for the clear ones that look like wizards. The tree has wonderful memories on it, including my 34-year-old’s “Baby’s First Christmas” ornament. But those can get packed away, too.

So what do we do now?

The Christmas vibration still lingers in the air between it and New Years, but it’s growing faint as we speak. Football games are getting ready to take the place of Hallmark Christmas Movies, and those mini hot dogs and smokie links aren’t on sale anymore.

It’s also the time that reality starts clicking its castanets on the outskirts of our hearing. The warm fuzzies of the holiday season can only last until New Years. The 12 Days of Christmas and all of that. Once the tree is down and the lights packed away, people are free to start being jerks again. Politics will raise its obnoxious head, snow will cause major traffic jams and road rage, and it still will be dark when you wake up and dark when you come home from work.

Has this holiday season been for nothing after all?

A couple of blogs ago I said I’m not that much into Christmas, because I celebrate Christmas every day. Obvious baby Jesus isn’t born every day, and the three wise men don’t visit every day, but the spirit can last all year long. 

Before you make your New Years resolutions to lose weight, visit the Vatican, or find a new job, grab a hold of that spirit that the season has left behind and make it your own. Use that positive point of light and make something of it.

Be a nicer person. Forgive those who are idiots. It’s not up to you to show them the light. Mean people, bossy people, all have nothing to do with you. Their hangups have nothing to do with you. Feel sorry for them, then move on.

Give five dollars to a local food pantry or animal rescue shelter. Just because. Help an elderly shopper with their groceries. Someone slips and falls, stop and pick them up. Little movements of kindness expand exponentially back to you, surpassing your original gesture. 

If you hold on tightly to that little spirit of the season that is fading behind us, you will see that the world is all right. In all it’s monstrous, ungrateful, banal existence, there is a part that still shines with the Christmas spirit.

That part is in you.

Even if it’s hidden behind all those Christmas cookies.

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery on Thursday — Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen

Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen (1859-1923, Swiss) was an Art Nouveau print maker, illustrator, painter and sculptor best known for his prolific portfolio of cat depictions.

Steinlen had a love of art from an early age and attended art school in his native Lausanne.In 1881, he moved to Paris.

Living in Montmartre allowed him to meet the leading artists and writers of the day who often frequented the club Chat Noir.

In Paris he began to illustrate various magazines and books by Guy de Maupassant and Anatole Frances.

His love of cats and their world inspired marvelous artwork circling the aloof creature, much to our enjoyment.More of Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen‘s work can be found across the Internet, includinghttps://www.thegreatcat.org/the-cat-in-art-and-photos-2/cats-in-art-20th-century/theophile-alexandre-steinlen-1859-1923-swiss/.

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — The Woods

The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness. ~John Muir

Epping Forest, Essex, England

 

Crooked forest. Poland

 

Bluebell-forest, Hallerbos, Belgium

 

Goblin Forest, New Zealand

 

Arashiyama, Japan

 

Moss Swamp, Romania

 

Otzarreta Forest, Basque Country, Spain

 

Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, California

 

Spain, Gorbea Natural Park, Beech forest

Sunday Eveniing Art Gallery on Friday — Kathy Kills Thunder

Kathy Kills Thunder (her legal name) was born in 1947 in Seattle, WA. Her father, Ben Kills Thunder, was a Sioux Indian from the Fort Peck Indian Reservation in NE Montana.

 Kathy grew up shuttling back and forth between Seattle and the Colville Indian Reservation in NE Washington.

Kathy has been painting and beading since she was six.

She uses a bright color palette and prodigious imagination in creating her painted and beaded work.

The softness of her paintings brings out the true soul of the Sioux world.

More of Kathy Kills Thunder‘s amazing artwork can be found across the Internet.

Rock the Cat Box

Driving home today I sang along with the song on the radio, Rock the Casbah. Yet my version went, “She really a likes it, Rock the cat box; rock the cat box!” It was a fun reference to the first time I heard the song and what I “thought” I heard. The real version is a little different: “Shariah don’t like it. Rock the Casbah. Rock the Casbah.”

How many songs have you messed up the lyrics to?

My mistaken assumptions about song lyrics started when I was in middle school, high school.  There was that “dirty” song Louie Louie  everyone talked about. We could never understand their slurring words, so my friends and my version was, “At night, I lay her, I lay her again. A fu&ckin’ girl. ahhh right away,  (blah blah, blah blah, something I couldn’t understand),  I felt my roll, in her hair…”

The Kingsmen actually said, “Three nights and days I sailed the sea; Me think of girl constantly; On the ship, I dream she there; I smell the rose in her hair.”

Where did my version come from?

Back in the day, my hubby and I liked to sing Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit  song to my kids, singing, “And we all love, mashed potatoes” instead of “Here we are now, entertain us.”

How about the Police and Don’t Stand Too Close to Me? I assumed they sang about the book by Neville Cross. But it was more like Nabokov, who wrote Lolita. (I just looked that up last week!)

And the Duran Duran song nobody understands, Blinded by the Light. I sing, “Wrapped up like a douche you know you’re rollin’ in the night.” Actual lyric: “Revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night.”

Where do we get these versions?

Most songs are clear and melodious, and it’s easy to sing along with the band. But sometimes you think you hear one thing and it’s really another. You trip over one word and your common sense follows that crack in the sidewalk, and you never know the difference.

I always thought Jimi Hendrix on All Along the Watchtower said “Plow man, dig my herb” (like he was getting high or something). Instead he said “Plowman, dig my earth.” (Can you dig it?). Or Don’t Bring Me Down by ELO: “Don’t bring me down, Bruce!” instead of “Don’t bring me down, groose!” (What is a groose?)

All in all, the words may be wrong, but the intentions are real. And so is the fun.

What songs do you mess up?

 

 

 

 

Christmas is Coming?

As of this Tuesday night, there are 13 days, 5 hours, 42 minutes until Christmas.

Are you ready for Christmas?  I can say that I am not. It’s not that big a deal for me.

Now before you hold me as a scrooge or anti-sentiment protester, let me explain. Which you knew I would.

I celebrate Christmas every day.

Sounds ludicrous, I suppose, but I really do.

The lights. I love Christmas lights. I have a strand of white under my counter and a strand of blue over my window.  If I had my way I’d have Christmas lights in every room all year around!

The gifts. Heck, I give gifts all year long. I came across a champagne glass with a dolphin stem at Goodwill, and bought it for my bestie, as she loves dolphins. I buy my friends lunch, take my grandkids to the movies, give gifts to family and friends for no reason. I don’t have to have a special day to give gifts from my heart to those I love.

Christmas dinner. I eat like it’s Christmas day every weekend. I share meals with friends, family, and even bring treats to work for all to share. I give to food banks and food drives throughout the year. That’s the spirit year round.

Christmas carols. There’s nothing more beautiful than listening to the choir sing Christmas carols. Their voices are magical, spiritual, a path to the supreme and mystical. And Christmas songs are fun to sing all year long. During the summer my grandson and hubby were singing “Jingle Bells” while I retorted with “Summer Breeze.” We both had our way and it was fun.

Santa Claus.  I sometimes shudder at the thought of a little boy or girl being forced to sit on an old fat man’s lap who has a big bushy beard and hair and a deep voice going “Ho Ho Ho!” I don’t know you! Santa is a jolly ol’ fellow, but he’s not on my top 10 list of year-round celebrations.

The Christmas Tree. I have lots of plants in my house, and lots of trees on my property. I hang windchimes and oversized ornaments on the trees along the trails so I can enjoy them all year around.

The Baby Jesus. This is what Christmas is really all about. A baby who was born poor and died poor, but lived a full life, teaching us the way to live. He talked about friendship, patience, and compassion. Love and understanding. He taught us to love our neighbor, our family, our children. Not to beat them, frighten them, bully them. He showed us how to be a good person.

I try and live that life every day. I don’t need a special day to be nice to someone, to share with someone.

Neither do you.

Christmas is just another day of being alive, another chance to be kind to someone. To listen to someone. To accept someone for who they are, for what they want to be.

Celebrate Christmas today and everyday!

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Istavan

Based out of Geneva, Switzerland, Istvan works as a freelance illustrator who’s mastery of Vue, Cinema, Zbrush, and Photoshop are obvious.Multi-lingual and multi-talented, Istvan has created a number of digital works that stand on their own as artworks, and work together to form gallery-worthy series.

He uses a mathematical process to create series on natural elements and lifeforms.

His collection of organisms with day/night variations is titled Biotop Polygonia  and was made in Cinema 4D using random values within parameters.

 Istavan always had a fascination with bugs, so he imagined species who live in a polygonic (plant-based) planet.

His mathematical-designed insects are gorgeous.

More of Istavan‘s artwork can be found at https://chaoticatmospheres.com.

 

 

 

Birthdays

Birthdays are a strange thing.

When you’re young, you can’t wait to have a party. It used to be all your friends at your house with party hats and games; today it’s Chucky Cheese or Rock Climbing parties.

When you’re a teen you often just go to the mall with some friends or hang at someone’s house for your birthday. Big shows of celebration of your day of birth are embarrassing.

When you’re in college, your birthday usually turns into a bender, with loud music and laughing, drunk friends playing beer pong or beer bags.

When you’re in your 20s and 30s you often have kids, so your idea of celebrating your birthday is having your parents babysit while you get a night out for dinner and/or a movie.

When you celebrate your birthday in your 40s or 50s, you’ve usually got a good group of friends around you, so you enjoy throwing a big bash at your house or at a friend’s house. You drink chocolate martinis and eat hors d’oeuvres. You play music from your teens and dance around the living room with a beer or a glass of wine.

When you head into your 60s, celebrating your birthday takes a different turn. Your birthday parties entail taking the family out to dinner for something “different” like hot wings or Thai, and you try not to think of how many years you’ve got left to sing “Happy Birthday.”

I’m not in my 70s yet, so I don’t know how I’ll spend them. I try and be a glass half full kinda girl, but when there are more years behind you than in front of you, that’s a hard task to keep.

Yet these birthdays are the most important. Because I’ll tell you one thing.

Another birthday means you’ve survived.

I’ve survived Cabbage Patch Kids, 8-Tracks, The Freddie, and Howdy Doody. I’ve survived 9/11, the impeachment of Nixon, and the death of Lynyrd Skynyrd. I celebrate being alive and full of love and hope, even in the face of runaway Twitter or bashing poor Charlie Brown tv shows.

I celebrate because I’m alive. Looking around me, that’s not always an easy thing to be.

So what does a 66-year-old do for their birthday?

How about sushi with my family then the grandkids over night then go to see Wreck It Ralph Wrecks the Internet tomorrow? That’s love, no matter how you celebrate it.

Celebrate YOUR birthday every year. Every day.

Make your heart happy.

Sunday Evening Art Gallery on Thursday — Si Scott

Si Scott’love of music inspires the flowing nature of his hand-drawn designs, beautifully and precisely executed.

He resists limitations in his own work, constantly exploring new techniques.

These explorations have led to his development as a paper-cut and tattoo artist, skills which complement his already established talents as a proficient draughtsman.

Si’s multi-faceted approach has led him to work across a wide spectrum of projects, from advertising campaigns to branding, publishing to editorial, and interior design to album covers.

More of Si Scott‘s drawings can be found at https://www.siscottstudio.com/.

 

Another Saturday Night

Another Saturday night and I ain’t got nobody
I got some money ’cause i just got paid
How I wish I had someone to talk to
I’m in an awful way

~Sam Cooke

 

Indeed it’s another Saturday night.

I’m alone, my other half is working. So I have the whole evening to myself.

So what should I do?

What do YOU do when you get 5-6 hours to yourself?

I often start with big plans that eventually fade out to vegging out watching TV. What a waste of a Saturday night.

So what I”m really going to do tonight is write. A new story, or maybe on an in-progress one. I’ve got a little scary movie going on in the background, not loud enough to have to pay attention, but more background noise cuz I’m all alone.

A good friend of mine suggested I write a story based on my last blog about “healing hands.” I might do that, although I have no idea on how it will end.

But more importantly, I’d love to know what YOU are doing tonight. On a Saturday night. On a night you get to yourself.

I don’t always get a lot of responses to my posts, but I love when my friends post back. This would be a fun time to hear your side of the story.

Tell me about your Saturday night….

Another Saturday night and I ain’t got nobody
Ain’t got no money so I can’t go play
Guess I’ll write about  travelin’ through ti-i-me
I’m in a happy way

~The Goddess

It’s Not Always What You Think

As you may (or may not) know, I have a runaway mind. I have to be careful when I’m driving not to let the story take me away from paying attention to the road. For I sometimes get an idea and just run away with it until I’ve lost a minute or two.

I had one of those ideas this evening on my way home from work.

What if, for some unknown reason, you woke up one morning and were able to heal anybody by just touching them? By squeezing their arm?

The first emotion would be shock. Then reasoning. Research. How did you get that power? Would the person stay cured? Grasped from the hands of death at the last minute?

So you’d start healing people. First some you know. Colds, heart problems, bad eyesight. You are amazed!

Word gets out. Doctors and universities and private companies want to research you. See how you do it. They may want to dissect you or put you in a tank and take tests.

But you’re not interested. You want to cure people.

According to some quick research, there are 7.7 billion people in the world, and 95% of them/us are sick with one thing or another. My little calculator turns that into 810,526,315 people are sick around the world at any one time. From cancer to colds, you’d be their cure.

if you were to see 30 patients an hour, 24 hours a day, that’s curing 720 patients a day. That doesn’t factor in sleep, meals, and rest time. So if you could cure 720 people per day, it would still take you 1,125,730 days to cure every single person in the world. And that would be only the people that are sick at this moment in time. Not the millions that will get sick tomorrow.

Saving the world is an overwhelming thing, isn’t it?

Before you know it the press would be all over you and Hollywood would want to make a movie out of your life. You would have thousands of doctors calling you every hour just to see if you could take a look at their patients first.

Then you would have to choose who you would cure first….a grandmother with lung failure, a child with pneumonia, a mother with three kids who has cancer. Not only in your city but in millions of cities around the world.

You would want to cure as many people as you possibly could. But who is first? You would have to make criteria. A hundred spreadsheets at a time of who is to be saved and/or healed first.

Everyone’s mothers and fathers would call you and come to your door begging you to save their child. Their husband. Thousands would be outside your home every day.

Curing them would prevent you from going to hospitals and hospices around your neighborhood, your town, your state. Not to mention the other 49 United States and people overseas.

See how my mind wandered?

I don’t want the power to heal sick people. I don’t want the responsibility of choosing between people I love and people I don’t know. Or deciding which illness is worse. They are all worse. Some will die because you couldn’t get to them in time to cure them, and the guilt would eventually be overwhelming.

The rest of life will go on as it should, whether you cure their cancer or their sinuses. People will still die, people will still be on waiting lists for livers or kidneys. And people will still be sad and cry.

It’s the way of the world. And no amount of instant healing will change the ending of the story.

So be careful what you wish for….

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Salvador Dali

The Spanish painter Salvador Dali  (May 1904 – January 1989) remains one of the most controversial and paradoxical artists of the twentieth century.

Over last few decades, Salvador Dali has come to be seen as a prodigious figure whose life and work occupies a central and unique position in the history of modern art.

Most of Dali’s works revolved around painting and sculpture work, and he worked as a graphic artist and designer as well.

During the course of his career, he experienced many different art forms, and experimented with a few styles, allowing him to further his points of expression. Dali infuses surrealism through his paintings and other art works.

His major contribution to the Surrealist movement is called the “Paranoiac-Critical Method” which is a form of mental exercise of accessing the subconscious parts of the mind to have an artistic inspiration.

He used this method to realize the dreams and imagination he had in his mind, changing the real world the way he wanted, and not necessarily the way it was. 

More of Salvador Dali‘s artwork can be found at https://thedali.org/

Happy Thanksgiving — Now and a Couple Days from Now

In the next couple of days, Americans will be posting pictures of turkeys, both fresh from the oven and cartoonish run aways. People will be posting on Twitter and Facebook and WordPress all the things they’re happy for. Thankful for.

I know that most of us don’t need a reason to share our thanks on only one day a year. I am thankful every day  for the blessings I’ve received over the years, even if some of those blessings were painful. I have a feeling you do too.

But if you are one of those online thankers, I have an idea.

Leave behind the thank yous for your family, the love of your life, being able to wake up every morning, your grandchildren (blasphemy!) and share something unique and different that you are thankful for. Something others don’t think of very often.

For instance, I am thankful this Thanksgiving aloud for having a clean mammogram. As some of you may know, I had breast cancer 7 years ago. I am one of the lucky ones who have stayed clear. I have friends and friends of friends who have not been so lucky. This thank you links into so many other blessings in my world that I can’t thank my body enough.

So tell me. What unusual or out-of-the way thing are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

Love and faeries to all of you!

Sunday Evening aArt Gallery — Richard Satava

Richard Satava was introduced to glassblowing in 1969 while at Ocean High School in Pacifica, California.

He subsequently studied art and glassblowing at the College of San Mateo and California State University, Chico.

As important as the skills he learned while taking courses, was the experience he received at CSU, Chico, as a technician in their glass shop. 

The California-based artist uses a technique in his sculptures called “glass-in-glass,” which consists of a glass sculpture being dipped into a second, molten glass layer.

The bright jellyfishes Satava creates are suspended in the glass that surround them, yet each still appears as if their tentacles are rippling through the water.

The glass blown approach works perfectly when translated to the round bell-like shape of the jellyfish’s body, as their natural appearance looks like brightly blown glass.

More of Richard Satava‘s glass blowing can be found at https://satava.com/.

The Importance of Unicorns and Bratwurst ….Again….

I am on my way to writing some chapters for my novel on this quiet, sunny Sunday afternoon. But I was wandering through early, early posts in my Humoring the Goddess blog, and I have to chuckle every time I read this. Here is a post from June, 2011….and don’t forget to stop by later for some great art~

The Importance of Unicorns and Bratwurst

 The Importance of Unicorns and Bratwurst. This is one of those ethereal, out-of-body titles that try to connect the cosmic to the ordinary, the magical to the mundane.  I was hit by this title some time ago, not having a clue as to what it meant or what I would eventually write about.  Even now, as my fingers hit the keys, I have no idea where this storyline is going.  But isn’t that so much like our everyday lives?

We start out the week with the most noble of intentions.  Perhaps we have a satisfying experience meditating Sunday morning, or are able to sleep in a couple of extra hours.  Maybe our football team finally won a game.  Nonetheless, our day is delightful, and we end the night feeling satisfied.  All is right with the world, with our dreams and our desires. 

This is the power of the unicorn.  It is the magical sensation that connects earth and sky, dreams and reality, kids and parents.  In this hazy-yet-authentic state, the world is a soft, mystical place, offering rewards and blessings at every turn.  Our children clean their room without being asked; the washing machine doesn’t screech when spinning; even the movie we choose to watch had one of those feel-good endings.

In the unicorn state the world holds unlimited possibilities. You could actually lose those ten pounds or finally clean off your desk, or even finally start reading that novel you bought five months ago.  You are still based in reality, but the remnant good feelings are enough to move you towards the light and find satisfaction in the simplest things.

 Monday comes along, a tough day for many.  A majority of us will drudge our way to work, blinking at the shortness of the weekend, and find our nine-to-five groove again.  Tuesday seems to be a lot harder than Monday.  Our failure to go to bed early over the weekend now is catching up with us, along with laundry that has mysteriously piled up and the bills we swear we mailed yesterday.  Our favorite TV show is coming on too late for us to watch with any coherency, and the last tape we saved to record said-TV-show was used to record a football game that everyone knows we lost.

 Wednesday is hump day and we wonder just who is doing the humping.  Our resolve not to eat ten chocolate chip cookies in a row is weakening; our commitment to walk a mile or two after work is being thwarted by thunderstorms or ice storms or plagues of locusts.  We can never get our hair to do what our hairdresser did; our plans to cook Coq a Vin has gone by the wayside, seeing as the chicken is still frozen and we don’t have any red wine in the house to cook with anyway.

 Thursday creeps into our lives with a thread of hesitancy.  After all, school has scheduled your son’s basketball game at the same time as your daughter’s piano recital, both of which are at the same time as your bowling league, which is at the same time your other favorite TV show is on, which you would have recorded had the football game not taken up the whole tape.

By Friday your resolutions are out the window along with that novel you can’t choke down anymore, and your thoughts try to center, not on what has been, but what will be.  The weekend is coming; that means a thousand activities shoved into a mere 48 hours. 

It means going to visit your mom on the way to dropping off your kid at the mall, fighting the Saturday morning free-sample crowds at the grocery store, and coming home to an overanxious dog who just dumped the garbage all over the kitchen floor.  It is hoping the video store still has a copy of that brand new movie that everyone is talking about but you, and trying to decide whether to cook a gourmet meal or just throw sausages on the grill.

 This is the bratwurst part, the raw-meat-of-reality part. Bratwurst is a wonderful German sausage, filled with flavor and spices and grilled to perfection.  How metaphoric that little pocket of meat and fat is!  It is the answer to all the cosmic questions in life! It fulfills the need for sustenance (it is a food group), it nurtures your creative side (sauerkraut?  Mustard?  Hot or German?)  It is available in abundance (you can buy them in a pack of six or three pound boxes), and it affords you the freedom of choice  (10 minutes on the grill; burble them in beer and onions for 15 and grill for five; slice them up and fry with potatoes for 20).

How clear it all becomes!  This little sausage is the answer to all metaphysical speculation, the answer to who we are and why we are on this planet.  It is tasty and filling, satisfying those inner child needs and outer kid bravados.  It ties the madness of the week up into a link that goes down easy and can be burped out in a satisfying form later through the night.  It is the spice of life.

I never thought of unicorns and bratwursts as the symbols for Life; I always thought that symbol was that little stick person with the big egg head.  Now that I have been enlightened, I can see that symbol does look like someone celebrating the bratwurst of life, arms out, joyous and all encompassing.

 And the unicorn part?

I’m not quite sure, but I will ask the one standing behind me after I find out if he wants sauerkraut on his bratwurst.

Granny’s a Loser (Not)

Well,  I felt like a loser Granny yesterday evening.

My grandson called and asked if I had any wizard/magician clothes or props. as his school is having a Dress Up as a Wizard or Magician Day on Thursday. Surely Granny, with all her unicorns and faeries, would have some magician wands or hats or capes laying around.

Ahhhhgghhh…

Nope.

Couldn’t help my favorite grandkid out with his costume project.

Now, of course, I know I’m not a real loser. I’m sure one day I’ll be in the Grandma Hall of Fame.

But I want to be that special grandma. The one who has everything, knows everything, loves everything.I’m the go-to for hugs, conversation, and treats. I am a superhero, the one who plays trucks and watches them build Lego ninjas and dance in the rain and play every new game they get. I have the neat house my grandkids always want to visit, and I’m the one who takes them to movies and chimes “go girl! go girl!” everytime we pass the witch on the window.

I’m not the loser. The shadow. The failure.

Not in my grandkids’ eyes.

Through their eyes I see a different version of myself. I’m cool, I’m magic. I’m loving. I don’t have problems or faults. I have patience, understanding, and empathy. I am wise and gentle and special.

There’s no broken dreams around my grandkids. No failures, no competition. I’m not old; just older. There’s just love and heroine worship from my grandkids. There has to be.

It’s my second chance to make things right. To mold a mind. To hold a hand.

That’s why I should have had had at least a magic wand in my bag of tricks. Oh well. Next time.

In the meantime, I’m all set if they ever have a Unicorn Day…..

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Yayoi Kusama

Yayoi Kusama developed a distinctive style utilizing approaches associated with Abstract Expressionism, Minimalism, Pop art, Feminist art, and Institutional Critique—but she always defined herself in her own terms as an obsessional artist.

Kusama had a breakthrough in 1965 when, using mirrors, she transformed the intense repetition of her earlier paintings and works on paper into a perceptual experience called  Infinity Mirror Rooms.

 Kusama’s kaleidoscopic environments offers the chance to step into an illusion of infinite space made from lights and mirrors.

 Her mirrored rooms create an immersive environment that fosters an out-of-body experience, heightens one’s senses, and produces a repetitive illusion through the use of lights and mirrors.

Some  of  Kusama’s Mirrored  Room installations have peep windows into which the visitor merely pokes a head, or little cabins you step inside to gaze out at infinite reflections of yourself – like a child playing with facing mirrors.

Can you imagine standing in the middle of all that light?

More of Yayoi Kusama‘s many faceted art creations can be found at http://yayoi-kusama.jp/.

Living in the NOW

For all the madness out there; for all the crazy politics and abuse and abandonment, the world, our lives, still hold thrills and happiness at every turn.

Sitting on my sofa this Saturday morning, dogs and cats bugging me for pets, hubby gone for the day, I reflect on all the blessings I’ve had through the years, least of all three animals who want my affection and give back tenfold.

I know all of our hearts have been broken one time or another, and, if we are loving, giving people, they will be broken again. But because of that love of life and the world, we are able to survive and appreciate the gifts we have been given even more.

I was thinking about the millennials this morning. All the talk about them living in the “now” and how their financial goals are different from the baby boomers. I know mils that don’t have insurance, don’t have great jobs, don’t have husbands and wives but have live-in partners.

The world has changed. 

And, believe it or not, that’s a good thing.

I think true wisdom comes with not having to prove to the world that your way of thinking is right. That true love of life comes in many forms, and yours is unique and different from everyone else’s.

I am beginning to think that the millenials are right. At least in some ways. 

They live for today. For NOW. For the pleasure that each day brings.

Baby boomers are stuck in the thought process that if we do “A” now or wait until we are “A” then we are allowed to enjoy “B”. So women (and men) don’t do the things their heart wants to do because they are waiting until they’ve lost enough weight, made enough money, earn enough vacation. It’s not just a point of going out to dinner or finding the right bathing suit, either. I’ve known people who have been waiting years to do what they want because they’ve made some imaginary goal that they’ll never make. 

Millenials want to do something? They figure a way to do it today.. Now. 

That seems like jumping without a parachute to those of us older fogies that are tied up in mortgages and car payments and monotonous jobs we’re afraid to change. 

But it’s living in the “now” for many others.

Which circles back to loving every moment you are alive, despite the broken hearts. I thank the Goddess every morning I am able to open my eyes and get out of bed. I am thankful I can listen to all kinds of music and read books that intrigue me and play with my grandkids and hug my hubby. I am thankful I can look out the window at the brushing of snow and pet my cat and watch the birds in  the birdfeeder and write a story and find a pair of socks to keep my feet warm.

That is living in the “now.” 

That is taking the madness in the world with a grain of salt and moving forward every day in a positive way, making the world a better place than you left it. It’s not waiting to share the love. And to take it, too. You deserve it. We all deserve it. 

Don’t wait until tomorrow to give your love. Tommorrow may be too late.

 

 

I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.

~Michelangelo

The elections are over, candidates came and some went, everyone believing they know what’s best for my/our community, our district, our state. One falls and the other takes up the march. In the end, the stalks of corn whistle and whine and sing the song of tomorrow.

I just started watching “The Agony and the Ecstasy” about Michelangelo. It begins by covering his amazing sculptures such at St. Matthew, the tomb of Juliano, and the Medici tombs, including the tomb of Lorenzo. He was 24 when he carved the magnificent Pietà of St. Peters, and 26 when he started to carve famous statue of David.

And he was 33 when he started painting the Sistine Chapel. That huge, vast, empty ceiling. 

33. What were you doing when you were 33? 

I was working in downtown Chicago and had been married for three years and had a two-year-old when I was 33. The little painting I did was more a passing fancy, and the writing I did would not explode in earnest until ten years later.

Some people are just gifted. Some people are just magic. Some people have something we will never have. 

I don’t think the competition back in 1508 was as extreme as it is these days. There was no Internet, no Facebook or no blogs. No telephones, no printing presses, no TV or Xeroxes. Oh, I’m sure there were many sculptors back then. Sculptors and painters. But to have your work noticed and remembered and studied and worshipped — that’s a totally different story.

I have no idea how to sculpt anything, no less chisel a man out of marble. I may paint my pithy version of an alien landscape, but I have no idea how to paint people and ceilings and landscapes.

He did.

He knew how to create art from blocks of stone and angels from paint at the same time people lived with thatched roofs and bathed once a year.

When you stop and take a look at the history of art — really take a look at how such marvelous creations were created in such sparse and simple times — you cannot help be be amazed. 

You don’t have to be “into” the arts to appreciate the talent and stories that echo through the hallways of time. A calling was all that was needed; a calling to an artist who had the talent, the patience, and the dream of making something bigger than themselves. 

You may not have the fame or endurance of the masters of old, but you do have the talent and the inspiration. Throw yourself into your art, and let it flow through you and onto your medium.

Don’t compare yourself to artists like Michelangelo di Ludovico Buonarroti Simoni or Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn or Marc Zakharovich Chagall. You are your own magic, your own muse. You hear music others can’t hear. Follow that calling. 

And take a look at some of the artists of the past. Learn about their art, their history, their passions.

Maybe you will see yourself reflected in their creativity.

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Seo Young-Deok

ThSeo Young-Deok creates hyper-realistic, life-size sculptures of human figures fashioned exclusively from welded chains taken from industrial machinery and bicycles.

Seo explores the relationship between humans and their environment by repurposing iron chains, which are part of the industrial world.

Seo Young-Deok’s work centers mostly around the human body, and his pieces highlights his understanding of human anatomy.

Most of his sculptures are made by welding individual pieces of iron together, and he sticks to the conventional methods of drawing, modeling, casting, and welding to create his pieces.

Seo Young-Deok sculpts both of male and female subjects in a number of poses and postures, from sculpted heads to busts, torsos, and standing figures.

You can find more of Seo Young-Deo’s amazing chain work at  http://youngdeok.com//

What the He%% is Going On?

I am not a sticker-on-the-car kinda gal. Besides a yearly state park sticker, I’m pretty much a clean car person. That doesn’t mean that I don’t smile when I see a family of stick people or dog stickers or Wall Drug bumper stickers on someone else’s car.

Which brings me to a sign I saw on my way back home from up North yesterday. My hubby and I drove past a pick-up truck with writing on their back window. It said, “I eat ass.”

Yep.

I was surprised at the nerve of the younger driver. We laughed and shook our heads, wondering what that even meant. I even looked the phrase up on Google.

That inane phrase is still popping my popcorn. I can’t help but wonder: What the hell was that all about? Why was that idiotic phrase spread all across his back window?

He and his buddies probably got a laugh raising the hair of fairly moral people. But then I started to think of this guy’s probable role models.

You have the President of the United States of America tweeting things like, “When you give a crazed, crying lowlife a break, and give her a job at the White House, I guess it just didn’t work out. Good work by General Kelly for quickly firing that dog!”

You have a woman who was caught on video yelling obscenities at a family speaking Spanish at a Virginia restaurant, at one point yelling at them to “Go back to your f—– country. You do not f—– come over here and freeload on America.”

You have a six-year-old telling school authorities that she was being bullied, and instead of getting help, her mother reports her daughter was “told off” for telling what the school believed to be “tales.” The mother said that even the adults involved have been no help, as the bully’s parents “mocked” her daughter on social media.

This is the kind of madness that runs through the conscience of people. These are the kinds of absolutely stupid and intolerable things that people are inspired by.

I believe that most of us are pretty normal. We love, we hate, we confess, we hug and make amends. We maybe don’t understand the workings of the world, but we do our best to raise our kids and take care of our parents and be helpful neighbors.

But there are some that have no seed of tolerance or understanding. There are some who can’t feel good about themselves unless they belittle and bully someone else.

I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t care what your back story is. Get over it. There is no reason for you to take your problems out on everyone else. Human beings have a choice. They don’t have to choose to be animals to others.

People say, “What can we do about it?”

My friends, I don’t have the answer.

I have never had the inkling to bully or belittle or be a show-off smart ass anyone, so I don’t know the cure for the disease I see around me.

Maybe all we can do is be nice to each other, even when we are in pain or confusion ourselves.

If you see someone being bullied, step in. Stop the madness before it spreads.

If you see someone being treated unfairly, speak up. Stop the madness before it spreads.

If you hear sexism and prejudice and intolerance in the news, tell others how wrong that is, and stop the madness before it spreads.

Don’t be that person. Don’t allow those negativities into your heart and soul. Stop others from going down that path.

Stop the madness before it spreads.

 

 

Happy Halloween of Horror

By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes.

~William Shakespeare

The artists of the past were not exempt from painting images that scare the beejeezes out of you.

Let me share some famous nightmares with you.

 

Salvador Dali, 1940

 

Mark Powell – 1985

 

Zdzislaw Beksinski

 

Henry Fuseli – 1781

 

Artemisia Gentileschi, 1620-1621

 

Vincent van Gogh, 1886

 

William Blake, 1820

 

Katsushika Hokusai, 1830

 

Hell- Hans Memling, 1485

 

Peter Paul Rubens, 1636

 

Wayne Barlowe

 

Titian, 1570

 

Theodore Gericault. 1818

Sweet Dreams!

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Cassius Marcellus Collidge

Cassius Marcellus Coolidge (September 18, 1844 – January 13, 1934) was a drugstore owner, painter, bank owner, and inventor.

But Coolidge (who at times signed his work Kash” or Kash Koolidge) became well known as the creator of the dogs-playing-poker genre of painting, a subject which grew out of the 19th-century tradition of visual humor.

His knack for crafting playfully surreal images culminated in his magnum opus, the absurdist canine series for which he’s best remembered today.

According to the advertising firm Brown & Bigelow, then primarily a producer of advertising calendars, Coolidge began his relationship with the firm in 1903.

From the mid-1900s to the mid-1910s, Coolidge created a series of sixteen oil paintings for them, all of which featured anthropomorphic dogs, including nine paintings of Dogs Playing Poker,] a motif that Coolidge is credited with inventing.

His work was purchased by cigar companies, who made copies of his paintings as promotional giveaways, and by the printing firm of Brown & Bigelow who made his work widely known by using it in advertising posters, calendars, and prints.

You can find more of Cassius Marcellus Coolidge’s artwork across the Internet.

There’s Magic Coming Your Way

I took the day off from work. I slept late, went to the store, am fooling around on my computer, and am going to nap again. I think I am so sleep deprived the cosmos made me take today off. After all, you can’t make magic…you can’t BE magic…if you are too sleepy to think straight.

So before I doze off on this cloudy Friday afternoon, I wanted to give you a sneak peek at the galleries coming up:

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I am so fascinated by the magnificent ideas that have come from the souls of creative people. I don’t believe you have to understand or even like a piece to understand the passion that went into its creation.

If you have enjoyed the small selection I share here Sunday nights (and other nights when I can’t hold back any more), please find your way to my Sunday Evening Art Gallery for a more extensive selection.

Tell your friends to follow me too! (how shameless of a promotion is that?)

Until we meet again, enjoy art of all sizes and shapes. It’s what makes us unique in the universe.

Listen to the Moon

I was driving home last night from meeting a friend for dinner and saw the most marvelous orange full moon. It was a redhead in all her glory, slowly rising above the horizon.

My first reaction (after amazement) was a little sadness, for I always want to see the rising moon from the far end of my property. There’s a cornfield on the other side of the back back back gate, which makes the horizon long and flat and dark.

There’s something about a full orange moon that fills me with magic. I become young again. I want to play, I want to do magic, I want to write magic. I want to see faeries in the woods and elves walking along the paths.

My imagination soars when I’m outside with the Lady of the Night.

Yet I missed this one — one I could have easily have watched from the very beginning. But I was out to dinner with a friend.

A friend who has just beaten cancer. Again. She has done chemo and is now going through radiation.

A friend that is full of life, of hope. I love her stories…she has so many of them. After what she’s been through, she is a gift from above. She has children and grandchildren that adore her, a husband that supports her, and everyone she meets becomes a friend of support through this bad time.

Maybe that’s what the moon was telling me last night.

Maybe it glowed with the magic of friendship. Maybe it glowed with pride in my thinking about someone else besides myself. Maybe She knew that if I hadn’t taken my friend to dinner I’d be zoning out on TV or some other wasteful pastime.

What’s the big deal about taking someone out to dinner? An hour and half, twenty-five dollars later. It’s an hour and a half out of your busy, busy, oh-so-important schedule.

Yet it is an hour and a half of strength. Of love. Of friendship.

Two people, both having suffered from the horrid demon C, eating soup and chowing down burgers, laughing about work and boasting about our grandkids and our kids and how lucky we are to be alive. We planned for tomorrow and the next day and the next day.

That’s what you do with friends.

One night go out and gaze upon a full moon. Listen to what it’s saying to you. You will  understand what She is saying. Your soul will be better for it.

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Charles Joseph Hullmandel

Buried in the archives of the British Museum is this wonderful series of lithographs from illustrator Charles Joseph Hullmandel (June 15, 1789 – November 15, 1850) that transforms the English alphabet into sweeping landscapes. 

Charles Joseph Hullmandel  was born in London, where he maintained a lithographic establishment on Great Marlborough Street from about 1819 until his death.

Born in London of a German father and French mother, he travelled widely in Europe, making drawings and paintings of the places he visited.

In 1817 he met the inventor of the lithographic process, Senefelder, in Munich; the following year he established a lithographic press at his home in Great Marlborough Street, from where he produced prints until his death.

He refined the lithographic process, developing a method for producing gradations in tones and creating the effect of soft washes of color.

You can find more of Charles Joseph Hullmandel‘s work The British Museum and other sites across the Internet.

We Need To Sound Down

I was riding down an interstate highway this afternoon, going home from my grandson’s soccer game. Since I wasn’t driving I was daydreaming.

I noticed so many office buildings, apartment buildings, gas stations, and more blurring past me, and I wondered what this highway was like a hundred years ago.

A hundred years is nothing in the timespan of life.

But it’s the difference between cars and buggies. Electricity and coal.

And I wondered what these roads looked like a hundred years ago.

Was there a traffic jam with buggies like there was going east on Hwy. 94? Were there exit ramps taking them to landscapes unknown? Office buildings ever other mile filled with thousands of desks doing thousands of tasks?

I know it was still a struggle to live back then. No phones. No electricity. No iron lungs. Child labor. Prohibition.

But they survived.

They survived without computers and electric razors and Porches. They survived without The Voice and The Walking Dead.

I know they also had  syphilis and diphtheria. They didn’t have the polio vaccine or a heart lung machine.

You know where I’m going with this.

What do you think the world was like before all this instant ticky tacky gratifications like Facebook and freezers?

It was harder. It was scarier.

But it was quieter.

There was more time to look inside and contemplate our role in the world. Our future. Our past.

We cannot change where we are, what we’ve developed, nor where we’re going. Our children’s children will go places we only dreampt of in science fiction and fantasy.

That’s what people thought a hundred years ago, too.

They couldn’t do a thing about horse dung in the streets or malaria or lack of refrigeration.

But they could dream.

Just like we can dream.

Dream of a quieter world. A peaceful world. A world where time has no meaning, nor does politics or war or greed.

They dreampt of that a hundred years ago.

We can dream of that today. And tomorrow.

Until then, find a quiet place, far away from the maddening crowd, and connect with your soul. You live in a city; find a park. You live in the countryside, find a different countryside. Listen to what the Earth is saying to you. It talks to you, it talks to me…even when you don’t feel like talking.

It’s the only peace and quiet you can find that’s true and good.

And we all need a little true and good in our lives. Right?

 

 

 

Thursday Evening on the Veranda (with a coat) — Ben Ashton

Alas, my art gallery affectionados…this is the last evening standing on the veranda, showing off unique and wonderful art. It’s getting to the point where a sweater is just not enough.

As I was wandering from one point to another, I came across this bizarrely amazing artist Ben Ashton.

On his website he has many different types of artwork.

But I came across these paintings and I wondered….what was he thinking?

Was he trying to smear the most intimate parts of the human body?

 

Looking at the magical paintings, we will never know.

More of Ben Ashton‘s work can be found at http://www.benashtonart.com/

Happy Birthday — Here’s a Pie


A friend of mine through WordPress, TextileRanger, wrote a blog on Gifts for the Person Who Has EverythingShe writes about her birthday, and the best gift she could get was that her daughters came and took furniture and articles that have been sitting around being unused for like ever.

And it got me thinking about birthday presents in general.

I don’t know how many of you still exchange gifts for birthdays or  Christmas. In our family, grandkids and kids are a must. Husbands (or myself as a wife) are more of “I need this now so why not give it to me for my birthday/Christmas?” sort of thing. We still exchange birthday gifts with my husband’s family — there’s about 3 grandkids and 5 adults, and it’s been a tradition for like ever, too.

Once you get up in age — and these family members run from 40 to 73 — have just about everything they need. Their collections of unicorns, Precious Moments, or Chicago Bears paraphernalia is fuller than a landfill. Half the time I don’t know what they do in their spare time, so buying something personal gets to be harder and harder.

So the last few years we have been giving food and drink for presents.

I think my family couldn’t be happier.

These are gifts that are fine-tuned to my friends and family’s taste. They are foods and liquors that they would normally never purchase. I once gave a cousin two lobster tails for his birthday. Last year we bought a different cousin a selection of hot seasonings and sauces, because he loves hot  food. A couple of weeks ago I gave a girl cousin a bottle of Relax German wine and a tin of Pirouette cookies to go with it. I would never buy a $7 tin of cookie for myself, but it was fun to buy them for someone else.

I think realistically our family and friends have enough t-shirts, earrings, and video games to last three lifetimes. But to pick out something special that doesn’t have to find shelf space is probably the best idea ever. That friend/family member can enjoy that special expensive beer, cookie, or chocolate creme pie more than the shirts that won’t fit or the video game that’s too hard.

Think about what you’re giving to those who mean the most to you. Maybe it’s time to stop the calendars and socks and give them some wonderfully decadent treat to show them how much you care.

And maybe if you’re lucky they’ll invite you over to share said goodie…

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Sam Gilliam

Sam Gilliam (born November 30, 1933) is an African-American painter associated with the Washington Color School movement.

Gilliam’s hallmark “drape paintings,” which consist of stained fabric or paper resembling tie-dye, are regarded as a major step in the development of American art. 

A pillar of the Washington, D.C., modern and contemporary art communities, internationally acclaimed Gilliam has been testing the boundaries of color, form, texture, and the canvas itself over the course of his long, productive career.

His works have also been described as belonging to abstract expressionism and lyrical abstraction.

He works on stretched, draped and wrapped canvas, and adds sculptural 3D elements.

He is recognized as the first artist to introduce the idea of a draped, painted canvas hanging without stretcher bars around 1965.

More of Sam Gilliam‘s work can be found at http://davidkordanskygallery.com/artist/sam-gilliam/ and other galleries around the Internet.

My Life is on TV

I enjoy the new television season.in the fall. Dozens of shows try their best to make it to the evening line up. Most of the new crop is stinky. Some are merely okay. And some are pretty good.

Now and then there are some that hit pretty close to your life. And it’s creepy.

I just watched two sessions of Cool Kids.

For those who don’t know, Cool Kids is a new show about four “seniors” living in a retirement community who are sassy and a little troublesome. The most recent show was about one of the main stars (Vicki Lawrence) turning 65 and how she didn’t want to even acknowledge it. The foursome went out to a dance club and had a great time embarassing themselves before they went out drinking and met for breakfast the next morning in sunglasses.

65 and wanting to believe 65 is not old. And going out and doing crazy things to prove to themselves they are indeed as young as they feel. Which, in the end, was strained back muscles when they stood up and headaches in the morning.

Does that sound familiar or what?

I’m afraid I identify too closely with these oldsters. They say and believe the things I say and believe. They laugh and pick on each other and get sassy and throw parties they’re not supposed to throw. They fear getting old and being forgotten once they pass. The show didn’t get into grandkids or working past retirement age. Perhaps those will be touched in future episodes.

But what they did talk about and complained about sounded a lot like me.

Vicki Lawrence is 69 playing 65. The other actors are 62, 63, and 75 respectively. All within my age sphere. Their characters — and probably the actors themselves — have been there, done that. And so have a lot of us.

At this point in my life it’s great to see someone else portray my ups and downs on the screen. It’s great to see seniors being proud to be seniors. They may ache a little more and get tired a little more, but their memories of once being young and agile are every senior’s memories.

Of course, my life on the big screen will come crashing down once the show is cancelled.

But for now it’s fun watching the female lead talking about having a Peanut Booze and Jelly sandwich for lunch.