No Woman (or Man) Is An Island

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.   ~John Donne

Contrary to (my) popular belief, my opinion is not the only one on the planet. My way of thinking on a particular subject is not the only way to think about a subject.

As many of you may remember (who wants to?), I wrote a blog a while back about my work title changing to “writer”, and that I was going to do my best to write company blogs and emails and whatever scraps were tossed my way.

Well, months later, and I’m not writing much at all. My company is going through a “transition” (always a great phrase when you don’t know what’s going on), and I often feel that because I’m older I’m being slowly but surely shown the proverbial door. It is a baby boomer point of view.

That’s my island.

Yesterday I read a blog from Blue Settia about the Generation Gap in the Workplace. It is a piece on the problems in the workplace from someone on the other side of the work cycle — someone 40 years younger than me. And she is going through the madness from a millennial point of view.

That is her island.

And it made me realize that corporate America (and other countries) still has a hard time bridging the age gap when it comes to making their employees feel important. Like their contributions matter. And that it’s not just my generation who is feeling the pressure of acceptance and getting along.

I realize a big company cannot cater to the egos of a hundred, a thousand, employees. Everyone has their own needs, their own insecurities, their own drives. And a company’s main thrust has always been, and will always be, making money first.

But when good, hard working people what to contribute, and their ambitions are not heard, what is the point?

Is a paycheck only a means to an end?

The point of today’s blog is to show that you are NOT an island unto yourself. That, unknown to you, there are others going through the frustrations and missed opportunities of becoming more than you are today. The business world is my commuter island today; for others it’s motherhood, their health, finding a job.

Whenever you think the world has passed you by, talk to someone else who is younger, older, or more seasoned. Talk to a stay-at-home mother, a friend who barely makes it living check to check, or someone who is management.

Listen to what each has to say. Really listen. Island hop. You may be surprised how many islands are really connected to yours.

And enjoy that island breeze together.

Magic Moments — Fairyland

 

There is such a place as fairyland – but only children can find the way to it. And they do not know that it is fairyland until they have grown so old that they forget the way.

One bitter day, when they seek it and cannot find it, they realize what they have lost; and that is the tragedy of life. On that day the gates of Eden are shut behind them and the age of gold is over. Henceforth they must dwell in the common light of common day.

Only a few, who remain children at heart, can ever find that fair, lost path again; and blessed are they above mortals. They, and only they, can bring us tidings from that dear country where we once sojourned and from which we must evermore be exiles.

The world calls them its singers and poets and artists and story-tellers; but they are just people who have never forgotten the way to fairyland.

L.M. Montgomery, The Story Girl

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Bisa Butler

Artist Bisa Butler draws from an array of vibrant patterned fabrics to create portraits of everyday people.

She avoids representational colors, favoring layered jewel-toned hues to form the skin of her Black subjects, and often groups figures together into strong silhouettes.

“I have always been drawn to portraits,” Butler explains in a statement on her gallery’s website.

“I was the little girl who would sit next to my grandmother and ask her to go through her old family photo albums. I was the one who wanted to hear the story behind every picture.”

“This inquisitiveness has stayed with me to this day. I often start my pieces with a black and white photo and allow myself to tell the story.”

Butler studied fine art at Howard University. In a video interview by BRIC TV, the artist explains that she began using fabric in her paintings in college, and then converted to quilting as a way to continue her dedicated art practice while protecting her young daughter from toxic materials and fumes.

Her quilts are full of motion, heritage, tradition, and beauty. They represent a merging of artistic excellence and quilting magic.

Bisa Butler‘s amazing quilting can be found at https://www.instagram.com/bisabutler/ and at at sights and galleries around the Internet.

Saturday Evening Art Wonderings

Happy Saturday Eve! A discussion, a wondering, a confusion for a Saturday evening (with pictures!)

Yesterday I went to a wonderful art festival on the Milwaukee lakefront:  The Lakefront Festival of the Arts. Part of the ticket price was entry to the Milwaukee Art Museum:

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So hubby and I spend a good deal of time walking through the museum. They had art from every era. There was this 1800-something bounty hanging  my husband enjoyed:

A Dale Chihuly:

And even a Georgia O’Keefe:

We wandered through the contemporary section, and I found myself having a little harder time understanding what I was looking at.

There was this neat hanging rock display:

And a modernish painting I kind of got a vibe from:But then I came across two paintings that I just didn’t get. They both had their own wall, so there were no distractions. And my favorite question mark:

And I wonder — why are these last two considered art?

I know I know…beauty is in the eye of the beholder and all that. The artist is making some sort of a statement. Or non-statement. I did not retain the artists’ names, but I am sure they are impressive in their own right. After all, they have a spot on a wall in one of the most popular art museums around.

So this Saturday evening, I was wondering if you could help me out. Maybe you are an artist that paints similar paintings. Maybe your friend or relative is an artist that really “gets” modern, contemporary art.

Maybe I am just out of my league. But I know I ask what thousands of others often ask. Why is this considered art? I love paintings. Not just the Masters, but I am enjoying the modern approach as well. But what talent is there is painting a canvas all one color? What am I missing?

It’s not that I don’t appreciate an avant garde approach to art. But walking through the art festival, I saw plenty of other works that would have made much more sense up on a museum wall. 

If you have an answer I’d sure like to hear it. 

Ahhh….something else I need to learn….

Sunday Evening Art Gallery on Thursday — Nolan Preece

Nolan Preece was born in 1947 in Vernal, Utah. His parents encouraged his early interest in art, and he was helping his father in the home darkroom at age five.

A photographer for over forty years, Preece has devoted his work to understanding and mastering the challenging techniques of early photography, but also promoting new processes such as the chemogram, an experimental process he discovered in the late nineteen-seventies using cliche-verre (print on glass.). 

Preece drips chemical solvents onto glass that has been coated with smoke. To convert this glass matrix or negative into a lasting paper print, it is enlarged onto fiber based paper. This process must be completed in the darkroom.

The chemigram combines the physics of painting (varnish, wax, oil) and the chemistry of photography (photosensitive emulsion, developer, fixer); without the use of a camera, an enlarger, and in full light.

He has his own methods and applies them meticulously.

Over the past thirty years, the artist has continued to create images of surprising complexity and beauty, exploring new methods including the use of digital technology.

Preece’s work evokes a speculative, poetic feeling unlike other forms of painting.

Preece has said that the essential qualities of this experience include a sense of translucency, stilled movement, vastness within the intimate, and a quietude that contains within it a spectrum of unsettled emotions. 

Nolan Preece‘s amazing chemical art can be found at http://www.nolanpreece.com/. 

 

 

 

 

Same Story, Different Versions

The other day I did my best to explain my thoughts on the different ways to write a blog (How Do You Know What To Write?): journal, ask a question, or sharing a life experience. 

Well, this evening I am blogging the second style. 

Trying to give you the Cliff Notes version:

I finally finished the third book in my series. None are published; I haven’t even shared them with friends yet. First two books are written in second person/female, story about  a middle-aged woman crashing her car and winding up in 1880 and 1895 respectively. The voice is casual; she is quirky, sometimes overly emotional, a bit insecure, and does a lot of self-analysis. (typical woman, eh?) But she is a heroine.

I decided to write the third book as the same story as the second book but from the man’s point of view. It is written second person/male. He is more cerebral, more black and white, a brooder and emotional and a hard worker. The sentences in this book run long, helter skelter, like human thoughts often do.

I tried a literary approach to this version — I wouldn’t exactly call it “literary fiction”  because I’m not sure how to write it, although I know it when I read it. It is the same story from two different points of view.

My question to you readers and writers — do I try and make all the books sound similar? If I ever got a chance to “sell” the series, shouldn’t they all sound like each other?

I know the more you read your own stuff, the more it all sounds the same. But I set out to on purpose make them sound and feel different. I don’t know if I accomplished that, but I wonder now if I should add more to the woman’s version.

Every one of George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones books sound the same. Only the story and the people change. Or rather the same people change and evolve (or die). That’s what people love about the series. 

I can’t tell if all of my books sound the same or if they really do feel different, men vs. women sort of thing. 

But that’s not my question to you. My question is:  is is okay to make the third book sound different than the first two, even if it’s telling basically the same story?

I know this isn’t a big deal, and it’s hard to give advice if you haven’t read the books. But you do know what you like to read; you do know what you like to write. 

Do you like everything in a series to sound the same?

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Christian Richter

There is something about Christian Richter‘s photography that is hauntingly beautiful.

The photographer developed a certain fondness for derelict buildings, some of which could have been listed and preserved as cultural heritage sites, but which had fallen into irreversible disrepair. He photographs places that have been by the world, by man, by the people who created them in the first place.

ichter tells that when he was young he fell in love with aRbandoned buildings.

After he got a camera as a present, he started photographing the beauty there. He mostly photographs empty buildings with great staircases or interiors.

The locations were as diverse as factory shop floors, chapels or theaters, and what they all had in common was that you entered them at your own peril.

Fascinatingly deserted. We are drawn to this beautiful emptiness is that we can envision what their world was like when they were new.

Christian Richter does not have a particular website, but you can find his work at christianrichter, and at Bored Panda. 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery on Friday — Ali Mirsky

Since early 2000, Ali Mirsky’s work has involved the creation of contemporary mosaics, including mirrors.

Mosaic art offers Mirsky the ability to take something that is whole or complete, such as a sheet of stained glass, and deconstruct the materials to create a body of work that is both new and beautiful.

Working in mosaic, she is very drawn to the limitless palate and textures found in various forms of tesserae (a small block of stone, tile, glass, or other material used in the construction of a mosaic.)

Within her designs, she creates organic forms and movement by hand cutting all of her materials and constructing the mosaic in a way where the individual pieces are placed at various angles.

Mirsky’s artwork is often created spontaneously, allowing the mosaic to transpire freely with the addition of each piece she glues down.

The versatility that mosaic offers is a crucial factor that affords her the ability to span the gap between functional and non-functional as well as both interior and exterior works of art.

More of Ali Mirsky’s art can be found at http://alimirskymosaics.com/

 

Making Dreams Reality

What are we if not our dreams?

Are we any less because our dreams did not come true?

It depends on our dreams.

If we dreamed that one day we would be out of a particular situation and finally be happy and free, and never made it out of that dream, that is one type of disappointment. For as the ‘now’ generation says (and I wholeheartedly agree), all we have is NOW. Make that dream happen today or tomorrow, don’t wait until forever gets here.

But if we dream that one day we will buy a Ferrari or travel to some foreign land, and never buy that car or visit that place, that is another sort of dream. That is the dream of merely having fun stepping out and running around, rather than running away. This sort of dream is safer because, even if we don’t get that car or visit that world, we had a great time pretend planning it.

Well, I have a secret.

I have a pretend planning dream.

Well, lots of them, but this one has overwhelmed me for the past six months. A dream that, if I decide to take this gigantic step, will change my life. Kinda.

I want to go to a writing workshop in Paris next year.

Now. I have no money. I am still working. I have bills and a mortgage and a hubby and grandkids to think about. I am one step away from flighty, have to write everything down or I forget it, am 15 pounds overweight, over 65, and a hundred other legit reasons to wonder why I’m even considering it.

Yet I am considering it.

The biggest hurdle has been overcome — sorta. Hubby said go for it. I don’t think he thinks I’m serious. I could take money out of my 401K plan. After all, if I leave it all to my kids all they’ll do is spend it anyway.

So why does a 66-year-old scardy cat woman think Paris is the only place I can write?

I am not sure.

I know Paris is not the stuff of movies. There is no Midnight In Paris car to whisk me away to meet Hemingway or Picasso. There is no Eat Pray Love or Under the Tuscan Sun ending that will change my life, for I’m happily married and in love with my family. There are pickpockets and tourist traps and muggings like in any big city.

Why am I even entertaining going?

Maybe it’s because there are few challenges left in my life besides illness and death. Maybe it’s because I’ve always been afraid to do something all by myself, and figure there’s no time like the present to try it. Maybe it’s because I’ve got a wonderful imagination and believe I’ll overcome my apprehensions and actually enjoy exploring a world where I don’t speak the language (except for the American-sponsored writing workshop).

Am I crazy?

Perhaps I’ve always been a bit crazy. Who else would write novels about time travel and being taken to another part of the galaxy for adventure?

It’s easy to dream these things from the comfort of my livingroom sofa.

It’s quite something else to think that one day I might be dropped off at the airport and board an airplane and travel half way across the world to learn something I already know.

Yet I know nothing.

We all know nothing.

I don’t know if I will be brave enough come open registration season to really go through with it. But I’m having a ball planning and researching and picking out clothes to wear and what souvenirs I will bring back.

We all need to dream something that is just out of our comfort zone. Something just out of reach. It’s exciting and eye-opening and makes you re-examine your own hangups and fears.

And who knows?

Je peux aller à Paris après tout!

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Beccy Ridsdel

With layers of porcelain surgically peeled back like skin, UK artist Beccy Ridsdel reveals the colorful internal workings of ceramic dishes.

The artist refers to the pieces as “dissections in progress” and displayed earlier iterations alongside actual surgical implements to further heighten their anatomical nature.

Ridsdel’s art suggests each porcelain cup or plate has an internal biology of floral decorations that can be explored by removing bits of exterior.

This work forms part of an exploration of the differences between art and craft, and ceramics’ relationship to them.

She is trying to demonstrate to the world that behind every white façade is hidden a flowery reality, an eternal spring that is ready to impress us with its colors. 

 Explaining her thought process, Ridsdel said: “These installations take the form of an observation of a surgical experiment in progress. The ‘surgeon’ is dissecting the craft object to see what is within.”

   More of Becky Ridsdel‘s work can be found at http://www.beccyridsdel.co.uk/.

How Do You Know What To Write?

I have to be careful this sounds like a helpful post and not a journal entry.

Do you ever confuse the two?

I have read blogs that read like journals, rambling thoughts, working out problems, hypotheses, assumptions about the world that have no beginning nor end. They are just … for better or worse .. venting.

Then there are those blogs that pose a question, a hypothesis, that seek an answer. What do you think? Have you ever done that? How do you do that? That’s more looking for direction in your own wonderings.

There also are blogs that share unique experiences, connecting to those who wonder if they are the only ones who think this, feel this, experience this. I call these affirmation blogs. They don’t always offer answers, but the assure the reader they are not alone in the things they go through.

The first example is usually the weakest style. You want to share your angst, your amazement, your purging and affirmations. There is nothing more to gain from rambling thoughts than just an acknowledgement that someone has read your thoughts. After all, there is no cosmic space to really allow for an answer or an additional ramble.

The second can be more popular, especially if you have followers who love to write back. As you all can tell, there are more readers than there are commenters, so one can never take feedback from their suppositions (cosmic or real) too seriously. A hundred people may shake their heads “yes I hear what you’re asking but I don’t have an answer for you.” Only one will write that response.

The hardest to write, and the most rewarding for all around feedback and expansion, is the third example. Sharing meaningful experiences that others can identify with. People need little encouragement to share their experiences back, but it has to be the right encouragement. You have to learn how to write in an inviting way so that people feel comfortable writing back.

We balance our reading time between all three types of bloggers/writers. But those who really enjoy writing enjoy writing back. It’s just hard, sometimes, to respond to someone whose prose is wandering aimlessly through the countryside.  It’s easier to pick a subject, a particular thought, a particular experience, and to focus your blog on that one (general) thing.

You will get more feedback, which is really why we all blog, and less nodding and moving along.

I haven’t quite mastered this technique yet, but I’m working on it. I see many of you are, too. You are leaving me space to respond to your thoughts, which encourages me to pass your thoughts along to others.

And really, isn’t working together and moving forward together what blogging is all about?

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — A.Y. Jackson

Alexander Young (A.Y.) Jackson  (1882 – 1974) was a Canadian painter and a founding member of the Group of Seven, Canadian artists who promoted the excellence of Canadian art and landscapes.

In addition to his work with the Group of Seven, his long career included serving as a war artist during World War I (1917–19) and teaching at the Banff School of Fine Arts.

Jackson made a significant contribution to the development of art in Canada, and was successful in bringing together the artists of Montreal and Toronto.

Alone, or paired with other Group members, Jackson traveled extensively through the back country of Ontario with sketch box in hand, particularly Algonquin Park and Northern Lake Superior.

Jackson’s exposure to Impressionism fostered techniques for capturing the fleeting effects of light that he would later apply to the Canadian landscape.

His art nouveau style highlighted the Canadian countryside, showing visions of a land many had thought barren and boring.

His easy style, featuring rolling rhythms and rich, full color, exerted a strong influence on Canadian landscape painting.

A.Y. Jackson‘s artwork can be found in galleries all across the Internet.

 

Magical Moments — Twilight

Twilight time to dream a while
In veils of deepening gloom
As fantasy strides over colorful skies
Before disappearing from view
In twilight time dream with me a while
A nightingale plays a dark mellow phrase
Of notes that are rich and so true
An aerial display by the firefly brigade
Dancing to tunes no one knew
In twilight time dream with me a while
In twilight time dream with me a while
Building castles in the air
Whistling to the wind
As nature bows down her head
See what tomorrow brings
Twilight time
~Moody Blues

I love you, Granny…!

Well, it finally has hit me. I run from it, deny it, hide from it. But it still showed up. Looking in the mirror over the weekend, I realized….I was turning into a busia.

Busia (pronounced boo-sha), or the correct Babcia (pronounced babp-CHAH), is Polish for grandmother. I prefer to say and spell it as Bousha, but I might as well be spelling it g-r-a-n-d-m-o-t-h-e-r, for that is gentler on the ego than my biggest fear.

Now, you say, you are already a grandmother.  Yes yes — and I love it. Love Love Love it.

But a Bousha makes me think of the little old granny in a babushka and peasant dress digging in the fields and smoking unfiltered homemade cigarettes. The word makes me think of a tough ‘ol chick, weathered and wrinkled and fat.

Which I am starting to resemble.

Now, I know there are grannies that look like fast sports cars (think of Goldie Hawn or Jessica Lange). There are also those who are a little more seasoned but still not half bad at their age (think Hillary Clinton). Then there are those who have filled out and shortened down and wrinkled up and hair that’s turned a boring shade of gray (think of Ma Fratelli in the Goonies).

That’s me.

I’ve tried to avoid mirrors my whole life; it’s not been a horrific sight, but not one I want to look at all the time. But the other night, standing oh-too-close to the bathroom mirror, I saw it all. The pudge, the ruddy skin, the circles under my eyes that never go away, my receding upper lip, my full grey hair that drains all color from my face….I saw it all.

And I ask myself — who is this bousha?

I know I know…my grandkids love me, I love them, live is beautiful, yada yada yada. But somehow, as the song says, “but somehow we missed out, on the pot of gold..” (Styx, Sail Away), and the beauty pot part never really stopped by my house for me to grab and hold onto.

Now fading into the longest third of my life, I see skin I cannot change, eye lashes I cannot replace, and waists that can endure only stretch waistbands.

Is this what happens when you get old?

I’m trying to embrace all this “older and wiser like a fine wine” nonsense. But as my patience runs out more often these days, I don’t feel like doing all the pretending I did when I was younger. The makeup, the fashion sense, the bling and the body and the bounce.

The funny thing is that I never really had that back then, either.

But then, as most of us tend to do, we stop complaining and think. 

I never knew either of my grandmothers…I wish I had. My kids never knew my mom and barely remember my hubby’s mom…I wish they had. They all were boushas of one sort or the other; some were Polish (where the word came from), one was Irish, all were great women. Loving women. Kind women. Their looks never mattered…their love did.

I want to make it long enough where my grandkids never forget me. Long enough so they can tell tales of their “granny” who was a fun bousha and whom they loved to the moon and back.

They don’t really care about my ruddy skin or extra tire around my middle. So why should I?

Better to be true to who and what I am and have them love me for it than to pretend to be something I’ve never been and have then disappointed.

Kocham Cię babciu…!

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery on Tuesday — Ding Yi

 

Ding Yi (1962-) has been making abstract paintings using crosses and grids since the late 1980s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ding is one of China’s foremost Abstract painters, his art characterized by an acute attention to detail, with systematic repetition of forms and layering.

 

 

 

 

The cross, whether a + or an x with thematic variation, is a motif that the artist has declared a formal mark without meaning, in order to emphasize his rationalist approach to painting.

 

 

 

The context of Ding’s work has always been the incredibly fast-paced development of the industrial urban environment in post-socialist China, and the work, whether predominantly black, painted on tartan, or elaborated in intense fluorescent colors, all bear the title Appearance of Crosses with a date.

 

 

 

Ding is one of China’s foremost Abstract painters, his art characterized by an acute attention to detail, with systematic repetition of forms and layering.

 

 

 

 

Ding’s practice encompasses painting, sculpture, spatial installation and architecture.I thought it amazing how much intricate work went into each painting that I have inserted a close up of the work.

 

 

 

More of Ding Yi ‘s work can be found at the Shanghai Gallery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Look! Look!

Today I am really overwhelmed with beautiful, fun, magical posts. Color! Poetry! Philosophy! You don’t have to follow them (although you will be glad you did), but go take a peek and see if you don’t come out with a smile on your face!

 

Rich Impressions

https://rothpoetry.wordpress.com/2019/05/20/rich-impressions/

 

Each day…..is a little life…..Purplerays

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://purplerays.wordpress.com/2019/05/21/each-day-is-a-little-life/

 

Apple Blossom Breeze — Brenda Davis Harshman

Apple Blossom Breeze

 

Flows — My Monkey Mind

flows

 

Dancing Birds – Make Art – Magic Happens

Dancing Birds

 

Miracle — All of It… — David Kanigan

https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/28060549/posts/48754

 

Each Leaf In Its Own Time — Leaf and Twig

https://leafandtwig.wordpress.com/2019/05/21/each-leaf-in-its-own-time/

 

What Do You Yearn For? — Jan Beek

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Do You Yearn For?

 

Not What I wanted to Hear — Walt Page

https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/127080456/posts/4554

 

How Do You Get Others to Read Your Blog?

It’s a question all of us bloggers have. 

We have a point we want to get across. A message. An adventure. We want to share our wisdom, our mistakes, our discoveries. But sharing these “important” milestones in our lives does not always increase our readership. As I’ve said before, the average blog reader only has X amount of hours/minutes/seconds to read what you have to say. 

How do you get them to read YOU instead of/along with others around you?

As you know, I also write a blog at work. At first it was for announcing new publications and nothing else. I took it over three years ago and have been working on it ever since. It was/is a business blog, and I always put that spin on that in my writing. Always tried to keep it sounding a bit formal.

Today I had a talk with my boss, someone who is experienced, articulate, and has his finger on the pulse of the proverbial social media world. And he told me it was time for the company — me — to change the sound of our blog.  That today’s reader wants conversation. Wants to be part of the conversation. Not dictated by it.

Now, it’s funny. I’ve made my personal blog casual and friendly. I have always treated my readers as friends. But I always thought work was supposed to be different. That it was supposed to be slightly conservative and formal, friendly yet polished. It was “the company” giving advice, not the writer.

But the world has changed. Successful companies listen to their customers and followers. They understand they don’t have all the answers, but want to give you what answers they do have. And often what they offer is just what you are looking for. 

So how does this advice help us every day bloggers? How does it help us get more readers, more followers, more friends?

I think the most important thing to remember is that it’s the tone of the conversation that matters, both in person and on the Internet. You still have to have a professional approach to proper grammar, sentence structure, and a beginning, a middle, and an end to your story. You need to make a point.

But you also should be having a conversation with your readers. Make them feel comfortable about what you write. Even if they don’t agree with your point of view, an inclusive conversation makes them want to read to the end.

I am looking forward to being more “casual” at work in my approach to connecting with readers and customers. I want them to know I care, the company cares. There will be no sales tags at the end of each blog; only information that can hopefully make their life easier.

That’s the approach I’ve already taken here. And thought I don’t have a lot of followers, every day brings a surprise, a smile, and a chance to make a new friend. 

How do you approach getting more readers of your blog?

Get ‘er Done

Do any of you suffer from morning-energy-itis?

That’s usually when people have the most energy — mentally and physically. Especially if you have a lull in your time/space continuum where you can do nothing but think and daydream (breaks, driving to work, waiting for the dog to do her business).

I have all this mental energy in the morning; all these great ideas of what I want to do (a) when I get home; (b) over the weekend; (c) in the short-term. Stories I want to write, jewelry I want to make, landscaping I want to get done, places I want to visit.

Yet by the time I do the drive home all I want to do is crash on the (a) sofa; (b) front deck; (c) in front of the TV.

All that great planning and fun ideas swirl down the proverbial toilet as I run out of energy, money, and drive.

Now, I’m usually still busy doing things after work or on the weekends. My friend complains I’m never home on weekends because I’m off with my kids/grandkids at soccer games or camping or anything they let me join.

While that’s true, I can’t help but feel guilty about all those other things I could be doing when I do have free time. Things I could be doing but are not doing.

Maybe that’s just the Sagittarian in me.

Us Sag’s often start out big and fizzle out before the project is through. I think we get bored at the end of the project, looking for the excitement and jolt of a new beginning, and have a hard time completing what we started.

They say I’ll have more time when I retire. My list of “wanna-do’s” is already so big I can’t imagine I’ll be able to do half of them — especially if I’m sleeping in every day.

Seeing the beads sitting in the sewing box waiting for clothes to be decorated and jewelry to be made, and the outlines of really cool stories waiting to be written, and wardrobes waiting to be sorted and recycled, and the books I’ve yet to read, I have this eerie feeling I’ll only get a fraction of my wants translated into dones.

How about you?

Do you have more plans than you know what to do with? Do you get them done? Does it bother you that you can’t possibly do everything you daydream of?

Or do you just blow it all off and start all over again with new projects?

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery on Monday — Mosaic Art Buildings

For one moment, look at the tiles.

The Dome of the Century

 

Forget religion, forget context

 

Just look at the intricate work

Blue Mosque Ceiling

These are examples of Mosaic Tile Art

Moroccan Art

 

It could be Islamic Art, Arabian Art, Persian Art, Moroccan Art

Golden Mosaics in the Dome of the Great Mosque

 

But it is all intricately beautiful

Dome of the Rock

 

All made of pieces of glass fitted together

I just thought you would like to see the beauty of man

in mosaic tile form.

 

Happy Mother’s Day

Mothers do many things for us…but hopefully they make us smile.

To all mothers, mothers-to-be, adopted mothers, ex-mothers, and those who spoil and mother children, here are some fun mother phrases and what they really mean…

Happy Mothers Day!

 

 

A face only a mother could love

 

Everybody and their mother

 

Fairy god mother

 

You kiss your mother with that mouth?

 

The Mother Lode

 

‘Yo Mamma

 

Mother Hen

 

Mama’s Boy

 

Mother Nature

 

Queen Mother   

Come On — Let’s Go Dreaming!

I am in one of my magical moods this evening. One of my “anything is possible” states of mind.

Do you get those now and then? 

Those times when who you really are comes through, and it’s amazing?

It’s like when I get in the “zone” when I write. It doesn’t happen all the time…I think I would burn out like a firework if it did. Or reading a book that I just can’t put down. It’s read read read crash.  It’s that adrenaline rush that teases as it blows in and out of my life.

The one thing about my pretzel view of the world is that I’m often in and out of all sorts of adrenaline rushes. The basics never change…writing, cheeseburgers, looking for artists for SEAG. 

But other nirvanas blow in and out like Wisconsin weather. One day I love yogurt, two weeks later, ick. I was on a kick for a while of a homemade snack mix of sesame mix and chocolate Chex mix and pecans. That lasted two big containers full. The container has been empty and put away for weeks. Now I’m into raspberry sherbet, but I haven’t bought any in over a week, so who knows.

My interest in airy fairy always stays the same, though, even though my choice of airy fairy changes with that same wind. 

Now I’m into dreaming. I want to do more. 

Everyone dreams, but most just don’t remember them. It has to do with waking at certain times and slipping back into REM sleep and a whole bunch of scientific mumbo jumbo I’m not interested in.

What I am interested in these days is remembering those crazy mind trips.

Watching yourself in a dream. Controlling your dream. Making choices in your dream. Knowing you’re dreaming and following wherever it goes.

It sounds so simple, yet any idea of “control” is as far away as Pluto. I mean, how do you control the madness of your mind at so-called rest?

I know dreams are supposed to be reflections of what’s in your head during the day. A way of working out problems and situations and romances and your deepest fears. Blah blah blah. I don’t care about figuring out anything.

I just want to be able to remember and record these dream trips I have so I can look back at them and wonder “where did that come from? Man, that was fun!”

Something I read said that creative people tend to have more lucid dreaming. Are an active part of their own dreams. Of course, the line between creativity and madness is a thin one. I suppose that’s what drove Van Gogh to paint Starry Night and cut off his ear in the same lifetime. 

You are all creative people out there. I keep encouraging you to come forward, but you are timid. I see. I understand. Do you have wild dreams? Do you enjoy them? Like them? Are frightened by them?

I took a book out of the library earlier this evening on dreaming. If my attention span lasts on this I’ll let you know what I learn. My creative urges, as they are, will most likely take me in another direction somewhere down the road, but let’s have fun while we’re here!

 

A Stroll Through the Gallery

I was trying to do something “creative” last evening (rather than watch reruns of the Closer), but didn’t feel the burn, so to speak. So I went wandering back through my Sunday Evening Art Gallery, and was reminded of so many cool artists I’ve covered through the years.

So, as you can already anticipate, here are some unique people and their unique ideas and not-so-unique-but normal links to catch more of their work.

Remember these?  Come to http://www.sundayeveningartgallery.com any time!

 

Ramon Bruin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Latchezar Boyadjiev    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stairway to Nowhere

 

 

Aquariums

 

 

Jennifer Maestre

 

 

Dale Chihuly

 

 

Harps

 

 

Wolf Kahn

 

 

Vladimir Rumyantsev

 

Hope to see you over there!

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Gerald Nailor

Gerald Nailor (1917–1952), Navajo artist, was born in 1917 in Pinedale, New Mexico.From the time of his marriage to a Picuris Indian woman until his death in 1952, he lived in Picuris Pueblo, New Mexico.

His formal art study was obtained in two years at the U. S. Indian School in Santa Fe; a year of study under the Swedish muralist Olaf Nordemark.While the greater part of his work stemmed from his vivid imagination and knowledge of Navajo myth, his interest in design and color of wildlife is also a notable source of picture material.He was an extraordinary artist whose cross the boundaries of nationalities.He perfected the facile, decorative manner for which he was early noted.

Gerald Nailor‘s work can be found across the Internet.

 

 

Craft Me This …


I have to say one thing about a creative person — when they get in their “supplies” element, they are like a kid on sugar with a kicker of Mountain Dew. 

People ask us why we like to sit and sew beads on clothes or make little earrings or crochet row after row after row of rows or write boring scenery descriptions or woodwork a cigar box or coffee table. After all, it all seems so boring!

I wonder if these people have truly ever seen creativity let loose in a craft or other specialty store.

I just spent the day with two of my best friends hitting stores like Hobby Lobby and Michael’s and even Good Will. Talk about kids in a candy shop!

I myself am the novice of the group. I write, and also sew bling onto my t-shirts and other inanimate clothing. My other friends are marvelous crafters. One is big BIG into scrap-booking with an occasional crocheted blanket thrown in; the other sews jackets and crochets scarves and other things. One love LOVES paper and trim and little signs you past onto pages and patterned paper for special occasion pages. The other loves every color of yarn there is, along with long, lingering tippy finger tip touching of bolts and bolts of materials with quilts and little jackets in mind for her granddaughter. 

Me? I get brain freeze in the beads aisle. 

The point is, it’s easy to see why creative people love their craft. When in their element, when surrounded by people who understand why they stand in front of a rack of crystals-on-a-string for 10 minutes wondering what they could sew those onto, creative people leave this universe and enter an alternate reality.

In that alternate world they are Master Creators. They can make anything any time, any where, and it will be so magnificent even the angels will squint and say “holy moley!” Time has no meaning in a creative person’s alternate world; when you’re lost writing that perfect passage of love and passion or pensive thought, there is no time sheet. Love takes as long as it takes to write. No more, no less. 

As I’ve gotten older I’ve started surrounding myself with creative people. Not because I’ve changed friends — but because I’ve found out the people I’ve been around for a good chunk of my life are pretty creative on the side. I know painters, quilters, writers, lure makers, poets, wood carvers, fishermen, wood workers, sign makers, dog trainers, and more. Every one loves their craft. Every one of them strive to be better than they were yesterday. And aren’t we all like that in a way?

So some time when you’re bored, ask your neighbor or friend or co-worker what their creative craft is. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

And if you’re lucky, one day you will be wandering up and down the craft store aisle when a sticker or pearl bead or a piece of wood catches your eye.  Then we will be wandering through the store looking for you, calling out your name.

Holey Moley!

Sunday Evening Art Gallery on Wednesday — Ana Teresa Barboza

Ana Teresa Barboza creates colorful embroidery art that depicts natural forms found in plant life and landscapes.

Barboza has been drawn to creating full landscapes with yarn and thread, embroidering large tapestries with rivers, valleys, and waves that spill out from the wall and rest on the floor. 

Born in Lima, Perú in 1980,  Barboza lives and works in her native city.  

Her use of manual crafts became the means to convey a meditative and powerful observation with the environment and her relationship with reality. 

Barboza’s work pushes the boundaries of embroidery by incorporating different disciplines, such as illustration and photography.

 

More of Ana Teresa Barboza’s amazing tapestries can be found at http://anateresabarboza.blogspot.com.

 

Babble by You

giphyI’ve been writing a lot of posts lately that I haven’t posted. I wonder what’s up with that.

Do you just think and write and post all in one grand, sweeping motion? Or do you think and research and write and rewrite and let it sit for a day or two before pushing that little blue button?

I used to be of the first variety. I thought my experiences as a middle-aged woman might be humorous and of help to those going through, well, middle age, and that I had to post right as I thought. But lately my experiences are more like complaints that have no beginning and no end, and I have a lot of second thoughts. And third ones too.

I just looked last night and found I have about a dozen blogs in various stages of creation. And looking back at them I think…how boring. Been there, done that.

Maybe that’s why art has such a fascination for me now. A world I’ve barely explored until recently.

I”m finding that true with blogs I follow these days, too.  I’m not worldly wise, but most blogs I come across have aspirations that have already come and gone in my life. Goals I’ve already set and either met or missed. Some blogs I’ve come across are more like journals, recording random thoughts and suppositions as the writer comes to grip with some cosmic searching. I did that 20 years ago with my own journaling.

So why am I so dissatisfied with my personal quips in here these days? Am I just getting old? Have I heard it all, seen it all?

On the cosmic scale I’m still a toddler. There’s so much I don’t understand. So much to learn. To explore. But on the emotional level I’m a crone. Felt that, broke that, lived through that. And I find no need to re-experience it all. I need new worlds to write about. Read about. Both inner and outer spaces.

Plus I don’t think I’m as witty as I once thought. As fluent of a writer as I once was. I still write like mad at home, but those are fantasy stories that don’t mind a bit of embellishment. In this blog I find I’m more truthful, and the truth is often boring.

That’s why I love following you. Exploring new blogs and commenting on as many as time allows. I think I need to read about places, both inner and outer, I’ve never been before. I’m going to visit those who have just started following me and those who have been around for years. See what you’re all about.

And anyway….I’d rather babble by you than by me….

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Edgar Degas

Edgar Degas (1834 – 1917)  never reconciled himself to the label of “Impressionist,” preferring to call himself a “Realist” or “Independent.”

Nevertheless, he was one of the organizers of the first impressionist exhibition in 1874, and remained influential in the group, but his own work was deliberate and controlled, painted in the studio from sketches, notes, and memory.

Like the Impressionists, Degas sought to capture fleeting moments in the flow of modern life, yet he showed little interest in painting plein-air landscapes, favoring scenes in theaters and cafés illuminated by artificial light, which he used to clarify the contours of his figures, adhering to his academic training.

He is especially identified with the subject of dance; more than half of his works depict dancers.

His portraits are notable for their psychological complexity and for their portrayal of human isolation.

Though his work crossed many stylistic boundaries, Degas’ involvement with the other major figures of Impressionism and their exhibitions, his dynamic paintings and sketches of everyday life and activities, and his bold color experiments, served to finally tie him to the Impressionist movement as one of its greatest artists.

Degas summed it us thus: “A painting requires a little mystery, some vagueness, some fantasy. When you always make your meaning perfectly plain you end up boring people.”

More of Edgar Degas‘ magnificent art can be found around the Internet.

Every Day is a Chance to Start Anew

maxresdefaultEvery day is a chance to start anew.

You may not think so, as the grind of a daily job, whether it’s taking care of your kids or working on a computer or trying to sell something, never changes.

But there is always a chance to change things.

Sometimes it’s as simple as deleting a blog you weren’t happy with.

Sometimes it’s harder, like dumping a friend you’re not happy with.

Sometimes it’s changing and starting all over again, like changing your landscape hues from golds to greens.

Sometimes it’s suffering through a recipe you tried that really could have used less pineapple and more soy.

But you can change. Just don’t give up.

Maybe it’s because I’m closer to the end of the thread than the beginning that I can start to believe my own words.

But every time you change something for your own betterment, to match your own heart song, it’s a new chance. A new day.

It’s not always easy to start anew.

Some things you cannot change.

Some people you cannot bring back.

Some places you can never visit again.

But that’s why you are given a new sunrise every morning.

To remember and honor the person who is gone.

To better deal with an illness that won’t go away.

Starting anew means reading a new book. Trying a new cafe. Calling an old friend.

Starting anew means writing a new poem. Crocheting a new scarf. Starting a new quilt.

It’s your chance to share your real energy with the universe.

Get going. Start sharing. Don’t worry how you are perceived, received, and deceived.

You know who you are. Give yourself a chance.

Every day is a chance to start anew.

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Kalman Aron

Kalman Aron‘s (1924-2018) successful career spanned eight decades.

Born a child prodigy in Riga, Latvia in 1924, Kalman Aron began drawing at age three and at age seven had his  first gallery show of drawings which sold in one day.

In 1941, his life changed forever.  The Germans invaded Latvia, killing his parents.

Assigned to slave labor for the duration of the war, Aron was moved through seven concentration camps from Riga to the Baltic Forest, to Poland, Germany and then Czechoslovakia over the course of four years.

In the Riga ghetto, Aron was able to survive when German soldiers discovered his skills as an artist.

Camp guards and officers asked Aron to make small portraits of family members in exchange for scraps of bread.

Aron’s artistic skills also helped shield him from grueling slave labor that killed many other Jewish inmates.

Aron painted through all decades, it is his Holocaust art that is most moving, most memorable.

 

More of Kalman Aron’s art can be found at https://www.kalmanaron.com.

I’m Going For It

I’m going down in a blaze of glory
Take me now but know the truth

~ JON BON JOVI, Blaze of Glory Lyrics @ Universal Music Publishing Group, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

Have you ever gone for it…put all your eggs in one basket…taken a chance for something you want that you’ll probably not get but thought what the he]], why not?

That’s what I’m doing today.

Later this afternoon is my performance review at work. Don’t know how bad it will be, and, really trying to be a glass-half-fill kinda gal, hope it will be positive.

Positive enough that I can push my agenda One More Time.

I’ve worked my way up through the company, from order clerk to coordinator to Internet Data Conversion Analyst Specialist to Digital Writer to Writer. It’s been a long time coming, and I’m coming to the end of the road career wise. With a company that is in the middle of a growth flux (and every hire and fire that goes with it), there still is no social media person/director/expert.

Don’t know much about history
Don’t know much biology
Don’t know much about science book
Don’t know much about the French I took

~ SAM COOKE, HERB ALPERT, LOU ADLER

I don’t have a college degree, am not a young 30’s hipster on social media, but I do know sales. I do know social media and writing.

And I do know what I want.

So today, if the review goes well, I’m going to submit three pages of ideas and tell them why I’d make such a good social media coordinator.

I suppose I’m in a unique position. I don’t have 30 years of paid employment ahead of me. If I continue on the path I’m currently on, I’ll be retired by December. And that is just fine with me. I’ve put in my dues for over 50 years.

But if there’s a chance — just a chance — that I can finally do what I feel I was born to do — write — then I’m going to take that chance.

Best case scenario — I get the job and love it.

Second best case scenario — I get the job and hate it.

Worst case scenario — I am presumed presumptuous and fired.

Second worst case scenario — I am not fired but relegated to updating the website.

Either way, I’m going for it. I’m nervous, hesitant, full of doubt and insecurity. I also am optimistic, positive, and know what I know.

I’ll let you know either way. But either way, if there’s something within your grasp, don’t fear going for it either.  Grabbing and falling is much better than not grabbing and rotting from not moving.

Have you ever “gone for it”? How did it go?

 

 

Welcome to Terrible Tuesdays

Do you have a day of the week that’s more stressful than others? Is this kind of stress all in your mind, or is there really a particular day that causes some people get more whacked out than others on certain days?

Around here, Tuesday is the day from Hell

From a working girl perspective, you would think that day would be Monday. You’ve had a great weekend, slept in, went jogging, had a good time. Your first day back to rules and regulations can be very stressful.

But for many of us, for my friends, Tuesdays seem to knock our legs out from under us. It’s like a full moon full time around me. Crabby people, tired people, overworked people, lost people. All trying to get it together and not really caring if they do so. It’s stress and misunderstandings and bad weather. It’s like someone knocked your coffee cup and some of it spilled on your nice white shirt. And you have to wear it the rest of the day.

I myself don’t have a real cure for the Tuesday Blues — it’s more an endurance thing. Get through the day and the night will play out differently. Of course, it often doesn’t. It’s usually a continuation of my crabby old lady self. It usually turns out that the dog has gotten into the garbage or there is still tons of laundry watching me walk around the house or I burned my grilled cheese until it looks like a wrought iron gate.

But at least I have my own form of salvation waiting for me when I get home.

I have wine, I have my dog, I have a couple of cats.  I have a story I need to continue writing, a few shirts I want to sew beads on, and a couple of books waiting for me to read. I have an enjoyable TV show (Downton Abbey) to binge watch if I so desire, and I have milk and cookies if wine isn’t for me.

What kind of stress relief do you have on the other side of your rainbow?

You need something, you know. Maybe that’s why I push arts and crafts and writing and the esoteric things in life. There is relief in the evening breeze, in sitting down and writing a poem. There is hope for tomorrow in watching TV sorrows and successes, and worlds to explore in someone else’s writing.

It’s okay to have Terrible Tuesdays.

It’s also okay to to have your own world to retreat to when the day is done.

Ice cream, anyone?

Faerie Paths — Blue Night

 

 

It was a marvelous night, the sort of night one only experiences

when one is young. The sky was so bright and there were so many

stars that, gazing upward, one couldn’t help but wondering how so many

whimsical, wicked people could live under such a sky. This too is a

question that would only occur to the young, to the very young; but

may God make you wonder like that as often as possible!

~ Dostoevsky, White Nights

 

 

 

You’ll Never Know

I had some thoughts early this morning. Dangerous, I know…

One of my friends/acquaintances on Facebook posted a selfie of herself five years ago when she was diagnosed with cancer, and today when she is cancer-free.

And it made me think.

For all the sad stories, the friends and mothers and sisters we have lost, there are still a lot of survivors out there.

We don’t always bring attention to ourselves, but we are there, right by your side. Working, laughing, crying. Praying the cancer doesn’t come back.

We don’t want flags or parties or, often, acknowledgement. We just want you to know that we survived.

So say “good morning” when you pass us in the hallway at work or walking around the block. Give a compliment to someone’s shirt or shoes or new hair style. Know that for every one we have lost there is someone who is still here fighting the fight.

I told my friend I was proud of her. And I am. We are the lucky ones who are still here and able to make others feel better. And we will always try to do that.

You never know where they’ve been.

Are We Alone?

I am still in the working world. And around here, Tuesday is the worst day of the week. Suddenly I was inspired to write a poem. This is for Ivor and Walt and Dwight and all of you who know what poetry is. I really don’t. But I do feel better.

Are We Alone?

 

Here is my photo of

distant galaxies

So far away at the

edge of the universe

Even our minds cannot reach.

See the large one

on the left?

Spiraling magnificently

somewhere at the edge

where we can never go?

Do you see the wisp

that curls upwards

on the left?

Right there where the

mass splits.

There are billions of stars

in this galaxy alone.

And millions

in this little split.

Do you think

there is a planet circling

around one of those billions

of sun-like stars

full of

life unbounded

where an older woman

with hair of gray or green

depending upon the atmosphere

is sitting at her desk saying

I hate this job

too?

Can we talk?

 

 

Horses and Turn-of-the-Century Men Beware

These Monday creativity posts are getting addictive. Both writing them and, I hope for you, reading them.

So tell me…what are some of the problems you come up against in your craft? Not the I-don’t-have-enough-time ones, but the technical ones. I’d love to hear of others’ struggles.

Me? Today?

Lately I’ve got two problemos — the first one is I’m a baby, the second one is I’m not a man.

Let me explain.

Problem #1. I have a psycho in my book. It’s 1895, so that in itself is rough. But what do psychos do back before the turn of the century? Murder, arson, rape. The usual. I want my bad guy to set a livery on fire, killing one (or a number) of horses.

And I can’t do it.

I know it’s all not real, that the horses are nothing more than letters on a computer screen. But horses are important to my hero and no better way than to get his ire on fire than to destroy one or many of his horses. I know how I would feel if I read that. I would hate the bad guy tenfold.

But it’s so cruel to the horses.

I’m such a baby.

My second problem is that this third book is really the same story as the second book but told from the man’s point of view. A man of the turn of the century.

I’m an emotional modern woman to begin with. I hated the play “My Fair Lady” because of the awful things Henry Higgins said to Eliza Doolittle. My hero can have a little forward-thinking in him, but he is not a modern man by any means. Every writer wants their lead man to be rugged and bold with that soft center of melted caramel. I too want that, but I just don’t think that’s a real man in 1895. They talk different, they think different, they have different morals and values than today’s men.

So I don’t know how to write him either, without him being me on the page.

I did want this book to be different. To be a challenge. To be more literary than a romantic novel.

Beware of what you ask for.

What are your problems? Have you solved them? Any advice? Need any advice?

All of creativity has to be easier than me murdering an innocent barn of horses by fire….

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Carl Peverall

Carl Peverall has always been a stone gatherer.

Even on backpacking trips, where the weight of everything has to be considered, Carl is unable to resist bringing heavy stones back home.

Stones are arranged in balance with minimal alteration to a point of resolve, then fixed permanently by invisibly drilling and anchoring with steel.

  Peverall sees stone as a profoundly alluring medium, and his search for the right rocks is tireless.What Perevall hopes to do is connect the material with some sort of visual poetry. He is drawn by the opportunity to give ancient, silent stones, wrought over millions of years, a special chance to ground viewers in their near immortal beauty and soulful presence.

More of Carl Peverall‘s creations can be found at http://www.carlpeverall.com/.

 

Saturday Morning Flashback — Am I There Yet?

I have always considered myself a pretzel logic (scratch the logic) kinda girl. I love a little bit of everything, and there is never a straight path from point A to point B for me. I’ve learned to live with that, and so has my linear, straight line hubby.

But I do have a few common sense rules I stick by. My Facebook is only for my family and friends, people I’ve communicated in real time with (even if it’s only been once). I don’t really see the importance of Twitter, although I use it for my blogs. I need to get artists up on Instagram but haven’t really conquered that app. Don’t use Snapchat or other viewer apps (nothing like me first thing in the morning before a shower….)

But I digress. As usual.

What I do like about FB is that they show me memories of past posts, everything from when my grandbabies were born to concerts I’ve attended to blog posts.

This one came across this morning from four years ago. It’s funny how I’m still in the same quandary as I was back then. I know you will say “you are who you are” and all that, but it’s rubble because I still want to be that BoHo Lady. I really do. And I still want to shake that conservationism that is stunting my growth. I”m so much better, but I still have a long way to go.

Anyone else still working on letting go? Changing? How’s it going?

For those who are interested, here’s the blog from 2015….

Be a Fashion Plate — Not a Platter

For all of you who are tired of making sure your blues are all the same blue and you wear only one pattern at a time:

This morning I complimented a girl on the color combinations of her outfit. She was wearing a purple t-shirt over a pink shell, with a bright green jacket. I didn’t notice her pants, because I’m sure they were the basic black/navy/dark brown. And that’s point number one.

I didn’t notice her pants because they were very basic.

Despite the fact that she was half my age and weight, she carried off the rainbow pretty well. And I told her so. (I like to give out compliments when I can.) That led to my second thought — if I were dressed like that, I’d look like I was heading off to the circus.

Tada dum. An instant putdown to a healthy thought.

Now, the outfit wasn’t offensive in any way. It wasn’t too short, too small, too tight, too sloppy. It was a play on colors I had not seen together. And — I liked it.

Yet I hide in my black-on-black and silver-and-black and pink-and-black. Summer may throw in some whites and greens, but it’s pretty much old lady old. Last year I wrote a blog called Old Lady BoHo (http://wp.me/p1pIBL-uu) where I was going to lighten up my wardrobe and wear flowy skirts and peasant tops and whatever felt good.

And here I am, writing this blog, dressed in black pants and a black-and-white mosaic shirt. Woo hoo.

And I think — I can’t do this any more.

I know there are plenty of women who are perfectly happy in the monochromes of the world. But deep inside I am not. I think I’m so afraid of “stepping out of the (color) box” because I’m afraid of looking stupid, so I pass on a lot of fun, comfortable, ME things.

I’m not totally helpless yet — I do have tops with promise, and I have bought a few of those cotton dresses from India for summer evenings.  But I sure could use some advice — and a boost of confidence. I’m sure there are other readers out there who could use a boost in the wardrobe department, too. Or who have taken the plunge and never looked back.

I want to be that person.

I know I can’t (nor do I want to) dress like I’m 20 or 30. I might have the legs for mini skirts, but my buttocks and stomach aren’t quite as accommodating — or forgiving. But there has to be fun colors and patterns out there I can put together and not look like the a haushalterin. But my color palate is like the image above and right. Always moving, always confusing

The first step is stepping over the conservative barrels our youth set out for us. Catholic schools are at one end of the horror spectrum, big city public schools the other. We have to shed this heavy coat of conservatism and find a middle ground.

And I really do want to start this today. I only have 20 or 25 years to get this right.

Better start sooner than later.

How about you?

Come And Visit the Gallery!

Hope you had a lovely weekend.

A lovely, crazy, wild, serene, inquisitive, jovial, restful, whirlwind, boring, or otherwise refreshing weekend.

I thought I would take a Monday evening to show off some of the beautifully intricate and unusual and amazing art I’ve come across since I started my Sunday Evening Art Gallery blog. 

I cannot tell you how much each one of these artists have taken my breath away with their talent, their determination, and their creativity. Hope you appreciate the galleries, and if you are interested, come on over to the main Sunday Evening blog and see a lot more of their magic. Follow if you wish — just peek in now and then if you don’t. But no matter where you go, keep an eye out for the unusual, the beautiful, the world of art.

It’s all around you.

 

Waterdrops
https://wp.me/p5LGaO-4jbn

 

 

Michael Parkes
https://wp.me/p5LGaO-1eg

 

 

Luke Jerrram
Swine Flu
https://wp.me/p5LGaO-35

 

 

Debra Mager
https://wp.me/p5LGaO-1tH

 

 

Spencer Biles
https://wp.me/p5LGaO-15H

 

 

Tal Peleg
https://wp.me/p5LGaO-pu

 

 

Quilts
https://wp.me/s5LGaO-quilts

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Masayo Fukuda

Japanese artist Masayo Fukuda is a master paper cutting artist.

 

 

Mastering the craft known as Kirie, the traditional art form involves cutting intricate forms from a single sheet of white paper and then contrasting it against a black background to reveal the design.

 

 

This amazing form of art requires tremendous patience and a steady hand.

 

 

At first glance, the beautiful artwork looks as though it was rendered using fine-tipped pens, but Fukuda carefully cut every detail from one sheet of paper.

 

 

 

Fukuda create mind-boggling detailed designs using simple tools: a cutting mat, blade, and paper.

The finished products are more than amazing. 

More of Masayo Fukuda‘s work can be found at https://kiriken.thebecos.com/en/.

Just Go Dancing

Jeffrey Vanhoutte

Saturday evening was going to be the time.

I hadn’t written, edited, daydreamed for a couple of days. So once hubby was off to his every- other- Saturday evening job, that was going to be the time.

Had it all planned. Wine. Music. Outline. Images. First a walk. Maybe a bubblebath.

Then I would go dancing with my writing.

Yet there I was Friday night. College basketball in the background. A half drank glass of milk. Dinner dishes still in the sink. In my jammies.  No bubble bath. Didn’t even wash my face.

And I was dancing with my writing.

I love when creativity comes knocking. I don’t bother — I just go dancing.

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery on Friday — Martin Marcisovsky

Martin Marcisovsky is a 36-year old Slovakian photographer and artist currently based in Dublin, Ireland.

Martin’s photography captures some interesting silhouettes fixed in equally engaging landscapes.

The person often seems out of place, but unquestioning of the environment they are in.

Marcisovsky’s images lead us into a fairy tale, catch us within a blink of an eye or take us on a journey to our inner ego.

The surreal imagery leads one to believe that these worlds are perhaps within the minds of each subject.

Perhaps his images are nothing more than a reflection of our own center of creativity.

More of Martin Marcisovsky’s creations can be found at http://www.marcisovsky.com/.

 

 

Don’t Sweat the Changes, Dog!

A funny thing happened on the way to writing my third book.

I’ve had book One and Two done for like ever — the first one for 15 years, the second for maybe 8. I’m not published; I’ve sent the ideas out to a few publishers and agents during my years, but I was always busy doing other things like working full time and fooling around with my kids and grandkids.

I would whine (I’m a lovely whiner) that I wasn’t published. I hadn’t even sent it to friends to read. The second book was more my favorite than the first. Wouldn’t touch it for the world.

Then I started book three.

And since book three has taken a life of it’s own, I’m going to have to do some changes to book Two now.

Does your life ever work out like that?

Just when you think you know where you’re going something comes along and changes you all around helter skelter?

Why change it all?

Because you have changed.

Something somehow has changed your direction, your thoughts, your interpretations. And it will bug you till the end of your days if you don’t change the things around you (if you can).

Changing your wardrobe to fit your new attitude. Changing the music you listen to. Your job. Getting rid of toxic friends. Life is always a change.

And you must change along with it.

You can’t hold onto the past just because it’s there. It fits like your grandfather’s coat. Big and bulky and totally out of style. Even if you’re a retro kinda person.

I hate change. I love change. Being creative I love and hate everything. But I am smart enough to go along with it when I can see how it can benefit me.

I went to a concert last night to listen to the High Kings for St. Pattie’s Day. They are an Irish tenor kind of group. They sang all these Irish songs that I love. And somewhere between “Finnigan’s Wake” and “Wild Mountain Thyme” I realized my main character in all my books is Irish, and this third book is about him. Not my heroine’s interpretation of him, not the narrator’s interpretation — it’s about him and his Irish roots. Why he is like he is.

And it makes me want to put a musical experience in the book.

Which would change him and his lady and the reader.

And since it’s based on the same experience from the second book but from his point of view, I will now have to rewrite the second book so they “match”.

They say there is no rest for a writer. I’m sure that’s true of a poet, a painter, or a potter. I think that’s a good thing. I want this story to be the right story. Not my version of the right story. But his.

If you have to change, change. Don’t big deal it. Change that shirt, that purse, the color of your hair. Make your painting pink instead of blue if that’s what the cosmos tells you. Don’t sweat the logical stuff.

It’s all you in the end, anyway…..

Sunday Evening Art Gallery on Friday — Chairs

We look at an old chair and wonder 


whose bottom once sat there. 


Was it someone Royal 


or someone posh 

 

with lots and lots of dosh, 

or was it someone poor 


that treasured a comfortable seat. 


No matter whom it was, 


just look and wonder 


at the history of that old chair, 
then just sit on it 


and put more history there.

David Harris

Let’s Fly Together!

Sometimes, when I get in that groove, that unusual, special groove that you can’t always find, I feel like I’m flying. I know it won’t last long, and that it will come again, but it definitely is a change of heart, a change of dimension.

I get going … for me it’s writing … and all I want to do is keep going. Writing.

And I find I want everyone else to keep going too.

So here I am with my Monday Morning Pep Talk. MMPT. How goofy. But it’s how I feel.

Are you stuck in your writing? Wondering what to write? To paint? Poetry stuck in your throat?

Come and share those hesitations with me. If I can, I’ll work with you and give you ideas from the faerie gypsy goddess’s point of view.

Just what you need. I know.

But I know how good it feels to break through those barriers. I’m breaking through them all the time.

This isn’t a class, this isn’t an advice column. It’s not a solution nor is it me trying to be you. It’s me trying to help you FIND you. To nudge you into getting started again.

Ask me a question, throw some ideas my way — let me know what you do and where you want to go. Vent, wonder, share, throw some of your solutions out there too. I follow a lot of creative people, so I’m sure if you’re stuck, they may have been stuck, too, and have a solution.

Share your ups and downs, and let’s go down this path together. There’s so much in the world waiting to be created!

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Margaret Keane

Sometimes it’s the first influencer who is the true artist, not the artists who come later..Born in 1927 in Nashville, Tennessee, Margaret Keane has always loved to paint and draw since an early age. She first made her paintings famous in San Francisco’s North Beach in the 1950s.Margaret’s work drew little accolades from art critics but was loved and admired by the world.Margaret went on to become one of the most successful living artists in the early 60s to present day.Margaret’s art gained wide favor and started a big-eyed movement in the early 60s, influencing a large crop of big-eyed artists who may have become more familiar with the public.Originally recognized by their wistful and sad-eyed children, Keane’s works now feature happy children, animals, or both, all with her signature large-eyes, in delightful places and situations.“The eyes I draw on my children are an expression of my own deepest feelings. Eyes are windows of the soul,” explains Keane.More of Margaret Keane’s delightful work can be found at https://www.keane-eyes.com/.