Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Colin Fraser

Colin Fraser is a contemporary Scottish painter known for his detailed still life, landscapes, and interiors.

Fraser has long been established as one of the world’s leading egg tempera painters.

Born in 1957 in Glasgow, United Kingdom, he studied art at Brighton Polytechnic before moving to Sweden in 1981.Fraser’s use of egg-tempera gives his work a light-filled, translucent quality unequaled in other mediums.It is notoriously hard to control and seldom used by contemporary artists.“It’s a medium fraught with technical difficulties, but therein lies its charm. Brushstrokes dry instantly and are never really fully opaque, so just about every mark the painter makes shows,” Fraser has explained.“You can’t force your will on it, it forces you to accept the marks you make and live in the ‘moment’, with each brushstroke that is applied to the panel.”

More of Colin Fraser‘s work can be found at galleries around the Internet.

My Creative Muse Is At It Again

nikitaliskov

Happy Monday creative muses!

Last week I told you that, for various reasons, I will not be going to Paris next fall to write. Which is just fine.

Just as I accepted that fact,  my creative muse swooped in and brought me an idea a new book (which I’ve  told you about). Her chatter, at first, is confusing and mind blowing. So much information, so many ideas, and with her Irish brogue it’s sometimes hard to understand everything.

But she also brought a new awareness to my aura’s circle. I believe that, of all of things I’ve written, this upcoming book will be the one that really works.

Do you ever feel that way with your latest creation? That of all of the things you have worked on, all the things you’ve made, that this is the one that is going to take you to that next level?

Do you listen to yourself when you hear that?

Now, “the next level” can be different things to different people. It could be the start of a whole new art collection. A whole new style or technique or genre.  It is usually something you’ve been working towards for some time. A contest entry, an art competition, being published. The next level is something every artist strives for.

I finished my blogs about How To Write Your First/Second/Third Book which I will be posting soon. And I am happy to say I am following my own advice.

I have a story line kinda worked out. When I solidify it I will write my synopsis. I think I’ve decided which point of view I’m writing as. And I have a lot of research to do on characters and settings, for that’s the kind of book I now want to write. I am missing one character I know I need but have drawn a blank on who it is. This is common, too. You don’t always have to have all the details, all the Ps and Qs before you start. Your creative muse will sooner or later bring you the piece you need to finish your puzzle.

When you get your idea and really begin to work on it, you can’t help but get excited about it. Excited about the research, excited about its development, excited about how you will start it and how you will finish it. All mediums are the same when it comes to that tingling feeling that “this is IT.” 

So what are you working on/researching this marvelous Monday?

And I’m talking to you silent readers in the background who are  starting something and finally are ready to talk about it….

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Sharon Weiser

Sharon Weiser, who grew up in Wisconsin, began painting as a child and went on to receive her Bachelor of Fine Arts and K-12 teaching certificate from the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire.

After living for twenty years in Phoenix, Arizona, Weiser returned to the Midwest where she currently teaches painting and drawing at her studio.Clearly, the time Weiser spent in Arizona left its mark artistically as she continues to create her joyfully close-up cactus compositions.Painting in either oils or acrylics, Weiser works primarily from her own photos – cropping, replacing, re-positioning or enlarging forms to expertly compose her dynamic light-filled canvases.It is bold colors, a remarkable attention to detail and a singular sense of design that makes her paintings stand apart.Her artwork also continues to evolve as her curiosity compels her to keep experimenting with different color palettes, subjects and ideas.Her choice of southern colors reflects the beauty of her surroundings, adding depth and almost a fluorescence to desert life.More of Sharon Weiser‘s beautiful paintings can be found at http://www.sharonweiser.com/.

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Cindy Kang

Born and raised in Seoul, along with a couple of other stints living in New Zealand, Australia and the US growing up, Cindy Kang eventually moved to the big apple with hopes and dreams of becoming an illustrator.

She studied illustration at New York’s School of Visual Arts, pursuing an interest in storytelling through heartwarming atmospheric drawings.With a number of commissions under her belt, Cindy’s American dream is gradually being realized; one painterly illustration at a time.“I was always interested in storytelling,” explains Cindy, “whether it’s in the form of written language or visual language.”

“However, being from the other side of the world and living as a ‘foreigner’ for more than half of my life meant that it was inevitable for me to face some language and cultural barriers.”

Taking up drawing as a way to loosen anxiety during those “new girl experiences”, illustration became a release for Cindy, as well as a way to let go from the pressures of communicating perfectly in English.

Her art seems to be a more personal reflection of inner female thoughts and dreams of the feminine world. 

By paying close attention to the emotion of her illustrated figures, Cindy continues to depict a breathing space for her drawn characters while revealing her wild imagination at the same time.

More of Cindy Kang‘s work can be found at http://www.cindysykang.com

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Zdzislaw Beksinski

Zdzislaw Beksinski (1929-2005) was a was a renowned Polish painter, photographer, and fantasy artist.

His work reflected his preference for the obscure.His paintings concocted up odd images in the mind, and were a true step into absurdity in the field of dystopian surrealism.Beksinski was a very innovative artist, especially for one working in a Communist country. In the 1970s he entered what he himself called his “fantastic period”, which lasted up to the late 1980s. This is his best known period, during which he created very disturbing images, showing a surrealistic, post-apocalyptic environment with very detailed scenes of death, decay, landscapes filled with skeletons, deformed figures, deserts, all very detailed, painted with his trademark precision, particularly when it came to rough, bumpy surfaces.  Beksinski’s later years were ones filled with tragedy.  His wife, Zofia, died in 1998, and a year later, on Christmas Eve 1999, his son Tomasz (a popular radio presenter, music journalist and movie translator) committed suicide. Beksiński’s life reached a most brutal and melancholy end in 2005, when he was stabbed to death at his Warsaw apartment by a 19-year-old acquaintance from Wołomin, reportedly because he refused to lend the teenager money.Perhaps his art had always reflected the darkness that one day would reflect the end of his life.More of Zdzislaw Beksinski‘s haunting work can be found at https://www.shopbeksinski.com/

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Raja Ravi Varma

Raja Ravi Varma (1848-1906) was an Indian painter and artist, considered as one of the greatest painters in the history of Indian art.

Ravi Varma is one of the few painters who managed to accomplish a beautiful union of Indian tradition with the techniques of European academic art.

His paintings can be classified into three categories – portraits, portrait-based compositions and theatrical compositions based on myths and legends. It is the third category of paintings for which Raja Ravi Varma is most renowned.

Raja Ravi Varma is known for his amazing paintings, which revolve mainly around the Puranas (ancient mythological stories) and the great Indian epics – Mahabharata and Ramayana.

 He is sometimes regarded as the first modern Indian artist due to his ability to reconcile Western aesthetics with Indian iconography.

This is one of the reasons why he is considered as one of the most, if not the most prominent Indian painters.

His paintings are full of color and life, sprung from a world most of us are not familiar with.

Hopefully sharing this beautiful art will change all of that.

More of Raja Ravi Varma‘s marvelous paintings can be found at  https://ravivarma.org/  or https://tinyurl.com/y4s79c54. 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery on Friday — Valerio D’Ospina

 

There is something surrealistic about Valerio D’Ospina’s dramatic artwork.

Looking at the city scapes, one feels as if they are moving forward in time, glimpsing life as it blurs past the window.

D’Ospina was born in Italy, but now lives and works in Pennsylvania.

The artist paints gritty scenes from industry including ship yards, trains, and urbanscapes.

D’Ospina also finds beauty in industrial transportation, specifically oil tankers and old locomotives that lumber into rail yards or sit docked in harbors with a captivating sense of dignity.

His perspective has an edge of starkness to them, as his brush strokes streak across the canvas.

It is a sharp, beautiful, unique way to view the world.

More of Valerio D’Ospina‘s work can be found at https://www.valeriodospina.com/.

 

 

Painting Is Easy…Not

I was reading posts I follow, and came across  Carsten Wieland’s watercolor paintings. I have highlighted his work here on Humoring the Goddess and on my Sunday Evening Art Gallery blog before, so you are kind of familiar with his work.

But I have to repost this here this afternoon. If you have three minutes, watch the video of him painting the ship. He makes the creative process look so easy, so simple.

That is what real artists do.

I am speechless. For I know that’s not true.

 

WATERCOLOR ON INGRES PAPER 2

https://brushparkwatercolors.wordpress.com/2019/09/11/watercolor-on-ingres-paper-2/

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Pegi Smith


Pegi Smith paints in acrylics on canvas from her home studio in the mountains near Ashland, Oregon.

Smith’s art immerses the viewer into her very compelling dream world.

From these dreams, Smith paints abstracts using rich colors to evoke and uplift the viewer.

Smith is a self-taught artist, therefore she uses her paints in an innovative manner exclusive to herself.

Her use of color, which changes with each collection, makes her work perfect for nearly any interior decor scheme.

She aims to summarize her own life perspectives in her paintings and hopes that her work will cause the viewer to immerse and then emerge with the intent of the design.

More of Pegi Smith’s innovative artwork can be found at http://www.pegsmith.com

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Anne Vallayer-Coster

Anne Vallayer-Coster has been called the second-greatest French still-life painter of the 18th century after Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin.

Vallayer-Coster was born into an artistic family; her mother painted miniatures and her father was a master goldsmith. 

Her father’s elevated status and aristocratic patronage may have helped the young Vallayer-Coster overcome some of the restraints that hindered many women artists.

She achieved fame and recognition very early in her career, being admitted to the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture in 1770, at the age of twenty-six.

In 1780 she was named Painter to Queen Marie Antoinette. She continued painting a broad range of subjects and themes including animals, trompe-l’oeil bas reliefs, miniatures, and full-sized portraits, which mirrored the opulence of French aristocracy before the Revolution.

In addition to still life, she painted portraits and genre paintings, but because of the restrictions placed on women at the time her success at figure painting was limited.

Vallayer-Coster’s life was determinedly private, dignified and hard-working. She survived the bloodshed of the French Revolution, but the fall of the French monarchy, who were her primary patrons, caused her reputation to decline.

Due to her close association with Marie Antoinette, her career suffered during the French Revolution. She continued exhibiting at the Salon, however, until the year before her death.

Anne Vallayer-Coster‘s marvelous paintings can be found at museums and galleries and on the Internet.

Sunday Evening Art Gallery on Friday — Amy Casey

Amy Casey is fascinated by cityscapes.

Her paintings of growing cities reflect her love of the urban landscape and with the ongoing resilience and growth of civilization.

Her cityscapes hum and sing with ribbons of roads and highways energetically wrapped around growing heaps of buildings.

Her artwork showcases her curiosity of how much time and work it takes for a society to function and grow in spite of all the problems of natural and man made disasters.

Casey has exhibited her work regionally and nationally with solo shows in Cleveland, Chicago, New York City, San Francisco, Provincetown and Los Angeles.

More of Amy Casey‘s  creative cityscapes can be found at https://www.amycaseypainting.com/

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.

 

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.

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 on Friday — Alekos Fassianos

Born in Athens in 1935, Alekos Fassianos is a Greek painter with a flair  for mythology.Fassianos studied violin at the Athens Conservatory, and painting at the Athens School of Fine Arts from 1956 to 1960 where he was taught from Yannis Moralis.He then went to Paris on a French State scholarship (1962–1964), and in 1966 he lived and worked solely in Paris. From 1974 he on he divided his time between Paris and Athens. Fassianos couples these two countries into  his work, combining ancient myth with modern situations.

His work is filled with heroic characters and intellectual allegory set among everyday life. Motion is present in every image, usually hair or cloth waving in the breeze.

The figures are often posed in a salute or signalling to the viewer either a forthcoming or an already-won victory.They recall a folk-memory of a mythological past and add an heroic edge to the mundane truth of daily situations.Fassianos’s work empowers both viewer and subject as demi-gods. His art is fun, creative, and reflective of his heritage.More of Alekos Fassianos‘ beautiful work can be found at Fassianos and other places on the Internet.

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 — Alexa Meade

Alexa Meade didn’t plan to be an artist.

One of her professors asked her to create a sculpture that felt like a landscape but was not a sculpture of a landscape. She had no idea what that meant, and he told her it was up to her to figure out.

Meade decided to see what it would look like if she put black shadows on the human body.

And then she started painting not only shadows but also a full mapping of light in grayscale, highlights, darks, everything coming together in a mask of paint on her human palettes.

 

Meade could make people and things look like two-dimensional paintings of themselves

After she discovered this, she left politics behind and made her job teaching herself how to paint, through the process of inventing this new style of painting.

More of Alexa Meade‘s paintings can be found at https://alexameade.com/

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 — 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.

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Vladimir Rumyantsev

St. Petersburg-based artist Vladimir Rumyantsev was born in 1957 in Cherepovets, Russia.

They are so expressive and painted with a sense of humor that can hardly leave anyone indifferent.

Vladimir paints mainly in watercolor, and his works are full of fun. He has become popular for his “St. Petersburg cats.”

His paintings are well-known and appreciated all over Russia, and many of them found their place in museums across Europe, USA, Britain and other countries.

The specialty of his works is the humorous representation of cats’ lives, often in human roles, which still makes them loved pets.

Perhaps one of his cats are based on yours!

Vladimir Rumyantsev‘s work can be seen around the Internet.

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Mary Cassett

Recognized as one of the foremost 19th-century American painters and printmakers, Mary Cassatt (1844-1926) is known for her prolific career and Impressionist artwork.A native of Pennsylvania who lived as an expatriate in Paris beginning in 1874, Mary Cassatt started formal training as a painter in 1861.

In 1865, she took her first trip to Europe, where she would remain for the next four years, traveling and studying in Paris, Rome, and Madrid.

Edgar Degas saw Cassatt’s work at the Salon, and in 1877 he asked her to exhibit with the Impressionists.

Cassatt’s painting style and subject matter changed greatly because of her association with Impressionism. She abandoned colorful costume genre depictions in favor of scenes from contemporary life.

Throughout the latter half of the 1880s, Cassatt produced etchings and drypoints of members of her family.

Her failing eyesight prevented her from working for the last 15 years of her life, but because she had been an exceptionally prolific printmaker, she produced more than 220 prints during the course of her career.More of Mary Cassett‘s marvelous artwork can be found at https://www.marycassatt.org/.

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Caspar David Friedrich

Caspar David Friedrich (September 5, 1774 – May 7, 1840) was a landscape painter of the nineteenth-century German Romantic movement, of which he is now considered the most important painter.

A painter and draughtman, Friedrich is best known for his later allegorical landscapes, which feature contemplative figures silhouetted against night skies, morning mists, barren trees, and Gothic ruins.

His primary interest as an artist was the contemplation of nature, and his often symbolic and anti-classical work seeks to convey the spiritual experiences of life.

Friedrich came of age during a period when, across Europe, a growing disillusionment with an over-materialistic society led to a new appreciation for spiritualism.

This was often expressed through a reevaluation of the natural world, as Friedrich sought to depict nature as a “divine creation, to be set against the artifice of human civilization.”

Today he is seen as an icon of the German Romantic movement, and a painter of international importance.

More of  Caspar David Friedrich‘s wonderful paintings can be found at https://www.caspardavidfriedrich.org/

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlode Rivera,  born Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderón  (July 6, 1907 – July 13, 1954), was a Mexican artist who painted many portraits, self-portraits, and works inspired by the nature and artifacts of Mexico.

Inspired by the country’s popular culture, she employed a naive folk art style to explore questions of identity, post-colonialism, gender, class, and race in Mexican society.

Her paintings often had strong autobiographical elements and mixed realism with fantasy.

In addition to belonging to the post-revolutionary movement, which sought to define a Mexican identity, Kahlo has been described as a surrealist or magical realist.

She was left disabled by polio as a child, and at the age of eighteen was seriously injured in a traffic accident which caused her pain and medical problems for the rest of her life.

 Kahlo’s always fragile health began to increasingly decline during the 1940s. She had her first solo exhibition in Mexico in 1953, shortly before her death in 1954 at the age of 47.

By the 1990s, she had become not only a recognized figure in art history, but so regarded as an icon for Chinanos. the Feminism movement, and the LGBTQ movement.

More of Frida Kahlo‘s wonderful art can be found at https://www.fridakahlo.org/.

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Georgia O’Keeffe

Georgia Totto O’Keeffe (November 15, 1887 – March 6, 1986) was a 20th century American painter and pioneer of American modernism best known for her canvases depicting flowers, skyscrapers, animal skulls and southeastern landscapes.

Considered the “mother of American modernism,” O’Keeffe moved to New Mexico after her husband’s death and was inspired by the landscape to create numerous well-known paintings.

She remained independent from shifting art trends and stayed true to her own vision, which was based on finding the essential, abstract forms in nature.

With exceptionally keen powers of observation and great finesse with a paintbrush, O’Keeffee recorded subtle nuances of color, shape, and light that enlivened her paintings and attracted a wide audience.

Her primary subjects were landscapes, flowers, and bones, explored in series over several years and even decades.

The images were drawn from her life experience and related either generally or specifically to places where she lived.

Georgia O’Keeffe died on March 6, 1986 at the age of 98.

More of Georgia O’Keeffe’s wonderful paintings can be found at https://www.georgiaokeeffe.net/

Sunday Evening Art Gallery Blog — Remedios Varo

 Remedios Varo  (1908-1963) was born in Spain. Remedios always struggled to combine the mythic with the scientific, the sacred with the profane.

Remedios decided to evade the civil war that was going on in Spain and moved instead to Paris where the art movements were in vogue.

In Europe she was influenced by the surrealist movement and metaphysics studies. She was motivated by ancient studies and literature, but also by physics, mathematics, engineering, biology and psychoanalysis.

After some years, she decided to move to Mexico with a friend she met in Europe. In Mexico, her real journey as an artist started.

Her characters are mystical and solitary; most of the times involved in scientifical activities. They often have almond-shaped eyes, and androgynous features.

Diverse characters emerge in her painting with unusual attitudes: contemplative, passive, highly symbolic; reflection of the instability which can be overcome or changed.

All of them are part of a unique world which involves developed concepts of magic and imagination.

 

More of Remedios Varo‘s fantastic works can be found at http://www.remediosvaro.org/ and http://www.angelfire.com/hiphop/diablo4u/remedios.html

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery Blog — Chrissy Angliker

Chrissy Angliker is a Brooklyn-based Swiss/American artist who was born in Zurich and raised in Greifensee and Winterthur, Working from controlled subject matter, she quickly loses herself in the chaotic magic of the process.

 

Her first painting did not go as planned. “I thought I would begin with a self portrait,” she explains. “I began to paint the eyebrows, and the paint began to drip unexpectedly. It was beyond my control, and I had a very strong emotional reaction.”

The beauty of her method of drips is a connection to the chaos she finds in her art.

More of Chrissy Angliker‘s art can be found at https://www.chrissy.ch/.,

Sunday Evening Art Gallery Blog — Thomas Arvid

Thomas Arvid  captures our wonder with his over sized still life compositions of wine and the rituals surrounding it.

Arvid astounds viewers with the intricate details of his images and with his mastery of light, depth, and reflection.

The magic of his painting is in Arvid’s ability to visualize and chronicle an entire scene beyond the frame – to tell a story of enjoyment and the good life –using lush color and adroit composition.

Arvid is passionate about art and wine: a collector of both, he strives to capture the pleasure of a life well-lived on each canvas.

Arvid’s approach to wine and painting is surprising, given his background as a Detroit native raised to parlay his inherent artistic talent into a secure job in the industrial complex.

According to Arvid, “Wine is a great subject because people are familiar with it; they really connect to it. My paintings are really the landscapes between people sharing wine – it’s amazing that my collectors find personal fulfillment in my work, especially when I’m just doing what I love.”

More of Thomas Arvid’s amazing paintings can be found at http://www.thomasarvid.com/

Sunday Evening Art Gallery Blog – Kevin Zuckerman

Kevin Zuckerman was born in St. Louis and grew up in Japan, Thailand, and Greece.

Following his art study in the U.S., Kevin lived and painted in Spain and Switzerland, travelling throughout Europe, studying the great Masters.

Kevin is a multi faceted artist, having mastered many mediums, from oil painting (his primary medium) to sculpture in bronze, pastel and watercolor.

He has also worked in many styles along his journey as an artist, from classical to total abstraction to the place he has now arrived.

Utilizing and integrating all the various techniques and ideas he has collected and invented along the way, Kevin brings something fresh and unique to the art world.

More of Kevin Zuckerman’s colorful and creative art can be found at http://www.kevinzuckerman.com.

 

 

#AppreciateYourCreativeFriendsWeek – 1st Day

Roses are Red

Violets are Green

Writing and Painting

Is More Than A Dream!

 

This is a made-up celebration, of course — but is it?

We all are jealous of other’s creativity. In a sweet, supportive way, of course. As shown on my Sunday Evening Art Gallery blog, I am always in awe of what magic comes from creative hands, minds, and souls.

I follow a number of poets, artists, sculptors, and everyday wise men and wise women, and am always in love with their offerings. So I am going to celebrate my friendly creative friends with my own #AppreciateYourCreativeFriends week! Check them out, follow follow follow (if it tickles your fancy), and have a great time doing it!

My Monday recommendation is Carsten Wieland, an amazing watercolor painter who lives in Essen, Germany. His site is full — and I mean full — of fantastic watercolor paintings. Houses, landscapes, weather — every post he shares is yet another glimpse into a very accurate eye and a very open palate.

Check out Carsten Wieland out at Brushpark/Watercolors. https://brushparkwatercolors.wordpress.com/. 

You check in, you may never want to check out!

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery Blog — Colin Batty

Artist Colin Batty puts an amusingly strange spin on photographs of the past.

Taking cabinet cards from the early 1900s, he uses acrylic paint and crafts entirely new and surprising scenes directly on the image.

His additions are often hilarious but also creepy, and he does a fantastic job of seamlessly matching the colors and shading of each vintage photo – without the help of the computer.

It’s so convincing that at first glance, you might not notice the images were even changed.

The amazing part is that Batty does this work all by hand — you won’t find a single image Photoshopped in his collection of cards.

More of Colin Batty‘s amazing photography art can be found at http://www.peculiarium.com/colin-batty.

Sunday Evening Art Gallery Blog — Robert Venosa

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Robert Venosa (January 21, 1936 – August 9, 2011) studied  the Misch Technique (also known as the Master’s Technique) discovered by the seventeenth-century Flemishmasters Hubert and Jan Van Eyck, which utilizes the system of painting in tempera and oil glazes.

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This technique is perfect for painting the crystalline worlds that Venosa envisions.

celestial Light goes through the surface oil glazes, bounces off the white tempera underpainting and comes back out hitting the eye with the illusion of transparent depth.

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For Robert, it was more than a career — it was a spiritual path of self inquiry and direct experience of transcendent realities.

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He has been called a visionary, his paintings slicing through the ethereal and bringing it closer to home.

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His neighbor and friend Salvador Dali once said, “Bravo Venosa! Dali is pleased to see spiritual madness painted with such a fine technique.”

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More of Robert Venosa’s works can be found at  Robert Venosa  and at rvenosa.

Sunday Evening Art Gallery Blog — Collin van der Sluijs

 

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Collin van der Sluijs is a renowned painter and illustrator from Maastricht, The Netherlands.

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After graduation from the art academy at St. Joost in 2004, Collin moved to the south of the Netherlands where he now lives and works on exhibitions and projects.

collin-van-der-sluijs1 His work can be described as personal pleasures and struggles in daily life.

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Working without sketches or notes, the artist dives into each artwork with spray paint, acrylics, and ink as ideas take hold and images slowly emerge.

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Collin’s art also includes fascinating wall murals.

collinvandersluijs_morenhoek_02-940x623He frequently examines themes of the natural world such as the cycle of life, the depictions of various species of birds, and the psychology of beings both human and animalistic.

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 More of Collin van der Sluijs’ art can be found at Collosal or at his website Collin van der Sluijs .

Sunday Evening Art Gallery Blog — Marina Printseva

Talented and unique artist Marina Printseva was born in 1949 in the city of Pskov, Russia.

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She is a member of the Union of Artists of Russia, and a member of the International design and textiles Association.

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Her technique is a brilliant mixture of embroidery, painting and application.

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Marina created a special world filled with poetic images and metaphors influenced by Old World St. Petersburg

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Her work is populated by visions and shadows from the past.

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You can tell by the delicate work and mixed media that her visions are intricate and true.

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You can find more of Marina Printseva‘s inspirational work at Marina Printseva and unique-art-by-marina-printseva.

Sunday Evening Art Gallery Blog — Karina Llergo

We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. 
―  Friedrich Nietzsche

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Karina Llergo works to find fresh ways to evoke energy through human motion by turning human figures into fluid art.

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Dance, air and water are big influences her work.

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According to Karina, “From dancers I take the beautiful mobility of their bodies, from air, its provoking rhythmic motion and from water, its captivating deconstructed reflections.”

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“I know a piece is completed when I close my eyes and feel its rhythm of dance, water and air singing in harmony.”

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As a lifelong dancer, competitive swimmer and avid skydiver, she found herself drawn to depicting on canvas the palpable energy of the human body in motion.

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Of Mexican, Armenian and Spanish descent, Karina’s diverse background influences her life in every way, as does her insatiable passion for the creative arts.

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More of  Karina Llergo‘s gorgeous artwork can be found at her website http://karinallergosalto.com/

You can also find Karina on Facebook  www.facebook.com/KarinaLlergoSalto and

Instagram instagram.com/karinallergosalto#

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Sunday Evening Art Gallery Blog — Leonid Afremov

The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.  ~~ Pablo Picasso

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Leonid Afremov (born July 12, 1955 in Vitebsk, Belarus) is a Russian–Israeli modern impressionistic artist who works mainly with a palette knife and oils.

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Afremov likes to view his artwork as politically neutral — no hidden messages, no alternate agenda.

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He tries to draw the viewer towards certain feelings rather than telling a story through his work.

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While Afremov’s early works are influenced by the masterpieces of older painters, his artwork is very unique and recognizable.

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The artist invites us to experience the world of simple beauty which constantly surrounds us.

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Leonid’s art easily transports you to other worlds, other times, other ways of thinking and feeling.

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And, after all, isn’t that the purpose of Art?

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Leonid Afremov’s artwork can be viewed and purchased at https://afremov.com/. You can also follow Leonid and his artwork on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/leonidafremovofficialpage and at Twitter at  https://twitter.com/AfremovArt.

Sunday Evening Art Gallery Blog — Jacek Yerka

Jacek Yerka was born in Toruń, Poland, in 1952.

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Yerka studied fine art and graphics prior to becoming a full-time artist in 1980.

As a child, Yerka loved to draw and make sculptures. He hated playing outside, and preferred to sit down with a pencil, creating and exploring his own world.

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Yerka resisted pressures of his instructors to adopt the less detailed techniques of contemporary art and continued to work in the classic, meticulous Flemish style he still favors to this day.

He creates surrealistic compositions Based on precise painting techniques, taking pattern from former masters like Jan van Eyck or Hieronymus Bosch.

Like many artists, Yerka pulls on thoughts and memories of his past to create these marvelous artworks.

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Yerka’s carefully rendered paintings (acrylics on canvas) are filled with images from the artist’s childhood, one heavily influenced by the surroundings of his home during the 1950’s, and his grandmother’s kitchen, where he spent much of his time.

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According to Yerka, “My greatest source of inspiration is always (and I bet will be) my childhood souvenirs – that places, remembered feelings, fragrances and technique of 1950s .”

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More of Jacek Yerka‘s wonderful art can be found at the Morpheus Gallery  and at his website http://www.yerkaland.com/.

 

Side Trip — Craig L Haupt

aNow and then I like to take little side trips into the lives of some of the artists I highlight both here and in my Art Gallery.

Although according to his website (http://clhaupt.comCraig Haupt has a degree in Art Education, it’s his love of creative doodles that’s led to a career of whimsical images.

Why I am taking time to share his creativity is simple. On his WordPress blog ( https://craiglhaupt.com/) I have watched him turn this:

 

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Into this:

 

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I love the creative process. Whether it’s writing, painting, sketching, stenciling, it all starts small and obtuse and grows into something wonderful and unique.

Craig’s delightful explanation  “From childhood to present, I have been surrounded by my doodles and countless stick figures that have never left me,” rings true for all of us. There is always some thing, some thought, some feeling, that follows us around all the time. Something we just can’t forget about. Something we can’t let go.

I find a touch of doodle in a depth of color in Craig’s sketches and drawings. To take a scrambled beginning and turn it into something esthetic is no easy feat. It’s not often an artist shows you all their steps, so I thought it fun to share both ends of the spectrum.

You can also see more of Craig’s work at my Sunday Evening Art Gallery http://wp.me/p5LGaO-pZ.

I hope you enjoyed this little “Side Trip”! See you soon!

 

 

Slugs Gather Here

444This evening I should have been editing my novel, tweeted about my latest Art Gallery post, done a little research, read some great blogs, and writtten a poem.

Instead, I spent this evening laying around like a slug, watching TV, washing a dish here or there, watering a wilty plant, and giving my dog an extra cookie or three.

Does this mean I’m not dedicated to my craft?

I know several people who signed up — and finished — the National Novel Writing Month challenge (NaNoWriMo) where they write a novel in one month. Others have done the National Poetry Writers Month (NaPoWriMo) where you write a poem a day for one month. I just saw someone on Twitter say they were digging in and writing 800 words — I don’t know if that was per day or per session. Another friend devotes at least an hour a day painting. Yet another schedules scrapbooking dates with daughters and friends. I know fellow bloggers that find time to sculpt and do wire works and probably take ballet lessons, too.

I am a failure.

Every morning I have the honor and pleasure to drive the back roads to work, my mind allowed to wander and plan all the fun writing and art gallery adventures that will take place once I get home. After packed days doing data on a computer, most of us come home with headaches and carpel tunnel, not inspiration. Add a dog yakking on the floor or a sink full of dishes, and all those dreams come crashing to the ground pretty darn fast.

Maybe I shouldn’t want a writing career so bad. Maybe I shouldn’t obsess about new twists to my blog or new artists for the Gallery or art fairs I’d like to wander through or jewelry I’d love to make or the tree branches I want to paint on three canvases for my bathroom or the beads I want to sew on the new top I got from Good Will.

Maybe I’m not a failure.

Maybe I’ve just got too much want.

Do you feel that way? You should. Are you a member of the 10/5 Sack Club? You know — trying to shove 10 pounds of stuff into a 5 lb. bag?  Are you a lets-change-our-days-to-34-hours-instead-of-24-hours member?

How do you get it all done? Are you ever really satisfied with how much personal time you have?

Damn, it’s frustrating, isn’t it? All the stuff you want to do, all the stuff you plan on doing, dream of doing, and all you can muster is a slug on the rug routine.

I know it all will get done sooner than later. Between the grandkids, the maddening work load, between mowing the lawn and brushing my teeth.

I know my characters will wait — they’ve waited this long, fooling around in a parallel Etruscan time zone or in 1885 Clairmont or at a writer’s gathering on the shores of Lake Michigan. They know their stories are good, their purpose clear. The morals have already been written, the points made. The artists continue their unusual creations until I get them in the Sunday Evening Art Gallery, and the fairs and fests await my arrival.

Until then, there’s nothing wrong with a good ‘ol SlugFest now and then.

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery Blog — Judit Czinkné Poór

When is a cookie not a cookie?

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When it is an amazing creation by Judit Czinkné Poór.

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Chef Judit Czinkné Poór is the mastermind behind Hungarian cake decorating shop Mézesmanna, a small studio with a giant social media presence because of the incredible photos and videos they share of their decorative confections.

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Each cookie is hand painted, the patterns often traditional patterns from folk costumes and embroideries from her native Hungary.

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Judit’s deft touch makes edible creations that are almost too beautiful to eat.

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Her embroidery style touches on portraiture, animals, intricate lacework, winter holidays, and floral patterns.

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In addition to the folk art-inspired cookies, Poór also decorates cookies with portraits and 3D images.

A true artist, Judit Czinkné Poór and her magic can be found on her Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/Mezesmanna/, and one of many feature interviews,  http://aplus.com/a/judit-czinkne-poor-decorated-cookies.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to My Anniversary

thThe child must know that he is a miracle, that since the beginning of the world there hasn’t been, and until the end of the world there will not be, another child like him.  ~Pablo Casals

Five years. I swear to the goddesss almighty, I can’t believe I’ve been writing this blog for five years. Five years today. So much has happened in this short period of time — and so much yet to happen.

I almost forgot the significance of tonight — it’s like last Friday I realized that Monday was going to be my writing anniversary, then I got fried watching my grandkids all weekend (I love the tan from that!), then my Sunday Evening blog. So I almost forgot — no, I did forget — until I was laying in bed, in the dark, trying to fall asleep.

My mind was running and running, but not about what you think. It wasn’t full of anniversary sparklers and referrals to past blogs — it was centered on a Facebook experience I had earlier in the evening.

You know how ads and reposts from other people drift in and off of your account. Most I glance at then pass by. But someone posted this picture.  

And I thought, wow..kinda cool. Maybe this is something for my Sunday Evening Art Gallery blog. So I followed the breadcrumbs and found out that this artwork — and a number of others — is done by a 14-year-old girl named Candace Walters, who just happens to be severely autistic.

I say “happens to be”, because once I did more research,  her parent’s pride shown through every word they shared. Her parents wrote,  “Candy is showing the World what children with autism are capable of achieving!! They have great potential for excellence!!”

How can you forget something like this?

How can you not love the beauty, the colors, the love this child brings into this world?

I have written to the e-mail address, asking if I could highlight Candy’s work on my Sunday Evening Art Gallery blog. Sometimes I just highlight artists, as they are out of reach, but this felt so much more personal. I want to shout out her light, her beauty, on my blog, but I also want her or her parents or her guardians or her family to know I’m shouting it out.

In this case it’s called respect.

So tonight, my 5-year anniversary of having shared my thoughts, my heart, and my love of writing and art to all of you, I find myself turning the spotlight to someone who deserves recognition so much more than I do.

You can find Candy’s artwork at https://www.facebook.com/candywatersautismartist, and her work can be purchased at http://www.zazzle.com/candace69/products.

Hopefully I will be able to share more of her magic with you in the future. Yet, with the sun having set on my 5th anniversary, I’m already filled with magic.

Sunday Evening Art Gallery Blog — Katsushika Hokusai

An image seen on a hundred different walls, on placemats, screensavers, postcards.

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And yet the incredible history of the artist Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) is a magical tale of its own.

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Hokusai was born on the 23rd day of 9th month of the 10th year of the Hōreki period (October or November 1760) to an artisan family, in the Katsushika district of Edo, Japan.

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Hokusai was a Japanese master artist and printmaker of ukkiyo-e, a style of wood block prints and paintings.

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Hokusai is best-known as author of the woodblock print series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji (c. 1831) which includes the iconic and internationally recognized print, The Great Wave off Kanagawa, created during the 1820s (first image above).

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Hokusai was known by a dozen different names through his lifetime, most likely reflecting the different artistic manifestations he went through.

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It is this restlessness, this thirst for life and art, that inspired countless other artesians on this continent and others.

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And it is this quiet beauty that has withstood the winds of time.

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You can see all of Katsushika Hokusai‘s art at his website http://www.katsushikahokusai.org/.

Sunday Evening Art Gallery Blog — Sarah Kaufman

Sarah Kaufman is a Nashville, Tennessee-based artist who creates magical, textural mixed media paintings that explore aspects of the human experience “through the lens of surreal and ethereal narratives.”

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Starting with a with a blank canvas, Sarah smears, drizzles, and splatters it with venetian plaster and gesso to create texture, then seals it with layers of  translucent acrylic paint.

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Once the base of the painting has settled, she paints her idea brings it to life with oil paint.

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Sarah’s paintings are often soft and bright, yet sparkling with ethereal feelings.

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According to Sarah, “The idea of being separate and distinct from the world around us is an illusion…”

“…we are simply a collection of energy for the moment. The houses represent our concept of self, with energy swirling around us in the sky, ground, trees and animals.”

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More of Sarah Kaufman‘s lovely art can be found at http://www.sarahkaufmanart.com

https://artandinventiongallery.wordpress.com/art-artists/artwork/sarah-kaufman, http://www.larkandkey.com/artists/sarah-kaufman/, and can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/sarah.kaufman.14.

Writer’s Block

thWriter’s Block.

Is it real? Or is it all in the imagination?

Some people say they never get it. They’re never stuck for something to write. Others have it hit them all the time. They mistake the block for not having enough determination or desire.

I find that Writer’s Block is merely a drop in the bucket to the larger malady, Creative Block.

Know that this hits all creative arts, from writing to painting to making a quilt to sketching scenery. It IS real, and it DOES matter when you are zapped with it. It’s not a shade of pretend or indifference. It’s a real emotion. Writer’s Block is not only the feeling of not having anything to write about. It’s the feeling you don’t want to write, period. It’s lack of desire, the inability to finish, or too much preliminary writing/research to do before you get to the “good stuff.” It’s working on the same old story and not being able to pull it all together.

A fellow blogger (https://victoriakgallagher.wordpress.com/2016/03/02/writers-block-sucks/) puts it this way:

There are ideas whirling around my mind but the perceived inadequacy has been very overpowering. It’s won out and I really don’t want it to. Perhaps writing this is a ‘good enough’ start and more writing ideas will come eventually. Writers block is not a fun place to be in, but knowing that there are others who have the same scenario, in a roundabout way, helps, especially if they have ideas on how to break free from it.

This is how we all feel from time to time. Sometimes the answer, as Victoria says, it to write a short blog. To write something, whether or not it’s of publishable quality.

But sometimes the inadequacy, the not-wanting-to, lies in a well-hidden secret woods in your body, and only comes out during certain combinations of hormones (male AND female) and full moons and stress and a weird look from somebody you don’t know. Who knows what kicks in the self doubt. But something does, and before you know it you’re rolling down the hill like a snowball, collecting debris and sticks and mud to fling at ourselves along the way.

This is not a reflection of how we feel about our craft.

If you are a true artist, your craft comes from your heart. Loud and strong. All the time. You love to paint. You love to play the guitar. You love to write. Nothing you (or anyone else) say can change the feeling of magic that fills you once you’re in your groove.

But being a true artist doesn’t mean you’re living the high all the time. There are websites upon websites about famous creative people who had bouts with depression, alcoholism, and other numbing illnesses. Some survived, some didn’t. The internet is also full of websites about how to work through creative blocks. Any one of their tips could be the one for you.

I think of Creative Block block not so much a wall as a chain link fence. You can see through it, you can see the future of your craft, but you just can’t get past that fence.

Your love of your craft hasn’t changed — just your ability to move past the fence. If you just listen to your heart, get past the junk that comes at you from all directions (especially yourself), and hold onto that love, you’ll get back in the groove soon. Leave your own work behind and explore others…the masters of painting, sculpting, designing. Let their work inspire you. You can’t compete with them, for you are NOT them…you are you. And how wonderfully unique that is.

If you love your craft, your heart and soul will find a way to bring you round back to where you left off.

And with infinity being what it is, you’ve got a gloriously long journey ahead of you.

Let’s Open Another Door

Well, it’s March 3rd and I’m done.

Any of you who live in the northern half of the U.S. — or any country, for that matter — know what I mean when I say I’m done. Done with the snow, the cloudy days, the slush, the slop, the depression, the driving-like-a-little-old-lady kind of days. I’ve had my snow for Christmas; my grandson has made his annual snowman, I’ve spent a weekend at the ski lodge, and scraped and cleaned the snow off my car more than I care to tell you.

It’s supposed to be 64 degrees next Tuesday, and that’s not soon enough for me. I know it’s a false spring and all that, but go ahead — fool me — I don’t mind.

About this time every year I get tired of writing, too. Tired of sloshing around emails and sites, tired of editing, tired of being witty, nifty, and wise. Since I like to think of ALL of us as multi-artistic, I’m ready to clean out closets and get ready for my move to BoHoChicland.

I’ve got bags of beads to sew on sweaters and tops; I’ve got wire and string to restring my broken bracelets; I’ve got crystals to make more bracelets; I’ve got appointments with Good Will and other second hand places to help me restructure my wardrobe. Clothes never used to make me feel better, but these days, I’m open to discovery. I’m tired of looking like my great-grandmother (like I know what she dressed like..)

Besides the clothing overhaul, I’ve also got books I need to finish reading, hair to color, skirts to shorten. I need to open up the windows and get some fresh air in my stale house.

So let’s get going.

They say when God closes one door He opens another. He’s been really generous with me, because he’s opened about 15 doors. How generous.

So if you get writer’s block, go open another door. Remember — you are an ARTIST — category optional. Don’t worry — your main obsession will always be with you. But sometimes you just need a change.

Like the weather.

And who knows — maybe a closet full of beads will fall out on your head.

Sunday Evening Art Gallery Blog — René Magritte

If the dream is a translation of waking life, waking life is also a translation of the dream. ”

– Rene Magritte

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René François Ghislain Magritte (November 21, 1898 – August 15, 1967)  was a Belgian surrealist artist best known for his witty and thought-provoking images and his use of simple graphics and everyday imagery.

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We all have seen a few of these images throughout our life, but often we don’t remember where or when.the-wonders-of-nature

 Magritte’s work frequently displays a collection of ordinary objects in an unusual context, giving new meanings to familiar things, challenging observers’ preconditioned perceptions of reality.

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To Magritte, what is concealed is more important than what is open to view: this was true both of his own fears and of his manner of depicting the mysterious.

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A meticulous, skillful technician, he is noted for works that contain an extraordinary juxtaposition of ordinary objects or an unusual context that gives new meaning to familiar things.

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Not only were a number of artists intrigued by, and influenced by the work Rene Magritte created, but popular culture, and the art world in general, were extremely influenced by his creative, unique ability to take something ordinary and make viewers see something completely different.

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Magritte‘s art has been so popular that it has been copied in posters, ads, and other commercial venues. Perhaps that’s why it feels so familiar.

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You can find more of René Magritte‘s art at http://www.renemagritte.org/ http://www.abcgallery.com/M/magritte/magritte.html, or http://www.theartstory.org/artist-magritte-rene.htm.

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Janet Fish

Janet Fish is a Contemporary Realist American painter whose still life paintings seem t0  radiate and reflect color.

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Fish invigorates the still life form, both by the energetic way she paints and the often witty and ironic combinations of objects that she depicts.

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She often chooses as her subjects objects that are translucent, transparent, or reflective, in particular colored glass.

Janet surrounds these objects with flowers, bright cloth patterns and other objects in brilliant hues, balanced with strategically placed rich darks.

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Fish sometimes works from photographs, but often her paintings are composites of many photographs and still lifes, which she rearranges to form her compositions.

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Her remarkable way of painting light and shadows puts a surrealistic glow on her fantastic art.

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I feel like I can almost see my reflection in her glass works. Can you?

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More of Janet Fish’s fantastic realism artwork can be found at the following sites:

http://linesandcolors.com/2011/03/08/janet-fish/

http://www.dcmooregallery.com/artists/janet-fish

Who Am I Tonight?

Alright Readers, Writers, Painters, Sculptors, and all other Creative Musi —tumblr_n768syHP341tp9r4eo1_500

I have been on the writing rollercoaster for quite some time now, enjoying the ride when I can get it, thinking about it when I can’t. It feels good to admit that I have focus, a purpose, and a plan (at least this week).

Before I settled on my current plan, I entertained another idea. A book, a novel, that would have taken a lot of research and smart thought and emotes in worlds I don’t often delve into.

I was going to write a book about dementia from the patient/subject point of view.

Being a mixed genre writer, I was going to throw in some faerie stuff in the prologue, and have that be in the patient’s thoughts throughout the book. The ending I was going to leave up to the readers. It wasn’t going to be campy; it was going to be merely a different take on the situation.

It’s a great idea. A great story. But then I started to think. I don’t know anyone with dementia. I don’t have it (yet), don’t have family with it, or friends, or acquaintances. The thought itself terrifies me, so that would have been my point of view.

After a lot of thinking and rearranging and NOT being able to rearrange my life, I decided to go in a different direction, working with something that I’m already familiar with, something I think will be a hit.

But one of my fears was that those who did have loved ones going through this tragedy would be offended that I “took it too lightly.” I mean, mixing faeries and memory loss and loss of bodily functions — what was I thinking?

So what I wanted to know was, have you ever written/painted/created something out of your comfort zone? Did you finish it? Did you do anything with it? Did you get any reaction because of it?

Maybe you’re pretty clean-cut but wanted to write a sex or demon novel. Maybe you wanted to paint a nude of someone. Or sculpt a piece that, in one way or another, was offensive. Did you do it?

Society is strapped with bungee cords that hold us back from doing anything too off-kilter. I admit I often am a victim of it myself. I often wondered if I took a Stephen King turn at a short story if my family would think I’m psycho. Or if I wrote 600 Shades of Grey if my grandson would coil back in horror.

There is a little of us in everything we create. Even when we step out of our comfort zone there is still a thread that holds us to our sanity. To our safety. I know there have been plenty of artists who have pushed the boundaries of sanity, decorum, and sacred truths to make their art known.

I admit I’m not that adamant about testing the waters of propriety. I know there are plenty of sexy novels out there written by 60 year old little ladies, sculptures of nudes by conservative bankers, and all that. Somehow they either create a persona — a pen name/life — that takes the brunt of the criticism, or are so confident in who they are that they really don’t care.

I haven’t totally trashed the dementia idea, but because of the structure of my life at the moment I can’t give it the time, research, angst, and especially the respect, it deserves.

I’d really like to hear if you were tempted by another “you” — and if you ever followed that Muse.

And don’t worry — I won’t give away your secret —

— you will.

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Dean Russo

A native of Brooklyn, New York, Dean Russo draws inspiration from urban landscapes and his love for dogs to create truly unique artwork known for its brilliant colors and bold abstract designs of mesmerizing shapes and symbols.

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To create these one of a kind images he uses a minimum of ten mediums per painting including pastels, ink, oils, pencils, wax, charcoal and spray paint.

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“I used to paint portraits of rock icons and Hollywood stars for so many years with my dogs by my side. Till one day I thought, why not paint my two favorite subjects?” says Russo.

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Initially inspired by his two cocker spaniels, Dean began working with rescue centers to raise awareness and donate his work.

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Dean strives to communicate a message that encourages people to choose adoption, to acknowledge the world-wide failure of breed specific legislation and to combat dog fighting around the world.

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“When a child sees, hears and acts upon my message, I feel successful. Anytime someone puts a message of love or respect towards people or animals into the universe it builds like a ripple. I hope I live long enough to see my ripples come back to me. That will make me smile.”

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Dean Russo’s designs can be found on t-shirts, posters, tote bags and framed art. His creations of dogs fills the world with magic — and love.happy-shepherd-dean-russo

You can fulfill your love of Dean Russo‘s art and dogs at :

http://deanrussoart2.myshopify.com and http://dean-russo.artistwebsites.com,

Wanderlusters Sign Up Here

CAM00498Do you ever feel you have a somewhat confusing relationship with your life? As I get older I find my emotional state doesn’t last long enough to hang a hat on, so I often can’t tell what I’m feeling.

I have to admit that I am having a ball with the Sunday Evening Art Gallery part of the blog. Every time I turn around I find one sort or another of Art and Creativity that makes me go, “Woah! What is this?”

I’m also blown away by good writing: insightful blogs, humorous blogs, books, poetry. I often want to cut and paste all the great stuff I’ve come across for future reference. But if I kept everything I found, I’d have to link three or four computers together for research.

There are so many branches of the Creative Tree of Life I’d like to climb. Don’t you feel that way sometimes? Maybe its rooted in in my monochrome job. Computer play I like. Computer data entry, I do not. But it pays the bills and the co-workers are fun and it makes my day. So I do the best I can.

Needless to say, most of my spare minutes (break time, lunch time, bathroom time) is devoted to playing in my mind. I look at the bracelet I’m wearing at work that day, something I bought at one of those over-priced jewelry parties, and say, “Man...I can make this!” I read about friends’ blogs on photography, cats, cooking, and I think, “Wow!  I can do this!” I read a great novel, something fast and fun and romantic, and I think, “Man…I can write this!”

And of course there’s always been the traveling thing. I’ve got friends who write traveling RVs blogs and others who pursue quaint castles and villas.  I want to visit all the out-of-the-way places. I want to visit the museums in Italy and the moors of Scotland and the ranches in Texas. I’d love to go to a Broadway play and go to the Cherry  Blossom Festival in Japan and drink hot chocolate at a Swiss chalet.

There’s always so much I want to do. So many worlds to explore, so many things to try. But because of time and money and Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, there’s so many things I’ll not be able to do.

I have managed to keep my fingers in the pies of creativity through the years. I’ve painted iron gates and stone walls and pots overflowing with ivy on the wall;  I’ve painted faux bricks around my dining room, and I’ve planted some awesome herb gardens. But my taste in activities has changed as I’ve gotten older. Maybe I’ve just worn out the old ideas — or maybe I’ve just run out of walls.

It could just be Spring Fever knocking at my door. Warm evenings and pink skies can do that to one. But sometimes I feel like a kid standing outside of Disneyworld. I want to ride everything at once. And I feel I’m running out of time.

Do you get struck with wanderlust like this? I know you have to pick and choose — everything from life to love to TV shows. We can turn this way, that way. But in the end we have to choose one over another. And when the choices are all so sweet, so enchanting, so revealing, it’s hard.

Let me know if you’ve had to choose, or if you’re still choosing your creative path. Are you are managing to do more than less, or if you are a one-thrill-at-a-time creator. Have you been tempted? Do you do a little of lots or lots of just a little?

Let’s all wander together, shall we?

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — George Rodrigue

I am continuously amazed at the Unique Art I come across these days — the art I can’t wait to share with you.

But this evening I am sharing an artist that somehow stirs even more inside of me. More so because I’ve always loved this artist … and never knew his name.

 Are You Trying to Get To My Good Side

Meet — Blue Dog. Possibly one of the most iconic pop art figures created by artist George Rodrigue. Blue Dog has been everywhere from the permanent collection of the Smithsonian to the White House and all over the world.

Banana Split Sundae

Born and raised in New Iberia, Louisiana,  George began painting the third grade while bedridden with polio. Later in life, his art studies at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette followed by the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena gave him a foundation that spawned one of the greatest success stories in southern art.

Life Is a Light Bulb

George Rodrigue was a gifted artist who set out to paint Louisiana as he knew it by visually interpreting the landscape and the rich history of the Cajun people. But that all changed when he found his model in his studio: a photograph of his dog, Tiffany, who had died.

Blue Dog Oak

She was black and white in reality but became blue in his imagination, with yellow eyes. She was also a she, but she could become a he — or, for that matter, whatever else a viewer was prepared to see.

 Are You Lonesome Tonight

“I’m expressing the feelings of mankind today through the Blue Dog,” George said.  “The dog is always having problems of the heart, of growing up, the problems of life. The dog looks at us and asks, ‘Why am I here? What am I doing? Where am I going?’ Those are the same questions we ask ourselves. People look at the paintings, and the paintings speak back to them.”

Mardi Gras 2015

Sadly, George Rodrigue passed away at age 69 on December 14, 2013, after a long battle with cancer. Sixty-nine. A mere youth in the cosmic scope of things. George used his art to help raise awareness of causes, and improve the profile of his beloved New Orleans and Louisiana.

Everywhere

His heart was in his work, in his love of his blue dog and his beautiful wife and loving kids. I am sorry I never knew his name before now. But I will never forget him.

He Stopped Loving Her Today

George’s fantastic collection can be seen at https://georgerodrigue.com/. His wife Wendy continues his legacy with a loving blog which you should check out too: http://www.wendyrodrigue.com/. A deeper tribute can also be found at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brian-ross/remembering-rodrigue-the-_b_4503698.html/.

Love Me Forever

We’ve all had our Blue Dogs — here’s hoping you find one, too.

Are You Plugged In?

plugOne sign of getting older is that I seem to notice things I’ve never noticed before. I don’t know if it’s just swishing around past my prime, or rather just starting out in my prime, but I smell things no one else smells, hear things no one else hears, and notice actors and actresses being recycled through the years from one movie to another.

I love escapism. I don’t get to watch TV or movies as often as I’d like, as work and writing and yelling at the dogs takes up a lot of my time. But I find I wonder “how do they do that?” more often than not. And I’ll be the first to tell you that I am amazed at special effects. My simple brain cannot wrap around the fact that city landscapes and alien spaceships and Roman cities are nothing more than 1’s and 0’s running through a computer. I can’t even begin to understand how they made the German’s face melt in Indiana Jones and Raiders of the Lost Ark; Transformers destroying the city (and each other); Inception, where people run on ceilings and curl cityscapes back on themselves. King Kong. Toy Story. Avatar. The list goes on.

Special effects, computer generated imagery. Galaxies and Mordor and everything inbetween. And none of it is real. Yet one can’t help but get sucked into those worlds as if we really stepped through the magic portal. Our minds quit trying to figure out what’s real and what’s fake and just get lost in someone else’s creativity.

Even more mind-blowing is that the same part of the anatomy that everyone has — even me — is where it all comes from. One’s mind. Which resides in one’s brain. Which we all have (but not all use…ah…a blog for another day).

So it is with any step into creativity. We have all gotten lost in a good book, holding our breath as we turn the pages. We have all looked at a painting or a sculpture and marveled at its simplicity or complexity. Some are able to take the next step in their creative career — go to school, get published, get a job at Industrial Light and Magic. Some turn their love of acting into dinner theater or Broadway, or their skill at playing a guitar or piano into symphony orchestras or rock bands.

So why is it, if we all have the same equipment, we don’t understand the same thing? Why is it so hard for some of us and a piece of cake to others? I can barely do basic Math, yet accountants and computer designers see numbers as easily as seeing the sun. Mankind creates the most amazing, breathtaking, impossible things — all with that one little tool in their skull.

The “whys” of why some people develop the gift and others don’t I will leave to philosophy and a glass of wine. The point is, we ALL have the ability to use that hunk of grey matter to open those magic portals. Some can’t wait for their free time to jump into their next creative project; others see creativity as a waste of time.

Maybe it’s just that the same plug that plugs into the outlet of special effects is on a wall of infinite outlets that lead to infinite destinations. Maybe it’s just the luck of the draw that one plug leads to quantum physics and one to insanity. One to painting and one to crayons. We are all plugged in to different outlets. We can’t change where we are plugged in, but we CAN choose to follow the path of electricity to outlet boxes scattered all over the universe.

Working with the material inside the brain box is a lot of work. Some just catch on faster than others. But when you find that junction box where creativity makes you feel good, you want to stay plugged in. Some may be taken back by the jolt that comes now and then from creative satisfaction, while others find it a natural high they want to come back to again and again.

I don’t know where all this deep philosophy came from this fine morning, but I do know one thing — don’t give up. Make time. Let yourself be. Let it flow. And know you can come back to this feeling any time.

Whew … and to think … I had this cosmic burst before I had my morning coffee!

 

Time to Remodel

Time to remodel.  Those words strike terror in some, delight in others. Probably most of our abodes could use a refresher course in Martha Stewart 101. Shampooing carpets, washing windows, and rearranging the pantry are all fine and dandy, but sooner or later you get to the point where you just can’t stand the grease marks behind the stove or the coffee stains on the rug any longer.

 I was perfectly happy with my little hideaway in the country. I’ve spent many a day playing with kids, petting dogs, cooking for family and friends, and dancing in front of the speakers between these walls. The décor was right for the time: a unicorn plate here, a deer head there. I felt I had the best of both worlds.

 But lately strange apparitions began to appear. A lot more spots had appeared on said wall, and the rugs looked more like a Dalmatian rug.  My kitchen cabinets were stuffed fuller than rummage sale bins, and those birdcages atop the cabinets started to have a fuzzy edge to them.  I can’t see the living room over the counter top because of the three beta bowls, various potteries, an air freshener, and a stack of newspapers that eventually will wind up in the kitty litter box. I couldn’t find anything, I couldn’t reach anything.

 Yes, I needed a change. A shot of the ‘ol adrenalin in our living space. Once I (we) gave the OK, my mind began running like a mad dog after a cheeseburger. Colors, textures, flooring all screamed at me. “Pick me! Pick me!”  Echoing right behind those screams were those of my husband. “Cheap! Cheap!”

 Being a Sagittarius, I embrace change. The bigger up front, the better. Of course, Sagittarians are also notorious for not finishing their projects, but that’s fodder for another story. The roller coaster ride began. How about black and white and wrought iron?  Too gothic.  How about a tropical look – cantaloupe and soft turquoise? No, my mother’s frig was turquoise. Scarred me for life. Boring! Blasé! Old World! I forced myself to center. Slow down.  But so many colors to choose from! Honey! Mint Green! Butterscotch! Red and White! Why didn’t I have a plan before I started?

 My husband maps out the future one bullet point at a time. Why couldn’t I? He had the responsibility of picking out new flooring. No problem. Oak laminate was on sale. It wasn’t that easy for me. I needed to create atmosphere. Ambience. A binding swirl from kitchen to dining room to living room to hallway and back.  Didn’t he see that that wasn’t something to be taken lightly?  My in-laws already did the North Woods look, and I used to have black and white checked in a house we lived in many moons ago. Even though I have a thing for unicorns and faeries, I’m not sure their place is in the kitchen beside polish sausage and sauerkraut.

 I wanted this second go around to be different. This terrified my husband. He has a hard time imagining anything outside four ivory walls and a couple of mounted fish.  He had nervous flashbacks. Like the time I painted the bottom half of a bedroom wall burgundy, or painted a landscape complete with brick walls, urns, and a giant wrought iron gate in my back hallway, or stenciled vines winding from one room to the next. Now that I’m older and less inclined to care about what others think, perhaps he feared the worst. Like I would paint a graveyard scene or an Andy Warhol tribute. Not so. Not so.

Besides ― I didn’t have much money other than for flooring, some paint, and splash tiles. Anything I came up with had to come from the garage sale stack in the mudroom or my local second hand store.  So what do you do when you have champagne taste on a lemonade budget? Why, you do what any creative sprite would do ― you call in another Muse! I was sure Michelangelo or Rembrandt has a few faes they could send my way. After all, inspiration is all around us. In us.  We are not only sales clerks, graphic designers, insurance transcriptionists, or day care workers ― we are musicians, artists, landscapers, psychologists and miracle workers. All I needed to do was open my eyes and look around.

 I didn’t want my rooms to look like Picasso came to visit, or something only Bobby Flay could cook in. I picked out some sand stone-ish tiles and a paint called pearls and lace. That was a start. Suddenly the rooms began to metamorphous.  I didn’t have to walk into the wind chimes on my way out the patio door, or bump my knee on the table jutting out into the living room. Exchanging sheers for the dusty antique lace ones downstairs gave my dining room a much different feel. A few gargoyles atop the cabinets, a few pieces of pottery, and voila! A new me!

All this angst about nothing made me think that it should be just as easy to remodel your inner temple. Clean out the dust bunnies, read a book, go for a walk, play at a new playground. You know who you are ― have some fun with yourself. Drop the drama that dogs your heels every day. Learn to wipe off your inner counters more often, and let the real you shine through.

My mother kept the same drapes and rug and wall colors for 30 years. My mother-in-law too. I never got to ask them if those were really their decorating dreams or someone else’s.  If their inner temple ever slipped out to meet their outer one. If they even knew they had an inner temple.

 I haven’t quite gotten the green light as far as wall decorations and furniture removal, but the highest hurdle has been jumped. I move forward constantly, and respond to my husband’s “Cheap! Cheap!” with my own rebel yell: “Negotiate! Negotiate!”