"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced." - Vincent Van Gogh

Friday, August 31, 2012

Artistic Inspiration ... John William Waterhouse

Here's a great painter; John William Waterhouse (1849-1917).  I LOVE his paintings. Tales of mermaids and ladies; Ophelia and the Lady of Shallot all come alive next to mythical creatures. Gorgeous flowers and flowing gowns attached to beautiful women make the images complete.

If you are a photographer, check out the fluid poses. Look at the story lines. It's about the wind and the flowers and the movement. Mmmm, I can feel the breeze now...

Here's a great website for you to learn more about Waterhouse.

Autumn Days

It is STILL summer. Even though school is in session and Labor Day is just around the corner... it is STILL summer. I don't want to let go.

I know... pumpkins, mums, apple picking and apple crisp is all around the corner... but I love my summer and my ocean. Even though Pumpkin Spice Latte's will return and the new iphone 5 will come out to replace my smoothie dunked phone glop... I still don't want summer to end.

It's hard to let go of things that we love... or people. It's painful to bid farewell to special times and heart connections. But the truth is - seasons come and go and so must we.

My daughter has been living at college for four days now, and I'm still mourning her absence in my home. Oh, she texts me and we've already spoken twice. I will visit her in the next few days and bring her some things and well there's always Facebook. But, I mourn that loss, but I embrace the new with it.

New means that I have a bit more time to do what I need to do. New means I have my car back. New means that there is more room in the shower for shampoo, there's room on the towel bar for my towel and that our 1500 square foot condex just got bigger. New means that when we order one pizza, it feeds the family AND gives us leftovers. I like that! New means that I have a guest room all prepared for my guest today and I can be more hospitable to guests in the future.

I received a letter from my daughter's college today. They said, "Remember, you haven't lost a daughter, you've gained a community". Even recounting the words to you makes my eyes swell up with tears. I haven't lost a daughter, I've gained a community, a really great, interesting, educated community of which I can go and attend events with "smart people". :) Doors are opening for me, as others have closed.

I'm moving on today. My world keeps moving forward and I have one of two choices: I can dig in my heals and complain or I can go with the flow and see where my little river takes me. I'm choosing the second. How about you? What are you holding on to that needs releasing? Let it go now and embrace your future in all it's uncertainty. It's good for the soul!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Beach Inspiration

As the summer ends.... and school starts.... I set my mind to the sea... and my beautiful daughter off at school....

Artistic Inspiration... Dante Rossetti

The artist that you are viewing is English poet and painter, Dante Rossetti, part of the band of Pre-Raphaelite brothers founded in 1848. If you are interested in knowing more, their stories are fascinating! I especially love talking about Dante's muses! I'll save that for another day, maybe - or you might just have to take one of my classes and hear my lecture on muses.

I love the beautiful red flowing hair - a mark of pre-ralph paintings. Makes me think of my friend Cheri (are you reading this Cheri?) The angelic, serene faces on the women almost make it look like heaven. The deep richness of the complementary colors add a pop and a depth to the images. Look at the busyness in the background yet the dominant role of the subject. Just beautiful.....

Take your time to study these images. You can make them larger by clicking in them. What do you like about them? Can you draw inspiration from anything about this art for your own work?

Art meets Soul In Dr. Seuss and Burning Man

My friend David Hayward shared this video on his blog yesterday and I wanted to share it with you. It's creative in so many ways.... the clothing, the photography, the people, the poetry. And of course there is the soul element to it... it's all about life. So take seven minutes of your day to watch it... it's a true mixture of art and soul.

By the way, yesterday after I posted my stained soul post I got to thinking.... You know the best way to cleanse your soul right? Go right to the soul-maker and ask him to clean it up for you. The other ways are your contribution, but if you want the job done right... it's God-bleach all the way....

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Artist Inspiration: Kamil Vojnar

The artist you are looking at is Kamil Vojnar born in Moravia, Czechoslavakia. He studied art in Prague and later in Philadephia. Like many artists he settled in Paris and I've heard rumors of him being in the states, doing workshops, etc. In fact, he was teaching up with another photographer on the west coast at the same time I was teaching a school or I might have ventured up that way!

I have been following this photographer for a few years now. I love, love, love his work! If you've been in any of my classes, I always show his as some of my favorite inspiration.

Kamil uses a mixed media approach by layering his photographs and using canvas, textures wax, paint and probably whatever suits his mood. What a great way to add depth to your work.

Religious undertones run through his work giving a sense of both hope and despair, repentance and cleansing. Each image tells a story that can be interpreted by the viewer in their own way.

On an aesthetic level, I just enjoy the blurred, vintage, dressed in white, angel wings and old carnival lights magic feel.

What goes in, always comes out! When we view art, it affects us in one way or another. I'm glad to be affected by his work. On occasion he exhibits in the states so keep your eyes open for it... especially you California people. If you are lucky enough to head off to Europe soon check out his exhibit list. See more at:  kamilvojnar.com.

Add a little bleach...

It was raining yesterday morning when I got out of bed... more like pouring. The water was coming down all over my little 6x8 screened in porch and my dilapidated couch was soaked. On my settee is an old popcorn chenille white bedspread that I purchased on ebay years ago in my auction days. It's been looking dull lately and so I relegated it to the porch.

All summer, the dogs have been sitting on it and it's had quite a bit of abuse from the elements. So today since the rain started the washing process, I decided to continue it in my Kenmore. As I loaded the detergent, I paused and decided to add a little bleach too.

Now let me just say that I do laundry the same way that I cook, so I have no idea how much I added - I just throw it all in. But it came out looking brighter than I think I've ever seen it! I'm so excited that I might promote it to a bed again!

Decay - it's the natural course of things. Dirt collects more dirt and soon the original beauty is hidden by years of soil.

It's the same for our souls. Pain, suffering, disappointment attach themselves to our souls like barnacles to a ship leaving us lifeless and tired. If we don't attend to them now and then and wash off the gunk, we run the risk of turning into miserable old souls.

So how do we clean up our souls? It's different for everyone. We all have "soul soaps" that suit us better than others. Prayer, meditation, affirmations, music, art, petting an animal, holding a baby.... all of these are great cleansers! Exercise is great too - even if it is just a short walk. Engaging in the arts and creating is one of my favorite scrubbies! Expressing yourself charges the soul up. Even if your form of creative is a crossword puzzle - go for it!

The key is to do it a bit everyday so you don't get so clogged down with the soul stiflers. It's the same with stains in clothing. If you attack them immediately, you have a chance of getting them out, but left to sit and bake on the fabric leaves a stain. No one wants a stained soul!

Make a little list today of those things that encourage your soul and try to do a bit every day. Even if you can only do 5 or 10 minutes, you will be amazed at the benefits. So bleach out that gunk today... it's good for your soul!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Artist Inspiration...Lilya Corneli

Today's inspiration comes from a young photographer named Lilya Corneli, an Armenian artist living in Germany. Lilya works primarily in digital imaging and self-portraiture. In contrast to Frida Kalho's images who told her story, Lilya strives to capture emotion through simple art details. Her work is fresh and fascinating to view. An effective artist is one who is not afraid to be different, to stand out. You can learn more about her in this poetic description in her website as well as see a complete collection of her works. For another angle of her work, check out this blog.

A Change of Seasons...or the Seasons of Change...

I know it's not really autumn yet, but today feels like a change in seasons. My oldest daughter is off at college, jumping in lakes with her clothes on and who knows what all else, and my youngest child is entering her senior year of high school.

I remember it well, the days that they were just young, needing me for everything. As I dressed and bathed them and got up in the middle of the night for feedings, time seemed to drag on. And then one day, they are out on their own. Leaving the nest that I spent so many years preparing and perfecting for them.

It's an ending... it's a loss. I grieve the loss of the ability to protect my babies. And yet, as the seasons have continued to change, it has been a gradual process. My job has been to make them independent. To stand on their own two feet and offer themselves to the world, as whole as possible. So now, as I have completed the process (well are we ever really done... my mom would say no) in one daughter and fill in the cracks for my second child, I do think about what's next.

I have plans actually. I'm never really at a loss of interests or things that I want to do and tackle. I rather enjoy thinking about the next phase of my life where I can be more self-centered and start focusing on some of the things that I haven't been able to pursue in the busyness of raising a family. It's encouraging to know that there are doors to be opened and windows to crack and feed the new winds of change.

So here's my soul encouragement today..... When things end, it makes room in our life for new experiences. When relationships end, we meet new people who add a different element into our lives. When children move on, not only do their worlds expand, but yours do too if you are open to it. When one soul leaves this world, a new one comes.

There is a saying in New England, "If you don't like the weather, wait a few minutes". It's really that way with life too. Change will continue to come. We can be glad that we don't live in a stagnant world. How boring that would be!

Be encouraged! There are new opportunities around every corner just waiting for you. Open your eyes today and cherish that truth... it's good for the soul!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Artist Inspiration... Irina Karkabi

Here is a modern day Klimt! Beautiful, flowing, colorful, passionate art. I LOVE it! Oil on canvas is her medium... beautiful!

To see her website click here.