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

Thursday, September 27, 2012


Hi blog readers - sorry for the silent period - I'm buried in work and still not running on all cylinders. Hope to be back again in a bit...

Monday, September 24, 2012

Artistic Inspiration... One creative Dad and a camera...

In keeping with creative answers to bad things that happen... see what this wedding photographer/dad, Jason Lee did with pictures of his daughters. Jason started a blog for his mom who was undergoing cancer treatments and wasn't able to see her granddaughters too often because of their frequent colds and runny noses. Instead of just "normal" pictures, he decided to have a little fun with them! I love it.. I'm sure you will too!

Check out the site here.... http://www.boredpanda.com/creative-kids-photography-jason-lee/

The Boring Life of....

As I struggle thru this little bout with the flu, I've had lots of time to do nothing but sit in a chair or lie in bed and watch TV. The past few days I've entertained myself with The Vampire Diaries, Season 3, a myriad of movies, a civil war documentary, haunted house movies on the Sci Fi channel and a new personal favorite "The Boring life of Jacqueline", an HBO digital 15 minute series. In this show, a 20-something unemployed, struggling actress lives in a small apartment in NYC and struggles to fill her days. She obsesses over her new maintenance man, leaves long phone messages for a friend who never calls her back, talks to her mom and auditions for an acting position on an independent film, during which time she meets a crazy woman who worms her way into her apartment and her wallet. It's a sad, yet comedic story of a charming and talented artistic young woman who has no friends and no life.... and I related to it all too well this week.

Little Jacqueline is a bright, energetic, talented, imaginative and optimistic person who wants to grab all she can from life.... but comes up empty handed every time. Her dreams and expectations are far greater than the reality of her situation. She's a visionary living in a flat-liner world, while watching other people accomplish their dreams. It's not for lack of enthusiasm of talent, she just can't quite get it together. Sometimes she has just plain bad luck. Some of what holds her back are financial constraints. At times she gets discouraged because life just isn't cooperating with her.

It's really about the human experience. Gardens and weeds.... nature and insects.... air and germs..... good and bad. The story of life.

Here's the funny part.... go to Youtube and type in "The Boring Life of Jacqueline" and you see tons of homemade videos about people's boring lives! It's like a new market! It almost makes me want to make my own movie about my life. I've been told often that if I made a movie of my life it would never be boring... there's irony in that. Anyway, maybe one of you creative souls out there might want to take on the challenge. It helps you think in a whole new way. Turning the bad into good. Turning lemons into lemonade. Turning sour experiences into profit. Doing something creative with your boredom....I like it.... It's a concept that might just be good for the soul!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Weekend Off

Hi my dear blog readers.... I caught an awful flu last Monday and am still fighting it. Instead of improving, it seems to be getting worse.. so I'm going to take the weekend to sleep. You who are healthy need to go outside, breathe in the fresh fall air (if you are in the north) or just breathe and enjoy the health you have. Go apple picking for me and get some pumpkins and mums and go to some harvest festivals - today is the day! Hopefully I'll be able to join you soon again in the land of the living... Anne

Friday, September 21, 2012

Finding Rest....

Take a few minutes today just to find rest in this beautiful autumn music video.... it's good for the soul!

Artist Inspiration... Jack Vettriano

You are looking at the work of Jack Vettriano, scottish painter and publisher. His work has come under criticism for being "stiff, devoid of emotion and sleazy". After all, the critics say, what is art if it is not emotional? This of course is great news for us emotional artist types because we have a license to emote - it's in our natures. You'll notice that I didn't post any of the paintings with the more sexual overtones, thought I'd keep this PG. For me, art comes in so many forms. Vettriano has a Hopperesk style - crisp, clean, linear, bold, colorful with a vintage charm. You can decide, as with all the artists that I publish on this site how much you enjoy his work. To see more of Vettriano, check out his site.... jackvettriano.com

Thursday, September 20, 2012

John Keats Inspiration

In keeping with the Love Letter theme of yesterday.... enjoy this scene from the movie from the movie "Bright Star".

Artist Inspiration... Fabian Perez

A few years ago I was wandering through art galleries somewhere in San Diego with my friend Jennifer and stumbled upon the most marvelous sight.... the works of Fabian Perez, painter born in Buenos Aires and now residing in LA. His work is dramatic, captivating and full of mystery. So much emotion is packed into the pieces you can feel the apathy and despair. It's not "feel good" art but it's real and it's raw and I like it. For more works by Fabian Perez check out his website. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Love Letter

I'm lying in bed nursing the horrible flu that I fought so desperately hard to avoid. Alas, I guess some things just aren't meant to be.... The good news is that I no longer have to fear getting it! Aside from sleeping all day, I did manage to pull myself out of bed in the middle of the afternoon and stumble down to the living room to eat chicken soup and watch a few movies on HBO. I'm not much of a TV watcher, but I sure love to watch movies. It's great to get caught up in 90 minutes of a storyline that always has a resolution (I only like happy ones). I don't like to be left hanging. Even when I watch TV series - I watch them a year or two later so that I can plow through them in a few days.

My favorite movies are romance movies - being the diehard romantic that I am (bet none of you figured that out yet did you - ha ha). I filled the past few days with "Love Actually" (twice), "While You Were Sleeping", and "What's Your Number".  I never tire of the "chance meetings", the development of a romance and my favorite part is always "that moment" when they declare their undying love to each other.  After that final or first kiss - the movie ends and you know happily ever after is on it's way because they have found their "true love".

If the odds of finding that true love weren't hard enough, I love the movies where they have to time travel to meet their love! One of my favorites was a movie entitled "The Love Letter" made by Hallmark in 1998. I haven't seen it for years, but I remember it well.

Everyone, man or woman wants to be cherished. To cherish someone according to the dictionary is "to hold or treat as dear, feel love for; to care for tenderly, to nurture; to cling fondly or inveterately to."

To be cherished is a great thing! If you cherish someone in your life today (and it doesn't have to be a lover) let them know. Last month we spent quite a while talking about "encouragement". This is the ultimate encouragement - receiving a love letter from someone. Taking the time to write a letter is a commitment in our busy, fast paced society but you will make someone's day! Think about how great it would be to get a letter like that.

To be loved unconditionally and wholeheartedly is a gift not to be taken lightly by the recipient. To love is to risk... risk rejection, risk heartbreak. We hope for the best, for the love to be returned and protected but sometimes it is not. It is taking down the carefully built wall around our hearts for someone to penetrate. When we love someone we are trusting them with our very soul. You do not always choose who you love. True love cannot be quenched with some and it cannot be sparked with others. Love is a matter of the heart - an emotional matter - not a logical matter.

While writing this blog I found a website chock full of love letters! Reading them was almost as good as watching the movies.... Check out these phrases from lovingyou.com

"I try to put this feeling into worlds, but fail miserably. This feeling of being both scared and at peace, of having both butterflies and a sense of calm, is a feeling that I have only dreamed about. As the days continue to pass, my love for you continues to grow. I never thought I had the capacity to love anybody as much as I love you right now. yet, my love for you continues to mature, growing beyond the realm of my heart. It seems that you have become the fiber of my soul, the very reason for my existence."

"You have the greatest soul, the noblest nature, the sweetest, most loving heart I have ever known, and my love and admiration for you have increased so much since we've known each other that it still amazes me. You are move wonderful and lovely in my eyes than you ever were before; and my pride and joy and gratitude that you should love me with such a perfect love are beyond all expression."

Doesn't that just make you teary-eyed? There is a reason that we cry at weddings... they are visual love letters! You should know that both of the letters above were penned by men, lest you think that only females are capable of writing such eloquent words. Men are also capable of being romantic.

So my soul food assignment today is... write that love letter! Sit down, pen in hand and write it... or if you must, type it in an email. Tell someone how they make your heart sing and your face smile. Tell them how much it means to them that you are in their life. Tell them about how empty you would feel without them and tell them why they mean so much to you! Thank them for gracing your life with their presence.

Don't be shy... go ahead and do it... you'll be richer for it and you will have brought just a little romance and heart back to this rational and logical world. And that my friends is good for the soul!

Artist Inspiration... Pino Daeni

Of all the contemporary painters, Pino is my favorite! This talented italian painter, died in 2010 but his beautiful and romantic work lives on for us to remember him by. I love his use of bold color, and impressionistic strokes. He captures the beauty and mystery of a woman in her sensual and soft qualities as well as the nurturing of her children. His serene work moves me emotionally. For more Pino - view his website. www.pino-artist.com

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Missed Connections....

"You were wearing an average office suit with an admirabley messy haircut. I was the girl with brown curly hair and a blouse with horses on it. We did that awkward back-and-forth shuffle of two strangers trying to pass each other on the street; then you grabbed me and gently swirled me in a mini waltz in the middle of the lunchtime shoppers and angry passersby. I would understand that moment if it happened now - two people sharing a delicate second in a day that hadn't gone to plan. But now, when it happened I was in my awkward early-twenties, so I just frowned, trudged away and hoped no one had noticed. Thanks for making my day." Cat Hughes, Dublin from missed connections blog.

Missed Connections.... An occasion when two people have "connected" and have not exchanged contact information. Years ago people used to post flyers around town in hopes of locating the lost soul, seldom having favorable results. Most "missed connections" are about romance.  

In 2000 Craigslist noticed a growing number of personal classified ads on the topic and so started their own "missed connections" page. These are full of stories that tug at your heart, create a chuckle or perhaps make you wonder. hmmm  Check out the Boston Craiglist ads here.

Below are a few that caught my attention.

"To my beautiful boy on New Years Eve. Date: 2003-12-31, 12:40AM 

we will both be with other people tonight and I am trying to constantly convince myself that this is for the best. when the clock strikes midnight, just know that I will be thinking of you and wish we could be together instead. 
you will forever be in my heart." 

"Is There Love After You? 
Date: 2003-12-29, 10:17AM 

To quote a song..."Is there breath after breath? Is there life after death? Is there love after you?" 
This will be the sixth NYE since you died. The sixth time I resolve to starting a new year telling myself that you died, I didn't and that I can continue on without you. And the sixth time I'll have to admit that I'm wrong. Because when you died, I went with you."

Here's one from yesterday:
 "I was walking in back bay when you complimented my shoes. I was deep in thought, and thanked you.. but I wish I would've talked with you a bit more :) If you see this, tell me what else I was wearing. I would love to catch up."

Lonely hearts seeking connection... something real and meaningful... This is better than the movies!

Sophie Blackall, artist and journalist has created a sweet quirky book from a blog of missed connections. Fascinated by stories of those whose ships passed in the night and want to get them back... she created artful illustrations that invite whimsy and joy into the readers world. Check out some of her art below! (If you click on the pictures - they will become larger and you will be able to read the words)

So here are some creative exercise ideas if you are up for them.

1. Write your own missed connections Ad (and post it if you are really daring)
2. Read some missed connections and envision a story coming out of it... write or illustrate it...
3. Illustrate some with your art form... photography/painting/drawing, etc.
4. Write a poem based on a missed connection....