Archive | July, 2013

Inspiration – Get it? Got it? Good.

31 Jul
English: A palette of watercolours and a brush...

English: A palette of watercolours and a brush. Deutsch: Wasserfarben und Pinsel. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This morning, I was causally going through my reader, when I came across a blog post I had seen yesterday, glanced at the excerpt, and somehow gotten distracted and not actually read.  Having the time now, I clicked on it.  Oh, happy day!  What a joy to read! 

The other day, I had pulled out my old acrylics and decided I’d try to paint a picture.  I decided I’d stick to abstract, since it requires less drawing skills (of which I sorely lack, outside of the occasional stroke of luck), and it turned out terrible.  I put the paper down, washed out my brushes and said to myself, “Well, that was just as bad as I thought it was going to be. ” and left the room.  I haven’t touched my paints since, because in my mind, I’d just reiterated to myself the fact that I can’t paint worth a damn.

While I was reading this post, my mind flashed to those paints, and that horrible painting, and I actually wanted to try again.  I actually wanted to paint a bad picture.  It had done what I have been unable to do for myself my entire life… Continue reading

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Record Highs

31 Jul
Thank you

Thank you (Photo credit: Avard Woolaver)

I’d like to send out a little thank you to all of my subscribers, as well as those of you who stopped by my blog yesterday for a visit.  You really made my day!  Thanks to you all, yesterday was a record high for Free, Fun or Interesting, surpassing my previous ‘Best Ever Views’ by nearly 35%  and the number of followers is also at a record high.  I will spare you the reenactment of the happy dance I did when I saw my stats this morning.

I truly appreciate all of you taking the time to read and/or comment, and for putting up with a plethora of subject matter.  The fact that you guys put up with my special brand of crazy really means a lot to me, and I hope that, even though my topics are all over the map, you continue to find something worth reading here for a long time to come!

Thanks again, and you all are awesome!

A Perfect World – It Starts With You

30 Jul
utopia-after-boom

utopia-after-boom (Photo credit: burningmax)

A perfect world.

I think most people have, at certain times in their lives, be that after indulging in some mind altering substances, or during upsetting events in our lives, consider either deeply or briefly, what a perfect world would be like.  Common thoughts on the subject are ‘In a perfect world, there would be no death’ or ‘In a perfect world, there would be no hunger’.  I’m feeling in a particularly philosophical mood today and would like to share my thoughts on the subject. Continue reading

America – Til Underverse Come

30 Jul

Warning: This post is possibly inflammatory, and if it upsets you, please read the ‘posting rules’ on the About page before commenting.  Thanks!

My new but already dear-to-my-heart friend over at Spirits and The Paranormal made a post yesterday about the her Maori heritage, and she and I got into a discussion in the comments about history and heritage, and I commented that I was envious about the fact that she (along with so many other cultures) had such a rich background to be rooted in and a part of. I bemoan the fact that as a 10+ generation American with nothing more exotic in my background than English and German ancestry that is so distant as not to even count, I have no ‘culture’ to claim as my own.

She replied the following:

But America has a lot to be proud of. You stood up to the English to get your Independence. That was a huge thing to be proud of and you ended slavery in the US. Okay it was 30 years after the Brits but you did it. Some countries still haven’t done that. You invented the mass production of the cars and lets not forget Motor City, Detroit produced so much at one point. You gave us Elvis and Motown. You don’t back down. You Americans do patriotism better than any other country on the planet. You perfected Space Travel. You should be proud. I can’t wait to come to AMerica. You have a rich culture, it’s just made up of every flag in the world but sometimes you need a big melting pot to make the best product. Continue reading

The Artist’s Ego – The Disaster of Indifference

29 Jul
Bellagio Artist

Bellagio Artist (Photo credit: metamerist)

The only artists who truly care what no one thinks about their art, whether anyone likes their work, or creates their art  truly for themselves alone, does so in secret.  They do not post pictures of their art, they do not hold showings in galleries, and they do not write down nor record their lyrics or music.  I, on the other hand, do care what others think of my work.  I care if they like it, and I do it for others as much as I do it for myself.  Otherwise, I’d simply delete my photos or toss my drawings in the trash the moment they were done.  I want praise, I want accolades, I want to wallow in the admiration of others for my creation.

Much like a mother preens at compliments about her children, so the artist preens at compliments about their work.

Is it shameful to admit that I seek approval and admiration for my work?  That I seek validation outside myself that what I have created is worth something?  I don’t believe so, but many do.  Perhaps it’s to protect their admittedly (or not) fragile egos from the sometimes harsh criticisms?  If they say they don’t care long and loud enough, perhaps one day it might be true? Continue reading

Fear and Faith – A Struggle Between Religion and Psychic Ability

29 Jul
English: A Christo-Pagan symbol called "P...

English: A Christo-Pagan symbol called “Pentacrossagram”. Which is a Christian Cross within or mounted on a Pagan Pentagram. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some of you have figured out from reading my various posts that I was raised in a Christian household, with Christian values and beliefs.  You’ve also figured out that I am no longer a ‘practicing’ Christian, but that many of the beliefs and values I was raised with are still a part of me.  This brings me to a dilemma that I have faced my entire life.

I’ve always felt that I had something… extra.  That I had a gift, or something special, beyond the ordinary; something I’ve never been able to quite put my finger on within the scope of the religion in which I was raised.  Until recently, I didn’t know that some of the things that were just natural for me just weren’t normal for everyone else, or if anything did pop out as being ‘different’, there was always something else to attribute it to, such as keen observation (never mind the fact that I am often lost in my own world) or a simple lucky guess.  I had to attribute these phenomena to something ‘normal’ and explainable, because to do so was to invite thoughts that were not allowed by the religion in which I was raised.

‘Psychic’ abilities are considered of the devil, witchcraft, and to entertain such thoughts is to endanger your soul.  Mind you, I was raised (regardless of the ‘label’ on the front of the church) Pentecostal, where such ‘gifts’ of the Spirit like speaking in tongues, the gift of discernment and the gift of prophesy are accepted, but only in the context of the church.  In other words, you could stand up in the service and begin speaking in a language that sounds like gibberish to the rest of the congregation, know things with no explanation for knowing them, or you could stand and make a prediction that relates to God, the church, or even the world, and people would smile, nod, and say ‘Praise the Lord’.  It was accepted, and even encouraged, but to have these things happen in regard to things not of the church, well, that was witchcraft.  That person had been led astray by the ‘world’ and needed prayer to find their way back to God.

I never understood this.  Why would God give Christians gifts which would or could only be used in, or in relation to, the place of worship?  If I was given the ability to make prophesy inside the four walls of a building, would that ‘gift’ suddenly disappear when I stepped out the door?  Or what about the gift of discernment?  This website says the following in regard to these gifts:

PROPHESY: A prophecy consists of divinely inspired words or writings, which a
person receives through revelation from the Holy Ghost. The testimony of
Jesus is the spirit of prophecy (Rev. 19:10).
A prophecy may pertain to the past, present, or future. When a person
prophesies, he speaks or writes that which God wants him to know, for
his own good or the good of others. Individuals may receive prophecy or
revelation for their own lives.

DISCERNMENT: To understand or know something through the power of the Spirit. The
gift of discernment is one of the gifts of the Spirit. It includes
perceiving the true character of people and the source and meaning of
spiritual manifestations.

To me, that sounds like being psychic, in all of the ‘worldly’ sense of the word.  Why do religions feel like everything unexplainable that happens in regards to themselves to be either a miracle or gift directly from God, but yet that same thing occurring outside the scope of their benefit, is of the devil, or witchcraft?  I couldn’t tell you how many times ‘psychics’ were likened to both while I was growing up. Continue reading

What Every Artist Should Know About…

27 Jul
Authenticity

Authenticity (Photo credit: elizabethdunn)

… Certificates of Authenticity.

The other day, I made a blog post about the work I posted on eBay.  A fellow artist who checked out my work commented about their interest in the subject of Certificates of Authenticity, and it gave me the idea that perhaps I should do a post on the subject.

Until I began looking into selling my own art, I had the general idea that Certificates of Authenticity (CoA) were something that accompanied only the truly expensive works of famous artists/works of art which were more likely to be forged and fraudulently sold to unsuspecting buyers, but I discovered I was wrong.  CoA are offered with works of art from all mediums and levels of art, and in the case of certain states (California, for instance, along with several others) CoA are required by law when selling multiples or fine prints(1).   Artists selling their work themselves would benefit from a quick check to find out if and when CoA are required in their own place of residence.

Art is a wide term, covering a multitude of mediums and price ranges.  The more valuable a work and the more famous the artist, the more value a CoA adds.  As with anything of value throughout history, forgeries occur.  Obviously, the more famous the piece/artist, the more cautious one should be about authenticating the work.  Many artists begin as relatively unknown, and therefore do not consider that a CoA is necessary for their work, but those same artists can have no way of knowing if or when their work will become valuable in the market or if, like van Gogh, their fame will occur after their death.  Bearing this in mind, some artists, although currently unknown, feel that offering a CoA with their original pieces, as well as fine/numbered prints, not only adds to the perceived value of their work in the moment, but also adds security to their early works should they ever become sought after.  If you are a fledgling artist (or one beginning to make a name for themselves) and have an interest in providing CoA with your work, you should be aware of what is required for your CoA to be worth the paper it is printed on. Continue reading

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