Eye Candy (for creative types)

No wonder we spend so much money in those places!!!

Orange you glad…

Orange you glad you’re an artist?

aRtist’s R DifFereNt.

Unlike anybody or anything else.








Fun loving.


We’re a special breed.  And it’s all good.

But what would the world be like if everyone had artistic tendencies?

I don’t mean to say everyone would necessarily be artists but what if everyone had the capacity to see things artistically?

Can you imagine it?

My first thoughts are – No more litter!  Or if someone did litter, the person following immediately behind them would quickly scoop up the goods to use in a collage!  And then that person would chase the litterer down and give them a stern talking to, even if it meant chasing them a really, really long way (even if they were on their lunch break) and after having to repeatedly honk the horn at multiple red lights (getting attention from everyone) before getting them to finally agree to pull over. Hypothetically.  (It’s a long story).

Everyone would have nice yards.  Every person would want their landscapes to reflect their love of nature.  And everyone would love nature.  They’d probably write poems about it.

There would be no more crazy drivers because everyone would be slowing down to look at the cool clouds or rainbows or fall colors, or spring wildflowers, etc., etc., .  I suppose this behavior could cause more fender benders – but at least everyone would be traveling at slower speeds on impact!

People would be more healthy ‘cause there’d be no more need for fast food since we’d be more interested in the quality and taste and not the convenience  – due to the fact we’d no longer be in a rush because of the slower driving/cloud watching thing. Hey, it could happen!

There’d only be quality television to watch.

There’d be flea markets and art shows and bake sales and talent shows and fundraisers… every weekend in every town! 

There’s be no more ugly billboards littering the landscape.

Jobs would be more fun because everyone would have great ideas.  Note:  I didn’t say more would get accomplished – I said they’d be more fun.

Kids would grow up feeling encouraged because people would be interested and open to their ideas and their uniqueness; not much reason to rebel. Now there’s a game changer.

There’d be no more wars.  No explanation needed.

 Orange you glad you’re an artist?

We’re the lucky ones. 

It’s too bad everyone can’t see the world the way we do.

But since they can’t …maybe it’s up to us to help them along.

Maybe we could drop a hint, give a nudge, put a little fun in their day…

They need all the help they can get!


ARt fOr aRt’s sAkE

“L’art pour l’art” (translated as “art for art’s sake”) is credited to Theophile Gautier (1811-1872), who was the first to adopt the phrase as a slogan.  Gautier was not, however, the first to write those words; they appear in the works of Victor Cousin, Benjamin Constant, and Edgar Allan Poe.  For example, Poe argues in his essay, “The Poetic Principle” (1850), that…

We have taken it into our heads that to write a poem simply for the poem’s sake…and to acknowledge such to have been our design, would be to confess ourselves radically wanting in the true poetic dignity and force – but the simple fact is that would we but permit ourselves to look into our own souls we should immediately there discover that under the sun there neither exists nor can exist any work more thoroughly dignified, more supremely noble, than this very poem, this poem per se, this poem which is a poem and nothing more, this poem written solely for the poem’s sake.

I don’t know about you but I have to remind myself of this – a lot.

It is too easy to get caught up in the making of art when all we should really be concerned with is making art.  And, as they say, the rest will follow.  That is such a hard thing to do sometimes.  To really let loose.  To not worry or obsess.  To play.


When did we forget how??

So today, in the spirit of playing, (and on my lunch break – ’cause I play responsibly) – I created a paper boat.  You know, just like the ones we used to make as kids?  Well, like everyone else used to make apparently.  I, on the other hand, had no idea how to make one.  I’ll admit it.  I had to look for instructions on-line. Not kidding.  And please don’t ask me how long it took to figure those out!  I must have spatial reasoning disorder or something!


Here it is.

My paper boat.

Hey, I play hard for my blog!!

Note the ‘reflection’ in the water!


Creative Weekend update

Ok, I know I said that I felt a creative weekend coming on…(that was on Wednesday) and here it is Saturday (what’s left of it) so I thought I’d share an ‘update’ on how the weekend is going.

Well, it’s going.

Quickly (!)

But even though I haven’t created anything yet – I do plan on being creative tomorrow.  And tomorrow is still the weekend even though technically it is the first day of the week.  (isn’t that funny?)

But, regardless – before my weekend is over – I WILL BE CREATIVE!!

I did spend the day browsing at a couple of art supply stores and the bookstore – looking for inspiration.

And here is what I found…




And you should be happy to know I’ve already started.



Eating the gummy bears!

And if you STILL can’t find inspiration…

That’s right.  Look inside your coffeemaker.

Its right there in front of you!  SEE!!

Even your coffee maker is trying to communicate with you.

“Look here!”  “Look at me!”  “I’m pretty!!”

“I’m a flower!”


Musings from the studio…

First off….Dick Blick has encaustics (among other goodies) on sale – now through Oct. 22. – in their latest catalog…FYI.

So, I checked out Somerset Studio’s site the other day and found these submission deadlines coming up – and thought you might be interested…

Make Your Mark…make your impression in clay, create stamped jewelry, add some marks to your clothes – a new take on stamping…absolute deadline Dec. 15, 2011.

The Power of Words..quotations – make artwork inspired by famous inspirational lines in history, journal pages, cards, canvases, assemblage…Oct. 15, 2011.


Cards…ongoing deadline.

The Celebration Issue..reason to celebrate – want to see what creative ideas you can come up with  – send stamped artwork for possible inclusion…Nov. 15, 2011

Roll it Up…roll an edge, craft and adhere a unique, rolled embellishment, adhere small rolls, big rolls…Nov. 15, 2011.

Altered Couture- CHALLENGES:

Wearable art – Dec. 15..

Dollar DIY...spend $1 on an item to alter…Dec. 15

Belle Armoire Jewelry...Oct. 15

Somerset Life – The Magic Of..unique ways to use raw materials…Oct. 15

Life Creative Spaces – where do you create? …ongoing

Mood Boards…Ongoing

Artful Kits…Ongoing

Miscellany...Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day -spring related issue…Nov.15

Haute Handbags…Nov. 15

Prims – Dec. 15

Digital Studio...Oct. 15

Somerset Memories – Gifts from the Heart…Nov. 15

Artful Journals – Nov. 15

Memories in Moments...ongoing

Go Digital…ongoing

Show your true self…ongoing

Belle Armoire – Inspired Artisan…ongoing

Student Runway...ongoing

On the Surface...ongoing

Jewelry Affaire...Nov. 15

Somerset Workshop…ongoing

Newest Publication: Mingle – Challenges: Nov. 15

Miscellaneous…debuting in November…some clues – avid collectors – want to see images of collections – also looking for beautiful handwritten or illustrated quotes…Dec. 15, 2011

Go to www.stampington.com/submissions for more detailed information and to see when the next deadlines are

Before and After…the tip of the iceberg

Even though I haven’t been a photographer that long I did start out shooting film.

It was exciting and a little stressful at the same time.  In addition to worrying over getting the shot, I also fretted a bit about wasting film unnecessarily.

With digital however, I don’t worry at all.  In fact, one thing I’m kinda adamant about is to never trash a shot just because you think it isn’t ‘great’ or maybe you feel you have a better exposure of it and/or you think its taking up valuable real estate on your memory card.

Memory cards are cheapget two (one for a backup) and one that will hold a good bit of images.  (Also have a spare (charged) battery on hand as well.) Download the card often and you’ll always have room for more images.

One of the main reasons I keep every image (and I mean every image) is because you just never know what you might end up doing with it.

Just because you took an image of a landscape doesn’t mean that image has to be printed (or shown) as one.  Cropping is just one (of many) options that you can use to alter your image.

Filters are another.  So much fun!

Here’s an example of what filters can do to change the look of a basic snapshot.

This image was dropped into a couple of Photoshop’s filters to show you some of the different effects you can achieve (using the program’s default settings).

No fine tuning done here…

and this is just the tip of the iceberg!

Positive Quotes for Dummies

Somebody needs to write this book (for people like me)!

So this morning I was contemplating why things that require any level of dedication on my part seem so out of reach for me; like starting a fitness plan, eating more healthy food, simply drinking more water, doing art every day.  I’m always thinking about starting a new ‘way’ or a new ‘plan’, etc., etc., etc., but can never quite get anything going long term.

I can read about it, can talk about it till the cows come home and can plan like nobody’s business – to do something – but that’s as far as it usually goes.

I can never quite seem to accomplish what it is I want to do.

And this really bugs me.

And then…less than two minutes later, I open my daily ‘positive quote of the day‘ email and read this

The life that conquers is the life that moves with a steady resolution and persistence toward a predetermined goal.  Those who succeed are those who have thoroughly learned the immense importance of plan in life, and the tragic brevity of time. – – WJ Davison

Ok, I know a sign when I see one.  The universe is knocking – hello, is anybody home??

The quote sounds reasonable enough.

I’m a planner so this should be a no-brainer for me.

So I’m reading and re-reading the quote trying to distill the answer from it; surely it’s in there, hidden somewhere in between the words, like a golden ticket just waiting to be found.  The universe wouldn’t go to all that trouble for me unless it was vitally important for me to get this message, right?  I should pay attention. And, btw, isn’t it my duty – to the universe, after all?  (I read that somewhere.)

I’m pretty sure the key to unlock this mystery is in the sentence…”Those who succeed…” but even though I’ve read it like a thousand times now, the answer still eludes me…’those who have thoroughly learned the immense importance of plan in life, and the tragic brevity of time‘??  Surely we’re talking about me here.

I’m perplexed.

Who writes this stuff?  If you’re going to write important stuff to share with the world shouldn’t you at least include some instructions – a couple of steps to follow possibly??

How does a planner like me not get the importance of planning?  And if I’ve said, ‘wow, time is really flying by‘ once, I’ve said it like a million times – and just in this year alone.  Ask anybody who knows me; this whole time-flying-phenomenon is seriously freaking me out.  I get the sound of my heart beating confused with the sound of a ticking clock all the time.

So I understand the importance of planning; and I understand the whole time-thing completely.  I get it.

So why don’t I get it?


Fidget, twitch, fiddle, doodle

Ever think about why we doodle?

Some say doodling is something we do out of boredom.  On About.com they mention that people are not wired for doing nothing due to a need to be constantly engaged in productive activity.  As an example – prehistory’s precarious existence meant laziness was a sure fire recipe for extinction.  But neither are we wired for purely cerebral activity (that most of us are now engaged in – i.e. our jobs).  We are designed to work with our hands, to scan the horizon with our eyes, and walk long miles.  So…we fidget, twitch, fiddle and doodle whenever we are forced to sit still.

But the description (that follows) is the one I most enjoyed reading.

Doodling is an outlet for frustrated artistic expression.


The arts in our society have become ‘spectator sports’ reserved for the talented, while the rest of us are too embarrassed to sing (except in the shower), dance (except for toe-tapping or through wine-induced activity) or draw (except for doodling).  These fundamental outlets for creative expression have been stymied by a combination of social pressure (fear of inadequacy) and lack of training (our overfull school curriculums leaving little room for the arts, combined with a flawed view of artistic development as innate and not to be ‘messed with’ by education).


It goes on to say, when we are otherwise occupied (on the phone, in a meeting or lecture, writing a list – basically any moderately engaging mental activity with a pen in our hand) the censor in our head can be turned off, and we allow ourselves to express the ideas that are locked in our head.

And, depending on how much or how little exposure and to what extent we had to our artistic development, determines the types of doodles we create.

I think that is fascinating.

The reason I looked this subject up today was because I doodled today – while I was on the phone.  I wasn’t even aware I was doing it.

And (because I take pictures of the weirdest things) I took a picture.

My cell phone’s camera isn’t the greatest so I imported it into Photoshop to see if I could ‘do anything’ with it.

Here is the before and after.

Not sure what Carl Jung would think….but I like it!