Tuesday, May 31, 2011

New Mantra and Mandala for Wisdom

Just did another. Don't feel like stopping tonight.

I recently discovered a new mantra - "Om Ah Ra Pa Tsa Na Dhih" which calls to Manjurshi, the Bodhisattva of wisdom. (Sounds like, Om Ah Rah Pah Cha Nah Dee) Wisdom is a good thing, as those who do not learn from their past are destined to repeat it.

Canson Mi Tientes  paper, black acrylic gesso, acrylic paint, white gel pen.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Listening Between the Lines

Bethlehem Dairy Store, The Cup, Mower's

Bethlehem's Dairy Store (Also known as "The Cup") has been serving its homemade ice cream for over 85 years. I distinctly remember my dad bringing me here after one of his softball games and his growing impatience as I changed my mind no less than 12 times on what kind of ice cream I wanted. Rainbow sherbert, or maybe butter pecan. Chocolate chip mint? Raspberry? Tonight I got the yellow vanilla. Remember when you were a kid and the adults always seemed to get the boring vanilla or chocolate flavors? Maybe that's because they knew the secret of how something so simple could taste so good.

I wasn't going to go to The Cup tonight. (The line out the door is typical and actually quite fast moving, as a squad of high school students move at lightening speed to serve the crowd.) I actually wanted something icy cold like a slushie on this 90 degree day but then I bumped into the Old Man as I was walking to my car. "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" (Old Man is hard of hearing and always sounds like he's yelling) I told him I was going for some ice cream or something cold on this hot day. "YOU DON'T NEED THAT, IT'S NOT GOOD FOR YOU." I said I know, but that I wanted something cold... on this really hot day. I asked him if he wanted something. "I DON'T WANT ANY OF THAT. I DON'T NEED ANYTHING." I ask him, "Are you sure? I'll get you something if you want it." "NO THANKS. ONCE IN A GREAT WHILE, MAYBE ONCE A YEAR I'll GO AND GET A CONE FROM THE CUP. WHERE ARE YOU GOING?" I tell him I'm not yet sure but if he'd like me to get him something from The Cup, I would. "HELL NO. I DON'T NEED NONE OF THAT." Okay then, I tell him I will see him later.

There were easily 50 people waiting in line when I got there but the line moved fast. I asked the girl to put a scoop each of vanilla and chocolate in a cup with a lid. The Jeff gets chocolate and some cookie dough and I get a pretzel cone with the yellow vanilla.

I knock on the Old Man's door and as he opens it, I hold up the cup so he can see it- prepared to tell him that I'll chuck it in the trash if he doesn't take it, but he comes out onto the porch with a big smile on his face. "AWWWWWWWWWWWWWW. THANK YOU. BUT YOU DIDN'T HAVE TO DO THAT." I lean in to give him a kiss on the cheek and say "I know. But I also knew you really wanted it." :o)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Photo Management for Mac: HELP!

Fwd: Hands are cramping, still want to do more.

After more than a dozen years as a PC user, I have finally made the switch to a Mac. I wanted to do it for a while, but had a hard time justifying the cost. So now that I am here, I need help to determine which photo managing software to use. I have many, many photos to keep organized and have previously used Picasa to sort and organize my photos. I had planned on moving into iPhoto until I realized that it would be making multiple copies of the photos I just transferred from my PC and organizing them into a somewhat convoluted folder file structure. I most definitely want to maintain my own folder hierarchy but don't know the best way to do it. (I've also read more than a few comments from frustrated iPhoto 11 users.)

My friend pointed me towards a free 30 day trial of Aperture which seems to be somewhat better organized in terms of file duplication, and that you can import "projects" keeping your own folder structure in place. But it's Facebook integration confuses me, showing me my Facebook photos in my library - won't that cause additional duplication? I do miss having full featured photo editing software...

I also downloaded Picasa for Mac, which would probably be the easiest way for me to continue to maintain my photo library, but then it seems as though I wouldn't be taking advantage all of what the Mac has to offer.

From what I've gathered, Mac users seem to happily turn over a certain amount of "control" of their files to the Mac software. Having lived through years of PC software hell, spending countless hours reformatting computers, installing and reinstalling corrupted software, I can't help but be a little hesitant to trust the Apple software. But isn't that what I paid for?

I'm confused. Please hold my hand and tell me it's all going to be ok. I know for certain that I want to maintain the names of my folders - I do not want to have everything changed to the date the pictures were taken.

Have you made this switch? Tested out these different photo management applications? 

First 6 art pieces chosen for limited edition reproduction!

Learning a new language
I am finally at the point where I am really ready to start selling my art to the public. I opened my Etsy shop at the beginning of the year to I could sell some of the 1600 original pieces I've created over the last 4 years and now I am ready to start selling prints of the works you like the best. They too will go into my Etsy shop but will also be available at my workshops, gallery events, art shows, etc.I will also consider wholesale/consignment options.

These images were selected from your input on Flickr, Facebook, and here on my blog. They were literally just dropped off with the photographer and I should see the 1st round of proofs early next week. The samples of his work that I saw were fairly meticulous and I am looking forward to the results. My intent is for each of these to be available in a limited production capacity.

The first selected image (shown at top) is Learning a new Language. I'm not sure I've ever received such a strong reaction to a single piece I've created as much as this one, so your wish is my command. Acrylic and gel pen on canvas panel - original not currently for sale.

Breathe Mandala - Mixed Media on Clairefontaine Fine Art paper
The second image you chose was Breathe.(AKA "Big Bright Breath") Aside from the fact that the colors on this piece just LEAP from the page, it is also supercharged with positive rhythmic energy as it sat on display during an intense hand drumming workshop. The original of this piece will be available for sale once it has been accurately reproduced.

Enso Mandala - Acrylic on Artboard
Enso Mandala... One of my first acrylic paintings- there is something very special about this piece. Created on Multimedia Artboard.Original NFS (This one is for you Bill!)

"Lealtà Feroce"  Phase 4 Completion
"Lealtà Feroce" (Fierce Loyalty) is a dark piece created at a time of great angst. Thank you for seeing the possibility in this piece. Acrylic on handmade Punjab watercolor paper.Will entertain offers to sell the original.

Monument
Monument... The colors on this piece just rock! Acrylic on handmade Punjab watercolor paper. Will entertain offers to sell the original.

Mandala :: Release
Lastly, I present Release. A batik style piece created with fountain pen inks on watercolor paper.Original NFS.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

500th Post: Self Compassion

050411 044

It may be of no surprise to some of you to know that I am highly critical of myself and get very frustrated when I am in any way limited with what I want to achieve. Over this last year I have encountered ginormous growth but am often at a loss every time I sit down and try to express myself (my feelings & emotions) with words. I get tongue tied and feel so scattered and it makes me want to cry. I want to share, I really do- but right now, I think it would be best for me to come to terms with the fact that it's ok to express myself in other ways. (I am not flawed because my methods of delivery might be shifting.) Through my art, music, speaking with people one on one or in a group. I'm not going to stop trying, and what I produce might be a little scrambled for a while but my main goal is to be gentle to myself when I am not accomplishing everything at the exact moment I want it. And no matter how much I want to share, or how much I feel I have to give, it is important for me to remember that regardless of what I choose to do, any expression should come from my heart and be first and foremost for ME or else it's inauthentic and of no real value to anyone else.

So today, I vow to be compassionate towards myself. I will be gentle and give myself a break. I will be loving and playful and not beat myself up over what I am not able to accomplish right now. I know it's in me. I know I will do it - because I believe in me.

It absolutely sucks to be this honest. But I  know the minute I let it go, I will release the energy it takes to hold on to it and I will be free.....

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

This Friday! Lehigh Valley Art Wars Semi-Finals: I need your help to win!


This Friday night, May 13th, I will be competing in the 2nd round of the Lehigh Valley Art Wars and I need your help to win! Competition is stiff and crowd votes will count towards a win which will move me through this round and into the finals May 26th at Mayfair for a shot at winning $1000!

In this round, we will be supplied with an ammo box full of materials which we will need to use in the creation of our art work as well as the "canvas". 

Friday, May 13 · 8:30pm - 11:30pm
Location: Molly's Irish Grille & Sports Pub Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Danny Moyer, Dan O'Brien, Stephanie Smith, & Alexander Clare will be competing to go on to the finals at Mayfair! Come out and support your favorite artist while DJ Discreet spins tunes!

The Lehigh Valley Art Wars are live events where artists create in a competitive environment presenting the creative process as a form of entertainment, gaining the artist exposure and connecting artists with admirers.

Round Robin type tournament where four artists compete, two artists from each war move on to the semi finals then onto the finals. Sixteen artists will be narrowed down to four for the finals.

Each War will give the artist two hours to create their piece of work. The artwork will be voted on by a combination of the audience and jury. A theme will be given to the artists and is chosen and presented to the artists and audience right before they start to create!
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