“Art is the lie that enables us to realize the truth.”
― Pablo Picasso
There is a company, Stampington Press, which produces many magazines about art and blogging and journaling.
This is the process I use and I find it a great escape, but check out the many magazines they offer online and in many stores, and see what process you want to design for yourself.
First, I pick some materials. In this case a photograph from 2008 of a Magnolia tree in bloom.
(If you are doing a hand piece, grab some paper, and a few tools: magic markers, pens, colored pencils, stickers, bling, and/or whatever you like, but don’t feel you must have the whole art supply cabinet with you. Once you have a few items, sit with them and see what emerges.)
Second, I pick some tools. In this case, Photoshop.
Third, I start playing. I work with this e-media in my day job, so to make it fun, I just try different filters and things I know how to do. In this case I duplicated and cropped the picture 4xs to make the frame, which also has lighting adjustments made to it.
Then I played with the Magnolia photo itself, enlarging it and filtering it.
Finally, I saved it and then started layering the layers. Then, all of a sudden: this photo was done.
I named it what lies beneath because it reminds me of a time when I bought a picture only to find others underneath it. A common experience for flea market investigators. I thought it would be fun to find a quote to go with it so I googled art quotes and Goodreads showed the quote by Picasso at the top. Serendipity, I guess.
In the Adirondacks, on Lake Placid, a boat tour guide will tell you as you as he slows the engine and pauses in front of the house that was Kate Smith’s, that she would sing from the balcony.
In the stillness last summer, I heard her famous voice belting out God Bless America.As if reverberating through the decades to wrap me, and US, in soothing protection.
In the quiet with no cell phones buzzing, in my mind’s eye, I saw Kate Smith on her balcony.My mother’s mother, I am told, loved Smith’s famous “God Bless America,” she had three sons in World War II.Perhaps that fact about my Grandmother made Kate Smith’s voice and spirit boom even louder for me that day.
They say your offspring will care about what you care about, and this, my grandmother’s love for Kate Smith and God Bless America is about the only thing I know about what rested in my grandmother’s soul.
Today feels heavy, but I pray we keep Hope and our values alive…just as Kate Smith did during World War II.
President Obama believes in us…he proved his campaign slogan and he is not dying.Obama hasled us, WE THE PEOPLE, to an inevitable tipping point.That veiled line between justice and injustice, … It is up to us now to keep dusting ourselves off and hear his voice to participate, help each other out, and believe that YES WE CAN!
that is how many a statistical revelation spues forth from my husband’s mouth. We will be talking about some random topic and then, as the conversation ensues, Radames will hit me with it: the statistic, the one to give me pause, think twice before I ever carry the laundry basket to the basement with my Birkenstocks on again. Here is an example,
“Do you know how many people fall down the steps carrying laundry with Birkenstocks on?” I pause. “Wow, I hadn’t thought about that, I better be careful.”
The nation’s number one worrier relieved as I proceed to replace my sandals with my sneakers, before proceeding to the basement.
About a year ago, I realized data did not follow the inquiry. So I decided to start following up on all these random statistical innuendos that populate my dear husband’s head.
First, how was it that he knew so many statistics? It is true that he could win: Who wants to be a millionaire without a lifeline BUT, did he really know that millions of people slip on banana peels that fall from the kitchen counter every year?
I began inquiries with every startling statistic reference as they rolled off his tongue with unquestionable authority. I looked a lot of them up. He is right about many of his statistical declarations but now, I am holding him a bit more, shall we say, accountable.
Saturday nights statistic was a doozy: mid way through a discussion of beavers, my dear Radames spewed out his best statistic ever.
At the end of a dinner party, he asked the guests:
” Do you know how many beavers are killed every year by the trees they cut down?
Just like me, the dinner guests paused and took note. I imagined them thinking, cause I used to do it, wow…hmm… this guys pretty smart, must be a large number. A kind of Colombo moment settled over the dinner guests at that moment.
But, aha, I piped in…”Now, really, are you sure this isn’t a Ramism…one of those stats you pull from the sky.” We all laughed.
Curious I looked it up tonight and a quick Goggle search revealed that one poor beaver did succumb to his own handiwork in 2015. One on record…leaving the billions and billions of other crushed beavers out there in never, never land…at the end of the question…do you know how many ?
jan 8 2017: It is the kind of day where you just want to make a pot roast and so you do…you buy the roast, you goggle a recipe and you decide to roast some vegetables too…but somehow, the recipe for the vegetables and the recipe for the roast, just don’t work together.
So about 1 hour after your designated dinner hour, you finally eat the pot roast and still the vegetables, which you have since put in a pot to boil, still aren’t soft.
You give up, you laugh, and you realize that all things in the new year, won’t be happy. The pot roast is just one of them.
A Walk with two dogs on a snowy winter day. Our dog Macadew is like a gazelle leaping through the woods. On this snowy day, I brought my iPhone and because I know him so well, was able to capture him at some precise moments when his spirit was soaring throughout his universe.
Moby is happy to come along and he meanders much more slowly…I may have mentioned my husband’s theme song for him. It is all most like Moby walks to the tune: Zippity, Do Dah; Zippity Day…I’m so happy, things are going my way.
2. Acupuncture works …not every solution has a Western paradigm.
3. RIP David Bowie: How long and what to do with the time?
4. Complaining in the ER almost guaranteed to increase wait time
5. Cure for Facebook Addiction…a Twilight Zone that ends well
6. If you have an industrial fan in your office, create something. (See below)
7. There is nothing you can do…the zeitgeist of our time becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy
8. Florence Foster Jenkins … an uncommon kind of hero
9. Jennifer Aniston and I agree: husband and dogs-great companions!
10. Everything changed in November…the election required critical thinking not multiple choice…Giving new meaning to Only the educated are free! and the systemic problems w/ educating to the test at the expense of thinking. (I taught for 20 years, ages 6 to 80, my experience informa my statements.)
Happy New Year and Shout out to Radames Perez, May the Force Be with You Everyone!
Me and Moby, our American pit bull mix, have been friends now for 5 years. Everyone loves Moby…he is adorable and he loves to be loved. We nick named him Mobile and sometimes sing to him: “I’m a wanderer, I’m a wanderer and I love to roam around” or “Going Mobile” because when my husband and I are working around the house, he just follows us from room to room and then stops where we stop and sits patiently waiting and watching us. When making dinner or doing the dishes, he is the best little companion ever.
Moby has a brother, Macadew, who has a different agenda in life and also dominates over Moby. Macadew, too, is a love if you are on his good side but, one does not want to be on the wrong side of his canines. He is a hunter… he leaps and bounds through the yard and woods, always on a hunt. When inside, each picture window provides him with hours of mesmerization as he studies the surroundings for a movement…the hunt for the barn cat or the rabbit is his life’s directive. After his job is done, Macadew simply rests with us and cuddles.
Back to Moby. So all is good at the homestead until…my husband leaves the vicinity. Moby, perhaps wandering or sleeping in front of the woodstove, hears the door creak. His head rises, he stares blankly waiting, ears listening…I hear him thinking…is he leaving? Rad says, See you later and shuts the door. Moby lifts his head up and his body comes right over to me. First, he wants me to pet him. Easy enough, but then when I stop, he puts his right foot on me to engage me.
After that, I have to get my weapon, a squirt bottle, because if I don’t, all 86 pounds of him tries to get up into my lap and will not take no for an answer. I rarely have to use my weapon, because Moby doesn’t like to get wet, and so he backs off. But that is when round two starts, Moby starts his own pacing and hunting.
Back and forth through the house looking for cruched up paper towels to grab… he places his front paws on the kitchen island or table examining the surface for the scrunched paper towel and if not finding one, a magazine or piece of paper. He proceeds then, to strategize how to get the object and as he stealthly calculates…I get up to beat him to it.
I then try to return to my book or whatever I am working on, but he aint having it. Pacing continues back and forth until he finds something and scampers into Macaedew’s cage to rip it apart, or I apprehend him before he gets there. I then unlock the jaws and retrieve the item. Or Moby makes it in to the crate and I have to follow to retrieve the item before, it is devoured.
Abby, what can be done, how can we end this dance. Me and Mobs are both getting grey…I know he loves this game but it is wearing on me. Please advise…I need an intervention:-)
My mother, Katherine Arachangela, is often heard saying…”I had five brothers growing up.” This meant, myself and my siblings and our 20 first cousins! had five uncles. They have all passed sadly and their names were Harry, Ed, Tommy, Bobby, and Billy. They each taught me something about life and this piece is a reflection on Uncle Bob. I am posting it now because he died almost three years ago around this time. His being brought light into the darkness for many…Uncle Bob you are missed!
January 2014~When I went to my Uncle Bob’s calling hours, I felt a sadness that echoed throughout my limbs and surfaced in a rain of tears. My Mother had, in her own, very succint, practical way pointed out to me, days before his death, that I was a niece he hardly new. (Not sure if this was not perhaps her dementia settling in or just her opinion.) This of course, this did not make the event any less sad.
I cried so hard because I saw my cousins in pain, because I saw all the times that I felt down and my Uncle was there to cheer me up. But most especially, I saw one Christmas night. Our family day done, my Mom wanted to visit her brothers that lived in town and she wanted all of us to go. A few of us went. I think she would have preferred we all go. She was so sad, my Mom, on that drive over to see my Uncles.
But when we arrived at Uncle Bob’s house and she started chatting, she cheered up. My cousins and I sat around their big beautiful tree talking. It was lovely.
Uncle Bob often brought the family together. He was the one who orchestrated my Uncle Harry’s memorial service at his home at 407 Milton when Uncle Harry, miles away, had done what rebellious Catholics due: had himself cremated in California (at least that is what I remember). Uncle Bob was also the person who showed up at my wedding with his camera and keen eye, our wedding photographer. I always suspected my Mother told him we didn’t have one and he just stepped up.
When I walked into his funeral the next day, I was not prepared to feel the spirit I felt…the singing from the local Hibernians and a man name Jack, a church packed with people touched by my Uncle Bob, and the soft light of Christmas’s closure.
Listening to the readings…a time to love, a time to die…. and the stories and the stories, the story that struck me, the one I could not bare to repeat without crying, was this:
At the end of his life my Uncle had Alzheimers, but his ability to sing and his remembrance of lyrics stayed present. My Uncle had been in a barbershop quartet for many years and had a great voice. One day, at a store, my cousin Tim said Uncle Bob started singing to the store clerk at the register. He sang I love you truly. And as he serenaded her, the woman started crying. “I have had the worst week,” she said to him.
I looked over at the Christmas tree on the alter several times during the celebration of Uncle Bob’s life. I thought perhaps the lights could represent all the lives he touched and if all of those lives somehow, in their own quiet way, could light up someone’s day, the planet might sparkle with goodness.
So from the niece who felt she knew ya Uncle Bob, you left the world a better place. An example for all of us to reach out to those less fortunate and the lonely or maybe just, as my cousin Drew said, stop for just one person today. One person who needs you or needs the bits of goodness that you can give.