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...feed your soul with art & creativity!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Hookers and Strikers Oh My

Museum goers cannot get into the Musee d'Orsay to see the exhibit on the oldest profession in the world.  Not because people there are opposed to the subject matter or find it offensive as there might be a strike in America with our outwardly prudish morals (though there certainly are plenty of people looking at porn online and in magazines and movies, not to mention keeping prostitutes in business still...how can that be if we are so moral?...but I digress...)no, the art isn't being opposed...its the hours that the workers have to work that is in opposition and which has caused the museum not to be open due to strikers.

I hate it when everyday labor difficulties interfere with artwork exhibitions.

"Splendor and Misery: Images of Prostitution 1850-1910," includes historical artifacts, police records, paintings and photos, was to open September 22. 

Let the poor guys have a break for goodness sake.  

Let them have free passes to see the artwork too.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Funktional Vibrations mosaics now completed at New York Subway

Giant Mosaics now decorate the New York Subway.  Created by Xenobia Bailey. She was commissioned to create three mosaic designs, one being a 2,788 square-foot mosaic mural called Funktional Vibrations—one of the largest mosaic works in the subway system, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

See more about this artist here.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Jochen Lempert artworks

Field Guide: Photographs by Jochen Lempert showcases beauty, mystery of nature Cincinnati Art Museum, October 17, 2015–March 6, 2016 CINCINNATI – September 18, 2015 – The first major U.S. museum exhibition featuring German artist Jochen Lempert’s photographs will be on view at the Cincinnati Art Museum from Oct. 17, 2015–March 6, 2016. The show will include more than 100 hand-printed black-and-white photographs spanning 15 years.

Originally trained as a biologist, Lempert began making artistic photographs of animals, plants, and natural phenomena during the early 1990s in Hamburg, Germany. “Lempert’s unique background allows him to depict the world with both scientific rigor and a poetic sensibility,” said Brian Sholis, Cincinnati Art Museum Curator of Photography. The artist uses both conventional and experimental processes, and the results are anything but traditional nature photos. Out in the field, Lempert uses his 35-mm camera to chart human-animal interactions, the patterns made by birds and insects, or the play of sunlight and shadow. But he also brings the outside world into the studio, making camera-less photograms of leaves and algae or letting bioluminescent species like fireflies expose photographic paper. The exhibition will also include his ongoing 25-year project to document all 80 known taxidermy specimens of the Great Auk, a flightless North Atlantic bird that went extinct in 1844.

Lempert often arranges his images in sequences or grids to highlight similarities, underscore how classification defines what we see, and encourage close looking. The photographs, in a wide variety of sizes, will be placed on the walls unmounted and unframed in an installation devised on-site by the artist and curator. This survey of Lempert’s photographs includes new work made on the East Coast and in Cincinnati during May 2015. His behind-the-scenes visits to the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, the Museum of Natural History & Science at Cincinnati Museum Center, and the Lloyd Library and Museum allowed him to cast new light on these familiar local landmarks.

Several artworks made in Cincinnati will be included in the show. Field Guide: Photographs by Jochen Lempert is sponsored by PNC Bank and Darlene and Jeffrey R. Anderson. It will be on view in Galleries 103, 104 and 105. The exhibition will travel to the Contemporary Art Gallery Vancouver, where it will be on view April 15–June 12, 2016. 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Doing the Right Thing

The John Paul Getty museum is giving some restitution to the Armenian people after a long drawn out legal battle over 8 illuminated manuscript pages
from the Armenian Bible.  The Getty will continue to show the work but the Armenian church is now named as the owner after they contend that the pages were originally stolen during World War 1 and many Armenians suffered genocide during the war.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

See Art for Free Saturday September 26

Various art galleries and museums in the Volusia county area of Florida will be opening their doors free of charge on Saturday, September 26th in conjunction with the Smithsonian's annual Museum Day.  Don't miss out on a chance to see a whirlwind tour of art.  A shuttle is available for going from one location to the next.

Available at the Deland Museum of art:

at the Hand Art Center at the Stetson University campus
and at the Gillespie Museum in Deland
Sand Hill Symphony opens

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Making a Difference?

Artist's can make a difference.  We aren't just airy-fairy painters and potters.  We have minds and hearts and often our artwork speaks to the issues that are important to us.  Freedom. Human rights. Free speech.

Artist's in New York and New Jersey are speaking up with their street art.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Favorite Assemblage...and of course, glass

I haven't had time or the luxury lately of getting to any art galleries or museums.  Today I got a great bonus of time after a meeting and went to the Orlando Museum of Art.  Even having just a few minutes to spend admiring other's artworks refreshes and inspires me.

I have some favorites in their existing installation.  Tops on the list is Nick Cave's  "Soundsuit" assemblage vying with Dale Chihuly's glass tower.

Dale Chihuly's "Cobalt and Citrine Tower" at the Orlando Museum of Art
Maya Lin's exhibit, "A History of Water" was a fascinating reminder that we live on one planet.  To be able to walk beneath the visual representation of ocean waves and see the undulation of water depicted through wood blocks was breathtaking.

Friday, March 6, 2015

ETSY going public, will artisans stick?

It's beginning to become painfully clear why last week ETSY.com, the "artists market," suddenly and without any warning to its 30+ Million members made broad stroke changes to the Categories used by sellers.  Many sellers items now have a highly generic category locale and other have none at all.  This unforeseen sweeping change had the effect of taking a baseball bat to a wasps nest.

Though we Etsians (as we often call ourselves) use ETSY.com as our venue to sell artworks, crafts, supplies and vintage items, we consider ourselves the "owners" of our stores.  To know that changes like this are done in what appears a clandestine manner after having put so much work into taking time to list each item may see a mass exodus of members.

A sign at Etsy's Brooklyn office in 2007 encapsulated the company's ambitious goal: Take down big-box retailers by selling handmade goods. Now Etsy, which in 2012 began allowing some mass-produced goods on its e-commerce site, is filing for an IPO, and trying to maintain its values as it expands.Now today, the news reports that ETSY has filed IPO paperwork and is going public.  Ughn.  As an artist, I just have a gut instinct (and I tend to trust my gut instincts when it comes to my artwork) that this will not benefit me as an artist and in fact will probably, if I stay a member, cost me.  I would LIKE to look at it as a good thing that will bring more buyers to the venue, but my gut tells me that large manufacturers and people mass producing, not hand crafting, will be getting the lions share of the business on my and other artists' backs as we continue to "finance" them by giving them a market place filled with amazing items.

Over the years, it has gotten more and more difficult and required more and more time and effort to get items seen without having to actually spend advertising dollars on "featured ads."  Time will tell, but it will be something I personally as an Etsian will watch very closely.  In the meantime, I will not be surprised by the many artists who jump ship in coming months.

Is ETSY going Artsy unfriendly??  *sigh*  Time to find other venues.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Is Etsy an Amazon Wanna Be?

I try very hard to keep my thoughts and blog upbeat and positive.  But something happened today/yesterday that really has be irked.

As an artist, I chose to have an account on Etsy.com to post and attempt to sell my artworks.  Over the past few years, there have been many changes to Etsy.  Some of those changes have been for the better and improved the look and feel of the site.  Others have really veered off course from a site that promotes art and crafts to what is beginning to feel like an Amazon Wanna Be.

The categories by which items are often found by searchers were drastically altered by Etsy staff and so many of my items from each of my four stores, Bohemian Art Cafe, Espresso Bar Designs, Ephemera Bistro and Flower Child Trends were completely obliterated.  Most of the categories I had previously used don't even exist on Etsy today as an option any more and just about every type of glass anything that I sell does not have a way to be categorized other than a very general "Arts" or "Supplies."

I'm so frustrated because I have spent so many hours working on setting up my stores, making sure that each of the four shops are offering specific types of items that I make without overlap, and just listing the items which takes hours when you take into consideration taking good photos and correcting photos to look as good as they can, describing and going through the insertion questions for each and every item.

I have to admit that for the past couple of years I have felt that Etsy was moving more to a mass produced market and away from the grass roots market of small artisans and crafters--so many more suppliers who make it impossible for small suppliers to compete, you can't leave negative feedback for them if you have a bad experience because they immediately give you negative feedback and fight to get your honest feedback removed so they look like they give good service even when they don't.

At 20 cents per listing (which comes to 5 cents per month) the question for me is whether the aggravation I feel is worth the admittedly small amount of money spent when I am having to constantly market my store so it even shows up anywhere near the front of search algorithms and not buried in the middle...I don't have time to join a bunch of teams and go around giving feedback and doing all the craziness that apparently some people do to make sales.

So, that being said, while I decide whether or not Etsy is for me, I've decided that I will be expanding my Square Market shop to include items that I have been posting on Etsy, as well as on Art Fire and Bonanza.  It's just such silliness and I don't have time for the silliness.  It takes enough time just to list an item or two a day.  I will be opening my shop on these three other sites beginning at the beginning of March.

I'd welcome thoughts from any readers who are also on Etsy and what you think about the new category changes, how you think they are going to affect you, etc.  Yes, I DID give Etsy feedback about what I found to be very problematic and am not just sitting here whining without trying to contact them first...but chances are they are not going to change it back to the old categories.  It is not, to my knowledge, even on the table as an option from them.  So irked I am and considering my options as to whether the Etsy as Amazon Wanna Be is the place for me to sell my artworks. 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Art likes to be seen...

Bottle cap magnet "share", (c)SZing, 2015
Art, like pearls, likes to be seen.  It does not prefer being shoved into a dark, zippered portfolio.  It does not like to be ignored.  Art likes the light of day.  It likes to have eyes upon it, admiring, questioning, examining it.
Do you have artwork that you've hidden away?  Today is the day to take it out and share it with someone else. Consider putting it in a frame and on a wall in your home or office.  Let it breathe.

One word of caution:  Choose carefully who you share it with, especially if you are not used to sharing your artwork.  Beware of sharing it with people who will tear you down, belittle it, or in any way make less of the art or you.  Choose to share it with someone who can appreciate your talents, who can appreciate your efforts, and who can nod and say, "I see your self-expression."

Monday, February 9, 2015

Use it...

Bottle cap magnet art. (c)SZing, 2015.

We all were born with an imagination.  Many of us had ours squashed early on by teachers, religious personnel, siblings, parents, friends, society at large...For some the imagination fell away rapidly--maybe living in a situation of squalor requiring so much effort to survive left no time for daydreaming.  For some, the imagination was so big that it scared others and they belittled or scolded it into submission.  A fortunate few retained their ability to imagine an use it regularly.

If you haven't imagined in a while, today is the day to bring your imagination out into the light of day.  Allow just five minutes, FIVE MINUTES, to let your mind play "let's pretend."  Pick something in your life you want to change, some area of your art you want to improve, maybe even a book you have locked inside that is ready to be brought out and put on the best seller list.  

Studies show that those who imagine themselves succeeding with their goals are more likely to do so.  Imagine what would happen if you called that magazine and got the writer's guidelines, or you contacted that art gallery about doing a show, or you submitted your application for an art residency.  Imagine how that  looks, feels, smells, what you feel like as that.  Imagine the most impossible seeming thing you can think of happening (choose a good thing since you are the one in control of the imaginings).  Your mind loves to be stretched and stimulated.  Imagine what could happen if....

Friday, February 6, 2015

Your Story...

Bottle cap magnet, (c)SZing, 2015.
We all have a story.  What is the story you are telling about and to yourself today?  Does it uplift you?  Does it make you feel like you can climb tall mountains or slay giant dragons?  If it doesn't, here is a secret.

You can change your story.  You can actually consciously choose what your story is.  Do you want to be an artist?  Begin to tell the story that you are an artist.  Immerse yourself in the story. What do artists do?  They make art.  So go make some art.  Every day, tell your story that you are an artist and go make some art.  It doesn't matter if it is "good", whether it "sells", whether anyone else ever sees it.  The process of telling the story over and over and doing the things that fit with the story will, in time, be proven to be the Truth.

This works for everything, not just being an artist.  It works for being a writer, being the best mommy or daddy ever, being an excellent teacher, being an excellent chef, losing weight, learning a new language, being in love with the love of your life...it works with anything so choose what story you want to experience.  Then be that. It is, after all, your story. (and I'm sticking to that.)

Monday, February 2, 2015

Goals and Whimsy...

LSacha's Whimsical Boy and Bunny from Whimsical Playshop Class
photo copyright SZing 2014-2015
We humans love to learn new things and expand our repertoire of skills and talents.  We also love to achieve the goals we set.  In February, you can do both.

Wednesday nights, Feb. 4 through April 22, 2015 from 6:30 -8:30 Eastern Time

Creating the Life You Want Mastermind Group
$120 for the entire series of sessions.

Bring your dreams, your goals, those things you have on your bucket list to complete but just have not gotten to...

This is a facilitated mastermind group.  You don't have to be physically present.  We can do a Video Skype or use Facebook Chat group for those who are not anywhere near Deltona FL and want to participate.

Whimsical Sally (c)SZing, 2014-2015
Student Kim Possible creates "His and Her" Whimsical Superhero portraits
in Whimsical Art Playshop class (c)2014 SZing

On Saturday, February 7, 2015 from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.  A Whimsical Art Playshop to explore the style of Whimsy--learn how to draw and paint whimsical people, animals, houses and backgrounds for art journals, as a focal point of mixed media artworks, for greeting cards, or just for yourself to completely let loose and try something new without any pressure.  $150 for new Whimsical students (with me) or $125 if you are one of my returning students ready to learn more Whimsical methods and techniques. All materials and supplies provided.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

We are not limited...

Some people, particularly academic artists, subscribe to the idea that artists should limit themselves to a singular medium and a single style.  I do not subscribe to this belief system because what I Know to be True is that we are unlimited beings with unlimited creativity.  It does not require such singularity to express creatively and effectively.  

What is required is to express regularly (#doartdaily) and allow inspiration to come from the act of creating--to be in the moment in the process.  

The following artworks are just a smidgen of the different styles of art and mediums that I work with. Each one is a unique statement but would not be as effective if I had limited myself to a specific style or medium.  The moral of this story?  Go play.  Experiment.  Try new things you never thought of trying and play with mediums you are afraid of using.  Magic will happen.  Trust yourself. We are not limited....#InspiredArtProject2015

Love is a Choice, 24" x 36" tempera and acrylic on canvas.
Primitive/naive style
 (c) SZing 2015

Dream Mesa, 16" x 24" Tempera on Bristol paper.
Whimsical style
(c)SZing 2015.

Off the Grid, 5" x 7" Lacquer, tempera, and acrylic on Bristol paper.
Abstract style.
(C)SZing 2015

Across the Bridge, 10" x 16" watercolor on watercolor paper.
Impressionist style
(c)SZing 2015

Friday, January 30, 2015

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Just Plain Fun

Art does not have to be large, expensive and perfect.  It can be just as inspiring and fulfilling to create small artworks that are just plain fun and enjoyable.  This past few days I spent my creating time making hand painted miniatures.  In joy, enjoy.  #InspiredArtProject2015 #doartdaily

creative hand painted mini (c)SZing 2015

express love hand painted mini (c)SZing 2015

Artist hand painted mini (c)SZing 2015

Embrace Peace hand painted mini (c) SZing 2015

Imagine hand painted mini (c)SZing 2015

Question hand painted mini (c)SZing 2015

Friday, January 23, 2015

What You Know...

When you think you have dried up all your resources for creative ideas, for paintings or artworks, for poems, stories or dreams I highly suggest returning to What You Know.  

First step:  Quiet yourself--sit down, breathe deeply and just "Listen Inwardly."  This is also sometimes called meditation.  Don't TRY to think of anything, just be present with yourself. (We get so busy we forget to do this--and yes, I know it kind of sounds stupid since we are always with ourselves--but we really crave our own attention--and I do mean attention.

Second step:  Remember where you came from.  We all have roots, history, a past, experiences...we don't have to judge them as good or bad because let's be honest, it's a mixed bag.  From that past, pull out something that really resonates strongly with you.  Maybe you resonate with the memory of a colorful sunset or sunrise.  Perhaps the resonance is attached to a specific place you visited.  Maybe you recall a story or a person who caught and held your attention for a time.  Whatever it is, start there--with What You Know.  Because what I know is that we are all amazing, powerful creators and we know so much more than we usually cop to knowing.  We are brilliant.  We are geniuses (I don't care what IQ tests, stats, or negative-minded people have told you in the past.)  We have infinite creativity.  We just have to get back to What We Know.

In my case, I drew upon the feeling I used to get when I would drive out to El Malpais or Acoma on the West Mesa of New Mexico.  Especially powerful for me were the striking colors and light when there were storm clouds present or as the day drew nearer to dusk.  If you've ever been to the Land of Enchantment, you know what I mean.  This is What I Know today in my #InspiredArtProject2015 #doartdaily.

West Mesa Nostalgia, (c)SZing 2015
Watercolor on watercolor paper

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Progress Leads To…?

We do not sit still in time and space.  We are always progressing toward something—this is a paraphrase of one of my favorite quotes from the movie “Phenomenon” with John Travolta.  We cannot not make progress.  It may SEEM that we are going nowhere fast, but the fact of the matter, the Truth, is that we are in fact, always progressing. 

I am thrilled that I am progressing toward the completion of the art studio renovation!  Worked almost the entire weekend and came a long way—only a few things left to do before I’ll be able to actually use the space again for myself and for my classes! #artclasses #artjournaling #fusedglassclass  #bohemianartcafe #studiorenovation

Upcoming classes: 

January 31/Feb 1 = Art Journaling Extravaganza

February 4 – April 22 = Creating the Life You Want Mastermind Group

February 28 – March 1 = Glass Synergy Workshop

The Bohemian Art Cafe—feeding your creative self—where we serve art, not food.






All photos © SZing, 2015. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Inspired Art Project 2015 gallery

Have neglected posting this past week from my #InspiredArtProject2015 this past week while I update my Etsy shops BohemianArtCafe, EphemeraBistro, EspressoBarCafe, and FlowerChildTrends, I am catching up today with a week’s worth of art in a gallery style array.
February 13, 2015
Zen Angel, watercolor, ink on watercolor paper © SZing 2015.
2015-01-08 14.41.10
January 14, 2015
Focusing on trying new designs. Not perfect but very relaxing to work on.
2015-01-15 22.03.06
January 15, 2015
Relaxing into the process.  As I do, I get inspired with many different ideas for art projects, writing projects and other ways to express myself creatively.  I’m not actively seeking these hints, but they flow to me as I stay focused on my zen doodles.
© SZing 2015
 2015-01-08 14.41.53
January 16, 2015
“Basket weaving”.  For some reason tonight this particular zen doodle as I’m working on it reminds me of that song Funny Farm from the 1970s and I think of basket weaving. Maybe zen doodling is sort of like that for me.  But I’m perfectly okay with twiddling my thumbs and toes….haa haa, heee hee, hoo, hooo.  I feel inspired just because I’m sticking with this process.  © 2015 SZing.
2015-01-16 19.25.01
January 17, 2015
A daily practice.  A practice that is repetitious.  A practice not unlike dreaming except that each has a goal or objective. © SZing.  Watercolor on watercolor paper, black ink.
2015-01-16 19.25.22
January 18, 2015
A Poem
Within my walls
is a treasure
Nurtured, it grows
Ignored, it grows
Flowering into I Am.
January 19, 2015
Acrylic on paper board.  Just to paint, just to create, just to play despite the end result is inspiring.  Especially more inspiring is not caring what is created.  Letting go of the inner (and outer) critic is freeing.  And fun.  And inspiring. #doartdaily
© SZing 2015
2015-01-13 19.25.03

Monday, January 12, 2015

Inspired by Tapas

One of my very favorite types of restaurants is a tapas restaurant.  What I love about this type of restaurant is being able to savor the flavors of multiple types and tastes of food--little morsels of delight--without becoming "stuffed" or over-full.  Yet my mouth does a happy dance of joy with each new sample.  With practice, I'm allowing my inspiration to be the visual equivalent of a tapas menu.  I'll try a little of this pattern here, test out that pattern there, see what sizzles and what is too dry for me.  #InspiredArtProject2015 #artsampler
"A Sampler" (c)SZing 2015. Ink on bristol paper.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Thoughts are Like Seeds

We all receive inspiration and from that inspiration come ideas and thoughts.  All thoughts are seeds.  Some seeds we want to nurture carefully and help germinate.  Often, like a baby in a womb, a seed is cocooned and protected during the germination phase.  Our ideas, our inspirations are like that--we should cocoon and protect them so that they can grow strong and bloom.  It's far too easy for our tender shoots of ideas to be trampled by our selves or others.  Be careful choosing what seeds you plant and then protect those you dearly want to see come to fruition. #InspiredArtProject2015. #inspiration
"Seeds Germinate" (c)SZing 2015.  Watercolor, ink, on watercolor paper.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Try Somthing New...

Trying something new, practicing, and not allowing the inner critic (or the outer one!) take over. This is a two handed drawing I was inspired to make for today's #InspiredArtProject2015.  There is something primitive about it that I really like--it reminds me a bit of Willem de Kooning.  Perhaps I'll try a two handed drawing of a person next time I attempt this method.   For now, I call this a study for painting.
"A Study for Painting" (c)SZing 2015. Ink on bristol paper.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Words as Art

Writing poetry is my go-to stress releaser.  I've done it since at least the third grade (granted, my poems back then weren't all that fabulous).  I'm not normally a rhyme-r or a iambic-pentameter type of gal.  I've written my share of Haiku, but my first love is free-form poetry.  #InspiredArtProject2015 #wordsasart #poetry

"In dreamtime" (c)SZing, 2015.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Momma said...

growing up I can't remember all of the times I heard my mom or dad say Practice makes Perfect.  In art, not every single piece made is world class, museum-worthy or going to sell for a fortune.  Sometimes, the pieces are just practice....practice....and more practice.  #InspiredArtProject2015 #art

The Mind's Eye (c)SZing 2015.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Inspired Art Project Daily Practice

I am inspired by meditation and art.  Therefore, I am doubly inspired by Zentangling--art and meditation combined.  I love this as a daily practice.  Helps me unwind, helps me get clarity, helps me just allow myself to play.  Nope, not a "perfect" zendoodle, but then I am a firm believe in the idea that all art creations have flaws, thus we know that we are human and that they are hand crafted. #InspiredArtProject 2015 #doartdaily

"Meditation"  Ink on bristol paper (c) SZing 2015

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

In to the Zen World

I got a wonderful gift from my sweetheart over the holiday, Joy of Zentangle this weekend that is extremely relaxing.  I'm not a "pro" at it yet and don't know if I ever will be.  Frankly, I don't care if I am or not because these little pieces of art, what I call "formal doodles" truly will put you in a zen meditative state.  Day 5 of Inspired Art Project 2015.  I'm inspired to relax into my art.  #InspiredArtProject2015 #doartdaily

Day 4 Inspired Art Project 2015

I am inspired each time I look outside and see that my beautiful rose bush from my sweetie (a birthday present last year) is blooming...and it is January 4!  Roses remind me of my mom.  A sweet remembrance as our yard was filled with these fragrant blooms in every color and size.  Today's Inspired Art Project is dedicated to Mom, an angel in her own right!  #InspiredArtProject2015 #angelart

Angel of Blooms, (c) SZing, 2015

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Hooked on Angels

I've always been fascinated by angels and have regular conversations with mine (really, I do).  I heard what may be an urban myth but it was on the Internet so it must be true (hah!)...that 8 of every 10 Americans believe in angels.  Of course, there are other studies that show that 55% of Americans believe in angels versus 34% who believe in global warming.  Yet another study (which very well may just be one man's opinion) showed that 6% of Americans believe in Unicorns (how did they get in touch with so many rennies and under-6-year-old subjects?), 18% believe that the sun revolves around the earth and he says 46% of Americans believe in angels.  Well, I'm one of the 8 in 10/ 55%/ 46%...and here's proof that I'm Hooked on Angels. #InspiredArtProject2015 #angelart

Hooked on Angels, Day 3 #InspiredArtProject2015 (c)SZing 2015
Mixed media--watercolor, pastels on watercolor paper