Friday, February 19, 2010

Stop! Don't miss the music of your life!

On a cold January day in 2007, world renown violinist Joshua Bell stood by the wall and a trash can in the Washington, DC Metro Station.  He was dressed in common clothes but grasped a handcrafted 1713 Stradivarius violin worth 3.5 million dollars.  For 45 minutes Joshua played intricate, difficult, and beautiful pieces on his violin.  Many people simply hurried by.  Most hardly even noticed.  A few tossed a dollar to him but didn't stop walking.  Only six people stopped to listen for a moment and only one recognized him.  The interesting thing is that children wanted to stop and continued to stare as they were hurried on by a parent.  Joshua had performed a concert three days earlier for an average of $100 per person.  This day he made $32.  When he finished playing there was no applause and no one even seemed to notice that he had stopped.
This was an experiment by The Washington Post to see is we perceive beauty in commonplaces at inappropriate times.  Do we recognize it?  Do we stop to appreciate it?  
We rush through our lives only to wake up one day realizing we are at the end and forgot to stop and live.  You really only have this day, this moment.  Remember to look for the beauty of it.

Monday, February 15, 2010

One World One Heart Winner!

The One World One Heart Blogging Event is complete for this year.  It has been a huge blog party with over 1100 bloggers from all over the world participating.  How fun it has been to visit many blogs.  Here is my gift and OWOH post

And the winner is Elsina of EMS Arts  In exploring Elsina's blog I discovered that Elsina is short for Elisabeth and she loves cats - has 12 of them!  How fun is that!

Congratulations Elsina.  I will be waiting the hear from you about your address.  

Friday, February 12, 2010

Reviewing My New Markers

I've just purchased a new set of Prismacolor brush tip markers.  I purchased a set of 8 yesterday at Michaels at 40% off.  So far, I am very pleased with them.  On a journaled page with a coat of acrylic paint, there is no bleed through and they write quite well on the paint.  On a composition journal page with no paint, the marker shows through slightly but does not actually bleed through.  Even an ink pen will show through the paper a bit.  The colors go on clear and are pleasing shades.

Now, here is what I like best.  Usually I prefer using an 18/0 brush for line work, lettering, or pen and ink work because I just can't get the markers to work for me.  But these are the closest I've ever found to the performance I want in brush tipped markers.  I was so excited when I first found Micron brush tip pens.  But when I press the brush tip to get a wider stroke, it does not recover to move to tiny stokes quickly enough to be effective.  The Prismacolor brush tip marker does recover its shape quickly allowing for a stroke that goes from wide to tiny without lifting the marker.  I have also tried Pitt brush tip markers.  They do recover allowing a stroke to go from wide to tiny.  But when I try to use the tip of the brush to create very small strokes, it tends to collapse making my stroke much larger than I wanted.  The Prismacolor brush tip maintains its shape enough to allow tiny strokes too.

The Prismacolor brush tip markers are acid free, lightfast, permanent, water resistant, pigmented ink, and archival.  My only real complaint was the lack of a pink in the set.  I just wish I had a pink!  LOL!

I still prefer the 18/0 brush and ink.  But these brush tip markers are a fun and convenient alternative.  Here is a little test sketch I did with the Prismacolor marker.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Every Little Girl Needs A Big Brother

On this day four years ago, my brother Bill was finally released from his battle with pancreatic cancer.  I don't talk about that much.  So I will move on quickly to talk about what made him such a great big brother.  When I was three my father was killed in a fire and my big brother, 16 at the time, decided his little sister needed someone to act like a dad in her life.  And he volunteered.  He took me fishing, let me sit in his lap and think I was really driving that car, came home from college to take me trick or treating, and was my escort to the Blue Bird Father/Daughter Banquet.

When I was a teenager Bill lived about 10 hours away.  We visited his home a couple of times each year.  During each visit he would take me on a date for pizza or something - just the two of us.  He would act like a gentleman and treat me like a lady and tell me that was how I should expect to be treated.  Years later when I became engaged to my husband, Bill called, and with a smile in his voice, he asked who the jerk was that thought he would dare to marry Bill's little sister!  He was just a tad bit protective.

The worktable I use in my studio was Bill's kitchen table.  We sat at it and talked many times.  It makes me feel like my big brother is still a part of my creative endeavor to have the table in my studio.

Here is a collage I created for him when he first got sick.  It says "Every little girl needs a big brother".  And the sun is saying "Go Pokes".  The man's blood ran orange for Oklahoma State University.  And he did a good job of brain washing his little sister.  In Bill's last months his little granddaughter was just learning to talk.  To his delight her first sentence was "Go Pokes!".

Bill always loved me, always believed in me, and always encouraged me to be all I could be.  And I miss him.  I hope you have someone like Bill in your life.  And I hope you can be someone like Bill in someone else's life.

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