In February a dear friend's mother died. I created a comfort journal to help her process her loss and give her comfort while remembering her loved one. Since then I have made several more but this is my favorite - probably because her mother's favorite flower was the rose. The comfort journal provides quotes, writing prompts, and a list of ideas for self care. I asked her a few questions about her mother so I could customize it - her favorite color, flower, song, etc. If you have a loved one who has lost someone dear to them and likes to journal, you might want to make a comfort journal for them.
So much has happened since my Mac met its final days, but I have finally replaced it. I'm moving in a different direction, embracing whimsy, color and the energy of vibrant collage!
Mycala's Occupational Therapy Department at Towson University moved into a new facility and apparently it is dark and dank, so she took in some of the collages I made a few years ago to brighten the space. There is a lot of enthusiasm and it has inspired me to return to collage. Thank you Mycala!
If you've been following my blog, you know I created over 200 watercolors of herbs for my Enhancing Your Life with Herbs course. They were to help people identify specific herbs - not for art for arts sake. I love herbs and they were fun to create, but I miss the whimsy and color of collage.
So these are some of the collages from my Reptiles and Amphibian series in Mycala's office, and they have inspired me move on to two news series. One will be jazz and the other an under water series.
Note: I average about 3,000 - 4,000 hits a day but when I wasn't posting at all, I got 18,000 hits. I think I've learned the secret of increasing my followers - don't post anything for weeks! Ha!
The last few weeks have been overflowing with color and kitsch, both here in Baltimore and on recent travels. Seeing so many vibrant creations - kinetic and still sculptures, statues. screens, jewelry and even menus was a whimsical delight. From now on, in addition to museums, natural and historic sites, and more typical tourist attractions, I plan to seek out whimsy when I'm touring! I returned with my sketch book over flowing and numerous ideas for gifts, home and garden!
Kinetic Sculpture Race
On Saturday, May 5, we headed to the harbor early to see the start of the kinetic sculpture race, followed by lunch at Marie Louise Bistro and a stroll through historic Mt. Vernon for their annual Flower Mart.
Baltimore's Visionary Art Museum's annual kinetic sculpture race - "a race through Baltimore of wacky, imaginative, TOTALLY HUMAN-POWERED WORKS OF ART, DESIGNED TO TRAVEL ON LAND, THROUGH MUD, AND OVER DEEP BALTIMORE INNER HARBOR WATERS, constructed out of used bicycles, gears, and parts, created by a lunatic genius who tinkers around in the garage or backyard.
Jim Thorpe, PA
This is just a small sampling of the delights in Jim Thorpe. I've narrowed the number of photos down by focusing on all things Alice in Wonderful!
And back to Baltimore, MD
The Paper Moon Diner
Even the menus were fun!
Some of the interior decorations were a little bizarre, but it's all in fun!
It seemed only fair that I join you in looking for red, so I attended the Catch a Rainbow exhibit at Rawlings Conservatory. Beautiful shades of red were in the Rainbow exhibit as well as the Mediterranean House, Tropical House, Desert House, Orchid House and Palm House.
After the exhibit, the search for all things red continued with a cheese and salami platter with red wine at Birroteca.
At first glance, you'll probably think this post is about fashion. it is. It is also about the power our young people have to make change.
building the silhouette
This post is a continuation of blog posts from March 2, 2018 and the original post from February 10, 2018, highlighting the exhibit "from the Inside Out building the silhouette".
My earlier posts featured garments created for women who wanted to look older and more mature. Fashion reflected a full figured woman with wasp-like waists, cinched with corsets and contrasted with bulging bustles made of wire and muslin. This later softened somewhat to a more relaxed hour glass silhouette. Necklines were still high, sleeves and skirts were long, and layers and layers of fabric continued to restrict movement and encourage modesty.
. Roger von Oech, author of A Kick in the Seat of the Pants and A Whack on the Side of the Head, shared this perspective from an advertisement for a library.
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
“At your local library they have these arranged in ways that can make you cry, giggle, love, hate, wonder, ponder, and understand.
It’s astonishing to see what these twenty-six little marks can do.
In Shakespeare’s hands they became Hamlet. Mark Twain wound them into Huckleberry Finn. James Joyce twisted them into Ulysses. Gibbonpounded them into The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
John Milton shaped them into Paradise Lost.”
~ Quote taken from an advertisement to promote local libraries.
One of my favorite approaches to creating trainings is to use the alphabet to shift from a predictable list to concepts I might not consider. For example, simply listing the colors I plan to cover in my Exploring Rainbows course (Red, Yellow, Orange, etc.) tends to limit my thinking.
I used the alphabet to capture memories from trips, ideas for articles, brainstorming gift list, planning my garden, visits to museums, my annual gratitude lists, and in this case, workshop concepts.
So for each color of the rainbow, I'm planning to use examples of
Then there are Fairy tales and Folk lore, Gemstones, Global interpretations, Quotes, Songs, Symbolism . . . right now I have 3 or 4 topics for each letter. Six weeks will barely be enough time to cover everything!
The next time you're brainstorming ideas, write down each letter of the alphabet and see what kind of associations occur to you that might not have otherswise! And if you're really feeling industrious, see if you can arrange those 26 little marks to make another book to add to the Library of Congress!
.Dr. Frederisk Franck is an author, artist, and oral surgeon but even more notably, a spiritualist. He sees the sacred in the everyday beatify of life, and uses seeing and drawing as meditation. He worked with Dr. Albert Schweitzer in Africa to provide services to those in need.
Hiroshima - The Unkillable Human
This sculpture depicts a man's silhouette flashing against a wall when the nuclear bomb was dripped.
One of Dr. Frederick Franck's sculptures in the Peace Garden in Harrisburg, PA
Frederick Franck has been on my mind recently for several reasons.
First, we passed his sculptures at the Peace Garden in Harrisburg along the Susquehanna River several times when I visited Pennsylvania recently. I've painted his sculptures numerous times over the years - with vibrant spring and summer floral plantings, the earth tones of autumn, and stark black, grays and whites of winter. All were given as gifts over the years, but the photos above will give you an idea of the power of his work,
The Peace Garden was created in 1990 by the Harrisburg/Hershey chapter of the Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR). The garden was created in response to a speech given in Hiroshima by Dr. Bernard Lown, President of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, which earned a Nobel Peace Prize. The garden features three sculptures that remind us of the devastating destruction, yet also acknowledge the continuation of life and the human spirit in spite of inhumane decisions.
Second, I'm including several of his quotes in my overview of my course on Exploring Rainbows this spring. He makes a differential between looking and seeing, and notes that we would fall to our knees in horror if we really saw what was on the evening news.
We have become desensitized, but that's another post.
"My mission is
to help others see and cherish the beauty,
romance and treasures within and around them
that are often dismissed or completely overlooked."
Mikell is a writer, artist and professional treasure hunter, finding the greatest treasures in the wonderful people who enter her life!