Sunday, July 22, 2018

A Thought for Sunday, July 22, 2018

"Creativity is the greatest rebellion in existence." -- Osho

Saturday, July 14, 2018

My Achy Breaky Heart

Sometimes an artist needs to take a break from what they are known for, and delve into a whole new area of interest to interrupt their right brain's usual mode of operation. Sometimes it's good just to try one's hand at something new. Sometimes exploring a medium one doesn't usually work in can lead to a renewal of enthusiasm when our usual method of self expression starts to feel ho-hum.

Those thoughts were on my mind when I decided to re-visit an old love from my past: mosaics. About 15 years ago I had become very interested in mosaics made with broken bits of china, pottery and the like. I made a large flower pot for one friend, a gazing ball for another friend's garden, and a picture frame for my own home -- all from shards of broken dinnerware, glass marbles, and other found treasures. The fun was cut short by winter's arrival; I didn't have a studio back then, and mosaic making is horribly messy. Unable to work on my projects in the house, and with no garage or outbuilding, I had to give it up.

This past month  I was bitten by the mosaic bug once again. I had spotted a piece of heart shaped mosaic garden art on Pinterest that I thought was really cool. So I dragged out my dusty box of mosaic supplies and created a heart with a distinctly different look from the heart on Pinterest. Unlike my previous creations, this one includes bits of jewelry and beads. I had so much fun making this piece, I couldn't believe I had allowed so many years to go by without doing any mosaic work at all.
My bits 'n pieces heart                  ©2018 Lynn Edwards
What's next? It's going to be embellishing the top of our coffee table with an abstract design rendered in mosaic tiles. And after that? Well, here's the kind of mosaic piece I can only hope to aspire to:

This impressive beauty was found just outside a store in Charlottesville, Virginia on a trip there back in 2014. The photo doesn't start to do it justice. It was absolutely gorgeous-- a stunning, life sized  creation in glass. My hat's off to whoever created it, as it must have been one heckuva challenge securing all those tiny tiles...not to mention moving it. I bet it weighed as much as a compact car. Oh but it was lovely!!!

Text and images ©2018 Lynn Edwards

Friday, July 13, 2018

A Thought for Sunday, July 14, 2018

"He only employs his passion who can make no use of his reason." -- Cicero

Sunday, July 1, 2018

A Thought for Sunday, July 1, 2018

"Liberty is a thing of the spirit -- to be free to worship, to think, to hold opinions and to speak without fear -- free to challenge wrong and oppression with surety of justice." -- Herbert Hoover

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Can Life Get Any Crazier?

Faithful readers, I apologize. You've probably noticed I've been posting less these past couple of months. The reason? I haven't figured out how to add another day to the week. Here's what life has been like around here lately:

In April I traveled to North Carolina for a weeklong art workshop at the Kanuga Center just outside Flat Rock. It was a breathtaking setting for a truly wonderful experience -- taking a workshop from one of my most favorite artists and art instructors, Jo Toye. Jo is an amazing workshop instructor and I came away from Kanuga with so many ideas and new techniques that I thought my brain would melt down.

Two weeks after returning home from the workshop, Hubs and I flew to California to attend our niece's wedding and spend vacation time with two of my brothers and their wives. We hit some of the art galleries in Laguna Beach and enjoyed lunch in a restaurant there overlooking the Pacific. Sister-in-law Barbara and I did some serious treasure hunting (Orange County has awesome thrift stores!!), and got in a fascinating tour of a dichroic glass manufacturing company that's normally off limits to the public. (That's because Barbara, who teaches silver smithing and other creative skills, is one of their customers.) All in all, it was 12 days of pure fun -- and the wedding was the stuff of fairy tales.

It had been years since I had visited Southern California, and so I didn't really know what to expect. It took me about 10 minutes after de-planing to decide I loved the climate. It was great...No bugs! No humidity! The absence of those was enough to fall in love with SoCal, but the cost of housing in California is so outrageous that three quarters of the population can't qualify for a mortgage. Houses that sell here for $200,000 go for one million out there. With bidding wars, yet.

But oh, the food! It was amazing, and everything was so fresh. We had wonderful meals every place we went, from a hole in the wall taco place to a swanky Italian restaurant to a chain of restaurants called Avila's that served up Mexican food to die for. (We hit Avila's twice.) There was also an out of the way Chinese restaurant (I forget the name) that served out of this world Honey Walnut Shrimp. We went there twice, too.

You know how Californians claim to be so laid back? We got an upclose look at just how "laid back" some of them are. Thanks to California's lenient marijuana laws, you can buy weed everywhere. It's like buying bread or milk. One afternoon we stopped in at WalMart to pick up a few supplies. Our cashier at the checkout -- a ponytailed guy who looked to be around 30-- was so stoned he could barely function. His eyelids were at half mast, his speech was distant and slow and his moves were even slower.

The woman ahead of me in line had arranged her purchases into two piles so they could be handled as separate transactions. The cashier managed to ring up one of them, but seemed to be at a total loss as to how to ring up the other one. The logistics of ringing up two separate purchases for the same person threw him for a loop. After a lot of fumbling and mumbling, he finally gestured at the second pile of merchandise and told the woman, "Oh, just take them."

She, obviously being an honest person, protested and said no, she couldn't just take the stuff because it wasn't right. The cashier replied with "I don't know how to ring those up...go head, just take them." And he indicated for her to remove them from the counter. She tried to press some bills into his hand, insisting that she couldn't just walk out with the stuff, but he refused to accept the money. She tried again, and again he told her, "No, just take them." Shaking her head in disbelief, she gave up, added the items to the bag she was holding, and left.

Watching this exchange, Hubs and I were incredulous. I just wish I had thought to capture it with my cell phone. For our purchase this cashier somehow gathered his wits sufficiently to operate the register (it was a single transaction, we were paying with cash and we weren't buying much) so we were spared our own round of Fun with Puff. But we were troubled at what we had just witnessed. A giant retailer like WalMart might be able to absorb losses to greater degree than most companies, but an employee like this could put a small mom and pop operation out of business in short order. And one more thing: Come the end of his shift, he'd be on the road and behind the wheel, driving while stoned out of his mind. What a comforting thought. I can't help but wonder...when they made marijuana as easy to buy as margarine, what in the heck were California's lawmakers thinking???

Sunday, June 24, 2018

A Thought for Sunday, June 24, 2018

" There is no place in a fanatic's head where reason can enter." - Napoleon Bonaparte

Sunday, June 10, 2018

A Thought for Sunday, June 10, 2018

"Everyone should carefully observe which way his heart draws him, then choose that way with all his strength." -- Hasidic proverb