I love dogs. I pretty much like most animals. Unfortunately, I don't get along well with cats. I've got allergies. I've got sniffling, eye itching, skin scratching horrible reactions without medication.
I still find cats entertaining, as long as I can view them from a distance.
With that prologue, I find this weeks artist has a way with cats. I love how she paints them.
Yael Maimon is an Israeli artist who is currently working on a series of cat paintings that I love. Her paintings are loose and free, and she captures the cat's personality.
She says, "Cats are now my first circle of close friends. I love them and they give me daily inspiration. Cats are very intelligent creatures, they are simply fascinating animals"
She surely shows her love for cats in her paintings.
Her internet presence is sparse, but there are a few places you can go to check out the cat paintings.
If you're a cat lover, you'll love Yael Maimon.
Enjoy her work.
I love going to the movies.
It's the way I grew up.
In the late 1960s and early 70s, we'd go to The Fox Theater on Broadway in Redwood City. Pre-drivers license, we'd walk down Woodside Road, through Union Cemetery (it still makes my hair stand on end a bit thinking about it), up El Camino Real, then right on Broadway. Redwood City's changed, but the cemetery and the theater are still there.
I remember seeing Butch Cassidy and the Sun Dance Kid, M*A*S*H, and plenty of other movies the Fox. It was a great place to go on "date." Remember those?
Factoid - President Obama gave a fundraising speech at The Fox in 2012. Our pursuits were less high falutin'. We were escaping parental supervision and getting up to no-good. It wasn't criminal no-good. It wasn't bad-guy no-good, it was more or less useless annoying teenage angsty hi-jinx.
Fast forward to the last six years. On St Thomas, you have to have something to do beyond boats, beaches, snorkeling, tiki bars, and rum. Without appropriate diversions, your liver would run screaming for cover at the closest rehab facility.
I'm glad to report I've avoided cirrhosis and rehab. I credit the Caribbean Movie Theater.
Our island movie theater was near the grocery store, Cost-You-Less, which, if you live there, you know, it costs you more. The theater there had first run movies cheap on Tuesday nights, and because I like cheap, it became an entertainment staple. I loved our little Tuesday night at the movies.
Since Irma ripped the guts out of that plaza, I don't think Cost-You-Less or the theater have reopened. They hadn't when we were last there. I need to put my liver on suicide watch when we go back.
Which brings me up to here and now, Monday we went to the movies.
The big screen! The bright lights! That's entertainment!
We saw "A Star Is Born" with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. I was impressed with both their performances. I thought it might end up being a cheesy knockoff of the 1976 Barbara Streisand / Chris Kristofferson flick, but it wasn't.
I was surprised in Surprise!
I enjoyed it, though I think Bradley Cooper may have been channeling his inner Kristofferson.
Lady Gaga was unrecognizable. I thought Gaga would be a horrible actress. I was pleasantly surprised that she did an excellent job. I liked the look of this movie Gaga much better than her flashy blonde singer Gaga.
At one point in the film, her manager wants her character to go blonde, and she says no, “I am who I am." Then, a few scenes later her hair is unreal bright orange. Well, I guess, at least it's not blonde.
I'm sure there are plenty of critics who will rip the movie apart. Me, I liked it. I could relate. You know the aging, famous, drunk artist. It so hit home. Sniff sniff.
I didn't realize there were three other versions of A Star Is Born. I only knew the 1976 version, and, of course, the one I just saw. There are also one from 1937 with Janet Gaynor and Fredrick March, and one with Judy Garland and James Mason from 1954.
I haven't seen the pre '76 versions. I'll have to look them up.
You might want to skip the saccharin love-fest interviews on YouTube. But if, like me, you can't help yourself, put on your cringe vest and click here. Nine out of ten dentists say sweet videos like this can rot your teeth. Make sure you brush your teeth afterward. Just warning.
I still like the big screen. It's a different experience entirely. So, until I can afford a thirty-foot screen in my living room, or afford a house big enough to house said thirty-foot screen, I'll be seein' ya at the movies ... hopefully good ones.
Until next week, I wish you peace.
Bill Inman is an oil painting artist. He grew up in places like California, Montana, and Alaska, but calls Muncie, Indiana home now.
His subjects lean toward nature, mostly plants and landscapes. His paintings are punched up with bright colors in natural surroundings.
Inman is also a teacher with plenty of videos on YouTube. His style starts very loose and as the painting develops the brush strokes become more and more controlled until the picture he's painting comes into focus. It's kind of like looking through a camera, and the lens starts focusing more and more.
His laid-back teaching style suits me. I enjoy watching him develop paintings. You can pick up an awful lot just by watching somebody.
Bill says, "it's not about learning how to draw a line correctly, it's about learning how to see shapes." From that perspective, the seeing is more important than the drawing.
Here's a video that kind of illustrates his style of painting. It's only about four minutes. Some of his videos go in-depth and last much longer. This one is a good overview. You can get a good feeling of his style from it.
You can discover Bill's art many places on the internet, including the following:
Bill also sells his art classes at www.masteroilpainting.com/
I love the desert and the desert mountains. I guess if you lived in Phoenix all your life you get used to seeing all this. Every time I look at the mountains, especially at sunrise and sunset around the White Tank Mountains here, I am awestruck. I can't believe how impressive they are.
This big blue rock we live on is a beautiful and resilient place. It can bounce back from just about anything. Remember Cuyahoga River fire of 1969 It's much better now - or is it?
We've come a long way since I was growing up with ecological awareness, and taking action, but, unfortunately, we continue to damage our world. As more and more sapiens crowd our planet, the problem isn't going away. It's getting worse.
I watched the BBC feature documentary "Drowning in Plastic" last week. It is tragic. The conveniences we've produced by the introduction of plastics have had horrible consequences.
The rubbish we dump in the sea affects every body of water on the planet. Even in the most remote places. If we continue to do this, I fear what the world will turn into; perhaps even in our generation.
Brilliant minds are working on the problem, but, really, this needs to be solved by everybody everywhere. I don't have solutions. I wish I did. I'm glad where we live, we can recycle plastic, but it doesn't even scratch the surface of the problem. It's scary.
The images of plastic pollution floating on rivers and stream and in the ocean are appalling. There aren't enough regulations in the world to stem the plastic tide. The resulting pollution beggars all description.
Sometimes when I'm out for a walk, I try to count how many steps I can take without encountering some piece of trash. Sometimes there are stretches where I see a bit of garbage every two to three steps and sometimes I can get almost 20-30 steps before running into a bit of rubbish.
If we continue the way we are, we will likely choke every living thing on this planet with plastic. In the end, we have to realize that we, us sapiens roaming the earth, will be the architects of our destruction. We are building our graveyard one stone at a time. The planet may recover from all this, but the pity is it might take a billion years.
Survival of our species is not mandatory for the earth to survive, but if we want to survive as a species, we all need to all do our part. THoughts must become actions.
People, in general, are so careless. It's just the way we are. We want the conveniences and we hardly ever think of the consequences. It's time we got our head around this and did something.
Pick up a piece of trash on the road if you see it on the way. I will do my best, and I hope you do too. We've all got to think about what we can do to turn this tide of plastic.
Picking up a piece of trash or recycling a plastic bottle may seem like nothing but our only real hope is if everybody gets on board.
Remember what Gandhi said. "Be the change that you wish to see in the world." Everything starts with people the good and the bad. Be the good that happens to the world.
We cannot give up.
Until next week, I wish you peace.
You never know what will draw you to an artist. Most of the artists that I've featured have been what the art world calls representational artists. To me, that means that you can recognize the images in artwork they produce. It represents a person, a rock, a plant, a landscape...
Claire Desjardins is not a "representational artist," her work is purely abstract.
She says, "my paintings make people happy, and that's a nice thing to make people happy."
I'm not always a fan of abstract art but this artist produces work that I like. Claire's work expresses her passion and the expertise. Claire calls the process that she uses "intuitive". I think that means she "goes with the flow". She discovers what the paint does in the process and reacts to how that turns out. It's something you can feel.
I like the colorful nature of Claire's paintings, and it doesn't hurt she's from Montreal! Claire lives about an hour north of Montreal in the most sublime setting. This little video will give you an idea where she lives and how she works.
Making money as an artist is an art all in itself. The way artists sell is changing all the time, and you have to keep up with the times. Claire sells her art online in multiple physical places like art shows and galleries. I like how she embraces social media in what I feel is an authentic way.
It's not all about selling your physical artwork though; there are other ways to profit from your artwork. Claire has partnered with the likes of Urban Outfitters' URBN - Anthropologie, and Microsoft Surface. She is now in the process of launching her first clothing line. The bright colors and abstract shapes make her clothes light up.
She will soon be showing her work at "The Other Art Fair" in Brooklyn, New York November 8th-11th. If you're in the neighborhood, you could stop by to see her live and in person.
I am delighted to introduce you to Claire Desjardins work.
I hope you take the time to visit her on the web. You can find her at: