Very Inspiring blogger nomination

vib-award

 

Douglas Moorezart is an exceptionally generous artist and blogger and I’m so thrilled that he nominated me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. As a relative newbie to WordPress, this is such a significant honor. Unlike Douglas, I’m a less than consistent blogger and have actually been “off” schedule for several months following hip replacement surgery. But I’ve no excuse now – so here goes. These are the steps I’m required to follow in accepting this award.

 

1.  Thank and link the amazing person(s) who nominated you. So Douglas thank you, thank you. (Douglas can be found here!) http://moorezart.wordpress.com/

2.  List the rules and display the award.This lengthy post does just that. 🙂

3.  Share seven facts about yourself. 

      a. I’m 68 years old and only came back to poetry and art after a 30+ year hiatus

      b. I’m brand new to both photography and digital painting – having taken up the first to add color to my poetry, and the second just in the past two years because I like the challenge of learning something new all the time.

      c. I’m completely self-taught as an artist and have no formal art school training.

      d. I have a passionate love for the sea and all things related though I do not live anywhere close to it. 

      e. My favorite painters are from the Dutch School – particularly Vermeer.

      f. I’ve always been passionate about justice and have fought for it on many fronts my entire life. The subject of social justice was the core of my high school teaching career.

      g. I paint to express what I think is beautiful or to confront personal challenges in a sometimes ugly world.

4.  Nominate 15 other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know they have been nominated. (This may be the hardest part for me as I am not sure that I follow 15 blogs religiously!)

1. Jo Ann Tomaselli – Visual & Verbal Reflections: Jo Ann makes me into a voyeur of sorts…perhaps that’s not the right word but I get to join her travels vicariously as she shares her amazing photography with all of us. A good friend…an amazing photographer! http://joanntomaselli.wordpress.com/

2. Outside the Nest – Bruce and Tracy Levinson – a couple of empty-nesters share their insights into how to recommit and re-invigorate a relationship just at a time that it might be in danger of losing the freshness that kept love alive for 20 years. Delightful stories, advice, travel tips, romantic challenges…an honest, forthright and at the same time humorous look at reinvesting in each other. http://www.outsidethenest.net/blog/

3. Christian Churches – though I do not focus a great many of my paintings on this particular subject, Geordie Gardner has created a series of Christian blogs that display the beautiful spiritual and religious artworks from artists around the world. I feel privileged to have been one of them. http://christian-artworks.blogspot.co.uk/

4. Watermelon Snaps – stories from the brilliantly talented writer, Lisa Jewell. Lisa has a way of making you remember, making you think and feel things about your own life you might not even have realized. Incredibly touching and relatable characters you will fall in love with and simply be drawn to return time and again. http://watermelonsnaps.blogspot.com/

5. Marc and Angel Hack Life – very practical tips for productive living. Inspiring writing and guidelines for living a happy and fulfilling life. http://www.marcandangel.com/

6. Brain Pickings – Maria Popova, author of this amazing blog, describes her blog this way…”The core ethos behind Brain Pickings is that creativity is a combinatorial force: it’s our ability to tap into our mental pool of resources — knowledge, insight, information, inspiration, and all the fragments populating our minds — that we’ve accumulated over the years just by being present and alive and awake to the world, and to combine them in extraordinary new ways. In order for us to truly create and contribute to the world, we have to be able to connect countless dots, to cross-pollinate ideas from a wealth of disciplines, to combine and recombine these pieces and build new ideas.” It just might be the most thoughtful, intelligent, well-written blog out there. In essence, brain pickings is what it says – an opportunity to pick the brains of some of the most brilliant writers and thinkers of our times. http://www.brainpickings.org/

7. Holly Goes Lightly – by the amazingly gifted Australian Writer, Holly Ringland. I met her as a poet, short story writer and was completely enchanted instantly. Now finishing up an advanced degree on scholarship from Manchester University UK, Holly writes a journal style newsletter and phenomenal blog at http://www.hollyringland.com/

8. Positive Outlooks – short and sweet, generally designed as memes to post to Facebook, this blog is often the highlight of my day or the inspiration for my own deeper thoughts. We’ve all heard a lot about the benefits of positive thinking – this lovely blog will help you keep those in mind. http://positiveoutlooksblog.com/

9. Priya Ghose Photography – the exceptional photography of Priya Ghose who describes herself as “plantaholic, insect stalker, fish wrangler, golden hour appreciator, urban exploration adventurer and waterlily lover.” You will come to appreciate the natural world like never before. http://priyaghosephotography.wordpress.com/

10. Jordan Blackstone – Jordan has her fingers in many pies but periodically blogs for the Huffington Post about life and art in addition to maintaining her online presence on Facebook and her art gallery at Fine Art America and Crated.com. A talented digital artist and photographer, it’s hard to figure out how Jordan finds time for all she does! https://imaginethatjbphotography.wordpress.com

11. Sharon Cummings – saved one of the best for last. I don’t think I’ve missed very many of Sharon’s blogs since I started following her. Her abstract art pieces and unique Stoned Rock paintings have opened my eyes to totally different genres than my own. One of the most successful contemporary artists of my acquaintance, Sharon’s dedication to her craft and generous support of other artists sets her apart from all the “wannabes”. Visit her work on Fine Art America, Pinterest, Facebook and enjoy her wonderful insights on Abstract Art by Sharon Cummings at http://sharoncummings.wordpress.com/

Now – I warned you that I didn’t think I actually followed 15 blogs and it turns out that I don’t – or at least I can’t think of 5 more right off hand. Quite a number of blogs I follow are political in nature and this doesn’t seem the place for those but I’ll return to add four more in a later edit. 

Now the fifth step for you to follow is to post your award – if you accept it – on your own blog – and follow me if you’re so inclined. Positively not necessary however…I still think each of you is just exceptional at what you do and am inspired each time I go to your blogs. 

 

The GUITAR is king…

“Lean your body forward slightly to support the guitar against your chest, for the poetry of the music should resound in your heart.”

Andre Segovia

From classical guitarist, Andre Segovia to the hard-rocking, Kurt Cobain, guitarists throughout the ages have played this beautifully expressive instrument and moved our souls, lifted our spirits and brought us to tears. We may debate whether Robert Johnson, the ground-breaking black Mississippi blues singer and guitarist should be ranked #1 among the best guitar players in the world or whether that honor should go to Jimi Hendrix, but in the end, that’s less important than the influence they have had on music. Johnson’s legacy of recordings is the undisputed foundation upon which all modern blues and rock music rests. Hendrix took every possible sound from acoustic to electric and blended it into something that went so far beyond the drugs that it left people high who had never taken a drug in their lives.

Guitars and guitar players have been the most essential component of contemporary music since John Lee Hooker stuck a microphone in his guitar while singing those angry, raspy Delta blues back in the early 1940s. The never to be forgotten B.B. King made that inevitable. Once the big band orchestra style era ended, the guitar became the backdrop for almost all popular music and that’s still true today. (It has been brought to my attention by a reader that I neglected one of the most talented and innovative guitarists of our time – the legendary Les Paul – whose design and electronic contributions to guitar manufacturing really can’t be measured. Dozens of superstars like Eric Clapton and Paul McCartney have played a Gibson-Les Paul guitar.)

In 1968, Beatles member, George Harrison wrote a song that was eventually to be listed as #136 on Rolling Stone’s list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time”, #7 on their list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time, and #10 on their list of The Beatles 100 Greatest Songs. In an online poll held by Guitar World magazine in February 2012, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” was voted the best of Harrison’s Beatle-era songs. The recorded version includes a guitar solo by another of the top 20 guitar players of all time – Eric Clapton. Arguably one of the Beatles finest songs, it never won the acclaim of other hits. But the lyrics can’t help but touch your heart.

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You can see my entire portfolio or purchase a print of this image at:

http://lianne-schneider.artistwebsites.com

While My Guitar Gently Weeps by Lianne Schneider buy print

WONDERS in my own back yard

                    “The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting                                for our senses to grow sharper”

W.B Yeats

Mighty Niagara

                                                                Mighty Niagara

How often has it happened to you…you have a wondrous, magical, incredible tourist destination in your own back yard…and you almost never go there? Or you long to see some other place completely forgetting that there are a million beauties right at home that you’ve never really seen?

I live not very far from one of the wonders of the world – Niagara Falls – and seen from either side of the border, it’s a majestic sight indeed. Day or night, just the sound of the water thundering over the escarpment and on to the rocks below makes one’s heart beat a little faster. Standing on a lookout that sticks right out over the river or riding the Maid of the Mist to get close, you get drenched with the heavy mist. You have to photograph through a plastic bag or be constantly wiping your camera lens. It’s an inspiring and almost overwhelming experience.

And yet, in truth, I have only been to Niagara Falls a few times – and that is only when out of state company comes to visit and they want to see what I take for granted. Each time I go, I see this wonder through new eyes – theirs – and discover something new…a reminder to me not to overlook the magical and wondrous sights right in my own back yard.

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You can browse my entire portfolio or purchase a print at:

http://lianne-schneider.artistwebsites.com

mightyniagarabuy

 

 

DREAMER, Dream No More

I walked beside the evening sea

And dreamed a dream that could not be;

The waves that plunged along the shore

Said only: “Dreamer, dream no more!”

                       – – -George William Curtis

I’VE NEVER LIVED BESIDE THE SEA

I’ve never lived beside the sea 

though I feel as if I have

but the sea fascinates me.

Its power, its moods, its vastness…are somehow

an endless source of inspiration to me.

I think of an ocean in a raging storm and I’m reminded

of the storms that life can bring to us

and the deceptive calm that often precedes them.

I think of the ship of my life

occasionally adrift, no wind to lift the sail,

and at times, no landfall or welcoming shore in sight.

Some nights the stars wink out

and all seems black and endless,

my astrolabe of little use.

But now and then I see a lighthouse

and I know that there is somewhere –

in a friend’s heart, a lover’s touch –

a light to guide me through.

I think of the journey each of us is on…

our own personal quest for peace,

for truth, for wholeness…

the journey of self-discovery –

and it takes me to the sea.

© Lianne Schneider

 

This digital painting is from my “Sea Stories” collection and you can see the rest or purchase a print at http://lianne-schneider.artistwebsites.com/

Dreamer Dream No More digital painting by Lianne Schneider buy

Light in the Darkness

“Your true heart is not subject to chaos or limited by pain, fear and neuroses, but is joyful, creative and loving…It is the core, the essence of your being, a reservoir of joy, powerful love and infinite compassion that lies within you.”
I’ve been writing a lot in my other blog about living wholeheartedly and the only way one can do that is to begin to listen to the heart instead of the mind. In many ways, especially when we find ourselves in a dark time in our lives – that proverbial “dark night of the soul” – our hearts are our best guides, an eternal light in the darkness. You can read more in depth if you’d like at http://seasonsofsongandspirit.blogspot.com/2014/05/begin-to-listen-to-your-heart-how-to.html
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Light in the Darkness by Lianne Schneider digital painting buy

 

Purchase a print or giclee canvas of this image at http://lianne-schneider.artistwebsites.com/featured/light-in-the-darkness-lianne-schneider.html

A Season of Wonder – new beginnings

“Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder.” ~E.B. White

It’s a new day for me…I’m moving to WordPress in place of or in addition to my Blogger blog. It seems a perfect time for new beginnings…summer is almost here, people are already heading outside, to the beach, to the lake, to the woods and those are all the kinds of places that inspire my art and my poetry. I won’t wax long and philosophical here, though I may excerpt some of those musings from my other blog. Here I’ll try to confine myself mostly to what I find beautiful or inspiring and share a little of what I’ve created as a result. I hope you’ll join me often as I venture into this “brave new world.”

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buffalosouthlightad