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. 

 

BRAVE new world…and a bionic one

 “Modern medical advances have helped millions of people live longer, healthier lives.”    Ike Skelton

I’m going to be off a few weeks – working at becoming the Bionic Woman, one hip at a time. (This will be my second and shoulder next). But the prospect of joint replacement surgery got me thinking about the incredible time we live in in terms of medical advances. I’m old enough to remember the very first heart transplant ever, to have had to reschedule my wedding because a beloved member of our wedding party had found a donor and was going to have a kidney transplant – a rare and tricky procedure then that is commonplace today. I remember discussing the prognosis for our friend and hearing the word that the expectation was that the transplant – if it worked at all – would give our friend five more years of life. He is, thank God, still very much alive and that was 45 years ago.

I remember too, a time when there was no such thing as joint replacement – if your knees went bad or your hips gave out, you lived with a lot of pain and wound up in a wheel chair. Arthritis is not a forgiving disease – you can slow it down but you can’t completely restore function once a joint is badly worn. But today, the miracles of modern medicine let us opt to replace knees, hips, shoulders with titanium parts or to fuse the vertebrae in the spine with metal rods. Most people come through such surgeries extremely well and after several months of physical therapy, they are almost as good as new! I’m pretty sure that we’ve barely scratched the surface of the kinds of advances that are going to keep people living and living well well into their second centuries of life. It is indeed a Brave New World – and I’m grateful that I get to be a part of it.

So I hope your first weeks of summer are filled with light and warmth and joy and I’ll see you when I get back around the end of the month. I’ll be looking forward to catching up on all your “discoveries” and creations when I get back

Brave New World digital seascape painting by Lianne Schneider buy

TRAVEL bug…wishing it were so

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”
― Augustine of Hippo

I used to love to travel before my old bones started protesting and airlines starting charging so much just to pack enough clothes for a week, before direct flights from my small city became a thing of the past. When I was a bit younger, I drove everywhere I could, never minding 14 hour days on the road, loving the freedom to reach my destination by the most out of the way and indirect route. Nowadays…I don’t travel much and if I do it’s vicariously much of the time.

For example, I have friends who just returned from a 10 day trip to England. Personally, 10 days in the UK would never be enough for me. My mother and I once spent three weeks and have bemoaned the fact that we saw so little of what we’d have loved to see. We weren’t on “tour.” We were driving around setting only daily destinations as they struck us, stopping in out of the way places, eating in local pubs and except for a few “mandatory” tourist spots like Canterbury or the Tower of London, we found ourselves on narrow little country rounds and fell in love with Cotswold villages and forgotten ruins like the castle in Astley.

Worse than too short a trip – they took a similar short hop to France a couple of years ago – is the fact that my friends spent seven of the ten days on a ship going over! I’d have hated losing that time confined to a ship no matter how elegant. On an arranged tour, they missed this gorgeous little village in France called Loubressac. Considered one of the most beautiful medieval villages in all of France, it’s also one of the many “villages fleuris” or villages in bloom scattered throughout the countryside. This is the kind of place that deserves whatever time it takes to explore without having to settle for an hour’s stop on a tour bus.

I must admit I still get the travel bug something fierce and I’m longing to go back to Scotland to see much I missed and ferry over to Ireland. Perhaps…when I’ve rehabilitated my titanium hips enough to bear the flight over!!

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

http://lianne-schneider.artistwebsites.com

Village de Fleuris digital painting by Lianne Schneider buy

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

GOTHIC– not just a lifestyle

“The principle of the Gothic architecture is infinity made imaginable.”

Samuel Tayler Coleridge

 

Today, if you mention Goth, people are likely to think of young people dressed all in black, wearing black makeup and heavy jewelry. But most of us are aware that originally the term referred to a Germanic tribe of people, considered barbarians and to a kind of architecture which was initially considered crude and rather ugly. But, in time, Gothic architecture dominated European construction for several centuries during the Middle Ages. The Gothic style church or cathedral was an engineering marvel. The creative addition of “flying buttresses” allowed for the grand cathedrals to be built taller and taller. Characteristic of Gothic style were the vaulted ceilings within and the peaked or pointed arches for doors and windows. Churches especially became more and more elaborate. Ultimately, thanks in good part to the engineering achievements of Gothic architects, styles turned to more ornate and decorative looks found in the Baroque and Rococo periods.

Here in the States, for a long period, simplicity of line, the lower, more humble wooden churches with the pointed steeples were the dominant features of churches – reflecting the Puritan and Pilgrim ethic that found Gothic and Baroque architecture sinfully elaborate and a reminder of “papism.” So until the influx of large Catholic populations of immigrants in the early to mid-1800s, one would have had to search a long while to find a Gothic or Baroque style church. Now, some of our most beautiful treasures are the Gothic style churches and cathedrals prevalent in large cities across the country. Even the non-denominational National Cathedral is a gorgeous example of beautifully engineered Gothic style churches.

In the early 1900s there was a resurgence of interest in this type of architecture during the “neo-gothic” period. Smaller, less ambitious or dramatic examples of Gothic style churches were built in small towns and city suburbs. Pictured here is one of the loveliest examples of that trend…Baker Memorial United Methodist Church in East Aurora, NY. The congregation originated in 1822, moved to its present location in 1878 but replaced that wooden structure with this beautiful stone church done in a simplified Gothic style – without gargoyles or elaborate ornamentation. Aside from its simple, elegant lines, Baker Memorial boasts these inviting arched doorways with their artistically carved doors but its crowning glory is the 17 stained glass windows handcrafted by Louis Tiffany, created from the metallic looking, richly colored glass for which he is most famous. Each depicts a biblical scene rather than being purely decorative. The Church conducts tours by appointment just to view the windows.

Clearly, Gothic isn’t about lifestyle only – nor is it dark and brooding. In fact, this entry is a truly warm invitation.

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View my portfolio at http://http://lianne-schneider.artistwebsites.com/

Lianne’s Loft – Fine Art

A Warm Invitation

A Warm Invitation