Monday, October 24, 2016

Sea Glass – There’s Magic in the name and Romance in its History

What is sea glass?  Where is it found? Why do so many colors end up together in one location? What can you do with the beautiful gems you’ve found?

Before you get all excited about gathering some for yourself, be aware that many beaches restrict taking any glass away. And some of the best places to find glass are out of the way locations that may be difficult to reach.

The following site explains where this glass comes from and how long it takes to make the smooth rounded pieces that people seek.

The Colors of Sea Glass
Where Do They Come From?

...Just where do the colors of beach glass come from? Sea Glass is simply old glass products that were thrown into the sea, but, "Sea Glass is JUST GLASS, like Diamonds are JUST ROCKS"©

It takes decades for broken glass to "become" sea glass.
If you think about it, the common colors of sea glass, Green, Brown & White are still in wide use today......Rarer colors of sea glass are pieces that the color has not been made or used commercially for many years.

“We have broken the colors into rarity categories, it is a general rule and not to be carved in stone (or glass!) as certain colors can be found more readily in some areas. For Example, lavender glass can be a rarity in some areas, yet abundant in Maine & Canada; but hardly ever found in the islands. Next time you're in an antique shop or flea market, look at the glass items and see if you haven't found a piece of glass this color!

“By The Sea Jewelry is proud to offer the finest Genuine Sea Glass Jewelry in just about every color of sea glass in the world! This glass knowledge is based on 28 years of collecting and decades of researching the origins of our glass.”

The rough and tumble journey back and forth in tide water creates rounded corners and a smooth surface. The colors become almost translucent. If you find some in a shop or from an artist, check it out carefully to make sure it is real sea glass and not fake. The color and clarity can give you clues.

Google has a wonderful search bar where you can find just about anything. They have a guide to show you where to find sea glass, a book on how to tell if it’s real, and items that are made from this precious glass. Remember that what makes it valuable is the origin of the original glass, and the years it took to tumble it into a smooth, clear stone.

GOOGLE LINK: All about Sea Glass

There is a difference between fresh water glass and sea glass that is made smooth and beautiful by the salt water. According to the following link, there are also legends attached to this fascinating wonder of the world. Sailors long ago thought that the blue ones were mermaid tears that spilled ashore.

For some more history and help with identification, go to:  Glass Beach Jewelry  

This remarkable gift from the sea can be yours for a price, unless you’re lucky enough to find one of those hidden coves where the tides have come and gone for hundreds of years. Many of these pieces will still be in a state of development. Their edges may be sharp; their size may be small, and their shape odd.

But if you persevere, you may find a colorful stone that possesses that clear see-through sparkle. If the color is rare and the size is large you may have the beginnings of a treasured necklace or the centerpiece of a priceless mosaic table.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Building Habits that make Painting Daily Automatic

"Queen of Diamonds"  20 x 20 mixed media on canvas
If your paintings could talk, what would they say?  I think mine would want me to set them free!  They would want me to let loose instead of trying to control every move. We’ve all been taught to think carefully before we make a brush stroke and to know what we’re going to do before it happens. But that creates anxiety doesn’t it? If you’re like me my hand begins to shake and I stress over “getting it right.”

“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it.” Jon Barrie, author of Peter Pan from Jan. 2015 Woman’s Day.

Those doubts tighten your muscles, the flow of paint, and the release of energy that makes your composition exciting. Having a well thought out plan is one thing. Allowing spontaneity to occur and to alter your initial concept is when the “magic” happens.

“A watched pot never boils.” When you keep too tight a reign on every stroke, every composition, or you over analyze your progress, you may miss out on something enchanting and remarkable. Let it happen! Just do it.
"Cafe' Costa Rica" 20 x 20 acrylic on canvas
If your paints could talk, what would they say? Mine would be angry with the disorganized mess, with the damaged caps from using a nut cracker to get them off, and the crimped twisted tubes, etc. A neat freak I’m not! I get so caught up in painting I sometimes forget that a neater pallet and a more organized paint box would actually make my job easier.

Recently I subscribed to Eric Maisel’s “Sunday Newsletter: Emotional Healing”. With my free subscription, Eric had a free gift: “The 97 Best Creativity Tips Ever” by Eric Maisel, 2011 all rights reserved.

I’m going to share with you the first 10 tips on Eric’s list.

1.  Be consistent in showing up. Getting to your creative work only once in a while won’t keep it alive. Make “routine” and “regularity” sacred words!

2.  Who knows how many artists fail because the light that shines through them is refracted in a thousand directions and not concentrated in a single beam? Pick projects and complete them! It is not really possible to work on a thousand things at once.

3.  One of the best ways to help yourself create every day is to craft a starting ritual that you begin to use regularly and routinely. When your ritual becomes habitual you will find yourself moving effortlessly from not creating to creating.

4.  Make the following pledge: “I will do some creative work every day, if only for fifteen or twenty minutes.” Honor your pledge for the next two weeks and spend fourteen consecutive days creating.

5.  Looking for only the perfect time to create? Forget about it! You are always in the middle of something so it is right in the middle of things that your creating must also happen.

6.  Even small amounts of time can be used for creating. Do you make use of fifteen minutes here and twenty minutes there?

7.  Are you good at capturing your own creative thoughts? Or do you let them slip away by telling yourself that they weren’t really all that good or all that important? Stop that! Start right now doing a better job of capturing and recording your ideas.

8.  You must reckon with your own character. Creativity requires curiosity. Are you curious enough? Creativity requires risk-taking. Are you willing to risk? Creativity requires energy. Can you marshal and unleash your energy? Creativity requires patience. Have you cultivated that quality? Turn yourself into the artist you need to be!

9.  Telling our truth can bring us pain and get us into trouble, but worse pain and worse trouble await us if we keep silent. Tell your truth—carefully, artfully, and courageously!

10.  Say yes to your creative work! Avoid maybe like the plague. Maybe is a state that takes you right to the edge of meaninglessness. Maybe plays to your weaknesses, your anxieties, and your doubts. Maybe frustrates you and disappoints you. Avoid the maybe trap!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Fall Harvest has Inspired Artwork through the Centuries

"Auburn Nights" 20 x 16 Oil on canvas
Autumn’s color and crisp clear weather define my favorite season of the year. Pumpkin fields, apple orchards, and yellow cornstalks turned into scarecrows on doorsteps. The smells of bonfires, burning leaves, wieners and marshmallows roasting on sticks. The colors of yellow ochre, red orange, burnt sienna and raw umber capture the mood and the feeling.

When my children were still of trick-or-treating age, we’d pile into the car and drive out to a favorite farm where we’d purchase apples for making sauce and jack-o-lanterns for carving.

Ripe and delicious the wares tempted us to buy candied apples or sometimes stay for fresh apple pie and vanilla ice cream. Crunchy leaves underfoot accented the fun as we carried our finds back to the car.

Sometimes we’d buy a large jar of golden honey dripping with goodness to be used in cooked cereals and hot teas. Grandma would take some of the sticky stuff and make spun taffy rubbing her hands with butter and stretching the hot concoction until it was almost white. The sugar-sweet candy melted on our tongues.

On Halloween night at our house, I made a big pot of chili that the children were not too crazy about eating. But when they returned from “trick-or-treating” with their father in tow, they had to down a few bites before they were allowed to open their bags of candy.

At our house, Halloween costumes were hardly ever purchased. Every year, we scrounged the house for possible costume parts. After many Halloween celebrations, we ended up with a large costume box filled with various themes and sizes. The box was a big hit with neighborhood friends; and, for years, provided hours of entertainment for the children throughout the year.

The Raggedy Ann and Andy costumes my husband and I wore to an adult party were in the box plus the simple white pillowcase with cutout eyes and a cottontail glued to the rear.

Ears were tied with string and the white cotton case could become a rabbit or a sheep depending on how tall the toddler was and how long the ears.

One year I became a Geisha girl using a silk Japanese robe my son had given me. I wound pantyhose around a 1960’s fur hat and turned it into black towering hair.

After my face was painted white and makeup had been applied, I finished my “look” with white stockings and black platform thongs. My friend said that was either the ugliest costume she’d ever seen, or the best one there; she couldn’t decide which.

Many people go through life wearing disguises of one kind or another. They hide behind a false front and then take off their mask when in their own familiar surroundings.

We all try to make a good impression and put our “best foot forward.” We want people to like us. But there comes a time when the masks either come off willingly as people try to gain intimacy or the disguise is revealed painfully later on. The adage “better late than never” doesn’t work in this case. In relationships the “sooner the better” you find out the truth the better.

In your interactions with others watch for these red flags:
  • Outbursts of anger or temper tantrums. The person’s mask sometimes slips to reveal these important inconsistencies. They may apologize profusely and have convincing arguments for their behavior, but trust your own gut instincts. If the other person is covering up an uncontrollable temper, imagine the fireworks when the mask comes off permanently!
  • Irrational behavior. Tirades, spending or eating binges that come out of nowhere may be deep-seated and bubble to the surface when a hot button is pushed. This person may have emotional issues that are way out of their control and probably yours.
  • Public outbursts. If causing a public scene doesn’t bother them, then erratic loud behavior in private may be the “norm.” When their own actions don’t embarrass them, nothing you can say or do will make any difference. If you dislike public displays, make a fast exit from this person.
  • Treatment of other people. How they treat their mother or other close relatives may tell you a lot about their history and habits. If they treat strangers and outsiders better than those who are close, beware! This type is a performance artist always looking for applause and admiration. Around family they really let their hair down. Courtesy and thoughtfulness go right out the window.
  • Beliefs and values are out of step with actual behavior. Some people brag about being honest yet they look for every excuse to justify cheating, slipping into a second movie theater without paying, covering up a mistake or blaming it on someone else.
  • Possessiveness that requires an accounting.  “Why didn’t you call?” “Where were you when I called?” Who were you talking to just now?” You’re constantly bombarded with questions from this insecure type. They doubt your answers. They want to control your time, your friends, even your relatives. They smother you with affection, but it’s just another means of control. They want you all to themselves. Your life, your needs, your wants suddenly become smaller and smaller until you disappear altogether.
  • The green-eyed monster disguised as love. “Were you flirting with him?” “I saw you smile.” “Your line was busy for 30 minutes! Who were you talking to?” As the song goes: “Every move you make, every turn you take, I’ll be watching you.” When the mask finally comes off, it becomes obvious the only person they love is themselves. With this jealous man or woman you’ll feel guilty even when you’re not. You can’t do anything right. Being human is a sin.
  • A raised fist, a not-so-gentle jab may just be the beginning. Physical abuse is escalating behavior. In the beginning it may start with shouting and name-calling. Eventually the threats turn into action. If you see a glimpse of this when the mask is still on you’d better watch out! When they’re in their comfort zone they may take the velvet gloves off.

Watch out for those red flags, not only on Halloween, but every day of the year. When the smile and boasting phase is over and the disguises come off, be sure you don’t end up with a real goon or ghoul!