Posted tagged ‘art’

The Saturday Book Shop: December 19, 2020

December 19, 2020

Welcome back to The Saturday Book Shop.

I’m sharing three books today that sort of sum up the moment here in the midst of the holidays, the pandemic, and looking forward with hope and faith toward 2021, even though we still have quite a ways to go.

Almost Everything: Notes on Hope by Anne Lamotte is just the right blend of funny-meets-unflinching faith that I’ve seen described as capturing “life’s imperfect moments perfectly”. She is also the author of so many favorite titles, including the classic Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, which is all the title implies and more. Love it, and have happily followed her writings long time.

Keep Going by Austin Kleon is a gem of a book by a “writer who draws”. It’s full of creative inspiration and reminder-smiles that do literally help keep you going, come what may. He has an excellent newsletter and eclectic fun blog you can sign up for too.  All of his books rock with  wisdom and wit and big riffs of delight.

And finally, Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver. I am grateful to have many many poetry books. Love them all. Especially this one. Mary Oliver and all of her quietly elegant words—which uplift the everyday well spring of nature and life with such a notice-everything-and-tell-about-it open heart—are all time favorites, to be sure. When I was pulling this book off the shelf to snap this photo, a little postcard I had painted for myself and stuck in the book fluttered out. I’d popped it in opposite this poem … seems especially apropos at the moment:

WHAT GORGEOUS THING

I do not know what gorgeous thing

the bluebird keeps saying,

his voice easing out of his throat,

beak, body into the pink air

of the early morning. I like it

whatever it is. Sometimes

it seems the only thing

in the world that is without

questions that can’t and probably 

never will be answered, the

only thing that is entirely content

with the pink, then clear white

morning, and gratefully, says so.

— by Mary Oliver

Wishing you and yours a Very Happy, Peaceful, Healthy, & Heart-full-of-Love-and-quiet-Joys kinda Holiday season❣️

“A book is a present you can open again and again.”

The Saturday Book Shop

December 12, 2020

Welcome back to The Saturday Bookshop!

This first book I want to show you today is near and dear to my heart because it is by my dear friend and internationally-acclaimed artist, Chantal Bethel. I had the honor of getting to design and handle the graphic layout for Beyond the Surface: Art, Discovery, Healing and Transformation—a coffee table treasure filled with 112 full color pages of her beautiful and powerful paintings, mixed media installations, and sculptures, along with a selection of essays, quotes, and poems by various writers, art historians, curators, artists, and art critics. Born in Haiti, schooled in Belgium, and ultimately finding her home in The Bahamas, Chantal Bethel’s work reflects her complex and multi-layered story. Chantal Bethel’s art continually delves “beyond the surface” connecting pieces of her own life with the fullness of humanity’s tragedies and triumphs. To see a flip-through of the hardcover book, click here. The book is available in Nassau at the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas (NAGB) Mixed Media Gift Shop, or in the U.S. and Canada by writing to me here.

NEXT UP IS A GREAT READ & NEW CHRISTMAS CLASSIC

Smelling Roses: A Tale of Connection and Transformation is a debut novel by another dear friend and celebrated multi-talented painter and mixed media artist, Claudette Dean, who also writes poetry and now: brilliant books as well! I was honored and delighted to get to put together the cover design for this new Christmas classic—a tale of different dimensions of tide and time coming together to channel light during the tumultuous era of the 1960s. Sparkling with wit and mystical wonder, the story is amazingly in synch with today’s changing world and the challenges of trusting the growing waves of love rising against huge opposition. This novel is available via Amazon, or check with Claudette Dean via her website. It’s a Christmas page-turner and heart warmer all at once.

AND SPEAKING OF CHANGING TIMES …

With the votes finally counted and President-elect Joe Biden and VP-Elect Kamala Harris bringing new leadership to the United States, it’s important to remember the work that yet needs to be done and to say: Black Lives STILL Matter. Works by gifted new talent, like the marvelous writer/artist Morgan Harper Nichols, and a dynamic collection of black voices curated by conceptual artist Natasha Marin, share life experience alongside longtime greats, such as the legendary writers Maya Angelou and Toni Morrison. And I’m enjoying President Barack Obama‘s memoir so much. Those of you reading this who’ve known me for any length of time know how enthusiastically I campaigned for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. Reading A Promised Land reminds me of his intelligence, cool head, solid strength, and passion for a fair playing field that he brought to bear—all while rebuilding a crashed economy into a thriving one while battling unprecedented political obstruction. I’m cheering now for the election of Senate candidates Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock in Georgia. Even a very small donation to their campaigns at this moment would be a huge gift to a smoother path toward helping us all build back better. Here are links to the titles pictured above:

All Along You Were Blooming by Morgan Harper Nichols

Black Imagination curated by Natasha Marin

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

Maya Angelou: The Complete Poetry

A Promised Land by Barack Obama

..AND A BIG GRATEFUL SHOUT OUT to my longtime dear friend and bookshop connoisseur and mentor, Vanessa Hammill, who specializes in designing books about the history of her family’s native North Carolina, while also handling special orders and classroom recommendations for teachers and professional groups. She has a wide depth of book knowledge about all sorts of books, and first introduced me to classic children’s books, way before my now-just-graduated-from-college-daughter was born. These classics were well-worn with happy repeated readings. I dusted them off here from the storage box of childhood keepsakes. Well worn and well loved. Such wisdom in children’s books. And I am especially enchanted with the vibrant and joyful art and illustrations of Eric Carle, Lois Ehlert, and Ashley Bryan.

… well, I see the clock has just ticked past midnight as I type this, so here’s hoping you’ll enjoy this chapter of The Saturday Bookshop even if you’re not seeing it until Sunday morning! I forgot how long it sometimes takes to link things up on blogs! (smiles) The wonderfully self-fluent writer Havi Brooks says “All timing is right timing.”  I love that. And I’m very much enjoying sharing about my love of books here, and it would be wonderful to hear what you’re reading, or looking forward to reading, or any longtime book favorites. See you next week & happy reading!

“Books are a present you can open again and again.” 

Ocean and Sunset Artist Trading Cards

April 12, 2016

Ocean.ATC.Stirred.Sea

Creating Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) with the fabulous Helga Strauss Stevens of ARTchix Studio was a big part of how I discovered my love of making collage and mixed media art.  It’s also how I made the e-acquaintance of the delightful artist, Lenna Young Andrews, who is hosting an Ocean & Sunset themed swap of these small, almost-business-card-sized works of heart—all made just for the love of art and sharing the joy with other artists and crafters!

I couldn’t resist this theme, especially with such glorious sunsets by the sea and crystal-clear aqua waters around here.baby.turtle

Sunset.Inspiration.WestEnd.GBSo, I set out to have some fun with warm tones and cool blues, making 3 of each theme (and a couple extras for personal swapping). I started with watercolor paper and acrylic paints for the Sunset cards … yellows and oranges and a touch of red mixed in with some gold highlights:

1st.Layer.SunsetATCs.2016 2nd.Layer.Sunset.ATCs.2016 3rd.Layer.SunsetATCs.2016 4th.Layer.Sunset.ATCs.2016For the Ocean cards, I let my love of gelli-printing on tissue paper lead the way and started layering that in with various bits of collected paper (and vintage ARTchix sheets):Tissue.Paper.GelliPrints.4Ocean

Beginnings.Ocean.ATCs

With all the backgrounds ready …

Ocean.Sunset.Backgrounds4ea

… I started browsing through my stash of image sheets from ARTchix, and paired pictures with some other wisps of paper, stamping, some typed “by the sea” words (on yellow tissue to blend with the paint), and little embellishments to bring the ATCs together … I kept the colors separate in the Sunset & Ocean themes (warm and cool), but loved playing and mixing the themes together in the content, with bathing beauties and sea creatures cavorting on the Sunset cards too! The little veined marks in the backgrounds of some of the Sunset cards (almost reef-like) was made by letting a little water into the paint mix and pressing the cards together … it added to the blending of the colors and I’m totally in love with how water creates these little rivulets—patterns that show up in paint, in tree roots and branches, in underwater coral fans, in our veins, in trickling raindrops … it’s an organic flow that shows up everywhere water makes its mark!

Sunset.ATC.Seahorse

Sunset.ATC.BySea.w.Fish

Sunset.ATC.bySea.Flower.Shell Sunset.ATC.Love.Sunsets

Sunset.ATC.BySea.Mermaids

A quick picture of the fine line needle tip applicator that I used for putting little gold highlights on the cards—shown in front of my beloved trusty 1955 Royal Quiet Deluxe typewriter—I love pecking collage words out on this machine as much as I love hearing the carriage return bell DING!

fineline.applicator

I finished off the backs of the Sunset cards with snippets of polka dotted papers gleaned mostly from odd bits of wrapping paper and smudges of paint in the same warm tones … just because I love dots dots dots … and paint!

Sunset.ATC.Seahorse.Back

Totally enjoyed finding more bathing beauties and images and sea-inspired touches for the Ocean themed cards … snip, snip, glue, stamp … there’s even a thin layer of clear pouring medium over the blues to give them more of a water feel …

Ocean.ATC.LiveIN.Sea

OceanATC.EnjoyToday

Ocean.ATC.MerryMermaid

Ocean.ATC.Beachcomber

Finishing them off on the back with more polka dots, along with Starfish postage stamps from The Bahamas (they have especially pretty postage stamps in The Bahamas that I seem to use more in collage than in mailing letters! 🙂 )

Ocean.ATC.Card.Back.ET

Thank you, Lenna, for hosting such a wonderful swap—I really enjoyed the process of making these—and what fun it will be to find ATCs from other artists waiting for me in my mailbox in a few weeks!! Swaps swirl with shared joy and the glow of art enthusiasm … just like sunsets and the oceans of creativity sparkling out there … enjoy!!

A New Dance of Color & Light

December 14, 2014

Intuitive Acrylic Painting. I am enjoying it so much; making marks and layers … allowing images to emerge … loving the dance of color and fluidity, ideas and movement to flow onto the canvas and learning to trust the process, the choices, the Now.  Here are a few abstract pieces I’ve finished, and a close-up detail of a work-in-progress that’s still on the easel:

The Natural Structure of Vibrant, acrylic on canvas © paula boyd farrington 2014

The Natural Structure of Vibrant, acrylic on canvas © paula boyd farrington 2014

Color Jazz, acrylic on canvas © paula boyd farrington 2014

Color Jazz, acrylic on canvas © paula boyd farrington 2014

Undersea Soirée, acrylic on canvas © paula boyd farrington 2014

Undersea Soirée, acrylic on canvas © paula boyd farrington 2014

In Flowers, mixed media (paper on acrylic on canvas), work-in-progress © paula boyd farrington 2014

In Flowers, mixed media (paper on acrylic on canvas), work-in-progress                              © paula boyd farrington 2014

With thanks to my dear friend and amazingly talented artist, Susan Moir Mackay, for encouraging me in all creative endeavors (including Life!), and to Flora Bowley for sharing her process and brave intuitive work via her fabulous Bloom True course. So grateful for all the beauty and inspiration and grace and textures and forms and wonder in this wide world of ours—all just waiting to be embraced on canvas! So happy to be a-twirl in line and shape and shades of creative bliss when I’m painting.  And even when I’m not. The process seems to spill over and start painting new perspectives on loving what is in all the layers of day-to-day.  May the joy of whatever you like to do and make and just be with bring you an ongoing source of satisfaction and serendipity, especially in this season of loving generosity and holy (wholly) grace-full and heartfelt spirit.

 

Stars & Angels

December 24, 2013

L'ange (angel) mixed media collage ©2013 by paula boyd farrington

L’ange (angel) collage ©2013 by paula boyd farrington

Love came down at Christmas

Love all lovely, love divine

Love was born at Christmas,

Stars and angels gave the sign.

— Christina Rossetti

(A Merry & Blessed Christmas to All!)

What A Marvelous Mantra

October 1, 2012

Flying Party

May 25, 2012

Image

the flying party · mixed media artist trading card (c) paula boyd farrington

I’m up early listening to the birdies sing. They sound full of extra-joy this morning after several days of steady rain. (I often wonder where the birds perch in heavy rain, don’t you?) I enjoy the cozy feeling rainy days bring with them. Extra gratitude for home and hearth; extra awe at what strong powerful curtains of water those tiny raindrops can make when they flow together … extra pleasure at cool rain on your skin that won’t be denied even with the best raincoat! Extra time inside for catching up on projects and savoring art.

artsy mend · mixed media artist trading card (c) paula boyd farrington

I made these artist trading card collages several weeks ago for the ARTchix Studio Bird Swap where delightful bits of work by fellow artists wing their way to you while you fly some art fun back to them. I also just happily found out I won some “feathers” and other fab art embellishments designed by artist Lenna Andrews, as part of ARTchix’s blog giveaway. You can see the gorgeous art bits here that will soon be enjoyed in my messy thrilling little art nest!

flying goodness collage · artist trading card (c) paula boyd farrington

A dove just landed outside the picture window I’m facing as I type this; we are graced with lots of them in our garden. This morning’s soft sun is a pleasant change for the doves and for me and everything looks even more vibrantly island-green after the long soaking rain. I love the rain. And the flying parties after the stormy weather. And the ART, rain or shine!

9 Rue Royale · mixed media collage artist trading card (c) paula boyd farrington

Bahama Blue Bathing Beauties

May 30, 2011

The color BLUE dazzles in The Bahamas. Countless variegated shades of aqua, cyan, cerulean, azure, sky, royal, indigo, and sapphire surround us in the shifting seas and are celebrated in all kinds of art—including these artist trading card collages I created for the blue-themed ARTchix challenge.

 

I loved making these vintage Bathing Beauty mixed media collages. The backgrounds came from photos of tropical-water-hued fabric prints in my fashion wardrobe, photographed and printed onto paper, then layered with some retro-fun ARTchix Studio images and historic postcard text.

I love splashing into waves of blue and frollicking in art.

Tra-la.

 

Making Something Bright & New from Your Old Calendar

January 11, 2011

A brand new year means a brand new calendar. But what do you do with your old one? Sometimes I save it as a keepsake of the year’s events, but this year I decided to recycle it into something new and useful thanks to the ARTchix Studio challenge to make something out of your old calendar. My 2010 calendar was full of beautiful and whimsical illustrations and heart-brightening quotes from a company called Brush Dance. The name Brush Dance got me thinking about giving my paint brushes a fun new container to shimmy in and out of in 2011. Next thing you know, an old holiday cookie tin was being repurposed and jazzed up with a collage of inspiring images from the old calendar, mixed together with some retro-cool ARTchix graphics. Here’s the 360 degree view, together with wishes for a New Year painted with love, a playful heart, and plenty of reasons to smile.

Shades of Blue Bliss: Water Inspiration

December 10, 2010

Blue Bliss: Water Inspiration 8821 © christine matthäi

Artist Photographer Christine Matthäi has created an alluring and intriguing series of images inspired by the changing shades of blue and blissful reflections of what surrounds and supports us most—water.  Her travels to Grand Bahama Island and watching the wind and waves create motion, reflecting the sunlight on our gorgeous clear sapphire seas, is certainly part of her ongoing inspiration and fascination with water—that life-giving source vital to us all. Take a look at these modern, contemporary art works:

Blue Bliss: Water Inspiration 9589 © christine matthäi

Blue Bliss: Water Inspiration 8789 © christine matthäi

Blue Bliss: Water Inspiration 9587 © christine matthäi

Blue Bliss: Water Inspiration 9592 © christine matthäi

Blue.Bliss.Water.Inspiration.8908

Blue Bliss: Water Inspiration 8908 © christine matthäi

If you are interested in prints for your home or office, write to the artist at christinematthai (at) mac (dot) com and note the image number in the caption.

Or take a look at all Christine Matthäi’s gorgeous contemporary portfolios by clicking here.

I am fortunate to call Christine a friend, and am posting this because I admire her incredible talent and brilliant work. As with all things I enthuse about here, it’s simply because I enjoy it and like to make the world a brighter place by sharing the good stuff!

That said, I DO have a vested interest in my husband’s printing company—Freeport Advertising & Printing—a Grand Bahama-owned full service printing and graphic design business here since 1973. If you would like to win a big beautiful 24″ x 36″ inch, fomecore-mounted print of one of Christine Matthai’s images (your choice of the ones shown above), just click here to subscribe to their free Printer At Work newsletter. You can see a sample issue by clicking on the Printer At Work button on the bottom left side of the screen. The newsletter is a quick read, with great tips on marketing, design, technology, and ways to save money and  increase business sales. It comes out every two weeks, so you won’t be getting tons of email or anything. There are even a couple fun cartoons in each edition. (And of course, your email address is safe with us and will be kept private.)

Okay, that’s it. If you’re already a subscriber or have an account at FreeportAdvertising.com, you’re already entered and eligible to win. Subscribe by January 1, 2011 to be eligible to win the print. A random entry will be drawn by over-caffeinated gerbils, or some objective technological wizardry, and the winner announced the following week.

If you want to leave a comment here letting me know you’ve subscribed, or which print is your favorite, or just to jump in and say the water’s fine, that would be wonderful, but is completely up to you.

And if you need some last-minute Christmas cards printed, or little notepads with people’s names on them as thoughtful gifts, I know just the place! (that was the last commercial plug–but aren’t imprinted personal things so cool?—okay that was it, really … I get on a roll and can think up all kinds of fun goodies to print!)

Enjoy the blue bliss of water that surrounds our wonder-filled island and makes us all fortunate in business … in beauty … in life … each and every day. In gratitude for the time and tides—Paula.

It's about the water. It's always about the water. Southern shore of Grand Bahama Island.

 

 

 

 

 


%d bloggers like this: