Category Archives: Art

Writing 101- Day Two: “A Room With a View”

Day Two – A Room With a View:   

* Today’s Prompt: If you could zoom through space in the speed of light, what place would you go to right now?

* Today’s Twist:  Organize your post around the description of a setting.

Growing up in a family of seven children, not to mention the fact that we were a low-income family meant that the only places we ever went to were school, church, and our close relatives for the holidays. And to reach those destinations, we took a school bus to school, a city bus to church, and our relatives would pick us up to bring us to their homes because we didn’t even have a car. During my childhood, we never went on a vacation because we simply could not afford it. This did not mean that my childhood was unhappy. I had a wonderful childhood and I don’t feel as though I missed out on anything. But I did dream of traveling to other countries. And the one place that I have always wanted to visit is Rome, Italy.

Why Rome, Italy? My heritage stems from Irish, German and French descent so it’s not because I want to go to the home of my ancestors. And while growing up there was no one that I knew who had ever traveled to Europe, much less Italy. To tell you the truth, I’m not even sure when this idea of traveling to Rome entered into my thoughts; all I know is that one day it was there and I still long for such a dream vacation.

The Eternal City has a long history which is detailed throughout its churches, monuments and restored ruins. It offers so many sites to see that it would be difficult to choose only one: the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the Pantheon, the Piazza Navona, the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, Castel Sant’Angelo, Palatine Hill, and Vatican City itself. It could very well be that my love of history is one of the reasons why I’m so interested in visiting.sistine chapel 1

But the one place that I could never miss in my trip to Rome would be the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City. The Sistine Chapel is located in the Apostolic Palace, which is the official residence of the Pope. Not only does it serve as a place of religious and papal activity, but it is also the place where the papal conclave occurs when the time comes for the election of a new pope.

I can imagine myself walking through the doors of the Sistine Chapel, but in this experience, there is no one in the chapel but me. There is a hushed, almost reverent silence as I stand there alone. The soft light from the late afternoon sun is streaming through six arched windows sistine chapel 2mounted high on both sides of the chapel. I also notice life-size statues of various saints standing tall between each window.

The walls on the left are decorated with magnificent frescoes of scenes from the Old Testament depicting The Life of Moses. And the frescoes on the right sistine chapel 3wall are as equally magnificent and are scenes from the New Testament depicting The Life of Christ. They are stunning in their beauty and I am fascinated by their meaning.

And then I look up to see what I have always longed to see. There it is. Michelangelo’s famous painting of the Sistine Chapel ceiling.

 

 

sistine chapel 5

 

I gasp as I am awestruck by its beauty. It is truly an amazing work of art. There it is in all its glory – nine scenes from the Book of Genesis – and the most famous one of all I recognize immediately: The Creation of Adam. I can see the Creator stretching out his arm, his hand, his finger to Adam, giving him life, and I am filled with the wonder of it all. How did the artist Michelangelo ever do it? Such talent, such dedication, such love he must have had for his art.

sistine chapel 7My eyes are reluctant to leave this wondrous scene, but I follow the painting on the ceiling to the altar wall, which leads to Michelangelo’s other great work, The Last Judgment, which depicts Christ as the Judge, who compels the damned to hell with his left hand and lifts up the saved to heaven with his right. Surrounding Christ are the planets, the sun and the saints. This is a very powerful work and moving beyond words.

As I turn to leave the Chapel, I glance upward at the ceiling one more time, trying to burn in my mind and memory an image of The Creation of Adam. I realize that I could obtain an image of it anywhere, perhaps at the gift shop right next door to the chapel, but it just wouldn’t be the same as seeing it with my own eyes here in this place alone with my God and all the beauty that surrounds me. And I am grateful for this moment in time.

 

blogging-university-blogging-101 1000

Advertisements

Share Your World – 2015 Week #14

What type of music relaxes you the most or do you prefer silence?

Let’s face it. In today’s world, life can be stressful. There is just no way that a person can have a stress-free day every single day of their life. There’s bound to be something, somewhere, sometime during the week that is going to cause tension in our lives. Maybe it will be a stalled vehicle in the middle of rush hour traffic which causes the commute to work to be even slower than usual. Or maybe you didn’t get the contract that you bid on and were counting on getting. Maybe the kids have been acting up lately and you just can’t seem to be able to deal with them. Or maybe you just had a bad hair day. Whatever the cause, we all should be able to have that one thing to do, one place to go, or one person to talk to that will make us feel better. Right?

But whenever I’m stressed out, there’s one thing that has always helped to make me “feel human again,” and that’s music. The reason for this is that I can listen to the kind of music that will fill my needs at any given moment. If I need music that is uplifting, then perhaps I’ll listen to a dose of spiritual music. If I’m feeling sad and blue, then maybe some rock and roll music is in order to cheer me up. Music can transport me into another world. It can take me away from all the stress and all the worries of life. It can soothe and comfort me. Music makes me feel better. But my favorite relaxation music is classical music. And there are so many wonderful classical pieces to choose from such as: Pachelbel’s Canon in D, Grieg’s Morning Prelude, Debussy’s Clair de Lune, Saint-Saens’ The Swan, Gounod’s Ave Maria, Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, Bach’s Air on a G String, and Dvorak’s Largo from Symphony No. 9. These are but a few of so many marvelous classical masterpieces that can help you relax and lift your spirits. Try it out and you’ll see what I mean!

 

 

 

Show us a two of your favorite photographs. Explain why they are your favorite.   

me and girls on bridge 1This photograph features me and my daughters Sarah (left) and Stephanie (right). It was taken on Mother’s Day of 2013 with a Mother’s Day surprise gift from them. My daughters are big on surprise gifts, especially to me because they know I love good surprises. They planned a day of manicures and makeovers including facials and hair styling at my house. Then my son-in-law Axel (Sarah’s husband) showed up and drove us to a local park where we had a mother-daughter photo shoot at locations all over the park. This photo was taken on one of the bridges over a creek. It was the best Mother’s Day ever and I’ll never forget it because my daughters made it so special for me and it will be a memory that will last forever in my heart.

The next photograph is one of my handsome husband Mike and my also handsome son Joe. It was taken at our daughter Sarah’s wedding in August of 2012. This is one of my favorite photographs of theMike and Joe at Sarah's wedding two favorite men in my life because to tell you the truth, I think the last time we had a photo taken of just the two of them alone was when Joe was about ten years old and playing hockey! I know! Isn’t that awful? But for some reason, we just don’t have a photo of the two of them alone. There always seems to be one other person in the shot. But isn’t this photo awesome? They both look so sharp in their suits, but even more than that, they look so happy and I just think it’s a great father-son photo, don’t you? Oh, how I love these two men in my life! My heroes!

What is your favorite tradition? (family tradition, church tradition, whatever)

game 1If you’ve been “sharing my world,” then I’m sure that you’ve figured out by now that my family is very close-knit. While our three children were growing up. we did all the usual things that family do together, such as sharing family meals, going to all the innumerable school functions and after-school activities, summertime barbecues, vacations, social functions, church every weekend, celebrating all the holidays together, getting together with our relatives, and just spending time together as a family. But my favorite tradition is that whenever we get games 2together for the holidays, whether it be Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, or even when we just get together for a family meal or “just because,” we always, always play some sort of game. Our family loves to play games. We’ve been playing games with our kids ever since they were young, beginning with Candyland and Chutes and Ladders. So now, whether it’s a game of Catch-Phrase, Trivial Pursuit, or Charades, whenever I ask, “Who wants to play a game?” the answer is always an emphatic: “I do!” We chat, we giggle, we high-five each other, we groan, we roll our eyes, we debate, sometimes we argue, and sometimes we laugh ourselves silly! But we always have fun, and that’s the very best part of all.

If you could go back and talk to yourself at age 18 what advice would you give yourself?  

Wow! If I could go back to age 18, I know exactly what I would tell myself, because now at the age of 58 I know what my greatest regret is. I would tell myself to listen to what my high school counselor told me when she said: “I think you would be best suited to become a teacher, Cindy. I think you should seriously consider going to college specifically to work in the field of education.” But no. Not me. I teacher apple 2wanted to become a medical secretary. How I wish I would have listened to her. As a matter of fact, I did attend a technical vocational institute for a year and did become a medical secretary. I did work in that field for eight years and was very successful, but then I discovered it just wasn’t enough for me. So I attended nursing school during the evenings while working full-time during the days. After receiving my R.N. I worked in the operating room for twenty-three years and I did truly enjoy it. I felt as though I was making a real difference in people’s lives. It was a very rewarding career. But I know now that I did miss my calling. I have volunteered as a religious education teacher at my church for younger students and while I did that, it was then that I realized I should have become a teacher. There really is no finer profession, I think.  But while I was working in the operating room, I was able to use my teaching abilities as one of the nurses who trained the new nurses into the department, so all was not lost.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

me and Steph at Caribou Coffee Easter weekend 2015I am so grateful that I was able to spend the last week with my youngest daughter Stephanie, who was home from college on her spring break. It was just so nice to be able to have quality mother-daughter time with her, just to chat and be together. She was awfully busy while she was here catching up with old friends, so her time was precious, but the time that we did spend together was awesome. On Saturday we took a couple of hours and did a little shopping followed by coffee at a local Caribou Coffee shop. It was nice to get out of the house and away from everything else that was going on and just be alone together. I didn’t want our time together to end. It’s great to know that she’s doing well in her master’s program, her music is going great, and she’s heading in the right direction. She just made me smile. I love her so much, as I do all three of my children. I will miss you, Steph!happiness is looking forward to something

This week I’m looking forward to having cataract surgery on my right eye, which will be on Thursday. The last one on my left eye went so well that I’m not expecting any problems, but I’m still just a little nervous, but not as much as I was the last time. After all, it is surgery, right? Anyway, after the surgery, there will be only three more visits to the ophthalmologist and then I’m done. No more glasses. Forever. Wow. I can hardly believe it. My life is forever changed. It is truly amazing!

So now you know a little more about me.

I’m glad we had this time together and I’d like to thank you for spending it with me. I’m so pleased that I was able to share a bit about myself and my world with you and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

Best,

Cindy's signature with flower and butterfly

 

 

 

 

share your world

 

This post is presented as part of the Share Your World Challenge. If you’d like to be part of this great activity, please click here:

Cee’s Share Your World Challenge

 

Artzine: What is Art?

starry night

First, let me say that I was totally thrilled when my friend and fellow blogger, Wren, invited me to join a collaboration of bloggers called Artzine, a project which was created by the lovely Khana. Artzine is a monthly project featured on Khana’s site where “we can share our experiences, thoughts and feelings regarding art.”

After looking the project over, I thought the project sounded very intriguing and just like the kind of project that I would love to be involved with, so of course, I gladly accepted her kind invitation.

But first I must warn you: I am not an artist. The best I can do when it comes to drawing, sketching, or painting people is that of stick figures. I’m not kidding! I do, however, have a good sense of color. And sculpting? I must say that I make a pretty fair ash tray from Play-Dough along with the best of them. But I am aware that there’s more to art than just drawing, sketching, painting, or sculpting. And that’s what brings me to the first question.

The question for this post is this: What is art anyway? What does it mean to you?

I think the definition of art is going to be different for everyone. You know the saying, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder?” Well, I think that art is like that, too. I think that art is in the eye of the beholder as well. What one person sees as art another person may see as a piece of of junk or as a bunch of scribbles. It’s all in how you look at art, I think. I think that art is very subjective. Everyone’s tastes are different.

For instance, I adore art from the renaissance period, but pop art – not so much; whereas my daughter loves pop art but does not care for art from the renaissance period. I know this because we have gone to art exhibits together before so I know her tastes, just as she knows mine. She can see things in pop art that I just cannot for the life of me see. I just don’t get it, but she does.

I also believe that art can be anything that is created. I’m not talking about only painting or sculpting. But let us also consider music. Is that not art? Are not musicians artists in their own right? They create masterpieces of a different kind, and those masterpieces, the music, that they create can touch your mind, your heart, your very soul, can they not? This is why I believe that music should be considered as art.

There’s all kinds of art all around us. I myself create art when I make my quilts. And what about a master carpenter who creates beautiful wood furniture? Is that not art? And what about a dancer? Is not the dance an art in itself? What about a singer? Is not the song he or she sings not their art? I think there are countless kinds of artists that I could not even name them all here.

I think that art is any work that stirs us, moves us, or touches our mind, our imagination, our emotions, our heart, our soul.

I love being an artist. I love to create things. As I said before, I am a quilter, and when I’m creating quilts, I am at my best. I’m also a singer and I play the piano. When I’m making music, I am the most happy I can be. I’m a writer, and when I’m writing, I’m at one of the highest points I can be at. I am an artist at heart, so yes, I love being an artist. So I guess you could say that art means a lot to me, and I never even realized it until I had to answer this question. Art is life. Life is art. What more is there to say?

QUOTE OF THE DAY:  “The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.”  ~ Aristotle

 

artzine-header33