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dose of wisdom
“Each night, when I go to sleep, I die. And the next morning, when I wake up, I am reborn.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

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Daily Reminder

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“The great lesson from the true mystics is that the sacred
is in the ordinary, that it is to be found in one’s daily life,
in one’s neighbors, friends, and family, in one’s backyard.”
Abraham H. Maslow

Little Secret

 

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dose of sanity

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dos (dose of sanity)

Do not chase people. Be you and do your own thing and work hard. The right people who belong in your life will come to you and stay. – Wu Tang

dos (dose of sanity)
“Better to fight and fall than to live without hope.”                                                                                              Volsunga Saga, CH 12

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Art Tells Stories

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Treasure Hunt 2015

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SYMBOLS
Most of my images in my work symbolize deeper consciousness and desires, i.e. birds represent freedom, spirit, innocence, children.
Trees symbolize power, strength, life and death, growth etc.
the title, Treasure Hunt symbolizes our passage through life, all the little houses and squares are like the paths we take, journeys we follow and decisions we make during our lives.
The ladders represent the possibility to escape, as well as the possibility to reach to higher elevations. The girl on the limb represents the child in all of us and our need to make decisions and follow our own path regardless of fear or opposition.
BEHIND THE SCENES
I like to combine materials, imagery, styles and genres in my work,
The challenge comes in unifying these elements in a cohesive way.
I work on panel and do a huge amount of “math” throughout the process – i.e. adding paint and subtracting (scraping) it. I like to take risks and try new methods of applying paint or other materials.
MY MUSES
As many of you know, I have worked with kids for 25 years. I am fascinated by their curiosity, their living in the moment and by their honest and unbiased artwork. I also love outsider art, folk art, primitive art and anything that is “unschooled”, chalk drawings on the sidewalk, marks made by workmen etc.
IMPETUS
This piece was a sequal to a piece I called “Fear of Heights”. Both pieces represent childhood fears that carry over into adult lives.
When I was little I loved climbing trees but I remember once I climbed up a water tower. When I got to the top I froze and found I couldn’t move. I stayed there for many hours, and finally found my way down but with shaky limbs and a pounding heart. And yes, I am still afraid of heights, ask my sisters and mom about flying with me, haha…
MORAL
Never stop trying to find and follow your path regardless of your fears, and if you can’t overcome them, then accept, embrace, meditate, breathe, pray, beg and take valium when needed :

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dos, (dose of sanity)

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dos
“‘Tis a lesson you should heed:
Try, try again.
If at first you don’t succeed,
Try, try again.” …
William Edward Hickson

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evolution of the process of a commission piece.

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I was recently honored to be asked to paint a commission piece for friends of mine who are getting married.

I worked for about a month and 1/2 on this piece.  It went through many other stages and cycles, but I edited out the majority of shots to show you the main progression of its evolution without getting too convoluted.

So, this was the process:  We sat down for an initial visit and they described through words, symbols and images the way they met, the unique similarities between themselves and their families, the unusual parallel between their two worlds as well as the fragility of love and the fear of loss.

Together we chose the size, main color scheme and composition for the layout and discussed a few other factors.  They left the rest up to me.  They descriped many things but what stood out for me was this:  When they started dating, they lived in seperate communiities and had envisioned a hot air balloon hovering between them where they could meet.

I decided to use this symbol as the main image for the piece.

THE PAINTING PROCESS

1.  After Alan built the panel, I sanded and applied the first layer of stained poly to the sides.  I scraped the panel thorouhgly and applied a layer of ground, (gesso).  After this dried I applied two very thin layers of spackle allowing each layer to dry thoroughly before the next.   I then painted the first coat of blue for the background.

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2.  I painted the 2nd layer coat, a paler blue, and sectioned off the bottom.  (I shot it from an angle so it looks lopsided, but it’s not :)

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3.  I applied the 3rd coat leaving traces of the undercolor and a 2nd coat on the bottom which would serve as the border color for the grid.

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4.  I stressed and weathered the panel with a razorblade and sandpaper and glued yellow tissue paper in areas for a textural effect and color variation. I measured out a grid on the bottom section and painted the 3rd coat, leaving traces of undercolor between the grid.

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5.  I worked over and around the tissue paper, added clouds and lightened the sky, which gave it more of a sense of depth and atmosphere.  I stressed elements and re-worked areas which needed attention.  I lightned the green of the grid leaving traces of undercolor.

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6.  After searching through endless air balloon images onine, i chose several of my favorite and combined elements from each that I would use for the main image.  I sketched out the hot air balloon and applied the initial coat, using a ruler and pen for the tiny ropes.  I re-worked several sections many times, adding and deleting aspects of the balloon.

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7.  I lightned the sky and added more clouds, some in front of the balloon to show depth and most behind.  I reworked the balloon, implementing and transforming color, depth, detail and design.  After several attempts I chose the location, length, and shapes for the ladders.  I wanted this symbol to convey the idea of seperation and union, love and fear.

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8.  I selected images  for the grid that related to their personalities, their interests and professions in addition to personal touches, and adhered these to the surface.  I added frames around the images and scraped and stressed the boarders.  I painted a middle line to the top of the balloon, more detail and color, and re-worked the ladders and sky.  I included the burner and flames under the balloon, a little flag in the basket with the first initials of the couple, and small details on all the objects.

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9.  I darkened the ropes and lines in and outside of the balloon, added several coats to the balloon, darkened the areas around the ropes, added shadow and washes.  I stressed and added umber to the collage, as well as the edges of the piece, highlights to the ladders and balloon.

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10.  I included a little red sandbag hanging from the basket.  I lightened areas of the sky again, repainted cloud coverage, detailed with color pencil, ink and acrylic.  I added repititious dots to the top of the collage and highlights again overall.  Once again added highlights and shadows and reworked the tip and basket of the balloon.

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11.  I re-worked small details and cloud coverage, final touches all around.  I screwed in wire on the back to hang and applied 2 more coats of stained poly to the sides of the piece.  I polished and burnished it several times with oil allowing it to dry between coats and signed, titled and dated it on the backside.

and…walah!

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dose of sanity

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best sugars

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mindbodygreen – best sugars

 

1. Raw honey

Why I like it: I’m a bit obsessed with raw honey given all of its uses and health benefits. Raw honey has natural enzymes that are great for digestion, has antimicrobial properties, antioxidants, and small amounts of minerals and vitamins. Its GI is a lot lower than sugar, around 35 to 50 depending on the type.

Note: Conventional honey is pasteurized so lacks these beneficial raw enzymes, and has an extremely high GI. So always opt for raw, and if you can afford it, try Manuka honey, which has the most enzymes.

Uses: So many! I use it as a face wash/mask as it’s great for acne. It’s also great for fighting a cold, so if you’re getting sick, there’s nothing better than a warm ginger tea with lemon and raw honey. It can even help with cuts/burns.

And if I need a tad of sweetener in my teas, oatmeal, smoothies, or homemade desserts, raw honey is my go-to.

2. Maple syrup

Why I like it: First, it tastes delicious. But also, it contains lots of antioxidants, small amounts of minerals, and it’s lower in calories than honey. It has a lower percent of fructose (around 35 percent) and lower GI (around 50 to 55) than sugar, so it’s less likely to cause a spike in your blood sugar.

Note: Make sure it has only one ingredient—100 percent pure maple syrup (with no added high-fructose corn syrup or other additives).

Uses: I use it in salad dressings, for sweet veggie recipes, to bake my granola or healthy desserts, and, of course, to drizzle on pancakes!

3. Stevia

Why I like it: Stevia extract is derived from the South American stevia plant, which has been around for centuries. It has no calories and has very little impact on your blood sugar. If you don’t mind the taste, this might be your #1 option.

Note: Make sure you buy 100 percent pure stevia extract; try to avoid stevia in most packaged products and packets that are processed and not pure stevia. Also, it’s important to use sparingly as it’s over 100 times sweeter than sugar (and can have an aftertaste).

Uses: I use a VERY SMALL amount to sweeten my smoothies, chia puddings, or oatmeal if they need a tiny bit of extra sweetness. It’s also great to sweeten homemade lemonade or tea. It’s not great for baking, though.

4. Coconut palm sugar

Why I like it: I love everything coconut! It’s made from the sap of the coconut palm, less processed than refined sugar, and retains some of the nutrients found in coconut. It’s claimed to have lower GI (around 35) and less fructose versus regular sugar (as coconut sugar is 70 to 80 percent sucrose). However, in terms of calories, it’s the same as sugar.

Uses: I use it just for baking in lieu of regular sugar.

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daily dose

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dos, (dose of sanity) dedicated to the victims and families of orlando xo

If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. Mother Teresa

and…

“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.” 
― Audre Lorde, Our Dead Behind Us: Poems

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THREE QUEENS IN CHICAGO TRIBUNE

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Last-minute food gifts for the localvore
Maple goodness
Michael Tercha / Chicago Tribune
Appreciate the nuances of maple syrup with a bottle (or two or three) of organic Three Queens Maple Syrup. Inside bottles, wrapped in artist-designed labels, you’ll find the early-season rare Amber, a very-maple Dark or end-of-season robust Very Dark, all made with sap tapped from trees on a Westby, Wis., farm. A 12-ounce bottle: $12. threequeensorganic.com.
Whether your holiday gift list is peppered with food lovers, serious cooks or those who seek sips for chasing winter’s chill, we have a few ideas. Local artisans have a sleighful of goodies perfect for stuffing in a stocking, presenting to the host of a party or gathering up into a gift basket. Here are a few favorites. Many are available in area stores; check websites for purchasing details.
— Judy Hevrdejs, Chicago Tribune

http://www.chicagotribune.com/dining/ct-food-1216-local-foodie-gifts-20151210-photogallery.html

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