“Versatile -Blogger- Award”

I’ve been on WordPress for almost a month now and I’m still learning how to use parts of it, including all the social memes and such that go on in the  blogging world. I was recently twice nominated for the “Versatile Blogger Award” which is basically a way for bloggers to recognize eachother and pass on other blogs they like, I guess helping bring new viewers to eachother’s sites. I don’t usually participate in this kind of stuff, but I think it’s a good way to scatter more viewers around to new pages, connect people and show appreciation for others’ work.

The rules of accepting the “award”:
1] Thank who nominated you in your post.
2] Share 7 things about yourself.
3] Pass the award along to 15 other blogs you love and let them know (if you’re on WordPress, I notified you).

So, thank you, “youasamachine.com” for nominating me. She runs a blog encouraging others to maintain their bodies through everyday health and fitness, specifically using their own body weight at home.

Also, The Four Rooms, thank you for your nomination and kind words. I have just started looking through his blog, but it centers around the concept from an ancient Indian proverb that we all are a house of four rooms: Mental, Physical, Emotional and Spiritual  “Most of us tend to live in one room most of the time but unless we go into every room every day, even if only to keep it aired, we are not a complete person”.

  1. I’m in love with music and my kitty of 17+ years.
  2. I was born deaf in my left ear but had tubes in for the first few years of my life. I now have super acute hearing, 20/15 vision and see magical weirdness in the air :)
  3. Favorite [colors] iridescent, crimson, white, black, maroon, turquoise.
  4. Favorite [food] pear gelato, chocolate, raspberries, Italian pizza, cheese, mango, nutella, pesto.
  5. My passions are neurology, psychology & development, theoretical physics, children, music, art, astrology, geometry, patterns in spirituality through time/cultures, the exploration and progression of quantum theory and the relationships between them all.
  6. I am Polish, German, Irish, Romanian, English, French.
  7. I had a Near Death Experience at age 6 from head trauma during a bike accident, was on the news. I remember my experience existing elsewhere. This was and continues to impact my perception and acceptance of reality, life and death.
[images are my ode to iridescence]
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h u m a n – L ❤ v e

photo: Mary Black Foundation

How exciting it was to wake up and find my post on street art had been *Freshly Pressed* and seen by so many people! A few days before this, I had installed a site meter which included geolocation where I can see the cities and/or countries of my visitors. I am in love with the world, traveling and meeting people from different cultures so it’s interesting for me to know where someone has read my thoughts. It was fun to see all the different countries and read through the supportive comments.

This post is an ode to that experience, to the beauty and variety of our species  and to all the ways people from around the world come together: art, music, internet, traveling, ideas, etc. Thank you everyone, for your kind words! The main point of making this blog was to reach out, connect and share myself with anyone who happened to be interested and I feel blessed. Love!…

photo: Jillian Zamora Photography

photo: Volkstudio

photo: John Harvey

photo: Carrie Mae Weems

photo: Mike Milosh

photo: Tim Navis

photo: Gleaton

photo: Chenman

photo: Igor Amelkovich

photo: Samar Jodha

. … ❤ … .

>> S t r e e t . A r t <<

The two final quarters of my Bachelor studies were done on contract in Europe. No classes, teachers or classmates; just me exploring a dream, soaking in all I possibly could. I wrote many papers, one of my finals being a 16-pager on “European Happiness: An Eastern Perspective on a Western World” where I focused on certain aspects of European culture that I observed contributing to their expression of identity and search for happiness. Some areas of studies were public art, graffiti and architecture. I have included pieces from my paper below on street art (don’t mind the citations) and pictures of pieces that I love from around the world.

by Eelus, "nesting" in London

by Inti in Paris. Photo: Yoyolabellut

In an age of such complex political systems governing over so many people, many are left feeling oppressed, unheard and hopeless in their individual voices. Although a crime in almost all areas of the world, graffiti is gaining serious respect as an art form and popularity as a powerful means of self-expression. It can be careless defacement, but at its heart exists as public expressions using pictures and words carrying artistic or political messages.

by Herakut. Portsmouth, UK

by Fintan Switzer, "Adam". Killarney, Ireland

by Iemza. Reims, France

Painting on our surrounding environments has been fulfilling our need of  expression for thousands of years. Graffiti comes from the Italian word “graffiato” which means “scratched” (Bingham, 2010). Forms of graffiti can be traced all the way back to ancient cave paintings, hieroglyphs, and even sayings, names and drawings of politicians found on building sides in the remains of Pompeii (Barbieri, 2008). It has since become one of the largest artistic movements of the 20th century.

3D street painting:

by Edgar Mueller. Dun Laoghaire, Ireland. Geldern, Germany. by Julian Beever

Edgar Mueller. Russia

Many artists say it is not out of boredom or personal vendetta, rather a way for an individual or group of oppressed people to get their message to the masses in a way that cannot be ignored.  Often intelligent, shocking, powerful and/or humorous pictures and slogans are used to gain attention and make people think. A famous example of this is the Berlin Wall in Germany. After its construction separating the West from communist East Berlin, the people of the West protested the Wall by defacing it in some of the most powerful, political and emotional graffiti of modern times (Bingham, 2010).  The messages and styles within graffiti speak of the cultures they reflect at the time of creation.

This is Banksy… An unidentified British graffiti artist who has traveled the world leaving his famous marks behind, including on the Israeli West Bank barrier. Banksy is very popular and controversial. I recommend watching his film called, “Exit Through the Gift Shop”.

Do the times shape the artist, or does the artist shape the times?

West Bank barrier

^^^ Banksy section. End ^^^

When we take an art history course, or buy an art history book from a store, we are told about the same artists over and over and are directed to what is “good art” and what is worth our time and energy to focus on. I am not sure who made these determinations, but some may argue it is an opinion of a few that is being shoved down the throats of many (Howells, 2003). Regardless of their medium, graffiti artists are able to reach a certain depth of human emotion and experience, which is exactly what art at its best does. It makes you think and feel in real, powerful ways. It opens doors to release emotion and lets others know they are not alone in their human or political frustrations.

Unknown. East London

ROA. Vienna, Austria

Moose. Reverse graffiti

by Alberto de Pedro. Aranjuez station Madrid, Spain

<<>.<>>

Definitely future posts to come on technique, artists and other pieces…

<<>.<>>

B a r a k a

“Baraka”

A blessing in the form of spiritual wisdom or divine presence. Also a spiritual power believed to be possessed by certain persons, objects, tombs. Hebrew, Arabic, Swahili, Urdu, Persian, Turkish… (wiki)

Baraka is a beautifully powerful film by Ron Fricke, the same man who made “Chronos” that I posted about earlier. They are similar in that they are both non-narrative, time-lapsed films exploring ideas of nature and human existence, but Baraka is much more… intense. It is impressive, poignant, thought provoking and honest.

Baraka was made in 1992 and uses amazing cinematography focusing on the phenomena and interactions of nature and different human civilizations. It was shot in 25 countries and remastered in 2008, taking 16 months and considered by many to be one of the best quality DVDs to have ever been made. “The finest video disc I have ever viewed or ever imagined.” Roger Ebert.

One of my favorite sequences is from the Mausoleum of Shah-e-Cheragh in Shiraz, Iran. I was stunned by the visual beauty and effort of this space.

While having gorgeous scenes that brought tears to my eyes, there are also some that were a bit difficult to watch. There’s nothing “disturbing”, but some scenes involve activities of the modern human world that are meant to be a bit uncomfortable. This film is meant to make you FEEL and THINK in possible new perspectives and broader world views.

Just like Chronos, I recommend watching Baraka in best HD quality.. and loud. I added a trailer for it below from YouTube. There are full versions on YouTube cut into parts or on other online sources. You can also find, rent, netflix, or buy the remastered HD version which really is a huge difference. Enjoy!

***All photos taken from Spirit of Baraka***

t h e * s w e e t * s i d e

[^ cucinafresca.com ]

[ smells-like-home.com ^]

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. M i k a e l a . M a e .

Once upon a college art class, I met an intriguing girl named Mika Jones.

[^Christopher Hills^]

Not only did she have a deep, emotional style to her art that really spoke to me, she was ethereal yet dark and let off a mysterious, alluring vibe. I had the pleasure of working with her a few times in class and was indefinitely charmed. I am so grateful that I get to witness her art and modeling grow, which is inspirational for me as an artist, photographer and a transforming woman myself.

[Maggie West ^]

I recently began reading bits of her writings and I am thrilled. Her stories beautifully drum on the abstract human journey through life, love, pain, darkness and Self. There are not many living, modern-day artists that I hold such creative admiration for, I feel blessed to know her.

. . .

Death liked to be inconvenient and once M asked her why when they had run into one another by chance. It was at a bar in Milan and M was drinking a cappuccino the size of a thimble when death bumped into her, causing her to curse.

“Ciao Bella” Death said with a sly smile and a cat’s tongue. M knew her too well, for death had made many appearances and was too beautiful to forget. M watched coldly as Death snorted white powder up her nose and laughed with electric eyes.

“So you want to know why I keep coming by, do you? Why I keep talking to your friends? Why I have your boyfriend’s number?” M nodded with her hair in her eyes. Why was she even talking to this creature, for she surely was not the woman she disguised herself as? Death kept laughing as she read her thoughts. “Well it’s not because I like you, that’s for sure. Don’t flatter yourself missy, you’re nothing special in the scheme of things.”

“Then why waste your time?” Forcing herself to look Death in the eye finally, stung by the harshness of her tone. Death stroked her cheek and sighed slowly, her shoulders small and fragile with the weight of her breath.

“Because you remind me of me, and I’m lonely too.”

. . .

[^Rachel Q Waniewski]                                                                  [Kelly Withers^]

Her artist page goes by “Mikaela Mae”. She’s studied art in China, Italy, and America and currently lives in Los Angeles, CA. Her work is for sale, she does commissions, tattoo design, vintage clothes/accessories, models and writes.

mikamaejones[at]gmail[dot]com

                                                                                                  [Maggie West^] [^Amanda Paredes of Swae-Photography^]

Tumblr account

Facebook Artist Page

Blogspot

. .Chronos. .

The film “Chronos” was made before I was born however, considering its quality and eternal subject matter, that would be hard to guess. I was first introduced to this by a friend while in Europe last year and I was immediately in love. It is a visually striking, beautiful project exploring “time”.Chronos was made in 1985 by Ron Fricke using customized time-lapsed cameras, set to a soundtrack by Michael Stearns. The title is taken from an ancient Greek word χρόνος or “khronos” which translates to “time”. They traveled to five continents shooting some truly amazing places from nature, past art and architecture, to aspects of modern life.You might recognize a similar shooting style in the well-known “Koyaanisqatsi” film where Ron Fricke was the cinematographer. He also made the films, “Baraka” and “Sacred Site” (I’ll post about Baraka at a later date but I have yet to watch Sacred Site). For me, his films seem to have three things in common: provoking thought, striking imagery, and a powerful experience.

This is a YouTube version of the full movie. Like most visual experiences, I recommend watching this at best quality and loud <3 Seriously, some of these sequences rock my effing face off. So, enjoy : ) …