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Category Archives: art & photography


Remember when I said I have some good news to share?

After years of refusing to create anything, in spite of my nudges to get back to drawing and painting, my mother would not return to making art.  Until now.

For many years, my mother was a professional artist, and was very good at it.  However, after she became ill, she stopped creating.  It’s rarely a good sign when an artist stops creating.  I nudged, I pestered, I gently requested, I nagged.  She refused to create.

But, she recently picked up a camera and started making photos.  When I saw them, I suggested letting me post some of them online, and she’s agreed to it.  Yay!  The plan is to add some of them this week, along with the photos of the new framed 4 leaf clovers.

When I asked how she wanted to be credited, she said “Just use my name… *Mom*”, and grinned.  So, that is how they will be credited when I post them.

Then she said something that nearly brought tears to my eyes.

“I want to put the money toward your student loans.”

The student loans I accumulated in college weigh heavy on me, even though my current payment arrangement seems pretty fair.  The interest is piling on faster than I can pay the bill, and the debt just keeps growing.  It’s my only large debt, and it keeps getting larger, even though I have been out of school for several years now.  It’s one of the things that keeps me awake some nights, and it’s one of the reasons I have been doing fewer charity auctions.

It’s interesting that we are judged no matter what we do.  If we do not go to college and end up struggling, people will say “you should have gone to college”.  If we go to college and end up struggling, people will say “you should have just gotten a ‘real’ job”.  This really has nothing to do with the rest of the story, though.  Just a passing observation of “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” in action.

Of course, now, in spite of the realization that it is so great that my mother is creating again, and it is so touching that she wants to use that to help with one of my biggest stressors, it upsets me that my stress has washed into her thoughts.  My student loans are not something she should be worrying about.  But, if that’s what makes her start creating art again, I suppose I’ll take that.

But the whole situation got me thinking about how many others are in the same boat.  We’re not allowed to file bankruptcy on student loans.  There is an income-based repayment plan, but it does not leave the debtor anything for savings.  They can defer the loans, but only for a couple of years during the entire life of the loan.  And, the debts count as assets for the lenders, similar to the way the housing loans counted as assets a few years ago.  It all seems like a dangerous mix on a large scale.

So, I started this petition: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/483/761/623/

Someone asked, “Do you think it’ll do anything?”

I have no idea.  It was born of frustration, and I do not even know how many people will see it.  Currently, at 23 signatures, the petition has already exceeded my expectations, and with so many who are struggling with student loans, I’m sure there will be more signatures.

I’m not sure what happens when we tug at this thread.  I know I would much rather pay off my student loans than file bankruptcy.  But it isn’t fair to trap so many people in excessive debt either, especially when education is for the betterment of everyone– or at least, it is supposed to be.  So, sign the petition and share it.

 

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I know it’s been a long wait, but there will be new paintings and drawings on the website soon!

And, the newest frames for the four leaf clovers have arrived!  It’s a new style, and I know it will be as popular as the current frame style has been.  The current selection is almost gone, so if you want the current frame style, get them fast!  I will likely discontinue that frame style when it is gone, and there are just a few pieces left.

But, wait! There’s more!

I will also be adding some new designs, photos, and products to the soulbearing store on zazzle! (At the moment of this posting, the zazzle site seems to be undergoing maintenance and the store page will not open, but this should be remedied soon. So if it won’t open for you, try again later.)

I have a few more plans also, but one thing at a time! I’ve kept everyone waiting long enough for more new originals.  The plan is to have it all added within the next couple of weeks– I’ll keep ya posted!

 


I have this habit of not titling paintings, which (among other things) eventually led to using numbers for identification purposes. Most buyers are perfectly fine with that. But when one of my biggest supporters mentioned it being a bit of an issue, I had to give it some thought.

What’s in a name? After all, “a rose by any other name…”.  Many of the “master artists” left their work untitled. If you wander around any art gallery, you’ll find many works titled “Untitled”, or with titles given by collectors and curators so the work could be more readily identified in records.

But what else does a title do? It gives the viewer a clue when interpreting an image. It can be a hint or confirmation of the intended message. It can add impact.  After all, without its title, The Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living would only be a dead shark, preserved in a fish tank– still visually interesting work from an interesting artist, perhaps, but the title makes it more thought provoking.  Plus, without a title, it would probably have been just a little less marketable.  Just imagine if he’d gone with a name like “Pickled Shark”… or “Someone Killed This Just So You Could Come Look at It”.

And, without its title, Onement 1 is just a stripe on a background.

Personally, a part of me still feels like the work should be able to stand on its own, whether it has a name or not.  I find myself wondering, how many things would we still buy if not for the poets who bestow names and flowery descriptions?  Part of me objects to titling, partly because it resembles a sales pitch.  However, it does give the artist an additional tool, and another way to influence viewers.  It’s another way for artists to express ourselves, or to clarify what we are expressing in the artwork.

I’m still undecided about the value of a title.  But, for the sake of everyone else, I think I will name my work more often from now on.  If nothing else, it will save collectors and gallery curators the trouble of inventing names when I am gone.


There is still so much to add, but I’ve added a couple of hundred new items this week, with 4 new previously unreleased images.

Fans of the rural, rustic, and natural images will love these.

There are new black & white floral photos:

New natural texture photos:

New charcoal sketches of cute critters:

And charcoal sketches of rural scenery:

All artfully reproduced and printed on a wide range of products, including phone cases, tshirts, collectors’ plates, household goods, ornaments, and more!
Happy shopping!

Oh, sure.  The snow is pretty.  But it’s cold.  And wet.  And I am looking forward to the warmer, sunnier days of spring– not to mention all those pretty, colorful blooms!

Listening to the winter wind howl, I’m patiently waiting for the earliest blooming flowers to “spring” to life again.  Here, the daffodils, forsythia, and pink magnolias are among the first flowers to poke out their petals.  It’s just another month or two, I tell myself…  Meanwhile, I have photos to hold me over.  I hope you like them, too.

These beautiful images and more are available, and can be printed to order on a wide variety of useful products at http://www.zazzle.com/soulbearing — You can even customize them!


Some readers have noticed it has been quite some time since my last post, and since the website was last updated.  While I’d like to say I was away on some exotic photo shoot or relaxing at an art retreat, the truth is I have been struggling with a severe bout of depression.

When my grandfather passed away a little over 2 years ago, I was able to repress the grief for some time, but then finally the realization came– he is gone.

As a small child, I sat on his lap during church services, drawing on the church bulletin.  He is one of the biggest reasons I eventually chose to study and create art, because those early memories are among the best I have.  Since his passing, most attempts to paint or draw have only reminded me of how much I miss him.  I was on the brink of throwing in the towel, tossing out the art supplies, burning whatever paintings remain, and closing the website, not because I do not want to continue this line of work, but simply because at times it just felt like too much to take on in the midst of depression.

However, my supporters, friends, and clients have been determined to drag me out of my mental muck, and for that I am thankful.  From the friend who reminded me that the portrait of his dog still means so much to him even after more than a decade, to the stranger who ordered some of my ornaments on Zazzle knowing her loved ones will have and cherish them even after she is gone (hopefully many, many years from now), to the customers who ordered lucky clovers to give a boost to their own friends– all of you have helped me to realize… it is not really about me.  It is about leaving the world in better condition than it was in when I arrived, and how my work makes others think and feel.  In other words…  It is about all of you!

So for now, I am putting away my self-pity to make room for more new art & photography, more new additions to the Zazzle store, more auction listings, more 4 leaf clovers, and eventually more “Nonprofit of the Month” posts.  And, the main website should be updated soon, so be sure to check out http://soulbearing.com for the latest art & photography releases and lucky clovers, and for links to order prints of my work from Zazzle.

And, because all of you allow and encourage me to keep doing what I do, you have my eternal gratitude.

Thank You.


Some of my readers and zazzle followers may have noticed that the prices in the soulbearing zazzle shop did not increase at the end of December as planned.

This is because, as a gift of appreciation for my promoters and customers, I have decided to leave the current merchandise at its current price. Newer merchandise will be introduced at the normal prices, but previous listings will remain at the reduced price. Thank you all for your support, and have a great 2013!! 🙂


I awoke early one winter morning just before sunrise to find it had snowed.  So, I grabbed my camera, bundled up, and rushed out to find a good spot to wait for sunrise. I’m definitely not a morning person, but this was worth being out unusually early… in the dark and freezing cold… shivering… and did I mention how early it was??

But the pink sunrise reflecting on the snow was so amazing, I soon forgot the cold, and hurried to take photos before the moment was lost. Now some of those photos are available in the zazzle shop, printed on wrapped canvas.

And, these photos are available printed on all sorts of other goodies, so have a look.  And, while you’re browsing, check out the original art paintings for sale at soulbearing.com.
Happy shopping!!

Two new abstract art paintings have been posted at soulbearing.com!!

Unraveling the Unknown is a hypnotic composition of spirals and swirls in reds, yellows, oranges, and blues, ready to hang in your home or office to mesmerize guests and visitors.

The Life of a Spark is a high contrast, action-packed mix of vibrant yellows and blues, with a splash of orange– perfect for lovers of anything intense and unusual.

Both paintings are great for anyone looking to add a unique pop of colour to home or business.

Fans of vibrant colour, motion, and expressionism will love these.  And, no additional charge for shipping!!

unraveling the unknown, abstract art painting

unraveling the unknown, abstract art painting

the life of a spark, abstract art painting

the life of a spark, abstract art painting


Have a peek at the new look in the Soulbearing zazzle shop!!

It’s received a makeover to coordinate with soulbearing.com and this blog.  While soulbearing.com offers fab original fine art and abstract paintings and real 4 leaf clover gifts, the zazzle shop offers hundreds of photos and images artfully printed on dozens of products, from phone cases and necklaces, to posters and canvas prints, for a total of almost 9,000 image/product combinations.  Happy shopping!!  🙂

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