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I know; I’m a little late for New Year’s. One friend teased that I am so late, I even missed the Chinese New Year. I hope my readers are having a fab 2012.

I have been preparing the studio and websites (and myself) for another busy year. Some projects have had to wait, but now I am getting back to actual art, after catching up on the mundane business side of things.

For the sake of reclaiming studio space, I will be auctioning some of my art cache over the next month or 2. Like many artists, I have a stash of artwork I finished but haven’t wanted to let go. However, with space being an issue now, and with no room to properly hang and display so many paintings and illustrations, it is time to find good homes for some of the earlier works– some at prices much lower than I normally offer.

Why do I need more space? I’m glad you asked. The current plan is to do a series of larger paintings. Of course, I don’t work for free, because starving as an artist is overrated. So, get your credit cards ready to help support your beloved painter. ūüôā

For now, there are some of the framed four leaf clovers posted on eBay, in plenty of time for St. Patrick’s Day.

Framed 4 Leaf Clovers

Framed Four Leaf Clovers on eBay

A portion of proceeds is donated to local nonprofit groups. Currently, 10% of my eBay auctions is being donated to Chesapeake Beach Volunteer Rescue Squad; the rest of the proceeds buys supplies and supports the artist, so bid high!

For those readers more interested in the art and photography prints, there have been hundreds of new items added to the soulbearing store on zazzle.com. There are even gallery-wrapped prints on canvas being offered at very reasonable prices, so have a look at soulbearing on zazzle

And, be sure to check soulbearing.com for new art postings in the coming weeks and months.

Thanks for reading, and may good fortune always find you. ūüôā

Coming soon: an update on what’s coming soon.

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Initially, I was more hesitant to fully boycott all goods made in China, since this often only hurts those whom it is intended to help. Typically, those in power hoard scarce resources and it is the rest of the people who suffer.

However, money seems to be what most understand, better than petitions and protests.

If the tainted pet food, lead-paint toys, and cadmium-covered drinking glasses haven’t convinced¬†you to buy fewer Chinese products (or none at all), perhaps nothing will.¬† But I will try to convince you anyway.

I admit that I myself have been less than fully conscientious when it comes to buying various personal and household products.¬† I haven’t always looked at the “Made in” labels, and at times I have gone for the lower price the “Made in China” stamp offers.¬† No more.

As an artist/individual who has at times been too outspoken for my own good, I can easily imagine myself in a similar position to that of dissidents being “detained” or “re-educated”, which is perhaps why the arrest of Ai Weiwei has struck such a chord.

So, I recently contacted Zazzle.com, which handles the art prints and gift merchandise I offer through the soulbearing store, and asked which items are produced in China.  They responded very quickly that all of their product manufacturers must comply with fair labor standards, that many products are made domestically, and that the mugs offered are produced in China but printed here in USA. 

It is important to note that Zazzle.com is a fabulous company offering high quality merchandise and prints from many fabulous artists.¬† However, I cannot in good conscience keep offering items produced in China since I object so strongly to the Chinese government’s¬†current treatment of¬†its own people. ¬†As lovely as some of the mug designs were, and as much as it pained me to cease offering them, I had to ask myself: Which is more important? Humans or mugs?

Of course, it’s a no-brainer.¬† So, the mugs are no longer available through my store, and if I find that any other products are manufactured in China, I will do “close-outs” and cease offering those items too.

I realize it is only a drop in the bucket.  But, while I doubt my individual act of protest will make a huge difference alone, I do hope it will start a trend of boycotting goods made in China, until the Chinese government upholds its promises to allow more free thought and expression.  Enough drops in the bucket can create a flood.


Now that the new site is up and running at http://soulbearing.com, the soulbearing store on eBay will¬†be closing.¬† Don’t worry, there will still be chances to bid on items for auction on occassion (look for the id “slynnette”), and auctions will be announced here.¬† But, the new store/gallery will handle most of the art sales.¬† This will allow me to better focus on providing quality art and service, without having my attention¬†divided by having to¬†maintain multiple stores.

There isn’t a set date for closure of the eBay store, but the move should be completed within the next couple of days.¬† So, if you’d like to purchase something there, visit http://stores.ebay.com/soulbearing

If you are on one of my email lists via eBay, the email service will be discontinued after the eBay store closes.¬† The good news is that you can now subscribe to email updates via this blog, and you will receive an update when there is a new post here.¬† Just click the “subscribe” link at the top of the page.

Many thanks all the wonderful buyers and sellers who provided support and encouragement, and I hope you all visit and support the new site!


Readers who do not know who Ai Weiwei is should start googling (or wait until the end of this entry, where there is a link to a Frontline segment about the artist).  Here are the basics:

He is a most impressive and very outspoken Chinese artist and activist, who was recently arrested by the Chinese government (presumably for doing what artists do: asking questions and expressing observations).

Many are upset by the arrest and it has rapidly been dubbed by many as an “international incident”, particularly since officials will not reveal his location, condition, or clear reasons for the arrest.¬† He has been missing for about 3 days now.¬† So far, there is only a vague statement regarding suspicion of “economic crimes”, although the accusation is as suspect as was the “sexual assault” charges against Julian Assange¬†immediately¬†following the Wikileaks release.

There was also a chilling statement regarding the artist “paying a price for his special choices”.

But why does it matter?¬† It’s China’s internal affair and everyone should back off and let them handle it, right?

In Western culture, we often take for granted our freedom of expression, and it may seem clear to some¬†that many of us are still evolving and developing the skills necessary to cope with this freedom and use it responsibly.¬† There are some legal limitations, but overall the limits placed on our¬†free speech seem reasonable.¬† (For example, one can be arrested for yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater if¬†there is¬†no actual fire, or for threatening physical harm to another person.)¬†¬†

One of our¬†most important¬†freedoms stemming from our freedom of expression is the freedom to question and even criticize our government.¬† This may seem disrespectful in some cultures, but in ours it is expected.¬† It helps¬†keep government accountable… at least to some degree.

Another¬†of the benefits of the free sharing of ideas is that it allows all of us to learn from each other.¬† Agreement isn’t necessarily necessary.

It may be the points on which we disagree that allow us to learn the most, and to grow in a direction more beneficial to ourselves and those around us, provided we are open-minded enough to tolerate varying perspectives and reasonable enough to discuss issues peacefully. 

When the Chinese government silences voices like those of Ai Weiwei and the countless other artists and activists it has silenced, it steals from itself and from us all.  It steals the insights, perspectives, and ideas which may have benefited its own future generations, and ours too.

And, by not speaking out when one is able, one is quietly condoning it, and it spreads as a blight.

If you’re not convinced of the importance of standing up for our fellow human beings when they cannot, consider the following quote from a survivor of Nazi Germany:

¬†“First they came for the communists, and I didn’t speak out because¬†I wasn’t a communist.¬† Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.¬† Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.

Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak out for me.”

–Martin Niemoller

 

Government oppression is not “ok”, and “cultural differences” are no excuse.¬† Speak out.

If you don‚Äôt act, the dangers become stronger.‚ÄĚ ‚Äď Ai WeiWei in PBS Frontline video ‚ÄúWho is afraid of Ai Weiwei?‚ÄĚ


I enjoy photographing floral still lifes, rural scenery, and so on; I’m sure it shows in the quantity of these types of images in my collection.¬† I also enjoy painting and illustration, particularly abstracts.¬† This combination of interests eventually led to the question:¬† Can a photograph do what a painting does? (If you’re not an artsy type and don’t get it, read on anyway.¬† No, I’m not really going to explain, but there are important insights and links to buy stuff so I can keep painting.)

Digital photography and image editing software have made it incredibly easy for artists and amateurs alike to create attractive pictures; as evidence of this, there are literally billions of nice looking images on the internet. 

But, as an artist who prefers painting abstracts, making pretty photos can sometimes become mundane.  My solution for this has been to seek unusual angles, unusual subjects, macros, and other techniques which result in images that appear more abstract.

It started a few years ago with a photographic tribute to Jackson Pollock’s artwork.¬† Viewers stared curiously at the tangles of light and dark, wondering what was the inspiration for choosing to photograph these particular things,¬†then grinned at the moment of realization that it wasn’t really about the things (It rarely really is.).

This led to more images done in tribute to other abstract painters, like images inspired by Rothko’s glowing squares:

Minimalist Skylight by S.Lynnette

Minimalist Skylight by S.Lynnette (This image is available on a variety of products.)

Heavenly Light in the Loft by S.Lynnette

Heavenly Light in the Loft by S.Lynnette  (This image is available on a variety of products.)

Or, more recently, more images reminiscent of the abstract expressionists like Pollock:

Trees in the Snow

Trees in the Snow by S.Lynnette  (This one is available in large prints on canvas! and a variety of other products.)

Of course, I haven’t given up the floral and rural photography.¬† I do still like pretty pictures:

2011 Floral Calendar

2011 Floral Calendar by S.Lynnette (Nature and Rural Calendars and other products are also available.)

And some images are even available on jewelry now:

Owl Necklace by S.Lynnette

Owl Necklace by S.Lynnette

So if you see the abstract art and¬†photography, and think to yourself “What on earth is that?”, don’t panic.¬† I still haven’t completely given up making pretty pictures.¬† If you’d like to see more, you can shop for merchandise printed with my images, or better yet, shop for original art.

(Originally posted by S.Lynnette on soulbearing.com, December 29, 2010 at 06:00 PM EST)

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