March 27, 2016

Happy Resurrection Day!

Happy Resurrection Day,
this holiest of days,
to you and your families!

March 22, 2016

Unplug & Go Outside!

A great poster with a great message!
This is not just for kids and their video games; it's for adults, too.
Leave the TV and computer behind and head outdoors.
Take it one more step: leave your phones inside.
How's that for a novel idea?

Who says you have to stay in touch with 
every single person you know
every single minute 
of every single day?
You know who you are.

Be a rebel.
Go outside.

Art by Hollie Chastain.

While you're at it, read my blog post,

March 16, 2016

A St. Patrick’s Day Gallery


Warm St. Patrick's Day wishes
from a gal who hasn't a drop of Irish blood in her veins.
But every year on March 17th, everybody's Irish, right?
Enjoy this gallery and
have a Happy St. Paddy's Day!


March 14, 2016

Meticulous Woodcuts by Tugboat Printshop

Wow! So much detail in this print, can it really be a woodcut?
Paul & Valerie, the husband-wife team of Tugboat Printshop,
are responsible for these amazing works of art.
They're based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Did I mention the detail?
Drawing, then cutting, then printing - such an extensive process.
And so worth it, with astounding results like these.

The piece above is called "Community."
Here's a closer look at it, and then photos of a few more of my favorites.

"America the Beautiful"


Look for more Tugboat Printshop:

Images used with permission from 
Paul & Valerie at Tugboat Printshop.

March 11, 2016

Sweet, Hand-painted Earrings by Jean Cotton Studio

The robin redbreast is a sure sign of spring.
I've sighted two of them! 
Aren't these hand-painted earrings just lovely?

The talented Jean Cotton of Jean Cotton Studio in Rhode Island
paints in miniature to create these wonderful pieces of jewelry.
Take a look at more of Jean's wearable art~

You can find Jean's earrings in her shop on Etsy!

Images used with direct permission from Jean Cotton.

March 9, 2016

Appreciating Alphonse Mucha


I've always been intrigued by paintings such as these, entitled Primrose and Feather.
A unique style...possibly by a particular artist - I had to learn more.
Alphonse Mucha was my introduction to the design style 
known as Art Nouveau, which in French, means "new art."
It was most popular during the years 1890 to 1910.

Born in Moravia (now part of the Czech Republic) in 1860, 
Mucha studied art in Germany and later Paris, where he worked as an illustrator.
The turning point for Mucha came when he was commissioned to create a poster
for the famous actress Sarah Bernhardt and her stage show Gismonda.

Mucha quickly grew in popularity. 
I've chosen to share some of his work that shows his trademark style:
He painted beautiful women with long, flowing gowns and hair,
surrounding them with flowers and adding stylized halos around their heads.
Soft, lighter shades were chosen instead of the usual bright colors of the time.
His posters and decorative panels often were narrow and rectangular in shape.

The Seasons
Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter

Byzantine Heads

The Flowers
Carnation, Lily, Iris, Rose

Precious Stones
Topaz, Ruby, Amethyst, Emerald

Some examples of his work with advertising.


Alphonse Mucha became one of the foremost artists of the Art Nouveau period.

Ivy and Laurel

Enjoy the Mucha Foundation website.

March 7, 2016

The Wonderful Mosaics of Sophie Robins

I'm showing off the brilliant mosaic art of Sophie Robins!
Sophie, of Nottingham, England, is inspired by retro patterns and folk art.
She is one talented artist - see for yourself!

Here's Sophie's website.

Images used with direct permission from Sophie Robins.

March 5, 2016

To the Top of Baltimore's World Trade Center

I've been to Baltimore's Inner Harbor several times, but this time was extra special.
I met two dear childhood friends there for an overnight, a visit that was long past due.
We did tons of catching up and reminiscing, and enjoyed every minute!

Aside from the terrific girlfriend time,
a highlight of the trip was something I'd not done on past visits:
viewing the city from "The Top of the World," the 
observation level of Baltimore's World Trade Center.

Located on Pratt Street at the Inner Harbor,
it's the world's tallest pentagonal building.
How's that for some trivia?

Outside the entrance is a memorial for the Maryland victims 
of the September 11, 2001 attacks. 
Three steel beams from New York's World Trade Center,
twisted and melted into one another, reminded us of 
the devastation of that very sad day in U.S. history.

We noticed that a timeline of that day's events 
was engraved into one side of the marble platform.
It was ingeniously designed in such a way that, like a sundial,
on the 11th of September each year, the shadow of the building
touches each inscription at the time that event occurred.

The memorial continued at The Top of the World with 
a solemn tribute, including photos of the 68 Maryland victims.
The names of all of the 9/11 victims
(Twin Towers, Pentagon and Shanksville, PA)
were etched into the glass windows.

An elevator whisked us up to the 27th floor where enormous windows 
on every side provided dramatic 360 degree views!

Panoramic views of the city and beyond! Magnificent!

Along with other Baltimore landmarks, we spotted the Shot Tower.
A National Historic Landmark, it was part of a gun shot factory from 1828 to 1892.
Molten lead was dropped from the top of the tower, through a sieve,
and into cold water at the bottom, where it became round and smooth.
Fascinating, isn't it?

A birds-eye view of the historic Pratt St. Power Plant,
inhabited by Phillips Seafood, Barnes & Noble, and the Hard Rock Cafe.

Here's the National Aquarium and the historic WWII-era submarine, the USS Torsk.

Looking out across the Inner Harbor to the Chesapeake Bay.

A nice view of Federal Hill Park.

Looking down at the heart of the Inner Harbor.

Back down at sea level, here's the 1854 sloop, the USS Constellation.

Posing with the fleet of Chesapeake Bay "Chessie Monster" paddle boats.

And a shot of the World Trade Center from the other side of the harbor.
Notice that gorgeous sky. Yep, it really was that blue.
Such a beautiful, clear day to take in the Inner Harbor!

Find out more at the Top of the World website.

Another of my posts that may interest you:
O Say Can You See? My Visit to Fort McHenry

Great friends, great times!
Baltimore 2016