My Dark Muse

Moonlit Lake Almansour

Delighted, the moon revels in the dark night

Through the thick blackness, he saunters

Conversing with stars

They twinkle with delight at his antics

He caresses a river softly as it rushes under his touch

Then stoops to kiss an icy mountain peak

The snow caps may sparkle at his sweet embrace

But they do not melt

For those glaciers know that while my muse appears bright and gracious

His core is dark and cold

Yellow Eyes

Ilker - Cat Eyes

Yellow eyes creep out of the night

Eyes glow in the perilous darkness

Silky black fur glistens in droplets of moonlight

Velveted paws glide over the forest floor without a sound

Sharp shoulders stop suddenly

Eyes widen

Muscles twitch and ripple like a secluded lake recently disturbed

Ears focus like radar on a battleship

All is still.

A tail flicks in anticipation as a driver would rev his engine before a race

A flutter in the trees – the starting gun has been fired

A lunge

A crash as weak branches and wet leaves give way

A flash of death in the moonlight


Yellow eyes sulk back into the night

Artist Spotlight: Paulina Barry

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Paulina Barry’s art is all about the story. She creates a character and then reveals their soul in a single image. She is able to transform a picture into a narrative through her mastery of human expression.

Her stylized approach complements her subject matter perfectly. Part comic book – part anime, her art is bold, heroic, and yet thoughtful. Her use of vibrant, sometimes explosive color schemes, as well as striking black and white, augments the mood of the characters she portrays. Indeed, Barry seems to start, not with a concept, but with a feeling, and then builds a scene to best tell the story of that emotion.

In order to bring these scenes to life, Barry draws on her extensive technical skill. Though the majority of her drawings are fantasy-based, they remain rooted in the realities of form and function. Her characters, though stylized, are built upon a strong technical framework – keeping them both relatable and beautiful. Not even her choice of color is random but specifically chosen to create daring focal points and to enhance symmetry.

This technical skill is most evident, however, in Barry’s masterful use of shadowing. She places one inside her character’s mind through her use of light – or lack thereof. In Barry’s art, shadow is more than a tool to create shape and setting. It is a character of its own.

Barry is first and foremost a storyteller. Her strong technical foundation and instinctive understanding of the science of form supports her stylized approach. But, it is the vivid portrayal of human emotion that truly allows one to become lost in the artwork of Paulina Barry.

Love Paulina’s work? Check her out on Deviant Art and Behance, or follow her on Tumblr!

© All Media Property of Paulina Barry. All Rights Reserved.


Flower Son Tran Tran

The following poem was written in honor of a dear friend who immigrated from Vietnam as an adult. It was her strength and the stories of her birthplace that inspired this work.


A delicate flower of my country I am not

I am up before the sun is beating down on wet clothes

Hungry children loathe to leave their warm beds

I shake them harshly

Disinclined groans and hidden faces thank me

Hot food and pungent spices in the sweaty kitchen

A store front

Wares to sew and sell

People wander by

I hurry in and out unnoticed under the vicious sun

No money

Two dollars for a day that never ends

My Husband comes home to rest

He complains his day is long

His tired feet must rest

My boys are hungry

This morning’s food has evaporated into the humid air

Dry clothes must be re-scrubbed

Drenched as they are now with sweat and fatigue

Tomorrow is already begun

And the sun has stolen my sleep

Thank You & Happy New Year!

firework-final-display-1186309 Meyer

Happy New Year!

I would like to start the New Year by saying “Thank You” for being here. This has been an incredible year because of your support. I sincerely appreciate your time and your feedback.

I have been fortunate enough to discover some amazing blogs this year and connect with some truly talented bloggers. You are gifted poets, storytellers, advocates, photographers and art lovers. It has been a pleasure to learn from you. Thank you so much for sharing your art with the world.

I would also like to say a special thank you to the many wonderful artists who have allowed me to feature their work on Every Life is a Memoir. It has been a genuine honor to get to know these amazing artists and to have the opportunity to experience and share their work.

Thank you so much to:

Jimmy Walters – Tatoo Artist

Gabriel Navar – Contemporary Artist

Pelo Blanco Photography

Susanna Tam – Handcrafted Jewelry

Elder Heart and Mission 22 – Public Art Projects to benefit Veterans

Ann Reynolds and Clave Gringa – Cuban Popular Music

Stephanie Chavez – Ceramics

Auburn Symphony Orchestra

And a special thank you to December’s Student Artists:

Anh Huynh

Tigran Arakelyan

Oscar Pearson

Benjamin Mu

I can’t wait to start this year, and look forward to new experiences, new friendships and especially new art! Have a blessed and happy 2016!

Student Artist: Benjamin Mu

Welcome to Student Artist Month on Every Life is a Memoir! With the conclusion of Fall Quarter/Semester, it is important to recognize the talented individuals who have worked so hard improving their skills and working towards achieving their goals. So, this December Every Life is a Memoir will be spotlighting amazing Students Artists.

Please enjoy, show your support, and don’t forget to tell your friends you were a fan before they were famous!

Benjamin Mu:

Our fourth student artist is Benjamin Mu. As an aspiring fashion designer, Benjamin is new to painting. Yet, he is already showing his artistic nature and skill.

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Benjamin’s Bio:

I’m a beginning painter, the above paintings are the first two acrylic portraits I have painted – both completed in the past two months. They are part of a series I am creating of paintings of people who are important in my life accompanied by their pet. I used acrylic because I have never painted before, but I look forward to experimenting with oil on my next work.

My goal in the field is to become a fashion designer. I’m now working on transferring to one of the fashion colleges in San Francisco. As for my influences, I really like the works of Modigliani. I have even copied one of his works in pastel in order to learn from his technique.


©All Media Property of Benjamin Mu. All Rights Reserved.


Student Artist: Oscar Pearson

Welcome to Student Artist Month on Every Life is a Memoir! With the conclusion of Fall Quarter/Semester, it is important to recognize the talented individuals who have worked so hard improving their skills and working towards achieving their goals. So, this December Every Life is a Memoir will be spotlighting amazing Students Artists.

Please enjoy, show your support, and don’t forget to tell your friends you were a fan before they were famous!


Oscar Pearson:

Our third Student Artist is Oscar Pearson. He is a Fine Arts student at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria, CA. He is a gifted artist who sees and explores the many facets of the world around us, then renders it in a way that enlightens his viewers.

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Oscar’s Bio:

Profile Picture, Self-portrait in the mannner of Van Gogh

Self-portrait in the Manner of Van Gogh

I want to make work that my friends like, that professionals respect, and that strangers can talk about. I am a student of Fine Arts at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria, CA. In the past 4 years, I have taken an array of courses including, ceramics, drawing, sculpture, design, philosophy, art history and painting. I have recently traveled and seen museums, galleries, and historical works of art in Rome, Florence, London, New York, San Francisco Bay Area, and Los Angeles. I am trying everything I can, and being sensitive to what I enjoy most. Things as real as nature and as phony as TV entertainment inspire me. In addition to school, I work side by side with a professional potter/sculptor named Darcy Badiali at his studio in Grover Beach. When I am not at school and work I am in a small studio on my parent’s property painting and creating other works. In the near future, I would like to assist other professionals in the field in preparation to be a professional myself, and continue my education in the arts.

Love Oscar’s work? Check out his Facebook page at:


©All Media Property of Oscar Pearson. All Rights Reserved.

Student Artist: Tigran Arakelyan

Welcome to Student Artist Month on Every Life is a Memoir! With the conclusion of Fall Quarter/Semester, it is important to recognize the talented individuals who have worked so hard improving their skills and working towards achieving their goals. So, this December Every Life is a Memoir will be spotlighting amazing Students Artists.

Please enjoy, show your support, and don’t forget to tell your friends you were a fan before they were famous!

Tigran Arakelyan

Our second student artist is Tigran Arakelyan. Tigran is earning his Doctorate in Musical Arts, Orchestral Conducting at the University of Washington. He is a focused, gifted and passionate artist who brings classical music to life for his audiences.



Tigran’s Bio:

TigranArmenian-American conductor Tigran Arakelyan is the Music Director of Bainbridge Island Youth Orchestras, Federal Way Youth Orchestra, associate conductor of Rainier Symphony and the co-conductor of University of Washington Campus Philharmonia. He recently took the Federal Way Youth Orchestra on a two-week tour of South Korea performing 6 concerts in Seoul and Busan.

He recently completed a two-year tenure as the Music Director of Whidbey Island Community Orchestra where he initiated a higher youth involvement, a young composers competition, scholarships for young members, new concerts in different cities on the island, and a growing audience. Arakelyan was an assistant conductor of Whatcom Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Youth Orchestra, Northridge Youth Philharmonic, California State University Northridge Symphony, Discovery Players and a Senior Conducting Fellow with the California Philharmonic (2011, 2012, 2013). He was the Founder Conductor and Artistic Director of Cadence Chamber Orchestra (Seattle), an innovative orchestra that premiered new works and played at unconventional venues. Arakelyan was the Music Director of Lark Musical Society Youth Orchestra in California. He has conducted the Yakima Chamber Orchestra (WA), University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Philharmonia, the Redmond Academy of Theatre Arts, Korean Music Association Choir, Inverted Space Modern Ensemble, Everett Youth Symphony, Venicians One Theatre (Los Angeles) and the Nimbus Ensemble (Los Angeles).

Seattle Weekly described his interpretation of Beethoven’s Symphony 1 as ‘lyrically phrased’ and ‘excellent tempo’. A strong advocate of new music, he has performed regional and world premieres by Iosif Andriasov, Stepan Rostomyan, Jeff Bowen, Jon Brenner, Arshak Andriasov, Felipe Rossi, and Eleanor Aversa among others. Arakelyan conducted the Pacific Northwest premiere of Paul Hindemith Kammermuzik Nr. 1. He is a recipient of Nellie Cornish, Welland Jordan scholarships, Edward Hosharian Award, Cornish College of the Arts Performance Grant, and the first place winner of the Armenian Allied Arts Competition.

Arakelyan participated in masterclasses with notable conductors David Loebel, Frank Battisti, Donald Thulean, David Effron, Neal Stulberg, Michael Jinbo, Lawrence Golan and studied with Dr. John Roscigno and Adam Stern. His flute studies are with Paul Taub, Dr. John Barcellona, Laura Osborn, Dr. Stephen Preston, and Shigenori Kudo. Arakelyan is an alumnus of many music festivals and workshops including the Conductors Guild Workshop, Pierre Monteux School for Conductors, Idyllwild Music Festival, Seasons Festival Academy, and Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival.

He has performed in the Dilijan Chamber Music Series and Rochester Iosif Andriasov Chamber Music Festival. In 2008, he played alongside Sir James Galway during his induction into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Arakelyan is a doctoral student and a Pre-doctoral Associate at the University of Washington under the mentorship of Maestro Ludovic Morlot and Dr. David Alexander Rahbee. Tigran is the recipient of the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) Performing Arts Fellowship for three consecutive years (2013, 2014, 2015).

Love Tigran’s work? Find out more on his web page:

©All Media Property of Tigran Arakelyan. All Rights Reserved.

Student Artist: Anh Huynh

Welcome to Student Artist Month on Every Life is a Memoir! With the conclusion of Fall Quarter/Semester, it is important to recognize the talented individuals who have worked so hard improving their skills and working towards achieving their goals. So, this December Every Life is a Memoir will be spotlighting amazing Students Artists.

Please enjoy, show your support, and don’t forget to tell your friends you were a fan before they were famous!

Anh Huynh

Our first Student Artist is Anh Huynh. She is a young artist and already exceptionally talented!

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Ahn Huynh Bio:

profileanhMy name is Anh Huynh, I am Vietnamese, and I just turned 19 this November.

My favorite mediums are colored pencils and oil paints. I like colored pencils more because I can put a lot of detail into one drawing, and the pencil is easier to use. Though, I like oil paints as well because I can mix the colors easily, and the painting has a depth of space and looks more realistic.

At first, I did not think I would like art at all because, to me, it was only a hobby. When I was in Vietnam, my friends that lived in the same neighborhood were all good at drawing. They would usually draw many famous characters that appeared in the comic books, and somehow I got involved in the group. I have come to like drawing now. My inspiration began when I was in my senior year of high school. My art teacher developed my curiosity and creativity in arts which continues to inspire me to improve my skill.

I was not planning on pursuing art as my major before. However, I am sure now that I want my future career to involve art since, what was once just a hobby, has become a passion. I want to continue to improve my skills, and ultimately become a professional artist.

Learn More About Anh:

Absolutely love Anh’s work? You can connect with her on Facebook and Instagram!

Celebrate the Teachers too!

Mentors and instructors play an integral role in the development of new artists. Thank you to all the wonderful teachers passing on their expertise and inspiration!



Anh Huynh’s teacher fall quarter was Gabriel Navar. He is a talented modern artist and poet, whose contemporary works have been featured in  exhibitions from California to New York, and internationally in both Mexico and Germany. You can read Gabriel’s full spotlight here.



© All student art property of Anh Huynh. All Rights Reserved.
© All instructor art property of Gabriel Navar. All Rights Reserved.

Elusive Lady Muse

Bust:ArturoBenjumedo Benjumeda

Out of reach, among the stars, hides Lady Muse I’m told. Like an ancient goddess, she resides in the cosmos waiting for an exceptional mortal to catch her eye. She searches for an individual gifted with both sensitivity and skill. One who will abide by her desires and bend to her whim.

Once selected, she descends on her new favorite, blessing them with an artist’s inspiration. Still, like many celestial beings that make their home just out of human reach, she is fickle and often leaves as quickly as she came, abandoning her hapless ward. Or, so the story goes.

Yet, despite what I’ve been told about this capricious divinity, I have always found her here on earth, ready to whisper inspiration in one’s ear if one will merely stop to listen. I see her graceful curves playing in the ocean surf. I hear her giggle as a chipmunk stuffs its puffy cheeks. I feel her pride as I stand before an artist’s finished work. I see her sorrow in the tears of a stranger. She is present when new life is born, and remains grieving long after death.

I have never known her to conceal herself within the inanimate expanse of space. Where life exists, where tormented beings struggle for survival and hope reveals undiscovered beauty, there dwells Lady Muse. She speaks through untold stories. She manifests herself within the depths of human emotion and through the experiences that define a life. She stands by with glistening tears as tragedies unfold and reaches out to comfort the victims. She bends tenderly over the desk of a child the first time crayon touches paper, excited to see what this new mind will create.

My lady is not, as many would have you believe, arbitrary or elusive. She waits within the living, breathing world to inspire any artist willing to pause, and listen to the voices of the world around them.


She reads books as one would breathe air, to fill up and live. -Annie Dillard

مدونة الشاعر مثنى ابراهيم دهام

مدونة شعرية تتضمن قصائد مختارة للشاعر

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