Tag Archives: Art

Creative Monday


It’s creative Monday again! Welcome!

This week’s challenge focuses on simplicity. My husband often reminds me that “It’s the simple things in life” that matter most. I realize how right he is everytime I see one of my little nieces or nephews delighting in the discovery of something I have for decades taken for granted.

As artists, we often focus on technique or the portrayal of deep, hidden, and often dark emotions. We seek to express things that need to be expressed. This is not only admirable, but necessary for society to grow. And yet, it is important to remember that many profound ideas and closely held emotions, while perhaps still difficult to express, are very simple.

So this week my challenge for you is to create a piece in whatever medium you wish that portrays something simple and often overlooked with the sense of wonder that a child might experience if discovering it for the first time.

I can’t wait to see what you create!

*If you wish to contribute media that is not accepted in the comments section just email it to me at: claire.m.sthilaire@gmail.com and I will include it below.

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.

Thank You & Happy New Year!


Freeimages.com/Claudia 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: facebook.com/oscarpearsonart


©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: http://www.tigranarakelyan.com

©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.

Artist Spotlight: Susanna Tam & SuStudio Jewelry

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Susanna Tam’s original designs reflect the simple elegance of the natural world, combined with the gracefully arching lines of ancient calligraphy. Her focus on simplicity and detail gives her pieces a classical concerto appeal – where the focal point is compelling and uncluttered.

Handcrafted from sterling silver and accented with copper, brass and gemstones, Tam’s versatile jewelry is simple enough to be worn to work and yet remarkable enough to be worn with an evening gown. Each piece is a work of art meticulously crafted to provide a tasteful accent to any ensemble. Her pieces allow a woman’s natural beauty to take precedence, while still adding memorable detail to her completed look.

Tam’s pieces draw on timeless minimalist forms and classic shapes, but retain a contemporary allure. Every line, every splash of color and every metal pattern adds some necessary element to the design. The entire piece flows as effortlessly as the contours of a Japanese rock garden. Nothing is unbalanced or overdone.

Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of Tam’s work, that cannot be appreciated fully until one has seen her work in person, is the incredible attention to detail given to each and every piece. Nothing escapes her notice. From the design, to the metal work, to the selection of colors and gemstones, every step of the process is perfected before moving on. The result for the wearer is a level of quality that graces any occasion.

Tam’s work is stylishly refined, powerfully feminine, exquisitely crafted and completely original. She applies the skills of a craftsman and the discernment of an artist to create each splendid design. The exceptional beauty of nature simplified to its most elemental form, and then manifested into a unified expression of metal and stone, is the magic of Susanna Tam and SuStudio Jewelry.

The Interesting Start to Susanna Tam’s Passion:

Tam’s interest in jewelry started in the wake of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake that affected northern California. Tam was living in San Francisco at the time attending the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising.

The day following the major earthquake Tam recalls that the streets were empty and all the businesses were closed due to damage. She was on her way to the Post Office to mail a letter when she noticed a lone street vendor selling handmade jewelry. She approached the vendor and asked her why she wasn’t at home. It turned out that San Francisco used a lottery system to determine which days individual street merchants could sell in order to rotate through vendors. This was this vendor’s day, so she decided to make use of it despite the tragedy.

Tam sympathized with the vendor and purchased a few simple sterling silver rings. When she got home she examined the rings more closely. The craftsmanship interested her and she became curious about how the pieces were made. As one can see from her work 25 years later, she has definitely figured it out!

To learn more about Susanna Tam and SuStudio Jewelry, or to purchase a piece, visit her Website or Facebook Page.

© 2015 All Media Property of Susanna Tam. All Rights Reserved.

Artist Spotlight: Elder Heart & Mission 22

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Art is self-expression, self-exploration and often self-healing. This healing becomes more powerful when a community unites to create something beautiful, lasting and deeply meaningful. Elder Heart & Mission 22 are doing just that – uniting communities through artistic expression in order to heal the wounds and save the lives of the men and women who voluntarily subjected themselves to the horrors of war in order to shield a nation from tragedy.

To illustrate the dangers facing veterans returning home David Guttenfelder, a war photographer, took his camera to a new battlefield. After spending two decades photographing war torn countries such as the Congo, Kosovo, Gaza, Liberia, Iraq and Afghanistan, Guttenfelder visited the places where more American service members die than on any other battlefield – their own homes. A devastating 22 veterans commit suicide every day. This means we are now losing more of our nation’s heroes at home than we are on the battlefield. This must stop. And Elder Heart & Mission 22 are answering the call.

They are accomplishing this goal through individual community engagement resulting in public works of art. During this process an Elder Heart Chapter brings together veterans, community members, artists and local politicians to engage in a unified effort to complete a project that not only builds the foundation of long-term healing through relationships and teamwork, but also creates a lasting monument that this community is taking a stand to support and fight for their veterans at home.

Elder Heart’s Mission 22 takes the fight to a national level by using social media to promote awareness and create a national support network. They invite us all to “claim a 22” by taking a picture of 22, found anywhere, and posting it on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with #Mi22ion to show our vets we have their back. They also use Google Hangout sessions to connect veterans with other vets who are successfully battling PTS or TBI.

Finally, Elder Heart is currently in the planning stage of building a national monument to honor those who have become casualties of suicide. The monument will consist of a circle containing the silhouettes of 22 actual service members who have been lost to suicide. These silhouettes will appear and disappear with the sun as a reminder of the 22 lost each day.

national monument

Elder Heart & Mission 22 are on the front lines battling PTS, TBI and Veteran Suicide, but they need the support of individuals and communities to ensure our service members are safe in the home they sacrificed to preserve. You can learn how you can get involved in the links below. A community empowered to make home safe for their veterans, artistic expressions of support, hope and victory proudly displayed in public and veterans helping veterans through another difficult battle – these are the incredible outcomes of art created through Elder Heart & Mission 22.

Mission 22 provides information and resources for Vets, Family & Friends and Communities.

To participate in Mission 22 simply take a photo of 22 and use #mi22ion on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

To learn more about Elder Heart & Mission 22 visit their webpages at: Elder Heart or Mission 22

To get involved, start a chapter or help support their projects Contact Elder Heart, Purchase Gear or Donate Here

© 2015, All Media Property of Elder Heart. All Rights Reserved.

Artist Spotlight: Pelo Blanco Photography

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The general population thinks of a camera as a tool with which one can capture a moment in time, and a photo as a visual souvenir of a place in time never to be visited again. Ty Kelly (the artist behind Pelo Blanco Photography), however, uses photography not to capture a moment, but to create one.

Like Monet transformed a pond filled with water plants into Claude Monet’s Water Lilies, so too does Kelly take classic landscapes and redefine them into his own creations. With photographic skill that has been developing since childhood, and digital mastery, he is able to create scenes that are at once both perfect and mesmerizingly unreal. He does this by discovering a moment that sparks his curiosity and then by shaping it, behind a monitor, into a brilliant piece of original artwork.

For Kelly, a camera is more than a window to a scene in time; it is a tool for creating a new interpretation. From mirrored reflections to extended exposure and light play, Kelly deftly reinvents reality without erasing its beauty. He takes his viewers beyond the confines of the conceivable into an image that exists on a new plane of artistry.

Kelly picks out shots that inspire him. Only the best of his hundreds of photos make the cut. Those that do, however, are then crafted and redefined. Like a diamond cutter who takes a raw diamond, rough and dull, and with careful shaping reveals to the world its radiance, Kelly reveals a new level of brilliance within his photos.

Kelly’s photography is vibrant and dramatic, but he never sacrifices beauty for innovation. Even his most progressive photos retain the glamour of red lips with a black gown and are never cheapened by digital gimmicks. A whole new world of vibrancy and allure waits within the photos of Pelo Blanco Photography.

Check out more amazing Pelo Blanco Photography at Ty’s Website or Facebook Page!

© 2015 All media property of Pelo Blanco Photography, All Rights Reserved.


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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