Can art create vehicles of change?

I was walking with a friend of mine this morning. She has ventured into the world of photography with both feet and her whole heart. I admire that. We were chatting about the statement of: Do you go out with a fixed intent of creating a particular image? Stated bluntly, do you have something in mind when you click the shutter? Do you, as the artist/creator/visionary of the piece, have a focus and do you know what it is? It doesn’t matter what kind of “art” you create, it poses the interesting question of INTENT. As she is growing as a creator, which hopefully we all are in our own ways, she is comfortable not knowing what she wants to photograph yet (?) and goes out and tries all sorts of things. Bravo for experimentation. Bravo for creative growth.

As a creator of anything, how important is the piece/the image/the product? Is there a message? A hidden messages? What are the thoughts you as the creator had/have and what might the spectators views be? What becomes of the piece?  I was back from my walk and was listening to the below TED talk. The title-Can art amend history? caught my attention. I thought it was an impressive 12 mins. and I have placed it below for you. I hope you find it as interesting as I did.

I have pulled this quote out of the talk: You can switch out the words “paintings” or “sculptures” for just about anything you may be working on or thinking about. “I want to make paintings, I want to make sculptures that are honest, that wrestle with the struggles of our past but speak to the diversity and the advances of our present. And we can’t do that by taking an eraser and getting rid of stuff. That’s just not going to work.”

As a new year rolls in the topics of change, unspoken truths, shifting focus in whatever ways/means rings true to you seems like the perfect time to post this idea and/or question of- Just what is your intent?

ABOUT THE SPEAKER:  Titus Kaphar · Artist

Titus Kaphar’s artworks interact with the history of art by appropriating its styles and mediums.

( https://ted.com/talks/titus_kaphar_can_art_amend_history?utm_source=tedcomshare&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=tedspread–a )

You also may want to check out –https://www.postmastersproject.com – looks pretty interesting too!

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Can you fly?

Always loved this song – rumored to be sung to me as a kid – maybe that’s part of the reason it resonates with me.  Regardless….Ella Fitzgerald’s voice is beautiful in this YouTube piece.
“One of these mornings you’re gonna rise up singing
And you’ll spread your wings and you’ll take to the sky…”

The big questions are –
❓Are your wings spreading out…
❓Are you trying to fly…
❓Are you singing…

I’ve been thinking a lot of late about taking chances, i.e., spreading one’s wings. In chatting with friends, we often comment on how some people, particularly younger ones, are willing to just throw something up, whether it be on Social Media, in life, in business, or even just an idea.  It’s pretty much an anything goes and let’s see what sticks attitude. As an “older” person I often feel like I have to know something about what’s going on before I do ‘X, Y or Z’ for BBB3 (Botanical Beauties and Beasties.) The curiosity is that in many other parts of my ‘creative life’ I seem to be able to throw the spaghetti up and see if it sticks. I even enjoy doing that. For instance, I have just started playing with acrylic paints. I know NOTHING about them, and for that matter, I know virtually nothing about painting. And yet, when it comes to this I only have smiles-I have no shame, little fear, and I just allow myself to play and paint knowing that ‘something’ will turn out on that small canvas lying in front of me. I am so sure of my fun play that I bought a package deal of 14 little blank canvases-Chutzpah!!! So there I am, having a grand time, mixing paints and mediums, using paint brushes, cotton sticks, whatever, with a minimal idea as to the outcome. I have only a vague concept if I am playing within the lines or the rules, and couldn’t care less. It’s exciting and fun to just be like a kid again-just DOING WHATEVER. Surprisingly the painting(s) are not too bad. One I like quite a lot (see below)- as do some of my friends.

So…why is it that sometimes a level of laze fare and ‘confidence’ exudes, while other times fear and one’s mind stop us? What it is that lets one throw caution to the wind and just try things out?  I think it may have something to do with private verse public? What are your thoughts?

And with much hesitation – Izzy shares my first painting! Izabella and Blue Painting

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The Beginner’s Guide to Spring Rain

Feeling a bit soggy?
Here are a few ideas of ways to make a rainy day better.

Zoe in the rain
Zoie – Spring Rain

Don’t think of it as cold wet water:
Think SPRING FLOWERS!
💐🌿🌻🌸

Here’s a list of ideas for spring shower happiness.

  • 💦 Pretend you are two years old and go splash in puddles-I know a very special little one that this works well for!
  • 💦 Enjoy some artwork. Galleries, museums, or exhibits are all luxurious and wonderful places to forget it’s raining outside.
  • 💦 There’s always the movies.
  • 💦 Meet a friend for a cup, or glass, of whatever makes you smile.
  • 💦 Plan a rain barrel for your garden, then the next time it rains you will be receiving bonus water!
  • 💦 Gray is much better than blackLook outside-gray is probably everywhere and Mother Nature is usually is pretty smart!
    Maybe Gray still is the new black?
  • 💦 Gray is a subdued and quiet color so crawl into that: Tuck yourself in and enjoy a good read with a hot cup of tea/coffee. Or just nap!
  • 💦 Remember that rain is not frozen, or slippery, and it requires no shoveling.
  • 💦 Learn new things. For instance- Did you know that the iconic crayon color, Dandelion, will be retiring? To send him off in style, Crayola is taking him on a 4-week retirement tour! VERY clever marketing and fun to watch. Here’s the link. https://youtu.be/WSBaRK1BM3Q
    (BYW – today 3/31/17 is National Crayon Day…who knew?)

AND OF COURSE – there is always “Singing in the Rain” with Gene Kelly!

What do Civil Rights, the Blues Music and Poverty all have in common?

The answer is all in the new book featured below.

I am very pleased, and proud, to announce that my friend, Ray Uzanas, book Faces and Places of the Deep South is now out, published and fantastic!

Why is this on the Botanical Beauties and Beasties blog you may ask? Well, it’s for two reasons. The first is that it is truly a lovely book, quality in all ways. The second is that I was personally involved by doing all the book design, layout and cover work. We are both very pleased to be able to present it and share it!

The words from the author are as follows…

In “Faces and Places of the Deep South,” Raymond Uzanas takes the reader on his 2015 journey through America’s rural south where he visits towns mired in poverty and those infamous for their role in the civil rights movement of mid-20th century America. Uzanas explores the vast Mississippi Delta that gave birth to the Delta Blues sounds; traveling to its smallest desolate towns as well as to Clarksdale and its annual Juke Joint Blues Festival.

Interviews and shared stories with people he meets resonates across racial and economic lines as he profiles the lives and times of today’s Deep South. It is a book mostly about the people–what Ray calls the human wealth of the region. His photographs capture and convey the mood and character of the land and its people. Come along for a ride through a half century of southern history.

You can purchase the book at Amazon or Blurb, or if you are very lucky you can see it/read it at a few select local Libraries.  FYI, the book is costly as it is a high quality, 120 page, full color “picture book” filled with beautiful images as well as amazing stories of civil rights, the extreme poverty and life in the generally unknown Deep South, and the great Delta Blues Music originating from the Deep South. Incidentally, Ray does not mark the books up, the cost you see is truly the raw cost of printing each book and of no profit to the author. If you are interested in purchasing one, the Blurb site is a little less money than Amazon  (since Amazon adds some for themselves.)

The link for Blurb: http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/invited/

The link for Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Faces-Places-South-Raymond-Uzanas/

We both hope you get a chance to enjoy the many Faces and Places of the Deep South.