Wednesday, July 27, 2011

#5 - Bridges of Life

I was slapped in the face by a reality today concerning this project. I was telling a dear sister friend about my plans for this project, which includes of course painting and blogging on a daily basis. No sooner than she stated something like, "Whew that is a lot!" did I think to myself, "I've put the cart before the horse again!"

I reassured her (really that it wasn't an option for me not to do. I have started and stopped so many times that if my life depended on it I would be on a "cooling board". I explained that if a woman who is a wife, mother and career woman can manage to blog daily, so could I.

So here I am attempting to make this thing work! I will paint 365 paintings about the city of Philadelphia, even if it means that it takes me 400 days. I am determined! I wasn't nicknamed tenacious years ago for nothing!!!'s painting subject is the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. I don't have a history on the bridge for you today, although there is much history to be given I am sure.

A bridge by definition is a structure spanning and providing passage over a river, chasm, road, or the like, and a connecting, transitional, or intermediate route or phrase between two adjacent elements, activities, conditions, or the like.

As I read the definition, I thought about life and all of its intricacies. I thought about experiences of the past and how they connect me to my future. I thought about relationships of old and how they make a path for those of new. I thought about how past failed business ventures made way for the success of those businesses I am supposed to have. I thought about financial woes from back in the day that made it possible for me to know that GOD always makes a way. I thought about my sometimes wretched mistakes that helped me to blossom into the woman GOD has me today.

All in all, I understand that there is a purpose for the bridges in life. There are purposes for those things that link you from one journey in life to another. I thank GOD for the bridges, and the people that help make getting over the bridge a smoother process.

For this piece I did a bit of collage at the top. I used tissue paper ripped in strips to create my rendition of the sky at sunset. I decided to use modge podge to secure the tissue paper to the canvas, and painted the image of the bridge on top.

So, there you have it good people! I pray your day was fabulous, and I look forward to seeing you tomorrow!

Pearls of Wisdom:
Do what you know how to do best! The rest, leave for others to do what they do best!!!

Be blessed!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Painting - Winnie The Pooh Mural

I have accomplished more in this day than I have in a very long time. It just goes to prove that when you wake up determined to do what you are purposed by GOD to do and make HIM the driver, all that needs to falls into place.

I have started painting the Winnie the Pooh mural that I blogged about sketching a few weeks ago. As you all know, for the most part I work on a large scale, but have not done anything as large as a mural before. I would be telling a lie if I said that I wasn't a little nervous about charting new territory.

I had a few challenges in the beginning. I had to get into the grove of things, and there are spots that I definitely need to refine. However, as I painted I took deep breaths, and reminded myself that this is what I am purposed to create, and I can do this!

The start of a beautiful process

Excited to be venturing into new territory

Getting dirty, but I wouldn't want it any other way!

I am learning each day to push myself. Today, I pushed myself and the outcome (thank you HOLY SPIRIT) was great!!!!

In the voice of Elmer Fudd, "That's all folks!" Check back tomorrow for more on the series about Philadelphia!

Pearls of Wisdom:
Taking a trek into new territory could be the key that unlocks the successes of your life! What new land will you venture into today?

Be blessed!!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Painting #4 - The Laborers' Union

I don't confess to know much about unions...needless to say, I don't belong to one! However, in the past few months I have been hearing more and more about them.

As I drove across Spring Garden a few weeks ago, I looked to my right and stopped almost in my tracks. I pulled over and immediately snapped a shot. The men that sit in their lawn chairs picketing in front of the Bottom Dollar Foods that I sometimes visit, is the image that came to mind. The sign that they hold saying, "Don't shop at Bottom Dollar, they don't support a union."
At that very moment I decided to complete a painting surrounding what I shot a picture of.

It seems that a union is most important to those that stand in need of representation or negotiation on their behalf. In researching I understand that their is bargaining power in unions. They bargain for improved wages, proper complaint procedures, the rules governing hiring, firing and promotion of workers, fair benefits, and improved policies.

In looking at the Laborers' Local Union 57 website, it is evident that they are fighting for all that is listed above. And to me, anyone that is fighting on the behalf of another to make life better for them is okay in my book. Now, I may not always take heed to those that are picketing outside of stores because there is no union in effect. I shop where I can get the best deal for the product that I am looking for. However, I respect what they need to do in order to protect their livelihood.

There you have it! Check back manana for more painting!!!!

Pearls of Wisdom:
"It was the labor movement that helped secure so much of what we take for granted today. The 40-hour work week, the minimum wage, family leave, health insurance, Social Security, Medicare, retirement plans. The cornerstones of the middle-class security all bear the union label."
~President Barack Obama

Be blessed!!!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Friday Fun!

So I have decided that I will not be blogging about the series that I am currently doing on Saturday and Sunday. I am keeping those days to post about what I have done during the weekend or not post at all. I am really trying to be disciplined in posting everyday. Sometimes I hit the mark, and sometimes I don't. However, I would like to hit the bulls-eye more than not!

Yesterday I had the pleasure of seeing my first Cirque du Soliel show in NY. It was a birthday gift from a dear friend of mine, and we had a ball!!! The show was great! The performers super gifted to do what they do.

Zarkana cast

Sitting area in the women's bathroom

After the show, we met up with another friend we met at a Stevie Wonder concert a few years ago. Both Mel and I are social butterflies, so it is no wonder that we met another social butterfly (Mari) on the!

Hi Maribel and Melissa!

We strolled around the city and grabbed supper from a place on 24 West 45th Street called Karam. The food was great, and the customer service was superb. Marwan (an employee) made suggestions for our entrees, and threw in a sweet treat for us before we left. If you are into Middle Eastern cuisine and looking for someplace spectacular to eat while enjoying the beauty of NY try this place. And for those who are concerned, they do serve Halal meat! Greet the those who are working with a smile and they are sure to return the favor.

Hi Marwan!

After our stop at Karam, we were in the mood for something sweet, but light. We had it mapped out to go to a side vendor that sold Gelato, but stumbled upon a quaint ice cream shop called Steve's. They prepare what they call Craft ice cream, craft coconut cremé, craft frozen sorbet, and craft frozen buch. In fact, it was the word "craft" that had peaked our interest. When asked what craft meant, we were told that the ice cream is homemade, but that they add certain flavors that give their frozen treats an edge. Martina allowed us to taste every flavor that they had available. All of them were tasty, but Mexican Chili Chocolate was the most interesting. It was chocolate ice cream base with chocolate chips, and a burst of heat on the end tail that lays right in the center of your throat. The chill from the ice cream mixed with the heat from the infused chili spice was pretty amazing. I didn't choose that particular flavor as I thought that it would feel as though degrees were added to the sweltering 100 or so day that we had. Instead I took Urban Passion Kombucha (fermented tea) along for the walk. Again, a very pleasant establishment with knowledgeable employees who are willing to go the extra mile for their customers. Check their website out Oh they are on Twitter and Facebook too!

Martina served us well!

My choice: urban passion kombucha

Thank you Meli, Maribel and New York for a superb experience!

A piece of NY's skyline

Well ta ta for now good people. More about the series on Philadelphia on Monday! Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and be safe out there in this heat!

Pearls of Wisdom:
Do whatever you need to do to stay cool! Check on your elderly neighbors and those that are unable to care for themselves often!

Be blessed!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Philadelphia Mural Arts Program

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of hanging out in the city with a few friends. We met up at a central location, and that central location happened to be next door to the Philadelphia Senior Center at 729 S. 12th Street, where an pretty cool mural resides.

It wasn't hard to figure out that the mural was part of the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, a Program that has been around since 1984. As I began to do a little bit of research, I found that the Program started off as the Anti Graffiti Network. A Network that tried to redirect the destructive mindset of graffiti artists into a constructive mindset by painting murals that various communities in the city could appreciate.

To date, there are over 3,000 murals that have been produced since the Program has started. Not only does the Program beautify the city, but it also gives back to the community by offering art educational programs to local prisons and rehabilitation centers. In addition, they offer job and community service opportunities for those that are re-entering society after being released from prison.

Since I am intrigued by so many of the murals done by artists that collaborate with the Program, I decided to include some of them in my paintings. As stated before, the mural was done at the Philadelphia Senior Center. It was started in September of 2006 by Henry Bermudez and Michelle Ortiz, and finished in May of 2008.

The entire Mural

A section that intrigued me

The Mural Arts Program is truly a great Program! I suggest if you haven't taken the time to go on one of their tours, that you do so immediately! You will learn about the community that surrounds you and perhaps about yourself!

Pearls of Wisdom:
How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.
~George Washington Carver

Take the time today to be compassionate. It is only by the grace of GOD that we too are not in the same predicament.

Be blessed!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

#2 - The City of Brotherly Love

The great city of Philadelphia was deemed the City of Brotherly love by William Penn a little over a century ago (in the 1890's) after the Greek word philos, which means brotherly love. The city may not always live up to its lovely nickname these days, but I am a loving type of person. So I decided to do a painting of the Love sculpture by Robert Indiana in JFK Plaza that gave the Plaza it's famous Love Park nickname.

I speak highly of journaling and writing, and do a lot of it. As I have explained before, it is a space where I am able to be completely me with GOD and provides a safe arena for me to think creatively.

With this painting, I decided to use love letters that I have written as the backdrop. Yes, I am the mushy type who writes love letters to my mate. The mate that is not yet here, but thought of often.

I used glossy Modge Podge to lay the letters down, and to give me the glossy finish I was looking for. I then did a matte paint to paint the actual love scultpure and a permanent pen to write on the sides of the canvas.

There you have it folks! I pray you enjoy this. I will be posting during the week and taking a break during the weekend.

Pearls of Wisdom:
Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.

~Lao Tzu

Be blessed!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Journey Begins!

The painting frenzy has begun!

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am super detail oriented when it comes to my art creative endeavors, and this one is no different. I am praying that I didn't bite off more than I can chew. I guess the only person that makes the rules is me, since it is my project.

I have finished the first of 365 paintings today. As I have stated in previous posts, this series is about the city of Philadelphia. I will be touring different parts of the city and depicting them through my creative lens. There will be a fair share of tourist sites, but also parts of the city that are not so glamorous. I would even be willing to take suggestions from you folks!!!

A few weeks ago some friends and myself had a fabulous lunch at Reading Terminal. Reading Terminal has been around since 1897, and one can find anything from produce to hand-made crafts, and everything in between there. I indulged in one of the best turkey sandwiches that I have had in a long time from The Original Turkey. It was fabulous and left me wanting more.

So since Reading Terminal is a staple to the Philadelphia community, I thought why not paint it as the first stop on this journey


Random Pic of The Day:
Randomness can be found in anything, and today it is about a strawberry that I bit into that resembled a porker...a pig! At least it did to!!!

Pearls of Wisdom: "Discipline is based on pride, on meticulous attention to details, and on mutual respect and confidence. Discipline must be a habit so ingrained that it is stronger than the excitement of the goal or the fear of failure." ~Gary Ryan Blair
Determine today to do whatever you are called to do despite the fear of failure that may present itself. After all, fear is just false evidence appearing real!!!

Be blessed!