Hallowed Halls of Johns Hopkins

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The path of spiritual growth is a path of lifelong learning. ~ M. Scott Peck, author of Gifts of the Journey, In Search of Stones and The Road Less Traveled

Happy Halloween, everyone. On October 3rd, my cousin Meg Heisse and I witnessed a little hocus-pocus when we attended An Evening of Victorian Magic at Evergreen Mansion and Library, which is a Johns Hopkins University Museum. Since my cousin is a member, we attended a pre-performance reception held in the Asian red room among Chinese and Japanese collectibles. The bartenders stirred up Victorian libations and we saw up close magic tricks by David London. Mind reader indeed, out of a 52 card deck, the magician asked me to select one card and show it to others.  No slight of hand involved, through telepathic transmission he correctly identified the card I had picked. But that was just the start of the delightful evening. The magician had many more magic tricks up his sleeve once the show started and he came to the stage.

There was no need to build a stage for the evening because there is already a Victorian era theatre in the Evergreen Museum. And although there were no upper level seats for celestials to sit as in many Victorian theatres, we were told apparitions are in or about the rooms of the mansion. The theatre, painted by Russian Artist Leon Bakst, was used regularly to entertain the three Garrett boys, who at one time lived there.

The Evergreen Museum and Library was built in 1850 and became home to railroad magnate, John Garrett and his family. He was President of Baltimore and Ohio “B & O” Railroad. A little over one hundred years later, in 1952, the Italianate home from the Guilded Era was donated to Johns Hopkins University and it is now on the National Register of Historic Places.

Also in the mansion is a 30,000  volume library with much of which is English Renaissance literature. Paintings by Picasso, DegasModigliani and stained glass by Tiffany, a 23 karat gold plated bathroom all are housed in the structure. In the Asian red room I spied several pieces of Chinoiserie furniture and as I snooped around in the museum gift shop at Evergreen, I saw several beautiful publications about stained glass.

Today, my Halloween treat to our readers is a recipe for soul cakes which traditionally was the offering to others on All Hallows Eve. And here are a few pictures of our evening at Evergreen Museum and Library, too. Look carefully you might see things that fool the eye!

Some time soon I do look forward to returning to the historic Evergreen Museum to take the full tour. This wonderful landmark is only one of the institutions of the Sheridan Libraries of Johns Hopkins. Check out the others on their website.

Thank you Meg for inviting me to accompany you for the evening.

This blog is brought to you by award-winning author, Sue Batton Leonard.

 

New Developments in E-Commerce

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“There is parity in the marketplace and as a result the consumer is beginning to make decisions, not on what things cost but the convenience of it.” ~ Howard Schultz

Cover_PA Oct-Nov 2015_220w_iPadAre you currently selling your artwork on-line or anticipate doing so in the future? If so, check out the article in the October/November 2015 issue of Professional Artist Magazine titled Finding Your Place in the New e-Commerce.

More than ever  before, new options have opened up for selling artwork on the world-wide-web.

You thought Pinterest was just a place to pin-up pretty pictures on an on-line bulletin board?  It’s capabilities have been expanded to include a “buy it button” integrated with an artist’s store on Shopify. According to the article in Professional Artists Magazine, “It’s made closing a sale even easier through a Pinterest app for Android users.” This is just one advance in technology for on-line art stores.

Things are advancing at a rapid pace and the article in Professional Artists Magazine addresses the issue of commission, shipping and handling, direct sales integrated with social media and the on-line version of the red dot.

“I already have a website,” you say? Does it have an e-commerce plug-in? Increase your visibility and exposure by adding a way to sell your art beyond brick and mortar galleries and stores. The tools for on-line selling of art work has come a long way and art collectors are looking for convenience.

This blog is brought to you by Cornerstone Fulfillment Service, LLC. A company specializing in e-commerce and e-marketing for independent publishers.

See you back here tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling. We will be featuring a few stories about professional development opportunities I had last week as a writer.

 

 

Mr. Rockwell’s Narratives

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How will I be remembered? As a technician or artist? As a humorist or a visionary? ~Norman Rockwell

Last week, my television was tuned in more than usual. I was interested in watching the Pope speak at the various different venues. It was such a privilege for the American people to have someone of his stature visit our country.
Did you see the photo op taken at the United Nations in front of the Norman Rockwell image called “Golden Rule?” The U.N. is a very appropriate place to have the image hanging because it could not be more symbolic of America’s melting pot of citizens.  On All Things Fulfilling we featured a blog about Rockwell’s “Golden Rule” back in September 2013. It was a very well read article. Go back and read it if you missed it.

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On Friday, the same day the Pope appeared at the United Nations, I came across an interesting article from the Berkshire Eagle about the Norman Rockwell Museum. Some changes are about to take place in the way that the artist’s work will be exhibited. The images will be thematically organized to better tell the story of America. It’s a terrific idea in my opinion! If ever there was an artist whose work tells a narrative, it is Mr. Rockwell’s!

The last time I visited the Rockwell collection was about 25 years ago when it was housed in an old church in Arlington, Vermont. I enjoyed seeing each of the iconic Americana images, however, the lighting and organization of the paintings did not do it justice. Now there is a beautiful structure in Stockbridge, Massachusetts housing the entire collection with a skilled curator at the helm. If you are ever in the area do not miss it! Check out the information on the museum.

This blog is brought to you by the 2014 EVVY award-winning author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and short stories, Lessons of Heart & Soul.

World-Class Rural Virginia Artist

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The artist’s world is limitless. It can be found anywhere, far from where he lives or a few feet away. It is always on his doorstep. ~ Paul Strand

“Gee, I thought the place would be more ostentacious than this given the artists’ reputation,” I thought as we drove up and parked outside the gallery of internationally known sculpture artists William H Turner and his son David H Turner on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake in northern Virginia. However, inside the father and son’s work was exhibited in abundance. The 4,000 square feet of gallery space made for great browsing. I didn’t realize until later that a foundry, metal shops, a wood shop, wax shop, mold room and storage in nine separate buildings were also on site. The Turner’s have the assistance of 20 skilled artisans they supervise throughout the multi-step process.

Their limited edition sculpture includes more than 400 designs. Birds of prey, game birds, deer and other American wildlife and animals seen on safari are among them. Smaller pieces include rodents, frogs, turtles, fish and other marine life. More than 100 public installations of Turner Sculpture are located on some of the finest college campuses, in aquariums, nature conservancies, zoos, museums and botanic gardens throughout the country. The father and son have even presented a piece of their art to President George Bush, Sr. at The White House.

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As I perused the gallery, I got a very real sense of the importance of passing along the craft of sculpture making to younger generations of Turners as well as an appreciation for other mediums of art. One display space was dedicated to cast sculptures that grandchildren had created. A large number of canvases painted by various family members hang throughout the gallery space.

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Writing and independent publishing is just another aspect of William H Turner’s talents. His rural farm-boy voice is prevalent throughout his book Memoirs of a Farm Boy as well as in the Turner Sculpture “Tracks” newsletter. Stories such as Mrs. Chrysler and the Pickle Barrel, which is excerpted in one of the newsletters, is a charming recounting of his artist/client relationship with a wealthy woman and her appreciation of his work. His books also include East of the Chesapeake and Of An Evening.

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For a farm boy from Virginia, born in 1935, many roads have been traveled and explored to reach the notable status that the father and son enjoy together as world class sculpture artists.  William H. Turner’s life after college began as a dentist.

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It was a privilege to speak with  William H. Turner, Sr. in person and he told me that many of their sculptures are permanently exhibited at the Benson Sculpture Gardens in Loveland, Colorado.

And I was taken by great surprise when I saw the work of artist Wick Ahrens in the gallery. I was familiar with his whale sculptures, as he resided in Peru, Vermont for decades. Peru is the town right next to my thirty-year place of residence in Bondville.

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My favorite piece was from their childhood memories collection “A Boy on Stilts.” I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to  Turner Sculpture and was so very impressed with their craftsmanship and skilled artistry.

This blog is brought to you by award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. Check in on us on Monday on All Things Fulfilling!

The Art of Antiquity

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Gratitude is when memory is stored in the heart and not in the mind. ~ Lionel Hampton

Today we will continue our trip down Main Street in Berlin Maryland through images. The biggest treasures you will find in visiting each of the well-organized and well-displayed antiquities stores in the Antiques Capitol of the Eastern Shore on the Chesapeake will be your own recollections and reflections that will be stirred up. Most likely flashbacks will be associated with your childhood if you are a baby boomer.

Besides being The Coolest Small Town in America, Berlin has been the location for several movies. More about that in tomorrow’s blog along with information about why the town has earned a great reputation. We will be discussing some common elements between Berlin, Maryland and the town that I’ve called home for the past seven years, Steamboat Springs, Colorado. These characteristics help a community’s vitality and a community becomes notable for it’s uniqueness.

If you really want to step back in time, listen to the You Tube video as you scroll through these images. Thanks to all the businesses in Berlin who allowed me to take interior photographs. These pictures were captured at the following antique shops: Town Center Antiques, Uptown Antiques, Culver’s Antiques, Stuarts Antiques or Pitts Street Antiques.

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IMG_20150728_095850_861 Gum ball autog

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Amusement ride signed

Rest on Sunday

Hope you had a grand time, and we will see you tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling when we finish up this three -part blog series on the community of  Berlin, Maryland.

This blog is brought to you by the author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and short stories Lessons of Heart & Soul.

The First Nostalgist

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Nostalgia is a file that removes the rough edges from the good old days. ~ Doug Larson

There is an interesting article in the New York Times about nostalgia and the value of it. 

According to the article being nostalgic used to be associated with “physical or mental maladies.” However, researchers have found that nostalgia, more often than not, is associated with fulfilling feelings rather than bad. Nostalgia gives us a sense of rootedness and continuity in our lives.

And according to Dr. Sedikides, a psychologist, there is a difference between homesickness and nostalgia. He says one of the first nostalgists was Odysseus, “an itinerant who used memories of his family and home to get through hard times.”

Last week, I had a wonderful couple of days in Park City, Utah with my husband. While he attended a conference I traveled around the area. I came across memorabilia that although much of it was Western in nature, and I am an East Coast gal, it gave me warm feelings of this homeland called “The United States of America.”

I hope you enjoy this trip down memory lane. I shot these photos at Pinto Pony Designs in Heber City and Park City Clothing Company. Park City Clothing Company is another outstanding shop that is fun to poke around in. I love the Coca-Cola memorabilia. The store is in the heart of historic downtown in Park City.

Thank you to both places for letting me capture these images for our readers of AllThingsFulfilling.com

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Above photo – My twin sister and I had a Kat Kat Clock identical to the black one hanging in our bedroom when we were children. Talk about bring back memories!

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nostalgia 3 signedThis blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, award-winning author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and short stories Lessons of Heart & Soul.

Nature’s Spring Ritual

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“Daffodils,” an image by artist Nancy Guzik is a promise of spring that I look to so often throughout the winter. As we transition into warmer days and brighter colors nature heralds in her ritual of budding and blossoming flowers displaying “an adoration of the beautiful among the sordid facts of everyday life.” Akin to how people describe the Japanese ceremony of tea making.

I’m fortunate. I don’t have to look beyond the walls of my home to see Guzik’s beautiful image, and although I don’t own the original painting, the fine art lithograph has given me as much pleasure over the years.

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Guzik says of art “Somewhere within all of us we long for a certain truth, each searching in our own way, possibly to know and feel who we are and why we are here on earth. At times there is a yearning to express that. Perhaps that is why I paint.”

As we move another day into the season of rebirth, I know as my truth that one of the best reasons to be on this earth is to witness the season of miraculous renewal in nature. Happy Spring and “bloom where you are planted!”

This blog is brought to you by the award-winning author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and Short Stories: Lessons of Heart & Soul.