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.

 

Film Friday: Woman in Gold

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Coming to theatres April 1st! Woman in Gold is film I’ve  put on my Gotta See List. It stars Academy Award winning actress Helen Mirren and it is based on a real story of a case that was taken to the Supreme Court. It is about the magnificent painting “Portrait of Adele Boch- Bauer”  by Gustav Klimt. The artwork, hailed as the “Mona Lisa of Austria,” was taken during the Nazi regime and the movie is about a family’s desire to have the painting removed from a museum in Vienna and returned to its rightful place.

Check out this film trailer, and put this on your list of upcoming movies to see if you are a person who loves book to movie adaptations and if you appreciate art history.

Have a great weekend, everyone. See you back here on All Things Fulfilling on Monday.

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

 

The Writing Life

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How many times have we heard a person say “I am a writer.”

“What are you writing?” is the natural lead up question.

“Nothing, right now.” A valid response. At that present moment that person is not penning anything. They are communicating verbally – with you. True?

If you’re an artist in any medium and have a real passion for something, practice is never ending. The most successful people in this country’s history were not made overnight. Malcolm Gladwell shares his insight on the 10,000 hour principle.

Even if you’ve gone to school to learn a craft, the education is not over! The process of perfecting a craft is lifelong. Ask any artist who has risen to the top of their field – creating is on-going, never ending. I look at master painter Richard Schmid, one of the most celebrated artists in the country. He paints constantly even though he has been painting an entire lifetime and recently blew out the candles on his 80th birthday cake!

As an author, even though I recently published two books,  I feel as if my work has just begun. I literally work at it every day through blogging and then….there are my other writing projects.

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This 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 and Soul.

Advent Day #23 – Graceful Anticipation

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God’s plan for us is always that of grace. ~ Unknown

On this 23rd day of Advent, I have a question for our readers.

Have you seen the painting Kissing the Face of God by Morgan Weistling? He is an outstanding artist who paints historical stories from a different time and era. Many of his paintings are of settlers to the West.

Kissing the Face of God is an exquisite painting that is so appropriate to share on this 23rd Day of Advent as we await the celebration of the birth of Jesus. When you see the image and read the artist’s statement about the painting, you will better appreciate the sentiment behind it.

http://www.morganweistling.com/galleries/gallery03/kissingfacegod.html

miracle of christmasAs my husband and I await the coming of our son from far reaches, we gratefully remember the day of his advent that changed our world forever!

My own personal story of the miracles in my life are recounted in Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.  The award-winning book makes a great present to share with loved ones in your life for Christmas, at the start of a New Year, in celebration of a birthday or for “just because.”

Audio Book  http://amzn.to/1trrTl9
Paperback  http://amzn.to/1qmcEHI
e-Book  http://amzn.to/1lx7oRh

Please return tomorrow and celebrate the 24th Day of Advent with us on All Things Fulfilling.

Art Depicts Culture

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“Enjoyment is an incredible energizer to the human spirit.” ~ John C Maxwell

While I walked the streets of historic Park City I took in many art galleries and retail establishments filled with chic clothing, jewelry and handbags embellished with lots of bling. But what really struck me was the contrast when I walked into the Thomas Kearns McCarthey Gallery. It featured paintings of Russian Impressionism. The artists of this period celebrate in their paintings “the common people, depicting their lives, hopes and dreams and emotions in an intimate manner.”

Most of the pieces in this premier gallery of Russian Art, the  Thomas K McCarthey Gallery, are from the 1930’s to the 1980s. The pieces are carefully selected for their depiction of the human spirit while laboring at their trade. To read more about the McCarthey Gallery, please visit this link.www.mccartheygallery.net.

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The town of Park City is rich with mining history. But the attention to the arts and the stunning natural beauty of the area is what will draw me back, yet again. Hopefully, soon!

See you tomorrow – brave hearts and dragons will be discussed on All Things Fulfilling.Sue’s memoir

 

Fellowship of Artists

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May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.” J.R.R. Tolkien, Fellowship of the Ring

Yes, indeed, Christmas does come in May! Last week I had a beautiful holiday in May when I unpacked my 2nd most treasured possessions (unfortunately it was not my family that I unpacked and moved here).  But, my art that had been in storage for five years. When we moved from Vermont to Colorado we were in living in a place that really was not conducive to hanging artwork. So, except for a few choice pieces, the work remained in their boxes, that I had carefully constructed to store each piece. I learned how to build the custom boxes through observation. I had watched what the master artists from West Wind Fine Art, LLC did when they transported and sold paintings.

On May 1st we moved into a new place that showcases the art magnificently. As I carefully unpacked each and every piece it was as if I was seeing the artwork for the very first time. I had forgotten how beautiful my collection. Over the following days, my husband measured and hung the beautifully framed limited edition prints (and a few originals) to perfection. I have a good eye for placement of design, but the mathematics of getting the artwork hung just right proportional to the spaces without putting a million wrong holes in walls is tricky. Terry, thank you – it’s spot on! You have a much better perspective on that than I and it is a task that overwhelms me.

When I look at my collection, much of it came from West Wind Fine Art, LLC. It brings back wonderful memories of the time I spent working with some of the finest master painters in the world – Timothy R. Thies, Nancy Guzik and Richard Schmid. Their curator and representative, Kristen Thies, creates and orchestrates some of the most outstanding art exhibits in this country. timothy thies painting

Pastel Garden © Timothy R Thies

In 2011 Kristen traveled to the U.K. as an emissary for master artist Richard Schmid when his painting of the Manor home of Sir Walter Scott was unveiled for the Abbotsford House. She had the honor of meeting and hearing the praise about Schmid’s painting ‘from HRH Queen Elizabeth during the grand re-opening of the house and Visitors Center.

To read more about the artists of West Wind Fine Art, LLC please visit www.westwindfineart.com. Don’t miss out on their latest video about their painting expedition to the gardens of  historic Middleton Place in Charleston, S.C. The images in the video will beautify your day, and so will the music. http://bit.ly/1jEyyCm .

Seeing my treasures hanging on the walls of my place of residence once again has been a gift that will bring me great pleasure, years beyond my Christmas in May.

This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.

Sue’s memoir