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.

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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
 

Things in Store for 2014

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And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been” ― Rainer Maria Rilke

It’s 2014! Time marches forward! Today, in keeping with Rainer Maria Rilke’s adage about a New Year that is full of things that have never been, I wanted to share a story of a Christmas present that Santa brought to my husband and me that I am very grateful for.

Nancy in Sherwood Forest,” a beautiful lithograph by artist Richard Schmid has been in my possession for many years now, but it had never been framed.  I loved it too much to put it in a closet. So, since it was mounted on foam board and shrink-wrapped to protect it I’ve displayed it frameless. It has given me great pleasure.

Several weeks before Christmas when I was wandering around in a consignment shop and I spied a beautiful frame, with an old distorted mirror in it. “Looks like just the right size for Nancy in Sherwood Forest,” I thought. “I think I’ll take a chance and buy it and hope for a good fit.”

I took the lithograph to Hayden Mat and Frame in Hayden, Colorado, and Jim, the proprietor measured it up. I lucked out! Sure enough, the frame was a perfect fit! Despite my concern that getting it framed before Christmas might not be possible, Jim said “I can have it ready for you for Christmas.”

“Oh, joy,” I thought! Thank you Jim Folley, for being our Santa this year! You delivered what you promised and your customer service was outstanding. I’m very grateful and the frame was well worth the wait.

I wonder what things the year 2014 has in store? 364 more days to find out!

http://www.richardschmid.com/Lithographs.idc

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This blog brought to you by allthingsfulfilling.com

A Russian Winter

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Art is the right hand of Nature.” ~ Friedrich Schiller

Last Friday evening as I participated in the First Friday Art Walk, I felt as if I was living in the Russian valley of Oymyakon, the coldest permanently inhabited settlement in the world. The twenty below-zero temperatures seemed to have been heaven sent to provide a full-bodied experience for my emersion into the Russian art exhibition that opened that evening at the Steamboat Art Museum. The Russian paintings, on loan from a single private collector, are nothing short of magnificent.

SAM Russian Art

The Russian Experience” is a beautifully curated exhibit. I’d like to compliment artist Rich Galusha who really took great care in the placement of the paintings even painting the museum walls to accentuate the work – a job well done. And the Russian musical compositions that John Sant’Ambrogio played on the cello complimented the evening.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading the educational information that was posted in the museum about the history and various styles of Russian Art. It was interesting to note that most of the artists did not reside in Moscow or St. Petersburg, but rather, they came from small, remote villages throughout the country.

As cold as it was on Friday, I wouldn’t have missed getting out. After all, my husband’s photography debut exhibition along with other student’s work from ColoradoMountainCollege’s digital photography class was next door to the Steamboat Art Museum at the Chief Theatre for Cultural and Performing Arts. http://www.chieftheater.org/. The student’s work will be at the Chief Theatre all month long.

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If you are coming to town this winter, don’t miss out on stopping by the Steamboat Art Museum http://www.steamboatartmuseum.org/ and take in “The Russian Experience.” It will be available until April 12. The frigid blast will have passed since we don’t often see temperatures this low for long periods.

Thankfully, as I strolled the streets going from gallery to gallery, I found some hot cider at the Wild Horse Gallery to warm my inners. It was much appreciated!

Come on back tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling, the blog of www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Treasuring Art

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 “Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.”   ~ Chinese proverb 

At a thrift store recently I came across an art print of Thomas Moran – imagine my delight! It seemed like a God thing – the image was just sitting there waiting for someone who’d appreciate it to pick it up . I gave in to my desires and purchased it – a real deal. I am very grateful to have the Moran art print hanging on my wall. He was one of the greatest illustrator and colorists of all times.

Every evening the week before last, I had been watching Ken Burns’ documentary The National Parks: America’s Best Idea.  http://bit.ly/182xh1NMoran’s name was mentioned as one of the top landscape painters of the 19th century who ventured west. I learned he traveled to YellowstoneNational Park from the Hudson RiverSchool in New York, in the summer of 1871, to document on canvas what others described as a place where “hell bubbled up.”

Many artists traveled westward in the early days of the founding of the U.S. National Parks and they continue to be favorite places for artists who are seeking inspiration. Artists still go to paint, photograph and write about the dramatic landscapes in these protected government lands which are far more unique than many other places across the United States. Ralph Waldo Emerson described the National Parks as places where “God is more easily found in nature than in the works of man.” 

Lots of people find personal fulfillment in poking around in thrift shops. You never know what treasures you might find. I scored!

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This blog is brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Do return to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow!