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.

 

Nature’s Spring Ritual

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All Things Fulfilling

“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…

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Tapping into Creativity

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“Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.” ~ Edward deBono

Abraham Maslow, founder of humanistic psychology said that “creativity is a characteristic given to all human beings at birth.” How many of us tap into our innate gift of creativity as we go about our daily life?  For those who work in careers involving the Arts, using one’s own God-given creativity is naturally incorporated into every day life. For others, it takes consciously finding ways to live life inspired. All of us have a different interpretation of what living an inspired life means.

In essence, Maslow’s theory says that once our psychological needs for safety, love and affection and esteem are satisfied, then we as human beings are freed to travel down the path of toward self-actualization. We can begin fulfilling our need to create and do what it is we were born to do, if our basic needs have been met. For more information on the Maslow theory. 

If you are a person whose career does not involve the Arts, March is Crafting Month, and it is the perfect time to explore new ways of incorporating more creativity into your life for personal fulfillment. Craft a unique and creative piece of art through the written word. Writing poetry, essays, old-fashioned love letters, short stories, haiku or full length books will get your imagination and your brain working in innovative ways. There is no cost to that and anyone in this age of independent publishing can be a published author!  Join a local writing group, to enjoy the camaraderie of others whose spirits also soar when putting pen to paper.

It’s always a good time to build your a creative life for yourself. Find a new hobby and live a life inspired. It will provide you with hours of entertainment and personal satisfaction, too.

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

Spring Overflowing with Gratefulness

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Art is literacy of the heart” ~Elliot Eisner

Today is the first day of spring and with that, I celebrate gratefulness for my wonderful health, my dear family, new and life-long friends. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the beautiful natural environment in which I live. Wait, there is more –

The other day, I began to consider the huge volume of communication about independent publishing and all the creative industries that comes across my desk every day, every week, every month and every year. Difficult to keep up with; it also fascinates me to no end.

Adding another “I AM GRATEFUL to my list, I am grateful I have a way to share what arrives on my desk with my readers through All Things Fulfilling. Without an outlet, I would have to keep the information contained; a very hard thing to do. When I am filled with excitement about something, I want to share it! Don’t you?

My heart is overflowing with gratitude for those who visit this blog site. My hope is that you tell someone else about the value of this digital news and information space, so that our world blooms prolifically with all fulfilling things in art, culture, spirituality, business and life.

Happy Spring and May Your Life continue to Bloom and Grow!

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

Clearing the Way

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All Things Fulfilling

“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” ~ Pablo Picasso

Are you person who has always had an artistic calling, yet you have never pursued your passion in earnest? You are not alone. There are many people, for various reasons, who have had to travel down other career paths feeling they have not fulfilled their God-given talents.

Matt Tommey book1The book Unlocking the Heart of the Artist: Practical Guide to Fulfilling Your Creative Call as an Artist in the Kingdom speaks to this issue for the new generation of people who seek personal fulfillment as a priority in their lives. He invites others to live fully, doing what makes them happy, and to become “unstuck” by expressing themselves creatively.

The author, Matt Tommey, is a successful basket maker and art consultant from Asheville, North Carolina. His sensible messages to other artists, through his publications, helps…

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Pattern Recognition

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Art is the imposing of a pattern on experience, and our aesthetic enjoyment is recognition of the pattern. ~ Alfred North Whitehead

The way of the world is perceived differently for men and women. It’s described in John Gray’s book Men are from Mars and Women From Venus. I agree that men and women do hold different perspectives.

A man, a very talented knitter, who takes on complicated projects with a variety of stitches comes to the local knitting group with his wife. A few weeks ago someone remarked on his ability to pull off advanced patterns. He said “Think about it. It’s all about pattern recognition.” I never would have thought about knitting in those terms but he is absolutely right on target.

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Looks like men and women can find common ground in how they see things a knitting circle! Our two worlds met all because of our interest in a fiber arts craft that involves what some would say “takes disorder and turns it into order!” If you are good at puzzles, you may have a strong ability to understand things such as diagrams, impressions, and sequencing. I recently read an article that says that in order to survive in the 21st century, pattern recognition is a skill that is very useful to have. There are careers that involve skillful pattern recognition.

That’s pretty nifty and don’t wait till your fifty to pursue your passion if using pattern recognition in a job or hobby is what interests you! You can pick up and begin to knit a new career or life for yourself that may lead to enhanced personal fulfillment.

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

 

 

Thou Art Grateful

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Arts_Month_Logo

Happy National Arts and Humanities Month! I believe that my life is enriched in great measure by the opportunities that I have to incorporate the arts and humanities into my lifestyle. As a blog writer for All Things Fulfilling, which focuses on arts and the humanities, I take great pleasuring in sharing information with like-minded people. Let me count just a few other activities and events related to art, culture and religion that also bring me personal fulfillment:

  • Volunteering at Strings Music Festival
  • Visiting museums
  • Worshiping in a supportive spiritual environment
  • Incorporating local artisans work to my into my home environment
  • Attending the writers groups and workshops
  • Having a wonderful community library where there is ALWAYS something of interest happening.
  • Participating in community “Art Walks” to see local artists work
  • We Write Steamboat –  networking with other independent publishers to foster success
  • Book talks and presentations
  • Taking advantage of educational opportunity to obtain more knowledge about the literary arts and other art mediums.

I am a proponent of Americans for the Arts. Involvement at the local level is a great way to show how you, too, enjoy cultural events that are available. Our world would be very different without music, art, museums, libraries, places of worship, concert halls.

Get involved and learn how art  enhances life!

The more we learn and grow and evolve as individuals, the more we will find happiness and satisfaction in relationships, work and life.”
Kristi Bowman