Living with Art and Soul

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A fellow who does things that count, doesn’t usually stop to count them.”  ~Variation of a saying by Albert Einstein

The Japanese people have been in the hearts and minds of so many of us in past weeks. The aftermath of a tsumani, an earthquake and fears of radiation contamination are what the people of Japan are coping with right now.  Despite catastrophic events that are enough to turn any country into chaos and confusion, it has been widely reported that the Japanese people are calm and have a cooperative demeanor. 

Traumatic occurrences in our lives leave us feeling helpless, out of control and at a loss. Coming to light are heart-warming stories of Artists and others who are raising funds, in their own creative ways, for the victims of the devastated country of Japan. It is fulfilling to hear of instances of people, communities and countries coming to the assistance of each other. It gives us faith that there are, indeed, compassionate individuals who are leaders in this world. When communities of people and individuals have benevolence and generosity of spirit, rebuilding of lives and healing can begin. 

In era of independent publishing, many non-profit organizations are sharing their missions of building a better world through the power of documentary films. Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home, a project of a Tribe of Heart, a non-profit documentary filmmaking organization, brings awareness to the interconnectedness of life all over the globe. Living by commitment to kindness and respect for others and this earth, we can become agents for change. For more information on this award-winning film, please visit

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An Eagle Eye Approach

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He is a great communicator and teacher. He knows how to fix things when they go wrong.” ~ Kevin Steele 

Over the past week or two, my son and I have had a running conversation about deadlines, and how they become the all consuming focus for so many writers, filmmakers and artists. 

Sometimes in the rush to meet a deadline, details that are critical to the success of a project are often overlooked. Yes, rewriting or redoing is arduous and laborious, but, it is not worth risking quality for the sake of just getting the project done and out the door. Presenting a project that is representative of your capability as a talented artist is vital. 

Before the deadline, it is wise to have someone take a hard-line objective look at the project you have been so deeply engaged in. An opinion without bias can serve you well! This step should not be ignored, nor should it be left as a final detail. Suppose there are things that need to be reworked? 

Meticulous does not mean being inflexible. It means caring and putting your very best forward. Think of it this way, what do you look for when you are at the other end? Quality, probably!

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Switching Gears

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

I am amazed at the versatility of  some artists! Last week, a few members of the Steamboat Symphony Orchestra came to our weekly Kiwanis International meeting to give us all a short presentation on their programs, upcoming events and to showcase the talents of a few of their professional violinists. There before me stood two women, who produced a magnificent range of harmonious sounds that were representative of the classical music they play in concert with their other symphony members.

Later that week, my husband and I went out to dinner, and performing at the restaurant was one of the very same artists playing her violin. This time, of all things, it was lively, foot stompin’, fun lovin’ blue grass music. Could she ever play! The joy and intensity with which she played was evident on her face, while she played the music of both genres. During one performance, very serious yet beautifully engaged as she gently stroked the violin strings and during the other, broadly and brightly smiling as she plucked and strummed . Two separate manifestations of expression.

Musicians are not the only multi-faceted artists. Writers too, do not always adhere to the same genre of writing. Writers often have the ability to switch from adult to children’s literature, from fiction to non-fiction to poetry or other structure of prose.

Artists by definition are practioners of creativity, ever expanding their repertoire of skills. Switching gears makes life interesting for all of us, artist or non-artist!

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Rough and Ready

We ship our client’s independently published films and books all across the country, and all over the world, from sea to shining sea. This morning, an order will go out to an artist in New South Wales, Australia. Give me the name of a town, and I can probably tell you what state it it is in. I have seen them all.

A few years ago, we received an internet order and the shipping address was Rough and Ready.  Rough and Ready, California that is. I almost thought it was “junk mail”, an order from someone submitting a bogus address just because they had nothing better to do. So, I looked it up – sure enough, it was a real address and a real town! As it turns out, Rough and Ready, California is a mining town between Grass Valley and Penn Valley. If my memory serves me right, named by a bunch of Wisconsin goldminers that had gone out to California to seek their fortune.

Maybe someone ought to produce a film, a  western perhaps, on Rough and Ready, California.  Share it with those interested in seeing just what this Rough and Ready California is really all about!

Until I get to Rough and Ready myself, I will just have to look at the view out my window in Steamboat Springs, CO. It is a pretty nice place to be!