Sunday, July 31, 2011

Hindsight is 20/20

I think that in life we have all learned that hindsight is 20/20. Even now at my young age of 23 I can look back on my life and be so thankful that I did not get everything I wanted, prayed, and hoped so much for. I even have to wonder what ever possessed me to want some of those things so badly, be it a fashion (Doc Martins, those horrid monster shoes) or a boy (I won't list off all of those, but let's just say my taste was not always that great), they just weren't even worth my time. But, through all of that you live, you make mistakes, and you learn. As Maya Angelou says, "When you know better, you do better."

I'm sure everyone is familiar with this first song that reflects on this topic of being thankful for "Unanswered Prayers," by Garth Brooks. Then the next two are more recent songs with this theme. I love the line from "Blessing" that says, "And what if the troubles of this life are your mercies in disguise," because how often do we think of our troubles in that kind of light. Finally, Beyonce wraps it up with "Best Thing I Never Had," which might as well be an anthem that I am sure we would all love to share with some 'people from our past.' It's like, thank goodness I didn't get stuck with you, but man you sure did miss out on me.

So, enjoy the songs and reflect on all your "blessings in disguise."

Garth Brooks - "Unanswered Prayers"

Laura Story - "Blessing"

Beyonce - "Best Thing I Never Had"

(Sorry about the barely there clothing at the beginning of this video, I promise it gets better. Just close your eyes and listen to the lyrics.)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Cassatt Love

I am a huge fan of Impressionism. I have been moved me to tears... a couple times by these works of art. It's like realism with emotions. I can get lost in these pieces and I find that being able to see the artists strokes makes me feel connected with them. The Rock Stars of this style for me are Renoir, Degas, and Cassatt. And of course Monet and Pissarro are key members of this style but the former three mentioned are my absolute favorites.

An overview on Impressionism from Wikipedia - "Radicals in their time, early Impressionists violated the rules of academic painting. They began by constructing their pictures from freely brushed colours that took precedence over lines and contours, following the example of painters such as Eugène Delacroix. They also painted realistic scenes of modern life, and often painted outdoors. Previously, still lifes and portraits as well as landscapes had usually been painted in the studio.[1] The Impressionists found that they could capture the momentary and transient effects of sunlight by painting en plein air. They portrayed overall visual effects instead of details, and used short "broken" brush strokes of mixed and pure unmixed colour—not blended smoothly or shaded, as was customary—in order to achieve the effect of intense colour vibration. The public, at first hostile, gradually came to believe that the Impressionists had captured a fresh and original vision, even if the new style did not receive the approval of the art critics and establishment."

Being that I am of the female gender I have a very special place for Miss Mary Cassatt in my heart.
^This is what I love about the Impressionism style and Cassatt. There is this freedom in her strokes that create an emotion with the movement in the piece. Choosing to focus in on the face and then fade out to incompletion elsewhere.

^It is rumored that Cassatt and Degas had a bit of a love affair (love that). Can you imagine what that would have been like? Anyway, the story on this image is that Degas actually worked on part of it with Cassatt. I learned that in one of my Art History classes in college. I love little stories like that, brings things to life.

^So, this is the one and only Cassatt piece I have ever seen. Isn't that sad? And I only saw it once. I've been to museums in LA, Fort Worth, Dallas, and Omaha and while I think they all may have one of her pieces they are never up when I'm there. This one is a part of the permanent collection at the Nelson Atkins Museum of art, but out of all the many times I have been there, I have only seen it up once. I remember entering the room that it was in expecting to see the usual suspects and then as I turned the corner this precious baby was staring back at me. I teared up immediately. And then the next time I went, it was gone.

^My Junior year of high school we had to do a self portrait in the style of a famous artist. I chose Cassatt and took this approach. Still one of my favorite pieces I've ever done because it has significant meaning to me.

And on a related note, look what gem I found at the Joslyn Museum in Omaha when I went with Henna:
^So happy I had to hug it. -INFO FROM JOSLYN MUSEUM- Edgar Degas, "Little Dancer Aged Fourteen" about 1920-21. Among the Impressionist painters, Degas alone was also a sculptor. "Little Dancer," the only statuette he exhibited, reflects his fascination with the ballet, whose aspects - rehearsals and backstage activities - he like to observe and record. The model for "Little Dancer" was Marie van Goethem, a "rat," as novices at the Paris Ballet were called. Although reminiscent of a standard dance pose (fourth position), her stance is informal; seemingly unaware of being observed, she stretches her arms and shoulders. This "snapshot effect," the capture of fleeting moments, is characteristic of Degas art.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Pink Ponies: A Case Study

Found this amazing video on Citizen Brand, a blog by Mike Swenson, the Founder & President of Barkley PR/Cause at Barkley. I started following Mike on twitter and then his blog because I am impressed with and inspired by his drive for Cause Marketing and using advertising/marketing to put some "Good" out in the world.

When I saw this video on his blog I had to share it because anyone working in the "Advertising/Marketing/Communications" world understands how difficult it can sometimes be to answer that question we always get, "So, what exactly do you do?" Well, from now on just share this video and it pretty much explains it all.

Pink Ponies: A Case Study

Monday, July 11, 2011

National Dance Day Announced

I am a big fan of SYTYCD and just this last week they posted the videos of the dances to learn for National Dance Day. July 30th is the day, now I just have to learn the dance and figure out just how I want to celebrate. Maybe I can get some friends involved or see if I can find anything going on already here in KC. I'm going to learn the Master Class dance choreographed by NappyTabs. This may in fact be the closest I ever get to having them choreograph me. I love NappyTabs and it doesn't look too tough, but we'll see.

So, pick a dance for you and on July 30th, boogie on down, get down with your bad self, bust a move, etc., etc.

Everybody (super-super easy)

Intermediate Intensive (easy)

Master Class (possible with more practice + swagger)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Google Doodle Collection

So, I am sure at some point you have seen one of these amazing "Google Doodles" when you went to do a search on the web. The first ones I can remember and what made me just fall in love were the Sesame Street ones that were to celebrate the popular children's show 40th Anniversary. Ever since then I have been taking screen capture pictures of these different "Google Doodles" whenever I see one.

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