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Archive for April, 2012

Got Inspiration?

Easy way to get inspired

So, a while back, I posted an article taking about the necessity of inspiration for artists. Whether your chose medium is painting, sculpture, performing arts of whatever the case may be, inspiration is essential.

Today, many of us use smart phones. And with smart phones comes the availability of various apps. One such app that can possibly help to get those creative juices flowing for Android users (I’m sure iphones have something similar) is simply called “Inspirational Quotes.”

It’s a free listing of a seemingly endless number of famous and inspirational quotes from some of the greatest thinkers, innovators and entertainers of all time. At the very least, something like this might help to kick start the flow of your creative juices.


American Idol Top 6 Recap

I love Queen’s work but originally thought it might present a challenge for several of the contestants who aren’t exactly the rocker type. That being said they all did pretty well. In the second round most of the song choices where fairly predictable but well done. All in all, each week there seems to be a bit of a shakeup as to who is seemingly on top and who might be in danger.


1. Elise 

2. Skylar

3. Phillip

4. Jessica

5. Hollie

6. Joshua


1. Hollie 

2. Jessica  

3. Joshua 

4. Skylar 

5. Elise

6. Phillip 


1. Skylar – Good tone and decent vocals throughout, nicely done.

2. Jessica – Nice control on both songs even though the first was out of her wheel house. Stunning vocals on the second.

3. Elise – Queen was the perfect fit for her, well done. Cool second song – smooth and fun.

4. Hollie – Started out a bit week with the first song but was absolutely amazing (even better than the original) in her rendition of “The Climb.”

5. Phillip – Not the greatest vocals but fun and cool on the Queen track. Could have choose a better option from the various DMB songs out there.

6. Joshua – The first song wasn’t a good fit, it was just rather off. The second was much better.

Side Notes:

The very shocking elimination of Colton last week proves once again that anyone can go at any time. So, at this point, who knows what might happen.

Ulysses’ Fall

Guest post by Veronica Pamoukaghlian

Ulysses’ Fall (Las Toscas, Uruguay, Jan 14th, 2012)

go back home

a patient seamstress
awaits your voyage’s end

this land of me
that you can call your own
needs nought of you
till you be ripe
for giving

My mermaid’s chant
was beyond help
like planets’ sway

yet only you
could hear it

I meant no harm
when I lured you to my island

Many a sailor
I had drowned
before you drifted
into my waters

my tuneless song
was yours
beyond the silence

Yet I could not
let you drown
to follow me
into the world of fish

and it’s too late
for me
to give my voice
and live over the surface

So we must live
this while
in middle-land
in middle-sea
this in-between
of bliss and tragedy

So, welcome Home
wherever you may be
this island has become
a land of Thee

Resume your life
in that other place
where you must hide
your godliness
behind the mask
of ordinary days

Stay away
until your head turns gray

and though you may forget
the stringness of my song

I will always remember
you were a god

Veronica Pamoukaghlian is a poet and filmmaker based in Uruguay. Follow her on Facebook:
Poetry by Veronica Pamoukaghlian, and Twitter @verozoneuy. She has a website at
The Wander Life. You may also check out her film  Raúl, the movie.


The plight of the artist

It is a commonly recognized phenomenon…

That many of the most reputable artists across any number of genre have had to deal with some serious personal demons.  This notion continues to  remain as true today as it ever has.

In terms of literature, we need only refer to people like Edgar Allen Poe, Sylvia Plath and Ernest Hemingway. When it comes to painting a case in point is Vincent Van Gogh. And more recently in the world of music we’ve seen the untimely demises of such talents as Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse and Whitney Houston.

For some reason many, many artists seem to struggle with addiction, depression, bi-polar disorder or some other major issue.

While of course I cannot even dream of comparing myself to the likes of the folks mentioned above, I myself suffer from a mid-grade combination of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Attention Deficit Disorder, not to mention off and on bouts of depression.

As sad as all of this can be, perhaps in some ways it can be useful. Artists can channel these negatives into their work to create deep, intoxicating works and relate to their audience on a very personal level. In a very simplistic way of putting it, perhaps one can take the lemons life gives them and make lemonade.

Perhaps these challenges will always be with us but if that is to remain the case, maybe we can somehow at least make use of them.


As a photographer…

one of my favorite artsy types of shots to work with is the classic silhouette.

Perhaps it has something to do with the element of mystery behind the shadows and shading.  Maybe it’s the fact that most are gone in black and white and I’m a sucker for grayscale work. whatever the case may be, I truly love working with this particular style of photography.

That being the case, I have included some of my silhouette work below. I hope you enjoy them.


Girl silhouette

woman silhouette

sunset silhouette

Model silhouette

Some random thoughts on band names

When I was a kid…

I dreamed of being a professional basketball player. While I loved the game and was pretty good, I turned out to be a whole 5 foot 6 inches tall. And, short, white guys don’t usually make it too far in that game, lol.

So, when I got a bit older, sometime during my teen years, I started thinking about what it might be like to be in a band. Of course I fancied myself as the lead singer. So what if I couldn’t hold a tune, play an instrument and hated performing in front of people. I’m sure we could work around all that somehow. Besides, girls dig guys in a band.

As a writer, I have made some attempts to write songs. But desipte the fact that I have authored two poetry books to date, I was never one who really had the knack for writing lyrics.

What I thought I was pretty good at was coming up with band names. So with that in mind, here’s some I don’t mind sharing that I created over the years.

In my early to mid teens…


Burn Out

A little later on…

Rules of Enragement

Sounds of Chaos

By the way, if any on your musicians out there want to “borrow” one of these names, go for it. Just make sure you give me the credit. And if you make it big, maybe a couple of million or so wouldn’t hurt either.

American Idol Top 7 Recap (Take Two)

The 2010-today theme was pretty interesting considering it allowed for a lot of newer songs since up until then, most of the song options where from several years gone by. While I don’t think all the contestants took full advantage of this opportunity, I do believe this may have just been the most competitive week so far.


1. Hollie  

2. Jessica

3. Colton 

4. Phillip 

5. Joshua 

6. Elise 

7.  Skylar 


1. Hollie 

2. Phillip  

3. Jessica 

4. Joshua 

5. Skylar

6. Elise 

7.  Colton


1. Hollie – Her vocals where strong and she really started to look comfortable and confident. She showed that she deserves to be back in the race.

2. Phillip – Great song choice in round two, risky in round one. The smooth, catchy performance may have just paid off.

3. Jessica – A bit over the top in parts but she came out with fighting with so much power and vocal beauty.

4. Colton – Unique approach but not his best work. Still pretty solid nonetheless.

5. Joshua – Went a bit crazy reverting back to excessive screamy vocals and vibrator. All in all he was just OK.

6. Skylar – Fun and entertaining with some interesting song choices. Not bad but not great.

7. Elise – She had great tone and was quite sexy in the second song but just didn’t seem to have the same impact as the others.

The Bottom 3 “should” be Elise, Skylar and Joshua with Elise going home. But, after the shocking situation last week, it seems like anything goes.

Side Notes:

Last week was amazingly competitive and this week even took that to the next level. The voting will likely be extremely close and we could be in for a bit of a surprise. Literally everyone is vulnerable at this point. I would guess that Jessica’s fans will spring into action after last week’s ridiculous scare.

Photography equipment on a budget

So anyone who wants to get seriously involved in photography will come across some challenges along the way.  As one of the photographers in Pittsburgh PA with a minimal budget, I can assure you I’ve experienced this dilemma several times first hand.

The key is not to get discouraged and to make the best choices for equipment and other tools that fit your budget. How do we do this? Here are a few options.


If you’re not worried about the aesthetics of  things, you can create some props and tools yourself for a much more affordable rate than you might find when trying to purchase items through a commercial outlet. This blog contains a few examples and there are tons of sites online that you can find that will help you out. Youtube alos offers some good visual tutorials.

Buy second hand

While you have to be careful buying used items, don’t let that turn you away from benefiting form the savings you can gain by doing such. E-bay is a good option and so is Craigslist.

Look in unexpected retail locations

The tenancy might be to search out specialty shops when shopping for photography equipment. However, you can find some great quality buys at more general locations. For example, online retailers like Amazon and have a surprisingly extensive selection of photography items. And in general, they cost less than the specialty shops.  Offline, you might benefit from buying materials for backdrops in the fabric section of your local Walmart or craft store. The savings can be hugh.


Literary genius without the credit as such

When we think of great literature, our minds probably reflect on the works of some of the classic authors. For example, the writing of William Shakespeare, Jane Austin, Earnest Hemingway and Mark Twain might come into play. Perhaps you like newer works by people like Stephen King.

There are some authors that have written incredible poetry books, novels and various other works from any number of genres that don’t quite get the recognition as the brilliant minds that they truly are. Although quite famous, one such example of someone who might fit this mold this the incredible children’s storyteller Theodore Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss.



What makes his works so incredible?

1. The poetic and inventive nature

There is no doubt Dr. Suess was incredibly imaginative. He not only created charters and locations but even delevoped is own words and language in some cases. Not too many authors have been able to pull that off.

2. Many, if not all stories, have a deeper meaning

If you look beyond the silly surface, several of Dr. Suess’ works are quite profound. For example, the story of the Grinch deals with discrimination. “The Lorax” focuses on respect for our planet and the environment. “Green Eggs and Ham” encourages us to not be afraid to branch out from the familiar.

The next time you think about literary genius, consider adding Dr. Suess into the conversation.

American Idol Top 7 Recap

The 2010-today theme was pretty interesting considering it allowed for a lot of newer songs since up until then, most of the song options where from several years gone by. While I don’t think all the contestants took full advantage of this opportunity, I do believe this may have just been the most competitive week so far.

Here’s how I rate the solo performances:

1. Elise – Perfect song choice. So cool and dead on.

2. Colton – Good song selection. His performance was intense and heartfelt. Very nice.

3. Joshua – I’m not a big fan but he impressed me this week. His best showing to date.

4. Jessica – Odd choice of song. Good vocals but not nearly her best.

5. Hollie – Interesting song. She put a cool spin on it nailing the last high note. Good job all in all.

6. Phillip – Unusual song. Slow start but got a little better as it went on. Just OK though.

7.  Skylar – Subtle yet powerful. Well done.

Here’s how I rate the duets:

1. Jessica, Hollie and Joshua – Good song match for their voices. Fun, energetic and pretty nice.

2. Skylar and Colton – The harmonized much better than last week but it was still lacking.

3. Elise and Phillip – Not bad. Good in the chours but off in other parts.

The Bottom 3 “should” be Skylar, Phillips and Hollie with Syklar going home. The voters made the right call last week but can be quite unpredictable so who knows what might happen.

Side Notes:

Elise seems to have been lacking support but based on her showing this week she should be just fine. Hollie, although probably the best pure vocalist of all the remaining contestants, has been in the same boat and it very much in danger again tonight. Joshua moved up a bit among the others, at least for this week. Personally, I think it’s a fluke. Colton continues to remain the most versatile of all the contestants. Even with a slip this week, Jessica likely remains the front-runner.


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