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Archive for August, 2013

Accidental Art – Beauty via Photoshop

A few days back…

I was experimenting with the idea of creating a number of digital photography backdrops in Photoshop. While I plan on selling these customized backdrop files ($5 each or 3 for $10), I had been looking to bring out a specific satin looking effect. Eventually, I was able to do just that. But before finally succeeding, I had to go through quite a bit of trial and error. And while that can be frustrating, it can also be an opportunity, a chance to create what I like to call accidental art.

I decided to share the two pieces I chose to save in this post for your enjoyment.

I hope you like them.

Title: Art

digital graphic artwork

Title: Color

colorful digital art piece

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Creating art with cake as your canvas

When we think of art…

our first thoughts probably go to the genres of painting, sculpting, drawing, artistic photography, films and music. But of course, there is a lot more to the arts than just these few areas. One creative skill and art that I have a close connection with (my mother does this sort of work) is cake decorating.

If you stop and think about it, this discipline takes a lot of skill, patience and a visual quality very much on par with any other category you can think of.

The cake decorator’s canvas and ┬ámedium are soft and delicate and require a special touch. And the very fact that the artist knows that his or her creation will not be preeminent, as that it is designed to be eaten, really takes a special level of dedication to what one is doing.

Just for your enjoyment, here are a few shots of cake creations by my mother. I hope you like them.

FYI – She once finished 4th place in a worldwide competition.

cake decorating

icing flowers

happy birthday

cake for fall

pretty cake

The art of language and definition change over time

Any writer must realize

when we try to define words, the definition of things tend to change over time. In fact, few people today may know what a given word we use on a daily basis might haven meant decades or even centuries ago. And the ones who do might potentially have a bit of an attitude when it comes to what we consider the “real” meaning of a word.

The truth is, there is no real meaning but just the meaning that the word was intended to convey at the time.

For example, while today one might use the word “girl” and a representation of a young female child. However, in centuries past, the term girl was used for a young person of either gender. That’s a big difference huh?

Some words change do to the influences of other languages and cultures while others adopt a new meaning due to the use of slang. No matter what the source of the change may be, the change itself can be quite interesting.

no dictionary

Here are some more fun examples:

Bad

In many contexts it can mean negative or terrible while the slang of the last few decades has redefined it to also mean positive, good or outstanding.

Handsome

Today this usually refers to a man who is attractive in appearance. However, in years past it referred to pleasant looking women.

Dude

when used today, a dude tends to be a rather fun, lively or interesting guy. But with the earliest origination of the word, the term was one that depicted a pansy sort of man.

Interesting isn’t it?

The long awaited return of Pittsburgh’s iconic fountain

A few months back, the city of Pittsburgh reopened one of the region’s most recognizable landmarks, the fountain at Point State Park. Up unless recently, I hadn’t had the chance to see the newly reopened spectacle that had been closed for a number of years due to technical and financial issues.

In honor of the return of this beautiful structure, I’ve included a few cell phone shots I took.

Enjoy!

Pittsburgh at the Point

Fountain at the Point

Pittsburgh Point State Park

Point State Park

Upbeat song, not so upbeat content

There are so many catchy songs out there.

But quite often, we probably get caught up into the fun, upbeat music without paying all that much attention to the lyrics. But if you take a moment to stop and really listen, you might be surprised that the content of the song you love doesn’t necessarily match the upbeat feel of the background music.

Here are a few examples for your consideration:

Broken Hearted by Kamin

The age old story of unrequited love.

Broken Hearted Karmin

Follow Me by Uncle Cracker

A happy go lucky ode to infidelity.

Uncle Cracker Follow Me

Payphone by Maroon 5

Maybe a sad breakup story can actually sound quite happy.

Payphone Maroon 5

Mack the Knife by Bobby Darin

There’s nothing like a fun and catchy tune about a murderer.

Mack the Knife Bobby Darin

Three non-technical keys to writing your best poetry

What makes good poetry?

If someone was to ask this question to a crowd of people, that person would probably receive any number of different answers. But in my personal opinion as the author of poetry books, considering the fact that poetry is an art, who is to say what makes one piece good as opposed to another not? Like any art form, it is highly subjective.

writing poems

But with that being the case, I do believe that there are a few things any poet can do in order to make the best of their own work.

1. Be inspired –

If you don’t have some sort of inspiration behind your work, the result won’t be as satisfying as if you do. While in other forms of writing you can simply just jump into it, this is not the case with poetry.

2. Express emotion –

Letting your emotion pour out onto a page is very important in this particular form of literature.

3. Let if flow –

The flow of the words in your poetry is also very important. The more natural and compelling the flow of the words, the better your writing will end up.

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