Your home for everything artistic

Music has always been a powerful resource for me.  As a kid, I was always writing songs in my head, daydreaming about producing my own musical with original songs.  But songwriting proved to be instrumental in helping me discover my own voice again after my life took a dramatic turn.

As a child, the arts were my passion and identity.  When my traumas occurred, they became my lifeline.    I grew up all my life in theatre.  I was singing, dancing, acting and creating since the time I could talk.  I lived my life believing I would carve a beautiful career out for myself in the world of musical theatre, be on Broadway, and conquer the world.  However, at 18, and a week before my senior prom, I found myself in intense pain – very suddenly and randomly.  I was rushed to the ER, and to summarize very briefly, my stomach exploded, I was in a coma for six months, and I was unable to eat or drink a drop of water for over three years.  After 27 surgeries, I was miraculously reconnected with whatever I had left.  However, to persevere through those tumultuous years took great inner and outer strength.  I relied on my creativity to get through.  My therapy was purely based in the world of theatre, art, writing, dance, music, and whatever else I felt was an area that I could express myself appropriately.  The arts were a way for me to express whatever felt too painful and overwhelming to put into words.  They also helped me process what I was feeling.  But most importantly, they served to be the greatest reward acting as a medium where I could still engage with my community, reach out to others, and make a difference in this world while utilizing my passion.  Arts were my way of connecting with the world, sharing my story, and spreading my message of hope, strength, and finding beauty in whatever life brings you.

To find myself again after so many medical interventions, I painted, I danced, I wrote, I sang – but it was the act of writing and putting those words to music – to sing them from my gut – this was what allowed me to accept my body again – a body vastly different from the one I grew up in.

Songwriting was my therapy, and within a month, I had written over thirty songs.  This song was based on some journal writings I had done when reflecting on life in the hospital.   I wanted the world to know what I had been through – to give the outside world a glimpse of my story, to explain why I came to be who I am, to “justify” why I may seem a “madwoman” after so many years of trauma…this song was my way of letting people in.

Read and learn more about Amy on her official website today or by checking out her blog.

The other day I was walking around town and thought for a moment, boy there are a lot of WI-FI signals out there. They cross through our skies and weave through one another, all behind the scenes and invisible to the human eyes.

What is we could see them? What might they look like?

As it turns out, a fantastic artist  Nickolay Lamm worked with M. Browning Vogel, who has a Ph.D. in Astrobiology and is a former NASA employee. Together, they created a visual representation of what the world might look like if WI-FI was visible.

Check out some of the stunning shots below.

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It’s a pretty simple fact that duct tape is possibly one of the greatest inventions every created. You can use it for just about anything from covering sharp edges or a damaged file cabinet to keeping water out of the bottom of a boat (Check out the episode of the show Myth Busters) and of course, taping ducts.

But in recent years, it has become a frequent tool of creative minded people. Some have even made entire wardrobes out of it.

Check out some of the cool things people have done with duct tape. Enjoy!

By the way, each image is linked to the source for more info.

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As a photographer and writer, I often see and hear commentary discussing, and in some case editorializing, either the difference or lack thereof when it comes to artistic nudity or erotic art and pornography.

While I am pretty sure I have addressed this in the past on this blog and am certain I have done so in a number of other forums, it is an important issue to many and thus bears repeat commentary.

Sexuality and the naked human form ARE NOT something that should automatically be seen as dirty, bad, immoral…Both are part of human nature and in essence should be celebrated in an appropriate and respectable manner. I am a true believer in the idea of moderation and this fits perfectly into that concept.

To me, the appropriate and respectable are where artistic nudity and erotic art come in to play. After all, to consider as pornographic all instances of nudity or sexuality in an artistic form like video, photos, drawings, paintings, sculpture or even literature would classify some of the world’s great masterpieces as nothing more that repulsive smut.

So, you may ask, where do we draw the line? For many, this is a rather subjective issue and is hard to determine on a concrete basis. In fact, Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart once said about obscenity and pornography that although he could not define it, “I know it when I see it.”

In my humble opinion, having worked with nude and semi-nude models on many occasions, I see some elements that surely distinguish the two.

If any of these are the case, the subject matter is mostly likely if not definitely pornographic in nature:

1. The major or only focal point of the piece are the breasts, vagina, penis or anus when these parts being stimulated via another person or object.

2. The purpose of the work is pretty clearly nothing more than to insight sexual arousal. So, there does not seem to be any real artistic intent.

3. The work is meant to be used in conjunction with something else to produce arousal (i.e. a photo of a magazine centerfold that may or may not be fine on its own that the editor couples with a graphic, sexual story).

Basically, there must be something more to offer than just sexual desire. For example, the way the light showcases the curves of a torso, an emphasis on pose and positioning of the body for a more aesthetic appeal or perhaps a focus on the creative use of space and color.

The bottom line really comes down to this:

The goals of Artistic Nudity or Erotic Art are appreciation and admiration. The goals Pornography are degradation and exploration. Thus, no true artist is a pornographer and no pornographer is a true artist.

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Image shot by Jeff Olson.

 

 

 

From time to time we all get caught up in a particular song or two that for some reason or another seems to stand out a bit from the rest. It might not be the best piece of music but it has something about it that just makes your day or causes it to become an “earworm” if you will.

Here are a few that have had that impact on me recently that I would like to share.

During March, I completed my latest effort in e-literature and am excited to share it with you.

Just like my other e-book from 2011, “Making Beautiful Photography,” this one is something of a how-to guide when it comes to the art of photography.

The new work is called “Pesky Shadows, Pretty Shadows” and is available now. Among other things, it focuses on the use of light and how it pertains to the issue of shadows, both good and bad, within a given image. There are also tips and tricks on how to make the most of soft shadows while doing your best to avoid the harsh and unflattering ones.

If you are interested, check it out!

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Now that Spring is here in my neck of the woods, it can really be a great time for making incredible photos. Here are a few of my artistic photos with a bit of a Spring feel to help get you into the season.

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