Kheiron, Trainer Of Greek Gods, Heroes… And Centaurs.

Sons of Apollo Series

One of the most understated characters in all of Greek Mythology is Kheiron Khronides. Kheiron was a centaur who lived on Mount Pelion in Thessaly. Though never the star of his own story, his character wielded great influence in the lives of the gods and heroes of mythology as their revered mentor.

Kheiron (pronounced kay-ron, spelled Chiron in Latin), is derived from the Greek word for “hand” and the name means “skilled with hands” or “surgeon.” Khronides (pronounced crow-nee-days) means “son of Khronos” (or Cronus in Latin). Khronos was king of the Titans and ruled the gods before Zeus. Thus, making Zeus and Kheiron half-brothers. Kheiron’s mother was the nymph, Philyra, whom Khronos seduced in the form of a stallion. From this union Kheiron inherited his double form as a centaur- half horse, half man.

As a master in the arts of warfare, music and healing, Kheiron became the tutor and trainer of many of the heroes of Greek myth, including Hercules, Jason and Achilles, and some gods, such as Asklepios, God of Medicine. As such, Kheiron is an influential, though rarely a central, figure in much of mythology. Without Kheiron’s tutelage, these heroes would not have achieved their greatness. What is a hero without his mentor?

Kheiron is depicted much different from his equine kin in both Greek story and art. Often pictured as half-horse and half man from front to back, and wearing a robe, rather than the traditional top to bottom. He is described as wise and cultured, rather than wild and savage like other centaurs. I would speculate this unique representation symbolizes his reputation and legacy as distinct from his equine kin. Perhaps to indicate his more civilized nature.

This discrepancy between one centaur and the entirety of his race intrigued me, as did his role in mythology. Because of his integral part in the lives of those he tutored, his character grew in my mind, as well as his influence on the centaurian culture I was developing in my novel. My inspiration for the role of Kheiron in my stories came from the question, why wouldn’t such a benevolent and sophisticated character wish to help his own kin they way he mentored those prominent Greek heroes? I decided he would. I began with the other prominent centaurs from mythology and inferred that they would have received training from Kheiron as well, namely Nessos, Pholos, Eurytos and Kentauros, all of whom had run-ins with Heracles. My story takes place after the Centauromachy of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, and features the descendants of these principle students of Kheiron.

Another myth involving Kheiron is one with multiple accounts in which the details vary, though the general story is tragically similar. During a visit from the hero, Kheiron was accidentally wounded by Heracles’ hydra-poisoned arrows and traded his immortality to free Prometheus from torment. In some accounts the wounded centaur is Pholos and not Kheiron.

In mythology, when an immortal died, it was often referred to as being “placed among the stars.” Kheiron is consequently sometimes equated with Sagittarius, a sign of the Zodiac.

If you wish to learn more about Kheiron, I would recommend two of my favorite Greek mythology websites:

theoi.com

mythindex.com

Visit my project portfolio to view the concept art for the series: Sons of Apollo.

Sign up for my newsletter to read chapter one of the first book: Mate For A Centaur.

Battling The Centaurs And The Rest Of The Story.

Sons of Apollo Series

The most prominent Greek myth involving the centaurs that served as inspiration for my series, Sons of Apollo, is the story of the the battle between the Kentauroi (tribe of centaurs) and the Lapithe (tribe of men) who were their cousins. The centaurs and the Lapithe were descended from Apollo and the nymph Stilbe, who bore him twin sons, Kentauros, a centaur, and Lapithus, a man. Ovid, in his Metamorphoses, tells of the infamous battle from the perspective of Nestor, king of Pylos. It is a bloody story of the ultimate defeat of the centaurs by the Lapith men at the wedding feast of Pirithoos and Hippodameia.

Pirithoos is a descendant of Lapithus. As cousins of the bridegroom, the centaurs were invited to attend the festivities. Trouble started when the centaurs, namely one Eurytos, become drunk and attempt to rape the bride and her handmaids. Theseus and the other Greek heroes come to their rescue, slaying Eurytos and his companions and a brutal battle ensues.
I have used many of the names of the centaurs from this story however they are not intended to portray these specific characters as chronologically my story takes place after this battle and the centaurs’ subsequent expulsion from Thessaly.

The Centauromachy was a popular theme in ancient Greece and was abundantly depicted in sculpture, architecture, on pottery and in art. Two of the most well-known depictions of the Centauromachy are: the West Pediment Statuary on the Temple of Zeus in Olympia, and the southern metopes from the Parthenon on the Acropolis in Athens.

Interesting to note, is the fact that Ovid is a Roman writer, which is significant for a few reasons. The Roman empire came after the fall of the Greek empire, so Ovid’s story is a later account of a story which must have had earlier origins. The evidence of these earlier origins are the prominence of this story as subject matter in Greek art and architecture and on pottery. Since there are multiple versions of the similar stories from different authors of other myths, it is a safe assumption that Ovid’s account isn’t the first and that there were likely other versions told previously in the form of oral tradition, or even written copies which have been lost to time.

It was also common for local story tellers to change the details of their stories to appeal to their local audiences. Generally the story is the same but some of the details vary, such as the location and the characters. Because I encountered these differences frequently in my own study of the mythology, it supported my idea that the facts would vary if the centaurs were to have told their side of the story and the facts could be considered just as true from their perspective. This awarded me much fictional license with which to justify tweaking the facts to suit the centaurs’ point of view without changing the relative truth of the account.

In my story, the female centaurs arise chiefly as a result of that first battle rather than existing prior to it. That makes a bit of a chronological discrepancy in Ovid’s account, but since the mythology is already inherently full of these little discrepancies, I took that as liberty and justification. In the realm of mythological realism in ancient Greece, my accounts would be no more or less true than any of the others. And since that was my goal, to write something that could have existed parallel to the original mythology, but from the perspective of the centaurs, it works in my favor.

The story of the Centauromachy contains the only female centaur mentioned in myth. Whether she was a later addition of Ovid or simply the last remaining female centaur of oral tradition can only be left to speculation. Female centaurs were popularly depicted in later antiquity and described by historian, Pliny the Elder.

Join my mailing list to read an excerpt from book 1, Mate For A Centaur.

Inspiration for my Novel Series: “Sons of Apollo”

Current Projects, Sons of Apollo Series

My series, Sons of Apollo, revolves primarily around the mythology about centaurs. In all of Greek mythology, the centaurs are positioned as the bad guys, defeated and driven off or slain by men who are the heroes. The story of the Centauromachy, the biggest battle involving the centaurs, is no exception. My stories were inspired by the question: wouldn’t the centaurs have their own version of the events?
My love for Greek mythology began at an early age when I first encountered the stories of Persephone and Medusa. I already knew I loved fairy tales and folklore, and particularly the fantastical creatures therein, so my introduction in elementary school to these stories was a natural gravitation into the realm of myth with its own heroes, heroines and creatures.
As I continued my study of mythology there were several themes that stood out to me, piquing my interest and fueling my imagination. Most of these themes have been woven into the series. These ideas became the seeds of creativity from which my story was born. The foremost being the way the centaurs were depicted in the mythology. Regarded as little more than animals, the centaurs are driven from their homeland, hated, hunted, feared and slain by men. All but one, Kheiron, (pronounced Kay-ron and sometimes spelled in the Latin, Cheiron) the centaur teacher and trainer of all the famous Greek heroes including Hercules, Jason, and Achilles. Kheiron was revered by gods, men and centaurs alike. This discrepancy intrigued me. I read and researched and filled in the missing information with my own ideas where I felt sufficient explanations were lacking. Though nowhere in mythology does it explicitly state it, I was convinced that such a generous and benevolent being would have offered the same training to his own kin which he offered to men. And thus, in my mind, a culture was born.
Another idea was the fact that there is only one female centaur mentioned in all of these myths. I wondered where she came from, why is she the only one? And was the absence of the female sex in their race the reason the centaurs always seemed to get themselves into trouble when it came to mating and producing offspring? If there were no female centaurs, or even very few of them, then women would be necessary for procreation. This conundrum became the catalyst I needed to first put pen to paper and begin to elaborate on all the “gaps” in mythology that I had begun to mentally refer to as my story. With my own struggle with infertility, the themes of procreation became more and more prominent in my writing. And my story grew.
Every story involving centaurs followed a similar pattern. The centaurs are always portrayed as drunken, riotous and lustful, easily provoked, easily riled and quick to steal away women in every opportunity they found. And always, in any altercation, they were the bad guys needing to be defeated. They were the antagonists in their own stories. But isn’t every villain a hero in his own story?

Book I: Mate For A Centaur is in the latter end of the revision stages, then on to editing and publication.
For a sneak peek at the conceptual art for my series visit my project portfolio. To read an excerpt and stay up to date on the progress of the series sign up for my newsletter.

Creativity Changes The World

Creativity

Everything that exists in this world does so because someone was creative. Creativity is that powerful.

Unfortunately too many people prescribe to the limiting believe that creativity has something exclusively to do with drawing ability or innate talent. This is the Myth of Creativity. Don’t believe it!

While being an artist is largely a creative endeavor and the capacity to be creative is something a person is born with, thankfully it is a capacity that lives with in all human beings, not just artists. It is a divine endowment to all God’s children. It is not something dependent on a person’s religious beliefs either.
The truth is, everyone is creative in some capacity or another. Creativity can be developed. Like all talents, it is a skill that can be, cultivated, enlarged and honed. Creativity is no more or less than the ability to think in new and different ways.

Everything is created spiritually before it can be created physically. It’s the execution or production of those ideas that requires the development of additional skills. For example, anyone can think of something like a flying car, but without the knowledge and understanding of a variety of different fields such as engineering, mathematics, aerodynamics, welding and fabrication, and a plethora of others I’m sure I’m missing, it would be another endeavor altogether to build such an invention.

This is why children are so creative. There are no limits to their imaginations. Children create spiritually, with no inhibitions. It is the development of skills that allows us to create physically. That is why adults are far more creatively skeptical. Adults recognize this discrepancy or the lack of skill.

Some creative endeavors are best executed as a collaborative effort. This kind of cooperation combines the talent, knowledge and skill of multiple individuals into a greater whole.

Creativity is such an integral part of our human identity that we marvel at signs of creativity in animals. Like the orangutan that uses a stick as a tool to extricate termites from their colony. Or the collaborative efforts of an ant colony to build and to overcome obstacles.

Creativity is as varied as the world is populous. There is always room for more ideas, new ideas. What’s your big idea? Have you developed the skills to execute it?

Think of what the world would be like with out the creativity of Thomas Edison or Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, Motzart, Monet, Davinci or a plethora of others. What will the world lack without your creative contribution?

What I’ve Learned About Motherhood- From My Dog: The Relationship Between Love And Sacrifice

Infertility, Motherhood, Personal Muse-ings

You love what you sacrifice for. It’s that simple.

The relationship between these two principles became apparent to me during the time I was learning to housebreak my puppy. It was a task that required vigilance and discipline. I had to take him outside every couple hours at a minimum, or I was cleaning a mess off the tile floor. (We relegated the dogs to the tile using a baby gate in the doorway to the living room because I did not want to be cleaning carpet.)

This vigilance required some sacrifice on my part. I adjusted my daytime schedule to accommodate the training routine and even gave up some activities all together if I was going to be gone long enough that my puppy was guaranteed to go on the floor. House breaking was really inconvenient, but so was cleaning up a disgusting mess. He could learn, but how could I teach him if I was absent?

Housebreaking was more complicated at night. It was winter in Rexburg, Idaho where nighttime temperatures were below freezing so I kept the dogs inside, corralled in the mud room. (I can just hear those experienced with dogs saying that I was doing this the wrong way, and those with children thinking indignantly that a dog is nothing like a baby, and they are probably both right, but this is my experience and I offer no apology or further justification for it.) It was both exhausting and frustrating to be constantly waking up during the night either because my puppy was whining, or even because he was too quiet. Many times I would startle awake worried that it had been too long and that he’d had another accident.

During this process I became acutely aware of my feelings for my little puppy. I was devoting my energy and time, sacrificing my sleep and other activities in effort to train and care for him the best I knew how. Despite how gross, frustrating and inconvenient it could be, I loved my little puppy more because of what I’d sacrificed for him. In turn, he served to fill a part of the gap in my heart that wanted children.

As I pondered these principles of love and sacrifice, I felt I had been given insight into not only the love of a mother for her children, but also the spiritual parallels of the Savior’s love for us, and the relationship between His love and sacrifice for us. Often the Savior’s sacrifice is referenced as an act of love, and it most certainly was, but a detail of the Lord’s sacrifice stood out to me that I had not before considered. When in the garden of Gethsemane, as Jesus prayed to the Father he said: “not my will, but thine be done.” (Luke 22:42) He committed himself in complete obedience, sacrificing his own will (”if there be any other way, let this cup pass from me”) in favor of the Father’s plan. “God loved us, so He sent His [perfectly obedient] son.”

Jesus taught about this relationship when he said: “a man cannot serve two masters, for he will love the one and hate the other. Ye cannot serve god and mammon.”  (Matthew 6, Luke 16) He reiterated this principle over and over again. “If ye love me keep my commandments.” (John 14) “As I have loved you, love one another.” (John 15)

This principle is, I believe, part of the reason God commanded his people anciently to make sacrifices to him. And why Christ said we are to make for him a sacrifice of a broken heart and a contrite spirit. (Psalms 51, 3 Nephi 9) We offer our sacrifice of a broken heart and a contrite spirit through our obedience, the sacrifice of our will and pride for the will of the Lord. This principle also applies to the service we render to our fellow men. Service and sacrifice are closely related, as we cannot serve another without some level of sacrifice. Christ declared these to be the two great commandments, the first, to love God with all thy heart, and the second to love our fellow men.

Unfortunately, the principle of loving what you sacrifice for still applies to the things we inadvertently, unintentionally, and subconsciously sacrifice. We become attached to things that are not good for us, even our bad choices become important. If we do not carefully and purposefully choose our priorities we will still feel the effects of sacrifice. If we sacrifice our love for God and our relationship with Him in favor of more worldly pursuits, those things become more important to us.

For example, do we sacrifice time with our family in favor of our career and monetary gain? Do we sacrifice the Lord’s Sabbath in favor of recreation? Do we sacrifice kindness for popularity? Do we sacrifice our integrity for pride? Or our health for idle entertainment and junk food? Are we sacrificing long-term happiness for instant gratification?

A popular maxim states: “Never give up what you want most for what you want at the moment.”

This experience has represented a paradigm shift in my thinking. It has become a mental system of checks and balances to weigh my priorities, analyze my choices and realign my actions with my values and principles. It is a litmus test to achieving my goals.

What are you sacrificing? Is it what you want most?

Watercolor Painting

Creativity: Motherhood vs. Art

Creativity, Motherhood

I met a woman recently who commented that she had never pursued her art as fully as she’d have liked because her mother had discouraged her with the message that she couldn’t make any money doing art; that it wasn’t practical.
My heart broke for her. I could see her passion as well as feel the hurt and hesitation that crippled her inner artist. My immediate desire was to help, to encourage and try to counter the damage that had been done. I told her it is never too late, that she is already an artist.

I was simultaneously grateful for such supportive parents of my own who have always encourage and praised my creative endeavors.

This beautiful woman, is the mother of six children.

In addition to being horrified that she was discouraged from being an artist, my mind also immediately thought of all the times I’ve heard motherhood put down as an un-lofty or unworthy endeavor. Motherhood certainly doesn’t make any money- less money even than being an artist! While I hope she has not suffered similarly for her choices about motherhood as she was discouraged about pursuing art, in our day and age, I’m not optimistic. I’ve been exposed to these horrible ideas all too often myself to be naive enough to think that another has been sheltered from them.

It represents the sad state of our society today that two of the most worthwhile creative endeavors are demeaned so horribly. I cannot think of a higher more divine mode of creativity than that of creating human life. And I don’t know a single artist who doesn’t seek to influence the world in some way with their art. Is there any greater, more accessible method of influencing the world than through the next generation? These lofty goals should be praised! Not discouraged. Especially in a society that claims a woman is capable and free enough to pursue whatever she wants.

Creativity is a divine endowment. A unique and exclusive gift from deity to humankind. Creativity ought to be celebrated and re-enthroned as the virtue it is.

Creativity transforms lives, whether through a painting, a song, a story, an entrepreneurial endeavor, a delicious meal, or simply, noble motherhood.

Watercolor Painting

Freedom And Boundaries

Luxurious Living, Personal Muse-ings

The celebration of Independence Day every Fourth of July, is a celebration of freedom. This American holiday is, in my opinion, one of our most substantive holidays in terms of ideology. Freedom is at the very heart of American culture. It permeates the whole of our society from our government, to our politics, to our economy, to our social structure, and our core values. Certain freedoms were of such importance to our founding fathers that they were articulated into our Constitution. They are protected by law.

Freedom also takes center stage in much American debate. Often it is an issue of the freedoms of the individual versus the freedoms of the majority. These debates are heated and there is passion on both sides. My intent is not to get into these debates themselves, but to address the idea of freedom itself. More specifically, the principle that true freedom always exists within boundaries.

Many people mistakenly believe that freedom is the absence of consequences. This is not the case. In fact, it is not even possible for freedom to exist outside of, or independent from, the natural law of consequences. Here in America, we are free because we have laws, or restrictions if you will, governing social behavior and economy, etc. When we obey these laws, we are free. When we do not abide by law, there are consequences. Often consequences limit our freedoms.

All of nature is governed by natural law (e.g. the law of gravity, or the laws of physics). For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. These are natural consequences- part of the natural law. They are not something humans can circumvent. True freedom comes from awareness of consequences to actions and making decisions accordingly, by choosing a desired outcome and not an action in and of itself.

Freedom has existed within boundaries from the beginning. When God placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, it was with certain laws. God also granted to Adam and Eve their agency, they were free to choose for themselves. However, when God’s laws were transgressed, there were consequences. (Of course God is loving and merciful, so He gave to Adam and Eve the law of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, whereby sin and death could also be overcome by repentance and obedience.) This principle of freedom within bounds is woven throughout the entirety of Christian doctrine.

Some examples to illustrate this idea are things like, being free to drive a car in accordance with traffic laws. Or being free to interact on social media in accordance with the rules of any particular forum. The freedom to use a licensed product in compliance with stated terms and conditions. Freedom from stress over a test after diligent study. The freedom that come with knowledge and skill after disciplined practice, whether it be in art, music, medicine, science or any form of industry. The freedom of a teenager who has his or her parents’ trust. The freedom of choice when considering options such as universities, after qualifications have been met. Freedom from debt when bills are paid and budgets are followed.

The absence of law, restriction or consequence does not create freedom. Without law there is chaos and anarchy. A society that is truly free understands and reverences this principle. An individual who is truly free is obedient to the rule of law. The pinnacle of freedom is found in the rule of one’s self- mind over body.

I am free as society intends me to be free, when I obey the laws of the land. I am free as God intends me to be free, when I obey His laws.

I love the words to the American hymn “My Country, ‘Tis Of Thee.” Particularly appropriate in this context are the lyrics of the fourth verse:

Our fathers’ God, to thee,
Author of liberty,
To thee we sing;
Long may our land be bright
With freedom’s holy light.
Protect us by thy might,
Great God, our King!

America is free when “In God We Trust.” God bless America.

Be Creative

The Creativity Myth

Creativity

There are two kinds of people in the world. People who are creative and people who believe the lie that they’re not. The idea that some select chosen few are creative while the everyone else is left to languish is a complete myth. Everyone has the capacity to be creative. Unfortunately for many people their creative efforts were stifled at a young age. Even more unfortunate is when it is never recovered.

In truth it is never really lost, just neglected; abandoned for the belief that it never existed to begin with. Creativity, like a muscle, will atrophy when underused. One’s creative faculties must be exercised. Luckily they can never atrophy into extinction. The flames of passionate creativity can always be rekindled. However this process does require work, sometimes difficult work. Just like the necessity for physical therapy to recover capacity in muscle functioning. Severely malnourished creativity may need to undergo some intense therapy.

The false beliefs of inability, skepticism and doubt must be extricated. To be creative is a choice. It is a purposeful and conscious shift in mindset. Here’s how:

First accept that you are creative. Creativity is part of our divine endowment as humans. You have the capacity like everyone else. Believing this may require redefining your self image. The way to change your beliefs about being creative is to stop telling yourself that you’re not. Abolish the negative internal dialogue that tells you can’t or that you aren’t. You can create! You are creative!

Second, develop skills. Know that your ability to be creative has nothing to do with drawing skills. Those who are creative are not so because they draw, but rather those who draw do so because they love the creative process. Although drawing skills are not prerequisite, skills and expertise of any kind are imperative to enhancing creative capacity. Or rather the ability to develop skills. Happily, if you can do it once you can absolutely repeat the process with a new set of skills. Skill, the ability to do something well, is one of the raw materials of creativity. For example, in order to create music, one must first learn (and perhaps even master- to some extent) the fundamentals of music. Even a musical prodigy like Mozart wasn’t a prodigy because he was some how magically able to create music ex nihilo, with no prior knowledge, study or experimentation. Rather, he was a prodigy because he had mastered the necessary skills at an early age.

Third, learn to make connections. This is related to the idea of having vision, or the ability to see or make seen things otherwise obscure. Unlike developing skills which is primarily a physical activity, the ability to make connections is a mental capacity. It to must be exercised. In their book, Creative Confidence, the Kelley brothers, Tom and David, talk about developing empathy as a way to tap into our creative resources. They argue that the ability to relate, and connect with others is another vital resource of creativity. Jacob Bronowski in his essay The Creative Mind talks about creativity as the ability to find hidden likenesses between two seemingly unrelated things. He describes this process as a way of recognizing and identifying parallels similar to the way poetic metaphors juxtapose subject matter to create a harmony of idea. He further describes the unique connection that happens between creator (or artist) and observer when the observer rediscovers for himself that which the creator has presented.

Fourth, produce. Make production a greater passion than consumption. Put your skills and your ability to make connections to use. Produce something, anything. It doesn’t even have to be a physical thing. Production is where creativity begins to reap the rewards that enrich life. And as Bronowski points out, meaning is enhanced when not only the creator benefits from the process and the product, but the consumer does too. Art, music, poetry, literature, a delicious meal, a relationship, all must first be created, then enjoyed.

Once you stop believing the lie that you are not creative. (especially if you believed it for lack of drawing skills) you are empowered to use your creative abilities to enrich your life. Chances are you already have skills. You can make connections. You can produce. You are creative, even if you can’t draw.

What will you create today? Share in the comments.

Every Home Should Have Original Art

5 Reasons Every Home Should Have Original Art

Art, Luxurious Living

Every home should have original art. The benefits of art are reaped on all levels, from individual, to family, to society. Here are five benefits of having original art in the home:

    1. Original art is personal.
    2. Original art has a story.
    3. Original art generates conversation.
    4. Original art creates culture.
    5. Original art is a luxury.

Original art adds a personal touch to any environment. Its creation is personal as well as its meaning. It wasn’t made by a copy machine or mass produced. It was made by human hands, individually, one at a time. Because original art was made individually, it is unique, and one of a kind. It is exclusive because there is none other like it out there in the world. Its unique quality adds a richness unachievable by copy machines that copy work. This is why it is not the same experience to see a photograph of a place as it is to be there. By the same principle, a photograph of a work of art doesn’t do justice to experiencing the real thing. This is not to say that photography isn’t an art form in and of itself. It most certainly is, but here I’m speaking of originals versus copies. A photograph may be an original piece of art, but a photograph of the Sistine chapel or of Michelangelo’s David is certainly not the same as experiencing the real thing. Similarly, having a photo of someone is not the same as meeting them in person. The original is always the best.

Original art has a story. A story of its creation, a story of its creator, a story of its meaning in the eyes of both the creator and the viewer. Stories bring meaning to life. Stories are one way we relate to each other as members of the human family. Think about it, how often have you felt close to someone- even a stranger you have never met- after you have heard their story. Our culture is full of stories. The news, our entertainment, stories of athletes, stories of musicians, politicians, cancer survivors. Stories of suffering, stories of success. Often these stories provide meaning and purpose. Our appreciation is deepened when we know a person’s story. Art is a powerful way of communicating these stories.

Original art is a conversation piece. It generates conversation, engaging host and guest in meaningful and pleasing dialogue. Conversation deepens relationships. Conversation is an opportunity to share our stories. Generally people who come into my house know I am an artist and appreciate seeing my work in person. This is both gratifying to me as the artist and enjoyable to them as the viewer as well.

Art creates culture. By purchasing original art, you become a patron of the arts. Your support allows the artist to continue to produce work. Collective patronage of the arts, in harmonious conjunction with the production of art, creates culture. Being a patron of the arts isn’t something that touches the individual purchaser of the work alone, but others as well. Purchasing art is a contribution to society in the sense that it an individual testament to the value of art in society. Individually the purchase of art is a declaration of value, collectively it established culture. A culture which values the arts is rich indeed. This culture can, and should, be cultivated in the home.

Art is a luxury. The idea that art is a luxury is deeply rooted. Original art has long been associated with the aristocracy, the rich in society who could afford it’s luxury. Having original art in your home elevates the environment and makes it more luxurious. Because of this historical association with the aristocracy, original art is often viewed as expensive. While this may be true of some art, it is not true of all art. There are many sources for affordable original art, if you know where to get it.

Do you have original art in your home? What benefits have you experienced from having original art in your home? Share in the comments.

 

 

 

Acrylic Painting

Announcement and Updates

Current Projects

My gallery shop is live as of November 2, 2015. I will be adding paintings daily. This is both thrilling and terrifying. I have accumulated a large inventory of paintings over the last decade it’s been since I’ve had a studio gallery to display and sell my work. I’ve participated in shows over the years, however traditionally an art show will only take one or two entries, so I have a lot of work crowding the walls of my in-home gallery. I’m excited to be able to share my work in an online gallery, and find new homes for it. Subscribe to my newsletter for exclusive coupons.

This month I will be participating in NaNoWriMo, which stands for National Novel Writing Month. This is an annual online event where participants commit to write a novel in one month. I will be using this month to write my rough draft for book three in a mythological fantasy series which I am currently working on. I hope to have book one published in 2016.

I am also working on a short non-fiction book: Why You Should Be An Artist Even If You Can’t Draw: 12 key principles to empower your creativity and improve your life. I believe there are two groups of people, those who are creative and those who believe the lie that they’re not. My endeavor in this work is to encourage and empower those who don’t believe they are creative simply because they haven’t developed traditionally creative skills like drawing. I wish to show that there is much more to creativity than simply drawing, and indeed drawing skills are not imperative to creativity. This book is in the editing stages. I will be looking for beta readers for this project which will include access to the pre-publication manuscript, but under the obligation to read within a set time frame and provide necessary feedback prior to publication. If you are interested in participating, you may email me at norma-sue(at)hotmail(dot)com.

I have a lot to keep me busy this month. What creative pursuits are you working on?