Adventure, Animals, Art

America – Forgotten Echos of the Past

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“An American Icon”       Mark Schutter ©2010        Watercolor Pencils

The American Bison is a true original and its image takes us back to a seldom remembered past when they roamed freely over the land prior to their decimation almost to extinction at the hands of man. In this image from my goal was to capture the simple beauty, strength and majesty of this truly magnificent animal. 

So much of history is lost to the echoes and which version of history depends on who is telling it. Each side has an agenda in which the truth can easily get lost. We forget that we all are from somewhere and traveling our paths around this spinning green ball hurtling through space and time. 

We lift up people for one good act then tear them down for one bad one. We admire the thought and criticize the action that follows.

If we were to measure the worth of every human being on whether they never fell short, all would fall short. Only Jesus Christ walked this earth not committing a sin. We lie to others, hiding the truth even from ourselves that we would never do such a thing. For we are better than them. Are we really?

Aren’t we all just sinners, and don’t we all need saving? That is where our commonality lies, that it is only by grace that we can find healing.

#JustBelieve #HopeLives #GraceChangesPeople

Happy 4th of July America!

We can and must be better than this!

Poetry

Yellow Brilliance

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Around the bend, on a narrow road.

Comes the end, of all we have known

The colors glow, in the autumn twilight.

The brilliant yellows, pierce the night.

~Mark Schutter ©2014

 
Poem 22 of 31 for October Poetry Writing Month, #OctPoWriMo. A rainy gray day in the Pacific Northwest has me thinking of sunshine, warmth and color. Let your light shine! ~M

Art, Life, Writing

Do You Color Outside the Lines?

An artist is...In the beginning the lines we draw around our lives serve to define and differentiate us, and then over time they come to limit and isolate us. To experience the relationships we were meant to experience with God or other human beings we must hug those lines and even be willing to cross over and color outside those very same lines.
We often draw lines in our lives, setting boundaries all in the name of trying to keep ourselves from being hurt. In the end they keep us from experiencing all that life as to offer.  Free will allows us to be the artist of our lives and to create a life’s work that is uniquely us.  We only reach that place of breakthrough when we move past what is comfortable, what is known, what is expected and into the absurd.  We must allow the colors to run, to mingle and mix with the colors of others creating new hues and shades.
 
The community, the life we yearn for is only found in the anxiety of mystery.  We must choose to walk into the darkness of our hearts, search the undiscovered and shine a light into the dark corners revealing the beauty of color that resides there.  And by the grace of God find our true purpose to be a blessing of ripples impacting the lives of others.    ~M ©2014
To know one life
 
God, Life, Poetry

You Are My Only

You are light and grace
Shining in my blackest night
You are light and grace
You are hope and mercy
When my night fades to dark
You are my hope and mercy
You are endless love
Forgiving my darkest parts
You are endless love
You are joy and peace
When my fears shadow my faith
You are joy and peace
You are my only
The only way, truth and light
You are my only

~Mark Schutter ©2014

Poem 19 of 31 for October Poetry Writing Month, #OctPoWriMo. I hope these words capture my state of being today and I pray they express a profound sense of hope that can only be found in one place. God bless! ~M
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Life, Poetry

The Human Zoo

What’cha gonna do? What’cha gonna do? What’cha gonna do?

When they come for you!

To lock you up in the human zoo!

Who dat? Who dat? Who dat?

We are locked in cages!

Stifled, chained and inside a box for ages!

What now? What now? What now?

Chickens hold tightly our chains!

We moan and cry, as we shower in the rain!

How’s this? How’s this? How’s this?

Slopping through the dark days!

Left alone and betrayed, what ever is left to say!

What the …? What the …? what the …?

Our lives incomplete and hopeless too!

We wake to find ourselves forever locked in a human zoo!

~Mark Schutter ©2014

(Poem #6 of 31, for #OctPoWriMo, just having some fun cause poetry doesn’t always have to be serious. Don’t let them catch you!)

Adventure, Art

From Fearful to Fearless!

Fearless SnoopyFrom fearful to FEARLESS, is a shorter leap than most would think.

I recently read a post by Tara Reed on the ArtLicensingBlog.com entitled “Comfort or Courage?”  A great post that it all comes down to a choice between being comfortable and or being uncomfortable for a while when you chose to be courageous.

“Most of the things you dream of, that you don’t already have, are just outside that comfort zone. Here’s to your creative success!”  – Tara Reed

Tara helps artists succeed by bridging the gap between creativity and business.  Check out her post “Comfort or Courage” and choose to be courageous.  You never know what just may happen or is within your reach!

I am taking a leap of courage the next two months and participating in the OctPoWriMo and NaNaWriMo! Write a poem a day during October, 31 in all, and write a 50,000 word novel during November. Watch for updates!

Now what are you going to do?

 

Life, Photograph

Google Auto Enhancement – Intrusion or Compliment?

These are photos I taken by me over the past few months using my Samsung Galaxy S4 phone and then auto enhanced by Google.  Now, I am the first to admit that the images are often unique and striking, some even better than the originals. Others leave me wondering what the heck and why that one?

However, I am not sure how I feel about some large corporation that has access to my personal photos to edit, manipulate and change how they desire and see fit.

Especially those of family and friends.  Why are certain photos chosen and not others?  Not to mention the videos composed of several photos put together, which I did not share any of those.  Does anyone know the why of this or is it some secret algorithms like Facebook uses? Makes me think that this may be too much of a good thing?  Is big brother watching?  Are we being manipulated?

Our every keystroke, every WordPress like and comment, every Google+ comment and plus, every Facebook like and comment, every Twitter tweet, all being captured, stored and categorized.  The technology is a wonderful tool and can truly be used for positive and noble pursuits.  I have met some wonderful people online that I otherwise would never have known. There is a power in being able to connect with people all over the world, but that power in the wrong hands… 

Where are we headed? What do you think?

Art, Life, Writing

The Artist Statement

Great post by Alyson Stanfield of the Art Biz Blog on the artist statement.  Whether you are a fine artist, poet, writer, dreamer or just a creative these are great ideas to think about to make your artist statement the best it can be. I know I need to work on mine! ~M

3 Thought-Provoking Questions for a Better Artist Statement

A strong artist statement is essential to the effective marketing of your art.

There’s no skating by on this one. You need at least one artist statement for each body of work you create.

Writing your statement is a process. Like any other type of writing or artmaking, you can’t expect to nail it in a single sitting. And, like all good things that take time, it will be time well spent. The process helps you gain clarity about your art.

Terri Schmitt painting

If you can’t define your art in a statement, you will likely face difficulty marketing your work. Where else will you get language for wall labels, brochure and website text, informal presentations, and conversations?

Answering these three questions will help you write a better artist statement.

1. What, in particular, do you want people to see in your work? Is it . . .

  • Your labor?
  • A special material?
  • An emotion?
  • Color? Line? Texture?

What is important to you?

Discuss how you handle this aspect of your work. The words you choose for your statement should be clues that lead viewers to these discoveries.

Declaring “I love color” is weak language. Who doesn’t love color? Show us exactly how you respond to color and use it to transfer meaning from your head and heart to the viewer.

Vickie Martin collage

2. What is a distinguishing characteristic of your art?

A distinguishing characteristic might be one of the items in the list under #1 above or something else.

What makes your art different from artists working along the same lines? Emphasize this quality when you speak and write. Help us to see what makes you an original.

Part of your job is to educate others how to look at your work. Most people haven’t had a visual education. They need to be shown what to look for.

3. What do other people find delightful or surprising about your art?

If it captures one person’s attention, it will probably be fascinating to others as well. Listen to what people say about your art. Their discoveries might shock or confound you, but trying to understand where they’re coming from is part of the communication process.

You will learn a lot by listening to these insights, and I think you’ll be surprised that they pick up aspects of your work that you hadn’t consciously considered.

If you care to, please share your responses to these three questions in a comment.

Alyson Stanfield is an artist advocate and business mentor at ArtBizCoach.com. This article was originally published in her Art Biz Insider, which is sent weekly to thousands of artists who are elevating their businesses. Start your subscription now and get Alyson’s 6 free art-marketing video lessons at http://artbizcoach.com

Art, Life, Writing

Something Completely Different!

He quickly dried himself and tossed the towel aside. Wrapping the soft white bath robe around his waist he tied the belt around his waist making a knot in the front. He then exited the building into the warm afternoon sun. It seemed to be a normal spring day with the sun shining amongst billowy clouds floating across the canvas of a cerulean sky. He quickly spotted her standing a short distance away with her back to him. She was wearing a similar white bath robe and her long brown hair hung down over her shoulders. She appeared to be having a conversation with a man who he did not know seated in front of her in a lawn chair. The distance between her and the man appeared to be about two yards and he seemed to be listening intently.

He began to walk towards her and this stranger, covering the distance quickly as his instincts raised the hairs on the back of his neck. The area was the grounds of a campus of some sort with people milling about amidst numerous large brick buildings. As he drew closer in his approach to the two figures he heard her voice. She seemed to be replying in response to a question from the strange man. Others passed by ignoring them both.

Coming from behind she was unaware of his approach and his nearness allowed him to hear her say the word ‘cancer.’ At that moment her hands quickly untied the knot at her waist holding her bath robe closed. Grabbing both front seams she tore open the robe her arms outstretched to her sides.  Shocked, he quickly covered the last few yards to where she was standing. Without hesitating he placed himself squarely between her and this man sitting there with an almost deliriously evil grin on his face. He was able to block the man’s view of her with his body. As he had moved to intersect the sight line between the two he was even more surprised to catch sight of bare skin and the swell of a breast. The realization that she was completely naked beneath the bath robe and had exposed herself to this strange man sent his mind into a free fall.

Catching his breath he quickly grabbed the edges of her robe and pulled them together to cover her nakedness. She did not resist and others passing by seemed not to notice. He then grabbed her by the shoulder and turned her away from the stranger. They began walking away as he guided her with his arm around her shoulders. As they walked, his legs felt as if he had just ran a marathon and only kept moving on instinct. His mind was reeling, his heart beating loudly in his chest. Minutes pass as they walk in silence before he is able to speak.

“What are you doing?” he asks incredulously trying to hide the anger and dismay. Her response is short and clipped with very little emotion, “You do not understand.”

“I do not understand?” he questions her.

“No, you do not,” she states simply.

She pauses before calmly adding, “I am the one dying.”

~Mark Schutter ©2014

Dying 2014(This story came to me in a dream, I have written it down here verbatim from what I recalled the next morning upon waking.  I have tried to add no extra details and if I have it is unintentional.  The mind has dreams of its own, of which in the light of day the reasons behind the dreams are chased away with the rising of the sun. ~M)