I would like to share some Christmas Spirit now, and share with you this beautiful song by Maria Mena:
Maria Mena is one of the great artists who will be in consert in Arendal, Norway the 23.rd of June, when Arendal Kulturhus kick off the summer with the consert: Byspeil. You might read more on the blogpage of Kulturhuset, and you might purchase tickets here. Enjoy!
The room is full
Friends and colleagues
Joining the holiday spirit
Talk about nothing
Laugh about anything
and full of taste
Wine’s pouring out words
from all of us
even the most quiet
And the alphas
in every subject
The prude finds
her inner Madonna
The secretary finds
the workaholic finds
and discuss next years
the alcoholic forgets
this night strategy
The room is full
Of party people
And the other ones
The ones that wish
they could leave know
And the ones that
are afraid to miss out
on the fun
on the gossip
on the free coctails
The joy and struggle
once a year
This Photo and Poem is also published at www.passionforart.net
Chatter, laughter and music waft through the air, mixing with the smells of gingerbread, grilled meats and cookies as shoppers browse among the carved toys, small musical instruments, ornaments, handcrafted clothing, homemade soap, candles and hand-blown glass.
It’s the ambiance and the loving and smiling time of the year. I love these weeks before Christmas, I even have a calendar. Every morning I can open a present from my Best Friend Ingrid. These are not expensive gifts, but thoughtful and fun things to receive. This year I had double luck, I got 24 small presents from my niece as well.
My thoughts are dark
The sky grey
The wind’s cold
And lonely feelings stay
The woods are silent
The air clear
I let my soul scream
There is no one here
I wish life was simpler
I wish I just could go
hug a tree
or see a show
My thoughts are dark
The sky is clear
A distant dog bark
I’m still here
-Ellen Gill –
My poem and photographie are also published on my site : www.passionforart.net
I love when art is challenging, when the artists do something unexpected and twists around the world as we know it. The real passion for art! That’s why I think the work of Chinese artist Zhou Weihua is so interesting, the way he is surpassing history and reality.
Zhou Weihua’s paintings reflect the world as an image-making factory. By choosing public images and processing them through a personal filter, he screens a series of valuable spiritual images, which allowing his paintings to enter a cultural image ideology. These self-reflective images present a parallel to human existence. For example, he paints icons of the past (which are ever-present in today’s media) mixed with the young, Chinese generation, all expressing total satisfaction and jumping for the sky.
All of the images are beautiful and joyful in his paintings. You never see misery or tragedy. Zhou Weihua uses images that appear in documentaries and the media. These images are not connected to his private life; they are images of public consumption. Two main categories of people appear on his canvases. The first type is famous icons of the past: such as politician Mao Zedong and Che Guevara; film stars Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn and Zhou Xuan; singing legend John Lennon with wife Yoko Ono; socialist model-worker Lei Feng; culturalists Lu Xun and Bernarad Shaw and Cai Yuan Pei. The second type of people in Zhou’s paintings is unknown people with physical characteristics which match modern society’s ideals.
Zhou Weihua visually quotes public images. His paintings are a discussion of displaced images in both time and space. For example, in the series “Carefree” and “Playing Together,” historical figures come to modern China and view a modern city. There are scenes of a Zhong Kui play behind Audrey Hepburn. Zhong Kui and Zhou Xuan are with super-girls. Hollywood film toys and Divas of the Beijing opera play together. Besides the time displacement and a created simultaneous existence, the younger generation is floating in the sky, enjoying a hyper-real space.
“Time and space displacement are composed of a representational world of imagery. Chinese contemporary paintings show a large quantity of images,” says media theorist, Marshall McLuhan. He calls these information-bomb images “hot images.” Contemporary painting is evolutionary and Zhou Weihua translates photography imagery into informative and narrative images. In contemporary society, images divert into two groups; private and public.
The world today is filled with its living inhabitants and the legends of historical ghosts. The subject choices in his paintings are very personal. The public images have been broadcast or consumed frequently, and reflect common public interest. This era is an era of image-consumption, thus suggestive of where we stand as a culture. There are increasingly more images that are pleasant or joyful, but without any soul or personality. These representational images verify each other’s existence and form an ideological-structure, which is purely representational. This structure reflects the modern consumer-system, which seems to have three-dimensional, qualities, but is actually flat and deprived of meaning. The people’s consumption within this system will eventually lead to the representational existence of human kind.
The representational existence of images and humans are materialized in consumer society; this is the point of Zhou Weihua’s image system. The inspiration of his images, (like historic icons, fashionable modern Chinese, and Hollywood film toys) are purely representational. The historical images are mostly disconnected from their old and serious characteristics, and the modern images are deprived of all things real and cruel; they are hyper-realistic. Their characteristics are reflective of modern society and pursue something comic and absurd. In other words, the images do not reflect real life. They show the idealized scene of our desires; the public ideology of consumption.
In Zhou Weihua’s paintings, the figures are represented in absolute cuteness and joy. All the representations show the possibility of being free and flowing. They do not live in reality, and the historical people don’t live in the past. In his paintings there are no real dimensions, but only the dimension of absolute happiness. The people in the images are free from any connection to the past, like an existence in a permanent representation, where beauty and joy will last forever.
Zhou Weihua wants to highlight a society of consumption. It’s not necessary that we draw these images back to reality, instead he suggests that we walk from one representation to the next.
Ideally situated in the heart of Southern France, between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean, the cosmopolitan and enthusiastic “Ville Rose” joyously mixes heritage and lifestyle, great cultural events and festival pleasures. Toulouse is an absolute must for everyone wanting to explore France. At once both modern and proud of the legacy of its past, open and radiant, you are bound to be seduced by the incomparable Toulousain lifestyle, coupled with the wealth of its cultural heritage. Even if you are not as lucky as me, who has my sister and her family living nearby, your stay in Toulouse will certainly be a time of great pleasure.
Toulouse, France’s fourth biggest city, is bubbling over with life. There’s nothing like a stroll around the historic centre, walking alongside the Garonne and the Canal du Midi, or stopping in one of the many cafés whose terraces spill out onto the streets. All over the city, the ambience is friendly, tinged with the well-meaning familiarity that I find particularly for the people of South France.
Toulouse is also a major shopping destination. All the major internationally-renowned brands in fashion, design, leather goods and jewellery are represented in Toulouse. The city neighbourhoods also live by the rhythm of the open-air and covered markets. Here you’ll find local products from the Midi-Pyrenees, which is one of the South-West’s most important gastronomic regions – producing wine, foie gras, cheeses, charcuterie, and of course cassoulet – the Toulousain dish par excellence.
2,000 years of Toulousain history have left the city scattered with a first-rate heritage that is representative of the Southern French style at various moments in history.
The Saint-Sernin basilica, a jewel of 11th and 12th century Roman art, is an important stage on the Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle pilgrimage. It is home to the grave of Saint Saturnin, first bishop of Toulouse in the 3rd century. The Jacobins convent buildings are visited for their Southern-French gothic architecture including the amazing “palm-tree”, a pillar from which twenty-two branches stem.
At the heart of the antique dealer’s quarter, the Saint Etienne cathedral bears witness to the evolution of several styles of sacred architecture. The city is also very rich in Renaissance townhouses: hôtel de Bernuy, hôtel d’Assézat, hôtel de Pierre… Not to forget the Capitole, currently the City Hall, with its magnificently decorated historic rooms and the immense ‘place’ with its Occitan cross. Sneaking a peek under a porch can sometimes reveal stunning gardens and façades. 19th century industrial buildings renovated as cultural venues prolong the tradition of brick – such as the Galerie du Château d’Eau, the Musée des Abattoirs or the Bazacle – a permanent exhibition space on the banks of the Garonne.
The city at the Garonne river is on the site of an ancient Roman settlement; even today many of the smaller streets follow their Roman counterparts and many of the red brick buildings are of a pseudo-Roman style. These buildings are also what give Toulouse its nickname La ville rose (The pink city).
Toulouse is a big city, but the historical centre is quite small, so you can walk to most beautiful and famous destinations in the inner city quite comfortably. This is definitely the best way to explore the city. My niece and her boyfriend took me exploring the city when I last visited, and I was so impressed, even though I’ve been there before, I left the city with a passionate print in my heart.
I find that Toulouse is one of the most alternative French cities – maybe due to its huge student population and its historical past with half a million Spanish republican/communist/anarchists ‘rebels’ that settled in the region after they failed to rebel against Franco and escaped through the Pyrenees during the ‘Retirada’ in 1939. I don’t know this for sure, but I sensed a rebellion attitude from great graffiti like this:
And of course, during my first visit to The Pink City over twenty years ago I bought a print that has been following me around since, and which I see as one of my art treasures: The print of the Seated Dancer in pink tights by Henri De Toulouse-Lautrec. I know that this artist did not live in Toulouse as one might assume because of his name, but for me, the artist and the city reflects my passion for art and traveling.
This article is also published on www.passionforart.net
Marianna Orlova is a young artist whose work just amazed me. Living in Moscow, she bought her first camera after saving up when she was 17. Her first photos was of her friends, and her work developed to the rare and fascinating art she is giving us today, at the tender age of 19. When I first saw some of her photos, I thought I had stumbled upon a well-known established artist, just unknown to me… And I guess my first interception was right, because Marianna has a lot of fans. Using social media as facebook, she makes her art available for everyone, and she also has a da account.
I asked Marianna what her inspiration for her spectacular work is, and her answers were not surprisingly mostly from music and music videos. She mentions Evanescence, HIM, Skillet and Three Days Grace, and I think it is so great to see an artist getting that kind of inspiration from other artists in other genders. Ohh, this is the real passion for art!
In some of her work she clearly gives us a reborn character from our childhood fairy-tales, like Sleeping Beauty and Snow White. Marianna also finds her inspiration elsewhere, sometimes even in her dreams. When she told me that I understood better why I myself thought about fantasy characters like elves and unicorns when I absorb some of her work. Marianna is an artist who enables the world to look into her dreams, and be inspired by the love and mystery that is present in all her frames.
Marianna wants to capture the moment, she loves working with her camera in motion, and not a staged scene, even though it might start out as one, she always plays along with what is happening around her. Her eye for lightning and surroundings makes her photos open for playful dreams and fantasy.
Marianna is now a freelance photographer, and her big dream is to continue grow as an artist, and maybe leave Russia to work in a great magazine in another country. I hope her dream comes true, so that this great young girl can continue making her great art available for the rest of us, we need artists as Marianna.
Do you want to read more and see more photos: Go to www.passionforart.net
This weekend I was in a seminar, were one of many interesting topics was how to get your readers to trust you. I thought this might be interesting for more people out there, so here we go: A mini seminar by EllenGry!
While the rest of the world have developed many barriers and protections to keep their e-mail accounts spam-free, there are also those that subscribe to mails that promotes their products, services and their site. This is mainly because these subscribes wants to know more about what these sites are offering and can be beneficial for them. They expect to get be kept posted on what they are interested in and what are new in the market or field they have chosen.
Businesses would be so lucky to have these kinds of customers; the basic element needed to get these types of people is trust. When your customers trust you they will reward you with their loyalty. Many internet users have gone to great lengths in protecting their email accounts from spam mail. Some free-mail internet providers and internet service providers offer spam protection while there are also some internet based companies that screen your mails for you.
With an opt-in mail list, the mails you send containing your promotional materials such as newsletters, catalogs and marketing media will go through. Your intended recipient will be able to read and view what you have sent making it a successful transfer of information. To be able to be allowed to do so, you will need permission from your recipient, to get this permission; you need to be able to get their trust. With the great lack of disregard for privacy in the internet, getting the trust of an internet user you don’t personally know is a big achievement.
To build a good opt-in list you need people to trust you, for a faster and quicker build up, you need to get your opt-in subscribers to trust you quickly. The faster you build your opt-in list the faster word about your site and company gets to be spread. The bigger the scope of your opt-in list the more traffic you get spelling more profits. Its easy math if you thin about it. Getting the numbers is not that simple though, or maybe it is?
• Getting the trust of your clientele shouldn’t be so hard especially if you do have a legitimate business. Getting your customers trust should be based upon your expertise. People rely on other people who know what they are talking about. Garner all the knowledge and information about your business. Ell, frankly if you decide to go into a business most probably you have an interest in it. Like how many basketball payers become coaches, you don’t really venture into something you don’t have any interest in.
• Show your clients that you know what you are talking about. Provide them with helpful hints and guidelines that pertain to what you are selling. Talk about how to install a roof if your into hardware products or provide articles on insurance settlements if you’re a settlement lawyer. You don’t have to be a big corporation to make use of an opt-in list. If your customers see you as someone who knows what he is doing and saying, they will trust you quickly.
• Be true to your customers, if you want to hype up your products and services, provide guarantees. The more satisfied customers you get, the bigger probability there is that they will recommend you. Generally, people will trust someone they know, when that someone recommends you then you’re a shoo-in. They will go to your site and check it for themselves and be given a chance to experience what the other shave experienced from you, so make sure to be consistent in the service you provide.
• Another tip in getting a customer to trust you quickly is to provide them an escape hatch. Show them that you are not there to trap them. Keep a clean list that would enable them to unsubscribe anytime they want. Elaborate your web form by providing information on how to unsubscribe from the list. Guarantee them that they can let go of the service when ever they want to. Many are wary that they may be stuck for life and would have to abandon their email accounts when they get pestered with spam.
Remember that when you get the trust of your clients don’t lose that trust. Because if you do anything with their email addresses like sell them or give them out, you will lose many members of your list as ell as potential members. The true quickest way to gain the trust of your subscribers is when you are recommended by someone they trust.
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