Highlighted Blog #12 – Christopher Pollock Art

Okay, so this one is super slanted since the author hasn’t updated in absolutely forever. But I can’t help but love it since it’s my husband’s site, and I have an inside scoop into posts that might be showing up eventually 😉

This one has some color. So far there has been only one of this kind. It sold very fast. I probably should make more! It is painted sheet metal and wire.
via Colored Circles on Wavy Base Mobile —

* For the month of November (the month of Thanksgiving in the United States), I’m sharing  writing from some of the blogs I’m thankful for. If you want thankful posts from my own personal day-to-day stuff, check out my Inspired By and Thankful For blog.

Perception

When visiting museums, I appreciate the art. This is true. But even more so I appreciate the creativity spawned by the living art around me.

On a visit to The Clark  I looked at the works of some of the old masters, and I totally appreciated the talent while I was there. Then I moved on.

When the day was over Chris and I realized we missed a really cool part of an exhibit (Jennifer Steinkamp: Blind Eye) and decided to go back to the museum the next day ( a great perk of this museum deal we signed up for) . Since we were in art-mode we watched a movie entitled Renoir, and suddenly, I was seeing things in a different light.

When we went back the next day, we visited the Renoir paintings we had seen the day prior, and suddenly I found myself analyzing the brush strokes, color choices, and I related to the passion of an artist who wouldn’t let go of his gift even if his hands were in excruciating pain. The paintings took me to a completely different realm of appreciating than the day prior, thanks to some time and the film — another beautiful form of art. I think his son would have approved 🙂



The exhibit we missed was a computer rendering exhibit in which the artist used programs like Maya to create magnificent art. I was intrigued by the actual images, while Chris was absorbed by the display itself.



How did the cameras work and show the full canvas? I never would have thought of that if he were not in the room. But it certainly added to my experience. Thanks, Chris 🙂

A few days later we were talking with some of our kiddos, and I was rhapsodizing on the museum experience, expounding on how it was so much more than the art itself. It was about how people reacted to the art, and the history behind it, and all that jazz. Even the walk through the woods between buildings was beautiful.

We saw a tree that had fallen, and I thought it was pretty cool. My imagination kicked in, and I wondered how and when it fell, and I imagined the new animal homes the fall created. A children’s book was niggling in my brain as Chris commented on the amazing support system that naturally occurred under the tree in the fall. At least until rot kicks in. It made a natural bridge with support. Without his eyes and comments, I don’t think I would have seen it, but it made the experience all that much more magical.



CJ pointed out that it’s like that for him on the slopes when he is with friends and students he teaches. He observed that is was really interesting to see the lines they chose to navigate down the mountain. Apparently one friend has a really unique eye, and the lines he chooses bring all sorts of unexpected adventures ranging from new trails on new hills one didn’t previously notice to complete drop-offs (ack!).

My eyes have been opened to the importance of perception and seeing what others’ see. It’s so interesting!As you might have noticed in past posts, I’m kind of into quotes. So I’m going to leave off with this one that I love:

No two people see the external world in exactly the same way. To every separate person a thing is what he thinks it is — in other words, not a thing, but a think.Penelope Fitzgerald

Artists at Work

As we traipsed through MASS MoCA, we found ourselves in the children’s area. It was delightful. There was an art bar where kids could go to get lunchboxes filled with art supplies. They took them to a table and began creating. As I watched a man and girl twisting pipe cleaners together, I was reminded of the artists in my life, and how I’m super fortunate to have so many creative souls around me.

The little girl’s pipe-cleaner art reminded me of Mollie’s Christmas creation.

These artists have the ability to take basic elements and turn them into something beautiful!

Sometimes simply fun, too.

One of my favorite parts of my existence is living with an artist, and viewing the creation process as it evolves.

To see the final results of that 2017 Christmas present in motion, check out Chris’ posts on his site.

I think that artistic dna passed on to our sons as well. Zeb’s mountain board element designs are pretty awesome. I wrote about that a bit last summer. The elements are constructed from recycled materials.

And then there is the musical art. Our son CJ performs as DJ Nevermore for events. You can see him in action on Facebook.

CJ performing December 2017.

I think he must have gotten some of his musical ability from Mom Pollock. I love listening to her play the keyboard at home as she practices for playing in church each Sunday. Here she is, playing for the Easter service in 2018.

I could probably go on forever about the artistry I see in Lauren’s coffee-making, Hudi’s savory delights, etc. But it’s difficult to describe the perfection of taste. That will have to be a writing challenge for another day. But the art is still appreciated.

Let your creative and imaginative mind run freely; it will take you places you never dreamed of and provide breakthroughs that others once thought were impossible.

Idowu Koyenikan, Wealth for All: Living a Life of Success at the Edge of Your Ability

Christmas Traditions

24209137_1413034562098078_169668152_oWe have no kids home for Christmas this year. Not a one. It’s the first year that has happened to us, but it’s okay. We had warning, and celebrated on the Saturday after Thanksgiving instead (Santa owed me some favors so we had official approval on the switch). That way, we were able to embrace some of our family traditions, and we celebrated with Mom and 4/6 of our kids.

When the boys were young, they would sometimes get a box of Popsicle sticks as a gift. Armed with glue guns, those sticks turned into many hours of wondrous creativity (some of it a bit dangerous, I have come to learn — apparently one son made a shield so strong that he encouraged his brother to come at him with a knife so he could ward it off (ACK!!!!! Thank goodness for the angels that guard my boys! And I’m also super thankful the shield did its job. Whew!) )

This year I was feeling a bit nostalgic (Zeb kindly (and rightly) pointed that out to everyone when they opened their gifts and looked up with puzzled eyes). Knowing they were traveling soon, I chose our Popsicle stick alternate. The one we used for car entertainment when the kids were little (in retrospect, one of our more brilliant parenting moves). We gifted them with pipe cleaners. You can make a million things with them, and they are easy to travel with. No glue required. Also, I now realize they are a lot safer since they cannot be turned into bona fide shields.

A few days after they all returned to their lives away from us, Mollie sent us the picture of her pipe cleaner creation. I loved it enough to want to share it with you all. Isn’t she creative?

Soon I’m off to our candle-light Christmas service then will snuggle in for movies and junk food with Mom and Chris as I watch the incoming snowstorm from the coziness of our house. How perfect for a second Christmas.

We hope you all have a truly blessed holiday season.

Why we Stayed in Lisbon for a Month

Lise arrives after a loooong cab ride (yay strikes)
Lise arrives after a loooong cab ride (yay strikes)

I blame our month-long stay in Lisbon on the fact that I have a cousin in Denmark (how fun is that to say?). The original intent of the trip was a 1.5 to 2-week stint. I was going to join my work team in Lisbon for a meetup for a week, and Chris would join me at the beginning or end. Then my cousin said she might be able to spend some time with us, too. The time we were staying stretched onward, and we finally realized that staying for a month in an apartment was not much more expensive than spending a couple of weeks in a hotel. No brainer. We booked. She visited.

We had a marvelous time with my cousin and her man. You’ve met her before if you read this blog. She played Monopoly with us last year. Thing is — I haven’t seen her live in about 8 years. This was such a treat! So much better than Zoom (although I’m grateful for that).

Lise and Chrissie on the Yellow Bus Tour touring the modern section of Lisbon.
Lise and Chrissie on the Yellow Bus Tour touring the modern section of Lisbon.

Chris and I are serious walkers, and Lise thought she was, too. But the hills in Lisbon proved a little too much for a post-leg surgery patient, so we hit the Yellow Bus Tour. It had horrible reviews, which made me a bit nervous, but we had a marvelous time. I do have to say that in the on-season and on weekends the reviews are justified, but for a low-key weekday in April, it was a fabulous experience.

We sat in an uncrowded bus and cooled off under blue skies while soaking in the history of the city — both old and new. We also enjoyed funiculars, trolleys and ferries as part of the tour. If a radio didn’t work, we switched our seat. No problem.

On the weekend we struggled to get room on the trolleys (hence the correct reviews comment earlier), but weekdays were bliss.

I’m not sure what part of the Wed-Mon visit I loved best (apart from just being with Lise in person). Perhaps it was sharing the wonders of a continent together — from the Moor Castle in Sintra to watching performers in the plaza. Or giggling over childhood stories. Or meeting her boyfriend (also named Chris. Poor Lise, hanging out with Chris, Chris and Chrissie). I guess it’s good that I’m not required to pick a favorite moment.

e, surrounded by Chris's
Lise, surrounded by Chris’s

Funicular Fun:

The funicular in Bairro Alto, Lisbon.
The funicular in Bairro Alto, Lisbon.

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Anyway, that time will always be a treasure in my memory. If you are into pics, check out highlights of our extended weekend:

Proms, Grads, and Life – Our Week

I am sooooo behind on my blog reading and writing, and I miss you all! But it’s temporary and for a good cause. We have some really fun stuff going on in life. I’ll do a brief summary  of our past week here, then will post lots of pics in the future when I get more time. Consider these teasers…

In the past week we:

Enjoyed watching Hudi and his buddies get ready for the prom. They had a great time.

We enjoyed having Zeb’s girlfriend’s family stay with us for graduation weekend.

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We got to see the girls in our lives graduate (so proud of them)!

We met Lauren’s extended family. I didn’t take any pics during that fabulous meal, but it was really fun.

We took a load of stuff to our new-to-us home with Mom (no pic of that, either).

We went to Connecticut, where we saw some great friends and family, I got to see Kurt’s horse, and Chris sold a few mobiles.

We came home and finished filling out paperwork for college stuff for Zeb and Hudi.

We ran our local WordPress meetup, and got to hear a great talk on Search Engine Optimization from CJ. Although he lives in Utah, he’s home visiting for a few weeks.

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Also, I’m on a work rotation so I’m learning lots of great stuff about Jetpack and Akismet.

Here’s one of my favorite moments from the week. Love to see my boys together again and goofing around. You can’t see it well, but they were posing to show off their geek-belts. Zeb highlighted Pokemon while Hudi sported Legend of Zelda, and CJ had his piano keys:

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That’s why I’ve been pretty quiet on the blog-world. All great stuff, though, eh? What have you been up to? I guess I can find that out for myself, and hope to be catching up on my blogs soon, but feel free to tell me, anyway, in the comments 🙂