ShadowDancers “Small Door” Featured on RedBubbles Homepage

Just a quick little blog to share the photo of one of my photographs that ended up on the homepage of RedBubble. Thanks to Julie Langford for suggesting my “small door” in the collection as a tribute to those that help create layouts for the homepage. I’ve had the pleasure to submit layouts as suggestions to the moderators to use on the front page; multiple times my selections were featured.

This is my photo, taken from a building in Algeria, and below is a copy of the homepage with the photo in the layout:

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ShadowDancers RedBubble Journey – October 30, 2009

“To a true artist only that face is beautiful which, quite apart from its exterior, shines with the truth within the soul.” ~Gandhi

One of the things that struck a chord with me from the beginning were the beautiful variations of art depicting the human face. It takes amazing talent to be able to give a soul to a painting/photo. Here are a few that I favorited in my beginning time on the bubble.

David Vanderpool created this marvelous pencil drawing of a man in a turban. You can see in this piece of art that this man has lived a hundred lives in one, and I enjoy so much the smile on his face.

fursid tells a compelling story simply with a close-up of an old mans face. This is truly one of the most amazing photographs I have seen of a person. Each time I look at him I feel like I can swim in the vast experiences he has lived through.

Sue Nueckel blew me away with her delicately beautiful photo of a woman with such intense eyes they could stop the tides from the moon. It’s such a spectacularly feminine photo, I was very touched and could stare it at for hours. Her whole portfolio is incredible – check it out.

Lorenzo Castello translated a hijabi woman onto canvas with a mix of oil and magic. I loved that I could see the texture from his paint strokes. Fatima’s eyes are brilliantly bright. I felt as if we were having a secret conversation when I saw this piece. Beautiful work.

Cinquain has to be one of my top charcoal artists. The depth of soul and realistic aspects of each piece blows me away. This is the first image that I came across from this artist. I swear I can feel the breeze that is blowing her hair, and see the light that she is bleeding up into.

April Cowan is another amazing charcoal artist. One look at her portfolio and you’ll be caught up the magic of her art. This piece has such magic and realism it’s unbelievable that it isn’t a photograph. Her usage of shadows and light bring her subjects to life. Is this young one about to say something? April tops it off with a wonderful quote from ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’.

Another person on here that blows me away with the intricacies of faces is Aleci. His portfolio is filled to the brim with amazing pieces of emotions. I always feel as if he has a magic camera and captures a real piece of his subjects soul when he snaps the shutter. He specializes in self-portraits that hypnotize with each emotion he is emitting.

I hope you enjoy these pieces as much as I have. Please take a moment to check out the artists; they all make a huge contribution to RedBubble with their fantastic and diverse talents. Thank you so much for reading my post, and I look forward to continuing this journey together.


ShadowDancers RedBubble Journey – October 27, 2009

The journey that I have taken on RedBubble has been one of illumination, inspiration, and empowerment. I have traveled inside the minds of others, zoomed in on otherwise unnoticeable things in ways that make them spectacular, seen places in this world I have never been to, and even trekked to other galaxies. Every time I visit I am taken to other-worlds that wrap themselves around my heart.

Since I am in a nostalgic mood, I thought I would begin this walk down the rainbow-hued paths of the Bubble by remembering some of the first art and artists that I came across. You may have seen some or all of them yourself, but they are all magnificent works in their own right, and deserve to be revisited from time to time. So please, relax, and put on your best walking shoes.

The very first piece of work I ever marked as a favorite is by a wonderfully talented artist Al Neaimi. His whole portfolio blew my mind; it is full of complex designs, patterns, and textured, coupled with a depth of understanding of humanity. The first piece that I favorited is still my favorite of his works. The piece, along with his writing about the image, stirred so many emotions inside of me – this is my favorite part of his message: ” Throughout your WONDERFUL Journey of ENLIGHTENMENT remember to pause and refresh, and look around: you will be Splendidly impressed with what you see.”
Enlightenment by Al Neaimi

Another one of my first favorite images quickly led to one of my favorite painters. Her work is so lifelike I keep waiting to see their breath. Many of you may recognize her by her signature butterflies she beautifully implants on each picture. Alice McMahon White created this picture that I became enamored with. This painting portrays Marilyn in such a beautiful way, she looks so woman and raw, like we are seeing her as she wakes up from a wonderful dream rather than the pinup version she pretended to be.

Aphrodite by Alice McMahon White

“Land of the Elves” is a fitting title for a look into a world frosted over with perfect white-blue snow straight from heaven. MarianaEwa took the photograph many wait a lifetime to take.

Land of the Elves by MarianaEwa

“Amongst the Fog” is an image that reminded me of the beauty in imperfection. It is a stunning photograph of some lone red flowers, somewhat imperfect, yet beautiful in their own right. The artist, Julie Thomas, has a great portfolio.

Amongst the Fog by Julie Thomas

F. Magdalene Austin is another magnificent painter on the Bubble. My favorite work of hers, and let me say it is SO hard to narrow it down, is called “Eyes Like a River”. This image of a woman’s tears speaks volumes to my soul. It made me feel like she was crying for all of sisterhood. While she is soaking in sadness, I somehow feel uplifted when I see her face.

Eyes Like a River by F. Magdalene Austin

Another instant favorite for me was by digital artist Dylan Murphy. His specialty is self-portraits and each piece is evocative and thought-provoking. I could stare at each one for silent eternities. The first one I came across, however, is “Let it Out”. Funny how we tend to come across things as we need them. When I found this piece it was at a time when I had been suppressing and bottling up a lifetime of emotions – it was the perfect antidote for me. In fact, I never told Dylan, but it inspired one of the first poems I had written in years, called Fear of Expression. Here is his photo:

Let It Out by Dylan Murphy

ntherapy took me to a place of nostalgia and dreams with “my mothers house”. This is a perfect example of how a photograph of something so normal, so simple, can bring a rush of feeling from the tips of our toes, up our spinal cord, and into our minds where it will reside for an eternity. Just one glance at this photo and I feel a light Ozark breeze and smell my mothers homemade pecan pie, coffee brewing, and hear the songs she used to sing when I was a child – the same ones she sings to my own children now.

my mothers house - by ntherapy

Paris is a city after many artists heart. I have been lucky enough to see this magnificent city, but no stay is ever long enough. Leia managed to conjure up some magical orange pixie dust and transform the usual Eiffel Tower photo into something from another planet. This is my all-time favorite photo of this awe-inspiring landmark.

Susan Duffey has a wonderful bubble page full of paintings of trees and flowers and nature. I really love her work. One of my favorite pieces of hers is from a series on trees of the seasons. “Winter Trees” is both icey and inviting at the same time. The hues of blue that she used, the shapes of the trees, and the ‘ice’ affects she used are superb. It makes me reach for a cup of hot cocoa every time.
winter trees by Susan Duffey

Here is the very first piece of writing that I put on my favorites list. It’s by a beautifully talented writer Rebekah Anderson and it’s called I Breathe. Again, so appropriate for the kind of message that I needed to hear at the time I read it. It’s a beautiful reminder to appreciate life – every breath we take is significant. Please click the link and read this profound piece of work. You’ll be as glad as I was to read it.

The other piece of writing I wish to share is from the most talented and RedBubble staple PJ Ryan. It’s called Spider Legs and so captivated me I read it over and over again. Here is a tidbit:

You have crawled inside of me at night through the doorway of dreams and you hang around for longer than you know you should and we kiss and talk and roll around in yesterdays and tomorrows.

Hint – you’ll wish for a toothpick afterwards.

That’s it for now fellow dreamers. I’d love to hear your feedback on whether you think this bit was worth the read. Please be patient with me as I get through some of the older works before I start sharing new material and new artists. I really want to give credit to those that have affected me through this voyage my soul has taken.

Much thanks and love,
Patty Jo

Why I *RedBubble*

It was a cold December night in Missouri; I felt like I was the only one still breathing. My only company was the whispers of ghosts in my head. I had forgotten how to feel anything other than remorse. Grief had implanted itself into my feet and slowly wound itself around every other part of my being, choking out any possibility for other feelings.

You see, I was losing myself. I am a needed person with a group of family and friends that look to me for many things. By day I had to be who I always was. I had no choice but to get out of bed and do what I had to do; much like the lonely lamp post at the end of my street, it comes on every night at dusk, whether it wants to or not. Nobody asks if it wants to shine – they expect it and so shine it does.

Inside of myself I was bleeding pain. You see, in November of 2008 I lost one of the most important people in my life. Her name is Hillarie, she was only 19, and she was my beautiful niece. We were closer than a typical aunt/niece relationship, as she spent much of her life with me.

Hillarie was diagnosed with a heart problem when she was 1 ½ years old. We were told she wouldn’t have a long life, as her condition was extremely rare. When she was 6 she had a pacemaker installed. When she was 9 we received the greatest gift of all – a new heart. I say ‘we’ because while the heart was to keep her going, she kept us going.

Experiences like this make you see life in a different way. It makes you much more sensitive to the little things that make life so wonderful. But with time, you take it for granted that person will be there. It is hard for your mind to accept there isn’t a ‘tomorrow’. We had so many tomorrows. Hillarie grew into a beautiful, creative young woman wise beyond her years.

But last fall we received terrible news; Hillarie was in rejection. Long story short, after a few months of declining health and way of life, we lost her. Somehow, with all this history, the loss was still unexpected. She had been in rejection before and came out of it. In fact, this was her history, to beat the odds. I wanted to believe this would be the case again. But she was tired this time. She told her friend in secret that she was ready to go. Knowing this, afterwards, killed me – especially knowing that she knew… and that she didn’t tell me.

On that cold December night, I was plundering the internet looking for anything to quiet my mind. It was more of a perfunctory experience than anything else. I came across some digital art that blew me away and I had to see more of this artists work. He had a link to his RedBubble portfolio. This moment was the lifejacket that kept me from drowning.

I have been experiencing RedBubble for almost a year now. I can honestly say that RedBubble has had a profound impact on my life and changed me in many ways. There is a significant piece of me that was resurrected because of my experience here; I found the parts of me that had disappeared.

Along the way I also found bits and pieces that I had lost years before from neglecting myself. You see, I wrote my first poem when I was 6 years old. While it wasn’t an Emily Dickinson, writing has been an essential part of who I am since I can remember. Despite this, being a working mom took its toll – I hadn’t written in 5 years at all, and the 5 years prior to that were somewhat bulimic…. Periods of a few days trying to write months worth of thoughts down on paper to make up for the many months of not writing at all.

While I will always have a hole in my heart with Hillarie’s name on it, finding the Bubble reminded me of the beauty in life and that it’s my responsibility to do and see as much as possible for both her and my own children.

I decided to journal this as a preface for the next scribblings I’ll be sharing. I plan on writing regularly to share with you things and people on the Bubble that inspire me. I want my fellow Bubblers to understand how profoundly their art and their friendship have affected me. This isn’t just a place to come and spend some time looking at pretty things. My soul has grown and I have sprouted wings from the community that resides here. I have a thankful heart, and I feel much appreciation for the gifts I have been given, the resources that have allowed my ache to be soothed, and the outlet provided to spill my ink and share my thoughts.

I love the Bubble and hope to see all of you for years to come.

Patty Jo

In loving memory of Hillarie Dawn Horine
March 1989 – November 2008