Touched by Fire features June 28, 2010

Hello, friends. Yesterday’s features are now blog material. This is the first time that I pick a visual theme (time, patience), and it was a very enriching experience. The poems also carry an element of longing, intimacy and desire that I feel relates to the visuals. Don’t forget to visit these talented writers and artists… they enjoy your feedback!

Hold onto nothing, As fast as you can… by Christine Oakley

requiem for a sonovabitch by greeneyedlady

he was born in the late 1930’s
the third of three children
he came after the second one died
petted pampered and spoiled
the only son of Midwestern Bible thumpers
and while they sat in their pews and prayed
he was hiding behind the barn smoking cigarettes
guess their religion never rubbed off on him
he always got his own way
he never really outgrew the feeling
that the world revolved around him
grant him eternal rest, O Lord

i was born in the early 1960’s
the third of four children
not petted pampered nor spoiled
and i came after the first one died
when i think of my father what springs to mind?
Stetson hats and Marlboro cigarettes
and all those other cowboy cliches
the ever present Seagram 7 in his hand
a leather belt and an ugly mouth and a sense of humor
that required my complete humiliation
in order to seem funny
i didn’t have a meaningful conversation
with the man until the day he died
for i never believed he wanted to know
he was unapproachable
his love so fucking unattainable
grant him eternal rest, O Lord

he moved us all South in late 1970
he fell in with the Texas cattlemen
but you can’t blame them for the things he did
his destructive tendencies started way before then
he missed everything that mattered to me
he was never proud of me at least that i could see
he never showed me how to drive a car
never gave a potential lover the third degree
he never read a bedtime story to me
his favorite lines were, you know where we are
and, what we do for one we have to do for all
so he just abandoned us all equally
grant him eternal rest, O Lord

he started leaving when i was about thirteen
he left bit by bit and was as intangible as mist
by the time i was fifteen
he wouldn’t bother with formal goodbyes
and i always wondered why?
what did i do?
wasn’t i his family, too?
i felt my life was not my own
anytime i found a place to fit in
he’d do something thoughtless to knock me out again
and years later when he finally wanted me there
i said, i have my own life now
and now i don’t care
grant him eternal rest, O Lord

he’d never known the real me
not the angry hurting wounded me
certainly not the joyous me
for she had developed a protective habit
of disappearing
from anywhere he might happen to be
he never discussed his life with me
never sure where he was supposed to be
his anger seemed to surge
every time he set eyes on me
what was it about me
what mirrored images did he see?
grant him eternal rest, O Lord

and when his life finally came to a close
he said he saw Jesus in the TV set
i guess he thought that was the best he was ever gonna get
and so he died the peaceful death
that he did not earn
and to this day i still sometimes miss
the selfish old sonovabitch
but i haven’t found forgiveness in my heart yet
as i wander through these days
of cold remorse and slow regret
orphaned and alone to wonder yet
what my requiem will be

The Waiting-Room by Graeme Hindmarsh

Tasha by Wingpoem

Hey Tasha
I’ve been thinking of you, honey
And I wanted to say
I know
What it’s like
When it all breaks apart
And all hell breaks loose
When everything you’ve been
Relying on
Is gone
Oh I know, baby
And I know
The healing power
Of tears
Because I cry all the time, baby
And I know
How hard it all is
When there are kids involved
And how hard it is
To see someone you once
Now despise you
And baby
I know
You can’t even talk about it
I couldn’t either
Just know
I’m always here for you, honey
To listen
To cry to
I’m your friend, baby
I understand
I’m right here

Time after time
by gaele

Honey With a Drop of Static by Tycatz

The coffee stains on my mustache,
Reminders and traces of long nights spent
Discovering you, discovering me.
Bursts of static as you exhale smoke into the microphone,
“Can you hear me?
Can you hear me?”
Lost in translation, but words
Go unspoken and unneeded at times.
I’m sorry love,
I don’t think you get good reception on Neptune.

Blankets and pillows on your messy floor,
Where you you lay as you ask me,
“Does the distance bother you?”
And I give you my certain, no thought needed answer
Of course not, you are always with me
And I am always with you and your voice in my ear
Brings me to you and you to me
And we are together in some other place
Where time and space do not exist at all.

Though you are hesitant, you do believe me
Eventually, deep down inside somewhere.
I can tell because
You get very quiet and I hear you thinking.
The way your voice spills out,
“Yeah,” like milk and honey, the smooth
Sweet nectar of your vibrations as they send your thoughts
Down to Earth to me.
A strong and subtle agreement, reassuring words to you
That although we hit the static, the thunderstorms of conversation
There are no rains that could wash us away
All together.

We will sit out on the front porch
And enjoy the dance of lightning across the galaxy.

burntframe by clancy214


One Satisfied Woman by princessleah

As we walk down the isle
I am eagerly anticipating your taste,
your essence
Out of dozens,
I chose you
as I am certain you will not disappoint
As we walk over the threshold,
I pounce on you
Tearing at you like a mad woman
I’ve been craving for you all day
As I free you from your constraints
and we are both ready,
I tilt my head, as you explode in my mouth
I can’t help but smile as I see myself in the mirror
devouring every single drop
I resemble an addict, hungry for her high
and as I kick off my heels and put my feet up,
I realise that I AM ..…….. a one satisfied woman……….
on a friday night,
armed with a delicious
can of whipped cream in one hand
and a huge plate of chocolate cake in the other………

A pleasure only a woman can truly understand
Nine by HollyGoLightly

fences by mohawk man

will fences really keep us safe
from the harms that are at bay,
or will they let thru just enough
to take our will away.
maybe we should build a wall
iron, tall, and true;
solid protection from the ills
that make us sad and blue.
but please remember as you build
your safety wall my friend,
the things you’re trying to keep out
are the very things stuck in.
perhaps a vent, or purge, or scream
is all it really takes,
to drive the bad back into hell
and end the nightly shakes;
that terrorize our very souls
and reak havoc on our days.
and make us want to die or kill,
or wander in a haze.
i think all that need be done
is to band together strong,
and let our words, and paints, and art
be our healing song.
no need for walls keeping out the light
that might just guide us home;
nor fences tall, in the way,
when we want to roam.

Dream On by Manolya F.

To My Adult Son: Poetry and Suffering by Maggie Vlazny

You say your hundreds of poems are “no big deal”???

Its a secret language.
Only some can understand it,
a chosen few can speak it.

You must be initiated:
a bloody ritual of human sacrifice
and tormenting joy
that cannot not last.

Therefore the agony.

Like a prophet you are given the excruciating vision.
You scream and rage against it
but it is done to you

and when it is finished
you can write your poems
or you can die.

We’re marked but its invisible.

We walk alone
always alone
and if we are lucky once in a while
we recognize each other along the way
and share, for a moment, the kinship of survival.

And so I greet you now,
you of my body and of my blood,
you, my first poem,
and whisper this:
we are cursed but we are blessed.
You will be alright.

I can’t say more
they don’t allow it.
Each one must find it for himself.
So though I would stab myself
in my own heart with your pain
if I could
to spare you
I rejoice in knowing that you too have grown wings
and fly closer each day
toward the gods.

© Maggie Vlazny 2010


TBF Group Art Features – Week of February 21, 2010

This week I was moved by color.

“Red is the ultimate cure for sadness.” ~ Bill Blass
Red is the color of passion and fire. It’s also associated with energy, desire, love, and danger. The human mind is drawn to it. Red is a conflictive color, conjuring up images of romance and caring and at the same time war and violence. It’s symbolized by both cupid and the devil. Studies have shown that it can even create a physical affect, increasing heart rate and raising blood pressure.

“There’s something strange and powerful about black-and-white imagery.” ~ Stefan Kanfer
Black and white has also been a strongly important visual medium. Even after the technology for color was created among the different mediums, many people are loyal to achromatic colors in film, photography, newspapers, manga, etc… Black & white often has been associated with colors of unity, opposite forces joining hands, conscious and unconscious from which a greater unity is created. It’s sophisticated, retro, mysterious, and timeless.

In visual arts, both of these color choices provides the artist with the ability to force the viewer to focus intensely on what they wish. I hope you enjoy the pieces I selected to represent both the fire of red and the mysteriously elegance of black & white.

angel by strawberries

10 Irises or How To Make A Painting Your Own – A Tutorial

Janis Zroback

by Janis Zroback

Just a quick blog to direct your attention to a tutorial from one of RedBubbles most fantastic painters, Janis Zroback. She was dear enough to write this fantastic tutorial on painting and how to view and perceive the subject. From an artists journal.

ShadowDancers Journey – Art Blogs for the Artist

For those of you that aren’t aware, there have been a couple of hot art blogs hitting the community that has a focus of helping fellow artists market themselves – INK and Earthmonster illustrated. I had a conversation withEarthmonster, the man behind the blogs, to get some insight on his efforts and marketing philosophy for artists.

Your avatar is becoming quite a familiar place on redbubble. Your flagship blog, Earthmonster Illustrated, is becoming increasingly popular in the art community. Can you give me an idea what inspired you to start the ezine?
The popularity aspect really surprised me, I honestly never thought it would become what it is. A little over a year ago I noticed that most art sites like Redbubble and CafePress were not really marketing the artists themselves. They were marketing their products, which is fine, but it did nothing for the artists. There was very little exposure for anyone. I took it upon myself to start working on that and here we are today.

How would you describe EMI to someone that hasn’t read it before?
EMI is by the artist, for the artist – first and foremost. I have tried to keep it more about featured artists rather than myself. The magazines tagline is “Celebrate Your Creativity” and we think that says it all.

So what are your future goals for EMI?
I hope that the numbers of visitors continue to grow. We are doing everything we can to make that happen. We have instituted a press release program to help artists gain attention in their areas, as well as our Christmas Gift Center which helps feature our EMI Group members. We have brought in the VoteForArt company to allow our members to be involved in earning money for designs, but the group has yet to really make use of that. It amazes me that people will do art for shirts in an attempt to earn $5 but not latch on to a program offering earnings of $500 plus sales with Vote For Art. We will continue to pursue other options for our members. We have also infiltrated ArtWanted as of late and we are so happy the users there are really taking to it.

Tell me a little about your own background.
I started my career as a graphic designer in the advertising business, moved up in the company to a creative director position. 25 years ago a client approached me to open my own business and that became a mainstay for me. I dealt mostly in entertainment and destination marketing handling The Osmond Brothers, Andy Williams, Eddie Rabbitt, Tony Orlando, Mel Tillis and so on. I sold the business to a partner who still has it open.
Check out a sampling of EMs own portfolio, it’s hella cool.

You have now started a new blog called “INK”. Why two blogs, and what is the difference between them?
EMI is a monthly e-zine and ink is a daily updated blog. Both deal mainly with EMI group members and our affiliates like the MIA , Halloween Group, Grindhouse a GoGo, and Horror Groups. It’s continuing to grow and we will always welcome new partners. Ink has been a fun venture for me, it’s short and snappy commentary on featured works or ideas.

What is the most exciting thing about both EMI and INK?
I get a kick out of the finished products; mostly I enjoy the people.

What are your goals for both blogs?
I would like to see both blogs succeed to the point we have some corporate interest which will greatly benefit our members and bring to them a new level of opportunity for exposure.

On RedBubble, you host two groups that feeds into EMI. Would you like to talk about them a little?
EMI-The Group is less about challenges and more about people and quality work. As far as work I think we have the finest artists on Redbubble in our groups and truthfully the members track records prove that. If you want high quality we can provide that in EMI.

The EMI Video Group is a bit of a challenge in getting participation due to some changes that happened on RB just after we launched it. The IT at RB I suppose had gotten requests to limit our abilities to use a certain feature within posting videos and they killed that ability outright. Which says alot about what we were doing progressively speaking. I like to think we swamped the system.

Would you like to tell us a little about your co-hosts and contributing writers that help you keep things moving with everything on your plate?
I would be lost if it weren’t for TK Rosevear. TK handles most of the copy and writing that I am involved with and makes sure we have limited as many mistakes as possible. She is the best creative writer as I have seen and frankly I would not be where I am with either publication without her. Victoria Antoine takes car of Earthmonster Facebook and keep the outside world churning with all things EMI. Last month she overtook Redbubble numbers in counts of unique visitors with our Facebook account. That was a tall order, so I think she gets all the credit for her work and rightfully so. She is an invaluable asset. Mindy McGregor fills in with featuring photography works in the group which takes a tremendous load off us and we think she knows a little about photos 🙂 And last but not least is you Patty Jo. We are just starting out on our journey together and I am expecting great things. I believe you will be the deciding factor in our growth. I am looking forward to getting started.

You sure do have a lot of things going on – how do you stay motivated? What inspires you?
Last time I looked I am holding almost 40 blogs, I am continuously trying to move the brand into the search engine elite. I think we will dominate if I can sustain this pace but I have no idea how I handle it. Then take a look at our artists, if that’s not enough to motivate and inspire you nothing will. Every time I moderate I get inspired by someone in our group. I also have long talks with TK regarding strategic planning for EMI and that gets me going.

I do think there are big things on the horizon for our group and myself…I’m hanging on for the ride.

I am hanging on for the ride too, my friend.

For those of you that haven’t already joined the EMI RedBubble groups I encourage you to do so. Once you are a member your work may then be considered for features on any number of our blogs. Remember – EMI is for the artist by the artist. If you are looking for more exposure for your work, or if you are simply wanting a supportive and synergistic community to be a part of, I encourage you to join.

Also, please follow Earthmonster Illustrated and INK for motivational art write ups, contests, and other important information to the art community. It’s well worth the time.