Sunday, January 30, 2011

TEDxOrlando - Sharon Butler - Two Coats of Paint: Lessons Learned in the Blogosphere

Two Coats of Paint - a blog about painting - is produced by Sharon L. Butler:

In 2007, Butler created Two Coats of Paint to share reviews, commentary, news, and background information about painting and related subjects. A member of the Culture Pundits network of art blogs and websites since 2008, Two Coatshas been sponsored by many organizations, including the Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney Museum, the Pulitzer Foundation, the New York Studio School, and The Brooklyn Museum. In March 2010 Two Coats won a Mindshare Award for art blog excellence. To read more about Two Coats' roots and philosophy, click HERE

I discovered her blog a couple of years ago and was delighted to be able to visit such a wonderfully informative web log... any itchy feet tendencies I was having at the time for travel somewhere like New York  to see what was happening in the world of art was soon quelled somewhat by the pleasure of being able to dip into the postings on galleries, artists, reviews and such. So when I discovered the Ted talk on video through twitter earlier tonight I wanted to share it here.

Sharon discusses how the blog has led to increased visibility...

Web.20 tools = power for artists

She makes some great points which I think may be of interest ... well worth a visit... make sure you get the last part of the 12 minute video...the summary points!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Q: what's somewhat architectural, capable of ballet-like moves, comes in wonderful colours and is translucent to boot?

A: a wobbling dessert otherwise known as a jelly.

who are these masters of the wobble you ask?

Las gelatinas de Sam Bompas, además de ser combinar arte y diseño, tienen la intención de hacer divertidos los desayunos (

The text from the Guardian's Word of Mouth Blog post on master jelly makers Bompas and Parr is a delight... perfect reading for a friday evening after a long week! There's nothing like whimsy to shift one's mood. I just have to quote bits from the post... 

Jelly clinic: how to deliver a quiver

Sam Bompas and Harry Parr, the country's foremost jelly experts, are on hand today to introduce you to the magic and mystery of making jelly from scratch.

Jump straight in and post questions below, or read up on theiruniversal jelly principle, including a step-by-step guide and gelatine conversion chart first in preparation to unleash yourself on the world of jelly. When you're ready to go, try these recipes for a zingy lemonade jelly and stupendously striped clementine jellies
...Jelly is the ultimate party food, an animal-based dessert that predates Christ and was eaten by Henry VIII for both the first and second course of his 1521 Garter Banquet. Slap a jelly on your dinner table and guests will be hypnotized by its lewd wobbling and your kitchen prowess.The origins of jelly are shrouded in mystery, though one thing is clear - if you boil any collagen-rich meat and let the stock cool then you'll have a jelly. It would have tasted meaty even when sweet jellies became fashionable for the rich in the 16th century.
Yes, jellying today is ridiculously simple. But you must respect the jelly. Use the wrong ingredient or misjudge the gel strength and you'll be left with a sticky puddle. There's always the lurking danger of a jelly disaster.

Bompas Parr jelly
sex on the beach jelly

well thats a little more respectable!

the new look london

ok...any idea"

the clever duo! 
These last few pics were from a great site...  a must see called and of course you MUST visit the one and only jelly mongers!!!

I wonder if they met at art school?
Hope you enjoyed this lighter post... thought a change of tempo was in order. Have a good weekend all!

Monday, January 24, 2011

shredding oranges... but can we grow them?

I got the blues
thinking of the future,
so I left off and
made some marmalade.
Its amazing how
it cheers one up
to shred oranges
and scrub the floor
D H Lawrence
(from Sophie Munns’ journal)


Hollie Chastain


Mandrake (Mandragora officinarum), from Tacuinum Sanitatis (15th c.)


Festival of Sekhtet, Nakht’s tomb




(via laboomeria)
People have been cultivating plants for a very long time... 
certainly thousands of years... so long as there was somewhere to
plant seeds... or propagate a plant ...then people have been growing 
plants for all manner of purposes....for all kinds of sustenance.

I just read a story that made me wonder what kind of arrogance and 
idiocy would drive a government to sign a bill to make it illegal
to grow food in one's own back yard? A bill that would outlaw 
gardening and saving seeds!
Please take a few minutes to read 
this post that I put up at the 
homage blog 10 minutes ago. Sorry 
to be bossy about this... but if 
you enjoy your art, your lovely 
home and fine food ... then think for 
a few minutes about the consequences
of a bill like this... and what 
happens when it is picked up in 
another country and another!
Some things should not be put off!
What do you think?

update from last night:
Thank you to all who communicated, sent links 
and emailed to participate in an important dialogue..

And thanks to bloggers who went the extra mile and tracked down 
links to put perspective onto this issue which has collected energy
as it has been disseminated out into the ether. Like the proverbial 
chinese whispers in some cases the story was changed beyond 
However should you care to read the Bill: 
The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act with respect to the safety of the food supply 
the link was sent in by 2 bloggers... in summary form from Sharmon 
of true adventures of an art addict and in full from Egmont of 
the artist within us to the homage blog.
It was well put by Sharmon:
I was extremely alarmed by what I read in your email, so I did a bit of research. For the most part, it seems to be an 
internet hoax, thank goodness. The bill exists, but most of the claims made by Natural News are false. According to 
snopes, which is usually very reliable,(, the bill contains nothing 
about home gardeners, seeds, or organic farms. I read a summary of the bill at (
congress/bill.xpd?bill=s111-510&tab=summary), and that appears to be true. 
However, the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund ( sees it as 
over-regulation which will put an undue burden on small family farms. Thanks for bringing it to may attention; I will 
research it further. But believe me, if I thought the bill would effect our right to grow gardens or save seeds (both 
of which I do and intend to continue), I'd be picketing on the front steps of the Capital Building.

This comment answered some of the questions at the top of the my
list ... however it must be noted that there is quite a difference 
in reading the summary as opposed to the complete Bill sent in by 
Egmont...I suspect many trying to read this bill would find themselves 
wondering anxiously if they might be missing something! 

What struck me most about this entire story after it came to my 
attention yesterday was that we're poised to expect bad news from 
the transationals gobbling up control of global food markets. Many 
of us have taken on board the fact that it is indeed illegal in 
some parts of the world to grow food from seeds saved locally, 
according to traditions extending back generation upon generation. 
Food sovereignty is a huge issue. 
The fear accompanying this story I picked up yesterday is not coming 
for no reason. And if we, for even a moment, thought about what 
it might feel like to lose our food sovereignty we can be present 
to the issue that is already out there for some...
as a chronically harsh reality served up because there was no power
to intervene... or perhaps understanding to see the need to!


(via thiswillhurt)
posted at seed capsules

This image from the previous post is quite apt for this discussion. 
There's huge fear surrounding peak oil, peak water and peak food...
 population growth and climate change. Some put their head in the 
sand and say its not happening, its not coming!
Others are sponges and seem to soak up all the information and ideas
that are circulating and of course this can be too much!
We can easily be overloaded like we were here in the recent floods
that many are still dealing with. In our vulnerability we often
recognize the suffering of others... so the challenge to stay on 
the one hand open and receptive and on the other not overwhelmed 
and fearful. 
To 'Replace fear of the unknown with curiosity' is a bold act 
because it suggests venturing up to meet what's coming rather than 
hiding... but with a willingness to discover/uncover new ways 
to partipate in the challenges and possibilities of our time!

Lets keep the dialogue happening... sharing knowledge is vital
in this time of increasing velocity and complexity of change. I 
really appreciate everyone coming by and taking a moment to 
reflect, add something, walk away even with new resolve to watch 
what'happening more closely.
Go well,
S x

Friday, January 21, 2011

Something to think on: "The exciting absence of certainty"

Gyroscope balancing on string
Another turning point ... this is a golden age of error. Photograph: Paul Hardy/Corbis

"The exciting absence of certainty" is a post from Jonathan Jones on At Blog - Art critic with the UK's Guardian. Its a concise comment for the curious who might from time to time ponder String theory or other contemporary fields of scientific thought.
In fact... worthy of sharing for the seeds of thought it ponders on a number of matters in contemporary life. Take a look:

January 20th he writes:

I recently read a book called The Trouble With Physics, by physicist Lee Smolin. I was also reading The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene. No need to worry – this is not one of those blogs where I sound off about a subject like string theory from my unique perspective as an art critic, and enraged string theorists line up to put me right. My theme today is not science but certainty, and the exciting absence of it in our world.
Smolin questions the most ambitious contemporary theories in science. Greene is a champion of those same "string" theories. It looks as if the state of physics is at an interesting point, if it is simultaneously close to the definitive grand theory of everything and – claims Smolin – simultaneously at the edge of an abyss of unknowing.
Which makes it a good image of these times. Ours is essentially a tragic age, wrote DH Lawrence in the early 20th century, so we refuse to take it tragically. Of the early 21st century one might say: ours is essentially an ambiguous age, so we refuse to take it ambiguously.
To look around the world today is to see conflicting certainties everywhere, from the bitter American political discourse blamed by somefor the Tuscon shootings to ... Well, to right here, right now, where online argument sometimes – though far from always – seems like an unwinnable contest between different positions.
In reality, the virtue of blogs and the comments they attract lies in the diversity of opinion in itself: so does the value of democracy. This is surely obvious, yet we do not say it often. It seems it is very difficult to acknowledge that (a) we may be wrong, and (b) the most valuable quality of our culture is the right to be wrong, loudly.
The Russian cultural theorist Mikhail Bakhtin was brave enough to praise the mess of reality. He espoused dialogue and multiplicity of viewpoint – a "carnivalesque" freedom – as a value in art and life. He wrote in an age when physicists were discovering some perturbing things about the universe, such as the fact that electrons can be in two places at once.
Debate has never been so popular, online and even in the flesh. We may disagree passionately, but what we need to recognise is that it is the free flow of opinion and contradiction that is the cultural achievement. Certainties abound, but they die on the rocks of doubt. Let's be glad that we live in the golden age of error.

"the free flow of opinion and contradiction that is the cultural achievement"
That I think is a good thought for the day.


(via thiswillhurt)
posted at seed capsules - my new tumblr site


Found poem by Mary Ruefle (1952- ) from A Little White Shadow.  Ruefle used white-out to selectively erase words from a work originally published in 1889.
(Image via Poetry Foundation)
read more here.


Jason Karolak, Untitled (2010)
Jason Karolak - read more here.

click here

Art does not lie down on the bed that was made for it; it runs away as soon as one says its name; it loves to be incognito. Its best moments are when it forgets what it is called.
Jean Dubuffet
(via ilobanna)


Edgar Mosa, Di Indigetes via apparat
read more here


Marian Bijlenga, Untitled (by upload)
Marian Bijlenga - read more here.


andren - read more here

so... ambiguity... all these images are posted at seed capsules - my new tumblr blog.


read more here.

On a more personal note.... have been flat out doing a major overhaul of office/studio and living spaces.
Why have I got warranties saved from things that are 25 yrs old and and I no longer own? And and account book from an art-related business I had from 17 years ago? Some of these things I saved from a house fire, endless relocations ... you name it. 
So out with the old and in with the space.
love this quote 
Small rooms or dwellings discipline the mind, large ones weaken it.
Leonardo da Vinci, from Journals, p. 509. (via aubade)

It happens that I presently live in postage-size rooms ... so of course I love this quote. OK ...postage size is an exaggeration.  But there's cerrtainly no room for all the things Ive saved so a radical attempt at decluttering is ongoing till I achieve  a feeling of knowing what exists in every nook and cranny of my abode.
and before I go check out this wonderful story... started by a blogger... with a friend on board and social media thrown in to the mix...
2 days ago I signed on to Baked Relief to offer some help. Started by Danielle Crismani of 

Danielle, or Digella...yes she's a big fan, decided to bake some cupcakes for volunteers working to sandbag the area near her home before the river rose to flood the city. She blogged about it, and then others came forward offering help. 10 days or so  later she thinks maybe a thousand people are baking and delivering food... plus they started an initiative for people to volunteer to feed a family once a week for months to come. Through twitter, blogging, facebook etc...its created waves of response...and they keep noticing suburbs further out that have been ignored... then finding people to go there with food.... and other things. There is nothing like grass-roots.... and not  waiting for authorities "to do something"! 
Read more by Mel Kettle, the other organsational whiz, on  baked relief  and how this initiative spread like wildfire across Brisbane and beyond. 

Baked relief volunteers going to recovery sites with lunch.

Lockyer Feed-a-thon
I took down contacts for the project and will touch base with them in the coming weeks once the roads are open and we can get their safely.
In short, the Lockyer Feed-a-thon project will provide ongoing support to Esk area and Lockyer valley by way of home cooked meals.  With the ongoing support of chefs in commercial kitchens, Baked Relief volunteers and chefs will be cooking and safely storing meals for transportation in refrigerated trucks out to these areas.
For as long as we have finances and for as long as I can run this project I will continue to manage this work. I am hoping for at least 6 months.
Providing a meal to a family affected by floods might not seem like enough, but it shows that we care and it gives them a night off from cooking.
As I always say “Food always tastes better when someone else cooks it”
If you would like to be involved in this project or our other project supporting the Metro areas called Adopt a Family, please go to the website and follow the links.
Some interesting posts I thought you might like
Remember go to website HERE

Ive been emailing another volunteer called Lisa who I've never met - she and I are making lunch for a volunteer spot on sunday. We'll meet at the delivery site. Somehow I think a lot of connections are being forged at the otherwise very difficult time for many ... some amazing volunteer efforts are going on daily... and so much creativitiy. I read of Fisher and Paykel - washing machine manufacturers yesterday setting up temporary washing machine units for the flood affected to wash all their things.
All I hope is that the initiative and involvement thats kicked off here is something we see more of well into the future... So many people said they could not watch any more TV ... they had to go do something.
Well... here's to life beyond TV!
cheers all,
Sophie x