skylarks in flight
wings catch the wind
and dance


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Image: Four Swifts with Landscape Sketches by Vincent Van Gogh, (I know they’re not skylarks, but I love this sketch!),

Words: haiku, c.b.w. 2016, in response to Poetic Asides Wednesday Poetry Prompt #346: coordination.


Project Spirit Journal


In addition to Project Art Journal, I created a journal dedicated to positive and optimistic quotes.  The inspiration came from a stack of vellum printed quotes I’d been stockpiling and a super cute paper tablet full of whimsical and brightly colored paper with a nature theme.

I thought I might share some pages over the next few weeks to pass along the spirit of positive thinking and perhaps inspire the creation of more Spirit Journals.

A little optimism goes a long way . . .

The cover page sums up the overall theme and purpose of my Spirit Journal.

Do you believe?

The quote is one that comes from none other than Vincent Van Gogh.  His quotations are among my favorite and I’ve posted them several times.  It seems fitting that he open Project Spirit Journal with a burst of wisdom.

The key to life? Love.

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What are some of the many things you love?

Stay inspired! If you create a page or choose to carry the message forth, please leave your thoughts in the comments or post a link to your blog.

Special Note: Due to some changes made by WordPress, be sure to uncheck the box that says, “Notify me of follow-up comments via email,” if you do not wish to receive e-mails for every new comment on this post.  At the moment, the box is checked as a default, (and I can’t fix it).

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c.b. 2012

The Van Gogh Alive Experience


Imagine walking into a darkened room where the delicate notes of Handel and Schubert play in the background.  Enormous screens adorn every wall from floor to ceiling as well as large pillars scattered throughout a wide, open space.  On the floor several platforms rise up, all covered in white canvas screens.  There is no light, but for a few small bulbs shining from projectors on the ceiling. The darkness is eerie and disorienting, but anticipation builds for a moment of magic.  The music rises and then it happens . . . . brilliant colors and the brushstrokes of a master artist wrap the room in a vibrant embrace.  To see a Van Gogh painting in person is a moving experience, but to see his paintings move across multiple screens and swirl around me is something else entirely.

A traveling exhibit known as Van Gogh Alive, tells the story of Vincent Van Gogh’s life through the chronicle of his paintings.  His time in Paris, those wild sunflowers, the infamous fight with Gaughin, the only painting he ever sold,  the pain of mental illness, his love of life and nature  . . . it’s all there in Vincent’s own hand.

Self-Portrait, 1889, Vincent Van Gogh (Image Source: Wikipedia Commons)

As his paintings scroll across the screens, quotes in his writing rotate on two different walls. Despite his inner turmoil, Van Gogh’s soul was one of love, wonder, and hope.  One quote in particular stood out to me as it truly sums up the character of Van Gogh:

I would rather die of passion than of boredom.

Put me on that list as well.

The immense scale of the exhibit gives viewers a chance to walk through Van Gogh’s work and appreciate every speck of paint and every erratic stroke.  Everything from sketches, finished paintings, and even handwritten letters and journal entries fill the screens.  While they may not be the real thing, the projections have an equally strong emotional impact.  I’ll be the first to admit, I was deeply effected when swallowed whole by Starry Night.  My favorite painting surrounded me on all sides, lit up, and full of Van Gogh’s passion.  I was standing right in the middle of that star speckled navy blue sky and for a moment, I had to fight the tears.

Van Gogh lives on in a way he never could have imagined and I like to think he’d approve.  While an unorthodox art exhibit, Van Gogh Alive is a truly remarkable experience.

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Here’s a peek at the exhibit via the Arizona Science Center:

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For more information on Van Gogh Alive, click here for the official website.

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c.b. 2012

Spreading Some Sunshine


One of these days someone is going to have to explain to me why I’ve been blessed with such wonderful readers. Seriously, you all blow me away with your kindness and encouragement.  While I’m still giddy from last week’s Versatile Blog Award and breaking all those rules, now I’m even giddier with another kind nomination from mywithershins.  To receive The Sunshine Award from such a talented and delightful blogger is really quite an honor.  Thank you for posting such beautiful words and inspiration every day.

Spread Some Sunshine!

I broke a few rules last week and I’m ready to break a few more seeing as I accepted the Sunshine Award a few weeks ago.  Once again, I’d like to give the spotlight to a few very deserving blogs, but it also seems like a good idea to spread some sunshine to every reader on every blog.  So how about trying something a little different?

If you’re feeing a little rebellious, take the spirit of the Sunshine Award to heart and post sunshine related quotes, images, and pieces of writing as a means of accepting the award.  Being the little rebel I am, I’m accepting my Sunshine Award under these guidelines!

My sunshine related quote comes right out of the first pages of my quote journal as Helen Keller’s words are among my favorite.

Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadows.

– Helen Keller

With Vincent Van Gogh still very much on my mind, his brilliant painting of the sun seems a perfect partner for Keller’s words of wisdom.

Olive Trees with Yellow Sky and Sun by Vincent Van Gogh

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May the light of the sun find you today and always.

– c.b.w.
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Each of these bloggers lights up my day with fantastic posts and insights and I’m so excited to nominate them for The Sunshine Blog Award.  To claim it, you may go the traditional route of following the rules or try the alternative activity of posting a sunshine related quote or piece of writing on your blog. When passing the award to 10 more people, you may again go with tradition or be a rebel.  For the traditional rules and requirements, see Now You’re All Just Spoiling Me.

Wings of Wonder – Your paintings and fearless creativity make your blog an incredibly inspiring place to be.  Thank you for always having such a positive outlook and for using bright colors!

Rough Water John – My favorite pirate poet, you are either writing the most beautiful poetry imaginable or making me laugh with your brilliant sense of humor.  Thank you for always being so creative and unique.

The View Outside – Hee hee! I get to tag you back with an award.  I hope you’ll take the sunshine challenge and write something beautiful, (just as you always do).

Peach Farm Studios – What would I do without Wry the typewriter?  Or all the beautiful images and nuggets of inspiration? Peach Farm feeds my muse like no other!

Doodlemum – I wait each day for your wonderful sketches of kids doing kid things, dogs, cats, and so many wonderful other daily life scenes.  Thank you for making me laugh and giving the little things in life a moment in center stage.

1 Story A Week – I am always amazed by the depth and quality of the stories you post each week.  Your characters and plot lines are so original and always reach someplace deep.  Thank you for pasting amazing fiction.

A Trail of Breadcrumbs – I have loved your blog since my first visit.  Your travels, photos, and unparalleled creativity always inspired me, but what I enjoy most is your spirited personality.  Your zest for life comes through in all your posts.  Thank you for giving joy such a strong voice.

The Gratitude Garden – Your posts on gratitude highlight the very best life has to offer.  Each list inspires me to make one of my own each day.  Thank you for shedding light on the beauty of being grateful for what we have.

Crow River Writer – I recently started following your blog and it is such a joy to read.  Your sense of humor gets me laughing and your kindness is knows no bounds.  Thank you for writing with so much enthusiasm and reminding me why I love YA fiction so much.

Melissa Maygrove – Your blog always gets me thinking with engaging topics of discussion.  Its easy to to see your passion for writing and determination to make your dreams come true.  I find that very inspiring and motivating – Thank you for giving a such a strong voice to aspiring authors.

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c.b. 2012