HE IS VICTORIOUS: because of Christ’s victory, we do not have to be victims


Today is Resurrection Day, a time that recognizes the day Christ rose with all power in his hands!

Many people are also now referring to this day as Resurrection Day. I do as well. More people are realizing that term “Easter” has nothing to do with the recognition of Christ’s resurrection. Easter is actually a pagan worship of a false goddess (the word “Easter” stems from her name). The goddess is a fertility goddess (thus the symbolic us of eggs & bunnies, which tend to have many babies). Somehow, this pagan worship got confused with the timing of the day which recognizes the day Christ was resurrected. Christ went to the cross to save us. Eggs and bunnies did not go to the cross for us. 


Christ was always here from the beginning with his Father. 
John: 1:1-5 states, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2) The same was in the beginning with God. 3) All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4) In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5) And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.”

The “Word” is speaking of Christ. God sent Christ to earth as perfect flesh. He sent his beloved son to represent Him; sent his son to save humankind from death and sin. Christ was well-received by a multitude of people, but by others Christ was scourned, mocked and ultimately tortured & crucified. He went through this willingly because of his great love for us. Because of God’s great love for us, He sent His son to be the one-time solution to redeem us. God raised His beloved son and Christ lives eternally with the Father. Seeing as God & Christ have infinite love for us, it only makes sense that we genuine love for Them rises up in us, too. God the Father & Christ the Savior have done SO much for us, it only makes sense to recognize this and be eternally grateful. We did not deserve such a great love, yet it is given as a gift and a grace. 

Luke: 24:2-3 says, “And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. 3) And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.”

John: 11:25-27 says, “Jesus said unto her, ‘I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live 26) And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?’ 27) She saith unto him, ‘Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.’ “

Because of Christ’s sacrifice, we do not have to be overcome with sin. Christ defeated sin and so through faith in him we can do the same. Christ defeated death and so through him we can do the same; being spiritually renewed. Even if we die in this earthly flesh, death in earthly bodies is NOT the end.  So what is important is that we can have eternal life in God’s Kingdom with our spirits (which do not die) inhabiting new, Heavenly bodies. Just have faith and live to do God’s will (which is best for our lives). 

2 Corinthians 5:1-10 states, “5) For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. 2) We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. 3) For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. 4) While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. 5) God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.

6) So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord. 7) For we live by believing and not by seeing. 8) Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord. 9) So whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please him. 10) For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body.”

If you have faith, be strenghthened! If you do not have faith, I pray that you will so that you can have life in Christ!

Romans 10:9 – “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

“The Peace of Christ”, mixed media on foam core, 2015

I had done this drawing for a Christmas joint exhibit two years ago at my alma mater, Claflin University. The cross, of course, is a reminder of Christ’s great love for humankind; the salvation he brought us. The dove is a well-known symbol of peace. Purple is the color of royalty. Please forgive the blurry photo! Hope to replace this image with a sharper one, soon.


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WE HAVE A NEW PRESIDENT: are you going to be angry about it forever or are you going to just live?


Hello, everyone! I have not published an art post in a while, but I will soon! Please keep reading my posts in the meantime and feel free to tell others about my page. Thank you!

Today marked the inauguration of another president (Donald Trump; yep, oddly interesting, huh?), so I am going to do a brief post about that since it is a major event for the country. I thank Barack Obama for the time he spent as president and I hope that Trump will do well as president (maybe being in this highly responsible role will help him to mature as a person). Trump’s speech was actually pretty good. Remember that presidents are still people; they cannot solve all the problems of the world. Only God can solve ALL of the world’s problems (I like to note that thanks to God, things are not as terrible as they could be in this world; He is keeping things from being even worse…as you know throughout history, human beings are really good at stirring up problems). Also, those who are rioting: STOP. You look like an idiot (covering your faces like cowards, too) & you’re selfish. Rioting does not solve anything. It makes things WORSE.

Here are my thoughts below:

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WHATWHYWHENHOW: Artwork Analysis 14


Sunlight Breaking I, digital photograph, 2015

Sunlight Breaking II, digital photograph, 2015


“Sunlight Breaking I and II”

Hello, precious blog readers! I hope all are well! I have not posted on WordPress in so long! I am now 80 years old and enjoying the geriatric life. Just kidding. Still in my 30s and enjoying the pre-geriatric life. But it has been a very long time. I am glad to be back posting. I missed doing so!
I had to take a long hiatus. Partly out of being busy with other things (with life and with art) and partly out of not motivating myself to post (aka, laziness). I have a lot of things to share from my hiatus (new artwork, exhibits, new devices even – I am typing this on the cool RCA Viking Pro tablet after my HP Pavilion laptop display screen fritzed out, my fault installing motherboard-crushing software, and much later my Polaroid tablet fritzed out in a weird way). I will be posting more often since my situation has changed! Yay! Well, on to the post. Please enjoy!


What:  As you can see, these are two photographs of clouds. I didn’t really need to tell you guys that, but I did for the sake of writing and description. Rocket scientist not needed to know this is the sky, sunlight and those other forms are clouds!

Why: In the town I live in, I was taking a walk down the road as I do sometimes to enjoy a nice day. The day was divinely gorgeous and the why of these photographs is that I love nature; admiring God’s supreme creativity. I seized the moment to capture these scenes! Photographers know: don’t let a moment get away from you! The sun blooming brightly and gloriously from behind the ethereal clouds just reminded me of how magnificent God is. Gazing at creation is to be in complete awe of God’s work.

When: I shot these last Summer while taking a nice, leisurely walk. I saw a fox recently (the 3rd one I’ve seen since living in the South). I am glad there were no foxes around the day I was out walking and shooting these photos. I would never have shot the photos. Would have run. When nature presents a challenge, all activities take a back seat. Lol! Well, maybe I would have taken a photo of a fox if one had been around at the time…..while trying to steady my bladder. 

How:  My Polaroid tablet was what I used to shoot these images. I have a Polaroid A7 tablet. Recently, the USB port fritzed on me when I plugged charger in. Then, at same time, the screen display did some weird, fritzy, freaky stripe-y thing that was like a horror disco mess. I did that thing where you freeze and horrifically stare at what’s happening, not wanting to touch anything! Not sure why that happened. Maybe something I did, maybe not, maybe a combination of things. It doesn’t charge properly now. Thank God I was able to get a new tablet this month, the RCA Viking Pro I mentioned above. 

The Polaroid did take lovely photos on that particular day. There was a quirk to work around, though. That tablet only has ONE camera. A front camera mainly useful for selfies. When I wanted to shoot photos of anyone/anything facing me, I had to angle my tablet just right so that the camera itself could focus on the area I wanted to shoot. The only preview screen the tablet has is the one screen that is facing the subject, so I can’t really see HOW I am shooting what I’m shooting. So photos get taken, but not without some clever effort! Just a weird thing to install only one camera. My new tablet has dual cameras; I’m immensely glad about this. MUCH quicker to set up a shot, now! I also have a GE X5 camera, but I might have to get a new camera soon, too. I’ve had that one since 2010 as a gift. It seems like it might have done its job after so long. It did it very, very well indeed. Got a lot done with that camera. Back to the point: God supplies the awesome scenery and I just take photos of parts of it! 

Note: I also posted another piece involving a storm cloud I photographed some years back (just click the following link): Artwork Analysis 12.
I hope that you enjoyed reading this new post as much as I enjoyed writing it! I hope to not be a stranger anymore and that I won’t disappear from blogging long, again! As always, thank you for reading!

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WHATWHYWHENHOW: Artwork Analysis 13


Survive, mixed media & a bird feather on mat board, 2004.

Survive.
Mixed media & a bird feather on mat board, 2004.

“Survive”

What: There is quite a bit going on in this piece, so much so that I did not know how to start this post off! I sat for a while just looking at the screen & at the random things in the room and, I kid you not, I said: “Aaaaaahhhhhh!” Writer’s block is as bad as artist’s block. I would have screamed louder, but I have neighbors & they’d think I am nuts. Then again…………….they know I am an artist, so they would probably think I was being normal.  Anyway, this drawing features, as you can see, a grouping of hands with some religious & cultural objects and also some other elements. And a lot of lines and a lot of yellow!

What II: This work, as I said, is a religious piece (though, due to its subject, it is also a social piece). By now, many who know me personally and those who frequent my blog know that I am Christian. Naturally I am going to create art centered around that because it’s a part of me. To explain it quickly, this work is about the survival and endurance of three particular groups of people: Africans and those descended from them, indigenous (in this case, Native Americans) and Jewish (though being Jewish is not a race, but is the culture of a religion). I, myself, have descent from a few groups, including African and Native American, so that made this work even more personal. Every race has and most cultures have struggled one way or another through history, but these three groups have more than others. Africans & their descendants dealt with major slavery for many centuries (which includes being forcibly displaced from their original home), and discrimination, Native Americans dealt with some slavery, being forcibly displaced from from their homes and discrimination and Jewish people dealt with major slavery in ancient days, the Holocaust and discrimination. Since people are not perfect and choose to practice evils, hatred and stereotypes still exist (but in lesser degrees, thank God), but there were days when such hate toward others was WORSE. And, so, this artwork conveys God’s grace, mercy and healing on three peoples. Evil slavery no longer exists among these people, the selfish practice of displacement is no longer practiced, the nightmare of the Holocaust is over, the ignorance of discrimination has lessened greatly. Mankind is so vulnerable and exposed to the dangers of fellow mankind, that we need Higher Help. This help comes from God (Yahweh: LORD). The fingers above are larger than the hands below and these fingers are lighter in color (having a subtle glow) than the hands below, as well. These fingers represent divine help and guidance from God. God is present in Spirit and present in all of His creations. The hands below, from your left to your right: 1) the Jewish (represented with the Star of David containing God’s shining name in Hebrew: YHWH-they spelled it without vowels to prevent being able to pronounce His Name since God’s Name is Holy), 2) the Native American (represented with turquoise stone and an actual feather I employed) and 3) Africans and those with African heritage (represented by the familiar Kente cloth in the form of a sheath). God has brought all of these peoples through their struggles, He destroyed evil practices that threatened them and they SURVIVE. God gracefully and mercifully intercedes for mankind, but when you are in spirit with God & Christ (having accepted Them), He intercedes even more with those of FAITH. That being said, these groups contained many people who, before and during their now annihilated struggles, had come to accept God as Father & Jesus as Savior (Jesus is more than a great prophet), but for those who had not yet accepted God & Jesus, I can only hope that many made the choice to do so as they saw the power of God at work in destroying bondages & hindrances that humankind creates. Many still come into personal acceptance of God & Jesus into their lives everyday. I know people have to make their own choice to accept God & Jesus into their life & spirit, but since I am Christian, I naturally will mention the Father and the Savior.

What III: The colored rays are light rendered in an abstract way: as a series of lines. The semi-circular lines at top represent earth. The yellow background just seemed like the right color to help every other color and object stand out. They vibrant yellow also reflects the Glory of the Divine. The various-colored purple circles in the background (there are three) represent the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. That was a LOT of background, huh? But that is the gist of this piece! Struggle becoming survival and endurance! Amen…

Why: Why did I draw this? Well, I will answer in parts.

1) I wanted to have a reason to draw on some more mat board that I had on hand. Mat board is described here: “A mat board, sometimes referred to as a mat, is a cardboard-like material, which sits between a frame and your photograph or artwork to give it a more finished look. Mat boards range in a variety of colors and cores (…mat board core is the center material of the mat board. Mat board cores come in a variety of thicknesses…), depending on your needs.” – definition from wholesalematboards.com. You can read more about mat boards at their site HERE. I discovered drawing on textured (not all mat board is textured) mat board in 2003 some time after graduating from university. I think my first drawing on mat board was this piece titled “when It’s Hidden”: CLICK HERE. It is partially a self-portrait (the subject at front being me). I will post an art analysis on this piece one day. I like drawing on paper a lot, but drawing on textured mat board gives artwork an interesting visual result thanks to the little pits all over the surface of the board. The texture is even more defined & visible when using dark, rich material on it like charcoal. Drawings take on more textural character. 

2) Another reason that I created this piece was so that I could add to my portfolio of work. All artists should have an ever-expanding portfolio of work for personal and commercial reasons. Sometimes we do not feel like creating or do not have the motivation (artists aren’t always on a creative high as some people may think), but we must renew our creative fire and use it to go berserk producing, again! 3) I also drew this piece so that I could test my own skills and also to make sure I do not lose my ability to render those skills and do not lose my ability to come up with new subjects (I like to try interesting subjects rendered in interesting ways…I get bored kinda easily). Artists must always challenge themselves and must always progress in skills and ideas. 4) Yet another reason I created this work was to produce a work with a specifically religious subject.

When: I created this in 2004. A year or close to a year after I graduated from university (I like to say it like many Europeans say it: “university”). Americans usually say “college”, which is just as well, but my school has “university” in the title (Claflin University), so I think it more correct to say that word. But I digress!! I know!!

How: This part will be somewhat shorter than the above paragraphs! I utilized mat board, oil paint, colored pencil, black and white (for tints) charcoal pencil, black aerosol/spray paint and a feather. Yes, a REAL feather! After I finished plucking the bird, I prepared it and roasted it. It was one fine bird.  ………… Just kidding. I did not eat the bird. I do not even know what bird this feather came from! I just saw the feather laying on the ground in my yard. I have a thing with collecting feathers, cleaning them (because the bird it detached from may have been sick) and keeping them just to look at them (and since I am an artist & so fall into some artist habits, I actually decorated my hair with real feathers when I was at university, like you would put a rose in your hair…but I have since stopped doing that far-out kind of thing!). I think feathers are beautiful & their fine, orderly detailing (again, God at work) is fascinating. I used this particular feather in this artwork. Art can employ all types of objects! I have used wire, thread and even pencil shavings in other works.  Art is FAR from boring, that is for sure! I also utilized my own hand in this work. My left hand I used to model ALL four hands (this is including the fingers above). I had to twist my wrist around a lot (especially for the hand at the right) and hold my hand in place in front of my face to render the three different poses, but yes, all three are my hand. I just visually altered the size of the one at the left to appear like a man’s hand (notice it is larger than the other two). As you can see, everything from the hands, to the turquoise stone (modeled after how they can really appear), to the Kente cloth flowing over the sinews of the hand…I incorporate a lot of detail. In my artwork, I am heavily influenced by realism, naturalism and the Renaissance masters. I love detail and modeling. My Mom says I have “eyes like a microscope”! I gotta humbly thank the LORD for that. Anyhow, back to the major wrist-flexing to accomplish the hand poses…I had a slightly sore wrist after the work was complete (this work took me less than a month to complete)! It was like artist’s carpal tunnel, but it was worth it!

Survive. Detail.

Survive.
Detail.

Well, that wraps up this edition of WhatWhyWhenHow. Thank God for art and thank God for survival!!

I hope that you enjoyed this post and feel free to comment! Also feel free to return to my blog and read this, older & future posts! Thanks!

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WHATWHYWHENHOW: Artwork Analysis 12


Caribbean Storm Cloud, digital photograph, 2009.

Caribbean Storm Cloud, digital photograph, 2009.

“Caribbean Storm Cloud”

What:  Unless you have never seen a cloud or a sea (if that describes you, you need a hug), I do not have to express what this is a photograph of, but if you want to know exactly what TYPE of cloud this is, thanks to Google I know: cumulus clouds! And the expanse of water that you see is the Caribbean Sea as the title of the photo conveys. That is a LOT of water, so for any seasick-prone people who also may not like even LOOKING at water-y photos…please do not throw up on your keyboard and take steady, deep breaths!

Why: As a photographer, you see an opportunity and you TAKE IT, otherwise; that moment could disappear if you just sit and think about it or if you do not realize it is a great visual opportunity at all! A storm was developing and I took notice. This group of sunlit clouds, heavy with water and hovering over the deep, inky blue sea, was a shot I could NOT miss! I ran to get my camera, selected the settings quickly and snapped away. I snapped two photos and this one was the best out of the both of them!

When: This was taken November 5th, 2009. I and a group of friends were traveling on Princess Cruises’ Ruby Princess liner (this was my first cruise; I’ve been on two). Having left from Princess Cays (an island that Princess Cruises owns), we were on the way to St. Thomas (one of many islands we visited on this 10-day cruise…and yes, being a girl, I DID pack a LOT in a HUGE suitcase & one or two smaller bags). One of my friends also shot this storm cloud with their camera. Our photos are noticeably different in what we captured of the cloud, but theirs came out very nice, too!

How: I guess the BEST way to start the “How” part of this is to mention that God/Yahweh (Yahweh being Hebrew & meaning LORD capitalized) placed this stunning display before everyone’s eyes! I am Christian, so I tend to have no problem with mentioning God in my posts at times. I marvel at His creations. All creation has order. Even genetics has coding (as I often remember when thinking about God and Creationism)! A non-thinking, chaotic & rather sloppy “big bang” can not create order & can not create complexities like coding, but a THINKER and DESIGNER (in this case the Highest Thinker and Designer in existence being God) CAN produce ORDER & CAN create complexities like CODING. For those who haven’t thought about this, please think about it… To continue, the next part to how I snapped this photo is the type of camera I used. I used an Aiptek DV-S ISDV32B MP4 Digital Camcorder. The Aiptek was a gift and is my second digital camera. My first ever digital camera was a really cheap one that I bought from Family Dollar. It was not quality at all, had an LCD display screen the size of a fingernail and the pixelation was SEVERELY lacking, so I did not use it, really. Hey, I didn’t have cash weighing my pockets down at the time to buy one of the better cameras at that store and I really wanted a digital camera, so I bought it!

Anyway, the Aiptek is my second digital camera and it also is a camcorder & has mp4 ability. I didn’t use the mp4 much. So, anyway, I am going to continue explaining the “how”. I was sitting on the balcony outside of our room and we looked and noticed the storm cloud. We saw that as a great nature photo opportunity! I got up off the deck chair, ran to get my camera, was back out on the deck and after adjusting the settings, I snapped a couple of images. I tried to get the most awesome perspective possible. Shooting fine photos is more than just point & shoot since there is a big difference between a just a regular, basic photo and a photo that stimulates emotion and is visually exciting. A great fine photograph takes a great subject, a good to great camera, good timing, a good eye for angles & space and the ability to use the tints and tones that are naturally available to your advantage. I did not use a flash since, thanks to the strong sunlight enveloping much of the clouds, the flash was not needed. The F stop: f/1.4 and the Exposure time: 1/7812 seconds.

Note: For a somewhat lesser known camera, the Aiptek surprisingly shot awesome images. Clear and rich. This camera stuck with me through a bad drop on this trip (the battery cover actually broke off!), many more photos and also another cruise (Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas in Fall of 2010). Unfortunately, it seems to not be working right now. I guess that fall it took and all the use took its toll.  : (  But I still hope I can get it working, so I kept it. For my birthday, in Winter of 2010, one of my gifts was a new (and third) digital camera, my GE X500 Power Pro Series Bridge CameraThis camera is a few steps up in pixelation, color and setting options and is an excellent camera. I still use it and, THANK GOD, I have not dropped it, yet! I use this camera to shoot all of my images since Winter of 2010. I want to get more into photography and so I need to buy lenses and filters for it; I’m trying to be more serious about the beauty of photography. I am also working on compiling a digital photography portfolio so that I can apply for some photographer positions (including travel photographer positions).

And as an extra, below is an image that one of my friend’s shot of me drawing this same cloud. After I photographed it, I sat down with charcoal sticks to draw it (I still have to finish it, though; I stopped to go explore the ship…distractions!).

Drawing Caribbean Storm Cloud with charcoal sticks. 2009.

Drawing Caribbean Storm Cloud with charcoal sticks. 2009.

And as an extra, extra, here is are two posts I published about one of my more recent fine photographs: CLICK HERE and CLICK HERE!

I hope that you enjoyed this post and feel free to comment! Also feel free to return to my blog and read this, older & future posts! Thanks!

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THE ART OF ACTION: channel anger into action


TrayvonMartin_JahvarisMartin

Trayvon with his brother Jahvaris.

Hello, all of my blog readers and visitors…

(UPDATE (7/31/2013): The parents of Trayvon Martin, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, have created a petition to have the severely flawed Stand Your Ground laws reviewed. You can sign that petition HERE! Thank you!)

I am getting away from my usual art postings to focus on something that needs to have continued attention. The Trayvon Martin case. I am not going to go into a too much detail about it in this post because, honestly, I am actually working on a more detailed post I hope to publish soon. That post will delve more personally into Trayvon’s life and the lives of two other victims of senseless violence (Jordan Davis and Jamiel Shaw) because more than victims, they were PEOPLE. Maybe some will think I shouldn’t show my feeling on this, here, since this is an art blog and I am “supposed” to keep my feelings on non-art stuff to myself, but if you have seen my occasional non-art posts then you know that I consider myself human before being an artist. I, like many, am upset about the verdict and that George Zimmerman is free (well, technically, he is not free; he still has to answer to God & he will constantly be watching his back). The result of the trial was unjust. But I guess it is convenient to rule unjustly when the other side (Trayvon) is too deceased to speak for himself about that night. Wow. Zimmerman disregarded a dispatcher’s advisement NOT to follow and he also has a history with racial profiling. Don’t believe me? Read about his racial profiling history AND his how he over-stepped Neighborhood Watch policy HERE. And for the record, “racial profiling” is just a fancy word to cover up the REAL term: ASSUMING. Zimmerman took his cop fantasies (he failed at becoming an actual cop), his assuming and his aggression (yeah, just Google search his criminal past) out on Trayvon who had every right to defend himself. Flight or fight. Trayvon apparently chose to fight. I am glad he showed how valuable his life was to him. He fought back.

A 17 year old kid tried to make it back home with nothing but snacks, Skittles and tea. No one should find glee in the death of a kid, no matter what side of this you are on (there are some very heartless people). Trayvon wanted to become an aviation mechanic or a pilot, he held odd jobs instead of wasting time, he had tattoos of the women in his family who he loved (including his Mom who he affectionately called “Cupcakes”), he took road trips with his dad, he made people laugh, he saved his dad from a fire…yeah, Trayvon had a good side, too. He was a whole person who tragically didn’t make it back home. The courts are imperfect; they’re run by people. God’s court has the final say.

** The NAACP has released a petition for people to sign. It is for a  Civil Rights Case Against George Zimmerman. As NAACP president, Ben Jealous, stipulated about this petition: “The most fundamental of civil rights—the right to life—was violated the night George Zimmerman stalked and then took the life of Trayvon Martin. We ask that the Department of Justice file civil rights charges against Mr. Zimmerman for this egregious violation.”
Please sign this petition on behalf of Trayvon Martin and those (there are more) like him. Thank you.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN.

Trayvon Case30_petition

Screenshot of the NAACP’s petition.

** Stand Your Ground Law, which the NAACP petition is also targeting and which exists in Florida and in 21 other states (some with similar versions), is also a problem.

Stand Your Ground allows anyone, who legally has a right to be in area, to hurt or even kill another on the flimsy basis that they “feel threatened”. The person feeling “threatened” does not have to run away and can use deadly force if they feel a need to defend themselves. This means many random and needless deaths. This is from a pewstates.org article-even though “Zimmerman did not ultimately use the “stand your ground” defense in his case, Sanford police did not arrest him until almost two months after the shooting because of the Florida stand your ground rules that require police to have specific evidence to refute a self defense claim in order to arrest someone claiming self defense. That provision of the law “does a disservice to Floridians because it’s so vague,” said Florida Sen. Dwight Bullard, a Democrat, in an interview Sunday with CBS Miami.” But then there is still this: “Zimmerman did not request immunity from prosecution under the ‘stand your ground’ law and his lawyers didn’t invoke it in court, but the jury did receive instructions from the judge that borrowed language from the statute, specifying that if “he was attacked in any place where he had a right to be, he had no duty to retreat and had the right to stand his ground and meet force with force.” That is from a THIS POST about the Jordan Davis Case (which I speak more about in the next paragraph).

Let’s be real, Stand Your Ground (SYG) worsens tragedies that are race-based (mainly targeting Blacks; this is not me pulling the “race card”, this is reality…racism is still very much alive), but SYG Laws also do negatively affect people of any race and SYG is like some horrible lawful excuse that devalues life. It puts a flimsy value on life and makes one think that if they simply wave their hand at a stranger while holding a leash, someone can claim they thought the leash was a metal pipe and shoot a mentally challenged victim in the chest. This actually happened to Daniel Adkins. Read about that and other cases involving SYG HERE. The shooter in that case was indicted on one count of second degree murder. The SYG Law gives people the right to follow you when you are not even bothering them, simply because they can claim you seemed to be dangerous. This law allows people to try to use it as an excuse, despite shooting at a car (TEN times) and killing a teen simply over loud music, like the Jordan Davis case. Michael Dunn (the shooter) claimed there was a gun in their car. Police say there was no gun in the car. Again, you can read about that situation in the post I also shared above HERE. Like the Trayvon Martin tragedy, this also happened in Florida where I recently relocated to. It also happened less than 9 months after Trayvon’s February 2012 death. The SYG Law gives criminals freedom from being prosecuted. This law gives people the right to make excuses (often while the other side is too dead to defend their side) and to get away with murder. This law is not only unfair to victims (who are often deceased), it is unfair (often racially) in terms of how criminals are charged. Read about an example HERE.

Here is a petition (centered on Florida’s SYG Law) that seems to have gone beyond its signature goal, but you can check it out still. CLICK HERE. You can also search more related Trayvon Martin and SYG Law petitions or even create your own petition on one of the trusted petition sites. Even the White House has a site featuring petitions centered on Trayvon Martin and on SYG Laws. You can also start your own petitions: CLICK HERE.  Thank you.

The side bar of my blog, on the right, has a section that features links supporting Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis and similar cases. I will be adding to it whatever helpful link I find. I want to post a more in depth look at Trayvon, Jordan and another victim, Jamiel Shaw, soon. Jamiel Shaw was 17 (same age as Trayvon & Jordan) in 2008 when he was shot twice and killed by an gangbanger was also an illegal alien. He shot him due to a RED backpack (the color of a rival gang) & the shooting may have had to do with race, as well. The killer, Pedro Espinoza, was sentenced to death. You can read about it HERE.

Thank you very much for reading and please feel free to tell others about this post and to socially Share it.

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CORRECTION: Moore, Oklahoma death toll


cross-with-some-added-illumination1

Hello, readers.

Yesterday, I posted an article of encouragement and various ways to help the people of Moore, Oklahoma. You can read it here: CLICK.

The issue at hand in this Correction post is that, in the post, I mistakenly listed the death toll as being 91. I, of course, was way off. My apologies for this error. I was looking for the correct number in my online research. Some sorces said 24 (that is what I was going to post), other sources said 51 and even 91. I figured 91 was correct because it seemed, then, that the death toll had risen. But that is so far from the actual count. Any death toll, even 1 person, is a sad number so 24 is still just as heart-wrenching as 91. I have corrected that count in my post from yesterday.

That being said, 24 people (10 of them were children) are deceased. That number is as of the most recent count. Prayerfuly that number will not rise. The bodies have gone on, but we all have a spirit. Spirits do not die.

Families remember Oklahoma tornado victims; incl. a list of the victims: CLICK

  • It will obviously take people time and a lot of patience to get through this aftermath, but there is light at the end of any tunnel. Here are two awesome articles of this truth:

A child is born in the midst of a hospital falling apart: CLICK

A family’s positivity despite the tornado: CLICK

Final Note:

I always feel it is important to talk of God and positives in times like this to hopefuly help people gain a calming perspective. This perspective isn’t just mine, it’s truth. Thank God for resilience. Nobody is going to forget what happened and it will obviously take time to pick up the pieces and gain some semblance of normalcy back, but being negative and sad constantly will do nothing but crumble you and you end up defeating yourself. God didn’t cause this. It’s a natural disaster in an obviously chaotic world, but God uses this situation to strengthen people and concrete their resolve. The people of Oklahoma are so very strong. These people are so very strong to smile and work through this as best they can. Happiness never goes out of style and the tornado did not take that. I hope those effected all the best! Amen!

MOORE, OKLAHOMA: tornadoes cannot destroy human endurance


Prayer moves things and heals. Pray for the people of Oklahoma.

Prayer moves things and heals. Pray for the people of Moore, Oklahoma.

From  time to time I post something that is not geared toward art, but geared toward something so important, I feel I must post.

On Monday, May 20th, a tornado ripped through Moore, Oklahoma. It caught people in the middle of living their daily lives. It was was force that caused, as of today, 2 billion dollars in damage with EF-5 force winds (this involved speeds that at times went beyond 200 mph)! A quiet day became homes, schools, businesses torn apart like sturctures made of popsicle sticks. A quiet day became 24 people (10 of them were children) deceased. That number is as of a count on Tuesday, May 21st. A very somber time.

I cannot fully even imagine what the people in Moore, Oklahoma are going through, but I know one thing: they have the ability to be STRONG. I hope to be able to comfort people and to help people understand, here. God did not cause this. Moore Oklahoma isn’t Sodom & Gomorrah, it isn’t Egypt and the totures they caused on the Israelites. God punished those people, those places because goodness could not barely be found & the people did not take the chance that God gave them to change. Moore, Oklahoma was not hit by God, then. He has no reason to cause random destruction of no basis. This was a natural disaster in a chaotic and NOW imperfect & simply evil world. I want you to be assured of that. God would rather heal the people of Moore and heal the people of Oklahoma. Lean on Him for strength. He put strength in us and survivor skills in us; we are worth a lot to Him.

The tornado may have ripped away structures, but it didn’t rip away endurance. People were created to be survivors. God enabled us with a determination & will to make it & gain back at least some semblance of normalcy. One never forgets what happens, but we do heal. People survived by grace of God and by grace of God people are supporting each other and donating. The tornado may have taken bodies (sometimes people just cannot sustain particular injuries), but it did not take the spirits contained in those bodies. The body is important and is what we associate someone with physically, but it is not as important as the spirit. The spirit is who someone really is. God loves life so much that He provided us with spirits that survive beyond the body. The spirit is also waht connects us to God when we accept Him/receive Him. Your loved one is not dead. The spirit just waits for Judgment Day. The spirit does not die. Death is not an end because saying death is the end devalues everything you are and ever did in life. You would be devaluing your own life & worth. Your loved one was and is worth more than that. Be encouraged Moore, Oklahoma and all of Oklahoma. It will be a gradual healing, but YOU WILL BE FINE. Have faith. My prayers are with everyone in Oklahoma. Amen.

(When Revelations is nearing the end of being fulfilled and when God has completed giving humanity time to genuinely accept Christ and be righteous-because He is giving humanity time; that is grace and that is love-then Jesus will return. All will be well. All pain will end. A brighter day is coming and no amount of evil can change that. Be assured, be strong.)

Please meditate on these:

John 14:1-3 ESV  – “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”

1 Corinthians 15:22 ESV  – “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.”

Romans 5:3-4 ESV  – “More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,…”

James 1:12 ESV –  “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.”

John 16:33 ESV  – “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Romans 12:12 ESV  – “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”

How You Can Help:

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UPDATE: the extracurricular life


Hi, all! I hope all my readers and those passing through and deciding to stop and read my blog are well!

This month, so far, has been one of those months where it is kind of hard to squeeze in blogging thanks to doing other things (extracurricular stuff…apart from my blogging here!) and just being kinda tired and blogging requires MUCH in the way of staying awake. Bloggers are firstly human. But there are still so many things I know I need to be blogging about, so much so that I keep a list on laptop to order what blogs need to be done and when. I am kind of taking a break right now, but every now and again I will post something that does not require a lot of writing and some art polls, but will still keep you entertained and informed. The informed part has been catching, lately, as I have been getting responses from people letting me know my article helped them and that is AWESOME! I like being helpful! Here are the two I’m referring to: HERE and  HERE.

As I have said, I have been doing somewhat extracurricular things away from my blogging. I’ve been tired, generally (not sure if that is so much an extracurricular, but since it is not blogging then maybe), I have started co-blogging creative posts (do not worry, I like doing that as well, but I am NOT leaving my blogs), I have been getting involved in community, I have a friend whom is having a baby boy today (!); I cannot wait to see him! A life entering the world. Wow…another grand example of God in action! I have gotten my sorely missed HP laptop back in commission and in fact I am typing this post on it! It is the 1st post/page I have typed on it since June 2011! I’d been borrowing a very helpful friend’s nice computers (he has 2) since then up until now. You can read about what happened to mine & updates from last couple weeks HERE. I brought it home yesterday and was SO happy (I think I thanked God and the repair guys a BUNCH of times)!! I mean I spent a nice fat dime on this laptop and it is an awesome device; plus I do my graphic work on it and store art and other stuff on it, so I need it!! I had to hack into my own laptop to reset my password; however, because I could NOT remember my password! 6 hours later (about 4am or so), I finally found free (yes, free!) reset software that was not so limited as the other ones I tried and had no success with (free stuff like that are often understandably limited in what they will help you accomplish; you have to buy full software). I had to rearrange my system’s boot order (be very mindful & read any directions before screwing around in your BIOS menu, your boot order and such, you could really mess something up and have MORE problems; if you rearrange it, remember its original order and after fixing issue make sure to arrange it as it was originally) and then I reset my password. Ta-da! I put in new password and my desktop came up upon my newly replaced glossy screen….it was euphoria……………………………… Well, enough of that. I will return to blogging more relevant, art subjects soon. Stay tuned!

Meanwhile, I know this is an art blog, but sometimes things happen to make you step away from the purpose for a while. There are more pressing issues all over the USA and all over the world. Namely the Boston Marathon bombing that happened on April 15th and the fertilizer plant blast that happened in West, Texas on April 17th.

The bombing in Boston was caused by selfish cruelty; the mind of a weak person allowing evil to stir up the brain. And to add spite to injury, the fool set the bombs to go off at the end of a great, happy day. This person went against God’s Will for us to love each other. But evil did not win and is a big loser because the person or even persons who did this will reap sooner or later. God avenges the innocent. Evil failed because the spirits of those who perished live on. Evil failed because there are survivors and people rallied together to pray, assist, aid, support, comfort and love…acts of God. Acts of love and endurance. Boston is clearly strong! The explosion in Texas was one of those things that no one caused and no one saw coming. It is part of life in this chaotic world: things just happen, sadly so. People perished in this, too, but they are not really gone. Only the body. Please find comfort in this truth. God values life so much, that even our bodies contain a part that leaves the body to live on in a spiritual way. His grace sustained so many in this terrible event, too, and again people came together showing how we should treat each other in even good times.  Texas is known for hardy people, they will endure!

Love, faith and hope. Amen…

God made me and will can me

I will return to post art writings, soon! Please keep visiting my blog. Thank you and smile at somebody today, and any day for that matter. They may need it!   : )

NEW: WAYS TO HELP THOSE AFFECTED IN THE BOSTON MARATHON BOMBINGS: CLICK HERE and HERE

AND WAYS TO HELP THOSE AFFECTED BY THE TEXAS FERTILIZER PLANT EXPLOSION: CLICK HERE

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FRUITS OF LABOR: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.- death didn’t destroy his spirit or his vision


Spite, hatred and intolerance ceased his body from living, but those things did not end his spirit (as the spirit surpasses the body and lives on) and those things did not end his vision (things have improved and society still fights on). Hatred and evil: you are one big FAIL.

"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase."

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

Today is the 45th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assasination.

Dr. King, Jr. fought a peaceful and firm fight. God was his ultimate inspiration and motivation. The vast and great efforts of the civil rights leader Dr. King and those like him have greatly improved the lives and situations of African-Americans, workers/employees/unions, the disenfranchised/poverty-stricken and he was also an anti-war figure. Thanks to their work, which was by no means easy, racism is no longer ignorable and tolerable. Workers and unions are treated more fairly. Due to such efforts, I, an African-American, attended college, graduated with my rightful grades, can get jobs I qualify for regardless of my race and can enjoy simple freedoms like riding a bus, using a public toilet (though those can be kinda gross at times, ha!), go to the beach without being kicked out or cursed at and so much more. The fight has changed people’s hearts and minds. There is still more work to do, of course, but with the right spirit and intentions, things will continue to get better. As long as something is in-line with God and His Word, then it should be a human right. Their work was not easy by far and carried the risk of danger and retaliation against them and their families, but yet they fought on with FAITH and for the HOPE that society can be at more peace and have more justice. Thank you, Father God, for moving these soldiers to fight on and thank You for the changes You have made. Thank you, soldiers of rights and fairness for risking your comforts to fight for right. We should NEVER take for granted what they did. Amen.

"I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear."

“To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.”

Of course I had to include a piece of artwork! This an art blog after all..."To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing."

Of course I had to include a piece of artwork! This an art blog after all…
“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

Biography of Dr. King, Jr.: HERE and HERE

Here is a plethora of inspirational, meaningful and substatntial Dr. King quotes: HERE

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