Live An Artful Life Magazine Issue 5

Page 1

Artful Life Live An


Magazine Inspired By Nature �

Sculptor: David Erdman "Form From Within" Designer: AnnMaria Baldine



Artist: Jennifer Nelson "The People's Choice"

Dr. Celia Im "Lighting The Creative Spark"



An Artful Life® G A L L E R Y "Garden Party"

Exhibit and Sale June 27 - July 12, 2015

L i ve An Ar t f ul L ife® G all e r y w ill host a f loral cel ebrat ion of ar t w ith our show “Garden Part y”. Featur ing art work depicting a garden the me f rom a group of t a l e n t e d a r t i s t r e s i d i n g i n M a r y l a n d , V i r g i n i a , Wa s h i n g t o n D .C . , N o r t h C a r o l i n a , S o u t h C a r o l i n a a n d G e o r g i a . Yo u' r e i n v i t e d t o t h e o p e n i n g r e c e p t i o n S a t u rd a y , J u n e 2 7, 5 - 7 P M a n d a t t h a t t i m e t o v o t e f o r y o u r f a v o r i t e p a i n t i n g f o r t h e Peopl e's C hoi ce a wa rd . 6 4 7 4 M a i n S t r e e t , T h e P l a i n s , VA 2 0 1 9 8

540-253-9797 •

to our readers I can’t believe this is our 5th issue! A labor of love as we close in on our first full year of Live An Artful Life Magazine. It brings Linda and me both, great joy in bringing you such a diversity of artful stories. Perhaps this issue has more diversity than ever. Perhaps this issue has more diversity than ever and all seem inspired by nature in their own special way. We begin with master wood sculptor Dave Erdman. A man living his dream and allowing us to share it. I can’t say enough how three dimensional art should be part of your collection and David’s work is why. 360 degrees of visual interest. AnnMaria Baldine, a true Italian designer and artist, who raises interior design from the ground up. Her LaMusa design studio is a fusion of art and design and features her personal hand made rug designs inspired by the harmony of nature’s form. Jennifer Nelson is an emerging fine artist whose almost decade of graphic art has given her a great foundation. With an infectious laugh and smile, Jennifer has a great attitude and was our people’s choice! Then we have our cover, Dr. Celia Im and a story about artistic growth and creative wellness. This is a story about how the awareness of your options can not only transform you, but others as well. Finally, I can’t help but mention, we are celebrating two big milestones here at LAAL. First, Linda and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary in April and as you read this, I will be hitting the big 60, as in six-oh my God! Too funny. Life is good. We hope you enjoy this issue and others to come. Live An Artful Life, Tom Neel

in this issue



David Erdman

"Form From Within"


Life Coach

By Kim Tapper


Dr. Celia Im

"Lighting The Creative Spark"

4 | Copyright Live An Artful Life Inc

All rights reserved


laMusa Art And Design Studio



Jennifer Nelson "The People's Choice"

The Artist's Perspective By Tom Neel

Artful Life

Live An


PUBLISHER, EDITOR Tom Neel PUBLISHER, ASSOCIATE EDITOR AND GRAPHIC DESIGN Linda Neel ADVERTISING 540-253-9797 CONTRIBUTORS Kim Tapper, Life Coach, ACC, CPCC PHOTO CREDITS We wish to thank the following people for the wonderful photos used in this issue. Tom Neel

SUBMISSIONS Live An Artful Life Magazine welcomes article submissions by email to submissions@ Please include contact information.


Dr. Celia Im, in Middleburg, VA. Photo by Tom Neel, feature story on page 20

6 | Copyright Live An Artful Life Inc

All rights reserved

COPYRIGHT 2014 Live An Artful Life Inc. All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be copied or reprinted without written permission from the Editor. Live An Artful Life is a registerd trademark of Live An Artful Life Inc. Live An Artful Life Inc P.O. Box 163 6474 Main Street The Plains, VA 20198

Live An Artful Life速 Magazine Visit us at


Erdman To meet sculptor David Erdman and to then see his works of art, you might at first see them as a

Form From Within

mismatched pair. I think even this large teddy bear of a man would never describe himself as being polished, of flowing form, or even thought provoking, and yet, that is exactly how one might describe his sculpture. But once you get to know Erdman, this artist’s inner self easily appears all over his work. Erdman is a warm soft spoken person, at home in blue jeans, who has always preferred to sail the sea rather than motor his way through it. So it is completely fitting that his medium is not stone, but wood. He is a man of great scale and as such, much of what he creates is too. David doesn’t fiddle about with tiny things too small for his hands. His pieces have weight and presence, without having a loud voice. Rather, they whisper in an inviting way, touch me. They ask you to visualize in a 360 degree fashion of thought, which yields each individual often seeing something different than the next. I see artist David Erdman’s approach as one of 8 | Copyright Live An Artful Life Inc

All rights reserved

By Tom Neel

complete freedom. He visualizes the finished

ida studio. Sailing and a love of being near the

work of art and attempts to free the form from

water certainly rank among those experiences

within a massive piece of wood.

and influences. But today he is a full time sculp-

While some of his pieces are smooth and erect,

tor and his studio, shared by his also creative wife

others can feel like a prehistoric find and yet oth-

Patricia, serves as their temple of artistic purpose.

ers can more easily take on a somewhat predict-

The space is industrious and somewhat archival

able narrative, such as the wind over a sail. It’s

in the sense of the selected woods and pieces

easy to find representational movement, but also

[both completed and in process] that live there.

signs of life and David often references his work-

Just inside the door are his latest subjects. Ti-

ing with wood, by saying they

tled, “Quintet”, this group of

are communicating with each

five made from linden wood,


has been finished in a light

David Erdman was born

stain which gives them a

in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in

feeling of bone, yet togeth-

1946 and graduated from

er they communicate their

St. Olaf College in 1968. He

own sort of Stonehenge-ish

continued his architectural

ancient monument charac-

studies at the University of

ter. We moved them to his

Minnesota, but it seems his


strongest artistic influence

in downlight, their form was

would be Dr. Arnold Flat-

magical. David speaks about

en. Reading about Dr. Flaten shows he was a larger than life

"Sails", mahogany, by David Erdman

There, draped

them in creating “shapes and shadows” and he says, “I want-

figure at St.Olaf, a professor, a pastor, but most

ed them to be fun and to do a series where people

importantly perhaps, a multi talented artist and

could move them around within the series, be it a

sculptor_of wood.

row or a bunch.” Call it a colony.

David’s website mentions being - raised in a

We then turn our attention to a newly complet-

creative environment of art and building things. A

ed piece titled, “Embrace”. Made of cherry and

convergence of a lifetime of experiences influence

stained to a gloss honey hue, you begin to learn

his full time pursuit of wood sculpting in his Flor-

of the artistic flexibility and the voice of wood,

10 | Copyright Live An Artful Life Inc

All rights reserved

"Quintet", linden wood, by David Erdman

which has so many varietal properties of grain

we call it “Angels Among Us”. The artist in him

and carving abilities and all further enhanced by

is not only a sculptor of wood, but very much an

stains and finishes. As David speaks about “Em-

enthusiast of it as well. He has an unquestionable

brace”, he very laughingly talks about how some-

passion for his medium. Woods such as mahoga-

times he’ll be working on a piece like this where

ny, walnut, cherry and even rosewood, are more

he has to do “major surgery” and he says he has

familiar to most of us than those such as blue ma-

to go home afterwards “because I need both of us

hoe, banyon, linden wood, partridge wood, zebra

to recover!”

wood, purple heart and monkey pod. But they

In talking about wood, David points to a piece

are all among the woods that Erdman selects.

made of 75 year old black walnut. I mention it

He takes us out to the back of his shop and

feeling angelic and he tells me that’s funny because

points to a dark log, mentioning to not hurt myself, while in the same breath asking me to try lifting it. I soon discover a wood that appears petrified and more like lifting stone. All hernias aside, I chose to go easy on myself. The wood is Cocobolo from Central America and it’s known for uses such as gun grips, knife handles and inlay work, where the pieces are small. For David, it will prove to be the closest thing to stone in carving. David mentions the first time he hit it with a chisel - “It went boing!” and nothing happen to the wood. His chain saws didn’t fair much better, but the wood has a wonderful color about it, with a flame pattern that was rich to see and an oily finish which naturally polishes well. It’s a $1,000. piece of wood though and as hard as it is, care must be taken in he’s artistic endeavor.

"Angles Among Us", black walnut, By David Erdman 12 | Copyright Live An Artful Life Inc

All rights reserved

In contrast, David also hands us a piece of kauri wood which is almost weightless. This 40,000 year old wood is from trees which have been bur-

"Adam & Eve", black walnut, By

David Erdman

ied and preserved underground in swamps. I read - Buried just below the surface of the ground and preserved in the water of peat swamps, the Ancient Kauri wood has neither petrified nor turned to coal. This underground resting place, sealed from the air, became a perfectly balanced cocoon that preserved the giant trees. David says, “Think about who was walking the earth when this was around?” These were giant trees and the wood has iridescent properties about it. Very interesting and a future masterpiece to be sure. It’s kind of funny in the company of all of these select woods, when I point to the old plywood shipping crate lying among his masterpieces! For collectors, Erdman’s works of art offer the warmth of wood and a beautiful sense of form for both your environment and collection. His unique pieces add a strong sense of place and offer an invitation to touch your art and be touched by it. David Erdman's sculptures can be found at the following galleries: • ARTicles Art Galllery, St Petersburg, FL • Live An Artful Life Gallery, The Plains, VA • Yellow Door Gallery, Charleston, SC

Please tell them Live An Artful Life Magazine sent you! "Flame", purple heart, By David Erdman 14 | Copyright Live An Artful Life Inc

All rights reserved


The Piedmont’s Premier Landscape Painter

"What A Wonderful World" May 9, 1:00PM

“Rolled Grass", oil on canvas, 24” X 48”

A Place To Be presents "What A Wonderful World" Paintings by Tom Neel in conjunction with The Spring Recital performed by A Place To Be. Art Opening starts at 1:00PM Music therapy recital starts at 2:00PM Partail proceeds from painting sales to benefit A Place To Be Hickory Tree Farm, 6039 Hickory Tree Lane, Middleburg, VA 20118 For additional details please call 540-253-9797 • Studio 540-364-4401

Live An Artful Life


New book “Behind The Label” By Kim Tapper

Available online at A Place to Be and Mascot Books

For your artful lifestyle! Complete with the Live An Artful Life logo embroidered on the front and “Live An Artful Life” embroidered in script on both sides. 100% brushed cotton twill with a self-fabric closure and adjustable D-ring slider that hides for a neat look. Colors are Stone with Burgundy stitching, Ice Blue with Navy stitching and Tangerine with Cream stitching.

Buy Yours Today! Only $20

16 | Copyright Live An Artful Life Inc

All rights reserved

Those wonderful signs of Spring!

Life Coach By Kim Tapper “The greatest danger for most of us is not that our

tive intelligence to feel that they are subpar. Arts

aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low

programs are often the first cut from our schools

and we reach it” – Michelangelo

when times are tight which impedes students

I hear the refrains of “I can’t;” and “that will

from finding their personal voice and creative

never happen;” and “if only I could…” pour forth

abilities. The results of all this? Many adults are

from people all too often. There seems to be a

hard pressed to call themselves creative, intel-

pervasive limiting belief that has crept into our

ligent, capable or talented and thus, on a large-

collective consciousness keeping us playing small

scale, the loss of potential contributions to our

in our own lives. Author Wayne Dyer says, “…

world is immeasurable. On an individual scale

our objectives and aims are diminished by our

this results in the loss of self-esteem, dreams un-

beliefs before they can be worked on and mate-

realized and people feeling unmotivated or help-

rialized.” How can we change patterns of limit-

less to create changes in their lives.

ing beliefs after they have been engrained in our

With the blossoming of springtime, the sea-

psyche for so long? How can we tap back into a

son of renewal and rebirth, we have an opportu-

creative mindset and see things from a new per-

nity to try something new. To begin to change

spective with new possibilities?

this pattern we must first notice the limiting be-

There are numerous reasons our aims di-

liefs we hold. Tune in to the running tape in your

minish over time. Sadly, in childhood, many of

head: when and where are you an automatic ‘no’

us experienced a time when a teacher, parent or

believing you cannot do, accomplish or try some-

peer questioned our ability to succeed leading us

thing? Then examine where you came up with

to question whether we were capable or worthy

that opinion. Why can’t you do it? Why shouldn’t

of success at all. As a culture we place an inordi-

you try it? Says who? We all have stories of neg-

nate amount of value on standardized tests that

ative feedback (the time your choir teacher told

measure only one kind of intelligence leaving

you to just mouth the words; the 15 rejection let-

those who don’t test well or who exhibit alterna-

ters your novel got; the job in the industry of your

18 | Copyright Live An Artful Life Inc

All rights reserved

dreams that never materialized), but you are the

you back and instead, plant and nurture the seeds

only one at the helm of your life. Are you going

in you that want something more. Life is best ex-

to let those setbacks define you? Or might there

perienced in the dynamic pursuit of our dreams,

be some other creative way to move towards your

in what we are creating for others and ourselves,

dreams? As Marianne Williamson writes, “We

rather than in the stagnancy of our routines and

ask ourselves, ‘who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,


talented and fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be?” To begin it helps to find a neutral area in which

There’s a famous Zen saying: “Sitting quietly, doing nothing, spring comes, and the grass grows by itself.” We can sit idly by and the days will turn,

to do some ‘muscle building’.

season to season, without any

You are trying to work the

help from us and our lives will

muscles of creativity, imagi-

remain the same. Or we can

nation, and possibility. For

notice the changes all around

instance, think of something

us and bring ourselves present

that might be just fun to try,

into this moment. Springtime

something that doesn’t carry

holds great inspiration for our

a lot of weight or expectation

lives. It’s a time to poke our

for you. Try a tiny painting,

heads out of hibernation and

writing a little poem, learning

nurture our own growth, cre-

a dance, attending a seminar

ate possibilities. Listen to the

on something new, or any-

whisper of your soul telling

thing else that gets you out of

you of something you really

your “I can’t do that” box. Do little things like

want; big or small…let your imagination wander

that for a few weeks and notice the impact on

back to all the things you dreamt before you be-

your quality of life. Then focus on a place in your

lieved they were impossible…and start creating!

life where you may have set the bar too low; perhaps you have reached it and settled there. It’s time to take the risk and aim higher! It’s time to prune away your limiting beliefs that are holding

Dr. Celia Im "Lighting The Creative Spark" By Tom Neel

20 | Copyright Live An Artful Life Inc

All rights reserved

True artistry is about growth and reinvention.

there is?” Im grew up with the piano, practiced

Artists might easily find their creative selves and

endlessly, won serious competitions and a schol-

the birth of their creative expression, but it is not

arship on her way to becoming a professional mu-

just this creative birth that defines them. It is the

sician. She heard the applause. She had met every

continual growth and reinvention that allows an

challenge before her in achieving a coveted goal

artist to truly live an artful life.

of having a classical musical career, but there’s a

Often this growth has an artist changing their

career mind-set that comes with the territory.

style or it blossoms into multiple forms of creative

I analogize Im’s musical career by thinking of all

expression. Every once in awhile though, the

of the energy in a jet taking off. All of the power

growing process really does become re-inventive,

that goes in to lifting it into the air, only to eventu-

and is not just a style change, but a life change.

ally throttle back and cruise along. Even cruising

Deeper still is when this life change becomes life

along a pilot might be thinking about the amaz-

changing for others.

ing power of those jet engines, where a musician

Dr. Celia Im could have easily continued her roll

like Dr. Im was thinking about the power of the

as a classical concert pianist. After all, after hav-

music, and during our long discussion, I believe I

ing a relationship with the piano since the age of

hear exactly when Dr. Celia Im found her calling.

four and having become an award winning mu-

She explains during a particular big compe-

sician, why mess with success? Why? Because

tition in her late teens, she would have to play

artistry is most rewarded by asking - What else?

Saint-Saëns G minor concerto, a big piece of mu-

Also, by taking chances and embracing creative

sic. Im says,“I could remember pushing through

growth, the possibility of reinvention may actual-

this feeling of me being small, versus this not only

ly have a metamorphosis effect and this seems to

big [concert] piano, but big powerful piece of mu-

be what occurred here. The musician became a

sic.” At the time it might not have been the first


choice of her teacher, because he felt she was still

Dr. Im explains of her transition, that there are

playing small and she thought, “Whoa, I’m not

“Layers of reasons why we do things. Curiosity,

going to be able to do this. I couldn’t pull it out of

really just led to me realizing that first of all, mu-

me yet.” But somehow she found that big place

sic is powerful, it changes us, as art does, and I be-

in her, which she simulates to being outside in

gan wondering in my life as a performer, is this all

nature. She recalls, “Feeling a weightlessness, no

trying, no effort, I broke through that part where Dr. Celia Im is the founder of Lighting the Creative Spark LLC and creator of the unique personal development program Harmonic Resonance Process (HRP)™ using music as a tool to awaken, enlight-

I wasn’t making it happen, I just let the weightlessness happen and carry me and I began feeling this stirring in my abdomen and I began to

en, and empower audiences. She is an internation-

feel this bigness that previously I had only felt out

al award-winning musician and has taught on the

in nature by myself.” The performance brought

faculties of Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University, the University of Maryland and George

people to their feet and Im, interestingly, not so

Mason University. Her degrees include a Doctorate

much caring about being a musician per se, really

of Musical Arts from Peabody Conservatory, Bach-

loved seeing that music could unify people. Not

elor’s Degree from Oberlin Conservatory and she

just powerful, but as she says, “Powerful in a way

holds a certification in the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music. In her workshops, seminars, conferences and retreats, Dr. Celia Im uses her seven-stage transformational process – HRP™ – to guide participants along their path to wellness, creativity and leadership. Her clients range from leaders in business, politics and

that helped us all feel our bigness.” This was the beginning of her creative future. Fast forward through those years of a professional musical life. Dr. Im had gained valuable lifetime experience in allowing herself to simply

expressive arts, to individuals seeking personal well-

be the music, but she also got to a place where she


had not only felt one with it, with her fellow mu-

She applies music as a key to the inside, to activate the truth that resides in each individual. This music, both live and recorded, is created through a deep

sicians, the audience and the room as well. As if, she explains, “There was a visual white dome over

sense of feeling and a spontaneous response to her

them all.” It sounds out of body, but I think more

audience. Combined with her speaking, Dr. Im pro-

importantly speaks of what she had learned about

vides her listeners a profound experience that changes them from the inside out.

the affect sound has on us. Where most musicians are happy to play on, Dr. Im kept feeling a greater curiosity in sound. She asked herself, “If music is this powerful and can change you, but we leave the performance and the next day we are back to old ourselves, can we harness that power to really change us?” She had experienced those who had told her they would

22 | Copyright Live An Artful Life Inc

All rights reserved

have an awareness during the performance that they otherwise did not. She felt though, that simply being a musician or an entertainer was limiting her ability to deeply explore, as she put it, “The power of sound to res-

HRP™ is a unique self-actualization program that uses specially composed piano music in combination with creative visualization and mindful inquiry to open up a powerful connection between your mind and body. Evolving through three stages of develop-

onate in us, to touch us and to touch something

ment – Heal, Create, Actualize – HRP™ provides

bigger.” She felt strongly this principle should be

an effective means to gain a deeper understanding of

able to be applied to life. This led to her development of Harmonic Resonance Process™ or HRP™, a process that has everything to do with “expanded consciousness”. After a short personal sampling session, I would describe HRP™ as sort of a motivational meditation. One where the music Dr. Im has created, becomes a relaxing trigger to “disarm us” from ourselves and our “thinking mind” and “allows our heart to come alive”. As she says, “To trust our gut feelings.” Certainly on an even more therapeutic level, Dr. Im now has years of documented proof that HRP™ allows one to break through deeply set barriers and experience personal growth and change. As Im puts it, “This is all about asking your mind to listen to your heart.” Which often she says, “It begins with this clean up place, where we have

your life’s path, take action to accomplish long-term goals and enjoy overall enhanced wellbeing. How often in life we are told to “follow our heart” or “trust our gut feeling” – yet frequently doubts, fears and the opinions of others prevent us from hearing the clear voice inside that knows what we want, what is uniquely good for us. Recent neuro-scientific studies increasingly affirm what mind-body professionals and alternative healers have long asserted: the body knows precisely what we need, often faster than the mind. The key to fulfilling our dreams and goals lies in tapping into and trusting our innate body wisdom. In HRP™, the mind-body connection is opened through a harmonic – or vibrational – resonance. This can create a sensation of being physically transported in time and space while still remaining mentally present, allowing fresh insights, as well as shifts in attitude, perceptions or feelings. As you embark on your journey with HRP™, you may experience deep relaxation, more balance in your daily life, increased creativity, clarity in de-

to get alined with our head and our heart_and I

cision making, freedom from stress and doubt, new

think that is what any great artist or musician or

understanding in relationships, even a calling to do

any creative person does_the thinking mind supports that. And why not be able to say, well, if I have to figure out the next step in my life, I can

something different.

do that too! I can have my head follow my heart and then ask it_and trust it.” Dr. Im further explains, “One thing artists, musicians, dancers and creative people hopefully dabble in and master, is eventually how to go to a non verbal spontaneity that’s not the thinking mind, and listen to it and give it credence.” Rather than simply labeling HRP™ as therapy, Im feels her program is actually a creative process. "Lighting The Creative Spark" often begins by breaking inner barriers, which then allow for true freedom and growth. But I believe it’s safe to say that many of her clients have felt a powerful healing in their experience with HRP™, and this not excluding Dr. Celia Im herself!

With training centers throughout Europe and the USA, Dr. Im has worked closely with business & government leaders, mind-body and health specialists, professional athletes, artists and countless others. HRP™ can be tailored to meet individual needs and serves as the foundation for Dr. Im’s seminars, workshops, training programs and personal retreats. Learn more at

24 | Copyright Live An Artful Life Inc

All rights reserved


The passion for pattern and color

Contemporary Fine Art

“Copper Beach” Inspired by those magical and tranquil walks on the beach. Mixed Media with copper leaf, 16.5” X 56.5” X 1.5” Available at laMusa Art And Design Studio 202.537.5000 ~ ~ 540-364-4401

26 | Copyright Live An Artful Life Inc

All rights reserved

had cut her teeth with this historic company after graduating from the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC and basically learned both rug and interior design from the best. This by the way,

By Tom Neel AnnMaria Baldine is everything you would think of when you think of the word - designer. There’s a completeness of artistry about her. One which goes well beyond the normal range of interior design. Not just placing things that fit, but often personally designing those essential pieces which make a space. It seems natural for this New York born Italian designer to create from the ground up, because at the heart of her expressionism is custom rug

at a time when interior design was a man’s world and a young women had to prove herself. Prove herself she did. She spent the first two years on rug design only. AnnMaria recalls, “In those days nothing was done on computers, we would arrive at 8am and hand mix powdered watercolor, we had big easels and what you saw as a rug, we had painted.” This foundation brings confidence and a true depth of experience. Baldine worked hard to prove herself as a designer and years of experience led her to the deci-

design. Her rugs often become the foundation of continuity, bringing a focal point feel to the entire room in a more than unique way. Great designers are like maestros of symphonic mastery. Their halls are commercial and residential spaces. Their instruments are artistic and functional furnishings, and their music is the harmonious design of space. This well describes Baldine. She moved to the D.C. area from upstate New York in 1987, never expecting to stay. After all, she could have moved anywhere, as she was then traveling the country as a corporate interior designer for Mohawk Mills / Alexander Smith. She

AnnMaria Baldine

"Pompeii" from the Reflections Collection

sion of opening her own design studio in Bethes-

even think her depth of knowledge would be an

da Maryland in 1987. Alexander Smith asked her

asset to other designers. Each of her rugs can be

to continue as a consultant which she did for a

completely custom designed. Baldine has done

few years while working mostly with commercial

very personal narrative pieces for couples, to piec-

and residential clients in New York, as her D.C.

es which bring continuity to every color in the

area design business steadily grew.

room. After the client’s design is approved, each

Today, la Musa Art And Design Studio is locat-

rug is then handmade out of wool and silk over

ed in the heart of Georgetown along Blues Alley.

approximately a four month period. She has cre-

The space is a cornucopia of AnnMaria’s distinc-

ated custom rugs of all sizes, one she mentioned

tive taste and design. It showcases artisan pieces

being 20X30 feet. I think it is not only her bold

such as paintings, glass and sculpture and fea-

designs which make Baldine’s rugs appealing, it is

tures her custom rug designs and modern wood

her deep knowledge of rug construction as well.

furniture designs as well.

She know when a rug arrives it is correct. Expe-

It should be noted, that this is a designer that intimately knows flooring and textiles, with rug design being her specialty. So much so, I would 28 | Copyright Live An Artful Life Inc

All rights reserved

rience is everything! For additional information please go to

Internationally published artist/designer AnnMaria Baldine designs custom rugs and furniture for residential, contract and hospitality projects.

30 | Copyright Live An Artful Life Inc

All rights reserved

"Bliss" from the Marisa and Me Collection

"Canata" from the Improvisations Collection


"The People's Choice" By Tom Neel Live An Artful Life Gallery recently had its

nifer Nelson at her home and studio and I think

Miniature Masterworks Show of small paintings

her interview will be helpful to emerging artists

sized at 108 square inches or less and in any for-


mat. Along with 1st through 3rd place awards,

It’s important to begin by saying first that Jen-

solely judged by Linda Neel, an award was hon-

nifer seems a very happy person, one who laughs

ored to The People's Choice.

constantly. She comes from a supportive artistic

The show had a bit more than thirty entrees of

family. While her first love was art, in middle

varied subject matter and

school it actually became


Linda made

music [clarinet] and in

her award choices before

fact she applied to Mes-

the show even opened,

siah College as a music

but decided to keep those

major. Serendipitously, a

paintings, including 1st

few high school art class-

place “White Stork”, a se-

es brought on a re-found

cret until after the people

love of art and that was all

chose their favorite, thus

it took for her to become

not giving any bias to their

an art major. Today, Jen-


nifer is a Senior Graphic

While the ballot box was

Designer at Creative Edge

enthusiastically filled, one

Studios in Sterling, VA.,

painting easily rose to the

"White Stork", pastel, 8" X 10"

with nine years of expe-

top as favorite. It was “White Stork” by Purcell-

rience and I might add, with a very supportive

ville, Virginia artist Jennifer Nelson. A double

employer named Travis Riggs, who even attend-

winner and in this, Jennifer’s first show as a fine

ed this, her first show. Two big thumbs up for

artist. So, I recently spent some time with Jen-

Mr. Riggs!

32 | Copyright Live An Artful Life Inc

All rights reserved

Jennifer in her Studio "nook".

Jennifer’s medium is pastel. She takes me up-

having Fridays off, she made that art day.

stairs to her tiny loft studio she calls, “her nook”.

What I think is so special about Jennifer, is her

It is clean, efficient and is connected to a small,

appetite for information, especially in the busi-

but comfortable sitting area. Soft music fills the

ness of art. Her nine years of experience working

air with orchestrated show tunes, as she begins by

with the needs of clients, has again given her that

telling me, “I love my job.” A multi media com-

foundation to ask the right questions and seek

pany, she loves that she gets to do a lot of really

useful knowledge in framing, pricing and more.

different things. Along with graphic design, she

While talking about having to learn about fram-

has also gotten nine years of video and photog-

ing, I found this comment interesting, “Just re-

raphy experience. All of this builds a broader

searching how to frame a painting. I mean, you

creative foundation, but

don’t frame your work

I also feel it has offered

in school. You put it up

a good sense for busi-

on the board, everyone

ness understanding and

critiques it and then it


goes in a drawer some-

Jennifer’s recent fine

where!” That brings a

art inspiration is credit-


ed to a semi recent visit


to the Torpedo Factory

she did a great job with

Art Center in Old Town,

"Mallard At Fairhaven", pastel, 8" X 10"

Alexandria. There, she found a fine art atmo-



I will say,

framing her work, so her

time was well spent in learning.

sphere and community she had not really felt

Then there’s building a website and writing her

since school and it motivated her to stretch her-

bio and more. As she puts it, “It’s been an adven-

self in this way once again. She shares that she

ture.”, but Jennifer says, “I’ve got a little fire started

told herself, “You know, I have to do this again.

under me, I’m real excited.” She admits that she

It just kind of gave me that spark.” She returned

is glad she has had the past 9 years to grow as a

home and immediately started looking for shows

person and professionally, thus allowing her the

and further motivation. As she puts it, “I needed

time to find her creative voice. That voice is one

a deadline”. That’s the graphic designer in her. So,

of a love of nature and she is inspired deeply by it.

34 | Copyright Live An Artful Life Inc

All rights reserved

Jennifer is also a photographer and uses her

lieve this path was always in her and she’s walking

photographs as both an artistic reference and in-

it well, while stopping to smell the roses and we

spiration, but also is now entering photography

wish her well.

shows as well. “Pretty much all of my photography is based off of nature and wildlife.” She further explains, “That’s where I draw my inspiration, it feeds me.” She always thought she would end up in a city, but this twist in her life has allowed her to find that voice she spoke about. She’s grounded and has found a sense of place. One which is now allowing her to grow as an artist. I firmly be-

For more about Jennifer Nelson please visit her website: Jennifer Nelson Artworks

The Artist’s Perspective By Tom Neel

As primal a fear a human can experience, cre-

that brush sort of became a personal experiment

ativity for many seems to rank among the top. It’s

in understanding who and what we become as

seems much like public speaking. Yet I believe the

adults. Some, with huge personalities, would take

difference is that most of us would actually love to

the tiniest amount of paint and touch it to the

be more creative and few have a desire for public

canvas in the most sparingly way. While others,

speaking. Interesting enough, I feel they are con-

maybe small in stature, might wield the brush


like a sword. But over-

Years ago I started us-

all with most, there was

ing painting as a team

just a great sense of not

building exercise. I have

wanting to screw up!

stood with many very

So what is in us as

accomplished adults and

adults that suppresses

experienced their appre-

our inner child and our

hension as they simply

creative maturity? Well,

hold a paint brush, load-

I believe we become

ed with paint, in front of

very confident in our

a fresh canvas. What is

job, our title and posi-

it that we fear as adults,

tion, but also invested.

that we did not as chil-

From the time we leave

dren? Paint brushes for

school and embark on

example, are not sharp or considered dangerous,

a career, we gain confidence slowly through our

ah, but the results can be, and there in lies the

experience and accomplishments, which is all

problem. Like public speaking, we feel we will

backed up by our title and/or resume. In so many

be judged by our results and this brings fear to an

cases, what we do is who we are, or who we have

otherwise very freeing activity.

become, and anything that may tamper with this

The fifteen years or so of watching adults hold 36 | Copyright Live An Artful Life Inc

All rights reserved

is shaky ground.

The reason many adults don’t like public speak-

ly devastating news of humanity in 24/7 fashion,

ing, is the same reason many don’t like dancing.

through the wall mounted televisions that often

They don’t want to look like an idiot, and I’m con-

are placed where art use to be - artist’s offer the

vinced that creativity instills a similar social and

age old alternative of self expression, a freedom

personal intimidation. Yet, somehow you may

everyone still possesses, in this country anyway.

have noticed a little alcohol becomes a magic

In service since the 1950‘s, telecommunication

elixir to our inner selves in these situations, but

and our fascination with screens of all sizes, is

that’s another story.

without question a very powerful form of com-

That connection mentioned above, between

munication. Creativity and art though, have been

public speaking and creativity, is not only fear of

doing a pretty good job of it for the last several

reputation or looking like an idiot in one’s own

thousand years and frankly will always be a better

mind. I believe the even deeper connection is re-

way of communicating with yourself.

jection. What makes an artist truly an artist, is

So to the fearful yet fun-ful, instead of screen

their ability to put themselves out there. To be

gazing, get a brush and make a mess. At least it

seen as creative is to be seen internally through

will be your mess and I promise, you’ll get better

external expression. One doesn’t be creative from

at it. Care not about rejection. Hurtle your way

the outside inward. One becomes creative from

over it and have a little fun in the process. By the

the inside out. Creativity is all about taking our

way, you can also write, act, dance, sculpt, arrange

internal selves, our thoughts, our inspirations, our

flowers, sing, become musical, take photographs

experiences, and making something which lives

and so, so much more, and parents, your kids will

outside ourselves - be it art, a book, a dramatic

show you the way!

act or a dance or a song. Out in a world that can not only be seen and certainly judged, but also can provoke the thought, attitudes and opinions of others. We know as artists that this can carry a penalty in those reactions and rejection. We also know we can’t stop any of it and it also can bring very positive reactions and personal growth. In a world where the talking heads deliver most-


An Artful G A L L E R Y


Fine Art Fine Craft Made in America Located one hour west of Washington D. C., just off I-66 at Exit 31 in the beautiful Virginia counryside. The Plains is a quant little town with great restaurants and minutes away from over 20 wineries.

6 4 7 4 M a i n S t r e e t , T h e P l a i n s , VA 2 0 1 9 8 540-253-9797 •

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.