Paper Provides Two Artists with a Surface for Passionate Self-Expression

passionate self-expression
The Lido Hotel, once affectionately known as the Pink Hotel. Photo credit © Marck Webster

There is something about living at the beach, spending time by the ocean, that attracts artists and nurtures passionate self-expression. The community of Long Beach, NY is a mecca for all types of creative individuals. Two visual artists, in particular, use the traditional surface of paper. What they have done with paper is very different. At the same time, both are clearly artists embodying passionate self-expression.

The two artists featured here are perfect examples of this. They are Marck Webster whose Pink Hotel is shown above and Bob Shanley whose work follows as the second and equally talented artist.

Marck uses pen and color pencil. His technique is laborious. But as he explains, it is a timeless labor of love. He continues to amaze and amuse with what he expresses through these traditional tools. To see Marck in action, watch this creative gem from, YOLO Video Productions by Barbara Travers.


passionate  self-expression
It’s All In The Brush. Photo credit: © Bob Shanley

Bob started out as a reluctant photographer. As much as he loved to take pictures, his subjects were not enthusiastic. That has changed dramatically. His medium has also changed with the technology. An ardent Photoshop artist, he now creates amazing images on paper using features of this computer application to enhance his subject matter.

Almost every event that has taken place in Long Beach has been photographed by Bob. His creative seal makes events official and archives them in the annals of the city’s history. The images on his Facebook page demonstrate this.

Bob has also been the subject of a three part video series on the brainchild of another local creative person, Dave Feldman.

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The differences between the work of these two artists is transcended by their passionate self-expression. One is a color pencil artist. The other is a photographer. Yet both create colorful, unique, intensely creative and very moving stories.

Just a professional, personal note about Marck and Bob’s work. They both reproduce their work through a new technique called gicles. That way they can sell prints of their original masterpieces. Check their websites for purchasing details.

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The Story of a Heart Healthy TV Commercial

heart healthy cereal

Watch this recent heart healthy TV commercial from Cheerios as a YouTube Video.
Or click on the video arrow. Then answer the questions below the video.

• How did you feel after watching this commercial? (I thought it was very funny and sweet.)
• Did you notice anything unusual about it?
• Was there anything that you especially liked or disliked about it?
• Or would you say, ‘it was just another commercial’ giving you time to go to the kitchen to nuke the popcorn before the show resumed?

Did you know that this heart healthy TV commercial about Cheerios has caused a lot of controversy and attention? It is not about Cheerios and the pros and cons about their health benefits. It is about the bi-racial couple and the girl portrayed as their child.
Here’s a TV interview with the real life family of the girl in the commercial.

There was such a strong reaction to the commercial that YouTube had to shut down the comments section even though 95% of people had reacted favorably. But those who did not had the final word on YouTube. But then The Fine Brothers decided to use this commercial as a teaching opportunity. They interviewed a bunch of youngster about the commercial. This is what they had to say.

This is a TV commercial with the primary goal of selling a product. But it turns out to be much more than that. It is a commentary or a mirror of the current cultural make up of this country. It is also a sociological test. Did Saatchi & Saatchi have that in mind when they made the commercial?

Inter-racial families are becoming more typical of the American landscape. This commercial is merely a reflection of that. When complaints were made about the commercial’s family make-up, Cheerios did not withdraw the commercial from television. The company simply closed the comments section on YouTube.

Good for Cheerios. Not only is their cereal heart healthy physically but their company also has an emotional heart. That is the way I prefer to see the situation. How about you?

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Examples of good design that make extraordinary art

IN ANY MEDIUM AND ON ANY SURFACE, GOOD DESIGN CAN BECOME EXTRAORDINARY ART. This blog post illustrates this by providing examples of good design that have become extraordinary art. The tools are unique and the surfaces are unusual.

Let’s start with the image above done by LA artist Man One @ManOneLA. He is one of a generation of artists who started doing graffiti. He has come a very long way. His work is part of a project called, the Getty Canon. A article, Graffiti Scrolls Enter The Getty Canon begins with, ‘The graffiti scrolls of Los Angeles have been delivered. Handsomely bound into “L.A. Liber Amicorum: Book of Friends,” the 143 works on paper by Los Angeles-based graffiti artists were presented this month.’

good design

Another of my favorite artists, L’Amour Supreme, @LamourSupreme, cannot be pigeon-holed. His media are diverse. His canvases range from ordinary to out-of-the ordinary surfaces. Here is a sample of his work from a project for Red Bull. L’Amour Supreme and Red Bull Curates New York. Photo credit: ©

Tattoo art is a form of body design that has changed dramatically. Once stigmatized as the domain of less than good design, it has evolved into an extraordinary art form. My favorite tattoo gallery is Empire State Studio on Long Island, New York, @ESSTattoo. They daily exhibit good designs that makes extraordinary art on the bodies of their clientele. Every two months, they install an art show on their walls. Here are examples of their daily good work and wall art shown on YouTube. Owner, Tommy Helm, resident artists and the studio’s manager are interviewed.

Who remembers the day when the coolest sneaker to own was a pair of original Converse All-Stars? Even they have come a long way to stay in the game. But the competition is fierce. Extra Butter, another of my favorite haunts, shows why. I don’t know if I could wear these or would have to just look at them all day.

Good design can become extraordinary art from head to toe and everywhere in between. The remake of The Great Gatsby is a good example. It has inspired good design in typography, clothes, jewelry and more.

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These are just a few examples of disciplines where good design has, in my opinion, become extraordinary art. Please judge for yourself. Do you consider these examples good design? Have they become extraordinary art? Do you have other examples you would like to share? I eagerly await your comments, input and responses. Thank you.

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New Look, New Structure, Brand New Site

A new look, a new structure, a new site

Alison*s Blog & Website has a new home in high end design. It has a new look and a new structure.

The place to house new information, both curated and original needed to be better. To me, it is essential to present information in an environment of high end design. It is not just for looks. High end design includes the best functionality too.
The team of Wasmer & Huen understand the importance of high end design. The firm of tsdesignuk realized they needed a new look, as well.

From the inspiration of both high end designer firms, I realized that Alison*s Blog and Website needed to be a whole new look, a whole new structure and an additional website for Alison*s Heirloom Projects. I hope you like the results and find everything works better. Please let me know what you think.

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GOOD Wants to Be More

good wants to be more.

Good wants to be more, like in the footsteps of Ghandi whose magnificent example was to “be the change you wish to see in the world.” Easier said than done. But somehow the inspiration on these pages helps alot.

This is thanks to the curated posts and photos on today’s issues of Alison*s Art Online Magazines. They appear under the blogs link. From them, one draws inspiration to create original material accompanied by the feeling that good can be more. Organizations like GOOD also help remind us that there are many people with minds and hearts like ours.

Good wants to be more
Give A Damn and Act Accordingly
Image Credit: Josh McManus

GOOD: Give A Damn and Act Accordingly
One of my favorite publications is GOOD. It is all about doing good. Good that wants to be more. It is so refreshing, an inspiration for me, especially when I wonder what it’s all about.

And check out these images of Scheldt, a 700 year old deserted town in Belgium. How can these buildings be torn down now that they are works of art? Once again, good wants to be more. The source of these photos is

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See how many things you can think of that are good and want to be more. Your comments, suggestions and questions are always welcome.

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Words of Wisdom, Information About Weight Loss and Nutrition

Words of wisdom, information about weight loss and nutrition are the major topics of Alison*s Art Blog today. All are essential to feed the body and the soul.

Words of Wisdom from Deepak Chopra:

Information about the Raw Food Diet and Weight Loss Surgery:

Raw Food Diet
Raw Food. Photo Credit:

Presenting the Diet That Makes You Lose Too Much Weight.
Weight Loss Surgery Options Explained.

Some of the content of this blog post so far may come as a surprise to those of us who lean more towards what is holistic and away from what is considered medically invasive. A good rule of thumb is to take the least invasive action first, in chronic situations. That is a balanced practice.

Annemarie Colbin, My Food and Healing Mentor:
I learned this over two dozen years ago from my ‘food and healing’ mentor, Annemarie Colbin the founder of what started out as the Natural Gourmet Cookery School. It is now The Natural Gourmet Institute and is celebrating 35 years as the innovator in the field. I had studied with her at the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies in Rhinebeck, NY around 1988 and later lectured on nutrition at her school in NYC.

Our Mission:
My mother’s words of wisdom were, “Everything in moderation”. This is also a good rule of thumb for non-acute circumstance. But sometimes situations do call for extreme measures. When they do, it is very important to become as informed and educated as possible. This means knowing about options, holistic and mainstream medical ones. This is a major piece of the mission of Alison*s Blog: to inform and educate as well as to awe and inspire.

Read more issues and stories related to our mission about ART | FOOD | HEALING on Alison*s Art Online Magazine published by RebelMouse and Both are a feature of Alison*s Blog and appear in the right hand column.

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Some Thoughts from the Aspen Idea Festival 2013

some positive notes of the Aspen Ideas Festival 2013

It’s fair to say that from the name of today’s blog, Some Thoughts from the Aspen Idea Festival 2013, that there will be some positive notes to share on Alison*s Blog post. There are quite a few features that confirm this.

Although the Aspen Ideas Festival 2013 is over, the swag bag designed by Tory Burch, is the biggest status symbol of the event. It is also the envy and curiosity for those who did not get one to wonder what was in it, according to the article written by LinkedIn Editor, Chip Cutter. My favorite item is Steve Case’s Message in Chocolate Form.

some positive points
Steve Case’s Message in Chocolate Form. Photo credit: LinkedIn

“Entrepreneurs, Steve and Jean Case emphasized Thursday that Americans need to take more risks — in both business and philanthropy. Hence, their gift of a ‘Fearless’ chocolate bar to attendees. This one, produced by a Berkeley-based chocolatier, combines organic dark chocolate with ginger and hibiscus flowers to create what the company describes as ‘playful proclamations upon your palate.'”

Then there’s the amazing curated story story about how a man lost over 100 lbs in a laboratory experiment. “The researchers, who were microbiologists, had simply put the man’s gut microbes on a diet”.

some positive points
The Flower Essence, Mimosa. Photo credit:
If that is not enough positive notes, there’s the flower essence Mimosa, introduced by Channel Island Flower Essences. The company reports that it “carries the vibrational energy of empowerment. It resonates with the solar plexus chakra. It supports a feeling of personal power and belief in one’s own ability. It enables a very rounded approach to all life issues and promotes warmth of personality and persona.”
There are still some positive points to explore. But you get to browse them on you own. In the right hand column are today’s Alison*s Art Online Magazines published by RebelMouse and a feature of Alison*s Blog.

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Some Art for Saturday, Alison*s Art Online Art Tour

Some Art for Saturday

Let’s take a virtual tour and look at some art for Saturday, pleasant, uplifting, creative things. Pretend we are taking a gallery tour. We can travel all over the world since we are on the Internet.

Our first stop is London and the studio of a very talented young lady. I found her lovely artwork thanks to another publisher, Angel Ceballos’ Art & Design.

Through his online magazine, I was introduced to her work. She is creating some magnificent art work that has morphed into tapestry design. It’s very exciting to see the artistic process at work.
Her name is Hannah Waldron. She was interviewed by Her creations are impressive. They are also light-hearted, colorful and usable.

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Now let’s head back to the US to take a look at two of my other favorite styles of art on our some art for Saturday tour. These styles are graffiti inspired illustration and tattoo art.

My two favorite artists who started out doing graffiti/comic book style illustration are located on opposite coasts of the US. L’amour Supreme is from NY. He is pictured (the image is from his website, with some of his creations as the featured image at the beginning of our tour. Man One is from LA. Below are some of my favorite examples of his work. One is a mural of Rita Hayworth who is one of my favorite film gems. Here’s some Rita trivia. She was born in Brooklyn and started out as a dancer. She was married to Orson Wells, foreign royalty, a popular singer and two other men.

Both L’amour Supreme and Man One have produced prolific amounts of work. So I am going to suggest that you return and visit their virtual studios on your own. That way you can take as much time as you like to explore their very creative careers and stories. Do let them know I suggested you stopped by.

As the last stop on our some art for Saturday tour is one of my favorite local places to visit, Empire State Studios, a tattoo art gallery on Long Island. There are those who might not consider this a form of art. But keep an open mind before drawing any conclusions. Take a look at the work of these artists. Then tell me what you think. In fact, if you are in the area, they have art shows that change every two months.

some art for Saturday
The banner from the ESS website,

I hope you have enjoyed our relaxing, virtual trans-Atlantic and back tour of some art for Saturday. Let me know if you would like to take another one some time soon. I certainly would.

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Indigenous Cultures: The Kara Women of Ethiopia

Indigenous cultures represented by this young Karan woman

Indigenous cultures are rare, precious, fragile, and quickly becoming extinct. Is this progress or a form of genocide? Is this the price we pay for planetary technological advancements? What happens when there are no civilizations left who dance to the rhythms of the earth and thrive on a daily, intimate relationship with nature?

A story in the current issue of the Global Oneness Project Magazine, photographed and told by Jane Baldwin (the above and other photos), is about an indigenous culture, the Kara Women of Ethiopia. Her photographs and the interview of her encourage readers to ponder these questions. Ms. Baldwin’s story is about her eight year developing relationship with the Kara women.

indigenous cultures are impacted by the Omo River dam projects
Map of the Omo River with dam projects highlighted in red
They are inhabitants of Ethiopia’s Omo River Valley and the Omo River-Lake Turkana watershed. The areas that they and other groups have inhabited for hundreds of years are threatened by the continuing dam building of the Omo River dam project. This one is Gibe III.

The residents of the river valley have had no say in these projects. The projects clearly do not benefit these agro-pastorialists, the indigenous people who have lived in harmony with their river. They are its victims and will be the casualties again, of this half finished project, Gibe III. The dam will benefit those whose priorities differ drastically from theirs. Their flowing relationship with the Omo River will stop. The lives of about a half a million people will be impacted and their traditional way of life will be affected. The consequences will be a disaster.

These people do not read or write. Marriages have traditionally been arranged although that is changing. The women’s lives are based primarily on child bearing and telling their stories through oral tradition. This is current life of the Kara Women. They are subservient in every way to the patriarchy they live in except for one essential responsibility. They are the keepers of their culture’s stories.

They make up songs that they sing to their children from the time they are babies. This is part of how they pass on their stories. What will become of their lives in the river valley when they crash, head on with Gibe III? They will still have their stories. But they will be bloody nightmares not happy memories.

At right, discover more about the Kara Women and other stories about ART | FOOD | HEALING in today’s issues of Alison*s Art Online Magazine, a feature of Alison*s Blog and published by RebelMouse and

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Developing Food Growing and Selling Trends

Present day food growing and retailing trends are resulting in some fascinating, untraditional farming and distribution systems

Developing food growing and selling trends are resulting in some fascinating, untraditional farming and distribution activities. These movements are making food more available and more affordable.

Eat the City: The Art of Urban Farming reintroduces farming into the city is a truly unique way. The ‘truck farm bed’ feature photo is a creative example of this idea. Urban farming, other types of local farming and local farmers markets have created a new class of eaters, locavores.

Food Farming and Selling Trends
Deciding between organic or locally grown food. Photo Credit: Flickr Corey Templeton
They believe that eating locally grown food is the best way to go for several reasons. This food tastes the bests. Food can be freshest when eaten. There is a huge savings in transportion and distribution costs. It has even been said that locally grown food can be just as beneficial as organic food. In a variety of situations, each has advantages.

A novel idea in a weekend only, makeshift outlet supermarket in the Netherlands has caught on like wild fire. Nearly ‘expired’ packaged foods are sold at a huge discount. One often sees this on certain perishable items in US supermarkets. But in the case of this ‘past its prime’ concept, the entire store is filled with these items.

Food Growing and Selling
Willem Jan Stamm, the owner of Outlet Stam in Schagen,The Netherlands. Photo credit: Christopher F. Schuetze

A recently discovered facebook page shines a light on a new way of selling and distributing food. It is reminiscent of the food co-op. It is called WholeShare. According to their facebook page, “Wholeshare is a website that helps you get access to good quality, affordable local food by organizing group purchases.”.

food growing and selling
Wholeshare, the facebook page
Another fascinating concept is something called, Pay It Forward. It is practiced by a restaurant called Karma Kitchen. The staff are volunteers. The customers pay whatever they want. In other words, they pay the bill for the next group of people who come to eat. They ‘Pay It Forward’.

food growing and distribution
Karma Kitchen practices, ‘Pay It Forward’. Photo credit:

Due to personal choice, as a political statement about food waste, or out of necessity, some people have taken to off the beaten path to obtain food. These include food foraging, dumpster diving, food banks, food kitchens and food stamps and bread lines. However one acquires one’s food, it is important to be conscious of the the choices we can make. Some people in this country do go hungry. The options discussed here are intended to help everyone find resources to have enough to eat.

Continue to read other posts about ART | FOOD | HEALING on Alison*s Art Online Magazines from RebelMouse and, a feature of Alison*s Blog.

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