Wednesday, March 31, 2010

J. Seward Johnson

 J. Seward Johnson, photo by nosha on flickr

I first ran across J. Seward Johnson's * work when I was living near D.C.  I had heard about an amazing show at the Corcoran** where the artist successfully took 2D paintings  (French Impressionism) and built 3D sculpture... but still had the feeling of a very flat space.  You could walk into a painting.

According to Wikipedia:
J.  Seward Johnson is"an American artist known for his trompe l'oeil painted bronze statues"

Because of Johnson's sculptures, I have been in Van Gogh's bedroom, and I have walked in rainy Paris with Gustave Caillebotte's couple.

 Van Gogh's Bedrom at Arles (painting by Van Gogh)

Johnson's Sculpture of Van Gogh's Bedroom
Some people have criticized the work. For the record, I am all for work that reaches a broad audience. I think that many Americans don't feel comfortable in a museum, and when we can get  people interested in Art and Art History, I think that's a good thing. No, we don't always need to be showing French Impressionism (or those that copy French Impressionism), just like we don't need to always be showing Rothko or Motherwell. Art- there are many different kinds, just like there are many different kinds of people.

* to see what the sculptures I am referring to in this post, go to "beyond the frame"

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Create-Ability and Art-A-Whirl (Minneapolis)

HMCraig "Rejoice"
HMCraig- Rejoice, 36x48", acrylic on canvas

Rejoice (pictured above) has been accepted into the Brain Injury Association of Minnesota's Create-Ability show that is going on in conjunction with Art-A-Whirl, " the largest open studio and gallery tour in the United States".

Friday, May 14    5-10pm
Saturday, May 15  12-8pm
Sunday, May 16   12-5pm

More information on Art-A-Whirl can be found here.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Harvard's Glass Flowers

Well, doesn't this just combine two of my favorite things? Flowers and Glass. The above photo is actually a glass flower. Pretty spectacular, yes?

According to the website, The Harvard Glass Flowers exhibit is a " unique collection of over 3,000 models was created by glass artisans Leopold Blaschka and his son, Rudolph. The commission began in 1886, continued for five decades, and the collection represents more than 830 plant species."

You can read more at Wikipedia

(please excuse the lack of pictures, we are the homestead are currently experiencing technical difficulties.. we will resume with your normally scheduled program in a bit)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Cherry Blossom Festival and Boston Flower Show

Cherry Blossoms in DC, photo by 邪恶的正太 on Flickr

The National Cherry Blossom festival starts today! For anyone that hasn't been, I highly recommend it as all of DC gets into Cherry Blossom fever.  There is also much to see and do outside of the Cherry Blossom events, like going to a lot of the shows and exhibits at the Smithsonian.

By the way, I have a friend running in the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler. She'll do spectacularly. Have fun, Amy!

Boston Flower Show by Christina Welsh on Flickr

And.. TheBoston Flower Show is currently going on! There is a whole lotta beauty in rather chilly New England, and it all happens to be in a warm building.  I'm very much looking forward to going and getting inspiration.  It also helps that the whole place smells like flowers. There are some exhibits you just want to take a running jump in so you can experience the colorful explosion of petals.

I love Spring!

Melody Gardot and Music Therapy

I had read about and heard Melody Gardot's beautiful voice on another blog (please forgive me, I don't remember which because my memory is still not so great).  I instantly liked her music. Smooth contemporary jazzy smokey classic voice. Incredible, I thought.  At that time, I was going to write a post about her and how much I liked her music.


Life happened. A few weeks later, I stumble upon her again (which was great because I was looking for her music today but couldn't remember her name, it was a very Melody Gardot day here at the homestead).  Only this time, I happened to be searching "brain injury" on Flickr groups. And there she was, like a feather on a breeze that dropped into my hand.  I didn't know why she was in those results. I thought it odd until I did a bit of reading.

from Wikipedia:
"While cycling in Philadelphia in November 2003 she was hit by a Jeep Cherokee whose driver had ignored a red traffic light.

In the accident she suffered serious head and spinal injuries and her pelvis was shattered in two places. Because of these severe injuries she was confined to her hospital bed for a year and had to remain lying on her back. As a further consequence of her injuries she had to re-learn simple tasks such as brushing her teeth and walking. The most noticeable effect of the neural injuries she suffered is that she was left hyper-sensitive to both light and sound, therefore requiring her to wear dark sunglasses at nearly all times to shield her eyes. The accident also resulted in both long and short term memory problems and difficulty with her sense of time. Gardot has described coping with this as like "climbing Mount Everest every day" as she often wakes with no memory of what she has to do that day.

After her accident Gardot began writing music and since then often speaks and advocates in favour of using music for therapy. The accident had damaged the neural pathways between the brain's two cortexes which control perception and higher mental function, and made Gardot (in her own words) "a bit of a vegetable." As well as making it very hard for her to speak or communicate properly, she found it difficult to recall the right words to express her feelings. "

from a NPR interview:
"To be honest with you, being on stage and performing is the 30, 40, 50 minutes of the most pleasurable experience that I have," Gardot says. "Because it's during that time that I don't really feel any pain. I think it's transcendental, and I also think it's kind of like when you have a headache, and someone punches you in the stomach, you forget all about your head."

 (emphasis mine- I can definitely relate)

I also highly recommend this interview with Melody:
Watch a CBS Interview with Melody Gardot

Buy Melody's  highly acclaimed CD:

Friday, March 26, 2010

Happy Little Moments, 20x20", acrylic on canvas
HMCraig, Happy Little Moments, acrylic on canvas

I just got a phone call from my sister. She had just left the Brain Injury Association of NY State (BIANYS) art show.  She told me that she started taking pictures of my painting, and the BIANYS volunteers talked to her. They told her that my painting, Happy Little Moments, had gotten some attention.

Apparently, it was featured on the front page of the Lifestyle section of The Times Union.
Here's a link to the photo and caption.

"A painting by H.M. Craig is seen on display in the south concourse of the Empire State Plaza in Albany, NY as part of the art show put on by The Brain Injury Association of New York State on Monday, March 22, 2010. Work by 30 artists, who have suffered a brain injury, will be on display in the south concourse. The works of art include paintings, photos and poetry. (Paul Buckowski / Times Union)"

Do you hear me smiling?

James Darcy was also featured (he's very talented, you should click the link). I tried to find more of Mr. Darcy's work online, but was unable to.

Not only did  I get to have work shown in the same venue as Alexander Calder, Helen Frankenthaler,  Robert Motherwell,  Mark Rothko, and Louise Nevelson, etc...   I got the bonus of having it in the paper. Good times.

My sister also said that she is going to volunteer for BIANYS. How cool is that? My sister will be part of a wonderful group of people (not that she needs any help being wonderful).  :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

One Minute Ciabatta Bread

I stumbled across this recipe while adventuring on the internet. I read the directions, and had a "no, it can't be THAT easy" moment.

Well, folks, I made it. It is that easy. It's the crock pot chili of breads. Put it all in a bowl and forget about it for 8-12 hours (ours was 6), then pop it in the oven.  No kneading required.

Blah to Golden in 20 seconds flat

HMCraig "Clementines and
HMCraig, Clementines and Blue, 40x60", acrylic on canvas

So, I'm sitting here with a bit of a nagging headache. I don't even have any music/tv on because the quiet feels soooo goood.   I'm trying to be productive, but failing miserably... all in all, not a gold star day.

I read a comment about one of my Flickr uploads (the above painting, Clementines and Blue)

Karla Murray  (click on the link and see how talented SHE is)wrote:
"Ok... I'm a fan. Your work is way cool. I once met Janet Fish at an art exhibit in the fine arts center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. I have NEVER seen anyone else who compares to her except YOU. I hope you've got art dealers lined up around the block to get your work. You're that good!"

I swear on my dog's life that no money changed hands for this!

And now I am having a gold star day. ;)
Where's the ice cream?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Elizabeth Heil Alke

Elizabeth Heil Alke, Floral Still Life

I found this painting done by Elizabeth Heil Alke while rambling around the internet. Internet rambling is one of my favorite things to do, so much to see...

more after the jump


The flowers of late winter and early spring occupy places in our hearts well out of proportion to their size.  ~Gertrude S. Wister

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Nature by Numbers- by Cristobal Vila

I'm a sucker for science and nature.
The music choice isn't bad, either.

You can learn more about the video, including the Fibonacci Sequence, the Golden Ratio, and Voronoi Tessellations at their site:

 A great deal of art is also based on these concepts.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Headaches and my Art Therapy


My headaches have gotten less frequent, less intense. Thank goodness.
I still get them. Mostly when I have to deal with paperwork and deadlines. Things that challenge my cognitive abilities and attention span.

Painting is the only thing that doesn't give me headaches. It is the best form of therapy I have. I get to play with colors and shapes in a very intuitive manner, and when I am done with a project, I have a solid result that contributes to a sense of achievement (if anyone with a brain injury feels the slightest amount of achievement, it's been a really good day).

I have had many things taken away from me in this past year.
My art, though, has grown to fill those empty spaces with small tatters of happiness. When I thought I lost my sense of self, I slowly regained it through my painting.

Dominic Casserly

I actually owe a lot to the incredibly talented and inspiring photographer, Dominic Casserly. We used to work together, and while I was focusing on a regular 9-5 job (ahhh, the American Dream) and putting my art on a back burner, Dominic was drawing inspiration from his life and travels and putting those experiences on canvas and paper. 

Dom has  ridden his bicycle across the United States twice. He has traveled to Costa Rica to film sloths at a special sanctuary. After Katrina, he hustled down to New Orleans and helped with clean up. His photos reflect his sense of adventure, appreciation of nature, and the human experience.

Dominic had a solo show that I attended, and it was there that I realized  I was essentially wasting away.... His photos and paintings of his travels, experiences, and views on life pretty much nudged me to experience my life more and express myself with paint. It also helped that his paintings were pretty large, I realized what an impact size could play in presentation.

From his website, :

"Photographer Dominic Casserly, from Holliston Massachusetts, uses his artistic vision and multi-media presentations to show people they can live their dreams. Dominic brings together his photography, video, and web presentations with an outgoing personality to showcase that an adventurous and outdoor lifestyle is fully possible in this day and age".

His work has been featured in Men's Journal,, WBCN; and in lectures at Harvard, Boston University, Rhode Island School of Design, and Massachusetts College of Art.

Here's to Dominic, he who shows us all that we can dare to live out our dreams. Thank you Dom!!

And to my readers... what is it that you have been thinking about doing, but haven't yet? What is stopping you?

Music- Amelie

I think there is so much magic and wonderfulness in the movie,  Amelie.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Out and About

My mom and sister have been in visiting. I have been acting as local tour guide, and we have been having fun (I'm also tiring them out).

I had gotten a phone call from Nalumon (one of the sweetest coolest people you'll ever meet) about volunteering for a local food pantry. The volunteering consisted of painting bowls that would later be used as a fund raiser for the food pantry. This had my name written all over it! So, we headed to Gloucester's Open Door food pantry in the morning, and sat with about 20 other people and decorated bowls while we chatted about the beautiful weather we are having.

Nalumon painted one bowl (multi-colored geometric... deceptively simple).My mother and sister painted two bowls apiece (flowers, polka dots, spatter, tie dye). I painted three (cherry blossoms, oriental poppies, butterfly).

a bowl by Kevin Ellis

After the bowl painting, we went to Alchemy and enjoyed wonderful food. We then went to Bearskin Neck in Rockport and did a little bit of shopping.   We found the Rockport Arts Association, and wandered through the galleries perusing the member artists' show.

Tired... we went home.   G, and our friend Bruser had been out rock climbing all day, and I was surprised to see that they weren't home yet.  They showed up shortly before sunset  and regaled us with tales of being 70 feet up a cliff face with water pouring down around them. 

We all had a lively dinner, followed by a rock climbing/birthday get-together at a friend's house around the block. I had not seen many of these people since August, as I have been holed up with my injury.  It's not that I didn't want to see them, it's that I didn't think I could. Rock climber parties tend to be very interesting events to begin with, but you add in a head injury and it is quickly overstimulating and mentally tiring. It was so nice to see friends. I got many good hugs and warm welcomes.   I did have to repeatedly go out on the porch where it was much quieter, but it was all-in-all.. very nice. I was happy. G and my sister took me home when I started to look frazzled, holding my hand when we crossed the street.

I have to get going now and start on today's adventures with my mom and sister!
Hope you all are having a wonderful Spring day!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Lilies and Light

HMCraig "Lilies and Light", 30"x40"  , acrylic on canvas

This has been a fun painting to work on.  I liked all of the forms and color and light that a large arm full of fresh flowers afforded me.  I think I will always be able to smell the Lilies in my house when I look at this piece.  Ahhh, lilies....

Paintings on Artfire!

Hello All!
I have put some new paintings on my Artfire page.

They are smaller than I usually work, and in a different medium. When I am inundated with flowers (gasp-what a horrid situation to be in!!), I sometimes like to make pieces that are still reflective of my fascination with nature, but of different subjects, and in oils. I take a lot of pleasure in making these little gems, these happy little secrets.

Behold! My Happy Little Secrets:

HMCraig "Blue Gem Butterfly"

HMCraig "Floating on Turquoise"

HMCraig "Turquoise Smokey Butterfly"

HMCraig "Jeweled Citrus"

HMCraig "Avocado"

All paintings are 6"x6", oil on panel (either hardwood or canvas).


I am trying to figure out the logistics of putting my larger pieces on, so, they will be up for sale too.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

San Francisco Tomorrow!

HMCraig, Artist Revealed, Acrylic on Canvas

I'm excited even though I can't be there! But, my painting is, and that's good.  I can't wait to see all of the work that other artists have done.
Are you going to be there?

Shout! Art by Women Veterans
March 17th & 18th
Salle Pianos and Events
1632 C Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

View Larger Map

Monday, March 15, 2010


There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way.

Today, it is raining cats and dogs and cows and moose and gerbils and capybaras. I think I might see a few chipmunks, a tyrannosaurus, and a chinchilla out there, too.

I like rainy days.  I feel like there is no pressure to get things done and go out and enjoy the weather.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Hidden Epidemic (film)

I got a comment from Bill Brown, the director of The Hidden Epidemic, a film about Post Concussion Syndrome (PCS). I think it's good to have as many resources as possible, because when you have a head injury, it's so hard to figure out which way is up. Bill's film includes some professional athletes who have had PCS (Johnny Damon and Matt Hasselbeck) as well as some regular folk and their stories.

From the Hidden Epidemic site:
  • As many as 30 million concussions in the US annually
  • 20% of the population has the apo lipo protein E-4 gene which makes it more likely that you’ll have long term problems from a head injury/concussion. 
  •  Fifty times more concussions occur outside of organized sports than within organized sports. Most of these concussions are undiagnosed and untreated.   

I was diagnosed with PCS/ mild Traumatic Brain Injury in late July 2009. I had my accident on April 12th. So, in between those two dates I had a doctor that said I would be fine in a few days, just go back to work.. it's nothing. I was driving (not a good idea).  I was carrying on with life like nothing was wrong (but I had a feeling that something was wrong, I just felt like nobody was really taking me seriously).  People did notice some personality changes. Thankfully, I did find a neurologist who is a specialist in regards to PCS. He declared me temporarily disabled (still am).  Even with a disability note, some people didn't know what to do with me.   The problem is... I present well. I look normal. Everything should be fine, right? From the bystander's point of view, a normal person should be able to carry out simple tasks, normal everyday things... but I was having problems.

So, what we mean by a hidden epidemic, is that a lot of us look normal. People that I know with head injuries have commented that I "look good".  We are the walking wounded. We are trying to keep calm and carry on, preserve the status quo.  Some of us don't even know the extent of our injury, just that something is different, we can't quite figure it out, and we don't know how to tell someone what the problem is if we do figure it out. How do you tell someone you couldn't do the laundry today because you are too tired?  How do you tell your teachers that you couldn't do your homework because the numbers don't make sense?

It's especially hard when you are struggling to maintain a sense of normalcy, keep your head above water, and something goes wrong  (did you forget to pay the gas bill? do you remember the passwords for the banking account? can you wrap your head around getting important school documentation done for your child?), our families and friends start thinking that something is up, but maybe not in a 'well, he's injured' way...Maybe you look like you're just being lazy or rebelling against something or just looking to start a fight (mood swings are a force to be reckoned with). 

It's hard to fight two battles with limited energy and resources. Most mild head injury survivors aren't diagnosed...  On one side, you are trying to figure out what is going on with you. The other battle may be with co-workers, loved ones, friends-  trying your hardest to convince them that you have a problem, and no, you are not effing up on purpose. This is a lot of pressure to put on someone who can cry at the drop of a hat.

It's very much like being a duck in water. Calm and normal above the water, but your feet are paddling a mile a minute.

 Wood Duck by juanRubiano on flickr

Another Fun Drawing Site!

Lily Sketch by Me!

Go Ahead, try it out for a few minutes.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Art Exhibit in Ireland

Artist Kathleen Poff (image from Kathleen Poff, featured in article)

I love finding articles like this.  My brain is kinda not working with me right now, so I am not especially wordy... but know that I am happy to see the good things emerging from bad experiences. The exhibit opens today, so let's all head to Ireland!

"A brain injury presents the person with many difficult challenges and they can be left feeling helpless and isolated but through rehabilitation some begin to find the old or new self. For families it is a very difficult journey as many are left to struggle alone with little supports. The brain injury is very complex and affects the whole family unit.

"Art is a medium of expression and it captures the essence of life post-and pre-injury and the changes that occur. We are therefore delighted to be launching our very first Art Exhibition as this is a platform for people to display their work with the hope that it will provide insight of ABI to the wider community and that their art will tell its own story," said the spokesperson.
Among the exhibitors is a Brosna native and self-described 'amateur artist', Kathleen Poff. Kathleen explained how Acquired Brain Injury Ireland helped her face her life's challenges

"I have been painting all my life. I first won the Texaco Childrens' Art Competition when I was aged eight.

In 2002 I suffered a Subarachnoid Brain Hemorrhage. I was first admitted to Kerry General Hospital then I.C.U Cork Regional Hospital and Beaumont in Dublin.

I spent years as a long stay patient in Kerry General Hospital from 2002 to 2007.

Initially I was a complete vegetable. I didn't even recognise my own children. Following intensive nursing care, occupational and physiotherapies I regained most of my faculties.

In 2007 I came to live in Limerick with A.B.I. Acquired Brain Injury Ireland and formerly The Peter Bradley Foundation.

With the help of the team here I am now fully independent. I resumed painting and have exhibited and sold several paintings since.

I am very involved in brain awareness week .I advocate for other people with brain injuries and I'm very happy to show my paintings in Castleisland," said Kathleen.

*ABI= Aquired Brain Injury

Music- Zoe Keating

Zoe Keating

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Tasmanian Artists with Brain Injuries

"Marvellous" Art Exhibit, Headway, Tasmania (photo from abc)

I have found an article from Australia about an Art Exhibit by people who have brain injuries.
The artists have been meeting and taking art classes at Headway Tasmania.
Some snippets:

When you look at a painting you can't tell much about the painter other than their artistic ability.
You can't tell if they have a disability, all you see is their art. 

You would never know by looking at his art that Tom has an acquired brain injury.

Tom Doughty with his painting, "Butterfly Tribute"- a memoriam for a friend (photo from abc)
"Even people who haven't done much artwork, just starting off and without being told think, 'gosh that's clever'. Just from a fresh mind."

The exhibition is called Marvellous, which seems appropriate to the works on display for many reasons. 

"Marvellous was chosen as a title because the work we were doing this year is based on surrealism and surrealism is about a new way of seeing the mundane," says art tutor Betty Nolan.

"And for people who've had a head injury, it's very appropriate because they have a different way of seeing and I wanted to develop their art so they could show that to us."

"Most people with acquired brain injury are the walking talking wounded, you don't see the disability, but they behave differently, their social skills, their frustration, their memory, their anger issues," explains Headway Rebuilding Lives CEO Darren Osborne.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Happy Little Moments

HMCraig- Happy Little Moments, 20x20", acrylic on canvas

This is the painting that I have been working on for the last few days. It is destined for an exhibition in Albany sponsored by BIANYS that features artwork by people who have had brain injuries.

BIANYS Exhibit
March 22-March 26
Albany's Empire State Plaza Concourse

The tulip and the delft patterned vase in the background have a bit of significance for Albany. The city was founded by the Dutch in 1614 as a trading post, and is the oldest surviving European settlement from the Thirteen Colonies. Every Spring, there is a Tulip Festival where attendees can see 200,000 (!!) Tulips in bloom. There are also fine art exhibits, live bands, the crowning of the Tulip Queen, and plenty of food. This year's festival happens May 7th- May 9th.

Now that I have told you all of that, I'll tell you a little bit about the process.  My first idea was to do something a bit more simple in terms of composition and colors than I am used to.  Then I started painting, and it kind of took a life of it's own.

Happy Little Moments, WIP

This is what it looked like, and I thought I was finished, but the piece kind of didn't sit right.  My eye was continually going to the bottom left corner, which isn't a very interesting place to sit. So, I had to add some small, white, delicate flowers... Paperwhites!  Now, the eye travels around the painting!

Right now, "Happy" is sitting on the easel, with the varnish drying (I use varnish to protect the painting from dust and some damage). Tomorrow, it goes on a trip!  I don't travel much, but my paintings do!


I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.  ~Claude Monet

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Busy Busy Busy

HMCraig, Lilies WIP, 30x40, acrylic on canvas  

I am currently working on finishing two paintings right now.

The piece that I am devoting most of my time to (because of a deadline) is of a red tulip against a delft vase background. It is smaller in size (20x20 inches). It is for a show in Albany's Empire State Plaza, sponsored by the Brain Injury Association of New York State.  I found out about it this past Friday, and called the show's organizer to ask if I could be accepted (I grew up there, have a lot of family in NY, and I *did* get my injury on NY pavement..ha ha).  The only hitch is that I have to finish it within the next day or so and ship it out. I will post a photo of the finished piece.

BIANYS Annual Art Show
March 22nd - March 26th
Albany's Empire State Plaza Concourse

The other painting that I have been working to finish is actually on my website, and is the image accompanying this post (please excuse the glare, there will be a better photo when it's finished). It is still a Work In Progress (WIP), but significantly more finished than the picture on the website. 

So, if I'm not posting this week... you know that I am happily working on my art. Or taking a break and enjoying the beautiful Spring-like weather, bird songs, and my doggies!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Something Fun to Play With

This is from the site, as an example of what you can do

I found this interesting program online that lets you doodle with 'flames'.  It takes a bit of getting used to, but it's quite fun. I made some flower drawings, but I couldn't save them (they seem to be getting overloaded with traffic right now). I will definitely go play some more!

Music- Shira Kammen

Shira Kammen

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Still Life with Flowers

James Aponovich is a contemporary realist who puts a little bit of believable magic into his works.

While I could not find a site for him, I did find a link to the Currier Museum of Art that features his drawings and paintings. Check out the details in Castello Nuovo, Still Life with Lilies and Watermelon (you can magnify the painting).

In 2006, James was awarded the position of New Hampshire's Artist Laureate.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Louis Comfort Tiffany


I remember going to the Corning Museum of Glass when I was in elementary school. We watched glassblowers. We saw contemporary glass objects. I think that sparked my fascination with glass. When I was in college, I started to use glass objects that I had found at yard sales in my paintings.  I took a class on how to create stained glass objects (I am not at all very good at it, but still have an interest).

A lot of people are familiar with Louis Comfort Tiffany and his studios for good reason. The  pieces are comprised of beautifully colored art nouveau designs that drew inspiration from nature.  Landscapes, flowers, insects, and religious scenes are all regular subjects. Before Tiffany, who would have really thought that insects such as dragonflies were appropriate motifs for household items

March- Brain Injury Awareness Month
 From the Brain Injury Association of America's website:

In recognition of March as Brain Injury Awareness Month and the Brain Injury Association’s ongoing commitment to sports and concussions, BIAA and its nationwide network of 44 Chartered State Affiliates is launching a year-long, nationwide education and advocacy campaign: “A concussion is a brain injury. Get the facts.”   

A concussion is a brain injury period. BIAA believes coaches of every school athletic team and every extracurricular athletic activity should be trained to recognize the signs and symptoms of brain injury, including concussions and second impact syndrome. BIAA also believes young athletes who appear t have sustained a concussion should have written authorization by a health care professional before returning to play. 

A concussion is caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head, or from a blow to the body that causes the head to move rapidly back and forth. Most concussions occur without a loss of consciousness and according to the CDC, a lack of proper diagnosis and management of concussion may result in a serious long-term consequences, or risk of coma or death. Signs and symptoms may be noticeable immediately, or it may take days or weeks before they are present. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 3.8 million sports- and recreation-related concussions occur in the United State each year. Of that estimate U.S. emergency departments treat approximately 135,000 sports- and recreation-related traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), including concussions, among children ages 5 to 18

2010 Sports and Concussions Fact Sheet (opens pdf)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Music Video and Art History

Courtesy of Lines and Colors, a fun romp through Art History by Hold Your Horses.

This video features paintings such as:

The Last Supper
Birth of Venus
The Kiss
The Raft of the Medusa
The Scream
Girl with a Pearl Earring
Creation of Adam
Beheading of St John the Baptist

Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicholas Tulp
Las Meninas
Death of Marat
Frida Kahlo
Marilyn Monroe
La Mariee
Liberty Leading the People
Son of a Man

My former art history teacher, Mrs. Pace, is probably trying to use this as a test now.. ;)

Hyacinth- from Grief to Beauty


My hyacinths are starting to poke their lovely green leaves out of the soil. I love this time of year, when there is hope and expectation. The birds are beginning to fly back, and I smile when I hear their songs. There is always change afoot, experiences to look forward to.

Thinking about Hyacinths led me to some research. I have learned that the hyacinth was named after a greek god, Hyacinth, who died after he was struck in the head while playing discus. Apollo, who loved Hyacinth, was so distraught that he didn't allow Hades to claim Hyacinth, instead turning his spilled blood into flowers. Apollo's tears stained the petals with "ai, ai",  the sign of his grief.

So, from my head, I try to bring forth flowers and light and hope. I can only hope that someone somewhere sees half the beauty in my paintings as there is in my humble little garden, with the leaves just beginning to show. That's a pretty lofty goal, though.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010



A few of you have requested the ability to comment on my posts. I really do appreciate y'all!
So, I did go into the settings and am pretty sure I opened up the comments for your thoughts.

Let's see if it works.  ;)

Ding Dong

photo and flowers by my sister, Amanda

My doorbell rang today. The dogs, obeying a duty they had assigned themselves, barked frantically.

There was a box on my porch.

It was covered in sweet messages.

It was from my sister!

And what a box of sunshine it was!

She had made two silhouette paintings of my doggies! How fabulous is that? You see, my whole family is creative and talented!


And here are pictures of the happy doggies! You might remember that Sasha had a little bit of health trouble a few weeks ago, doggie vertigo. She is doing much better now, but still has a few problems. That doesn't stop her from loving everybody she can get to!

There was also a fabulous little bag from Madison Bags that my sister customized *just for me*.

And to top it all off, she sent a t-shirt. I can't get a good pic of the shirt, but it's something like this:

It's from the 80's movie, The Goonies, about a bunch of misfits who do battle with criminals and a pirate and end up doing well. When we were kids we watched it until the VCR tape couldn't handle it anymore. The "Never Say Die" motto really touches me. I think it's appropriate, and I have plans to wear it when I start running again.  Just as long as nobody starts calling me "Chunk" when I'm exercising, I'll be ok.

I hope your day is half as good as mine was!