Rebirth with the Butterfly

It’s time to celebrate.  Easter is the time for rebirth.  Spring is here and butterflies are in the air.
I love this Hermes ad. What a beautiful butterfly!

Hermes-Butterfly as seen on Art Is Everywhere

I’ve saved this Traditional Home article from November 2010 as reference because I’m so taken with Carin Gerard‘s artwork of Nature.

Carin Gerard Traditional Home November 2010 issue, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Carin Gerard Traditional Home November 2010 issue, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

These are just some of the many gorgeous examples of  her beautiful artwork and butterflies. Be sure to visit her website to see much more.

Carin Gerard butterlfies, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Carin Gerard butterlfies, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Carin Gerard butterfies, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Carin Gerard butterfies, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Her extraordinary realism and detailed trompe l’oeil style remind me of Mark Leithauser’s artwork, who’s work I really admire.

If you’d like to see more butterfly art, flit on over to Casart coverings, where butterflies are featured this week.

Happy Easter Season!

Tagua Treasures

I’m always inspired by beautiful creations that come from something that is otherwise everyday, and in this case, considered mundane, growing with abundance in Nature in Panama. The indigenous Indian tribes got smart and decided that they could use the nut for carvings as a “elephant safe ivory” and no longer cut down this tree because it has become so resourceful for their economy. The reason the nut is often left as the base is not only to show a single carving; although some do use two nuts, but to let custom officials know that this carving is not from elephant tusk.

These tagua treasures that I discovered on our Panama trip exemplify this concept of exceptional mini sculptures from the everyday nut that take quite an artistic talent to carve and even paint. We saw all of these animals while there, btw. Including three coatimundi (a raccoon type animal) that reminded us more of lemurs as they went bounding across our path on our way to the jungle to see the howler monkeys.

Coatimundi, as seen on Art Is Everywherer

Hand carved tagua treasures, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Hand carved tagua treasures, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Hand carved tagua treasures, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Taqua is an egg size nut that grows nearly everywhere in South America. We saw the tree whenever we were walking in the rainforest. There is no shortage of supply for creating these beautiful creatures. There is also tagua jewlery that can be carved. The hand dyed and woven basket above is another one of the treasures that I purchased from the Embera. I love the colors and keep all the taguas inside — truly a basket of treasures.

TAGUA-WHOLE-NUTS, as seen on Art Is Everywhere blog

taguatree via Tagua Nut Ivory, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

taguamococha nut via Tagua Nut Ivory, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

We learned about them at the Embera Indian village where we visited. Each family had tagua figurines and wares for sale. I purchased something from each family but ran out of funds to get an all white armadillo that caught my eye. Consequently, I’m on a search and hope to find one to finalize my collection. These are the closest I’ve found to the one I saw with combinations of both figurines — small nut base with this top armadillo style and the ribbed armadillo tail of the second one.  This site seems to give credit to the Embera Artisans and has carvings more in keeping with their intricate style. Whatever I find, it won’t be the same unless it comes from the village.

White carved tagua armadillo, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

White carved tagua armadillo via Where on Earth $40


2_armadillo tagua_whereonearth, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Armadillo tagua from Where on Earth $30

I like how One World Projects supports the Indians from which these figurines were created because as you can the price can otherwise get awfully inflated. If only they had an armadillo like the one I’m looking for…Excuse for another trip?

In the Heart of Panama

Where does one find love this Valentine’s Day or any day for that matter, in the heart of Panama. Evidently, the producers of  show The Bachelor think so too.

My husband and I celebrated his milestone birthday recently by going back to “his glorious roots,” Panama City, Panama, where he was born. He was only a newborn when his father was stationed in the Panama Canal zone so he doesn’t have memories from this time but we had fun visiting where he and his family had connections and created some new reflections on a modernized Panama.

We started our trip in the heart of the Gamboa Rainforest at the Gamboa Resort – pretty nice and really the only place to stay on the Chagres River right at the point where it cuts into the Panama Canal. From our observatory perch from the jungle tram, we were able to see many cruise liners, tankers and various other sea-faring vessels pass through the Panama Canal. We learned what a major engineering feat it was to build and how thousands of lives were lost in the process. Panama is currently widening the canal to further increase traffic and commerce.

Panama City, Panama_Art-Is-Everywhere

Miraflores Panama Canal Locks_Art Is Everywhere

We passed Noriega’s new home on the way there. He was our neighbor, just down the road from where we were staying.

Noriega's Prison in Panama_Art Is Everywhere

We had to go over the railway which had been converted into a one-way bridge by covering the tracks with tar. Gamboa is a birder haven and they were everywhere, including in the jeep in front of us, going very slowly, scouting for rare birds.

Bridge & Birders-Panama_Art Is Everywhere

Gamboa Resort_Panama_Art Is Everywhere

In fact, there is plenty of wildlife from tropical fish to brilliantly colored birds, even toucan, which we did see flying from this view, and capuchin & howler monkeys to agouti (large rat-like squirrels), sloth & iguana in trees and caimen (small alligator) and crocodiles, which swim freely in the river.

Tanger birds_Panama_Art Is Everywhere

Agouti_Panama_Art Is Everywhere

Capuchin Monkey_Panama_Art Is Everywhere

A capuchin monkey catches our bananas from breakfast and then proceeded to hop onto our boat.

Howler monkey_Panama_Art Is Everywhere

We wandered onto a group of howler monkeys while walking in the jungle

Iguana_Panama_Art Is Everywhere

Panamanian fish mural _ Art Is Everywhere

Our fellow traveler friend in front of a fish mural - see Art Is Everywhere and in Panama

Click this link to see ways you can stay healthy with the Panamanian lifestyle and diet, with the abundance of fresh fruit and good food that we enjoyed.

My favorite nature encounter was a toss up between seeing actual blue morpho butterflies in flight and leaf cutting ants at work. I love the blue morpho; it’s my company’s logo. I have painted them and I have mounted ones to remind me how beautiful they are but nothing truly captures them in person. The list of varieties of butterflies in Panama is endless.

Blue Morpho butterfly at rest_Panama_Art Is Everywhere

Then there are the leaf cutting, worker ants that we came upon while walking on a forbidden trail  — without a guide, “because it can be peligroso – dangerous.” Well, oops…good thing we didn’t venture too far on another path at night. We actually got scared to go further on that one after we saw bats and thought we hear growling. There are jaguars in the jungle here.

We did however, wander upon a two-toed sloth which was very close to us near the ground. He saw us and then he started slowly but faster than you think a sloth could go right back up the to the top of the tree. We later found out that two-toed sloths can be very dangerous and they only come down from the tree about once a week to do their business….Poor guy. I’m sure we left him in a bad fix.

Two-toed sloth_Panama jungle_Art Is Everywhere

Jungle vine climbing in Panama_Art Is Everywhere

Tarzan goes jungle vine climbing

I could go on and on about this trip but I just want to give you a few more highlights with pictures and suggest that the secrets that we discovered in Panama may no longer be secrets now that The Bachelor was filmed right where we were for last week’s episode.  They stayed at the Trump tower (see the last couple of posts). It was uncanny seeing  on TV the same indigenous Embera tribal village that we visited in the jungle and even the same Las Clementinas restaurant that I thought would be lovely to return to, for it reminds me of New Orleans and is also a B&B. We had the best food of our trip there and the most friendly service. Our waiter even knew Peter’s godfather in Panama. Here’s the nutshell of our remaining Panama trip (without even cracking the full nut) in pictures.

Embarking on a trip to Embera Village_Art Is Everywhere

Embarking on a trip to Embera Village

Swimming hole in Panama_Art Is Everywhere

Swimming hole on the way to the Embera Village

Lunch at Embera Village_Art Is Everywhere

Being served lunch at the Embera village - baked fish in home-made hibiscus/ leaf cups

Getting Tattoos_Panama_Art Is Everywhere

Getting Tattoos -- not only an art form but the dye helps to keep the mosquitoes away.

Las Clementinas Restaurant in Panama_ Art Is Everywhere

Las Clementinas Restaurant in Panama. They had their own custom wallpaper of family and historical portraits. Very cool!

On our tour back in the city we got to see where Peter was baptized as well as a day in the life of living in the San Felipe or Casco Viejo, old city of Panama.

St. Luke's Episcopal Church_Panama_Art Is Everywhere

St. Luke's Episcopal Church


Path to San Felipe in Panama_Art Is Everywhere

Path to San Felipe - the Old City in Panama

The fish market in Panama_Art Is Everywhere

A parrot fish is a proud catch at the fish market in Panama, where we had the best ceviche.

Panamanian Indian with beaded socks_Art Is Everywhere

Panamanian Indian with beaded socks

Operation Just Cause area in Panama_ Art Is Everywhere

Colorful building in the area where Operation Just Cause took place

Lovely house in Panama_Art Is Everywhere

Just one of the many lovely homes we saw in San Felipe, with a water view

It was hot while we were there — about 87 – 90+ degrees and humid in the rainforest. We were forced to cool off — many times and Balboa was our refreshment of choice.

Balboa beer in Panama_Art Is Everywhere

Balboa beer is our favorite pick in Panama

You can’t beat the sunsets in Panama, particularly poolside.

Panamanian sunset_Art Is Everywhere

Panamanian sunset, pool side at the Intercontenintal Hotel

Sunset in Panama City_Art Is Everywhere

I’ll leave off where I began with a look at Panama City — our final view before leaving — until we return for it’s a romantic spot to leave your heart in Panama.

Panama City View_Art Is Everywhere

Burning the Last of the Beach Time Oil

Ahh, its’s now a work week again and I’m still thinking of memories of the beach, wishing we could have that relaxed pace all year long. But alas, we’ll just have to reflect on these times that help make vacations all the more appreciated. Meanwhile, here are some stunning beach photos that will leave a lasting impression.

Light painting on Britain’s beaches by Jamie Wardley from the UK’s Daily Mail.

Jamie Wardley light painting, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Jamie Wardley light painting, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Jamie Wardley light painting, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Jamie Wardley light painting, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Jamie Wardley light painting, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Next time you’re burning a bonfire, you may want to consider this beautiful and sculptural Beach Burner by John T. Unger.

04-waves-o-fire-firebowl by John T. Unger, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Firebowl by John T. Unger

firebowl by John T. Unger as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Firebowl by John T. Unger

There are a lot of songs I could use to Kick Start the Weekend with this post but Starlight by Muse seems a fitting way to put a sunset on the beach scene until the next vacation.

Muse Starlight on Art Is Everywhere

Careful where you step

Better be careful where you step when viewing Motoi Yamamoto’s sculptural artwork. He is the Japanese artist who creates elaborate and incredibly large detailed mazes made of salt.

Motoi Yamamoto Salt maze as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Motoi Yamamoto salt maze via fastcodesign

This sculpture below uses 2,200 pounds of salt that is carefully distributed from the back corner moving forward as to not disturb the groundwork. I was touched by his personal reason for using salt in his creations. His sister died of a brain tumor and he uses salt to honor her memory, as salt in Japan is symbolic for purification and mourning. It must take a meditative state to have patience over 50 hours and 5 days to create such artistic labors of love.

Once the exhibit is finished, Yamamoto encourages viewers to take the sand and redistribute it elsewhere like the sea or the soil or where it will aid in nutrients for new life.

Motoi Yamamoto Salt Maze via fastcodesign on Art Is Everywhere

Motoi Yamamoto Salt Maze via fastcodesign

Motoi Yamamoto Salt Maze via fastcodesign on Art Is Everywhere

Motoi Yamamoto Salt Maze via fastcodesign

Yamamoto’s work brings a whole other level to Japanese style rake work, which is what his work reminds me of, in Zen gardens.

Japanese Zen garden as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Japanese Zen garden via gaia landscape design

Perhaps a painted crab shell,  a salty creature that probably could adeptly meander through this maze and ties in Monday’s aquatic sea-life murals to salt, might be a worthy prize for such an accomplishment.

Tom Matarazzo's painted crab shell via Baltimore Sun, seen on Art Is Everywhere

Tom Matarazzo's painted crab shell via Baltimore Sun

I have collected some crab shells, but for their natural beauty. Who knew they could become an artist’s canvas. Strangely  interesting.

I have forgotten about how much I like Pure Cult’s song when I came across She Sells Sanctuary in my search for music to Kick Start the Weekend. The title reminded me of children’s rhyme She Sells Seashells….

Aquatic Murals

More murals to beat the heat in addition to last Monday’s Mural post. These are all aquatic in nature.

Serge Toussaint’s murals make Miami even more colorful.

Serge Toussaint mural via Miami New Times on Art Is Everywhere

Serge Toussaint Water Mural via Miami New Times blog

Side note: You can take Miami’s graffiti murals tour on vespas if you like.

Miami-graffiti-mural-vespa-tour via Seatle PI, seen on Art Is Everywhere

Miami-graffiti-mural-vespa-tour via Seatle PI

While your touring around in Capitola-Soquel, CA, take notice of the traffic signal boxes. They are painted by Bruce Harman in underwater sea life themes.

Bruce Harmon-traffic signals via Capitola-Soquel Patch, seen on Art Is Everywhere

Bruce Harmon's painted traffic signals via Capitola-Soquel Patch. Photos Maria Grusauskas

Oregon may not be known for its murals but this underwater ocean view is quite nice.

ICM mural web via Suislaw News on Art Is Everywhere

ICM Seafood Restaurant mural web via Suislaw News in Florence, Oregon

This ocean mural landscape was painted for the lobby of Lowry Pediatrics in Denver by Kamala and friends Alan Klemm and Whitney. What a great fantastical surrounding this makes for kids coming into the doctor’s office. I would think it would help distract them from why they are there.

sea-mural-panorama by Kamala on Art is Everywhere

sea-mural-panorama by Kamala

What a fabulous mural by Douglas and Mallori Rouse at the Warehouse restaurant in Colorado Springs. I like how those penguins are swimming jet-stream style right toward you.

underwater-mural-Douglas Rouse via Colorado Springs Indy blog, seen on Art Is Everywhere

Underwater-mural-Douglas Rouse via Colorado Springs Indy blog

Murals in Port Orchard, Washington are a public treasure trove.

Port Orchard_Murals via Ron(o)log, seen on Art Is Everywhere

Port Orchard Murals via Ronb(o)log

This group of orcas by the late Jack Champayne in Bandon, Oregon, makes me think of Wyland and how he may have had some competition.


Orca Whales painted by Jack Champayne via Bandon Western World

These sea turtles in the surf murals painted by Michelle Obregon make you think of Hawaii, maybe because they are in Kailua-Kona-Honu, Hawaii.

Hawaii-Kailua-Kona-Honu via Roadtrip America, seen on Art Is Everywhere

Hawaii-Kailua-Kona-Honu mural by Michelle Obregon via Roadtrip America

I really like these realistically painted murals in the Muskegon’s Wesley School by Dorv MacLaren, who painted the school’s 40-foot ocean themed mural. The students can get a biology lesson without leaving the building. These are beautifully painted and Dorv has is own website where you can see the entire mural by clicking on the last Under the Ocean photo link below.

Muskegon Murals 1 via Muskegon Live as seen on Art Is EverywhereMuskegon Murals 2 via Muskegon Live as seen on Art Is EverywhereMuskegon Murals 3 via Muskegon Live as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Under the Ocean_Paint Arranger by Dorv MacLaren seen on Art Is Everywhere

Under the Ocean Mural by Dorv MacLaren via Paint Arranger

June for All Seasons

“June for All Seasons” is the title of an art exhibit at Artist’s Undertaking in Occoquan, VA.

When I saw Steve Myles’ painting, Carolina Sea Oats of the beach dunes in the newspaper, I was immediately drawn in by his realistic style and ability to really capture truly serene settings in Nature. His paintings give me that quite contemplation one has when they ponder their existence and reflect on what is important. I really like his work and hope to see it in person before June is over.

Steve Myles_Carolina Sea Oats on Art Is Everywhere

Steve Myles_ Bull Run Afternoon on Art Is Everywhere

Steve Myles_Sweetgum Sunlight on Art Is Everywhere

Steve Myles_Winter Sunset on Art Is Everywhere

If you like these, shoot on over to Slipcovers for your Walls, where we’re holding Casart coverings’ first ever contest. You can win a painted Casart Mural wallcovering from our newly launched Katherine Collection. Now, we just brought it back to Mural Mondays.


Casart coverings Katherine Collection - Quickie on the Beach

Casart coverings Katherine Collection - Quickie on the Beach

This one, Quickie on the Beach was painted by my Aunt Katherine Jackson. Yes, that is the actual title, but I’m sure my Aunt was only thinking of painting the scene quickly on the beach….:) Click the link to learn more about her and her prolific work.

Aunt-Katherine_photos on Art Is Everywhere

Aunt Katherine montage - the funny and eccentric painter and person she was

Here’s are previous posts referring her remembrance and at the time of her passing.

I just learned about a new band, Junior Boys, that although is electric pop, reminds me a bit of Radiohead and I just learned that Lloyd Cole is coming to the Birchmere, but unfortunately he’s solo without the Commotions these days to sing Perfect Skin.

This Kick Starting the Weekend video set to Junior Boys’s Parallel Lines is mesmerizing. I think my son Jackson would like it:

Now, I like this other song, In the Early Morning, better, but the video gives me the heebie jeebies for too many reasons.

Little Daily Treasures

I am so pleased that Karen Winters agreed to let me post some of  her prolific paintings here to show how beautiful daily artwork can be. Thank you, Karen.

Karen creates a miniature oil painting a day, similar Daily Creative concept mentioned in my previous post, as can be seen on her Creative Journey blog. Her works below range in size but are roughly 6 x 6″ to 11 x 14″. Hope you enjoy these daily treasures as much as I do. She lives in a gorgeous, sunny California location and fortunately for us she has the talent for capturing its beauty on canvas.

Gaviota Springtime by Karen Winters, seen on Art Is Everywhere

Gaviota Springtime by Karen Winters. Presently in an historic centennial museum show at the Pasadena Museum of California Art with the California Art Club

when-sunrise-fills-the-sky-SLO-art-painting-m, seen on Art Is Everywhere

When Sunrise Fills the Sky

3_malibu-pink-clouds by Karen Winters, seen on Art is Everywhere

Malibu Pink Clouds

back-bay-sunset-square by Karen Winters, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Back Bay Sunset

big-sur-beauty-seascape by Karen Winters, seen on Art Is Everywhere

Big Sur Beauty Seascape

Heaven-at-devils-gate-dam-La-Canada by Karen Winters, on Art Is Everwhere

Heaven at Devils Gate Dam

sierra-daybreak by Karen Winters as seen on Art Is Everywhere blog

Sierra Daybreak

Here’s a sense of her easel set up, all the gear an artist needs to have on hand, not making it easy to paint outside — especially when an unexpected breeze might pick up and scatter you wares to the wind.

Karen Winter's au plean air easel, seen on Art Is Everywhere

Karen Winter's au plein air easel set up

Karen Winter's Easel set up at Burtt Ranch, seen on Art Is Everywhere

Karen Winter's Easel set up at Burtt Ranch

Karen’s depiction of white cactus flowers below in Come Hither is just stunning. Their sense of glowing light just beckons you to come closer.

Come Hither by Karen Winters, seen on Art Is Everywhere

Come Hither (white cactus flowers). 16 x 20 oil by Karen Winters

I find it intriguing that prior to her art career, she was involved in the very corporate world of media/ entertainment as and Emmy award winning producer, writer for ABC’s 20/20, as well as sales and marketing programs for businesses and advertising agencies. Just goes to show you that your second career can be just as successful and rewarding and maybe even more so than the first.

Speaking of second comings and starting over, Happy Easter everyone!

I’ve never seen this video before and I’m not quite sure what to make of Sting’s humoristic (?) portrayal as the Messiah, which I think it is supposed to be but since I like the song Brand New Day and his video theme works in a timely way for Easter, here it goes for Kick Starting the Weekend:

The Cherry Blossoms are Here!

The cherry blossoms just burst into bloom on my street. They are gorgeous! They are just in time for DC’s annual Cherry Blossom Festival. This year, there is a special tribute to Japan in light of their recent earthquake, tsunami and nuclear power situation. It’s so overwhelming the amount of damage and help needed; it’s hard to know where to start. There are plenty of charitable giving opportunities out there but recent events in Japan makes this year’s cherry blossoms all the more celebrated. *

I have so many mural sites collected but a cherry blossom mural was hard to come by except by searching. Only then, did I come across Sculpture SenCe’s site and Santi Vipaka’s wonderful artwork. You’ll have to go to his site to see more but here’s his Cherry Blossom Mural.

Sculpture_SenCe_Mural on Art-Is-Everywhere

Cherry Blossom Mural by Sculpture SenCe and Santi Vipaka

Here’s another Asian inspired mural in Toronto’s Rosewater  Supper Club restaurant.

Supper Club_mural in Toronto, seen on Art Is Everywhere

I seem to get inspired every time I see the cherry blossoms bloom and these are my many postings regarding this time of year. The blooms are fleeting and only last 12 – 14 days and that is weather conditional. This weekend, we had a dusting of snow. Hopefully this will help them last longer.

* When I posted this mural from Osaka on March 7th, the Japanese tsunami was just about ready to happen on March 12th. Call it coincidental but I find it a little uncanny.

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