Making Strides in Tallinn

In a crazy political time, it’s refreshing to see some progress of anything positive getting done by the political higher ups – whether or not if they have political appointments. In this case, it was making strides in Tallinn.

I thought it timely to read that 2nd Lady Karen Pense is traveling throughout Eastern Europe and Tallinn, where I just was, to learn about and bring attention to art therapy.

Art Therapy is a relatively new field in this area of the world and they are starting to see the benefits for participants as well as those involved as therapists.

There was no way for me to notice this at the time in Tallinn, although I was told that Estonia is known for its high-tech innovation. It’s where Skype was created.

What I noticed was a town with medieval roots, as seen in the bucolic cobblestone streets of its Old Town at the top of the hill.

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Old Town of Tallinn

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Medieval Fortress

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Tallinn Church

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One of the steepest streets

5_Tallinn_Steepest street_AIE

Tallinn Market

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Dragon downspouts

However, down below in the main part of the business district and on the outskirts of town, there was a time warp with areas stuck in post Soviet style mixed with modern architecture.

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Mix of old and new parts of town

The Soviet Flashback was the most interesting tour we took. It was given by an innovative entrepreneur who had the last remaining Soviet bus. This is where our tour started with the guys pushing it to get it started and then vodka shots. His performance, while dressed in a Soviet guard uniform, was a parody of what life was like under Soviet regime controlling Estonia. It was not a happy time and it’s still raw for people here to remember that many family members and friends were sent to prison for simply flying an Estonian flag.

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Soviet Bus

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Soviet Flashback tour guide

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Our guide in front of the last remaining Soviet monument


Tallinn Prison

Unwelcoming concrete barriers exit along the shoreline. These are coincidentally pictured in front of the Walt Disney Cruise ship. Graffiti from earlier days and the revolution decorate some outskirt streets. Our guide was one of the revolutionaries who stood up to the Russians in a peaceful demonstration that called attention to their plight and eventually ended Russia’s control.

Concrete barriers welcome the Walt Disney cruise ship on AIE

Concrete barriers welcome the Walt Disney cruise ship

Graffiti in Tallinn on Art Is Everywhere

Graffiti in Tallinn

The Freedom Cross was a striking picture as we turned the corner going out of town and back to our ship. Tallinn is a place I’d like to return.

Freedom Cross in Tallinn on AIE

Freedom Cross in Tallinn



Realistic Tiger and Therapy

Well I’ve been trying to make up for lost time, not by choice. I worked straight from 7am to 12:30am yesterday, going to Fedex/Kinkos three times to get our banner printed, packaged and sent all our casart samples via ground to save cost and picked up the banner, prepared and hand delivered a proposal to a client by 8pm and then prepared a purchase order to be emailed to our printer before just collapsing. And the rest of this week is just as busy.

Here a couple of appropriate mentions:

1) A realistic big cat — oil painting of a tiger by Chinese contemporary artist, Du Hao (as posted on the Stupendous Art World with Oil Paintings blog). This is pretty amazing realism.

oil tiger painting by Du Hao from Stupendous Art World with Oil Painting blog

2) Links to the creative process of art connecting with others:

Healing Powers of Art in relation to American children creating cards for Iraqi children and vice versa. My husband and I attended the Aschiana Foundation Gala recently at the Indian Embassy. We bought a painting that one of the Afghan street children had painted. It is quite good and all the proceeds help to fund special vocational schools for these kids to keep them off the street.

Therapist Gets Creative, describes how art therapy is helpful for children and the creative process is therapeutic for everyone to take time and reflect without thinking too much on the emotional ailment.

How Woodworkers Lend Skills to Injured Soldiers, by Michael Laris, demonstrates that creating carved American Eagles in canes can personalize a functional piece of art.

Peter Ward and Carved Eagle. Photo by James A. Parcell, Washington Post

I have an architectural rendering to complete today. It will be good therapy for sure to finally have some drawing time. However, my son Jackson is sick with the same flu I had. It knocked me out for 2 – 3 weeks. (I’m one of those folks who has to medically take to flu shot and it must not have worked this year)…so back to being the caregiver. I hope he gets over it quicker since this is his final week of spring break.

Many thanks to dear friends who commented on Monday’s post. I really appreciate it.