Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Art of Ohioan Stevan Dohanos

Stevan Dohanos was born in the steel-mill town of Lorain in northeastern Ohio in 1907.  He is considered a realist. He founded the Famous Artists School in Westport, Connecticut.

What drew me to his work is the likeness to another famous American artist, Norman Rockwell. 

Like Rockwell, he liked to show American life at it's most pure and innocent stage. He believed in clean, strong images and a simple, uncluttered image as the basis of a great picture.

For those who want to know more about Stevan Dohanos, all information for this post was found on the following to sites:

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Kimono Painting, The Kubota Collection

The Kubota Collection 

Dear Gentle Readers,

    Many years ago, William and I had the distinct
pleasure of viewing this fabulous textile art exhibition in
Canton, Ohio at the Canton Museum of Art.  The
exhibition ran from February 8, 2009 to April 26, 2009.
and was only the second showing in the United States,
first appearing at the Timken Museum in San Diego in 2008 and ending in January, 2009.

    Itchiku Kubota was born in Japan in 1917 and became a textile art apprentice as a very young man.   His formal education and textile training were disrupted by the Second World War, when Itchiku was sent to war and  was captured by the Russians.   He was imprisoned in a concentration camp in Siberia, forgotten about by everyone except his family, and he drew and painted the Siberian sunsets in order to keep his sanity amid the deplorable conditions.

Itchiku Kubota is best known for reviving and modernizing a lost art of fabric dyeing and decorating called "tsujigahana," which means
"flowers at the crossroads."  It was a technique used in the fifteenth century with natural dyes, but was lost because of it's difficulty in controlling the resulting shading of the textile.

Kubota's masterpiece, "Symphony of Light," was
a series of painted and elaborately decorated silk
kimonos that he said depicted "the grandeur of the universe."  The kimonos were displayed on large black frames and arranged in a giant oval depicting a panoramic view of the seasons of the year.  

The textiles were shaded so that they seamlessly blended into each other ever so slightly, allowing the viewer to almost see the movement of the earth as each breathtaking view is passed.

Once around the oval is not enough to take in the intricate design and the delicate beauty of the shading on the huge silk kimonos, creating a mural of the natural loveliness of the Japanese countryside throughout the seasons.

 The sheer size of these large kimonos, set side by side, filling up the huge exhibit hall, was a scene to behold in itself.  But upon a closer examination of the subtly dyed silks and the elaborately decorated designs was truly inspirational and awe-inspiring.  It was a once in a lifetime, spectacular display that I will fondly remember.

I sent information on this exhibit to several friends, noting "don't miss this event!" Some thought I had lost my mind, thinking that walking around in a room full of kimonas sounded more like punishment than jaw-dropping beauty and inspiration. 

The few who took me up on the offer were amazed at the sheer beauty of Itchiku Kubota's work depicting the grandeur of the universe.

Information for this article is from memory of my visit to the exhibition.  Photos are from the and also Canada's Homage to Nature page,

Friday, November 25, 2016

Blue Lake by Carol Ann Kauffman

Dear Gentle Readers,

A book changed my life. This book, Blue Lake, was the first book I wrote back in 2011. At first, I went the usual route, sending a query letter to the big traditional publishing company of my choice, then the next, and so on. I got the loveliest rejections letters. I even framed one that said she loved my work.

Each correspondence took weeks, sometimes months. I am not a young person. Time is precious. 

I retired to take care of my mom who fell and broke her hip and could not be rehabilitated. When she passed, I began to write full time.

The manuscripts were piling up. So I decided to go the route of publishing with Kindle Direct Press. It was a decision I have never regretted.

My Time After Time Series, beginning with Blue Lake, is exclusive to

It's the story of lovers who find each other again and again in different lifetimes, at different times of their lives, and sometimes on a different planet. It is the story of a love that would not be denied.

Amazon Link:

When widowed Nicole decided to step back into life in beautiful Albuquerque, New Mexico with Richard, a young handsome British actor who professed his undying love and devotion to her on a daily basis, she mistook his boundless enthusiasm for her as little more than youthful impetuousness. She had no idea where their relationship would take her physically or emotionally. She would find herself in many dazzling international locations, putting her own life on hold, simply to be with him. She had no concept how strong her commitment to him would grow and to what extent she would go to protect him and ensure his safety and wellbeing. And she certainly had no idea the depth of his devotion to her, an unlikely but undeniable love that would span continents and a decade of their lives, entwining them closer and closer, while his career, their families, and other relationships pulled them farther and farther apart. BLUE LAKE is a story of the power of love.
The series, TIME AFTER TIME, follows a pair of quintessential lovers, Richard and Nicole, through their lives together, in different places, in different times, with different names and faces and sometimes even on other planets. This follows the alternative theory that the relationships we forge in this lifetime, both the good and the bad, are continued into the future, and are rooted deeply in our past. Whatever we do, whomever we love, and the good and evil deeds we do today follow us into the future. Unsettled issues will present themselves again and again, until they are ultimately resolved. Those people who have had a profound effect on us in this lifetime will find us again in the future. And although everything changes, love remains.

Books in the TIME AFTER TIME series are: BLUE LAKE, BELTERRA,
The BASLICATO, BENTLEY SQUARE, WAITING FOR RICHARD, and LORD OF BLAKELEY. They do not need to be read in order.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving 2016

From  our Vision and Verse family to yours, we wish you a happy Thanksgiving Day.  We want to take a moment today to tell you  we're grateful you stop by to see what's happening here at our little online place for Art and Authors. Without you, our gentle readers, we are simply an online diary.

It's easy to overlook all of our blessings when we're so busy with work and family and everything else that competes for our attention, but let's take a moment to be thankful for all we have. Life is uncertain and comes with no guarantees. Find some love and peace today, even if you have to go out and look for it. Forego being right and choose to be happy instead. Find joy in a pretty sunset or a lovely autumn tree. Look for the good. I know sometimes you really have to look hard to find it, but it's worth the effort. 

Choose peace. Choose to love each other. Abandon your quest for perfection. If it exists, it's got to be extremely boring. Give up an old grudge you've been harboring for years. It gives you nothing but baggage to carry. Lighten your load. 


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Shelby's Gift by Mary Jane Morgan

                                                                                                                  Author Mary Jane Morgan

Surrogate mother Shelby Harrison gives birth to a baby boy, Kyle, and loves him instantly. He’s all she has left of her sister, Debbie, who was killed in a car accident six months ago. She’s prepared to fight for joint custody even as she battles feelings she knows she shouldn’t have for the man who is Kyle’s father – and her sister’s husband.

Ben Martin is outraged that Shelby wants joint custody of his baby. Yet after his initial anger and feelings of betrayal, Ben suggests a marriage of convenience so that together he and Shelby can provide the love and security he and Debbie wanted their baby to have.

What first seems like a workable solution quickly turns into a nightmare of grief and guilt when Ben and Shelby find themselves fighting a fierce attraction – an attraction that seems the worst possible betrayal of Debbie.

But Debbie has her own opinion and reaches out from the other side to Shelby and Ben, bringing them the love and healing they

to move forward with their lives.

Ben led the way to her room, wondering what in the hell had ever possessed him to do this. Desperation. Nothing but sure, deep-rooted desperation and fear. 
No, he’d done it for Kyle. And to help Shelby. She needed him now and he needed her.
He set her luggage down and glanced at her. She looked as scared and vulnerable as he felt, and his heart went out to her. He might be desperate and scared, but no one had forced him to bring her here. It was his choice, and it was the only good choice he could have made. “Everything will be fine, Shelby,” he said reassuringly. “Take a nap. You look about ready to fall over.” He smiled. “Call me if you need anything. I’m here for you.”
     She gave him a soul-searching, lost look. He crossed the room and pulled her against him. Sighing, he laid his cheek on her thick, soft hair. He stroked her back and felt some of her tension ease. Slowly she wrapped her arms around him, then laid her head on his chest.
     As they stood in silence, both there for the other one, a feeling of contentment settled over Ben. “I’m glad you’re here,” he whispered, and much to his surprise, a part of him really meant it.

Mary Jane Morgan


Monday, November 21, 2016

Another Look at Albrecht Durer

Albrecht Durer
Nuremberg, Germany
May 21, 1471 to April 6, 1528

    Albrecht Durer was a German painter, engraver, printmaker, and mathematician.  He is viewed by some as the greatest artist of the Northern Renaissance.  He is responsible for many religious artworks, altar pieces, and portraits, but he also famous for his watercolors of the European country landscapes.
   He is most famous for his woodcuts and copper engravings and is well-known to art students for his exquisite line drawings.

    Albrecht was the third child of eighteen children.  Albrecht's father, Albrecht, the Elder, was a goldsmith who moved to Nuremberg from Hungary.  Albrecht, the Elder, was apprenticed to a printer named Masrer Hopler and married his daughter in 1467 when he became a master himself.
   Young Albrecht's godfather, Anton Koberger was the most successful publisher in Germany and owned over twenty-four printing presses. Albrecht worked with his godfather for a time doing woodcut illustrations. Although his father wanted young Albrecht to follow in his father's footsteps and be a goldsmith, the young Albrecht showed such talent in art that his father ultimately agreed on his desire to work in the arts.  While he was working on an apprenticeship in the Netherlands, his family betrothed him to Agnes Frey, the daughter of a wealthy brass master and harpist.

 Albrecht married Agnes on July 7, 1494, but he wasn't too happy about the union.  Three months after the wedding, Durer took off for Italy alone, telling Agnes he was afraid to stay in Nuremberg because of the oncoming plague. There were no children born to this couple.  He toured the Italian countryside doing watercolors of the beautiful landscape.  While in Venice, he met Jacopo de Barbari, who taught him much about perspective, anatomy, and proportions.
   Durer returned to Nuremberg in 1495 and opened his own studio. and in 1500 de Barbari came and stayed with Albrecht and Agnes for about a year so the men could continue their work together.

    In 1505, Durer  left for Italy once more.  The studio stayed
open, with Agnes in charge of selling Durer's artwork, which
was becoming very popular in Germany at the time.
    In Italy Durer created a series of religious paintings using tempera on linen and a new method he devised for authentic looking fleshtones.
    In 1508, Durer made a simple pen and ink drawing that is
used by art students to this day.  It's called "Praying Hands."
He works illustrating Emperor Maximilian's personal prayer book. Maximilian gave him an imperial pension to continue his work.  By 1519 when Maximilian passed away, Durer was losing his sight and developing what they now think was arthritis in his hands.
    It s then that the great painter/engraver became a writer.  He
wrote four books on mathematics, especially Geometry, and four books on human proportions in both the male and female
forms.  He had theories on the ideal beauty of the human form
 in art.

   In July of 1521, Durer caught an undetermined illness, probably malaria, and his health continued to decline until his death in Nuremberg at the age of 56, leaving Agnes substantially wealthy and able to live in their home/studio until her death in 1539.  Today it is a museum.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Schedule for Nov. 21 - 25, 2016

Beautiful Mill Creek Park Nov. 2016 Photo by Carol Ann Kauffman

Schedule for Nov. 21- 25, 2016

Mon., Nov. 21 - The Art of Albercht Durer
Tues., Nov. 22 - Beautiful Catastrophe Blog Tour
Wed., Nov. 23 - Shelby's Gift by Mary Jane Morgan
Thurs., Nov. 24 - Happy Thanksgiving
Fri., Nov. 25 - Blue Lake by Carol Ann Kauffman

Friday, November 18, 2016

The Baslicato by Carol Ann Kauffman

When Dr. Brook Wilson agreed to take on celebrity Italian race car driver Jason Maxwell, known as"The Baslicato," as her patient, little did she realize their relationship would turn her calm, pleasant, well-ordered life upside down, sending her off on dangerous adventures in southern Italy and northern Ohio.

As she prepares him for his big race, she must deal with his demented wife while driving her boyfriend, Dr, Garrett MacEgan into acts of criminal desperation in a attempt to hold on to her.

When tall, handsome British actor Richard MacKenzie wakes up in the hospital after an accident, he discovers he's a short Italian race car driver named Jason Maxwell, known as THE BASLICATO.


Thursday, November 17, 2016

Ravishing Elizabeth by J.J. Marstead


Seventeen years of being a half-bred wolf shifter, I didn't know how I would be able to adjust to my new life of being part of a pack. I have to admit I had my doubts and fears, but my wolf feels at ease, at home in the forest. Having the feel of soil under her pads makes her feel free. Plus, everyone is so nice. Yes, I feel right at home here, we both do.

A new pack isn't the only thing my wolf and I have to adjust to. Fate blessed me with not one mate but with two that are destined to be mine. Can I live up to their expectations and be everything they need?


I never thought I would ever be in the presence of something so incredible or could feel the way I do. To have feelings for a wolf, to want to make her my soul-mate is against my better judgement and I know that. She's not only amazing in wolf form, but her human form is stunning as well. I want to believe she could love a monster like me, I have to believe it. But we are from two different worlds. Can I help her get past that and make her mine?


I finally found my mate and she is more gorgeous than anything I could have dream of. I try to reign over my wolf knowing he'll want to claim her as soon as he sees her, but he's on edge knowing she will also belong to another. My wolf and I are both trying to act complacent with the idea of having an outsider harbouring her heart, but I don't want to hurt her no matter how much I want to rip him apart. In order to make our mate happy there will be some much needed adjustments to be made. Will she be happy and accept her rightful place as our mate?


I flick the light on and get dressed, I head downstairs to get a drink, just as I grab a bottle of water from the fridge, there’s a knock at the front door. Who can that be? I place the water bottle on the counter; I make my way towards the front door to see who it can be.  I twist the handle and open the door; his scent hits me before anything else, Samuel.

My eyes widen as I take in his appearance, he’s breathtaking, with his dark hair and dark eyes luring me in as I stare openly at him, shaking myself out of the pull towards him.

“What are you doing here?” I ask, poking my head outside to see if anyone can see that he’s here.
“Did anyone see you coming here?” I hope no one saw because it’ll only be a matter of time before the alpha and the pack get here if they know.

“I told you, I would come to you, and don’t worry no one has seen me, my little gem,” he says.
“I’ve been waiting for you for centuries my little wolf. There’s nothing in this world that will stop me from being with you.”

Just hearing him say that, makes my wolf yip happily inside. I move out of the doorway making room for him to enter, he stops and gives me a crooked grin as he holds onto the door frame. I look at him puzzled and he chuckles.

“You need to invite me in.”

Well, I wasn’t expecting that, guess something’s are true about vampires.

“Come in, Samuel,” my voice is husky. I stare at him crossing the threshold. As soon as his feet step inside the house, he’s in front of me, gazing down at me like I’m his last cool drink of water, well in this case blood. He moves so fast I didn’t even get a chance to react.

He places his hand under my chin, slowly lifting my head up. He leans down and kisses me softly at first but then he applies more pressure. I moan into the kiss, his tongue probing into my mouth, my tongue tangling with his. I run my tongue down his fang, and he groans out   shifting himself against me. I feel his erection through his pants, gasping as he grinds himself into me, he runs and slams the front door shut, and then comes back to me lifting me up off of my feet, my legs wrap around his hips, and he races up the stairs quickly.

 Buy Your Copy Here 


Author Bio

J.J. Marstead lives in a quiet little town in Quebec, Canada. 
She is originally from a small Island in Canada called ‘Prince Edward Island’.
J.J. Marstead is the pen name; she wanted to have a pen name because it seemed pretty awesome.

Her real name is Jessica Martell, and no she is not ashamed of writing.
She loves to read and now she has taking up writing as a new adventure. 
She’s a stay at home mom, so she has plenty of time to think of naughty things to write.
Married to the love of her life of nine years, they have a lovely daughter who is seven years old,and they have two dogs, full house.

Author Links

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