Friday, December 23, 2016

Merry Christmas

Dear Gentle Readers,

From Vision and Verse, the place for art and authors, the place to find new and exciting artists and authors, as well as take a look at the old masters, I wish you the happiest of holidays and a happy, healthy 2017.

It's been a rough few months here, with December being the worst. Hopefully 2017 will find us all a little better off.

See you in January.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Charming Deception

Dear Gentle Readers,

A few years ago I made ornaments with the covers of my books for the Christmas Tree in the office. I'm pleased to tell you Charming Deception, Through the Portal has finally been published and is available on in kindle format. Paperback will be available in early 2017.

I began writing Charming Deception while on vacation in Clearwater Beach, Florida, where much of the story takes place.

This cover of Charming Deception was shot on the beach of the Sheraton Sand Key Resort, where we were staying. We were celebrating our thirtieth wedding anniversary at the same resort where we stayed on our honeymoon.

The resort was STILL amazing. Large, beautiful rooms with fantastic views of the Gulf of Mexico, a wonderful wait staff, and great restaurants and shops. It was a terrific second honeymoon.

The story of Charming Deception follows a woman who wakes up naked, with no memory,  in an unfamiliar hotel room at night with a  man who claims to be her husband.  From there, it takes some strange turns.

Body doubles, triples, and clones,  a nasty king from a medieval castle, portals to other worlds,  and aliens round off this unusual love story.


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Favorite Holiday Cocktail Recipes

Good Morning Gentle Readers,

Today I have for you the favorite holiday cocktail recipes for your holiday parties.  These are from FREE-N-FUN Christmas, a part of the Oriental Trading Co.  This site holds a plethora of ideas on decorating, homemade gifts for crafters of all ages, and recipes. If you are not familiar with this site, you still have time to acquaint yourself.

My personal favorite cocktail is the Peach Bellini.  I first had one in Venice long ago.  I don't know how THEY made it, but I use equal parts Prosecco and peach juice.  I have used white grape juice when I couldn't find peach juice.  Frozen grapes make good ice cubes in this version.  Try one.

Have a wonderful day!


Monday, December 12, 2016

I Need Christmas by Carol Ann Kauffman

After a depressing year of sadness, loneliness, and self-doubt, successful civil engineer and former All-American basketball star Elizabeth (Betsy) Curry returns home to Oakville, Ohio, for the Christmas holidays a depressed and broken women. 

Reeling from her bitter divorce from the handsome, charming, but morally decrepate Tommy DeMalio, her college sweetheart and first big love, who left her after two years of what she thought was a good marriage for a stripper he met at an office bachelor party for her co-worker, Betsy feels lost and empty. Not exactly anticipating the happy holiday with her family and their multitude of joyful Christmas customs and long-time storybook-like traditions, she knows she needs them in order to heal.

Once comfortable at home and feeling somewhat better about herself, Tommy shows up and claims he wants a reconciliation, throwing her back into the self-destructive cycle of doubt, hostility, and suspision she is trying so hard to escape.

She discovers her father has set her up with his protégé at work, the tall, handsome, athletic red-haired Patrick, who, try as hard as she can, she can’t find a single thing she doesn’t like about him.
So, what’s the problem? Betsy feels it’s too soon for her to love again. How can she love anyone again when she doesn’t like herself or what she’s become since the break-up. Also, she fears she will hurt the sweet, gentle Patrick.

Will the love, joy, and goodwill of the holiday season coupled with the many long-time holiday customs and Curry family traditions help Betsy to find herself again? Will she be strong enough to lift herself out of her self-induced prison so that she can take another chance on love?

Buy Link: 

Friday, December 9, 2016

Queen Catherine of Braganza by Andrey Flack

Dear Gentle Readers,

The Butler Institute of American Art has acquired a new breathtaking beauty. It is one giant plaster sculpture of a woman, Queen Catherine of Braganza, a creation of American sculptor Audrey Flack. 

And even though she is big, she has 
a delicate beauty about her, her lovely spiral curls, her long, slender fingers delicately grasping her alabaster sphere, the elegant flow of her beautiful gown, with one shoe pointing out, about to step off the pedestal.

From the Butler's New Acquisitions Article:
Flack’s 10-foot high plaster sculpture is an homage to Queen Catherine of Braganza, and is part of a series of sculptures by the artist based upon that theme. (The borough of Queens, NY, was named for the Portuguese-born monarch who later became Queen of England after her marriage to Charles II in 1620.)

The plaster statue features a steel and reinforced steel armature, and is presented standing on a half-dome base. An unusual element of Flack’s sculpture is an LED lighted globe that the subject holds in her left hand.

This plaster work was the prototype for a 13-foot bronze sculpture—a commission awarded to the artist by Lisbon, Portugal. The sculpture was a gift to the Butler by the artist, and is installed in the Beecher Center’s Novak Gallery, Youngstown.

Stop in and see this gorgeous lady at Butler Institute of American Art, 524 Wick Ave., Youngstown, OH 44502, Phone 330.743.1107, or online at


Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Southwestern Art of Stephen Morath

 I had never heard of Stephen Morath before coming across his work online, but I was taken
by his vivid use of color and his beautiful southwestern themes. Here is his biographical material in his own words:

"For over thirty years I have painted scenes from all over the Southwest. My pictures rarely represent an actual place, but rather a place as I think it should be. They are often nostalgic, sometimes “cartoony”, sometimes quite naturalistic. Mainly I paint northern New Mexico and southern Arizona; but the extremes of my interest range from the frosty peaks of Colorado to the shores of the desert sea in Baja California, and all the wide open spaces in between. I am drawn not only to the beauties but also the oddities of the Southwest – the outrageous topography, the tourist traps, the honky-tonk strips, the old motel signs, the clash of cultures, the places where Indian America meets the science fiction of the ‘Fifties; as well as the pueblos, the sparkling deserts, the blue ranges, the birds in the morning…I prefer the rural countryside to the unpopulated wilderness, and rarely paint a landscape without some kind of human activity or artifact in it. Indeed, some of my paintings are crowded with non-landscape elements. Often, my paintings exhibit a touch of humor; others I paint to evoke cosmic feelings; still others are complex displays of fruit and vegetables. I like to paint figures, which so far have not featured prominently in my paintings; but I see my work moving in the direction of more figures and more realism. I am especially fond of small towns, back roads, and blue highways, where old trucks, lowriders, and airstream trailers can be found; and life goes on in a timeless way.

I am a third-generation native of Colorado, married, and the father of four. I studied and spent some time back East in my early days; otherwise, I have been a lifelong resident of Colorado, although a frequent visitor to, and lover of, New Mexico and Arizona. I and my wife, and formerly our now grown-up children, live in a ramshackle Victorian at the foot of Pikes Peak, surrounded by gardens and fruit trees. Besides painting, my main interests are high-country hiking, contra dancing, the performance of choral music, and trips to Europe and Mexico.

Exhibition history: I have exhibited paintings continuously in Scottsdale, Arizona since 1984.  During that time I have also shown at various galleries in Santa Fe, New Mexico and in Colorado; but Scottsdale has remained my major retail focus. The Colorado Springs Fine Art center owns one of my paintings.So does the Albuquerque Museum of Art." -Stephen Morath

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Fabulous Artwork of Dutch Artist Suzan Drummen

The Fabulous Artwork of Dutch Artist Suzan Drummen

This gorgeous circular artwork is like giant floor jewelry.  I have never seen anything like the work of Dutch artist Suzan Drummen.

Suzan Drummen is a visual arts teacher in the Netherlands.  Some have called her work psychedelic.  The beads, stones, mirrors, etc. are placed loosely on the floor, making them ethereal and very vulnerable to destruction. 

 Side-view of Suzan's work look like giant sundaes with cherries on the top.  The must be viewed from above to get the full effect.

Directly from the Website
From this website you can view many multidisciplinary works in the media of painting, photography, installation and public art. The works are a playful investigation of space, illusion, optical effects and other visual phenomena as part of a broad exploration of visual perception and the limits of beauty. There is an ongoing inquiry into the limits of seduction and repulsion.
The installations for example, are made from crystal, chrome-plated metal, precious stones, mirrors and optical glass. From a distance they appear clear and orderly, yet upon closer inspection, the eyes become disoriented by the many details and visual stimuli. That moment, of being able to take it all in or not, is explored, time and time again. The visual perception is challenged, requisitioned and intensified.

This website features a selection of the work, in chronological order, with the most recent work at the top. 

Thanks to: family, friends, fellow artists, exhibition curators, art advisors, clients, commissioners, architects and those involved in the production and realisation of the works. 

Suzan Drummen

1990 – Present (23 years) Amsterdam
"As an artist I make multidisciplinary works in the media of painting, photography,installation, and public art.  The works are a playful investigation of the space, illusion, optical effects, and other phenomena as a part of a broad exploration of visual perception and the limits of beauty.  There is an ongoing inquiry into the limits of seduction and repulsion.

The installations for example, are made from crystal, chrome-plated metal, precious stones, mirrors and optical glass. From a distance they appear clear and orderly, yet upon closer inspection, the eyes become disoriented by the many details and visual stimuli. That moment, of being able to take it all in or not is explored, time and time again. The visual perception is challenged, requisitioned and intensified.

Developing my own visual work is the main thing I do, but many other activities such as teaching, being member of art committees and initiate new art projects are so interwoven that I can hardly make a distinction between my activities. It is a great a stream of actions, meetings and findings that fertilize each other immensely."

The fabulous Dutch Artist Suzan Drummen uses a very special canvas for her work.  She uses the floor!  She uses crystals, chromed metals, precious stones, mirrors, and faceted optical lens to make large scale murals using complex circular patterns, reminding me of Tibetian sand painting... and the circular written language of Gallifrey.d

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Jack Vettriano

 Jack Vettriano

Meet my new favorite artist, Jack Vettriano.  His biography begins "born in Fife, Scotland in 1951." Hold on, Readers! This Italian girl recognizes an Italian last name when she hears one. Intrigued, I continued reading that this talented man quit school and went to work in the mining industry. His girlfriend bought him a set of watercolor paints for his twenty-first birthday (Thank you, dear, whoever you are, you did the world a favor!) and from then on he spent his free time teaching himself to paint.

        There is something about his work that draws you into the painting.  The first one I ever saw was his The Singing Butler, which shows an elegantly dressed couple dancing on the beach in the rain with their butler with an open umbrella. Their is such a romantic aura in this beautifully done painting. Love it.

  And then I discovered a whole plethora of paintings by Jack Vettriano as his publishing company's website

where you can browse and buy Jack Vettriano reasonably priced posters, cards, postcards, calendars, journals, as well as canvas prints.  It is a beautiful and easy to navigate website.  

I discovered Dance Me to the End of Love, a spectacular Audrey Hepburn-like beauty in perfect ballroom dancing hold with her striking partner.

Jack Vettriano was born Jack Hoggan to a Scottish father and an Italian mother. When he was 36 and newly separately, he moved to Edinburgh and took his mother's maiden name and went on to become an international success with studios in Scotland and London.  The Singing Butler has been the best selling image in Britain and is very popular here as well.

Those who criticize his work as "too erotic" have to be those guys who prefer to look at paintings of fish or maybe still life prints of fruits and veggies.

Please visit Jack Vettriano - Official Jack Vettriano Page on Facebook for  news on Jack's current and upcoming gallery showings and current work.  Some other very interesting links are:     Posters_c29036_.htm

Monday, December 5, 2016

Elspeth McLean, the Dot Queen

Look at what this woman does with stones and paint!

These gorgeous painted stones are by Elspeth McLean, an Australian artist born in Gooseberry Hill, a small suburb in western Australia. She showed her artistic tendencies at a very early age.

She moved to the East Coast of Australia at the age of nineteen to follow her dream of becoming  a full time artist.

Elspeth now lives in Canada.

Elspeth creates breathtaking masterpieces of tiny, colorful dots in beautiful patterns on round ocean stones.  Each one is more beautiful than the next. 

Follow Elspeth McLean on Facebook by visiting her beautiful page at:

None of these photos are mine. I got them online or at website.  Her work is available for sale at 
etsy. com

Friday, December 2, 2016

Landscapes by Parker Kaufman

Okay, you know I have a weakness for the work of Texas paper collage artist Parker Kaufman. I can't get enough of them.  This desert scene is one of my favorites. There is something that draws me in. Is it the shapes? The use of color and pattern? The big picture or the tiny detail? I don't know! 

Another favorite landscape is this beautiful supermoon in the gorgeous sky over a tiny, obscure cabin nestled in the woods.

And who could not love this wildlife in the Serengeti Plain? Reminds me of the Lion King (which I always thought started with the word 'Pennsylvania'.)  Each of these art pieces are by the same artist, each using basically the same materials, shapes, and lines. But vastly different in color, combination, and the mood it evokes within us. This what makes Parker Kaufman such an outstanding artist. 

And, no, we are not related.