Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

A friend of mine had a conference he was attending in Des Moines, and feeling the need to get away from everything here in St. Louis – if even for a few days – I tagged along.

First off, the city and everyone I encountered were just wonderful! There was a free shuttle that circled the downtown area that I jumped on first thing in the morning. But as the day progressed the weather was so incredible, I just decided to hoof it for most of my journey. I walked and walked and walked (alot!) and saw the capital, the East Village, the Botanical Garden which was very small compared to St. Louis’ AMAZING Botanical Garden, but lovely none-the-less, and that evening walked to a bar called the El Bait Shop for dinner.

What struck me about this small city was all the flowers and gardens and art – everywhere downtown! All the bikers and walkers – and large sidewalks. I think I could pick up and move there tomorrow.

There was a walking path along the Des Moines River and lots of incredible little gardens scattered along the path. I finally found a quiet coffee house in the East Village and did some thinking and writing. Then I wondered the shops. I did not bring my computer with me on this trip, nor did I bring shopping money – that wasn’t was this journey was about. This was thinking and breathing time. Enjoying the moments of time as they came.

As I journeyed through the town, I happened into a very small shop called Green Goods For The Home and had a wonderful conversation with Sharon the owner. A true soul-sister. She showed me some wonderful holiday note cards and gift tag cards which can be planted. There are seeds in the card and they will grow into flowers; she showed me products and told me about the people who made them – local people in many cases. I love the idea of the fire-starters.

About three-quarters through the first day I went back to the hotel to see if my friend (another art lover) had a break and wanted to go visit the new sculpture garden in town – and he did. We hopped the shuttle down the park and wandered around the sculptures. As I said, this town loves its art (individual sculptures on almost every other street corner.) I was in heaven.

I am back and refreshed and grateful for so many things. Sometimes I just need to get away from the distractions of life so I can listen to myself think – if even for just a few days.


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This past Sunday was the first Sunday in our four-week Peace and Justice series at Trinity Episcopal Church in St. Louis. Since cranes have become a peace symbol, after the story of a small girl named Sadako in Japan spread throughout the world, a friend of mine started our church community folding origami cranes several months ago as Sadako Sasaki did so many years ago. But would we reach 1,000? What does 1,000 cranes look like?

Like this:







Personally, I am only responsible for folding, or partially folding, 25 cranes (my three vacation buddies and I did some of these on our vacation and we did a bit of an assembly line – each completing a part).

The sermon itself was just incredible. It talks about the story of Sadako Sasaki and of peace and justice. Listen to it here (with music prelude).

If you are in the St. Louis area and get a chance to stop by and see this in person, it truly is an incredible sight!

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This past Thursday I kept a friend company on a road trek from St. Louis, Missouri to a town just outside of Atlanta, Georgia. There was an Episcopal Convention there, and my friend Jeff was displaying all of his liturgical textiles. While there I met some wonderful and incredibly talented individuals, the person that just blew me away was Dale over at South Light Studios. If you get a chance, glance at his portfolios and look at the incredible things he does with stained glass! Besides the incredible work he does, he was one heck of a nice person.

I also met a few folks from an environmental group working with the Atlanta Diocese. They are doing – on a larger scale – what a group of us are doing at the church level here in St. Louis. I didn’t get a chance to talk with them after the first (or second) box lunch was served to see if they were as shocked as I was at the amount of single-use plastic used at the convention. While the hotel did have a separate trash can for the soda cans, it was a minor plus when compared to the major amount of plastic used and thrown during the weekend.

When we drove the 9 1/2 hours from St. Louis to Atlanta, it was dark by the time we reached Chattanooga, TN and we weren’t able to enjoy much of the view through Georgia. Coming home, though, we were amazed at the beauty of the state. We drove through the foot hills of the Appalachian Mountains, and the view from the highway was breath-taking. I only wish I had remembered to take my camera on the trip to capture some of the beauty. Many of the trees had lost all of their leaves, but there were still many that were at the peak of their color. WOW!

I was dropped at my doorstep late Saturday evening. Got up for church and attended the service on Sunday, went to lunch with a few friends, then attended a Holy Ground musical concert. Holy Ground is a group of religious congregations that are located all within a few blocks of one-another in the Central West End of St. Louis and work together to better the community in which they reside. Last night we heard musical selections from Baptists, Unitarians, Jews, Christian Scientists and Episcopalians. It was a wonderful evening.

I’m a little tired from the trip still, but am looking forward to a beautiful new day.

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Art Exhibit

This Friday thru Sunday – I will be one of 40 artists exhibiting at:

Art COOP’s “COLORS” Exhibit
4515 Olive
Two blocks East of Euclid and Washington in the CWE of St. Louis
Friday (opening reception) 7-11pm
Saturday – noon to 5pm
Sunday – noon to 3pm

I will be displaying three of my cultural artifact art pieces.

For more information about my art, visit my website at ArtByStrongheart

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I have added to and updated the encaustic paintings available. Click on the Flower Art Card to the right or go to artbystrongheart.com for all of my art.

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Yet another cultural artifact art piece using items destined for the trash. (artbystrongheart.wordpress.com)

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Featured Art Friday – in the right column is another Cultural Artifact Art piece – my way of recycling what would otherwise end up in the trash.

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