Thursday, February 24, 2011

Mark Demsteader: Contemporary Figurative Art

I have recently discovered a British artist that I absolutely adore. His name is Mark Demsteader and he paints portraits of women. They are darker paintings dabbling in both realism and the abstract. They are absolutely stunning!!! On his website, he provides a really interesting drawing demonstration of the process he uses to create his works.

"Mark Demsteader was born in 1963 in Manchester where he still lives and works.He studied foundation at Rochdale college and Oldham college, but he is largely self taught having spent many years studying the figure at life drawing classes and developing a unique style through close observation of the human form.

In recent years Mark`s reputation has flourished, such that he has become one of the most popular figurative artists working in Britain today. His powerful depictions of the female form in clean and assured lines of pastel and gouache have sparked a renaissance of interest in traditional life drawing amongst the art collecting fraternity. This immense technical ability is tempered by the natural sensitivity with which he imbues each subject. Although isolated in the picture plane each model seems to live and breathe, their expression and poise conveying a sense of narrative that invites the viewer to ask more questions about them than the artist answers."

art blog - Mark Demsteader - empty kingdomart blog - Mark Demsteader - empty kingdomart blog - Mark Demsteader - empty kingdom 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Deaf dog adopted by deaf kids after learning sign language

By Kevin Murphy, Reuters 

Tue, Feb 08 2011 at 5:52 PM EST 

KANSAS CITY, Missouri - Most people may be reluctant to adopt a deaf dog, but what if they were deaf themselves?
children petting dachshund
DEAF DOGS: Training drain deaf dogs for deaf owners began at a Missouri prison. Inmates trained a deaf dachshund in sign language and then asked the Missouri School for the Deaf to take him in. (Photo: jupiterimages)

The idea made sense to inmates at a Missouri prison who trained a deaf dachshund in sign language and then asked the Missouri School for the Deaf in Fulton to take him in.
Today, the dog named Sparky is right at home with the school's youngsters, who have taught him additional sign language. And a second deaf dog, a Boston Terrier named Petie, may be on his way to the school soon.
Superintendent Barbara Garrison approved bringing Sparky to the school.
"She really thought it would be a great learning experience for the kids," Garrison's secretary Barbara McGrath said in an interview Tuesday.
Sparky came from the South Central Correctional Center in Licking, Mo., which has also offered Petie. Garrison is interested in taking in Petie but only if she knows it can eventually be placed in a permanent home after some sign language training, McGrath said.
Sparky responds to hand signals to sit, heel, lay down, and stop and is working on additional signs that mean "food" or "outside."
Sparky and Petie come from the Puppies for Parole program of the Missouri Department of Corrections in which inmates train animals with behavioral or other issues that make them difficult to adopt. The program saves dogs that might otherwise be euthanized and it gives inmates a constructive activity, said Tina Holland, activities coordinator at the Licking prison.
"It's been wonderful — it's gone far beyond what we thought it would be," Holland said. "Their goal is just to get these dogs a home."
(Writing by Kevin Murphy, edited by Mary Wisniewski and Greg McCune)

Thursday, February 17, 2011


"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid."
Albert Einstein

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Okay so I know a story about Taylor Swift seems like a super way lame to start this blog.. but I am okay will being super lame on occasion. I found this article on the Bobby Bones website this morning and while the story is super sweet and all that jazz, my favorite part is that another song about me a.k.a. Taelor (who needs to know the spelling of the Taylor in the song?) is out there!! Watch the youtube video of Owl City's cover of Taylor Swift's Enchanted below to see what I mean:

Taylor Swift said that she names names on her current Speak Now CD, and a new one has just surfaced. Apparently she wrote the song "Enchanted" about meeting Adam Young, a member of the rock group Owl City. Taylor even included secret lyrics that only Adam would be able to figure out, and spelled his name out in the CD booklet by capitalizing the letters A-D-A-M. Adam appropriately chose Valentine's Day (Monday, February 14th) to respond to the song. On his official blog, he wrote, "I'm so tremendously honored that Taylor would write such an elegant song and thereby offer a gracious nod in my direction. Needless to say, I was lost for words and utterly smitten. I couldn't stop smiling." Click Here to read Adam Young's blog and watch the song verse for Taylor below!

He got a bit more personal, directing his comments to Taylor herself writing, "Everything about you is beautiful. You're an immensely charming girl with a wonderful heart and more grace and elegance than I know how to describe. You are a true princess from a dreamy fairy tale; a modern Cinderella. I'm terribly sorry it's taken me such a long time to reply but I figured Valentine's Day was the perfect time to write this note to you and simply say . . . I was enchanted to meet you too." Check It Out: Taylor's song for Adam Young called, "Enchanted" from her album 'Speak Now'!

Adam also added his own verse to "Enchanted", which he recorded on his website. The lyrics are: "I was never in love with someone else / I never had somebody waiting on me / 'Cause you were all of my dreams come true / And I just wish you knew / Taylor (Taelor) I was so in love with you."  

Monday, February 14, 2011


This blog, an adjunct to my personal blog, Letters, Syllables, Words, Phrases, Sentences, is meant as an outlet for me to share "All Things Read." On any given day I read A LOT, from textbooks, to novels, to magazines, to newspapers, to online articles, to facebook walls, to posters, to billboards, to bumper stickers...and the list could go on forever. There is no escaping the endless amounts of reading surrounding us at all times except whenever it becomes so much that it turns into the reading equivalent of white noise. It's everywhere, so we become numb to it, and eventually completely unaware of it. I want this blog to challenge me to really pay attention to everything I read on a daily basis and choose something to post and share my thoughts on.