MIGHTY PRETTY

THAT’S A MIGHTY PRETTY PIECE OF ART YOU HAVE HANGING THERE, FELLA


Let’s talk about art and why a “paint by number” kit you bought at a hobby shop is not art, even though it’s “mighty pretty.”

Many things are pretty. Wallpaper, printed by the ream is pretty. Remember all those paintings you could buy in the “art department” of department stores? You could get a blue one, a green one, or a red one. Each “hand-painted” picture was perfectly designed to match your furniture and could often be bought as part of your living room set.

Each picture was “hand painted” because someone’s hand was employed to paint it. Even then, no one said “an artist painted it” because the hand that painted it wasn’t an artist.

Now, with Artificial Intelligence, it won’t even be hand-painted. I’m sure it will be technically far superior to anything a human artist could achieve. Human art is imperfect — intentionally imperfect as often as not. There won’t be a stroke out-of-place and everyone will absolutely agree that it is “mighty pretty,” uh huh, yup, absolutely mighty pretty hanging on your wall there.

Things made by machine can be beautiful, but they aren’t art. Art is wrung from the soul of an artist. Even so, there is good art, better art, great art — and awful art. None of which has anything to do with the mechanical ability of the artist. Art — music, painting, sculpture and so much else — connects feelings, meaning, depth, breadth, vision. The big and the little, the achievements and the broken little pieces. It shows the value of life, the meaning of death, the reason we live, the sadness of loss. It isn’t only something mighty pretty to hang on a wall or pump through your speakers.

If A.I. can totally master the technique of Rembrandt and the “style” of Dali, it still won’t be art because it is without passion. No soul, no heart, no meaning, no depth. The style will not keep changing as the artist’s sensibilities change. It will never evolve into something unique, new, and refreshing because machines don’t evolve or grow.

For those of you who think “art” is a technique of brush strokes on canvas and that any “style” can be reproduced — even improved on — by a more “accurate” mechanical application … or you think if something  sounds like Chopin, it IS Chopin, you don’t understand anything. Not only do you not get it, you will never get it.

Since “fake art” is pretty much always “old or classic art,” consider buying originals from a living artist — the person who actually painted or wrote it. It will be the real deal.

The good news? An A.I. world will be perfect for you. You will be happy in your A.I. world with reproductions that look MIGHTY NICE on your walls. I bet all your furniture will match, too.

SUE VINCENT’S DAILY ECHO – GUEST AUTHOR: MARILYN ARMSTRONG – VISIONS

Guest author: Marilyn Armstrong – Visions

72-Sunset-2-070316_21

Over the years, I envied Christians. They always seem so very sure about all the things I doubt.

On August 30th, 2004, sometime between midnight and dawn, I had a vision in that peculiar space between sleeping and waking. I was very near death. The skin all across my abdomen had turned septic. Antibiotics were not working. Even the emergency debridement from the plastic surgery swat team had not fixed it. I knew I was dying. I could feel myself slipping away. I expected death to be more dramatic and certainly more frightening. I was less afraid than sad. I felt I had not done whatever it was I was supposed to do this time around the wheel.

Then came the vision. Unlike a dream, it has stayed clear as crystal. Never has it become faded or confused.

I was a little bird, a sparrow. I was broken and lying, unable to move or fly, on the wet cobblestones of some street in some eastern European city that was in the midst of war. In the background, I could hear the muttering of automatic weapons. As I lay there, I heard a great Voice. I heard it, but not with my ears, and the Voice filled my head.

“Enough” said the Voice.

The guns went quiet. I knew that the people who’d been fighting had ceased to exist, that they had been unmade. I waited in dread. I knew that I had done something bad, although precisely what I had done was unclear. All I could do was wait until the Voice came again.

“As for you, little bird, “ said the Voice, and I thought “There goes the other wing. There goes this fragile bird’s body.”

And then the Voice said, “Little bird, you can fly away.”

I flew away. When morning came, I was fine. The fever broke. My abdomen was clear of infection. A day later I went home. I was going to live.

Nor was this my first “extra throw” of the dice. When I was 19 and had spinal surgery, the spinal cord became infected . I was delirious. The delirium went on for 10 days and nights and I was in a lot of pain. Then, I had a chat with a Voice, who said: “You are in a terrible pain. You don’t have to keep fighting. You can let go or you can choose to stay. If you stay, the pain will continue. It will be a slow, difficult recovery.”

Obviously, I chose to stay. The next day didn’t bring relief from pain, but it brought me out of delirium and into consciousness.

So, that was twice. What does it mean? I don’t know. Something, for sure, but exactly what? Our old Pastor asked me if I was going to ask God for a photo ID. Maybe. That seems to be a problem for me. I want to know who is doing what.

I also would like to know WHY. More to the point, why me?


marilyn birthday 68About the Author

Marilyn Armstrong is a writer, blogger and photographer. She started writing as soon as she could form letters and has never heard a single good reason why she should stop. Marilyn and her husband Garry, as well their son, daughter-in-law, granddaughter and various intrepid canines, live in a setting of rare natural beauty and gigantic rocks in rural Massachusetts.

Marilyn blogs at Serendipity where she offers “memories via anecdotes, observations, occasional fiction, and photographs.”

 


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The Twelve Foot Teepee

Fighting the of demons of an abusive childhood and having given up on traditional paths to personal salvation, Maggie decides to find her own path … by building a teepee in her back yard. It’s a peculiar route, but her goal is simple: offload the cargo of her past and move into a future, sans luggage. Armed with a draw knife and a sense of humor, she peels poles and paints canvas until winter passes and she is free.

 


If you have had a strange experience or encounter that you would like to share, please get in touch with me at findme@scvincent.com (or my usual email if you already have it) and we can discuss a guest post.

I am not looking for sensationalism or fictional tales… but in light of the response to some recent posts, I think it would be both useful and reassuring to others to realize none of us are alone in these strange encounters and experiences and perhaps we can open discussion on what they may be or may mean.

If you would like to share your story but prefer to remain anonymous, we can discuss that too. If you would like to share your beliefs and opinions on the nature of these experiences, I would be happy to talk about a guest post. Through sharing with respect we may learn to understand our world and each other a little better.

Original article at: Guest author: Marilyn Armstrong – Visions

THE LONGEST FLIGHT – BY ELLIN CURLEY

My first husband, Larry, me and our two young children, around ages four and nine, were scheduled to fly to Santa Fé, New Mexico for a vacation. We had a connecting flight from New York City to St. Louis, Missouri.

We got to the airport in the early evening and something was wrong with the incoming plane. So our flight to St. Louis had to be canceled. We were put on the next available flight with a connection possible to St. Louis. It was the following morning at an ungodly hour. We decided to take the kids home to get some sleep before schlepping back to the airport before dawn the next day. We were already off to a rocky start.

We got to the airport on time, but our flight was delayed – just enough to make us miss our connection through St. Louis. We got to St. Louis and tried to find another flight to Santa Fé. Apparently this weekend’s Hot Air Balloon Festival was the biggest event of the year in Santa Fé. Every flight was booked. We finally found a flight on another airline — NINE HOURS LATER — around 6:00 PM.

That left us with had nine hours to kill plus two small children and all of our carry-on bags, which when traveling with kids, was a lot.

We decided to do some sightseeing. We took the kids to the famous arch. Walked around. Shopped. We still ended up spending too many long, boring hours in the airport.

Our flight finally boarded and naturally, it was overbooked. The flight attendant offered a free ticket to anyone who volunteered to take the next flight in two and a half hours. My crazy husband raised his hand and volunteered the whole family! He figured that we’d waited this long, we should at least get something out of the lost day!

This part actually worked out well. We had time for a leisurely dinner before we boarded the next flight. The rest of the trip was fun and included a hot air balloon ride.

However, getting there was not half the fun!