Introducing Artist Laurie Cairone!

Eternal Optimism available  here .

Eternal Optimism available here.

I am currently featuring a beautiful piece of art in my art group, Emotive Art. The piece is entitled Eternal Optimism and it was created by Laurie Cairone. Her art is spiritual in nature and flows with a sense of peace and light. So I was immediately drawn to her creativity! I am always excited to introduce new artists and authors and Laurie Cairone is no exception! I asked her to write up a post about her creative process and background which you will find below:

I have created art intuitively for more than 40 years. Why Do I create art? Because creating soothes my soul and is a form of meditation for me. I enjoy working with Pastels, Watercolor, Acrylic, and Charcoal mediums. I also enjoy now learning and working with these mediums digitally in Procreate on my Ipad. 

My interests in the Universe,The Healing Arts,The Metaphysical World, and the Mind, Body, Soul Connection influence and inspire my art. I have also practiced as a Registered Nurse for over 30 years and hold a Second Degree Reiki Certification. Over half of my nursing career was spent in the specialty area of psychiatry, so I am very drawn to the introspective process. I believe that keeping our minds healthy with positive thoughts is a main ingredient to good health. 

I have always found Art to be a therapeutic, relaxing, creative process that soothes my soul. Creativity is a form of meditation for me that allows a way of letting go of the dust that builds up over time. Art can be a healthy form of distraction for us. Creativity can open the door to self-reflection that can aid in helping us gain clarity and peace over every day life. Drawing can be a sacred process of creating images from the heart. 

The creative process for me is often from a shape and a color. I seldom have a vision or sketch out what will evolve. I love to see what evolves and once I feel a piece is finished is when I name it. Here is where the introspective work arrives. I analyze my creation and look to the symbolism behind each color and shape and that is when the title hits me. Sometimes the title provokes much contemplation about a subject, so I will then write about the piece in my description. Sometimes the description to a piece is left for me to do a little more introspection before I can write about it. 

I have enjoyed the creative process since childhood and when I look back over certain times in my life, my work often reflects the joys and sorrows that we all go through at times. I will say that creating has helped me during some of the most difficult times of my life. I experienced a stillbirth full term many years ago and creating art kept me in one piece during that time. 


A percentage of all my sales are donated to Magnolia Pediatrics to help Dr. Linda Del Vecchio-Gilbert provide palliative care to children with complex, chronic conditions. You can learn more here

You can find Laurie and her amazing art here. Thank you, Laurie, for being a guest on my blog!

Spotlight: Strxia: The Odds Are Against Us by Matt Michel and Maggie Daniels

Strxia cover.jpg

“Harper Williams” is a fictional 11-year-old sci-fi book fan who is the representation of readers

of STRXIA: THE ODDS ARE AGAINST US. Below, Harper interviews Maggie Daniels and

Matt Michel, the authors of the book, by posing questions they frequently get from readers.

Harper: I read tons of books, especially science fiction like your book STRXIA: THE ODDS

ARE AGAINST US. What do you think sets your book apart from all the others out there?

Matt Michel: Great question, Harper. Certainly, the primary goal of any science fiction book

for children ages 8 to 12 is to entertain, so action-packed entertainment was our first priority.

However, we go one crucial step further by incorporating a few STEM (that stands for Science,

Technology, Engineering, and Math) principles along the way. The best part is, as an 11-year-

old reader, you might not even realize you are learning something! One of the physics principles

explained in the book is how a rocket works.

Harper: Whoa! Are you telling me I’ll understand how a rocket gets off the ground and flies

into space after reading your book? I thought it was a book about baseball.

Matt Michel: That’s right. It is a book about baseball. But it’s also about a parallel world

called Strxia. The world of Strxia is governed by the same laws of physics as Earth. When the

main characters in the book realize that their actions on Earth impact Strxia and vice versa, they

begin to learn how to use physics to help them save Strxia and win a baseball game on Earth all

at the same time.

Harper: What about the characters? I mean, most characters in the books I read are big guys

full of muscle and athletic talent. That gets old sometimes.

Maggie Daniels: I feel the same way, Harper. That’s why our main character, Seth Cox, is just

the opposite. He would rather be at home, reading on the couch and snuggling with his dog, than

playing baseball games. Intellect is our hero’s main talent, and only his brainpower can help

Strxia survive.

Harper: Seth seems cool. Is he the only character in the book?

Maggie Daniels: Seth has plenty of help from an interesting group of teammates. Each of them

has their own special skills… and vices. Alex is the only girl in the boy’s baseball league. She

is fearless and the fastest runner on the team, but she never has been able to quite fit in. Jared is

all bravado with the county’s best baseball arm, but he is an egotistical mess of a hothead.

Finally, there is Chase. Chase is always kidding around but is a superb mechanic.

Harper: Is something wrong with Strxia. Why does it need saving?

Maggie Daniels: Oh yes, Strxia needs help. An elite group of scientists called the Odds have

found a way to control odd numbers on Strxia. The Strxians actually have to pay money to use

odd numbers, and not everyone can afford to do so. So their world is slowly falling apart

because without numbers, it is really hard to learn. Just imagine a world with no odd numbers!

Harper: The book seems to cover a whole bunch of different things. Wasn’t it hard to write?

Maggie Daniels: Well, besides being my co-author, Matt is also my husband. He and I have

worked together coaching baseball, basketball, and robotics. My job at George Mason

University is to teach, carry out research, and write, so writing is a natural process for me. Matt,

on the other hand, is a “rocket scientist” and has a firm grasp on all the physics in the book. In

fact, he calculates, with aerospace engineering accuracy, all the numbers in the book so that even

the most discerning teachers and librarians are satisfied. Together, we created a book we think is

quite unique.

Harper: This all sounds really great, but I have to ask, how on Earth do you pronounce Strxia?

Maggie Daniels: The name of the book is a fun story, because we went through many iterations

before we created one we really liked. Try saying “Strick-see-ah” – that will get you really

close!

Harper: If I have more questions, how can I contact you? Or if I want to buy the book, where

can I do that?

Matt Michel: We have set up a website for our book as well as author pages on Facebook:

View Matt’s page here and Maggie’s page here. Our book is available on Amazon.

Meet Artist Julie Turner!

wisteria dream 11 julie turner.jpg

I came across Julie Turner’s work while I was working on my art site. I immediately fell in love with her wisteria prints and contacted her about a feature on my blog. She happily obliged! Below you will find her biography:

Julie received her BFA from James Madison University (Harrisonburg, VA). She spent her career working in the visual arts for various industries producing commercial art, technical graphics and multimedia. Concurrently she created fine art, representing many disciplines. Her most recent works are primarily acrylic on canvas paintings and digital art for print and home decor. Her style is a unique blend of Abstract Expressionism and Expressionism. Turner has exhibited in the USA: San Diego, CA; Las Vegas, NV; New York, NY; Alexandria, VA; and Bologna, Italy. Her artwork has been published worldwide and has been sold to many private collectors.

Although she’s skilled in many art disciplines: drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture, stained glass, jewelry, video, multimedia and digital imagery, she has a strong drive and passion for painting. She enjoys experimenting with difficult paint challenges and likes working with bold paint colors and varying degrees of paint thickness and layering. She’s inspired by love, family, friends, nature, music, dreams, astronomy and spiritual/metaphysical subject matter.

After I contacted Julie, I found that she and I share similar interests. Not only is she an artist but she has also written a children’s book. A kindred spirit indeed!

If you’d like to contact Julie, you can find her on her Website, Facebook, Fine Art America, and Handmade At Amazon. You can find Julie’s book here.

Dream 06 Julie Turner

Dream 06 Julie Turner