Introducing Artist Dr. Michael Durst!

I recently had a contest in my Emotive Art group titled Art That Illustrates Appreciation. It was up to the artist to submit a piece that was voted on by Fine Art America members. Michael Durst won first place with his work, I Love You Darling!

i-love-you-darling-michael-durst.jpg

I love the colors used in this piece and the feeling of love and appreciation. It really does capture the essence of what I was looking for in the contest.

I asked Michael to send me a biography. He is a very interesting artist indeed! Please find it below:

According to the Ico Gallery in New York’s Chelsea district, “Dr. Michael Durst is one of the most exciting South African artists to have exhibited in New York." Originally from the U.S. he has been living and painting in Cape Town for over 20 years. As a psychologist, Dr. Dust’s paintings create not only beauty for the beholder, but also a state of relaxation and healing. His work combines impressionism with fractal art, evoking an emotional link to the heart-thus the name he likes to call his art: Heartscapes.

Star Light Star Bright available  here .

Star Light Star Bright available here.

His exhibitions in New York, Chicago, Cape Town, the Netherlands and India have received rave reviews and gained Dr. Durst international recognition.

He loves to create art in two very different mediums: Impressionism and Fractal Art. His impressionistic work of the beauty of Cape Town--especially the Waterfront, Hout Bay, Table Mountain, ocean views, spring flowers, and the vineyards-- are breath-taking.

Durst's Fractal Art is based on mathematical formulas that produce order out of a world of chaos. What is created when chaos shifts to order, are beautiful “fractals” that have the ability to be explored as separate visual universes. Durst uses texture, pattern and colour to reveal the infinite visual depth and immense detail, inviting the viewer to plunge into an imaginary world of striking beauty. It seems that behind each curve and ripple lies a surprise, just waiting to be discovered.

In the last year, Dr. Durst has combined the Fractal art with painted images to create mixed-media "visions" of striking beauty. These works break down our sense of identity with intellect and form, and reconnect us to the sacred whole to which we all belong. He typically uses many different fractal sets and images, changing the light source, colour and perspective and then layers them into complex composite designs.

Two Hearts, One Soul available  here.

Two Hearts, One Soul available here.

Dr Durst is one of the best known artists on Fine Art America, having over 475,000 hits on his site and winning countless “First Place” awards in online exhibitions, competing with hundreds and in some cases, thousands of artists from all over the world. He has been named one of the "Impressionists of the 21st Century" and was voted First Runner Up in the ARTIST OF THE YEAR FOR 2018 by his fellow professional artists and international gallery owners.

He opened the DR DURST GALLERY OF ART AND ANTIQUES at 58 Loop Street, on the corner of Loop Street and Castle Street in Cape Town. The Gallery is located on the Second Floor on the Shark and Safari Tours on the corner of Loop Street and Castle Street.

If you would like to connect with Dr. Durst, you can find his website here. He can also be found on Facebook here.

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!

The Gathering Place

In my two most recent books, I write about my kids that have passed into Heaven. I tell stories about them and speak of what their lives meant to me. My youngest daughter who passed two years ago loved fairy tales and spiritual stories. When she was young, we spent a lot of time swimming in the summer. One of our favorite activities was swimming in the rain. There was something magical about being in the warm water while the cool rain dropped around us and created a mist. It was like being in another world. It was beautiful. Those memories are bittersweet now.

We used to talk a lot about folklore and fairytales. My daughter was convinced that she had been a mermaid in a previous life. She told me how she remembered sliding down some type of embankment as a mermaid child. She was always very accurate in telling the same story: she hit her head and fell into the water, drowning before her mother could get to her. It was magical listening to my daughter talk about the things of other realms. It made me believe more in other universes and possibilities.

This piece of graphic art is one I created in remembrance of my precious child. How she loved to dream and imagine! This is a piece I call The Gathering Place. It is a place of serenity and rest where mermaids come to relax and reminisce. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed creating it!

The Gathering Place available  here.

The Gathering Place available here.

I find it intriguing that at the age of twelve I attended a writing class at a local university. In that class I wrote a story about a mermaid who fell in love with a human. Their story was one of sorrow because they weren’t able to marry and be together. Maybe there was a reason for that story. Some day I may receive a confirmation about that! In the meantime, I’ll enjoy the memories of my daughter and think of her when I look at this piece of art. Perhaps she’s waiting for me in a realm somewhat like this. You never know. Many times truth is stranger than fiction!

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

Mom's Choice Awards

I recently won a gold medal for Poetry and Ponderings from Mom's Choice Awards and a silver medal for Finding Hope In The Darkness Of Grief. I am deeply honored to be part of the Mom's Choice Awards family which is recognized in fifty five countries for excellence in products. Both of my books join my book Breaking The Silence in the Mom's Choice family, which also won a gold medal.Please find links below to all three award winning books:

Finding Hope In The Darkness Of Grief:  https://www.amazon.com/Finding-Hope-Darkness-Grief-Spiritual/dp/1982205687/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1533615942&sr=8-1&keywords=finding+hope+in+the+darkness+of+grief

Poetry and Ponderings:  https://www.amazon.com/Poetry-Ponderings-Journey-Healing-Through/dp/0998167398/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1533617824&sr=8-1&keywords=poetry+and+ponderings+diamante+lavendar

Breaking The Silence:  https://www.amazon.com/Breaking-Silence-Diamante-Lavendar/dp/1502381257/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1533617913&sr=8-1&keywords=breaking+the+silence+diamante+lavendar

Introducing Artist Monika Vijay!

I met Monika on Fuzia.  She is an artist from India-a very talented artist!  I offered to feature her on my blog and social media sites.  Here are a few pieces of her work:

U & Me

Autumn Beauty

Lord Buddha

A Note From Monika:

Hello, This is Monika Vijay. I am from Bihar. I was never into painting and writing until I got older. With my parents' pressure and interest, I was taught painting by Diya Mam when I was in 7th study; but after that I didn't do much work with it until prompted by my husband. Now, after marriage and getting free from studies, my hubby encouraged me to be a painter. He bought colors, brushes, charts and everything required for painting. Now I'm used to it and I love painting whenever I get free time. I have also started taking drawing classes. Next, I'm going to sell my paintings for home decor or for hotel & restaurant interiors. People can contact me as per their painting requirement. I would like to thank my hubby for encouraging me and for helping me to become a fine painter now.

How To Contact Monika:

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100011561172639

Where To View Monika's Work:

https://www.facebook.com/mvartgallery.in/?pnref=story

Meet Artist Sherry Shipley!

Sherry is a member of my group Emotive Art on Fine Art America. She recently was tied for first place in a contest with her piece entitled Getting To Know You.  Sherry's art flows beautifully and is full of color.  Here is her winning piece: getting-to-know-you-sherry-shipley

Statement from Sherry:

Art has been a part of me all my life. I could never stop drawing as a child and in high school picked up my first paint brush. That was 1965. I have been painting ever sense.

Over the years I have explored many mediums and expanded my art skills when I attended the Art Institute of Seattle.

I depict animals in my art to create a feeling of wonderment with our connection with these creatures and a bond that only a true animal lover can feel. Animals have been depicted in art and stories since the beginning of time and our bond with them lives in legends and lore.

My art creates and reveals that bond in bold and colorful images either through letting the paint flow and working the images into it or use of lines that weaves the design around the subject to create it’s own story.

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A short bio:

Growing up in the shadow of the Cascades, the beauty of the Pacific Northwest inspired my love of nature and wildlife. Trips to the mountains have supplied a stunning and endless backdrop for my wildlife subjects which I have been painting for over 40 years.

My work has been seen in galleries from Seattle to New York. My wildlife art designs have sold on shirts and tote bags in Alaska, and many of the lower 48 states.

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If you enjoy this piece, you'll love looking through her portfolio!  It's stunning!  Here's the link:

http://fineartamerica.com/featured/getting-to-know-you-sherry-shipley.html

Thanks for visiting!  I hope you'll be back soon!