Total Art Soul - for artists

" People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it "
George Bernard Shaw

Featured Artist - Susan Alison Art

I've been admiring the delightful and fun illustrations of Susan for some time now. She has a huge amount of new ones on her website all with a festive theme so I thought it was perfect to highlight them here on TAS to get in the Christmas mood.

Susan lives in Bristol, UK with her beloved dogs that give her much inspiration. Monty and Rosie, the border collies are often featured in her drawings.

She has published a book 'White Lies and Custard Creams' which is available here.

Here's the blurb on the book:-

All Liz Houston wants is to keep her head above the financial white waters of her life. Somehow, though, other people, including ex-husband Hugh, repeatedly get in the way.

Hugh just wants a quiet life and to be there for the people he cares about. Caring about Liz does not lead to a quiet life…

Moocher, Liz’s Border Collie, wants to be where all the crumbs are; he wants to keep all his paws, but most of all he wants to keep Liz company as she rides the rapids of her life.

Add in odd-shoe-wearing lodger Simon, Git-next-door, a lost brother, an illicit fortune stashed away decades ago, a trio of part-time thugs, kidnappings, a tree-climbing tortoise and a dog-flap with a story of its own, and it becomes apparent that a few white lies (and custard creams) between friends are the least of Liz’s problems.

Enjoy this little bit of fantasy and return to your childhood with Susan's adorable images!

Happy Christmas from all of us at TAS.

Active members on Total Art Soul get featured. It's totally free to join. :-)

Total Art Soul & Love+Water designs Holiday Giveaway!

L+W designs is an ongoing project connecting artists around the world with charities to created charity-inspired clothing. Launched October 1st by Alexis Fedor and Michael Kavalus, two NYC actors, they envisioned a place where artists are supported and connected, charities thrive, and a greater social awareness is inspired and boldly created.

By designing Wearable Philanthropy- clothing created for and inspired by organizations doing good in the world- they have built a platform for people to learn more about charity and to take action. It's not about selling shirts, but rather the conversation that is sparked by a bold, charity-inspired design.

Here are 2 of their T-shirt designs. Wish you had one? If so, leave a comment about what you're most grateful for this holiday season for your chance to win one! Deadline on 20th December 2010.

Check out the Love+Water website here.

"This is a wonderful organization so I hope all our members of TAS will take part. You're all such a creative lot so I know you'll come up with some wonderful comments."

To leave your comment you need to be signed in or register. It's totally free. Smile


Primitive Technology - Or, How Primitves Use Technology

Article courtesy of our member gringrimaceandsqueak who's work can be found for sale here.

I consider myself a  traditional artist. I draw things in charcoal on paper, nothing complicated
about that, right?

After all, burnt wood and squashed vegetable fibers have been around since, well, trees.  It
wasn't until we achieved a new personal best by destroying our new computer, our old computer,
the washing machine and my camera within a month of each other that I started to question myself.

I'd just nicely got the hang of the macro button on my camera after five years of ownership and
being a lover of detail anyway, found myself smaller and smaller subjects to work on. I know many
artists still consider it cheating to work from photographs but unless they know something about
training hermit crabs to sit still for a week that I don't, to me it was about using the tools available.

Working in such close up gave me a unique opportunity to study new textures and refine my techniques.

Until, that is, the dratted thing abruptly stopped working. Having established that bashing it on a
variety of surfaces wasn't going to fix it, nor Mr Grins' kindly emptying the sand out of it, I decided
to be philosophical instead. After all, I never used to have a camera like that and besides, we already
had an extensive library of images to keep me amused until we could replace it.

Oh, wait – we do have an online shop though... and three new masks on the shelf waiting to be
photographed. Ah. Cue a very kind friend who lent us a splendidly elderly digital camera which they
assured me was so outdated, it really didn't matter if I killed that as well. Thus assured, I made off
with it and was pleasantly surprised to find it took perfectly acceptable pictures for viewing online,
with a bit of editing. Hmmmn, another sticky point given one computer was now a pile of spare parts in
the corner and the other randomly turning itself off, amongst other things....

I eventually got said pictures posted and was feeling particularly smug when I realised this camera was never
going to capture the three immensely detailed drawings I'd done for a new client, which were to be printed
and therefore needed to be turned into digital pictures. I said a few words, then asked our friend from earlier
if he would be so kind as to use his new camera to do the shots for me. Not having done this before, he agreed.

A day of rearranging lighting, shooting then tinkering with the end result to make sure the three worked as a
set – job done. The images went on disk, which was duly posted out to my client.

I then got a lovely e-mail from my client who's computer was broken and couldn't view them.

I am now very firmly of the opinion that the drawing is the easy bit :)




Grin, Grimace and Squeak!


A Cockerel, for a Hemlock - cure all.

We recently opened up the main site blog to our members and to our delight, a brand new member, Iliteratepoet, very kindly contributed with this poetry.  It's interesting because the train of thought behind the poem is explained, something we don't often get to see.

In point of view,
Hemlock spur does allure,
When death be the only cure.
In fractal Worlds I prefer to stay,
Least until the actual day.

Death to my visionary World.
On my soul, will not decay.
In waves of timeless, formless, flows.
Ever floating in vacuous abundance.

Gadfly lives on there,
The Oracle too, does stay,
Where illness never does betray.
Where freedom is a real-world play.

Offerings, that do live on.
Did Apollo’s son,
Receive his feathered one?

Panacea for everyone.
It may well be true,
but in my final view.
"I know that I know nothing!".

Author: Gwylym Owen.

This poem is about Socrates' life. Freedom of the soul and body; also society, life, death and the afterlife, the illusion of the mind, a priori knowledge and the pre-conscious truth, that chaos is the natural order of all things.

Socrates was the father of ethics, and made a big contribution to discovering the roots of Logic, as we understand it today. It's true that Aristotle was the real father of logic, but you couldn't have 'Aristotoles logic' without Platonic theories, which were developed when Plato was a student of Socrates.

Socrates was put to death by the Atlanteans for his radical theories, and for siding with their arch rivals - the Spartans.

Socrates was fed poisoned Hemlock, as the tool of his execution. He could have escaped with the help of his powerful friend Crito, who had arranged it, through bribery and persuasion. He refused to leave Greece, because this was against Atlantean Law, and Socrates' own beliefs. He decided to die with dignity and stand-by his beliefs. When he is about to die, his last words to Crito are, "Crito we owe Asclepius a cock, please don't forgot to pay the debt". Asclepius was the Greek God, that represented, the curing of illness. Socrates' last words meant that death is the cure and freedom, of the soul from the body.

Socrates' famous maxim was, "I know that I know nothing". According to Plato's Apology, Socrates' life as the "gadfly" of Athens began when his friend Chaerephon asked the oracle at Delphi if anyone was wiser than Socrates, the Oracle responded that none was wiser. Socrates believed that what the Oracle had said was a paradox, because he believed he possessed no wisdom whatsoever. He proceeded to test the riddle by approaching men considered wise by the people of Athens statesmen, poets, and artisans in order to refute the Oracle's pronouncement. Questioning them, however, Socrates concluded that, while each man thought he knew a great deal and was wise, in fact they knew very little and were not wise at all. Socrates realized that the Oracle was correct, in that while so-called wise men thought themselves wise and yet were not, he himself knew he was not wise at all which, paradoxically, made him the wiser one since he was the only person aware of his own ignorance.

Asclepius the God of medicine was one of the sons of Apollo - God of poetry, light, truth, and he had many other things attributed to him. Asclepius had daughters, Pancea was one of his daughters, Pancea means, Universal remedy.

Gadfly is a type of fly that makes horses bolt, when they are bitten by them. This was Crito's nickname for Socrates, because of the way the Atlanteans' reacted, whenever Socrates spoke.

Now, if you read the poem again, you should pick up on the references mentioned above, and the message of the poem; hidden behind the metaphor and subtle nuances.

Further analysis of the Poem, will follow; line by line:

In point of view,
Hemlock spur does allure,
When death be the only cure.

This line is a reference to Socrates, having to take poisoned Hemlock. Spur is a metaphor for Gift - a spur, is often given as a gift in various Religious and charitable groups in society. "When death be the only cure" is reference to Socrates, preferring death, and seeing it as a cure to life, an alluring gift.  

In fractal Worlds I prefer to stay,
Least until the actual day.

This is a reference from the poet, that means, he would prefer to live on, even through the chaos and mundanity of living through Logic (Fractal Worlds); and the pain of life. When his time comes, he will be pleased to feel what Socrates had felt, when speaking of Asclepius' cure; to Crito.

Death to my visionary World.
On my soul, will not decay.
In waves of timeless, formless, flows.
Ever floating in vacuous abundance.

This is a reference to Philosophy and the eternal nature of all things, and especially nothing things. The immeasurable, unknown and unquantifiable. The error of infinitesimals in mathematical equations, and of course, the fact that the soul, must live on, after death - Quantum vibrations in wave forms, resonating through time - for want of a better description, returned to the chaos of the place of, everything and nothing, the place we shall call the unknown.

Gadfly lives on there,
The Oracle too, does stay,
Where illness never does betray.
Where freedom is a real-world play.

Gadfly, as mentioned previously in this text, means that Socrates lives on, in some form, in that unknown place. It is also reference to the Oracle of Delphi, now residing in that place too. Now that they are both in the so-called, "unknown" place, they are free from the ills, that Socrates referenced, by asking Crito to pay Asclepius for curing him.

Offerings, that do live on.
Did Apollo’s son,
Receive his feathered one?

"Offerings that do live on", is a reference to Socrates' work, being an offering to us all, just as Socrates' Cock was an offering to Asclepius. Apollo's son was Asclepius. Did Crito actually sacrifice the Cock on Socrates' behalf?

Panacea for everyone.
It may well be true,
but in my final view.
"I know, that I know nothing!".

Pancea was one of the daughters of Asclepius, also, Apollo's Grand-daughter. The meaning of Pancea's name is, Universal remedy. This is a reference to death, being the cure to all things. The final analysis, however, is that it may well be true, that it is a cure for all, but that we should remain ignorant of that fact until our own hour cometh, before experiencing such a Pancea.

"I know that I know nothing", is one of Socrates' most famous Statements and is the Paradoxical situation that the Oracle had posed, to Socrates, about his wisdom. This paradox is still applicable, to the topic, all knowledge of knowing all; which is, in itself, a paradox, that still holds true - for we can never know infinity with mathematical equations, but that we may occasionally glimpse its parts, using intuition/instinct. Socrates knew that the unknowable existed, and the author of the poem is drawing this point to the fore of the collective conscience, by showing that even a master of Socrates' stature, admits that there is nothing knowable outside of knowing, or put differently - there is nothing knowable, outside of our tools of knowledge, such as reason and logic. In the opinion of the author, Infinite chaos exists outside of the constructs of the mind, ergo, ultimate knowledge is, knowing that nothing is knowable/provable.


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