Some of you know me as a writer of nonfiction. As I have been talking so much about the book I have just finished about 3D Technology in Fine Art.  But,  I also write fiction and especially enjoy middle grade (MG) and young adult (YA) fiction.  I read it almost every night. Sometimes, as was the case today, I am desperate for a book to read. I have been sick in bed and could not get to the library, which I often do in a frenzy as some people might go to the grocery store because they just have to have chocolate ice cream.  I’m addicted to reading.

I have a new granddaughter and so, old books are coming down from the attic. In some of these boxes I found this treasure.  It is my favorite children’s book. I sat this evening and read it right through and discovered I still love it just as much. I wondered about why I loved it so much.  Opening the stained inside cover was an inscription it reads,

Christina,

This was my favorite book when I was your age. I hope some day you will share it with your little girl.

Remember… be adventurous and learn to find treasures in the simplest things.

Love Momma

Christmas 1991.  (Christina was 6.)

I read the book and thought about why it resonates with me so.  I have a saying, “It is not what you have, but what you do with what you have that matters.”  Some peole might wonder, “doesn’t that thought pattern keep you stuck where you are?”  But look at these children. They had a sense of adventure and every thing they found and discovered was precious to them. They had such joy in their hearts because with everything that happened to them they were so thankful. And that thankfulness just bubbled out of them. They were creative in their approach, and most importantly they had each other to take care of.

People used to describe me as someone who was like these children. I think over the last few years I have not expressed openly my absolute joy over certain things.  I think that when you stop saying it openly, if it can’t bubble up, it kind of just fizzes.  I am making the decision to go back to that old me. To absolutely become enthused with all of the little things, and I’m looking forward to doing it.  You should have seen how excited I used to get about compost. No really I was giddy over the stuff.

So thanks to this little book for putting it into words.  Thank you for enlivening something that was in me all along.  I  had just recently made this internal acclimation. It was good to have it confirmed in this little novel. In a few more years my daughter can share it with her daughter and I hope I can read it to her many times.

Sometimes you just have to hold up your pink cracked cup, filled with milk from the refrigerator in the stream behind the water fall , take a cold drink followed by  a handful of berries and smile!


Bridgette Mongeon is a sculptor, writer, illustrator and educator as well as a public speaker.

Her blog can be found at https://creativesculpture.com.

Follow the artists on twitter twitter.com/Sculptorwriter

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The Digital Stone Exhibition

I have been working diligently on a book titled 3D Technology in Fine Art and Craft: Exploration of 3D Printing, Scanning, Sculpting and Milling. I am happy to say that I have created something unique; there is no other book like this one. The book is going to my publisher Focal Press (a division of Taylor and Francis) this week. It is due out June of 2015. The beta readers have finished the book- a recent response from a beta reader

“This should be given out as a textbook for anyone going to art school in the next decade.”

In the year that it has taken me to write this book, I have to say that I have developed a bounteous respect for two things.


1. The first are the many individuals who I call “pioneers: in this industry who have been using these technologies long before they became fun or fashionable. I mention them in a previous post.
2. The other is for a company and a person of which I would like to focus on. Carl Bass and the software company Autodesk.


sculpting mascots for colleges.
Sculptor Bridgette Mongeon shares information about incorporating 3D technology in her traditional sculpture studio. Grambling Tiger

For those of you who don’t know, Autodesk is one of the leading manufacturers of software.  They are also the manufacturer of the software called Mudbox that was the feature of the book  that I wrote with Mike de la Flor Digital Sculpting with Mudbox: Essential Tools and Techniques for Artists. When I finished my research and writing of  3D Technology in Fine Art and Craft, I realize an alternate title might be, All of The Cool Things Autodesk is Doing to Encourage Creativity and Imagination in Fine Art and Craft.

Autodesk manufacturers software for engineers, architects, those who work with computer graphic, animation, etc. What on earth does Autodesk have to do with with fine art and craft, you might ask,  and why are they doing this? Let’s face it, the combination of fine art and technology is not a large market for a big company like Autodesk.

WHY?
Let me first answer the why, or give you my summary of the why. I believe the reason for this, is that the person that is at the forefront of the company, Carl Bass, has a heart for art.   Carl Bass is an artist. Besides being the CEO, he is a woodworker. He is a man that knows what it feels like to run your hands over a creation, to have the aroma of  cutting wood spark  your creative soul.  He too has sat back after creating something and enjoyed the work of his hands and he likes technology. Why wouldn’t he want to see these two united?

My journey of writing this book has given me a profound respect for Carl Bass and Autodesk.

WHAT DOES AUTODESK HAVE TO DO WITH FINE ART?
Autodesk’s support and interest in sparking and exploring creativity are found in just about every chapter in my book,  I am surprised at how often I have come across their involvement.  The company has touched the lives of so many creative individuals. These are some that I feature in the book.

Digital Stone Exhibition.

In 2008 Autodesk put together the Digital Stone Exhibition. Five artists Bruce Beasley, Jon Isherwood, Kenneth Snelson and Robert Michael Smith created digital designs that were then fabricated in stone using the traditional stone carving processes.  A mix of traditional and digital art is the continuous focus of my book, along with realizing artwork in a physical form.  It would make sense that the Digital Stone Exhibition and the artist would be a part of the book.

Erwin Hauer
I am so very honored to be featuring some of the most incredible talents, the cream of the crop—artists from all over the world. Erwin Hauer is one of those. I saw Erwin’s work in the 2008 SIGGRAPH convention on computer graphics.  Erwin created panels of art in the 50’s. He is now working with Enrique Rosado, to recreate these images using digital technology. How did I learn of this? I learned about the collaboration through  a video that Autodesk put together and featured at SIGGRAPH in 2008.

123D Tools
If you are a traditional artist thinking about using digital tools, the learning curve can feel daunting. I work through many chapters to help fine artists and craftsman  learn and understand the processes and the possibilities. The book is filled with free software and places to explore.  One of those is the 123D suite of tools that Autodesk offers. Autodesk and I have the same drive. We want to encourage, inspire and educate others to see how they can push the limits.

Importance of Cultural Heritage
I talk about the importance of cultural heritage and how it relates to 3D scanning  in the 3D scanning chapter. It is pretty incredible what can be done.  I’m featuing the Smithsonian’s X 3D  program in the book.  Now students can see 3D scans of artifacts and even print them out.   I should not be surprised that Autodesk is a sponsor of the Smithsonian’s X3D.

Spark Platform
Of course, the book has a large section on the processes of 3D printing and the art behind it. I’m thrilled to see that Autodesk is once more involved as they announce their Spark Platform. Again Bass and I are on the same page as he states in a Bloomberg TV interview,

CEO Carl Bass states that when it comes to 3D printing he was like many, “Fascinated by the promise but frustrated by the reality.” There are a lot of steps involved in 3D printing, and Carl Bass believes that it needs to be simpler. The interesting concept is that this large company will be creating an open source SLA 3D printer. Bass understand the concept of how the input of others can play a role in the evolution of the product.  As the product evolves, so will the creative thinking.

Encouragement of  Exploration by Artists

“Autodesk is particularly interested in collaborating with artists because they are focused on realizing their creative visions, as opposed to a more traditional engineering approach, which is to solve problems within a given context with the tools available.”

Maurice Conti, Director Strategic Innovation Autodesk

We should be encouraging artists to explore, and push the boundaries of the technology. Again, Autodesk and I agree. My book, 3D Technology in Fine Art and Craft, is written to educate artists in these processes. Over 100 artists from around the world share their processes, software, and vendors.

It has always been my belief that artists look at things differently. When Joris Laarman Lab developed the MX3D-metal 3D printer.  The MX3d is part robot, and part welding machine. How delighted I was to find this quote  above about Autodesk’s belief in the importance of the art community.  Should I be surprised to find out that this artist is sponsored, in part by Autodesk?

Because he’s an artist, he’s pushing the envelope further than an industry would,” says Autodesk director Maurice Conti, who first grew interested in Laarman’s work a few year’s back when the designer was using a large scale resin printer. “An artist just has a creative vision and they kind of ignore what the tools are supposed to be able to do and they realize their creative vision.”

From Margaret Rhodes article Fasctcodesign.com

The Work of Carl Bass
How delighted I was when one of the featured companies in my book ExOne, sent me the work of Carl Bass.  If I can receive his release form in the next few days, you will be able to see the work of the man behind the company that supports the arts.

This blog post is only a small example of the influence on the arts by Autodesk, and its CEO Carl Bass   There are probably many more influences of which I am not even aware.

How can I ever thank Autodesk and Carl Bass for what they have done?  The only way I know how to do that, is to continue the mission of Autodesk. To educate and encourage artists to push the boundaries. I am doing that by writing this book and  speaking about the wonderful endeavors of the artists and the technology.


Bridgette Mongeon is a sculptor, writer, illustrator and educator as well as a public speaker.

Her blog can be found at https://creativesculpture.com.

She is the vice chair of the planning committee for 3DCAMP Houston 2012 and 2013 http://www.3dcamphouston.com

Follow the artists on twitter twitter.com/Sculptorwriter

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Anyone who knows me know that I love to read.  There are piles of books in all areas of my house, and I have a regular rendezvous with the local library.  I also have the Overdrive application on my phone.  Overdrive allows me to find and listen to audio books through my iPhone. It is linked to my library account so I can listen to them for free.  Most of you are jamming out to tunes while you drive. If you see me driving, I’m probably somewhere far away, in a story from another time and place.

I am a sculptor and work many  hours with my hands. The interns who work in my sculpting studio are often subjected to my addiction of listening to audio books. I asked one intern, upon his arrival, if he liked or listened to audio books. I could tell by his answer that he was a little distraught that I might make him listen to someone read.  I wondered if he felt like he was in school rather than work. Because I sign his paycheck, he was subjected to the cruelty of listening to the written word.  After one afternoon he was hooked. He asked, “I want to know what will happen. Are you going to listen to this when I’m not working?”

I document, or try to document, my reading list through another app on my phone called Goodreads.  I  love Goodreads, it is  a social network of readers.  I have, at times, received some great suggestions from my Goodreads friends. I do  wish I had a little more interactivity with  the app. For example, if someone suggests a book on Goodreads and I like it, I would love the opportunity to click a button and be taken to the Houston Public Library or Overdrive to search for the book and order it. I also wish it had a private journal area, kind of like a common place book where I could jot down my thoughts or phrases that I liked from the books that I read. It does however let me keep a list of the books I have read, see suggestions by others and let me keep a list of things I want to read.

What I read

What I read  depends on what is available when I log into Overdrive or am taking my walk through the library.  At the library you will usually find me  in the young adult section. I read young adult or YA as writers call it, because I like to write for this genre.  I have nothing published, but I do have one complete. This is my first choice, along with middle grade MG.  I have about 3 books inside of me , yet to be written for MG.

When walking through the library I’ll look for those books with stickers on the cover or spine indicating they are an ward winning books.  I exhaust those quickly and will move on to what catches my eye.  I will also go through periods of time where I’ll order books from the library.  If I’m ordering a book, I’m probably ordering 2 or 3.  I’ll also listen to books from CD’s. In the case of audio books on CD I will order what I can from the library . This is usually the case when it comes to award winning audio books.  You can find several lists on the internet like the audies. There is nothing like listening to  great reader or actors in an audio book. In that same light there is nothing like a really poor reader of an audio book to make you hate the medium.  That is why I only revert to LibriVox when I am in desperate need of a fix for audio books.  LibriVox is great in theory.  Books that are in the public domain are recorded by individuals and put up for free on librovox. The problem is that often one book has multiple readers and if one of these readers drones, or has a strange pitch or rise and fall to their cadence of words, it is murder to my ears.

I read/listen to a lot of novels, and my second favorite is a biography.  It is strange because as a young adult and child I was absolutely  enthralled  with nonfiction and especially “how to” books.  Guess as I age, I no longer have the need to know how to,  but instead I want to dream.

I must also add that now that I am a grandmother I am reading more books to my grandchild. But children’s books are not foreign to me. I have been studying the writing of children’s books for years. I have about 10 written children’s books, no, once again they are not published. I do believe they are some of the best writings I have ever done.  I have not published my children’s books for the simple reason that as an artist I feel like I should illustrate my own books and that becomes overwhelming to me.  So, they sit unpublished. I digress from my subject.

So what have I read/listened to this year?  Documenting my reading list could be a bit of a chore, however, my Goodreads application has a scanner and before bringing my books back to the library I just scan the ISBN number and my book enters my scanned list on good reads.  Here is my list. 70 books in 12 months, though I do believe I haver forgotten a few.

titleauthor
WishMonninger, Joseph *
Love, StargirlSpinelli, Jerry
Barbie and Ruth: The Story of the World’s Most Famous Doll and the Woman Who Created HerGerber, Robin
Caddie WoodlawnBrink, Carol Ryrie
The Poisonwood BibleKingsolver, Barbara
The Running DreamDraanen, Wendelin Van
How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully FamousBragg, Georgia
Uncle Tom’s CabinStowe, Harriet Beecher
Dicey’s Song (Tillerman Cycle, #2)Voigt, Cynthia
Memoirs of an Imaginary FriendDicks, Matthew*
Fair WeatherPeck, Richard
The Teacher’s Funeral : A Comedy in Three PartsPeck, Richard
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar ChildrenRiggs, Ransom
PeakSmith, Roland
Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of LifeMass, Wendy
Esperanza RisingRyan, Pam Muñoz
The Daughter’s WalkKirkpatrick, Jane *
Home, and Other Big, Fat LiesWolfson, Jill *
Surviving the ApplewhitesTolan, Stephanie S.
Slither (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles, #11)Delaney, Joseph *
Don’t Believe Everything You Think: Living with Wisdom and CompassionChodron, Thubten
The Old Man and the SeaHemingway, Ernest
How God Changes Your Brain: Breakthrough Findings from a Leading NeuroscientistNewberg, Andrew B.
FeedAnderson, M.T.
The Writing on the Wall (Do The Math, #2)Lichtman, Wendy
Under the Banyan TreePalma, Toni De*
The Loser’s Guide to Life and LoveCannon, A.E.
A Wind in the Door (Time, #2)L’Engle, Madeleine
The Tiger’s WifeObreht, Téa *
If You Ask MeWhite, Betty
AfterEfaw, Amy *
TrappedPierce, Jessica
The Second Spy (The Books of Elsewhere, #3)West, Jacqueline *
Out of the DustHesse, Karen
Messenger (The Giver, #3)Lowry, Lois
Many Waters (The Time Quintet, #4)L’Engle, Madeleine
Caleb’s CrossingBrooks, Geraldine
Here Lies the LibrarianPeck, Richard
Hattie Big Sky (Hattie, #1)Larson, Kirby *
Side EffectsKoss, Amy Goldman *
Spellbound (The Books of Elsewhere, #2)West, Jacqueline *
Seven Strange and Ghostly TalesJacques, Brian
Let’s Face It: 90 Years of Living, Loving, and LearningDouglas, Kirk
The Linden TreeMathews, Ellie
The Middle PlaceCorrigan, Kelly*
Something Like HopeGoodman, Shawn *
Little Blog on the PrairieBell, Cathleen Davitt
WonderstruckSelznick, Brian
Sleepaway Girls (Whispering Pines, #1)Calonita, Jen *
Woods RunnerPaulsen, Gary
And Both Were YoungL’Engle, Madeleine
Paintings from the Cave: Three NovellasPaulsen, Gary
Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to FiveMedina, John *
Shelter MeFay, Juliette *
Zero to Hero (Ghost Buddy, #1)Winkler, Henry
Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and BackBurpo, Todd
I Am in Here: The Journey of a Child with Autism Who Cannot Speak but Finds Her VoiceBonker, Elizabeth M.
Blood Red Road (Dust Lands, #1)Young, Moira
Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought DifferentBlumenthal, Karen
Aliens on VacationSmith, Clete Barrett *
13: Thirteen Stories That Capture the Agony and Ecstasy of Being ThirteenHowe, James
Lucky Breaks (The Hard Pan Trilogy, #2)Patron, Susan
The Magic HalfBarrows, Annie
Joey Pigza Loses ControlGantos, Jack
The BFGDahl, Roald
FlushHiaasen, Carl
Fairest of All (Whatever After, #1)Mlynowski, Sarah *
Laugh with the MoonBurg, Shana
Glory BeScattergood, Augusta *
“There. I told you it would not work.”

“You hoo. Are you up?”

Me: “What?  Is it morning already?” ( I open my eyes momentarily, and then shut them again.)

“Hey, hello, pay attention!”

Me: (I reach over to check my cell phone.) “What the …? It is 4:30 in the morning.”

“I know you can see me. Come on, wake up.”

Me: “Who is shining a spotlight into my window, and what on earth do you want at 4:30 in the morning?”

“I’m not a spotlight. I’m a desert full moon.  If you thought the New Mexico sunsets were great, you should see me.”

Me: ”I’m sleeping, can you please be quiet and get your boney rays out of my eyes.” (I balance a pillow on the bed in front of me.)

“Come on, I know you want to open the shades and look.  I’m not like one of those Houston, city moons. I’m a full, winter, desert moon. “

Me: (Getting even more irritated, but now fully awake. ) “ Hey don’t diss our Houston moons. They are pretty great, and I have seen one or two at the end of my street that were so large they looked they could roll down the street and and bowl down all of the houses.”

“Yes, I know, but this is a desert moon, aren’t you the least bit curious? Don’t you want to open the blind and let my magical powers flow over you while you are in bed. “

Me: “There are no magical or mystical powers in the moon. I really would rather sleep.”

“No magical powers— I make tides. That is pretty darn incredible you know. Lets see you do that. Besides if you wanted to dance naked under the New Mexico sunset.”

Me: “Hey, how did you know, and besides, I never said I wanted  to dance naked. I wrote.

(The sun sets, a crescendo of color and texture, clouds mixing with hills, fire in the sky. It makes me wish I had a drum or a fire, and I could dance and praise the gods for such delight. )

“You should see me. I know you want to look.  I’m quite stupendous. There are many things that are special about a full moon, in the desert, in New Mexico. Google it.”

Me: ”I don’t want to Google it. I don’t want to dance. I don’t want to open my shade. Please go away. Hey, quit moving around, peaking in and hitting my eyes with your brightness. I really want to sleep.”

“No, I don’t believe you do want to sleep. You have an adventurous soul.  I think you really want to take a moonlit walk in the desert.”

Me: “I barely walk in the desert at daytime. Nighttime? I’ll probably walk into a cactus. Wait, what am I talking about? I don’t want to walk around at night.”

“It is not really night any more. It is early morning. And then you will not miss your buddy —the sun, he comes up just over there you know.”

Me: “Yes, I do want to watch a few sunrises, wait. I’M NOT TAKING A NIGHTTIME WALK.” (I jump out of bed and open the blinds) “There, I’m letting you in. Are you happy now. Please leave me alone. “ (I look  up expecting to see the man in the moon with a menacing smirk, but instead I shriek) “Oh, my God ,I think you have burned my retina. What is wrong with you? (I cover my eyes, concerned with the damage I have just caused.)  “That is a horrible trick. Are you sure you are the moon?”

“Yep, Beaver moon.  Google it.  I know your curious to see if I’m telling you the truth.“

Me: “You are not  big, but you are terribly bright. I expected more. I can’t even look at you. And… I’m not Googling anything. I’m paying attention. Isn’t that enough? Can’t I just rest here and let you do your thing? “

“Beaver moon because I remind people to set their traps.”

Me: “I’m a sculptor and a writer.  I live in Houston. I don’t hunt, and I think it is cruel to trap animals.”

“Yes, but you were going to hike in the dark, lots of things are done during a full moon. It is an entirely different adventure. Come on, get up and walk with me.”

Me: “ You are relentless.” (I open my eyes.) “Good you have gone away.”

“Nope, I’m just behind this pine. I’m still here, waiting.

Think of it… a moon walk, sunrise, hot tea, there might even be wildlife.“

Me: “Right I’ll get eaten by something for sure.”

“Now you are being silly.”

Me: “Give me a break, I’m tired.  It does sound tempting, Can’t I just close my eyes for a few minutes?”

“Sure, but first take a picture of me like you do the sunset.”

Me: “It will never work, besides you are behind the pine. “

“Yea, but I can see your feet, so just sit  up.”

Me: “There. I told you it would not work. Please just a few minutes to rest my eyes. “

“It’s a marvelous night for a moon dance. With the stars up above in your eyes…”

Me: “Are you really singing? You are not just annoyingly bright, but you are singing?”

( I pull the cover over my head.)

“Yep and I’m shimmying as I sing, but you can’t see me because I’m behind the pine. Come on out and take a look.“

Me: (Silence)

“Come a little bit closer

Hear what I have to say

Just like children sleepin’

We could dream this night away.

But there’s a full moon risin’

Let’s go dancin’ in the light

We know where the music’s playin’

Let’s go out and feel the night.”

(Pause)

“… Hey, you still awake?”

Me: (snoring loudly)

(A banter with the moon, early morning hours. By bridgette Mongeon )

I wrote this post a while back and it was brought to my attention again as I saw a post by the Association of Medical Illustrators. I can’t say I have new information to post on this subject. If others find links and want to send them I would be happy to add them to this posts update.  I am so busy I can’t research it. But for any artist, writer etc who makes money from their work this is a HUGE deal! Please pay attention. Here is the old article from my blog.
_____________________________
I know that the digital world is changing how we read and how we distribute books. I have a few problems with this. The first one is… my general mistrust of Google. Why should this lovable company who changes their artwork every day to make my searching enjoyable, be mistrusted?

I think they are getting too big for their britches.

Some individuals just feel your rights
belong to them. Artists and writers beware.

Left and right artists are making waves about what Google is trying to do. According to my research they are infringing on the rights of artists and photographers as indicated in this recent article By Larry Neumeister

“Artists Sue Google Over Copyright Infringement.” They are also the backers behind the Orphans Work Act. If you do not know about this and are an artist, you absolutely must learn. I mean it. Stop what you are doing and research this. What happens with this will change your income for the rest of your life. I have written about it before in an article for Best of Artists and Artisans, and there are links in the article for further information. If we are not careful, Google will become the God and keeper of all.

In a nutshell, Google wants to take the books that are out of print and make them available. Sounds real sweet, but watch out for that wolves teeth. As my southern friend says, “Katy bar the door.”

First of all, if I write a book, and it is out of print, what gives them the rights to reproduce that book without permission? They are also proposing that this be done with artwork, have a depository of artwork that people can come and browse and use. If artists do not claim their artwork and step up and say, “No, you can not use it, or this belongs to me,” then well tough poop for you. This puts the burden of copyright ownership on the artists. As it stands right now, artwork is copyrighted the moment it is created.  I don’t have to search for my artwork all over the place. I don’t have to go to a Goggle provided website and pay to have my work protected and say it is mine. It is mine. PERIOD! For more information on this please read the article that I wrote for Best of Artists and Artisans 2008.

I may be lulled to enter blindly into the idea of digital books lovingly created and made affordable and accessible through Google, but I have a genuine mistrust of them. And what is sad is that I feel like they are my own child. I nurtured them. I still do. They are a part of my everyday life. Yet, they have too much control.

I am never one to spread discontent. However, in this case, I will stand on my soap box, behind my artists table and computer. I’ll give a very suspicious glance at Google as the writer/artist in me speaks, no shouts loudly. “ARTISTS AND WRITERS BEWARE! There is a wolf in sheep’s clothing!”

So what are your thoughts?

______________________________________________________________________________

Bridgette Mongeon-Sculptor, Writer and Speaker

Bridgette Mongeon is a sculptor, writer and educator as well as a public speaker. Her blog can be found at https://creativesculpture.com. She is also the owner and creator of the God’s Word Collectible Sculpture series Follow the artists on twitter twitter.com/Sculptorwriter twitter.com/creategodsword Facebook http://www.facebook.com/bridgette.mongeon Listen to The Creative Christian Podcast or the Inspiration/Generation Podcast Click on Podcast Host Bios for a listing of all podcasts Listen to the Art and Technology Podcast

Our beloved dog has raised a family and moves on.

Our animals grow with us, experience joy with us and even mourn with us.  Today we celebrate the life of Emmy a mutt that we found at the SPCA back in 1998.  She was a gift to our family upon our return from our wedding that year.

My daughter was 13 back then. She cried when she saw her and begged us, “I want this one,”  even though Emmy was so nervous and peed on the floor during our visit.  My son was a couple of years younger. Emmy would get so excited when I would tell her that her “boy” was coming for a visit.   Both of my children are now grown, living in their own homes and having children of their own.

It is interesting to look back on your life and see the bookmark of a family pet in so many important events.

Emmy journeyed with us as we tried to figure out how to raise teenagers. She watched our children leave, and return for visits. She never judged, she just simply loved.  It was Emmy who would walk with me and stayed right by my side when I was pregnant 12 years ago.  It was also Emmy’s behavior that warned me that something was wrong with the twins in utero.  Maybe they are playing with her now in heaven. Her connection to all of us was very deep

Emmy has bonded with human loved ones who have since passed on.  Others that watch over her are my mom, my dad, my father-in-law, Chas, our retriever and Kittiana our family cat.

Our lives are still changing. Emmy seemed to embrace and tolerate the hugs of a toddler a new granddaughter, even though Emmy suffered greatly from pain of arthritis and rarely liked to be touched.  She seemed to know the importance of this new family member. Emmy understood her role  in nurture the pretend babies as the grandchild laid them on Emmy’s bed.

The house feels empty, my journey to and from the studio a little less exciting.  But my heart is thankful for the companionship and for the nurturing love of a spirit covered in fur.

Rest in peace, my friend, and thank you. You will be missed.

“Change your thoughts and you change your world.”

Norman Vincent Peale

One would think that it would be about my art, or writing. I guess in a way it does have connections to that.  I received this compliment by a member of the Houston Arts Association while lecturing on marketing in the arts.  Next Monday is the workshop on the same topic. They have spaces open if anyone is interested.  Just let me know you are coming.

“If you want a quality, act as if you already have it. If you want to be courageous, act as if you were – and as you act and persevere in acting, so you tend to become.”

Norman Vincent Peale

Anyway, the comment was as I talked about Norman Vincent Peale someone said, “You remind me of him.”

I do have many of my own goals in life, however, my deepest hearts desire is to help others get past their own stuff and realize their own goals.

To the member who likened me to Norman Vincent Peale, I am so very flattered.  I can only pray that I achieve what he has in the ministry to others.

I’m looking forward to working with all of those who have signed up for the workshop. See you next Monday.

 

“Our happiness depends on the habit of mind we cultivate. So practice happy thinking every day. Cultivate the merry heart, develop the happiness habit, and life will become a continual feast.” ~”

Norman Vincent Peale

Texas artist creates portraits
It does not matter what the size: portrait bust, figurine, or life-size they all capturing forever the childhood and memory of being a mom.

I have had several father’s contact me over the years. There is nothing that they can give that is more personal than their own child. Some of these are simple small sculpted figurines, others are life-size sculpture of their child.

state of boy. cowboy boots bronze tribute
A mother captures a time and a memory of their child- a son’s first boots. Notice the boots are on the opposite feet.

Whatever the size, when someone gives a commission sculpture they are not only giving a gift, they are giving a family heirloom. They are capturing forever a time and a memory.  Many ask, “Can you sculpt my daughter for my wife”, but many times the child may be grown, and I use photographs from when they were little and capture them in a moment and time.

A mother captures a special scene from a photograph in a family heirloom of bronze.

Don’t worry if you feel this type of project can’t be completed before Mother’s day. I often create an introduction for the mother, allowing them to become a part of the creative process.  Together we bring to life, what she and her husband have created.

If you would like more information please do not hesitate in contacting  sculpture Bridgette Mongeon. More images and ideas can be seen on my website https://creativesculpture.com

If you know other’s who are looking for posts about unusual and interesting mother’s day gifts, They are welcome to reproduce this blog post and use the photographs downloaded to their own server.

bronze sculpture of two children in a swing
In this family heirloom the dog another family member, who was at the end of his life, was added. In “Grandpa’s Swing” the little boy is eating a cookie, eyed of course by the dog. The little girl is reading the book, “If You Give A Mouse A Cooke”. The swing really swings.
statues of bronze memories
In this sculpture the parents captured a memory of their grown children as a fountain, in a perpetual tea party.

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Bridgette Mongeon is a sculptor, writer, illustrator and educator as well as a public speaker.

Her blog can be found at https://creativesculpture.com.

She is also the owner and creator of the God’s Word Collectible Sculpture series

Follow the artists on twitter twitter.com/Sculptorwriter twitter.com/creategodsword

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/bridgette.mongeon

Listen to The Creative Christian Podcast or the Inspiration/Generation PodcastClick on Podcast Host Bios for a list of all podcasts.

Listen to the Art and Technology Podcast

I have been a nontraditional student for quite some time now. I went to Vermont College to finish an undergraduate degree when my own child was going to college.  I loved their form of progressive education. Then I went to Goddard College for my a Masters of Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Arts degree. I’m graduating on Sunday!

This was not something I had to do, but something I wanted to do. It was a very fullfilling and wonderful journey.

Both of these schools are very different then your traditional education. Designing your own study was fascinating and a perfect fit for me.  I am thrilled to graduate with my Masters of Fine Arts with both a focus in sculpture, especially as it pertains to digital technology in the studio, and writing.

On superbowl Sunday I will be making a huge touchdown, but it won’t be in sports.

For those interested, I was interviewed on our podcast by my daughter concerning this entire process. Here is a link for the podcast. Just click and the podcast will come up in your browser.

For those of you considering such a challenge, I have documented my entire process from undergraduate school to graduate school on my Perpetual Learner blog. Read my process, struggles, concerns and achievements.  It seems strange to think, that way back when i was applying I was first figuring out how to find out what shots I had in high school.

The upside down Christmas tree

It is becoming a tradition. The invitation says we have been doing this since 1993, not every year, but it is definitely becoming a regular happening of late.  I suppose we are committed to doing it each year as people ask, “When is the Upside Down Party?” They want to be sure to put  it on their calendar. It is true it is getting bigger and better each time. This year was no exception.

Ornaments appear on our tree given to us by our guests. The theme is anything on your person, in your car or found. I find a baby shoe with a message inside.

First… Why do we call it the Upside Down Party? It is named that because we hang the tree from the ceiling, and we have been doing this long before it became fashionable to do so.  Yes, it is a real tree.  Regular attendees  know— our guests decorate the tree with anything …. on their person, in their car or found.  So walking around the tree to see what has been put on it or on the garland that we have strung on the wall to accommodate the extra ornaments is very intriguing.

My favorite ornaments this year were a baby shoe with a message, a beer bottle, a receipt from the Renaissance Festival, and the destuffed dog toy that was in the yard.

Along with the tree there are other interesting and fun things to see, starting with the magical land of the Upside Down Christmas tree, which many say is transformed, contains fairies, and is like nothing they have seen  before.  Twinkle lights are lit ,the fire pit is going, and people are eating, and mingling all over the studio, yard and around the ponds and fire.

The Skidmore family won the prize for tackiest sweater or costume.

There was a contest for the most creative Christmas outfit (or ugly Christmas sweater) This coveted title was won by not one person but an entire family who had their own twinkle lights that blinked as they came through the party.

Another hit from the party came from Diliberto Photo & Design (www.dilibertophotoanddesign.com) who not only was showing their work, but provided a live photo booth for the event.  What is a live photo booth? Think red carpet, lights and props.   One guest said they felt like a star.  To see all of the photographs from the live photo booth visit their Facebook Page . And take note that they are having a contest and choosing a New Year’s Eve party to shoot, it is free. Check out the details here.

Photographer Christian Sizemore from Diliberto Photo Design and Host Bridgette Mongeon get together for laughs in the live photo booth

There were many artists showing their work or hosting this years party, of course I was there
Bridgette Mongeon (www.creativesculpture.com)
My lovely husband didn’t show work this time, but he did host the party and deserves a mention here Mike De La Flor (www.mdcommunications.com)

Lloyd Ernstes was showing jewelry. Sorry we don’t have a website for Lloyd.
Bruce Foster (www.paperprops.com) had his pop up books that as Christina Sizemore described, are “pop up books on steroids.” His work is incredible and his newest book “Puff the Magic Dragon” has just been featured in the New York Times
Kit Allen (www.kitskids.com) was exhibiting some of his painting.

My favorite part of the night is the time when I can sit down and enjoy the fire, but that didn’t happen until very late.

I certainly don’t know how we will top this party next time.  Guess we will have to see how that happens.