Artist(s) of the Week: The Artists of Tiadaghton House

Yesterday, my boyfriend and I had a lovely outing filled with good food and exquisite, whimsical art.

We began at “Flamingo’s,” originally called “Maxwell’s” located off West Main Street in Belleville. You can see in the pics below why the restaurant ultimately changed its name. I was famished, so we ordered toasted ravioli, garlic cheese bread, and one of their famous thin crust pizzas.

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Next, we continued our historical venture to the ol’ town of Lebanon, a place just as rich in history and known for its liberal arts college, McKendree University, from which I graduated with my degree in Elementary Education.

I wanted to check out this art gallery, because at my current day job with Trinity Services, our art teacher had just retired from her position and said she was going to focus entirely on her art studio. I have never really seen her art, and so I wanted to take a look. The artist’s name is Alicia Scolarci, and while she wasn’t there yesterday, I did get to see her studio and gallery, along with loads of other amazing art.

Tiadaghton House is home to the works of many local artists–65 different artists at present, according to the owner, Holly Lovell; she owns the store with her husband, Jim Lovell. Three of the 65 artists actually each have their own studio inside the gallery: Alicia Scolarci, Nancy Young Spence, and Becky Ripplemeyer (Heirloom Soaps).

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As for myself, I’d like to feature three artists who really made an impression on me.

The first by name is T. J. Schuessler. His art is very bright and colorful, and I immediately liked it because it reminded me of the art of a friend of mine, Kiana McCormick. While I couldn’t afford any of his original water colors at the time, I did pick up a post card featuring the dragon picture; I really love the color, style, and the overall magical yet hardcore feel of his paintings. You can see more of his work on his website: milkymixer.jemcon.org

Next, I’d like to feature the artwork of Alicia Scolarci, because even though she was not there, her art was pretty inspiring. My boyfriend and I walked into a room filled with color, as well as various textures–fabrics, beads, jewels–and we just really loved it. Then, I saw a painting featuring cupcakes and knew we’d found Alicia’s room. What a compliment to her art, that we were stunned by her art before even realizing that was hers. There was also a desk, behind which were bucket loads of beads and jewels and other odds and ends, so it’s really cool to know she actually gets to sit there and do art whenever she likes. You can learn more about Alicia here: scolariciarts.com 

Finally, I would like to feature Nancy Young Spence, a very groovy lady if I may say so. Her art featured a lot of elemental themes, lots of water and trees and nature, which I really love, especially since nature features largely in many of my fantasy works. Even more awesome was the fact that we got to speak to her in person and learn a little about her craft.

You’ll see one of her paintings below done in blue tones with a woman and large raindrops falling; she told us a story of how there is a lake behind her house. One year, the lake was completely dry. This devastated her. She believes there must have been a hole in the lake leading into the caves below. However, over the years, the lake must have patched itself, because now it is holding water again, which makes her very happy. She has used this story and its emotions to create many paintings like the one featured below.

She also draws designs on rocks (I bought one that is an owl on one side, a rabbit on the other side) and does a lot with pottery. She talked about how, in the group of artists she works in, she is considered the “rebel” of the group because instead of using gloss on her pottery, she experiments with things like water colors.

It was really nice to get to meet one of the artists in person, to put a face to the person behind the inspiration for such beautiful, magical designs.

You can learn more about Nancy, Alicia, T.J. and their art, as well as the art of many other brilliant artists, at the Tiadaghton House website: www.TiaHouse.com 

Artist of the Week: Jason Chan

My chosen Artist of the Week is Jason Chan.

Let me just say one thing:

This guy is absolutely amazing.

The first artwork I saw from him, discovered by my boyfriend, was a book cover for So Silver Bright, which I’ll include, along with some of my other Jason Chan favorites, at the end of this post. My boyfriend knew I would instantly fall in love with his art style, and he was right–I did.

There are several aspects I love about Chan’s art style. First off, he has a softly painted look. I adore that look and often search for a similar style when hiring original cover artists for my own books. There is also the style of his characters. Chan takes inspiration from both Eastern and Western styles and combines the two. It’s like Western realism with splashes of Eastern anime-style beauty. The combo is stunningly gorgeous.

There’s not much more to say here except that one of my dreams and aspirations is to have one book cover done by Jason Chan sometime in my life. It will happen–even if I have to wait till I’m fifty to do it.

You can check out loads of brilliant original art on Jason Chan’s blog:

http://www.jasonchanart.com/

In the meanwhile, enjoy these personal favorites:

Majora’s Mask “Perfect” Playlist (Parts 1 and 2)

I would also like to share the “perfect” playlist I compiled for Majora’s Mask. Parts 1 and 2 are both included here.

Thanks for listening! May you be just as inspired as I have by these songs filled with fantasy, adventure, magic, and a lot of heart.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Here are links to the artists who created all of these beautiful arrangements:

Artists I found on Youtube:

Hylian Ensemble

Theophany

Jam2995 or Jake McCoy

Synthetic Orchestra

Tanner Voloshin

Zelda Reorchestrated

Elspeth Eastmen

Rebecca Tripp

M. Bulteau

Artists I found on Newgrounds:

Kreepman

Zorathan 

Neon-Bard

Reploid Ciel 

GenoWhirled 

Dreyfus2006

Artificial Fear 

Kenneth Boxall

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The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time “Perfect” Playlist (Part 3 of 3)

Last but certainly not least, here is the grand finale to my Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time “Perfect” Playlist:

zelda

Once more, many thanks to the brilliant musicians who made this playlist possible:

Artists I found on Youtube:

Hylian Ensemble

Theophany

Jam2995 or Jake McCoy

Synthetic Orchestra

Tanner Voloshin

Zelda Reorchestrated

Elspeth Eastmen

Rebecca Tripp

M. Bulteau

Artists I found on Newgrounds:

Kreepman

Zorathan 

Neon-Bard

Reploid Ciel 

GenoWhirled 

Dreyfus2006

Artificial Fear 

Kenneth Boxall

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The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time “Perfect” Playlist (Part 2 of 3)

Here is Part Two of my Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time “Perfect” Playlist:

Again, a special thanks to the artists whose songs make this awesome playlist possible:

Artists I found on Youtube:

Hylian Ensemble

Theophanyzelda5

Jam2995 or Jake McCoy

Synthetic Orchestra

Tanner Voloshin

Zelda Reorchestrated or ZREOzelda4

Elspeth Eastmen

Rebecca Tripp

M. Bulteau

Artists I found on Newgrounds:

Kreepman

Zorathan zelda6

Neon-Bard

Reploid Ciel 

GenoWhirled 

Dreyfus2006

Artificial Fear 

Kenneth Boxall

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The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time “Perfect” Playlist (Part 1 of 3)


zelda2

zelda3

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love instrumental music, in particular anything orchestral–and especially soundtracks that carry me inside favorite stories and remind me of all the things I love to feel and see and experience while inside those stories.

Over the past few months, I have quite quickly accumulated a collection of arrangements of songs from two of my favorite video games of all time: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask. These games, as well as those that followed in the series, have provided great inspiration to my writing, particularly in my younger years. It is through this series I developed a love of exploring vast fantasy worlds with unique, diverse races and quirky characters.

Thus, in my recent boredom combined with my recent explosive creativity, I decided to finally compile these songs into two coherent soundtracks and share the songs with you. None of these songs are of my own creation; the original composer is Koji Kondo of course, but I found arrangements of many of the games’ songs on either Youtube or Newgrounds from various artists who are masters at coming up with some of the most beautiful arrangements and groovy remixes.

I am going to separate this playlist into three posts, just as I separated the songs onto three CDs. The first disc I made ends as Link pulls out the Master Sword, Ganondorf arrives–and then Link is sealed inside the Sacred Realm. It is quite a dramatic moment to end Part One on, and the timing worked out perfectly! Disc two will begin with Link as an adult, and Disc Three will begin once he is ready to return to the Temple of Time, meet Zelda, and fight Ganondorf to save Hyrule.

I’d like to thank the following artists whose songs feature on my playlists; if I have left out your name or given any misinformation about which songs are yours, please feel free to send a message correcting me!

Artists whose songs feature in this massive playlist include:

Artists I found on Youtube:

Hylian Ensemble

Theophany

Jam2995 or Jake McCoy

Synthetic Orchestra

Tanner Voloshin

Zelda Reorchestrated

Elspeth Eastmen

Rebecca Tripp

M. Bulteau

Artists I found on Newgrounds:

Kreepman

Zorathan 

Neon-Bard

Reploid Ciel 

GenoWhirled 

Dreyfus2006

Artificial Fear 

Kenneth Boxall

64

On that note–no pun intended–let the listening begin!

Ocarina of Time “Perfect” Playlist, Part 1:

Artist of the Week: Ralph Vaughan Williams

I grew up listening to classical music and have to say it is my favorite genre to this day. From pieces by more traditional composers like Beethoven, Mozart, and my personal favorite, Tchaikovsky, to pieces from more modern composers, like Nicholas Hooper, Alexandre Desplat, John Williams, Howard Shore, and all those other amazing soundtrack composers, no other type of music induces quite the same level of inspiration, magic, and strong, real emotions for me.

I’ve chosen to feature Vaughn Williams this week because, while he may not be my favorite artist overall, he did compose what has been my favorite piece of music since I first heard it as a young child and always will be till the end of time: Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis.

I suppose I was somewhere around ten, eleven…twelve perhaps when I first heard Fantasia. My aunt had gotten me this little radio with headphones, and I accidentally happened upon our local classical station; I didn’t know such a station existed, so I was happy at that discovery alone. But I will never forget the magic of the first song I listened to on that station. It was Vaughn William’s Fantasia. I lay in bed, listening, and as I listened, the entirety of the magical garden of Kezia the Fairy from the Legends of Surprisers series I was writing at the time unfolded before me, and it was beautiful, real, almost tangible.

From then on, whenever that song would come on, I would stop, listen, and let that beauty take hold of me again. Then, one day, at long last, I found a CD with Fantasia as one of its songs.

It is actually a great dream of mine to someday hear and see this song played by a live symphony; from my research, it seems like this is done mostly in Europe. Ahh, perhaps someday when I am able to go overseas and see castles and other wonders I will be able to hear this song as well.

I share this epic, amazing song with you now. Maybe you be blessed, inspired, and uplifted as I have been. Here is Ralph Vaughn Williams’ Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis:

To learn more about Ralph Vaughn Williams’ life and work, visit this website for the Ralph Vaughn Williams Society:

http://www.rvwsociety.com/aboutsociety.html