Hardships are life, and artists have always reflected the hurt and hard times of others through their work. Käthe Kollwitz captured some of the most devastating expressions of sorrow.

During this time of transition, I am reflecting on a woman artist named Käthe Kollwitz and her etching from 1903.

She produced a large amount of work reflecting on the hardship of the working class. Historical revolts of the peasants and the poorer working class inspired her to create some of the most despairing images of people's unsuccessful attempts to change their lives.

In an era where emotional works of art were using color, Käthe Kollwitz produced black and white prints reflecting tragedy and deep sorrow. Works such as Mourning Parents, Woman with Dead Child. …

Meditation & Mindfulness

Want to get into a flow state easily, get rid of stress, reduce anxiety, never worry, and find peace?

Focusing on art and producing artwork is a state of meditation. The act of drawing or painting requires deep focus. These focus states that artists tend to fall into are very similar to mindfulness and meditation practices. Artists speak about feeling energized as they go through their stages of creation. Some artists are so consumed by their work that they unknowingly forget to eat and sleep.

Almost as if entering another dimension, they isolate their consciousness from the world around them and lose track of time. They use their work to find clarity to solve problems and ease emotions. Artists’…

Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. and Keith Haring are symbols for positive change and are perfect for what we are experiencing today.

I am writing this 2 days from Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which is on January 18. And am fondly remembering this image by Keith Haring:

Keith Haring, obsessed with symbols and shapes and how they create language, was thought of as a “sell-out” during his lifetime. A pop artist/graffiti artist in the 80’s he produced popular whimsical and graphical shapes of people holding hands, forms of iconography displaying social activism, and advocated for positive change.

He was an artist who produced a proliferous amount of work and distributed his iconography through prints, murals, and exhibitions.

When I was 13…

Art and Artists

Matchy, Matchy, Whacky, Whacky — Check out This Kandinsky where nothing is matching, and it is absolutely stunning.

I have encountered many paintings and works of art that are solely monotone, one or two colors of the same family. They are technically examples of excellent technique and color theory that prides itself on following rules.

Enter into the excitement of unending movement that is created using color in this Kandinsky painting below:

Let’s Imagine a Perfect Backdrop

I would like to see the above painting named Composition VII hanging on a crisp white wall painted in a Valspar White called “Betsey’s Linen” or even a nice greyish-white of “Hailstorm Grey” for a cooler feeling.

My current favorite paint…

Art and Artists

Monet produced his most interesting and beautiful work when he was blind. It is the perception that finds the beauty around us.

Claude Monet’s Orangerie des Tuileries paintings were painted towards the end of his career and life. They were all painted when his eyes were affected by cataracts, and he was in a depressive state after his wife's death. The artist’s blindness first began with a cataract in one eye, and then his second eye also developed cataracts. Almost blind in both eyes, he continued to paint. He painted the fleeting moment of what he was able to see. His observations of light and how the light played upon the water produced some of the most memorable paintings of his career…


Exercises to untrain and retrain how you see to produce more interesting and creative art

Drawing and painting are very different genres. The way you use a pencil or Conte crayon is different than holding a brush saturated with oil paint. Painting involves mixing colors and color, combining to present what you see more accurately. An artist begins learning techniques and perfecting his artistic skills by learning to draw well first. Afterward, artists move on to painting techniques.

When mastering painting techniques, most artists become more expressive with their work. Their work begins to mature, and they begin developing their own personal relationships with the art they create.

Slowly their work builds on their new…


Living in a non-violent communication way shows us how we are totally screwing it all up.

I discovered non-violent communication many, many years ago while stumbling on a video of Marshall Rosenburg discussing his theory of non-violent communication on YouTube. At the time, I was researching methods of conflict resolution and how to incorporate new ways of communicating with my peers. I was intrigued by Marshall Rosenburg’s history of mediation, resolving conflict in volatile nations, and his methods for diffusing anger coming from a place of hate. His emphasis on non-violent language helps to create a better understanding of how people can meet each other’s needs.

Non Violent Communication videos are available on YouTube and I…


You can create a long-term strategy that will help you succeed in organic search before monetarily investing in search engine marketing.

Small businesses with limited marketing budgets can make digital strides in SEO without sizable upfront monetary investments in SEM. Many of these tips are evergreen; they follow basic principles that have always been recommended for designing great informational websites. It may seem daunting to design your own website, and although a pro can make this process smoother and easier, all of these tips can be done without a professional.

This article is to guide you towards a common-sense strategy. It is not about beating the system or special tricks to use to get ranked above your competition. In fact, if…


The most notoriously unproductive and demanding word on my to-do list.

I hate to admit it, but I have an extreme aversion to judgment. Judgment kills my motivation and willingness to complete any project or take risks. Even with judgment, I can overcome the meaning of the word judgment. But there is one word that seems to haunt my insecurity.

The word is “Task.”

The word task is defined as something you have to do. It comes from the Latin word “taxare,” which meant to impose a tax on. “Impose” another word of imprisonment.

In my book, Tasks are considered chores. I am forced to do those chores and not given…


A Business is Only as Good as its Competition

When I was younger, I worked at a frame shop in a mall. We were a trendy place as people weaved in and out of the racks looking at art prints and admiring the floor to ceiling wall coverings of framed, sometimes matted fine art and novelty art.

It got hectic during the holidays as we ran our 19.99, 29.99, 39,99, 49.99 specials. Andrew Wyeth pieces, classic Bouguereau Virgin and Angels, and Salvador Dali reproductions would fly off the walls as people scrambled to get their Christmas gifts. On one occasion, we had an unfortunate issue with a v-cutter, a…

J. Pilkington

Contemplative Creative

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