Friday, May 25, 2012

May all of your weeds be wildflowers!

The word serendipity is defined as the faculity or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for. Does that sound like a wildflower or what?

Frank Fandrick has been a contributor to our blog since we started in 2009. I was delighted to hear from him after a trip he had made to Austin, Texas where he had taken some pictures of one of my favorite things--wildflowers! I emailed him immediately and asked if we could use them on our blog, and he graciously agreed.

What a pleasure these images are. I did some browsing on the Internet and found quotations, music lyrics and an essay that fit right in these pictures such as:

"Love is like wildflowers; It's often found in the most unlikely places.”

Or remember this song:
Hey, I’m a wildflower, growin’ in the sunshine
Soakin’ up the way of life I was raised in
Runnin’ barefoot bloomin’ in the summer shower
Ponytail dancin’, I can’t help it. I’m a wildflower.

The next image is a repeat of the first one with the addition of some Photoshop filters--looks dreamy!

Here is part of an essay called Wild Flowers, written by Richard Jeffries:
Before I had any conscious thought it was a delight to me to find wild flowers, just to see them. It was a pleasure to gather them and to take them home; a pleasure to show them to others--to keep them as long as they would live, to decorate the room with them, to arrange them carelessly with grasses, green sprays, tree-bloom--large branches of chestnut snapped off, and set by a picture perhaps. Without conscious thought of seasons and the advancing hours to light on the white wild violet, the meadow orchis, the blue veronica, the blue meadow cranesbill; feeling the warmth and delight of the increasing sun-rays, but not recognizing whence or why it was joy...the various hues of the petals pleased without any knowledge of colour-contrasts, no note even of colour except that it was bright, and the mind was made happy without consideration of those ideals and hopes afterwards associated with the azure sky above the fir-tree. A fresh footpath, a fresh flower, a fresh delight. The reeds, the grasses, the rushes--unknown and new things at every step--something always to find; no barren spot anywhere, or sameness. Every day the grass painted anew, and its green seen for the first time; not the old green, but a novel hue and spectacle, like the first view of the sea.

Add the images to a collage with some descriptive text and it is another kind of gem!

A special thank you to Frank for bringing us this breath of spring!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


This is such a fun thing to get involved with! I have learned a lot about special places to go on the Internet through Pinterest.

Here is how they describe themselves:

"Pinterest is a Virtual Pinboard. It lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes.

Best of all, you can browse pinboards created by other people. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests. To get started, request an invite.

Our goal is to connect everyone in the world through the 'things' they find interesting. We think that a favorite book, toy, or recipe can reveal a common link between two people. With millions of new pins added every week, Pinterest is connecting people all over the world based on shared tastes and interests."

You can repin things to your "boards" so you will have them within easy reach. I have had more fun with this than anything I've tried on the Internet for some time. Here is the link to our blog's Pinerest boards, and then a link to a another Pinerest enthusiast that I really like:

This lady is a retired librarian and has some wonderful ideas:

Here is the Pinterest home page:
This is a great place to be creative and take advantage of other people's treasures.
"The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves." ~Carl Jung

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Painter's Palette

Seniors are doing many exciting things and we enjoy featuring their impresssive accomplishments on our blog. We have several painters who have kindly allowed us to feature work here.


I first saw one of these fascinating paintings on a computer screen at the community college where I used to teach classes to seniors and boomers. As I walked by Betty’s computer, I asked her where she had found the image I saw there and she told me she had painted it!

Betty Levy was born in Argentina and exhibited a very creative nature at an early age. She told me, "I like to paint for the joy of it." The image you see below was painted when she was in Greece. She went to a pottery workshop taught by the man you see in the image below.

As a young person living in the Miami Beach area of Florida she had two notable accomplishments -- wining first place in the Canada Art Show 1984 and winning first place in the same year at a show at the Surfside Recreation Department. While in Miami she was an understudy to a remarkable painter -- Juan Manuel Segovia.

Betty Levy's paintings include an eclectic mixture of subjects--perhaps a photograph she has taken while traveling, or a photo from a fellow student that catches her fancy or someone she actually knows. I've often watched this process transpire in the classroom...she will see an image she connects with and the words that come out of her mouth are, "I'd love to paint that!"

Our first painting comes from the picture you see below that was taken while she was traveling...

The peasant...the woman...the warrior.

and Guitar...

And the Grandfather and Grandson... 

An enduring subject, powerfully portrayed.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Fabulous Faces

More of Betty Levy's marvelous paintings featured in today's offering for the The Painters Palette!

I first saw one of these fascinating paintings on a computer screen at the junior college where taught classes to seniors and boomers. As I walked by Betty’s computer, I asked her where she had found the image I saw there and she told me she had painted it!

I told her that I would love to share one of her images on our Computersavvyseniors blog, and she generously offered the paintings you see below. Betty has traveled extensively and she takes pictures wherever she goes. These pictures inspire her painting. The paintings you see below came from pictures she took in Prague.

Tour guide for Prague trip:

A base player on one of Prague's streets:

A Prague fisherman:

Before I retired, as I would walk around my classroom, I would often see what my 50 to 90 year old students were working on independently. And after nearly 10 years, four semesters a year, five to twelve classes a semester, I continued to be surprised and delighted by the talent that would spring off of their computer screens.

It makes me want to shout...don't stop because of your age...believe in how good you are, trust in your talent, educate yourselves, be excellent. It is all within your grasp. You just have to let it live!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Collage Favorites

On Tuesdays we feature the talented work of some of our students and friends. You may see a display of creative Photoshop work, their beautiful photographs or an interesting story about an individual’s meaningful contribution to his or her community, country or the world. If you have memories, old or new, you would like to share, send them to me at
One of the things that continues to be a happy surprise for me is the spirit of creativity that seniors exhibit in my classroom. Betty Malone has been in many classes at the college where I teach, and her work speaks for itself.

She has numerous and varied interests which you will see portrayed in the images below...

whether traveling (a simple subject, enhanced with special effects)...

restoring and collaging old pictures...

creating images of new beginnings...

or working with pictures of beloved grandchildren, both traveling and...

just being themselves...
she does such a great job of preserving and enhancing all of those special memories.

Thanks so much Betty for sharing these images with us.

Niebuhr said, "It is better to create than to be learned, creating is the true essence of life!"