Thursday, February 26, 2009

Fuzzy Imps

I live with a large number of fuzzy imps both lazy worshiped imps and hard working imps. When I drive home the working imps welcome me with the hope of attention and love. All the while, the indoor imps snubbed me. What are these imps? They are cats. I live with two indoor cats and about eight farm cats, mousers. Though, most cats are like the indoor cats, lazy and royal, the mousers are important to the health of the farm. Without the mousers killing on the farm everything falls apart. Yet, I see the mousers, and I want to lavish them with all the love possible. The indoor cats snub such love, unless they demand it. So why do I, and many other people, love these odd creatures. They love the stealing, snubbing, and typically lazy creatures. I bet when I mentioned working cats, there was a pause. Outside of farming communities, I cannot think of another place where cats work except T.V. And this is nothing new.

Ancient Egyptian worshiped cats, the Goddess Bast had a feline form. Ancient cats were no less snubbing back then. In fact, we have domesticated cats, long after the now obedient dogs, and it shows. Still, many houses give way to cats, and serve cats as if they were Kings and Queens. The Jade Emperor forbade cats from Heaven because of their lazy nature.

Why do we love these creatures so?

J.R. West the Raccoon

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The art of Kelly Louise Judd

Dear readers, today I would like to share with you the work of Kelly Louise Judd. An artist who stole my heart from the start and I am quite sure most of you will love her work as well.

This artist has a very recognizable style, which makes it hard to forget her work. In general it is a bit on the dark side.Paintings and drawings depicting surreal and haunted scenes which remind you of old, Victorian times. But the thing which really makes her work so interesting is the way she uses 'symbols' : owls, rabbits, crows, shadows and night views. Animals and scenes which have deeply rooted in our subconsciousness which call up feelings of the unknown and dark. Things which generally fright us but attract us as well. And, that the 'dark side' can also be very attractive is proven by the work of Kelly Louise Judd.

She makes the most beautiful dolls as well, which look as if they came walking out of one of her paintings. They are just as surreal, characters which are a bit excentric and leave you wondering about the story of their lives. And if this all is not enough for you, she also makes splendid jewelry.

I know I always praise the artists I write about in my column as I love all their creations and I love art. But this time I don't just like someone's work, or admire someone's work, I am litteraly deeply in love with her work.
I seem to fall in love with everything she lays her hands on. Her melancholy dolls, her surreal paintings and her jewellery which would make any person who wears it a walking, talking work of art, I love it all.

You might be wondering if this artist really is as special as Isabella claims her to be? Yes, she is and, yes she is even better then that.

But if you have any doubts please go visit her site and see for yourself....

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Scientifically, there is no way to prove this could happen, but...

The Man who Grew Young by Daniel Quinn and illustrated by Tim Eldred is a mythological adventure. Instead of a world were time moves forward, it is a place where we wake from the dead, grow young, and enter the womb. It gives the reader an opportunity to look at our own world and wonder if we did it right, when we went forward time.

The main character, Adam, is the first and last man. While every other human in his world finds their mother in time to enter the womb, Adam has no mother. He has wives that he pulls from the ground and lives with until their first (really last) meeting. The un-mine the ground, and remove factories. They leave America to go back to Europe. In this reverse world Adam is left to find his place, since he has no mother.

Adam, as possibly the first and definitely the last man, encounters many sages who give him wise words on why the world works. Interestingly, the sages are women, three each with an important message about life. One woman realizes the backward and forward nature of time. Another woman understand Adams origin, years before Adam come to understand. Finally, Adam meets Eve the first and last woman he ever knew.

The Man Who Grew Young is in fact about a tale of a man who never physically grew young, when everyone else did. He grew knowing with his place in the world--his importance as the observer of all that happened. He is guided the women who are surrogate mothers, filling the role of his silent mother Earth.

It is a good read, and a bit deep. Overall I give it 4 stars out of five.

Keep questioning the world,
J.R. West the Raccoon

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

"Arctic Unicorns"!

Last year, my husband and I were fortunate to be in Vienna. We went to see the crown jewels at the Schatzkammer (Imperial Treasury) and happily found ourselves enchanted by the sight of the Hofburg Palace's "unicorn" horn. For centuries, these mysterious objects have been coveted and held by people of power. Most commonly, a horn identified as having come from a unicorn is actually the tusk (the front tooth) of the mystical narwhal. Now you can see a video of the narwhals' fantastic migration just released by the BBC.