Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Spiritual Visions by Freydoon Rassouli

Freydoon Rassouli
New Dawn Collections by Freydoon Rassouli

RASSOULI is a visionary artist who has a unique way of reflecting spiritual experience by expressing images from his subconscious onto canvas. He often stimulates creativity by meditating at dawn watching the sunrise in a natural setting, or by envisioning a mystical journey through a night sky. His style does not focus on what is literally seen by the artist, but by surrendering conceptually to what is felt on a deeper level.

Rassouli's painting technique is known as Fusionart, a style that he has created and registered and is presently teaching to many artists in Southern California. The main theme of Fusionart is cosmic unity. The painting style is derived from mysticism, near-eastern spirituality, and a foundation in European painting technology.

The conceptual approach of Fusionart has been developing in Rassouli since early childhood, and it is evident in his paintings, reliefs, architectural design, sculptures, book illuminations and murals. He was born in Isfahan, Iran and was raised in a historical home decorated with murals and intricate floral designs. Inspired and encouraged by his mystic uncle, Rassouli developed an early appreciation for painting and mystical poetry, and spent endless hours taking lessons from classical and impressionist artists, and studying mysticism. Soon he discovered new ways to transform his subconscious images into forms that he could share with others.

Recognized as "the best student artist in Iran" at the age of fifteen, Rassouli was awarded a government grant to study painting in Europe. He migrated to the United States in 1963, where he studied painting and architecture at the University of New Mexico, and was honored with the Leadership Award from the Institute of International Education. Although he began his professional career as an architect, creating three-dimensional structures to satisfy his artistic drive, Rassouli's passion for painting persevered. Through time, he has created hundreds of artworks that have received global recognition for his unique Fusionart style.

Rassouli's worldwide exhibits include numerous solo and collective shows as well as international art expositions. His most recent book, Inspirations of the Heart is an empowering book that fuses a collection of Rassouli's artwork with meditative thoughts by Michael Beckwith, D.D. Selective paintings by Rassouli appear in many books, including: Jung, Journey of Transformation and Language of Souls , and on numerous magazine and book covers.

The mural entitled Angel of Unity , a painting that spans 55 feet tall by 1100 feet wide, is one of Rassouli's latest creations. The angel watches passersby at the corner of Washington Blvd. and the pacific coast in the city of Venice, and has become a Southern California landmark viewed daily by thousands of residents and visitors.

Visit his websites here:

New Dawn Collections by Freydoon Rassouli

Master of the Mask and Spirit World

Ernesto Sanchez

Ernesto creates with love, care and spiritual awareness.  He puts the tender energies of an angel or a benevolent moon right beside the fierce qualities of the underworld as also expressed by the same winged creatures of the night because all these energies exist within us; side by side in contrast and remembrance.

Time and again I am drawn to Ernesto's studio at Point Reyes Station the way a moon is magnetized by the sea.  If it is a choice, I am not sure. But is it essential to the spiritual communication within myself? Yes.

Ernesto has an interesting background that leads him toward the journey of creating and building a studio space.  He is humble and consistent in his vision of expression the hidden energies within us. The essence of the beings he brings to form is that they have a living quality to them which lends their light toward our hearts and psyches to birth a transformation.

In his own words from his website:

"Art is not a profession but a path towards truth and self-realization both for the maker and the spectator.”
Mookerjee, Tantra Art.
My work is both mixed media and multicultural, incorporating influences from my studies in Asia and Indonesia, my Mexican-American upbringing, my travels through Latin America and my southern California childhood.
My goal is to create art that resonates with the reverent presence of spirit and provides
a vehicle for people’s spiritual expression and discovery."

Ernesto's work, energy, spirit and creativity has often inspired my poetry.  My recent CD Lanterns with a moon on the cover comes from the many years of working together as artists in mutual inspiration.

Ernesto Sanchez

If you find yourself in Northern California, then you must visit his studio directly. Otherwise, contact the artist directly to arrange for a virtual tour.  You can have the moon shipped to you or an angel within a matter of days!

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Modern Scribe of Ancient Poetry and Myths

Normandi Ellis

Dreams of Isis is one of my favorite books by Normandi Ellis. If you are drawn to the story of Isis and want to apply it to your life with more revelance, here is a great review from her website below.  

"Drawing on her travels in modern-day Egypt and her lifelong study of Egyptian mythology and art, Normandi Ellis takes us on a moving autobiographical journey through the sacred sites and rituals of Egypt's past, revealing their restorative and transformative power for contemporary women like herself. Ellis's spell-binding prose weaves a tapestry of the personal past and the spiritual eternal in this exploration of the secret wisdom of ancient Egypt. "

"Eloquent. With vivid prose and a deeply spiritual intellect, Ellis has created a work of three elements: a lively, scholarly text of Egyptian myth and tradition; a moving account of a personal struggle to transformation; and, as witness to her transformation, a collection of insights into the human experience and psyche. ..A work worth reading." --- Parabola

Normandi has written several books inspired by her studies and travels to Egypt, as well as many stories inspired by her Kentucky childhood and other magical realms. Reading her is as close to reading the best lyircal poetic story telling and anciet weaving of myths available from a modern scribe one can possibly be.

More of her book titles can be found here:
Normandi's Books

And, a great interview here:
Obsidian Magazine Interview with Normandi Ellis

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Silky Ribbons, Midnight Rain and Sonja Smolec

Sonja Smolec

Sonja Smolec is a well known author of children books, giving numerous presentations and readings around her native country – Croatia. She is widely acclaimed and appreciated by local schools and libraries for her public appearances and contacts with children. Sonja is also a member of several local organizations supporting art in all its forms as well as a member of the "Croatian Society of Writers for Children and Youth". 

Being a prolific author and trying to reach a wider audience, she tries her hand in a variety of styles - poetry, mystery, novels, and English poetry. Her books for children are available at almost any library in Croatia. Her book, novel for youth “Halo, Zemlja zove Snježanu” was nominated for the prestigious “Grigor Vitez Prize", given to authors of books for children. She is the editor of several books of poetry domestic and foreign authors.

Sonja Smolec is included in the "Lexicon of contemporary writers from Velika Gorica"; in the book "Croatians: Webster's Quotations, Facts and Phrases" By Inc Icon Group International; member of the World Poets Society (W.P.S.) and member of the society Jutro Poezije, Zagreb, Croatia. 

Her poetry is published in many national and international paper magazines, online magazines and anthologies - USA, Nigeria, Sweden, Germany, Hungary, South Africa, Israel and Canada. Some of the poems were either nominated or won international awards.

Congratulations Sonja! The link to her Lulu Storefront is here: Sonja at Lulu

A Lesson in Perseverance by Corey Best

Corey Best

The stark contrast reminds us of the paradox within which we live, work and love. Sculpture as a medium is interesting as it moves beyond the 3D and into utilizing the space around it as well. Corey's sculptures are a combination of a clean line and strength.  In the metaphorical sense, the metalwork visible to the naked eye is what remains after all else has been cut and fired away.  It is a testament of endurance and perseverance.

Abstract by Corey Best

In Corey's own words: "I’ve always been drawn to how things rise and fall. I see it in individuals, scenes, neighborhoods, and buildings. I notice the endurance and decay. I’m fascinated by the way things go in and out of balance. I weld shapes that deal with these themes. I want to show the beauty of an imperfect world. I want to show how we persevere."

To get in touch with Corey, visit his website at this link directly:

Corey Best

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Poet is a Prophet - John Trudell

John Trudell

If you are not familiar with John Trudell, then you are missing out on the legendary spoken word artist and it is high time you get connected to his soulful, truthful and powerful poetry!

"John Trudell is an acclaimed poet, national recording artist, actor and activist whose international following reflects the universal language of his words, work and message.

His latest double album, Madness & The Moremes, showcases more than five years of new music and includes special Ghost Tracks of old favorite Trudell tunes made with legendary Kiowa guitarist Jesse Ed Davis. This internet only release offers a full range of classic Trudell poetry – there are lyrics filled with penetrating insight and others with knock out humor, all put to some of the best music Bad Dog has ever made together. Madness and The Moremes is available now on
In addition to his music career, Trudell has played roles in a number of feature films, including a lead role in the Mirimax movie Thunderheart and a major part in Sherman Alexie's Smoke Signals. He most recently played Coyote in Hallmark's made for television movie, Dreamkeeper."

Podcasts are here: Mothers World Market - Trudell Podcast

My personal favorite is Crazy Horse...

Surrealist Art by Ashlie Gonzales

Ashlie Gonzales

Ashlie Gonzales is native to Clovis, New Mexico. Born and raised there, her background serves as an inspiration for much of her art.

Currently Ashlie resides in Oakland, California where she is an avid participant in Oakland's First Friday Art Murmur. Stop by at Shashamane Bar and Grill on any First Friday of the month and she will be more than happy to give you a tour of her gallery.

She was a participate in the most recent San Francisco Pancakes and Booze Art Show at 4N5 Gallery on Mission Street.  Her surrealist art is a juxtapostion of innocence, humor and spook.  She makes an impact reminiscent of dreaming just before waking. Her style reminds me of the early works of surrealist painter Remedios Varo.  Ashlie Gonzales is an artist to keep an eye as her work expands.

Sensual Art of Kirsten Anais Miller

Kirsten Anais Miller

Kirsten Anais Miller is the charismatic artista who works passionately to spark the fire which brings light into darkness!

With a near clairvoyant precision Kirsten intuits images out of the inner spaces of the world and brings them into our everyday reality. For Kirsten art manifests itself as an oracle, through which she gains access to the soul of the universe – she is truly a transmedial enchantress.

Kirsten's art is completely enchanting and wholly evocative at every level of being. Please visit her website for more information and a delicious visual feast!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Lucid Dreaming in Lucid Art by Fariba Bogzaran

Rememberance by Fariba Bogzaran

Fariba Bogzaran

Many of us dream about the dream and talk about painting the dream but Fariba lives this dream within the dream. Her life is a magical web of light and dark spirals.  Her art touches the innermost pysche. She is one of my favorite artists. If you wish to dive more deeply into the ocean of surrealism and dreaming on the canvas, then I highly recommend Fariba's paintings.

More here:
Dream Speak Interview

Photo by Daniel Deslauriers, Hauterives, France, 2008
Fariba Bogzaran, Ph.D., visionary, professor, and artist, founder of the dream studies program at JFK Univerity is one of the pioneers in the field of dream studies.

She has been an exhibiting artist since 1983 and curating exhibitions inquiring into dreams, science and consciousness since 1985. Her research connected her to the lineage of Surrealism and Dynaton group dialoguing with Roberto Matta, Lee Mullican,
Gordon Onslow Ford and many others. She is the co-founder and the Creative Director of the Lucid Art Foundation.

In the 1980's, she researched the science of lucid dreaming with Lucidity Project team (Currently Lucidity Institute) conducting laboratory studies at the Stanford Sleep Laboratory. She has been writing and teaching about the art, science and transpersonal aspect of lucid dreaming for over twenty years.

Dr. Bogzaran has received recognition of outstanding contribution to the International Association for the Study of Dreams and Professor of the Year from Graduate School for Holistic Studies, JFK University

The Illumination of Piero Resta's Muses on the Canvas

Piero Resta

The art of Piero Resta illuminates the subconscious human connection to one’s mythological and cosmological sense of being. For more than forty years, the artist has explored our presence within the cosmos, continually seeking to discover new ways of perception, to develop a new sense of awareness.

“I’m interested in seeing the birth of a new awakening, in which the sky becomes closer to the earth, re-establishing that the self does not stop at the self, but is limitless.” The artist said: “It’s an innate desire that we strive to achieve, to remove obstacles in order to touch the sky.”

Through his paintings, sculptures, frescoes, fountains, and architectural works, Resta reveals to us a new way of seeing; the artist invites the viewer to join him in the ecstatic journey of discovery, thereby making us aware of what, only moments ago, seemed unreachable. His work illuminates, augmenting infinity, mixing the vast human imagination with clay, pigments, seeds, gold, and light.

Piero's art work is magical and infuses those touched by it with light, joy and love. To surround yourself with his paintings is to celebrate the dance of life as it makes love to love itself.

Piero Resta

Love by Shannon Gallogly

Shannon Gallogly

This above piece of art is titled: Love (4 ft x 5ft oil on canvas) and was recently featured in the Pancakes & Booze Art Show, December 9-10, located at Gallery 4N5, Mission Street, San Francisco.
Shannon Gallogly is a California loving, bongo drumming artist from the Bay Area.  She loves art and enjoys the process of making her work come to life. Her art incorporates the psychological aspects of what she is feeling being raised here in America during this difficult time.  She works with a lot of mediums, but mostly loves to paint, carve and make prints. She is currently a student at San Francisco State University studying Fine Arts with a minor in Psychology. Before that she went to Cal Arts, Innerspark where she fell in love with art while studying Painting and Ceramics. She has also gone to school in Florence, Italy where she studied Art History and Culture. She is in the school for Art Therapy and hopes to help people through her talents in her local community. Art has always had a very special place in her heart and will follow her throughout her life. She is currently in the studio working on a series called “Breaking Youth”.
If you would like to buy any of her prints or grab a t-shirt check out her etsy account:
If you would like to buy her original art pieces, please email her:

Graphics, Comics, T-Shirts & More by Aleix Gordo Hostau

Aleix Gordo Hostau

Aleix Gordo Hostau is a native of Barcelona Spain.  He featured his art work in the Pancakes & Booze Art Show hosted by Gallery 4N5 on Mission Street, San Francisco, December 9-10, 2011.  His illustrations are a mixture of dark humor, surrealism, street graphics, clever wit with a stream of refinement running through them.  If you like be on the edge with emerging artists from the growing trend in Urban Art, then you will want to surf the art pages of Aleix Gordo Hostau.

The Elements of Music by Jason Martineau

Jason Martineau

Jason Martineau is an award-winning composer, pianist, arranger, and instructor, and has been active in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1995. He is a graduate of the University of South Florida, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and Manhattan School of Music, and has composed numerous works for orchestra, chamber ensembles, solo piano, and chorus, as well as a full-length musical, multiple film scores, and over 200 songs, both instrumental and vocal. Dr. Martineau has recorded more than ten CDs in various genres, and has also been featured on numerous other artists' recordings, as pianist, music director, and producer. He provides scores, arrangements, original compositions, soundtracks, sound design, accompaniment, private instruction, and musical direction for a diverse and eclectic client base.
Dr. Martineau works in multiple capacities with many different idioms and styles, from world fusion and jazz, to avant-garde, industrial, rock, pop, and classical. In 2007 he orchestrated string arrangements by Vanessa Carlton for her latest album "Heroes and Thieves". He has also authored a book on music theory released October 2008 entitled "The Elements of Music," published by Wooden Books and Walker Books/Bloomsbury, distributed both nationally and internationally. His film scores have been featured in documentaries broadcast on PBS stations around the US since 1998. He also provides music cues and backgrounds for a large variety of multimedia projects. He has been playing the piano for 36 years, performing since 1989 at numerous venues in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, New York, and more recently, the 10th International Festival of Dance and Music in Bangkok, Thailand. In 2011 he joined the faculty at the Academy of Art University, teaching music notation, theory, and counterpoint.

If you love diversity and alchemy, then Jason's art and musical compositions will really speak to your soul!

Spirits in Peace: Featuring Richard Doiron

Spirits in Peace

Richard Doiron has been named recipient of the World Poetry Lifetime Achievement Award for 2012. The Award is to be presented to him at the World Poetry International Peace Festival, May 25, 26, 2012 in Richmond, British Columbia.

There were forty-five poets nominated for this Award by publishers from various parts of the globe, but Doiron was selected along with Jacqueline Maire, who will receive her Award the following October.

For Doiron, this Award validates his fifty years of writing poetry, during which time he has produced the largest body of poetry in human history, with an estimated 40,000 poems penned (over 1000 of those in 2011). He has published an estimated 1000 poems in his life, his work in print in over 100 paper books and periodicals, along with numerous online publications. He has won several international competitions. His work has been read at the United Nations University for Peace, the World Congress of Poetry & Culture, and he has participated in national and international literary festivals. He has also been heard over World Poetry Café Radio, numerous times (including a one-hour live interview on Oct. 11, 2011), and his work has been showcased with World Poetry for the best part of a decade on a regular basis.

Richard is associate editor of two ongoing publications, one which caters to sonnets, a form he has mastered, penning an unprecedented 5555 of those. He is both an inspiration and a mentor to many aspiring and established poets in various parts of the globe. Oddly enough, the one place where Richard remains relatively unknown is in the City of his birth, which is Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada, where he lives and the province of New Brunswick itself. The neglect is unmistakable, recognized far and wide, and seen broadly as a concerted effort to silence him and his work. For his part, meanwhile, Richard continues to promote both poetry and the poets of the world! It is his firmly-held belief that it is the responsibility of the artists to promote others artists, and he also is adamant that we are all held accountable to history, ultimately!

For more details on how to contract Richard or to obtain copies of his work, refer to the Spirits in Peace website directly:

Richard Doiron: Spirits in Peace
Congratulations Richard!

Nicolette's Fire Lily: Flower of the Flame

Nicolette's Book: Fire Lily Flower of the Flame

In this passionate collection of poetry Nicolette van der Walt shares with her readers the intimacy of her very marrow. It more than a poet who shares their heart and soul through the beauty of flowers or the tragedy of their short lives, with Nicolette it is depth of love as it smolders within long after the fire has grown cool; her poetry is a window into longing that is more intense than mere desire. Then by turns of sunlight and flowers, she is every season of the earth as she guides her readers into unblinking truths that are as luminous in the dance of sublime understanding of love and loss, as they are of intimacy, lust, parenting, nature, society and celebrations. You will want this book on your nightstand for bedtime reading and dreaming.

Sublime Music by Mehdi Bozorgmehr

YouTube Music by Mehdi Bozorgmehr

Mehdi Bozorgmehr is a prolific classical composer of music from Tehran, Iran. His music is at times full of great passion, while at other moments it resonates with sweet childlike innocence. The variety of works he has participated in ranges from the symphonic to children's music and film.

To listen to more of his classical poetic music, you may reach out to him on his blogspot:

Mehdi Bozorgmehr

Echo of What Remains by Wanda Lea Brayton

Echo of What Remains by Wanda Lea Brayton

Book Review By Zayra Yves
Among the ranks of romantic poets, Wanda Lee Brayton is considered one of the most subtly sensual and discerning poets. She is recognized for her use of Renaissance emotions and contemporary artists as content within her poetry, as well as for her creative use of metaphor and sincerely peaceful style. She is a perceptive and sensitive woman, who has soulfully explored her own emotional depth, often in poignant ways by sharing her innermost feeling through personal poetry. She has used an illuminating style of writing from the heart with a keen insight into relationships and life. At times she is full of hope and is characterised by joyous, celebratory poetry, whereas at other times she can be surprisingly sorrowful and express deep wounding. Her finesse and discerning acumen into the desire for hope and compassion is lauded by many of her peers, as well as other authors and local poets. This fine collection of poetry from Wanda, expresses more than the woman and her works, it demonstrates her cultivated sense of beauty, love and devotion to all things of the heart.

The Spirit of Christmas in Poetry by Jim Dunlap

The Spirit of Christmas in Poetry

A collection of rhyming form poetry reflecting on the joys of Christmas. From family memories to an overview of the holiday, these writes are best read aloud at a holiday gathering - but can also be enjoyed in a solitary setting. A fireplace and cup of hot cider are recommended to go with this collection.
These rhyming form poems reflect on everything from happy family memories to an overview of the holiday. The joys of childhood gatherings, images of mother bustling in the kitchen and father in a happy mood, the hot cider and music and lighthearted moods of the holiday. All and more can be found within these selections. These are good read aloud to friends and family, but also do well read quietly in solitude. Recommeded go-withs include a fireplace, a cup of hot cider or chocolate, and some music. But they also stand well on their own.

Jim Dunlap is creative writer.  His 
short stories and poetry appear in many online resources, as well as book reviews.  He has participated in several public readings of poetry featured on political blogs/websites. He was voted in Writer's Digest top 100 in 3 categories, literary short story, rhymed verse and unrhymed verse.  He is a true master of the words. Enjoy his Christmas gift to all!

Neil Hague: The King of Lions

Neil Hague has illustrated the spirit of the lion so brilliantly, you must check out his website. In addition, he is a deeply spiritual soul with several inspired gifts of poetry, teachings and guidance on his website. You may contact him directly for workshop and purchase information!

Neil Hague

Finally, a Blog with Really Useful Practical Tips for Artists!

This is a wonderful resource for visual artists. Everything from how to build a resume to measuring market value and shoring up that commissioned art show!

The Practical Art World

Tribute to a Magical Poet: Richard Fammeree

Our dear friend and founder of UniVerse of Poetry, Richard Fammerée, passed away in the early morning of May 5, 2011, after a valiant battle with the devastating illness, ALS. We are so glad that he is free from suffering. We will miss him deeply and always.

Richard Fammeree

I could not sleep while you slept. 
Any little animal might have sheltered 
in your body; and I kept 
leaves from your eyes and things from your hair 
until your lips revived, bending 
back my fingers to the lessons
of water and thirst. Fires that night 
digested the wet, and when their long viridian 
became your arms and a delirium 
became our legs, threads 
relinquished us, and we were not puppeted 
by earth, and we were not puppeted 
by heaven. We became 
larger than form and texture and scent--
something like clouds--and fear was driven 
from the manger of our bellies, and anger's thin 
lips could not diminish us. We ate everything 
that was red, 
and everything red 
was delicious. My sap was greening 
your milky body, then your legs slapped. 
They slapped into fins and you arced 
and my chin and 
ear separated, and silver and more silver and silver 
again, I quivered behind you.

Ephemerae [#1]
© 2000 Fammerée
“Ephemerae” appears in Lessons of Water & Thirst
a book of poems by Richard Fammerée.
Photograph by Susan Aurinko,

An African Legend: White Lions & Leopards

An African Legend: White Lions and Leopards

Spiritual enlightenment? Inspiration? Ready to conserve?
Come and walk with the White Lions through these pages – and prepare yourself to make a positive difference.
When the higher meaning behind Africa’s most illusive apex predator was brought to the world in Linda Tucker’s book, Mystery of the White Lions (2001), artists, poets, visionaries and every day people across the globe were awakened to the importance of these luminous beings.
According to ancient indigenous knowledge, the White Lions - and now the sacred White Leopards of the African bushveld - are prophetic animals that have arrived at a time of evolutionary and climactic change. These beings, so revered, are in many cases bred for the sole purpose of being hunted. Kept in cages, they have no freedom, no choices, and no respect. The fact that these rare creatures are persecuted and mercilessly hunted is a grave reflection on the state of humankind today.
In his autobiography “Long Walk to Freedom” 1994 Nelson Mandela said:
“To be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains,
but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”
These words apply not only to our fellow man, but to all other beings that inhabit this wonderful planet of ours, most especially, South Africa.
Michele Stewart was divinely inspired to put together a poetry and artwork competition, with the aim of raising awareness of the White Lions and other heavenly creatures. With support from the Global White Lion Protection Trust and the Leopard Conservation Project, contributions from published poets and housewives, rock stars and accountants, teenagers and sectarians, from all walks of life and from every continent, were received. This book is a compilation of the winning gems, and forms a collector’s treasure-trove for future generations. May we all use our freedom responsibly, and make a difference to our world.
“Today, more than ever before, life must be characterized by a sense of Universal responsibility,
not only nation to nation and human to human, but also human to other forms of life.”
- His Holiness the Dalai Lama