Monthly Archives: September 2021

Kammie’s Oddball Challenge: Seen Along the Canal Path

Canal path

The last time I took a walk along the canal path, I saw this odd net structure filled with straw. I think it might be a device to keep the eroding canal bank from tumbling onto the path. Here’s another:

Canal path

More Oddballs.

Video of the Week #325: Poured Acrylics


This video is much longer than what I usually post. But the combination of paint and music is especially mesmerizing. Even if you are not particularly interested in the techniques demonstrated (I am, BTW!), this would be a good video to watch when you need soothing.

October Challenges


If you’ve been following ARHtistic License for a while, you’ve probably noticed that I love challenges. Every October I participate in two—OctPoWriMo (October: Poetry Writing Month, not to be confused with April, National Poetry Month) and Inktober, a drawing challenge.

Now, you probably also know that I’m my husband’s caretaker, and his needs come first. If I miss a daily blog post, it’s either because Greg needed me, or I was exhausted by daily life and took a nap instead. I know my limitations, so I will not commit to producing 31 poems and 31 drawings in October. My goal is to write a poem on most odd-numbered days and make a drawing (or maybe a Zentangle—I’ve missed doing those) on most even-numbered days. If I end up doing 14 of each, I’ll be super pleased with myself.

I’m a little concerned about OctPoWriMo; I went to the website early this afternoon and it looked like it was in suspended animation. There isn’t any pre-OctPoWriMo buzz on it yet, but the header does say OctPoWriMo 2021. I may just go ahead and write poems anyway.

I’d like to extend the challenges to you, too! If you’ve been meaning to add a little creative art to your life, join in on one or both of the challenges. You are not obligated to do something every single day of the month, but it is a good discipline. If you’re going to try, let us know in the comments below. And each day in October, if you post your challenge offering on your blog or social media, add a link to the comments on one of my posts so we can all come and take a look at what you’ve done. I hope to hear from you soon!

Wordless Wednesday: Pensive Pigeon

Pensive pigeon

Claude Debussy


Claude Debussy was born August 22, 1862, in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France. He was a highly influential composer of the 20th century. His melodies and harmonies did for music what the the Impressionist painters of his time did for art. He is sometimes called the father of Impressionist music, a title he distained. His major works include Clair de lune (“Moonlight,” in Suite bergamasque, 1890–1905), Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune (1894; Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun), the opera Pelléas et Mélisande (1902), and La Mer (1905; “The Sea”).

Listen to this piano roll recording of Debussy playing Clair de Lune:

Debussy showed his musical gift on the piano by the age of nine. In 1873 he entered the Paris Conservatory, where he studied piano and composition for eleven years.

While living with his parents in a poverty-stricken suburb of Paris, he was hired by a Russian millionairess, Nadezhda Filaretovna von Meck, to play duets with her and her children. He traveled with her to her palatial residences throughout Europe during his long summer breaks from the Conservatory.

In 1884 Debussy won the Grand Prix de Rome with his cantata L’Enfant prodigue (The Prodigal Child). He was awarded a three-year stay at the Villa Medici in Rome to pursue his creative work. He fled from the Villa Medici after two years and returned to Paris. He associated with several women of dubious reputation. His first wife, Rosalie (“Lily”) Texier, a dressmaker, whom he married in 1899, shot herself, though not fatally.

Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun:

In the course of his career, which covered only 25 years, Debussy was constantly breaking new ground. He said that exploration was the essence of music. His single completed opera, Pelléas et Mélisande (first performed in 1902), demonstrates how Richard Wagner’s concept of Gesamtkunstwerk (“total art work,” which encouraged artists to draw on different art forms to create a cohesive whole) could be adapted to portray subjects like the dreamy nightmarish figures of this opera who were doomed to self-destruction. Debussy and his librettist, Maurice Maeterlinck, said that they were haunted by the terrifying tale of Edgar Allan Poe, The Fall of the House of Usher. In his seascape La Mer (1905) he was inspired by the ideas of the English painter J.M.W. Turner and the French painter Claude Monet.

Debussy’s work cannot be judged on the musical level alone. “One must seek the poetry in his work,” said his friend, the French composer Paul Dukas. There is not only poetry in his music; there is often an inspiration from painting. “I love painting [les images, a generic term that might apply to the whole of Debussy’s work] almost as much as music itself,” he told the Franco-American composer Edgard Varèse.

In 1905 Debussy’s illegitimate daughter, Claude-Emma, was born. (He had divorced Lily Texier in 1904 and subsequently married his daughter’s mother, Emma Bardac.) Debussy’s spontaneity and sensitive nature are particularly noticeable in his piano suite, Children’s Corner, which he wrote for his daughter, nicknamed Chouchou.

Seong-Jin Cho plays “Golliwog’s Cakewalk” from Children’s Corner:

Debussy did not adhere to the harmonic practices of the 19th century. He formulated a “21-note scale” designed to “drown” the sense of tonality. Debussy also challenged the traditional way orchestras used instruments. For example, he rejected the idea that string instruments should be predominantly lyrical. The pizzicato scherzo from his String Quartet (1893) and the writing for the violins in La Mer, conveying the rising storm waves, introduce a new concept of string color. In fact, in his music, the conventional utilization of the orchestra, with its rigid woodwind, brass, and string departments, becomes deconstructed sort of in the manner of the Impressionist painters. Each instrument becomes almost a soloist, as in a vast chamber-music ensemble.

Le Mer:

Debussy’s life was cut short by cancer on March 25, 1918.

Information for this article came from the Britannica website.

Monday Morning Wisdom #329

Monday Morning Wisdom #329

Home is not where you were born. Home is where all your attempts to escape cease.

~ Omar Taher

Sunday Trees: Mesquite (and More)

Mesquite 1

More Sunday Trees.

From the Creator’s Heart #326

1 Peter 1:3

Sculpture Saturday: Thunderin’ Thunder Lizards


I almost ran off the road one day while driving past Whitfill Nurseries in Gilbert, Arizona. When was the last time you saw a wagon being drawn by a . . . stegosaurus?

Stegasaurus 1

I finally had a chance last week to stop and take a look around. Here is what I found:

Triceratops 2
Triceratops 1
Closeup of triceratops
Tyranosaurus Rex 1
Tyrannosaurus rex
T Rex 2
Look at those scary claws.
T Rex 3
Terrifying teeth
Stegasaurus 2
One more look at the stegosaurus

More Sculpture Saturday.

Creative Juice #261

Creative Juice #261

The best articles I’ve read this week.