Category Archives: Music

Creative Juice #60

Creative Juice #60

Some beautiful, some quirky, all creative:

  1. Paintings with the look of vintage photographs.
  2. Vintage photographs taken by a teenaged Stanley Kubrick.
  3. These beautiful creations remind me of when I took up embroidery as a young wife. I miss those days.
  4. I always wondered how Chicago came up with the title 25 or 6 to 4.
  5. Paintings of Max Pechstein.
  6. I’ve read 12 of these, and I’d like to read more of the books on this book club reading list.
  7. Twenty-five free and easy quilt patterns.
  8. I want to win this contest. Only funny people need apply. Am I funny enough?
  9. Beautiful Christmas quilt—and links to many more original designs.
  10. The illustrations of Mike Ciccotello.
  11. That awkward moment at the museum when you see your portrait—and it was painted before you were born…
  12. Surreal images of synchronized swimmers.

Vladimir Horowitz, Master Pianist

Vladimir Horowitz, Master Pianist

Vladimir Horowitz was born in Kiev, in the Ukraine, on October 1, 1904. His father was an engineer. His mother and sister, Regina, were pianists, a brother, Georg, a violinist.

His family recognized his musical talent early. When he was three years old, his mother started teaching him piano at home; formal training began at age six. He studied both piano and composition at the Kiev Conservatory, and in his early years leaned more toward composing.

The political upheaval of the Bolshevik Revolution cost his family most of their possessions, and in 1917 (at age 13) Horowitz began playing piano recitals to earn money to help support them. He gradually gained a following, and after his successful 1922-23 season, he went out on a 70-concert tour, playing 200 different works.


Vladimir HorowitzIn 1925, Horowitz was granted a student’s visa for foreign travel, but on arrival in Western Europe, he ignored schools and instead embarked on a two-year concert tour of Europe, winning positive reactions from audiences and critics alike. Next, Horowitz traveled to the United States under the sponsorship of impresario Arthur Judson. Early in 1928, Horowitz played the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 with the New York Philharmonic under Sir Thomas Beecham.

In 1933 Horowitz met his future wife, Wanda Toscanini, after an invitation from her father, the conductor Arturo Toscanini, to be the soloist in the Beethoven “Emperor” Concerto. They married the same year.

Horowitz quit the concert circuit four times, between 1936 and 1938, from 1953 to 1965, from 1968 to 1974, and from 1983 to 1985. “For me, playing the piano is the easiest thing in the world,” he said in 1975. “It’s all the things around playing that drive me crazy.” On another occasion, he said: “I could play every day. It is the moving that is the big deal for me. I have to take my own cook because I can’t eat hotel food.”

In addition to the cook, he also took along a machine to purify water. “Every place has a different kind of water, and I don’t want foreign chemicals in me,” he explained.

When Horowitz did play on tour, he required that his personal piano from his Manhattan living room accompany him, and stipulated that concerts were at 4 P.M. and only on Sunday. Advance teams redecorated his hotel rooms to make them more like his own home.


Horowitz receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President and Mrs. Reagan.

Critics sometimes complained his highly-personalized interpretations ignored composers’ intentions, but Horowitz was not overly worried by these accusations. “When I sit at the keyboard,” he said, “I never know how I will play something. The head, the intellect, is only the controlling factor of music making. It is not a guide. The guide is your feelings. Chopin never played his own pieces the same way twice.”

Another time Horowitz said: “I am a 19th-century Romantic. I am the last. I take terrible risks. Because my playing is very clear, when I make a mistake, you hear it. But the score is not a bible, and I am never afraid to dare. The music is behind those dots. You search for it, and that is what I mean by the grand manner. I play, so to speak, from the other side of the score, looking back.”

Of his art, Horowitz said, “The most important thing is to transform the piano from a percussive instrument into a singing instrument – a singing tone is made up of shadows and colors and contrast. The secret lies mainly in contrasts.”

In the last four years of his life, he performed in a much-publicized tour of the Soviet Union, performances in Europe and America, and recorded compact discs, videotapes, television programs, and films.

Here is Horowitz being interviewed by Mike Wallace on Sixty Minutes:

I remember as a teenager and young adult watching his performances on television. He is one of my very favorite pianists.

Vladimir Horowitz passed away on November 5, 1989, at the age of 85.

Information for this article was taken from his obituary in the New York Times by Bernard Holland. For more about Horowitz, see this article by Mary O’Connor.


From the Creator’s Heart #114

From the Creator’s Heart #114

I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me (Psalm 13:6 NIV).

#ALCGC2017 September Check-In

#ALCGC2017 September Check-In

How are you doing on your creative goals? Only four more months in 2017. It’s a good time to assess our progress.

In August, I completed two sketches and colored some pages in my coloring journal.


On the writing front, I wrote six poems. I tried a couple others, but they just didn’t gel. I shared two on ARHtistic License, Paradigm Shift and Horsey Limerick.



I’m currently three weeks ahead on blog posts. My comfort level is four weeks ahead, so in one sense, I’m a week behind…


I finished rewriting a third picture book manuscript, Lottie Loses the Lottery, which I am preparing to send out to agents. No nibbles yet on the other two, Gabe’s Garage of Goodies and Mine!

I bought the Scrivener software, and I am currently transferring The Unicornologist into it while doing another rewrite. Pretty soon I want to start reworking my 2015 NaNoWriMo project, The Night Runner, and I want to be familiar with Scrivener’s features by then.


I’ve run The God of Paradox through my critique group, and I’m getting ready to do a dry run with my bible study group starting in October.

I’ve been struggling with fatigue this month, so there were lots of days that I didn’t practice my instruments. I’m doing better lately, though. I’m still practicing the duets in the back of the Sweet Pipes Recorder Book 1 for the special secret project I’ve mentioned before. And I’m up to page 55 in Essential Elements for Guitar.

I performed in a choral concert on August 19. I’m planning to write a blog post about it soon.

Now it’s your turn. How are you doing with your goals? Don’t be shy! If you’re keeping accountable on your blog, paste a link into the comments below. Or if you don’t have a blog, just tell us your successes and your challenges this past month. And remember to check in on October 1, 2017, to share your progress during September. I created the hashtag #ALCGC2017 for ARHtistic License Creative Goals Challenge for 2017. Feel free to use it to tweet about your goals and your progress.

Guest Post: Bottle Boys

Guest Post: Bottle Boys

If you’ve never heard these guys, you’re in for a treat. Many thanks to Donna of MyOBT for this guest post.



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Video of the Week #112: Mozart–Divine Genius or Offensive Pig

Video of the Week #112: Mozart–Divine Genius or Offensive Pig

At 22 minutes, this video is much longer than the usual Video of the Week on ARHtistic License, but it reviews the 1984 Oscar-winning movie, Amadeus, adeptly separating fact from fiction. For cinema buffs and classical music lovers alike.

From the Creator’s Heart #111

From the Creator’s Heart #111

. . . The oracle of David, son of Jesse, the oracle of the man exalted by the Most High, the man anointed by the God of Jacob, Israel’s singer of songs: The Spirit of the Lord spoke through me; his word was on my tongue (2 Samuel 23: 1-2 NIV).

Creative Juice #54

Creative Juice #54

Twelve more sources of creative inspiration:

  1. The guitar in art.
  2. Beautiful modern quilts.
  3. Man’s best friend.
  4. The loveliest GIFs ever.
  5. I always love seeing Suhita Shirodkar’s sketches.
  6. When I was in high school in the late 1960s, I sometimes took the bus into New York City so I could wander through Central Park.
  7. Unique, affordable travel accommodations.
  8. Take a walk in the garden.
  9. Prize-winning travel photos from the National Geographic contest.
  10. A new application for the Five Second Rule.
  11. Pixilation enters the world of sculpture.
  12. Lessons learned at Uffizi Gallery.

Rest in Peace, Glen Campbell

Rest in Peace, Glen Campbell

April 22, 1936 – August 8, 2017

From the Creator’s Heart #106


Adam-handThey set the ark of God on a new cart and brought it from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab, were guiding the new cart with the ark of God on it, and Ahio was walking in front of it. David and the whole house of Israel were celebrating with all their might before the Lord, with songs and with harps, lyres, tambourines, sistrums and cymbals (2 Samuel 6: 3-5).