Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Visual Music

Digital Image Titled 'Visual Music' by RLHall, ArtfulExpress All Rights Reserved.

Generally speaking, color directly influences the soul. Color is the keyboard, the eyes are the hammers, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the band that plays, touching one or another purposively, to cause vibrations in the soul.

~ Wassily Kandinsky, in Concerning the Spiritual in Art

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

My Most Viewed Piece on RedBubble

Digital Art titled 'Dome of the Taj Mahal ~ Crown Jewel' by RLHall, ArtfulExpress All Rights Reserved.

Crown Jewel ~ inspired by the Taj Mahal, which is often referred to as ‘Poetry in Stone’ is incorporated into my ArtfulExpress logo.

Beautiful intricate abstract design bursting forth in hues of light blue and gray, yellow / orange, and even a hint of rose, all interspersed with lovely metalic golds.

The History of Lost Love
Shah Jahan of the Mogul dynasty was yet to accede the throne when he heard about the unsurpassed beauty of Mumtaz. He took Mumtaz as his third wife in 1612. For the next 18 years Shah Jahan and Mumtaz were inseparable. Shah Jahan took his wife along on every journey and war campaign. Over the years Mumtaz came to be his best friend, his critic and a canny political adviser. Mumtaz was expecting their 14th child when Shah Jahan embarked on a campaign against the Lodhi Empire in 1631. In the heat of the Indian summer, the army traveled to the Deccans. Mumtaz, who had accompanied the emperor, went through a rigorous childbirth. She died in Burhanpur. On her deathbed, she asked her husband to promise her that he would build a monument to their love. Legend has it that he locked himself in his room for eight days without food after Mumtaz passed away. After burying Mumtaz temporarily in Burhanpur, Shah Jahan went about constructing the Taj Mahal in right earnest.

He summoned the best architects and artisans from far away lands like Multan, Kannauj, Lahore, Iraq and Persia. He arranged for the best marble from all around. It took 22 years, 22,000 people, 400 elephants and 32 million rupees to build the Taj Mahal. The result: an awe-inspiring structure, which is one of the most globally recognized symbols of grace and beauty.

The Magnificent Monument
Built on a raised, square platform it is as tall as a 20-storey building. You enter through an imposing gateway. The complex consists of an elaborate garden set in the typical charbagh style, a mosque, a guesthouse and several other charming buildings. The mausoleum itself stands at the farthest end of the complex, right along the Yamuna River. The signature central dome (58 ft in diameter and 213 ft high) is truly magnificent and is echoed in the smaller domed chambers on all sides. The four slender minarets that rise from the corners of the mausoleum complete the picture of symmetry.

The undisputed majesty and beauty is further reflected in the exquisite artistry created by inspired artisans from Baghdad, Shiraz and Bukhara. Exquisite floral patterns and calligraphy on both the exterior and interior were inlaid with precious stones such as jasper and agate. Quotations from the Koran were etched into stone archways; a pinnacle was set on the central dome; and thus came to life the most splendid resting place a lover could ever hope to find on this planet!

By Ravi Kunjithai

Dome of the Taj Mahal ~ Crown Jewel: (buy prints here)

Artful Express Gallery:

Friday, March 19, 2010

Do You find it Necessary to always Title your Works?

'Winter Solstice' by RLHall, ArtfulExpress All Rights Reserved

I recently made a local sale of this matted print, which the buyer said that she loves because it reminds her of the 'Twilight' sagas. It caused me to reflect once again, upon the titles we bestowe upon our works and how they affect the viewer.

In this case, the photo was indeed taken on the evening of the winter solstice, and the mood of the photo somehow reflected that spooky association, I thought. I had not yet read the 'Twilight' books by Stephenie Meyer. After reading and enjoying all of the books, and seeing the first two movies, I still hadn't connected my photo with the popular stories. When it was remarked to me that it was this aspect that ingraciated the person to my work, I could instantly see that the atmosphere of the image did reflect the aura presented in Meyers works. Even the title seemed to fit, since similar celestial events are mentioned in the series.

Had I actually initially named the image Twilight, which would seem to be an appropriate title for the photo as well. I'm sure it would have gotten many more hits in online searches and perhaps many more sales.

An artist's work is an important form of intimate expression of their own reactions and opinions, a form of self-therapy at times. Though I have always thought, of course, that art should bring out the personal feelings of those who view it as well. Those feelings may not always bring the same associations that the artist themselves had intended when they actually created their work. It seems apt that the viewer can relate to your vision, without quite understanding it's deeper meaning in your eyes and soul.

In this respect, a given title may stifle the inner reactions of those contemplating the piece. Though I enjoy authoring titles for my artwork, I sometimes struggle with the exact phrase to express my thoughts. And I sometimes find it interesting to display a work as 'Untitled', so that one can form their own reaction with no preconcieved train of thought from me. Often the most intuitive visions are expressed, that can shed a whole new light or glimmers of meaning beneath the surface...teaching me something new about myself and my craft.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

'Jewelry by Jannie'

Photos by RLHall, ArtfulExpress All Rights Reserved

JLTaft creates beautiful beaded jewelry, her spiral bracelets are one of my favorite designs, since you can wear them alone or stack them together for a totally different look. They also look lovely worn alongside a watch or another style bracelet as well.

Jan's Jewelry line is available locally through several venues, including availability for purchase at the 'Earth, Wood & Stone' store at the Arnot Mall in Horseheads, N.Y. She is also a talented photographer. Visit JansArt at:

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Thanks for Featuring this Blog

'Spring Rains' Painting on Glass by RLHall, ArtfulExpress
All Rights Reserved

Somehow this blog was first featured on the site for my hometown of Corning, NY. Since then it has also become featured in the following listings in my local area:

Steuben County NY, Bath NY, Caton NY, Troupsburg NY, Woodhull NY, Kanona NY, Cameron Mills NY, Greenwood NY, Dundee NY, Campbell NY, Jasper NY, Addison NY, Cameron NY, and Savona NY.

I'm glad to get my stuff out there to all corners of my region, my appreciation goes out to whoever first thought to feature 'Artful Express Creative Life' and to the rest who have picked it up along the way :)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Three Layered Necklace

Photo & Necklace by RLHall, ArtfulExpress All Rights Reserved

Tried creating a new style of necklace made with three strands of scattered glass beads, it looks beautiful on, but was difficult to photograph effectively. I'll have to devise a way to get better photos for further projects of this type. This piece looks great peeking through an opened collar blouse, over a scoop neckline, or turtle-neck shirt. Striking yet easy to wear with both a casual or a little dressier look. Done in various shades and shapes of blue glass beads.

Amazing Video on YouTube/no more war

Pic of my cat napping on my laptop keyboard, no she's not in the video... :) She's cute though, even though she knows better!
Photo by RLHall, ArtfulExpress All Rights Reserved

The video (link below) shows the winner of "Ukraine's Got Talent". Following info was recieved in an email, author unknown: Kseniya Simonova, 24, drawing a series of pictures on an illuminated sand table showing how ordinary people were affected by the German invasion during World War II. Her talent, which is unique and very creative, is mesmerizing to view.

The images, projected onto a large screen, moved many in the audience to tears and she won the top prize of about $130,000.00

She begins by creating a scene showing a couple sitting holding hands on a bench under a starry sky, but then warplanes appear and the happy scene is obliterated.

It is replaced by a woman's face crying, but then a baby arrives and the woman smiles again. Once again war returns and Miss Simonova throws the sand into chaos from which a young woman's face appears.

She quickly becomes an old widow, her face wrinkled and sad, before the image turns into a monument to an Unknown Soldier.

This outdoor scene becomes framed by a window as if the viewer is looking out on the monument from within a house.

In the final scene, a mother and child appear inside and a man standing outside, with his hands pressed against the glass, saying goodbye.

The Great Patriotic War, as it is called in Ukraine , resulted in one in four of the population being killed with eight to 11 million deaths out of a population of 42 million.

Click on link below to veiw video:

Jewelry Projects

Photos & Jewelry by RLHall, ArtfulExpress All Rights Reserved.

These are examples of my latest Jewelry Projects.

Shown are two Magnetic Hematite Bead Bracelets, that can also be worn as varying lengthed Choker Style Necklaces. These pieces are very comfortable to wear. They are flexible and have a nice quality weight to them without being so heavy that they are overly noticeable while worn.

Wearing of Magnetic jewelry is said to provide healthful benefits. It is believed that magnetic therapy may provide some pain-relief in chronic or acute discomfort, promotion of improved circulation and relaxation, as well as generally enhancing well-being. Though magnetic therapy is not advised for patients with pace makers, internal defibrillators or pregnant women.

A mid-length Casual Vintage Button Necklace is also displayed. Shown both as a gold sparkling charm, and reversed to be worn as a interesting black pendant. This necklace is light enough that you don't notice that you are wearing it. Although the vintage button from my Grandmother's collection lends enough weight that it hangs nicely against the chest.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Poster Print of 'The Door' Sold

'The Door' by RLHall ArtfulExpress all rights reserved

Sold a poster of this print of the Castle Overlook at Alleghany State Park, New York. (Shown here in a hand embellished frame) from my Cafe Press ArtfulExpress Store

Alleghany is one of the many beautiful State Parks and Historic Sites in New York State, some of which are in danger of being downsized or closed completely due to Gov. Patterson's propasal for budget cuts. Please support NYS Parks by going to the site below and sign the petition against the loss of these important resources.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Can't bear to throw it away

Photo & tapestry by RLHall, ArtfulExpress, all rights reserved

I was searching for material, or something, to photograph some jewelery against and found this old country primitive style tapestry that I made when I was a teenager. It was wadded up in the bottom of an old box. This is the only tapestry I've ever done, I stuck to plastic canvas or hook rug 'kits' after that! It seemed like such a lot of work to me and not as fun as playing with paper.

I used to sew my own clothes, and anything else I needed that I could think of a way to make. I've made many quilts, camping equipment and did embroidery, etc. But I only sew occasionally now, usually small projects or hand-stitched embellishments. Sewing by hand is soothing somehow and I love textiles, but I seldom use my machine anymore.

Maybe when I gain a little more space in the art room at the house (I plan on tearing out two closets and opening up part of a wall through to the den) I will be able to leave my machine set up and ready to go...then I may tend to use it more often! But if I could only bear to throw away things like that old not so well done tapestry, I might have more work space...

Any comments are more than welcome, please feel free to express any thoughts by clicking on the small purple comments link below ;)

Monday, March 1, 2010


Mixed Media Collage "Earthwatch" by RLHall ArtfulExpress All Rights Reserved

This piece was created entirely from recycled materials. The use of paper from one small town sunday newspaper on a recycled cardboard canvas is meant as a statement about the ruination of our Earth's environmental resources. In which Mother Nature looks down on us with love and disappointment at such irresponsible treatment of our beautiful and irreplaceable home. Remnants of a healthy world can still be found, but each of us must do our part to keep a personal earthwatch for ourselves, starting now!

Your personal daily earthwatch can do much to help a worldwide effort to nurse our ailing planet back to a hearty balance. If we all band together to do what we can in our normal everyday lives, no matter how small each effort appears on its own, when added to the global effort of other concerned individuals it will go far to help our earth to not only survive but to flourish with abundance once again...

Baby Steps to Go Green:

Everyday Ways to Help the Environment:

Everyday Steps for Everyday People to Save the Earth:

Any comments are more than welcome, please feel free to express any thoughts by clicking on the small purple comments link below ;)