Mermaids

Troubled Waters

I had an interesting last few days.

My younger cousin and I have been dialoguing a lot more recently and it’s opened my eyes to so many new things. One would be, I’ve never realized how similar we are as adults. I remember us running around as children and always having a great deal in common, but was blind to the fact that it transferred into adulthood.

We spoke about our family and our ethnicity and so many wonderful things. She is raising a child of her own and she is doing an amazing job, even being dealt a shitty hand. I am in awe of her. At 21 she has more maturity than some people twice her age.

This all sparked conversation in my own home about race and ethnicity and even more wonderful things. As that conversation was happening, I was sent some links to something that made me sick on Twitter.

People were (and still are) complaining about the race of a girl cast to play the new Ariel in Disney’s live-action version of The Little Mermaid.

What a bunch of fuckwits. Talk about a waste of space.

I’ve drawn and designed mermaids many times in my life and now I do so professionally, and I assure you, no where does it state they have to be a certain shade. I’ve even designed some with a lavender skin, or a greenish hue, sometimes pink; sometimes blue.

In the words of Jim Morrison, people are strange.

There are events going on in our country that are in dire need of attention, but these are the things some choose to get angry about.

It’s maddening.

The Shining Sea

I have a niece that I already know will very much look up to the new Ariel. Right now, her favorite is Moana for similar reasons. That alone makes me smile. That alone makes me want to give every one of those people complaining a great, big Jersey hello. (That’s the middle finger for those of you that’ve never been out here.)

So with that said, I hardly ever do fan art. About 98% of my art are originals. That being the case, I am going to make an exception for this next one and maybe a few others. After all, I plan on doing more of these for this movie coming up if time allows.

A Little Mermaid © 2019 Snapping Turtle Arts | cardcastlesinthesky.com

The following early concept is one of a limited edition series I’m doing on mermaids. This first one was inspired by the new Ariel.

Instead of me going back at some of those people that are spreading racist ideals on Twitter, this is going to be my retaliation. Share it if you can. Art speaks and it also teaches. Let the art teach. Maybe they can see its beauty and learn something.

Let the art teach.

J

Sleepy Sundays: The People in the Room

The People in the Room © 2019 Snapping Turtle Arts | cardcastlesinthesky.com

It’s been a good long while since we’ve been around in the clouds.
The wind seems to have swept us away.

Although you’ll hear all about that in an upcoming Daydreams Diary, we wished to catch you up on some of what’s gone on while we were away.


We had originally planned just to be away for the holidays after our October festivities ended here last year. Then a few unexpected events took place. I ran into some financial issues with my home and business due to my medical issues in August of last year. After that I got word a close relative of mine’s health was dwindling. & My life changed overnight. Everything else stopped and it was like nothing else mattered at that moment but my family and those I love.

A lot had to slow down. We had to take a breather. We had to sort things out. Before we could do any of that I got a call that my favorite uncle, my great uncle, my grandfather’s brother, who basically took a hand in raising me (it takes a village) and had been there all my life and so much more, had passed away.

So many emotions.

More than I care to drown you with here.

Sad but beautiful.

My Uncle “Pat” Pasquale, had touched so many of our lives in different ways. Though, in the later years of my life I remember his MS getting worse. Sadly, in very recent years it took a turn for the worst. Though he lived a great, long life, my Uncle Pat. He was one of the greatest storytellers I have ever known.

At his wake, my cousin Randy said some very moving words about him that could not have been more true for any one of us. He spoke of how my Uncle Pat loved nothing more than being a Dad, a grandfather, part of our family, an elder, and the people in the room. He certainly loved all of us.

Those words inspired the title behind this work, mostly due to how during the whole very sad but love-filled process, there were certainly a few times I felt others in my life that have passed on in the room. Others that were close to my uncle as well. Others like my own mother, that I felt a little nudge from a few times. These are things I usually only share with that side of my family. My mother’s side. The one that has a line of women just like me that are not afraid to speak of such things. Though, I’m starting to think you’re ready. I’m blessed to have them. The people in the room.



It’s been a while since we posted some music along with one of our Sunday posts so what better choice to go along with this theme than to introduce to you my very gifted and gorgeous little cousin Nicolette.

Anger in the Age of

flashback, 1996, NY, statue

Anger.

Whether misdirected or in the form of cyber-bullying, or through my former articles about stress & anger management, or any of the stories I shared about abuse during my time with STMND, anger is a topic we’re quite familiar with here at CardCastles.

So some of the replies I got today due to my support of another strong woman, Maxine Waters, didn’t surprise me.

chat iconThese may seem like two simple pieces of the internet at first glance. Although I did notice something and have been noticing this over & over play out again & again.
When you look at this from a broader scale, it may be clear to some that this response is the language of hate, and not just mere opinion.

Let’s dive deeper, shall we?

Calling someone like Maxine or myself crazy, from the pedestal that many of these cult followers stand on, is something abusers and controllers, bullies and dictactors have done since the beginning of time. They try to silence or discredit the person by calling the person, “crazy” thus nulling their opinion. Some of the cultists that responded to what I said up there called me crazy too for calling her a strong woman.

That kind of language is something I’m all too familiar with, coming from a cycle of abuse myself. I lived with a family member that used this tactic on both my mother and myself often.

In a society where I think most of us are trying to eradicate the stigma surrounding mental illness, language like this is a double-edged sword. Let’s face it, though. People that could support this regime don’t exactly care about anyone—not even themselves.

This is a pattern I’m seeing in all of these people that support this regime. They appear brainwashed, are usually not of high intelligence, and have abusive and/or racist tendencies. They use religion as a means to hide behind and defend their hideous actions. It is sickening to watch and to say the lot of that are sane in this country are tired of it is far beyond an understatement.

This type of silencing and spiritual and psychologial and even generational warfare they have begun will have lasting effects for generations to come.

Despite them and their abuse,

I am telling all of you with a heart and soul left in your body to speak up now and condemn all of this madness every single time you see it.

Now is not the time to be silent and respectful anymore.

We are going through a full blown crisis of epic proportions in this country and we have to protect our youth while uplifting each other. It is a damn war zone out here with all of this violence happening and such hate in the air.

Daydreams Diary: I’ve Been Waiting…

It’s been a while since I sat down to catch up with you.

There’s a reason for that.

In the recent words of someone I’ve always admired, actress Uma Thurman,

 

“I’ve been waiting to feel less angry.”

 

I’ve got a flurry of these Daydreams Diaries coming up this season perhaps making up for it.

With all of the events going on in the world, I felt the sudden urge to re-post my own #MeToo story,

The Girl That Didn’t Cry Wolf

 

 

Shared exclusively a few years ago at Stories That Must Not Die.

I think it’s important to highlight this happens to very young girls too. & We need to protect and educate our children.


Love Always,
Daydreams

Sleepy Sundays: Light Storms

Light Storms © 2017 Snapping Turtle Arts & Publishing | cardcastlesinthesky.com
Obliterate © 2017 Snapping Turtle Arts & Publishing | cardcastlesinthesky.com
These two designs were inspired by events both past and a strange nightmare I had one night years ago about the future.

The first about the past was a beautiful day that was considered rare in the times I grew up in that were somewhat similar to the things going on in present day in the country I call home. The afternoon etched itself into my memories due to a vivid sunset witnessed that mimicked a candy store. There were so many bright pinks and lilacs. Then out of nowhere it seemed to get ruined by a very dangerous electrical storm that no one seemed to see coming.

The second that was dreamt up into a sci-fi design was inspired by a terrifying, sweat-inducing dream had one night where tons of planets were just getting blasted to bits and raining down and outward everywhere.

My lesson in all this trying to concentrate while there are in fact catastrophic things going on in the world that involve spiritual, racial, generational, and just flat out good old fashioned good vs evil, was that we need to take care of one another more. & Fight these evils because like the storm, what appeared out of darkness soon became light. So many of you have been so very kind these past few weeks while we transition the site here.

With an actual storm brewing in the skies over my head as I type this, and the climate changing in my region & all over I hope our own certain future doesn’t look like the one in my nightmares. There’s just way too much more work to do.

Be kind to one another & take care of one another.

Have a peaceful Sunday.

 

Sleepy Sundays: Lifeforms

Lifeforms
Lifeforms

This next little design was inspired by the thought that life can come in so many infinite forms. I’ll be using it for an upcoming project.

I’m not buying into the hidden agendas of those who say we have become a nation divided. Somehow, in some cases, that warped thinking has them believing things are better that way. I’ve heard it both whispered and shouted.

Yet my groups of friends are as diverse as NY and NJ when my family first came to this country not but two generations ago. I consider my friends my extended family and I always have. We sit together, all from different backgrounds and cultures and yet we love each other, and share so much in common.

I guess what I’m trying to relay is, going into this new year, we must remember the past but we must also move forward if we want anything to change.

Otherwise, if we don’t ALL work towards loving one another then evil starts to grow.

It takes over.

Like a virus in the air spreading and spreading amidst the wind and latching on to your insides.

I know our world and humanity itself is better than that. I know there is true noble beings and real good amongst us. Some of you reading this right now are fighting for good and I am in awe of everything ahead of us. There is a brand new time on the horizon. We have a great opportunity here with this new year. Let’s put all this negativity behind us and start anew, keep an open mind, and spread love through all that we do.

What are your plans for the New Year?

Have a wonderful 2017!

& A magnificent Sunday

SS_Oct_theme

Float Like a Butterfly

butterfly art, Floating Daydream

This was my reaction when I first heard the news late last night:

Though, it’s hard to express all of the emotion and feelings that were running through me in just 150 characters.

I remember first hearing a few days back that The Champ was in critical condition. This had me thinking back to those times as a child where my grandfather and I would sit in front of the TV in sheer amazement over old footage of Ali’s greatness in the ring. My grandfather loved boxing, and Ali was a hero of his. That love of not only the sport, but the man himself, got passed down to me.

He was a graceful giant, who danced around that ring like as he so beautifully said—a butterfly, in his iconic quote:

“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”

The world is outpouring with love and support for this man and his family—as it should be. I only hope his messages of loving one another resonate with all of us. That way maybe we can change the condition of the current state of our world. I’ve seen a beautiful thing today with people of every race, color, and creed coming together to mourn the loss of such a great and powerful human being.

Float like a butterfly, Great One.

butterfly art, Floating Daydream
Floating Daydream © 2013 CardCastlesInTheSky

 

Perfection Culture

white-flowers-pattern.pngLately I’ve seen a decent number of stuffy posts all over the internet by professionals (& Non-professionals. And professionals that shouldn’t be professionals, and non-professionals that think they’re professionals…)

all passing on advice to never show anything but your absolute best work. They go on to insist that no one is going to take you seriously, blah-blah, blah.

Yeah, about that…

I’ve come to learn in my almost 4 years doing this [selling art, rebuilding a company] professionally, that people respect me for sometimes showing my flaws as an artist,

at times even blatantly pointing them out~>Sleepy Sundays: Meditation (From CardCastles Archives, Year: 2014)

In an attempt to help other artists with mistakes we all make sometimes.

—and you still keep coming back.

No one turns away from my site and says, “Oh my goodness, she’s so unprofessional! Did you see that shading mistake she made on that one?” For every mistake, I learn, make adjustments, and the rest of my work becomes better for it. I take things down. I put them back up. Sometimes being an artist is about making improvements.

People actually rather often say “Your have such a unique style! Your work is so detailed! This is gorgeous.”

They can tell I take my time and have learned from years of experience.

Those years included making plenty of mistakes.

There’s a growth there that you can see and a passion I have for my work that you all seem to know off the bat.

I guess what I’m trying to relay is:

It’s not all always about being perfect all the time. I get it about putting your best foot forward and all. But it’s okay to make mistakes too, ya know?

I mean, what are we all doing this for?

(—If not to have fun, learn, grow and pick some things up along the way.)

The same can be translated into writing and many other art forms.

Featured Image -- 2587

Perfection is an Illusion

There is no such thing as true 100% perfection. Even the best of things have flaws. In our modern-day society one can admit our culture has become a bit obsessed with the idea of perfection. Plastic surgery, who’s eyebrows are or aren’t “on fleek” (barf) whose contour be slayin’ ” (cringe), whose girlfriend looks better than yours, all of it supposedly determined for us by some post or meme or magazine.

Don’t get me started with the subject of “reality television.” Some other time friends.

It’s all so incredibly fake, and put out there by people desperately seeking attention or validation, or followers, some fill to their void…

Whatever the case is, there is no such thing as true 100% perfection.

Maybe if we accept that first, we can fix our society’s increasingly narcissistic ways.

 

Sleepy Sundays: Rest

Rest
Rest

We’ve reached the end of the month. While my physical health remains an issue, I’ve decided to keep working through it. However slow I get things done no longer matters to me.

I managed to forget one small detail back in November when I started freelancing:

I make the rules. I am in charge.

Although I ultimately am at the mercy of my clients if I want to collect payment, I am still the boss. I make my own hours. When things come up in my life, I need to cancel, cancel, cancel. (I’m still working on that part.)

The photo art pictured above was inspired by that very sentiment. Sometimes our bodies simply need rest, or we will keel over.

With January coming to a close, I’ve had to let a few people down. That truth hurts me. Having to detach from something effects me a lot more than most would realize. Especially since I know some of you reading have been going THROUGH IT lately, just like I have.

I guess what I’m trying to say is something I stated here a long time ago in my former “Daily Daydreams” section.

“Make time for love’s sake.

Make love for time’s sake.”Daydreams

Have you had to let someone down recently? Are you a good/poor communicator?

Have a rest-worthy Sunday!