Damn it, Sandy! Why’d ya do it? You blew in here at 90 miles an hour and destroyed the Jersey Shore (I know, many say it was payback for the crappy “reality” TV show of the same name that does NOT represent the bulk of Jersey-ites, but still…), ruined Halloween, left millions powerless (some still are!) and generally “F’d” NJ and several other East Coast states!
I’m just glad I visited Sandy Hook in late Sept. and shot some photos as now it is devastated!
We’ve never experienced a storm like this around here and for those global warming nay-sayers, this should finally start convincing you but either way, Super Storm Sandy wreaked havoc on New Jersey! So, now that my power is restored it’s time to get back to work! While I was sitting in the dark, eating all the food in the freezer and listening to the news on my car radio, my art features were being prepared by clients in other states/countries so now I can share them with you since I’m back on line.
First off, my new monthly feature on the World of Nails online magazine is up! My post this month further discusses Sandy’s effects on NJ as well as this year’s Halloween garb I was able to sport the weekend prior! Take a look: http://theworldofnails.com/sandy-kills-halloween/
And here’s my spotlight feature on an art freelancer website, Thumbtack: http://www.thumbtack.com/nj/westfield/illustrators/
Since Sandy ruined Halloween this year, here’s what my lawn DID look like before I had to take it all down to avoid my cemetery from being blown away! At least I had the full regalia out for 2 weeks…
So now, a week after the hurricane, the Mad Max-like gas lines are starting to diminish and 2/3 have power back…store shelves will hopefully re-stock soon but it’ll be ages until the destruction will be repaired so I want to send out thoughts of support and love to all those effected by Sandy…may we never be visited by that angry bitch again!
They say all press is good press but I still prefer GOOD good press…so I’m very happy about the recent airing of my radio interview with well known herbalist & holistic practitioner Susun Weed! Last year she asked if she could interview me about my artwork since much of it relates to nature and Earth-centered spirituality and she felt it would be an interesting topic for her women’s radio show (but of course you don’t have to be a woman to enjoy it!). So, here’s the link of where you can hear it and see some of my artwork on her website. And while I’m at it I might as well post info. about some other art exhibits I’m a part of this month:
Susun Weed features healers, herbalists, artists, etc. whose work has a connection with Nature. My interview is up now and here’s the link to check it out: http://wisewomanradio.com/interviews/curtis.html
HYPER-REAL JURIED EXHIBIT; Visit Caladan Gallery online for the newest show…I have several photos in this ONLINE exhibit along with artists from across the US & abroad. Of my work, gallery director Marjorie Kaye says: Photographs by gallery member Lauren Curtis (Franklin Park, NJ) examine, with an almost microscopic eye, the senses associated with natural forms. The viewer is drawn into the photographs, which are otherworldly, as if depicting plant forms that don’t occur anywhere but in the realm of the artist’s observation. We feel the coolness, the damp reality of growth.
You can view the show on www.CaladanGallery.com Show runs 4/1/12 – 5/9/12.
ZOOANALIA JURIED NJ ART EXHIBIT; Join me and other NJ artists for the opening reception for this animal art influenced exhibit! Show opens Tues. night, 4/10/12, 6:30pm-8pm, South Brunswick Arts Commission Gallery in the Municipal Bldg., 540 Rt. 522/Ridge Rd., Monmouth Jct., NJ 08852. 732-329-4000 ext. 7635 Show runs thru June 26, 2012. Gallery open weekdays…call for more details.
HOLISTIC ZINE COVER ART
My artwork, a pen & ink drawing (shown below) originally commissioned by a major crafter company for national craft expos, was selected to be the Spring cover art for INNER REALM MAGAZINE! Have a peek: www.InnerRealmMagazine.com
More updates soon…June is booked solid with art shows and fests all around NJ…stay tuned!
Hello again, dear bloggers…it’s time for another special guest feature and this time it’s my good friend, and amazing author, Vila SpiderHawk. Aside from her wonderful, spiritually empowering novels, she’s also a fantastic vegetarian cook and has written several cookbooks. I’ve been working with her for a while now, designing the covers for her books, and have gotten to know her very well. Vila does everything from the heart and soul so I thought it’d be interesting to learn about what drives her to lead the vegetarian lifestyle. So, in her own words…take it away Vila!
People often ask me why I live a vegetarian lifestyle. And the short answer is the Wiccan Rede: An it harm none, do as you will.
I honestly try to live by that, the only rule in the Craft. And since I am part of the “none” that I try not to harm, I start with myself and work my way outward. Therefore, I eschew animal products and all the dietary cholesterol and fat associated with them as well as the hormones and antibiotics injected into farm animals. Instead I eat a plant-based diet and make a genuine effort to go with organically grown produce. And, yes, it is possible to consume enough protein that way. All vegetables contain protein, and vegetable protein is actually easier to absorb than the protein in animal products.
Working my way outward into the world, my refusal to eat animal products insures that I do no harm to the animals either. I have seen the way animals are raised for food. It’s a short and very cruel life for them. They live in conditions that are guaranteed to cause disease, which is why they’re loaded with antibiotics. Overcrowded and often improperly fed, pumped full of hormones so they’ll fatten up more quickly, these animals go through their entire lives without seeing the sun, without smelling fresh air, often without being able to move. And then they are slaughtered. I want no part of that process.
Moving out a bit more into the world, and we talk about the environment: the land and the air and the water. Eating low on the food chain, as all vegetarians do, is a small step toward saving the planet. We don’t have to overfish the waterways to satisfy a vegetarian’s needs. There’s no need to plant fields of grain to feed cattle so that eventually the muscles of those animals can provide protein for vegetarians. Vegetarians get our protein from the grain itself. That by definition puts less land under cultivation and allows more of it to be as nature intended. There’s no need to pump chickens up with cancer-inducing hormones for vegetarians. Furthermore, if we go for organic produce, there are no pesticides or chemical fertilizers to foul the air, the earth, or the water.
While I recognize that vegetarians do harm; Every tomato we eat is dead, having been plucked from its life-giving vine. But I have to eat something. Remember, I am also part of the “none” that I am not to harm. Therefore, I eat everything with reverence and gratitude, asking permission of the fruit before harvesting it and then praying over it before I consume it. I don’t know who originally wrote this blessing, but I like it.
We bless the beings that gave their lives for this food.
We bless the hands that brought this food to our table.
We transmute any harm to our highest destiny.
We bless this food.
We bless this food.
We bless this food.
We bless us.
We bless us.
We bless us.
Go into the light.
Go into the light.
Go into the light.
But there is more than practicality to my spiritual reasons for being a vegetarian. There is also the pleasure of beauty and good taste. Vegetarian food is a riot of brilliant colors–reds, oranges, yellows, and greens–each hue bearing witness to an outrageous supply of antioxidants. And, believe me, there is nothing bland about vegetarian food. Even carnivores love my cooking. But don’t take my word for it. Check out my books, Home for Dinner Cookbook and Feasting from the Garden. Here’s where you can order them:
Each book available
in Amazon’s Kindle Store at http://tinyurl.com/4y9hltc
in Barnes and Noble’s Nook Store at http://tinyurl.com/43lasvk
In PDF (printable form) at
And on my website,
Don’t have a Kindle device?
Download a FREE Kindle for PC program
from Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/yzcqkcr
This past Monday I went on a field trip with a local Central NJ artist group (Highland Park Artist Collective) and we took a guided open boat ride through the Meadowlands. This area is often considered the “typical” New Jersey…you know, industrial, smoke stacks, highway exit signs, old bridges, pollution…and while all this remains true there is also a lot of natural beauty to be found here!
Our knowledgeable Captain/tour-guide sailed us along the Hackensack River and through the Saw Mill Creek Wildlife Management area where we learned about the fast growing native grasses and rushes as well as spotting many NJ species of birds. Surrounded by industrial buildings and highways, here, Nature is reclaiming what was once Hers…she’s covering over ugly landfills and polluted areas with tough plant life that refuses to take no for an answer! Herons, ducks, geese and other bird species were seen going about their Autumnal business as we calmly sailed by. Despite some rain, it was an enjoyable and educational journey and the juxtaposition of man-made metal giants with the natural, organic landscape provided many beautiful photo opportunities.
We glided under old steel bridges like the Pulaski Skyway (which I heard is one of the most dangerous bridges in the area!) and sailed by refineries, but the birds and other wildlife seemed unfazed and continue to thrive despite what humans have done to thwart their survival. This tour, hosted by the NJ Meadowlands Commission at DeKorte Park Plaza (www.njmeadowlands.gov) can be taken by anyone who books one and the commission also offers many other nature/wildlife sites and experiences. I highly recommend that anyone who has a misconception of this area of NJ, or all those interested in local wildlife, should visit and experience it for themselves…it’s truly a welcomed surprise and attests to the fact that New Jersey is still the Garden State…even near the turnpike exits!
Here are some photos I shot during this adventure…
Hard to believe we’re counting down the final hours of Summer and will soon welcome Autumn (Fall, Mabon, the Autumnal Equinox…). Despite the fact that the weather in the US’s East Coast Tri-State Area is still warm and balmy, we can’t stop Mother Nature from marching on with Fall. I do love the cooler, crisp air, the changing colors of the leaves, the bright Autumn flowers and gourds but I will miss summer and I do get melancholy when I think about how fast the seasons pass by!
So, in honor of, and in ode to, Summer here are some photos from two NJ excursions I made this year to Keyport’s beach and to the big, annual North Brunswick Carnival. To me, these are some images that exemplify the colors, sights and sounds of this passing season and I hope you’ll enjoy them and bid farewell to one season and welcome in the next (and after all, Halloween/Samhain is my favorite holiday!!).
Thanks for reading!
P.S. Signed prints available. Please contact me for info.! 🙂
Softly Sleeping | Jusani. (CLICK THIS LINK TO SEE & VOTE FOR MY ARTWORK. THANKS!)
Hi All…many of you know that I’m a huge animal lover and animal rights activist so I just had to enter an image, in honor of one of my cats who has crossed over, in the Jusani contest. The winning designs are made into t-shirts, etc. and 10% of all proceeds from sales are donated to companion animal rescue groups so PLEASE take a minute to vote for my design…and for the animals!
Thanks so much,
Greetings! Some of you might already be familiar with herbal wise woman and pioneer, Juliette de Bairacli Levy but for those who aren’t, she’s a fascinating woman and Susun Weed & Wise Woman are helping to celebrate and honor her life and achievements!
They’ve asked many of us involved in the holistic & creative worlds to help in this celebration by giving special offers on a wide variety of services…for me, I’m offering discounts on my Children of the Forest Earth-Centered Greeting Cards (printed on recycled parchment stock with 5% going to animal/environmental protection groups!)
For more info. on this exciting event, read below:
Spend a Week at the Sea of Galilee with the Grandmother of Herbal Medicine
I want to share with you a wonderful book by Juliette de Bairacli Levy, the Grandmother of Herbal Medicine – Summer in Galilee. You’ll find Juliette and her two toddlers irresistible as they explore the Sea of Galilee (in the modern State of Israel) together. Summer in Galilee includes an herbal index by Susun Weed, photos from Juliette’s archives, and stories that will stay with you forever. Timely, filled with historical tales and emotional adventures, Summer in Galilee is a classic that is passed from hand to hand, generation to generation.
And when you buy this wonderful and highly acclaimed book on Tuesday June 7th, you’ll will receive dozens of wonderful downloadable bonuses that you’ll love! Go to: www.grandmotherherbalmedicine.com learn about 70 partners who are celebrating the life and work of the amazing Juliette de Bairacli Levy, the grandmother of herbal medicine.
Join Juliette as she spends an eventful summer swimming in the waters, and the history, of the Sea of Galilee, in the modern state of Israel. Juliette trains her observant eyes, and lovely descriptive prose, on the people, places, plants and animals around her.
You will hold your breath as Juliette dares to traverse the forbidden militarized zone around the Jordan River in pursuit of a personal communion with this holiest of lands.
You’ll thrill as she and her children discover ancient treasure, be fascinated as she visits the tombs of Jewish mystics, and, perhaps, scream in terror as she is visited in the dark of night by an enormous snake – only to breathe a sigh of relief when she is saved by her faithful Afghan hound.
Juliette vividly describes her visit to a Bedouin village, and the trouble this causes, both in the kibbutz where she lives and among the Bedouins. But with keen wit, steely nerve, and kind heart, she manages to please everyone, including her readers, as she saves the day and mends frayed tempers.
And when you buy this wonderful and highly acclaimed book, you’ll be offered dozens of wonderful downloadable bonuses that you’ll love! For over 70 gifts, go to: www.grandmotherherbalmedicine.com and help us spread the legacy of this amazing woman, the grandmother of herbal medicine, Juliette de Bariacli Levy.
Lauren & Wise Woman
http://www.LaurenCurtisArt.com (commercial & fine art)
http://www.laurencurtisart.mosaicglobe.com (fine art, photography, art updates)
http://www.laurencurtis.imagekind.com (cards, T-shirts, photography, illustration)
http://www.facebook.com/LaurenCurtisArtTalonArt (Facebook Fan Page)
Travel is a huge inspiration to me and for my artwork! I recently had an opening reception for my solo photography show called JOURNEYS at Gourgaud Gallery in Cranbury, NJ that focuses on mainly 35mm images from my travels in Eastern & Western Europe and the US.
The reception was a success with many visitors, including friends, family, collectors and people I hadn’t met before that read about the show in the press. I was interviewed by 2 NJ blog sites and made a sale opening day! Here are the links to the blogs so you can check them out:
Some of the most popular images in the show were the shot of the Native American family at the Grand Canyon, the Gaudi spires from the Sagrada Familia Cathedral in Barcelona and an in-camera double exposure I shot along the historic D&R Canal that runs through NJ & PA. Among the cities explored in this show are Amsterdam, New Orleans, Budapest, Prague, Edinburgh and others.
I hope everyone who sees this show will be inspired to travel or at least research the art and culture of other US states and other countries…there’s so much beauty and similarity between cultures as well as fascinating differences to discover!
This exhibit will be up until 4/25/11 at Gourgaud Gallery, Town Hall, 23A No. Main St., Cranbury, NJ. All work is for sale and 20% goes to supporting the gallery! If you stop by the show, feel free to drop me an email or comment and let me know how you like it! Enjoy the journey!!