Wednesday, February 20, 2013

SHEL: The Amazingly Talented Band of Sisters Music


I'm blown away by these girls. I've seen sister acts playing music together, but these women take it to a whole new level. They are extremely talented and play a wide range of instruments. Their music is whimsical and airy, which makes me feel good when I listen to them. It's obvious they have a tremendous bond with one another and I imagine it must have been very entertaining growing up in their household--to say the least. 

As luck would have it, they reside in Fort Collins, Colorado, which is the same town I live in. I can't wait to go see them live :-)

They've got a beautiful website at:



SHEL has delivered one of the most impressive debuts of the year…Chris Douridas –KCRW/Los Angeles
SHEL performs with the precision of a heat seeking missile.Paul Kennerley, Award-winning Songwriter
My emerging artist pick for 2011. SHEL’s synergy is infectious…
the future of music is in good hands.Jim Gillespie, Blissfest Music Organization

SHEL is Sarah, Hannah, Eva and Liza, four classically trained musicians who happen to be sisters. From the artist colony of Fort Collins, Colorado, SHEL is sophisticated and youthful, emotional and lighthearted, classic and eccentric. SHEL’s engaging live show is marked with a prodigy’s creativity and a veteran’s instinct for entertaining. Audiences delight with their unique songwriting style and fresh, new sound.

The Holbrook sisters grew up in a musical household and first appeared on the stage backing their singer-songwriter father, Andrew Holbrook. In 2005, the girls collaborated to form SHEL and now play and write all of their own music. Their new EP, “ When the Dragon Came Down,” was co-produced by SHEL and six-time Grammy award-winner, Brent Maher. The band has attracted the attention of such major media outlets as NPR’s “eTown Live,” and; toured nationwide playing fairs and festivals including South by Southwest, International Folk Alliance, Lilith Fair, Four Corners Folk Festival and Cornerstone; and had one of their songs featured in Glade’s Scented Oil Candles national TV ad campaign.

Sarah, 19 (Violin, Bass) - Immensely gifted as a violinist and vocalist, Sarah also shines with her bass chops. Highly creative, Sarah’s diverse artistic talents have lead her to be the primary designer of SHEL’s original graphics and videography. She is also the undisputed ambassador of fun at every show.

Hannah, 22 (Piano, Keyboards) An award-winning young composer and pianist, Hannah also sings and helps arrange SHEL’s unique vocal harmonies. Hannah has been studying at Colorado State University for the past three years where she’s concentrated on piano performance and composition.

Eva, 20 (Mandolin, Electric Mandolin, Cello) Lead vocalist and one of the band’s primary writers, Eva’s passion and talent for playing both acoustic and electric mandolin has received widespread recognition. Involved in every phase of arranging and production, Eva records much of the band’s tracks in their home studio.

Liza, 16 (Drums, Percussion) - Liza’s natural polyrhythmic ability was spotted at an early age. Not only is she the drummer for the band, Liza is equally proficient on the Djembe and Roland Hand Sonic drum. Her creative approach to percussion enables her to create the unique rhythm patterns that help define SHEL’s music.

Biography section taken in it's entirety from: 
SHEL's Website

More Cool Videos of the Girls

You will find touring info on their website here:

Living2Inspire’s First Featured Artist: Pierre-Paul Marchini Featured Artist

By Dana McClellan

First, an Introduction to “Featured Artists”

I never realized how art could evoke such a range of emotions out of me. I am not by any stretch of the imagination—an "art connoisseur" (is that even the appropriate term?). In fact, I only recently began learning about it through my Art Appreciation class in college. That class opened up a whole new world and revealed to me what I had been missing. My instructor showed me how to sit quietly with a piece and actually experience it instead of merely looking at it. I learned that it wasn’t important whether or not I fully understood the artist’s expression. Art isn’t about rules. It’s about expression and individual interpretation. That being said, I do tend to get more out of a piece when I take time to learn a little about the artist and his or her perspective. It helps me to see things (nature, beauty, people, the world) in ways I would have never thought of, thereby opening up whole new realms of thought.

Through this one class, I realized that I am partial to impressionist and expressionist work. I was assigned an artist to explore and write about for my final project, and that artist was Wassily Kandinsky. I came to love his use of color. The fact that he painted what he saw in his minds-eye, as related to sound and emotion was what really resonated with me.

My focus here in this blog is on what inspires the human mind. Personally, I tend to categorize inspiration as originating from two places; either from the source of all things (God, Holy Spirit, the universe, consciousness) or from the physical realm of form. Not that one is better than the other; I believe both are necessary. We have a need to seek experience and express both spiritual and physical realms. I’m interested—and I hope you are too—in what inspires other human beings to create. For that reason, I will ask the same question of every artist that I feature: “Where do you feel your inspiration comes from?” and I’m going to ask that they really give it some thought. Featured Artist

Pierre-Paul Marchini

When I first came up with this idea, it was after befriending hundreds of artists from various industries in the Google+ social media platform. My home page had instantly become much more beautiful and interesting because of all of these new acquaintances. I had been thinking of ways to make my blog a more interesting read, while at the same time adding value to other people, so I decided to post a request though both Facebook and Google+ for artists who would be interested in more exposure. I was extremely excited when I received a response from Pierre-Paul Marchini.

While we do have a little bit of a language barrier (he speaks French; I speak English) we have been able to communicate with the help of the Google translator app. It’s not perfect, but we’ve managed pretty well. When I first saw Marchini’s work, I knew it was exactly what I wanted to start with. As with Kandinsky, I was impressed with Marchini’s use of color, as well as the captivating scenes he portrays. I am mesmerized by his paintings.
When I asked Pierre-Paul Marchini where he felt his inspiration came from he said,

Je trouve mon inspiration dans les éléments qui m'entoure , paysages,mer, montagne , l'interprétation est personnel bien sur . J'utilise le couteau qui procure des effets de masse et de de légèreté tout à la fois.”

English translation, “I find my inspiration in what surrounds me, landscapes, sea, mountain, the interpretation is personal. I use the knife which provides mass effects and lightness at the same time.”


This is translated from French and although it is not a perfect translation, I cannot presume to provide a better one. I think for the most part it is easily understood,

[T]he art of the light flow darkness to silence the encounter with the work of the artist is at once surprising, because it occurs while surfing the web. Three words suffice then to show the virtual gallery of the painter: "Peter Paul Marchini." Thus, the pictorial journey into the world can start or turn into a ballad where a real sense know upheaval. "The work of the artist expresses forcefully the color and light (...) as the last bastion of a sinking black seems imminent, or as an expression of love and poetry," Pierre Squarcini analysis, poet and friend the creator's paintings of Pierre-Paul Marchini therefore they are a message of hope. Invoking the light, they conjure up the darkness and leave in effect a frenzy of colors. More precisely landscapes of Corsica South made ​​with oil. "Oil is my favorite material. It is a substance that can better express what we feel. Especially since you can try various tests before obtaining the desired result, an impossible exercise with acrylic dries too quickly especially, "says the artist's eyes Pierre-Paul Marchini, acquisition that freedom of expression has always been a necessity."This is a difficult one to overcome. For years, I have experienced the feeling of being limited in my art. My paintings do not satisfy me fully. This is why I decided to take a break 3 years ago. I had doubts about my abilities as an artist. This judgment was beneficial and crucial for my career," he says. Indeed, the painter, self-taught, was in the habit of exercising his passion by borrowing classic traditional techniques: brush and small sizes. But constantly questioning and fascinated by the Impressionist period, inspired by Monet or Pissaro, he could not bring himself to part reducer. place is now done and the very large sizes, with eg 100x70 cm canvas but also the use of the knife. A change which ensures a significant change, both in form and in substance. "Now my paintings reflect my desires. I finally feel able to express my painting as I see fit. This work remains close to impressionism, forms are less accurate, yet they are highlighted with color, mixing 100% handmade," says Pierre-Paul Marchini. A man paints what he sees, without stage as the expression of an experience. However, he sometimes returning to a place immortalized without realizing. "These are landscapes that do not necessarily exist, snippets of memories that have been recorded and recreated. However, it is never a work from photographs or specific models. I paint mainly felt, "he says works of Pierre-Paul Marchini are moving, vibrating. Member Drouot Quotation of Artists and registered with the Maison des Artistes Professionals, soon he exhibited in a gallery in Montmartre, then rotate throughout the year at galleries Corsica, Paris, Swiss, Italian and German. A small tour of Europe which confirms already known to the painter, who holds the secret to the light flow on the canvas. "Given the artistic research, the philosophical view, view of the strength and quality of his work The Jury awarded Pierre Paul MARCHINI, Grade of Chevalier Academic and awarded him the Medal of Arts section BRONZE" LM

Here is a presentation by a French writer, which will lead us into some images of Marchini’s art:
Enter the world aflame Marchini Pierre-Paul is walking on fire, being dazzled by his paintings subdued mystery and beauty burned. This is follow him on bridges of gold and blood, the blue and the shadows of his wanderings sublime. Which artist! Everything about him is that blazing light creeks, waterfalls fire, scratched shadows of twilight ... In this conflagration emerge according to our imagination shapes and silhouettes that the painter has created or maybe not ... [His] paintings [are] the projection of our own imagination. Each painting is an appointment with our dreams. ~ Jean Paul Sermonte Writer Poet.

Music to enjoy while you view the art

Click on images to enlarge Featured Artist

Click on images to enlarge Featured Artist

Click on images to enlarge Featured Artist

Click on images to enlarge Featured Artist

Click on images to enlarge Featured Artist

Click on images to enlarge Featured Artist

Click on images to enlarge Featured Artist

Click on images to enlarge Featured Artist

Click on images to enlarge Featured Artist

Click on images to enlarge Featured Artist

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After viewing these digital representations, I hope you will visit Marchini's site at:

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Mindful Music #4 Stillness is the Move

Dirty Projectors: Stillness is the Move

I've been diggin' this song lately because the music is so unusual and catchy, but now that I've found the lyrics I like it even better!

"Stillness Is The Move"

When the child was just a child
It did not know what it was
Like a child it had no habits
No opinion about anything

Maybe I will get a job
Get a job as a waitress
Maybe waiting tables in a diner
In some remote city down the highway

After all that we've been through
I know we'll make it after the wait
The question is a truth
There is nothing we can't do
I'll see you along the way baby
The stillness is the move

On top of every mountain 
There was a great longing
For another even higher mountain
In each city longing for a bigger city

After all that we've been through
I know that I will always love you
From now until forever baby
I can't imagine anything better

Isn't life under the sun just a crazy, crazy, crazy dream?
Isn't life just a mirage of the world before the world, before the world?
Why am I here and not over, over, over there?
Where did time begin
Where does space end
Where do you and I, where do you and I begin?

Saturday, February 2, 2013

God is an Artist #3

If you look hard enough, you'll be able to see waves of God-thought permeating, penetrating and filling the inter-spaces of the universe. It is "The Thinking Stuff" that Wallace D. Wattles describes in his book "The Science of Getting Rich."
The waves in these pictures represent God's thoughts. I see it as the The Holy Spirit in action.

God truly is an artist and these are some His sculptures:

The Wave, Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness Utah
Photographer unknown

Formations Slot Canyon, Arizona
Photographer unknown

 Sandstone Interior, Antelope Canyon, Arizona
Photographer unknown

Don't judge a book by it's title :-)