Thursday, December 30, 2010

Stephen's Painting Studio Thoughts About The Old Year And New by Stephen Craig Rowe

     Liberty never sleeps for when she is not in the stars she is about in the heart and minds of those who dream, those who believe, those who wonder and wander and all those others.  Liberty and Dragon dance eternal, entwined forever in the reflection of glass beads and tears.  In mid winter the magic of Christmas combines with the power of winds, rains, snows, "only God knows", and such that the Snow Queen bestows upon the lands.  There Liberty wakes the Dragon for a dance again on New Year's Eve.
     One can not help but recall the year past, with all the good and ill experiences.  Then shed a small tear for the ill memories and smile for the good ones with hope that the New Year shall bring more good than ill to those near and dear, to those who dream, those who believe, those who wander and wonder, and all those others.
     On New Year's Eve Liberty and Dragon will be dancing a wing flapping, tail slapping galactic tango that touches the all in the magic of who we are and the realization of the miracle that we are here and able to count our blessings.
     The celebration is ever one of hope for a better year to come and an appreciation of the year past. 
     I wish you and yours, a very meaningful, safe, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!
     As ever be well,  Stephen Craig Rowe



Tuesday, December 14, 2010

PAINTING STUDIO And The Snow Queen by Stephen Craig Rowe

     The Snow Queen sighed as she saw the ridge bathed in an early evening light, with all but a few leaves fallen and cast a color rather like rust, rose and something in between in a moment before dusk.  In a deer stunned moment birds became silent as chill winds brought the first dust of snow that soon became rich full flakes as one would see in a movie drifting in the last sun rays upon the ridge.  Fall hung on her arbor as a leaf fell in silence as quiet as snow, as silent as a tear, and there but for a moments grace a sigh in the wind gave the face of Fall to the Snow Queen's kiss, and all night long, then through the day the ridge and lands where covered in white.  Some say they see Angels, some say it's just cold rain falling and some say the change of seasons is magic that no words can tell. 
     The Snow Queen smiles as some bring indoors the outdoors with pines, green wreaths, cones and things that recall fall.  Put up lights, make music and merriment with family and friends.  Recall all of those near and dear, here and gone that make us who we are in the present and in memories. 
    Some say they see Angels and the Snow Queen Smiles.  Some say the season is magic, and as ever be well,  Stephen Craig Rowe

Thursday, December 02, 2010

PAINTING STUDIO Home by Stephen Craig Rowe

     Sunday night before my trip sleep was hard to find as I kept waking and looking at the clock, then trying to fall back asleep only to wake seemingly moments later to look at the clock again.  On Monday I did take a good nap in the van on the road to Danville for the landscape was as drab and grey as the day.  Cold and winds prevailed through mid week.  On the lodging ward of the VA Medical Center in Danville I did have a room to myself and was glad that the evening meal was by no means fit to eat because I wanted to limit my intake in order to ease the cleansing that would take place on Tuesday night.  The hospital sounds on Monday night made sleep hard to find but on Tuesday morning a good nap was taken on the van on the road to Indianapolis.
     On Tuesday arrived at the VAMC in Indy early in the morning but did not have any appointments until Wednesday so I visited some staff, made myself useful here and there with fellow Veterans, then spent some time in the computer lab.  Checked into the hotel around 4pm and began the cleansing prep for the procedure on Wednesday.  Had to drink eight ounces of the foul mixture every ten minutes until 12 glasses were consumed and it sure did clean me out.  Hotel noise and jets flying over made Tuesday night sleep hard to find as my thoughts raced toward the procedure on Wednesday morning.
     Before the colonoscopy my surgeon came into the room and introduced himself with a hand shake.  I said, " Doctor, there is no need to introduce yourself.  How could I ever forget the man who saved my life. "  As we all take pride in our work my remark had the desired effect and caused him to smile thus putting all in the room at ease.  The procedure was flawless and the results were outstanding.  No cancer and the next scope will be in three years! 
     Upon hearing this news, I damn near cried for joy but saved my tears and said a quiet prayer of thanks. 
     As I waited for the van to take me home I noticed a fellow veteran I had seen the previous day who had Parkinson like symptoms and was wearing a short sleeve cotton shirt waiting in the lobby.  Winter winds and cold had finally settled into the mid west.  I went to the canteen and bought an insulated hooded sweat shirt, took it to the lobby and gave it to the fellow veteran.  He said that he had a coat at home and as I helped him  put it on I said that though you are far from home, this  is home.  Merry Christmas.  He shook my hand and thanked me.
     That afternoon on the van ride back to Peoria a much needed nap was in order though interrupted by road sounds and sway of the coach I was only half asleep.  Late afternoon as the sun set on the horizon the light cast below the clouds formed a band of red that flashed behind trees, farms, hedges and the place where land meets the sky.  I was fully awake then and in that beauty my eyes became wet as the last blaze of light seemed to sink into the earth.
     Though it was dark when I arrived home, the house was full of light, had a drink or two, a fine home made meal, a wonderful telephone conversation with the fine arts photographer in Georgia and went to sleep with a smile on my face and slept like a rock.
As ever be well,  Stephen Craig Rowe

Sunday, November 28, 2010

PAINTING STUDIO After Thanksgiving On The Road Again by Stephen Craig Rowe

.     Thanksgiving was simple, quiet and nice here at the Painting Studio with a simple menu of roasted turkey thighs, tenders, dressing, candied yams, mashed potatoes, gravy, pumpkin pie and a few glasses of good cheer.  Of course the day after was a repeat of the same menu with a few glasses of good cheer.  On Thanksgiving day I made and took some calls with family and friends then visited some folks on Facebook including my son Adam who recently signed on for three more years in the US Army.  He is taking some leave time in December and I hope he will be able to visit Peoria.  When I talked to him on the phone the other evening he seemed up for the idea.  He was walking on base at Fort Riley, Kansas and I could hear the wind howling on his cell phone.  A day or so after the winds were here in great force.  All in all it was a good Thanksgiving weekend.
     On Monday I am on the road again to  Danville and Indianapolis for an annual colonoscopy and should be back home late Wednesday afternoon or early evening.  By the time I arrive in Danville and am admitted to lodging the library will  already be closed but maybe I will be able to get online at the local community college.  I should have plenty of time to get online in Indianapolis on Tuesday because I do not have any appointments that day and check in at the hotel is not until 3.  The scope will be on Wednesday morning followed by an early afternoon review with my surgeon and then a long ride home.  Will keep busy visiting nurses, Dr's and other caregivers that I have come to know over the past few years and there is always someone who needs help with something or other in a Veterans Hospital.  In the mean time as ever be well.
Stephen Craig Rowe

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

PAINTING STUDIO Trans Siberian Orchestra In Peoria, Il., The Last Rose And Falling Back by Stephen Craig Rowe


The Trans Siberian Orchestra event at the Peoria Civic Center on November 6th was an extravaganza that welcomes the holiday season with good cheer, a message of hope, history, light, fantastic light show, more than awsome music and the chance for me to visit with some dear friends.  The entire experience was a joy as it should be.  After a few familiar numbers the band performed some new works that all hope to hear more of in the future.  Though brief my meeting with Al Pitrelli the band leader-lead guitar and his wife Jane the keyboard artist was very warm and friendly.  Al mentioned something about a road trip after the tour, perhaps  in the spring or summer for a visit here.   Because of the tight tour scheduale there was no time for them to visit Jim’s Steakhouse or the Painting Studio.   Do hope to see them in the spring or summer.

My buddy Chef Francis and I arrived at Jim's Steakhouse around an hour and a half before the show to allow time for a libation or two before the event.  The Steakhouse was very busy and rather than order a cocktail I caught the owners eye and said, " Tim, what do you need "?   See if you can get me a table in the lounge for a party of ten and I was off looking for table cloths, silver, napkins and such.  Nodding to guests in recognition while trying to set up tables.  Then Tim needed a party of six, a four top, a party of nine and a deuce.  Though fast and furious I felt quite at home and did my best to set the tables and seat the guests.  It went well and was pleased to play a small part. 

Sunday and Monday afternoon I started taking down my little rose garden and getting the small plot ready for winter.  It is not a big job but it is important to me and there are feelings involved when doing so.  I don’t exactly talk to the roses when I cut them back, but perhaps in a way I do for they have given me so very much visual and poetic pleasure.  This afternoon was excepetionally warm and I finished cutting them down to near the root bulb and then turned the soil with the spade to give them a good winter rest before taking my afternoon walk.  The sun was warm enough to make me smile.

As ever be well,  Stephen Craig Rowe

Friday, November 05, 2010

PAINTING STUDIO and The Trans Siberian Orchestra 2010 by Stephen Craig Rowe

It is that time of year again and the Trans Siberian Orchestra will be performing this Saturday November 6th at the Peoria Civic Center.  Have two tickets for the 8 p.m. show and am very glad to be attending this event.  Can’t wait to see Al Pitrelli the band leader-lead guitar and his wife Jane Mangini the keyboard artist after the show.  As most of you know last year prior to my surgery I put out the word for you not to send flowers.  Due to the busy tour scheduale Al and Jane were not able to keep up with my blogs and sent a beautiful bouquet to my  hospital room.  It really made me smile and brightened up my recovery and stay.  Before and after the show I will also be at Jim's Steakhouse in downtown Peoria.  A review of the performance, visit with friends and photos will be sure to follow in my next post.  In the mean time, as ever be well.  Stephen Craig Rowe

Saturday, October 23, 2010

On The Eve Of The Full Moon Of October 2010 by Stephen Craig Rowe


The day was grey and gloaming a rain from dawn until mid-afternoon with hardly a hint of light, then some clouds cleared and a bit of sun gladdened the ridge and lawns.  There but for a moments grace in pause was a reflection in the wine most pleasing and then as quiet as a falling leaf the vision was gone. 

This night there is a chill in the air as though spirits of Indians are dancing  in the winds while leaves swirl and clouds curl around the full moon of October.

As ever be well,  Stephen Craig Rowe


Friday, October 15, 2010

Painting Studio thoughts about Social Security freeze of cost of living increase two years in a row by Stephen Craig Rowe

     Those who know me here and through other blogs have found me to be a rather quiet man when it comes to current events and I busy myself with painting, photography and writing.  Seldom do I voice an opinion on political views or news.  Today I am pissed off because of the freeze in Social Security cost of living allowances and just don't get it when rents rise, food costs rise, fuel cost rise, utility costs increase, medical costs increase and on and on.  One works hard all of their working life and during that working life pays into the Social Security trust expecting compensation upon retirement.  Not a lot of money each month but enough to get by and one would think that the cost of living allowance would increase yearly as costs increase.  Yet for the past two years they have not.
       Yet $80+billion has been paid to bail out the auto industry and unless one is employed by the big three or in the oil-fuel business.  What have these corporations ever done for you?
        How about the 4.72 trillion dollars spent on the bank-Wall Street bail out?   Then it has been recently reported that the recipients of  the 4.72 trillion dollars are paying out record bonuses this year.  What have those blood sucking profiteers ever given you?  Foreclosures, law suits, headaches, homelessness, starvation and in some cases suicide.  The fuckers don't even take you to lunch or ask you if you want grease before shoving it up your.......
        Then we can spend $737,964,960,000 on the war in Iraq looking for WMD that did not exist and kill and be killed for what?  Nation building?   When was the last time money was spent from Iraq to America?  No answer. 
        Also there is a great deal of money being spent in Afghanistan, approx $355,425,000,000 to date and rising.  Lining the pockets of officials there, that are laughing their asses off at us as they re finance the Taliban and make deals with contractors as brave soldiers shed their blood because they are following orders from the commander in chief.  What does Afghanistan provide the USA and the world, a very high quality opium crop.  Does Afghanistan pay any money to the USA?  Gimme a break.
       Yeah, I know that commander in chief was not typed with caps because to my knowledge the President Of The United States Of America did not serve in any of the Armed Forces.  Oh well. 
       I don't pretend to know and am sure that I don't know but it seems to me that all of these expenditures are spent on ventures that gain no return for the American people or improve the betterment of the world.  Every day it seems that the news reports cuts in state and local welfare programs for the needy and disabled.  Cities and towns have to cut back on police, first responders and other essential services here at home because of lack of funds.  It really makes one wonder what is going on and why.
       In conclusion, those who have worked and paid into the Social Security Trust should expect timely cost of living allowances regardless of where other monies are spent or why. 

       As ever be well,  Stephen Craig Rowe

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Painting Studio Update Early Fall by Stephen Craig Rowe


     The early fall has been unseasonably warm and bright.  Trees are gently turning and beginning to display a show of colors that is a delight to behold.  Some of the roses still have buds and blooms.  The photo above was taken last winter when I did a shoot of a dozen white roses.  
     When my old Dell finally went to the garage for storage I threw out all of the disks that had piled up in the bookcase without looking  through them and managed to pitch the disk from my printer along with the rest.  Do I really need the disk to use the printer or can I just hook it up to the new computer to scan and upload photographs?  Have been cautious about experimenting with this for fear of harming the new machine.
     A friend from Liverpool, UK came to America in 1980.  We worked together at the Barn Of Barrington Restaurant and became fast friends.  He is a chef of the highest caliber and at the time I was Maitre d'.  Nearly two months ago he moved into the Painting Studio. After living alone for 11 years I was not sure if I could tolerate having someone around but am pleased to announce that things are working out very well.  Most of the time I don't even know he is here and that suits me just fine.  It is also nice to share the expense of running a household for a change.
     Today he is cooking a hearty lamb stew and the place is filled with wonderful aromas.  I must be off for my daily walk and to enjoy this beautiful early fall day.
As ever be well,  Stephen Craig Rowe

Monday, October 04, 2010

Stephen's Painting Studio and The Rose & Thorn Journal Page Two by Stephen Craig Rowe

    I know we have seen the image above in previous posts and some of us just can not get enough of it.  Myself included.  Grant me a moment or so to give an update of recent events here and there.  My home blog the Windows Live Space PAINTING STUDIO as we knew it, is no more.  The other day I read a message from MSN Windows Live Spaces that informed me that Spaces would no longer exist after March 2011 and that I could migrate my Painting Studio space to WordPress.  So in good faith I pressed the migrate button and presto!  The PAINTING STUDIO was gone.  Poof!  I thought the whole thing would be transported to WordPress but only my posts and archives seemed to follow.  I don't know.  Anyway here is a link to the WordPress PAINTING STUDIO.  Am still testing the waters there but plan on moving my home blog to Google here.  I almost forgot that the Flying Monkeys space was still active and made a post there and plan on keeping Flying Monkeys alive until the end.
    Recently the co editors/publishers of The Rose & Thorn Journal asked me to become the art commentator and art gallery curator.  It is an honor for me to accept the position as a staff member and hope I do them proud.  The art gallery is still a work in progress and will feature emerging and established artists.  The fall edition will be published on October 15th and hope all of you will sign on for the news letter while enjoying the fine quality publication.
     Thank you all, and as ever be well,  Stephen Craig Rowe

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

In And Out Of The Screen, Space Is Only As Deep As One Makes It By Stephen Craig Rowe Published On Google Blogger July, 2010

I am not one to re-post stuff time and time again, but I really like this screen shot.  The photograph was taken last August on an early Sunday morning.  I call it a screen shot because of the texture that the screen gives the images rather than a screen shot that one's web cam can do.  As I walked myself through the set up with camera, tripod and light there was just a perfect setting for the shot on the window ledge.  The light reflected in and out in a most pleasing visual quality that I found most poetic as the screen gave a texture to the work that gave this photograph a push and pull that draws the viewer within and without the image.  I have done this with a few other images that are striking with the screen effect.
And without.  So here we are on a new adventure making Space as deep as one makes it. 
One word at a time, it seems.  Then again,
one word
can change the world
improve the betterment
of all.
As ever be well,
Stephen Craig Rowe

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Last Day Lily by Stephen Craig Rowe

The last day lily
stands alone
as a reminder of the others
that filled a part
of the yard
with color
and light
for nearly
two weeks
of rain, winds,
The last
is still
in bloom
a miracle
As ever be well,
Stephen Craig Rowe

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day, Summer Solstice And A Sunday At Stephen's Painting Studio By Stephen Craig Rowe

I was going to write a letter to my Father today and then burn it as a means of sending the letter to the afterlife.  I took a walk instead and thought about fine art, poetry, what to make for dinner, and all kinds of stuff.  While walking I wrote a bit more of Page One The Novel A Work In Progress by Stephen Craig Rowe and decided to keep that chapter in my head for now.  I also thought a lot about my Father today and after dinner will share a drink with him, though he is gone, we shall have a moment or so on the porch or in the garden.
     Dinner will be lamb chops, Brussels sprouts, honey glazed carrots, a nice fat baked potato slathered with butter and green onion sour cream.  A glass or so of a deep red wine will carry me home.
     The light today was splendid as it should be for the solstice and am looking forward to the sunset.  If it is spectacular I will take my camera to capture and image or so.  Am still walking at least an hour a day and feeling great.  I am also painting and hope to post some new works soon.  As ever be well,  Stephen Craig Rowe

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Stephen's Painting Studio And The New Novel SECRET GRACES Written By Kathryn Magendie And Published By Bell Bridge Books

     Early this month my dear friend Kathryn Magendie the author celebrated the release of SECRET GRACES the novel that is Book Two of the Graces Saga.  Book One of the Graces Saga is TENDER GRACES.  I can not count how many times I have read TENDER GRACES savoring each and every word while awating the release of Kathryn's second major novel SECRET GRACES.  The author was kind enough to send me a copy of the new novel that arrived by post on Friday the sixteenth of April.
     I was thrilled that Kathryn signed my copy of SECRET GRACES and honored to see my name in the dedication.  She also wrote a brief note on the dedication page informing me that I was also a character in the novel.  As I read with a smile, good glad tears came to my eyes for now I was part of The Graces Saga
     It is such an honor that now I feel that I must write, publish and dedicate my first novel to Kathtryn.  Am smiling as I write and Kathryn while you read this post I hope you are smiling too.
     Kathryn Magendie is a well known short story author.  She is also co-editor and publisher of The Rose & Thorn Literary Ezine and a very dear friend who I shall cherish forever.  TENDER GRACES and SECRET GRACES are published by Bell Bridge Books .  Both novels are a must read.
     Kathryn,  thank you.  Thank all of you and as ever be well.
Stephen Craig Rowe

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Stephen's Painting Studio On The Eve Of Spring, The Ides Of March And An Irish Thing by Stephen Craig Rowe

On the eve of spring light lingers longer on the Ides Of March and thoughts tend to dwell on new buds, sprouts, gardens, the greening and things Irish that Mother has given to the children.  Ages untold carved in stone haunting beauty filled memories of times and words unspoken, yet known in the flow of blood, bone, heart, mind and Spirit of the universe with a slap of the seas that touch the shores and ever call one home.  The air is rich with winter's last chill and sweet damp fog that cause the heart drum like thunder thrill a fiddlers dream in the pipes of the winds.  Ah, the glory of the terrible beauty of the All. 
The roses of a past year only rest as in dreams with roots held warm deep in the earth to gain anew in the light of spring.
Indeed this life is a gift and a blessing each unique single moment a clear calling as we are in the passing and being.
Indeed it is good to be about and poetic in prose on the Eve Of Spring, The Ides Of March And An Irish Thing in the roses of time.
As ever be well,  Stephen Craig Rowe

Friday, January 15, 2010

Stephen's Painting Studio and Rose & Thorn Magazine Cover Art

Recently I was honored by Rose & Thorn Journal to display a piece of my work for the cover page. I am most pleased by the results and the review of the painting and the Painting Studio by Liam Wilkinson has left me almost without words. I can find words to say thank you, Kathryn, Angie, all of the cast and crew of Rose &Thorn for the kindness you have given for me to grace your page and urge my friends, visitors and guests to visit Rose & Thorn Journal.

For in the roses and thorns a poetic dream is realized that touches all. There, one experiences the word, words, images and efforts that enhanse and enrich the quality of humanity through fine art.
As ever be well, Stephen Craig Rowe