Seeing Red – Kathy From KeppenArt

As I mentioned in my last blog post I am participating in a thirty day art challenge featuring the color Red.  As of this writing I am one third of the way through that challenge.

In researching the color Red, I learned a few new facts as well as refreshing my memory of the facts that I already knew.

I learned years ago that Red is a primary color but I didn’t know that Red is believed to be the first color that babies see and the first color that was recognized and named in ancient times.  All of that has something to do with the wavelengths and the amount of vibrations associated with the color Red.

Facts that had been learned in the past included the psychology of Red.  For example it can stimulate the appetite and that’s why it’s incorporated in the decor of many restaurants.  It is also considered vibrant, warm, energizing and passionate.  It’s a color of power. It can evoke the most powerful emotions.

However, along with those positive vibes, Red can also evoke the negative emotions of anger, hate and revenge.  Seeing Red is an idiom that means you are angry.  Think about how you might get Red in the face when you are angry.

But what color is truly Red?  Scarlet, Ruby or Rose?  I found one web site that listed 134 different shades of the color Red.  One hundred and thirty four shades!

In the first ten days of the challenge my images have featured a few different shades of Red.  It is very likely that in the next twenty days the new images will sport even more shades of the color Red.

Here’s hoping that after thirty days of creating images with one dominant color that I don’t start “Seeing Red” in my sleep!


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Diamond In The Rough – Kathy From KeppenArt

The Art Challenge that I am doing this month is 30 days long with Red being the theme.  That’s thirty images that I will be creating this month that are mostly red.

When I created the image for Day Three I titled it Diamond In The Red, a takeoff of the idiom “a diamond in the rough”.

As I stated in the image description, “The title to this image is a takeoff of the idiom “a diamond in the rough”.  It literally means a raw diamond that has not been cut and polished.  Figuratively, it means a person with great potential but lacking in social graces.

The literal meaning is reflected in this abstract image.  The diamond in the middle of the red background shines and reflects the pink and purple hues of red but is not totally in focus. It is not “polished”.

I like to think that we are all Diamonds in the rough being polished each day to shine a little brighter in a dark world as we age and mature, much like a diamond that is cut and polished to shine and reflect light.”

Isn’t that a pleasant thought?  That we are all Diamonds in the rough and being polished each day to shine more brightly in a dark world?

What about you?  Are you a diamond in the rough that needs polishing?

Do you shine more brightly today than in the past?

Do you expect to shine more brightly as you age and mature?

I’m not sure I see myself as a diamond, but rough?  Yes.

Am I being polished each day?  Maybe.

Do I shine and reflect light as I age and mature?  Oh, I’m not sure about that at all as sometimes I feel like I’m becoming a grouchy old lady!

Seriously, if I could remember this every day I could probably become a diamond, figuratively speaking.


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House Cleaning – Kathy From KeppenArt

Spring cleaning. Holiday cleaning.  Company cleaning. Whole house cleaning.

These are names for all over cleaning that goes beyond your daily or weekly chores.

If you live where there are distinct seasons it’s helpful to do an all over house cleaning in the spring.  You get rid of all that has accumulated over the past several months.  During the winter it’s too cold to wash windows, for example.  Once spring arrives you can open the windows and “air out” the house.

Then there’s Holiday cleaning.  You may be moving furniture before setting up a Christmas tree or other holiday decorations and you discover how much dust collects in those unseen places.

Holiday cleaning sometimes overlaps Company cleaning.  Friends or family are coming to celebrate the holidays with you and you want to welcome them into a nice clean house.

All of those above cleanings fall into the Whole House Cleaning category.  That’s when you do it all even if it takes an entire weekend.  You start at the top knocking cobwebs off the ceiling, fans, around crown moulding and down the wall’s corners.   You end up cleaning the floors, sweeping, dust mopping, vacuuming and wet mopping.   Dusting and washing everything in between the ceiling and floors completes the whole house cleaning. It also involves moving furniture to clean the hidden spaces.

I used to be able to clean an entire house in a day.  I would get up early one morning and work 10-12 hours or more.  When I fell into bed exhausted the entire house was spotless.

Company is coming today and I spent the last day and a half cleaning.  Guess what?  A day and a half and it’s not all done!  Most of it is done.  The most obvious is done.  But not all of it all over the entire place is finished.

How long does your own Whole House Cleaning take?

How often does your entire house/apartment get cleaned all at once?

Do you do it or do you hire others?

Does it take you longer now than it did even five years ago?

And maybe the most important question of all:

Is it even important to do a Whole House Cleaning at one time?


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Daddy’s Cup – Kathy From KeppenArt

For today’s blog post I would like to highlight one of my container challenge images.  According to the feedback I received, the image produced many smiles and a few bouts of laughter.  It produced a lot of memories for me and a few smiles on my face, too.


Daddy’s Cup by Kathy K. McClellan is a photograph taken for Day Six of the Thirty Day Container Challenge.

This cup belonged to my father. I bought it for him several years before he passed away over twenty years ago. He suffered from several lung diseases and used oxygen full time during his last few years of life.

When I gave Daddy this cup he still had his sense of humor and thought it was very funny. He used it when he drank coffee from the day it was given to him until the last day he was able to hold a cup of coffee. You can see that it has the scars of being used for many years.

I found this cup in my mom’s cabinet after she passed away and brought it home with me. It is a reminder of my father’s laughter when he saw it for the first time.

I hope it brings a smile to your face, too.


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Life Is Full Of Challenges – Kathy From KeppenArt

Some of you reading this are aware that for the last several months I have been participating in Abbie Shore’s Personal Art Challenges on Fine Art America.  These challenges range from a single day to 100 days (I have not participated in that one).

All but one or two challenges have had a specific theme.  Liquids, Blue, Green, Architecture, Black and White, Perspective, After Dark and Containers are the themes that I have completed.

Today is the last day of the Thirty Day Challenge with Container as the theme.  The theme was not as challenging this time as was creating a new image, title and description each day consistently for an entire month. No breaks. No days off.

There are hundreds of everyday items that are containers.  Open containers like plates or bowls fit the theme along with bottles, jugs, vases, flower pots, bags and so many more items.

But the real challenge for me was fitting in this creativity with life in general.  We made a last minute, out of state trip at the beginning of the challenge.  I was concerned that I wouldn’t have the time or internet connection to create and post images.  I did.

I had a minor health issue toward the end of the challenge. But I was able to set up still lifes, use my camera or photographs taken at an earlier date, type descriptions and get a newly created image posted daily.

Then, on the next to the last day, I had a long, painful dental appointment early in the morning when I was usually working on my art challenge for the day.  I was concerned that I would be wiped out and exhausted from the stress of pain and would come home and crash.  But I didn’t.  I came home and completed that day’s challenge despite my exhaustion.

I wasn’t the only artist that had general life issues to deal with either.  A few artists had to drop out before completing the entire thirty days for one reason or another.

As life is generally a series of challenges, one after the other, I know that I will be completing some type of challenge, if not multiple challenges, in the future.

Stay tuned!


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