Contemporary Expression

Time To Make Something
February 17, 2010, 12:00 pm
Filed under: artful living, change, Living An Artful Life, The Art Files

I believe that all people are made to be creative individuals. Living An Artful Life has everything to do with finding ways each day to make something new.  It may be changing a recipe or finding a new one to put your own twist on.  The one new thing may be a doodle sketch to watercolor. You may write, you may blog; you may even tend to a plant or two, or a full garden.  If you find yourself feeling uncreative, change your situation.  Wonderful things only happen when people find a way, find that path, to create.

My trajectory has changed. Life has changed. I’m going to stop trying to get back what worked before and make something new. I’m middle-aged. It snuck up on me.  According to the marketers, I am supposed to have a retirement plan and a kid in college. I have neither.   What I do have is a renaissance mind, something that longs to create new things often.

The surveys all say that as a baby boomer, I may be slower to embrace change than the generation(s) now starting out.  For the record: change makes me tired but I still like it, heck I embrace it!

Something new is about to happen. It’s time to make something.


the last 55 ..
February 4, 2010, 10:46 pm
Filed under: Living An Artful Life, movies, The Art Files

Pedro Ribeiro Simões, used by permission

Here is a list of the last 55 movies I watched via NetFlix.  The films I watched in an actual theater are not included.  These are in no particular order and just because they are on the list doesn’t mean I enjoyed the film but it does mean I picked it out to watch.  I have no idea what this may reveal. What were the last 5 movies you watched?

What’s Cooking?
A Love to Keep
(500) Days of Summer
War, Inc.
Their Eyes Were Watching God
Chop Shop
Maggie & Annie
Charlie Bartlett
Martian Child
Love My Life
I Really Hate My Job
Smart People
Blue State
Grey Gardens
The Contract
Deliver Us from Evil
Feast of Love
Jimmy Carter: Man from Plains
4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
Therese and Isabelle
Rails & Ties
Music Within
The Air I Breathe
Touch the Sound
Sunshine Cleaning
Che: Part 2
Che: Part 1
The Pumpkin Eater
Phoebe in Wonderland
Four Minutes
The Life Before Her Eyes
Bottle Shock
Encounters at the End of the World
Shotgun Stories
The Garden
Gospel Hill
The International
Lakeview Terrace
Righteous Kill
The Counterfeiters
The Visitor

Sketching Out The Possibilities

Room To Think - Sketch 2008

I have been working on a new painting for a corporate client and believe I may have it finished by the end of the week. When I work on a new project I start by sketching and doodling out memories and ideas and then take them to ink sketch and watercolor and then finally to canvas.

Room To Think - Watercolor 2008

I’m not sure when I started this pattern. I didn’t always paint this way.  When I first started expressing and creating through color, I simply started. There was nothing in between the color the arm and the canvas.  This rendered great things and all of them have long since sold and hopefully continue to bring spontaneity to their owners.

Room To Think - Acrylic on Canvas 2008

In the last few years I’ve become more contemplative about my contemporary expressions. The spontaneity is in the work but the thoughtful way in which I play with the color has brought a maturity to my process and I am happy about it.

As I have been searching for employment I have found the same personality in my process.  I’m carefully considering options based on memory and sketching out the possibilities before moving to canvas.

I received last week a note from a potential new life that simply said; “Thank you!” (exclamation point included) Honestly, it made my day.

I received a form letter for another local nonprofit gig that said; “if one of the top 10 candidates, you will be notified in 4-6 wks to schedule an interview.” Here is the thing, two months from now when you contact those top 10 candidates, they will be in other jobs.  – At least I hope so!

So what have I learned to start the new year? Memory, time, and spontaneity can serve you well when mixed together.

How are you approaching your plans this year? Want to share some of your tips and tricks for others to learn from? Leave a comment and let’s chat.

Bus Stop Ahead

We aren’t sure when — but soon the bus will stop here at Contemporary Expression for a guest blog from Matt Cheuvront on LIVING AN ARTFUL LIFE

I believe in the creative process of living life to its fullest .  Julie Cameron has a book called The Artist’s Way that many people in the creative class have found helpful.

The concept of Living An Artful Life from Contemporary Expression is this:

each person is a creative person that needs to embrace their ‘artist within’ to live life to its fullest.

Performing Rights Act – will it be law in 2010?


photo by Chad McClarnon from Project: One Song

music first banner

For nearly nine years (1998-2007) I worked at the worlds largest performing rights organization, Broadcast Music Inc (BMI). I enjoyed my time there working on behalf of  songwriters and publishers.

I will forever be thrilled to hear of fairness and equity in the appropriate compensation of those that make up our creative class.

I recently attended a seminar sponsored by The Arts & Business Council of Nashville‘s  program Tennessee Volunteer Lawyers & Professionals for The Arts. I did a live tweet as a way of taking notes for my musician friends.  Here is the run down – it’s in reverse order as it came from Twitter over the hour that I was there.


  1. “The direction of the music biz is moving toward capturing listeners and away selling hard product” -Sam Reed
  2. SoundExchange is created by statute & governed by the copyright gurus in Washington. I am thinking- if his happens then that company needs a
  3. Pro Public Relations Perf Rights Act
  4. The Local Radio Freedom Act is a non binding resolution that speaks for the supported of the NAB. It has not been voted on.
  5. Conyers Amend-supported by Cooper. Passed 21-9 Sen markup passed by voice vote & added songwriter language and established platform parity
  6. Songwriter reps are supportive of bill
  7. SoundExchange would collect the royalties. 45% will go directly to the featured artist. 5% goes to union for bkg musicians and 50% to labels
  8. S.379. & HR 848 … Look it up
  9. Davidson Co creators: If you sent in a copyright for registration. And it’s taking more than 9 mo to be processed call Rep Cooper’s office, ask for Sam, he can help.
  10. Sam Reed from Rep. Cooper’s office is leading the seminar on The Performing Rights Act for TN Vol Lawyers for Arts

So what are your thoughts?  Having managed a record producer I can tell you that producers will be playing instruments on more records so they can get in that pool.  However, I don’t think it will necessarily take away work from anyone.  More studio musicians will  be joining the union to get in the pool.

As it is written now, there would be no fees imposed for 3 years after it because law so that radio stations can start adjusting to the extra line item cost.   The parties are sitting down to talk more on November 17th, 2009.  It will be interesting to see this continue to unfold.  What do you think are the important things to look for?

Download the Presentation:  New Music Royalty Presentation

The Five Senses of Hate
November 4, 2009, 10:19 am
Filed under: Guest Blog Post, Poetry, The Art Files

We attended the TEP Foundation sponsored opening night of The Nashville Monologues last week.  Throughout the original work of Nashville stories, the author, and artistic director of  Rhubarb Theater Company that produced the work, carefully put place holders giving her description of  the five senses of  hate.  I found them all interesting and thought-provoking and I asked her to share them with you as my first guest blog post on Contemporary Expression.

If you read Nancy VanReece’s blog, I think it’s safe to assume that you care about people. You probably also care about Nashville and are interested in how the puzzle pieces of our city fit together. Maybe you’d even like to help them fit together better.  Below is an excerpt of my writing in the show. – Trish Crist
Please join us this Wednesday November 4 through Saturday, November 7 at 7:30 p.m.  Info and reservations at 615-397-7820 or

tasteWhat Does Hate Taste Like?
What does hate taste like?
Like afternoon coffee that’s been on the burner since dawn?
Tangy tart like a blood orange?
Iron-rich…metal…like blood itself?
Does it sting like salt on a mouth sore?
Blister your lips like a raw chili chewed whole?
Not for me.
Hate is sweet.

hearWhat Does Hate Sound Like?
What does hate sound like?
Is it a screech—a growl—a jeer?
Is it the loudest roar you ever heard…or a whispered threat?
Is it emphatic?
Or off-hand?
Does it sound just like you?
Or foreign.
An interloper to the good world we have here.
Or is hate universal—a language we all use without need for translation.
How about you?
Do you speak hate?

lookWhat Does Hate Look Like?
What does hate look like?
Is it an eye roll?
A sneer?
A little gesture
A bigger gesture
A walk that says I’m a bad ass and don’t fuck with me
An attack ‘cause I don’t need this shit and I’m gonna take your ass down—who the fuck you think you are?
Nah, man.
I mean—I wish hate looked like that. As obvious as Dick Cheney. But it doesn’t.
Hate is invisible. Insipid. Tiny but powerful…a sneaky little ninja motherfucker. And it’s like he’s got this passkey that lets him in everywhere. Even when we think we’ve locked everything up tight and protected what matters and there’s no way he can get in and fuck with us…
I’m afraid he might be everywhere.

smellWhat Does Hate Smell Like?
What does hate smell like?
Jock pee on my dorm room door every Friday night for 4 years?
Definitely bodily.
Yeah. Hate smells like a dirty human, stale and rank from effort. A ripe armpit. A man’s tennis shoe worn years without socks.
Raw chicken packaging in the trash.
Milk that has bumped out the carton.
Hate is definitely organic.
It might be the only organic produce that’s cheap. It’s cheap. Free, I guess.
I mean, hate might cost us a lot in terms of humanity and government and emotions and souls and lawsuits and therapy and healthcare and vices—but it is cheap as shit.
And it smells like it.

feelWhat Does Hate Feel Like?
What does hate feel like?
Like cellophane glassifying in a cat’s stomach?
Bile in your mouth.
Pieces of vomit in your nose?
A hot face, a burnt heart
Sandpaper on a breast
Could hate ever feel good?
I don’t know
Does it feel the same to the recipient as it does to the…distributor?
Is hate the deep instant slash of a paper cut—a knee-jerk response…or an ulcer…that my actions somehow caused inside me?
Is hate cancer?

The Five Senses of Hate, from The Nashville Monologues (c) 2009 Trish Crist. Used By Permission.

Please visit my new virtual art galleries
October 22, 2009, 12:24 am
Filed under: artwork, Painting, The Art Files


Have questions about the artwork?

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