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Art Therapy Project: REBIRTH

floating goat illustration

The art therapy topic of REBIRTH immediately brought to mind born-again Christians, which brought to mind all sorts of religions, which brought to mind cults.

This then prompted me to think of the creepy cult episode of Netflix’s Encounters with Evil where the Heaven’s Gate guy said humans need to remove their genitals so they can be more like aliens and then everyone killed themselves.

And I just didn’t feel like going there.

So I took another path with the rebirth topic instead.

  • Topic: Rebirth
  • Result: Rebirth painting alternatively known as “The Mystery of the Floating Goat.” Acrylic, glass paint and paint markers on canvas. Note the floating goat is in an orb of light, protected from all the demonic things writhing around him.

Artist Q&A

What’s with the floating goat?

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been convinced that if I were ever reborn I would come back as a goat. For some reason, reincarnation/rebirth always makes me think of goats – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

The goodliness of it all was reinforced when a Gen Xer pal pointed out that the letters from GOAT stand for:

  • Greatest
  • Of
  • All
  • Time

Pretty cool, no?

What’s with the demonic things?

The demonic things represent evils of the past. These evils include less-than-boastful behaviors and the horribly negative mindset I used to succumb to on a regular basis. Self-care, therapy and lots of love have helped me escape the demonic things of my past to become reborn as, well, a floating goat.

Anything else we should know?

Changes throughout our lives cause us to be reborn constantly. Whether it’s with a new job, a new relationship or an entirely new mindset. This is a good thing.

Coming back as a goat would be a good thing, too. I had five pet goats in New Mexico and they’re tons of fun. They hop. They play. They climb trees. And it sure beats being reborn as a gnat or something.

Where can we get more Rynski goat artwork?

Oh, I love that question!

Check out a whole goat collection of goodies on Zazzle.

Enjoy!

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Gone to the Dogs: Origin and Meaning

dog proverb from rynski doggie dictionary

gone to the dogs

What it means: Deteriorated, became worse.

Variation: Gone to pot.

Another variation: Gone to hell in a handbasket (like my Grandma P. used to say).

Origin:

This expression is believed to have come from ancient China, where tradition dictated dogs weren’t allowed inside city walls. Stray canines hung around outside the walls, amid scraps and garbage.

When criminals and other ne’er-do-wells were expelled from the city, they ended up out with the trash and stray canines. Hence, they had gone to the dogs.

Author’s note:

The above excerpt is from The Rynski Doggie Dictionary. It’s also one of the expressions mentioned on-air when Rynski was a guest on Prince J’s DowntownRadio show. Thanks, Prince J, it was fantastic meeting you. I had a blast!

Spiffy call to action:

Love words, proverbs, origins and/or dogs? Get more of the same in The Rynski Doggie Dictionary. Buy now on Amazon or Etsy.

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Top 3 Reasons You Need the Rynski Doggie Dictionary

rynski doggie dictionary

More than 80 full-color dog cartoons. A humorous take on dog terms, expressions and proverbs. A basic dog info section that helps to ensure you don’t mess with an angry hound. If these reasons simply aren’t enough to convince you to buy your copy of The Rynski Doggie Dictionary, perhaps these next three reasons are.

Here’s what the doggie dictionary can do for you:

raining cats and dogs
raining cats and dogs, illustration from the rynski doggie dictionary

Help you wow the crowd at dinner parties

You’re at one of those stale dinner engagements where, alas, the hottest topic of conversation is the weather. Rather than yawning along with the rest of the crowd, you can perk up the entire party with your astounding knowledge of dog expressions and proverbs.

This is especially a propos since someone just so happened to mention it was raining cats and dogs. Since you read The Rynski Doggie Dictionary, you have the full background on that expression, as well as several others. Suddenly the party is a total blast. Someone even started dancing naked on the table!

let sleeping dogs lie
let sleeping dogs lie, illustration from the rynski doggie dictionary

Earn you extra cash

Whether you’re trying to save money to buy a new robot vacuum or your overall workflow is slow, extra income is always welcome. With The Rynski Doggie Dictionary at your side, you’ll have the knowledge you need to earn it, pronto. You can find instant employment as a fortune cookie writer.

The dog proverbs you find inside the book provide you with fabulous fodder for penning those fortunes.

  • Let sleeping dogs lie.
  • Children aren’t dogs; adults aren’t gods.
  • Every dog is allowed one bite.

Yep, you’ll soon be watching the millions roll on in, thanks to the proverbs in this cartoon dog book.

dog anatomy cartoon
dog anatomy cartoon from book. flews are no. 7, btw.

Increase your chances of going to heaven

Let’s say you’re at the gates of heaven and you have to answer a single question to get in. A massive angel stands before you with one simple inquiry: “What are flews?”

If you read the Rynski Doggie Dictionary, you’d remember flews were mentioned in the dog Basic Body Parts section. It’s simply a term used to describe a dog’s lips. The harps play, the gates open, and you live happily ever after in paradise.

Sound good to you? Then get your copy of The Rynski Doggie Dictionary today!

Thanks in advance for helping to support a Tucson artist, writer, and dog Reiki practitioner (who is diligently applying for positions as a fortune cookie writer).

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Have You Tried PaintNite Yet?

paintnite tucson

Sitting around talking to your dogs and binging on Netflix is absolutely dreamy, but the thrill can only last so long. Sooner or later you’ll be itching to get out of the house to protect your sanity. This usually occurs when you’re watching “Women Behind Bars” for the eighth time – or your dogs start talking back.

That’s when you know it’s time to try PaintNite.

What’s PaintNite?

Billed as the “original creative nite out,” PaintNite involves a very casual, full-of-fun group class of sorts where you all work on painting your version of whatever picture is on the canvas up front. Local artists host the event, so you’re apt to meet talented, friendly and really cool people. This counts for the teacher as well as the people in the crowd.

You don’t find too many people in bad moods when they’re eating, laughing and tapping into creativity while playing with paint. The event is held at local venues, which can include restaurants, coffee shops, hotels, bars or other places that don’t mind a bit of paint on the chairs or floor.

What You Do

Round up a few pals, whether they think they have any artistic talent or not, and promise them they’ll LOL if they go to PaintNite with you.

Head online to search for PaintNite options in your location, picking a painting that doesn’t make you vomit. (Yeah, some are pretty cheesy, but others are fabulously cool). Book your desired date, then show up to LOL.

Get there about 30 minutes early so you can order food and drinks if available. This will also help you get a seat that’s not crammed in the back with an unobstructed view of the bathroom.

Why You Need to Try It

The event is just too much fun. I attended one at Mimi’s Café in Tucson with pals Vicky and Lynn (pictured above). We laughed. We cried. We spilled things. In short, we had a rollicking good time.

OK, we didn’t cry, but we could have since we were laughing so hard. And I don’t think anyone spilled anything, either, although I did come close to making a major mess when I nearly dipped an apron string in the paint palette when I was trying to position the apron to save Vicky’s seat.

Part of the fun came from our talented instructor, Tucson artist Kimberly Tipton, whose creativity spans the board from blacksmithing to painting Van Gogh reproductions as a toddler. She set down the one and only rule for our class:

Don’t Hate on Your Painting

Everyone’s painting is going to be different, unique – and good, no matter what you may think. The point is to unleash your creative spirit and have fun, not obsess about making your painting look exactly like the example up front. Spewing negative energy not only hurts the creative flow, but it defeats the entire purpose of the evening. Let go, enjoy and love what you create instead.

 

Additional tips for making the most of PaintNite include:

Get discounted tickets: Groupon is always running PaintNite specials, and you can usually score a discount on the PaintNite website itself if you poke around enough before buying.

Don’t expect to look good in the apron: It’s green. It’s baggy. And it tends to make even athletic types look like a dowdy fat housewife. Don’t sweat it. At least it’s protecting your clothes.

Feel free to add your own creative spin: In PaintNite circles, veering away from the example painting is called “going rogue.” And Kimberly said some of the coolest PaintNite painting’s she’s seen came from those gone rogue. I went semi-rogue to add a layer of meaning to my PaintNite creation.

paintnite tucson painting
PaintNite painting gone semi-rogue.

Rogue elements include collection of yellow-eyed monsters along the terrain and spiritual beings in the sky. Clouds were crafted to pay tribute to those who have died and gone to heaven, including Dad and dog Sawyer (aka The Bubble).

Love what you see? Head to PaintNite to create your own masterpiece.

Or head to rynski’s etsy shop for additional art and inspiration.

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The Four Agreements: What Happens when They Go Wrong

inspirational magnets four agreements

More than once I’ve heard people say they wished life came with a manual. Well, it kind of does. That manual is the book entitled “The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom” by Don Miguel Ruiz.

My mind was so blown when I picked up this tome that I started making art in its honor even before I turned the final page. Living the four agreements affords a fantastic way of life – but remembering to live them is a different story.

The Four Agreements are:

  1. Be impeccable with your word.
  2. Never take anything personally.
  3. Don’t make assumptions.
  4. Always do your best.

One of the ways I ingrain the four agreements into my mind is to recall times when they went wrong, or the misery I felt before I even knew these agreements existed.

Here come real-life examples of the first two agreements gone wrong, with the other two covered in another blog post. Enjoy!

four agreements first agreement

First Agreement: Be Impeccable with Your Word

Words have power. Loads of power. And you can’t take them back once you unleash them into the world. Choose your words carefully. Live up to what you say. And proofread for typos before you publish anything on the front page.

Example of First Agreement Gone Wrong

The front page of the Brooklyn newspaper where I worked ran a mini-feature on a lost subway tunnel tour. The tunnel had been recently unearthed and was now open to the public.

Our front-page story was supposed to have said the tunnel had been “sealed shut” for a number of years. But it instead said it was “sealed shit.”

The lady who gave us the info was convinced we did it on purpose. She was so mad her yelling nearly broke the phone speaker when she called to complain. I still went on the tour, but I didn’t dare tell anyone I was from the newspaper.

four agreements second agreement

Second Agreement: Don’t Take Anything Personally

Someone cuts you off in traffic. Another moves your computer to sit at your desk. A third says you remind him of his dog. No, the world is not out to get you. Even the people who are seemingly saying or doing things that are directed at you aren’t out to get you. People’s actions and reactions are a reflection of the state of their own mind and soul, not yours.

Example of Second Agreement Gone Wrong

Another newspaper story comes to mind here, but one that happened much later when online comments first started getting popular. Those things were nasty from the get-go, and they only got nastier as time marched on.

One online story I wrote resulted in a massive attack from all angles, with commenters calling me names, bemoaning my very existence, and telling me how I should be thrown off an overpass and run over by a Mack truck.

My first reaction was to cry and hide. I was, after all, a terrible person who deserved to be killed by an overpass-Mack-truck combo. But then I started looking more closely at all their nasty words. Many of the commenters referred to me as “he” or “him,” while others were attacking things that didn’t even relate to me, like blond hair or having a pet kangaroo named Sam.

Right then and there I realized that, even when you appear to the target of a slight or attack, it’s not about you. It’s about the other person. They’re the ones with the rage, self-righteousness, intolerance or other issues that twist them into a snit.

You’re really not part of the equation at all. You just happened to stir up their snit-making feelings. So it’s too bad on them – not you!

While this agreement is one of the toughest for me to live, it’s also one of the most freeing. Whew and yahoo when I get it right. And although I did once have blond hair, I never had a kangaroo named Sam.

Check out the third and fourth agreements, now available on a blogski near you!

Check out Four Agreement art if you’re digging the message.

four agreements metal sign
Four Agreements Metal Sign
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