Art Objects Make Room Come Alive (Continued)

Article Continued From Main Post, Click Here

Objects of art are sometimes awfully energetic - for being inanimate objects, of course.

We know clay is not alive, as in, clay is considered a non-living material. However, when clay is sculpted into a form, it can take on its own unique personality. Knowing how objects interact with us and our surroundings can be enjoyable as well as helpful in the creation of beauty.
This object, this ceramic piece, caused the stir. Looking through a Guild Catalog,

I saw the object WAS that cannonball girl. I was seven years old. It was MY curled-up body. My knees drawn tight to my chest. I could feel the impact of hitting that water. I was under the warm summer sky. I felt the SPLASH! It was me, me, me. There is nothing like a cannonball! For a split second, I was the art.

Objects can have so much energy that there are times when we become one them, such as with Marie E.v.B. Gibbons’ “Cannonball Swimmer.“ I melt with it. When we can see and fuse with an element of beauty, either natural or man made, this energy is unique and can make for special moments. The Cannonball art piece is not just a beautiful sculpture, rather I know Gibbons’swimmer intimately, she now has her own personality.

With objects that we already are endeared to (such as a framed photograph of a friend or an unique art piece that embodies a passion) we can make sense of this energy. If we place a cherished photograph on a small table, among a displayed collection of items, the strength of its energy makes it seem larger than it really is. The perceived size
of the object is changed by its energy.

Recognizing how we interact with our surroundings, it's understood that what we see can affect the quality of our lives. Objects that we use in our environment are not seen in isolation. We must endeavor to place items as artistically as our eyes & our brains are capable of. If we want to consciously create a restful room, for instance, we will reduce items that individually and collectively cause tension to the eye.

Objects can cause emotion. The more we learn about their essence and the energy they give off, our world and how we see it and enjoy it is improved. In learning to recognize and more fully appreciate our surroundings we are more able to create beauty in our own lives.

This article is one in a series of Design Concepts, to go to the entire list, click here.  Bedside table photo is from House Beautiful, framed horses (no longer available) are from Pottery Barn.

Mini Black Bottom Cheesecakes Bonus Recipe From Food And Wine

These yummy desserts are from Food and Wine’s Grace Parisi and they're a favorite dessert to make any time of the year -- and a hit everytime!
Vegetable oil spray
24 plain chocolate wafer cookies, preferably Nabisco*
3 tablespoon(s) unsalted butter, melted
8 ounce(s) cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup(s) sugar
2/3 cup(s) fromage blanc (6 ounces), at room temperature*
2 large eggs
2 teaspoon(s) pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup(s) seedless raspberry preserves, warmed
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with foil baking cups and spray the cups with vegetable oil spray. In a food processor, crush the chocolate wafer cookies. Add the butter and process until fine crumbs form. Spoon the chocolate cookie crumbs into the prepared baking cups and press with the bottom of a glass to compact. Bake for 5 minutes, or until almost set. Leave the oven on.
2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar at medium speed until smooth. Beat in the fromage blanc, then add the eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth.
3. Pour the cheesecake batter into the baking cups, filling them three-quarters full.
4. Bake the cheesecakes for 15 minutes, or until slightly jiggly in the center. Remove from the oven and spread 1 teaspoon of the warmed raspberry preserves on top of each cheesecake. Transfer the muffin tin to the freezer and chill the cheesecakes until set, about 15 minutes.
5. Remove the cheesecakes from the pan and peel off the foil baking cups. Transfer the cheesecakes to a platter and serve. The mini black-bottom cheesecakes can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.
*  Substitutes, you can use crushed Oreo’s instead of chocolate wafers and mascarpone cheese instead of fromage blanc (since they are impossible to find at a regular grocery store), but they still come out pretty amazing!
This recipe will become a staple in your home!  
[image source: Food and Wine]

Art That Modifies Human Behavior (Cont'd) + Guacamole Grilled Cheese Sandwich

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What happens when we can both see and fuse with an element of beauty? Exceptional moments in time occur. 

Saying this energy is unique is an enormous understatement. There are numerous styles of art that reflect efforts to enlarge those exceptional energy opportunities, including art that modifies social behavior. This is my favorite.

The First Stencil

"Before I Die Project," by Candy Chang

Candy Chang, a Taiwanese American artist interested in relationships between public spaces and personal well being created, "Before I Die." Initially started to invite people to reflect on their lives and share their personal aspirations in a public space, Chang's "BID" has gone beyond those limitations.


Universally, stoics and other philosophers encourage regularly contemplating death as a powerful tool to restore perspective and remind us of the things that make our lives meaningful. 

Since Chang's first "BID" project, over 500 Before I Die walls have been created in over 60 countries and 30 languages by passionate people around the world. St. Martin's Press recently published her book about the project, click here to see Candy Chang's book, "Before I Die."  For more more about the artist herself,  click here.

Candy Chang received a Masters in Urban Planning from Columbia University and a BS in Architecture and a BFA in Graphic Design from the University of Michigan. 

She believes public spaces are as profound as we allow them to be and have much more potential to help us make sense of the beauty and tragedy of life with the people around us.

Artist Banksy melds street-fighting passion and pacifist ardor in his image of a protester whose Molotov cocktail morphs into a bouquet of flowers. (Pixelbully/Alamy)


Banksy is a graffiti master, painter, activist, filmmaker and all purpose provocateur. His graffiti art has been inducted into
"Keep Your Coins. I Want Change," Banksy
the Smithsonian, click to read more

Banksy provokes us.

It's been said that every authentic viewing experience requires you to draw near to the subject - provocation, something international icon Banksy knows all too well. In subversive, yet secretive ways this artist has turned the art world upside down.

Left, a 'Banksy-ism,' "Sorry! The lifestyle you ordered is currently out of stock."

"When Time magazine selected the British artist Banksy . . . for its list of the world’s 100 most influential people in 2010, he found himself in the company of Barack Obama, Steve Jobs and Lady Gaga."

Artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh in front of her art
"Stop Telling Women To Smile," Tatyana Fazlalizadeh

Stop Telling Women To Smile is a street art project addressing gender based street harassment. STWTS started in Brooklyn in the fall of 2012, it's an ongoing traveling series and will gradually include many cities and many women participants. The author/artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh states that "Street harassment is a serious issue that affects women world wide. This project takes women's voices, and faces, and puts them in the street - creating a bold presence for women in an environment where they are so often made to feel uncomfortable and unsafe."

Deanna, Chicago, 2013

Nuala, Philadelphia, 2013

Artist Tatyana's STWTS project consists of a series of portraits of women - women she has sat and talked with about their experiences with harassment, and ultimately drew their portraits and enlarged them and roughly scissor cut them and then pasted them on urban walls. Click here to read more about Tatyana Fazlalizadeh's fabulous project.

Art that modifies human behavior is compelling. Of course.  We're talking about modifying social behavior!

For more fun and fabulous examples, visit my:  
If you have some particular favorite types of art that modifies social behavior, please send them to me at 

Guacamole Grilled Cheese Sandwich Bonus Recipe

Yield: 2 Sandwiches
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cook Time: 5 - 7 Minutes

The guacamole takes this grilled cheese sandwich to a whole new level of goodness.


  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1/2 small onion, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 small jalapeno, stems and seeds removed, minced
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • a dash of freshly grated black pepper
  • 1 Roma tomato, chopped

  • 4 slices crusty white bread
  • 4 slices Cheddar cheese
  • Butter, for buttering bread

  1. To make the guacamole-cut avocados in half. Remove seed. Scoop out avocado from the peel, put in a large bowl. Using a fork, mash the avocado. Add the onion, garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper. Stir until well combined. Add the chopped tomato and stir.
  2. Heat a pan or griddle to medium-high heat. Spread desired amount of guacamole on both slides of bread then top with cheese. Butter outer slices of bread and grill on one side for about 2 minutes or until golden and crispy. Flip the sandwich and grill until golden brown. Make the other sandwich the same way and serve warm.
To see more Something Beautiful Journal Bonus Recipes, click here! To see more "Two Peas And Their Pod," click here. 

Enjoy the beauty of tasty delights.