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Raymond Goins was an artist featured at the Atlanta Decorators' Showhouse and Gardens 2010. This charcoal is called "Horse".

For those of you who know me, you can attest that I usually have a LARGE case of “ants in my pants”, which makes it extremely difficult for me sit still for any length of time. However, on this particular day, I had committed myself to some much overdue – albeit forced! – poolside relaxation. As I slide into my lawn chair, I feel myself exhale as my eyes slowly close behind my wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses….

Soon following, I am abruptly ripped from my delicious state of twilight by a child’s shrill voice wildly screeching, “Cannonbaaaaaaalllllll!”. Startled by what I momentarily assume to be a medical emergency, I bolt from my chair, inadvertently kicking over the plastic cocktail table next to me, sending all of the items loaded on top of it catapulting into the air!? Included in that inventory are several books and magazines, a glass of lemonade, sunscreen, lip balm, and most importantly, my beach bag. As I lunge forward in an attempt to catch my bag before its contents fly into the water, I find my left foot unbalanced and teetering dangerously on the edge of the pool. Barely recovering my footing, I jerk myself upright, fingers barely wrapped around the edge of my recovered beach bag. SAVE! Whew.

By Sarah Wolfe, also featured at Atlanta Decorators's Showhouse and Gardens 2010, this mixed media piece on paper is named "Morning".

Of course,  in the instant following this scene, I am nearly drowned by what seems like a giant typhoon of pool water splashing me across the face. Startled by the sudden jolt of cold water, my body recoils, and my hand inadvertently releases its grip on my beach bag. I watch in slow motion as my bag tips over and all of it contents dump directly into the pool. Wowwww.

Ok, so at this point, as I stand drenched, sunglasses hanging by one arm, sideways wide-brimmed hat barely balanced on my head, I quickly process what has just happened!  It only takes a moment to realize that the “Cannonball!” was actually a rather large “child” forming himself into a ball and flinging himself into the pool with the intent of achieving maximum splash value… mission accomplished! Um, needless to say, “annoyed” MAY have been at the top of my list of emotions at that moment, closely followed by “mortified”! AHHHHHHH!!!???

As I watch the children swimming around the pool, now making an entertaining game of recovering my various beach bag contents, I cannot help but giggle. Did that seriously just happen to me?! HA! At this point, I find myself strangely…. INSPIRED! Yes, oddly enough, I am struck by the thought that effective ARTWORK actually has some very similar effects to those of a “Cannonball!” into the pool! Here’s what I mean…

1. Effective art always makes a “splash”! It adds interest to a room and customizes a space to its creator or owner. Adding a specific style or genre of art can completely change the “feel” or perspective of an area.

2. Like  a well-executed “Cannonball!”, good art evokes emotion in its onlookers. Although a “Cannonball!” normally annoys the crud out of those relaxing poolside, that is still a valid reaction, as is the laughter that is often created, as well. In the same way, art affects the people who come in contact with it, whether in the form of joy, dislike,

This Andy Warhol piece was recently featured in Traditional Home Magazine. It truly affects the entire "look" and mood of the room.

understanding, disgust, contentment, or any other combination of endless emotions. Art and “Cannonballs!” can DEFINITELY affect our moods long after the experiences are over!

3.  Like me, at the pool that day, the effect of a “Cannonball!” – and art! – can  often surprise us! We may be caught off-guard by the subject matter of a piece of artwork, or we may realize that we enjoy or dislike a specific type of art that we would never have suspected we would.

4. Artwork and “Cannonballs!” DEMAND attention! Although there are times that we would like to ignore both of them, we do not often have a choice in the matter. The splash does not discriminate on whom it lands, nor does art consent to affect only a specific segment of individuals. If we are in striking distance, it is decided that we will pay attention to them, regardless of our sex, nationality, personality, status, or background.

5. PERCEPTION is everything! Often, the creator of a piece of art – or a “Cannonball!” – is unaware of how their work will affect those with whom it comes in contact. They may not think about it at all, or they may have a completely different intent altogether. Either way, the important thing is that the recipients of its effects realize that they are entitled to their reactions, whether common or unique from others.

Included in this blog are just a few pictures of paintings that may (or may not!) evoke feelings in you. There are so many different artists and genres of art that the options are truly endless.  Whatever your preferences, I encourage everyone to explore the work of different artists to decide what you really love. If you add meaningful artwork to your house, you may find that it provides you a greater sense of contentment that will truly make you feel right “at home”!  And on a side note, never sit near the diving board end of a pool. EVER.

By Suzanne McClelland , this piece is called "Spot". Her work was recently showcased in Elle Decor Magazine. Does that look like writing to you... or something else?

"Little Mysteries" by Sarah Wolfe. Oil on Panel. How does this piece make YOU feel?

By Raymond Goins - "Woman Standing Sprawl".

NOW, GO HAVE AN “It’s So Fabulous!” WEEK-END!

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