Balancing Duck

5X7 balancing squared.png

It is not every day that you see a dancing duck! Our baby mallard does a happy two step, one webbed foot raised enthusiastically into the air. The detail in this wildlife photo closeup by photographer Robin Lusk is super rewarding. We sense the joy of things in nature, so completely not self-conscious. And surely that one eye that looks out at us is full of laughter.

Composer Dan Goldstein’s track captures some of the off-balance feel and humor of an animal standing on one foot. It is a tripping sort of melody, treated canonically. The brass sounds approach the quacking sound we might hear from our dancing duck.

If you would like a print of ‘Balancing Duck’, you can order in my Facebook shop, here:

Dan Goldstein




German artist Karsten Thole captures a sweet moment for two brothers. They both wear green ball caps. They pack a cooler together and plan their outing.
Perhaps a moment before anger led a big brother out onto the street.
Karsten instills everyday scenes from life with a gentleness and sweetness that resonates with our own best memories. It is accessible art, art that permits us to step in.

to purchase a print:

big brother this rap goes out to you
if you still have ears to hear
but I fear you are too gone bro,
too gone to know, to remember,
to feel the family that loved you,
the kid brother that held you dear.
In the place we came from
our family was rare for staying together
a mother and father that cared, that shared,
always praying that we should walk in His light,
but Dad lost sight, forgot the right,
lost the fight, then the slaying.
When Dad was gone we held on to each other
we had each other’s back, yea
we didn’t lack for love then, yea
you didn’t pack then
But personalities form as they do
Anger, resentment formed you
Where your soul was turned hollow
you took to the street, put your feet
in a place where hate and violence rule
My pen was my tool, not a piece.
You turned a dark corner bro.
I couldn’t follow.
4 bars = refrain
Verse 2
remember those cold Winter mornings
selling those Sunday papers
standin on the corner hawkin walkin up to cars
hittin on folks leavin mass
my ass freezin for their buck-25
plus a tip, shit no reason to quit
we’d flip them joints in a few hours
Hell I was glad to do it
cause threw it I got closer to you
Dad welcoming us home like heroes
Pancakes and coffee warmin us
Yea his love formin us
till they took him, yea
you should have picked up the pan then
but you picked up the gun
run out on your family bro
but I guess pesonalities form as they do . . .
4 bars = refrain
Verse 3
remember Rich Stadium bro? watchin them Bills
that was the day watchin OJ runnin that ball
you and Dad was all about that team
screamin at the refs when they messed up a call
I was no ultimate fan, no fan of the crowds
even cowed by the loud, by the rowdy
but I was down with one crowd, yea
you and Dad was my crowd
Brother don’t you see you were blessed?
workin and playin, you always did your best
but there was one test you messed up on man.
Humility and Faith FAILED,
against Anger, against Pride
but personalities form as they do . . .

Dan Goldstein


Brown Heath


ahh – such a beautiful, tranquil feeling in this lovely watercolor abstract by artist Karsten. The warm browns of the earth, which hosts part of black picket fence. Perhaps the earth is a bit parched, from the red lines suggesting cracking, but generally it is warmth we feel. And then there is the gentle blending, like strata of rock formation, into the first light blue (star command blue) part of the sky. Then light blue gently darkens into oxford blue.
One expects perhaps, some bucolic melody, something sentimental and sweet, to accompany our wistful watercolor of a brown heath. But composer midisparks has none of it. Apparently he sees an entirely different scenario. In fact the whole landscape is an electrically charged, alien terrain in his ears and eyes. And the spirit is one of foreboding and uncertainty. His effected toms, of which there are 6 in total, beat a steady warning. His synths are off-tuned, in ways which relate mathematically to the color scheme and which also convey an unearthly sense to the painting.
We are deeply grateful for the opportunity to promote the brilliant watercolors of artist Karsten (nee ViVaDa). You can buy awesome, high quality prints of this and his other works in my Facebook art shop, here:

Dan Goldstein



Leave a comment

Posted by on August 23, 2017 in MidiSparks Art Prints


Adrenaline Beach


Photographer Shelley Neff presents an expansive view of Labadee, Haiti’s Adrenaline Beach. Blue waters, a long stretch of coral reef, and red beachfront cabanas invite us to start fantasizing about a tropical getaway.

Music Produceer Mic Mene offers a chill beat which is just what we would be listening to while sipping a cold one during vacation at this scenic spot.

Labadee, Haiti, a private peninsula, situated on the northwest corner of the island of Hispanola and separated from the rest of Haiti by a mountain range, is owned by Royal Caribbean International. The peninsula is used by the cruise line as a port of call for select itineraries. Each of Labadee’s beaches offers something different, from family attractions to private cabanas, for cruise passengers to enjoy.

Adrenaline Beach, located near the city’s town square, offers the opportunity for cruise passengers to play several sports, including beach volleyball, basketball and soccer. The beach is also home to the Dragon’s Tail coaster, which offers a scenic view of the island and beaches at 30 miles per hour.

We hope you can make it to this alluring destination sometime soon. In the meantime, you can order a print from my Facebook Shop to keep the goal fresh in your mind.

Dan Goldstein



Greenland Skull

greenland skull-thole

Should we laugh or shiver at artist ViVaDa’s Greenland Skull art?  Blond braids adorning this probably bovine skull with wide set eye sockets not quite aligned might suggest a laugh.  The golden locks, fashioned it seems as viking horns, angle down left against eyes angling right.  Swirling mosses and grasses in the digital background complete the rendering’s dizzying effect.  So after staring for some time at this image (and how can we not but hold with the image for some time as we are likewise captivated by the hypnotic Joe Kramer/Burton Philbrick audio track), the mind begins to spin a bit and the stomach slightly to turn.  This is good, for we are inclined then to contemplate more serious implications of this skull art.  The rich yellow hair braids speak of course not of death but of attractive youth and life that once was.  Joe’s lyrics speak directly to this:

Once I had a life
Once I felt so great
Once I had some good times
but now . . . I am dead.

Audio can guide us beyond initial reactions to images (in this case chuckles) to potentially more complex responses (in this case feelings about our mortality).  At the most fundamental level, a thoughtful bit of audio may keep us engaged with the painting a little longer than otherwise might be the case, and as a result there is time to think more deeply about the images.  Our audio provides an explicit narrative, even animates the image.  We visit with not only the remains of the deceased, but with the ghost as well, who shares with us her story of a life loved, now lost.

As a painting, this bit of skull art is impressive and deserves a place in every skull art collector’s portfolio.  I am pleased to offer a 13″ X 10″ digital print of ViVaDa’s Greenland Skull.  Please visit the product page in my Facebook shop to order.

Dan Goldstein



Fancy Lace Edwardian


Humility, pride and strength are expressed in this colorized photograph of a beautiful Edwardian era woman. Accompanying our view is the joyfully romantic piano solo of Elize Kaisser.

No less than 100 years separate us from the Edwardian era. High fashion at the very beginning of the 20th century, informed by English King Edward and his circle, nevertheless engage us. And certainly the fashion innovations and evolutions of the period are compelling. Wide brimmed and ornate hats make bold statements about women’s rising status in society. Tight skirts along with narrowing and rising hemlines offer the first siren calls of sexual liberation. Fashionable waistcoats likewise comment on the accelerating struggle for equal rights by adding a certain masculine strength to the female fashion statement.

Perhaps what makes the feminism of this era, and by association the image before us, so compelling, is the context. The context of the woman’s struggle for equality was a desire to contribute more fully to the strengthening of family and society. The goal was not to become more like the man – smart feminism has never been about that – but rather to become a more fully expressed woman. The Edwardian female liberation movement was about fully realizing feminine potential to contribute in family and society.

We see not only humility in our Edwardian beauty’s face, but courage. There is a struggle underlying the perfectly smooth, cream-colored complexion of our lady. She is quite immediately rooted in the more restrictive traditions of her mother and grandmother. She is asked now to step out and assert herself in ways which she must invent. It is clear our Edwardian lady does not cast aside all the good she has received from previous generations, but bravely rises to the challenge of her new world.

The romantic, uplifting piano ramble by Ms. Elize Kaisser offers notes of joy, encouragement and hope for this truly heroic struggle. The track does so in harmonies and melodic phrases which take root easily in an old-school romantic style which can easily be associated with Edwardian times.

Fine photo prints of “Edwardian Fancy Lace” are available.  Please fill out the contact form if interested. Thanks.



Edwardian Haunted

fiery-edwardian-green-edwardian-portrait-photos-carneys-colour-photo-creations (1)

Even as we admire this red-haired Edwardian beauty something unsettles us. Look carefully at her eyes. Or should we say her eye and her glass eye? The effect of one eye looking directly at the camera and one eye at nothing is haunting, suggests some eerie narrative, some spooky backstory.

But let us at least acknowledge and admire what we plainly see before us, an attractive young woman with fiery red hair decked out in grand Edwardian style. She presents in a turtle-shell evening wrap and a wide brimmed hat of the same turtle-shell material. Her neck is elegantly wrapped in a fur muff. Silver gloves cover her hands, one of which is occupied with a small brown clutch bag.

We might imagine that the single rose fastened below the muff shines some some light on her perfect peaches and cream complexion, and we are thus drawn to the face, and as a result again to the troubling aspect of the glass eye. The response we have to that lifeless orb is at least two-fold. Of course we sympathize with obvious loss. But we are creeped out as well. For though the eye does not look outward at anything, we might imagine yet that it “sees”. It suggests some mystical, spiritual knowledge and awareness.

Composers Burton Philbrick and Dan Goldstein pick up on this eerie, metaphysical theme with a cinematic audio track relating a seance. The composers imagine our Edwardian beauty as a medium, convoking a gathering for the purpose of communicating with the deceased. Goldstein’s whole tone harp counterpoint creates a mysterious ambience, spellbinding, over which Philbrick lays a bowed cigar box guitar and several seance sound effects.

We believe that the audio narrative deepens our appreciation for this beautiful colorization of a vintage Edwardian era photo.

Dan Goldstein

Dan Goldstein

Wordpress blogger, Harrisburg, PA Dan Goldstein

Nice to find free stuff like this now and then

Mixed Media Art Group

A Group of Mixed Media Artists and Photographers

4am Writer

Survival Guide for Writers


Adventures in Watercolor Painting and Sketching, Watercolour Magazine, with Charlie O'Shields

The Richness of a Simple Life

Encourage, Inspire, Empower

Business in Rhyme

inspiring personal growth through poetry and writing

leaf and twig

where observation and imagination meet nature in poetry

Attila Ovari

Loving Life and Inspiring Others

Color by Klimbim

The Journey: Rediscovering Myself

Finding motivation to change my life for the better


Stan Stewart - the muse is present


Because if You're Going to Lie, Lie Yourself the TRUTH

John SterVens' Tales

Thee Life, Thee Heart, Thee Tears

Simple Tom

Some say I was born high. Others say i'm just simple :)

Hiking Photography

Beautiful photos of hiking and other outdoor adventures.

The Evolution of Eloquence

Improving the English language one letter at a time


Just another site


Just Click It


Fine Art Photographer ~ Daring to be Different