Jeff Oliver’s Strange Sounds


If you are among those that others in our population might describe as being a misfit, or strange and misunderstood,  then you are among the exact readership that Jeff Oliver is hoping to reach with his poignant and gut-wrenching poetry.  It is in your face real and relatable to those of us that walk to the beat of a slightly different drum.

Real

Jeff was born in Baltimore,Maryland in 1982 but was brought up in southern Pennsylvania.  He now lives in western New York with his beautiful wife and soulmate, Jennie, who he credits as being his inspiration and reason to continue dreaming the dream he’s had since the age of 11; that of becoming a published author and presenting the square pegged into round holes of society with a voice that he hopes will meld with their own and speak to them from the depths of his soul.

His first published work is a compilation of his poetry whose honesty and uniqueness is wonderfully refreshing in an age of followers that don’t mind receiving a trophy for the dubious honor of only showing up.  This man actually creates.

You can find this debut work for sale at both Barnes and Noble and Amazon by clicking the respective links.

STRANGE SOUNDS at BARNES and NOBLE

Strange Sounds

STRANGE SOUNDS at AMAZON

The following is an excerpt from the book:

All She Ever Wanted

#JeffOliverPoet

She always had a self esteem
That she kept away from the world
She always had the biggest dreams
Of a special kind of girl
Always needed the support she craved
Never asking for a thing
With all the cards she has to play
The dealer’s always winning

All she ever wanted
Was the love that she lost
All she ever dreamed
Was to stop paying the cost
All she ever wanted
Was you

She was always there
All along
Playing over and over
Your favorite song
She never could really get away
From the burdons of her heart
Until the day came
When she took over the stars
Revealing every scar

All she ever wanted
Was the love that she lost
All she ever dreamed
Was to stop paying the cost
All she ever wanted
Was you

She never could really get away
From the burdons of her heart
Until the day came
When she took over the stars
Revealing every scar…

Jeff states- “This collection comes from the very depths of my soul, no storyline, just pure emotion. I just let the words flow through me, without thinking. One moment I write about love, the next could be Hell. The subjects in this book range from, love, hate, pain, beauty, monsters, and my views on racism. Racism is s very touchy subject for me, as you will read my explosive emotions. As you read each page, these words and images will take you on a journey you will never experience again.”

The images I’ve included with this post are from Jeff’s Facebook fan page. which is dedicated to his work.  You can find WORDS FROM THE SOUL by clicking that title.

Make sure that you visit and also, do each of your friends and family members a favor and share the link to the page with them so they can visit and enjoy his work as well. Don’t forget to smash the LIKE button for the page while you’re there!

I particularly love the next piece.

Jeff also says, “I am releasing a novel unlike anything else in February 2020, I have fused poetry into a horror story which I hope takes readers into a place they’ve never been. My book Strange Sounds was my debut poetry collection and it was a milestone in my writing career.

Jeff also has dabbled writing lyrics and with fellow band member, Melekai Joe, has created what I find to be a very interesting sound, which when matched with his haunting lyrics combines for an awesome listen.  Check it out below.

Suffice it to say that Jeff Oliver is a man of many talents and gifts and we’re lucky to have him creating at this time in  our lives when so much is fraught with dishonesty or hidden behind masks of what people think we want to see when actually all most people want, or at least I know I do, are a few Words From The Soul.

Don’t forget to stop by Barnes and Noble or Amazon and pick up a copy of Strange Sounds.

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Artwork By Ble

Nikos Blempoutzakis, whose artistic name is Ble, was born in a village in Hungary 43 years ago and started drawing when he was 18. He now lives in Athens, Greece with his wife Katherine, and their pet poodle.

"jack in the box"

“jack in the box” ~charcoal on paper ~42 x 30 cm

Jo and I first noticed Ble when he posted his work in the group Arts from the Darkness~Open Minds which is directly related to the Facebook Page for this website, also named Arts from the Darkness.

He states that he believes H.R. Giger is the reason he began drawing and this makes perfect sense as the group is dedicated mainly to art related to that type of genre, although Expressionism is Ble’s favorite. Other artists that have influenced him include Zdzisław Beksiński, Eric Lacombe, Alberto Giacometti, Rembrandt, Vincent van Gogh, Francisco Goya, Francis Bacon, and Lucian Freud. With such a varied scope of interest, it’s no wonder that his own work is so confident and aptly captures such dark emotion.

born plugged

born plugged~charcoal on paper~29, 7x21cm

At present, he is only able to pursue his passion on a limited basis as he is also employed as a communications technician, although he yearns for the time when he will be able to give that up and concentrate solely on his art. He estimates that from beginning to finish, a piece can take as short a time as ten hours to complete or can take weeks to a month. Being able to dedicate his time entirely to his art would perhaps give added dimension as the time frames he must currently adhere to limits the time he has to devote himself to his preferred profession.

SHE

“SHE”~ charcoal on paper~ 42×29,7cm 16.5″x11.8”

He enjoys travel and being with his wife as they enjoy doing things together of mutual interest.  She is also an artist and that helps make their leisure time that much more enjoyable.

"ObscuraPoema"

“ObscuraPoema”~charcoal, carbon pencil, powder and pastel on fine paper~42×29,7cm

When asked what he thought he might be if not an artist, Ble answered that he thinks perhaps an inventor or a teacher. At 43 he considers himself to still be a beginning artist although he has been practicing his art for 25 years.

"face 5"

“face 5″~oil on paper~42×29,7cm

His advice to others who are new to the field or may be struggling is that they should seek professional instruction and take courses at an art school.

pareidolia XIV

pareidolia XIV~Charcoal on paper~ 21×29.7cm

He also advises that you should follow your dreams and not pay attention to those who tell you otherwise and to always be true to your self. Sage advice to anyone at any time.

"Un-winged and naked"

“Un-winged and naked”~ mixed media on grey toned paper~ 42×29,7cm 16.5″x11.8”

His favorite medium is charcoal.

"Feline"

“Feline”~watercolor on paper

His works have been shown for the last two years at the Aeon Gallery in Richmond, Illinois, located near Chicago here in the  U.S.

"cosmic birth"

“cosmic birth”~oil on stretched canvas~70 x 50 cm~27.5″ x 19.6”

He also is active on social media and you can find examples of his work at the following platforms, Instagram@ble_art, Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/bleartwork/ and in his Etsy shop, https://etsy.me/2VohkEu.

"Phantom"

“Phantom”~charcoal on paper~50 x 70cm

If you would like to contact Ble for permission about using his work for any purpose you can do so by emailing him at nikosbleb@yahoo.gr.

The final piece I’m showing you is titled “Shame”,  and I have to say that it would also be a shame if you didn’t check out the sites I’ve linked to so you can experience more of his work.

shame

“shame”~ ~charcoal on paper~ 7~0 x 50cm

I was very surprised at the reasonable prices on his pieces that are for sale, both at Etsy and the Aeon gallery. Chances like this don’t come around that often from such a talented artist. INVEST!

Lillie Fields Featured Artist

There are many talented artists who receive little or no recognition for their work and have few places to showcase same, so the “Arts from the Darkness” website and Facebook Fan Page of the same name, and owner Jo Budd have paired to showcase their endeavours.

Our first featured artist- Lillie Fields

Lillie says:

“I’ve been an artist for twenty years or more,  and I’m still trying to find and hone my style. I guess that’s what art is all about, finding who you are, what you feel, and how to express those thoughts. Almost like a personal journey where everyone has a unique destination, only it doesn’t ever end.

There’s definitely a psychological component; developing an art style is to develop yourself. Through mine, I realized how much I appreciated the way someone could capture the true reality and realness of a subject, but then morph it into their own reality; a reflection of their own thoughts. I like realism and surrealism because it is sort of like looking into a mirror, to me. A contemplation of what I truly see when I look at the world around me, reflected back from the eyes of the unique artist. Sometimes I can understand how they think and sometimes I have to ponder what they are trying to say and put myself in their reality (something I naturally do with everyone in life as a form of empathy). Clearly, I’m a pensive kind of person, and it comes out in my art.

The perfectionist in me tries to see things for what they are with all of their specific details, yet I’m a dreamer with a brain going non-stop. So, I like to portray what I see, including my own worlds (when I’m not painstakingly trying to capture the realism and the truth of a subject). I started developing my techniques by practicing what I was good at until I was either comfortable enough or uncomfortable enough to introduce something new to work with. As with life, sometimes you have to try new things and make new decisions to see if you like it and are good at it.

I started with graphite, trying to draw and sketch realistically. I found my strong point of shading, which really made my pieces look closer to reality, in my own mind. I was wary of using colors and swore I wouldn’t be any good at manipulating them, but I took a risk and started working with colored pencil. I found I flourished and excelled at using colors, especially with my abilities to use proper shading.

My pieces (and I) were starting to grow into my developing style. From there, I was terrified of paints, but with guidance from my art teachers (and Bob Ross episodes), I again found that these tools helped me to mold my becoming style. So, for years I’ve been exploring ways of creating what I see or want to see, and what I think and feel using mediums that can portray these ideas the way I see fit.

Art is for everyone, it just takes some real self- reflection and experimentation to find what best expresses your reflections. Then, just go with it and see where it takes you. You’ll learn about yourself as you learn about your pieces.”

Lillie is 25 and lives in the Southern United States.

See more paintings and detailed shots in her photo album.    Lillie Fields Artwork
Lillie is available for commissioned work.
If any  of you would like to be a featured artist on Arts From The Darkness, please send a bio and examples of your artwork to submissions@artsfromthedarkness.com and we’ll reply asap.

The Tarot Card Artistry Of Bonifacio Bembo

As some may believe, Tarot cards are not the result of new age mysticism and their usage can be traced back as far as the 1400s.  Their vibrant images of the Royal, Minor and Major Arcana are what a lot of people may recognize if not interested in them for spiritual reasons.  While these images, which come in many different themes with a multitude of renderings, may be colorful and intriguing, there may be none as beautiful as the ones pictured here. While today’s cards feature the 4 suits of Wands, Cups, Pentacles, and Swords, they were first titled as Coins, Cups, Sticks, and Swords.

Bonifacio Bembo (1420-1480), was a painter and miniaturist who was born in Brescia and was so delighted by the Tarot’s esoteric symbolism that he created his own version for Filippo Maria Visconti, Duke of Milan, between 1442 and 1444.

Today’s decks are made up of 78 cards. Bembo’s deck consisting of 48 cards measuring approximately 7 1/2 inches by 3 1/2 inches are illustrated on gold and silver backgrounds. They are now part of the Pinacoteca di Brera collection.

Pictured below are some of the most beautiful and mysterious cards created by the early-Renaissance artist.

On the left, “Faith”; on the right, “Maid of Sticks”

On the left, “Horsewoman of Coins”; on the right, “Horsewoman of Sticks”


On the left, “Maid of Coins”; on the right, “Maid of Cups”


On the left, “The World”; on the right, “Horseman of Sticks”

On the left, “Knave of Swords”; on the right, “Knave of Coins”

On the left, “The Emperor”; on the right, “Time”


On the left, “King of Cups”; on the right, “Horseman of Swords”


On the left, “Death”; on the right, “The Magician”


On the left, “Doomsday”; on the right, “The Wheel of Fortune”


On the left, “Six of Coins”; on the right, “Two of Cups”


On the left, “Four of Cups”; on the right, “Six of Swords”


Whether or not you believe that someone can divine your future with a layout from a Tarot deck, I’m sure we can all agree that these cards are absolutely beautiful.

Photos via:
Isabetta
Atlante Dell Art