Follow by Email

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Art Fairs by Margot Justes

Yesterday was one of those rare perfect days, it started with a delicious cup of coffee, breakfast with my daughter Dina and the Port Clinton Art Fair, shopping at Old Orchard and dinner at Zapatista's, a really good local Mexican Restaurant. After which, we collapsed on the couch and watched Murdock.

The fair is one of my favorites, and this year it was truly fantastic with many new artists and some very original pieces.

We were there by nine thirty, half hour before the start but most artists were already set up, and this way we beat the crowds. By the time we left, around twelve thirty the place was packed.

An outdoor art fair is the perfect place to see what is going on in the art world at a much less intimidating set up than let's say, walking into a gallery. Although, I've gotten very good at saying I'm just browsing, still the open art fair is the perfect place to chat up an artist, thank them and if you like the work, acknowledge their efforts.

The photos are not great, the glaring sun didn't help my efforts, but I found a new artist whose work I admire and I asked if I could take pictures, he graciously allowed me to do so. Check out

Till next time,
Margot Justes
A Hotel in Paris

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Wonder of Blogs by Margot Justes

A while back I posted a blog about my favorite contemporary artist, Eyvind Earle.

A collector read the blog, and I received an e-mail asking if we exchange our selection of cards.

I was touched at the prospect of someone taking the trouble to e-mail me, a perfect stranger, and trust me to follow through with the bargain.

Of course I jumped at the chance, and quickly received a gold mine. Not only did I receive cards that I didn't have, but three fabulous posters. I could not reciprocate fully, I have cards and that is all, certainly not incredible and fantastic posters. I framed them, picture is above.

The exchange was not fair at all, but I am very grateful for his generosity.

I have since had them framed, and can honestly say that a day does not go by that I don't look at them with delight.

I have pictures, finally getting the hang of visual blogging. Isn't the work enticing? Each stroke of the brush is mesmerizing, light, airy, effortless and enchanting...enjoy. I certainly do.

Till next time,
Margot Justes
A Hotel in Paris

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Greek Island of Delos by Margot Justes

About a thirty minute ferry ride from Mykonos is the island of Delos. And what an island it is. Almost uninhabited, there are approximately 25, all either archeologists or security personnel.

The island is bare, there are no snack shops, no hotels, no restaurants, the wind can whip up in a quick frenzy, it is in fact quite desolate. A museum, the only modern accommodation for the tourist, books and other Delos souvenirs can be bought, but that is the extent of the touristy trade. The rest of the island is in ruins. Magnificent ruins.
What makes this island unique are the ruins. Amazing ruins. The whole island is covered with them. It is an immense site and one not easily forgotten.
Delos is said to be the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis. Archeological traces indicate the island was inhabited as early as 3000 B.C. Some of the ruins are so well preserved that you can actually imagine what the structures looked like and how they were utilized.
From the Doric Temple of Isis to the Archaic Lions to the mosaic floors, the sites are truly inspiring.
Off the beaten path, I observed an archeologist crouched on a low portable chair, a pad and pencil in hand as he meticulously measured something on the ground and then put it on paper. I snuck up on him and watched as he quietly continued his research. Time stood still and the serenity on the island was disturbed only by the fierce whipping wind.
If you ever find yourself in Mykonos, do take the time to visit Delos. I promise, you will not be disappointed, you will in fact be enthralled. The terrain is rough, wear comfortable shoes, you will be walking in worn and uneven footsteps are about three thousand years old . It doesn't get better than that.
Till next time,
Margot Justes

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Sean Hayden and His Mystery Machinations by Margot Justes

Today, I would like to introduce a fellow Echelon author, Sean Hayden, who will tell us about writing and reading and his move from the Chicagoland area, to the arctic, frigid state of Florida. Tough move, Sean.

Please wlcome Sean to Margot's Muse.

Born in the suburbs of Chicago, Sean moved to the frigid arctic climes of south east Florida as a small child. The son of a fireman and a proofreader (that’s what they had before spellcheck) he fell in love with reading at a young age. When he hit the age of 35 he wrote his first novel, an urban fantasy about vampires entitled Origins. It will be available from Echelon Press soon, and he has almost finished writing the sequel Deceptions.

As an Urban Fantasy writer, the entire genre of mysteries was often, for lack of a better word, a MYSTERY to me. Every time I picked one up and read it I often found myself trying to guess “who dunnit” rather than enjoying the landscapes, plots, and character that the talented authors were trying to paint in my head. This childish, on my part, game I would play with the books left only two possible outcomes at the end of the story. I would go “PAH! That was too easy,” or “They made that person the villain to throw everyone off!” In my defense, it’s really not my fault. Being twelve years younger than the next youngest of five boys, I often used competition to prove my worth not only to myself, but to my brothers as well. I’d like to say I grew up, but what we learn as children often molds our adult selves. Sad but true.
Reading is without a doubt my favorite pass time. I never found myself playing or even interested in sports. The more I read, the happier I was. Now an adult with two children of my own, nothing could make me happier to say that my children inherited my love of not only reading, but telling and writing stories as well. It was my ten year old son who changed my outlook on the genre of mysteries and made me fall in love with the concept. I still guess at “who dunnit”, but that definitely takes a back seat to the plot, storyline, and characters.
It started with, and I’m ashamed to say it, Harry Potter. I know what you’re thinking, “HARRY POTTER IS A FANTASY NOT A MYSTERY!” You’re absolutely right. It was that very realization that made me rethink the mystery of mysteries. Human beings have an insatiable thirst for not only knowledge, but answers. It is that insatiable thirst that makes mysteries like candy bars.
1. You can’t put them down once you start.
2. Not easily digested, but they always leave you satisfied.
3. They’re often full of nuts.
4. When you finally finish you want another.
Back to the point of this blog, Harry Potter taught me one thing. Anybody who says they don’t enjoy a good mystery is an outright fibber. Mysteries are EVERYWHERE. Even bound between the pages of innocuous children’s literature! Sure harry potter is a work of the purest fantasy, but every book has Harry and his friends bound on adventure to solve a mystery.
In my eyes, mysteries are the universal genre and the element of it is essential to any plot in any story, book, movie, etc. Without that insatiable quest for answers to questions, how good would anything be? You can write science fiction, and include elements of romance, but it wouldn’t wither away and die without it. Write science fiction without an element of mystery and see what happens!
Thank you, Sean.
Till next time,
Margot Justes
A Hotel in Paris