Blogging, death and art

I find myself with a little extra time this morning after the dog, for the second day in a row, thought 6am was an OK time to go outside on a weekend morning. Who can blame her; it is light out again at that hour.

On account of that I have a little time again to write here at The Aesthetic Elevator. I’ve been much too busy of late with the new full-time job, continuing as I’m able with M-DAT and freelance work, which I was hoping for last Autumn when it didn’t come. I’m taking the freelance work, even though it goes against my personal philosophy, largely to catch up after these past two financially lean years. That said, this post will function a bit like a digest of the past month or two.


Is the world of self-publishing on the interwebs changing, relaxing perhaps, further? Less and less comes into my feed reader. I don’t mind that people are posting less (using a feed reader means I’ll still see new articles when they are posted anyway) in light of my scant time to keep up with any kind of art-related news, however I don’t want to lose the connections I’ve made with artists and arts catalysts via blogging over the past five years.


Mortality has been on my mind lately. I don’t know exactly why, although my wife pointed out that the brevity and frailty of human life has been something I’ve kept in front of myself for many years. At the height of this contemplation, I was reading T.S. Eliot’s Ash Wednesday and this beautiful, albeit macabre, section resonated with me.

Lady, three white leopards sat under a juniper-tree
In the cool of the day, having fed to satiety
On my legs my heart my liver and that which had been contained
In the hollow round of my skull. And God said
Shall these bones live? shall these
Bones live?
— T.S. Eliot, Ash Wednesday

Website and sculpture

Somehow I have managed to finish a couple of sculptures during this busy year and even remodeled my website in attempt to make it simpler and more likely to be used (Have a look at Storm season is upon us once more and I’m hoping to finally do some en plein air sketching or sculpting this year if the right conditions present.

Scissortail Art Center

Been thinking about Scissortail again recently. I’ve been thinking, again, about how a person could start in on this idea with minimal resources (i.e., out of their own home) and how an arts center like this could have a significant and positive impact on a small prairie community. I don’t really have any new insights on these ideas from a year or two ago, but I did find a somewhat encouraging website. lists rural real estate for sale in a more organized and comprehensive way than I’ve found up to now. Through it I saw some more affordable properties than previous searches yielded (though still not affordable enough for us to move on any time soon, barring a donation). I’d still like to see the same kind of website for churches and school buildings. If such a thing exists, I haven’t found it yet.


About pcNielsen
Paul Nielsen founded The Aesthetic Elevator late in 2005. He owns a piece of paper, located somewhere in his house (not on the wall), stating that he earned a B.F.A. from the University of Nebraska around about 2001. While there, he studied studied architecture, graphic design and ceramics, graduating with a degree in studio art. Paul presently serves as communications manager for a small non-profit doing their print design and marketing. He spends as much time sculpting in his studio as possible — which is not nearly enough. Visit his website at

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