Tuesday, December 29, 2015

More on Janusian Thinking and Buddhism

When I first became aware of Janusian thinking and the Janusian process, it resonated with my sensibilities. Janusian thinking involves holding two contradictory, co-existing ideas in one's mind at the same time, for the purpose of creative problem-solving. As a Buddhist, I was comfortable with the idea that something could be and "not be" at the same time.

I relished the "30,000-foot-view" similarities between Janusian thinking and Buddhism. For example, both involve "meditating" on the relationships between the opposites. Both also serve to expand the mind. Yet the two are very different in some ways, too. For example, Janusian thinking is a tool which is employed for the process of coming out the other side with a workable solution. Buddhism, on the other hand, doesn't necessarily crave that solution: it can often rest peacefully with the incompatibility.

Moreover, in Buddhism, striving to reconcile the conflicts in life is a source of suffering. The way to alleviate that suffering is to essentially behave decently, cultivate discipline in one's thoughts and actions, and practice mindfulness and meditation. Janusian thinking, on the other hand, involves primarily thinking one's way through to the other side and the solutions reached may conflict with a Buddhist lifestyle. (For example, figuring out how to build a better bomb.)

While there are interesting parallels between Buddhism and Janusian thought, there are also a number of meaningful differences. This creates the possibility of a "Meta-Janusian process", where one can hold the contradictory aspects of Buddhism and Janusian thought in one's mind at the same time, for the purpose of achieving a creative result. I would imagine that such a hybrid would have the advantage of leading to loving, kind solutions. On the other hand, it would likely also have the disadvantage of limiting the universe of possible resolutions, perhaps stifling overall creativity. Adding mindfulness to the Janusian process is an intriguing prospect and I hope it is one that academics will further explore someday.

- Lynne Guimond Sabean

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Monday, December 28, 2015

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Social Media Marketing 101: How to Use Facebook Like a Grownup

(or "Developing an Effective Online Business Persona")

(Next in Think Janusian's ongoing series on social media marketing.)

Just how important is it to keep your professional and personal profiles separate online? Should you (or ***must***you) revise your personal profile on Facebook to make it match your professional one on LinkedIn? I've been thinking a lot about these and other questions recently. While I have no definitive answers,* here's what I think after reviewing a number of personal Facebook profiles of people I respect both personally and professionally.

header art for social media marketing article on using Facebook

Everyone has a personal brand (regardless of whether they wanted or intended to create one).
So spend some time thinking about what kind of online personal reputation you want to have and whether that reputation is at odds with your professional persona. While clients understand that the professionals with whom they interact have lives and interests outside the office, you still want to come across to them as someone who is reliable, trustworthy, and competent. (And don't underestimate how many people Google their associates, vendors, employees, potential hires, and clients!)

If you take only one thing away from this article, it should be this: stop what you're doing right now and immediately categorize all your Facebook contacts into lists. Take all your acquaintances, clients, and pure business associates and put them into a pure "restricted" category. Anyone who is not in your new this restricted category is a full Facebook "friend" by default.

Next, review your past posts for anything that discusses sex, politics, religion, or drugs, as well as anything that might embarrass your professionally or is purely very personal. Change the settings to those posts to "friends" or "friends, except restricted" as well. Anyone in the "restricted" category can no longer see those posts. (Alternatively, you could delete the posts: I "prune" my Facebook posts regularly.)

After that, adjust the settings for all future posts to "friends" or "friends, except restricted." If you want a particular future posts to include your entire Facebook network, you can manually adjust the new post distribution accordingly. Otherwise, your new posts will have a more narrow , "safer" distribution.

Write a description of how you want people to see you online.
My own list includes adjectives such as "clever", "bright", "funny, "creative", "talented", "competent", "knowledgeable", "interesting", "generous", and "caring." This list creates the framework for the personal brand I want for myself. Before I hit the "post" button, I try to think about how the post fits my description. Sometimes it doesn't, but I post it anyways. But at least I've done so intentionally.

And while we're talking about post content, you may want to consider posting more original thought and fewer memes /shares (especially if your job involves analysis, research, and/or fact-checking). Gandhi, Jesus, and Buddha likely only said a few, at most, of the statements attributed to them online. Also, check snopes.com before forwarding that "you'll never believe..." news item. (Most of them aren't true.) If you want to share a pre-existing news item, take the time to add a brief note on your share about why why you like the news item or why your friends would be interested in it. Remember, you're a thought leader, not a follower.

Also, we don't really need to see your "fun test" results: all it tells us is that you give away your personally-identifiable information and/or e-mail address to any app that asks for it. If your job involves the prudent exercise of discretion, this indiscriminate sharing could work against you.

Your LinkedIn and Facebook profiles do NOT have to be "matchy-matchy".
This is a controversial position. But I give people enought credit to know that I don't wear a skirt suit to garden, volunteer, camp, or attend a baseball game. (Go, Giants!) Even though Facebook is attempting to close the gap between personal and professional personae by putting more emphasis on their members' present and past jobs, most people still use LinkedIn as their professional social network and Facebook as their personal one. I enjoy seeing on Facebook pictures of lawyers hiking and artists at black-tie dinners. Activities and events that may not be appropriate to post as LinkedIn updates are perfect for Facebook and make great conversation starters the next time I see someone. The two sites can and should be different.

And on a similar note, respect the differences between various types of social networks.
Not every LinkedIn update is appropriate for Facebook, just as every Twitter tweet isn't appropriate for LinkedIn. Don' t tie your multiple social network accounts together. (While some prominent social media marketers advise otherwise, let common sense and "the sniff test" be your guide.) Learn the appropriate posting frequency and content type for each network and observe the local culture. Every friend or follower decided to "friend" or "follow" you for a reason. Respect that decision and make it worth their while to continue their online relationship with you.

Finally, your "friends" are your friends, not your sales prospects.
(Especially if you organized your Facebook contacts the way we discussed earlier.) Several hard-core marketers will vehemently disagree with me on this, but here's why they're wrong. Imagine sitting across the table at dinner with one of your good friends. She is telling you about her family and other things important to her. When it's your turn to talk, you say something like this: "Sorry about your dead grandmother. Do you have enough life insurance to protect your family in case it's something genetic?" Every time your friend tries to change the subject, you start the sales pitch again. You're not engaged in a conversation at this point: all you're doing is hard-selling.

This is exactly what you do when you use your Facebook personal page as a business page. If you have a business, create a business page on Facebook and promote your offerings there. Or broadly promote your business expertise on any of a number of other social networks designed for business, including LinkedIn. There's nothing wrong with occasionally sharing your business posts to your personal Facebook page: your true friends are interested in your professional life, too. But act in a way that reminds them that you see them as more than a wallet.

What are your best tips for expressing yourself online without compromising your professional reputation? We'd love it if you shared them below.

- Lynne Guimond Sabean

* and you shouldn't believe anyone who claims to have a definitive answer on online personae, because there is no "one size fits all" solution

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Monday, December 14, 2015

How (Not) to Promote Your Art Cheaply

First, take the word "cheaply" put of your vocabulary when it comes to marketing and promoting your art.

header art for article on promoting artwork

Instead, look for "low-cost" or "no-cost" ways of generating awareness about you and the art you create. (Don't forget the value of your time: a promotion is not really "no-cost" if it's a major time-sink and doesn't allow you to make art.)

One way of inexpensively promoting your art is by word of mouth: "creating a buzz." This doesn't happen overnight. Word-of-mouth referrals are based on your reputation: that someone else finds you so trusted and trustworthy that they're willing to put their own reputation on the line to support yours. (Keep in mind that this cuts both ways: social media makes it every easy these days for bad opinions to spread.)

So how do you keep your visibility high (in a good way)? Get out of your studio or out from behind the camera lens. Meet other artists, gallery owners, museum staff, the press, and the general public. They're everywhere! Introduce yourself through receptions, lectures, and exhibitions. (Yes, we know the costs involved in a one-person show, but the don't write off group exhibitions. The participation costs are significantly lower and you get to meet the people the other artists draw in.)

photogrpahof art supplies

We know you'd rather be making art than peddling it, but capably promoting your artworks is an important part of being a successful artist.

Go other places where art is seen and recognized. Attend art workshops, visit museums, and enter competitions. Always, always, always carry two to three times more business cards than you think you'll need and give out multiples. (One for the recipient to keep and at least one for him or her to give to a friend.) Be active on social media: not just to tout your own fabulousness, but to contribute meaningfully to comments boards of "places to be seen."

Next, be generous. If your work's not a match for a prospective buyer but you know an artist the buyer might like, offer to make an introduction. Donate your time to mentoring an art student through an organization you admire. Odds are, the organization will promote your efforts, which comes off as much less self-congratulatory and reaches people outside your circle of followers. Volunteer to guest-author a blog you enjoy. (All the better if you can get paid for it.) Again, this will help you reach outside your own audience. Write great, sincere reviews for good businesses: you both benefit.

Making a reputable name for yourself and getting out into the arts community will help you make more direct sales, as well as attract the interest of galleries, museums, and the media. Effective low-cost promotion is priceless, not "cheap".


Lynne Guimond Sabean has more than 20 years experience marketing a variety of products and services for companies of all sizes. She co-founded Janusian Gallery (www.janusiangallery.com) and Think Janusian (www.thinkjanusian.com) which offers social media marketing services to artists and other businesses.

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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Social Media Marketing 101: How to Write Better Tweets

(Second in Think Janusian's ongoing series on social media marketing.)

Twitter tweets are a great way to publish just-breaking news and information about your company and its services. Since the social network was established in 2006, Twitter's features and the way it is being used have both changed significantly. For example, mobile device use has become more ubiquitous over time, adding to Twitter's ability to immediately convey information and opinions. Yet at the same time, new tools have emerged to allow users to schedule their "spontaneous" tweets in advance. Followers have seen just about everything on Twitter and are more sensitive to obvious marketing efforts there. What your target audience continues to respond to, however, is content that encourages engagement and lively exchanges with its creator (and the greater online community). Audiences also respond to helpful information that's freely given "with no strings attached." While people may provide their e-mail address to get a "special report," they typically won't give up most information about themselves without a reasonable expectation of receiving something of far greater value in exchange for that information.

header artwork for article on writing better tweets


We know that you don't have all day to spend on your social media programs and that your main focus is properly on the products and services you sell. So here's a list of the hard-knocks lessons we've learned so far from our own Twitter experience... with no strings attached:

Keep it personal (within limits.) Social media is all about personal relationships -- even though they may be created and nurtured online. While your followers may be sitting in front of a computer or using their mobile device to contact you, they still want to get to know you as a person, not just as a brand or sales critter. Speak to your followers the way you would a trusted friend. But at the same time, be smart about what you post online. For example, don't give out confidential client information or your own trade secrets. When in doubt, imagine yourself at dinner with a new acquaintance and your tweets are how you speak to him or her. Would you spend the entire time hard-selling? Would you share information even your best friends don't know? Let common sense be your guide.

Strike the right balance of content. You'll want to mix it up: some links to articles you wrote yourself that your followers will find useful and/or interesting, some retweets of other people's content you think your followers will find useful and/or interesting, some original soundbytes your followers will find useful and/or interesting... notice a recurring theme? While it's alright to occasionally use Twitter to sell your products and services, don't overwhelm your audience with a never-ending series of tweets that are nothing more than links to your product page. At best, you'll annoy your followers; at worst, you'll lose hard-earned followers. (We learned this the hard way on Black Friday.) Even if your followers stay, they'll learn to ignore your relentless sales pitches as nothing more than white noise.

Retweet the right way. Don't just mindlessly republish to your followers: try to add a brief reason of ***why*** you think the retweet contains valuable information to your followers. This establishes you as a thought leader and an authority, not just an information "middle man" or "traffic cop". (We're guilty ourselves of quick retweets from time to time, when its either that or no tweet at all. But we try to add valuable context wherever possible.)

Be nice and polite (at least most of the time). We try to always thank new followers in a tweet referencing them by Twitter handle / username. We do this for many reasons. First, out of all the millions and millions of possible people and organizations to follow, they chose us. We're flattered and grateful and we don't take it for granted that they'll always follow us. Second, it lets our other followers know we're growing and introduces them to a business that ***they*** may want to follow, too. And finally, the "thank you" tweet shows up on their Twitter feed and introduces THEIR followers to ***us***. A high percentage of our new followers appreciate our "thank you" tweets and like and/or favorite the message. This means more exposure for everyone. When is it time to put away the white gloves? When someone is engaging in clearly libelous activity or cyberbullying. Stand up for yourself, but know when to let it go. As the old saying goes, "Arguing with idiots is like playing chess with a pigeon - no matter how good you are, the pigeon will still crap all over the board and strut around like it won anyway."

Don’t link all your social media accounts together. Many social media marketers will likely disagree with our position on this, but we're still digging in our heels. While some people like the convenience of sending out information once and having it show up across their Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, and Tumblr accounts at the same time, we think it's lazy (and that it shows, kind of like sending out a pre-printed Christmas card without adding a hand-written personalized message inside.) What might be the perfect posting frequency on Twitter may look unprofessional or "crazy stalker" to your LinkedIn followers. Plus, each social network has its own personality and community: there is no one-size-fits-all solution. If someone took the time to follow you on Twitter, make it worth their while to continue to do so.

Be smart about who you follow. Unlike some others, we don't think we necessarily have to follow everyone who follows us. If someone "unfollows" you simply because you won't follow them back, they were never following you for the right reason to begin with. The tweets of everyone you follow will show up in your own feed, which could make it harder for you to locate and use the valuable content. Don't make it any harder on yourself than it has to be. We follow people and organizations because they intrigue us and help us further our mission. And we especially love people who favorite and retweet our content: we blow them lots of online hugs and kisses.

You do NOT have to tweet non-stop. Some marketers will tell you that you only have 2, 5, 10 or 20 minutes to capture someone's attention and that after that time, the tweet is useless. While that may be true for riding the "trending" wave, it's not always an accurate conclusion. For example, when I look at someone's tweets before deciding whether to follow them, I go back 6 or 8 months to ensure their tweets won't "junk up" my feed. Several times, I've found valuable articles and advice there. Never underestimate the long-lasting value of your tweets.

Use the "delete tweet" function to clean up your tweet chronology. Again, this is advice that many marketers would disagree with. However, there are many reasons to edit your tweets ruthlessly. For example, if you discontinue a product, there's no need to keep tweets regarding it. Or if your company has changed positions on something, delete the earlier-inconsistent tweets: it's just confusing to everyone. Hire/promotion tweets about someone who later left your company are other good candidates for deletion. It's a good idea to review your tweet chronology by reading it start to finish the way a new follower would. Do your postings send out the right message? Are your tweets laden with typos? While you can't edit tweets, you can always delete the misspelled entries (and repost them with everything spelled correctly, if the tweet is still relevant.) We also perform "revisionist history" across all our social network accounts (like Facebook and Instagram) for these same reasons.

Understand that it's impossible to please everyone. Never compromise yourself or your company trying to assuage the feelings of a few disgruntled followers. Again, this is like playing chess with the chicken. And when you think about it, do ***you*** agree with everything you read online?


What lessons have you learned from being on Twitter? Please share your experiences below.


Lynne Guimond Sabean has more than 20 years experience marketing a variety of products and services for companies of all sizes. She is co-founder of Think Janusian (www.thinkjanusian.com), which offers social media marketing services to artists and other businesses.

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Saturday, December 5, 2015

Just Mandalas: Introducing Our New "MetaMetta" Designs

We're pleased to announce three new designs by Janusian Gallery artists that are all based on photographs of a Tibetan sand mandala. (So they're technically "mandalas of mandalas.")

The two tapestry-looking ones are actually "mandalas of mandalas of mandalas." (Yeah, it kinda makes our head hurt to think about it, too.)

The MetaMetta mandalas are available for purchase at www.zazzle.com/just_mandalas:

- Lynne Sabean

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Janusian Gallery is Now on RedBubble!

We understand that customers may prefer to purchase print-on-demand art merchandise from a variety of vendors. That's why we're also making some of our gallery merchandise available through RedBubble.

This expansion is intended to broaden our reach and further our mission of making extraordinary art part of everyday life, at reasonable prices, for as many people as possible.

Visit the Janusian Gallery RedBubble store at redbubble.com/people/JanusianGallery.

- Lynne Sabean

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Thursday, December 3, 2015

Social Media Marketing 101: Introduction and a History of Internet Marketing

(First in Think Janusian's ongoing series on social media marketing.)

Most articles today on social media marketing make broad pronouncements that it's not a question of whether to use social media, but rather to what degree. The trouble with this stance is that while social media marketing is past its infancy, it's still not as familiar to most companies as is the traditional marketing models they've been using for years. You may have jumped onto the social media bandwagon so as not to be left in the dust. You may generally understand that social media is about putting a personal spin on your marketing messages and providing information that your clients and prospects may find useful. But you may not be sure how to proceed.

You probably already know that in order to put together an effective social media program, you should have more than just a vague concept of how social media works. And you recognize that you'll probably want to have more than have a basic understanding on why social media marketing is appropriate for your kind of business. The best social media programs are, interestingly enough, put together in a very similar process to traditional marketing and promotional programs, even though the tools and messages may be different. More specifically, great programs -- no matter how they are executed -- involve:

  • a good degree of self-knowledge about the company / product/ service being promoted
  • specific marketing goals (for example, a certain number of sales, getting the word out on a new product, branching out into a new geographic area, recruiting employees or affiliates, announcing an award or other recognition). Always have a reason to reach out.
  • clear and accurate messages supporting those goals
  • understanding which advertising and promotional tools will help get those messages out
  • tailoring messages (and the tone in which they're delivered) for the media used
  • measuring the results of promotional efforts
  • understanding that these efforts build upon each other and may not always achieve immediate results, and
  • willingness and ability to change plans as circumstances make it wise to do so.



A Brief History of Internet Marketing, From Personal Experience

To assemble an effective social media plan, it's helpful to know understand the evolution of Internet marketing as a whole and get a feel for how social media marketing took on such prominence over time. In the mid 1990s, I began promoting products and services on the World Wide Web for an international trade magazine publishing company. At that time, the Internet was still being used primarily by academics for research purposes. To this very day, I distinctly remember being lambasted one day by the editor of one magazine for, among other things, "tarnishing the magazine's brand" and single-handedly "bastardizing the Web." I was told that the Internet would never be accepted by the educated and sophisticated people using the World Wide Web and to go back to "real marketing."

I didn't stop internet advertising, of course, and that editor's elitist and ultimately incorrect short-sightedness still amazes me to this day. I also changed companies shortly afterwards and began working for a "web presence developer" run by far more visionary people. There, we developed very basic first-generation web sites for forward-thinking companies who knew they should be on the Internet, but didn't know where to start.

Over time, more and more companies joined the Internet bandwagon, with various degrees of success. To be heard over the "monkey chatter," advertising messages became louder and more forceful. As you might expect, this heavy-handed approach turned off many of the intended recipients of those messages, who learned to tune them out. Smart Internet marketers learned that the messages most likely to he heard were those which were delivered in a personalized tone and which provided useful information (not just a call to action.) Enter social media marketing and "content marketing".

While some social media marketers pat themselves on the back for "inventing" social media marketing, the idea of reaching customers in a personal way is nothing new. Consider, for example, Bob Ross, the billowy-haired, soft-spoken "Happy Painter" whose PBS episodes are being discovered and enjoyed today by new generations of audiences on Netflix. According to various sources, Mr. Ross apparently participated in the show for free, in order to reach people who might be good prospects for his line of products for artists. It was a great idea in the perfect incubator: PBS has very strict guidelines on how companies may present themselves on the station.

So for decades, smart businesses have been offering useful information to clients and prospective customers, for the purpose of establishing the company as a trustworthy thought leader. This means that social media marketing really isn't a radical departure from what you've already been doing and that you likely already have a good foundation upon which to base a social media program. While there is a learning curve, it's definitely manageable.

The next installment of this series will address social media vehicles you're probably already using - such as LinkedIn and Facebook - and offer tips on how you can use social media more effectively to promote your products and services. And even while social media marketing is about the personal spin, we'll also discuss how to keep your public and private online personas separate.

Lynne Guimond Sabean has more than 20 years experience marketing a variety of products and services for companies of all sizes. She is co-founder of Think Janusian (www.thinkjanusian.com), which offers social media marketing services to artists and other businesses.

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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

8 Tips for Displaying Art in a Small Space

Wondering how to effectively showcase art in a small space? We can help:

header art on 8 Tips for Displaying Art in a Small Space article
  1. You don't have to think small... While small works hung together salon-style can have a dramatic effect, a large simple painting can have even more impact.

  2. But if you go small, do it right. Scattering small pictures everywhere can just look cluttered and make your friends and family think you're just one knick-knack away from needing a hoarding intervention. Instead, think of your pictures and the items surrounding it as a larger entity and design something that ties everything together. Unify your frames by color, style, and/or mat design. But in the end, let your own taste ultimately be the guide: after all, you're the one who will have to live and/or work there.

  3. Liberate your art from the walls. There are several ways to do this. First, consider bookshelf displays. Lean art in several layers against each other to add visual interest and interest. Overlap your art just into the frame/mat area, so as not to obscure the images themselves. And let common sense be your guide: if you're leaning a large heavy work against a wall, consider finding a way to anchor it to prevent possible injury. Display rails are another good way to display your art and rearrange items to your heart's content. Again, consider the possibility of a fall and select pieces carefully for this treatment: you don't want your most prized work to tumble to the ground.

  4. Don't forget the 3-D art. For example, custom-made furniture, pillows, pottery/ceramics, glasswork, metalwork, and wooden sculptures can all add style and character to a space. Some are small enough to be swapped out every few months to allow your rooms to change with the seasons.

  5. Discover «Window to the World Mandala», Exclusive Edition Throw Pillow by Janusian Gallery via Curioos


  6. Measure before you buy. Do you know how much space you have over the chest or sofa? You should if you're buying artwork to hang there. If at all possible, buy from a source that lets you "try before you buy" or has a generous return policy in case your treasures don't fit.

  7. Play with shape. If you're going with large artwork, consider acquiring a tall and thin piece to create the illusion of height. Want to draw your eye across a room? Then you'll want to think horizontal. Unusual shapes like discs an die-cuts also make a bold statement.

  8. Discover «Gold Mum Fall Kaleidoscope», Limited Edition Disk Print by Janusian Gallery via Curioos


  9. Think function and practicality as well as style. Want to hang that heavy piece directly in the middle of your space? Think again if there's no wall stud nearby. Also, avoid hanging valuable artwork over heaters and fireplaces. If you absolutely must have something where heat plays a factor, consider a mirror that can be safely cleaned regularly to add light and beauty. Function and practicality are important for rooms of all sizes. But small rooms, with less space, have fewer placement options.

  10. Know when to enlist the assistance of professionals. They can ultimately save you money in the long run by providing valuable design guidance and helping you avoid costly mistakes. And because of the discounts many professionals get from their own vendors, you may end up paying the same as if you'd gone to the vendor directly yourself. Finally, professionals are your entry to "to the trade" businesses that do not provide services to the general public. And if you have an extremely valuable or sentimental piece, consider hiring a professional picture hanger to install it for you.

Small spaces are ideal for creating intimate and stylish spaces at a fraction of the price of decorating a larger space. Ultimately, well-done rooms of any size are more welcoming and likable than poorly-done spaces. Good luck with your small space.


- Lynne Sabean


Janusian Gallery is dedicated to changing the way that people buy, create, and think about art. Visit us online at www.janusiangallery.com and/or download a free copy of the Janusian Manifesto here.

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Janusian Gallery's A-Z Guide to Basic Art Terms

There are thousands of terms and phrases related to art and art collecting, but this handy A-Z guide will get you started on talking knowledgeably with galleries:

header art for Janusian Gallery's A-Z Guide to Basic Art Terms

ABSTRACT: Artwork which departs to some degree from an accurate (realistic/naturalistic) representation of the subject.


BALANCE: The manner in which the elements of an artwork are arranged to achieve a feeling of stability.


COLOR: A aspect of art that is caused by the quality of light reflected or emitted by an object. Color has three key elements: hue, intensity, and value.


DECORATION: Ornamentation; adornment; embellishment.


EXPRESSIONISM: An art movement where an artist distorts or exaggerates his or her subject to present it from a subjective perspective.


FORM: The whole of an artwork's visible elements and the way those elements are unified.


GALLERIES: Places you go to see a nicely-curated collection of art and have the opportunity to purchase your favorites. A gallery may be a bricks-and-mortar building, an online presence, or both.


Visit our Curioos online gallery at curioos.com/janusiangallery


HISTORY: Educating yourself and understanding the background of the art you're viewing can help you appreciate it on a deeper level. Also makes you make better-informed acquisition decisions.


IMPRESSIONISM: An art movement where the artist seeks to reproduce the impression suggested by his subject as if gazed upon it for the first time.


JANUSIAN: Artwork created when the artist fills his brain with paradoxes, considers the myriad of possibilities, and reaches a creative solution. Inspired by the work of Dr. Albert Rothenberg in the late 1970s when he realized that many of the world's most creative people share an attribute of the two-faced Roman deity Janus (god of entranceways, beginnings and endings): they are able to hold contrary perceptions and concepts in their minds at the same time.


Artwork of the Roman God Janus

Classical illustration of the Roman God Janus, after which Janusian Gallery was named.


KARMA:The cosmic consequences of one's actions. You acquire lots of good karma by supporting artists and buying art.


LINE: A thin continuous mark made by a pencil, pen, or brush on a surface.


MUSEUM: Place to go to see art you can admire, but can't buy, afford, or take with you.


NEW: Recently-created art; art that is a departure from that which preceded it.


OBSCENE: Art which is offensive to the generally-accepted standards of decency and modesty. Art which the Supreme Court can't fully define, but can recognize when it sees it.


PHOTOGRAPHY: Increasingly being accepted and purchased as art, not craft.


Photography by Janusian Gallery artists is available in a number of our online stores. (See links at right).


QUALITY: Art having a high degree of excellence as determined by those who are educated and knowledgeably about art. Somewhat correlated to price, but not always (especially for emerging artists.)


REPLICA: A copy or facsimile, as opposed to an original. Should be priced accordingly. Learn to tell the difference between a good copy (such as a high-quality print) and an original.


SUBJECT (MATTER): The person, place, thing, or idea upon which a particular piece of art is based.


TALENT: An inherited and//or developed facility to consistently create artwork of high quality.


URBAN: Art relating to the city and city life. Includes street art, graffiti, and "yarn bombings."


VIEWER: One who looks/ gazes upon art. Audience.


WOMEN: Gender which studies, teaches, makes, buys, sells, and loves art. Woefully underrepresented in some galleries , museums, and/ or private and public collections.


XENOPHILE: Love of the unfamiliar. Makes an adventurous and open-minded art connoisseur and collector.


YOU: The art patron, maker, student, gallery owner, viewer, etc.


ZEITGEIST: "The spirit of the time"; influences style, taste, and culture


- Lynne Sabean


Janusian Gallery is dedicated to changing the way that people buy, create, and think about art. Visit us online at www.janusiangallery.com and/or download a free copy of the Janusian Manifesto here.

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Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Janusian Gallery Backstory: Embracing Paradox and Peddling T-Shirts

The adjective "Janusian" comes from the Roman God Janus, the god of gates, entryways, beginnings, and endings. He is typically depicted with two heads, each facing in opposite directions. Because of this, Janus sees the world in an unusual way: he perceives the past and the future with equal clarity. Articles about Janus typically begin appearing in print and online in late December each year, as one year ends and another begins.

The term "Janusian thinking" was coined by Dr. Albert Rothenberg in the late 1970s when he realized that many of the world's most creative people share an attribute of Janus: they are able to hold contrary perceptions and concepts in their minds at the same time. This practice of filling your brain with paradoxes and considering the myriad of possibilities is believed to open the mind and facilitate "out-of-the-box" problem solving.

Such flexibility in thinking is important to the artistic process as well. It is rare that the muses give an artist the gift of fully-formed inspiration. In creating artworks, an artist more typically explores which of his many ideas are worth pursuing. He allows himself a significant amount of room for exploration and brainstorming, for paradoxes and dilemmas. Ideas flow and begin to more fully mature. With any luck, those ideas build upon themselves and give birth to more ideas. Some ideas gel together nicely; others seem to be incompatible. The artist may examine and test his ideas, to see if they are valid and viable. At some point, the artist has an "ah, ha!" moment on how to piece his ideas together. There may be multiple solutions and the artist decides which are worth pursuing. The ideas are executed. Some succeed; other's don't. Then the cycle begins all over again.

So how does this all affect our decision to call our company Janusian Gallery?

One of our co-founders, Lynne Guimond Sabean, is both a licensed attorney and a juried fine artist whose work has been displayed in the Smithsonian Castle and internationally. One career is predominantly left-brained (law), while the other is predominantly right-brained (art).

On their surfaces, Lynne's two professions seem incompatible in some ways -- one's all about the words, the other's about the pictures. However, she uses the same type of problem solving for both: Janusian thinking. For instance, when writing briefs as an attorney, she understood that a judge having to decide a matter where both sides were meritorious would have to hold contrary perceptions in mind to arrive at his or her decision. So she wrote her briefs and filings to facilitate this process.

Janusian Gallery was conceived in a tent in Vermont after a law job ended. Lynne was standing in a a gateway. In one direction was a future in law; in another was a career in the visual arts. She knew enough about art to immediately open up a business, but knew it would take a while to be profitable. While her own law firm could ramp up more quickly, she wasn't willing to make the financial investment to hang her own shingle and felt more secure working for someone else.

In that tent, the co-founders of Janusian Gallery -- Lynne and her husband Darren -- imagined a future where they would have an art gallery that they could close whenever they wanted to go hiking. They imagined some sort of building perhaps housing both a law office and an art gallery. They imagined having affiliates selling artwork 24 x 7 and having a supplemental income well after they'd retired from full-time employment. They thought about what didn't work with the current art market and how it could be possible do do things differently without alienating others who chose to sell and promote art more traditionally. They thought about finding good homes for "rescue art": pieces that didn't deserved to be donated to a thrift shop or added to the trash heap. They thought about how to build good old-fashioned face-to-face type of personal relationships with customers, given that most of those relationships would be Internet-based.

And they thought about what name would be distinctive and rein in all the seeming paradoxes.

"Janusian Gallery" was the natural choice. While we're still at least a few years away from a bricks-and-mortar presence, we're happy with how quickly our pre-launch preparations of building and stocking our online stores seem to be coming together.

Embracing Paradox and Peddling T-Shirts

Here at Janusian Gallery, our goal is to be as expansive as possible. We want to make extraordinary art available to as many people as possible, at reasonable prices. We aim to get people to think about art in new, exciting and different ways. We want people to surround themselves with art in their everyday lives: to wear it, hold it, use it, play with it, and most importantly, love it. We published the Janusian Manifesto to spread our philosophy. By reading this post, you're participating in this movement and we thank you.

- Lynne Sabean

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Saturday, November 28, 2015

How Good Does Extra $ for The Holidays Sound?

We want to make extraordinary art available and affordable to as many people as possible. As you might expect, that's a lot of work for just two people. While we promote our offerings aggressively online, we know we can't reach everyone who might be interested in our products.

You know people we don't know who may be interested in buying our designs. We don't expect you to promote them simply out of the bigness of your heart... and neither does Zazzle. Zazzle's affiliate program pays you a commission on sales resulting from your successful promotion of Zazzle designers like Janusian Gallery. Be your own boss and work whatever hours you please. This could be a good opportunity for anyone who loves computers and wants to work from home.

chart showing how the Zazzle affiliate process works

First, if you haven't done so already, sign up for a Zazzle account to obtain a referral ID. Next, read Zazzle's information on to use that referral ID to earn a referral fee on sales of our products from customers you brought to our pages. Be sure to read the instructions carefully to make sure you're using the right codes to get full credit for the sales you generate. You're not limited to just promoting Janusian Gallery's products and can promote any of the ***billions*** of products for sale on Zazzle. Unlike other affiliate programs, there are no upfront costs: just some "sweat equity" in finding items you like and getting the word out about them. (You may elect to order business card or purchase ad words at your own cost, but to the best of our knowledge, Zazzle doesn't require this.) Curate collections of products that your friends, family and contacts / customers might also like.

While browsing through Zazzle for items you might like to promote as their affiliate / associate, please consider ours:

(List of stores updated November 2017)

Finally, because some of our best friends are lawyers, we want to remind you that although we may be recruiting you to be a Zazzle associate, your arrangement is ***entirely*** with Zazzle. We take no responsibility for the results of this arrangement. So we're not responsible for any failure on Zazzle's part to credit you for a sale or any failure to pay you all monies owed. We're also not responsible for things you do yourself as an associate / affiliate. And because we have absolutely no control over Zazzle's manufacturing or distribution process, your sole recourse (and the sole recourse for your customers and ultimate users of the products)for problems with product quality, safety, delivery, and performance is through Zazzle and/or the product manufacturer. Janusian Gallery also makes no representations, promises, or guarantees as to earnings realization or potential. If you do not agree to this, then do not promote our products.

Become a Zazzle affiliate today!

Download a copy of this post in PDF format.

- Lynne Sabean

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Announcing Three New Mandala Collections by Janusian Gallery

Here are three new designs we recently posted to our Just Mandalas Zazzle storefront. They're inherently Janusian because they're two seeming incompatible things at the same time: a representational photographic image of a flower and an entirely new non-representational design intended to be used as a meditation tool.


Our Pink Peony Mandala collectionis a great choice for weddings, garden parties, and Mother's Day:


We love the soft, sunny, cheerful colors of our Peach Rose Mandala collection:


Our Purple Lilac Mandala collection,/a> lets you enjoy the beauty of a garden year 'round:


See these and our other photo-based mandala collections at zazzle.com/just_mandalas.

Happy holidays from all of us at Janusian Gallery!

- Lynne Sabean

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Sunday, November 22, 2015

Just Mandalas: Announcing Five New Colorful Designs

We've been working extra-long hours on our Just Mandalas Zazzle store and are pleased to announce several new kaleidoscopic designs:


We love the unusual madras-like look of our Lilac Dreams Mandala collection:


Our Valentine's Day Mandalas collection features 3 different intricate designs in colors that we hope will warm your hearts:


This collection is based on our photograph of a white rose. It's ideal for weddings, garden parties, and Mother's Day:


Because we create our own artwork, you won't find these exact images from any other designer. See these and other mandala / kaleidoscopic image designs by Janusian Gallery artists at www.zazzle.com/just_mandalas

- Lynne Sabean

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Sunday, November 15, 2015

Introducing Our Just Mandalas Zazzle Store

Here we grow again! We're pleased to announce the launch of our newest Zazzle storefront, Just Mandalas. Can you guess what we sell?

screenshot of Janusian Gallery's store Just Mandalas on Zazzle

Our mandalas are based on one-of-a-kind photographs by Janusian Gallery artists. Because we create our own artwork, you won't find these exact images from any other designer.

Visit and shop the Just Mandalas Zazzle storefront at zazzle.com/Just_Mandalas.

-Lynne Sabean

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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Artwork by Janusian Gallery Artists Now Available on FineArtAmerica

Our vision and values statement, "The Janusian Manifesto", includes a goal of making it easier for people to obtain quality art for their everyday lives at affordable prices.

So we're really pleased to announce the launch of our online gallery at FineArtAmerica, offering print on demand art prints. We've uploaded several of our favorite photos and images: hopefully, one is right for you!

Red Poppies, available at FineArtAmerica.

Seasons: Summer Mandala, available at FineArtAmerica.

this photo by Janusian Gallery artists of a Tibetan singling bowl is just one of our many images available on FineArtAmerica

Singing Bowl, available at FineArtAmerica.

Take a look around, let us know what you think, and tell us what other images you'd like to see there.

- Lynne Sabean

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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

12 Things to Love About Cyber Monday

Love the bargains, but hate the crowds? Cyber Monday is for you. Here are 12 things Janusian Gallery loves about it. (We know there's more, but we also know you have some "extreme shopping" to plan.)

header art for 12 Things to Love About Cyber Monday article


  1. No need to dress up (unless you're going to work that day). Bedhead, fleece, bunny slippers are all acceptable. Dress for comfort, not style.
  2. No need to embrace your inner warrior. Cyber Monday is much less a contact sport than is its much-maligned counterpart Black Friday. Also, when was the last time you heard of a store refusing to participate in Cyber Monday?
  3. No need to circle the mall parking lot desperately trying to find a space. Also, you'll get more accomplished during your lunch hour when you can take driving out of the equation.
  4. No need to lug heavy bags around a crowded shopping center. (We all know that it's not the bricks-and-mortar holiday season unless at least one bag breaks, usually when you're trying to juggle 7 or 8 others).
  5. No need to think you're a bad person for even ***thinking*** about parking in a handicapped space and faking a limp. (C'mon, we've all contemplated it at least once...)
  6. No long lines at the "food court" (a/k/a your own kitchen). Unfortunately, you may have to make your meal yourself.
  7. photo of happy woman with credit card shopping online

  8. It's easier to price check and comparison shop.
  9. Go from store to store quicker, at a pace even a champion marathoner couldn't do on foot.
  10. You won't leave your coupons at home.
  11. Store are getting "smarter" and optimizing their sites for mobile devices.
  12. Incentives, like double points or free or discounted/upgraded delivery.

  13. Makers are actively creating new and fresh merchandise and posting it to their online storefronts for your consideration. It's easier than ever to find an uncommon gift for that special someone.

- Lynne Sabean

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

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12 Benefits to Online Shopping

Dreading the "Holiday Maul"? Online shopping is a convenience alternative. The following is a list of some of the many benefits of shopping from your PC or smartphone.

title artwork for 12 Benefits to Online Shopping

  1. Shop on your schedule. You'll never arrive just as the doors are locked. You'll never be asked to leave because the store's closing. There's never a line. You don't have to deal with the crowds.
  2. The Internet is the world's largest shopping mall, with stores and selections from around the world.
  3. It's easy to look around for gift ideas. (They don't call it "browsing" for nothing.)
  4. Instant access to some of the year's "hottest items."
  5. No aggressive sales people (unless you count those pesky "May I Help You?" pop-up boxes).
  6. No "fluorescent light, fun house mirror" dressing room trauma. Try on apparel in the privacy of your own home.
  7. photo of person online shopping on a smartphone

  8. It's easier and faster to find deals and price check.
  9. Enjoy exclusive online deals.
  10. You don't have to go out in bad weather or warm up the car before leaving the store.
  11. No disapproving glances from store personnel when you want to return an item.
  12. No one will notice if your child throws a tantrum while you're trying to check out.
  13. Your shopping cart will never have a wobbly wheel.

- Lynne Sabean

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8 Reasons to Do Your Holiday Shopping Early

Gift cards are certainly convenient, but there's something extra-thoughtful about a hand-selected and wrapped gift. Shopping early increases the odds of your successfully finding the gifts that'll bring smiles to their faces.

8 Reasons to Do Your Holiday Shopping Early

  1. There's more time to find just the right gift.
  2. Odds are, you'll have a better selection.
  3. Businesses are not stocking as much inventory as they have in the past, especially for holiday decor. When the seasonal items are sold, they may not be reordered until next year.
  4. You'll be able to buy when the prices are best.
  5. photo of outstretched hand holding a bag of Christmas presents
  6. There will be enough time to special-order merchandise that can take months to create and deliver.
  7. Spreading out purchases is easier on your budget, because you won't have to pay for everything at once.
  8. You can avoid the holiday shopping crunch (unless crowds are your thing).
  9. You'll have more time to enjoy non-shopping holiday festivities.

- Lynne Sabean


This article originally published on the Janusian Gallery web site. Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Introducing Your Young Child to the Visual Arts

Part of the Janusian Manifesto includes the importance of arts education, because we believe that introducing children to the visual arts at a young age nurtures imagination and creativity. We also think that the arts helps children recognize shapes/colors/images and interpret the world around them.

Introducing Your Young Child to the Visual Arts

Involvement with the arts typically falls into two categories: viewing/appreciating/supporting the arts and creating it.



Viewing and Appreciating Art (at the gallery/museum, on the street, or online)

Here are some tips on helping children gain an appreciation for the visual arts:

  • Use your child's natural curiosity.
  • Pick out things they'll recognize.
  • Engage the child. Ask questions. Make it a game.
  • Show your own enthusiasm.
  • Look for venues with a hands-on component.
  • Let the child take the lead (within reason).
  • Don't stay too long.
  • Point out colors, shapes, and pattern in everyday life.



Creating Art

Creating art fosters self-expression and helps kids organize their thoughts in a visual form. It also encourages creative problem solving and helps the child look at the world around them in a different, more vibrant way.

Here are some tips to make it easy for kids to want to create art of their own:

  • Keep a creativity box filled with age-appropriate supplies (paints, crayons, construction paper, wooden craft sticks, clay, etc.) handy. Before you recycle plastic jugs, magazines, paper towel tubes and the like, consider adding them to the box.
  • Find an appropriate place to display the art your child makes. It doesn't have to be the refrigerator.
  • Decorate a cardboard box together to store your child's artwork longer-term. If you don't have the physical space to store every piece of paper, how about scanning them?
  • Transform your child's artwork into something you can use everyday, such as a coffee mug, keychain, or water bottle. Print-on-demand vendors like Zazzle make it easy to create items for yourself or as gifts.

- Lynne Sabean



Janusian Gallery is dedicated to changing the way that people buy, create, and think about art. Visit us online at www.janusiangallery.com and/or download a free copy of the Janusian Manifesto here.


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Monday, November 2, 2015

Guide to Buying Your Wedding Invitations Online

While online ordering may seem daunting, it can actually be a fun and easy way to get just the wedding invitations you want, at a great price. Here's how:

Select a Theme

Before you go online, think about what kind of wedding you want to have. It's your big day and weddings can cost a lot of money. While you and your fiance want to be gracious hosts, your wedding should ultimately be about what the two of you want, not what you think will impress your friends and families.

If you had to describe your dream wedding to someone, what adjectives would you use? Elegant? Casual? Rustic? Bohemian? Beach or destination? Does a certain color of motif come to mind? Think about what kind of wedding invitations will best express your theme. Don't worry if nothing -- or too many different things -- immediately come to mind. Once you're browsing your invitation options on various storefronts, you'll get a better feel for what you and your fiance like and want to send out.

Set a Budget

If you're ready to order wedding invitations, you should have an idea by now of how many guests you want to invite and how many invitations you'll need to order.

Keep in find that many sites -- including Zazzle, where we offer our invitations -- run great sales on wedding stationery. This means that invitations that might otherwise be too pricey are now within your reach. So plan ahead for the best prices.

Select a Vendor

Some of the things that you'll want to consider when choosing a site from which to order your invitations are:

Reputation: One of the great things about the internet is that you can research your vendors before you buy from them. It's impossible to please everyone, so don't let one or two bad reviews deter you. But if your Googling shows nothing but hating about a particular wedding invitation company, it may be better to choose another one.

Turnaround Time: How quickly do you need your invitations? Wedding Invitations usually go out around 6-8 weeks before the wedding, longer if it's a destination wedding.

Are you sending out save the date cards or magnets? There's not as much of a rush on these, as they usually go out between 4-9 months ahead of the wedding.

Turnaround times are established by the online vendor -- not the individual storeowner -- with the printing companies they use. Will you be able to get your invitations soon enough? Mistakes can happen, so would there be time to reorder if you need to? Be sure to factor in things beyond the vendor's control, like delivery mishaps.

Customer Service: Ideally, things will go flawlessly, but that's not always the case. What if you need to cancel or change your order after placing it? If you require help with your wedding invitation order, is someone available to help you and, more importantly, are they responsive to your needs?

Guarantee and Refunds: Zazzle offers a 100% guarantee on the products they sell. Make sure your vendor does the same. There's nothing worse than having to pay twice for something or having to send out an invitation that doesn't make you and your fiance happy.

Choose a Store Owner:

Once you know your theme, have a budget in mind, and have selected a vendor, it's time for the fun stuff: finding a store and actually ordering your invitations. Here are some things to keep in mind:

Selection: The store company with 50,000 styles to choose from only has a large selection, not necessarily the best. Quantity doesn't mean that a storeowner has the design you need. We've found that some of the smaller Zazzle shops have the best collections, because care and attention has gone into every aspect of creation and production detail. For instance, our shop, Be There Invitations, has fewer collections of invitations than many other shops. But each of our collections features custom photography you won't find anywhere else. Better yet, we offer our invitations at competitive prices. We know we can't be all things to all people, so we try to be among the best for the discriminating bride-to-be.

Size of collection: Once you've decided on a style of wedding invitation you like, check to see if all the coordinating pieces you want -- like reception cards, RSVP cards, and the like -- are displayed there. Your bridesmaids and family members may want bridal shower and bachelorette party invitations in the same theme as your invitations. Does the store owner include these as well?

Some storeowners don't include items that are less frequently ordered, such as bellybands, "advice for the couple" cards, or "Will you be my bridesmaid?" cards. You may also find an invitation you love, but would really prefer it in another color. Many storeowners are available by e-mail and would be happy to create a new product or modify an existing product for you upon request.

Ease of Use: While two invitations may look similar, one may be much easier to order than another. This is because many storeowners create their own product templates and they don't always do correctly. Did the storeowner make it easy for you to order? Did he or she rename the fields to something intuitive? Can you change the layout of the invitation to add, delete or rearrange information or is everything locked down?

If the template isn't working the way it should, consider e-mailing the storeowner with your concerns. He or she may be unaware of the problem and could easily fix it for you.

Placing the Order:

It may be tempting to place your entire order at once. Unless you're under a time crunch, just don't do it. Design an invitation in two or three of your favorite designs and order just one of each. Look at the print quality, the layout, and the type of paper. Ask your bridesmaids and family members for their input. Mail an invitation to yourself to see what it looks like after going through the postal service. Are there any upgrades you want to (or should) make?

Once you're happy with your final selection, place your full order, including a few extras. And again, keep in mind the timing. Zazzle and other online vendors occasionally run sales on wedding stationery, allowing you to obtain just the invitations you want at a better price.


Online ordering is a convenient way to get exactly the wedding invitations you want at a reasonable price. On behalf of all of us at Janusian Gallery and Be There Invitations, congratulations on your engagement and best wishes for a happy future.

- Lynne Sabean

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Buying Art You Really, Really Love

The artwork you buy and display in your home or office says something about you and what's important to you. Whether you're just looking to fill an empty space or are thinking about starting/expanding your art collection, here are some points you'll want to consider:

  • Love it. You're going to have to look at your art everyday, so be sure it's something you'll enjoy being around.
  • Buy the best pieces your budget will allow.
  • Keep an eye out for work that speaks to you and learn about who created it.
  • Build your collection slowly. Your tastes will evolve over time.
  • Understand the big picture. You're not just buying something for your wall or flat surface, you're supporting an artist.
  • The local market is better than you think. There are hidden gems everywhere: at art fairs, student art exhibitions, etc. Supporting local artists builds a strong community.
  • Work with a gallery you trust. The kind of gallery you'll want to do business with will work with your budget and introduce you to art pieces you might not find on your own.


Janusian Gallery is dedicated to changing the way that people buy, create, and think about art. Visit us online at www.janusiangallery.com and/or download a free copy of the Janusian Manifesto in PDF format here.


Discover «Gold Mum Fall Kaleidoscope», Limited Edition Aluminum Print by Janusian Gallery via @Curioos

Discover «White Mountain Flower», Limited Edition Disk Print by Janusian Gallery via @Curioos

- Lynne Sabean

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