Notes from the rabbit hole

IMG_0956.JPG
“Alice came to a fork in the road. ‘Which road do I take?’ she asked.
‘Where do you want to go?’ responded the Cheshire Cat.
‘I don’t know,’ Alice answered.
‘Then,’ said the Cat, ‘it doesn’t matter.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Another creation using the apps, Living Planet and PaintFX

Stuckness

IMG_0902.JPG
I was at the bookstore on Sunday and purely by chance caught sight of a book with a cover image of a turtle flipped on its back. I was curious enough to pick it up and flip through it. The name of the book was ‘Stuck’. I was intrigued by what little I read and put it on my ‘to read’ list for another time.

Today I received a newsletter (one of my email subscriptions) that had a brief article on the opening page. It was titled, “Your Story”. That sounded intriguing to me as well. I think we’re all somewhat curious, if not interested in learning more about our own personal stories. It’s just another opportunity to get a better understanding of who we are and why we do the things we do; which is always a good idea in my opinion.

Here’s the article: (by Dr. David Krueger, at Coach Training Alliance).

“People perceive and remember what fits into their personal plot—an internal script of oneself and one’s world. Beliefs and assumptions (inspired by experiences) dictate what you look for and attribute meaning. You always find or create that which validates those beliefs, and ignore, mistrust, disbelieve—or more likely don’t notice—anything that doesn’t fit into that pattern.

People repeat behavior, even that which doesn’t work, because it offers security and familiarity. Doing the same thing results in a known outcome; predictability masquerades as effectiveness. When you move beyond a familiar pattern, you may experience anxiety.

Repetition reinstates the security of the familiar, even if the repetition is limiting or frustrating. By opting for repetition, people sabotage invention and imprison creativity. Stuck behavior has stuck consequences. Staying in a rut long enough begins to seem like fate. That outlook can lead to despair. The ultimate question about fixed beliefs or “stuckness” is: Does it work?

Change may be difficult, but it begins with the easy recognition that you are the author of your own life story. Insight, understanding, and theory do not create change. New theories alone will not drive old lived experiences into extinction. Lasting change requires new lived experiences to replace old experiences – you invested a lot of years in the old system, and you will have to practice the new stuff as hard as you practiced the old stuff.”

A coincidence? Maybe.
Maybe not.

But the words carry a lot of meaning…Stuck behavior has stuck consequences. Clear and simple.

Staying in a rut long enough will begin to seem like fate… is this not true?

Predictability masquerades as effectiveness…Yep.

And …insight, understanding and theory do not create change.
We can talk about changing all day long but at the end of the day nothing has changed.

But most important of all –

Lasting change requires new lived experiences to replace the old.

And that’s something to really think about if you’re looking to make a change.

Above image was created with iColorama and Procreate.

And it was right there the whole time

IMG_0768.JPG

IMG_0772.JPG
These two images are the same image from yesterday’s post (interference art) they were just tweaked in different ways using no more than two (maybe three) apps. On the second one I did some selective hand coloring (I’m in a pink phase).

One thing I like to do is photograph paintings I’ve made (the old fashioned way and the new fashioned way) and use them as jumping off points. I open them up in my favorite apps and just run them through the many options, filters, etc until I find a pleasing composition.

Finding a pleasing composition doesn’t happen every time but when I discover something that ‘might’ work, I save it to use as the beginning of another painting.

It helps having a large stash of possibilities to pull from – just like the stash we keep in our real studios.

The options and combinations really are endless!

Interference art

IMG_0753.JPG
Art.
Interfered with.

Interference Art.

(Aka more fun with apps)

Photography isn’t a verb.

IMG_0723.JPG
Photography makes me happy.

You know, I kinda just now came to that realization.

Now I know that statement must sound a little crazy considering how much I enjoy photographing things and the fact that I have an entire blog (practically) dedicated to the medium – but it really comes down to this:
Photography is something I’ve always enjoyed doing.

DOING. Participating in. In the verb sense of the word (if that makes any sense at all).

But just now while playing around with this simple little image, an image that I took with my iPhone (in my car, through a dirty windshield no less) I realized that, with each swipe of my finger, with each new result of my playing, I found that my heart was beating a little bit faster and an honest to goodness swelling of emotion was building up inside.

And this happens all the time.

Not only do I enjoy the process of photography; the searching, the discovering, the capturing of images – that process involves me actively participating in something. But what I’m talking about here is – this process has an affect on me.

Continually. Even after the searching is over.

I’ve just realized I’m in a long term relationship!

And it’s a beautiful one!

Through my dirty windshield, South Congress, Austin, Texas.

Blue

IMG_0708.JPG
But she never escaped my mind and I just grew
Tangled up in Blue

Got a new app today…Paint FX – having some fun with it!

KEEP CALM AND ROCK ON

IMG_0675.JPG
What is so soothing about nature? Why do people talk about nature and relaxation? Can nature help you to relax? If so, how?

Intuitively we know that nature is healing. We are drawn to nature and wilderness. We go hiking, we love gardening, we swim in the ocean or in the lakes. We go for walks, or we go camping, and we sit by the campfire staring at the night sky.

Yes, we know that nature and relaxation are connected. We know all of this intuitively. We know that spending time in nature makes us feel good.
But there is more than just our intuition when it comes to nature and peaceful feelings. There is mounting scientific evidence that nature is healing.

Scientists discovered that nature helps us to recover faster from a stressful event. After showing people stressful scenes on a video (such as a car accident), scientists showed people either a video of nature or a video of city and buildings. Those who watched the video of nature recovered faster from the stressful event.

No wonder we love landscape photography! So, if you can’t go outside, look at pictures of nature. Science shows that it helps to lower your stress levels.
One of the reasons why nature and relaxation are connected is that being in nature helps us to connect with the present moment; we pay attention to the here and now – this moment and nothing else. We enjoy the beauty of the natural world and we stop having stressful thoughts; we stop worrying about the events of our lives – we simply enjoy the present moment in nature.

Looking at pictures of nature helps to create images of nature in your mind…and you benefit from this imagery. (Found on stress-relief-tools.com).

The above is an image of some rocks along the coast of Maine (from my last visit there a couple of years ago). I decided to play around with it in Photoshop and created this version. I liked the original image a lot but really enjoy looking at it after enhancing it with the ‘oil painting’ filter. I really love the interplay of all the neutrals and the textural quality it now has.

I hope you enjoy it too!