Now Appearing in East Texas

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I’ve been REmaking images lately.

It’s my new favorite thing. I’m kind of obsessed actually.

What I like to do is search thru images in my camera roll – particularly images that seem very ‘lacking’ – photographically. You know, those images you take because you see something unusual or something you feel you just need to record – but not something necessarily frame-worthy.

I have a LOT of those images. It’s impossible NOT to have a lot especially when you’re a photographer and you have a camera in your hands almost every minute of the day!

I like to take THOSE images and see if I can turn them into something completely different as simply and as quickly as possible.

It’s a challenge. And it’s really satisfying when every now and then you strike gold.

Here’s the before image.

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A left-handed-rest-against-the-window-use-the-volume-controls-as-a-shutter-button-and-hope-you-get-the-image image…into a Rocky-Mountain-National-Park-now-appearing-on I-20-somewhere-in-EastTexas-abstract image.

My kind of fun.

Damsel in Distress

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I’ve been spending a LOT of time playing with images and apps lately. There are so many options it’s almost overwhelming. I’ve decided to try and limit myself to working with just a few so I can focus on the process more and not worry so much about what ‘else’ I might could do with the image. It’s just like picking out wallpaper (to use an outdated example)– too many patterns and books of patterns to choose from and you never decide on anything for fear you’ll like something better in the next pattern book. It’s a vicious cycle.
So, after experimenting with a texture app called Grunge HD, I came up with this version of an image I made while visiting Rocky Mountain National Park last Fall. I liked the image as it was shot but am really drawn to the distressed and rustic feel it now has. I call it Mountain Plaid.

Creativity is a Release

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Do you enjoy taking tests that tell you a little something about why you do the things you do?

I do!

I ran across a cool site completely by accident called psychologies.co.uk and took a test called ‘What’s Your Creative Style’. It was short and sweet and quickly got to the good stuff.

For me, I soon discovered (but wasn’t too surprised to learn), creativity is a ‘release’. Not that it isn’t a release for most people,,,but it goes into a bit more detail than that.

It explained how important it is for me to, not only get a grasp of my emotions but the importance of releasing these emotions as well and that I need to be able to touch them or look at them in concrete form to make sense of them in order to be able to sort them out.

I said something to this effect on my ‘about me’ page when I first created this blog. I think I mentioned something about how my art helped me to sort out thoughts and ideas…I wasn’t exactly sure ‘why’ though.

Now I know!

You might find out something interesting about yourself too…

The above image is something completely different from what I’ve been doing lately. I like the hands-on approach and the spontaneity, power and movement I feel when I’m creating these ‘selfies’.

Which, btw, is because ‘I’m usually attracted to art that demands physicality, that allows me to express what’s inside’. –According to the test results!

Stuckness

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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

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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!

KEEP CALM AND ROCK ON

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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!

It started with a sticker

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I get inspiration from all sorts of places; beautiful scenery, songs on the radio, inspiring art, magazines, catalogs, etc, etc…and today it was a sticker.

One of my stickers ended up on this painting.

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But when I moved the painting aside to let it dry – I noticed the blotter sheet had some interesting marks and paint strokes on it.

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Unfortunately the interesting compositions were in the middle of some not-so-great compositions. I wanted to explore it further but was distracted by all the surrounding marks. But I had an idea…

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I made a frame with an opening the size of a 4×4 cradled panel.
It became a viewfinder and made it much easier to find the compositions I wanted amid all the distractions.

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Mounting these small “paintings” onto cradled panels will elevate them to star status instantly!

Just remember to use light pencil marks when framing your compositions and add about an eighth of an inch extra around the perimeter of your painting when cutting them out – to allow for trimming and positioning ease when mounting them onto the panels. Of course you’re not limited to 4×4 size – you may have a much larger sheet that you’re finding interesting arrangements on – this is just a starting suggestion.

The point is to keep our eyes open for the unexpected – sometimes it’s right there in front of us!

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