Bears, sharks & lightning

Bears, sharks & lightning…and not necessarily in that order.
What are you afraid of? 
For me, the very idea of setting off on an adventure continues to top by bucket list.
At least once each day I’m either day-dreaming about the possibilities of thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail, or setting off on a solo voyage across the ocean. Now, I don’t actually ‘actively’ hike nor do I own a boat, but the very idea of it all sends my heart into flutter mode. Of course that could also have something to do with the bears, sharks and lightning I mentioned above. 

I mean, I can deal with bugs, and I can deal with blisters and too much sun, and being dirty for days. I can even deal with eating the same meal day after day or any other similar deprivation which would result from removing myself from civilization for months on end, but I cannot for the life of me even begin to imagine suddenly finding myself face to face (eeek!!, I can’t even print it!) with a bear, shark or lightning encounter! This is where i get tripped up!
I read somewhere that our ‘real life’ is out there waiting for us. And I guess I think mine must be either in the woods or on the ocean. 

Stepping outside our comfort zone allows us to grow. It pushes us to tap into all our potential.  And I hear we all have loads of it if we’re open to it. All risks are growth opportunities; good and bad and the transitional skills we gain help us deal with changes in our lives.  

As we accumulate transitional skills we are able to move to the next ‘level’ kind of like Mario…storing up an arsenal for future challenges.

And as our arsenal of skills increases in size we may find we need a bigger comfort zone to house them in and that’s a win-win situation for everyone.

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Really?! It’s been three months???

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I can’t believe three months have gone by since my last post – I guess time really does fly when you’re having fun!
With the holidays approaching and other end-of-the-year activities going on I found the need to switch gears a bit with my art-making. I started posting images to Instagram. I wanted to become more familiar with the social platform (and also find more ways to stay creative each day without having to dedicate large portions of time to do so). I soon discovered these short bursts of creativity worked very well with my current schedule.
Not only that – I’ve been experimenting (and now focusing on) altering my photography with apps – a new direction. The best part is: I carry my studio with me. No more excuses for not having time to make art.
I try and limit my art supply ‘stash’ to images currently in my camera roll – I alter and layer and alter some more to create imaginary worlds and other abstract style images.
I’d love it if you stopped by sometime!
http://www.instagram.com/AKALIGHTBLUE

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.

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.

Ooh Baby

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First, let me tell you about the new hard drive I got this weekend. It’s a Seagate Wireless Plus. It’s about the size of a smart phone – just a little thicker – and its for mobile device storage. It also works as a hot spot which is really a nice plus (probably where the name came from) when you like sitting in your car or at a restaurant whiling away the hours learning new iPhoneography tricks like I do.

Which reminds me…found a great new resource for that as well…www.thetheatreprofessor.com (definitely worth a visit!).

The hard drive is 1TB. And so far I’ve uploaded 19,438 images.

I didn’t have that many images on my cell phone or iPad – it also lets you upload from your computer too – which is great if you’re like me and have a few images stashed here and there.

I have no idea how many images a terabyte will hold (it’s one level up from a gigabyte, if that helps at all) but I have several more places to pull images from yet- so I guess I’ll find out sooner or later – hopefully much later.

One slight problem though – it doesn’t seem to like Raw images – so either I will have to revert the Raw images and re-upload or try and figure out a way around it.

So anyway….while I was at the restaurant whiling away the hours tonight, I stumbled on some of my Lensbaby images. I’d forgotten how much I love looking at them. This image is straight out of the camera – no post production work here at all.

Is this not the most delicious looking light OR WHAT?!?

I made this photograph in Colorado – the birthplace of delicious light.

Yum.

Lost…and Found

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As I’m sitting here typing this post I can smell these panels.

Encaustic is such an organic art form – in more ways than one.

First, there’s the beeswax – the very heart and soul of the process.  Wax in its solid form has a really nice fragrance, but you cannot imagine how wonderfully pleasing it smells in its liquid form.  And since the wax must remain liquid (and warm) in order to paint with it – you’re enveloped in this heady aroma during the entire painting process.

And it lingers even after that!

Not only is the medium itself organic but this weekend I took a class taught by Elizabeth Schowachert on a process she calls Organic Fusion.

And how appropriate …because it felt as though it was the culmination of several  recent artistic explorations fused together on to my panels.  It wasn’t just THIS newly learned technique but also bits and pieces of techniques and processes I’d been exploring for the last few months.  And not just with encaustics but with acrylics and with my digital composits as well.

And even though the class wasn’t as long as I would have liked, the new technique allowed me the freedom to lose myself in it and not focus so much on the process itself.

And I think that was the best part of all.