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Sunday, July 03, 2016

A very long abscence

It seems like forever since I posted here. I almost forgot about this and didn't renew my domain name. I have been really pulling back in the last few years and especially in the last six months from blogging. I have been busy with book making, work at the art store and of course my photography. Trying to find my voice and really thinking about how I want to live in the art world. There are so many artists trying to stake a claim in the big art world. I have struggled with the idea of what this means to me. Yes, I do have the big dream as do many other artists to be working at my art full time. But, as I get older and less able to physically do many of the things I once did, I begin to question the whole art world thing and if it really is that important to seek fame and recognition. I think being validated by ones peers is something aspiring professional artists desire. Yes, I too like validation that what I do matters or can communicate what exists in my universe to those outside of it.

It seems that I go through this philosophical struggle whenever I totally reinvent who I am as an artist. The never ending spiral of self discovery is what moves me forward in life. I love learning, relish my solitude, seek not to be like others, find the spiritual in everyday things, that's how I roll.

So I would like to share a few images that I have taken in the last few months. It is a random assortment of images that reflect a variety of subjects that interest me.

This first two images were experiments inspired by the work of my friend David Walker. He used mirror images to create beautiful images of trees. I wanted to see what I could do with this technique. I used images of flowers for mine.

I also added some ethereal elements to my images to give it more of a spiritual meaning to me. As with most of what I do, I make the images for myself and then I share what I discover. But, they are for me initially.

I love taking photographs of flowers growing in the garden Or in the case of this particular flower in the neighborhood. They make me smile and cheer me up.

This is a very recent image of a room that I found while walking home and took a short cut through an alley that passes by a local high school. It seems there is a part of the building which hasn't been used in years. Kind of creepy but, cool too.

Another coneflower this time a close up.

Even more coneflower love, caught in the early morning sun just a few weeks ago.

This is the second of the two abandoned rooms that I was able to capture on my walk home.

Finally, an image of the evening sun as it shines on a local campus lawn. I love how the trees have created so many intersecting shadows. I did do a little bit of saturation enhancement to warm up the shot. I love how mysterious and warm it feels at the same time.

Well, there you have it. Another long overdue update. I will make no promises of how frequent I am posting. But, at least I still can share when the urge arises. Have a great time, enjoy each day. Mine always brings me some surprises. Try and be kind to one another. The world is full of unkindness, I choose to not be like all the others.

Friday, January 01, 2016

New Year, new beginnings

Wow! I can't believe it's been six months since I have posted on my site. Time really does get away with me. I have been busy taking lots of photographs. Partly due to a class I took in the fall and of course I love the art form. But, I have also been making lots of handmade journals. Started out making one for a pass around project with two of my coworkers. We wanted to do a journal trade around as a fun six month project. This got me back to doing book binding and I learned how to do the Coptic stitch.

This journal is made with Fabriano drawing paper, a hand marbled paper cover and Coptic stitching. I put little gears on the cover also. It is my steampunk themed journal.

These are some fun little journals also with the Coptic style binding.

Finally these are some fabric covered journals I made in a larger size. Also with the Coptic style binding. I decided to start selling some of them and also I made some for gifts to artist friends this year.

As for the photography, I took a class that focused on black and white assignments. The idea for me was to explore that art of black and white photography. My final portfolio class was dedicated to toys as the subject. I have included three of my favorite ones here.

This is one of a six inch Batman figure. I went to a local park that overlooks the west side of the city. I thought this image was particularly successful in fooling the eye and making it appear that the real Batman is standing looking out over the city.

In this series I found two little model cars that I wanted to use and see if I could give the impression of a real automobile. This first is of a Chevy Nomad wagon from the fifties. I imagine the people driving this car and they have stopped along the way to sight see.

I am not sure what model this car is, but it reminded me of a car used during the prohibition era and the so called rum runners. I really enjoyed this assignment a lot and learned so much about black and white in the class itself. Hats off to my teacher Lisa Britton for her guidance and encouragement.

My up coming year will certainly be one of new things and inspirations. Each year I plan a few goals for myself and dream big. That is just a part of my spiritual practice. I release some old stuff that isn't relevant or serving me any longer so as to make room for new things. It's a great practice. I am learning to savor each moment I have to make art, be with friends and family and simply enjoying, yes choosing to enjoy life. One thing I am really making an effort to do this time is pay attention to that negative voice in my head that keeps putting bad thoughts out there. I immediately call him out on it and just say. Instead of thinking up bad things to happen, why not think of good this. I am going to be relentless. It may make me sound crazy as I tend to say stop it out loud sometimes. That's okay we artists are just eccentric artists right?

Happy new year one and all. Hopefully, I can be a little better about chronicling my creative life/

Thursday, June 18, 2015

A Brief Interlude - Storytime

I interrupt my regularly scheduled blog post to bring you a bit of a flight of fancy. Story time as I need to get some of these little stories out of my head. So, here is the first of more to come I hope.

There are people who say there is no such thing as magic. Going about their busy lives blissfully thinking that what they see is what they get in life. What a pity, for they may not realize how wondrous and grand the world truly is in all it's various realities. Some say life is an illusion. Others that it is just a routine of matter.

But what if there were those among the human race for whom the natural laws didn't seem to apply. By some queer twist of evolution in some distant past event that created the slightest mutation in their DNA. Poppy cock you say? Well let us entertain that notion for just a bit. In recent years science has been busy with this notion of proving how things came into existence with the field of quantum physics and string theory. An interesting result is that many notions of the supernatural have been shown to have a real possibility of being true.

It is thought that there could be some way in which our brains can some how manipulate these tiny sub atomic particles. That we may somehow have influence over matter. But, how is this possible or is it? Perhaps a slight variation in ones DNA would allow one to easily manipulate matter without much thought or effort. That would be most curious would it not?

On a beautiful sunlit day Cory looked back at his little home in the hollow. It was nestled among the Twist Alders and was kept safe and secure by all the appropriate laws of his land. A curious bit of sadness came over him as he looked at all the decorations for the upcoming Alchemy days. However, he was determined to go out in search of the world at large. A place where no one knew him and a great deal of excitement was to be had. But the great walk about wasn't supposed to be exciting. It was supposed to prepare you for your purpose in life. Each young adolescent male and female in the sixteenth year of their life had to go out into the vast unknown. Lead only by their inner wisdom to guide them to the answer of their life's purpose, they set out alone. How will they serve their communities in life? This was one of the answers they were to discover. What would be their greatest power> That wasn't truly the reason. But, many could not wait to find out.

Cory knew he wanted to go to the school of alchemy. But, did he have the necessary abilities required? Only time and experiences would truly tell. Little did he know that the world out there away from his own kind would be vastly different and dangerous.

Two days have come and gone since Cory left his home in the hollow. Every child is told the stories of the path and the great walk about that they would embark upon. The paths were well documented in the stories. But, no one was ever shown where to go or what to do. That was the scary part about this adventure. Yet, if you listened to the inner voice it would guide each one to a special place.

In front of Cory was a strange looking set of doors. One marked with the glowing image of the sun and the other with the glowing moon. The doorway seemed to glow with it's own energy and little spheres of light seemed to float around with their own intelligence. Cory stood there for the longest time examining both doors and their surroundings. "What am I supposed to do? Which one do I pick?" he thought to himself. Almost immediately he heard a small voice say, "It depends on the path you wish to travel." This seemed to confuse Cory even more at first. Paths, choices but, then he understood the meaning of the two doors. They were powerful symbols in the alchemy world and in his own world of magic. Each one represented a different type of power and destiny.

As Cory stood for a few moments longer which seemed like an eternity, he decided to choose. He slowly reached for the door ...

Ok, my friends, that is the end of part one. You are welcome to create your own ideas of what happened. Which door did Cory choose? How will it affect his life to come? Can you change your mind once you choose? All good questions.

I hope you liked my little flight of fancy. Until next time. Find that bit of magic in your own life.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Alternate Realities

Trying to make a big effort to at least post once a week on ye ole blog. I feel that it is an important part of my process to share what I am working on, my thought process and my overall view of my world. I love how art can be used to express more abstract ideas and also be used to tell a story. Photography has become one of the best ways for me to do this. Partly because it is so immediate and I can go back and manipulate the image in so many ways in a shorter amount of time than traditional drawing and painting. Don't get me wrong, I love the traditional methods just fine. But, I have found that the photographic process really lends itself to my thought process much better. When your ideas come fast and furious, the best thing is to try and get them out as quickly as I can. Then I have to be mindful too of the quality of the finished image.

The finished image comes in stages and that is just fine by me. I can work on a number of images at one time and continually refine them until I am happy with the end result. On that note let me share some of the recent images I have been creating and perhaps the story behind them or at least give you enough to create your own stories.

This first image I called "Distortions". Mainly because I was thinking about what it would feel like to live on another planet or moon of a planet elsewhere in the cosmos. Would the atmosphere distort the way the inhabitants saw their world? You know, the density of the air, the gravity and such things can affect our perceptions. Thus, this image came about because of those ponderings.

Nest we have one of my circular images that I have been playing around with. There are so many ways you can manipulate the image. I immediately thought of Alice falling into the rabbit hole and then this image also made me think of Wonderland in the Peter Pan stories. So, I call this one "Falling Towards Neverland". It is warm but also kind of dark and mysterious. That is what a lot of my dreams seem to feel like these days.

The third image is another science fiction themed idea. I love the idea of cosmic creations and perhaps a little bit of extraterrestrial activities. "The Birth of a Sky Flower" is born. It is a cosmic event that tends to create a great deal of energy and distortions in our reality. Maybe it is also the transcendence of our planet into a higher plane of existence.

Last but, certainly not least we have one I call "In Another Place and Time", which gives me a feeling of a tranquil rural scene on some other earth like planet somewhere out there in the universe. I love creating these illustrative style photos. I have been following a few photographers who have been going this route with their photography and it makes me feel happy and like I am with kindred spirits. I hope you enjoy my little vignettes into the worlds I imagine.

Have a great rest of your week and a beautiful weekend. Thank you for stopping by.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Home At Last

I have to say that this week has been a magical one for me in so many ways. After a good amount of rough and tumble years trying to sort things out with my life. It feels like I am finally finding myself at a good place. It feels like coming home after a very long trip and a deep breath of gratitude taken as I sit down in my space. Can you just sense the peace and calm that seems to permeate the atmosphere?

All of this is thanks to a purposeful journey to find my authentic self as a Creator being. You know, an artist type? Yes, it feels good to know who I am and who I am hoping to be. It was a long time in birthing but, it was well worth it. I have been practicing a daily gratitude process. To simply declare that I am thankful for all I have, for every moment in my life that has lead me to this present time. Here I sit or stand and I am who I am and that is awesome. Now I can share my inner vision with the world if the world wants to see it. That is the freedom I think most of us really hope for at some point in our lives. No matter where I am or what I am experiencing, I am who I am and nothing more or less. I know who that person is and no one can tell me different. So, on that note. I would love to share some more of my art with you.

This first image was taken while I was eating dinner at a local eatery. The flowers were sitting on our table. Most people look at them and don't pay much attention to them. But, I just thought they were so sweet and really gave me a feeling of connection to my environment. I love the painterly treatment.

Here is a fun photo manipulation that I have been experimenting with lately. I do a mirror image type reflection and then add a few elements in addition to some textures and post processing. I call this one the "Tree of Life". This image just felt so magical. I can just image coming up upon this tree on some long walk up a mountain trail.

The next image was taken after my last photography class of the semester. It was just beginning to rain. I thought how fun it would be to take some photos through the windows as the rain made little splashes and drops. It created a very impressionistic kind of feel. I then decided to enhance that by the post processing I chose.

This one was taken as I waited to pick up my guy after work. We were on our way to a final Friday art hop at a local studio building. There are lots of artists who open their studios one night a month to show off their latest works. I have some friends there and also a few of the customers who buy art supplies at the store were I work, also have studios there. It is an alley that connects two major streets in downtown Cincinnati. I wanted to give it an old world feeling.

Well, that's it for the art part. I hope you have enjoyed your stop here. I love comments and feedback as long as they aren't mean. So, feel free to do that if you are so inclined.Have a great week and weekend upcoming.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

A long Break from Posting

Hello out there in cyberland. It has been well over two months since I have posted anything on my old blog. I am currently gearing up to launch my photography career in a big way and have been busy taking classes, printing images and clearing out the old art to make way for my new venture.

I am so excited about this new direction in my artistic life. Redsicovering photography after a several decades break is quite refreshing. I have always loved the idea and potential of photography as an artistic medium. But, due to my vision limitations never really thought about pursuing it as a fulltime art. Well, as I began to delve deeper into the medium, I realized that I have never let my vision limitations stop me before. So, why would I think this was any different.

I am finding a lot of encouragement, support and good advice along the way. So, I would like to share a few images with you. Recently I have been exploring mobile photography using the Iphone 6s and have taken a  course to get me aquainted with many of the options available for both taking the image and processing it afterwards. It has opened up a whole new creative avenue for me. This process gives me the chance to bridge my earlier painting and drawing days with my current photography skills. This is beyond exciting to me. So, without further adeu.

I have begun several series during this great artistic revival. This is one that deals with my notion of a world after the poles have melted and a great deal of the earth is under water. My Apocalypse series usually involves water or ice invading everyday places. Here it has flooded a local grocery store.

Here I was playing around with the same theme but putting obsticles in the road.

This image was a fun experiment with an app that creates circular morphs of objects.

Here I am showing a few of my second series of images I call Urban Mandalas. They are all created from images of local landmarks, buildings or scenes. I love the geometry and fantasy of these. This one is called The Great Hall of Akashic Records.

Another in the Urban Mandala series called Cautionary Tale.

A mobile shot of a hillside that I see every morning when I catch my second bus to work.

Here is an example of my merging my painterly past with my photographic present thanks to some amazing post processing apps.

Finally, another Urban Mandala image that gave me the impression of M.C. Escher's world. So, I call this one Dreaming of Escher.

Well, I hope I have made up for not posting for a bit. I am working on getting a website up and running too. Just bought a domain name through Google and if I can figure things out, you will actually see this post. Thank you for being patient.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Urban Runes: Sigil the dance of light and shadow

Hello and happy Sunday March 8, 2015 to all of you out there. I wanted to dedicate this post to the idea of light and shadow. Today and actually this weekend, we are commemorating the 50 year anniversary of the march across the bridge in Selma Alabama. This march symbolized the struggles of minorities getting equal rights in our country. It was to me a struggle between the forces of good and evil or shadow and light.

So, the rune that symbolizes that the most for me is Sigil. It is seen as a zigzag and remids us of a lightning bolt. The scar on the forehead of Harry Potter was that of a sigil or lightning bolt. It represents to me the ability to face ones fears. To overpower the darkness by shining our great inner light. To let truth shine forth from the darkness of deceit and lies.

A friend had posed an interesting question. "Ever feel left out on life?May sound like a strange question but I'm just wondering.thoughts anyone?" This was the question posed and it got me to thinking what causes one to feel this way. For me, it is the overwhelming feeling of hopelessness in the struggle for what is right and fair in the world. The shadow of destruction looming over our planet and how helpless one person can feel. I realized that the darkness is a feeling of isolation. Me against a cruel world. But, it is the power of we that takes us out of that dark corner. As an artist, I draw upon the power of we to help me define my place in the world and that even my small voice matters when it is combined with other voices. I am the little rain drop that falls into a river and then has the power to cut through mountains. Art is the greatest non violent form of protest. We as artists can illustrate how negative events and actions are affecting our lives. We can often illuminate those dark corners in peoples lives to shine a light of truth. 

This image I shot over two years ago, always reminds me of the power of light. Though we may be surrounded by darkness there is always light somewhere to guide us to a safe place.

Thank you for stopping by today and may you find your light and let it shine. The world really needs that right now.