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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sunday Reflection on Saturday Walk About

One of the things I really dislike is shopping for groceries.  Actually most types of shopping I detest.  Mostly because as someone with visual challenges, seeing so much stuff in a constant stream can be rather exhausting to me.  I get very tired and sleepy.  That then progresses to crankiness.  Yesterday was one of those days where I had to go to the drug store for refills on medications.  Then on to the grocery store to finish up the shopping I did earlier in the week.  Once I had checked out I realized that I would have a 35 minute wait for the next bus.  Not my idea of a fun time for sure.  Then it hit me. My inner voice said, I have my little camera in my pocket.  My bag of groceries isn't that heavy.  Why not walk home.  It became a sort of walk about impromptu.

So I slung my bag of stuff over my shoulder and off I went.  It was a gorgeous sunny day and for black and white photos great for capturing lots of shadows.  There's an old church that is on the way called in it's former incarnation St. George.  Now it is a building that is used as a rental space for a variety of community events.  I have been meaning to take some shots of it over the years and never had the camera on hand or energy to walk there from home.  So, the opportunity arose as if by design.

Here is an image of the building as I approach it.  Rather looming.  Sadly it lost it's tall steeples due to a fire a few years ago. But still an interesting structure.

This is as you pass the large wooden doors, gives one a sense of strength and protection.  I think of the idea of sanctuary from the middle ages.

Here is another view of the door.  I love doors and what they symbolize to me. It certainly is an interesting place to photograph.

Then I continued on my journey.  A little further down the block I decided to cross the street to avoid a large group of people.  Didn't want to disrupt them and also I was in a creative contemplative place.  My walk was turning into an art walk about.  An impromptu lesson in seeing through the lens and artists eye.

I approached this building on a street corner and loved how the shadows of the trees fell upon the wall of the building.  I treated this as if I were Ansel Adams walking in the city.  I really love this image and the feeling it invokes.  Yes, it was a good time spent outside walking.  It is funny, I listened to my inner voice and walked home.  It is a great example illustrated from my earlier post on following that inner voice.  It will sometimes guide you to some interesting conclusions.

I hope you have the chance to give your inner voice a chance to be heard.  Maybe it has an interesting adventure in creativity to share with you.  Have a great week and an early Happy New Year to you all in case I don't get a chance to post again until 2014.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Thoughts On the Upcoming Year

Hello my friends out there.  I hope your year is ending up just where you wish it to be.  For me, I am saying good bye to it like an old friend.  Knowing I will not see it again. I will welcome it's sister with open arms to see what adventures we will have together.  One thing has struck me of late.  All of the various people and groups trying to get you to follow their perfect plan for happiness.  Follow X diet, eat like a Buddhist, grow you hair longer and on and on. So, I have been asking myself why do we as humans feel the need to follow someone else's lead?  Do we seek approval, inclusion into some elite group? Maybe we just want to belong because we are truly social beings.

On this cusp of a new year I have been thinking about what I want to accomplish in the new year. How I could  improve the quality of my life. In this thought process I realized how many times I have tried this or that from others to miraculously improve my life or so the claim goes.  Take this pill to loose weight.  Eat these foods to be totally healthy and happy. The end result is it did nothing to really make me happy.  So, I started to ask my inner self what would you like today?  What do you want to eat for dinner today?  I started listening to my inner voice a bit.  The end result is I am a bit happier.  So, logical conclusion is to listen to that inner voice a lot more.  That is part of my goals for this upcoming year.  My inner voice is yearning to put my art out into the world to share how I see life.  Reach out to other creative souls to share and encourage them too. That sometimes small inner voice knows what we truly need to make us happy and healthy.  It is time for me to listen more intently.

The above photo is a great symbol for me and this whole thought process of going on my own path.  It reminds me of a seldom traveled rocky path with a mysterious end. Only my soul knows where it will ultimately lead. Spiritually I have done this a good portion of my life.  Sometimes to great ridicule from others.  But, I stayed true to course.  Now I am ready to let the rest of my life follow my souls lead and embrace true happiness.  What will 2014 bring?  That I am not sure.  But, what I do know is it will be joyful and a great adventure. You all are welcome to follow along on my continuing saga.  May your journey be as awesome as you wish it to be.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Tis the Season

Happy holidays, Merry Christmas, joyful Yule, whatever form you celebrate the holidays I hope it is beautiful.  To those of you having a more difficult time at this point in the year my heart is with you and know that you are loved not only by me but, by the Universe.  I for one am truly grateful for your friendship and love you have shown me through out this year and years past.  If you are new to Codyland, welcome and hope you come back often.  My hope is that you have found a tiny bit of inspiration and joy here.  Many find this holiday season bitter sweet.  We are faced with the lose of ones we have loved, or any number of other issues.  But, please know that you are never truly alone.  It took me many years to realize this.  I share my heart and soul felt gratitude for you being a part of my life.

This has been a very quickly lived year for me.  Many changes and opportunities to grow and learn.  My hope is that 2014 will continue that trend.  Have a great holiday one and all and we will chat again real soon.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Playing Is Good For Our Soul

So, I am on a mission to try and bring as much play into my life as I can.  The best scenario would be everyday but, I will try and do it as often as I can. What has prompted me on to this mode of thought today was an article I read on the Digital Photography School web site.  One of the things that make great artists is their sense of play and adventure.  Being fearless and just giving something a try.  Not being afraid to fail and fail until you happen on to something cool and inspiring. That is part of what keeps my photo of the day going on Facebook. How does one become better at something?  By doing it over and over is one way or by playing and discovering is another.  Sure practice makes perfect for some things.  But, you have to be willing to pick up that camera, paint brush, needle or violin to start to become better.  Play encourages that process better than any other I know. Thus brings me to my point of this post.  In the images below I decided to have fun and play.  I asked myself, what if?  What if, I shot all my pictures for a week in black and white?  What if I used just the available light?  So, below are some of my results.

I took this image kind of spontaneously as I was leaving to go to brunch and shopping today.  I was struck by the pattern of the spindles in the railing.  So, I asked myself what would they look like in a black and white photograph?  Pretty cool I think.  It is fun too play and explore what if's.  The beauty of the digital age is that I have the luxury of taking dozens of photographs without the fear of wasting film.

In this image my professional model is looking at herself in a mirror.  I was curious about reflections and using available light.  So, I whipped out this little hand mirror and ta da.  This is a fun image and I just love playing with these little models.  The great thing about black and white I don't have to worry about their skin color as much.

Lastly, I couldn't leave out the dude.  He would have been so heart broken if I didn't let him pose too.  I love the deep contrasts I was able to get in this image.  Partly this is due to the camera and surroundings and also to the software post processing.  I used Onone software Perfect Black and White 8 for this image.  But, what I find truly amazing is that you can get cool shots with a cheapo camera.  I used a Nikon Coolpix S350D for these shots.  It is a 20.1 mega pixel format.  Ultimately it is all about play here.  Using what I have to work with and not being too bogged down by the rules and having the right equipment.  Yes, using nice lights, better camera and a more controlled environment might give me a more glamorous picture.  But, would it have the life and soul of an artist at play?

Hope you all have a great start to your week.  An early Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to you one and all.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Seeing the World in Shades of Gray

Merry winter Solstice to all of you out there in cyberland.  I hope your holidays are going well.  I have been busy keeping up with my photography for my photo of the day posts on Facebook.  My class has ended and it was clear to me I need to keep going and continue my creative journey.  My current explorations are with black and white images.  I wanted to focus on seeing the world in tones, texture and shapes without the distraction of color.  Not that I mind color, I love it, but also like the challenges of black and white.

In the two scenes I am sharing here I have chosen the busy city streets of Cincinnati.  These were taken from the street corner where my workplace is located.  I am using a simple Nikon point and shoot camera.  The great thing about these cameras is that they are simple and easy to carry around.

Well, that's it for today.  I am gearing up for some art making on the holiday days off I will have and getting some of my subjects completed for my next series of photographic images.  Plus, I have some more painting I need to do to satisfy that particular artist residing in me.  Have a great weekend one and all.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

No Place Like Home

Today I am feeling a bit of gratitude.  Why?  Because I think it is good for the soul to be thankful and grateful for the things we have and take for granted in our lives.  My example of this thought is of my humble home.  It is here that I create some of my artful expressions, have delicious meals with my soon to be husband.  We have made our greatest part of our lives together here in this humble little place.  Yes, it has many flaws and I am not always attentive to keeping up appearances. But, nevertheless it is our home.

I took the above picture the day after our first snow of the season back in October.  Earlier than most years and a harbinger of things to come. But, as I gazed up at my little abode, I realized just how lucky I am to have it in my life.  So many people are without or have to live in much less savory conditions than I.  This time of year always brings out those feelings of thankfulness.  In addition to those feelings, I can also be at peace when I am safe and warm within  the confines of the walls of my tiny palace.

I received some very kind and heartfelt responses to yesterdays post.  I am grateful to all of you who take the time to give me your 2 cents worth of advice or your words of encouragement.  I am not seeking sympathy, but merely pondering the workings of a bigger world than I sometimes feel a part of.  It's all good.  I will continue to be creative in whatever medium and manner I choose.  At it's core, I think I am just seeking to belong to something greater than I think I am currently.  But, tend to forget I am a part of the Universe and what is greater than that?  So, look out world here I come full steam ahead.  Just wait until you get a load of me.  OK, so much for my Jack Nicholson impression.  Have a grand grateful day my friends.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

So Now What?

Today it is a cold rainy day here in Codyland.  A bit like my mood.  No I am not depressed.  But, rather contemplative.  I have been revisiting some old places in my mind of late.  Trying to navigate around who I am as an artist.  Recently I have noticed something rather profound about myself as an artist.  I must have a form of ADD.  It is near to impossible for me to stick with one form of expression or medium.  I am bouncing around from sculpture, painting to photography.  I love working in all these media.  But, while attending a few art shows this past week, I began to wonder if this way of being wasn't a hindrance? Is there a place in the art world for someone like me?  It seems most artists concentrate on one medium or process.  Sure, I can just be happy with who I am and how I make art.  But, if I want to be a part of the "Art Community" than should I conform?

I am at my most happiest when I am creating and discovering new things through my art and creative process. My hope is that this will be accepted no matter what form it takes. So, today I am a photographer, tomorrow a painter, the next day after that who knows. The important thing is to never stop creating.  This gives me life and lets my soul shine forth unto the world.

Since we are on the subject of creating.  Here is a look at what is on my work table at the moment.  I am creating a painting for a secret Santa gift.

It is an 8x8 inch panel.  I am intending to create a scene of looking at a planet from it's moon. I love those big gas giants and how mysterious they look. It will be fun to see how this one turns out.  I will post a picture or two as it progresses.  I have to have it finished by next Saturday.

Here is an abstract portrait I took of a friend at a restaurant last night.  I have been reading about using out of focus images to create abstracted portraits.  I love how this one turned out.

Not bad for a little point and shoot camera. Plus the meal was superb.

Well, that's about it for this post.  Hope you all have a lovely rest of your weekend.  May the week ahead provide your souls with riches beyond your wildest dreams.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Drawing with Light

Hello and welcome once again to my place of creative thought.  Codyland is under some renovations abstractly speaking.  I am hoping to be a bit more active in sharing my creative process.  Today's episode centers around the using of light as a means to create lines.  However it is using light that is implied through the use of software manipulation.  How can an image be abstracted just enough so that it still maintains some recognized image.  In the above image I have abstracted an image of myself down to lines of light.  It is my minimal me. I really like the result of this simple process of fractilizing and image.

In the image above I applied the same process as in the previous image of creating a drawing with light.  This is an image of one of my art models posing in a reflective mode.  I really like the power and simplicity of these black and white images.  I think they would lend themselves well in a photo collage or some other process.  Hope you found these interesting.

I am just about ready for my upcoming art show at the Essex Studios this weekend.  The only downer is the impending winter apocalypse that is on it's way. Hopefully, it will not keep too many away from the fun. Until next time, have a great day.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Small World

I have decided to begin my visual journal a month early.  I think this will be a good daily practice to keep me writing and making art.  The above picture is one that I took in Columbus at the state fair a few years back.  It is fun to look at the tiny Lego buildings and imagine the people that live there.  This is photo of the day #75 on my Facebook page. The photograph was one in my assignment series for this past week on scale. Fascinating idea to play upon, the idea of scale and how we see it in our lives.

Scale can be a more philosophical question too.  It conjures up thoughts of my place in the world, the Universe.  Talk about a since of scale, makes me feel really tiny. But, for me it puts life into perspective too.  We seem to get so wrapped up in the small stuff and let it control our lives to the point of creating stress.  When, I look at pictures like the one above.  I soon realize that there is no need to get so overworked.  Don't sweat the small stuff.

Another thought comes to mind as well.  As I peer into the tiny city, it is like a world unto itself.  So, I too create such things in my art. What stories do the little dolls and toys have to tell.  That is what makes creating so much fun.

I hope you take time to see life in a variety of perspectives this week.  Don't sweat the small stuff and save your energy for the big things in life.  I have an art walk I am preparing for as well as a group show I am participating in at the end of this week.  But, I am not sweating about either of them. I am just enjoying the process.  Take care and live life with gusto.