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Thursday, September 01, 2016

September the month of Nines

It is September 1st and I felt compelled to post on my often ignored blog. Life seems to be running by faster and faster as the days pass. So much going on, work, art making, socializing, taking classes and so on. But, I have been finding myself taking more time out for spiritual reflection and renewal these days. It seems in some cases the world is going mad. But, is that a reflection of the crazy monkey mind I have these days? Perhaps so, as science is beginning to prove that we do indeed create our own reality. The above image was created as a reaction to that important observation and the articles I have been reading about quantum physics and the nature of our universe and reality. This fascinates me greatly as it supports my spiritual views of existence.

Another favorite topic is spiritual energies, numerology and astrology which makes my non believing friends think I have lost it all. But, I find these topics help me understand my place in the universe and that is just fine with me. September is the month of nines. This tells me many things and helps me to pay attention to this energy. Following ones soul path, earth mission or whatever you want to call it. I like the thought of following my hearts desire for my life. Nine also calls into focus karma and all that we need to clear in that regard. A great spiritual teacher of mine once said that this time we are living in currently is the end of karma. It is our opportunity to transcend the karmic dance of life so we can move on in our souls journey. I believe that to the core of my being. So, much I have experienced in this life and know it was cashing in the karmic debt. perhaps there is a bit more to go. Karma fortunately can be both positive and negative. I think I have given back all the negative so now I am ready for the positive to finish out that account. Signs are everywhere from the universe. The last day of August, I bought some food items and my total came to $9.99. I found that to be very auspicious for the month ahead. Then I got little bits of magical happenings all throughout the day.
 So, the above image speaks to that magical energy of nine. See if it appears in your life this month. Pay attention to the signs and signals the universe is sending you.

Lastly, I have been wondering how to really hone in on my creative life and create the life I truly wish to live. For many months I have felt so tired and exhausted not knowing why. My health is okay so, what is the issue. As I looked at my life I realized I have fallen into a big rut and have been very complacent about my life and where I am going. I am not trying to worry about the future as much as wanting to bring my life more into alignment with my souls yearnings of the kind of life I wish to live. Now is the time to take steps no matter how small to accomplish just that. It can be really hard to push myself into action. Yet, I know this is a must for me to be truly happy. Happiness is one of the best states of being we can be at in this life. It requires purposefully putting ourselves in a happy state of mind even when we don't feel it. Find your happy place no matter how small, is the guidance my soul gives me everyday. Yes, I get distracted and need to be gently reminded often. But, that is okay. I love myself enough to be kind and patient when I feel grumpy or out of sorts. One thing I do know is being in the flow of creative energy is bliss for me. That is the place I belong and so have to find ways to keep me there for as long as possible. I hope you all can find your place of bliss. Have a great month ahead and keep a look out for those magical nines/

Friday, August 05, 2016

Beginnings of an art project

Hello my lovely friends. I hope that you are doing well traveling down the road of life. My path seems to beckon me to explore a variety of side streets. That is what I like to call the beginnings of art projects. I get an idea and play with it a bit to see if it is big enough to expand into a project. Taking a class such as the Creative Photo Assignment class are beautiful diversions that spark all kinds of possible project ideas. So, I thought I'd share two of them with you all today. I am really trying to make a point of posting on my blog more often. One of the projects I am considering exploring involves a daily practice. What I love about this type of project is that it helps to focus my creative energy and motivates even when I don't feel like it, to keep working. I need that now more than ever as I am seduced into just being lazy.

The second project is more of a series I would like to explore. So, I will talk about that one first. In this weeks assignment for my photo class we were asked to look at the images created by the artist Duane Michaels. Then we were asked to create our own series based on what Duane had done. Not copying him but use his process as inspiration. Well, it is hard to do that when you don't personally connect with that artist. I found his ideas and images interesting but, I didn't really like many of them. What I took away from this exercise was the idea of pursuing and idea through a series.

My little idea weaver decided on masks as my creative theme for this series. Masks have always fascinated me. The idea of hiding or covering up our true selves of course is something I have been contemplating a lot of late. So, it seemed a fitting point of departure. In this first image I started the exploration off by simply photographing a mask and creating a dramatic and very theatrical feel to it. I love this image for it's painterly qualities.

In this second image I began to ask what if's. What or whom would come after humans. Would we create artificial life forms that would eventually replace us? Would we make them to look like us? A very heady internal discussion for sure.

Next I began exploring the masks that we wear ourselves. Both our physical ones that we are born with and those we create for the world to see. Even clothing becomes our costume to compliment the mask we wear.

The idea progressed into exploring the role of masks and how they define who we are to others. How we often don't let people see the real us.

Thirdly I was interested in the darker aspects of creating masks. How can we hide our darker selves our ids/ It makes you wonder for example in this last image, what is the watcher doing? Is he observing or is there a darker thought process happening.

The next series of images are examples of the daily ritual idea I have been contemplating. A few years back I did a photo of the day kind of thing. This was just a random photo taken and posted everyday for a year. It was a great exercise in pretty much forcing me to produce some kind of image each day for a year. Admittedly there were times when I really didn't want to do it. But, I am glad I went through with the project. It helped to focus my creative energies. Presently, I am thinking of doing another daily exercise kind of project. Except this time, I want to really challenge myself to keep to an overall idea. I love the idea of daily rituals or practices. Meditation, making art or putting together a meal. So I have been trying to figure out what would be something that would hold my interest enough to make it a long term commitment. 

I have in the last few weeks been photographing something in the morning. Usually on my days off as that is when I have more time to observe. I love mornings and how quiet and full of promise they are for me. All of these images here to the end of this post are morning images. The one above the first one I took, is of my morning coffee sitting on the arm of my couch and the little bit of clutter that consumes the corner. I loved how the light fell on the little vignette.

The second image is one I took while eating my breakfast one Friday morning. Again, I loved the play of the light and shadows.

This was taken as I was getting ready to put some eye drops in that I need for my eyes. These are daily medications. I thought the view of the watch through my glasses was interesting.

This is an image of a hibiscus flower that is growing in a little garden patch at the end of my neighborhood or should I say beginning of as it is right when you enter it. I wait for my morning bus there and always love looking at these beautiful flowers and the others that bloom there. I simply marvel at how amazing nature is in all it's diversity.

Lastly is an image I took this morning. I saw how the morning light created shadows on the window blind that covers the window on my front door. The light is passing through the maple tree that is growing in my front yard. A rather simple image but, I love it.

There you have it. Some of the creative ideas I am contemplating to make my life a little more interesting. I am leaning towards the daily ritual thing but, I think I will give it a few more days of thought. I want to create a separate blog to chronicle the progress and also to write about what I am thinking during the process.

Have a great weekend one and all. Thank you for stopping by to visit. It is always a pleasure to hear from you. Peace.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Ever Spiraling Path of Creativity and the Artist

Hello again my friends. I am trying to be mindful about posting to my blog as I find it a great vehicle to share and communicate what is important or relevant to my creative life and life in general.

I have been really delving deep into my inner world of spirit and exploring more of who I am. It has become important to me of late to seek to be more authentic. You know, share the real me. Much of who I am settles gently into much of my art. But, most are not aware of the physical Cody. Many of you may not have encountered me in person yet. So, it is with this idea in mind I have been unveiling more of who I am.

One thing that many did not know is that I am legally blind due to Albinism. This is because I have changed my appearance so as not to stand out too much in the world. It was my personal mask I created to make me feel safe. I adopted this once I left school and knew I would be out in the cold cruel world. I had enough of being bullied and tormented for how I looked, the way I couldn't physically see and then the last straw, ,my sexual orientation. It was like a triple whammy and I decided that I would be going under cover so to speak. Many years have come and gone since I made that decision. Little did I know how much that would affect my life in both positive and negative ways. Initially it was okay. But, I found myself desperately trying to keep up appearances no matter the cost. Relationships certainly suffered but, I just couldn't face the world as my true self.

Why now you may ask? I am trying to really figure out who I am and how I truly see the world. My physical visual limitations have made me focus differently on how I see. I did learn how to see intuitively instead of what was really there. This in turn helped me to see the soul or spirit of things. Energy and light became very important to me and I strove to explore these things in my artwork. But, now I want to tell my story in a more authentic way. To hopefully inspire someone else and give them hope that all is not lost. We as humans can sometimes be very resourceful in terms of dealing with difficult situations. I am grateful that I now have the courage and insight to open up to the world. Kind of ironic considering the hateful climate that is percolating in this country. But, I choose to focus on the light of hope, love and wisdom to guide me to the answers I seek about myself and the world around me. I truly love my life in all it's ups and downs light and dark times. It made me who I am today and I am so grateful for the people that I call family and friends, and the many opportunities that flow into my life to keep me learning and ever thirsty for knowledge and truth.

If you are curious about how I see the world, I would highly recommend you watch this video.

On to some of my creative endeavors. I am really loving the photography class I am currently taking. I challenges me to think differently about telling stories. This weeks lesson deals with using the images of photographer Duane Michaels as inspiration. He often wrote about his images and the ideas behind them. He did a lot of contemplation about life and the universe. I am interested in the idea of masks. The masks we wear in a figurative sense and the ones we create for ourselves.

These are two of the initial images I was playing around with for my assignment. I love the idea of challenging our notion of self and who we are or think we are. This one I titled "Who Will replace Us?' as a question about the lifespan of the human race and what will come after. Will it be machines?

This image was the first to trigger the whole idea of masks. I love this mask made back in college for a theater production. It has sentimental value in addition to symbolic meaning.

Thank you for letting me share more about myself. I hope that you will find a way in your own time to be authentic. Let your light shine and inspire others in some way. I love you all for being a part of my life. It makes for a rich tapestry indeed.

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/