The Learning Curve

I’ve never really ever finished school…and I like that. So now I’m learning how to use another tool to hike my art process up a notch and allow me to share it online. I’m doing digital collage…sometimes from my own “pages” but lately I got Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 and I’ve been playing around. This was inspired from Flypaper

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Please let me know what (if any) emotions, thoughts, critiques this picture evokes in you. Thanks for being one of my teachers.

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Layers…

It’s Sunday night and I am still sick. Over on 14 Secrets, my friend Lani posts a challenge   based on some of Jeff Suchak‘s digital images. You won’t see them on his website, but if you’re on Facebook, you just might. Anyway, I really must rise to this challenge. Art based on these dizzyingly beautiful images. I’m into glue book pages right now (and frankly that’s about the most challenge I can manage right now…so here goes.

Here’s the original…

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Then I painted some of the cream, black.

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Then I thought I’d try to learn something new in Photoshop Elements

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I sure have a lot to learn about Photoshop Elements!

Fun playing. But it’s naptime now.

Hopefully it inspired you to try your hand at the layers challenge!

Choosing…

“What do you wish to choose?”, asks Jamie Ridler over at Jamie Ridler Studios and I ponder about that…

pretending i’m laying in this meadow…

(I am trying to be mindful of those on dial-up so i’ve posted thumbnails…please click on them to embiggen. Thanks!)

The word choose necessitates choice. Often we make the mistake of thinking we don’t have a choice, but not choosing is a choice, staying put is a choice, giving up is a choice. And I’ve decided that I will face that square in the eye and choose—consciously choose. So…

What choices are spread before me like a wildflower of immense beauty?

What lays before me in my one wild, and precious life?

Oh, yes, one I have supposedly already made … a hard choice in many ways, but also a path of least resistance and all for the best in the long term. But I waffle and I dither…oh could I? should I? what if…. But no, choice is made, done and done. Move forward. Let go. But how my heart asks. How do I do that. You make a choice to be at peace with your decision, that’s how.

So now what choices lie before me, today as I cast this wish?

This is a hard one…oh, wait, not so hard…I am going to choose to be at peace with the choices I have made and am making in the present as well as those choices that I will face in future times. After all is said and done, we choose based on the information we have at hand, with the skills we have right then and there. So here’s my choice for today:

I wish to choose to be at peace with the decisions and choices I make now and forever. No flip flopping and what iffing. No regrets and should haves. No, none of that. Just and only conscious, informed choosing…

And then letting the seeds fall where the wind takes them.All photography credits to Jeff Suchak

The litany of the Spirituality Book

Unfolding of a poppy

Unfolding of a poppy

unfolding of a poppy

Here is the unfolding of a poppy at our house a few days ago. There is approximately 15 to 20 minutes between each shot! Amazing!

It was a nice respite from the rain that has deluged us of late…

Water and vaporous mists fill this house

Soggy hearts enveloped by the gloom

Basement filled with floating cardboard

Books dampen, curl, glue lifts…

This seems to be a metaphor for my spiritual life…

The book is undergoing a whole new transformation, transmutation

all new pages had to be prepared with a heavier water-media paper to prevent future occurrences of the koan above

A good thing though

New phrases found that fit better today

than the yesterdays

book in progress

watercolor can be added to the pages

this is working out quite well

though it is keeping me from the new projects…

These newest pages

May need to be replaced next month

I have begun to see this book as the prototype

for my Book of Hours

It will have a new “girdle” attachment of blue leather

I am at peace with it

The anger dissipates

As work continues

I discover nuances of my own spiritual formation/growth unearthed

Spirituality evolves, morphs, ebbs and flows

And so it goes…

I’ll close with the chorus from

Anthem by Leonard Cohen

“Ring the bells that still can ring

Forget your perfect offering

There’s a crack in everything

That’s how the light gets in.”

May there be light and lovelieness in your life…however cracked it may seem.

Peace, Out.

Artfully at loose ends…

There is an art to being at loose ends and for me being “At Loose Ends” is my way of supporting and encouraging others to live that artful necessity in life where we admit that we are not in control. That we are interconnected with everything and everyone…like it or not. So the word for today is prayer…because a prayerful attitude is just about the only way I can imagine living at loose ends gracefully and artfully.

But let’s expand on that word…and instead what I want to do/be is to immerse myself in the potent practice of prayer (and the flip side of prayer is meditation). This means that I can’t just pretend to pray — that won’t change me and it is hypocrisy to even suggest that it might. No it means actually practicing prayer…in every moment of my life. And here I would humbly refer you to Karen Kaezen Miller‘s article on kindness and here for her article on how to practice compassion…which in my opinion is what the “potent practice of prayer” is all about.

That said, I must admit to being a failure more than 20% of the time and often up to 80% of the time. You know why that is? Well…I’ll tell ya…it’s because I try to hard and then failure is inevitable.

So here’s a peek at the page. Feedback is welcomed. Did I actually capture what I meant to? Any thoughts on this topic? Please…is anybody out there!?

And onward…

Here is a sneak preview of the next spread in my journal…

Now I’d like to propose a contest…a real contest…

I am enlisting your help. First I’ll show you a close up of the left page. It’s going to be for the word, poetry. That’s settled.

But here is where your feedback is required. Absolutely necessary.

I only have one day for that feedback, so I do hope you’ll give this some thought.

Originally I thought the page on the right would be for the word, presence. But now it has become a contest among four potentials.

Here are the

choices  in no

particular order…

I won’t tell which way I am leaning, but if you are the lucky one to guess it, you will win a piece of   my (he)ART.     Big smile. ;-D

Come on! Play! You know you want to.

1)  proclaim

2) partner

3)  provoke

4) presence

So pick one and put it in a comment for the page and let’s see who wins! Well, I think if we are all on a journaling journey…we ALL do! Yeah! for us.

Oh and you do know that you can click on any picture to embiggen it, and you can do that more than once. You can get the page so large that you can read the fine print as if it were a large font book! Ooh then you’ll be reading my mind, won’t you?

Day 2 – no glare!

Whoo hoo! I did it. No glare on gleeful person’s face!

And here is that same page with journalling added.

You will see a splotch of gesso on the “P” but it’s not

on there permanently. So, no worries.

And so we are on to the next “P” page… prâna (that’s not quite the right accent, but…it’ll do)


I’ve placed it horizontal so that you can first read the word.

Here it is vertical — the way it appears in the actual journal.

And below it appears after journalling…

And just for a little finale…

Here they are side by side.

See you tomorrow with a new page in progress.

Befriending our shadows

Snowed in again.

Well not really, I shovelled out, but left another hour for Amos to deal with when he wants to get his car out tonight to go to work. I figure one and a half hours is this ol’ girl’s limit. Our lane is so short and you run out of places to throw the snow if you don’t give yourself a wide berth at the outset of winter. You just know there is more to come! Weather report calls for at least 15 cm more over the next few days. Luckily this batch is lighter than the early squalls dumped.

I just finished a paper for my program in Spiritual Direction (Jubilee Ontario) in which I focused on the shadow side of our soul and how we need to befriend it. In doing research I came upon Brenée Brown’s book, “I thought it was just me…” (a book I highly recommend for all women of any and all ages). Her work was quite telling and very helpful in my own research. Then today, I was following links about journaling (mostly extreme visual journaling) and lo and behold there I am at her blog! Holy coincidence, eh, Batman?

Another coincidence…what I use to live authentically, to explore and shed light on my own shadows, and to live whole heartedly is extreme journalism.
Life is a circle!

Hope y’all will join me on the journal journey in the new year. It’s a wonderful (if sometimes bumpy) ride.

Oh and here is a peek at my religious timeline which I had to submit for a covenant group that I belong to.

In case you can’t quite make out the sentence at the bottom (the page isn’t finished yet)

it says, “All of life is a constant recreating.”