Monday, August 29, 2016

A Walk By a Winter's Pond and Being Grateful

Bench Photography
Maybe you've noticed I am posting photos of benches ;) and since it's HOT and humid, I thought it would be nice to look at a photo of winter.  I took this photograph the day before I got the news about my Mammogram. A lovely soft snowy Sunday and a walk by Ellis Pond happily ignorant of what was to come. I remember this morning so well and being in awe of the pristine beauty after a gentle snowfall. My husband and I were the only people there, and the place had a majestic sacredness about it. Just us, the snow, the pond, the trees, and the sounds of nature.  
So you see dear readers it isn't JUST a bench, but a place much loved by many, and full of memories. 

"When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive - to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love."
Marcus Aurelius

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Red Bench at the Heard Museum Phoenix Arizona

Sculpture Garden in Heard Museum 
"The overall mission of the Heard Museum is to educate the public about the heritage and the living cultures and arts of Native peoples, with emphasis on the peoples of the Southwest. The Heard Museum is not a history museum. It is a living museum featuring both artifacts and contemporary art of Native cultures".

Friday, August 26, 2016

Before Breast Cancer and After Breast Cancer

Things change and for some it's dramatic,  for others it's more nuanced, sometimes for better sometimes for worse, but without a doubt cancer changes things. I can't talk for others, the dynamic of their lives and personalities are different. For me the change was nuanced with some priority shifts.

I've never taken life for granted, or the joys in it, but now there is relief and a keener appreciation. 

Dadirri is part of my daily life.

As You Sow So Shall You Reap and I thank goodness because at my lowest point dear family, friends, and people in my community blessed me with their love and support.
Yes shit happens
but I am here
 to learn from it
deal with it
grow from it
Where once the pain of indifference or being ghosted would have lingered, now I thank goodness the type of person who would do that is out of my life.  

Pressure To Be a Professional Artist
That's gone
 I do ART and it will be what it will be.

Choosing what NOT to waste time on
as in not sweating the small stuff

Carpe Diem


easier said that done but working on it

Keeping a Sense of Humour
well that didn't change one bit ;)

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Sunday Sundry in the Creative Mind of an Artist

It just never stops, that need to create even when it comes to the Sunday morning dishes and the irresistible sun shadows reflecting through the glass onto the kitchen counter.prisma app
various items not important enough to be mentioned individually

Putting aside a lazy start to the day, I am back to sewing blue felt butterflies for the DML residency, and have taken a few photos of two artists for a Dayton City Paper article, and will get back to working on my wee BIG BOY painting. Meanwhile as I sew blue butterflies my mind is buzzing with ideas for a future project. 
Gotta clean up the kitchen
help mr. b make sushi for lunch
cheers all and thanks for dropping by

I forgot to mention my POWA! blog I run with jafapal Nancy Mellon was featured in the Dayton City Paper 


As if dealing with sexism in the arts isn't enough, older women face another ism that gets little attention, ageism. Older women artists continue to be overlooked, ignored or presumed past their prime or ability.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Getting Your Nose Stuck In a Book


Residency Notes: Week two and we were are not quite as exhausted. We are finding we have to rethink some of our public drop in project ideas after the flower making session is done as they seem rather ambitious given the time constraints as well as age diversity of our drop in library patrons.

Well not quite, we are too busy working with the patrons and getting our installations up, but we thought it would be fun to use our old nose in the children's section of the library. Meanwhile back in MY studio I'm working on a small Americana painting.
Yep, wasn't kidding about it being small.
Oil on wood and 8" x 8"
The first time I saw a Big Boy was in Gatlinburg Tennessee the first year we came to America in 1978. I thought it was typically American, and wonderfully cheesy and I loved it.
As for getting my nose stuck in a book.
Off to read Gerda Saunders Short stories
and listen to the rain

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Telling a Compelling Story with a Camera and Spontanaeity

Instead of complaining when his 93-year-old mom moved in, he got his camera.

The photos he took are haunting, playful, and breathtaking.

I just think this is so beautiful and amazing, and what a way to share this precious time with his mum.
You can keep up with him on his fb page.

How to tell a story with a camera is easier said than done and I find myself sometimes asking more and more why I need to  share an image. Sometimes I don't know if that is a good thing as per the advice on photofocusI am not knocking the advice, it's great for professionals who are trying to earn a living with their photography or for an assignment but do we need to worry too much each click of the camera.
"What is it about THIS photograph that is important"
 Sometimes images take on a new importance a day, a week or even years later. Perhaps the important part is being engaged with where you are and the process of photographing.  
Why do people need to see it?  
 I am not sure this is a good idea. Maybe a good question AFTER you've taken the photo. That's kind of like trying to paint what you think people want to see, but it destroys your original voice trying to cater to what people "might" like to see.
Why do you need to make it?.  
The reasons are varied and I usually know beforehand why I am photographing, so I don't struggle with that question for each image before I take it. If I spent time doing that I wouldn't get some of the shots I do, especially some of the street shots. 
Never underestimate spontaneity.

Fore example here is one of my fave photos taken as I walked past a vendor at a Night Market in Kaohsiung, Taiwan 2014.
travel pics of Taiwan

 Olympus Stylus 1 
I had no time to process why I needed to take it, or if people would be interested in seeing it. It captured the mood of the evening and brings back wonderful memories of my visit to Taiwan. 

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Cloudporn Is A Thing

The new hashtag you should be following? #Cloudporn

INSTAGRAM IS CHOCK-FULL of great travel photos. Even to the extent that there's so much that it can be hard to know exactly where to start. There are a number of great hashtags to start following, but my new personal favorite is #CloudPorn. It's exactly what it sounds like: amazing photos featuring amazing clouds.

I love photos of clouds, but learning how to paint them is a whole other thing. I have tried in the past with little success. It was only this year that I felt encouraged after painting a stone for my radiation series and decided to give it another shot.
 So today a friend and I spent an afternoon practicing painting clouds on some old posterboard panels. 
Not brilliant, but not bad either. I just used white, black and ultramarine blue for this session. I really like this video and may give it a go using the colours and not doing such hard edges.
thanks to Nagualero for the great video

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Calm Studio Time vs NOT so Calm Studio Time

The Calm Place
Jafabrit's Studio
Well, ahem! okay studio is looking a wee bit messy BUT it's quiet, and it's the place I spend the most time in. I read here, or listen to bbc radio, or quietly create, or just sit/listen and center myself. That sounds awfully woo woo, but it's just finding that quiet spot and giving in to it. If the weather wasn't so hot and humid I would go dadirri. 

An Indigenous Approach to Healing Trauma

People have always experienced pain, and in the vast span of time before the colonial expansion of western culture, indigenous cultures weren't without their methods of dealing with trauma. For centuries we've largely ignored the wisdom of those among us who are still directly connected to ancestral ways of knowledge.
I can't really get into any new painting projects as my focus is on  preparing and planning the Dayton Metro Library Residency projects but I have doodled and I always leave the studio feeling 
 refreshed and calm.

 NOT So Calm Studio Time
Creative Space DML Northwest Branch
jafagirl flower power
Nancy and I have several hours studio time and then several hours open studio time each week for 6 weeks and it's go go AND go. I was so happy that some wanted to help create flowers for the installation Nancy and I will put up in the children's part of the library.
We are also facing some challenges on how we want to install the various projects , but I feel this is part of the residency; trying to figure things out and how to use the space creatively. This first week was exhausting, mostly due to carting two car loads of supplies etc in a car without air conditioning (it's fixed for next week thank goodness) and setting up the creative space.  Not so calm studio time BUT energizing and the library, staff and patrons are wonderful.

Thursday, August 04, 2016

A Fairy Stone from England

fairy stone
One of the gifts I got from Chris and Karen for looking after their darling dog Betty was a Fairy Stone. They found it on a beach in the southeast coast and saved it just for me and I am chuffed as mintballs about it. 

The Legend of the Holey Stone

Holey stones are known by a variety of names; Holed stone, Odin Stone, Crick Stone, Hag Stone, Fairy Stone and Witches Amulet. A holed stone, or holey stone, is any rock with a weathered/eroded hole in it which has been created by nature alone.

Definitely not going to be painting or decorating this stone, it will be left as it was found and hung with a black ribbon in the house. Here is a link to the history of adder stone's also called hag stones and a variety of other names. 
Thanks Karen and Chris

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Dear Dog Diary: Ellis Pond Dreams of Home

Dear Doggie Diary
My last entry of my doggie adventure
First I meditate and then I do things, OHM!
My dream came true

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Dear Dog Diary: Betty's Busy Afternoon Schedule

Prisma app
Dear Doggie Diary
Pester Lady with Stick
pant! pant! pant! what ya doin'! what ya doing! pant! pant! 
what ya doin'
Walk to Glass Farm 
Not feeling the poo, fake it, get treat  
Eat Dinner 
Kill the Monkey 
Hump the Monkey 
Chase fly around den 
REST for a BIT 

Monday, August 01, 2016

Dear Dog Diary: Betty's Busy Morning Schedule

Dear Doggie Diary
Walk to Glass Farm √
caught in rain exciting
Must do poo to get treat 
Chase man in house around living room game 
Eat breakfast 
get tickled by woman in house 
chew bone 
REST for a BIT