Wednesday, September 23, 2015

to be still... your untold story

Being Still is something we all need to do every day. 
In order to listen to your longings, listen to God, listen to what is affecting us on the inside, you must take time to be still. In this is honoring your own heart and valuing your own soul. To value all of life is not to forget your own life. To stay close to your own story is more powerful than trying to invent a new one ( a quote that Brandy told me... I will have to get the name). 

Pursuing creativity even in the midst of all the things that distract or discourage us is walking in Faith, knowing that you don't know what is next and knowing that you are not in control of the what comes out of it or in control of how your work will affect others. But, what won't happen if you don't take those baby steps? Your story, it won't get told.  It will burst from your heart in some other way. But those people who need to hear exactly what you have to say, they won't hear it, unless you faithfully take those first steps.

Just make that first mark on that blank canvas, write that first word, and don't be afraid of failing in conceptualizing a photo.  

One Beautiful Sunny 80 degree day, (actually this Saturday) Brandy and I decided (about a month earlier) that we would support each other in a step of faith. I haven't been actively working on "personal work" in photography for years, and Brandy, she was just willing to help me by donating her time and her prayers. I would ask my daughter to help me, but I might end up running away by the end of that session (lol). 

Knowing someone has willingly giving you an entire day of their life is a pretty big deal and I didn't take that lightly. I realize how valuable time is and how precious it is and really, being able to spend the day playing with the camera was the best gift anyone could ever give to me. 

I remember those days in college when friends were always available to go out and play, and life, it was simpler then. I wish I knew back then how difficult it would be in the future to play and to find people to go out and play with ideas with. I think it would have motivated me to do way more at that time. 

So, back to Saturday, I was nervous, and definitely not everything went exactly right, the dress didn't photograph quite like I hoped, I didn't have a clear understanding of how to conceptualize every thought. But it was a valuable day of learning process and taking that step in faith to make small steps lead to big results. 

When the blue bird arrived, I literally couldn't believe my eyes. I had reached out to my facebook friends to see if anyone had a taxidermy-ed bird to use. Not a soul did. But I happened to mention it to my friend Stacey here in Brooklyn who is not on FB and she said, "I have one and it is a blue bird!!" I nearly fell down. 

The silent prayers, that are really thoughts running through my mind that previous week,  why does it always surprise me how God is so personal when he chooses to read thoughts as a prayers and answer them so specifically? He cares even about my desire to create. When I was thinking of using a bird, I secretly deep in my thoughts longed for it to be a blue bird. And there it was, free for me to use two days before the shoot. 

Again, nothing was absolutely perfect, except for the weather and the blue bird and us being on the same page about this being a faith shoot. Not all of my ideas came out just right yet, but I am not going to give up. Just by taking this step of faith, I gained clarity and hope.
 I do love what I have learned from this event, I do love these images, and and know God makes perfect and uses our weaknesses to do what he has to get done here on earth. 

Stay creative, be motivated and take baby steps today to tell that untold story inside of you. 

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you”
Maya Angelou   

Brandy was a trooper, she got soaking wet, when I had the bright idea of her laying down in the water. Those Pictures flopped. She endured a brutally long day with me. B- Thank you again!!! you are beautiful. oxox 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The four letter B word:

The four letter B word has challenged me to the core!!!! 
What word is this? take a guess.

b    l    o    g.

Why you ask?


Seems my Kindred Spirit Pinterest Folder is the most popular board that I curate, so maybe I should focus mostly on art? But there is so much more!!


Don't get me wrong, I have seen people who are near complete perfection on the outside with their skin, body type, style, house and decor, and their lives, compared to mine, appear near perfect.
Is this me??? Not even close.
God made me completely flawed in every way for his great purpose.
I can continue to fight that, or I can just accept it, embrace it, and move forward, Praising God for using our weaknesses as strength. And praising God for this miracle of life.

I don't want to be sucked into that world, you know the one, where we all try to present ourselves as beautiful, smart, organized and amazing. Because if I present my world and life all cleaned up, looking pretty, having it all together what good does that do for the world and for other people? 

Seems so parallel to what I have learned about our tendency spiritually.
We want to just help Jesus out a little bit with our own salvation by cleaning up our own language and stopping behaviors that might be considered sinful, or shameful, etc. etc.,  so that we can purify ourselves a bit before we come to the Lord or go to church.***

This leads me to believe, that if I clean up my own life for my blog, it might be pretty, but it won't help anyone very much.

Presenting myself as some sort of perfect amazing person who's got it all together might help those out there who are struggling to compare their lives with other's be more critical of themselves,  and it might help those out there that have a tendency to beat up themselves up with negative talk when comparing themselves to others dish out more negative talk to their own hearts.

Nope, this is not what I want at all. I want to be as honest here as you can handle and to encourage and inspire you while being a bit raw. Hopefully, you will be able to relate with the struggle and begin to pursue God and your creative story more authentically.

The truth is, I am far far far from anything that remotely resembles perfect. I live a messy life where I struggle through everything!! Struggling to be an artist, a good wife and mom. I am struggling to draw again and to get my photo projects started. And I struggle to get the crud at home done well on time and right. I struggle in social situations, in friendships too.

So, which reminds me, I struggle in drawing so much. My friend Kristi mentioned this to me last week. You see, I draw, erase, draw, erase, draw, erase. And all those layers, they end up making my drawings richer somehow. The struggle is known and seen and it enhances the work somehow. Maybe in blogging and in our lives, we need to show more of that struggle. 

I am on a quest people!!! I am seeking complete authenticity and sometimes it just ain't pretty.
Do I want to share that? Not really. My thought would be you probably wouldn't like me then, and that leads me back to thinking I need to present a cleaned up story.

Hence, blogging is challenging me to be authentic, engaging and positive, disciplined and to be honest  and not depressing and to stay interesting and etc etc. Plus, I have little to no readers just yet. And this is discouraging at this point, but one day that will be different I hope!!

So as my commitment to blog regularly, even though I have felt like I have had nothing to blog about for days on end, this is what flowed out of me unexpectedly. 

a wonderful store I discovered this week!!! Rain 

Now I will end this with a list of honest observations: 

1. Living in NYC in the summer is Hot and so exhausting. period.

2. I have procrastinated doing our laundry for one week. It is official now I have 4 tons of laundry to haul down the street today. Am I looking forward to this? no. I am still procrastinating. 

3. I rearranged my son's room so that 1/2 of his room is his, and 1/2 of the room is my new office. This is how we live folks.

4. I have had some great ideas the past few days, and this is encouraging because I thought all my ideas were dried up. But taking action on those ideas is the problem. ( Ideas for sale here, get your ideas)

5. I got put on a waiting list for a great studio space  this week!!!!!!! and I am number 597 on the list. whoooo hoooo.
That should take awhile.

6. If you are looking for an amazing restaurant to take your friends to, Boqueria in Soho.

And stay tuned to hear about Shakespeare in the Park tonight!!!



(***But from what I understand the truth of the Gospel to be is God wants complete deep to the core honesty and authentic repentance. He loved us while we were his enemies. We will only become our true selves slowly once we admit we need Jesus' forgiveness and his righteousness, through the sanctification process. And it will be of no work of our own, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9)

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Jealous of the Jealous Curator...

I learn from so many resources, specifically my own Pinterest board called "A Kindred Spirit"where I post all the paintings/photos/mixed media art that I am completely drooling over in love with.  I visit it often, and I post my own work there too just so I can see it all together. 

How do you become so jealous of someone who is so openly jealous? Well, authenticity has something to do with it. For so long I didn't let myself admit how jealous I was of other artists.

But, Danielle Krysa didn't do that. Honesty gets you to good places. Jealousy might be a negative emotion, but honesty overpowered it with positive vibes.

Let me just tell you, I have never more jealous anyone like I am of her , the founder of  The Jealous Curator. (damn I wish I had thought of that).  Her honesty about her own jealously led her to start one of the best most amazing resources for me to discover new artists Art to date. 


Can't wait to listen to more of the podcast she has started!!! 

Be Authentic and honest with yourself today.

An image from her blog... 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Painting the Summer...

As the Summer days start to fade into a bit cooler and shorter days...
I am reflecting on how time slips through my fingers like its an abstraction. Our days are filled with so much of just ordinary "getting things done." 
Time and Dirt seem to be my greatest enemies to creating art!! 

I don't know about you, but so much of my time is used up in just taking care of the basic needs of the house and the kids' needs like meal planning, budgeting, cooking, making sure they are clothed and showered and fed and all their emotional and spiritual needs are met. Grocery shopping and cleaning and laundry, cleaning the bath and floors... It seems like that wouldn't take all that long now that the kids are 13 and 10 and I would have hours and hours to paint each day, but that is just not the case.

Struggling to draw again!!! It is so hard!

the painting currently in progress 

Plus for me to even start painting takes faith and lots of it.  

I have to spread out old towels around the living room floor, then get all my supplies together, then, stare at a blank canvas and pray.  Pray not only about content, but also praying hard that I don't get paint all over the floor and furniture. 

I also have to pray that I won't spend any time listening to the enemy or the accusations & negative talk that seems to  start immediately as I start painting.  This voice that says, "this is stupid, you are so not a great artist, why are you doing this?" Or the negative talk that compares me to where other people are in their lives now and where I should be. God as my witness, Art is a War. ( read The War Of Art by Shawn Coyne)

So I recognize it as the enemy and that I am fighting a war within. 

Hopefully, as I pursue this faithful life of creativity, noticing all the details in the small things around me, continuing to press forward in faith, fighting the good fight against the enemy, resting as I struggle hard through the process, not knowing the outcome still or where I fit into the Art world, that by being faithful to create each day even when I have no idea where it is leading me, I will start to bear fruit of some kind. 

What frustrates me the most is that I am still just discovering process and content, and I feel like I need to be doing this 8-10 hours a day for the next 2 years to figure it all out. 

Knowing this I will press on with the time that I do have and each spare minute I find I will be painting, drawing, making Photo mixed media art in faith.

Stay Creative and subscribe to 
Stay Tuned. 

FAF {Forever Art Friends} and more

Hello Again! (Insert a bunch of things here that I wrote at first which would either have bored you to tears, or would have interfered with my life in the future...{hence delete})

Fast forward from all those things I deleted:

 I met Jesus 
& Kristi D. McDougal and her amazing family 
(circa 1995-1998) 

Forgiveness is a moment by moment choice. 
Forgiving myself is a new deal for me, yet a part of my daily life now.

Jesus taught me how to start being other's centered. (it is a work in progress)
Jesus taught me how to forgive and love those who hurt me. 

Kristi McDougal, and her sweet family have taught me that Jesus' love is real and tangible here on this earth, it can be experienced through each other in a fun way. 
And we really can be Christ's love to each other without hiding behind religiosity.

Fast forward, now that we are seriously forever friends 
(like, if we live long after we can see and walk, we will still be friends)...

They came to NYC to do a bit of research a couple of weeks ago. 
For me, it was like a dream come true. 

Few times in your life you meet those people that just get you and you get them. 
I feel like this about Kim Nunn and Kristi Durham, so to have them here, was so amazing. 

Kim and Kristi and I were in Art school together, and Kristi, as I just revealed earlier in this post is only a few notches below Jesus in my story. 

On this particular week in NYC,  I was able to just be with them while we trekked through galleries discovering art, drinking wine, laughing and just having so much fun... it was fantastic to say the least, and I highly recommend You booking a trip, bringing your best friends to come here on a art adventure!!!!  And while you are here you need to visit:
(Visit all the Chelsea Galleries, The MET, The Waterfall Gallery, The Heath rooftop garden bar, Williamsburg Smorgesburg, and the , The Frying Pan restaurant at sunset, And the Cornelia Street Cafe, Central Park, Beyoglu Turkish restaurant at 3rd Ave and 81st St.. Being new at this blogging gig, I wish I would have written down all the names of the artists below, but you can find them at the galleries listed above! )

oxox, K

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Saturday, we were having one of those days.

 If you are a parent to more than one child, you will totally understand! It was the kind of day where when you want to leave the house promptly, but you literally can't seem to do it without a minor war breaking out at home, with annoying whining and complete resistance coming from both children. 

So, managing to get out the door, with everyone's scooter and shoes was victory enough. We knew we were headed to Manhattan, but didn't know where we were headed exactly. 

Although, we did have it in our minds to leave room for a bit of spontaneity to happen in the day. 

Good thing because the F train for Manhattan never came. 
The Coney Island F train did 3 times, so we changed directions and jumped on! 

And so became our Saturday Coney Island Impromptu visit.

Walking all the way from the Coney Island Aquarium stop to the end of the Boardwalk where Terry's active Park's project is being constructed, it was really fun to see his team's work in action.  Then we headed back all the way to the new pier near the baseball stadium, all the while letting our nearly grown children go off on their scooters way ahead of us, trusting that we would find them eventually. 

This is another victory for us. 

As we walked along the (in need of many repairs) wooden boardwalk, T reminded me again that all that wood came from the rain forest and the people in the neighborhoods are demanding it be wood again. ( Which makes me so frustrated! I can definitely see why they would love the wood, but Let's save the rainforest folks!!) back to as we walked...we saw people dancing, riding scary rides, really owning those two piece bathing suits no matter what their body type, people playing music, cutting mangos, people singing, fishing, swimming, sunbathing, people sitting in bars, restaurants, and lots of people eating hotdogs and french fries at Nathan's. Life was happening here folks.  ( I just said Folks twice in one paragraph. ugh).

Yes, each time I go to Coney Island, I see so many humans appearing to be having the times of their lives. 
And yet, I personally struggle at this big place because I am definitely a more "less crowded spaces" kind of gal, and this place continues to remind me about the parts of me I am not crazy about like:
1. that I am not in Kansas anymore. ( not that I ever was in Kansas, more like NC or TN) 
2. I was brought up in a way too homogenized environment. 
3. I need to travel and get out more. 
4. I am unfortunately to my surprise closed minded.  ( working on this) 
My favorite parts of the trip were the concrete walls painted by the new popup Smorgesburg near the entrance to the park, a medium size Blue Moon, MY KIDS having fun even after their great rejection!!, and smelling the salty air. I was thankful for a bite of ice cream and seeing the ocean. 

If you are in NYC for the Summer, you definitely need to take a trip on the Q or F to Coney Island. It is a one of a kind experience.  

Monday, July 27, 2015

From the blog  Tilly and the Buttons : 

"I love this quote by George Bernard Shaw: 

“This is the true joy in life — being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one… being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no ‘brief candle’ to me. It is sort of a splendid torch which I have a hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it over to future generations.” 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Summer in Brooklyn

Now that Summer is in full swing, and we have a groove, I promise to post more frequently. 

So, if you want to follow this blog please know that this is what I will be committed to sharing!

• Information that will Inspire others to pursue a creative story of their own.
• To pursue a life of Worship, and diving into faith and Art.
• I try always to inform you about the places I am discovering here in NYC,
• I hope to discover kindred spirits, and potentially start a place where kindred spirits can meet and plan getting together eventually.

So as we pursue our creative stories:

Personally, in my "fantasy land," my kids would be on board and like little puppies wagging their tales at my feet enthusiastically waiting for our next creative adventure.

The reality is FAR FAR from this picture. It is a fight to get their attention, and to get my children interested in anything other than screen time!!!!!

When you see my kids involved, remember, it wasn't easy.

One week where my two tween/teens were agreeable to leaving the house was when our friends from Knoxville TN came to visit. 

We managed to visit Governor's island [and rode one of those ridiculous car bikes which turned out to be hilarious and fun], we went to Roosevelt Island (Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park [which is worth the walk in the heat] , The Reliquary Museum, the crowd line (high line)  [which is an amazing example of Landscape Architecture and how a bit of planning creates a new place that is way too freaking crowded and popular because it is so amazing].

We visited the whisper wall at Grand Central Station and the mini Transit museum,  Of Course FAO Schwarz [before the high rents in Manhattan closed down the most amazing toy stores in the USA]. We also cruised down 5th ave, window gazed and then also managed to go to the Brooklyn Flea, Artists and Fleas and Smorsgasburg,  Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, make it to The Natural History Museum [which is in need of some TLC for sure. dust specifically], The Shake Shack [ #shakeshackcreativecommunity ]twice, China Town, Little Italy for some gelato, Soho, Chelsea Piers to eat at a restaurant that is on a boat called the Frying Pan [which would have been great in the evening because of the hot sun, and finally Chelsea Market, etc, etc...  I think we wore our friends completely out!! 

Brooklyn in the Summer is full of life, heat, surprise nice summer breezes and so much to do. Its really enough to make your head spin!! 

Sometimes here in NYC the breeze is just perfect and on this Saturday, it was amazing. I stayed on the blanket in the park for a few hours until my rear end was more than numb. While we were sitting there enjoying the breeze and hearing the birds and leaves on the trees move in the wind. I asked myself how I could pursue creativity in that moment.

First I sat silently, then I sketched, then I decided to take advantage of the most unfortunate side of Prospect Park which is the little pieces of garbage people mindlessly leave behind, and make some "found" art right in the grass. I don't like touching garbage with my bare hands, so this was hard for me.

This month, I have sketched, and drawn, and painted once, but if I could just find a perfect studio space, it would be so different!! Everywhere I walk, whether I am walking to help a friend, or to the bank, or run a normal errand, I pray that God will open my eyes and I would see the creative details all around me and not be callus to them in the least.  Finally, I would like to encourage you to see music as often as you can. This U2 concert made us very happy!!! So creative!!! And of course, Bono's voice could melt anyone.

These are some resources for things to do here in the city...

One last thing, I had a job in Brooklyn, so sweet! More Please !!!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

This morning I just let go of all other things which is really hard for me to do. I begged God for more trust and more faith because sometimes I feel like I am hanging on by a thread. I long for just sitting before him and knowing him more,  long of hearing his voice. So I told Him that.  Later this morning nothing could stop this. It just came out, and it is so much closer to what I want to be creating and what I know is in there. My heart is joyful. Jesus does resurrect the dead places in my soul. 

Friday, May 29, 2015

joy in work

Do you feel it? that pull for something good? have you questioned it? Every day when you wake up do you know that you are doing what you need to be doing? Is it work from your deep heart convictions? listen to it today, ask that place in you, what would I do if I didn't have to worry about money? What would I offer the world? How can I make a difference?

Today I make a difference by asking sisters to dance together, giggle together and laugh. Tomorrow I might be called to something else, but for now, I find joy in my work, in capturing the moments like these.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

I can breathe in New Hampshire

New Hampshire. 

The first thing I noticed was air flow in and out of my lungs, then the stress release form being away from the elbow to elbow daily life of NYC with living day to day with walls of people. Second, no smell of human urine. Yes, this did cross my mind. In the midst of the beauty, I wanted all my stress and worries to fall away from my heart here. the gorgeous open space, the green grass, the fresh air!!

Full honesty? The truth really is that I will never ever find complete peace in a place on earth and shouldn't even look for it here. Doesn't mean I can't really enjoy something this amazing and find rest. There are places all over the world that will help you relax.

Always seeing great beauty gives the body a good rest. This weekend, as I gazed up and down from the peak of a mountain, as I was feeling the power and strength of just the wind on a normal day there, it brought to mind how tiny and fragile we really all are, how God made man so capable to do great things, be extremely strong and do so much here on earth and yet he didn't make us infallible or omnipotent or omnipresent or indestructible.

Thankful today for 1 Peter to remind my heart of where my peace  really comes from and to teach me wisdom once again (because I need that every day). I read that this morning. "God Cares." We can cast all our anxieties on him because he cares. The very being who made all this, these huge mountains and all the beauty it brings us, cares deeply for all of us. This is good news to me today.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Process : photo transfer

Happy Memorial Weekend!! 

It was cloudy; I was rushed. This process takes time and space & I don't feel like I have at the moment!!

Instead of spending another minute wishing I was making art, fail or succeed, I'm pressing through. 

Like I said in my last two posts, I'm choosing to "show up" each day by carving out space in my life to make art and pursue creativity. Hoping to discover new processes, share them with you here (photos and video) and we can learn together. My goal is to inspire, to grow as an artist and to be generous with all that I know. 

Currently, It is a goal of mine to begin to understand all processes of photo transfer, and what the results are from each way that process can be done. 

So I dove in. 
The carcinogenic chemical xylene was the first method I chose to try. 

Through research I discovered this was the absolute best method used to transfer images. 

So I suited up for the job, with chemical gloves and a chemical fume safe mask that I bought at Home Depot. 

Many posts on other blogs about this  process suggest that you get a blender pen from the art store.    

They aren't really pricy, but they have very little xylene in them and dry out extremely fast. So the  quart of xylene from Home Depot cost only $7 and it's enough for 1000's of transfers!!! I'm always looking for a deal, and believe me this mama is thrifty!!! 

So you will need a cheap paint brush, a small glass jar and one of these. I also opened every window in the house and put two fans in the windows blowing fresh air into the room. Believe me, you don't want want to breathe this stuff!! 

I started out with my own photography 
And processed it in Photoshop. In PS you must flip image horizontally and save as a copy. And since my own laser printer is forever running out of ink, and ink is pricier per ounce than gold, I took a usb stick to Fed Ex office and printed out some nice but affordable color copies. 

I wanted to try several different surfaces with the xylene. 1st was a painted board. I took the painted board and sanded it smooth. 

Then I placed the laser printed color copy face down onto the surface holding it in place with my hand ( which is covered with chemical glove). Then I pour a very small amount of xylene in a glass jar and use a small soft brush to brush over the back side of the image. After that I use one of these scrapers or a credit card to gently rub over the back side of the image. 
Once the image dries, and xylene evaporates, you can gently pull off the paper and reveal the transferred image! 

So back to the painted board photo transfer...the results were so disappointing!!! I was saddened to find out that this will not work. Although I could try prints from a different printer and see what happens . 

I actually liked what it did to the print but the image didn't transfer hardly at all. (Sad face). 

Next I tried canvas. Same process as before, and after the painted board I had a feeling it wouldn't work. 
I was right.  A bit better than the painted (gessoed) board. 

Next I tried a pressed cardboard board. Again, I started to have doubts that it works on much. And it didn't work either. (Picture to come later) 

Next, I tried my journal. Inside is a nicer acid free graph paper ( purchased at Barnes and Noble) 

The results were great!!! I was happy I finally got something to work. Still really disappointed about the first three, but I'll figure out ways around it I am sure!! 

Original pic was : 

Second pic : 

Third I tried was : 

Original pic: 

Fourth pic... I got carried away!!! Couldn't stop! This time i photocopied one of my paintings and transferred that... 

I really liked it!! 

At this point I'm sure if I pulled off my gas mask I would have had cancer in two minutes, so remember how toxic this stuff is and don't pull off your mask just because you're done. Air out the house first! 

Okay, so I tried one more:  

Looking forward to making more!!! 

Next I tried the Mod Podge process. Stay tuned for my results!