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!  

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

a full day, rich in color:

For the past two days I have been wanting to experiment with the xylene photo transfer. Unfortunately, that desire has been interrupted by a very minor setback. 

My daughter was home fairly sick with a respiratory virus and fever, and not only would the fumes not be a great idea, but I was also busy needing to care for her. So, if no further set backs this week, I will resume tomorrow! 

The process starts with me having to go get laser prints made, and even before that, I have to find the images and manipulate them on photoshop. Which all takes time, which I have to set aside faithfully in trust.  

So, today, I will share with you the little moments of joy for me. Each day is such an adventure living here in NYC. Some days are definitely more than others, but seems like each day holds so much opportunity. Even if nothing is happening, if I open my eyes, and look all around me, just discovering new things, places, and even new street art is so much fun. Could this mean that I am liking it more and more here? 

So, the day started with my run. Nothing special, or if there was, I missed it because I was listening to a sermon. 

On the way to an event in Manhattan, I walked by this gem. 

A bluegrass band entertaining 1-4 year olds at the cute little farmer's market a block from the end of our street (Every Wednesday) !!

Beautiful flowers. 

The Graffiti galleries that show up everywhere you go.  This was a trailer outside on the street near the Delancy St. Subway exit. 

Passing through I didn't even photograph the film crews all over the streets. It is such a common thing to see these days. Failed to ask what they were filming today. 

Today I seemed to be more interested in the murals that were all over. 

This is Jessica, she is an amazing singer, and a passionate person lifting others up and breathing life into those all around her through nutrition and beautiful song.  I was invited to a private taping session with her and her friend. Think Broadway, and just a few people in the room. AMAZING!!! 

Ahhhh, more layers and layers of images/art/advertisements etc... everywhere that fade out, get torn, ripped, distorted, representing the passage of time and the creative minds that walk this city every day. 

Now, I will be headed to a bible study that is down the street. 
When I come home, I will have walked over 7 miles and 16000 steps. I will fall on my bed exhausted. And I will pray that I do not catch the horrible virus that my girl has!!!!! Til tomorrow... 


Monday, May 18, 2015

Showing Up.

Having read several books this year: 

Throughout all the books, I noticed a similar trend in topics.  
It turns out that creatives struggle the most with the act of just

showing up, 
and believing that Art is real work and that they can do it. 

Writers have the torturous task to sit at their computers staring at a blank screen, painters similarly at a blank canvas, musicians at a blank composition notebook. The encouragement was to just show up and start. 

“Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere.” 

To carve out the time is a great struggle, then fighting off the negative voices, ugh. 
The TRUTH is that Art fills the world with beauty, creativity, problem solving, new technologies, and much much more. So I am speaking truth to myself all the time now.   

Okay, so I am showing up. 

I hope you will too. 

Today: I am dreaming of the possibilities of photo transfers and what I want to create. 

In preparation for my new photo transfer work, I am going back through old files to find a ton of images that I have taken over the years, this is one of my "drive by shootings". (pictures that I take as we are on a road trip, what ever we are passing that catches my eye).  

Below:  Raw verses after processed in PS CS5

original and manipulated in photoshop using actions and textures and my own adjustments. Photo work around 30 min.  

I will have several transfers to show you too. 
I want to try one with Modge Podge with paper, and one with Modge Podge and transparency, one with the xylene and one with the Acetone. come back tomorrow!!! 
I might add words and paint in the end. 

Also: Photo Transfer Letters coming soon. 
Part of my trekking around NYC involves this new project. 
I am finding letters in the environments and then I am going to spell out things that are related to that particular place/neighborhood that I am in. Then make photo transfer art from those letters. Stay tuned for more!!  
A messy first attempt (without gas mask, which made me hold my breath and probably rush through it). I will be attempting this again very soon. These are letters found in Brooklyn then processed and transferred via Blender Pen on press board painted with gesso. If you like, stay tuned for more fun art.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

a Brooklyn calling

It has been some time since I have blogged...AGAIN.  

What is so strange is that I completely forget about blogging altogether. It wasn't until recently when a piece came to me so effortlessly that I started to think about blogging again. It was a poem, a very private and personal poem that I shared only with my counselor and husband. When it was clear that they were moved by it, I realized, that just maybe, maybe what I have to say can move others and it would be good for me to share.  

Is it possible that what I see and how I see the world needs to be shared? 
I guess it is possible, so here goes. 

To begin, this is my mission statement:  
To live an authentic, generous, and creative life 
for the Glory of God. 

( a little late in life, but it is never never too late my friend) 

{Art is what opens up the window of the soul and breathes life into places that need life, helps you feel in places that haven't felt in some time and helps you sit in awe and behold beauty}.  

As I let go of all my preconceived ideas of where my life was suppose to be today at 44, and give everything over to my living Creator asking that he will use me not only to inspire, but to help others see his beauty and love and Grace. I know he loves us all and that He loves to give us the gifts of creativity. 
So my first step is to worship and pray. 
Pray for creativity as a gift that will give to others and for the blessings of God to rest on me, so that I can share creatively and financially with others, and for God to use my gifts for the flourishing of others.  

My second step is to show up ( faithfully everyday): 
I will be exploring making art and experimenting with different art processes and "showing up" for art each and every day whether it be exploration,  collecting, finding details, learning about artists that I love, or experimenting with process and equipment, I am going to just show up and begin. 

This week I experimented with Photo Transfer Process. I cannot wait to experiment more! Very excited to see what happens next. 

I did buy a gas mask too!

I don't know exactly where this journey will lead me. But I do know one thing, I will be fighting  {The War of Art} .

And you never know, as we pursue creativity together, pursue creative thinking, and problem solving, 
Maybe, together we can do our part to get educated, make beautiful things, make the world a better place through a using our creative minds to make beautiful useful things, to find solutions to problems, and maybe even solutions to major world problems such as hunger and thirst and shelter for those in need., We could inspire each other to create businesses that are about the flourishing of all human souls restoring dignity of people. 



I don't have a studio space just yet ( on my TDL) so, I decided to explore each neighborhood of NYC, all except possibly the ones where I might get into trouble or disappear without a trace from earth, (which are few and far between). And I will be creating what I can in our 10 x 10 living room/dining room.

This Sat, as I decided to get my butt off the sofa and go exploring, and so glad I did!! 

As I stepped off the train, the vibrancy of Williamsburg came alive as fresh aromas of grilled  yummies delightful tasty treats on open grills at the Smorgasburg reached my Olfactory system.  The open air restaurants that expose their interiors during the Spring by opening up large doors or windows exposing the life of conversations, good wine and food and enjoying the community of friends.  

You could sense the lifted spirits touched by the sunshine and warm breezes, amongst the colors of paintings & graffiti , and layers of flyers and stickers that have worn away with time representing moments of time where things are and were happening and people were excited to attend.  

My favorite find, and a place that I cannot wait to return was The City Reliquary. A museum of old NYC relics. The restaurant that was so awesome and I would love to return to was... this one, but I didn't get a pic of the whole name!  

I cannot remember the full name of this restaurant in Williamsburg, please comment if you know. I took the photo, but didn't take a wider angle. What a cool place!!

Now, would you like to see more images, videos, and art that will help you along the way too? Would you like me to share this journey with you? Could it inspire you?  Please chime in if you are out there reading and feel a connection to this journey. 

This week I also was asked to photograph this beautiful Brooklyn Family! 
Now, because I do love my photography work, and miss it greatly, I had so much fun!!! I am still available for sessions in Brooklyn and Manhattan for creative photo portrait sessions Through Spring. And again in Autumn.