Author: Kat Lehman

Communicator, designer, artist, photographer, friend.

Experimental

Finding something you love, even if it is later in life, is a complete joy. I recently started a graphic design program, and although I’ve been out of school for way too many years, I’ve found that the discipline of learning never entirely leaves you. That said, everything is new now with all the electronic tools at one’s disposal. So, for me, every day is experimental. Today was no different; we are playing with Photoshop and had a requirement to turn a photo into a painting. Although not perfect (what art ever is?), this didn’t turn out too bad.

Temporary

Temporary from the Latin temporārius and tempus, tempor meaning time, describes something that is fleeting. Our lives are temporary, although we don’t view them that way until we are staring into the abyss of our own mortality. This past month we have been starkly reminded of just how temporary life is. It can be gone in the blink of an eye either through sudden illness, horrific accidents, or unbelievably while worshipping in a sacred space on a Sunday morning.

I can’t make sense of what happened in Sutherland Springs, Texas; I don’t think any of us can unless we’ve lived through a massacre like that. What I can do is pray for that community and all involved as well as for our country and our lawmakers deciding what to do in the aftermath of this horror.

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Temporary

Back to School! Who? Me!

Yes, it’s that time of year, the days are getting shorter, the air is a bit crisper and cooler, the leaves are starting to turn and children of all ages are headed back to the classroom. And adults. And me. After working for the last, oh so many years, in technology, I decided to use some educational benefits that would have gone to waste, and headed back to school. What am I studying, you ask? Graphic design! This first eight-week period is vector illustration and art history from the Paleolithic to the medieval period. The Chicago Manual of Style and I are getting to be good friends. Check out one of my exercises for the vector illustration class and let me know what you think.

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Do something for yourself

At some point in life, especially if you have a family, a job, and other people depending on you for a myriad of things (how did you or I get involved in so much?), you find yourself lost. The things you dreamed about doing slip away and time becomes an enemy to make anything happen, not the least of which are those things you hold deep in your heart of what you expected your life to be like. At least, this has happened to me, and I suspect to you, too, if you are honest with yourself. I know my spouse and I talk about it frequently. He reminds me he only has “XX number of years left! We have to get our life in order!” pretty frequently (this is usually followed by a flurry of cleaning and throwing things away).

It is at these points in life, you need to take a step back and really think about where you are spending your time. Time is one of the only democratic things in life. By that, I mean we all have only 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week and so forth. “Hold on,” you say, “Not everyone has the same lifespan so that’s just not true!” Well, right you are. Since we don’t know how long our lives are, and in fact, they could be ended tomorrow on our way to or from work (judging by the number of catastrophic wrecks on the highway near where we live), we should treat every one of those seconds, minutes, hours, days, and weeks as if it were our last. Morbid, you say? No. Life giving. Why? Because when you take the time to realize you might not have tomorrow, you start to appreciate everything around you, especially the people in your life. You also start to take the time to carve out joy and resurrect those dreams you lost. Dream of travel? Go! Dream of being an artist? Pick up that pencil! Dream of being a musician? Take those piano lessons! Want to learn a new language? Check out DuoLingo and learn for free. Make time for joy.

What was my passion when I was younger? Horses and art. I have now rescued an off-the-track Thoroughbred named Lou who I don’t get to ride much, but he’s safe and that’s what matters. On the art front, I started a MOOC course from the University of Newcastle in Australia, natural history illustration. Not being an illustrator doesn’t matter, I’m having fun. Check out my first tries here.

Spring has sprung!

Ah, spring! This is my most favorite time of the year. I love spring with all the color, freshness, new grass, spring rain, and life renewing from winter’s drought. This past fall we planted tulips for the first time in a number of years. Tulips happen to also be our local squirrels most beloved snack so we weren’t sure we would even have any blooms simply from the scattering of bulb parts we found. Pennsylvania has also suffered from a very strange weather pattern and just when the tulips were starting to emerge, we had a snowstorm. Frantically rushing to the hardware store for mulch and then spreading it, we successfully saved at least a few of the blooms.