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.
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.
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.
Wow, is it already November? Where in the world has the time gone? It seems like yesterday since I last posted but it’s been months. Hopefully, Blogging 101 will inspire all of us to be more intentional in our posting. Awhile ago I posted this on my About page and so for this first day of Blogging 101, let’s take a look and see if it still holds true.
“All art is but imitation of nature.” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca [Still love this quote!]
Why are you here? What drew you to explore this blog? What inspires you? [Really, I want to know!]
As you probably know, this is primarily a creative blog but I thought I’d let you in on why I started it in the first place. For those that know me, they know I work in IT. What you might not know is that I never intended to end up in technology, it just happened, probably because I love playing with tech toys. [There’s always something new and exciting to play with and explore]
My background is actually in art and after spending 20 plus years doing tech work from database programming to telecommunication installs to system administration and now web and social media, [and Q & A testing as well as inventory management] I was beginning to realize I had lost a little of my creativity. That said, all the new tech toys are key to my own creative outlets and I wouldn’t trade my career path for the world (nor would I trade the cool tech tools I have access to either [especially in one of my current jobs, it’s awesome!]).
We all are creators at some level. In fact, I believe we walk hand in hand with our own creator (in my case, God) and that we have a responsibility to make this world of ours a better place; a more beautiful place. Creative activities aren’t always pretty, they aren’t always safe, and they sometimes turn out rather badly and pretty ugly too. That is part of the process. Although charged with making our world more beautiful, we have to learn along the way what that means and that it means we are forgiven for our failures. We learn what we can and can’t do; we learn to reshape the ugly, the first drafts, the unsatisfactory efforts [and sometimes, we have to start over or go in an altogether different direction].
In the long run, the process is as important as the finished work and we won’t reach that final work until the end when we meet our own creator who has shaped us all along.
Thanks for joining me on the journey and if you found something here that inspired you or just made you think, leave me a comment and let me know. I’m learning daily and hope to learn from you along the way too.
Well, it’s still sound and still holds true. However, you will likely notice a shift in the content or an enhancement, whichever strikes your fancy. Yes, there will be photography and probably some more artwork as well, but also more editorial commentary on interesting articles and ideas (well, interesting to me, and hopefully to you, too). Thanks for being on this journey and hope to hear from you soon.
As an owner of an off-track thoroughbred (OTTB), I subscribe to any number of horse email lists and blogs. While most of these offer tips on horse care, training, and farm management, occasionally there is a post that is horse related but not typical. Horse Collaborative had one such post listed under their “western” category although it had nothing to do with western riding.
The post featured the work of John Lopez who is an amazing artist. While John does bronze casting, he is also known for his welded works made from scrap metal. The article reported that he started his artistic journey creating a fence and gate for a family cemetery out of scrap metal when he ran out of supplies. He liked the result so much he started incorporating the welded pieces into his other work and now creates hybrid metal art. If you like western themed art and sculpture, you will definitely want to explore his website, John Lopez Studio. I’ve included a link to the video on YouTube of how he made one of his pieces and hope you enjoy his work as much as I do.
What led you here? Is what I post important to you?
No, I really do want to know.
Were you just curious? Did you stumble here or were you led?
As you probably know, this is primarily a photography and art blog but I thought I’d let you in on why I created it in the first place. For those that know me, they know I work in the non-profit religious sector as a Director of Communication and IT. What you might not know is that I never intended to end up in technology, it just sort of happened. My background is actually in art and after spending 20 plus years doing tech work from database programming to telecommunication installs to system administration and now web and social media, I was beginning to feel as if I lost my creativity and a little of my soul.
I think we all are creators at some level. In fact, I believe we walk hand in hand with our own Creator (in my case, a Christian God) and have a responsibility to make this world of ours a better place; a more beautiful place. Creative activities aren’t always pretty, they aren’t always safe, and they sometimes turn out rather badly and pretty ugly too. That is part of the process. I said we are charged with making our world more beautiful but that also means we have to learn along the way what that means and it also means we are forgiven for our failures. We learn what we can and can’t do along the way; we learn to reshape the ugly, the first drafts, the unsatisfactory efforts.
In the long run the process is as important as the final work and we won’t reach our own final work until the very end when we meet our own creator who has been shaping us all along.