Art & Life

Good little read about Art & Life, from Ink, Yarn & Beer

xo skyblue

art and life

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Selfie| Don’t Hate my Duck Face

Selfie:A strange phenomenon in which the photographer is also the subject of the photograph, in a subversive twist on the traditional understanding of the photograph. Usually conducted because the subject cannot locate a suitable photographer to take the photo, like a friend. ~Source: The Urban Dictionary

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I started this post last year and just never quite completed it.  Seeing this week’s photo challenge reminded of it, so I thought I’d finish it up.

I don’t personally take many #selfies.  The photos you see here are a few that I have.  The truth is, I just really like #selfies.  And for some reason, I can’t stop studying them.  I see them from an aesthetic, expressionist, perspective… as an inevitable product of the digital, media-centric age.  i don’t take them too seriously, yet i am visually fascinated by them.  I am intrigued by the phenomenon and its creative evolution. #selfies are a form of self-portraiture… an artistic genre that has been popular since roughly the mid 1500’s.

selfie shadow in the grass

selfie shadow in the grass

While I would lean toward views of an underlying, or outright narcissism in regards to the #selfie, this quality can be healthy and beneficial, when practiced in reasonable and relatively limited doses.  I have always been curious what it must feel like to have the confidence to look in the mirror, or at a photo of myself, and actually like what i see – physically… like it enough to blast it all over Facebook and Instagram.  That type of confidence is foreign to me.  I really have no idea what that feels like, since it has quite literally never happened.  Friends and family, and even kind strangers would tell me it’s purely a lack of self-esteem.  And in response, i would say… “yes it is about 50% that, and about 75%… “i do not have the looks or the body to even think about putting myself out there without being pummeled with insults”.

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But a #selfie taker, at that moment they are snapping and posting their photo,  must be experiencing some level of that confident feeling.  I imagine one’s personal thoughts at that moment might range anywhere from:

a.”look at me, I’m not creepy, I have good hygene, hire me” to…

b. “look at me having fun, drinking heavily, looking tan!” to…

c. “don’t act like you don’t want some of this…!” to…

d. “duck face.”

DuckFacePeaceOut

I initially found myself unwillingly surrounded by #selfies as I patrolled Instagram for art, and photography (The social media site that has had my undivided attention since the introduction of high speed internet and mobile devices).   But more recently, i am drawn to them as a form of creative expression.  As inspiration for outfits and gestures for the naive-portraits i draw.  I also ask myself honestly, if it was possible for me to like what i see in the mirror, would i engage in the same activity?… If I answered honestly, I would say, Probably.  Why not? In fact, I have (extremely hesitantly) engaged in at least level a., if not occasionally in level b.  And most of us who have any type of online presence probably have at some point. I know and love many people who practice full on level c and d. #selfies. And I am not ashamed to “like” them. My photos and art, whether specifically self-portraits or not, are just as much “about me”, as any #selfie photo i see on Instagram.  It just took me longer to make it and it’s slightly more anonymous.

FashionDiva

My purpose in writing this post, is not to express any judgement of the #selfie or what anyone shares online. It’s simply to light-heartedly notice those that succeed in catching your eye… regardless of the perfect six-pack and the number of hottie-hearts it generated.  What is the photo really capturing?  What comes through?  What are they hiding? I have always been fascinated and inspired by portraits, and self-portraits… of all styles, genre’s and mediums.  I have also always loved beauty and fashion… but don’t expect to see me wearing the latest designs and hairdo’s.  I did enjoy some of that in my more youthful years, but these days fashion is a painful afterthought.  As a hopeless introvert, I am very comfortable as the wall flower, the people watcher, the voyer to fictional personas.  I am happy to be a humble observer in this #selfie mania… to imagine what the person could be thinking, and who someone is behind the mask of that image.  I find #selfies to be among the many (while quick and easy) forms of self-portraiture and creative expression… an expression of sometimes deep and inward, sometimes practical, and often times shallow and self-centered motives… but regardless it is capturing a moment of a person’s existence.  It’s important to that person for whatever reason, and that’s fascinating.  And, it is out there in front of the entire world… forever.  Powerful.

I began sketching a lot of naive portraits and #selfies without thinking about it much.   I do my best with the little formal education I have to capture facial expressions and gestures, while embracing my lack of skill and artistic knowledge and just have fun with it.  It wasn’t until I saw some of my sketches laid out and in print, that I thought about why I chose them as a subject and decided to write about it.

Share your #selfie thoughts and photos!  Get crazy creative, and as dolled up as you like!  Nothing wrong with feeling pretty… and flaunt it whether you’ve “got it” or not!!

Join in the challenge here!  http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/07/weekly-photo-challenge-selfie/#more-68713

xo, skyblue

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~selfies by me.  Sketches by me. 🙂

Weekly Writing Challenge: Lunch Posts: When life was black and white.

The company I work for was founded in 1934.  This week’s Writing Challenge reminded me… there are a bunch of old manufacturing photos in my office that I have never really stopped to look at, even though old black and white photos usually stop me in my tracks.  I mean, i know they are there.  I walk past them several times a day.  I know I looked at them when I toured the building on my 3rd or 4th nerve-wracking interview a few years ago.  But I probably haven’t stopped to look at one since.  Who’s got time for that, seriously?  It’s work. Your working.  And 60 minutes is barely enough time to change my clothes, get in a workout, shower, get dressed, call back the debt collectors, pee and choke down a cheese stick… so stopping to look at photography isn’t exactly on my mind at lunch-time, or any other time I might walk by. But I saw the challenge and decided today I would stop.  I would find a couple of moments during lunch to stop and notice one or two of the cool old photos, that I know are there.    I stopped, in my tracks, and thought to myself, life must have been so much simpler then.  Before computers, and smart phones, and Facebook.  Much harder, I’m sure… but simpler.  I can’t believe this all looked like that! b&w manufacturing1 I enjoyed these few moments, losing myself in the black and white images.  Thinking about the people that may or may not still be with us… that made all this around me happen.  Pretty awesome when you see what goes on here now. And when I was done, I even had a minute to spare…  in which I thoroughly enjoyed my cheese stick. … I typically would have taken some photos, of the photos… but I wasn’t really sure if I was supposed to and I chickened out.  I couldn’t post without photos thought… they looked something like the ones in this post which are all part of the Laurie Richards Collection at Museum Victoria, in Victoria, Australia... which were really interesting to look at too! b&w manufacturing2 b&w manufacturing3Anything like that where you work? Find out more about the WordPress challenges here at thedailypost.wordpress.com. Have a nice weekend! xo skyblue

T’s Birthday Wish

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Hold a treasure close to your heart.

Close your eyes.

Then…

Make a wish..

Say a prayer.

Sing a song.

Twirl around.

Tell someone Thank You.

Tell someone I Love You.

Tell yourself I Love Me.

Believe in Peace on Earth.

Know that you are loved.

Then…

Go out into the world and follow all your dreams!

Happy Birthday Sweet T

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xo skyblue

Blogapology…

cobweb with spidey

Hello Bloggeritos and Bloggeritas!  My blog literally has cobwebs all over it.  And i think i can hear crickets.  So for that, i apologize.  I know you are supposed to keep these things going… otherwise people are like, “wow, she just vanished!”… or worse, they don’t even realize you are gone.  (I have been loving reading all your posts though!)

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…Meanwhile, my Instagram and Facebook accounts are on fire, and i have been making lots of art.  I have recently been accused of having a “problem” with Istagram.  It’s like 30 years of a unrequited love for photography, and failed attempts to learn how to operate a camera… all spewing out on Instagram, because I can actually say what I meant to say with the images I am able to create with smart phone apps.  I am not ashamed of my skillz with Instagram Filters. (-:  Besides, it gives me time to focus on other things too.

Land of Misfits - Instagram Earlybird Filter

Land of Misfits – Instagram Earlybird Filter

In the past several months, I felt that needed to super-focus my energy on creating, drawing, painting, etc. Oh, and don’t think i have gotten very far.  Baby steps made in stolen moments… a few paintings almost finished, some tattered sketchbooks.  Some of which, I post pictures of here and there, some that will get banished  to the basement probably. Much of my journey expressed in glimpses on Instagram.

Being home on vacation this week, with time to really stew in my creative juices, I realized how much I really miss writing.  It really is not separate from my art.  It’s all, entirely, intertwined.  I have probably said that before, but i need reminders once in a while.

Well I think i will ease myself back into it with a reblog of this link, celebrating Instagram Artist, Jeremy Veach and his sweet dog Norm.

Photographer Scores a Viral Hit with His Instagram ‘Pug Shots’ of His Dog Norm.

xo, skyblue

Confessions of a techically challenged, sometimes flaky, blogaholic.

Well… another lesson learned… somehow, in trying to tinker with my recent post, I deleted it.  entirely.  I didn’t even know you could do that.  Somehow i wiped out all evidence that it ever existed.  Or so I thought.  I figured out how to restore it under the “revisions” section, at least for the most part.  Thank goodness, because i was ugly for those 15 minutes I spent thinking it was lost forever.  In doing some more research, I also learned that my post didn’t post correctly because…I am ashamed to say… i have committed the ultimate sin of having too many tags on my post.  I am definitely not trying to clutter up WordPress… i am just indecisive, terrible at counting, and the post had a lot of “stuff” in it- but point understood, i get it now.  not a lot of tags.  15 Max!  Less is more!  i am learning on the fly (holla if you feel me), and this particular rule of etiquette is new for me. Oops, sorry friends. missed that one. This is not my first faux pas, and i am sure it will not my last!

Seriously, this whole blogging thing has my head spinning… and the formats keep changing (for the better typically) so I am doing my best to keep up.  But I love love love it – reading them, writing them, reading about them, fumbling around them, communicating with other readers and writers…. i feel at home here in the infinite blogosphere, even though i’m not nearly as cool as most of you.  even though i still have so much to figure out.  Anything is possible here.  I love blogs everywhere, but WordPress has won my heart.

Every day, I log in and wonder consumes me.  Right from my studio I meet the kindest, most courageous people.  I visit the most amazing places.  I learn the most interesting things.  I see sickest art!  I am hoping readers out there, and the blog police (i know you’re out there), will forgive me as i stumble through, make mistakes, and hopefully become a better writer, artist and blogger.

Just a heads up, I intend to experiment with my last post… posting it again in a few minutes with fewer tags to see if I’m able to get it to “go”.  Probably another rule I am breaking.  But here goes…

skyblue, xo

Testing… is this thing on?

this is just a test post.  i don’t have the patience to post anything of substance at the moment.  i’ve been working on some posts, and i just can’t take it anymore!  the cursor in my wordpress is possessed all of a sudden.  does this happen to anyone else?  paragraphs are being erased,  the cursor skips all over and suddenly i’m typing in the middle of a sentence i wrote 5 minutes ago.  the cursor doesn’t keep up with my typing, everything suddenly scrolls into a crooked mess… it’s like someone else is typing in my post remotely.  a phantom… one who is terrible at typing!!

it feels like i’m typing in gooey molasses.

so no pictures tonight.  no cats.  no poems.  no art.  no words of wisdom (i can say that now, i’m over forty).  nothing witty…

not until i figure out who dumped the molasses in my wordpress!!

… oh, ok!  i’ll insert one photo!  i can’t resist.

xo e.j.l.

p.s. there is at least a 50% chance that this molasses problem is user error, and i have accidentally done something to cause this.  I could use some help here people!!  Any ideas?  (-:

my husband keeps telling me, “just reboot!!”  ok.  i will try that.  see you next time.

There will be art… (maybe)

The more I blog, the more I get away from the reasons I thought i wanted to publish a blog.  My first attempt, Dancing Rapunzel, was pretty much started because I had some time to kill when chemo was kicking my ass.   I thought I should take advantage of my down time & learn something productive.  Blogging was a perfect way for me to keep busy and think creatively… from the couch.  I started writing with all intentions that it would motivate me to finish my art projects and that it would help me gain some confidence putting my art “out there”.  I posted just a few leather pieces and unfinished paintings here and there.  I soon discovered the unexpected extent of therapeutic value.  Overall, I continued hoping it would help me grow artistically, creatively, emotionally… regardless, I was supposed to be posting some art! 
After DR got hijacked, i had all but hung up my blogging hat (yes i actually have one), and suddenly I had a spark of energy to start over again with Sky Blue.  I thought that blogging again would help me put my creations out there in an anonymous world without too much discomfort.  As I continue my blog-therapy, I have been reminded how much I also love to write and take photos.  Since I can give you every excuse in the book why you haven’t seen much of my “art”, there will probably be a lot more words and amateur photography…at least for now.
I am working on my goal setting, and 7 Habits, blah blah blah for 2012, so my plan is to post some art this year!  I did a little painting this weekend, and that made me happy happy happy!  It’s hard to pick a painting to work on when i have so many in progress, and so few hours of daylight.  But I am trying to just focus on one at a time.  I’m working on a series of 3 paintings for my big blank brown living room wall – I wanted to do something insanely colorful and bold.  They were inspired by a blog post I saw about the Neon Bone-yard which I am completely obsessed with… I am dying to see that place if I ever get to Vegas so I can take my own photos, but for now I must paint from other people’s photos.
I hope I can share some paintings and sketches – finished or unfinished – in the near future. Until then, here are some more (sorry) cat photos.  My subject here is Olive on a sunny morning…

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e.j.l. xo
 

Supakitch & Koralie on littlecommas.wordpress.com

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Mine was fantastic, thanks!

Since I’m having trouble uploading pics this week, I will just share a post found on this great blog littlecommas@wordpress in case you missed it on Freshly Pressed.  (Besides, I wanted to try the Press This function.  What great fun!)  I love all the content on this site and I am now a follower… but this post I found to be particularly inspiring.  One more thing for me to be grateful for…getting to see this video.  This is a lovely dance if I’ve ever seen one. Thank you, thank you!!

Enjoy!

e.j.l. xo

Supakitch & Koralie.

p.s. Congrats littlecommas getting Freshly Pressed!