Friday, June 29, 2012

Painterly Edition Photo Art Friday, June 29th - July 1st

I don't know that this is quite so painterly as some, but I like it and am choosing to just go with it. It's a photo of my sweet Gracie on her 5th birthday, just after a serious haircut, at the Dog Beach in Jupiter, Florida. 

At that point we didn't yet know that we could actually go on the beach a mile from home as long as we stayed North of the signs. 

I've another blog, where each day I tweak one my millions of photographs of Gracie with the intent to have a perpetual calendar when 2012 is no more. It is a great way for me to keep learning and practising and NOT get overwhelmed. Though I only used Picasa to tweak this one, I like the painterly feel of the ocean and how Gracie's delight is written right in her whole BEing's expression.

Always a JOY to participate in Photo Art Friday [this time ON Friday and NOT Sunday night!!] and see what others are DOing, perhaps my most favourite part!!

Photo Art Friday

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

ICAD 2 ~ #23-27

I canNOT adequately express the fun and encouragement that ICAD2 is bringing to ME. These 5 are yet again on my 4.5 by 6.5 "cards" which I guess are meant for scrapbooking but surely fill my purposes.

I am taking a list of 50-some, mayBE just, NOT sure, lines I wrote when I was putting together my Manifesto a few months back for A Year With Myself Now I find they are giving form and direction to ICAD2 for me.


Anyhow, these all got digitally fiddled with as well in Picasa, the first 4 with Infrared effects, and the last with Thermal, so I am finding that I am learning on a variety of levels about a good many things simply by participating.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Photo Art Friday 22-24 June 2012... "Vintage-ish"

I am in a growth spurt, and it's just plain funny to watch myself try to get where I am going ahead of when I will, I hope, reach there!!!

I'm trying [yes, yes, Yoda, there is no try, but!!!] to wrap this birdbrain round layers and finally LEARN to use PSE8 which I got for Christmas in 2009!!

I spent a fair bit of Saturday engaged in the intent to "LEARN me some Photoshop" and when it was "when" time, I treated myself to playing in Pixlr Express which I understand only marginally more but which affords me to do things I simply can't yet manage in PSE8 and are BEyond the scope of Picasa. 

Today I decided to take this photo of my son from 1983 and make it "vintage-ish" or so I think!! I love the photo, it catches something about him that I can't quite put into words, and the spot where it was taken is one that is very special for me.

I wanted to PLAY at Photo Art Friday again as I am loving how these various challenges are getting me to stretch and then share. Thanks, Bonnie, for the necessary nudge to get me moving forward!!!

Photo Art Friday

Friday, June 22, 2012

My ICADs #19-22

 ICAD #19

 ICAD #20

It's NOT easy to put into words how VERY MUCH I am enJOYing participating in ICAD2. It's done something rather extraordinary to my days, my writing practises, and my ideas about making art.

 ICAD #21

 ICAD #22

ICADs #19 to #22 seem to BE magical stepping-off points for me. I'll admit that I love taking a very simple piece then playing about with the framing options on Picasa. I never really knew how that worked on Picnik, or mayBE I just didn't try to understand it. 

Whatever the case, ICAD2 is a patient teacher for the ME who wants to learn HOW-TO use so many of the digital fiddling tools and toys that are Right Here in my wee lappie!!!

Sincerest thanks yet again to Tammy for her brilliance!!!

Monday, June 18, 2012

ICAD #16, 17, & 18

First 4 Lines for My June 2012 Poeming As An ICAD
This ICAD thing is simply AWESOME!! I mean, I sort of thought it would BE, but until yesterday I really didn't fully recognise its brilliance. I might add, Tammy's brilliance.

So true the little thoughty bubbles of her Encouragements... for instance: 
"If you haven't started yet, you can JUST START. Call today DAY ONE. It's a 61-day challenge."
Love that so simple run round the nattering brain that sometimes runs on empty BEtween my ears!! 

Anyhoozle, last week I had a gigunda realisation that I could take my current poeming challenge and weave it into ICAD and trick myself into creating a wee art-and-poeming book. At first I did it with writing on my index cards and then, over the weekend, whilst I was here in the Wee Cottage entertaining the unexpected guest who occasionally drops in for a few days, P.A.I.N., I had an actual lightbulb moment!!!

Here's what THAT was all about:
First I used an actual 3x5 index card, collaged with the first line...

And then, as I thought some more, I decided to use these 4.5 by 6.5 "mats" I have as Index Cards and Voila!!

So then I did the same thing with Line #2...

Anyway, Pain hasn't left yet. Today's my birthday. And I am simply tickled that I have found this most entertaining...

I'll BE back in a few days to share the next few lines and adaptations of my ICADs.

Thanks so much for this inspiration, Tammy!! You've made a HUGE difference!!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Savouring the Silence of Solitude

Life is da bubbles... 
Ó 2012 Currie Silver, Wee Cottage Wonders

Danielle LaPorte has something she calls ANSWER THE BURNING QUESTION and I've only recently learned of it. 
There was a time when I would ask a question at the end of my daily Gratitude. I think a large part of the reason for DOing so was to ensure some meaningful engagement with others. I'd been living solo awhile and my conversations with Gracie are, well, sometimes exhausting, since I am the only one of us who uses words...
However, Now I love my Solitude and its Silence is something I savour. This painting is actually a detail of a larger painting I have been working on. I often think in lyrics when I am painting or fiddling with my art digitally. Perhaps this is due to my almost always having music on here in the Wee Cottage, and yet...
Lately I have been noticing the sweetness that is quiet. I am able to hear my own heart beating and sometimes, for no reason whatsoever, I see Silence sitting BEside me. As a friend would. If a friend could fit inside this tiny cottage, that is!!
I am surprised that I have made friends with this "thing" I used to abhor. That I am more likely to BE marinating in quiet [save for the air conditioner coming on when it chooses to] than lost in music, an audiobook, or some other noise distraction.
It is Silence that awakens both the artist and the writer inside of me. It makes a space for me where I fit "just right." That is BEyond delicious. I have long felt I needed to apologise for taking up the space I DO. For BEing.
Danielle shared 11 wonderful quotes for this Burning Question, all of which speak to me in resonant ways. However, this one, 
In Silence there is eloquence. Stop weaving and see how the pattern improves.~ Rumi 
speaks to me most deeply.
The past 6 years, for me, have been [and still are] all about Letting Go, then Letting Go Some More. It is through my willingness to make space for Letting Go that I have found the friends I have, in Silence as well Solitude...
My "relationship" TO Silence has BEcome one that I have WITH it rather than the one I used to have... fighting against it. Avoiding it. Disrespecting it. Filling it over-full of noisy chatter and distraction.
We're still in pretty much the honeymoon stage, Silence & I, and yet already I can see that I'm over the moon with it. The funny thing is, Now that we've "found" one another, I canNOT imagine what all my avoidance and resistance were about.
How about YOU?! Where does Silence stand with YOU, in Your Life, Now? 
Very grateful I am, for Danielle LaPorte's Burning Question, for Jess Morrow of Invincible Summer who got my attention through writing about it on HER blog, and for this BE Currie blog of MINE where I am coming out to play in all sorts of ways, little by slowly, discovering the breadth and depth of its possibilities.
[I am still learning how-to link and link-back and what have you, so this is why I have those big honkin' links instead of the nice pretty ones I see elsewhere. I'm willing to keep DOing it wrong until I get the knack of DOing it right. Any help with that would BE much appreciated!!!]


Friday, June 15, 2012

Playing With Negative Space

So here's the thing... 

Yesterday I was on a call with Jennifer Hofmann at Inspired Home Office  for my 2nd time through her most amazing ebook, How To Organize Anything and in particular her extraordinary N.I.C.E.R. Process, and I was thinking about how I have been wanting to learn Photoshop Elements at least enough to get in there and play semi-understandingly, and I realised that all I needed to DO is set aside 15 minutes a day and BEgin the learning. 

This 15-minute thing is a nifty trick I learned from Samantha Bennett of The Organized Artist Company who I had also been on a call with earlier in the afternoon. I realised that I have written 15 minutes each and every morning, first thing, since I learned about this from Sam in December of 2010. That is  pretty darned remarkable. Now writing has BEcome, for me, about as natural as brushing my teeth. I don't even break a sweat. [mind you, NOT everything I write is worthy of even a rereading, but I can definitely write practically with my eyes closed].

Anyhow, I share all of the above BEcause this post is for Photo Art Friday, the brainchild of Bonnie at Pixel Dust Photo Art and I've taken pretty much all of THIS afternoon just to put this together. And aside from watching several PSE videos on YouTube, I didn't even USE PSE!! But I got closer to using it with Pixlr, a program I have used BEfore, a wee bit...

The above sea creatures are cut-outs on some of my weirdly made collaging paper. I scanned them in, another no-brainer for me NOW, but NOT so until scanning enough to Now BE able to DO it, too, without needing all my brain cells playing well with each other!! I fiddled with them a bit in Picasa,

inverting the colours and such, but then I wanted to TRY something "more" and so this brings me to:

which I did in Pixlr by just DOing Something [even if I was wrong] thus creating something of a Negative Space rendition which, despite how simple it was to DO, I find rather fun!! In fact, I am NOT entirely sure what I did, but it was definitely easy and I quite like the effect. It looks like, well, God blowing a kiss and all the critters swirling about!!!

I then took it BACK TO Picasa and fiddled some more coming up with this version:

And here's the kicker:
I had fun.
I learned a little.
I am less [way WAY less] intimidated by PSE or Pixlr.
And I really like the negative space concept which makes a new sort of sense to me!!!

So BIG thanks to all who held the water by the side of the road as I bumbled along this afternoon!! Bonnie for Photo Art Friday, Michelle for directions to PSE tutorials on YouTube, Sam for 15 Minutes, Jen for her N.I.C.E.R. Process, and Gracie, who wasn't fazed in the least by my little whirlwind here in the Wee Cottage.

p.s. I'm still learning to link and get all this stuff working properly, so bear with me... I can only learn through DOing it and usually DOing it WRONG!!

Photo Art Friday

ICAD #13-15

I had an idea, after reading Tammy's latest prompts, in particular to BE open to changing my plans, and decided turning the 50 lines I'd been using as 15-minute writing prompts into ICs. 

I'd brought some cards along yesterday to a doctor's appointment [where I arrived an hour early thanks to the promptness of the "short bus"] and I was glad I did BEcause I used the waiting time for trying out my idea.

I'm NOT yet sure that how I started is how I'm going to go, but I liked the way the idea felt. Of course, I managed to still use one of my collaged fish, which has actually been nice as scanning them to share here gave me an idea for using them in different ways, too.

Amazing how ideas light other ones!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

ICAD # 10,11, & 12

Collage is my thing.
What else can I say?!
I had great fun with these 2 fish collages for #10 & #11.
I've spent ALL of today playing with words and pictures [all of them Very Old]
Just BEcause it's Father's Day...

#12, by the way, is 3 pictures collaged with me standing on my dad's knees, my face the same place and time I was standing on his knees, and the bottom of me and my bathing suit wearing my dad's shoes about a year or so earlier than the other 2 photos...

I am sure loving this ICAD experience.
What fun and freedom they bring!!

For Dad, Father's Day 2012

I BElieve in No Expiration dates. I BElieve what my 3rd Grade teacher said about the word Friend being spelled “i” BEFORE e because I never “end a friend.”

Last year I went to spend a weekend with my father. It was Father’s Day, my birthday, and my 40th Reunion. Five years BEfore I had attended my 35th Reunion and it was all the more special BEcause I was seeing my father for the first time in 18 years. That year my birthday and Father’s Day fell on the same day. We had a great 4 days together and for the first time in decades I enJOYed basking in my father’s loving attention.

When he picked me up at the airport, me bleary-eyed after a red-eye flight, we drove to and by all the houses we had ever lived in. It was delicious to share memories with him.

Next, he took me to each of the places where he was spending his days then. He volunteers in so many places and ways, it’s as if “retirement” was merely a place-marker to him. He just keeps on keeping on DOing things that he loves.

Most everything my dad does is related to encouraging kids. He seems to have so much in him to give to kids who need so much. I loved seeing that. I hadn’t seen that, really, until then.

BUT… then I remembered My Dad. The times he’d take me out to places he was checking on for his work. I remember his persistance and commitment to helping me ride my first bicycle. How he helped make it possible for me to start the first EVER bowling league for girls in our town when I was 8. And how he always let me come along for Little League practises, and play some, too, even though girls were NOT part of that World. Yet…

I know that my father is just a man. And that Now he is as much older a man as I am a woman, no longer that little girl he’d encouraged to BElieve in herself and her dreams.

Next week I will turn 59. The day AFTER Father’s Day. I spoke with my dad recently. For almost 3 minutes. He was returning a call I’d made, and though the call was shorter than I’d have liked, it was good just hearing his voice.

Several of my friends’ fathers have died in the past year. I don’t envy them that, but I DO wish that my father would BE MY Dad again. He is far more distant and no longer looks at or listens to me the way he did until I was about 11.

I think that in his way of looking at Life, BEing MY Dad was only a chapter in a book. He doesn’t know how [or mayBE want] to BE my friend. To encourage my grown-up dreams. To make the impossible possible simply by BEing part of my Life, BEing My No-Expiration-Date Dad.

Some of My Thoughts About Parents

1955-ish Me, Mum, and Wardie Boy

1956, Cape Cod, Me, Dad, and Wardie Boy

What is a parent?
A question NOT easy to answer.
How curious that we need a license to drive,
Another license to marry,
And even a license to go fishing…
But there is no license at all required to BE a parent.
As parents, we’re often relieved at this.
Goodness knows we’re all just punting 99.9% of the time.
What we know is what we got.
We might rise high above that sometimes,
And sink way BElow it, too.
Yet no matter how we try,
How firm our convictions,
Most everyone parents the way they were parented.
When we celebrate parents,
On Mother’s and Father’s Day,
Many of us have to make an extraordinary effort,
Leaping tall buildings in way too many bounds…
How to move past the efforting to REALLY celebrating?!
It’s a mystery, that’s for certain.
Does a card, a gift, a breakfast in bed REALLY celebrate a parent?
Is it “all good” if we get our calls and make our calls,
Those of us old enough to have our own kids
AND still have our parents as well?!
These are questions NOT easily asked OR answered.
These are the things that shouldn’t BE considered only during
The 2 months each year BEfore they happen.
There is so much about BEing a parent that could NEVER
BE fully examined in a licensing process,
Perhaps explaining why no license is required.
Still, I am someone who thinks these thoughts and worse still
Writes them out for all to see…

Monday, June 11, 2012

ICAD # 7, 8, & 9 Collaging Like Crazy

ICAD #7 is a collage from bits that were leftover after cutting more stuff for a series of paintings I'm working on. It was fun to scan it in and fiddle with it a bit. Curious how the inverted colour thing works... Now I know.

ICAD #8 is another quasi-experimental adventure. I was painting some of the paper fish I'd made for a larger painting and had some "excess" so I painted my IC after adding the scrap fodder from other cut papers. It is an interesting and fun challenge to make a wee collage using leftovers. Then the writing was just some things I wanted to remind myself to remember [essential things I seem often to forget]. And I wanted to practise/play more with Picasa's mats and frames so this was a good way to DO that!!

My ICAD #9 is one of my crazyfish collages. I pretty much paint with paper and for the series I've been at for awhile Now, I am "under the sea" so I am making collage within collage a LOT. I find these really cool fish and then I create other fish and collage the lot, sometimes ending up with some weird and wily critters!!! Such is the case here... No fiddling at all with this one... Crazy Enough already!!

More To Come & FUN BEing Had!!!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

ICAD Continued... Cards # 4-6

The past few days have been a bit harder on my Spirit than I prefer. No particular reason, and NOT that any reason is necessary... I'm just saying.

The purpose of sharing the above is that it has been ICAD which has helped me keep putting one foot in front of the other, despite things weighing on my Spirit. 

Here's what I have learned from the 3 I'm sharing today [which were made of collage bits from the series of paintings I'm in the midst of]:

1. Just keeping at it is enough.
2. Letting the muse BE in charge is sensible.
3. The forming of practises and habits is easier than I'd have guessed.

Again, I played In Real Life and then scanned these 3 in and played with them in Picasa. [which, by the way, is far cooler Now than in times past... I am learning simply by USING it on these.]

I've appreciated others' comments, by the way, and this new opportunity to Play Well With Others.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Fractured Faces for ICAD 1-3

I'm having a lot of fun of late exploring various Challenges and opportunities to make art to share along with others making art to share. It is inspiring and encouraging.

This week's exploration, ICAD, which stands for Index Card A Day, is BEing encouragingly hosted by Tammy at Daisy Yellow . This simple and fun challenge is simply to decorate an Index Card A Day for 2 months, June all through July, which I learned about from Terrie at Creative Explorer and then again from Michelle at Brain Angles. 

For my first 3 above, I played a bit with ink, stamps, and coloured pencils. After that I scanned them and played a bit in Picasa & the Picnik that is left in Picasa. 

A HUGE part of participating is learning things I have wondered about, like linking to others' sites. I am hoping I did it correctly [which I am sure of for Tammy's and Terrie's since I lifted them right out of Terrie's and Michelle's posts] with Michelle's site.

I also owe another Big THANK-YOU to Bonnie at Pixel Dust Photo Art  who sent me detailed step-by-step instructions for Photo Art Friday a few weeks back. I am NOW going to follow HER trusty instructions to add Tammy's badge to link my post. 

Okay, here goes!!!

Linking this thanks to Tammy & to Terrie for their BEhind-the-scenes help and encouragement!!! Loving to learn so much in the midst of having fun!!!