I have to say that this new style is pretty addictive. I get to use much more of my imagination when using brushes, and there are so many to choose from. The leaves are actually a leaf or palm style brush, painted in white so that they merge into the background.
After I painted the woman, I moved her to my iPhone for a little more paint effect and some much brighter colors. Then I combined the original and the jazzy version, and added some transparency to see more detail in her face – which then created the ‘double vision’ look around her upper body, which kind of reminds me of movement.
One of the reasons the dancers and flowing skirts are so fun is because – even if ever so briefly – I get to live (and dance) vicariously through these ladies.
Anyway, I’m happy that I was finally able to complete the Ronovan Writes Haiku Challenge: Kind & Vivid which kind of conveys my thoughts about this ‘living vicariously through my images’ idea. Like the haiku says… it’s kind of magical.
That’s about all for now. Thanks for reading, or viewing… I hope you enjoyed!
I thought that I’d take a break from my fictional story this afternoon, and write about something that has been on my mind lately (non-fiction).
As many (or most) of you already know, I started this blog back in 2016 for the purpose of sharing the story of my journey into recovery, and my newfound belief in God.
Halfway into that same year, I was inspired by the work of several photographers on WordPress, and I started another new journey – I began to dabble in photography. In doing so, I began learning Photoshop, and I found that I enjoyed manipulating photographs – possibly even more than I did taking them.
My story of recovery continued, as did my many photo-manipulations, and the blog stayed pretty much the same for several years.
During that time, I started college as an adult – a very mature (old) adult – with a major in graphic design. While it turned out that this area of study was not really what I had anticipated, I rediscovered my interest in psychology, and I went that route instead.
I’ve written about all of this, and I don’t want to be redundant – as redundancy is a bit of the subject matter of this post – but that’s the story in case anyone hasn’t heard it before. (yawn)
Onto now. More recently, I took what I had learned (and am still learning), in illustration and a visual communication course, and began to dabble in THAT – which almost brings us up to speed.
During my community college years (hanging out with the young people), I also took a creative writing class. I’m not an avid reader, mind you, and I never really thought about writing much until I started sharing my story of recovery.
The main reason I wanted to try this class was to see if I could turn my real life story into fiction somehow, using symbolic archetypes, so that I wasn’t always saying the word “I.”
Trust me, it gets old. I chuckle when I read those “How to Increase Traffic on Your Blog” posts that say “never talk about yourself.” That’s pretty hard when your blog is about your own personal journey!
What I also discovered is that once you tell your story, you either have to move on, or keep repeating things… and that is where the feelings of redundancy came in. It felt as though I was trying to find new ways to say the same thing. Not to mention the fact that you begin to feel “stuck in the past,” when the past is all you refer to.
Anyway, the most recent shift that’s taken place is the addition of fictional writings – and these are all written through trial and error… so no judging! Honestly, I’d love to call my blog “Learning to Write,” as that is kind of what I’m using the blog for these days, but if history repeats itself – this could change at any minute.
So, now I’m getting to my recent thoughts. I began to think that maybe it’s not exactly kosher to constantly change the purpose or the content of the blog. I mean, is that like a bait and switch tactic? I don’t know. But that has never been my intention.
Furthermore, since “the days of the virus,” I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out what could help me – and possibly others – overcome the weirdness of this new life, and the strange emotions that surface.
I think I hit the nail on the head the other day when I labeled mine “melancholy,” because that’s kind of what it feels like. Then again, it could just be because I turned 60 in all this madness – and it’s simply a developmental phase I’m going through. Who knows?
Anyway, as I pondered (overthought) all of this, I asked myself why I was enjoying writing fiction so much lately, and there was one simple answer.
It felt like a slight AHA moment, but maybe I “imagined” that. Ha! Seriously though, what if the remedy that I’ve been looking for, the miracle cure that could help me – and possibly others – overcome the weirdness of this new life, and the strange emotions that surface, is “the use of imagination.”
Whether it be story or essay writing, poetry, art, illustration, photography, or… whatever, when we find that “something” that helps us open and nurture our imagination, we gain even more in the process.
I don’t know about you, but when I imagine a place that I’ve never been to, or a cast of characters that couldn’t possibly exist, I begin to feel something old and familiar creeping in, that thing that seemed to be missing – that I couldn’t quite put my finger on before… my sense of purpose.
That’s about all for now, and thank you for reading if you made it to here!
I figured I’d get my “thought sharing” out of the way so that I don’t bog down my next story excerpt with too much personal talk at the end. Although I still might… you just never know.
Anyway, I used a manipulated photograph that I shared back in 2018 for my featured image. I’m pretty sure it’s a variation of lights that I shot from a moving car. It seemed to represent “silver linings” pretty well.
And I think I may have found something that I was looking for in all of my (over)thinking recently… so it’s a silver lining indeed.
There were times in the past when I feared that my optimism looked too much like “fantasy” to some. Now, with the great divides that have literally split our world apart, I fear that my optimism is much more real than the reality of some.
With each day, I am more and more amazed at how bizarre things have gotten. To make it even weirder, many of the people from these opposing worlds, who argue online day in and day out, are not even real people, they are bots.
Excuse me… but where am I and how did I get here? And how do I get home?
I feel like I am diagonally parked in a parallel universe.
BUT, that’s not what I want to talk about. First, I wanted to share my newest illustration—a mix between stained glass and something else. I had been working on a rather large poster, and decided it was getting too crowded and chaotic, so I split it into pieces. This particular image is about a third of it.
I actually came up with the title Alternate Universe because the background reminds me of planets that are windows to the outside world. The woman is from a stained glass I saw online, and the instruments are a compilation of various jazz art pieces I found. I’m thinking of trying out a little cubism mix, but that’s another story for another day.
What I also wanted to say here is that working on the illustration made me think about dreaming. I mentioned in an earlier post that a cool thing about my age is that “I’ve begun to find dreaming and imagining almost as exciting as real adventures. Sometimes it’s just a state of mind we’re searching for, and we can attain it anywhere.”
After I published that, I thought about my statement and realized that it shouldn’t be an “age thing.” And I didn’t mean that dreaming can take the place of real authentic life. That would be almost as weird as a bunch of bots fighting over which side is right. Ha!
What I meant was that so much of what we crave or yearn for is a feeling, or a state of mind, but we misconstrue it. For example… we desire a vacation because we’re tired of working too much and we want to “feel” refreshed. I’ve felt that way before. I’ve also gotten to my destination only to experience new frustrations because the “refreshed feeling” that I craved was lost somewhere under the stress of unexpected expenses for the trip.
Being happy, and content, and at peace with the world is not something that’s for sale. It can’t be bought. It’s inside of you.
I think I took the long way to say it, but the point I was getting at is that I believe that dreaming, or imagining, is a gift—another one for my series Miracles Every Day.
When you allow yourself to dream, it’s like being a kid again. You forget everything you’ve ever heard from those no-can-do people in your life. You tap into that happiness and contentment that’s inside of you, because you take doubt, fear, restrictions, and limitations off of the table.
You open your heart and your mind, and you remember what you knew all along…. that anything is possible.
And that, I believe, is a miracle.
Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed my image and my words.