On Solid Ground

Be sure and put your feet in the right place…

…and then stand firm.

Abraham Lincoln

That’s a great quote for me today. I’m beginning to realize that sometimes “self-learning” doesn’t really teach me anything. Well, it does but it doesn’t.

It’s like that joke about men never wanting to ask for directions. I’ll spend hours on the computer—testing out tools— and never take a second to open up any form of instructional material. Obviously that joke applies to women as well. Ha!

What I’m really learning is that sometimes you learn a lot more when you look to others for guidance. That being said, I’m hoping to spend the next (school free) month looking at other blogs—and tutorials and such.

The man in this photograph is the same paddle boarder that was seen in Walking on Water —but on a different day. He was back on solid ground, and looking a little tired. That paddling must be exhausting! I gave the image a silhouette appearance because of the way he’s looking down. He seems humble.

That’s about all for now. Peace & love to you all. Life is good and God is great!

Cryptic Clouds

This world is but a canvas to our imagination. Henry David Thoreau

I’m hoping to write something exciting here on the blog soon. I’ve been doing a lot in my English class, and I’ve gotten so many new ideas, but lately I feel fortunate just to have enough ‘leisure time’ to work on a creative image at night. Eventually I’ll get there!

I have several cloud photographs that I took about a year ago—and I’ve never known exactly what to do with them—so I decided to add a little interest to this one. I can’t be sure, but I’m thinking I might just do a little “cryptic cloud series.”

Have a beautiful weekend everyone … Peace and Love!!

A Song in my Soul

What I have in my heart and soul — must find a way out. That’s the reason for music. Ludwig van Beethoven

Today has been such a good day! It felt like there was a little celebration going on inside of my soul, and I wanted to burst out in song! Believe it or not, I actually wrote that before I found the Beethoven quote. How perfect is that?!

I mentioned before that I was done apologizing or explaining what went wrong with my images, but I have to be honest and say that this design wasn’t exactly what I envisioned. I love the rust tones though, so I decided that it was time to call it finished. It’s funny, sometimes when people ask me what my favorite color is, I wonder if they think it’s strange when I tell them rust, or brown. I just love those earthy shades!

I used some clouds and an old moon shot to start it out because today I was able to withdraw from my Biology class (which was killing me!), and I found the perfect replacement course that starts in two weeks; Astronomy.

Instead of peering through a microscope at bacteria, I’ll be gazing up at the moon and stars! My soul has been singing all day!

Life is beautiful… and God is so, so good!

The earth has music for those who will listen. Reginald Vincent Holmes

Happy Anniversary!

Mere color, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways. Oscar Wilde

Would you believe that today marks exactly two years for me here on the blog? Another week and I’ll also reach two years and seven months sober. Praise God for that! Time flies when you’re busy making plans, that’s for sure.

Speaking of making plans, I had an epiphany recently. One of the students in my English class mentioned something about changing how society views a certain subject. I can’t remember what it was she was referring to, but that’s not really the point anyway—it’s what happened after. Grinning, our professor reminded the class that they were young, and that they had their whole lives ahead of them to change the world.

At first, I felt a little sad. There I sat, surrounded by teens and young adults—the oldest probably 26 years old—and I was… well… somewhere in my fifties. Somehow his words just struck me. It’s not often that I get discouraged, but the realization that I’m getting a really late start on a few things kicks in every now and then, and this was definitely one of those times.

A few days later, as the professor’s words drifted in and out of my head, I felt a little envious of those fortunate souls who “have their whole lives ahead of them.” That’s when I had the epiphany—or maybe it was that small, still voice that speaks to my heart—and I realized that no matter which way you look at it…

…I have my whole life ahead of me too!

We all do!
—Stay encouraged—

It’s never too late to be what you might have been.

Goodbye Summer!

And all at once, summer collapsed into fall. Oscar Wilde

This may be a little premature—there are still leaves on the trees—but this year I’m so happy to see summer go that I really don’t care. Yahoo! It’s been a very, very hot summer. With no A/C in our house, and one that’s been out of commission in my car, some days I wonder if I’m going to melt away before I make it to school.

I LOVED summers when I was younger. I’m not sure what happened, but I can only assume that it must be an age thing.

Anyway, I was experimenting with another tree shot today and (although this isn’t what I had in mind) I thought it looked a little Halloween-ish—so it seemed like the perfect way to say goodbye summer, hello fall!

Have a beautiful week everyone—
Peace and Love!

When Evening Comes

Evenings are the beautifully sweet spot between the harsh light of the day and the dead darkness of night.

I thought I was back in action over a month ago, yet time has whizzed by and here I am- still working on homework on a nightly basis. The good news is that the fall semester is over in two more weeks!

In all honesty, the digital photography class is- thus far- a bit of a struggle for me. Something happens when I move from shooting randomly at whatever catches my eye, to going out and doing intentional shots for the class assignments! Nevertheless, I have learned a few things and I’ll never give up.

The featured image is an evening shot- no flash- that we had to do for one of our modules. I thought the Christmas lights were perfect for the fast approaching holiday. It was the first time ever that I used a tripod and I think me and the old tripod are going to become pretty good friends in the future. 🙂

Anyway, I just wanted to check in, say hello, and see how everyone is doing. It’s actually morning here so I’m going to spend a little time checking up on you all out there.

Have a beautiful day, evening or afternoon- Life is good and God is great!

Art In the Dark

So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing. – T.S. Eliot

In contrast to the black and white image of Cadillac Ranch that I did awhile back, I wanted to do something with color, but something unique. It reminds me of the moon for some reason. Cars on the moon… wouldn’t that be weird!

I’ve been thinking that it’s been a long time since I wrote, or blogged about anything meaningful here, but I thought I would say that it’s really just a matter of my mind being at rest these days. And believe it or not, I’ve been reading a lot about the brain lately.

I read the most entertaining book on psychology recently… Opening Skinner’s Box: Great Psychological Experiments of the Twentieth Century, by Lauren SlaterWhat an excellent read! If you find psychology interesting… I would highly recommend it. I’ll get into more about all of that later. It’s after midnight now, and I am calling it a night.

Peace and Love!

Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. – Carl Jung

Through A Crack

Art is anything you can get away with. – Marshall McLuhan

I wasn’t planning to post anything tonight. I was about to turn off my computer when I saw this photograph from my previous adventure at the old zoo. I altered (slightly) the look of the cave exterior, and that really IS my friend inside. She was posing for me.

I never really liked how the photo came out, but I have to say that this new effect adds interest!

Peace and Love!!

Shady Dreams

A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams. -John Barrymore

I found this quote not long after I wrote my bit about TIME. It sure makes sense! It doesn’t exactly fit with the featured image here, but considering I’m still dreaming of cooler places, the dream theme kind of works for now.

I’ve posted images of this location before. I finally googled it tonight and found out it’s Deerwood Arboretum and Nature Area in Brentwood, Tennessee. From the 2011 road trip. Boy, it’s time for another trip so I can get a new stockpile of images!

Anyway, I did a light paint effect, and added a lens flare just for the heck of it. The way the sun was shining on the water made me think of that little addition. I thought this place was lovely. I think this image kind of looks like a jungle!

I’ve worked on several photographs for my new series, but so far I haven’t like any of the results…

But, I’m working on it.

I hope you are all doing well! Blessings, Peace and Love!! ♥♥♥

A Ton of Bricks

Devote yourself to an idea. Go make it happen. Struggle on it. Overcome your fears. Don’t you forget: this is your dream.

Read, read, read… I’ve been doing that a lot to learn new techniques in Photoshop.

And I’m back to my sketchy images. The featured image is Bricktown, Oklahoma City. I took this during the road trip with my son. I absolutely LOVE brick, so I must say that I really enjoyed this place!

Anyway, I thought this was a great photograph for a sketch. I really like the baby blues, and slightly turquoise tones that seem to pop out at you. I also thought it was a good day to share some positive thoughts. I enjoy anything that drowns out doubt, and reinforces positive thinking.

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.

“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” -Winston Churchill

In a Haze

Sois belle à ta façon

“Be beautiful in your own way.”

I thought this french quote was a beautiful pick for today’s image. I believe I’ve shared the photograph before, but I did something different with it today. I’m usually determined to darken contrasts or shadows, and to increase saturation and vibrancy in my photographs of nature.

I learned how to increase haze in Photoshop this afternoon and I am really liking it on this lake!

It is beautiful in it’s own way. I like that.

I finished my homework this afternoon and tonight is my recovery class, so it’s business as usual today. BUT, I’m looking forward to a fun fourth of July celebration tomorrow, with some of my friends from church and recovery.

Stealing the Spotlight

You can’t put her in a cage and expect her song to be about you. – JM Storm

This is the third time I’ve posted an image of our old, vacant birdhouse. The very first time was in black and white.

I did the old “make it look like a painting” editing job again, and I think I figured out why I’m so stuck on that lately. I’ve never been able to draw or paint. I guess I like to do something to my images that gives them that artsy feel because it’s something that I can’t do by hand. That being said, isn’t technology just wonderful!

Anyway, I was outside and that same Japanese Maple tree (with the spider web), where the birdhouse hangs, was letting the sun shine through like a spotlight on that little, old, weathered home. So… I couldn’t resist.

The quote came up when I was looking up sayings about birdhouses. I guess it’s like a cage- in a sense. 😉

I actually really like the quote. No offense to all the happily married people out there, but for me personally it makes me appreciate my “singleness” and freedom. It took a lot of effort for me to refrain from dating because my old beliefs were that a man would “make me whole”. That’s before I found God, of course.

Anyway, now that I’ve got my new mindset in place, it’s so nice to be able to focus on my recovery, my walk with God, art, photography and writing. And no crazy love drama that I was so used to creating. It’s a new “ME” and I really like the way it feels!

That’s about all for now. Off to writing class…

Peace! Love you guys!