Teaching on LIFE BOOK 2016 and a GIVEAWAY!!

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Hello everyone!

I have some wonderful & exciting news! I am going to be teaching on Life Book 2016 next year!

I can’t even begin to explain how happy I am to be a part of this lovely course. It’s a wonderful opportunity for artistic and personal growth :).

And even MORE exciting news is that I can give away 1 space on this amazing year long art course! Keep reading if you want to find out more about Life Book 2016 and if you want to find out how you can win a spot! 🙂

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The Golden Hour: And then there was light …

The Golden Hour:

“In photography, the golden hour (sometimes known as magic hour, especially in cinematography) is a period shortly after sunrise or before sunset during which daylight is redder and softer compared to when the Sun is higher in the sky.”

Indulge me. Just for a moment. I want to share this stunning, heart opening, light filled evening {and a few collected words} with you …
Awake my dear 
Be kind to your sleeping heart. 
Take it out into the vast fields of light 
and let it breathe. 
~ Hafiz
Even if your life is now a cage,
For a divine seed, the crown of destiny,
Is hidden and sown on an ancient, fertile plain
You hold the title to… – See more at: https://www.openhandweb.org/light_will_some_day_split_you_open_hafiz#sthash.NvzEiXDF.dpuf
Light will someday split you open
Even if your life is now a cage,
For a divine seed, the crown of destiny,
Is hidden and sown on an ancient, fertile plain
You hold the title to… – See more at: https://www.openhandweb.org/light_will_some_day_split_you_open_hafiz#sthash.NvzEiXDF.dpuf

Light will someday split you open
Even if your life is now a cage,
For a divine seed, the crown of destiny,
Is hidden and sown on an ancient, fertile plain
You hold the title to …
~ Hafiz

Even if your life is now a cage,
For a divine seed, the crown of destiny,
Is hidden and sown on an ancient, fertile plain
You hold the title to… – See more at: https://www.openhandweb.org/light_will_some_day_split_you_open_hafiz#sthash.NvzEiXDF.dpuf
We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; 
the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.
  ~ Plato
 Darkness cannot drive out darkness:
only light can do that.”
~ Martin Luther King, Jr
There is a crack in everything.
That’s how the light gets in.
~ Leonard Cohen

Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.
  ~ Brené Brown

We went down into the silent garden.
Dawn is the time when nothing breathes,
the hour of silence.
Everything is transfixed,
only the light moves.
~ Leonora Carrington

Choose a place where you won’t do harm – yes, choose a place where you won’t do very much harm, and stand in it for all you are worth, facing the sunshine.
~ E.M. Forrester

Fear can only grow in darkness. Once you face fear with light, you win.
~ Steve Maraboli





Love is not consolation. It is light.
~ Simone Weil

Light is more important than the lantern,
The poem more important than the notebook.
~ Nizar Quabanni

She was bendable light: she shone around every corner of my day.
~ Jerry Spinelli

The rose shadows said that they loved the sun, but that they also loved the dark, where their roots grew through the lightless mystery of the earth. The roses said: You do not have to choose.
~ Robin McKinley

Zoopraxiscope

Video below …

When I was a kid I went to a private school for gifted kids, called Gibson School for the Gifted, in Dearborn, Michigan. It was modeled after the Sumerhill school in England and run democratically. Students were in control of their curriculum.


We called the teachers by their first names and decided for ourselves what we would do each day. We sat on cushions instead of at desks and each had our own stereo and headphones. I played my 8 track of the Bay City Rollers in mine most of the time. It was a long time ago, don’t judge.

Judy Greer, an actress who everyone has seen but no one remembers the name of, is the only “famous” alumni I can think of.

It was predicted I would become infamous, but that hasn’t happened … not yet.

Anyway, this school was special, unique, and awesome and nearly everything I love or am interested in or inspired by today, I discovered there. I think it’s a brilliant way to educate children, whether they’re gifted or not and all kids should be lucky enough to experience a joy in learning that profound.

Sadly, it closed a few years ago and the golden age of alternative education seems, unfortunately, to be dead. I will read something interesting, make something, or think outside the box every day because of its influence.

Probably had a little to do with why I decided to streak my hair purple the other day, although PMS seems to have also been a factor. But I digress. One of the things we explored in my time at this wonderful, magical school was film making. Back when film actually had to be developed, we had access to a 16MM camera. We also had a chance to try the thing that really intrigued me … animation. I’ve been fascinated with it ever since.

I’ve been playing with digital images lately. I love it. Images can be made almost as quickly as they are thought of …  and it seems to scratch a mental itch like nothing else can.

 
I was under a time limit to make prints for a local art fair and turned to Photoshop and digital … and am so happy with the process. It’s far more creative than I anticipated. It’s freeing in a way that I haven’t experienced with images much before. (Will have these in an Etsy shop soon, I think).

Tactile wise, it leaves a lot to be desired. There’s not much touching thngs or moving about. The creative action is all in the head and not in the body, which leaves something to be desired. But, as a mental exercise, it can’t be beat.

 
While looking through some old images for digital collage possibilities, I ran across these plates from a book on an old device from the late 1800s called the  Zoopraxiscope.

A Zoopraxiscope is “an early device for displaying motion pictures. Created by photographic pioneer Eadweard Muybridge in 1879, it may be considered the first movie projector.”

“The zoopraxiscope projected images from rotating glass disks in rapid succession to give the impression of motion.”

The disks look like record albums with images around the edges. It was cutting edge then and would have required an epic break with conventional thought and a huge creative leap by Muybridge. He may have fit in at Gibson, now that I think about it.

Anyway, I took a few of the Zoopraxiscope plates, fiddled with them in Photoshop, and made some images from them.

I took a few of the images, fiddled with them in Photoshop, and made some animations out of them. This is what happened … 

Artist: Merle Pace

Discovering the self …




I’ve been a huge fan of Merle Pace’s photographic self portraits for a long time. When I first saw them, I was unsure of whether they were very new or decades old. She has a timeless style that reminds me of old hand colored photos or a John Williams Waterhouse painting.

You can find more of her work on her website HERE. Or shop in her Etsy store, HERE.

Labyrinth Finished

We finished the labyrinth. It took several-ish hours over a few days and cost all of $12.00 for the rocks.  It’s a seven path labyrinth, and walking the entire thing one way is about 300 feet of path.
 

It was pretty simple to do and didn’t take as much space as I thought it would. We started with a flat and weed free spot in the garden that was about 25′ x 25′.  We marked the design by scratching it in with a stick using this plan … and made our paths about a foot wide.

 
 
And then we lined it all with sandstone, which was really inexpensive and quite light and easy to work with.