Monday, January 31, 2011

More Playing with Photoshop and Collage...

OK, I can't help myself... My name is Lani and I am addicted to photoshop, images, and fooling around with both! And I'm happy about it!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Winter Doldrums got you down?

Photoshop Collage by Lani
I took a photo of some gray ice, with white sleety pellets on top of it, under a gray sky.  I realized our particular corner of the world, lately, is full of cold, gray skies, icy hiking trails, heavy walking boots with cleats attached.  Not too much color if you look at the big picture.  Even if you zoom in there's not much color.  Here's an example, dirt with ice and tiny hale pellets.  Blah.
 So I took this blah grayness and made a texture layer with it in photoshop and started adding a bit of color and interest and I ended up with this image which I really like.  With art anything is possible!  Hooray!
 Angel from Nic0's photostream.  Thank you Nic0!! A texture from LandofNodStudios' photostream (thank you landofnod!) and one from FlyPaper Textures  as well as my own ice and sleet.

I find this principal works in life in general, not just with images.  It is the end of January.  The baby seals aren't turning up on the beaches yet.  It's not Valentine's day.  There is nothing really exciting about all of this dreariness, so I started wondering what I could do about it. I tend to explore the internet when I feel less than inspired and I usually find exactly what I'm looking for. Today it was Scoutie Girl's blog, bless her!

Not only did she have five wonderful examples of "heros of creative living" but the best part was a pdf file you could download and fill out.  That's exactly what I did and the result was that suddenly the day was exciting, funny, and most enjoyable.

Here are a few examples of the questions and my answers:

When I talk about - ? - I get excited and tend to ramble.
When I talk about - the creative process and how good it is for us -, I get excited and tend to ramble. When I talk about the things that humans need to thrive, when I talk about resilience and the study of resilience I find that I get excited and start rambling. When I talk about positive psychology and the pursuit of happiness I find I get excited. When I talk about simplicity I find I get excited. I believe it is a very good thing to ponder what gets us excited to talk or think about, or to write about it.

When I look around the room, Iʼm most drawn to -?-...
When I look around the room, Iʼm most drawn to - old books ready to alter-. There are projects on the go, and yet when I look around the room, the very old books seem to hold the most excitement. They seem to speak of their history and whisper possibilities for change. There's something lovely about transformation. There's something extremely satisfying to think about transformation. There's hope in transformation.

When I visit -?-, I feel alive. 
When I visit -an art musem-, I feel alive. When I visit other artist's studios, I feel alive. When I visit the spa, I feel alive. When I visit my local magazine and news store I feel alive. I think that all of these places open a door within that allows for new possibilities. ( My goodness, I do love these questions!)

I go to -?- when I need a little personal oomph.
I go to -my local spa- when I need a little personal oomph. If I feel draggy and I just walk in, suddenly the scent of the place is a big oomph. Really it's all about endorphins, I think. Certain things trigger endorphin production and the spa with it's the scented Aveda candles and the pleasant dim lighting is very soothing on the eyes and when the eyes are soothed the whole body relaxes and suddenly we are in a lovely personal space. And then what ever is being done, from a haircut to a massage, has such a good feeling attached to it. With good feelings suddenly you have oomph!

If all my obligations for tomorrow were suddenly dissolved, I would -?-.
If all my obligations for tomorrow were suddenly dissolved, I would -do art for 24 hours straight-. I would go book a room in a gracious old hotel, well soundproofed rooms and a great spa and then do my art making in the quiet sanctuary that I would create in my 24 hours. Hmmm. What a lovely idea. Create an art retreat if yourself with  24 hours. Fantastic! Why not?

So if you feel a little blah because you don't have baby seals crawling around on your  beaches yet, head on over to Scoutie Girl's blog and download her endorphin releasing pdf!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

"Snapshots from your life" challenge

Prospero in the snow, layers and textures from Kim Klassen,

I've been playing with a little point and shoot camera, to try to capture small moments in the day.  It started off as a way for distant family members to share their days in a simple way, shoot a few pictures and send in an email.  But then I discovered that I was actually looking for things to take pictures of, and thinking about sharing these little enjoyable moments, and what I discovered was that my enjoyment of that moment was enhanced exponentially.  I discovered there was no where else on earth that I wanted to be so much as right here, right now.   And that's a great thing to discover.

So here's the challenge; as you go through your day either literally pull out iphone, or point and shoot camera, or journal, and document the small but delightful moments and find some way to share them.

Connor tells a joke, layers and textures from FlyPaper Textures , and  Kim Klassen.

27lb. squash from the farmers' market.  Layers and textures from FlyPaper Textures  and  Kim Klassen.

 Another of Prospero in the snow.   Layers and textures from Kim Klassen.

Flat calm.  Texture from Kim Klassen,

No where I'd rather be...

...then right here, right now!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Self-Compassion and Resilience

Layers and textures from FlyPaper Textures , Kim Klassen, and DJ Pettitt, and collage elements from Art Tea Life.  (Getting ready for my newest eCourse.)

It started with an email about the Sounds True website, where they offered long clips from their new releases.  I was listening to Jack Kornfield's clip when suddenly before I knew it another one had started.  This was Colin Tipping's lovely clip on Radical Self-Forgiveness and I enjoyed that so much I decided to listen to The Self-Compassion Diet by Jean Fain.  She had some very interesting things to say about self-compassion.  It seems that when we are compassionate with ourselves, treating ourselves with kindness and concern when we experience negative events. we tend to be more resilient.  Fain mentioned some interesting research by Adams and Leary (2007).  They asked college women to eat an unhealthy food (a donut) as part of an experiment, and were either induced to think self-compassionately about eating the donut or else were given no intervention. Participants were later given the opportunity to eat as much candy as they wanted while unobserved. Results showed that the women who were induced to think with self-compassion had reduced negative affect and consiquently the amount of post-donut candy eaten by them was minimal.  And of course the women with no intervention  ate more candy afterwards. So having compassion for mistakes and failures (like eating a donut) allows such lapses to be taken more lightly, without a lot of negative self talk.

This got me very curious about what else might be affected by self-compassion.  I found Kristin Neff's website Self-Compassion with plenty of material to keep me busy for days.  She has guided meditations, a self-compassion test, lots of amazing links, a wonderful reading list, lots of scholarly papers (bless you Kristin!), and even some power point presentations!

So applying this Self-Compassion idea to my Revo'lution*ary intentions for the new year, I think I will simplify Simplicity, Stillness, and Friendship into one word: Kindness.  I would like to amend my study of Simplicity, Stillness, and Friendship to study kindness towards myself and others.  I'm sure all kinds of wonderful things will grow out of that. 

What do I chose to do today, in this moment, to live a life filled with kindness?

Adams, C. E., and Leary, M. R. (2007). Promoting self-compassionate attitudes toward eating among restrictive and guilty eaters. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 26, 1120-1144.

If you would like to play with ideas like this, art making prompts, and self care strategies, please join us in the Resilience, Transformation, and Art eCourse, starting next week.  For more information and discount look to the right of this post.

Layers and textures from FlyPaper Textures , Kim Klassen, and DJ Pettitt, and some collage elements from Art Tea Life.  (Getting ready for my newest eCourse.)

Monday, January 03, 2011

Happy New Year everyone!

New classes starting next week! Come join us, have some fun, build resilience through art and self care, and play with collage and photoshop. It's all happening January 10. Discount for blog readers.

Look to the right hand side of this page for your discount.
And here's another little clip of some attempts at playing in photoshop with family snap shots. Fun! (The little collage houses are from paperwhimsy)