Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Exploration #8: Cracks

Exploration #8: Cracks
Map out pavement cracks in your neighborhood

It is a known condition that when you begin to pay attention to something you've never really looked at before you will begin to see it everywhere. You eventually begin to feel as if the thing is out to find you, instead of the other way around.

It's been a week since I've been on my blog. I sure missed it. Being here is like walking into my pink room at my grandma's house. A comforting place, warm, familiar.

After entertaining company for a week I am back to blog about something less than exciting. My Exploration #8 task of mapping out cracks in my neighborhood. I thought this would be easy and interesting. I was sure I would find dozens of cracks full of odd shapes and sizes. Instead, I found that my neighborhood is pretty crack-free (both of the pavement and the drug sort, thank goodness!) so it took a while just to find the few cracks that I did.

My friend Lei who was visiting from Kansas accompanied me on a walk around the neighborhood, camera's in hand. It was three blocks before I found a crack.
Crack with Leaf and Twig

We walked about a mile and I only found a few. But, at least I could give them snappy titles. :)
San Andreas Fault Crack

Blue Lightening Crack

And finally, my favorite crack of the task:
Bare Tree with Rust Crack

The purpose of this task was to make you look at something you may have not looked at before, or to look at it differently. Some of these would make great texture shots for use in digital art so I just might photograph more cracks in the future.  Til then, "Don't step on a crack, or you'll break your mother's back". :)

Friday, August 13, 2010

A Novel in 30 days? Heck, Why Not?

So I've decided to take on another creative challenge and signed up today for National Novel Writing Month!
This is a crazy project that people from all over the world participate in. You have 30 days to write a 50,000 word novel. Starting November 1st, you just write...no editing, no inner critic allowed...just write, and write and write until November 30th. How fun, exciting and completely insane!

Here's what the NaNoWriMo website states:

 National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30.
Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved.
Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It's all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.
Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that's a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down.
As you spend November writing, you can draw comfort from the fact that, all around the world, other National Novel Writing Month participants are going through the same joys and sorrows of producing the Great Frantic Novel. Wrimos meet throughout the month to offer encouragement, commiseration, and—when the thing is done—the kind of raucous celebrations that tend to frighten animals and small children.
In 2008, we had over 119,000 participants. More than 21,000 of them crossed the 50k finish line by the midnight deadline, entering into the annals of NaNoWriMo superstardom forever. They started the month as auto mechanics, out-of-work actors, and middle school English teachers. They walked away novelists.
So, to recap:
What: Writing one 50,000-word novel from scratch in a month's time.
Who: You! We can't do this unless we have some other people trying it as well. Let's write laughably awful yet lengthy prose together.
Why: The reasons are endless! To actively participate in one of our era's most enchanting art forms! To write without having to obsess over quality. To be able to make obscure references to passages from our novels at parties. To be able to mock real novelists who dawdle on and on, taking far longer than 30 days to produce their work.
When: You can sign up anytime to add your name to the roster and browse the forums. Writing begins November 1. To be added to the official list of winners, you must reach the 50,000-word mark by November 30 at midnight. Once your novel has been verified by our web-based team of robotic word counters, the partying begins.

50,000 words in one month works out to be a little over 1,650 words per day. That's a whole lot of writing. I've always been inspired by my favorite writer, Oscar Wilde. I'm hoping that when November rolls around that his spirit will guide my hand. 
Tea with Oscar

Anyone else out there doing this challenge? Until November rolls around I will be getting some tips and pointers from my writing friends and continuing to work on my Exploration tasks and the Sketchbook Project. The next pages of that will be posting soon! Stay tuned...

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Week in Art

Hard to believe it's August already and that Summer will soon be over. I'm ready. It's hot. It's humid. The heat puts the kabosh on my desire to go out and do photography. The upside is that I can get processing done on some of the thousands of photos sitting in files on my computer and can dabble and play in both Traditional Art and Digital Art. Here are a few from this week:

Pages 6 & 7 of my moleskine for the Sketchbook Project 2011 following my theme of "below the surface":
Below the surface of my laptop lies the mother of all boards!

"Winter Reunion" is the next page of my Gypsy Journal:
dreaming time
waiting for my hand
few moments when
something intimate
can launch a memory
winter reunion

Some fruit doodles in colored pencil combined digital textures:

And a fun little dreamer:

I did manage to do two photo manips for the 365 Photo Manipulation Group on Flickr.
Both images will be available in prints and note cards:

Out to Sea


I also processed a couple of other photos including this one
of my beautiful friend, cousin and fellow artist and blogger, Missy

This was taken in Englewood Kansas during our hunt for Bigfoot. :)

Next up for the weekend is a Digital Art Day with Lita where I'm working on turning my friend Trena into a Moon Fairy and a day out shooting a Japanese Garden with my friend Martina. Hope everyone's weekend will also be filled with art, creativity and L♥VE!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Exploration #7: World of Color

Exploration #7: World of Color
Collect paint chips from a paint or hardware store. Find colors you respond to in the world. Attempt to match them using the chips. Make notes of where you saw the colors.

I had grand plans for this Exploration task: to go outside and match the paint chips to things in my garden and surrounding yard. I would take photographs of all the glorious things I would find on top of the paint chips, the two colors melding into one. However, this was probably not a great idea considering it was nearly 100 degrees with 100% humidity. Also, it was not easy to find colors to match because all the plants are done blooming. After spending two hours finding just two items,  I got heatstroke.
A floral stem from my Asparagus fern

Yellow Marigolds from my garden

I then decided to do what was shown in the book and match the paint chips to different colors found in my air-conditioned home and just write them on the chips. Click on the picture to see it large and read the colors.

Matching Sami's (my tortoise shell cat) fur was the most challenging. I had about 10 chips of different browns and only one matched some of her fur. She has so many colors! Even the black in her fur isn't true black. And every time I stuck a paint chip into her fur, she turned around and yelled at me. :)

Despite the frustration I felt in not being able to find a bunch of things in nature due to the heat, I'm keeping the paint chips for Springtime when things are in bloom and will continue my plan of matching colors. I definitely took enough from the hardware store to last a lifetime!