Mixing it up

Mixed media piece, paper, paint and sheet music

Do you remember the first time you heard a recording of your voice and said “I don’t sound like that, do I?” The same happens when you see yourself in a video but add “look like that” to the phrase. It highlights how much time goes into acting to make the portrayal seem natural. Few people have an inherent grace on screen, most of us just look like a human being filmed and trying not to look too goofy or awkward. The rough edges are there, the anxious expression as we try to look natural shows that it doesn’t feel that way. It takes practice, and acceptance of who we are to make a video or be interviewed.

I have been doing this practice, trying to soften the rough edges, relax my facial muscles to achieve a calmer look. It is both fun and embarrassing to watch the results. It causes the “Oh I make such weird expressions when I speak!” reaction. We tend not to think of how mobile our faces are when we talk, video shows us with a clarity that can be cringeworthy. And yet, as a learning experience it is good to know, to “see ourselves as others see us”. It helps us stay in touch with our human side, to stay humble.

Crossing

In order to get to the other side of things there needs to be a way. Wading, flying or swimming are options, though when there is a troll free bridge that is probably the way to go. Each day I am making another set of steps to get across the bridge. I am having to get comfortable filming myself for tutorials, learning editing, brainstorming ideas, and the myriad of other tasks that I need to get done in order to step off the bridge on the other side ready to go.

New growth

A lovely Provincetown garden in high summer.

For some time I have thought about going more into a digital art direction with my photography. I wavered, thinking it would be seen as a cop out for real painting or pastel work. That it would be seen as “less” creative since I wasn’t directly making each stroke. And so I hemmed and I hawed about something that really doesn’t matter. I decided a new year called for taking the chance, I would try it and see how things looked. If the pieces looked terrible I need never show them to anyone. But, I liked the first one, and the second, third and so on. And after posting one a day, have had interest in purchasing a couple from followers.

Sometimes too much time is wasted on the “what ifs”, “the what will people say”, that we miss out on something amazing and all it leads to. This year, as with last, I am looking to grow and expand my skills, views and experiences. To see what unfolds, what can be left behind and what will swoop in. 2020 meant finding new ways to experience things vs getting out to museums or traveling. 2021 may well be similar for this first stretch, but hopefully by the second, horizons will expand. I just need to be ready.

Throwing it way back

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I occasionally got through my old black and white negatives to see where I’ve been. Sometimes geographically, sometimes metaphorically. In this case I have no clue where I took this image. The shots on either side don’t narrow it down beyond Saratoga County NY area in the 1986ish. Seeing how my eye has developed and looking at the foundations of my style intrigues me. Why do lonely, un-peopled scenes continue to interest me? Why have natural or timeworn things always attracted me? Inner archaeology of our art style can show surprising ties to our developmental years.

Do Summer

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Summer has officially begun. I got out early today for a walk and could feel the heat rising off the pavement and bouncing off the buildings even then. But I got out, that is key. Because,as I have mentioned, I have lost days here and there and feel I have to jump on any open time before the season is gone. I have decided to make best use of my Wednesdays means getting up and getting out, leaving chores for some other time. I just recently read Do Over (Jon Acuff) and saw his Do Summer Challenge, 15 minutes a day spent developing or honing a skill. Which is actually a harder thing than it would seem as 15 minutes is both too little for some skills and not quite right for others. But, I will try to do 15 minutes a day of writing as it can fit in nicely in those odd spots of time that appear everyday. If you are interested in trying this go to http://acuff.me/dosummer2015/ and get your sheet so you can get started.