Picking Up My Peace

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Finding My Focus: An Unexpected Reclaiming

 

Today I return to this blog to continue my journey into the unexpected. I just flashed on it. Originally I was so excited and caught up with enthusiasm three years ago just bout when I started this blog. Blogging spurred me into action. It held me accountable to myself. And I hope to receive constructive support over time out there in the digital universe. It is for personal reasons I stopped in such a short time that may unfold here in time. I planned on launching a new blog at the start of 2016, and had other plans over the time in between. Just too much overwhelm of life, health, caregiving of parents that continues onward…I am curious how others find balance and remain centered with all that pulls oneself and falls all around in the course of a day that blurs into the next.

Today is the first day in over three months that I have to myself, mostly, and back at home after helping my dad resettle at home since breaking his right femur on New Year’s Day night. It has been a long road of tears and laughs, though in the most recent near four months I have missed myself. I am clawing for my own life, expression and creative output.

Quiet. I long for quiet and time to myself. To be able to hear myself think. To reclaim the brainspace to hold and harness my imagination for fiction stories and poetry. I have begun a new art series, more to share on this evolution, however I long for more consistent productivity in my days. The sporadic and sparse pattern feels almost like an implosion of energy desperately seeking escape. Thankfully the monthly local art crit group here in Las Vegas motivates me to at least get a few works complete and receive positive feedback so I am not creating in a vacuum.

The last thing I wanted to do today was anything online or career oriented or business but I signed up for this 10 day blog challenge. I felt committed to changing my life. Something I know deep down has just GOT to change for me and be different. I cannot continue in the way things have been for some time, a funnel I keep sinking deeper into and farther away from my truth. So here I am on the only day I get to myself. I’d rather be vegging out watching DVD’s! And I will be soon by midnight, escaping into science fiction of the third and final season of Defiance and a comedy or romance. I simply need that to feed my mind sometimes and take me away from reality.

I will return each day and post more art along my creative journey, and throw creative musings, writings, ideas and resources to share with social media links and the like.

I am a go-getter though feel I keep falling flat on my face at every turn. This finding my focus blog entry catapulted me into some sudden spontaneous actions. I wasn’t sure where to blog. I have various sites of little beginnings or simply accounts long dormant yet with decent followings over nothingness. I signed up to relaunch my website for an artist folio site with my godaddy account and my domain since 2004. I discovered the Medium site and very excited about it however was taking too long with my computer glitches. This post says Sept. 11 but it is posting before midnight still on September 10th.

The challenges I am facing are time freedom in the face of caregiving for elderly parents and striking a balance, my own health issues and need to generate money back into my life to help my parents better and live a more authentic life of my choosing through travel and adventure. I tend to let what others need stop me and my own health and money obstacles always finding workarounds that at times are slow and frustrating.

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 1 on Suitcaseentrepreneur.com

10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge by Natalie Sisson

 

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Artvolution

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Pushed myself, yet again, to create something fresh. I used a page out of order in the current journal I am using for this project and on the back side of an art piece I was going to keep blank, then thought why not. Once I get going lately I find a return to a deep meditative and relaxed state. It is a wonderful feeling to rediscover a sense of relaxation to destress and cope better. This ease feels natural and intentional. Something remembered, familiar though strange in the reclaiming process.

The four images are an evolution of one piece. I began with an ordered collage of blocked scraps, then painted with paper pieces for diversity in size, color and contrast. Usually I collage more chaotically or layout a plan with a temporary layout and printmaking techniques, such as stencils and layered images. At each stage when the piece is input into the computer it is first digitally enhanced before any other creative application is applied.

Next, I broke open a new set of opaque pens for painting in the second image that tied the whole thing together like a textile quilt. It was super fun and I enjoyed that part most working with new supplies in a way I’ve wanted to for a long time that was fresh for me to explore. (To break open new supplies and tools feels like a huge deal for me since I have had great hesitation to do so and move forward to produce new works. A risk to not ruin and waste them on something not worthwile.) Previously, I’ve used actual paints like acrylic, oil pastel and recollaging torn and cut pieces in layers in expanding additive works. I’ve been wanting to use markers in smaller collage pieces of an illustrative effect by hand.

The third image is upgraded, manipulated and layered with effects in Photoshop. This version shows a cutout technique with various light effects. Often I shift, skew and resize the image in a layered digital collage semblance but I didn’t find a groove for that at this juncture and will pursue this image in that context again. Seeing an image progression is a great way to see the stark difference while documenting each stage.

The fourth image evolved from an inverted technique and psychedelic version that was somewhat of a happy accident in the layered light effect in Photoshop. This version is muted in color compared to the more saturated piece. However, this combo with the reversal of positive/negative space works so well with the balanced design. The image appears to have been shifted however it was the light, color and contrast from the effects without any moving around of the image at all. This piece seems like it is derived from a totally different source image. Several versions of this sort were generated in a progression series and way too many to post here,

It’s been planned to delve further than I have before in printing out digital works to blend more in traditional mixed media collage and illustration. And then take this further by digitally embellishing with more layered collage versions and art piece combinations, output and then cut, torn and layered by hand with traditional materials and other art pieces only to continue ad infinitum until I choose a new series of imagery and/or departure point to explore a fresh approach to continue and integrate the working theme. This is something to move toward in the coming year and fulfill an integrated media approach and style of greater interest.

That’s my main focus for the day of the unexpected. I didn’t expect to create something I enjoyed and liked so much in the end. ~ ShaRose

Following My Heart

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Another day I just want to skip writing and arting for it gets to be later on and the day is done. I like when this goes in reverse and I get to this at the top or middle of my day. Other things take priority and if I don’t get going earlier it does not get done. My days are in a different type of cycle for after midnight into the wee hours of morning count as the day prior for me. I did miss yesterday but I had stayed up all night the night before somehow landing on pinterest which, like when I first signed on about 4 months ago, I went image cwazy! I get so addicted to seeing images of far off places and remote beauty of which I wish to immerse myself in I cannot get enough, so I click and click and click and add more to my vision boards. My poor kitty cat was so hungry I kept saying just a few more minutes and then it was three hours later and she was gnawing at my new skull candy earbuds (which worked fantastic until….) that I now need to replace! My fault, though I had to curtail my bit of anger. Oh well, such the stuff of life. Soon I will add my artwork to my pinterest boards, but if anyone wants to see…

I count these additions as my creative thing I did that Tuesday. What I am particularly drawn to are these amazing trees that twist and turn in the most unbelievable of ways. It draws on what I call the eco-feminine and a huge focus for me on my creative path. I plan on using the trees as reference material for artmaking, painting etc. I did discover a fantastic fiber artist

http://www.karenkamenetzky.com

How odd that these twists and turns are what I am after on my journey into the unexpected, not knowing which way I am to go and simply following a sort of scent of the future calling out to me. Listening to music and the silence in this past week plus has made a significant difference. Listening to Elton John, Loreena McKennitt, Snatum Kaur, Nora Jones, Tracy Chapman, Dona De Lory, Mass Ensemble, Sara MacLachlan and others. It is truly a special return to old faves and new music, to the sounds that bring me back to a personal happiness in my daily rhythm. I used to listen and sing along to a lot of tunes while driving however I’ve been without wheels for a little over five years now. I don’t like listening to the radio as much anymore. I prefer the songs and artists I enjoy without all the commercials and talk.

An intriguing risk I took this evening when I was out to eat supper was in meeting a woman who has a strong resemblance to someone in my circle who passed away a little over a year ago. I kept looking at her from across the room, not sure if she noticed I was doing so, and when I saw she received her check and readying herself to go I had to meet her. I was so compelled. She was very kind and we spoke at her table and then she joined me and my party. We have things in common and there seems to be some healing there. There were, what I felt, some significant signs that possibly our loved one was saying hello from the spirit world. Well, I believe in these things since I was very young. At nine years of age I began reading the “Life After Life” series when we ordered books in grade school and junior high. I am blown away by the Long Island Medium, Teresa Caputo. I don’t think these *signs* if they come through another are about replacing anyone. I sense it is simply to say I am here. Spirit exists! Maybe someone reading this isn’t a believer. That’s okay. I am just sharing my intuition and personal encounters. The party I was with at dinnertime is someone I share a unique spiritual connection although this individual does not believe in the spirit world or spirits in general. I’ve been trying to help this person see that there are signs and things all around with opening oneself to this as a possibility. Oh well, each to his or her own!

This reverse-type effect of my above  heart drawing I did tonight intrigues me as to when something appears in life one way and then there’s is this whole other side to it that gives it far more depth to observe and take notice. I have fun with images when I play with them in Photoshop and tweak them in various ways. Simply using artistic filters and the layer effect works plenty of magic to get something new and exciting. It gives a flavor of what I thought about earlier today about being one who is *living differently.* Light and dark interplay and exchange, from the above image to this revised one, where things are seen and experienced from another POV.

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If/when ever I might refer to any person or persons here I will maintain anonymity for the most part. I might share potentially if there is something serious going on with someone close in generic terms, but maintain a sense of privacy yet a sharing of things to a certain degree. So that was my big risk for today. What did I risk yesterday? It was such a weird day without sleep and having to be there to help another in the afternoon. I came home and fell asleep by 5:30pm pretty much for the night into late morning. Allowing myself that catchup time was possibly a risk to let myself go away for that long stretch.

Yesterday I tried these new sweet potato corn chips – not regular potato-type chips. Tasty. BTW, they are from Trader Joe’s. Today I tried this Therapeutica cervical pillow at my chiropractor’s office. I got measured for it and am soon ordering it online. Great price at Amazon! My head/neck/upper area has been such a mess and sleep at times impossible without an aspirin. Been close to two months since my last adjustment and turns out a lot of my pain from a few weeks sleeping on an air mattress in wait for my custom futon messed my whole back up and I had a rib that was out on each side.

I still need to get myself aligned with my goals set forth regarding the totality of this blog. I’m feeling kinda sore now from my alignment, so I’m a gonna sign off and go to dreamland. Probably watch a DVD first. Something I haven’t seen yet.

Until the morrow. s.

Dreamer Dream On

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I’m not much in writing mode today. It feels forced, to type. My thoughts and ideas are all awhirl. So much since Friday switching all about in my head that I did journal over the weekend somewhat. Sunday I simply let myself be in art mode for I felt the writing was not coming from the right side of my brain and I needed to stay there. It just seems that each day on this *unexpected* path is a huge opener for me, of which I did not expect. hahaha.

Weird little things keep happening. Like waking up to a song today about smoke and fire of the unexpected. The lyrics actually mentioned expectations or something like that which surprised me. I’ve got to look up those lyrics! The song that was set to my clock-radio and awakened me was “Paper and Fire”. During this time I was dreaming of a sudden burst of black smoke darkening the sky and coming toward me as I searched for cover. Things like that, Coincidences.

I continue to create something new and take risks each day. Still need to get some format to keep better track of and post. I decided NOT to force that either and let it flow out naturally. I almost forced myself to blog on Saturday but I chose against that. On the one hand it would be a good idea for instilling a new habit to go 21 or 28 days straight, but this eludes the purpose of integrating in my life how I prefer to live. I don’t want to have any obligations over the weekends or holidays and allow myself time and space for renewal and not blur the lines of the weekday into the weekend. I  require a different kind of rhythm, a slowing and a deepening.

I’ve been getting back to relaxing while drawing, which used to be the way of things, so this feels new to me all over again! I really got into a drawing Sunday nite. I had seen the phrase “Dreamer Dream On” on an overpriced long tee on Friday and the saying stuck. I am posting three images done Saturday through Monday. I will review what I journaled on Saturday to distill into writing here during this week. So much to reflect on that is fresh and a game-changer to my POV, to make lasting changes in how I am in the world. These ideas I am referring to are a bit of a jumble for me to convey as of yet though make deep sense to me. Things I thought I already had a handle on and clearly did not, at least not on a deep enough level to make a significant and lasting change already. It’s good to be humbled, again, and refresh one’s perspective – in this case, mine!

Much that I’ve been in reflection about mirrors my recent contemplative reading meditations at the start of my days. This is something I used to do all the time and somehow in these past few years has escaped me. I read all the time all kinds of stuff. I’m talking about how I start the tone of my day and deepening this with contemplation. Sure, I’ll contemplate things in my usual readings, however there is something different about how one begins a fresh chunk of time to merge into with a purer innerscape. I sure wrote more that I thought I would. Great. More soon..

Hold true to your own rhythm and pace!

ShaRose

p.s. My cat has in this past week started *leaping* in and out of my room. Usually she would push or pull the door open more. I leave the door ajar. Funny how she is leaping at a time I am talking about creative leaping. hmmmm. Interesting how  it is said cats are our familiars. Cats are highly intuitive creatures afterall. Super weird that her behavior is changing simultaneous to mine!

Hatchfund

Well, I’ve been up all night getting this online application together since I last minute discovered this not to be missed opportunity. Only the deadline was today! So this counts as my creation for the day. I have to get ready soon to leave – hope to grab an hour or so of shut-eye. Yikes! What have I done….

photo taken by me on  hike at Red Rock Spring 2013 and photoshopped this week

Art Image submitted to hatchfund

Art Image submitted to Hatchfund

 

This is the title of an elaborate project I hatched – it’s been lurking in my mind brewing for a long time.

Eco-Art Merzbau: A Pop-Up Room w/ Spherical View of Fresh to Mutant Earth Forms

Not sure if this is viewable yet or not, or if it will be approved. Feel free to click link and see if anything pops up. That’s it for today – if/when you get to see this it is in a super-duper long state and needs editing, but that’ll have to be for another day. You still have until midnight tonight (not sure which time zone) to submit your own creative project as an artist. So happy trails to any other last minuters out there!

Have a creative weekend!

SherryShaRose

https://www.hatchfund.org/project/eco_art_merzbau_a_pop_up_room_w_spherical_view_of_fresh_to_mutant_earth_forms/preview

http://www.hatchfund.org/get_involved

 

THE LEAP

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The key point here is to LEAP into the void without any certainty or attachment to outcome on a deeper level than I have been, as I tend to fly by the seat of my pants catching fallout. There’s that saying “leap and the net will appear.”  By peeling away the expectations of society and others, and releasing the remaining threads of any expectations on my own skin, I am looking to free my self-expression and return to a sense of playful exploration within my daily life and curiosities, and in the face of uncertainties to be far more centered in my spirit and being with a physically strong core.

It boils down to ideas society and others tend to not understand or consider another’s POV when one’s life looks different whether or not said person wanted the same things, which most do to some degree, or in the same way.

It’s my not ever believing in my wildest dreams that I’d now be fifty years old without children of my own, to have read them bedtime stories, laughed rolling and playing on the floor at their level,  wiped their noses and dried their tears in any sort of so-called modern family.

Or having ever been married, though I am uncertain of this institution or what type of possible partnership I am looking for (which would probably be a combo of non-traditional and new traditions with some sense of nostalgia). No, I am not interested in 50 shades of anything though I aim for beyond 50 colors of light.

Not being in my own studio and home as I wish the layout to be while I still have things in storage now for ten years. Not traveled overseas yet or to the extent of my deep travel desires and integral lifestyle since first glimpse in my teenage girl dreams. And do I want kids now or in what way if so, or do I choose to design an entirely different kind of lifestyle? All these KNOTS to be untangled!

And many more questions and conversations to evolve around and through this until I get to the other side and take that LEAP – maybe by taking bunches of mini-leaps it will add up soon enough to one giant leap! This is where I start, as in Zen, and wipe everything clean and start fresh from a beginner’s mind.
To embrace all the UNEXPECTED things and outcomes along the way in people, art, places, events, experiences, moments, travels, experiments, observations, meanderings…..and embrace the beauty in the imperfections and flawed beauty of everyone and everything. THIS is what I will lean toward in writing into the unexpected. I will go wherever I am led to, where life calls me to go, and share here an alchemy in words and pictures, pictures and words and what is unknown to me now that surfaces on this journey.

‘It’s all good’: I often mistype the word good, as in ‘it’s all God’, which makes me believe in a deeper meaning of a divine spark infusing All that is. Which is why I love to say, as many do, ‘it’s all good.’ And this phrase is my go-to for acceptance of what is, whatever the outcome, it is what it is and that’s that. This last paragraph may sound cliché, but sometimes the simplest mindset can save you. it’s like cleaning one’s mind, clearing the dirt off of the old eyeballs.

So that’s what this LEAP energy is springing up from for me. What about your LEAP energy?

My Semi-Daily Activity Report to the World

As I am still working out the kinks to my process and how I am to organize it – I wish by midnight each day to upload on weekdays unless it is a holiday weekend or if there is a family or personal urgency/emergency. I aim to make no excuses and push through what I tend to let hold me back from action. I will give myself leeway to post weekends or not. I sense I will for this launch month of October do so at least once on the weekend or to do a usual weekend combo – whether actually uploaded on weekend or not though dated for that previous weekend or integrate in Monday’s post.  I will leave it up to the timing of whatever is going on at the time. And I might include addendum posts with more to share with regard to process and leaps etcetera.

I will list in an evolving format my DAILIES.

TODAY’S RISKS:
At Radioshack when I refused the warranty and upsell the sales guy felt shutdown so I then released a flurry of personal info about my day/week/life and how I just have all these weird logistics etcetera…we exchanged our first names in kind fashion and left it on a more personal level as I did not allow myself to seem like some indifferent soul to him which I might have done today and forgone any human connection but something added an extra push with this new direction to not let any moment for good pass me by. We all deserve much better no matter what our life and days are like and that’s no excuse to ruin someone else’s day or moment in time that s/he cannot get back. I still cannot stand that upsell so that there sends me to a bad place. I showed my vulnerability and humanness to a complete stranger.

CREATION FOR THE DAY:

I almost forgot about this honestly!
This too, felt physically risky for me as I’ve been away from my artmaking and exploratory processes. This leap onto blank journal pages to just NOT OVERTHINK it and lay down whatever scraps I had from one of my many scrap heaps was so fun! In about twenty minutes I had something. All I wanted to do was put on some shapes and a semblance of strand like stuff to cover the two pages but not fill all the spaces as I normally might. I wanted it to breathe in the possibilities for later reworks and versions like maybe to glue down words. Behold to my surprise WHAT I DID NOT EXPECT TO DO when I transferred the raw image into Photoshop for upload that I would take some time then and there to play with fun brushes that I tend to skip over and never use and mixed up the color. Then I did an erasure layer with the magic wand and added some layer effects and voila! The art pieces uploaded are the before and after. What do you think about this process?

TODAY’S MUSIC”
Original music “Tree Hugger” by Karrie Wallace which I haven’t listened to in a looong time!  l listened to this repeatedly back in Humboldt, California when I lived there for nine months July 2004 through mid-March 2005.

TRY SOMETHING NEW:
I had some cake as in belated b-day since it’s been a weird week etc…. It is gluten free and I thought it’d be better. I’ve had many GF desserts/products and this one was quite expensive for not so great taste. I’d been eyeballing for a few years and bypassed the brand and flavor I love for much less in price. I might return this. Better the money in my pocket. Just because I try something new does NOT mean I have to like, as I often do when it comes to taste and product purchases in general. I will report other new things from week soon – and I know I did other new stuff today – I did in my art project a bit, explore a new way of doing things especially for getting back on that ole creative horse.

Signing off –
ShaRose

Beginner’s Mind

You’re Invited!

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Positive support, constructive feedback, participation, co-creation
and kindnesses are welcome.

ABOUT
This starter page defines and describes the intention of this blog. The format will lean toward covering one, some or at times most all the key areas (see below). There may be some article formats, though I aim to stay on point, bring tangents to center and scope out the land of discovery in a focused string of complete blurbs pertaining to the intent of this blog.

This theme is kind of a merging of the non-fiction stories of Wild (by Cheryl Strayed) and Eat Pray Love (by Elizabeth Gilbert) – a woman’s journey though without any set destination points –  as of yet anyway – other than into the unexpected – and a personal Happiness Project (by Gretchen Rubin) with more freedoms and less rules in the scope of finding the bones that make up my own life flow. Also, my favorite fiction work so far, and will always be a top fave, is Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague by the Pulitzer Prize winning author Geraldine Brooks. This story also follows a woman’s journey of unexpected personal transformation.

There are other influences I can’t pinpoint now that I am sure will present themselves in future topics. These ideas may present something worthwhile to contribute to other’s personal lives in ideas, resources, relating with subject matter, creative expression, living more fully, etcetera. This is more of a Passion Project to locate where my momentum is now in order to move forward in life.

And just what is this next life chapter? Where is the trajectory arching to? How do I fit into a changing planet and global society where many things in this new era are so different than before? What will become of our humanity in the coming decades, next century? I’m sure anyone reading this blog has thought some of these very questions that perhaps are going unspoken and wish they had a crystal ball as I do. I am here to speak in human terms about some of the big ideas over reaching all our lives and find healthy key ways we might manage our daily lives with a softer touch in the face of extremes. Let’s share how we are dealing and not dealing well with how things are going on a personal to universal field. I invite you to join in the open conversation.

THE KEYS (so far)

WRITING INTO THE UNEXPECTED…
Did you catch that semi-pun or irony of ‘riding’ into the unexpected?

What is this RIDE like?
The Ride to Write.
The Write to Ride.

BE A CREATIVE LEAPER.

SHED the skin of expectations. (others and mine)

DISTILLATION of Daily Insights.

LIVE A LARGER LIFE.  LIVE OUT LOUD.

For the next year I plan on taking a RISK each day.
Planned or spontaneous.

Try something NEW each day.
(I will provide actual things I did or tried)

Enter all FOUR ROOMS of my lifehouse each day.

Bring MUSIC back into my life. (Light more candles, watch less TV)

LIFE DESIGN

JOURNEYING/TRAVEL/ADVENTURE

HOMESTEADING

CREATION FOR THE DAY

Today I created…a simple collage I posted close-up on top and whole piece at bottom that represents the beginning of this new adventure titled “Inner Compass.” Also, I journaled three large pages in a new blank journal I cracked open.

And I created this blog.

I used one of my favorite quotes.

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.
Live the life you have imagined.”  ~ Henry David Thoreau

Blissings to All,
SherryShaRose

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