There are pockets of magic. You know it when you step inside the circle: the lighting changes, there is frisson in the air, the contrast is profound from where you were seconds ago. That was my recent experience entering Dr. Lesko’s chiropractic clinic on Valencia Street in San Francisco. Wall-to-wall paintings and sculptures litter the space, and this alone makes it worth stopping in and saying hello. I watched Dr. Lesko quickly adjust three people while I finished my paperwork. His clients were quickly led to tables where massage therapists began to work on them. When I sat in front of Dr. Lesko, he briefly ran his hand down my spine, accurately and intuitively knowing what needed adjustment. He has entered the realm of master, those people who by virtue of thousands of hours of practice, cease to think through their actions, they simply are in the flow. His rates are compassionate. There was live guitar music by a client, who Dr. Lesko joined with, playing on the mandolin. A bit like Tony Randall’s The Seven Faces of Dr. Lao, this is a transformative experience and wholly unique. “Everything in it is a wonder.”
I had the opportunity recently to work with the wonderful Elaine Poggi, Founder of Healing Photo Art, a Foundation that places photographic art in hospitals.
“Through viewing these pictures, a new window to life is opened for our patients, which gives them greater appreciation for the beauty and variety found in nature and the world. Thank you for assisting us in caring for the needs of the entire patient – mind, body, and spirit.”-Kikuyu Hospital, Kenya, Africa
Since 2002, Elaine’s Foundation has placed more than 4200 pieces of art in 250 facilities on six continents! The artists donate their images digitally and Elaine handles reproduction and shipping in an incredibly well organized and simple process. Healing Photo Art will give as a gift five framed photographs or ten unframed prints to any needy hospital in the world! People contact Elaine to offer donations and also to honor a friend or relative in memorial.
Very grateful to have my photograph, ‘Whisper,’ chosen to be added to this collection of art. Elaine promises to let me know when and where the artwork is displayed, I am happy anticipating making a difference in someone’s life.
Janis N. Senungetuk recently spoke with me regarding how I might increase sales for my art. “Who are you creating your art for, who is your customer?,” she asked. What a great question. The short answer is, I am creating art for myself and hoping others like it. My actual buyers have predominantly been friends (God Bless Them).
However, there is a market that I am interested in reaching, a very specific client that I hope to empower. People who identify as LGBT, and even more specifically, those in recovery. It is a direction I have been going in for some while now and has led me to create CELEBRIETY a men’s group on Meetup.
“CELEBRIETY is a community of men who are passionate about celebrating life and honoring one another. We are gay, bi and trans guys. We have survived toxic shame, identity crises and possibly addiction. We are now claiming our authentic selves, our gifts, our humanity, our brotherhood, our friendship and that we deserve the best that life has to offer. We stand in solidarity, kick up our heels in joy and combine our gifts and talents to heal and empower ourselves and the world.”
In the next weeks, I will be tailoring my work to to achieve that goal, so stay tuned. I deeply appreciate Janis’ viewpoint and her suggestions, she even shared with me a personal client and recommended I contact her. Janis truly cares about artists and proves an excellent guide and coach, her company is JNS Creative Vision.
People ask, how do I come up with my abstract works, what inspires them? So I am going to pull back the curtain to my studio and show you my creative process.
I began with this photograph of a neighbor’s yard taken years ago. I was inspired to take the photograph, because the different levels reminded me of old photos I had seen of gardens in Charleston, South Carolina, where my Dad’s family originated.
The photo turned out rather average, but the colors and different textures were nice, so I decided to transform it into a “Digital Watercolor.” Photo realists make paintings that look like photographs. I do the opposite, which gives me a pop art kick, I have to confess.
After I had transformed the picture, I still was unhappy with the composition. Pixels.com offers a 4:1 proportion production option, meaning they can create a work that is four times longer than it is wide. So I cropped my favorite slice of my new artwork, in that proportion to load at a later date.
Imagine this three-and-a-half feet tall! I’m suddenly feeling a whole lot better about my wonky, quasi-Southern photograph. Then I tune into the snap dragons and fall in love with the color and shape, so I make cuttings of the snap dragons.
It’s just a wee little image under 350 pixels long and in this form reminds me of England in the 30’s, somewhat pale and pretty, but also a bit of a yawn. So I flip it. I skew it. I have to enlarge it, but the program I used to edit it, fotosketcher, can only enlarge by 300 percent at a time. The trick is that every time an image is enlarged it needs to be reprocessed in order to have sharp edges, without it the artwork looks fuzzy and in extreme enlargements, pixelated, which won’t do. Now, I’m having fun, adjusting colors, composition, direction, and contrast. The end result:
You never know how the creative process will turn out, but it always feel so wonderful. I was able to create three abstracts! To see the series, CLICK HERE.
Super pleased with my Pixels membership, it is an outstanding user-friendly site. One benefit of being a member of Pixels.com are the groups that members create to promote a specific niche. Nature Photography 1 Per Day curated by photographer Robert Harmon allows members to post an image a day.
This is a recent work of mine included in the group:
Douglas, you always come from the heart, wonderful post!
Originally posted on Moorezart:
I paraphrase author Tim Cahill in the title of this artwork. The original quote is: “A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.“
When I think about these two canine companions I am struck with their unbridled sense of adventure. Their enthusiastic willingness to go, without fear, where they have not been before. To see what’s behind that hill, inside that tree, under that rock. If there’s a stream then it must be run through, drank from. Every trail and non-trail is another world to discover. What inspiring role models they unknowingly are. Are not travels and journeys chocked full of possibilities?
I have traveled a tremendous amount in my life. I admit though, as I age, I’ve lost some of that need to go, to adventure. But as I read…
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