Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Delving into Unexplored Spaces…

Saturday, May 4th, 2019

Lately I’ve been experiencing a renewed motivation in my photography. Much of this is with the encouragement and support of an artist friend for which I’m very grateful. She’s encouraging some collaborative projects and regularly suggesting trips and subject matter that she thinks will inspire me to create more works.

Much of her work has been either in Sculpture / Assemblage or Charcoal, rather than in photography. So it may seem there’s not much overlap; but the cross pollination and discussions around the ideas and inspirations for the subject matter and interpretation is stoking the fires of my creativity.

Knowledge is both the Parent & the Child.
I Will Not Be Swayed.

Above are two of the works that came out of a project earlier in the week. Human Portraits are not my usual fare, but we were both very happy with what we came away with from the afternoon’s session.

The Art Life…

Sunday, February 3rd, 2019

I’ve been watching The Art Life, a documentary about David Lynch and “The Art Life”. It’s such a different picture of David Lynch than I’ve previously had, so much so that I was wondering if there are two David Lynch artists, the Director and the Artist. By that I mean literally separate human beings. But it’s one & the same. That aside it’s provoked some interesting thoughts. So food for thought.

Some of his inspirational “mottos”:

  • Coffee, food & art (work).
  • Compartmentalising life and those others in it.
  • Keep making “bad art” until you find your good art.
  • We’re deeply and constantly influenced by others all our lives. Keep making until you find your own art.

I’m so glad he’s refused to be part of the “hollywood establishment” because it’s inspirational to know that people can make it in their own way.

Workstation Black & Blue…

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

It’s come to my attention in the last few days just how much my study has been turned upside down over the last few months with various “spring cleans”. The very important workstation configuration is critical to getting work done in the quickest and most comfortable way. Clearly I’d forgotten just how well configured my workstation has been: until I realised it had been changed and that’s why all of a sudden I was feeling all this back ache and sense of stress.

So several hours was spent overnight getting it all set back up into the correct configuration again! Desk has been lowered to it’s correct position again, and while I was at it I pulled the switch apart on the electric adjustment and fixed that so that it wasn’t hanging loose anymore. Getting the chair right again has also made a significant difference. It’s not hard to tell when you’ve got it right, no back pain after an hour!

Set Course for “that away”…

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

It’s been a while since my last post however I’ve not been doing nothing. I’ve been off the Anti-Depressant’s a month now completely. I’m shocked at the positives that have come from that so quickly.

Now before I go any further don’t think for a minute that I believe that taking the course of AD’s for three years was a bad choice. Clearly it wasn’t: it enabled me to leave the toxic place of work that was driving me to the brink, enabled me to make some other decisions that have since clearly moved me into a more responsible attitude towards the further directions my life will take.

That said, I could probably have come off them 12 months after I went on them after having left the toxic workplace. Working there was clearly the most damaging thing I was doing to myself from a health perspective. Needless to say it’s done now, things are moving forward more quickly than I anticipated. All of this is good. I’ve not had a single depressive bout for the thirty odd days since coming off them.

I’d come to consider that rather than assisting me now, the AD’s were actually hindering me from moving back into the world I needed connect with again. It seemed to me that the only way to know that for sure was to come off them again and see what awaited me on the outside. I had discussed this with my GP six months back and was ready to wean off them when I decided that due to an impending job prospect I’d wait in case the levels of demand on me were such that I still needed to be stabilised. However that situation passed, the job didn’t eventuate and with another prescription renewal dawning I decided now was the time. There were no significant pressures outside the normal and I was dealing well with them. However my life was feeling like I was now treading water in the Sargasso Sea. I was uninspired, feeling creatively hindered and generally weighed down. It felt like it a draft print looks from a laser printer. There but barely.

Against and I must stress the against my GP’s suggestion I decided to come off cold turkey. We’d originally planned a tiered approach until I was no longer taking them: pretty much a two or three month timetable. But given that I now had what I considered the perfect time to do it quickly and without any significant life pressures looming I decided to jump off the figurative bridge.

I didn’t do this blindly or unprepared however. I renewed the prescription keeping it easily to hand in case it was needed. I’m an old hand at coming off mood & mind altering substances via the cold turkey method and confirming no physical risks from doing so with this medication in particular, I decided to commit to the path. I had backup plans in place, friends who were aware of what I was doing and why. They would be ready to assist if necessary.

Once again I strongly urge against this method without certain things in place. This is definitely a case of only if you’re fully aware of what might be going to happen and do your best to plan for it: certainly do not do it without people helping you. As I said even though I’ve had previous personal experience coming off a lot of illicit drugs, cold turkey is not without it’s risks. I cannot emphasise enough that it’s NOT something to go into without your eyes open and other people to be there for you if it all goes to hell. There are risks of physical reactions and extreme psychological reactions including potentially suicide.

A month later, my head is clear, my body feels grounded, I’m awaking from sleep far more refreshed and I’ve been impressed with the amount of motivation I’ve had available to channel into various tasks I’ve needed to get done for a while. I think it’s been the appropriate choice at this point.

I’m now looking forward to the new chapters in my life.

Monday Morning Gratitude List…

Monday, March 20th, 2017

Many years ago when I was first getting clean it was suggested to me that I might make a “Gratitude List” for times I was feeling somewhat negative about things in general. Last night I woke up in the middle of the night with that thought in my mind again. So I suppose it might be meaningful to do so again.

  • I’m MOST grateful for having friends. I mean REAL friends, not the fictional Social Media “friends”; friends who exist in real life, have physicality. I don’t have a lot of friends, I prefer solid, deep friendships to the casual. My friends provide emotional support, love, entertainment and a solid grounding to life. They’re priceless, they are the real wealth and richness in my life.
  • I’m grateful for my family. Although clearly as dysfunctional as the best of them, they’re still there for me in the hardest of times, and despite my foibles have learned to take me as I am. My parents have managed to provide me with a solid idea about the profoundness of ethics and values, and that people MATTER. They provided me with a good education and taught me the VALUE of education and knowledge.
  • I AM grateful for living in Australia. Despite my many misgivings about where our country is headed as against many other countries I do believe we still have a chance here to not repeat many of the mistakes that I see other countries making.
  • I’m grateful for my good physical health. I believe having good health is so often taken for granted and it’s only when you know people for whom it can’t be taken for granted and see the devastating impact on their lives that it occurs to you how easy it is to lose it.
  • I’m grateful for a solid education that taught me the value of continually learning.
  • I’m grateful that there are so many people still out there who are willing to stand up and advocate for the weak, disenfranchised and maligned within our world and remind us that there is not justice for all, that there is still much to be done to achieve a better world.
  • I’m grateful for the artists in the world showing us wonderful new ways to see the world around us.
  • I’m grateful for my cats. They keep me sane when no-one else can.

I’m sure there’s more, yet that’s as much as I can see today.

A Personal 2016 Summary…

Saturday, December 31st, 2016

If I was to sum up the year that’s pretty much now past, I’d have to say it’s not been the best of years for me. That said, it’s certainly not been the worst of years, it would have had to be a total train wreck for me to think that of it. There have been the usual mix of positive and negatives, highs and lows.

Amongst the highs would be knowing that my friends definitely care about me. All my friends have been very supportive of my situation even though it’s been to a large degree of my choice by leaving work. They have easily recognised the Psychological issues involved and not one of them has devalued me in any manner. It’s been fantastic to feel that support. I’ve clearly chosen my friends wisely. Hopefully they all feel the same.

Also travelling to NZ for both pleasure and business was absolutely awe-inspiring and definitely life enhancing. Even though in many ways we (Australians thinking about New Zealanders) think we are similar, for the most part I think these days we’re not! Geography is our most common factor. New Zealand as a community seems to be moving forward both economically and socially moving forward, whereas Australia seems only to be running backwards at a great rate. Our Politicians and most of the businesses in this country are hell bent on turning our country into a “Mini US” that seems to believe it’s citizens are an inconvenience at best and disposable at worst.

I’ve also managing to hold onto the house for at least another year. That’s been another positive milestone for me this year and a very pleasant surprise considering the economic pressure. It seems that originally buying at a price that took into account six to twelve months possible unemployment was a very sensible move.

As I said before, it’s not been all roses and chocolate. I suppose, although there are times I wonder talking to others, that no regular income this year again has been the most difficult and challenging part of the year for me. There’s no doubt that having no regular income in Australia (yes first world problem) is an unpleasant thing to stay the least. It certainly clarifies the mind with regard to Social Justice in this country: there’s very little! I know in many other countries it could be much worse but then that doesn’t justify it. Again in some other countries it is much better. Australians as a whole need to take a long hard look at what they want their future communities to be like because at this stage the outlook is extremely black.

However that said, I’m seeing the year out on a high and I believe that 2017 will be a better year for me to reflect on when its 31st of December rolls around.

To all my friends:

Thank you for your wonderful care and friendship, I hope I am always able to respond in kind.


May you all have a Happy New Year.

Monochrome No More…

Saturday, December 31st, 2016

I’ve at least got the glimmerings of hope that the New Year may not be as hard as this outgoing year has been. There’s not necessarily anything earth shattering that’s happened over the last week to make me feel this way that I can pinpoint. Christmas was uneventful, but not unpleasant, and that’s about the best I hope for Christmas. Not being a Christian, it’s a day that only has meaning by the fact it’s the one day of the year I’m guaranteed to spend time with my family at my home.

There’s no immediate signs of any work of a regular sort at the moment, it’s certainly the worst time of year to hope for that sort of change. However surprisingly there are a few jobs that I can and should realistically apply for and shall. There’s not much point in saying anymore on either of those at this stage since the last 12 months has really been a bit of a “non event” as far as such expectations go. If something more than a “thanks but no thanks” eventuates, I’ll be willing to say more on that aspect of my life. What’s more of interest immediately to me is the new found enthusiasm I seem to have found for life and facing the days.

I’ve always stated that “I’m not a Coder’s Arsehole” which is really my way of saying that I’ve not considered myself interested in Programming. The reality was that while I didn’t start a B. Comp. to learn to code, initially I did find it interesting and at least for the first few units managed HD’s. But as life’s pressures mounted and I found myself working a full time week and balancing full-time university my interest in Programming drastically evaporated. I was really far more interested in other aspects of I.T. and didn’t really anticipate working in that area of Computing. Programming had not really been in my skill set prior to University, and it seemed to me that those that were great at code already knew how to code before they hit University. That said, Fifteen years later, I find myself with a renewed interest in Programming not sullied by the Lack Lustre opinion of what a Degree (or two) is worth in the real world now.

A couple of seemingly unrelated and small conversations and some unexpected circumstances have caused me to re-evaluate my attitude and my “willingness” to apply myself to programming. It’s just possible that I might be able to generate some income by raising my skill set back up in this area. I have the time, oodles of time at the moment.

There’s pressure for work, but NOT really any pressure to do programming just to get an assignment done. I’m exploring it in the way I’ve explored anything that’s interested my in the past, and usually that means with great gusto! It’s probably more a surprise to myself than anyone else that I am actually enjoying re-teaching myself to code. Admittedly, technically at the moment I wouldn’t call it true programming as I’m starting with HTML 5 & CSS(3). However I’ve drafted out a rough plan of seeing how I got with this for a month and if the interest is maintained and my skill level grows in the manner I’m used to seeing when I apply myself to something with my natural enthusiasm for new knowledge, I shall try my hand at Programming for Apple OS & iOS and also revisit “C” Programming and Programming in C+(+). I have no great desire to throw myself into C# again, but it’s not impossible.

It seems to me a good counterbalance to the Photography and may pull me in a bit of money creating Websites or maintaining them.So through no great effort on my part it seems that 2017 may be brighter and more colourful than I was imagining a week ago.

30 Days and Counting…

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

Well I can barely credit it being December now. It’s not so long ago I was still getting organised for my NZ South Island trip! There’s been quite a bit happen over the year I guess, but unfortunately it looks like I’m seeing the year out with out any supplementary work to assist me. I’ve stopped worrying about that for the moment as my experience has been that there’s rarely much work around between now & February. So rather than worrying about lack of income for the next two months I’m simply going to focus wholly and solely on new avenues for the Photography business. I’ve been chatting with some friends tossing ideas around and otherwise mentally preparing for round three which hopefully will see a better next year.

Back Through the Archives…

Friday, November 18th, 2016

Morning of sorting through Archives & Backups to determine what can be trashed. Watch a french movie called “Livide”, which was a pleasant change from the fairly slash happy, saw ‘em up type of Horror film we get these days almost all the time.

Trying to Plan Ahead…

Wednesday, November 16th, 2016

Confirmed a weekend down in Geelong for a coming weekend prior to Christmas. Some Photography & gaming.