Archives

Overcoming Fear

I was going to fill out my application for the “Fall into the Arts” art walk,(for Novembers showing), but I had this strong anxiety from the past two stop me. I know that if I apply now I can just focus on the work as I go. But I feel kinda scared to move.

I got great reactions from my photography work during the first one and good reactions towards my nature crafted art from the second. So what’s holding me back?

FEAR

Everytime I apply for something that has to do with showing my art, I think I will fail in some way. That no one will see it as art or see it as good enough art to be shown. The other thing that scares me is that I just don’t want to look unprofessional. I have my photography, digital art/drawings, nature heart pictures, and my nature crafted characters. If I show all of these mediums at once it looks kind of cluttered.

The Seed of Doubt

During the last art show, someone asked me “is this all yours?” When I replied proudly “yes” they seemed shocked, yet disinterested, then they quickly moved onto the next artist. I actually haven’t felt quite the same about my art sense because of it… I agree that I don’t really have one artistic focus and that my display seemed a bit overwhelmingly different from each piece. But it felt like I was finally showing all of me.

So What Do I?

First, I need to change the way I have been thinking about my art and its worth. Second, I’m filling out my application by the end of this week! I think I’ll only bring six pictures of my best photography and display my other art differently. My main focus this time will be my nature crafts. I have one large picture I’d like to create πŸ˜‰. So I’ll just have to get started!

Simple Beauty Day 16

Whenever I feel like bursting from seams from “what am I doing and where do I go next,” I always find myself at the base of an old tree. As if to seek guidance from a grandparent far older than my own, I sit and contemplate about life. The reason for it all and the direction of where its going.

For some reason these giant plants calm me down, slow my wild thoughts and remind me to take things slow.

“Be at ease, let the wind through my leaves help you breathe. Everything’s going to be okay.”

I almost didn’t post today. Its was a hard day at work and the gloominess of the day made me want to sleep it away. But something in me desperately needed to clear my heart and soul. Then, a thought of my favorite nearby tree came to mind. So I took off my shoes and walked to my release.

I have been coming to this tree ever since I moved here. In fact, any place I have moved to I have found a special tree to share my thoughts about life with. These gentle beings are the best listeners. After about an hour of inner rambling I finally felt like I could breathe again. I still don’t know what step to take in my life, but at least now I feel like myself again. ❀

I am so grateful to have been able to live near nature all my life. I honestly don’t know what I’d do without someplace to go in nature. It has been my greatest mentor and therapist. πŸ‘£πŸƒπŸ’ž

Postponed Post

So, I recently got a subscription with adobe premiere pro’s video editor. I was planning on posting a video that I’ve been making on my spare time today (of me dancing with my hula-hoop….) but as I was putting it together I ran into a lot of technical problems.

One was that the song I chose was too long(so I had to shorten it.) Two, was a problem with the loaded clips being extremely choppy, which made it hard to edit. And lastly, my lack of current knowledge of Premiere Pro slowed down the progress. I’ve pretty much spent 13+ hours working and researching this project…. All for 30 seconds of video…lol!

I will be working on it more this week but plan on posting the finished video in two weeks. I have to work a lot of overtime at my main job this week so this will give me more time to fine tune this little piece before posting it.

I thought I knew enough about this video editor but then again the last time I used it was back in 2013 and lets just say I’ve either forgotten a lot, lol, or they have drastically changed. I also don’t have the best laptop which is probably part of the problem too, but I will continue on because its fun to learn new things and be able to tell a story through dance πŸ˜ŠπŸ’ž.

See you again soon!

High Expectations

I recently got a subscription to adobe premiere pro’s video editor. but I think I have a ton to learn first before scheduling this particular post.

Sleeping Bear Dunes 2012

269777_10151122920791253_1802011136_n

 

I like to think of this past adventure as being a trip of many firsts… In 2012 I learned about Sleeping Bear Dunes from one of my friends at college. When I heard it was located in my home state, Michigan, I knew it was a spot I’d have to check out and planned the trip during my Summer break. I was originally going to volunteer at the national park all summer then some things didn’t turn out, but in the end I think I got what I was really looking for. Though my time there became a 5 day vacation instead, I am really glad I went. Its amazing what a few days by myself did for my mind, body and soul.

 

The first day I was there I set up my camp, locked it, and went out to paint.Β  My painting didn’t turn out well but I still had fun on my first acrylic Plein-Air project.

When I got back to my site I realized that I was alone and had no one else to keep me from wandering within my mind. I have always struggled with being alone, but this time I really felt it. I decided I’d turn in before dark to avoid my fears when my neighbor, a woman around my mother’s age, called out and invited me over. I was really happy to have someone to interact with that night.

We ended up talking by the campfire, all night, about life and random things that we were going through at the time. To test our courage, we went out to the lake in the middle of the night and listened to the waves and met a couple that were looking at the stars through the app on their phone, which we thought was so cool. The night ended with us exchanging names and numbers and wishing each other a good night’s sleep.Β  The following morning she took off for more adventures, but to this day we are still Facebook friends πŸ˜‰. Thanks again Stephanie! I’m really grateful she spoke to me that night. Meeting her made me feel stronger about continuing my stay.

The following morning I went to explore the Peirce Stocking Scenic Drive…

 

2018-05-07-09-14-01

I stopped at the first site by the bridge and wrote down a few of my thoughts about light and shadow. Then I went to see Glen Lake from the lookout point.

 

I think I found my love of silhouettes here…

I started to get hungry so I stopped off at the picnic area next.

This was my first experience with “the kissing tree” that I described in the previous post of my recent trip to Sleeping Bear Dunes.

I don’t know if the carvings were there before or after the joined growth, but I still have deep reflections about this tree. Out of all of the attractions at the scenic drive I think this lesser known spot is probably my favorite… I just hope no one else will continue to carve into it.

DSCF8870

I walked around the picnic area and saw these daisies. When I took their picture from above I couldn’t capture their brilliance so I thought I’d try something new and shoot them from below… again this has since sparked my love of taking photography “From Below.” A simple act of play and wonder brings forth new perspectives ❀ !

Just around the corner of the picnic area was the dune lookout.

I unknowingly followed a trail a little ways away.

It led to this spot, another perfect view of Glen Lake and there was even a bench shaded by the trees.

I had passed the “Dune Climb” on my way to the Scenic drive, but was pleasantly surprised that the trail I followed led to the top of the dune. I stayed there for awhile to watch families as they reached the top and felt slightly ashamed for taking a much easier route, lol. But hey, that meant I didn’t have to struggle climbing it later! lol.Β 

Around this time, my camera began to turn off because the batteries were running low. I managed to take a few more pictures by tricking my camera (by swapping the double AAs).

Pressing on I came upon the Lake Michigan overlook. This was my favorite actual site!Β 

2018-05-07-08-53-42

This spot was crowded with people, but I managed to take pictures around them. I really started to notice my loneliness creeping back at this point. Before the last site I stopped and wrote in my art journal.

 

2018-05-07-20-10-25

 

I think I hit a breakthrough with myself here and continued later, though I may have gotten a bit lost in my thoughts lol:

 

DSCF8885DSCF8886

 

I was starting to look at my struggles and find a way to work through them.

 

2018-05-07-20-19-04

The last stop was the North Bar Lake lookout. After seeing it from above, I went there the following day and found something interesting:

526646_10151122985211253_1177793269_n

When I was walking along the beach, I ran into this piece of driftwood! At first I thought someone had carved it and left it for people to find, but from any other direction it looked like a normal piece of driftwood. This strangely gave me the feeling that nature was guiding or watching over me while I was there.

The rest of my trip then became more about observing and studying the elements of nature.

 

I had a fire every night and became intrigued by the flow of fire.

DSCF8871

Every time I approached the beach, I noticed different patterns…

I even saw my first few stone hearts here.

dscf8984.jpgAnd left my first nature message for someone to find… I should have know the waves would take it lol, but this was when I learned its okay to let my creations go. Plus I turned it around as the lake saying “thank you, I accept your love!” lol.

DSCF8873

 

I visited lake Michigan many times, I went to: the Glen Haven historical village(top left), North bar lake(top right and middle), and by D.H. Day campground(where I was staying).

 

DSCF8869I made it a habit to get up for every Sunrise and be present for the sunsets.

DSCF8867

Oh and I think I found my love of photographing shadows here too!

427214_10151122983956253_1883363488_n

My trip came to a quick end on the fifth day when the weather started to look bad and I wasn’t prepared for stormy weather. I learned a lot about myself during those few days and of the importance of silent moments with nature. Though I had no idea what I was doing throughout the trip, deep down I think… maybe I did. Maybe this trip wasn’t about being a part of something like volunteering. Maybe a part of me knew that this “time” was about returning to myself.

I hope you enjoyed the post this week, it was a lot of fun to look back and write about this experience. It was a little scary to share my inner thoughts and parts of my journal but I’m glad I did! Have a wonderful week, and see you next Thursday!

 

 

 

Some Changes

I’ve been working on adding a professional Portfolio to the main page of unfoldingtheheart.com.Β It will be done by next Friday, the 18th, by 5pm.

That way people can go through my art, contact me for commissions or to purchase my previous art. These are a few of the buttons I’ll have to go into other pages. Which ones do you like or could use improvement? I haven’t done this type of website work before so anything helps, lol! Have a wonderful day and see you all soon, with a new look!

 

This will be similar to the main page. I have a few things to fix or redo.

 

This is just a base of the Art portfolio. These buttons will lead to the actual work.

 

 

Scattered but Working

This week has been somewhat productive. I kind of worked on a few different things instead of focusing on just the nature art.

 


 

I dabbled with my base drawing after a walk inspired me to create this gal.
 

 

And I tested different looks for the piece I’ll be donating to my Art Centers upcoming fundraiser. I’m leaning more towards the black spray painted frame and black outlines around the pictures. I think it looks cleaner and makes the pictures stick out more.

 


 

And lastly I played around with how I’d like the blog to be set up and what my logo will be for Unfolding the Heart. All I have to do next is try out both of these concepts on the computer.
 
I think I’m onto a good start. I’m gonna take a break from this Saturday’s post but will be back next Thursday as usual. See ya next week!

 
 

Art Within Heart

Today I wanted to write a post about my relationship with art and a few of the happy shifts that I’ve started. Recently I confronted a part of myself that hinders my art and working towards refining my skills. This part likes to bully my artistic self. In the book “the Artists Way” Julia calls it her Censor, and mine always brings up the thoughts: “I can’t create art if I don’t have enough money, I can’t make money off of Art, or at least not enough to make a living.”

 

The Problem

This type of thinking has always crippled me from doing most of the creative ideas that I have or I want do. “Because, why put energy into something that won’t give a good enough return back….but if I just had enough money I could do my art…”. Something deep down within me wishes that I would stop believing in these old and damaging lies.

Shifting Perspectives

So, a few days ago I decided to try and change. I got into my one of my art journals and started to write. The picture above was pretty in my book but I really wanted to emphasize the feeling of the phrase so I got even more creative and popped it into PicsArt ^_^.

I stumbled upon an interesting thought in the one below and played around with the thought of the word art being in heart.

After writing out affirmations, I also wanted to change my thoughts about art not creating prosperity. I went through a record book and added up all the art pieces that family, friends, and strangers have bought over the years and realized I have made more than I previously thought. Not necessarily enough to pay monthly bills but, if I really put forth effort to develop the forms I love most, it doesn’t seem as far away now. The last thing I wrote in my art journal is what sparked the idea of writing this post. “My heart defines my art.” If I continue to look at art in a better light, the future could be endless…. and this thought is enough for me to make my next push back into myself πŸ˜‰ .

 

See you next Thursday! ❀ ~ Mandi