Making the world better…

How can bullying start in kindergarten?  This morning I heard about a 5 year old being put in a headlock by another 5 year old and pulling his glasses off his head.  My first reaction was WTF?  And it has been on my mind all day.

What does a child that age know about bullying? Why would a child that age do that? The sad part is that the bully is probably bullied at home and thinks it’s normal behavior.  Is he destined to be a bad person forever?  I believe being mean is learned, so I think it can be changed.

What if someone could show this child a different way to treat people?  Does he think that this is how you treat friends?  Does he think that is playing?  What if another child tried to talk to him and asked why he did that?

I would like to think that it’s worth a try.  So far, answering to hate with hate has not been shown to work. Just him only getting in trouble for the incident is probably not the answer.  I hope the other child talks to him and shows him there’s a better way to play.  There’s a lot of pain hidden behind bullying and hatred and I think the pain only grows without love. What if we tried to reach these children, sooner than later?  Could we change the direction they are headed?

I”d like to think so…

“Transformation #2″ 12″x24” Acrylic on Canvas

 

Perception

I have to remind myself often that people will hear and understand things from their level of perspective, or from their level of growth.

I came across an incident with someone that I did not really take as negative, or I did not perceive it as a mean gesture.  Not sure if I just felt the pain and sadness behind the comments or if I am just naive.  I commented out of love and I believe it was meant that way, but before I knew it I was unfriended.  No, I am not upset.  I guess I am sad for the friend that it involved.

One important thing to remember is that people's reactions rarely have anything to do with you.  If people get angry with comments and very quickly react negatively without any discussion, questions or explanation, they most likely are not ready to dig deep and figure out why that struck a nerve.  People can be so angry, unhappy or resentful because of their life situations that they cannot notice that the choice for change is theirs and it's not someone else's fault.

Yes, I do understand.  I have been there.  Several years back I was extremely unhappy and the easiest thing to do was to blame someone else for my situation.  Sure, that is way easier than doing the growing needed to realize that we are the only ones truly in charge of our lives.  Yes, situations happen that we can't control, but we CAN control our reactions to them.  In order to do that, we need to look at ourselves and understand why the pain is there, and yes it’s hard. As Eckhart Tolle says: "Accept- the act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it.  Always work with it, not against it." And it’s true that doing that will change your life.

When I started studying and learning what is in my heart and in my soul, and begun my personal growth, I realized that we are in charge of our own lives.  We attract the energy we put out into the world.  We need to dig deep to understand ourselves and not blame others.  And, we have to be ready for the consequences when we do that, since those that no longer match our level of growth, our frequency, will probably no longer be part of our lives.

All this is hard work.  If it was easy, everyone would do it, right?  All I can say is that the work is totally worth it.

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Learning Compassion

Is it impossible to change our minds? I know personally I used to think quite differently about several things, until I learned to see things from another perspective. When you are able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, you realize that things are not as simplistic or black & white as people have made them out to be.
What does it take to make people notice what is really going on? When there’s frustration and you notice that no one is listening and everyone has their head buried in their thoughts or belief systems, how do you get attention on your plight? Your suffering and the suffering of others? That is one reason people protest. To get attention to their plight.
I guess I would love to know if there’s a way to help someone find compassion inside themselves. To really feel what someone else is feeling. If people could truly feel the suffering of others this world would be a much different place.
I guess some of my big changes in perspective came when I started painting. I often say that I don’t know if painting led to my personal growth, or if my growth led me to my painting. I feel that the act of painting, for me, is meditative. I reach a space where the energy of feelings and emotions come through on to the canvas. I have also had collectors tell me that my paintings are more about feeling and energy than anything else. They get it, and that makes me grateful for my gift. I hope my paintings touch people enough to awaken them and start to see things differently as well.

“Compassion” 16″x20″ Acrylic on Canvas

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Blog Post 3.28.12 (It’s been too long!)

Well, I thought it was time for me to write a post, and when I pulled my blog up I could not believe it’s been that long!  I guess I do have a few excuses, I have been pretty busy.  But that has not stopped me before.

View from the new place

View from the new place

One major thing was my move!  I have not decided if I love or hate moving.  I don’t like all the work involved and the hassle involved in moving, but I love the change, the “new”, the “starting fresh” part of it.  Lot’s of great things about my new place.  #1 cheaper, #2 walking distance to my art studio, #3 free cable & #4 direct route to work.  So it’s definitely a good thing.

Rachael Ray at SXSW

Rachael Ray at SXSW

Another major “distraction” was SXSW.  I volunteered again to work SXSW EDU & SXSW Interactive.  I love it!  I actually took vacation time to do it and it was lots of work, but ended up getting in to see Bruce Springsteen in concert!  I was right by the stage, and it was an amazing concert! We also made it to Rachael Ray’s free breakfast! (but never got near the food! my friend waited 2 hrs!).  Here’s a few photos taken with my phone camera.  Boy I wished I could have had my big camera there! 🙂

Bruce Springsteen at SXSW

Bruce Springsteen at SXSW

Bruce Springsteen at SXSW

Bruce Springsteen at SXSW

Bruce Springsteen at SXSW

Bruce Springsteen at SXSW

Bruce Springsteen at SXSW

Bruce Springsteen at SXSW

Bruce Springsteen at SXSW

Bruce Springsteen at SXSW

I got a bit of painting done in February (one day I actually painted 5 minutes!).  I submitted a piece to the #TwitterArtExhibit in Norway!  The exhibit is a fundraiser organized my artist David Sandum.  This is the 2nd year he has done it and it sounded fun!  Plus I love the idea that I will have a small piece of art in Norway!

Little Blue Cosmos #3

Little Blue Cosmos #3

I also did a couple of paintings for the Arthouse 5X7 fundraiser, which I got to participate in last year and was fascinating.  If you happen to be in Austin and want to check it out, they will be having 2 events next week, the 5X7 Splurge & the 5X7 Social.  Look at their website for details.

Now I have no excuse to just get busy with my art.  I am a few minutes away from the studio, and I will be participating in the West Austin Studio Tour in May.  So I have lots to get ready for.  This is the first time I really get to participate with my studio in the tour!  I am very excited.

I will get back to posting more regularly.  I have a lot of art “business” to take care of, so I will share some info!

Photo Post 6.10.11 (ROT Biker Rally 2011)

The Republic of Texas Biker Rally (ROT Rally), is always a great photo opportunity.  So much going on and quite entertaining.  And YES, it’s loud!  I took quite a few shots, and these were my favorites.  I did just use my 50mm 1:4 lens, I thought I would see what I would come up with, and I knew it was going to get dark.  (The first shot here is my favorite!  It’s a bit blurry but I love it!)

ROT Rally- Biker Chick

ROT Rally- Biker Chick

ROT Rally Parade

ROT Rally Parade

ROT Rally- Biker

ROT Rally- Biker

ROT Rally Parade

ROT Rally Parade

ROT Rally- Viking Biker

ROT Rally- Viking Biker

ROT Rally Parade

ROT Rally Parade

ROT Rally Parade- At the Texas Capitol

ROT Rally Parade- At the Texas Capitol

ROT Rally Parade- At the Texas Capitol

ROT Rally Parade- At the Texas Capitol

ROT Rally- In front of the Paramount Theater

ROT Rally- In front of the Paramount Theater

ROT Rally Bike

ROT Rally Bike

Photo Post 5.30.11 (Extreme Apertures)

Today I had the urge to play with my camera.  I thought I would take photos at both extremes of the apertures!  I like the different effects you get from both ends.  Love the star burst shape from the f/22, and the bokeh from the f/1.4.  Here’s what I got! (And thank you to my hubby for posing for me!!!) 🙂

f/22- 360 Condos

f/22- 360 Condos

f/1.4- Watching the Fountains

f/1.4- Watching the Fountains

Daily Photo 4.11.11 (Fashion Photo Shoot)

This was my first time doing fashion photos.  This was a challenging shoot but so much fun!  Also a great learning experience.  The details for this shoot were:  red wig (business logo has same hair), try not to show the face (it’s about the clothes), try to get detail of the clothes (vintage/retro clothes), shot in small hallway (all white walls).  So, I’m always up for a challenge!

This is my favorite shot.  My husband helped with the pose (that’s what I am not great at… yet).  If you want to see a few more of the shots check out my Facebook page.  Also, check out their online store The Paraders Retro.

 

Vintage/Retro Clothing- The Paraders Retro

Vintage/Retro Clothing- The Paraders Retro

 

 

My SXSW experience and photos (3.27.11)

I really wanted to go to SXSW, but the badge price was a bit pricey for me, so I decided to volunteer.  I was lucky enough to volunteer with the interactive crew, and the team I was on, was awesome (I was most interested in seeing the interactive portion).  One thing I ended up realizing is that it was too hard to see the panels I was interested in, if I was working (will keep that in mind for next year).

This year they had SXSW EDU, which from what I understand was mostly for teachers and administrators.  I found some of the talks quite fascinating, specially with everything going on with school funding etc.  Great ideas for merging technology with teaching, I hope they try at least a portion of those ideas.  Then I worked the meet up rooms, which were a big hit.  A great idea for networking with like minded people in whatever topic you were interested in.

I got to listen to a few panels (that day job just gets in the way! 🙂 ) But I definitely want to catch more panels next year.  I was able to sit in and listen to the keynote speaker one day (Seth Priebatsch) and was blown away.

The parties were something else!  You could just walk a few steps and there was free alcohol!  But having a badge is almost a must for that! (To get into the good parties anyway).  I actually met and spoke with people more during the parties than anywhere else, so it was a great networking opportunity!  Also RSVP for parties EARLY!  I found Do512 had the best listing of parties (official and unofficial).

Here’s just a few photos.  Most were done with my EVO phone, the one day I took my camera I could not get into a party! 🙁

Frog Design Party SXSW

Frog Design Party SXSW

SXSW World of Tweets

SXSW World of Tweets

Interactive! Port-a-potty

Interactive! Port-a-potty

CNN Grill SXSW

CNN Grill SXSW

SXSW iPhone Developers Meet Up

SXSW iPhone Developers Meet Up

Pepsi Max Lot- SXSW

Pepsi Max Lot- SXSW

Mashable Party- SXSWi

Mashable Party- SXSWi

Gowalla SXSW Party

Gowalla SXSW Party

SXSW Interactive Closing Party (Foo Fighters were playing)

SXSW Interactive Closing Party (Foo Fighters were playing)

SXSW Posters

SXSW Posters

Bands Everywhere

Bands Everywhere

Foo Fighters Limo- Cruising through Austin

Foo Fighters Limo- Cruising through Austin

SXSW Party at the W

SXSW Party at the W

Seaholm Power Plant SXSW Party

Seaholm Power Plant SXSW Party

Parking Lot Party- SXSW

Parking Lot Party- SXSW

6th St SXSW

6th St SXSW

British Music Embassy SXSW

British Music Embassy SXSW

Jammin on 6th St

Jammin on 6th St

Line for Perez Hilton Party- SXSW

Line for Perez Hilton Party- SXSW

Daily Photo 3.5.11 (Bicycle Riders)

We went for a walk on the Lamar pedestrian bridge a few days ago and there was a huge gathering on bike riders.  I thought this was a perfect opportunity to get some “motion” shots!  I just sat there in the middle and kept shooting as they rode past me.

 

Gathering of Bicycles

Gathering of Bicycles

Bicycles in Motion

Bicycles in Motion

 

 

Daily Photo 2.18.11 (Austin’s City Hall)

I went to Austin’s City Hall- People’s Gallery Opening reception tonight.  Some really cool work in there this year!  It was great to see several friends there, and a few of them had some work chosen!

I love the architecture of the building, it’s modern with lots of sharp angles, made with concrete, copper, limestone and I am sure some more materials.  Here’s a few shots of some cool angles in the building and a bit of the reception.

 

City Hall 1

City Hall 1

City Hall 2

City Hall 2

City Hall 3

City Hall 3

City Hall 4

City Hall 4

City Hall 5- People's Gallery Reception

City Hall 5- People's Gallery Reception