Recycling Paintings

IMG_1638 Here’s a mixed media painting thats been recycled, after deciding the first version wasn’t my style. Ala Mindy Lacefield, and her supportive videos, this originally looked like these:
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She has magazine boots and a magazine eye. Not my thing. I had such a fun time oblonging her head and going bold with paint. Her face and hair are an eerie shift for me.
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The sides were covered with bits of Gelli prints I had fun making. Then I did some blending and added the big black loops. On this last one, I went with the new eerie face idea, but haven’t figured out how to finish it. Having fun with the raw style!
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Vipassana Meditation

images-4Meditation. I’m meditating, about 20 minutes a day, wherever it fits in. I got inspired to try Vipassana-style meditation again, after listening to Tim Ferriss. Vipassana cultivates “mindfulness.” There is nothing spooky or irrational about mindfulness, and the evidence of its psychological benefits is now substantial. Mindfulness is simply a state of clear, neutral, nonjudgmental attention to the contents of your consciousness, whether pleasant or unpleasant. Developing this quality of mind has been shown to reduce pain, anxiety, and depression; improve cognitive function; and even produce changes in gray matter density in regions of the brain related to learning and memory, emotional regulation, and self-awareness.

My favorite mediation guides are Tara Brach, Jon Kabat-Zinn, and even Sam Harris–go to his website for 2 short guided meditations. For the best source of stress-reducing guided meditations and trainings, go to SoundsTrue.

Sometimes I meditate before I paint. I watch my mind jumping to all the ways I want to take stock and create meaning out of everything. Or it will jump to images or ideas to paint. Then I notice that I’m just sitting here breathing again. And I just keep coming back to breathing.

Painting Raw

This week, I’ve been trying to paint without trying so much. Man its hard not to go back and fuss and get tight and want to fix everything. The trick with this style of painting, ala Mindy Lacefiled, Artur Akopjan, Erin Ashley, Marti Somers, Christina Romeo and scads of other “raw” artists, is to go for an emotion~let go of beauty. At least thats how I’m going after it these days:photo 1 photo 3 photo 5

This next one is inspired by Artur Akopjan. I layered paper and then paint and then drew into the paint with Caran D’Ache Neocolor crayons, yum.

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From here, I used blue for the eyes, which gave the figure a haunting quality I really like:

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Mixed Media Balloons

photo 7I had a good time playing with layers of paint and paper, before adding a girl on the top. It was tricky getting her to seem like she was part of the piece. Good practice.photo 1photo 2photo 3photo 4photo 5photo 6photo 7

Your Brain & Positive Emotions Conference

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If something makes you happy, don’t make a habit of it. What?? That’s right.

Your Brain and Positive Emotions Conference tip #3: okay, there is the deeper-meaningful-sustaining-happiness, and then there’s short-term-sensual pleasure-happiness. We’re going to talk about the latter–the most transitory source of satisfaction: sensual pleasures. Visuals, audio, sensorial, smells, heavenly tastes~it turns out that if you repeatedly indulge these (such as listening to your favorite band, get a massage, dancing, eating your favorite meal, go hopping in the jacuzzi) too often, its appeal dies.

Unknown-1The bummer about doing stuff you love to often, is that our brains habituate rapidly to it, and won’t offer up dopamine anymore. Ever noticed how new things, new hobbies, new bikes, new foods bring on so much of the happies? And a month or 2 later, its sort of gone neutral, and then if you continue you can actually grow an aversion to it? I do this with desserts.

Has Habituation happened to you with a favorite food or hobby? Confounding! The Habituation Principle is something brain scientists want us to know about. John Preston, Psy.D, ABPP of Alliant International University in Sacramento lays out a  plan to help counteract rapid habituation. He wants your Reward Circuits to keep pumping out the happy chemicals.

So here’s the plan:

find new hobbies, start new diets, new workout regimes, new friends, new foods, new classes, new favorite restaurants, etc. BUT, savor the experiences, avoid repeating very often, and focus on the anticipation instead of the actual experience! Wacky or what? Anticipation is hugely contributory to dopamine and serotonin’s ongoing production. I mean, dressing up for Halloween is as much or more fun than actually trick or treating, right? Well…

Anyway, have fun, but don’t make a habit of it. 😉

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