About Me

My photo
Somewhere in the Mojave Desert, California, United States
Gazing into this abyss called Life and wondering.....what's next !?!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

From dreams to reality...

So all I can say of the past week is 'Wow!'...... Not only have I stepped out of my own rut but I've been catapulted squarely from my dream into my new reality. Can't say too much at the moment as I'm frantically preparing for a trip to Alaska with my son - visiting friends and meandering in the wild, open spaces. Around that, I am tying up loose ends with helping get our annual Open Studio Art Tours ready - my 'job' is prepping the artists' images for the catalog and website and making sure everyone has something suitable to show. It's been a learning experience to be sure - I can't wait to see this year's works. We have some inspiring folks nestled among the desert boulders and thorns..... What a treat to be working with some of them behind the scenes...

What's this dream of yours, you ask? Oh.....to take my imagery to a whole new level - for the area I live in anyway. The photograph in the frame route feels so 'been there, done that'. And while there are many, many inspiring photographers with incredible captures I am in awe of - I just needed to find that something different. Something that might stand out. Being the practical girl that I am, practical art is what I am drawn to.

With that said, look for my 2013 calendars - hopefully a variety of sizes and functions (wall, desk, pocket sizes), printed on archival papers, largely with iconic images of this great desert I live in. The first prototype has been sent to the publishers just today. I am anxious to check out the quality before I mass order. When they arrive, I'll post pics of the products here and I invite your input.

The other thing that excites me to no end is using fabric to display my images. Think bandanas, silk scarves, unique t-shirts, bags, cloth pieces that can be sewn into pillows, you name it! - all 100% organic cotton or silk fabric. Each item will have a one of a kind image (captured by moi, of course....) that uses the sun to transfer permanently onto the fabric via a way cool process using Inkodyes. Each piece is hand created from taking the image, processing it digitally, and printing it onto the fabric using the energy from the sun (and some very unique chemistry). Nothing is mass produced or sent out - every piece is artfully created, one at a time. I am very excited about this fresh, innovative company - who invented these special dyes and technique - located in Los Angeles. Once I receive my supplies and get started with printing my images on fabric, I will post my progress here and share more about this fabulous company. The best part is I get to meet them and see their creative genius in action later on in August. Stay tuned!

Oh yeah, and think Christmas! Chanukah! Birthdays! Any day worth a gift to someone you care about or for yourself!  You just might find something artfully useful right here.........

I will leave you with images of the Kenai Peninsula, where I will be next week. Breathe deep and try to feel the coolness, smell the air ripe with the scents of salt and earth and air filtered clean by the richness of Life....  I can't wait!


I believe this was somewhere outside of Soldotna, AK. We took a lovely stroll 
through the woods here in the summer of 2010...


Hiking the trail to Exit Glacier....looking back behind us (making sure the black bear who crossed our path earlier wasn't still lurking nearby...)


Eagles, eaglets everywhere! This "little one" was stretching its wings and feeling out the flying bit. Its parents were nearby, watching. The funny thing about this eagle's nest is that it wasn't way out in the deep, dark wilderness. It was in a lone tree, in a parking lot right by the main road going into the town of Homer, AK.      I think it wanted out of its rut, too.....


Ah yes, flowers, flowers, flowers....growing wild and free right by the road ways. I particularly appreciate this assortment of poppies and the like. They wouldn't last a day once the desert summer heat sets in. This was certainly a treat for the eyes and nose...

I look forward to showing you scenes from this year's sojourn into the Alaskan landscape. Who knows what will present itself to us this year...


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Part 2, On stepping out of ruts

Whew...busy, busy, busy....

Snippets of what's brewing in this desert heat (of which we've been given a lovely reprieve with bouts of glorious rain, cool breezes, and semi-cloudy days - my a/c is on a much needed hiatus...)...


This is what is brewing this very minute out of the picture window where I sit and do 'computer stuff' - meaning prepping over 125 photos. Twice. At least. For every photo used in the catalog and on the website. Our upcoming Hwy 62 Open Studio Art Tours is the last 2 weekends in October. 

Follow it here!

The horizon is now filled with darkening clouds, the promise of more rain in the air. Monsoon season has arrived earlier yet we are still behind in annual rain fall....





Christmas in July! A birthday present 6 months early! Or how about just a well-deserved, much planned for gift to myself? Finally. I can print my works the way I want. Stay tuned for printed pieces and how to buy them and where they will be showing....
















And, of course, when it was too hot to do much else, sometimes you just need to stop, put your feet up and refuel. Alternating between reading a memoir on one woman's sole trek over 1,000 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail and watching a food channel on no cook, summer produce meals...







Here is the newly reorganized 'creative corner' with encouragement from my biggest fan -Toby + my iMac, scanner, laser printer, a multitude of journals, how-to books, and other inspirational reads with the trusty rebounder smack-dab in the middle. Why? Because I've learned: 1.) if I put it away to get out when I plan to use it, I don't. Now it gets put up for company and I use it every day, and 2.) a few minutes of daily bouncing gets the creative juices flowing when I'm stuck - not to mention it keeps my legs and core strong for when hiking season is in full swing this fall...


And finally, something to force me to really put my work out there...The Sketchbook Project. A very inspirational project with literally thousands of participants all over the world. The completed sketchbooks travel the North American continent (for now) and then are housed at the Brooklyn Art Library complete with an official library number. Pretty sweet, huh?

You can learn more about this project here:              The Sketchbook Project 2013

Ok, enough dawdling for today. Other than my photo processing files, time to shut down the 'net, absolutely no Facebookin' but, maybe a bounce or 2 and a meander outside in the freshly washed desert air to help stay out of that rut....

Stay cool.


Sunday, July 8, 2012

On how to step out of a rut...

Sometimes, I feel like I'm on a path so well trodden that I can't see over the berm to the views alongside me.... Isn't this supposed to be summer vacation? What teachers dream of after the turmoil of test prep, crowded classrooms, and bureaucratic confusion? I have this habit of not being able to say no to things I really have no interest in doing which takes me away from those I do - even during summer vacation.

And then nothing gets done.

Yesterday was a day like that. I couldn't relax. I couldn't "get productive".  And then I just got grumpy...

So, I broke out the trampoline and rebounded for about a 1/2 hour to rev up the blood flow....


Then,

I took myself out to a movie.......  "To Rome With Love" - the newest Woody Allen flick. You have to appreciate Woody's meandering, quirky humor of the human psyche. You either get him or you don't. I do. So, it was a fun-get-out-of-my-dull-mood movie for me.





Next,

I had Ben and Jerry's for dinner - a small cone of Cherry Garcia and Coffee!Coffee!Coffee! nibbled in the shade while watching families and couples meander about the plaza.... While sitting there, I had this idea that it would be fun to set up a drop cloth and take impromptu portraits of passersby....asking them to tell me, in one sentence, one important thing about who they think they are.  Could you, in one sentence, give a clear picture of your essence?

Better get busy. You might be my first subject.....







And then,

I took myself to a bookstore and filled my head with interesting titles to explore later. Just being among the rows and rows of crisp, new pages and hardcovers and lots of things I still don't know makes me happy - and I don't have to buy a thing........






However, I did buy my Kindle a present so it can be more easily read in the nighttime hours just before I finally drift off to sleep.........




















Mission accomplished.  After a blissful night of deep, dreamless sleep, I'm standing on the edge of the berm of my rut. Reinvigorated. Tasks and creative endeavors prioritized and ready for production. Grumpiness removed.

But not until a short meander in my beloved desert...........

Step out of your rut. It'll do you good.

PS: Yes, I changed the look of my blog, again. This one suits way better, don't you think? Desert sand in the background, birds flying out of my sky. The photos are framed better. Simple. I think this one will stick. For now....

All images iPhone4 ©Diana Shay Diehl

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Promise yourself...

What to you think about as you meander around the great outdoors? Do you meander in the great outdoors? If not, you absolutely should. Dr. Shay's orders. It's good for what ails you and reinforces all that doesn't.  I stumbled upon this poem somewhere on the 'net.  Something to turn over in your mind as you wander instead of the usual things that can strip us of peace and joy.....



My favorite light at the end of the day - just before sunset.....



2012 ©Diana Shay Diehl / JTNP




Promise Yourself...


To be so strong that nothing
can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness, and prosperity
to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel
that there is something in them
To look at the sunny side of everything
and make your optimism come true.

To think only the best, to work only for the best,
and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others
as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past
and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times
and give every living creature you meet a smile.

To give so much time to the improvement of yourself
that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear,
and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world,
not in loud words but great deeds.
To live in faith that the whole world is on your side
so long as you are true to the best that is in you. ” 

~Christian D. Larson

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 236th birthday, America...

For those dear readers who do not live in the USA, today is the 236th birthday since our nation signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 in Philadelphia's Independence Hall. Regardless of anyone's political beliefs or frustrations with the current political climate, you've got to admit, no other country has embraced diversity and human rights like this country has. Yes, there are many issues to wag one's tongue at and shake our heads in disbelief - but, we have a choice in this country. And that choice is to vote and make noise for what's the right thing to do. Is everyone happy with those choices or how they may come about? No. Certainly not. But I don't think that is the point.....

In any event, there is much to be grateful for and celebrate in this country I call home. I hope you will find that to be true for yourself as well.

Here is a link to the original wording of the Declaration of Independence. The words ring as true today as they did 236 years ago. Perhaps some of our political leaders need a gentle reminder of that...

                                                   The Declaration of Independence


Happy birthday, America........ And many, many thanks to all who serve in order to keep democracy alive...



©Diana Shay Diehl/2012