Tag Archives: Inspiration

Sunrise at Summit Beach

Sunrise at Summit Beach by Karen Gadient, 2014

It’s been a while since I’ve done a dream post, but I visited an interesting place in my dreams the other night and wanted to make some artwork to remember it.

Much like my last dream post location, I’m pretty sure I was on another planet.

David and I were staying at a beachside resort at the base of a snowy mountain range. I don’t think the landscape was actually shades of red and orange as much as the atmosphere—and, like the last dream, twin suns—cast it to appear that way… but it was eerie and warm and incredibly strange.

So, where have you visited in your dreams lately?

Sunrise at Summit Beach. Created with Corel Painter and Adobe Photoshop.

All human beings are also dream beings. Dreaming ties all mankind together.
— Jack Kerouac

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Filed under Art, Color, Creativity, Digital Artwork, Dream Stories, Inspiration, Landscape, Ocean, Psychology, Quotes, The Unknown

Insomnia’s Daughters

Insomnia's Daughters by Karen Gadient, 2014

The other morning, I was watching Antiques Roadshow and someone had brought in a poster by Andy Warhol. I hadn’t thought about Warhol since the last Men in Black movie—where Andy Warhol turns out to really be an undercover MIB Agent (not much of a spoiler, I promise). So…

After coffee, I went upstairs and made changes to the portrait experiment I was working on. And the image with this post is what I did.

I haven’t been sleeping well lately. I kinda look like this in the mirror every morning, coffee or no. Fatigue is like a bad trip. Now that I’ve exorcised the sleepless eyes onto the canvas, maybe I can get forty decent winks.

Not being able to sleep is terrible. You have the misery of having partied all night… without the satisfaction. — Lynn Johnston

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Filed under Art, Color, Digital Artwork, Inspiration, Journal, Life, Portrait, Poster

AETHER / Interactive Audiovisual Installation

Fantastic. Beautiful. Living digital art.
I’d love a wall of my house to be like this.
What do you think of it?

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February 3, 2014 · 10:46 pm

Daily Prompt: Mantric Mirror

Mantric Mirror by Karen Gadient, 2014

I’ve never done a prompt before, but since I’m crazy for psychedelic art and have been experimenting with digital watercolor, this prompt really appealed to me. Thanks to Jackie at Lostinthot for leading me to the prompts blog.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us MIRRORED.

Created with Corel Painter and Adobe Photoshop. I did this one for fun and not for sale, but please click through the image to see my other artwork. Thanks!

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Filed under Art, Blogging, Color, Creativity, Digital Artwork, Imagination, Inspiration, Prompts

Storm at Sea

Storm at Sea by Karen Gadient, 2013

Coral – Digital block print. Created with Corel Painter. Click for the print.
The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.
— Vincent Van Gogh

Speaking of sea…

Just returned from tagging along on David’s business trip to North Carolina, where I got to see Natania again. Only a day together, but there was talking and and wine and food and games—so even a day was enough.

I’m grateful for the internet, but I wish I could see friends in person more often.

On the return flight, I had the honor of beginning to read her draft of Watcher of the Skies, whose narrator happens to be Poseidon. So: sea. Water and wonder. Life and depth and flow. It’s already one of those books I love to get lost in.

Sweetest melodies are those that are by distance made more sweet.
— William Wordsworth

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Filed under Art, Color, Digital Artwork, Family, Friendship, Inspiration, Life, Mythology, Nature, Ocean, Painting, Quotes, Sea, Seascape, Writing

Still: Carlos Eyles and the Ocean

This is the first time I’ve shared a video, but this one really moved me.

Beautiful and poignant. Spirit and the ocean. Humanity.

It doesn’t matter how big your house is or how fast your car is. It’s how willing you are to open your heart to another human being. Period. — Carlos Eyles

As society enters a new era of awareness towards environmentalism on land, very much is still unknown about the sustainability of the one body that encompasses over 70% of earth: our oceans. “Still” dives into the life of Carlos Eyles, an author, free diver, and ocean photographer. Through Carlos, we are able to understand the indefinite spiritual connection between the ocean and humankind.

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January 3, 2014 · 1:00 pm

Find Good in Everything

The Trees by Karen Gadient

And this our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything.

— William Shakespeare [As You Like It: Act II, Scene 1.]

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Filed under Art, Beliefs, Color, Digital Artwork, Inspiration, Journal, Life, Nature, Painting, Quotes

Shiny Dose of Retail Therapy

Orange and Purple Shoes

I’ve never been much of a “girly” girl. At least not on the outside; I wear tees and jeans and like to do “guy” things like watch teams sports, obsess over cars and boats, and enjoy a pub atmosphere. True, I have a few “girly” collections: I collect nail polish… but then, I also like to build models, and enamel is enamel, after all (yes, I have used nail polish on a model car).

But lately, with increased stress in my life, I’ve found myself seeking classic “girly” obsessions to ease my emotions.

Namely: shoes and makeup. Yep, the old standbys.

Not that I’ll necessarily buy the stuff. But I went out alone (OMG ALONE) yesterday for the first time in three weeks. And what did I do?

I tried on piles of fancy shoes.
I let the makeup store ladies put eyeshadow on me.

I didn’t buy any shoes (because I don’t need any, as Natania got me a Zappos gift certificate for my birthday). But I did buy the eyeshadow.

Now, to go watch some shark wrestling and shake off the lace.

Image from stock by jdurham.

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Filed under Family, Journal, Life, Psychology

Surrounded by Ideas

Great Space of Creative Ideas. Digital artwork by Karen Gadient, 2013.

I had a dream last night where I saw the embodiment of ideas. My ideas, your ideas, or maybe all the ideas of Earth or the universe. Not really sure. But I got the vibe that ALL THE IDEAS was what I was looking at. And so, here goes:

It started out like a spirit guide, only a spark that I followed in darkness. It didn’t speak to me. Instead, it circled like a firefly—tiny and glowing. It had no true form and was made up of the elements. Fire, water, air, and even scattering bits of earth. It soon grew so that I could see its details better. Like a tiny galaxy, floating around the blackness where I stood.

Quickly—BAM—it expanded and surrounded me. Then it took me inside it and enveloped me so that I became part of it. I couldn’t see my hands or be sure that I still had a body. All I had was an intense warmth and the sensation of water washing over me, air I knew I was consciously breathing, and the view of what looked like a million little worlds before me.

Very super cool. I mean, I was a speck among specks, but it was awesome.

Now that I’m awake and back to reality, I’m left with a sense that we’re all so small and yet so powerful. Dreams like that drive me to not waste a moment of life.

Although I did take some time to create what I saw so that you could see it too.

Do you ever have dreams that stay with you and inspire you?

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Filed under Beliefs, Creativity, Digital Artwork, Dream Stories, Graphic Design, Ideas, Imagination, Inspiration, Journal, The Unknown

Fashion and Digital Textile Design

One more post about the Phoenix Art Museum. These images, also taken by my husband David, are of the Digital Print Fashion exhibition. Everything you see here is digitally printed textile, which allows for some fantastic color and pattern. With digital printing, the sources for fashion inspiration are without limits. Many of these designs inspired me to write, because they look like they’d be at home in a science fiction or fantasy novel—yet, I’d still wear a few of them out to a party this weekend if I could! Which ones catch your eye the most?

Digital Textile Printing - Fashion Examples

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Filed under Arizona, Art, Fashion, Graphic Design, Inspiration, Photography, Printing

Black Cloud Butterflies

Black Cloud Butterflies

At the Phoenix Art Museum this past weekend, my husband David took some fantastic photographs of the Black Cloud multi-room installation of Order, Chaos, and the Space Between.

Butterflies. Swarms of them. Over the walls and ceilings.

So striking. I think the angles he used for these shots help convey what it’s like to be there yourself. I hope you enjoy David’s photography as much as I do.

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Filed under Arizona, Art, Inspiration, Nature, Photography

Full of Stars: Fireflies Among Us

This time last year [click here for last year's post], I shared my love for an installation at the Phoenix Art Museum. The work is called You Who Are Getting Obliterated in the Dancing Swarm of Fireflies by Yayoi Kusama.

We continue to be fascinated by this room of infinity lights.

It’s like being out there in space. As I said last year: it becomes complex and you become small. The specks of light in the depths of darkness… beautiful.

Yes, we still plan on having a room like this in our home someday.

In the meanwhile, we visit. This installation is one of the primary reasons we haunt the museum. This last trip, my husband took some photographs. Nothing said they weren’t allowed (sign outside of the entrance) and he tried it only when we had the room to ourselves, so we didn’t ruin the experience for others.

Here are two of those shots:

My hands, cradling a ‘firefly’ on a red-yellow cycle.

Firefly Caught

Might be a person—possibly myself—in the middle of this blue-green field.

Fireflies in Space

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Filed under Arizona, Art, Imagination, Inspiration, Photography, Space

karengadient:

On where the writing ‘magic’ comes from: a blog post from my dear friend Natania Barron.

Originally posted on Natania Barron:

Phatman - Lightning on the Columbia River (by-sa)

By Ian Boggs from Astoria, US (Lightning on the Columbia River) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

 

Sure, sure. You make your own inspiration and all that. You sit, you write, you create. I get that. It’s 90% of the equation.

But what about those moments that are unplanned? I know I’m not the only writer out there that’s found profundity in hot showers or strains of music (in fact, most of the WIP fell into my brain during a shower). There seem to be situations where my brain is prone to wander unseen pathways, where I make connections in stories that, on normal writing days, just don’t seem to happen. No, I don’t believe in Muses, but there is some curious power in the workings of our brains when it comes to creating stories out of nothingness.

When I was writing Rock RevivalI plugged into music…

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Filed under Creativity, Friendship, Inspiration, Writing

Follow Your Inner Moonlight

Inner Moonlight Quote Art

Crazy long weekend. Family time. And a meeting of friends too: I had a lovely brunch with Faye. Talked about writing and life. We have a lot in common. We both take a similar approach to the day-to-day: that you have to grab life by the… well, whatever’s handy—and make the most of it. Especially creatively.

Never mind what others say about you or what your inner editor whines. The key to success is trusting the madness and embracing what makes you unique.

Reminded me of a favorite quote. One I needed to remember. And so, I ended up doing a little art therapy and the image heading this post was the result.

Also, while I’m at it: more about Allen Ginsberg here.

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Filed under Art, Beliefs, Creativity, Friendship, Graphic Design, Inspiration, Journal, Psychology, Quotes

Time is a Dressmaker

Time is a dressmaker specializing in alterations. — Faith Baldwin

Life’s been throwing me curve balls lately. It looks like the game is going into extra innings and will just get crazier. However, instead of getting glum about it, I took some art therapy time and ended up with a piece of quote art. Might be doing more of these, in between cups of mojito tea and glasses of fine local wine.

Quote attributed to Faith Baldwin.

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Filed under Art, Creativity, Graphic Design, Inspiration, Journal, Life, Quotes

Ten Things Our Cats Have Taught Me

I published this just over a year ago when I first started blogging. Only I didn’t have much of a reader base at the time. Recently, I’ve been thinking about this post and how true it really is—at least for me. Cats still keep me grounded.

Mister Jones

Our cats are always by my side as I work. It’s one of the benefits of having a home office. My office window has a ledge specifically for them, and it’s just an arm’s length away from my desk. They keep me grounded. Having cats has taught me a few things, and I’d like to share them with you.

Live in the present. — It’s really all that matters. At least until you hear a can of food being opened. Or in my case, smell the coffee brewing.

Good things happen when you purr, not when you hiss. — That’s when you get treats. This applies to the online world just as much as when you step out the door. People like you better when you’re positive, and that reaps rewards.

Don’t skip a meal. — Keep your tummy happy and it won’t distract you while you’re trying to focus on other things. Our cat Jonesy (photo above), who really appreciates his food dish, taught me this one.

Meow often. — Taught to me by Nimbus, who is not even Siamese. Toot your own horn. I mean, try not to be obnoxious about it—and combine it with purrs while trying to look cute—but be proud of yourself and share with the world.

Cuddle with those you love. — Even if they’re busy, they’ll appreciate it within minutes. Plus, you’ll feel better too.

Be playful. — Have fun with daily things. Everything can be a game if you make it one.

Be curious. — That’s how you find stuff out, and some of that stuff could be the coolest thing you’ve found so far. Seriously: life-changing stuff.

Schedule time to do nothing at all. — Including naps, which are awesome. Meditate. Take a bath. Let life slow down for a bit. Take a look outside and watch the birds. Just chill.

Enjoy some inexpensive fun. — Our cats love cardboard boxes, paper bags, and rings from the milk bottle. Some of the best fun costs the least. Write in a journal, window shop at the thrift store, go to the park, check out the bargain movies, play a game of cribbage, or read a pile of library books.

Find the sunny spot and bask in it. — Stretch out. Breathe. Soak in the rays and let them warm your soul.

I’ll add another one, because there are plenty of cats and dogs (and other critters) yearning to be adopted out there: find yourself a pet—whichever kind suits you, however big or small. I’ve read that people with animal companions are less stressed and that they live longer. I’m willing to bet that it’s true.

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Filed under Cats, Inspiration, Journal, Life, Pets, Psychology

Barrett-Jackson Car Auction

Barrett-Jackson Car Auction Photos 2013. Photos by David Gadient.

Cars are art. Didn’t Top Gear already argue that several times? I agree: cars are indeed art. Cars are poetry. Cars are inspiring. They are things of beauty and speeding along in one makes the heart flutter. They have personality, spirit, and attitude… much like the people who drive them.

We went to the amazing Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction this weekend and spent many hours gawking at the cars. If you ever have the chance to attend one of these auctions—take it. There is just so much shiny to see! There are even food and merchandise vendors. Perfect way to spend a family afternoon.

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Filed under Arizona, Art, Cars, History, Journal, Photography, Technology

karengadient:

Besides being my dearest friend, Natania Barron is the talented writer and shining soul who led me to the true reasons for pursuing my writing passion. This post embraces that and I believe her words are something all writers should read.

Originally posted on Natania Barron:

This is a jellyfish. Image by Natania Barron, CC BY SA 3.0.

This is a jellyfish. Image by Natania Barron, CC BY SA 3.0.

I started blogging almost five years ago, somewhere in 2008, when I decided to focus on “being a writer”–whatever the hell that means. To illustrate a little: being a writer meant actually writing every day, finishing books, and apparently telling the world out there that I, in fact, have Things To Say about Being A Writer and Fiction and Steampunk and Narrative and all these Fun Capitalized Things. I had a great deal to say on the subject, filling not only this blog but another one, along the way.

I used to write a great deal about how to be a writer. How to leverage social media.How to not be a jerk, etc. Yes, I got pageviews and retweets and I made friends and all that, which isn’t to be scoffed at (and I don’t mean…

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Logos, Patches, and Inspiration

Before you guys shoot me for all the Debris Dreams posts, I promise I’ll keep those on the light side soon. However, since I’m doing my posts alphabetically and happen to be on the letter ‘L’… I figured I’d show you what inspired the CAA and Luna logos/patches I designed for the book.

Around the time I was assigned the project, we had visited the Pima Air & Space Museum to have a look at the planes and the space-related stuff they have. I’m a geek and love planes—and cars, and especially boats, but I digress…

Lucky for me, they also had plenty of patches to gawk at. Here are a few of the photos I took (with my ancient cell phone, hence the amazing quality), along with the CAA and Luna logos below them. In case you’re curious, the crane’s banner on the CAA logo says “Semper Fidelis” in Chinese.

Debris Dreams - Logo Inspirations

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Filed under Arizona, Art, Books, Graphic Design, Inspiration, Publishing

Song of the Furies

Artwork inspired by the Furies.

I created artwork for the letter ‘F’ this week. My inspiration is taken from Aeschylus’ Eumenides (you can read it at that link)—also known as the Furies.

From Wikipedia: In Greek mythology the Erinyes (Ἐρινύες, pl. of Ἐρινύς, Erinys; literally “the avengers”) from Greek ἐρίνειν ” pursue, persecute”—sometimes referred to as “infernal goddesses” (Greek χθόνιαι θεαί)—were female chthonic deities of vengeance.

Erinyes corresponds to the Furies or Dirae in Roman mythology.

My inspiration isn’t exactly random. I’d recently been thinking of a performance I’d recorded off PBS over twenty years ago (with a VCR—remember those?). It was Sir Peter Hall’s version: Aeschylus: The Oresteia, performed at Britain’s Royal National Theatre. Done with masks, piercing notes, chanting and lyrics, it stuck in my mind. As a theatre major later, I always thought, “Oh hey, we should do a Greek tragedy with MASKS!” but it never happened.

All the same, the part with the Furies always stuck with me the most. Sometimes we can feel like we’re being pursued by our mistakes (although most of us don’t have murder on our hands). In Sir Peter Hall’s version, the Furies had red hair and gaping mouths. Bit scary! My version is more on the lovely side—but don’t be fooled: she has fangs beyond those lips. *grins* Then, don’t we all?

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Filed under Art, Art Portfolio, Digital Artwork, History, Mythology, Sketchbook, Theatre