Halloween Triptych

Happy Halloween! I can't believe we only have a few hours left in October 2014! Whoosh!

Silly story: I was driving down my street yesterday and a black cat started to cross the road in front of me and, when it saw my car, it turned around and went back the other way! I have to say I was a tad insulted that the black cat was scared to cross my path - or scared to let me cross it's path. How is that curse supposed to work again?

Anywho - I made a little Halloween Triptych to celebrate the day. This was one was edited with Pixlrexpress, Mextures, Repix, ShockMyPic, and Scratchcam. 

October Trees by Kirsten Olson Malinee

Here's the gallery of photo edits I used for the triptych:

I haven't played with ScratchCam in a while and I had lots of fun with it today as my last step in the process. When I began editing the photo this was not the direction I was planning to take it in. I was going to do a light edit on a pretty colored sky with the trees in silhouette. But it is October 31 and my penchant for drama and spooky fun took over. So I made my pretty edit and ... I wanted to play more so I added the ravens with Repix and then finished it off with three different ScratchCam edits. And I couldn't pick a favorite so they all had to be a part of the final product. Ta daa!

Happy Halloween! Stay safe! Stay warm! Eat ALL the candy!!!

Exciting Things Flowing Forward

It's time for an update on what's what.

iPhoneography is still my primary art-full creative outlet. #OctoberCreate - has been focused on the season and art found in nature.

Our home renovations are almost complete which means my art room will come back online in the near future. I'm getting antsy about it - like a kid impatient for Christmas. Since we're combining the art room and the office in a much smaller space, I know I'll have to let go of some of the junk I've been storing and hauling around with me for years and years - there's something exciting about that too even though I know I'll be confronting tons of resistance. TONS OF RESISTANCE! No kidding.

New Projects!

Two exciting projects are in the works! First, I'll be teaching a one credit hour course for the MU Theatre Department next semester. The course is reuniting me with one of my loves, Psychodrama. And double extra bonus: I will be supervised by my friend, mentor, and teacher - Louise Lipman. My fingers are crossed that I'll finally be able to sit for my certification exam with the ASGPP - in the next three to five years. 

The second project is called Verbatim, the brainchild of my bestie, DeeDee Folkerts! Verbatim will combine writing, psychodrama, and storytelling. We have a date in mind for our first workshop and storytelling event shortly after the first of the year. Stay tuned! This is the project I've been waiting for my whole life. It's not like anything I've done before - except for the psychodrama part. It has a high learning curve and we're building as we go - which means we're not going to sit around waiting to reach a certain perfection before we launch. We're launched!

Here's a little pic we made on Sunday so we could launch our FB community page.

Those are DeeDee's hands on the typey thingy. Typing a shocker of a story. :)

Those are DeeDee's hands on the typey thingy. Typing a shocker of a story. :)


On September 11

I wrote this post four years ago and I did a light rewrite this morning. Almost everything I said and felt in 2010 still feels true to me today so I'm going to beat this drum again - and again - and again.

It's September 11. 9/11. The day I buy yellow roses and take them to the statue in front of Engine 1.
I buy a yellow rose for my house in honor of Laura Rockefeller and in honor of everyone who died and survived that day.
But, do I mean everyone? Do I include the terrorists in this?
Why bother. They wouldn't care anyway. They're proud of what they did.
They think they've won.
But they didn't win if 9/11 becomes something that unites the entire world with a vision of love and peace.
In honor of one of the many moments that turned our heads and made us more aware of the joy of being alive - and aware of how much of an impact hate can have on the world.
What if we turn our heads and choose to be aware of the impact love and caring can have on the world and we choose kindness and compassion.
Sometimes this is difficult for me because I can't pretend I am not very very very angry, but I can give myself permission to feel angry and use that anger as the fuel to make a choice for love instead.
It does come down to that - which will you choose?
Love or hate?
Peace or war?
Consuming or giving?
Ignoring or caring?
Kindness or ill will?
Every moment is a choice.
We often run around throughout our days thinking we have no choices, but the truth is we're fooling ourselves. We pretend to not have choices so we don't have to face the responsibility of our choices.
Choice can be a heavy burden. It's far easier to pretend choice doesn't exist. To believe we're locked in. To believe the world is just the way the world is.
The truth is the world is the way it is because we make it that way.
This is a very difficult truth for me because I look around and see so much that I don't like.
It would be willful ignorance to pretend sadness, discrimination, frustration, hatred and greed don't exist.
I'll be honest and tell you that I've chosen willful ignorance in the past. And I think I can predict with a fair amount of accuracy that I'll slip in and out of willful ignorance in the future.
But it helps to ask this question...
What impact could we all have on the beauty and kindness of this world if we made conscious choices each and every day to contribute to peace, kindness and generosity?
I admire the people who seem to be blessed with the instinct for kindness and generosity.
But, if I'm honest with myself, I know they weren't blessed with it. They chose it and continued to choose it daily in the face of hatred and fear.
Some chose to devote their lives to peace.
They are the brave and shining lights of our history.
Myself, I vacillate constantly between utter cynicism and extreme idealism.
In truth I'm more of an idealist, but I return to cynicism again and again hoping it will keep me safe from disappointment.
I'm fairly certain Martin Luther King Jr. is disappointed in us. We haven't come very far, have we? And we keep back pedaling.
I'm also fairly certain that Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Ghandi aren't sitting around shaking their heads thinking, "What fools we were. We should have known better. We wasted our lives trying to make a difference."
Whatever their reaction to the state of our world today, I'm sure it wouldn't be apathetic.
Dreams - are so valuable and precious that, I think, we're afraid to say them out loud.
What if we say them out loud and they get spit on or they blow away - or get blown to bits?
What if someone makes fun of me for saying, "I'm angry AND I want peace so I'm choosing today and onward to channel the energy of my anger into loving kindness."
Does that sound ridiculous?
Today, it's my truth.
(Writing can feel like praying.)
How would our lives be different if 9/11 never happened?
I'm afraid to contemplate that question because there are answers I don't want to hear.
Our friends and family members would be alive.
And we would still be blissfully unaware of the danger we are in - of the danger we've created.
I would be happy with both of those things. I would. But, it's not possible to turn back the clock. And how far back would we have to turn the clock to prevent the hatred that brought about that murderous day? And all the murderous days since. How far back would we have to go? Does anyone know?
We can't create peace in the past. All of us only have so many days to contribute. And I don't know how to create peace in our present, but I do know letting the memory of this day divide us any further is NOT the answer.

Never Hold Back

This is my first effort at translating "real" painting lessons to digital painting and collage. This is the first lesson for A Year of Painting taught by Alena Hennessy. I used papers created by Tangie Baxter to cut out the shapes and create the background. And I added a gesso scatter of Tangie's and a white swirl created from Studio Rebecca.

The painting was done in ArtRage and the collage work was done in PS CC 14.

My pen work is really stiff. I hope I will get better with the Bamboo tablet and pen with practice. Practice. Practice. Practice.

Since I've been painting away most of the day, I think it might be time for me to change out of my PJs and join the real world.

Never Hold Back by Kirsten Malinee - created in ArtRage and Photoshop CC 14. Credit for paper and gesso: Tangie Baxter. Credit for white swirl: Studio Rebecca.

Never Hold Back by Kirsten Malinee - created in ArtRage and Photoshop CC 14. Credit for paper and gesso: Tangie Baxter. Credit for white swirl: Studio Rebecca.

Beginning Again. Again.

I just deleted a super long (and probably very boring) blog post by accident. So i'm beginning again. And it's kind of funny that the blog post I was writing was mostly about beginning again - again.

I'm always beginning again.

Again.

On my latest journey and exploration with iPhoneography:

We, my friend Danielle and I, are on our fourth month of posting one photo a day. We began in May and here we are in the middle of August! The focus for August is on light. Here's my latest:

Light Deconstructed: edited with Pixlrexpress, Mextures, Glaze, Blendr and Snapseed

Light Deconstructed: edited with Pixlrexpress, Mextures, Glaze, Blendr and Snapseed

This one is a departure from my usual style. I think that's why I like it. It's completely abstract even though it started out as a very literal photo of squares of light on a carpet. 

That's what I love about this journey - the possibilities are seemingly infinite. 

There's a collective of inspiration that seems to be flowing into my life:

The DeviantART community.

Digital Inspiration magazine.

and last but not least my compadre, Danielle.

And I'm making a decision of sorts about where to go next. Actually, it's probably less a decision than it is me just having ended up pointed in this direction by a series of aha! moments, random explorations, and by haphazardly diving down interesting and curious looking rabbit holes. 

Since my art room - where the real paint lives - has been mostly torn apart by flood and renovation, I have been relying on the tools I have at my fingertips for creative expression, play and experimentation - and - I've decided to go ALL IN digital.

My first experiment will be to translate some of the art class assignments to Photoshop and Artrage. To see what I can replicate, what I can add, and what the new limitations bring. 

Curiouser and curiouser. More to come.

A Run-down of the #MayCreate iPhoneography Project

The #MayCreate project started because I wanted to learn more about iPhoneography. I posted on FB that I was going to take and edit one pic a day and my friend, Danielle, asked if she could play too. Of course! It's much more fun with friends. We decided we needed a hash(#)tag - because - everyone has a hash(#)tag. And we came up with #MayCreate.

This is my run-down of what happened, what I learned and how much crazier I am now than I was when we began.

The thing about iPhoneography (or Droidography) that I didn't understand when I began and I still can't quite grok is that the possibilities are limitless. My final pieces ranged from...

Abstract

to Mundane...

to Pretty...

to Magical.

And I only scratched the surface of all of these. There are many many more directions, styles, and aesthetics to explore. I also have an iPhoneography Gallery available if you want to see all the pics. 

The deepest learning wasn't about how specific apps work or how to hold the iPhone. The deepest learning came from having a daily creative practice and staying accountable to that practice. Anyone who has ever become good or great at anything got there by practice - doing the same thing over and over again until the basics were part of who they were - and by practicing the basics over and over again even after they thought they had mastered them.

I like to call it the rinse and repeat method of artistry.

Here's a list of what I learned: (this list will continue to expand)

  1. I can set a goal, begin it, and complete it. That's a big fucking deal!
  2. A good picture or a good edit always teaches you how much more there is to learn.
  3. Creating something unexpected is thrilling.
  4. Creating something pretty or magical makes me smile.
  5. Keep it simple - set out to take one picture, edit that picture and post that ONE picture every day. More will happen so let it happen, but know one is plenty.
  6. You can pay as much or as little as you want - on education, materials, and tools - and you can still learn and improve and end up better than you were when you started.
  7. Learning a different app (way to do what you want to do - because there's always more than 100) will disrupt old comfort zones and create new ones.
  8. You can travel light and still have a studio. You don't need anything more than one tool that you always have with you - an iPhone, a notepad, a pencil, a sketchbook, or a camera - to have a daily creative practice. Pick your tool and go!
  9. Having a friend on the journey is immensely valuable and comparison is futile. Danielle has a different aesthetic than me - that doesn't make mine any less than hers. Both of us shared our vision (our voice) with our friends and both of our voices were valued, appreciated, needed - and we each made the other better because we were there for each other doing it together.
  10. I can't wait to do more, explore more, learn more.

#JuneCreate will continue with iPhoneography. In June we're each featuring the same subject in daily photos. For #JulyCreate we're going to tell a story in a series of daily photos. Here's my subject for #JuneCreate: meet Baby Buddha. He's a little Buddha statue that sits on my desk in my office. This month he'll be traveling around town with me and getting his picture taken anywhere and everywhere.

Here's his first picture in the raw - no edits:

And here he is in the final version - same pic all app-ed up:

More to come.

Daydream Collage

It's been a long time since I did a digi collage. I love it so much. I get completely lost in the process. When I'm beginning, I have no clue what I'm doing or where I'm going. Then I feel a click and I'm gone. This is my first in almost two years. I'm retraining myself on the process. Also learning Photoshop CC instead of Elements 10. This one features pieces from two kits by Tangie Baxter, her Compendium of Daydreams and her Goddess kit. You can find them on Studio Girls Scrapbook Graphics. I also did some painting in this one using my Wacom tablet.

Blog Updates

Hello! I'm working on updating Disbelief Suspended every day. You may not see much evidence of that, but it's happening. Some of the work is tedious and most of it gets tossed out at the last minute. 

The upshot is. Disbelief Suspended will be leaner. I hope I can stick to that. I love to add more and more and more, but I'm trying to restrain myself. The About & Why page is updated! Finally!

I'll be adding more about Creatively Fit with links to classes and coaching opportunities this month. There will also be a resources section with book reviews, etc. Maybe a book club!?!

I made this on my iPhone using ArtRage for iPhone.

In the meantime the DIY MFA is offline, but it will be making an appearance in a different format very soon.

The Performance Lab is no more. I took the webpage down and the FB page should be going offline shortly. It takes FB approximately 14 days to remove a page. Letting go of The Performance Lab is sad and liberating at the same time. My goal is to create white space - blank canvas - in my life so I can play and explore with an entirely new vision. Well, not entirely new, but very much evolved vision.

I'm also resigning from the Columbia Entertainment Company Board of Directors as soon as I have completed my duties as Chair of the Play Selection Committee - this month or next depending on how the Board rolls with our recommendations. More white space.

I hear crickets.

All of this letting go, is sad and happy at the same time. I don't want to lose connection to my friends from the theater crowd because I love them! I do! And, at the same time, I'm being called to a new adventure and I have to honor that. I know. I've written about this before, but part of the process of me letting go is reiterating the what and why. I'm not trying to convince myself or anyone else - but I'm finding that I do need to reaffirm my purpose so I can keep moving forward.

Moving forward to more art, more writing, more creating, more work with Creatively Fit and the wonderful Creatively Fit coaches, more exploration. I'm making a map while I'm moving through new terrain. Just like Lewis and Clark!

Technical Update: when I exported Disbelief Suspended to the new format - many of the posts didn't get imported. I will be importing some of them manually - and some of them will just blow away into the nether of the interwebs.