Where the Turtles Are

How wonderful to be able to witness this! These are beautiful photos from West517. I hope you will click the link to read the entire post.

west517

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It’s not a crowded beach. It’s a very small beach. There is one hotel, two modest motels, an amazing pizza/ice cream parlor and a bar that’s situated in the trees. I sleep on the third floor where mornings are fragile and still until, full of sleep, I wake to the sound of waves caressing the shore as the scent of coffee and fresh bagels fill the air. This is my hideout. A place I often go in Summer, to sit in the sun, swim in the ocean and try catch a glimpse of the extraordinary. A miracle that happens every year– nestled in the midst of a breathy sea breeze, miles of warm sand and a gentle, lapping tide. The place where the turtles are.

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Hatched onto their now home-beach, they will live their entire lives in the ocean, returning to these same shores to perpetuate life’s cycle.  Although I wanted to scoop…

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My Second Mandala

My first mandala sits unpainted while my second just flowed freely in both digital editing and in watercolor. I’m calling the second one “Refining Fire” and it’s based on Philippians 4:8. This verse is so helpful for positive thinking! It encourage people  to “focus your thoughts on what is true, noble, righteous, pure, lovable or admirable, on some virtue or on something praiseworthy.” This is one of my favorite scriptures because this is the way I want to be, what I want to keep my mind focused on. My digital art skills still need work, mostly because one much be more patient. I think this piece came out well, considering I’m still a novice in digital art. I’m much happier with the painted version which I will share when all three mandalas are completed. I hope you enjoy this one and the positivity I hope to convey through it.

"Refining Fire (Digital Finish)" - artwork by Melody Kittles - To read more about this piece, or to purchase a print or gift, click the photo to be redirected to my deviantArt page.

“Refining Fire (Digital Finish)” – artwork by Melody Kittles – To read more about this piece, or to purchase a print or gift, click the photo to be redirected to my deviantArt page.

Mandala Creation and More

I’ve been very busy over the last week or two. I was inspired to paint a little picture on the inside of my grandmother’s birthday card. I was inspired to create a triptych of mandalas based on some scriptures which resonate within me. I’ve also been working a little more with photography and reading a book on the art of writing titled, “Write To Discover Yourself” by Ruth Vaughn. There have been so many thoughts and feelings and ideas rushing through my entire being I’ve had quite a time keeping up with them all.

I grabbed “Writing To Discover Yourself” on a whim, thinking it might help me create a photo ebook. That’s another of the ideas which has been floating around in the limbo of my mind for a while. I’m not sure of the viability of such an idea. I planned to do a bit of research today while at the library. I was pleasantly surprised when I cracked open the cover of the book. I immediately found it to be something I craved. I love how Mrs. Vaughn’s faith shines throughout the book without being pushy or preachy. She sticks to the topic and brings her own point of view to bear in such a way that it is encouraging, not judgmental. What a fantastic way to show how true Christians should behave and live! What we DO is much more important that what we SAY, no matter whether you are a spiritual person or not. So I’ve begun digging deep inside myself through journaling and poetry, expanding my vocabulary by making lists of strong nouns and verbs, and trying to grasp once again the ability to view everything I see every day with fresh and untainted eyes. I highly recommend this book to anyone seeking to be a better writer or creator, as the exercises included herein will help you know yourself better.

Mandalas – I have viewed many mandalas over the years and drowned in their exquisite designs and complexities. I finally challenged myself to create a mandala and this challenge has morphed into a challenge to create three mandalas based on three Bible scriptures containing some important lists. While creating this mandala, I was concerned with form and symbols to include within it. I had trouble decided which mandala to create first, and in the end, the number of items to include ruled the day. I started with the shortest list. I first drew it in pencil, then inked over the lines with a micron pen. The version you’ll see today is finished in Gimp to make this work a mixed media piece. This mandala includes eight virtues with symbols that work for my own perception. Yours may be a bit different. The eight virtues are: purity, peacefulness, kindness, mercy, fruitfulness (or productivity), impartiality (or logic), and the opposite of hypocrisy (truthfulness).  I’m not certain I conveyed those virtues well in my work so that’s one area I’ll try to improve upon in the next mandala creation.

"Heavenly Wisdom" - mixed media artwork by Melody Kittles - Please click on the photo if you wish to purchase a print of this artwork or gift item. You'll be redirected to my deviantArt page for this piece.

“Heavenly Wisdom” – mixed media artwork by Melody Kittles – Please click on the photo if you wish to purchase a print of this artwork or gift item. You’ll be redirected to my deviantArt page for this piece.

So, You Like to Read…

I would love to check out some of these books! Click the link to read the whole blog post. 🙂

JamesRadcliffe.com

Since publishing the first ‘Do You Like to Read?’ post (a list of the best books I read in January 2015) I have received a ton of requests for the next installment.

3 months have passed (I was making and releasing the Present:Reflections E.P.) and I generally read around 3 – 4 books a week.  Which means that I have a lot of books to choose from.  My aim for these posts is to share the absolute best of these.  The ones that truly blew me away.

With this aim in mind, I have pared all the reading I have done in the last 3 months down to just seven insanely good tomes.

Want to know what made the cut?…

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Today’s Photo Upload

Today, I uploaded three more photos I took earlier in the year. I hope you will enjoy these! As I usually do, these prints are available for sale in my deviantArt gallery. Please click on the photo(s) you like to read more about them or purchase a print of your own. Thanks!

"The Road To Nowhere" photo by Melody Kittles - To read more about this photo, or to purchase a print or gift item, please click the photo to be redirected to my deviantArt page.

“The Road To Nowhere” photo by Melody Kittles – To read more about this photo, or to purchase a print or gift item, please click the photo to be redirected to my deviantArt page.

"Spring Comes Softly" photo by Melody Kittles - To purchase a print or photo gift, or to read more about this photo, please click it to visit my deviantArt page.

“Spring Comes Softly” photo by Melody Kittles – To purchase a print or photo gift, or to read more about this photo, please click it to visit my deviantArt page.

"Fiery Blades" photo by Melody Kittles - To read more about this photo, or to purchase a print or gift, simply click it to visit my deviantArt page.

“Fiery Blades” photo by Melody Kittles – To read more about this photo, or to purchase a print or gift, simply click it to visit my deviantArt page.

If ever  any of the photo links do not work, please do let me know.

Another exciting event happening for us this weekend is our local Artwalk event, hosted by some of the local businesses in Eunice, LA. Many of the stores on 2nd Street display art from the local artists and artisans and help us get our work seen. I hope we have a good turn out! I was able to replace some of my older work with some of my newer pieces and I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of attention it will draw. I framed up “Spring Half Dreamed”, “Desolation”, and “Purple Pouf” and all that’s left is to wait and see. John is also going to replace some of his older pieces with some of his newer ones, though the prints may not all arrive in time for the Artwalk on Saturday. If you’re in the Eunice, LA area and want to see some really awesome art, please stop by at 7 pm. The event starts then, and ends at 9 pm. Support your local artists, artisans, musicians, thespians, and small businesses!

More Photography From January

Here are some more photos from January. I’ve been playing a vicious game of “Catch Up” and trying to get all the things I created this year uploaded and shared out. Here are three more of my photos. I edited all these in Gimp. I think my best photo is “The Shadows Grew Long” but the most fun was “Twins”. What do you think?

"Twas All But A Dream" - photo by Melody Kittles - To read more about this, or to order a print or gift item with this print, click the photo to be directed to my deviantArt page for this item.

“Twas All But A Dream” – photo by Melody Kittles – To read more about this, or to order a print or gift item with this print, click the photo to be directed to my deviantArt page for this item.

"The Shadows Grew Long" - photo by Melody Kittles - To read more about this piece, or to order a print or gift item, please click the photo to be redirected to my deviantArt page.

“The Shadows Grew Long” – photo by Melody Kittles – To read more about this piece, or to order a print or gift item, please click the photo to be redirected to my deviantArt page.

"Twins" - photo by Melody Kittles - This should probably be qualified as a photomanipulation, as I did quite a lot of editing on it. To read more about it, or to purchase a print or gift, click on the photo to go to my deviantArt page.

“Twins” – photo by Melody Kittles – This should probably be qualified as a photomanipulation, as I did quite a lot of editing on it. To read more about it, or to purchase a print or gift, click on the photo to go to my deviantArt page.

I hope you enjoyed viewing these! Please feel free to leave comments. Which one is your favorite? What do you like about it? Any constructive criticisms are welcome, as well. Thanks in advance!