NEW BLOG!

Hey Folks!!

 

Hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday Season! A friendly reminder to our followers, we have officially began posting The Art Challenge at our other site you can click HERE to check it out and please don’t forget to follow us there so you can keep up with all the great work everyone is putting out!

Peace,

Amber

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Weekly Art Challenge: TIGER

Hey Folks!

This week our theme is: TIGER!

 

A friendly reminder THIS is our last post for this webpage. Next challenge is a two week challenge and will be the first challenge posted on our new site The Art Challenge Blog! If you have been following here and wish to continue seeing what we create, please check out our new site and follow us there.

 

RJ: Tiger Eye, Pen on paper.

RJ’s piece gives me the chills. That deadly expression of the eye with the small visible detail of fur and stripes reminds me exactly why Tigers are dangerous wild predators. I def wouldn’t want to be cross this tiger’s path! I love the hint of facial detail, leaving the rest of the animal to the viewer imagination.

 
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AmberEntertainment, Pen and ink on paper.

For this week’s challenge I decided to create an image that illustrates my feelings about animals, like tigers, held captive in zoos and circuses. I love animals and I strongly believe that they don’t belong contained in zoos or used as entertainment in circuses. They belong in the wild and if not there then in sanctuaries where they can live their best life in peace.

 

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Next theme is a two week challenge – due to the holiday season – and the theme is:  DREAMS COME TRUE.


Weekly Art Challenge: BLUE!

Hey Folks!!

This week our theme was: BLUE!

Just a friendly reminder for our followers! Starting the first week of January, Our art challenge will move to a new site. You can click here and check it out!

 

Karri

This week my goal was to mix as many different blues as possible. I decided to choose Miro as my inspiration. I simply used a lot of his commonly used shapes and used all blue with a few red accents.

I had a friend once tell me that while visiting Barcelona she explored a Museum dedicated to the work of Miro and it was the happiest few hours of her life. Ever since when I see work by Miro, I always smile and feel that joy my friend had described. Looking at Karri’s Miro inspired piece in blue, I am reminded again of that joyous feeling. Great job, Karri!

Karri blue

 

Dylan

“Thinking of the color blue, I think of my friend, Tori.  I want so badly to make this costume for her in the future. With her black hair and her pale northern skin, the color blue highlights her attributes in the most positive way.”

I can’t wait to see this costume come to life! Dylan’s eye for detail never ceases to amaze me. Her sketches are thoughtful and so full of creative passion. I think we all want to be Tori!

dylan blue

 

Bethany

“I am a Doctor Who fan so when I thinking of blue I think of the Tardis.” 

What a fun piece! I am not personally knowledgeable of the Doctor Who series, but I love the movement of the blue and find myself wanting to know more about this Tardis. lol.

bethany blue

 

Emily

“I’m really loving print making, probably spending too much time with just print making, but yeah. 🙂 Lino print over a background created by putting white spirit and printing ink onto a surface then placing the paper over the top”

I am fascinated with the background of Emily’s piece. The thin watery texture of the blue ink juxtapose against the solid black of lino cut beautifully illustrates the flowers – which reminds me of lotuses – shooting from within dark murky blue water.

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Ina

‘Blue reminds me of the sky, the water, my favourite colour. Half way through thinking of painting water, I wanted to paint a blue landscape and finally came upon a bunched up shiny satin fabric…. the result is an imaginary piece where you can see as many things. ”

Beautiful ethereal watercolor. Ina beautifully captured the watery affect of the satin fabric. The movement, the calming color and the serene quality gently pulls the viewers in and invites one to peacefully dream.

Ina Blue

 

Amberblueberries, Acrylic on paper.

As soon as the theme was chosen, blueberries immediately came to mind. The piece is not complete, but I think it turned out to be a good study for an idea I have for another piece. 🙂

 

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Next theme: TIGER


Weekly Art Challenge: TRANSFORMATION

Hey Folks!!

This week our theme is: TRANSFORMATION!

And a short note, we have started an new blog site specifically for the art challenge at https://theartchallengeblog.wordpress.com. Challenges will be posted starting the first week of January. Currently the new site is in progress, but if you are a fan of our Art Challenge please stop by the new blog and follow us there!

 

RJ – Cocoon, pencil on paper.

I love Rj’s pencil drawings. His eye for textural detail and ability to depict delicate moments always bring a smile to my face. The butterfly is in the process of emerging, its wings not yet ready to spread out and be fully reveled. The nibbled leaves behind the butterfly reminds the viewer of the caterpillar this new butterfly once was.

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Karri – Phoenix, watercolor on paper

“I will rise, out of these ashes, rise”. This weeks theme made me think about all the transformation we all make throughout life. Overcoming struggles. Changing our situation or habits. This brought to mind the image of a phoenix, rising from the ashes of an old life.

WOW, you can really feel the heat from the Karri’s Phoenix flames! The intensity of the oranges and reds is brilliant against the blue background and definitely reminds a viewer to push forward. I love this positive message to overcome and keep overcoming struggles.

karri transformation

 

Bethany –  The DoodlePen and color pencil on paper.

“I started a doodle and it made a transformation into a whimsical peaceful place.”

I am loving Bethany’s creative process and how a simple little doodle transforms into a beautiful landscape. Her pieces depicts how an artist’s mind works and the choices we make along the way. The touch of color added in the end really makes the image glow. Beautiful!

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InaButterfly, Pencil and watercolor on paper.

 “My piece for TRANSFORMATION is a butterfly just coming out of it’s cocoon. As a new creature, it does not realize yet how it has morphed into something new and what beautiful new wings it has. The nature spots and colors are amazing once you start analyzing how they make a pattern up so close. “

The colors of this freshly emerging butterfly are gorgeous! Ina’s Butterfly is eager to spread her wings and as a viewer I am eager to see her fly! I love the details of the wings and the light washes of blue in the background juxtapose with the bolder application of color of the butterfly. Beautiful piece!!

 

INA transformation

 

Emily

“The transformation of everything turning Christmas-y”

First we see the calm and clean left side of a residential street and then I find myself falling forward into the black christmas-y side of this piece, like alice in the rabbit hole. The holiday season does have this wonderland whirlwind intoxication feel about them. Emily accurately depict the sudden arrival of the festive decorations and lights.

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AmberCharge! – (incomplete) pen and ink on paper

My incomplete piece was inspired by the greek myth of Persephone  I wanted to illustrate the transformation of a space or environment when my nieces enter.

My twin nieces are depicted as the youthful force of spring, charging into a snowy landscape to liven up the dreary greys of winter. They are fearless, jovial and loving girls.
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Next theme: BLUE

 

 


Weekly Art Challenge: GRATITUDE

Hey folks!!

This week our theme was GRATITUDE

Dylan – Thank You, Ink on paper

“I am SO thankful for maintaining my four limbs and use of them from heart surgery as well as the robotic implant replacement of my mitravalve. Fortune comes in many different ways and I was granted a generous nod. Life is good, especially with a gnarly scar. This is have gratitude for daily.”

The semi-faceless feminine figure stands in a defiant superhero pose with classic bows attaching each limb to the core. Powerful imagery! I like the choice to making the figure semi-faceless even with this being a biographical piece. Dylan is guiding the viewer to focus on one particular aspect of her identity, her scar and surgeries, and the impact they have had on her life. Strong beautiful piece, Dylan!

Dylan Gratitidue

 

Emily – Amsterdam Cityscape, Collage on paper.

Emily sent in a piece that she worked on for one of her assignments. She didn’t think it related to the theme of Gratitude, but still wanted to show what she was working on. Emily’s piece is a reflection of her observation skills while she was traveling to Amsterdam a couple of weeks ago. In the collage I see a unique culture identity, I feel the tightness of space amongst old architecture in modern times, I sense the layers of history overlapping in the narrow streets, and I relate to the need to creatively react to my environment.

I kind of have to disagree about the piece not having much to do with the theme of gratitude. I think Emily has keen observation skills and her piece reflects the details – though these details may not be the intentional meaning behind her piece – that so many folks are grateful for in the city of Amsterdam in a way that is uniquely hers.

 

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Bethany – Helping Hand, Pencil on paper

“When I think of gratitude I think of an open hand. A helping hand. A hand of kindness. A loving hand. “

Me too, Bethany!  I love the clean simplicity of the lines and form of the open hand. It correlates perfectly with her statement and further connects the image of a hand with the concept of gratitude. Bethany’s piece reminds me that gratitude has a lot to do with a community and paying forward what we are grateful for.

Bethany Gratitiude

 

Amber The Little Artist, Pen, ink and watercolor on paper.

I grew up with a very creative family. My great-grandmother was a ceramicist, my mother use to paint murals and found creative ways to make our secondhand clothing and small meager living spaces look and feel special, my father was a tattoo artist and had strong drawing/painting skills, many of my cousins are photographers and of course my extended family includes a plethora of artsy friends.

For as long as I can remember I was “The Artist”. The opportunities to creatively express myself since my childhood have been unlimited and I am very grateful for all the love and support I have received by friends and family to pursue the arts.

 

The little artist

 

Next theme: TRANSFORMATION


Weekly Art Challenge: SPACE

Hey Folks!

This week our theme is: SPACE!

RJ –  Untitled,  graphite on paper

RJ was inspired to create a companion piece to mine (last piece, below) and I am so thrilled with it! There a ‘Alice and the rabbit hole’ charm about it, and I’m a little bit envious of the figure and what he is seeing beyond the space we the viewers stand.
RJ space

Dylan – Untitled, graphite on paper.

 “This is an experiment in playing with foreground, middleground, and background. Details get hazier and edges get softer as objects recede into space.”

What a Beautiful experiment! I am completely enthralled by the expression of this beautiful and noble creature, she looks so proud and confident as she gazes outward toward the viewer. Dylan’s line work perfectly captures the strength and elegance of her subjects.

 

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KarriSpace,

Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.”

 “This has been going through my head all week as I pondered what to do for this weeks challenge. While pondering this weeks theme I thought a lot about how small we are in this universe. How unfortunate it is that we are tied down by gravity and can not go and explore the stars.”

Karri’s dreamy representation of space is the kind of image that would inspire anyone with a youthful heart to wish they were an astronaut! Karri has such a beautiful relationship with color, her layering of bold and subtle colors is suggestive of the magnitude of our galaxy and reminds me how complex and spectacular the universe is.

 

karri space

 

Emily – Untitled, drawings on paper

“I was in Amsterdam this week and then in London for the weekend! For me the theme space was about how I usually draw the things in the space around me to practice my drawings, so i’ve attached some quick drawings from my personal sketchbook that are from spaces I was in in Amsterdam” 

Emily’s statement reminds me a lot of a Buddhist teaching about being present in the moment. I see that with her images, the awareness of the moment and the details of the space that she is occupying. I am loving the red ink drawing below. Its a simple ink drawing of a window and lanterns and I find it comforting. I find myself waiting for a friendly face to look out the window and notice me.

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Val Moonlight – photograph

“I took this in our sideyard and I thought the moon was pretty”

Val was inspired by the moon seen from our backyard and the space between it and herself. Her photo suggests a longing to connect with the moon, a longing that reaches back generations. Taking the photo in a familiar space invokes the emotional attachment we have with the moon.

 

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Amber – Stretching the Void, pen and ink on paper.

This piece went through a lot of transformation between the various thumbnail sketches and mental pictures to the final image. I started with an idea that I would fill a page with odd shaped bubbles, each containing a person struggling to stretch the bubble out. Then the image was a single odd shaped bubble with a single person and this bubble was submerged in rubble full of modern distractions and materialism. Eventually, while sketching the final piece, I realized that the image needed to be only this one person struggling to maintain her small space within a void.

It felt emotionally accurate to see this sole person fighting for space within space. The nothingness around her is both open and claustrophobic.

 

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Next week’s theme: GRATITUDE

To our readers and followers, We hope that everyone has a joyful, safe and abundantly happy Thanksgiving with family, friends and the folks that love you the most. Even if you are not in the States celebrating this holiday, we still wish you a wonderful and thoughtful day.

Peace,

The Art Challenge crew.


Weekly Art Challenge: VAN GOGH

Hey Folks!

This week our theme is VAN GOGH! Van Gogh is famous worldwide for his expressive paintings and tragic life. He is a universal favorite for art lovers.

 

DylanThe Ear Selfie, Special effects and instagram

I love this! If Van Gogh was around today, I imagine his famous post ear-cutting self portrait would have look something like this! Only Dylan could make you envious of her mangled ear and blood splattered throat selfie!

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Karri – Sunflowers, acrylic on canvas

 “Van Gogh’s Sunflowers have always captured my attention. I love that he painted them to decorate a room for his friend Gauguin. The sunflowers in Provence must be stunning. Wish sunflowers around here were just as plentiful.”

Van Gogh’s Sunflowers are beautiful and one of his most iconic pieces! I love Karri’s loose painterly brushstrokes and soft color palette, she did a beautiful job capturing the spirit of Van Gogh and charm of sunflowers. I don’t think there is a person who can look at a a sunflower and not feel a little bit happier.  🙂

 

Karri Van gogh

 

Bethany

“My rough interpretation of Van Gogh’s Skull with Burning Cigarette. Only I gave him a sweet tea with lemon and a little umbrella, which oddly looks like a flower.”  

If I were a skull, I’d prefer the sweet tea over the cigarette too! I love the personal and cultural (nothing beats Southern sweet tea!) twist to one of Van Gogh’s early and probably lesser known works, but what I like most is that Bethany decided to tackle the skeleton. Most people prefer to avoid drawing skeletons, they can be intimidating subjects. Bethany went for it  and with beautiful contour lines. Great job Bethany!

 

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Emily – Quotes, monotype prints on paper.

“Here are my Van Gogh entries, my first layer of printing went well, then the yellow didn’t! Then I just ran with it anyway creating some strange messy pieces mixed with Van Gogh quotes, not technically amazing pieces but I kinda like the messiness!”

The prints are messy and I like that about them too! The messiness, in my opinion, gives off an energy similar to that of Van Gogh’s thick, bold and animated strokes. The composition, color choices and quotes remind me of street art. I can visualize these pieces becoming wheatpastes around a city. As a humorous thought, the blue piece looks like the sunflowers are growing out if Van Gogh’s head. Its as if his thoughts/dreams can no longer be contained within his head and are now becoming hair!

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AmberDandelions, Acrylic washes and graphite on paper

I loved Van Gogh’s artwork as a kid. He was the first artist that I learned about in grade school and was able to recognize when shown his artwork; this was a major thrill and feeling of accomplishment for a seven year old me.

For this week’s challenge I wanted to create a piece that was inspired by one of my favorite Van Gogh paintings, Sunflowers. Karri and I must be kindred Van Gogh spirits!

I painted dandelions (surprise!) in a teacup. Dandelions being my equivalent to his sunflowers and of course the teacup instead of a vase made obvious sense for me. Instead of painting with his preferred thick brushstrokes I chose to work in the muted washes that I lean toward. This piece felt like a collaboration between me and an artist that I greatly admire.

 

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Next week’s theme: SPACE


Weekly Art Challenge: DETERMINATION

Hey Folks!!

This week’s theme is DETERMINATION and it appears that we all were feeling determined to complete something of importance.

RJ – CowAcrylic on Canvas

RJ is determined to create a large-scale acrylic painting of this sweet jovial cow! He is in the beginning stages and doesn’t want to rush the process – slow painting is part of the goal – but will keep us informed as he goes! and THAT FACE! Who doesn’t want to be nuzzled by such a face? The bold choice of colors compliment the cheerful persona of this cow and the perspective creates an intimate connection between the viewer and subject. Can’t wait to see it finished!

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Karri – Prayer

“I posted this sculpture in a previous post when it was in its beginning stages. It has taken months to get to this point and is still not complete. There have been days when I look at it and think, “it’s made of paper, and I could just set it on fire!” Lol. Having said that I am determined to make it work.”

Wow, this piece has come along since the first time we saw it! She still so intense and focused internally, that I almost want to tip toe around her so as not to disturb her. I imagine that the intensity and focus felt by myself and other viewers is a reflection of the determination Karri is feeling while creating her. Don’t burn her, Karri! She is just as determined as you! Another piece that I can’t wait to see finished! 🙂

karri determined

 

Bethany – Determination – Pencil on Paper

“There are many things I’m determined to have, to complete or keep up in my life. Things like getting the dishes done, keeping the toilets clean, homeschooling my son and being a wife. But there is one thing WE have been determined to have….another baby. So this is my baby in the womb, holding my heart cause it’s my greatest determination.” 
There is a lot of love and longing in Bethany’s piece and statement. I like how her determination for her family to grow is expressed with a clear drawing of the child holding a meticulously shaded whole heart and surrounded by undetermined scribbled lines. The scribbled lines representing in once sense the womb and internal spark of her desire and determination, but in another sense the scribbled lines also express that little else is as important to her than both present and future members of her family. Lots of luck with your determination! Any child born into a creative loving family is a lucky soul! 🙂

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EmilyMan, Acrylic on Canvas Board

“A while back I started a painting to practice painting skin because I was awful at it, today and thanks to this challenge, I FINALLY finished it like I had wanted to. This challenge was me being determined, and thank you whoever chose this theme because I really don’t think I wouldn’t have finished it without feeling determined to do so for this challenge! aha”

Painting skin can be one of the most stressful accomplishments for an artist! Emily’s work since joining our group has continually and happily surprised me.  Just when I think I have a grasp on her evolving style she presents us with a piece that exhibits her growing talent in a different direction. I love the man’s facial expression. You see an elderly man with wrinkles, thinned hair and aging spots; but his eyes and countenance express an observant and youthful mind. Great Job!

Emily determined

 

Amber –  Nadia (Mix media on paper) and National Parks (Photographs)

This week was particularly hectic for me. I was making my final work-trip to Southern Utah and I was working nonstop on the final piece (Nadia) for a portfolio I needed for a residency application. My determination to complete the piece in time for the deadline was a success by three days! Yay me!!

Nearby our job-site are a few national parks and I was determined to see as much as I could before work took me away from this magnificent landscape – its not often that I am in this area of the country. I didn’t get to go on the long day hikes as I hoped, but I did succeed in seeing a clear view of the La Sal Mountains from where I stood at Balancing Rock – the first time I was there the mountains were hidden by clouds. I also drove through the CanyonLands and got a small taste of the adventures that I could have, since I am determined to visit again. AND I finally saw Newspaper Rock. I have seen photos of it for years, and saw the sign every time I passed the entrance to Canyonlands. I am fascinated by petroglyphs and the nameless artists who created them thousands of years ago.

 

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Nadia

 

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La Sal Mountains from Balancing Rock in Arches.

 

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Driving into Canyonlands

 

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Newspaper Rock

 

Next theme: VAN GOGH!!


Weekly Art Challenge: OCEAN

Hey Folks!!

This (two) week’s challenge was to create works of art inspired by the theme: OCEAN.

Tony Ocean Bubbles, color pencil on paper.

“I got the idea of a floating ocean when RJ and I went to see Pan at the cinema. In the movie, Neverland is surrounded by a floating ocean with marine animals in the bubbles. And I loved the idea, so here’s my Ocean!”

I love the concept of an entire ecosystem floating inside a bubble! It reminds me of those beautiful and artsy glass marbles with swirls of chaotic colors contained within. My favorite detail of Tony’s piece is the whale’s fin skimming the edge of his eco-bubble. For me it signifies that the marine animals might be contained to their individual bubbles, but they are still free and wild creatures.

 tony ocean

 

Emily – Untitled – Mix Media (Markers, pencil and Lace) on paper

 “I was feeling a bit halloween-y so I did a Siren character that has ditched her wings and gone mermaid, holding a skull?” 

I love the bits of lace, they are a nice subtle texture to the image and references the the wings the siren ditched, beautifully! Looking at the piece, I am reminded of a few literary images. The Sirens reference Greek mythology. Her stitched transformation into a mermaid brings to mind Frankenstein melding with The Little Mermaid. AND, the skull in the hand is a perfect scene to break out some Shakespeare!

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Bethany – Love Story, mix media on paper

“The titled of this piece is “Love story” because my seven year old wrote love above her head and story upside down on her chest. He is very helpful. Most bodies of water freak me out, the unknown lurking underneath, but I enjoy them from the beach and I love to watch sail boats. This summer, my little family and I got to spend a week down in Florida. We long to return, and from the amount of sand still in the carpet of my Nissan, it seems as though we brought it back with us.” 

Bethany’s piece has this strong meditative daydreaming vibe that I can’t get enough of! I want to be this woman with the sea foam green hair and serene expression as she mentally and emotionally returns to a recent happy and peaceful moment. The soft colors only enhance the peaceful calmness of the figure!

Great job on your first Art Challenge piece, Bethany!

 

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AmberThe Voyage, mix media (tea, acrylic, watercolor, graphite and color pencil) on paper

This week, I chose to remake a piece that I had made a few weeks ago for a different challenge (Unconventional) in a medium that is more natural for me. I enjoy experimenting with new material, such as duct tape; but it is mixing drawing materials on paper that I swoon for.

The ocean is mysterious and vast. Its serene movements and calming blues beckon to our adventurous side and we can’t help but eagerly answer the call. The Voyage is about setting off for the unknown, taking chances and seeing where the tide takes you.

 

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Next week’s theme: DETERMINED


Weekly Art Challenge: DISTANCE

Hey Folks!!

This week our theme is: DISTANCE

RJ – Three Bridges, Photograph

RJ’s photograph reminds me that distance is quiet and sometimes peaceful, like a day in the park; and gives us the space needed to see the full picture. The three bridges along the canal are spaced apart and each with their own story, yet they are connected by the flowing water of the canal and together they form the fuller picture seen from a distance.

rj distance

 

Karri – Heart, Collage on Paper

“This week I used pieces of torn maps of all the places my loved ones are, spanning 4 states. Though it might seem like a great distance, they all seem to fit nicely on this piece of paper.”

I love the puzzle aspect of the torn map pieces “fitting nicely” together, despite the distance between the people represented by each piece. The people that love you will always love you no matter where you are on the map.

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Emily – Distance Makes the Heart Grow Fonder, mix media

“Heres my entry for this week. My partner recently left for university, so yeah that’s what this is about “
Emily’s piece reflects the distance of the heart and it pulls the viewer into feeling that distance with her. I like the transparency of the faces over the map. Seeing the lines and shapes beneath facial expressions further suggests that distance is more than space between two points, but also an emotion.
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Amber – Wanderlust, instagram photograph

This was a somewhat difficult challenge for me. I had too many ideas shifting around inside my head. The concept of distance is both spatial and emotional for me, and the two are tightly connected in various ways.

When I was seven my mother allowed a rainbow “priest” named Blue to bless me. His blessing (or prediction, depending on how you look at it) was that I would forever wander, that I would find plenty and nothing at all – or something along those lines. He also gave me a piece of glass made from lightening striking the ground and told me I would eventually lose it, I did.

I travel a lot, both for work and for pleasure. The happiest years of my life are those with distance covered, the most depressing years are those that were stagnant. The people I love the most in the world are scattered all over it, I am never near enough of them. But, I can’t stop moving about because that is when I will feel the distance from everyone and emotionally shut down.

This is a theme that I plan to return to and fully explore in the future, but for now I present a photograph of an antique toy car, an old map of Denver, postcard of Wyoming and a tiny teacup – representing me – to represent the time, emotion and spatial aspects of distance in a way that is connected to me.

 

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Next challenge is a two week challenge and the theme is: OCEAN!

Thanks for stopping by!