Thunderstorms, Daily Life Battles and An Owl Painting


Today it is pouring rain, there is a severe thunderstorm watch in effect, the skies are dark and dreary; the air feels heavy, ominous.

Today is a day for battening down the hatches, curling up in a snug blanket while waiting for the storm to pass.

I feel like this is my life as of late, always waiting for the storm to pass. During these storms, these daily battles I use painting as my comforting blanket, my solace.

Here is an owl painting that was constructed while I worried endlessly about my life;Abstract owl painting by Laura Carter it brought me calm and chipped away at my feelings of helplessness. I painted this owl on a highly textured background; I fought the paint against the bumpy road of the surface, like I am fighting against the bumpy road of my current state of affairs.

Today it is pouring rain, it is dark and dreary, thankfully, tomorrow’s forecast calls for sun and warmth and I say bring it on, it’s about time!

This painting will be available here in the coming week.

Painting Sadness and Finding Beauty


I’m most inspired by people, especially faces. I find beauty in sadness so a lot of my art can be emotionally packed. There is something so beautiful and strong about a sad or lonely expression, I always feel very moved by it.

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I also love texture and find beauty in aging brick, stonewalls with rust drips, rusted old iron and copper. A dilapidated building will bring me more inspiration then a flower garden or sun filled day. I find beauty and inspiration where others might see aging, sadness and loneliness, neglect or decay.

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Happy Birthday Baby Girl – You Are Freckles and Sunshine – You Are Loved


Happy Birthday baby girl, today you are seven years old. You are the youngest child and so sometimes you get a little lost in the shuffle of this big family. Don’t fret, you will find your voice; the beautiful voice that it is. When you sing in the car, daddy turns the radio down just a little so we can hear you. We picked up on that; the harmony in your little girl voice and it warms us like sunshine. Your big sister’s friends tell me you are so beautiful, they are jealous of your dark wavy hair and your freckles. The freckles you hate but make you so, you. The freckles that show how you match daddy, how you are his little girl. You are our baby and we love you. Seven years ago today you were born and we were told not to touch you, we were told to hold our breath because you may not be here come morning. But by some miracle and the genius of the doctors on your team you stayed with us and each day that you fought for life and we cried at your side, unable to hold your hand we knew you would be super special to us. And you are. And you always will be.

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Bullying and the Power of One Man’s Words


Today I stumbled upon this video about bullying by Shane Koyczanhttp://www.upworthy.com/bullies-called-him-pork-chop-he-took-that-pain-with-him-and-then-cooked-it-into?g=3 it’s a beautifully written, spoken poem with animation, the animation is beautiful and touching in it’s own right.

This is an incredibly important video and as a person who was also bullied as a child I found myself crying over it. There is one part where he says “we grew up believing no on would ever fall in love with us, that we’d be lonely forever, that we’d never meet someone to make us feel like the sun was something they built for us in their tool shed. So broken heart strings bled the blues as we tried to empty ourselves so we would feel nothing.” That particular collection of words really hit home to me. I was bullied from grade 6 into high school simply because I had buckteeth. My parents were not able to get braces for me until I was 16. The happiest day of my life, and it is sad to say so, is the day I had my braces put on. I grew up in a military family and spent my childhood moving every 4 years. In grade 6 I started in a new school in a smaller town and that’s when the bullying started. I can remember laying in bed at night and thinking the same thing that Shane Koyczan says in his amazing poem; that no one would ever fall in love with me, I was going to grow up lonely, that this would never go away, this would never get better. It did get better as my teeth were straightened, as I grew up and found beauty in myself. However the pain you endure as a child, being barked at all the way home from the bus stop, being called bucky beaver, ugly, freak, the pain of those words carry into adulthood. They make you fear the day your children start school, fear that they will endure the same pain. Or worse that they will inflict pain on others.

Because of my teeth and the relentless teasing I learned to hide away, to not get too close to people for fear I would get too comfortable and maybe forget to cover my mouth with my hand when I smiled or laughed. I was always so careful to cover my mouth. I was one of the lucky ones though, I had friends, friends that considered themselves good people for allowing me to hang out with them, you know, considering…. Friends that would think it were okay to say, “you are the nicest person in our class but you are the ugliest.” I never want my children to have to plan out how they are going to walk from one class to the next to avoid certain people, to have to walk down a hallway while the name calling hits you like a slap in the face. I never want my children to have to laugh when someone makes a reference to how you remind them of bugs bunny, like laughing at yourself will make the humiliation less intense. I never wanted anyone to know their comments hurt me, somehow that made it worse in my eyes. So I laughed along with them and they in turn thought I was so nice, with no idea how much I actually hated them. Thank you Shane Koyczan, your words WILL make a difference.

Please note this blog post was hard to write, I still feel the sting of humiliation recalling that time in my young life. Share Shane’s video, like his facebook page, follow him on twitter; watch him as he makes a difference.

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Featured Artist – Meghan Deinhard – An Interview About Her Love Of Life And It’s Joyous Adventure


Today’s featured artists name is Meghan Deinhard, she’s a quirky and fun loving photographer and artist who sees beauty everywhere and believes “life is a joyous adventure”. With that kind of mindset who can help but be inspired by Meghan and her amazing artwork.

Here is her interview.

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How long have you been an artist?

 

I’ve been a fine artist for about 20 years, I got my BFA degree in 1995, but I consider I did “art” before that.  I was an actress and costume designer in my teens, 20’s and 30’s.   

 

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Where do you find your inspiration?

 

I get my inspiration from the world around me.  Everyday moments.  I am a very visual person and when something strikes me as interesting or humorous or marvelously beautiful I take a photo (or zillions) of it.  That’s one part of the inspiration.  The other comes from inside me when I am creating on the computer or in a studio.  I play… with ideas, color, texture, light, shadow, positive and negative space… whatever seems visually exciting to me in that moment. 

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What are you working on right now?

 

I’ve been going in an abstract direction lately.  I take one of my photographs and goof around with it in Photoshop Elements.  I am no pro at PSE, but learn something new every time I do a project.  It’s a blast!  I find a photo that wasn’t very successful on its own and see if I can transform it into something filled with color and texture.  Often you can’t even see the original image when I’m finished.  It’s like an adventure of discovery.  The other thing I’m excited about is my new blog… it’s not just about art, but about finding happy moments.

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What obstacles have you faced in your career as an artist and how did you overcome them?

 

I didn’t believe in myself or my artistic abilities enough to try to make and sell my art, or earlier in my life become a professional actress.  I think artists are very vulnerable and I had a lot of knocks when I was young.  It has taken me years to trust that I am a pretty great person and it doesn’t really matter if others don’t like my art, because I do!  It makes me happy to make it and happy to look at it.  As for how I overcame this?  Lots of self help books and meds… just kidding, sort of.  I do take meds for bipolar disorder, and I’ve done a lot of inner work.  But I think what it boils down to is trusting that life is good, and we are born to thrive and express our own unique energies.

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What is your favorite subject matter?

 

My first thought is nature.  Mother Nature is the ultimate artist and an endless source of inspiration.  But, I think what really informs my art is the interaction of me with my daily environment.  In 2011 I carried a camera with me everywhere I went. Each day I took at least one photo and posted the best reflection of that day on Facebook with a unique and descriptive caption. I now have a fascinating visual autobiography of my year.  What I learned is that life itself, inner and outer, is art; and hidden within every moment is a miracle… you just have to pay attention and look for it.  Then as artists we make those moments visual… or as writers, verbal…  I guarantee you there were only a fraction of images I posted that year that are “saleable”, but the true artwork was the story the year of images and captions told.  People watched me go through the death of a cat, finding a new kitten, online dating, finding the love of my life and getting engaged to be married. 

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Besides your art what else are you passionate about?

 

Riding on the back of a motorcycle with my new husband!  And enjoying his ranch in McCall, ID where we go during the summer (we were married in a magical glen on the property last July). 

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Do you have any tips or insights you would pass on to an emerging artist?

 

Don’t compare your work to anyone else’s!   I never thought I could be an artist because I can’t draw well.  Pfft…  silly me.  Here I am now with a degree in ceramics and a burgeoning portfolio of photographs and abstract digital images.   Just keep doing art and try not to judge it.  It’s one thing to toss out something that doesn’t work, but constantly criticizing your work is a shame.  Beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder… and if nothing else, if it makes YOU happy, you’ve added joy to the world.   

Oh and if you are a digital or photographic artist…. back up often on an external hard drive!  😉

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Blog:  http://firebonnet.com

Art Gallery:  http://firebonnet.artistwebsites.com/index.html

All of my other social media connections can be made from either of these places.