Inspiration: My Personal Nature/Astronomy Photography Throughout the Years & What It Means to Me

Nature’s enthralling beauty includes the way the sky appears when the sun is rising or setting and how ethereal it looks outside after an afternoon rain shower , which are all examples of daily/common treasures that should not be taken for granted. The way the orange, blue and pink hues in the sky blends together as the sun rises or sets is a (thankfully) re-occurring unparalleled sight to see. Perhaps it is easy to become comfortable with natural scenic views like this as we go about our daily lives, but there is also a refreshing & uplifting inspirational feeling we can receive from nature’s beautiful art. If something is heavy on our minds or we’ve encountered a lot of negativity within a day, sometimes we can find inspiration in daily gifts that are not always in human form. It is even scientifically proven that taking a walk in nature is therapeutic and good for our well being. I encourage us all to continue to remain purely fascinated with life’s natural treasures because it is a healthy & positive perspective to have throughout life. We all find happiness and joy in different things depending on what speaks to our souls/and passions.  Here are a few examples of nature’s art photographed by me throughout different years & changing seasons that makes me smile and thankful…I hope you find beauty in them too!

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Photo taken back in summer 2012. I saved this because it was very beautiful to me! Especially looking above at it, I nicknamed the photo ”Wheel in the Sky Keeps on Turning’ from a Journey song. The song’s lyrics do not actually correlate with the photo precisely, but the title of the song seemed befitting to me and sometimes I also interchangeably nickname this photo as : The ‘Will’ in the Sky Keeps on Turning  (”Will” meaning inevitable events and creations from a higher power/God.

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Photo taken on a snowy day in December 2017. I loved the tree’s aesthetic. It’s so interesting how many trees have been here way longer than us and have been present throughout many different happenings and lives as they come & go. This tree, like others, goes through many drastic changes within a year but it is beautiful no matter the season.

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Photo taken in 2018. Whenever I am walking somewhere, I like photographing the beautiful flowers that I see planted.  Unfortunately, I’ve procrastinated in the past when it comes to planting more of my own flowers, but this spring I am looking forward to actually growing more flowers and doing a little garden work with my mother. Photos like this gives me inspiration and they are so pretty!

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Photo taken in Piedmont Park in 2018. I am so appreciative of scenic views in parks. One of my favorite things to do is go to parks & preserves. There are so many activities I can do there. Just walk and take in all of nature’s aesthetics, have an outdoor lunch on the grass with my Dory from Finding Nemo plush blanket underneath, look at the sun setting or rising, go for a bicycle ride, watch the ducks & other animal sightings, enjoy live music, exercise, paint, pet people’s dogs if they let me,  take photos like this, whatever. The list goes on and on!

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Photo taken in December 2017. This photo (taken with an iPhone) made me decide to invest in a dslr camera instead of taking photos with a phone all of the time. I love astronomy and although I see mesmerizing views with my eyes and a telescope, I really want to start capturing beautiful views like this in better quality. Night time astronomy photography calls for dslr camera quality, and since I’m passionate about astronomy, I’ve been working on my photography more with a different camera. But still, I love & cherish these i-phone shots and I remember looking at it, thinking: ”This is so cool to me”…one of the moments in life that makes me happy.

I encourage us all to never forget the so-called ‘simple’ yet amazing gifts that are a part of nature in this world…it is really all around us. Of course, humans value material things to a certain extent, but let’s not get so focused on just solely these things and forget the priceless treasures that are among us daily.

”To walk in nature is to witness a thousand miracles”- Mary Davis

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Inspiration: My Abstract Expressionist Artwork ”As Nature Entwines” & Personal Interpretation

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I was repeatedly listening to a song called ”It Keeps Coming Back” by jazz musician Norman Brown from his album ”Let It Go” while in the process of creating this. I see abstract expressionism art as what comes and inspires the mind in a spontaneous way without a premeditated blueprint of a specific object…an emotional intensity that is currently happening and being felt while creating without a previous plan.  All that I begin to feel while the song was playing was being released onto the canvas. For me to be able to create my artwork, my innermost impression and mental visualization of the song inspired me.  ‘As Nature Entwines‘ is what I named my artwork after it was finished, which represents what I was visualizing while listening to the song. Nature is a multi-dimensional existence and while listening to the song, I let this perspective lead me while creating. Of course, my artwork cannot be interpreted from just one ”right” perspective because this contradicts the multi-faceted aspects of nature and who we are as individuals with our own mental views.

I am a self-taught artist and recently decided to put more focus on creating my own artworks.  I am excited to create more artwork in the future and it is an amazing feeling to let the current process inspire me. The feeling that is evoked from a song or emotional state while trying my best to transfer what is in my mind  into a physical form, at that very moment, is my inspiration to create.

Art Media Used: Acrylic Paint on stretched gallery wrapped canvas.  ”As Nature Entwines”, 2018. 20×20

Thelma Johnson Streat: Multi-Talented Artist & Trailblazer

Thelma Johnson Streat was a distinctive and multi-talented artist that emphasized intercultural appreciation. One of her most recognized artworks, Rabbit Man, can be seen permanently at the MoMA (Museum of Modern Art). Thelma Johnson-Streat also worked with other iconic artists such as Diego Rivera and she was the first African-American woman to have a painting exhibited at the MOMA in 1942 & her own television program in Paris. Streat was a mixed-media artist, who not only created paintings but also wanted to end stereotypes and prejudice through dance. She performed cultural dances and songs for many children in Europe, Canada, U.S, & Mexico to help them gain an insight & appreciation for cultural diversity. Although she was threatened by ignorant terrorist groups such as the Ku Klux Klan, Streat did not let this prevent her from expressing herself and emphasizing much needed truthful messages within her creations such as ”Death of A Negro Sailor ” & ”The Negro’s Contribution to Medicine and Veterinary Science”. She also created an educational visual program called ”The Negro in History.” Thelma Johnson-Streat (1911-1959) is an artist and innovative story teller that should not be forgotten. Her artistic expressions and educational works are inspirational and interesting. Here are a few of her acclaimed artworks.

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The Negro’s Contribution to Medicine and Veterinary Science, c. 1945

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Thelma Johnson Streat artwork, title

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Rabbit Man, 1941

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Thelma Johnson Streat Photographed Posing

Art Happenings: Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrors Exhibition Tour & Past Artwork Creations

I was very excited to hear that Yayoi Kusama’s ‘Infinity Mirrored Room’ is coming to the High Museum of Art starting in November 2018. I am still thankful and grateful that I decided to become a High Museum of Art member back in 2014 (very cost effective & worth it compared to what you get with each membership type), and it is art collections like ‘Infinity Mirrored Room’ that makes me eager to return repeatedly for more than one viewing. Yayoi Kusama (1922- present) is known for her captivating and colorful creations that are concept contemporary artworks with different mediums used. Some of her art includes styles such as surrealism, abstract expressionism, and pop art. Here are some interesting artworks by Kusama, which also includes ‘Infinity Mirrored Room’ installation.

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Infinity Mirrored Room, Yayoi Kusama

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Reach Up To The Universe, Yayoi Kusama

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Stars by Yayoi Kusama

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Butterfly-Yayoi Kusama

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Infinity Mirrored Room, Yayoi Kusama

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Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: With Artwork by Yayoi Kusama

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Yayoi Kusama as a child

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Yayoi Kusama

My Abstract Artwork ‘Volcano Spring’ & Personal Journey Reflection

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Lately I’ve been focusing more on what I am passionate about, which includes creating art. Among other meanings, I also see art as an emotion that manifests itself in physical form. Volcano Spring is what I imagine when the intensity of a suppressed valuable emotion erupts and spreads in the refreshing season of spring. While creating this artwork, I visualized how a feeling can relate to a volcano that is bound to come forth. Not necessarily in a volatile/destructive manner, but to help nurture in a new beginning and coexist with the starting season. The volcano of emotion integrates with vital spring, creating a mixture that is both intense and expressive while nurturing progression. I am currently working on a collection of artworks, and Volcano Spring reflects a natural inevitable occurrence and how it relates to the complex yet beautiful journey of the intense emotional human experience…something that I am going through right now. In our own distinct pathways, we all are.

Volcano Spring, 2018.  (Acrylic Paint on canvas). 20×20

Inspirational Photography: Encouraging Positivity Captured by The Lens

Uplifting photography that represents positive messages are captivating and symbolizes just how beautiful life is…especially the ‘simple’ yet priceless & precious moments/creations we should never take for granted.  Here are some of my favorite photos that are delightful, inspiring, and interesting to reflect on. Of course, people may not always share the same perspectives, but I sincerely hope these amazing photos can inspire more happiness/hope and encourage us all to have a wondrous/positive viewpoint on life.

Children laughing in a field of marigold flowers in Panskura, West Bengal, India. The picture won the Families category in the worldwide photography competition

 

Third place – "Winter Sunrise Over" by Stephen Banks

Stephen Banks/VELUX Lovers of Light 2014

I want to go to Africa someday and take pictures like this and show the would a smile can change all..

 

duckling climbing - a picture is worth a thousand words

David Bitton

 

 

Twin Baby Elephants, East Africa {by Diana Robinson}

Twin Baby Elephants, East Africa by Diane Robinson

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Boogie Down Bronx:Classic Photography

1520 Sedgwick Avenue and D.J Kool Herc are names forever synonymous with a part of the origins of rap music. In 1973 on August 11th, Kool Herc hosted a back to school party for his sister at the recreation room of 1520 Sedgwick Avenue apartment building. At the community house party, he introduced a technique that involved two turntables, a mixer, two copies of the same record, and playing another song at the beginning or middle of the record while focusing on ”the break” in each one. With D.J Kool Herc presenting his technique, his friend Coke La Rock began to rap and many legendary rappers like Afrika Bambaataa and Grand Master Flash all claimed to have witnessed this historic significant event in music history. In honor of The Boogie Down Bronx, here are some truly amazing and influential photos that shows why  The Boogie Down Bronx will always be considered a birthplace of the rhythmic poetic art we call Hip Hop.

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Gordon Parks Photography: Some of My Favorites

Gordon Parks is not only one of my favorite photographer- artists, but he is also an icon that has captured some of the most memorable photos for legendary magazines like Life and has directed classics like Shaft. Each and every one of these photographs describes a story, a time, and a place that are all historic in some specific way. Here are some of my favorite Gordon Parks photographs.

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What Happend?: Back When More People ”Dressed To Their Nines”

3 Well dressed Black people.  bought on ebay from Anthony Yearwood, 42 West 88th St. #5F, NY,NY 10024   ajyearwood@verizon.net

Although everyone has their own style and there are still people who love to dress up for no special occasion ( thank you all) , I love looking at the photos taken in the early 20th century of the people looking all dapper and just all put together…just to grab something to drink, grocery shop, or go for a walk. I understand that everyone has their own fashion style and comfort is very important, but it seems as if people in those eras actually cared more about being put together, not just to impress someone, but because that was a way of life. Not just wealthy people either, but everyone because you don’t need a lot of money then or now to ”dress to your nines”. They didn’t just save their best outfits for Sundays, the clubs, or a ceremony. I don’t believe in saving a nice special outfit for a certain event, I actually feel more comfortable now being dressed up than in a t-shirt & jeans look all of the time. Yes, having casual clothes that is not dressy is good to own as well, but maybe it’s just me being an ”old-soul” or whatever. I just love seeing those photos of our grandmas in those pretty pin curls ( inspiration behind my latest hair do), those nice dapper suits on the fellas, and the children ( especially the little girls) had on those cute ”Sunday” dresses/play suits, but it was not just worn on ”special days”. Some people will claim that it is simply because that was a different era/time, but the dapper look and other vintage trends like the Pin Up Girl/ Rockabilly fashion is popular in this era for a reason. I am constantly inspired now to dress ”to my nines” more days than not whenever I look at those fabulous vintage pictures of my relatives ,images from the internet, and I just smile.  Here are a few that helped define what ”dressed to the nines are”

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The Art Of Nature: Please Don’t Take It For Granted

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Whenever I am on the train or outside anywhere & there is a clear beautiful view of the sky, I take time to look at it in awe. I also observe how other people see it, and it amazes me how to some people…the sky is just the sky. The stars are just…the stars. Sometimes something ”extreme” or ”rare” has to happen for people to go out at night or take time doing the day & stare up into the sky. The sky has to be a bright peachy color, or it has to look green after it rains outside for some people to think, ”wow”. If Kanye West was walking down a street on a star lit night (I mean lots of beautiful stars everywhere in the sky)….which one would have to take the backseat to the other? We live in a celeb-obsessed society so I already know what would probably happen. A lot of people would look at Kanye West first and then when he leaves, that’s when they pay attention to the details above them. It doesn’t matter how beautiful our universe’s stars look that night, a lot of people would probably be focused more on the celebrity because we feel that stars in the sky are more common and “regular” than Kanye. We see nature every day, so some people just consider it apart of a ”routine” of things. Sometimes people have a lot on their minds, which we all do, and they don’t truly ”soak in” what our universe has to offer…free of charge. The only thing we have to own is clear vision ( I’m not just referring to physical eyes). So, I encourage people to not just look at the sky or stare into ”space” whenever something is heavy on their minds, but also genuinely look at these beautiful creations and let your mind explore what the universe has to offer…you may find a gateway to another ”world” that only certain people know about. Have a blessed & positive day!