TBF Group Features – Week of December 27, 2009

I’m so excited to have our first round of features in our lovely touched by fire group. I ran the features after the group being open for just a few days – I couldn’t believe the caliber of submissions we already had. That is why I was so excited to go ahead and give some love to some of our first members. Congratulations to each of you for the feature it’s so beyond deserving. Below I will talk about why I chose each piece. For the pieces that also touch you – please don’t forget to leave comments for them on their page. It’s so important for an artist to know how their pieces affected us.

It’s not secret I am a fan of greeneyedlady’s writing. I posted a special piece on her last week. It wasn’t a surprise at all then, to see another fantastic piece of writing by her. I’m so glad she placed it in our cozy group. I probably sound like I’m on repeat when I talk about her writing. I think that is because she is a kindred spirit for me. Such a romantic dreamer, so full of memories and longing and wishes and love. This piece was no exception. So brilliantly crafted… my eyes took it in and it felt like my own breath. One poignant aching piece about the scent of someone that you love and is no longer there. Thank you GEL, for again pulling my lavender-coated heart strings. Here is her brilliant piece:

wafting by me on the wind

wafting by me on the wind
is the scent of him
and i look for him
eager for him to be there
no…
that’s not right,
my brain reasons,
he’s not here now….
it must be someone else….
but for me it’s no one else
it’s no different than it ever was
when that scent wafts by
i breathe in
i breathe out
i look around
he should be there,
my heart argues,
but he’s not there
not anymore
just that scent
wafting by me on the wind…..

(c) greeneyedlady 2009

I don’t think there is a piece of Manoyla F’s that I haven’t favorited. She is definitely at the top of the list in my book. This piece is so fiery hot. I love the way they are embracing each other, like they never want to let go. I felt as if they were going to sink into each others skin, soaking, soaked, until they are one flesh. It’s so passionate, so heated, they are literally on fire. This really makes the romantic in me burn. Featured for turning up the temperature – Never let me go.

Janis Zroback is one of the best painters on the bubble, in my opinion. Her use of color is out of this world. There is something about each piece that turns on a light in my subconscious. This featured piece – Landscape…Mysterious Kor – is divine. I have such a love for trees, they represent so much about life and mother earth, being rooted and connected. Her use of contrast in the colors makes me feel like everything around the tree is shining, singing in its presence; It’s dripping life and wisdom. Featured for reminding me of the connection of life to all things.

I love Julie Thomas and her photography. She has such a soft sensitive way with her lens. Her piece entitled Love is… is the epitome of romance. Goodness knows I love layers, and the layering on this is brilliant. The flower has such perfect composition and pose, and I love the lavender stigma, it’s so breathtaking. Add the words and the beautiful BEAUTIFUL blurred background – I was hooked. I really feel like I fall in love each time I see it. And those scribbles, they are whispers chanting in my ear… Featured for taking me back to places my heart loves to be.

xairoise is another incredible being. Her use of mood and colors in her pieces is really unique, and always captures my attention. At first glance, this piece – still playing, has wonderful elements. The beautiful lines of the tree, it’s feathered leaves, the caged violinist, playing her heart away despite her situation, and even the grass, which seams to be stretching itself, up up up to touch their tips to the notes of the music. But what makes this piece really special is the description she included that explains her thoughts behind it. Featured for bringing a tear to my eye and talking about the struggle that artists face by entering a realm not always supported by non-creative people.

The photography of Cathleen Tarawhiti always goes to the dreamy center of my brain. I always celebrate women photographers and photography. She has incredible talent and is always blowing me away with the beautiful women she captures. But it’s more than just beautiful women, she captures a moment in time, always telling a story with each photo. Dreaming ahead… is one of my favorite pieces of hers so far. It’s so lush and romantic, and the movement of the model was captured so softly and brilliantly. Featured for making me want to go where the she (the character) is going.

Aglaia is such a quirky woman. Quirky as in unique and girly. I love the way she crosses dreamy, romantic, and vintage styles. The colors of her pieces always POP. While she is not the subject in this piece, I still see her in it. In fact, I see her in all her pieces. Maybe that’s what makes them so unique. The title alone wins me over – faint heart never won a fair maiden. Who could resist that, really? Featured for bringing me back to my feminine died hard Camelot thoughts of the knight on a white horse.

Tracey Mac is one of those phenomenal women that has life burning inside her soul. She seems to feel her emotions at a 5000 degree C centerpoint. Her piece Nothing really ends… is so haunting to me. The circle window brings so many emotions to my mind; circle of life, window into a soul, memories of what was that we can’t let go, a journey from one point to the next. My dreamy eyes have stared at this magical moment for hours… my own tired soul weighed down with a multitude of feelings. The color usage also takes me to a dream state. Featured for making me peer into my own soul window.

Talk about dreamy, Ingz has of way of taking the ordinary and making it appear magical. Her use of placement, composition, color, and focus takes my mind to another state of being. When I see her work I want to just feel my own breath, in and out, zen style. This photo – Midnight blue – is so deep I felt like Alice in Wonderland.. falling, falling. Featured for allowing me to swim in this sea of midnight petalled dreams.

funkyfacestudios is amazing to me. She dabbles in several styles of art, completely consistent in the level of quality across the board. Her photography is outstanding, and often uses her own children as the models. One thing is for sure – she captures a mood every time. Glaring sunlight is about as haunting a face shot as I’ve seen. The dreamy eyes of her beautiful daughter makes me feel like swimming in strawberry cream. The glittered face, the bokeh background, the captivating heaviness of emotion – I was hooked. Featured for making this black and white taste like a rainbow of emotions.

A new kid on the block that I’m so happy to have came across is HollyGoLightly. This genius artist-in-the-making is light years ahead of her age. I love whimsical deep girls, and Minnie is the definition of it. I absolutely loved her clowning around piece. It’s so batman/joker meets Andy Warhol. Freaking fantastic in my book. Featured for titillating my eyes with frame after frame of tenacity and fun.

The final piece is the completion of a journey of emotions. ArcadiaTempest is a wonderfully lush and contemplative woman who constantly gets at us with her pen. Little Lies, like so many of her pieces, forces us to look within at something we all deal with, but don’t necessarily wish to examine so deeply. Look at the comments on this pace and you’ll see what I mean by getting a reaction. It’s not often a writers pieces can cause paragraphs on paragraphs of thoughts and musings over their words, but she does it all the time. Featured for giving me a heck of a lot to think about that I wasn’t ready to consider.

Little Lies

Why do we cry for the little lies?
Do we need armor even for the small lines of mistruths?

A big lie tosses us into the sea of witches
Casting spells of vengeance and regret
Hearts harden or tumble into the guillotine basket

Why can a tiny lie form a crack in our heart?
Why can a tiny lie undo the good that was done?

Little lies are small and surely mean no harm
Or is this presumption a lie in itself and wrong?

Little lies can be dressed in all guises
A genuine interest becoming a forgotten promise
Words sent for healing but without full merit
Omitting words to keep secret for protection
Anger sprouting where a voice is usually quiet
Sadness protecting a sore that has not healed
A carefree though fickle nature meaning no harm
Busy lives pulling the noose causing quick retorts

Is how we react and respond the measure of us?
Turn the other cheek and does the other get slapped?
Does our level of reaction indicate the level we need to grow?
Should we be quiet and fathom out the answer alone?

A little lie does not want to send us grief
Then why is there sometimes more pain in the little lie?

A lie not meant to create a wave of emotions to fall
Do we think we do not tell little lies ourselves?
A little unintended lie is laying in the heel of my shoe
I may need to find another pair for now it seems
And to remember that no-one will ever be perfect
especially the likes of me who has said a lie or two

© K S Hardy 2009

Celebrate these wonderful and amazing artists with me by going to the touched by fire group and leave your own little trail dust of love.

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Taking Photos That Mean Something – Models

I’m going to share a few of my own ideas that might help you out.  Please feel free to steal these ideas and make them work for you, but please share with me your thoughts and opinions about these.  This is going to be a two part series.  Part two will talk more about candid photos.

I’ve worked with a lot of different models.  Some had little or no experience while others have been modeling for more than a decade.  I’ve worked with friends, co-workers, and total strangers.  Realistically though, I still have no clue what I’m doing.  Some is just pure luck, while others is just this crazy vision I have in my head that I play out.  And it’s never about the camera.  There are people who can take amazing photos with a cell phone. It’s all about the person behind and in front of the camera.

As a photographer or model, if you are nervous, unprepared, and unimaginative it’s going to be tough to create something that people like.  So how do you prevent this from happening?

Nervous – You have to be able to talk to strangers.  You can’t expect to work with a model and never talk to them.  Someone a long time ago gave me a great exercise to try.  Go to a busy mall, store, or shopping center.  Sit down and watch people.  Find someone you would be interested in working with.  Approach said person and just flat out ask them if they would be interested in working with you.  Now this next part everyone should write down because it’s an excellent trick.  And single guys should know this too because it works 100% of the time if you want to get a girl’s phone number.  Have with you two business cards with your name, number, website, and email address on them.  Give her one card and you take the other card and flip it over with pen ready.  Ask her, “What is the best way to get a hold of you, e-mail or phone?”  It works!  Do it.  Say good bye to your fear of strangers.

Preparation – When I was in 3rd grade, I did a project on dreams.  My teacher had me take a notebook and leave it by my bed.  This way when I woke up I would stand the best chance at remembering my dream and writing down every detail immediately rather than waiting until later when I most likely would have forgot it.  I still do this today, only I no longer write down my dreams, but ideas I have for photos.  It’s also expanded from just a single notebook at my bed to my desk at home, my desk at work, my car, and sometimes a small one in my jacket pockets.  Most pages are filled with random scribbling and drawings that I most likely will never use.  But sometimes I get an idea that I throw down in one of my notebooks that really works.  Write down locations you notice that you would like to use, ideas from a TV show, movie, song, or commercial.  You never know where inspiration will come from.

Unimaginative – A simple motto I live by with photography is the weirder the better.  It’s simple and makes sense.  Is it something that you like and want to see?  Then I’m sure somebody else would to.  And never be afraid to try new things.  Why would somebody want to dig through someone’s portfolio of 500 images of the same model but just a slightly different pose?  Or 300 pictures of pink flowers?  Yes I’m sure the model is pretty and the flower is gorgeous, but do you really expect someone to take the time to look through them all?  Be honest.  Don’t forget about that regular model or your favorite pink flowers, but step back and look at the rest of the world.

A few other tricks I’ve learned that can help capture a beautiful picture:

  • Talk to your model about anything and everything, those moments captured are very special.
  • Do not go overboard on props, especially when you have to hike a mile to get there.
  • Laugh with the model. Real laughs captured are phenomenal.
  • Whenever recruiting or submitting ad’s for models, make “playful” be a requirement.
  • Always try and capture emotions in a still picture.

I hope you all can take at least one thing away from this to help you create a photo that you like, your model likes, and others will want to purchase.

touched by fire group in redbubble

I’m so excited to say that another step in taking this blog to the next level has launched this week. touched by fire the group is open for business on redbubble.

The focus of the group harmonizes with the focus of this blog – to discuss and appreciate art that affects people in profound ways. It will be open to all genres of art – writing, photography, graphic design, drawing, painting, and photo manipulation, etc… The stronger an emotion, feeling, or thought comes across in the piece, the more likely it is to wind up on the blog and/or be featured.

We also hope to bring relevant information such as how-to’s, tips, information, contest and publication opportunities, and marketing and sales expertise. The internet, blogs, and social networking has changed in such a powerful way that the opportunity to make money doing what you love (your art) is much more easily at your fingertips.

If you are a member of the redbubble community, please considering joining our fledgling group and being a part of what we call ‘reimagining the world’. If you are an artist but not a member of redbubble I strongly recommend it – it’s like facebook for artists. By becoming a member of our group, you will be part of a wonderful collection of talented artists and giving friends that will support each other and marvel at the world we create within our art. You will also be taking a step forward in promoting your art within the community and the rest of the world. It’s good to be seen.

Check out TOUCHED BY FIRE – THE GROUP.

Please enjoy a slideshow of the first weeks featured pieces – please visit the group to enjoy more wonderful art by these and other artists.

Redbubble Artist – JoannaBlu

In June of this year I stumbled across a new member of Redbubble named JoannaBlu.  She is a self taught “amateur” photographer.  I would consider her a professional any day of the week, but she is hesitant to use that word.  To me, her style is so peaceful and moody.  She has created her own style that she calls, “emotional blur.”

Several of her pieces touched me.  Her “emotional blur” style was so sublime that you couldn’t help but stare at it forever.

There are a lot of artists on redbubble whose work I love.  So many people have such beautiful composition and put so much time and thought into their photos, writing, paintings, and drawings that I almost feel ashamed of my own work some time.  Joanna is one of those people.  There are times where her work will literally take my breath away.  So everybody get your oxygen masks ready and be sure to check out her work.  Even more of her pictures and “emotional blur” can be found on her Flickr account.

the beautiful scribblings of greeneyedlady


Greeneyedlady has been a staple for me on the bubble. Her writing has proven to be a fountain of spirit, emotion, and honesty the quenches my thirst with each lovely word she drops. She wrote a piece today that really tingled down my spine and inspired me to feature some of her works and share them with you, with her blessing. Please take a moment to soak yourself into the beautiful words of my dear friend.

The first piece i”m going to share I mentioned in the intro. When I read it, it kind of latched itself to this place inside my lungs that made me let out an audible *gasp…. here it is, in it’s beauty:

writhing on her tether
she didn’t look complicated the first time i saw her
she looked easy
it must have been the champagne
lulling me into a false sense of security
allowing me to believe i would have her
on her back
in just a matter of hours
really that was all i wanted
she didn’t look complicated the first time i saw her
for i never looked past my automatic machinations
they had never failed me before
i didn’t look past my lust
to see what could be waiting on the other side
and so she hooked me
now i’m writhing on her tether
and she has won the battle
she never knew she was waging

(c)2009 greeneyedlady

The next poem of hers that I LOVE left me with a feeling of being there, in the moment, really present. I felt so zen after reading this. Often times I go back and re-read it just to calm my thoughts.

jasmine pearls

put down the pen
and dry your tears
breathe in the smell
of the cinnamon toast
pluck the scented pearls
of the jasmine tea
from the thin china cup
then hold it up
quickly!
before it becomes
too bitter to enjoy

(c)2009 greeneyedlady

Blips and Boulders is an awesome poem that she wrote, a little bit inspired by a conversation that she and I had about relationships and lies.

blips and boulders

should i waste my time worrying
with the blips that come and go
on your radar screen?
or should i just wait and see if you could
ever be that tuned in to me?
turn on to me!
those little blips with their backsides shimmying
in their tight blue jeans
they come and they go, you come and then you go
and then you come crawling back to me
with your phony sorrow
your pious tears raining down on me
like boulders in an avalanche of regret
tears turn to laughter as i’m buried half alive
beneath your mountain of sweet and lovely lies

(c)2009 greeneyedlady

The next poem that I wish to feature is a poem about self-torture over an old romance years ago and the path to a realization of empowerment at where that journey really took her.

happiness is a weapon

my happiness is a weapon i use
to bludgeon your memory
and feel a little better about the way
you treated me
all those years ago

my happiness is a weapon you use
to convince yourself that
you did the right thing
by leaving me for my own good
all those years ago

today i know
my happiness was never your concern
there was a time when i searched your face
for the beauty that once shone there
but you didn’t want it, no,
you didn’t want the responsibility
for anyone’s happiness
not even your own
now you are oblivious to bliss
and i hope you like it that way

(c)2009 greeneyedlady

One last beautiful piece to share…perfection in its simplicity.. another reminder to find the luxury in each moment that comes.

only for a moment

it was only perfect for a moment
in the grand scheme of things
but the moment may never come again
so i hold the feeling close
for i never know
when it too may slip away
as if stillborn
back into the ether
back into the perfection from whence it came

(c)2009 greeneyedlady

In addition to her wonderful writing she also happens to be a great photographer. Take a peek at a few of her photos.

Please be sure to view her writing and photography gallery on redbubble – greeneyedlady. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.