The Heart of Lightness

I created this digital art, The Heart of Lightness, with a pale green canvas on PicMonkey, superimposed with a photo I took recently of a cactus flower.  When you go through the various layers you can use of an image in PicMonkey, you come across quite different colours and that’s what happened with this image. It morphed from pale green to the colours you see now (with a bit of tweaking in BeFunky!).

I was drawn to create this image today to offer into the universe something with positive energy to counter in a small way the ugliness of the racism of Clippers’ owner, billionaire, Donald Sterling.  I pity him that he thinks a person’s colour is important when what is really important is what’s in a person’s heart. Sterling’s comments show that, despite all his money, he’s really a rather pathetic, morally bereft figure.

So here’s a bit of light to counter ignorant racism wherever it raises its ugly face. I quite like a phrase I read years ago, sorry, can’t remember the author: “Time to give racism an indecent burial”! And of course, “Heart of Lightness” is a play on the title of Joseph Conrad’s book “Heart of Darkness”!

The Heart of Lightness
The Heart of Lightness

Morning Has Broken, Like the First Morning

I thought of the song by Cat Stevens (now Yusuf Islam) when creating this piece of digital art.  I used a photo I took recently of some cactus flowers and superimposed them on a pink canvas, did a few tweaks with PicMonkey and BeFunky, and voila, it fell into place. I know a piece is finished when I get a fluttery feeling in my stomach.

Below also are the words from the song.

Morning Has Broken, LIke the First Morning...
Morning Has Broken, Like the First Morning…

Morning Has Broken
As Sung by Cat Stevens

lyrics by Eleanor Farjeon

Morning has broken, like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for the springing fresh from the word

Sweet the rain’s new fall, sunlit from heaven
Like the first dewfall, on the first grass
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness where his feet pass

Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning
Born of the one light, Eden saw play
Praise with elation, praise every morning
God’s recreation of the new day

Morning Has Broken

As Sung by Cat Stevens

lyrics by Eleanor Farjeon

Morning has broken, like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for the springing fresh from the word

Sweet the rain’s new fall, sunlit from heaven
Like the first dewfall, on the first grass
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness where his feet pass

Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning
Born of the one light, Eden saw play
Praise with elation, praise every morning
God’s recreation of the new day

– See more at: http://www.allspirit.co.uk/morning.html#sthash.Hh3Tq5nb.dpuf

Morning Has Broken

As Sung by Cat Stevens

lyrics by Eleanor Farjeon

Morning has broken, like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for the springing fresh from the word

Sweet the rain’s new fall, sunlit from heaven
Like the first dewfall, on the first grass
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness where his feet pass

Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning
Born of the one light, Eden saw play
Praise with elation, praise every morning
God’s recreation of the new day

– See more at: http://www.allspirit.co.uk/morning.html#sthash.lYpbtyda.dpuf

Morning Has Broken

As Sung by Cat Stevens

lyrics by Eleanor Farjeon

Morning has broken, like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for the springing fresh from the word

Sweet the rain’s new fall, sunlit from heaven
Like the first dewfall, on the first grass
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness where his feet pass

Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning
Born of the one light, Eden saw play
Praise with elation, praise every morning
God’s recreation of the new day

– See more at: http://www.allspirit.co.uk/morning.html#sthash.lYpbtyda.dpuf

Ya Beles – Our local fruit & vegie supplier

I’ve often banged on about the lovely fresh fruit and veggies you get in North Cyprus, so for something different I nipped around to Ya Beles (pron. Yar BerLESH, emphasis on last syllable), and took some photos of the lovely displays of produce at this shop.  It’s not far from there and the quality of food is great – witness the large numbers of locals who shop there, a sure sign an outlet is good value.  Hope you enjoy these photos – you can get fruit and veggies in the local supermarkets but Ya Beles always has high quality and good, fresh produce.

On another note completely, I’ve started editing my photos in PicMonkey.  I find it far faster and better quality than Photoshop. Poor old Photoshop is slow and clunky after working with PicMonkey.

 

Yabeles 11
Herbs: mint, coriander, parsley, dill
Yabeles 14
Artichokes – eat your heart out! (Sorry, couldn’t resist the pun!)
Yabeles 2
Strawberries galore – and they’re delish!
Yabeles 15 - with loquats
The watermelon season is just beginning, and you can see loquats at the right side
Yabeles 13
Cyprus potatoes – unwashed, unpackaged, au naturel.
Yabeles 16
Potatoes growing in a field opposite Ya Beles

Yabeles 1 Yabeles 3 Yabeles 4 Yabeles 5 Yabeles 6 Yabeles 7 Yabeles 8 Yabeles 9 Yabeles 10 Yabeles 12

This is the charming and friendly young lady behind the counter - I accidentally moved the setting so it's a bit blurred but you can still see her bright, smiling face
This is the charming and friendly young lady behind the counter – I accidentally moved the setting so it’s a bit blurred but you can still see her bright, smiling face

Sweet Dreams

I’ve been having fun with a new plug-in I’ve installed from Topaz. What I generally do is wait until one of their plug-ins I’d like to use is on special and then I buy it because it’s affordable for my budget. So this time I’ve got a plug-in which helps bring out details in your photograph or digital art. Today I’ve been working with a violet rose (which I coloured violet from its original pink) and this is the result – it sort of reminded me of how nice it is to snuggle into bed and look forward to sweet dreams to enrich your sleep.

I’ve also included below two images of “Grace of Community” to show you how the plug-in teases out details in art or photography. I’m inclined to prefer the one that’s been worked on with the Topaz plug-in as it shows the energetic links of community more clearly but I’d be interested to hear your comments.

There won’t be a post tomorrow – we have a power cut from 9-3 as this area is undergoing maintenance work – and that means no power for my computer and internet. And when the power does come on, I shall be in the middle of a lovely, therapeutic massage which is gradually releasing all the twisted bits and pieces of my hips and back so I am now in less pain and also sleeping better.

Sweet Dreams
Sweet Dreams
Original Image - Grace of Community
Original Image – Grace of Community
After work with Topag Plug-in "Detail"
After work with Topag Plug-in “Detail”

 

Persephone in the Underworld

I went back to an earlier canvas I’d created from a photo I’d taken of a firework exploding in front of our apartment, then just started playing with various gizmos in PicMonkey, BeFunky and Pixlr, and ended up with: Persephone in the Underworld.

If you’re wondering why I’ve used this title, it’s because from time to time we descend into the Underworld when we’re dealing with challenges in our life, but often in those dark times – which may seem chaotic – flashes of light appear which illuminate our situation and give us guidance towards the light at the end of the tunnel.

In thinking of Persephone being snatched from above ground and being taken to the Underworld by Hades, he probably bit off more than he could chew because he was bringing life into the darkness of the Underworld which probably stirred things up more than he realised it would.  And when that light prepared to return to the surface of the earth, I imagine good ol’ Hades had a bit of a panic attack at the idea of losing the light (literally) of his life. Hence his temptation of Persephone as she headed to the surface with four pomegranate seeds which she ate. This compelled her to spend four months in the Underworld each year, and the rest of the time on the surface of the world with her mother, Demeter.

If you consider Demeter our inner wisdom – that which nourishes us and heals us – you can see how this metaphor relates to a life where we often can get down with the challenges life dishes up, but with persistence and healing, our inner wisdom can bring us back to life and light.

Persephone in the Underworld

The Grace of Community

Last year I did a couple of on-line courses and suddenly opened up to the joys of creating digital art. I started posting art virtually every day because I enjoy creating art, but along the way I’ve been gifted with something quite unexpected but very welcome: the enrichment of my life with friendships and contacts around the world courtesy of the blogging community.

I now read blogs from Australia (Suz Jones, among others), Thailand (Don Charisma), Africa (various), Romania, Russia, America (all over from Alaska to Alabama and they’re all special to me), Great Britain and Europe.  I read personal information, I read about pain and survival, I see beautiful photos of places and gardens around the world – in other words, I’ve entered a community I had no idea existed, one which is – so far – kind, supportive, humorous, challenging (some photos of hardships in other pars of the world can break your heart), informative and exciting.

Today I saw a post with a photo of the world from space – a most beautiful planet, viewed as a whole. Beside it was another photo of the world as we see it here on earth: a pastiche of different flags of different countries, competing, fighting, where differences and conflict are elevated in importance rather than the ties that bind us – the fact that everyone one’s heart and soul are nurtured by compassion, love and tolerance and the fact that basically all people really want is security, a roof over their heads, a future for their children, paid employment and peaceful lives.

This is the grace of community – and I think the blogging community, even though everyone’s singing a different song, in totality provide a little glimpse of how we can lead quite different lives where we love and support each other, look for what unites us and not divides us, and care about what is within people rather than the external appearance.

So here’s my piece of digital art today: The Grace of Community.  It was created with a pale blue canvas on PIcMnkey, with an overlay of a carpet of pink pig-face flowers (terrible name for such a beautiful little flower, I thought the photo of flowers all growing close to each other was a symbol of community), and then tweaked with the Fractilius plug-in on Photoshop.

Community
Community

Heart’s Ease

I slipped on our marble floor in the night, luckily didn’t fall but I have wrenched my back again, so I’ve been in the doldrums today. When you shock your body and you have fibromyalgia, you quite often get a flare-up as a result and that’s what’s happened today.

I’ve also had The Glums today, as I call the depression you get with fibro.  It is passing and not permanent so you can wake up one morning suddenly feeling fine again, the trick is not to panic but to ride it out.

On that note, I want to say to those in pain that it’s okay to get down, pain is a pain in the clacker, and I do get fed up with all the ra-ra, feel happy, you are awesome and other stuff that’s around so much these days, as if you need to feel on top of the world all the time and if you don’t, you are a failure as a human being.  Ups and downs are part of life, it’s like riding the waves of the sea, but you don’t need to be a happy clapper all  the time. In fact I think some of our deepest learning experiences happen during the down times.

So today I created a soft painting which I hope offers some comfort to those in trouble, suffering depression, enduring difficult times or are in pain for one reason or another.  I hope this piece of digital art eases your heart and helps lift your spirits in whatever way you need. It is based on a pink canvas with a pink hibiscus overlay.Heart's Ease