feeling alive all over again

With the projects that I have due tomorrow, tonight will prove to be one of little sleep, lots of productivity, and loads of brain sqeezing (in hopes that creativity will seep out).

But I wanted to jot down a thought I had...more like, quickly document a brief experience from tonight. I took the bus home, and was determined to be productive. On the ride home, I was quickly doodling some thumbnails for an assignment due tomorrow, with one bud of my iPod headphones in, when a song came on. Suddenly, I looked up and realized that I loved this experience. This bus ride. As I sat stationary and watched the cars speed past in opposite directions and people go their busy ways, a smile started to spread across my face for no apparent reason, other than the fact that it was dusk--one of my favorite times of day--and that the bumpy rumbling bus had its windows open, so there was a distinct breeze of freshness that brushed across my face and hair, and this song was pulsing in my ear. It was a fabulous feeling that just took me by surprise.

I decidedly hopped off the bus 4 stops prior to my usual stop and, grabbing my camera out of my bag, went to one of my favorite places to watch the last remains of the sunset. It wasn't even that earth-shaking tonight, but an image of simplistic beauty.

I commenced "photographic doodling", as Jeff has so cleverly coined it. I love the fact that Heavenly Father paints a beautiful new picture for us each day and night on His canvas of sky. To me, sunsets feel like a reward for finishing another day, with colors that just hint at what will come of the beautiful sunrise that will surely follow the next morning. If we let it, it leaves us excited for a new day.

(images copyright Kristin Gulledge, 2008)


Musical Goodness from Last.fm

Last.fm is like Pandora.com. It allows you to have a specialized musical profile, based off of artists you like. You can get an account and be "friends" like on Facebook, and it will show musical compatibility, etc. As I have only one "friend", I don't use this feature much.

I have a widget on the bottom right of this blog (scroll, scroll, ah. there.) that shows the songs I've listened to lately. I haven't visited Last.fm for 22 days now, because the last playlist that I listened to was SO good. and the widget refreshes every 10 minutes when I'm listening to Last so it'll erase itself.

I'm itching for more music time, so I'm gonna record my Playlist of Awesome:

The Way I Am --Ingrid Michaelson
Don't Stop Me Now -- Queen

Merry Happy -- Kate Nash

Breakable -- Ingrid Michaelson

Gracie -- Ben Folds

Shine -- Collective Soul

New Born -- Muse

With or Without You -- U2

You Picked Me -- A Fine Frenzy

Whatever You Want -- Vienna Teng

It's crazy how many good songs there are to be found over the decades. Anyone have any favorites from these? You should listen to ALL of them, because they're all fabulous.


Encounters With Potential

I have tons to do, but I need to write because I've been inspired yet again. I love the recent close proximities of my encounters with potential...mmmmm life.

I just got out of my artistic anatomy class. It's taught by Niki Covington, who just returned from a year of study at the Florence Academy of the Arts in Italy (which, in and of itself, recognizes a dream of mine: world travel, especially to Italy). He teaches us of anatomy, and how important each "lump, bump, and curve", as he so often puts it, is important to our study of the body and our consequential drawings.

Today, we talked only about the pelvis. I never realized what a useful and complex structure it is! It's a pivotal point (literally) on which so much anatomical information hinges. I was soaking everything he said in, and it was like drinking from a fire hydrant (as Bro. Bott would put it). It applied to so many functions, from where our legs articulate to the rest of our bodies to childbirth. Wow, the range of possibilities is seemingly endless.

Last class I was struggling with proportions and he told me that the next class period, he'd show me how he started a drawing. So today, he took my pencil, sharpened it, and went to work. It was fascinating! There is SO much to be learned! In this class alone, we talk about the different parts of each layer of the body (we're just on bones right now), how they articulate with each other, their form and function, how they relate to other parts and other layers, and on top of that, we learn how to draw it all! When Niki took my pencil today, he made just a few lines on my paper, but he explained that those few lines held more accurate and telling information than those of anyone else in the class, because they were so accurate and simple. He spends a lot of time on this stage, then moves more and more specific. He said that this information he's putting on the paper is subject to change any time, and any mark that is newly placed should contribute to the accuracy of the information already there.


So I walked out of class feeling as though my brain were a jug of water with a sponge at the very bottom, soaking it all in, while simultaneously threatening to spill over the top and be lost.

Then...I walked past an amazingly inspiring photography exhibit in the hall of the HFac. The photographer, Kelli Saunders, had taken portraits all in black and white, her subjects being the children of the Hands of Mercy Orphanage in Ghana. I read her artist statement and almost got emotional. Suddenly, I realized how much art can be a way of communication and how it really can benefit people, because as I read her statement, I was the beneficiary rather than the artist. I want to go help underprivileged people...I have so many resources at my fingertips, but what will I use them for? I feel so selfish using my talents solely for my own pleasure, when so many have so little in their lives. I thought of my friend Amy, who's going to Ghana on a research semester next summer, and ideas started coming to my head about going with her, doing some type of research that would help someone. This was, mind you, before I realized that Kelli's photos were actually taken in Ghana. Which was cool.

THEN, I looked up her site on the net and realized that the name Kelli Saunders sounded familiar because she was on the Kaiizen trip! Kaiizen is an organization that goes to other countries and help orphanages....I went this summer to Mexico and the blog will soon be posted (still getting the pictures up). I know this girl, and her work is so inspiring!

As I walked out of the HFac, I started noticing things in different ways. There is SO much to learn, so much to accomplish in this life, so why on earth am I EVER lazy?!!

Mmmmm. There is much to be done.

I would really like everyone to go see the exhibit on the 4th floor of the HFac for yourselves, but if you don't want to make the journey, click