A guide to the conscious creation of art and life, and personal blog of Marlo Lavonne: landscape photographer and artist mentor. Thank you for your support!

  • generic-art:

    5-Year-Old With Autism Paints Stunning Masterpieces 

    Autism is a poorly-understood neurological disorder that can impair an individual’s ability to engage in various social interactions. But little 5-year-old Iris Grace in the UK is an excellent example of the unexpected gifts that autism can also grant – her exceptional focus and attention to detail have helped her create incredibly beautiful paintings that many of her fans (and buyers) have likened to Monet’s works.

    Little Iris is slowly learning to speak, whereas most children have already begun to speak at least a few words by age 2. Along with speech therapy, her parents gradually introduced her to painting, which is when they discovered her amazing talent.

    “We have been encouraging Iris to paint to help with speech therapy, joint attention and turn taking,” her mother, Arabella Carter-Johnson, explains on her website. “Then we realised that she is actually really talented and has an incredible concentration span of around 2 hours each time she paints. Her autism has created a style of painting which I have never seen in a child of her age, she has an understanding of colours and how they interact with each other.”

    Much better version of the same subject matter I posted earlier.

    (via smartgirlsattheparty)

  • "I am from Britain and think it is right that as a woman I am paid the same as my male counterparts. I think it is right that I should be able to make decisions about my own body. I think it is right that women be involved on my behalf in the policies and decision-making of my country. I think it is right that socially I am afforded the same respect as men. But sadly I can say that there is no one country in the world where all women can expect to receive these rights."

    (Source: thefeministpress, via smartgirlsattheparty)

  • seibei:




    Some harsh but very very true words

    When people let me review their portfolios (on career day or open days at my game design school) I explicitly ban them from commenting during the review… …because otherwise they will follow the impulse to downplay everything I see in an attempt at being humble.

    "this is an old image…"

    "I’m not happy with that one…"

    "this is just a sketch…"

    "I did this really quickly…"

    "there is better stuff on later pages…"

    It’s totally understandable to have those impulses. The quality of art is not empirical data and therefore impossible to measure. Good art, bad art, it all comes down to standards. And you don’t want to come off as naive or self-absorbed.

    But just don’t do it. Don’t talk yourself down in front of others. In the best case you have someone supportive who now thinks “damn, this person needs to be prepped up all the time. Do I really want to work with somebody like that” or in worst case “now that you say it, yeah, this is kinda lame/rushed/unfinished/lazy, go away.”

    You can only submit what you have. If that is not enough, then it’s not enough. Your attitude will not change that. But if it is enough, you can do serious harm by not being confident of who you are now.

    This means appreciating what you are able to do right now and have a clear vision of what you want to learn, be confident that you will learn it in time. 

    Be proud.

    This is really important.  Eliminate this urge.  Eliminate it professionally, when having contact with people in a position to buy your work.  Eliminate it socially, when you just share your work for fun.  Destroy this urge as thoroughly as you possibly can.

    Because when you have done that, you’ll find that you feel at least 25% less shitty about your own work.  You lose the urge to do it.  You stop reinforcing those negative thoughts, and they retreat.  They may never go away completely (although they might!) but this is good practice for ignoring those thoughts flat-out.

    Don’t shit-talk yourself.  Even if you can’t be SO PROUD, don’t ever try to influence anyone’s opinion toward your work in the negative.

    Try to love your work.  Try to see what you learned from each piece, even if it’s a failure.  If you feel that you learned nothing, appreciate the fact that just spending time on it is honing your skills and giving you valuable practice.

    i used to be super not-confident in my own work.  When I stopped pointing out the flaws in my own stuff, I felt better about it almost immediately.

    As a lifelong self deprecator, I’m trying this and really enjoying it so far!

    (via infectioushumanwaste)

  • austinkleon:

    Roger Ebert’s sketchbook and thoughts on drawing

    While I was watching Life Itself last night, I noticed two or three drawings in the mix of images, none of which were commented on.

    Had I been reading his blog more carefully, I would’ve come across this blog post, “You Can Draw, and Probably Better Than I Can,” where he explains how he met a woman named Annette Goodheart in the early 1980s, who convinced him that all children can draw, it’s just that some of us stop:

    The break in our childish innocence comes the first time we use an eraser. We draw a chin and think it looks nothing like a chin, and in frustration we erase it. That’s it. Our bond of trust with our artistic instinct has been severed. We will be erasing for the rest of our lives. I speak here not of great and accomplished artists, for whom I hold great awe, but for you and me, whose work, let’s face it, will not soon be given a gallery show.

    It seems to me Annette said something like this: Begin with a proper sketch book. Draw in ink. Finish each drawing you begin, and keep every drawing you finish. No erasing, no ripping out a page, no covering a page with angry scribbles. What you draw is an invaluable and unique representation of how you saw at that moment in that place according to your abilities. That’s all we want. We already know what a dog really looks like.

    When he was in London, Ebert bought a Daler sketchbook and a drawing pen across the street from the English National Opera.

    I settled down in a nearby pub and began to sketch a glass, which is no more than an arrangement of ovals and lines. I continued to draw throughout the 1990s… I sketched mostly on vacation. I had the time. In Chicago there was always a deadline, someplace to be, a phone ringing. On vacation I found a cafe or a park bench, or was waiting for a concert to begin, or whatever.

    He soon found out that the quality of his drawings didn’t matter at all — it was the mere fact that he drew them:

    That was the thing no one told me about. By sitting somewhere and sketching something, I was forced to really look at it, again and again, and ask my mind to translate its essence through my fingers onto the paper. The subject of my drawing was fixed permanently in my memory. Oh, I “remember” places I’ve been and things I’ve seen. I could tell you about sitting in a pub on Kings’ Road and seeing a table of spike-haired kids starting a little fire in an ash tray with some lighter fluid. I could tell you, and you would be told, and that would be that. But in sketching it I preserved it. I had observed it.

    I found this was a benefit that rendered the quality of my drawings irrelevant. Whether they were good or bad had nothing to do with their most valuable asset: They were a means of experiencing a place or a moment more deeply. The practice had another merit. It dropped me out of time. I would begin a sketch or watercolor and fall into a waking reverie. Words left my mind. A zone of concentration formed. I didn’t think a tree or a window. I didn’t think deliberately at all. My eyes saw and my fingers moved and the drawing happened. Conscious thought was what I had to escape, so I wouldn’t think, Wait! This doesn’t look anything like that tree! or I wish I knew how to draw a tree! I began to understand why Annette said finish every drawing you start. By abandoning perfectionism you liberate yourself to draw your way. And nobody else can draw the way you do.

    As he wrote in a Facebook post, “An artist using a sketchbook always looks like a happy person.” 

    Knowing Ebert himself drew means a lot to me, as the only direct contact I ever had with Ebert was this Facebook post where he praised one of my drawings.

    He published a little paperback with some of his drawings (Two Weeks In Midday Sun: A Cannes Notebook), but, unfortunately, it’s out of print. Luckily, you can read all of his thoughts on drawings and flip through some of his drawings on Flickr.

    Filed under: Roger Ebert

    (via mandytsung)

  • James Wyper: Memory Palace, 2014.

    Who are we to ask for peace in our society when we still fight, have enemies, and carry hate? Who are we to ask for equality when we still judge? How can the world change if the people in it stay the same? Envision the world you want to live in, then choose to embody these things in yourself. We can change the world because we are the world.

  • It seems like we’ve all had an exceptionally difficult month, between personal struggles and seeing everything others on earth are going through. It’s really sucked, but I want to find something good to take from it all. I want to use it as a reminder that we are all in this together. A reminder to be kind, to be peaceful, to focus on the important things in this life. Find a good cause or a passion to dedicate yourself to. We don’t need to fight or judge or add to the struggles of others. We all live in this same confusing world. We all have pain. Instead of perpetuating it and hurting others we can use it to learn and come together and heal. We can take better care of each other and ourselves. We can spread peace and love just by the small acts we do every day, by choosing love always.

  • coketalk:

    I’ll be back in a few days. In the meantime, I’ve put together a little playlist titled August Can Go Fuck Itself.

    Seriously, though. This entire month turned out to be one long state of emergency, just a stream of bad news both for me personally and for the rest of the world. (I had to go through some shit, and I haven’t been well.)

    Anyway, some of the songs on the August Can Go Fuck Itself playlist seemed appropriate, and some just helped get me through the past couple weeks.

    Here’s to a better September.

    Let’s all listen to this and cry and then hug and promise to be kinder to each other next month.

  • Molly Crabapple’s advice to young artists.

    (Source: wendyfitch, via infectioushumanwaste)

  • "We also live in an era where a lot of the old, supporting institutions are either opening up or crumbling, so I suggest that people don’t try to distort who they are to fit notions of what’s professionally viable, because that paradigm is over. I suggest you focus in on your weirdness, your passions, and your fucked-up damage, and be yourself as truly as you can."
  • All love is self love

    The highest form of love is compassion, which is the recognition of the intrinsic value and connection of us all. It is unconditional, it needs nothing, it is perfectly complete on its own. There can be no true compassion without self-compassion first, however. If you separate yourself from the compassion you give to the rest of existence you are buying into the illusion of separation which creates all pain in this world. There is no real separation; only that which we create with our false perceptions. Therefore, separating yourself from the love you give the rest of creation is illogical and egotistical. Who are we to put ourselves in our own special category outside of everything else? All is one. We are part of the all. We are an indispensable, intrinsically valuable, inseparable part of all that is. So, do not separate yourself. Be humble, be grateful, and accept the automatic love and compassion offered to you from all that is, to all that is. This is true love, this is self love. This is simply existence being love, giving love to itself, and accepting love from itself—from all its unique perspectives that we all provide. You do not need to learn to do this, just let go of your illusory definitions of yourself as separate from all that is, all of existence, all of everything. Be. Be in love. This is your natural state once you let go of all that is not truly you.

  • We have seen what darkness can do. It’s time to wake up and try the light. Lighten up. Be light. Shine your light. Live your life guided by joy and passion and love. It’s time. Look at the world. It’s time NOW. Lift your thoughts and actions above the petty dramas and selfish ideas of getting all you can get at the expense of others. Create, love, share. Repeat. Create, love, share. Repeat. Every day. That is your life. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. This is your new program. Turn off the TV. Create, love, share. Peace on earth starts with you. Be peace. Be love. Let it radiate out in all you do and to all you meet. Create love. Share love. Let go of the rest. It is time.

  • Do something that excites you every day. Make this a rule. Commit to it. Watch it grow and and transform your entire life into an amazing river of synchronicity and magic.

  • If you have trouble being creative, it simply means you are having trouble being yourself.

    The foundation for my creative practice, and life in general, is that deep down we are already creative, happy, healthy, beings—though we may have spent our lives piling on layers of doubt and pain, creating the illusion we are not. All we need to do is uncover the truth. Every day when you wake up, when you prepare to do an important task, or when you feel a bit off, just take a minute to breathe and remember who you are. You can make this ritual as simple or as complicated as you wish, just find something that works for you. When you are truly centred in your real self you will feel ready to take on any task. Your true creativity and power will flow into everything you do, with no effort at all.

    (If you appreciate posts like this and are interested in reading more, please consider making a donation. Thank you!)

  • How well do your thoughts serve you?

    I’ve been reprogramming my thinking habits lately, removing the clutter of thoughts that bounce around my head like a bag of squirrels. The ideal? The default setting on my mind is a clear and quiet consciousness, a complete presence in the moment. When I need thought it is for a clear purpose: calculating numbers, making a grocery list, or some other task that the brain excels at. Otherwise, it remains empty—a clear channel open to receive flashes of inspiration from my subconscious, higher mind, or wherever it comes from, from which I may then act accordingly.

    How do I know when thinking is useful? When I intend to think about something for a specific purpose, it is useful. When I receive inspiration to act upon (even if it’s just to write it down), that is useful. The thoughts are grounded in action. Thinking that is not grounded in action has no outlet. It gives us anxiety, guilt, or confusion. It perpetuates fear and negativity. We can still turn it into something positive, however, if we find a way to get it out, bring it into the light, and discern if it is a true concern. Often it is not and we can simply let it go. If it is a true concern, perhaps one we were ignoring, it is probably time to ground it in action. Take an honest look at it and do what needs to be done.

    (If you appreciate posts like this and are interested in reading more, please consider making a donation. Thank you!)

  • jameswyper:

    Entry Point, 2012, acrylic on birch, 40x40 in.

    After ten years as a working artist, I’m releasing my very first signed prints today. It’s a one-week offer for family and close friends. If you’d like to be included in this first offer, please email me at james@jameswyper.com or send me an Ask message with your email address.

    Thanks, James

  • healingpath:

    On learning to heal your life

    I spent most of my life feeling sick, depressed, and exhausted. I ignored it as well as I could, but eventually started having kidney stone attacks (not ignorable). This led me down a path to systematically dealing with all the issues I accumulated over the years, eventually finding myself feeling better than I ever remembered—physically, emotionally, and mentally. I think my experiences can be of immense value to others who are suffering and I’d like to dedicate far more time to sharing with you what I learned, but I need support from you to create the blog that truly deals with all of these things properly. I’d like to be able to sit down daily and write and share with all those who need help.

    If you are interested in this information or would like to help those who need it but aren’t able to give (which is common for those suffering the way I was) please consider making a donation using the button at the top of this blog (healingpath.tumblr.com). The more support I receive, the more value I can put in my posts.

    Thank you!