Saturday, September 16, 2017

skies, places, creative spaces: spotting Venus, "Situation colorful", Paris, daily digital paintings, and learnings

Sky guest
There was a fleeting morning moment this week: looking out I saw a bright spot in the sky - Venus, I remembered, and checking an regional sky page confirmed it. I hadn't seen her since a long time, and knew it wouldn't be visible for long with sunrise bringing more light. So I took a photo, to catch the beauty of that unexpected sight, and posted it on my instagram page later.

It's one of the changes this year brought: I took a bit of pause from social media this spring and summer, from facebook and twitter, and even from my blog. Yet the 100 day project brought me to instagram, and I like how it both is simple yet connects easily with a theme or keyword, especially for a creative challenge like the 100 days....

September Passioncolorjoy 
...or currently for the "passioncolorjoy" challenge, the task is to create 30 colorful paintings in 30 days. Hashtag is #pcj30in30.  I came across it through instagram right at the start of September, as one of the participants of the 100 days joined it. For me, it started a new cycle of daily creativity: revisiting micropoems from previous months, and combining them with new digital color sketches. Here's one from this week, also catching up on the feeling of seasons changing. I have started a hashtag for all of them, which indeed turned rather colorful so far: pcj30in30dl 

Reflecting the days
Since its start, I thought of blogging about it, too. Also, I thought of blogging about the books I am reading. And the art places I went to.... yet I didn't know where to start. Putting a blog post together for each them felt too much. Plus, the instagram posts already include some of the topics. And I like how they are more spontaneous, "live from the moment". That in the evening, it's not like: and now to write a blog post...  but then, they don't give much context, and the text isn't visible when scrolling through the images.

So I thought: I might try a longer post each week, a reflection of the week. With some impressions, places I've been to, a sky moment, a note on the books I am reading. And with links - which insta isn't very helpful with. Also, putting the themes of the week together in a collected poscreates a space for reflection. And it might lead to noticing some cross-connections. Like this one:

Situation colorful
This week, I met up with friends for a coffee, and also to visit a local gallery. the exhibition had the title "Situation colorful", and we looked forward to that on a rainy day. The gallery windows were covered with color sheets, so we couldn't see inside. Full of anticipation, we walked in - into an empty room. Turned out, the installation indeed was the color-decorated window front.

The curious thing was that while being there, it didn't look so special, neither from inside or outside. The artist, Tina Haase, is working with everyday materials - and the colour patches actually are household rubbish-bags from all kind of places. I took some photos, and when looking at them, that's when it started to look really interesting.

A day later, when finishing my next digital color painting, I had to smile: without planning to, the "Situation colorful" had influenced my visual:

September butterfly, red cat, multicultural book
And the butterfly line in the visual further above: the line is from last year, but I picked it after seeing a September butterfly in the garden again. Here, summer turned to autumn, but there are still new flowers opening in the garden, attracting bees and butterflies: 

This week was rather windy and rainy altogether, yet with some half hours of sun in between. I am glad my work is so flexible that I can make a pause when the sun is out - which brought a lovely  book moment yesterday, a book that I have since a while, but only started to read now - it has the unusual title: "The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet". Turns out, it is unusual: multi-cultural science fiction, and one of the "heroes" is a clerk... it's described as  "A science fiction novel that explores humanity's intergalactic future through the eyes of the everyman." It's told from shifiting perspectives. The author is Becky Chambers - my fav quote from it so far is on dealing with the drama of the world: 
“All you can do, Rosemary – all any of us can do – is work to be something positive instead. That is a choice that every sapient must make every day of their life. The universe is what we make of it. It’s up to you to decide what part you will play."

Here's more about the book at goodreads: "The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet" by Becky Chambers. 

And here's a sweet reading moment: the sun appeared, and so I went outside.. and the red cat appeared. I put up the hammock, and then read while the cat dozed: 

The way the book came together is a good story in itself: it's crowdfunded, this is what Becky Chambers writes about it on wired: "My first book was the first time I had any fiction out there. … I used Kickstarter to fund my remaining months of writing time. I was about two-thirds of the way through the manuscript and my freelance work dried up, so it was a sort of do-or-die, Hail Mary trying to get that book done. And I told myself at the time, ‘If this isn’t successful, it’s a sign that you need to go get a real job,’ and to my eternal surprise it was a success. So yeah, that was the thing that kind of got the ball rolling. … There were a few friends and family [who contributed], but most of the people were folks, I am assuming, who knew me from my games writing. But beyond that, to this day I’m just like, who were these people? Because I’m eternally grateful.”

The other book I am reading is rather rough, it's "Bataclan" by Fred Dewilde, a survivor of the 2015 terror attacks on the Bataclan club and other places in Paris. . I received an extract of it as part of my freelance jobs, to upload it - it's here (in German): Bataclan. The book is part graphic novel, part autobiography. And with the news of yesterday, the attack in London, it is painfully topical.

Reading the book also brought back memories of my own impressions from Paris: walking in the evening, under a changing sky. Crossing bridges, visiting the bookstore Shakespeare & Company. Thinking of all the people who walked those streets before me.

Learnings of the week + Making Mistakes
A tiny, but symbolical learning of the week: there was a PDF-document, and I needed some of the text. I started copying it, then felt: that isn't the way, as it copies all line-breaks, too. So I went looking for a converter, and learned: well, I have the tool already Adobe Acrobat has a function for that. I tried that now and: yes, it works, easily, and comes out really well.
A good lesson: sometimes we have the tools already. and: better to pause and consider the options first before just going the well-trodded thought-free but possibly not most practical way.

Ending this post... with a photo of a sculpture, a group balancing act, by artist Fritz Nuss, an artist from this region. So much like life, I thought.

And a quote that spoke to me this week - a mistake wish from Neil Gaiman:
"I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're Doing Something. So that's my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody's ever made before. Don't freeze, don't stop, don't worry that it isn't good enough, or it isn't perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life. Whatever it is you're scared of doing, Do it. Make your mistakes, next year and forever."


Links + More:

For more about me, visit my webpage

For more tiny colourful moments, visit my instapage: lifeasjourney.

This blog post is part of skywatchfriday, because I really like skies, even overcast ones :)

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

mountain memory, mountains to come

This is a memory from August 2015. Good to read this as I am packing for a short trip to the mountains.

5 days in the mountains. I took about two hundred photos, but didn't really log into the web for the time out there, and didn't write, not even diary notes. I was just out there, after this long time of being caught in an endless list of doctor appointments and treatment dates. Yet coming back, I wrote this note:

5 days in the mountains

Open time, or rather: this open feeling of timelessness. Breakfast on the terrace. Roads we never took before. Feeling like a beginner again, arriving in a new place.

It is so good to be in France, at this lake surrounded by mountains, and then driving into the higher mountains. Being out there, in places where time is flowing slower, and the news of the world more distant.

There’s a different tune of feelings in me, after the days that I went through. In the days that I am in now. All this sun. The open horizon. And then, finally: rain. Which is okay, too: it belongs to this landscape. I stop to watch clouds, the way they move. And see an eagle, soaring up there, in this valley of larger dimensions.

The pass is foggy, but just minutes later, in the valley towards Briancon, the skies clear. I think of the breakfast conversation: “It’s raining but it’s a good day. Every day without doctor date is a good day.”

This feeling of freedom. I could catch a plane and fly to New York for some days, if I wanted to. Could just do it. And the thought: I should do it, at some point. Do those things I tend to postpone. Make time for them.

Because you never can know.


Friday, August 18, 2017

future and past skies

A sky that was all about the future: sunset at the wedding day of a friend.

A moment from my short trip to Cologne, same time, last year. came across this scribbled note again that made me remember:

Cologne Dome.
Old stones.
Young people.
Future and past, 
on a stairway.

And a sky from last weekend: a touch of autumn in summer: harvested fields.


more skies: skywatch friday
more moments from august: augustbreak2017

Digivibe / Procreate

"Digivibe”, or: my first steps of trying the Procreate-paint-app.

Colorfun :)

Here's a tutorial that I found helpful:


and here are Tutorial 2 and Tutorial 3

Monday, August 14, 2017

Glass Postcard Lavender Eyes

August in all kinds of colours. It's interesting how the daily themes of #augustbreak turn the month more vivid. How once you start looking for something, it pops up in unexpected places in the following days. like: lavender, gold, glass....

... here are some of my fav moments / finds of the previous days:

 EYES: This is one of my fav “selfies”: an experimental mirror photo, took it in an art exhibition.


GLASS: glass ceiling moment – this is in Stuttgart, in a new mall called “Dorotheen Quartier”. Funny to walk into a place with the same name like mine. loved the moment of looking up and seeing the glass dome, and the red balloons in it.

POSTCARDS: “We could make unique postcards while here in Vienna!” – That’s the idea a friend and I had. Colorful fun, and before sending, we took a photo. A good memory.


LAVENDER: – it grows just some steps away, right in the garden here. Took the photo yesterday while it was still sunny. Today it’s all rainy. Which is good for the garden, at least...

Visit my instagram page for more august moments : )

Sunday, August 6, 2017


sunrise now at 6 
with an early cloud
just in the right place for sunbeams
hello august! 

This is how my August started on Tuesday morning. I was double-happy about the sunrise, as it felt like a light gift from the sky for #augustbreak2017, a photo challenge for August. It's theme for the first day: "morning".


#augustbreak is an open and inspiring daily summer photo challenge, organized by Susannah Conway. It started on the first, but there are no fixed dates to post - the main idea is to make august a month of paying a bit more attention, and to share some of the summer moments. I am joining at instagram, here's my page: instagram/@ lifeasjourney

I try to catch new photos, here are 2 of my favs so far: "Roses" and "Where I live"

Roses… are magic. Especially at sunset time. 
These ones are flowering in the frontyard here, every summer, since I can remember. 
Wish they could talk.

No place like… home. This is where I live: a town in Southern Germany, not far from Stuttgart, but far enough to be in walking distance to fields and forest. The view in the photo is part of our usual evening walk.


more skies: skywatch friday /
more august moments: #augustbreak2017

Sunday, July 23, 2017

bird sky, storm sky, sunset sky

We had a weekend of all kind of weathers and places: from sunny skies to cloudy to thunderstorms moving through. Here are some highlights, the first 3 are from a short trip to the Black Forest:

On the way, near the spring of the Danube river, we saw a group of huge birds circling, maybe 20. Coming closer, we noticed it’s storks. It looked like a gathering – maybe they are flying with their youngsters? I caught a photo but only with 2 of them.

In the black forest it first was sunny – and then clouds moved in. From route and wind direction we figured it might work out with the route we had planned, but it was a gamble.


At the ending point of our tour, up at Kandel hill, we had a stunning view of the weather around us, and could sit watching weather fronts… and we had about 10 minutes there, then rain started to fall, finally catching us. Back home, I wrote a micropoem to catch that feeling of this day:

A day in the black forest 
this different flow of time 
a bench, a way / the sky 
simple, huge moments


The mixed weather repeated its cycle yesterday. We were mostly lucky again. In the evening we were invited to a garden party, which brought a stunning sunset, and another micropoem:

Garden party 
with sky magic  
strings of colored clouds  
strings of music


more skies: sky friday

form turning seasons

a memory from July 2017:
an erasure poem that I once played with in folds and photographs. I didn't really think I would find it in all the files, as I couldn't remember the title, but my subconscious knew the way.

So here it is, on a weekend that brought all kind of weathers and temperatures and feels like a wheel of turning seasons.