059/101 | Confidence in God

Faith is a living,daring confidence in God’s grace, so sure and certain that a man could stake his life on it a thousand times.

– Martin Luther

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101 CONTEMPLATIVE PHOTOGRAPHY PROJECT

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058/101 | The Rubik’s Cube

Sometimes I wish life were as perfect as this.

But l learned that we can fully appreciate what it is to live when we have those little imperfections that enable us to experience joy, creativity, gratitude and love.

And those things that give us real joy are, surprisingly, not things. They come in Continue reading

057/101 | Ultimate Sophistication

I tried to write something about this photo but I think it is best to just to leave it as it is.

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo da Vinci

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101 CONTEMPLATIVE PHOTOGRAPHY PROJECT

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056/101 | Catharsis

I’m still here.

I know I haven’t posted even a single photo for one month. It feels awful just realizing that I let it happen. This is one of those times when I begin questioning my commitment and passion for this project. I could give you a long list of excuses but I’d rather not. I wanted to recognize my shortcomings and I am regretful for my lack of discipline.

Now I’m back. And I am determined to carry on.

Here’s my 56th photo – starring my journals.

Many years ago, a friend gave me a suggestion to start writing a journal. She told me it is something I will enjoy and be grateful for especially at times when I need to let out those feelings and thoughts that I may find uncomfortable sharing. It was a nice idea so I gave it a go.

And she was right.

Journaling is therapeutic at the same time cathartic. It is my way of making sense when things don’t make sense. It allows me to be completely honest with myself and express that honesty without fear of being misunderstood. Writing the truth and my vulnerabilities – no matter how painful and shameful they may be – always give me strength and help me find a sense of peace. It is one of the ways where I embrace authenticity, which further develops self-awareness and self-discovery.

Speaking of truth and honesty, I’d like to share these words of wisdom by author Maria Housden from her book Hannah’s Gift:

Truth is fierce and unrelenting. We cannot change it, but we can change the way we live with it. Making mistakes, not being loved, and dying are inescapable experiences of being human; so is our fear of them. When we are willing to do the best we can with what we know, to be honest with ourselves and others about who we are and what really matters to us, only then are the lives we live and the love we receive truly our own.

How does journal writing help you?

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101 CONTEMPLATIVE PHOTOGRAPHY PROJECT

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Joys of the Terrible Artist

I was so ecstatic last night

after finishing the dead layer of my Magdalena painting. I couldn’t believe I could do a decent looking painting of a human figure. I always said to myself that I’m terrible with portraits (even if I haven’t really tried it). I think such belief stemmed from my attempts to sketch my mom’s graduation picture when I was a kid and ended up deeply frustrated because I couldn’t even see her face coming out of my drawing despite my best efforts to replicate what was on the photo. So I grew up believing that I am not good at sketching portraits and faces. After painting a few landscapes, I had this feeling of sadness, realizing that I have limitations as an artist – I couldn’t paint people. So I decided to give it a try.

It was hard work

just as I expected. But I never thought it is this exciting and wonderful especially when I see my painting coming to life. When I go for a break I sit on my recliner, just staring at my unfinished work with utter disbelief that I was the one who actually painted it. It makes me almost want to cry simply because I am deliriously happy that I have finally overcome that fear of not being able to achieve something I wanted to accomplish. I guess my Magdalena painting isn’t as perfect as the maters’ but I would definitely say it’s not bad for a first timer.

Now I am even more excited

to do the next few layers which will probably be a bit of a challenge considering that I am still learning to decipher the appropriate colors (particularly the skin tone) to make my painting look how it should be. But I’m sure it’s going to be fun. It’s something I could do the whole day without even realizing that I’ve been painting for hours. It enlivens me and makes me look forward to waking up every morning because I can’t wait to start painting again. There is never a day in my life that I do not think about painting. Observing color tones, hues, shades and potential subject is a constant spontaneous process happening in my mind. I just couldn’t help myself but think about it all the time.

Someone told me I am an “artist by heart”.

I asked him what made him say that. He said it’s because I am serious and passionate about it. Well, I am in agreement with my friend’s remark. In fact, I wanted to say that I am an “artist by heart, mind and soul”. I am convinced that arts and creativity has always been with me even when I was still a kid. When I look back through the years of my life I realized I’ve always been creative in so many ways and art is something which “I couldn’t get enough”. That’s why I become very restless when I don’t do any form of artistic expression. I think it’s in the blood circulating within my veins, driving me to satisfy such unquenchable desire to create.

I’ll post a photo of Magdalena when it’s completed (which would take a while given that I have to let every layer dry for at least two weeks – I am using the Flemish Technique). For the meantime, here’s a teaser:

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101 CONTEMPLATIVE PHOTOGRAPHY PROJECT

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to hit the “like” button. Cheers!

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