Often, when I find myself struggling, I move myself into another space. A world of color and movement. It is my escape hatch, called Plan B. We all need one. One of my poet friends put up a photograph on Facebook, and as soon as I saw it, I asked if I could play with it. This is the photo, taken by Richard Walker, or his wife, Kelly.
Richard knows what I mean when I ask that question. I put the photo into the kaleidoscope app and just play with different settings and effects. Some of the designs need a bit of background, for a finishing touch. I do that digitally as well, using my very versatile paint program. Here are a few of the designs rendered from Richard’s photo.
I stopped when I had fifteen of them. This photo just didn’t want to quit, and I’m fairly certain I could have continued for several more hours. I think that one photo would make a small handsome coffee table book.
Other times, I just go into my paint program and create a pattern of different colors that I find pleasing.
Then take it to the kaleidoscope app and play with it.
I’ve been doing the kali’s for several years. I often post the results on Facebook for others to enjoy and they always receive delighted responses. I’ve used the app on other things, like pen and ink drawings I’ve created. This is one of them, using a simple repeat line drawing (doodle) done in colored ink.
And one of many results:
Although a simple side-line hobby, three of my digital paintings now grace the covers of a set of historical fiction novels, by an Illinois author, and have been purchased to be used on the brochures of a woman in Australia for advertising her work in meditative therapy techniques.
I have several small sketchbooks with innumerable doodles I did while caring for my ailing Mother. I used the app to turn them into coloring pages, which I then colored with India Ink, and have hundreds of these designs, waiting for coloring.
Although a different design, the template above is similar to this one which was colored with fine art pens.
I recently put together a book of my created kaleidoscopes, and am patiently (not) waiting for that to arrive in the mail. It was quite expensive, but I figured that all that time and effort deserved its own recognition. And I’m sure, that when it comes, I will spend some amount of time, letting it soothe me from whatever I am struggling with in the moment.
Life is a struggle, much of the time. There are times when writing words gets difficult to do. Having a Plan B, can go a long way toward resolving that issue.