Finally the day has arrived when I allow myself to take my portraits to the next level! Up until now I have kind of held back, focusing mostly on speed and likeness but now I am going to move into realism again. Yes my portraits have looked realistic already but always it has been with a degree of holding back on just how photo realistic I allowed it to get, and always stopping short of the level of detail I was capable of. I'm not saying I'll never do this again, I am just saying that you will see much more fullness in my portrait which means wrinkles, individual hairs, and skin pores, as well as taking that extra bit of time to make sure I am happy with the tones. This most recent on of Logan I took it nearly as far as I'd like but I have other things to tend to so this is just the beginning. Also I've decided to begin doing more pop culture images that people love so much, thus... Logan. Always I will do it to my own liking. You can find this in the portrait gallery.
If you'd like a portrait done I am open for commissions! Portraits start at $50 a head at this time for black and white and $150 for color. We may be able to work out special deals. I usually work on either 9 x 12 or a 8.5 x 11 but get what I need for what I'm creating. Larger creations will obviously be priced accordingly. I am also available to do voice overs, singing, musical composition and more, just ask! See my bio of a list of unique skills I have. The best way to get in touch with me is to message me through my FaceBook Page but I also check my emails at JamesLoveWhitley@gmail.com.
This past weekend I attended an event here in Charlotte called 'SHiFT Charlotte' which is sort of like a hippie fest along with some speakers and a drum circle. It was lots of fun and I was as engaging as possible through it since I wanted to soak up all the goodness I could. I did get a cold but I am not regretful. lol
I'd prepared some portraits as gifts for the speakers, not ever having seen any of them before I think made the portrait making more difficult, or maybe I want just having a creativity spasm. In any case I JUST finished that last portrait in time, minutes before I had to leave for the event and that felt like a miracle. Each of the speakers seemed pleased with the gift and I got some photo's with a couple of them, seen below.
I also got the opportunity to flex my filming skills and take footage of a friend Benjamin F Bleacher iii who was there handing out gratitude rocks. This was a big step for him and I wanted to make sure it was fully documented and shared with the world. The video came out great and you can find it below along with some photos from the experience.
I've also updated the portrait gallery so you can see the portraits that were done! :) Enjoy! Also I could use a hand so donations are accepted by following this paypal link paypal.me/jameslovewhitley or you can send it over through facebook. I give out a lot for free and appreciate a little assistance. big love.
I have been studying art with more focus recently and I love it. I recognize the value of having goals to shoot for that makes the focus much more purposeful. Right now my focus is developing skill on the human form, specifically the female form. So I have been practicing nudes which I have some of the studies to the sketches gallery. I then wanted to also include studying fabrics and I guess the led to me doing the portrait of the girl seen here. So I know this is all contributing to a vision I have. As I study specific things that gives me a knowledge of them which means I can draw them more automatically without as much need to study when I go to make a work of art, it is all logged in my experience so I can draw much more from memory, which is the idea. So the process has been draw from reference for a while and then test my knowledge periodically to see how well I can draw those things I have been studying without any reference. This allows me to test my progress. Besides women and cloths I am practicing in prismacolor pencils as it has become one of my favorite mediums to work in. I just love the colors and the ability to blend. I know I will eventually be getting more into oil paints but for now this is my medium of choice for color illustrations. You can watch the making of this artwork on my facebook page, here's the link to the video Making of Afgan Girl.
So after getting back and unpacking from the event in Scottsdale I found out that something almost impossible had happened! We went on a road trip to a place called "The Chapel of the Holy Cross" and in there is a shop which I happened to walk down some dark stairs to. In the shop were hundreds of items and after browsing through it all I picked out two items. When I shared what I bought with friends on facebook I come to find out that one of my friends who was also in AZ for the same event independently went on her own road trip to that same site and went into the same shop and pick out the same two items! What are the chances!? This chapel isn't even in Scottsdale it's over an hour out of the way and of all the sites we picked the same one, went into the same store and picked out the same two items. Both of us were blown away with disbelief. We even got the items for THE SAME REASONS! Just try to imagine the odds on that. Here are some photo's for evidence.
WHAT ARE THE CHANCES?
that is 25 individual portraits of the speakers invited to speak at the Celebrate Your Life event in Scottsdale Arizona this November 2016. I will be attending and bring lots of prints. No idea yet if I'll be able to sell anything but I am coming prepared for the best and bringing my A game. I just want to spread my portraits one way or another and for all of the hours and investments I've made I deserve a little something back. Anyway wish me the best and I will report more on the event as soon as I can. :) Be well all! I will share higher resolution images in due time! Check out my Facebook Page and stay in touch!
So the following was inspired by awareness I gained from a dream I had, so even though it is written in the affirmative it is still contemplative in nature...
We think we want control but that is because we've lost touch with our sense of adventure and are now looking for safe ways to feel alive. Which means we're looking for the outcomes we are already familiar with actually, which means we return to who we were prior to the experience which is counterproductive of what adventure is supposed to be about which is expansion, the evolution of consciousness and the true joy of feeling alive.
Control is the problem not the solution. Because forces of control have invaded our homeland we think we can reclaim our natural way but having more control ourselves but actually control is the disease in the first place. It's so tricky. Control is a mental construct. It takes what it knows and attempts to categorize and normalize things. It is the death of all things beautiful, original, creative and free.
No something deeper within us seeks adventure and to trust something deeper and more true to the infinite nature of life to guide it's footsteps and lead it down paths that FEEL purposeful because they are enlivening and expand the Being experiencing it.
Control is an Egoic construct based in a lack of trust.
If we had a full connection to our Creator or the source of our experience the last thing we would want is control. There's a difference between control and authority. The natural authority we have is self direction and it is effortless and natural, like how we have the authority to move our bodies, to breathe and talk and sing and dance. Natural authority. Control is something done from mistrust. It strangles life in an attempt to have its way. It's like prisons are to people. It's trying to prevent something it fears from happening. It's trying to be sure it can direct life force in a predictable manner. It is not the same as authority. Authority comes from nature, control is something of a mental prison, a restriction of the breath of life.
It seems to me the idea is to become aware of the control structure and expose it for what it is and rather than fight against it with more control, to simple disarm it with our nature. With awareness, nature will automatically disarm control. Similar to how deep emotions rising to the surface will obliterate the control a man may have had over his so-called manly appearance to others and to himself. The natural just needs to rise to the surface and control is lost. And in the process freedom returns, which will be where the natural authority comes from which I believe will always direct the individual down paths that further expand that feeling of being alive and the evolution of their being.
This is why I am so big on being Playful as it operates outside of the control structure. It breaks ALL of the rules and is purely interested in the JOY of BEING ALIVE and making the most of every moment. It is exploratory in nature and creative and as I've said before, it tunes us into our natural genius.
As I stood outside today I found myself becoming aware of the relationships we are having in the Royal Society and the amazing gifts that Bryant and Jenni have been giving to us all. I don't think hard as some may think I do, I've been called a deep thinker but this doesn't resonate with me even though I get the intention behind it. Perhaps a deep ponderer works better, but it all comes from a state of intent to see reality clearer and so it's more meditative than anything. But back on topic, I stood out there and the idea came to me that no matter how generous people are to us and no matter how regular it is we must never begin to expect it in the sense that if they didn't do something generous we would become upset. No a gift is a gift, even if it is given every day. Life is the same way. Everyday we wake up to the gift of life and we need to remember that we need to be grateful for it for just because it is here every day does not make it any less a gift. We are not the one's waking ourselves up in the morning, that is something deeper, the gift giver is doing that, the same intelligence and glorious power that keeps our heart beating and keeps us breathing when we are not awake. That power is the one giving us life every day. The one that heals a dying body or feeds us the energy to go when we feel like giving up. We need this awareness. Gratitude is not just something we do because it makes life more fun, it would be something we always felt if we knew how much life is a gift. That being said, every time Bryant does something generous I am deeply grateful and never expect a thing from him. It is in his character to give and be generous but would I allow that to cause me to be ungrateful? No. Every gift is a gift and gratitude is the only appropriate response. He owes me nothing, just like life owes all of us nothing. And yet it is the very nature of life to give. Will we be grateful?
I don't usually make blog posts about my different experiences on here but this time I decided I wanted to. There was a meet up in Charlotte about a week ago where five of us were going to meet up but it wound up being three of us. Leslie, Jess and myself. It was very cool meet up and so much happened over the next week that I just had to write about it.
The first meet up was between myself and Jess who was to stay at my place for the weekend since no one else could offer a room in their current situation. I loved the idea though was unsure how my parents would feel about it as I live with them. So I asked and they saw no issue with it. I gave up my room and slept on a spare bed we have in the house over in our library. It was a great experience in that room, a fresh angle on life, I never complain when I am to give up my room, I do so gladly and with glee and gratitude. I cleaned up my room and smudged it with sage, washed the sheets and added a few drops of essential oil to the carpet.
I was getting sleepy as it was close to my bed time so I decided NOO I will not fall asleep and let her arrive without a warm welcome! So I decided I would go outside and sweep the driveway. It woke me back up as I thought it would and lo' and behold as I was nearly done she drove up to our house! We waved and greeted with broad smiles and I got Jess settled in. We ate a little grub and chatted for a bit and then went to bed. The next day we met with Leslie and ate at a cool restaurant. This was an experience of many firsts this past week and I will mention many of them! First time at this restaurant, first time having cucumber water and first time meeting Leslie! Many more as well!
When we were done eating we checked out the mall next door and went to some girly stores. lol It was really nice though and I even tried out an exfoliating hand rub! We took some pictures hanging out and really just enjoyed the experience. It was fun and new and only the beginning!
When Jess and I got back we settled in and so began a wonderful week long stay. It wasn't intended to be a week but it just worked better that way as Jess wanted to go to the beach but it was raining every day until her birthday. So each day we pretty much hung out all day and did creative fun stuff. We did a live broadcast on FaceBook #firsttime and made a video of my first live portrait #firsttime. We Sang a duet live #firsttime. I essentially gave my first live art lesson #firsttime. Jess did a self portrait and I think she is a natural at art. I also went to karaoke for the first time and sang! Wow we offered each other so many gifts, this is how life is supposed to be!
When it came time for her to depart for the beach she offered to take me along and after a little thought I decided it was a great opportunity and accepted the invitation within an hour of leaving. It was a great experience and departure from the day to day life I'm used to. We went into the waves many times I would guess maybe 8 times or more. One time we walked a mile or so down the shore line and back through the waves. I really felt awakened by the sea and was reminded of how stupid and foolish the desire to control is, within minutes of entering the water. I just found myself thinking how ignorant it is. We cannot interrupt the breath of the universe, there is no pause button on the waves of the sea and they will take you with them like it or not. I found myself dancing and moving to the tide and just embracing my natural connection to life. I asked the that truest truths become my way of living, that I be an embodiment of the organic life or truth and that illusions be released from my perceptions. It was profound and wonderful. I felt like I could stay out there all day every day. It did not get old.
I found myself aware of something Bryant McGill talked about in one of his broadcasts on SimpleReminders.com about how the extraordinary IS in the ordinary because EVERYTHING is the divine if we have but eyes to see. Now I hate to sound all romantic as that is not what is intended, but I knew my time with Jess was precious and so I found myself very present and aware of how divine each moment was and all I wanted was to not take it for granted. It was very eye opening from the way she greeted me even when we parted for even just a few minutes to her sense of humor. I looked at my attitude and behaviors towards my parents and became aware of how I was not fully appreciating them, it had become an unconscious habit, something we did because we always did it that way. These created "norms" within our relationships make it possible for abuse to continue I feel. Because we get so comfortable in our ways and lazy in a sense and when new people come into our lives we become more present to our behaviors. At least I did this time.
On Jess's birthday we went to a restaurant near the beach with a live band who was great, they sounded amazing really. We didn't hold back, we just got what we wanted and I became blind to money. I had a knowing that THIS IS WHAT THAT MONEY IS FOR! I even spoke to Jess briefly about it. And Jess if you are reading this good, you had a glow to you that night, I felt like I was in a dream. Anyway, I offered Jess a birthday dance and we set out to finish the night up with another visit to the beach under a full moon. Crazy awesome. We even got back in the water a little, high on life.
The next day we set off for home. Overall a lot of first times, and a strange dreamlike surreal experience. It's like everything lined up for us in a way. My friend Glenn even hit me up at the perfect time so that we could arrange a photoshoot which we all benefited from!
I truly am gifted to be around such wonderfully aligned people in my life! I remain in a near perpetual state of gratitude. I am healed so deeply and what is left to heal will heal with such ease and grace, I already know it. It is already done. Thank you Jess, thank you Carmella, thank you Glenn, thank you all!
There are so many more details I am leaving out because I am not trying to write a book here! lol You'll see the fruits of things as time goes on. :)
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It's all HERE and NOW. You Expand, it Expresses.