If I am certain about anything

it’s that you will be so much happier and productive and joyful if you surround yourself with people who treat the world like their oyster, people who say Yes, people who see a problem as a challenge to be solved and not a detriment to progress. I became a much better person when I stopped spending energy on the apathetic, indifferent, the shallow, and instead inserted myself into situations with people who cherish the joy of life.

Tags: life lessons

The painting is just as much about the process as the final work - I’ve never been the type to imagine the final product and then execute it accordingly. The storm changes and morphs on the canvas from session to session, the clouds with a mind of their own and determined to take shape despite my direction, demanding to be reinterpreted.

The painting is just as much about the process as the final work - I’ve never been the type to imagine the final product and then execute it accordingly. The storm changes and morphs on the canvas from session to session, the clouds with a mind of their own and determined to take shape despite my direction, demanding to be reinterpreted.

Tags: painting p4a

I’ve just gotta keep telling myself that I’m not going to answer all of my biggest questions and solve all of my deepest anxieties at four in the morning

Reunited at last - my senior thesis painting ‘20 Miles East of Faith,’ 2011. Acrylic on panel, 13,5’ x 8’.

This work went through innumerable iterations before I settled on these dimensions and presentation. I wanted to create a work that was evocative and immersive, one that would suck the viewer in to the storm whether or not they wanted to participate.

This painting is an homage to the resilience of Midwestern agricultural leaders, to those individuals who rely on the land for their livelihood and who must endure as the landscape changes to create unavoidable challenges. There is nothing else between the person and the storm: they watch it coming, boiling on the distant horizon, unsure if those clouds carry promise or destruction.

Progress photos of the Project for Awesome painting so far. 

Acrylic on canvas, 44” x 28”. 

There is nothing you can do to an artwork that can’t be undone, no mistake so great it can’t be painted over. 

This thing has taken on a mind of its own. 
I continue to paint with a palette knife and a wet paper towel. 

This thing has taken on a mind of its own. 

I continue to paint with a palette knife and a wet paper towel. 

subborealstudios:

Business animal portraits. 9-16 of 24.

My friends are way talented.

(via aosid)

Some days this job is simply unreal. 
Today we published on The Brain Scoop the video wherein Anna Goldman and I prepared a two-faced calf, and Mental_Floss video uploaded a video I wrote and hosted about extinct lifeforms, filmed at one in the morning some number of months ago. I started my morning at breakfast with a member of the board of trustees for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, came into work and Anna had texted me saying I’ve got the head of a lion with me. We opened the stinking bag in the hallway of the administrative offices, receiving gratuitous looks and wrinkled noses from people walking by. Tom and I spent some time in the vertebrate paleontology collection where we were shown the fossilized skull of one of the earliest mammals to walk the planet, a collective ancestor of all members of Mammalia today. We touched the abscessed cavity of an 11,000-year-old mammoth while viewing aisle after aisle of long-extinct precidential lifeforms. We put in a long day and ended it over grilled cheese sandwiches and pints of beer, laughing at the ridiculousness and unbelievable nature of our day. And sometimes I just have to sit and marvel, and write it all down, because it’s completely unreal. 
The song is Bach’s Sonata No. 1, the Adagio movement, which I’ve been practicing for well over twelve years. 

Some days this job is simply unreal. 

Today we published on The Brain Scoop the video wherein Anna Goldman and I prepared a two-faced calf, and Mental_Floss video uploaded a video I wrote and hosted about extinct lifeforms, filmed at one in the morning some number of months ago. I started my morning at breakfast with a member of the board of trustees for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, came into work and Anna had texted me saying I’ve got the head of a lion with me. We opened the stinking bag in the hallway of the administrative offices, receiving gratuitous looks and wrinkled noses from people walking by. Tom and I spent some time in the vertebrate paleontology collection where we were shown the fossilized skull of one of the earliest mammals to walk the planet, a collective ancestor of all members of Mammalia today. We touched the abscessed cavity of an 11,000-year-old mammoth while viewing aisle after aisle of long-extinct precidential lifeforms. We put in a long day and ended it over grilled cheese sandwiches and pints of beer, laughing at the ridiculousness and unbelievable nature of our day. And sometimes I just have to sit and marvel, and write it all down, because it’s completely unreal. 

The song is Bach’s Sonata No. 1, the Adagio movement, which I’ve been practicing for well over twelve years. 

Be an advocate for positive, healthy, consenting relationships.

While the subject mostly says it all, here are some things you can do if you want to increase the number of healthy happy consenting relationships both in your personal life and in those of people around you: 

  1. Be an advocate for positivity and communication. This means maintaining dialogue between you and your partner(s), you and your friends, your students, your family, your peers. I’m not saying you’ve got to get all of the dirty details - but have regular check-ins with the people in your life. Sometimes a simple “hey, how is everything going with X?” is enough to get the conversation going. “Are you happy?” is a direct, meaningful question that deserves to be asked.
  2. Be a listener. If someone comes to you for conversation or looking for advice, or if you’ve opened up that door for communication and someone is taking you up on it, be a listener. That means not questioning the victim, dismissing their allegations, or telling them to “Just get out” of a bad relationship. They don’t need that. They need someone to listen. Afterwards, positive affirmation goes a long way. Say, “thank you for confiding in me — it was very brave and strong of you.” That leads to the next point: 
  3. If you are not a professional and do not have the tools or qualifications to assist someone, or if you think they need to be on contact with an authority figure help them to get the resources they need. If someone hasn’t explicitly said they are in a nonconsensual or unhealthy relationship but you think they may be in a bad place, it is totally okay to remind them of hotlines, counselors and clinics, or any other number of resources available to victims of emotional or sexual abuse. Let them know you are there for them at any time. Be there for them at any time.
  4. Inform yourself on how to identify if someone you know may be the victim of an unhealthy or abusive relationship, and what you can/should do to help. I’ve had people confide in me that mutual friends and/or colleagues were engaging in inappropriate relationships. I had no idea what to do with that information - the alleged abuser was someone who I thought I knew, trusted. That was a time when I most wished I had previously informed myself on how to handle the situation so I knew how to help the victims and approach mutual friends/colleagues about the allegations against someone from our community. 

I have been in unhealthy and controlling relationships - and the longer they go on, the more distanced you are from the network of friends and family who are there to help you. You kind of just get swallowed whole by the relationship and the pressure of maintaining outward appearances doesn’t allow for you to feel compelled to reach out for help. I disappeared from my friends and classmates, stopped going to social events, and it wasn’t until after I had removed myself from the relationship (which took quite literally months) that people noticed and asked me what had happened. But before then all I wanted was someone to talk to - not a professional, or counselor - I wanted a friend to call up and ask how things were going. In the end it was one of my instructors who began asking in confidentiality about my life, and was the first one to question if I thought the relationship was emotionally abusive. I’ll forever be grateful to that person because they helped me get my life back, and it only took a single question, “are you okay?” 

This post is in response to the ongoing dialogue about a few YouTuber’s lack of obtaining consent, but is ultimately part of a much bigger conversation about relationships in general. 

National Sexual Assault Hotline - 1.800.656.HOPE
International Sexual Assault Resources
Abuse Intervention
Hidden Hurt

cowboysandindiekids:

Gosh! Over 1,000 notes on my last post! That’s some crazy biz. 
ALSO WELCOME NEW FOLLOWERS. I am supes excited to have you. 
Here is a little mini mystery! 
There’s a slightly longer/larger mystery in the works and I will post a teaser for that tomorrow!

Okay, I love this comic for a number of biased reasons, but it’s worth pointing out that Tubby Cat is based off of the love of my life Mr. Howell, a rescue I loved dearly for six years. He developed diabetes and I devoted a lot of time to his health and well- being. We went through a lot together. I miss him every day. This installation of the saga reminded me of the many nights he obnoxiously pushed his way into my room to sleep on my face.