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Supporting The Arts

Art makes up a huge swath of our lives. Art is present in ways that we may not even think about. The TV  shows and the movies we watch involve untold numbers of artists working in a variety of ways so that we can enjoy those products. Writers, actors, directors, photography, and digital artists just to name a few work together to bring these things to us. The books we read are works of art. That giant billboard with the cool text and photography that is also art.

Then there are the more traditional works of art we think of: Painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, poetry. These are the kinds of things most people think of when we talk about art and there are many more items that can be included in that list. Many of us enjoy art in its various forums from museums, to art galleries, to public performances. Most of the people who support art also want to support art and the artists that create it.

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One of the most challenging thing in these times is figuring out how exactly to best do that. How do we support the arts that we love? Many artists offer their works for sale, but that can be problematic for many reasons. The price of artwork varies from reasonably affordable to something most people could never afford. I am not criticizing anyone’s pricing of artwork. It is just a complication in the art world. You may really love a piece of art but there may be no way you could ever afford to buy the piece you love and enjoy, so how do you show your support to the artist and show your appreciation for their work? Another challenge that arises with works of art is that they take up space. Some of them a lot of space. Perhaps there is a piece of art you love and could afford but were in your house would you put it? Thi can be quite a challnge. If you love art or perhaps are an artist yourself you probably already have a great deal of art in your home. So, if you can’t buy a piece because you have no place to put it how do you support the artist and show your appreciation for what they do?

There is clearly no easy answer to the conundrum of how to best support artists directly. However, for me there is one process that I have found that I really like and that is the website Patreon. This is a great site for creators. People who enjoy creative endeavors can go here and support artists and other creatives directly. People can interact with the creators and enjoy becoming part of the process and even earn rewards for supporting the creators. My goal is to become increasingly involved here and support the people whose work I enjoy through this site.

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I believe this website solves some of the biggest problems I raised above regarding supporting artists through buying their work as I mentioned above. You can contribute as little as $1 up to any amount you want on a monthly basis to help support what the creator is bringing into the world. Thus helping to ensure that the creator is able to keep on working. If you want to support an artist but can’t or don’t want to plunk down the whole amount of the price for a piece of artwork all at one time perhaps consider spreading that amount out over monthly payments to support that artist.

I have been becoming increasing active on Patreon. I really think this is the future of art. I try to share more and more about what I have been doing there so that people who might wish to support me can learn about what I do. I recently began to receive support from my first patrons on the website and it is a great feeling to know that people believe in you and want to contribute directly to the work you are doing. I appreciate the support so much. If you enjoy what you see on this blog or elsewhere on the website or my social media please consider supporting me here: KRNaturalPhoto/Patreon

 

Ideas to Execution

I am an idea person. I have lots of ideas. Ideas and thoughts of all kinds constantly spring to mind. Ideas that excite me and motivate me and make me want to take action and do things. But that is where the problem is, I am an idea person.

I am not great at executing my ideas. If an idea energizes me enough I will often start working on it and even make some significant progress. But eventually the energy and the motivation fades as I lack the motivation and determination to see the idea through to completion. There are so many notes and half written projects stored on my computer. So many ideas that just haven’t gotten off the ground because I lose steam.

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Ideas are easy. Execution is hard. I am not a good planner. I am not good at the details. I am not good at all the concrete actual things that need to happen to transform an idea from a thought into something tangible in the real world. It is one of my biggest human failings.

Sometimes ideas never emerge in a completed fashion because another idea comes along and crowds out other ideas with the energy that comes with the excitement of something new. Sometimes an idea never materializes because I simply forget to follow through.

Other times ideas never go anywhere because I am afraid. That most terrible and unstoppable of human emotions. That one emotion that can stop us in our tracks and completely undo us. The one emoton above all others that most of the time is completely unfounded. The fear and anxiety that comes along with trying to do something great. Trying to do something real that you believe in personally is the scariest most anxiety producing thing a person can do. What if you fail at this dream you’ve had. What does that say about you.

This has been one of my biggest struggles. The constant fight against the fear and anxiety that emerges every time I take on a new idea and try to make it real. I am desperately trying to overcome this hurdle. This website with everything that is on it is part of overcoming that hurdle. I try to regularly add new content. I try to write new posts and share new photos. When you see long stretches of time where that has not happened, that is when the fear and anxiety has gripped me. That is where I wanted so badly to share something but just couldn’t find the strength to actually type the words.

Sometimes it takes something big happening in your life to give you the fortitude to do the things you have always wanted to do. It might not even be a good thing that has happened, but you might be able to draw purpose from it. That purpose will fuel you and give you the strength and determination to work on the things that you are passionate about. Accomplishments come most naturally when they involve the things that matter most to you.

For me the things that are most important to me are dogs and running, especially in the past few years. So when you look at my website you will find that most of my content has to do with dogs or running. I include e a lot of photographs in my content. I love photography but photography is not what I love to talk about. My content is not about photography. My love of photography allows me to communicate about the things that are most important to me. I am probably a better communicator through my photography than through my writing but hopefully they complement each other well and people appreciate the work.

Find the things that make you tick and find the energy to create something from that.

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Communicating and Connecting

Sometimes I am not sure if the things I say or write have any meaning or if anyone cares. I am not sure if that even really matters. I hope that some people find some meaning or enjoyment in the things that I write, but really I write for me.

I write about the things that are on my mind. I write about the things I love. I write about my experiences. I hope that in some way my experiences and my passions can have an impact on others, but maybe my writing is purely a selfish act.

I write to express my joy. I write to express my sorrow as well. Writing is therapy for me. I am not good at talking to people about the way I feel, but I have always enjoyed writing. I even like to think that I am at least a little bit good at writing. This may not be the most shining example of being a good writer, but once again, it’s not really about that.

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This is still about me. Hopefully it is also about you. Hopefully you can see in me the things that you experienced, the feelings you have felt, and the thoughts that you have had and in that way we can connect. We all experience this world differently. But I think we also have a lot in common.

We may not look the same, we may not talk the same, and we may not act the same, but we are all humans out there in this crazy world trying to make sense of things. Things happen. Things we can’t understand. Maybe it’s not for us to understand. Maybe we don’t need to understand. Maybe all we need to know is that there are other people out there in the world going through the same thing as us.

Life is a mystery and I haven’t seen anything that makes me think that fact will ever change. So we might as well accept that. We can accept the things we can’t understand and try to move on. We can join in with the rest of our community of people who are all running this human race. We can be together and we can work together to make this life we have the best we can make it despite its imperfections. It won’t always be fun or easy but it will always be rewarding. So take some time and connect with others in whatever way you prefer to connect. Say hi. Say thanks and be kind. I will continue to strive to connect with words and with photos and I will try to be here connecting when times are tough. Come find me, connect, and join the conversation.

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Running Challenge

Last night I set a running challenge for myself to complete this morning. I had no specific goals in mind regarding pace or anything. I had one simple target. Finish the run and, spoiler alert, I did. I finished one of my most challenging runs to date.

I have been wanting to start running more trail runs and run distances of half marathon or a little more. My biggest challenge has been figuring out runs that would allow me to stay in shape for those type of events. A friend suggested I run from my house to a nearby nature preserve, Plymouth Woods.

For some people that might not sound too bad, but for me it is a little different. I live nearly at the top of a 1500+ ft high hill. I am not good at hills and have relatively little experience running them. Earlier this year for the first time I ran down my hill and then right back up. But on that run I did not add any more mileage than just down the hill and back up, plus that run was on the less steep side of the hill.

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Today I ran down the steepest side of the hill. I ran down the hill and out along the highway and reached the nature preserve at just short of 5 miles. I felt pretty tired on this first part. Surprisingly so. But once I started on those trails I felt so much better. There is just something about getting out in nature. Those leaves crunching under your feet. Alone except the mammoth trees towering over head. These are the things that propel me.

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I used that energy to hit all the trails available at Plymouth Woods. The Red Trail, The Blue Trail, The Orange Trail, and Another loop on Red. It was a tough hilly run but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I wasn’t fast, but that wasn’t the goal. The goal was to get out for a run and enjoy myself and just see what I could do. While I was at Plymouth the weather started to turn against me. I am pretty sure I was being pelted with ice pellets at one point.

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This photo captures a lot of how it felt running in the gloom and darkness of overcast skies and bad weather. But I still enjoyed it.

I left Plymouth woods and headed back down the highway towards home and the hill that lie ahead. The way back was a little down hill so I actually achieved a decent pace for me. But the whole way back I was consumed of thoughts of the hill that loomed ahead of me.

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This is what it looks like if you look out straight ahead from one of the slopes you descend at Plymouth Woods.

I got to the bottom of Combs Hill Rd felling pretty good, but I knew I could never run up that slope. So I didn’t and I didn’t feel bad about it. I did the best I could so that I could cover the rest of the distance to get back home once I got to the top. If I had tried to run I would likely have ended up just slowly walking the last mile or two back home and I was not having that. I wanted to have something left in the tank to get me home. It did not help that the weather was turning or it was just getting colder due to the increased elevation, but it was getting windy and cold. But I pushed on. It actually helped to motivate me to run. It was too cold to walk.

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This is what the slope actually looks like if you look down the hill, and it gets steeper as you go.

When I got back home I wasn’t quite to 12 miles so I actually ran past my house and then back to it so I could get to 12. I was hoping the run would be closer to 13 miles but it wasn’t quite as long as I thought it would be. Maybe I will add another loop in the woods next time.

I got back and I was exhausted. My legs were wobbly and sore. I walked more than I would have liked, particularly after surmounting Combs hill on the way back, but I made it. I achieved my goal. I challenged myself and I pushed myself and I did it. This is why I love running. I can challenge myself. I can test my limits and I can learn about myself and I can adapt and get stronger. Now, what is the next challenge…..

Check out the profile of this run on Garmin Connect.

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I arrived back home happy and tired. Feeling accomplished.

First blog post of 2016

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Canandaigua Lake

Until this point I had not written a post in this the new year of 2016. There are a lot of reasons or excuses I could make about why I haven’t shared anything yet this year. However, the most important reason that I haven’t shared anything yet this year is because I have been thinking about you my audience and I want anything I write to be good. want it to be good. I don’t want to write something and share it just to do it. I want it to be something that is worth reading and looking at. I want this page to be interesting and I do not want it to be a waste of time for people.

So what I really want to do with this first post is share with you what I have been doing when I am not sharing information, stories or photographs here. As I mentioned above I have been thinking a lot about all of you. Now that might sound a little creepy and to be perfectly honest it felt a little creepy just to type it. The reason why I have been thinking about you is that you are the reason I do this.

I write and create photographs for you. I share them with you because I hope to bring something into the world that you can enjoy in some way. I want what I do to provide some little thing that you can take from it; a smile, a moment of happiness, some new information, or some new artwork.

For me to do this I have to do what I do well. So I have been spending a lot of time working on getting better at what I do so that you can have a better experience when you visit my site. Sometimes it is hard to balance all the new influx of information I am trying to download to my brain with creating some output for you. And like I said before I don’t want to put out anything that I do not feel is my best work, so I wanted to wait until I felt that I was at a good place to share something. And here I am sharing it now.

A few of the takeaways I have learned: I have learned to share more about myself, share more about what I am doing, and send out what I am sharing in ways that will better enable you to find it and have an opportunity to see it. I have been trying to grow in the way I approach what I do in both my art and business and that is all so that I can better serve you.

I have been trying to learn how to better engage my audience in a way that you will enjoy. So if you have any comments, tips, or feedback on what I can do better please feel free to share it with me. That is how I get better at what I do.