Posts Tagged ‘believe’

Believe Tree and Believe Tree Enchanted

Believe Tree - Black's Beach Sunset

“Believe Tree” with motivational/inspirational words on Black’s Beach Sunset background

In December 2014 I came up with the idea of a tree with motivational and  inspirational words written on the branches. The original design was this powerful oak tree with a lake in the background and the words on the branches. The message was delivered by this amazing tree but the background was too busy, I wanted the tree to really stand out. To do this right I knew it was not going to be an easy task. I spent over 10 hours isolating the tree, its branches, and its leaves, creating a clean layer. The resulting image was well worth the tedious task.

The first believe tree I created was on the teal background. I loved how the silvery effect of the tree stood out in contrast against the metallic blue background. Initially I was concerned that the words would be too much. I wanted them to blend in and be part of the tree. Present but still subtle, yet strong enough to read. I wanted them to be part of the tree and flow with the branches.

From there it evolved. From the suggestions I received I made a few changes here and there. A friend suggested that I also make the tree available as a designer piece. I was way ahead of him and had already created those images, which I titled Believe Tree Enchanted. Believe Tree Enchanted is the tree alone with no words. I chose the word enchanted because the tree literally lured me in. It was captivating and beautiful and stood out from all of the other trees around me. Rick further suggested an idea that lead to my unique Paper Series. There are currently two choices in the Paper Series, brown and teal. At this point the brown paper is my favorite. I like the grungy earth tone textures I created for the background.

Another friend suggested sunsets, “Can I get one with a sunset background?” she asked. Hmmm yeah sunsets, why not? So I created the Sunset Series which are derived from San Diego sunset images I captured over the past couple years in. There are currently seven different sunset backgrounds to choose from in the Sunset Series.

There are nine original Believe Tree and Believe Tree Enchanted choices on various colors and black & white. These all look amazing when printed on metal with the silver gloss process. A metal print is the only way to go when displaying these trees.

This is one of those ideas that truly came out of no where. I was helping a friend and I realized there was a correlation. I saw a universal commonality in the ordeals that many of us are confronted with daily. The struggles we face. Many of which are derived from simply our own thoughts. The saying “I am my own worst enemy.” comes to mind. Many of the thoughts, concerns, and questions that we conjure up never cross the minds of other people when they view us or our work. As I wrote down the words that I felt were useful and helpful it began to take on the form of a tree. I then envisioned the words written across the branches of this tree. From there the idea of the Believe Tree was born.

The whole idea of confidence, success, not quitting, and improving stems directly from “believing in yourself”. Against all odds, believing in yourself. No matter what, believing in yourself. Though it may sound too simple. It really isn’t. Especially if you face challenges daily that seem to fight against you getting to that finish line.

Believe Tree Enchanted - Brown Paper

“Believe Tree Enchanted” as a designer piece on brown paper background

Life is intimidating. Taking on a new project is intimidating. Learning something new is intimidating. When I face intimidation I remind myself that I have been here before. Each time that  I faced intimidation in the past I forged ahead. I learned what I needed to learn and practiced what I needed to practice. Eventually without even realizing it, I had become good at what I was doing. So I take that with me to the next challenge. “I have been here before, everything previous to this was an intimidation at some point-in-time, but now it is not. Therefore this situation will be no different.” Again the root of this is believing in yourself. Knowing what you are capable of based on previous experiences. Even if those previous experiences were not incredibly challenging you still mastered them.

Another mindset that I keep in my arsenal is; if other people can do it, then so can I. Seeing other people accomplish something is evidence that it can be done. Or the knowledge that many people preceding you made it through. Running a marathon should be impossible, but obviously it is not. The same concept can be applied, if they can do it, then so can I. The key to this is to not overwhelm yourself with the big picture. The big picture is a goal. Accept the challenge one step at a time. What can I do right now? What can be accomplished today? Anything outside of that is out of your hands for the time being. Occupy your mind and thoughts with accomplishing the doable. Taking care of what can be done now will move you faster than you think. Soon you will see the big picture is not so big after all.

Believe Tree - Teal

“Believe Tree” with motivational/inspirational words on teal background

I have my days when I wonder if it is all worth it. Am I doing the right thing? Will I be successful? Who am I kidding? Am I a joke? I could go on and on. I am very hard on myself, many of us are. There are days I tell myself, “You should quit, you are wasting your time!!”, but what if I quit one minute before something awesome happens? We never know what awesomeness is lying just around the corner. Ready and waiting for us. There really is no such thing as an overnight success. It may seem as if someone becomes something amazing over night, but it is probably very unlikely. It almost appears that way sometimes but in reality it typically takes years. Trust me, I wish there was an easier way, a faster route. There is a lot of sacrifice, there are a lot of doors slammed, there are a lot a people laughing in your face, there are a lot of doubters, haters, and those who want you to fail. If you truly believe in yourself none of that will matter. Truly believing in yourself gives you the knowledge that all of that is nothing but lies. The truth is inside of you! If someone says “You can’t do that!” you don’t need to say anything. You instead show them that it can be done. Do it for yourself though, not for them. Don’t do it to prove them wrong. Only do it because it is your passion!  Prepare yourself mentally that the road ahead is going to be full of challenges. I have been fueled countless times by people telling me it cannot be done. Guess what? it can be done! It all begins with believing in yourself and pressing on and overcoming. When you do this those people around you will have no choice but to believe in you too whether they want to or not.

Believe Tree and Believe Tree Enchanted are available for viewing and purchasing on my website at Paul W. Koester Photography and at my Etsy shop Paul Koester Photo. Prints purchased from my website are printed at Bay Photo Labs and are high quality however I have no direct input in the production and they are shipped directly to you from the lab. Prints purchased from my Etsy shop are printed by the printers that I have specifically chosen and I have direct control over the production of these images. If you are located in the San Diego area I can deliver and sign the image if you purchase the image through my Etsy shop or by contacting me directly. If you have any questions feel free to contact me.

 

Vernon Finney

 

The Creator by Vernon Finney

“The Creator” An intricately intensely detailed masterpiece depicting creation and the amazing power of the mind.

 

It has been a little over a year since I first saw the work of Vernon Finney. Giclee prints of some his paintings were hanging near some of my photographs in the Incredible Artist Art Gallery located in Cathedral City, California in the Palm Springs area.

Vernon Finney

Vernon signing a printed copy/pamphlet of “The Seven Days Of Creation” a seven piece painting depicted the first chapters of the book of Genesis.

The Starmaker by Vernon Finney

“The Starmaker” an amazing painting depicting the creation of the universe.

Vernon’s art stands out sharply from everyone else’s art, as good art should. I’m no great art expert. I did not study art. I took a few art classes. However I am privileged to have seen first hand the works of Michelangelo, Monet, and many others. Walking where Michelangelo walked doesn’t make me anything special. However, regardless, every now and again we get the opportunity to cross paths with people that are not part of the mainstream crowd. In my opinion these things happen for a reason and have significant purpose. When you meet them you instantly know they are something special, you know they are a gift and are gifted, and you want to absorb as much of them as possible. Vernon Finney is one of those people. A modern day, living breathing Rene Magritte, a friend who is a Salvador Dali. Though I did not meet any of the great artists of the day, I am happy to say that I have met Vernon Finney and I am very content with that. Vernon celebrated his 90th birthday in May of this year. Much of his 90 years has been packed full of adventure and loving life. Whether climbing some of the highest mountains, painting celebrities homes, running the art department in a leading advertising agency or creating amazing masterpieces of art. He was always up to the challenge. Though he drew and sketched most of his life.  In the 60’s Vernon began sketching and drawing in a manner that stood out from everyone else. He found his groove sort-of-speak. It was the 60’s after all. I sat down and pored over several of his worn out tattered sketch books from that period. So many ideas. So enlightened.  He was ahead of his time, with the open mindedness and the ideas that he expressed freely. Ahead of his time in a way that people just were not ready for his style of art, the good thing is he did not let any of that stop him. He is bothered very little if any at all by what other people think. Today the world needs the art of Vernon and it is finally ready. We need something that grabs a hold and pops and is original! His paintings are as original as original gets. Vernon grew up poor in Oklahoma. Coming from a conservative family, he wasn’t allowed to freely express his creativity. Today Vernon believes in “Just get out there and do it, don’t worry about it.” He believes in creating and freeing the mind and doing that often. I told him “I don’t want to be the best, I just want to be better. I don’t ever want to be in a place where I think I am the best.” He replied quickly, “Don’t worry about that, you become better by doing. As long as you are doing, you will get better and the rest will all fall into place.” I believe what he said is very true and I will do my best to practice that philosophy.

Reach by Vernon Finney

“Reach” in its full glory. An epic work of art that speaks volumes without capturing a single facial expression. Must be seen to comprehend this enormous wonderful work of art!

I stayed at Vernon’s, Cathedral City home for three days in late June and was given the opportunity of a lifetime. Spending time with the master was a privilege of epic proportions. We went shopping together, ate at an Italian and Mexican restaurant, and he cooked dinner for me. We even went to see Maleficent in 3D at the Mary Pickford Theater! Yes, we had a very good time indeed. Best of all we talked! We found common ground. He gave me advice and also reinforced what I already know and what I am already practicing. The several things that we spoke on that I would like to pass on to everyone who reads this is 1. Believe In Yourself! 2. Get rid of fear! 3. Get out there and do it! 4. Don’t LOOK back!! 5. Don’t Give Up!!!

Vernon_Finney_Drawing_SM

Sketches for Vernon’s latest work titled “Who’s Afraid Of Mary Jane?” A piece that will cast a light upon female injustice and affliction.

Vernon started painting full time around the age of  5o. He came to the place in his life where he felt that it was time to do what he was passionate about. In his lifetime he has painted over 400 oil paintings. Some he was commissioned to create, others he sold, and some he gave away. Some have been lost and he is trying to recover them. Several pieces are being looked at to go to either private collections or to hang in major galleries throughout the country. Up until my recent visit I had not seen any of Vernon’s original paintings. I have now seen over 30 of them. I have my favorites: Memories, Reach, and The Creator. Many of these took several years to paint. Reach took about 4 years to create, it is a huge painting 10′ x 9′, that’s 90 square feet! Many of his paintings are big. Bigger than life! This way it gets the message across, it has more impact. The great artists did the same thing. Vernon’s work can be considered thought provoking, surreal, and controversial. He is a modern day surrealist painter, when you see his work it will leave an indelible mark upon the thought processes of your mind!! Meet the man as I have and you will forever be changed. My short blog doesn’t do him justice. Keep an eye on Vernon Finney he is the next big thing! I look forward to hanging out some more with my new friend!

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