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Reading Recommendations From 2014

Posted by on January 6th, 2015

There are times when I think the best part of stepping into a new year is not making resolutions about where you are going but reflecting on where you have been. In 2014, one of the most enjoyable and personally meaningful things I did was read. So I thought I’d share my favorite books from the year here. I hope you find at least a few interesting book recommendations on this list that will entertain and enlighten you in 2015!

MY FAVORITE BOOK OF 2014

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, by Robert Pirsig
zen
I know, I know I’m several decades late to jumping on the ZAMM bandwagon. And I know I’m probably the millionth person to say, “Have you read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance? It’s amazing!”  But it is a testament to the book’s status as a cultural icon that 40 years after its publication it still draws new fans with its compelling storytelling and an even more compelling approach to philosophy. The central narrative of the book is a motorcycle trip across the United States interspersed with mysterious flashbacks and rambles into questions about knowing, meaning, and reason. Among other things, Pirsig wonders if there is anything beyond the objective world we see and the subjective world of our mind. And if there is something else, what is it? I found this book while I was asking similar questions and it was a great catalyst for my own thinking. Though the paths Pirsig and I took may not have been the same or led to the same end, I’m deeply grateful for his guidebook to the “high country of the mind.” It would be easy to keep writing about this book and the ways it influenced my thinking over the last year but I’ll end here by simply saying that I’d encourage you to read it.

10 OTHER GREAT READS

A Beautiful Anarchy, by David duChemin
anarchy
This is a powerful manifesto on art and creativity from my favorite photography author. There are no photos in this book, just page after page of reminders to go out there and create. As duChemin puts it, “The magic rarely happens within our comfort zone, but outside it, on the ragged scary edge, where we have to fight like hell to keep from drowning in the unknown. This is where most of us create our best stuff…” If you’re feeling stuck in your creative work, this book can help. Continue reading

One Year In Seattle: New Portfolios

Posted by on November 2nd, 2013

I can’t believe it’s been a year since we moved to Seattle (okay, it’s actually been 13 months since we moved but I’ve been busy and this blog is late). Leaving South America and moving here was supposed to be about settling down a bit, finding some routine in our lives, and taking a moment to breathe. In reality, this year ended up full of the unexpected and not without its share of adventures/misadventures. Continue reading

August Wallpaper: Mt. Rainier Wildflowers

Posted by on August 15th, 2013

2013-Mt-Rainier-Isaiah-Brookshire-Wallpaper

This month’s free wallpaper comes from Mt. Rainier National Park here in Washington. I’m not going to lie, the reason this image is awesome has less to do with myself as an artist and more to do with how flat-out amazing the location was. I’d been to Rainier twice before — once in the fall and once in late winter — but I had no idea how incredible the already stunning vistas became once the wildflowers had taken over the meadows. Rainier in bloom deserves to be near the top of any landscape photographers list of places to visit.

You really need to see this place for yourself, but until you do visit, feel free to download this wallpaper. Clicking on the image will open a high-resolution version in a new tab. From there you can save the image to your computer.

About the image: This photo was taken on a Canon 5D Mark III with a 16-35mm lens at  35mm. My exposure time was 1/400 with an aperture of f13 and an ISO of 400. Lightroom edits included slight tweaks to the global settings, changes to the curves and color balance, as well as dodging and selective sharpening.