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Shantha Marie Fountain
Lives in Fort Myers, Florida
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Shantha Marie Fountain

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Balancing Act

"There is no decision that we can make that doesn't come with some sort of balance or sacrifice". ~ Simon Sinek

For this week's Selfie Sunday theme of Silly, I decided to take a few minutes out of my super busy weekend and create something for "fun".

This year has been hella hectic for me (thus far) and I haven't had near the time to create as I would have hoped, but that doesn't mean I don't like to cut loose - amidst the balancing act that is life - and have a genuinely good time with my camera.

Everything in this shot is purposeful and it was a joy to make...

I hope you all enjoy a slice of my little Nerd Life!

To participate, head on over here: https://plus.google.com/u/0/events/ce8i9icl4cue81qvd6b8psoeep0

#silly   #justforfun   #selfportrait   #theartofselfportraiture   #juxtapixelsphotodesigns   #purple  
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Xo 
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The Sun Goddess Reborn

Part of my winter solstice makeup and photoshoot.

"The winter solstice has always been special to me as a barren darkness that gives birth to a verdant future beyond imagination, a time of pain and withdrawal that produces something joyfully inconceivable, like a monarch butterfly masterfully extracting itself from the confines of its cocoon, bursting forth into unexpected glory." - Gary Zukav

For the true solstice, I decided to edit and post the image of my interpretation of the celebration of Yule in terms of the Norse telling.

The Winter Solstice is a magical season; one that marks the journey from this year to the next, journeys of the spirit from one world to the next, and the magic of birth, death, and rebirth. Throughout the world gods and goddesses of light were being born during the Winter Solstice.

This night of darkness grew from the myths of the Norse goddess Freya (also called Frigga) who sat at her spinning wheel weaving the fates, and the celebration was called Yule, from the Norse word Jul, meaning wheel. The Christmas wreath, a symbol adapted from Freya's "Wheel of Fate", reminds us of the cycle of the seasons and the continuity of life. I created mine from brightly shining ornaments wreathed atop my head, as an example. I also wore my contacts that looked like blue wreaths to act as surrogate wheels of fate.

Not to leave other cultures in the dark, the Solstice is also the time for visions. Rhiannon, rides through the dreams of her people by night, transporting them to the place between the worlds where they can create their own visions, giving them a gift of what they need most; helping them to make real their dreams.

In Scotland, the last night of the year is Wish Night, a holiday when wishes made for the coming year are at their most powerful.

So no matter what religion or magic you believe, with this image and with the most heartfelt decree, I wish you all a happy and safe holiday/end of year.

Namaste! ♥


#juxtapixelsphotodesigns   #selfportraiture   #winter   #solstice   #light   #selfportrait   #selfie  
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سلام خیلی قشنگه خوصوصن چشماش🌹🌹🌹🌹
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"We are not the same persons this year as last; nor are those we love. It is a happy chance if we, changing, continue to love a changed person." - W. Somerset Maugham




#juxtapixelsphotodesigns   #selfportrait   #12monthsofmakeup   #experimentsinlighting  
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Thanks Tom. :)
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A Little Medicine to Get Through the Day.

Everyone always jokes about needing "X" to get through a workday.  I know that in many of the places I have worked, it was definitely a running joke right next to "Is it Friday, yet?"

However, while we may take it lightly, addiction and depression are real things.

I have overcome situational depression at different instances in my life, and while in its throes, I could see that it could be easy to get dependent on numbing or sense dulling fixes. 

So, I wanted to shine a light on those illnesses and bring awareness (without minimizing their seriousness) to them with my #selfiesunday  and November AoSP Challenge #MorningStory  .

You can take part in either by following the links below:

Selfie Sunday: https://plus.google.com/u/0/events/cfi137uumes1p6oqdjbpurnti88

November Challenge: https://plus.google.com/u/0/events/c6gnhdk61fuqpmrelg4odlnh1tk

Namaste! ♥
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Thankies!
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Dip your toes in. Don't be afraid of what you may find.
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3 Pisces - The Fates of Spring

"The beautiful spring came; and when Nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also." - Harriet Ann Jacobs

#theartofselfportraiture   #scanography   #juxtapixelsphotodesigns  
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I really like this series! I haven't been around much, sorry about that. :)
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Winter Solstice

"Leave a little sparkle wherever you go."

As we reach towards a new year, let us take stock in life, death, and the rebirth of our loved ones and ourselves.  May we spread a little more love and light in the upcoming 2016, and stave off the darkness in the world.

#juxtapixelsphotodesigns   #selfportraiture   #winter   #solstice   #light   #selfportrait   #selfie   #selfiesunday  
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WOW!!
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12 Months of Makeup

Makeup Number 9: October 

“I myself am entirely made of flaws stitched together with good intentions." - Augusten Burroughs

She's Alive!!!!! 
After the panelists weighed in for the month of October, it was decided that I would create a Classic Horror Movie Makeup, and I got well under way to strategize the makeup and shoot.   

As a long time lover of the macabre and classic films from the horror genre, I knew I wanted to put on a typical Shantha twist to the more conservative makeups from the time period.  In doing that, I decided that delving back down into my UV pigments was the best solution to this.  

I chose the bride of Frankenstein after I saw the Augusten Burroughs quote while on vacation.  It just felt so "me".

The hair was probably the most time consuming aspect of the whole process. I built an appliance base out of three water bottles and some black duct tape. Then I covered it with a hair net and attached it to the crown of my head.  From there, I had to curl and pin my hair in sections to the bottle, create the "gray" streaks, spray the rest of my hair with black costume spray, and then I set out on mapping out how I would make the UV pigments work. 

For this makeup, I mixed a tribal feel with the classic stitches and patchwork skin colors. I wanted it to be subtle in some spaces and electrifyingly vibrant in others.

The finishing touches were the white sheet and gauze wraps followed by adding UV pigments to the hair streaks.  It was ambitious, but worth it.

Editing consisted of making sure nothing looked too blown out because the vibrancy within the RAW files was out of this world.

What is it all about?
At the start of the year, I polled a few friends about new project I wanted to start called #12monthsofmakeup  and saw what they thought.  It was then that +Ralph Uy added it might be fun to let a group of willing panelists (aka anyone who wanted to join in on the circle) choose and vote on the concept for the next month.

So, I asked for anyone interested to to make a comment stating their interest as well as ideas to go into the idea pool for February (as I had January already planned), and I received a few responses as well as ideas for February (and onward).

Now, I want to invite anyone publicly to join the group, if you wish, to share ideas for the last 3 makeups for this project.  All you have to do is say that you do, and you are added. Feel free to share ideas of makeups you wish to see me do even if you do not want to join the group.

How it works:
UPDATE: Since there are only 3 makeups left, there has been low voting participation within the panel group, and it will be a busy two months for the holidays, I will be selecting the final 3 makeups, but I do want to get feedback and/or suggestions for themes PLEASE!

Questions
If you have any questions on setup, makeup, or the overall process, please feel free to ask away below.

Enjoy! ♥

+Ralph Uy
+Johannes S.
+Tamara Pruessner
+Chris Bagley
+Eustace James
+Tai Mi
+Gary Munroe
+Ricardo Williams
+Kelly Richards
+Jim Migliore
+Measie Elizabeth
+Ana Andres
+Robert Hacker
+Joanna Koziara
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Thank you all so much! I have a pile left to go through, but this one showed the whole look!
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Inspiration may come at any time.

Creativity can strike me at any time.  It can be when I am burning the midnight oil or even at the butt crack of dawn.  Sometimes it has more to do with whether or not I want to listen to its incessant clamoring in my head or not.

Lately, I was ignoring it. I came home from vacation exhausted and refreshed at the same time. Weird, I know.

I shot my October #12monthsofmakeup  shot, which I have not finished editing, and it was because I didn't feel inspired to do it.  Today, however, I woke up and had my coffee (per usual). I put on my coffee shirt, and something lit up inside me.

Perhaps, I just let myself open up to the creativity or I fianlly relaxed enough to let it speak louder than all the things stressing me out.  Either way, I sipped on my coffee and I made the magic happen.

It felt good.

Namaste! ♥

#coffeethursday   #selfportrait   #coffee   #selfportraiture   #juxtapixelsphotodesigns  
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+Elizabeth Hahn yes! So glad my guts are letting me drink it too!

+Sarra Robinson exactly and thanks! Also that shirt is either from ThinkGeek or Snorg Tees or Busted Tees. Can't remember which!

+Gary Munroe butt cracks make me giggle every time ;)
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Shantha Marie's Collections
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Currently
Fort Myers, Florida
Previously
Lehigh Acres, Florida - Rochester, New York - Goshen, New York - Cape Coral, Florida
Story
Tagline
A Constant Artistic Conceptualization and Human In Progress
Introduction
"If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves." T.A. Edison
 
I am Shantha Marie Fountain, and if you know me, then you DEFINITELY know that you have found the "right" me! I was a Project Manager at a college and kept the online course developments running smoothly with my slightly OCD behavior for 9 years before deciding that I needed a new challenge and a change.  My new day job is working at an insurance company as their IT/Creative, which breaks down into using the strengths of being a "highly integrated", "equally balanced" thinker. I get to use the logic and problem solving for the IT scenarios, and I get to use the creative/photographic/graphic/web design side of myself to make their marketing and art better.  In addition to the day job, I am also a photographer, digital artist, and mixed medium creator of things in the Fort Myers, Florida area. 

I like to write (blog), read, watch movies (new and old), go on adventures, veg out with my munchkin (who isn't so munchkin-like anymore), play video games, laugh at poop or other inappropriate phallic jokes and innuendo; I like techy things and geeky things galore.  For fun, I like to paint and draw, or dream of my next tattoo. =) 

One thing that disturbs me slightly about the internet is the amount of false people there are, especially ones that try to elevate themselves by lying about who they are and what they do.  For me, I am an open book, so to speak.  I will write about my life and I will share art inspired by my experiences.  I will create things that are directly influenced by my likes and dislikes.  One of my favorite quotes said it best:

"You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should've behaved better." - Anne Lamott

I spent a number of years trying to stay in the introverted and protective shell, which would not let people in to see who I truly was.  When I had to deal with liars, stalkers, and bullies, I kept it close to the sleeve, and ignored them.  I let them whittle away at my self worth, but these days, I am bold - Fit and Fierce - and I love who I am and what I am...

When your mind is caged behind your need for acceptance from others, you are not free. If you feel like you have to prove something to anyone other than yourself, you are not free. Freedom is being yourself and being accepting of who you are.

"One of the greatest mental freedoms is truly not caring about what anyone else thinks of you." - Unknown

I am a great number of things, but scared about what others may think of me is not one of them.... 

I create.  I am a creator. I have created life without fear and continue to nurture it through courage and selflessness, I have created art with compassion and melancholy, and I have created words of whimsy and that of poison.  I am not good and I am not bad.  I make successes and I have made mistakes.  I am human and I am me.

I do not apologize for who I am, but if you follow me or befriend me, then you know the type of person I am.  I will lift the genuine people up, act with kindness, provide what I can for who I can, and not leave anyone out in the cold.  However, I just don't have the time or patience for drama.

If you would like to read more about my personal journey, it can be found at: http://jadedpixels-irl-blog.com - I write semi-regularly about life and everything in between.

That said, more about why I am here:

Art has always been a part of my life since I was discovered by one of my most favorite art teachers in middle school.  She showed me a way and a light through art I had never experienced until then.  I nurtured and fed that passion throughout my young adult life, but just like life, my priorities took me down a few different paths. After a decade of roaming, I made my way back home into an arts community and found photography and design to be new things (great things) I get to explore beyond my fine arts background. 

When asked not too long ago, the end of 2013 (If I recall correctly), about what fascinates me about portraits and retouching, I said, "Retouching, to me, is removing the distractions to show the true beauty of the subject", and it is true.  I speculate that I use the same tools to draw the viewer's eye to different things as I did in fine arts from my past.  I don't believe in changing the subjects appearance to the point of creating a stranger in the pixels, I think that would do a disservice to myself and those that I capture, but to get the world to see all those amazing qualities that I see when I am behind the lens, now that it something to really put pride in.

I also take pride in myself these days. As a youth, I believed in being very competitive and very physical. I rode horses, played soccer, wrestled, played football, climbed trees, and did so much that I never had to worry about anything. After the birth of my mini-me, making myself a priority just wasn't one. I had to become selfless.  In doing that, I forgot about what was important.

In 2013, I began seriously challenging myself with yoga, which until then I had only dabbled in.  After that, I slowly made my way into going to a gym. It was terrifying at first and I stuck to cardio until I became comfortable with the weight machines.  Throughout a great deal of 2014, I began my journey towards powerlifting. Using a 5x5 model, I went from being a sheepish gym member to a force to be reckoned with. The tower is like home to me and benching with a solid arch makes me giddy.  

With a devastating hit to my performance due to a contraction of the nasty and sometimes fatal "c.diff" infection, I had to take pause.  However, I am not letting it get me down.  My spirit is a fighter and once I am well enough to take on the iron again, I most certainly will.  One good thing that has come from the experience is my own emotional growth.  I am overcoming this and I am stronger each day.

As for more generic things about me... 

I am of Russian descent and enjoy cooking (and eating) foods from all over the globe.  Cultures of other countries fascinate me, and I love to observe them.  Human nature is one of the most amazing and terrifying things. 

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: His eyes are closed." 

and 

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." 

 ~Albert Einstein~ (An amazing human being) 

Is that what really makes up me?  Of course not!  This is only the introduction, remember...

"Remember the high board at the swimming pool? After days of looking up at it you finally climbed the wet steps to the platform. From there, it was higher than ever. There were only two ways down: the steps to defeat or the dive to victory. You stood on the edge, shivering in the hot sun, deathly afraid. At last you leaned too far forward, it was too late for retreat, and you dived. The high board was conquered, and you spent the rest of the day diving. Climbing a thousand high boards, we demolish fear, and turn into human beings." 

~Richard Bach A Gift of Wings~

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UPDATE: In 2012, I decided to spread my wings as the owner and sole photographer, designer, and artist of JuxtaPixels Photo and Design specializing in fine arts, modern digital design, and of course, conceptual and portrait photography.

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Curate The Following Themes:
#theexpressiveeye (a daily theme dedicated to the mysteries of the eye)

Specialty Theme (Year Round): This Is Halloween Photography ( #ThisIsHalloweenPhotography )

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Completed Projects/Goals:
Project Learning Experience: The Progression From Freshman To Graduate (#learnandgrowseries)
1. I will create at least 5 reconstructions within this time frame; (2014-2015)
2. I will create at least 6 images using a cell phone that parallel my DSLR standard (2014)

4. I will try at least 3 new techniques in 2014-15 (2014-early 2015)
5. Beginning January 8, 2014, I will begin creating organized folders for my images to be placed in on G+.  There will no longer be an out-of-control array of images (2014)
6. I will be sure to post at least 1 image a week.  The goal is quality over quantity.  This means I will make a concerted effort each week to create something; (2014)
7. The word for the year is composition.  This means that I may take more shots because I want to attempt capturing the best angle for each piece of artwork.  Composition is going to be key; (2014 and on)

8. I will make no less than 6 shots with the specific intent of being monochromatic or grayscale; (2014-2015)
9. I will shoot at least one project for a commercial reason; (2015 Corporate Headshots)
10. I will regularly participate in critiquing session online or locally; (2014 and ongoing)
11. I will make an effort to capture at least 3 candid or street photography shots; (2014 - 2015)
12. There will be no lapse in my participation with SSP or The Art of Self Portraiture community; (2014 - Ongoing)
14. I will learn something new each week and report about it here or on my blog; consider it a weekly reflection to decompress and move toward the fresh week.

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Ongoing Projects:
Reconstructions: Personal Reconstructions of Famous Portraits and Images From Portrait Photographers

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Projects For The 2013 Year: 
Project 52 B&W (2013) (Done)
52-Week Self Portraiture Project (continuing '12-'13) (Done)
52-Week Mono/Chromatic Lighting Portraiture Project (2013) (Done)

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Goals For 2014 - 2015:
So, here are the goals for 2014 - 2015:

3. During 2014-15, I will create no less than 5 tutorials.  There may be videos involved (1 tutorial will definitely have one for sure), but there will definitely be enough information in the post to recreate the style;
13. There will be at least one epic landscape within this time frame; and

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Portfolio Locations:
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Communities I Mod:

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Recommendations For Circles:
Feel free to add me to these types of circles.

Photography
Graphic Design
Fine Art
Technology
Yoga
Fitness
Education
Project Management
Foodies
Digital Design
Video
Animation
Anime
Gaming
Painting
Science
Learning

(Basically, I am good with the arts and any other general nerdery all up in my stream)

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I participate in the +G+ Membership 


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I'm involved in Public Circles Project

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Google+ users I recommend: 

shane holsclaw 

I will add to this as I go, but this should get you started with a few of my favorite people! 

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Learn about the Public Circles Project: https://plus.google.com/111873853137122484021/posts/PtKotY6hLGg 
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Bragging rights
I went back to school when it really seemed out of the question, I stick to the things that are important to me and in my life, and if I put my mind to it, I do not give up and I do not fail - even if the destination is not quite what I imagined at the start.
Work
Occupation
Project Management - Design & Technology | Photographer, Qwerky Girl Designer, & eStudio Owner - IT / Creative
Skills
Winning, Being Awesomesauce, Project Management, Design, Photography, Marketing, Online Education, Learning, Management, Fine Arts, and anything I put my mind towards.