All Posts By

Courtney Dyke

Love what you got

By | 2016, Europe | No Comments

Nudity is something that most people shy from. However, in countries like Germany—where nude beaches and parks are a thing—they don’t seem to bat an eye at it. But, I am not here to talk about nudity in the real world, but nudity in the artistic world.
It seems that no matter what gallery you go to in Europe you will encounter a nude painting (mostly female). However, today, people struggle with body image, so how does nudity in art change our perception?
We all know that magazines, ads, movies, etc. all depict bodies which are not what the average human form looks like. These images bombard our minds with the idea that the perfect body is thin, muscular, big breasts, small thighs, etc. But I think a small portion of people look like that. Though some of the pieces depict the subject with rolls and all, we admire the beauty of the human form no matter what shape as illustrated. Furthermore, as I—and people I had conversations with—experienced these nude paintings we came to realize how beautiful they were with “a little meat on their bones”. We saw the human body depicted in a new way, and it was beautiful!
This is part of why I support plus size models, men and women. This is why I support others loving their bodies for what they are, what they can do, and what they look like. I want a world where self-love and healthy life styles are the “in thing”. Because we are all beautiful creatures, so love what you got!

Inspiration

By | 2016, Europe | No Comments

Most of us dream of creating or doing something that will be original, inspiring, or change the world. Sadly, not all of us will get that chance. However, that makes it all the more special when you encounter someone or something that has accomplished the unimaginable.
For me, this happened when we experienced the architecture of Antoni Gaudi. Especially la Sagrada Familia. This structure was unlike anything I have ever seen. It was architecture inspired by nature, formed in a way that causes onlookers to question the beauty of buildings they have considered breathtaking in the past. Your gaze is drawn upwards, and curiosity, wonder, and awe are brought to the forefront of your mind. And, in its own way, it inspires others to wonder about a God that could give such a talent to one person.
Encounters such as these are few and far between. Whether it be with art, music, or what have you, it makes you realize that the things we consider “normal” need to be challenged. As well, it causes you to question where true inspiration and creativity come from. I do not have the answers to these, for that is up to you. But I will leave you with this: “God inspires, we only need to let ourselves be guided.” (Gaudi)

Finding Balance

By | 2015, Asia | No Comments

Journeys: you either have too much time on your hands or not enough. But what do we do in those periods of waiting? The way I see it, there are only a couple of options: 1) converse with others, 2) mindlessly look at a screen of some sort, 3) adventure of any kind, or, 4) take the opportunity of silence and just sit with your thoughts. (Most times I choose the 4th option).

As an introvert I have always understood the value of being alone. It not only recharges me, it gives me time to collect myself and my thoughts. Though, the funny thing is, on group trips you go in with the assumption, or at least I did, that alone time is scarce, that you have to snatch any opportunity you can to be alone.  I have discovered that that is not necessarily the case. No one truly realizes all the time you spend traveling from place to place. As well as the amount of time travel gives you to be alone with your thoughts. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a wondrous opportunity when needed. But what I am noticing is that it can be a very dangerous thing too.

It can be dangerous when you are in a place of wonder and questioning. Or, when you can feel yourself slowly changing and wanting to change, I think spending too much time in your head can cause you to be sucked into a whirlwind, a chaos that is created by your own thoughts. This is when old things can start to resurface. This is when we get caught up in our own problems. But what we need to learn is to be in the present moment, and, to voice the things we are having trouble with.  Especially on a trip like this.

One of the things I am starting to learn is: there is such a thing as too much alone time. (And all the introverts in the world gasped and said, “Too much alone time?! I have never heard such absurd statement.”) Yes, I said it. But it’s true. Balance is needed in everything we do. As well, you can take the time to be alone, even when people surround you.  It sounds like an oxymoron, but if you think about it, you’ll realize it’s true.

This isn’t a new revelation; this train of thought has probably been expressed time and time again. But we need to discover things of this nature on our own. Alone time is precious, but make sure you don’t miss what this world has to offer.