Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Recently I discovered or rediscovered my love of pictorialism, and how much it has inspired me and defined my style of image making way before I even knew what to call it. 

When I visit my friend in Tennessee, she has 4 little sweet ones and two of them which like to model for me. This visit, having a 18th century cemetery on their new property, we made some pics that had this eerie feeling
So for some reason when photographing a child, I love reaching into a deeper place of introspection and soul, behind the joy of childhood. Find what moves your soul.

Be creative!!! 

Do you ever feel like you are getting to know yourself better through your #Pinterest boards?

How thankful are you for this inspiration and this tool?

I used to keep tear sheets in a binder, and binders fill up so quickly, are heavy to move and expire!
So I just want to give a shout out to the designers of this amazing tool.  I cannot thank them enough for what they have given all of us who aspire to live a creative life.

I think if you really are reasonable with your time spent surfing and you do use it for inspiration to actually create or tackle a project, Pinterest is the most valuable tool for a creative. We inspire each other, we get to see into other people's studio's, we get to plan what we love to wear.. just amazing. And now, by sharing private boards, I am using it to plan photo sessions, get inspired and communicate with clients through these private boards.

too amazing.


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Work as a Prayer

I heard something recently that took my breath away, and although having read most of the books in C.S. Lewis' Narnia series, I haven't gotten to this part just yet.

I actually heard someone speaking about this at a different time, and thankfully found it again on the Desiring God  blog when I couldn't remember the details.
Even though it wasn't always easy for me to be this transparent and share this vulnerable side of my life,  this journey I am on has been a bit like walking out on the water, and I am not sinking.

In a fabulously hard place where God is "making me lie down in green pastures," requiring me to be still ad know, to trust, to be quiet, to listen for his voice. He has a purpose, an authenticity he wants me to uncover through it all. Not to say this journey isn't amazing too, I am just saying when it comes to finding an authentic voice, and work, I am and have been made to lie down, and the old dragon skin is being ripped off as I speak.

Hopefully by sharing this with you, at least one person's eyes will be open that we need to be on this journey together. A journey to an Authentic Life, living with core convictions, understanding that we should have joy in our work, to be creative because it is just the way our life should be, and to trust that the outcome is in "good hands."

So back to the story that took my breath away. If you see Aslan as a representation of Jesus, fully trustworthy, and fully fierce & unsafe but Good, then you will understand what is needed for true transformative change, and it doesn't sound pretty or easy!

"In mercy and compassion, Aslan arrives, and leads the dragoned Eustace to a garden on top of the mountain, and then to a well at the center of the garden.
A Gash of Grace
“You will have to let me undress you,” says Aslan the Lion. So desperate was Eustace, even his fear of Aslan’s claws was not enough to stop him from laying down flat on his back. Laying anxious on the ground, here’s what Eustace felt. The very first tear he made was so deep that I thought it had gone right into my heart. And when he began pulling the skin off, it hurt worse than anything I’ve ever felt. The only thing that made me able to bear it was just the pleasure of feeling the stuff peel off. . . .Well, he peeled the beastly stuff right off — just as I thought I’d done it myself the other three times, only they hadn’t hurt — and there it was lying on the grass: only ever so much thicker, and darker, and more knobbly-looking than the others had been. And there was I as smooth and soft as a peeled switch and smaller than I had been. Then he caught hold of me — I didn’t like that much for I was very tender underneath now that I’d no skin on — and threw me into the water. It smarted like anything but only for a moment. After that it became perfectly delicious and as soon as I started swimming and splashing I found that all the pain had gone from my arm. And then I saw why. I’d turned into a boy again. . . .
After a bit the lion took me out and dressed me . . . in new clothes.

Was able to get my baby "fix" the other day when I met this new little one. So sweet! Working is such a delight, I will never ever take it for granted ever again! As I work, it is really my prayer. I think slowly I have decided to take a few clients in photography for now and do some more odd jobs to fill in the blanks while I am working on my painting show. Love and miss photographing children so much it literally hurts, but this time of creating and playing with a new medium has been extremely refreshing. Hopefully fruitful soon. 

As I paint, I am wanting to set some real goals for the end products I have accumulating here, so I vow to have a very colorful art show in Nashville Tennessee, hopefully this summer and hopefully with Kristi D. McDougal. Setting goals helps me take this painting thing to another level and see it as a way to work, and love what I do!  Also, I will be showing my new paintings at the Slope Suds in Brooklyn in about 5 weeks! 

As far as Photography goes, I am definitely looking to sing up a limited number of new families for newborn sessions and child Urban colorful Spring sessions in the Brooklyn area or Manhattan of course. 

Plans to come back to Raleigh  so do sign up for your spring photo session too. ( very limited number of sessions available) 

Got to hang out with this little sweet baby today and snuggle! She has such a great big sister!

Painting, I am just letting it all out. Sometimes it turns into mush. But that mush usually begins me thinking about what I want again. The best thing about painting, it there in no limit to how many errors that you make, just paint over it. Hardest part in painting though is letting go of a good part because it is not working in the overall life and profound statement the painting is trying to make. 

Next, I want to paint from the inspiration of birds and butterflies and dragon flies wings, mixed with dreams, texture, patterns, and some subject matter and landscapes. 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Long over due Creativity NYC Update


Adventures in New York City.

As you can imagine, the past few months have been Filled with just trying to survive the winter!!  We've been hit by snowstorm after snowstorm, walking miles in the freezing cold. 

My Southern friends gasp at the thought of it, although It really isn't so bad with the right gear. Being outside in the middle of 'doing' is so tactile & exhilarating, way more than the cozy warm car. 

Probably what really prepared me for this was when I had gotten a glimpse of what we are capable of around 8 years ago in MI, in the freezing cold. This Southern girl got off the sofa and trained for a 1/2 marathon in way below freezing temps. The feelings I had then I had never had before in my life. It was like being imortal or flying or something that humans just couldn't or shouldn't do, it took me by such surprise. Being at home under the warm covers was what I used to think was the better deal, especially if the sun wasn't up and extra especially if it was freezing or below.  Now, since I got that glimpse into what could be,  being at home cozy and warm was definitely not as fun as being out experiencing the sunrise over the frozen lake, seeing the ice crystals floating in the light, breathing so much steam that my eyes would fog. 
So all of that is to say, I kind of like being in the outside, even if it is cold and snowy. Engaging the senses keeping me present, always tactile and raw, i think is far better than car culture any day. 

So much for even getting to the car 1/2 this winter though. 

One Year and Two months has been so full of adventure,  wonder and self examination, with plenty of faith growing and maturing opportunities (which I need desperately). I have a brand new understanding of people, of how a city thrives & for God to allow me to be apart of this amazing story even if it is in a minute way, I feel very blessed.   

Having been Graced with participating in another program through the Redeemer Church's Center for Faith and work / artists. I am humbled by this experience as well, wishing you all could come be apart of it too! Once a week sitting amongst of some amazing people who are musicians, improve specialists, NY Times pick of the week play-write, actors, and visual artists, i am humbled to be there amongst such talent! We are helping each other in the maturing process by stretching each other's understanding of Christ, Grace, Repentence, and how our work is interwoven with our faith.  

Through this journey in faith and art, I have begun to paint again and open my heart up to working in multimedia. 
To discover painting again for me is much like running into a distant relative where once there was a warm close relationship which unexpectedly had grown so distant, eventually becoming nonexistent, and to have that relationship suddenly revived, restored, and good again and with all the joys that brings!! 
A lot in the same way, meeting this once before person which was me at one time, who i thought was gone, has been a quite unexpected yet a very welcoming and joyful journey.

Who would have thought this part of me would reappear? My longings for a life lived with authenticity are coming to the surface. 
All my prayers for God to break down the walls around my heart are being answered.  

Will this be a step that leads me back to  trust? Am I willing to risk being hurt, or rejected again? 

The beautiful part of this story is that God is doing what he does best. That is He is restoring, resurrecting, replenishing old places that were broken, empty, rotten, Dead in me & He's breathing new life in all of those places, making all things new.

This is bigger than just me, He's actually in process of doing this for all who are believers.  

Fear and lack of faith and no solid understandings, immaturity and hardheartedness, anger, bitterness jealousy and total lack of trust were ruling all of my heart for too many years. 

Me, yes me. You wouldn't know it, but it was why I hid from being fully known by anyone for such a long time. 

What does all this seemingly irrelivant information have to do with art? 
Creating is scary. To Create you have to be in tune with your authentic self, and where jealousy or bitterness rules, the temptation to compare yourself to others is too great and will destroy the process before it begins. Believe me I know from experience. 
Why am I sharing this personal journey? Because God is in the business of restoring and truth. 
Art is One of our creator's greatest tools that he uses to touch and open hearts all over the world. 
Think about it, You might only be overcome with certain emotions when a screen play moves you to tears, or you discover a new social cause to fight for through someone else's art. Or what about a photograph that brings to mind a forgotten memory or even triggers emotions once numb to. Those are windows into your heart, touching you with a new language that only your spirit can understand. Art is so valuable like that. 

To risk,  to create and put it out there raw and in the open. Will it be good enough? Will people want it? Will I have any other ideas ever again? Can I sustain being creative? Will there be provision, shall I be tempted to run back to safety

Then, I remember, there is a well where I go, where I get my water, it always satisfyies and it never runs dry. 

Now, for as long as i live here in NYC, for as long as God allows me to endure this trial, Each day I am committed to dive into beauty, creation, details in nature, to learn how to be as skilled as I can, trust, jump into safe arms, believe that this is where I need to be. 

So go Be creative

My daughter's work ethic has taught me a thing or two. 

1. Draw anything and everything often. 
2. Create all the time, doesn't matter which tool you are using to create with .. Paint, collage, photography, keep creating just because it honors God and He is pleased 
3. Work until your butt hurts from sitting too long.