Friday, July 29, 2011

photo shoot with a couple of angels

I'm on my way to Saratoga Springs (NY) this morning and can't wait to spend another weekend with my sister and my amazing nieces! I'm even more excited that there is a photo session on the agenda! I've been dying to capture the two little angels together now that the little one can sit up on her own. The last round went something like this…..

I was originally supposed to shoot the photos last weekend, but we were having too much fun doing this….

Thursday, July 28, 2011

learning to let go

A few weeks ago I wrote about my yearly pilgrimage to Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health—a deeply spiritual experience for me. When I am on retreat, life simplifies itself and I am able to see my struggles, dreams, motivations and inner workings in their true light. I always journal about these things when I am at Kripalu, and this year it occurred to me that there is one issue that continues to announce itself, every year louder than the last. The issue is a deep, nearly impenetrable tightness at the very bottom of my soul. I always experience that tightness with such intensity on retreat, because I am constantly engaged in activities that jostle and loosen that tightness….and quite honestly, it is terrifying (yet glorious). 

I usually do not make it through a yoga or dance class or a meditation hour (at Kripalu) without tears pushing their way forcefully up from the depths of my belly. The tears beg for freedom, they beg to drop down my cheeks and hit the floor so as to run as far away from me as possible. I live a conflicted existence—a free-spirit who often feels imprisoned and unable to express itself as freely as it needs to. But, I know that in diving into my art these past 2 years, I have begun to loosen and heal (though I still have a long way to go). 

I knew when I picked up a paintbrush for the first time in 15 years, and allowed myself to paint simply for the joy it brings to my soul, that I was stepping into new territory…..I was traveling down into the unforgotten, but seemingly inaccessible, part of myself that is still the free little girl who felt safe and confident in expressing herself, the little girl who could effortlessly paint and draw anything her imagination thought up, the little girl who loved to dance, sing and perform and never felt self-conscious, the little girl who was perfectly comfortable being the artist she was born to be. At a young age that little girl went into hiding. A tragedy robbed her of her bubbling joy and innocence and it's been a struggle ever since to pry her back out into the light of day, at least in any permanent way. The details of that tragedy are unimportant, as we all have our stories, but it did leave behind an indelible mark that has severely damaged my ability to live freely. I have had clenched fists and tight muscles ever since—something I feel at certain times more than others….something I am constantly working to defy.

In exploring art again, I have come to realize that letting go is my primary goal in life, it is what I have been seeking in all my travels and adventures, and it is the one thing I believe will open the world up to me. It's no wonder that I gravitate toward activities that allow me to momentarily experience that sense of freedom I lost….but it's no longer enough. I want to completely let go. I want to, with one blessed breath, be released. I want to pick up my paintbrush and feel that innate ability to create without thinking. I want to dance and sing, write poetry and photograph life. I want to be me.  

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

pine tree love

I shot this (very basic) photo of pine needles in Vermont last week to remind myself to get working on some pine tree art! I've always been obsessed with trees….I feel connected to them, inspired by them, and lulled into serenity when I'm amongst them. Lately I've felt particularly drawn to pine trees, what with their peaceful scent, rich forest green color, and beautiful shape. 

I'm heading up to the Adirondacks next week for a few days of camping where I hope to capture an inspired pine tree photo or two and collect some pine needles to use in a painting I've been dreaming about. In the meantime, some amazing pine tree finds from Etsy:

fog in the gorge by abby try again photography

Ash Hilton

The Pine by J.M.Barclay

by Ad Love

Cynthia Elizabeth Linsenbardt

by Erin Flett

Quiet Reflection by Simply Lodge

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

healing beauty

I started working on a water saturation series months ago, which was inspired by a painting I did for a friend (finished painting here). Unfortunately, I started the series in the midst of packing and moving so I was never able to get into a groove with these pieces. I find it really difficult to paint if I don't have natural, free-flowing momentum…thus I've had these unfinished canvases lying around, nagging me to find some inspiration. I decided to add some emotion to one of them (by painting some inspirational words on it) the other day in the hopes of finding a direction…but, it's still unfinished (and so is it's partner). Where to go, where to go?

Monday, July 25, 2011

simple lines

I took a photo of my ankle last week, as I found myself suddenly drawn to the simple lines, angles and curves of the human form. I've been inspired by this concept in both my photography and painting in the past—close-up macro portraits and simple silhouette paintings. I need to find myself a few models to play around with this idea a bit more, but for now some self-portraits…..

Friday, July 22, 2011

this week in photos

My new hood…quite different than my last hood (see the 2nd picture here).

The Bridge of Flowers is even more beautiful in the summer...

I love the symbolism of a lock…and I love anything covered in rust.

I am completely hypnotized into peacefulness at the sight (and smell!) of pine trees. I snapped this shot to use as inspiration for painting.

My first ever ratatouille (Leunig's, Burlington=the bomb).

A hammock nestled in the trees, kissed by a 360 degree mountain-scape? Bliss.

A quick hike.

I am obsessed with birch bark/birch trees. I'm still trying to successfully incorporate birch bark into a piece of art.

While sitting in a park the other day, I suddenly found myself zeroing in on the details of the human body (in an artistic way;)—the curve of an ankle, the roundness of a belly, the angles of a knee. This photograph inspired me to play around with the concept…more on that next week.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

the wall

I came across this wall in a parking lot the other day and was immediately obsessed with it. Obsessed. As a photographer, I walk around life constantly noticing the following: lighting, minute details, color and fabulous backdrops. And as far as backdrops go, interesting walls and ancient doors seem to be a fav of mine. 

When I found this wall I was really wishing Natalie Schlegel was with me, I desperately needed a model.…but since she wasn't, I attempted to pose for just a few shots for my husband. This was the best I could in 100 degree heat (I was cursing the fact that I had worn pants that day!)…. 

If I had been snapping the pics, I would've loved to do some macro shots of just a section of body or face and get really close to the texture of that beautifully worn wall. But, I think my non-photographer hubby did a great job:)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

sunset over lake champlain

As I mentioned yesterday, my husband and I went to Vermont at the end of last week. One of the more soothing things we did was hang out at the waterfront park in Lake Champlain, once during the day and later to watch the sunset. It's difficult to not feel at peace with the sun falling into a mountainous horizon, lighting a still body of water below in deep blues, oranges and brilliant pinks. (I was obsessed with photographing a similar scene in the Adirondacks last summer). Who doesn't love a sunset?!

The waterfront dock was lined with bench swings so you could swing with your sweetheart while watching the sunset.

My husband attempted some silhouette shots, and I actually really love the blurriness of this one! It's like a portal to another world as one side of my body looks to be disappearing.

A spirit in the real world.