an imageteller captures image celebrations.
sharing image tales broadens an artistic expression.
doing so, brings this particular creative indescribable joy.
what is your image story? perhaps I can help you tell it!
Going through a bit of a challenge in my life right now.
Sometimes a challenge can stop you in your tracks.
I feel like this past month has been exactly that.
i describe myself as deeply rooted.
trees in particular resonate with me
i feel they have stories to tell
their roots ground me.
they are not always perfect
i know I am certainly not perfect.
i am grounded
and boy, do i have stories to tell.
my friend and fellow photographer shared this poem today after I posted this tree image.
i just love him for sharing it.
Endure Like A Tree.
To get through life you have to endure as a tree does.
When Mother Nature tries to bring you down,
You will never fall; you will stand your ground.
You will encounter burning flames.
Yes, it will be painful and hard,
But once it's over and done with,
Your bark will grow back stronger than ever.
When your leaves start to slowly leave,
Never fret, there will be more to take their place.
They'll come and go throughout your life,
That's just how it is.
From the time you're a seedling to the time you're mature,
Your roots will always be there to support you.
After many years,
After enduring forest fires and changing leaves,
Your own saplings will fall away to start anew.
Then you'll know not to worry,
They'll grow into tall, strong trees,
Just like those before you.
Recently I posted this collage in a creative group I belong to on FB
I wrote that my collages tell stories. That they are a narrative of my life.
I neglected to share what the story of this particular collage was,
fellow creative Jody Winningham decided to write one.
His commentary really made me smile.
Is the story this? That dress I thought would be the perfect size...
Then an Amazon drone just delivered it. A voice came out of the air. " Try it .. you bought it"
Returns are only credited if it goes back with the drone.,
Oh it it looks delightful. Shall I?
Alas I hold it up and the shape follows form, just not my form. Not in all the rain, snow, sleet and holidays. It starts to rain now as I frustrate myself.
Why -I ask myself did I let the SkinnyMe clothing reward app actually connect online. This is the I will never be in me dress. No amount of salad...I mean salad grows in mud. Don't pigs bath in mud too. Mud...
I walk to the shed and grab the shovel and now the rain is snow... i place a garbage bag over me to keep dry. No, not just snow it is a blizzard and I see now the red warning lights on the drone.
I smash it. Repeatedly. I now bury it finding the ground not quite frozen yet.
If the drone never makes it back I can deny delivery and no costly mistake...Done.
( entertainment only not commentary - he writes with a smiley face )
The real story had to do with me, myself and I morphing into an alter ego mermaid to protect myself from the fish, ice cream, salad eating monster.
Truth is, my collages can be any story you want them to be. That's the beauty of any piece of art. The personal interpretation that makes it real for you!
I am told this is one of the worst winters in washington in some time.
having lived in the midwest my whole life
winter in the pacific northwest seems different somehow.
i heard that the climate here offered all four seasons
but not to the extremes
what i know about winter from my childhood, was that winter was a season
it snowed with great synchronicity around thanksgiving.
it stayed cold and white until march.
st patricks day was always gloomy, moody and muddy.
sometimes though, on st patricks day it would snow.
those tricky leprachauns!
as I got older the season wasn't so predictable
it was messier, slushier, dirtier and colder. sub zero cold, crazy bitter cold.
i felt like winter as a kid was just a time to wear boots and mittens.
not to be concerned about frost bite
i played in the snow, hung out in the winter and found it beautiful in its own cold, but not too cold and wintery way.
not so much these days. at least in the midwest.
i feel like the 21st century go go go does not heed things like winter.
in the old days
one didn't commute in winter.
you couldn't. you were snow bound.
thats what fireplaces, knitting, whittling and making soup was for.
hunker down and cozy in.
do not venture forth into the white covered abyss.
some of this winter felt like that to me here because my car situation in Dec had me stuck a few times.
stuck in my own driveway stuck. yikes!!
and, some of the snowfall this winter
had schools and libraries and whatever else completely shut down.
i LOVE that in this state they don't use salt on the roads
sure it makes trekking on some of the roads a bit of a trick
but hey stay inside, hunker down ... and cozy in
that's what novels and hot chocolate are for.
I found the photography pretty darn inspiring
here are a few, ok here are more than a few of my captures!!
I signed up for the photographers conference PhotoLush 2017 in a very spontaneous moment. I signed up because it was local. I signed up because it appeared to be an intimate conference, which appeals to me. Small = Better. I signed up because it showed up in my feed on FB, just as an art show I had planned to submit to had cancelled and a patron let me keep the funds. I signed up because I recognized Clinton James from a FB group I had lurked in. I signed up because it was out of my league. I signed up because I wanted to be uncomfortable. I wanted to be uncomfortable for a variety of reasons. As a person who struggles a bit with social phobia, being in crowds of strangers is like death. I am putting myself in these circumstances even if I struggle with it.
The conference was mostly designed for the professional photographer. Things like weddings or journalists, or senior portrait photographers. I don't do ANY of those things. I also don't intend to do that type of photography. Why would I surround myself with these types of professionals?
I did it to affirm what I am.
This past year I became more familiar with my introvert self. I have been an introvert my entire life, I just never had a name for it. In a workshop I was teaching, all the participants spoke to being introverts and it was like a light bulb went on in my head. Wait a minute, is that what this is? Are the quirky ways of being me and surviving publicly now defined? Is being introverted what this is called? It's rather embarrassing that it took me until my mid 50's to GET my true self, but there it is. AND it's very real for me. Anyone with challenges socially, and or even certain learning disorders ( I have those too) we all know that we creatively cope with being who we are. For me, if I can control my circumstance somehow by having a role to play, like volunteering at the check in of a conference, or teaching my own workshop -- then I can be the one in charge of something. I can shine in my own way.
For this conference I had none of those safety nets. Sometimes being new can actually help. Hi - I am new to Washington state and ...but after a year plus now, I am not sure I can still say that. Nor can I say that about my photography. My self taught journey began in 2012. Clearly the conference was rich with friendships and connections from it's past years, and having been part of environments like that before. I mostly took the stance of being an uncomfortable observer or a wall flower - yes, that was me in the back of the room. watching. I was completely out of my element in the lighting shoot session , but I tried, and I found my creative way in spite of being uncomfortable.
Here is what I saw:
I was very impressed by the mom/child lifestyle photography expressions I saw represented. Large percentage of women in the crowd. Leah Shepard I was very moved by your sharing
Folks sure go all out with regards to their camera's and equipment. big camera's, big lenses, fancy flashes. Being in a room full of that, to me, felt like tech overload.
That said, one speaker - the very young and impressive Kjell Redal spoke to the "use what you have" model. I particularly loved that because guess what....my rock star of a point and shoot camera ?? It's all I've got. I've got a long way to go to feel one with my Lumix.
The example of using your lap top in an oven as a light source? A total gem of an idea. Thank you Jennifer Bogle -- way more my speed.
It takes a certain kind of person to do wedding photography. I state this affectionately. I am in awe of you Sarah Postma - you make it look effortless. I am definitely not that sortof person. And while I didn't understand a single thing you said Saturday - I tried and it was fun to try.
( the very last three of this set were with my Lumix - which is very low performing in low light. )
I would like to do portraiture. I have an idea as to what kind. I need mentorship to acquire this skill.
What I do best and what I wish to do and be proficient and sustainable in ...is project work. narrative. not journalistic, but story telling for another -- specifically - my images move their story forward. Not sure what that is called. I knew this about myself before the conference. After the conference I feel more clarity about it.
The give back in photography or what a photograph provides that isn't measurable or tangible is priceless. The photographer who uses photography to give back are people I really enjoy being around. Rob Atkinson - what a beautiful story you shared. Tiffany Burke you are such a power house.
A LOT of heart in this crowd.
MOSTLY, the hat I chose to wear when I moved to Washington a year and a half ago, was one of AN ARTIST. It's a hat I wear with risk, because if I want my work to be income producing. It needs to be something that is sustaining. Boy - did Anna bring that pricing for profit reality home.
My personal shining moment, and it didn't have an official conference lushie award attached to it, was seeing these stickers on my salon image.
This informal photo salon contest had several categories: Kid and Baby Portraits, Landscape, Wedding/Events, Art/Fashion, Adult Portraits, and Editorial/Photojournalism. When I decided on this piece...I thought of it as a portrait in the adult category. but not of an adult adult...but more of my mooing neighbor and a cow adult.
strangest thing happened ...my conference peers experienced my photograph as art!!
Thank you to those who gave me my little blue stickers!!
You have no idea how defining that is for me.
Shout out to Quick Silver Labs in Bellingham - my print was very well done!!
I live in the country. I had a bit of a trek to attend. When I went to get my print it was completely hailing outside. full hail pour! I had a chance to pause and enjoy the sunset before the conference began.
me thinks there are stars in this shot of the manor, they had to be pretty darn bright for my little camera to pick up. The Lairmont Manor was a lovely venue! I was very taken with this fridge in the kitchen - it had stuff stacked in front of it by the time i got back to snap a few shots of it.
My blooper for the day/event was this ridiculous capture of a fire extinguisher!! HA!!
To the founders of PhotoLush Clinton and Aaron - kudos to you for continuing to gather this special blend of creatives. I am sure I am not alone is saying the difference you make for others is real and tremendous. Thank you!
My conference set of images is here.
bride and groom. ( ashley kristoff and conor james bryan )
engaged couple ( elyssa zorres and curtis carter )
dress and tux from belle bridal
make up - elizabeth marie makeup
Darn stoked to announce that quite a few of my original journal collaged pages are now for sale at The Dog And Pony Gallery in Peoria, IL.
I was invited to participate in this new gallery adventure by my friend and artist Ricky Traughber.
He, and his business partner Cyndi Merrill, another fine artist, are proud to represent a rotating collection of some of the finest Art and Artisanal works Central Illinois and the Illinois River Valley have to offer.
3 sizes are available 5 x7, 8 x 10 and 8.5 x 11's. prices are $36. $49. $54. accordingly. They are unframed.
( note: some collages have already sold. I will try and do my best to mark which are already gone)
Below -- just a few examples
Photography = a never ending opportunity to capture visual celebrations.