Our days are often such a flurry. I think that it's important to take pause and ponder what one might be thankful for. I personally feel the essence of November with every part of me.
I have been spinning in my mind since returning from my Artist Residency at The Milkweed Mercantile at Dancing Rabbit's Eco-Village. It too was a flurry!!
Never have I taken so many images in such a short period of time, nor have I ever had the freedom to fully immerse in my work. The experience was profound not only creatively, but also personally. I didn't have to cook, clean, attend to work needs, run errands, or mow the lawn. I just got to be. and take pictures!
My feelings while there of gratitude, opportunity, creative clarity and freedom to express myself were at a very high pitch.
It was just two years ago that I declared my creative focus with photography and began exploring project work. In that time period, not only have I produced a zillion images, I have contributed to image telling for others through stills, scapes and ideas. It has been superbly fulfilling and rewarding.
I am left with over and over that not only can I do this, I can do it with a very specific artistic signature that I can call my own. My knowing this with confidence is what has been one of my largest challenges.
My artist residency clarified this for me.
I arrived at Dancing Rabbit at the golden hour. That glorious end of the day period of time where the sun is descending. The glow is so very golden, intoxicating and warm, with striking long and delicious shadows. The surround expression is magnificent, literally everything looks kissed by light! The grass path I found myself on led me to a tremendous garden with these amazing huge chickens perched on a hand crafted gate. In the not too far distance I saw these lush green rolling hills. If anyone had been with me in those first walk moments they would have observed me holding my breath, smiling inside with all of me, and saying to myself - I am here, I am here, I am here!! I snapped and snapped and snapped.
That evening I uploaded what I had taken, thinking ...gosh - have I set the tone for what I want to do here? Am I really going to be able to do this? I wondered how the heck am I going to process all of these photographs? The answers found me - trust your judgement, decide your favorites and let it go. Thank you universe. This is what I did the full ten days of my residency.
What I amassed was a Facebook Page Portfolio that was about a tenth of what I had shot. Doing so provided an immediate experience not only for myself, but also for the folks at Dancing Rabbit. In a pinch it also provided an easy show and tell. In re-cap. I shot over 3000 images! WEEKS in post-production had me get that count down to under 2000. I then uploaded and sorted images here into 14 useful categories.
Of the entire residency I would say these five things struck me - i could list many more but this post is already long enough.
1. the folks at dancing rabbit are what make the experience while there
2. milking goats at sunrise is an awesome photo opportunity
3. raising animals for milk, eggs and butchering is absolutely fascinating to me
4. composting toilets are not oookey
5. everyone sure loves pizza
My hosts Alline and Kurt befriended me with open arms, wonderfully warm hugs, tremendous laughter and much patience. Their sharing, encouragement, great cooking and my very comfortable stay left me feeling like a queen. I am grateful.
The VERY best news out of this entire experience, besides my images being of use to the community of Dancing Rabbit, is that they have asked me to return. Not just once, but three additional visits. WOW!
Photography = a never ending opportunity to capture visual celebrations.