Thank you fashion photographers, Vogue, Jessica Chastain, and Cara Delevingne.
“Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery – celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from – it’s where you take them to.” —Jim Jarmusch, filmmaker
I haven’t felt very painterly lately, so I thought I would give myself an hour to just play in my studio. I ripped out a bunch of magazine ads I loved from a Harper’s I found under one of my daughter’s beds, tore, painted, searched for found objects and photographed. It’s always resonated with me creatively the statement; it’s not where you take things from, it’s where you take them to. I might become a little obsessive about this process for a while. I’m just letting you know.
Thank you Harper’s Bazaar, fashion photographers, art directors, editors, models, designers, stylists, lighting desigers, location scouts, caterers, personal assistants…and everyone else involved in the shots I stole. Your eye and ideas are inspirational, even if I’m not always wild about the body image messaging or the products.
This week I was sent a cryptic message from someone named, Andrew Silva, alerting me that he left two photographs inside the front door of my home.
When I studied them I immediately thought of two things:
1. I really love my $5 yellow, thrift shop, 1980s jacket.
2. These images look like I’m a spy in a 1980s movie. I was rather certain I had other images to round out my spy thriller storyboard fantasy.
The film opens with an urgent call being made from a phone booth in Florence, Italy by the spy in the yellow jacket.
She’s investigating a missing American student studying abroad in Amsterdam. The student disappeared in Florence on holiday. The photo was taken by her roommate and potential femme fatale in their shared Florence hotel room.
Male characters (suspects #1 & #2) are photographed in Florence. They are being exceedingly careful with their public conversations. The younger of the two is an American architectural college student. He was seen seated next to the missing student at a cafe the day she disappeared.
An older man (suspect #3) is waiting for the bus in Florence. He’s under surveillance by the spy in the fabulous, yellow, 1980s, five dollar, thrift shop jacket. No one is quite sure why though, and neither is he. The spy’s sneaky photographs are really annoying him. He’s constantly swearing at her in Italian. This provides the levity in the film.
The American student’s roommate (suspect #4) was spotted walking toward the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam two days after her roommate’s disappearance in Florence with male (suspect #5). They clearly both know more than they’re telling investigators, casually seen shopping at Albert Heijn, the grocery store near the museum to give the appearance that it was just a normal day.
Male (suspect #2) is unknowingly photographed enjoying dinner out in Florence the night of the student’s disappearance. He’s the father of the American architectural student and there’s obviously something quite shifty about him. The angle of the photograph was carefully composed because the spy in the yellow jacket really wanted to remember the brand of balsamic vinegar from Modena on the table.
images by Andrew Silva, April 2018
to my VIDA collection. I hope you like these as much I loved creating them.
Here’s the link to my page.
PRAIRIE MEMORIES and HEADING WEST
SHE KNOWS WHAT TO DO and LOVE OF THE ROAD
“WE BELIEVE IT’S TIME TO REBUILD COMMERCE – FOR THE MINDFUL, GLOBAL CITIZENS OF THE MODERN WORLD.” —VIDA
There are so many great places to treasure hunt in my neighborhood—Vintage Inspired and Deep 6 Goods on Flynn Ave, the Barge Canal Market on Pine Street and David Robbins’ Upstairs Antiques at 1335 Shelburne Road in South Burlington (scroll down for map).
I ran into David while we were both doing a little hunting last week at Goodwill. We had some catching up to do about the state of the world and I promised to go check out his shop. Here are some images I shot at Upstairs ANTIQUES.
David’s shop for years was where the new City Market is being built on Flynn Avenue in Burlington. You have to work a little harder to find his shop now, but stopping by this well-curated shop will be well worth your effort. I picked up a framed print by my photographic hero, Dorthea Lange and funky hammer with a painted handle (see below).
Make sure to tell him Lisa told you to stop by and say hello, my hunch is that he’ll shrug and say, “oh”.
Happy hunting this Memorial Day weekend.
Today I closed the door for the last time on my much-loved studio of 15+ years. It’s empty. My work is now in storage. This is the end of one era and the start of another.
I keep thinking about something my husband, Jeff told me a few years ago.
- The last painting in my studio.
- My paint covered work shirt.
- A layered image of me and the empty studio.
July: I worked on my coursework for my positive psychology class. I created a handbag out of a friend’s damaged Audi seat. I was generously given a huge amount of fabric that was just beautiful to work with for the SEABA fashion show coming up. I read a lot about the psychology of geography—the study of how we behave in relation to our environment. I traveled to South Dakota to visit my family and was lucky enough to get to shoot some photographs at the Burke Stampede Rodeo. Oh, cowboys…
August: I sketched, sewed, painted and made handbags…a big blitz of work. Using the company SPOONFLOWER I got photographs printed onto fabric. My daughter, Lucy wore a skirt I made with an abandoned farmhouse photo I shot in South Dakota on it. I used rust prints Elizabeth Bunsen created with Nebraska license plates to create fabric as well. Burlington master goldsmith— Jane Frank designed jewelry worn in the show—the pieces were such a beautiful compliment to the clothes.
September was a blur: The fashion show was entirely consuming the first 10 days of the the month. I love to be in flow and entirely focused on one thing. Deadlines are my jam. However, this year I also needed to create my final project for my Positive Psychology course at the same time . I graduated and got to spend a week at Kripalu in Lenox, Mass with a remarkable bunch of people from all around the world. Later in the month my husband and I went to the Champlain Valley Classic Car show, taking photos and talking to classic car enthusiasts was just great after being so busy.
October: I turned 50 on the 12th. I was taken to Martha’s Vineyard by friends. My husband surprised me by getting my folks, my sister and my brother-in-law to Vermont for a long weekend to celebrate with me. That was remarkable AND he threw a party complete with my friends putting on a musical review, poetry, singing songs and making me feel so unbelievably grateful for my life. I took a few of my favorite images ever and layered more photos. Jeff and I dressed as Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo for Halloween.
November: I traveled to Burke, South Dakota. I took photos of Herrick that made current and former Herrick residents very happy and remarkably nostalgic. I got to hang out with my great nephew, Liam (oh, and the rest of my clan). I created digital images of my own planet based on a conversation with my son. The planet New Vagus is based on the vagus nerve—the power center of our nervous system. I wrote. I cried when Leonard Cohen died.
December: I made leather pendants for gifts. I kept playing with the image of a South Dakota two-lane road, layering the photo and playing with the visuals of memory. I created a line of scarves with my images on them. I will post the link soon if you are interested in ordering one.
January 2017 is off to an interesting start. I’m cleaning out the basement—sorting through letters, photos, the kids clothes I’ve saved, toys, books and all of the things I can’t believe I now have to deal with. I’m learning a lot about myself and why things seemed so very important to me.
Turning 50 is an interesting age to take a look back, look ahead, try to stay in the moment and not get too stuck in any one place.
The funny thing about being an artist—it just never feels like I’ve created enough. NEVER. I needed to look back for some perspective if I’m going show some compassion toward myself and be my own best friend. I went through my images month by month to remind myself that, although I can always create more—I’ve actually done a lot.
I think we all need to remind ourselves that we are enough…just as we are.
Here’s PART I: January to June 2016.
January: I painted this mural in the entryway of our home. It took me about 10 hours to paint it on New Year’s Day. It brings me joy everyday as I walk into our home. I’m eyeing other walls now and looking for some dates when no one is home for a long stretch.
February: These were a few of my favorite images from a trip to the Dominican Republic with my husband and daughters. Oh, that blue…
March: I shot this image of my husband with our cat, Karen. It is one of my favorite images I’ve ever taken. Our cozy family life wearing great socks surrounded by color. I worked a lot layering my photos with images of my hometown and two-lane South Dakota roads. I wrote about identity. I worked on my positive psychology coursework. I worked with artist, Elizabeth Bunsen ecodyeing textiles and learning about that process. I made a handbag that referenced the South Dakota two-lane image I like to work with for a group show in April at SEABA.
April: I went with Elizabeth Bunsen to assist with an ecodyeing workshop in the magical encaustic castle—an art space in Lexington, Kentucky run by artist Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch. What a remarkable group of women! We made beautiful things. We laughed. We cried. My great nephew, Liam was born in South Dakota while I was in Kentucky. My new creative friends celebrated with me. What an experience.
Here’s the link to her space to see what other workshops are available.
May: My friend, Maggie and I took four teenage girls to Quebec City to see Justin Bieber as a 16th Birthday present to my twin daughters. What a beautiful city and the false eyelashes looked amazing as they headed out to catch their Uber to the Videotron Centre.
June: I shot this image of Vergennes, Vermont that I love. My husband and I traveled to Ireland for a friend’s 50th birthday. This photograph was taken in Innishmore. I sold this painting “She Often had a Plan B” in the new shop below my studio: DEEP 6. I found a group of amazing photos at a second hand shop. I cleaned my studio.
Next up, whenever I get to it—July-December.
Happy 2017 and I wish you a wonderfully creative year—whatever that is for you!
Over the weekend, my husband and I dressed up as Mexican artists, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera for a Halloween party. We weren’t necessarily in the mood and it would’ve been easy to stay home. A few hours before the party I thought about the opportunity to walk three houses down, see costumes, have a few beers, eat some chocolate and talk to a bunch of interesting people. When I thought about it, well, it would’ve been really stupid to stay home. Culturally, I think we sometimes consider PLAY as frivolous or unnecessary. NOPE. It’s really necessary. I know that play makes me feel more creative, relaxed and better able to handle setbacks.
I’m pretty sure I’ll remember dressing up like Frida & Diego for a Halloween party more than another night on the couch watching a movie. GO FORTH & PLAY, YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT.
I haven’t had the pleasure of visiting Frida Kahlo’s home in Coyoacán, Mexico, but I can pretend I have with Photoshop. Don’t you love my cigarette spoke. I think Frida probably could do things like that with smoke.Frida is worth knowing more about. She had a remarkably interesting life. Her paintings, clothes and attitude really speak to me and provide inspiration. http://www.biography.com/people/frida-kahlo-9359496
PLAY—verb (Merriam Webster)
even when they start out pretty funky. That’s what happened to me today. I’m glad I was paying attention. I drove to Putney, Vermont to see my son at Landmark College. As the parent of 20 and 16-year-olds, I have to stay on my toes and I was this morning…tippy tippy toes, actually. I headed south from Burlington and made some remarkable stops along the way. Good golly, Vermont is staggeringly beautiful in October. WOW!
I stopped at the Red Hen Baking Company in Middlesex, VT for coffee and a cheddar bacon scone. They didn’t have them today—bummer…coffee and reading my book for a while is nice even without a cheddar & bacon scone. I’m reading “A Short Course In Happiness and Loss” by one of my psychology instructors, Maria Sirois. I graduated with a certificate in Positive Psychology last Friday after finishing a year long certification program through the Wholebeing Institute . I have that post big project and deadline sense of loss. I like deadlines. I guess I’ll have to set some new goals now.
Since, I’ve been home and working mostly alone in my studio for two decades, a certificate in anything actually feels pretty damn good.
I’m not exactly sure how I took this picture, but it captures a moment for me anyway. I had the windows down and the music blasting because, even after coffee, I was still sleepy. The air was heavy and dark. After I saw my son I was heading North on I91 and I missed my exit. The sun was now shining and I was hungry, so I decided to explore White River Junction, Vermont. I’ve driven by this town for 26 years and never stopped. It’s so awesome. I think we all must explore a lot often. Our hearts and brains depend upon exploration My whole day shifted by stopping in this funky Vermont town.
I parked downtown and ate lunch at Tuckerbox, a Turkish restaurant. I had a meze platter—haydari, hummus, babaganoush, Turkish salsa, stuffed grape leaves. YUM!
Then I just decided to take a walk around town before I headed back to Burlington. I bought a vintage denim shirt at REVOLUTION. One can’t have too many of those…right?
Then I walked around the block back to my truck and this is what I came upon…let’s review. 1. I miss my exit. 2. Great Lunch. 3. Cool denim shirt.
4. Then these pedals were all over the steps and sidewalk. Who doesn’t need a little MAGIC in their day?
I was floored…it was so amazing to come around the corner of the street and witness this. I was so wiped out. I was gone all of last week at school and I really needed to be home, but I would’ve missed those pedals. Thank you VALLEY FLOWER COMPANY. You have no idea how much you made my day. Yes, there’s still more…
So I paused for a minute to just take in the pedals on the sidewalk. I took about 11 steps and there was this interesting little jewelry gallery called SCAVENGER. I popped in and the work is right up my alley. One of the artists makes casts out of bugs, twigs, flowers, sea urchins…gorgeous, organic shapes. I bought myself an early birthday present. I even had it wrapped, so I don’t have a picture and I can’t open it until next week. It’s a persimmon flower, very cool shape, greenish, bronzy, patina…her work made me feel like I had uncovered the bracelet on an archeological dig. I’m now a big fan of Stacy Hopkins. Nice people helped me make my choose the piece of jewelry I purchased as well. Yes, really. I felt like I was on a movie set.
Then I headed north—smiling from my adventures…listening to Aretha Franklin really loud and singing along. It poured for a while. I LOVE RAIN. Then it cleared off and the color was just staggering…Aretha and I kept singing and heading north to HOME.