San Francisco, California
Pickstown, South Dakota
Los Angeles, California
“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.“
This is one of my favorite quotes of all time. When I think I’m being entirely original that’s when my ego emerges and my work suffers. If I take note of my inspiration (creative theft), then my work is often more authentic. Thank you Jim Jarmusch and Jean-Luc Godard, “it’s not where you take things from – it’s where you take them to”. Indeed.
Close your eyes.
Think of yourself as a GIANT looking down on your life.
What do you see?
Do things you stress over seem smaller from this vantage point?
We can all access our giant anytime…Fee-fi-fo-fum.
I haven’t named my giant yet…but I have a few ideas.
walking on eggshells/URBAN DICTIONARY: To watch what you say or do around a certain person because anything might set him or her off.
I’m trying to notice when I’m walking on eggshells. When I do, it seems like an invitation for some growth. I’ve personally mastered some pretty sophisticated avoidance techniques…I’m working on it. I will work on it for a lifetime. I’m choosing to celebrate when I have a little bit of awareness that I’m walking on eggshells and at least thinking about what’s required of me next. Sometimes just one boot in front of the other, no matter how small the steps are is the best we can do.
I discovered this image of my husband Jeff’s legs this morning. The photo had cool shadows and movement to work with. After a bit of goofing off and layering—this series is what emerged.
Jeff is off exploring his world right now in a very BIG way. The first image on the road reminds me of the South Dakota Monster stories my Dad told all seven of his grandchildren. I don’t see my husband as a monster though—much more like a gentle giant.
We’ve always told our children that they are part prairie & part sea. When I started choosing photos to layer with Jeff’s legs I was naturally drawn to images of the prairie and the sea.
Here’s to your big adventures this weekend, wherever your feet take you.
These are images I created from my photographs one night this week when the house was quiet and I stayed up late. The cowboys are from photographs I shot at the Burke Stampede Rodeo in Burke, South Dakota. The boots are mine. The railroad shot was taken in Sandwich, Massachusetts. The Chevy truck I shot in New Orleans.
Yesterday my son asked me, “If you had your own planet, what would it be like, Mom?” Sometimes I rush these kinds of discussions and don’t want to play the game. But, yesterday thinking about MY OWN PLANET entertained my brain all day. What would it be like? I needed to do something creative and playing with my photographs while thinking about my planet really sparked my imagination, thanks Ellis. The images I created are a very different direction for me. I finally went to bed at 1am still thinking about my planet. It’s magnificent. I’ll be working on more images to convey NEW VAGUS…perhaps a recruiting brochure, a psychological test, a song or a movie…I like options.
It’s called NEW VAGUS after my favorite nerve. The vagus nerve wanders like a vagabond (I love that). It’s also the captain of your inner nerve center. If you get off course, your captain can get you heading back in the right direction. There are some relatively easy ways to stimulate your vagus nerve. I found this fascinating. Gargling. Cold showers. Prayer. Deep breathing. Making some of these things a regular practice can help with inflammation, migraines, anxiety, addiction and so much more. See link below for more options and information and share broadly. It might really help someone you love.
“What happens in the vagus nerve, it turns out, doesn’t stay in the vagus nerve. The longest of the cranial nerves, the vagus nerve is so named because it “wanders” like a vagabond, sending out fibers from your brain stem to your visceral organs. The vagus nerve is literally the captain of your inner nerve center—the parasympathetic nervous system, to be specific. And like a good captain, it does a great job of overseeing a vast range of crucial functions, communicating nerve impulses to every organ in your body. New research has revealed that it may also be the missing link to treating chronic inflammation, and the beginning of an exciting new field of treatment that leaves medications behind.”
Here’s the key to the photos:
Packard Plant, Detroit, Michigan
NYC on the High Line
Burke, South Dakota
New Orleans, Louisiana
Cape Cod, Sandwich, Massachusetts
NYC near Grand Central Station
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
New Orleans in a cemetery near a famous restaurant I can’t remember the name of.
I’m very curious about how our interior geography affects our moods and choices in life. I find myself at nearly 50 years old realizing that I need a lot of spaciousness to feel most comfortable in my own skin. I truly understand how growing up and forming my identity on the prairie instilled an interior geography within me. I want to understand this better.
I layered these images of flying into South Dakota and the Town Neck Beach approach in Sandwich, Massachusetts. The vastness of the ocean gives me the same feeling of ease that the prairie gives me. It doesn’t matter if I’m driving country roads in South Dakota or kayaking the Cape Cod Bay. The inner feeling is the same.
I just ordered this book: Geographical Psychology: Exploring the Interaction of Environment and Behavior by Peter J. Rentfrow, PhD.
“The research described in this volume indicates that personality, political ideology, well-being, happiness, human virtues, and personal concerns are related to several important geographic social indicators.”
I can’t wait to delve further into more understanding about this subject. As always, I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas.
My family and I are heading to Burke, South Dakota to see my clan this week for our April break. My days will be filled with my family, the Ponca Creek Bull Sale, hopefully a new baby, old friends and some meandering drives on the prairie roads I adore.
My camera is being cleaned so this trip will be all heart and memory. It feels a little weird to me but there’s nothing I can do. I will have my phone however. I may need to borrow a camera at the bull sale and if my niece’s baby does arrive while we are home. I’m really trying to be “in the moment” and not as concerned with getting the shot. It’s a tough habit to break though.
Here are a couple of old photos I layered this morning while my daughter Lucy was packing.
The first image is main street in Burke layered with a prairie sunrise image from my parent’s back porch. Having coffee on the porch with my Mom is always one of my favorite parts of my time at home.
The second image is a country road layered with a sign I saw in the Las Vegas airport years ago. I’m not sure what “burke in the box” is, but I thought it was interesting.
I hope you find yourself “at home” within yourself whatever your life demands of you this week.
I snapped this photo watching “Better Call Saul” the other night. Our beloved cat, Ms. Karen Lillibridge Govoni is hanging with my husband, Jeff. When I looked at all of the textures in this image it looked like a renaissance portrait to me.
I liked how it was so layered—Karen’s paw hanging, Jeff’s stripey socks, my crow painting, the $10/10-year-old blanket from the airport in Vegas, the industrial lamp and the stack of books (Willa Cather’s My Antonia is the white jacket in the middle). I took this on my iphone 5S. My family has new iphones and I don’t. I’m not too bitter about giving up my upgrade, that’s what Moms do, right? I think I only have to wait until 2019.
When I started playing with this photo in Adobe illustrator I wished that I could shift perspectives on how I see things in the world as easily as I can manipulate them by using design software.
Here’s to new perspectives, folks.
However you can manifest them in your world.