my 1980s spy movie fantasy

 

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.

Print

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.

double image of andrews shots

 

 

images by Andrew Silva, April 2018

hey folks, don’t hide behind the camera.

Yesterday my friend Andrew and I were in his innovative home studio shooting some photographs for a series he’s working on.  I was wearing a mask for the shoot.  When we were done, it seemed like a waste to not take a few “unmasked” photos when the light and background were all set up.

I was reluctant to post this image today, not because of the quality of the image.  Nice work Andrew.  But why?  I think perhaps the “why” is; the veins/age spots on my hands, the wrinkles around my eyes and my grey roots awaiting a touch up (tomorrow).  However, while looking more closely I don’t only see those things.  I see that I’m wearing my favorite “uniform” of paint splattered khakis, a tank top and a cowboy shirt I’ve had and loved for twenty years.  Around my neck is a pendant my daughter, Willa made for me in her metals class.  I’m really relaxed.  Down the road I wholeheartedly believe I’ll be grateful to have this portrait.  Thanks Andrew.

 

Today I printed it at the #BCA studios on Pine Street in Burlington (thanks Renee).  I plan to write some details on the back so my grandkids or great grandkids will possess some information about me and who I was in March of 2018.

Don’t shy from the camera folks.  You’re going to want photographs of yourself.  Get your favorite ones printed.  Only having digital images is so different than actually holding a print in your hand—get multiples & share them broadly.

 

 

 

three life changing words

Lately I’ve been thinking about my “shitty roommate”.  This is my personal inner voice—she makes me doubt myself all the time.  She puts those snarky thoughts in my head that I’m “not good enough”, “not reaching my potential” or “if only you were more like…”.

Shame is the inner language of self-attack and self-blame AND shame is my shitty roommate’s jam.

Instead of trying to kick her out (which is exhausting and nearly impossible), I’ve decided to get more curious about her…even love her up a bit. Yes, she’s manipulative AND she also has pushed me.  We’re really quite competitive.  When she has my ear, she’s granted me the opportunity to self-correct behavior that doesn’t line up with my values, seek forgiveness from those I’ve wronged or offer myself a little grace.

But now, it’s time to change the rules of engagement using one short sentence. 

true

The more I say it, the more power it has for all sorts of situations in my life.

When I question her language, my shitty roommate just puts her headphones on and leaves me alone until the next time…and there will always be a next time.  She hates those three words, however, we do seem to be getting along a little better lately.

Rust, memories and the wisdom of Willa Cather.

Willa Cather quote Lillibridge rust print lillibridge rust print

I did a three day workshop with Elizabeth Bunsen last week.  This is one of the prints I made with indigo and rust.  I wanted to take my print and add the prairie influences that are speaking to me right now.  I used my photographs and one of my leather pendants in one of the circular spaces on the print.  I’m not sure which image I like best.  They seem like very different art forms now.

when worlds collide/part II

sd farmhouse colliding with italy lillibridge sd farmhouse dog days burke south dakota

1. A side street in Florence, Italy

2. Dog Days Celebration, Burke, South Dakota 2014

color inspiration. i need to paint some rooms.

color study lillibridge dakota 1966farmhouse color study march twenty third lillibridgebeach color study lillibridge dakota 1966

Your own photographs are a treasure trove of images for color inspiration.  Often it’s subject matter you’re drawn to (like my daughter Lucy’s hair flying) but often it’s color.  The way the colors are perceived next to each other, the saturation & depth can create unexpected combinations that work beautifully in a lot of different applications—interior design, fashion, make-up and graphic design. I wanted to show how full saturation of the colors can look pretty intense—however, move a few steps up the color sample and unlikely colors can really work together.  I had my living room painted a few years ago and it was sooooo wrong—it made me sick to my stomach.  Often with color it’s a process of elimination which is a pain, but when we get it right.  We know it’s right.

Is there a right amount of navel gazing?

I heard an interview with Jessica Lamb-Shapiro who wrote: “PROMISE LAND My Journey Through America’s Self-Help Culture” on NPR that re-aired recently and it really struck me that we spend so much time trying to figure ourselves out…is it working?  I don’t want to sound preachy.  I am very much all in with the personal discovery stuff.  ALL IN.  I have just decided to read fewer books of the self-help ilk and dive into more fiction and storytelling this year. Erica Jong’s “Fear of Flying” in on my bedside table right now. A great start to a year of fiction.

Slide1

Here’s the link to Jessica Lamb-Shapiro’s interview:

http://www.npr.org/2014/01/22/264878772/skeptic-takes-a-tour-of-self-helps-promise-land

promise-land_custom-ad9843baa2fb6644f8d91440a08d943da78603f4-s300-c85

In Jessica’s interview she quotes the philosopher Marcus Aurelius Roman Emperor and Philosopher as having as good of information as anyone about life.  I found this quote that really resonated me.

“You have power over your mind—not outside events.

Realize this, and you will find strength.”

—Marcus Aurelius

Trying to directly quote anyone based on 4th Century scholars has some challenges—these words are attributed to him anyway. Thank you Mr. Aurelius.

marcusaureliusbust