Thank you VIDA


This morning in my Instagram feed was a post from VIDA and the model was wearing my scarf. It’s one of my favorite South Dakota two-lane images.  There may be an algorithm that puts the designer’s image in their feed.  I don’t know.  It was pretty cool anyway. 

This design is titled “finding your way home“.  Conceptually this is something I believe we spend a lifetime doing, sometimes literally…often metaphorically…always worth the emotional effort.  

What story are you willing to let go of to have a future unlike your past? 

VIDA link to purchase

my creative life July-December 2016

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.

Here’s to all the things I didn’t get done for Christmas…

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Every year I have such grand intentions of how I’m going to show my love to my family and friends and every year I fall a short of my intentions and beat myself up a bit.  I’m no longer going to miss out on the little moments of the season because of things I DIDN’T GET DONE.  That’s bullshit.

This year, I’m forgiving, no celebrating myself for all of the great ideas I’ve had and didn’t accomplish.  It’s those little moments with our loved ones, people in line at the coffee shop, grocery store or our bartenders for that matter that make the holiday special anyway.  I’m going to be jolly and generous like Santa out in the world, that just sounds fun, right?

things-done

So now it’s December 19th and I’m putting one package in the mail for a very special little girl who will more thrilled than anyone on my list to receive a package.   I will tell the people in my life I love them and not think twice about what I didn’t get done.  Tonight, a Christmas lights drive with my family and spaghetti at our favorite family joint.

Have a very Merry Christmas and be ridiculously kind to yourself this year.

when wanderlust whispers…

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bridging my adult life & my roots

I’m heading back out to South Dakota next week.  My longing for the prairie now is unprecedented in my adult life.  Artist Elizabeth Bunsen and I have been talking a lot about the nature of how much the landscape of our childhoods affects our adult lives.  This pull is now greatly affecting my need for spaciousness, quiet, connection, being available to aging parents and looking at a few years down the road with children in college and an empty nest.

I’ve layered my photos of South Dakota with some of my paintings. These images serve as a bridge between my 26 year creative life in Vermont and my South Dakota roots.  You can take the girl out of West River, but you can’t take the West River out of the girl.

I would love to hear how the landscape of your childhood has had an affect on your life.  I’m really curious about this concept and hope to be doing some interviews and writing on the topic.

P.S. For you Burke area residents.  I would love to shoot some abandoned farmhouses while I’m home the 20th-22nd.  If you have some locations please email me or let my family know locations.  Thank you.  Maybe I’ll see you around town or in Stella’s.

 

prairie stories.

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.

burke south dakota sunrise main street lillibridge

burke south dakota in the rear view mirror lillibridge

The prairie is pulling me now.

I’m working on a collaborative project with Nebraska native native artist Elizabeth Bunsen who also lives in Vermont.  I’m reading South Dakota history, looking at old photographs and accessing the recesses of my memory for the stories, objects and images that trigger my creativity.

I have to tell you that this South Dakota girl who is turning 50 years old in October is longing for the prairie.  It isn’t a big mystery to me why this is happening.  I’m just exploring what’s organically coming up and seeing where the pull leads me. I’m pretty sure Elizabeth’s inner Nebraska is tugging at her too.

Elizabeth Bunsen FACEBOOK

Here’s a couple of quick sketches that I played with in Illustrator this morning.  I painted with coffee which is greatly influenced by Elizabeth’s work and layered with my photographs.

P.S. Hey, when the ground thaws if anyone would consider sending me some South Dakota dirt I would greatly appreciate it.  Not much, just a small container or quart sized bag would do just fine.  Thanks.  I’ll send you a print or something in kind.

Lisa

south dakota road sketch lisa lillibridge

layered coffee road sketch lillibridge