I found this Main Street photo of my hometown in Burke, South Dakota. I wanted to create a parallel universe of sorts, playing with the way our memories fade and shift.
This photo was taken way before my time. However, because of family stories and photographs, it’s somehow familiar to me…even with a vintage wallpaper sky and a black and white tiled road. I didn’t get too far in my cleaning and sorting project. Oh well, the mess will still be there tomorrow.
I’m taking my daughters and a friend to a benefit for the Vermont Women’s Fund tonight. We are viewing the film Dream, Girlabout women in entrepreneurship. Then we get the privilege of a Q & A with some bold, female leaders in our community.
I created these images today. I’m beyond compulsive about my South Dakota two-lane images. I’m all for a good creative obsession if it isn’t hurting anyone else. Here’s the Dorthea Lange quote I love. I wasn’t kidding.
“Pick a theme and work it to exhaustion… the subject must be something you truly love or truly hate.”—Dorthea Lange
Today as I searched through my images I kept noticing shots with girls & women and shoes & boots…four of my favorites subjects. All of these girls and women possess character, strength and a certain moxie.
When I read through these traits I was struck by a few things.
1. I’m so grateful to know that a fixed mindset doesn’t have to remain FIXED. Think about it? FIXED means unchangeable. WHO POSSIBLY WANTS TO HAVE A BRAIN THAT IS UNCHANGEABLE?
2. I get really tired of people throwing up their hands and saying, “that’s just the way I am, the way I learn, talk and so on…so get used to it”. No. I won’t, because it’s untrue. However, this statement is—we have to believe that change is possible or real growth is way less likelyto occur.
Neuroplasticity allows our brains to create new pathways by doing things differently. It isn’t simple, I understand. However, the good news is that meaningful change in our lives is BOTH very difficult AND very possible. One of the growth mindset traits: sees effort as necessary.
“Neuroplasticity refers to the potential that the brain has to reorganize by creating new neural pathways to adapt, as it needs.” —http://www.whatisneuroplasticity.com/
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.
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.
I want to make prints of favorite things and then have fabric printed to create something. This is a quick stab at a print. My cowboy boots. Town Neck Beach. Travel (Italy). Coffee.
There are so many other images to play with. The road. Truck stop cherry pie. Flowers. Family. Pickup trucks. Rain. Books. Art. Tacos. Television. Friends…on and on. Send me a few of your favorite images and I might just make something from your photos. You just never know.
I shot this photo of the bracelets at Champlain Leather in Burlington, Vermont yesterday. For some reason after I downloaded the photo I kept thinking about the image and I kept seeing the photo (in my mind’s eye) turning into something else. Well, at midnight I finally got the chance to see create what I was seeing in my head. Funny, how a rather ordinary picture of leather bracelets can end up looking like an art deco print. I love what the American filmmaker Jim Jarmusch says that French-Swiss filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard said, “It’s not where you take things from – it’s where you take them to.” Ain’t that the truth.
Here is the Jim Jarmusch quote in its entirety.
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.”
Last week for Mother’s Day I was given this beautiful bouquet of lillies. They have filled our home with their scent and have looked beautiful on the kitchen bar. For a moment, this morning I felt sad when I saw that they were fading and then I looked closer. They are actually pretty gorgeous in this state, but I think everything is more beautiful this way. I took the vase and flowers out into the garden and shot some photos. By playing with them in illustrator I can see them differently in a very graphic designy way. Here are a few of the things i came up with. I hope you like the images. Happy Saturday!
This is a photo I took a few years ago in Paris, ah Paris. I am waiting for some paint to dry so thought I would play with the image a bit…oh illustrator, let me count the ways. Have a great weekend wherever your wanderings take you.