San Francisco, California
Pickstown, South Dakota
Los Angeles, California
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.
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.
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.
The Cliffs of Moher in County Clare, Ireland are on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way. Isn’t that an awesome name for a dramatic shore drive…Wild Atlantic Way? The Cliffs of Moher are 320 million years old. They have been used in films such as Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Father Ted and The Princess Bride. The trails on the Cliffs of Moher are part of network that enables walkers to walk town to town. Inn to Inn.
My husband and I got to see them from the ferry returning from Inisheer (part of the Aran Islands) as well. However, with huge sea swells we were too busy losing our “Full Irish Breakfast” into the sea to take in the beauty all around us. It’s a good thing we spent time walking the Cliffs the day prior. It will be a while before I’ll get in a boat with swells like that again. I’m always glad to have the story though.
I have such a strong connection to images of the road. They truly inspire me. These photos represent a journey, freedom, possibilities and being out of routine. Those are all such good things in my estimation. I’m trying to organize my photos in a way that creates a few “chapters” of my recent trip to Ireland. What an astoundingly beautiful country and such remarkably warm and wonderful people. If you’ve never been, start dreaming about some travel.
I hope you enjoy Ireland 2016—part one.