to imagine a world filled with wonder…this requires some effort, especially when the world doesn’t seem so “wonderfilled” to me right now.
WONDER/noun: a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable…
Ooh, this definition gives me chills.
Ummm, let’s see…do I want to listen to the news all day, filling myself up with stories that make me feel fearful and angry—OR, do I want to do a little “wonder seeking” that could lead to something interesting that fuels me creatively?
If what we think about grows…
Today, my musings lead me to imagine my daughter, Willa swimming in a tower I photographed by the airport in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. This image made me think about other possibilities of where else she might be swimming and that cracked me up…many more images to come, I’m sure.
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, Girl about 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.
Here’s the trailer. You can do a screening in your area. http://dreamgirlfilm.com/
Above is my original painting. It was in a show at a restaurant that used to be downtown Burlington, Smokejacks. The light was low so I designed this series to show up in the soft light. This piece also was also in a show at the Herrick Elevator in South Dakota.
I thought I could stretch the life of this painting by playing with it and layering the moon. The farmhouse and flora in these images are photographs I shot around Burke, South Dakota. I guess as the snow falls in Vermont I’m dreaming of a quiet and spacious rural landscape.
The photograph of HWY 18, a South Dakota two-lane hasn’t let me go yet. My apologies if you’ve had enough. Actually, not really. I write and create art for me and my hope is that something I write maybe resonates for you too. If not, well, that’s OK.
I created this series while thinking that the imagery of the road is both going AWAY from somewhere and TOWARD someplace else. For the early part of my life the road represented away from someplace and now it’s shifting. This image is my childhood home in Burke, South Dakota.
When I started working on these images I was trying to tell a lot of different stories. Why kids leave small towns. Why they should go back (I’ll still write about that). Why I left South Dakota. Why, at fifty-years-old, I would now consider going back to South Dakota. How small towns or wherever our upbringing was shaped us as adults. I’ve created so many images all telling different stories. I had to narrow my message. So, I decided to get more personal and less about rural development.
I’ve lived in Vermont since New Year’s Day 1990. I moved to Burlington with a friend, Melissa from my Sioux Falls College days. Three weeks later I met my husband, Jeff. Now, almost twenty-seven years later I’m deeply rooted here in New England. I never expected to be here this long. If had put a limit on my time in Vermont, well, it wouldn’t have worked. I was in love and adaptable. Isn’t life wonderfully unpredictable?
I understand the rhythms of the sea, and yet…South Dakota just won’t let me go. The ocean and its vastness gently reminds me of the expanse of the prairie.
I’m longing for spaciousness, freedom and simplicity. I crave all of this more now in middle age. As the poet e. e. cummings wrote, “it takes courage to grow up and become who you really are”. I had to allow myself to get quiet enough to listen to my inner voice. As a younger partner, mother and artist, I wasn’t such a good listener. I’m grateful the prairie won’t let me go now, she clearly has a lot to say lately and I’m listening.
This image is the backyard of my home in Burlington, Vermont. We’ve lived in this house since August 1991. It holds many memories and has been through numerous renovations. I love the house, but I’m restless. I desire some change.
This piece is layered with one of my paintings. My need for change isn’t always easy on my family. I’m trying to be more understanding about how they feel. They are trying to do the same. Inevitably though, things will change and we will all adapt just fine. I know that my work is to keep listening and trying to understand what messages I’m receiving.