new handbag in my VIDA collection

https://shopvida.com/collections/voices/lisa-lillibridge

VIDA handbag Lisa Lillibridge

“Enjoy the journey of life and not just the endgame.”

—Benedict Cumberbatch (my hero/Sherlock Holmes on BBC series)

The prairie has a lot to say.

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.

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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?

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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.

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vermont-lillibridgeThis 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.
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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.

a subtle shift in perspective…

What we focus on can give us more clarity OR get us to hyper-focused, losing sight of the big picture. For me, I think this is a crucial distinction to understand right now. Take a look at the very subtle differences in the photos.  I focus on the fungus in front and the whole picture shifts.  I focus on the fungus in the back and everything changes…even the light a little bit.  Perspective.

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I feel this shift a lot when parenting teenagers.  What do I need to pay attention to right now?  Should I use a different lens here?  Why am I so focused on this right now?  Should I take a broader look OR get in there and really explore one singular issue, letting other things fall out of focus?

These are really hard questions for me to manage in a split second.  However, as a very visual learner, a subtle shift in perspective made more sense to me when I thought about it in terms of photography.  What we focus on grows and sometimes we need a ridiculously wide lens and sometimes we have to hyper-focus.

I chose to focus on these mushrooms and not focus on other thins for a few minutes.  Aren’t they magnificent? 

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different perspectives

I snapped this photo watching “Better Call Saul” the other night.  Our beloved cat, Ms. Karen Lillibridge Govoni is hanging with my husband, Jeff.  When I looked at all of the textures in this image it looked like a renaissance portrait to me.

Rembrandt_Harmensz._van_Rijn_-_Selfportrait_-_Google_Art_Project    lillibridge karen govoni shot portrait

I liked how it was so layered—Karen’s paw hanging, Jeff’s stripey socks, my crow painting, the $10/10-year-old blanket from the airport in Vegas, the industrial lamp and the stack of books (Willa Cather’s My Antonia is the white jacket in the middle).  I took this on my iphone 5S. My family has new iphones and I don’t.  I’m not too bitter about giving up my upgrade, that’s what Moms do, right?  I think I only have to wait until 2019.

When I started playing with this photo in Adobe illustrator I wished that I could shift perspectives on how I see things in the world as easily as I can manipulate them by using design software.

Here’s to new perspectives, folks. 

However you can manifest them in your world.

This is the original shot.

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karen lillibridge govoni in black and white crayonkaren lillibridge govoni portrait watercolor

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karen lillibridge govoni textured image

karen lillibridge govoni note paper treatment

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Ponca Creek Cattle Company-part two

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Aunt Cindy knew that I would want to shoot things that most people wouldn’t be too interesting in.  I love shooting metal and shadows.  I could’ve used more time actually.  I will be back, there’s a lot more to explore.  Part three next week.

New York City—October 2015

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Growing up in South Dakota, New York City seemed like going to the moon.  I’m wowed every time.  It’s always those little moments that stay with me.  I don’t want to live there, but I sure LOVE three days.