is a picture always worth…

a thousand words?  Or do the stories we hold onto shape the narrative a lot more?  My Mom always told me that as a newborn I possessed a striking resemblance to Winston Churchill.  I can’t tell from the photo and I don’t actually really care.  I find it funny.  However, I’ve always held it to be the absolute gospel truth.

What other stories of greater consequence have I never questioned that I was told as a child?  

 

tall tales of cowgirls & cowboys

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These are images I created from my photographs one night this week when the house was quiet and I stayed up late.  The cowboys are from photographs I shot at the Burke Stampede Rodeo in Burke, South Dakota.  The boots are mine.  The railroad shot was taken in Sandwich, Massachusetts. The Chevy truck I shot in New Orleans.

a south dakota road trip in leather

I made this bag for a group show opening this Friday night at SEABA (South End Arts and Business Association) in Burlington, Vermont.  I like the idea of this piece being usable…although it has a few structural challenges for heavy use.  I’ll get it right next time…oh, how I love the process of trying to get it right.

IMG_5998_2_3_4_4I used the road image I love to work with for my muse.  You might be tired of all the ways I’ve played with this image…sorry, I’m not nearly done yet.  Too me this photo represents what I’ve always loved.  Independence.  Adventure.  Spaciousness.  Freedom.  As well as beef jerky, bad road coffee, Hostess® products, potato chips, loud music and infinite possibilities.

When I finished this bag I had a strange thought—I wished that Calamity Jane and/or Frida Kahlo had bequeathed it to me.  The road is always an inspiration to me and so are those two bad ass women.

I used a bit of ecodyed organza from Elizabeth Bunsen on the bottom to lend some contrast.  I love the lightness of the fabric with the leather and heavy stitching.

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coffee & late night road trips

Late night road trips and learning to drink coffee in my Grandmother’s kitchen are a few of my favorite memories.  I’m 49-years-old and I’m pretty sure there are a few trips during high school and college I’ve selectively forgotten to tell my folks about.  It’s a damn good thing I learned to love coffee though—it’s kept me alert and safe on the road for a very long time. Grandma would be proud of that.  She always was such a worrier.

coffee spill south dakota two lane lillibridge

Elvis, Palm Springs & a Rabbi

elvis as patron saint of the road

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The road photo was taken on I10 between Phoenix and Palm Springs on a trip for my son’s 15th birthday.

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This bust of Elvis, a gift from my friend, Funky Frank serves as a talisman of sorts in my studio.

I woke up thinking about the joys of hitting the road. I started looking through my photos and these two jumped out at me. Somehow the bust of Elvis serving as some sort of talisman on a journey seemed really funny to me. You know on long trips how themes emerge when you’re traveling alone or with others and that one thing becomes the guiding principle of the trip? Well, three years ago a remarkable thing happened on a trip with my son.

On that 15th birthday trip there was a street fair in Palm Springs and one of the opportunities was to “Ask a Rabbi” so we did. I asked, “Rabbi, my son is turning 15 tomorrow what advice would you give him?” His answer: “Use your intellect to make your choices and your heart to give them depth.” WHAT BETTER ADVICE COULD EVER BE OFFERED TO ANYONE? I’ve come to think that “follow your heart” is bullshit. This is much better advice. A discussion about this comment became the guiding principle for our trip back to Phoenix. I let my intellect decide that my son who did not yet have his driver’s permit should get to drive through Joshua Tree National Park and let my heart beating rapidly as he approached some curves too fast give that experience some depth. Thank you Palm Springs Street Fair Rabbi.