Jun 30, 2011

Wonderfully Worn, Beautifully Broken


These are some areas that I scouted and are using to shoot for a project. I will share details about that project in the near future, but for now, I wanted to share a few scouting shots with you...and a couple of my thoughts...

It continues to amaze me how such worn out, old, torn up areas that have been long abandoned, discarded, and ready to be bulldozed away for new, fresher, beginnings, remain so beautiful to me.

Scraps of a lives before me, hints of secrets, and stories told again and again. Snippets of stories scattered about in scraps, shreds, and shards. While many may see filth, I see fabulous. While many may see dirt, I see age. Others may see awful, I see awesome!

So, I have to then again(again!) ask myself why is it when I look in the mirror and find yet another wrinkle, another little spot, a little fold that wasn't there they day before (I think), why do I not see beauty? 

When I feel tired or feel like no matter how much I try, my days just don't go as planned, why can't I see past the dust of the day and see the beauty instead?

Sometimes...being on the inside, looking out, we might feel like how these room look, but then we have girlfriends who see us the way I view these beautiful rooms. Our girlfriends see us as impressive...pissy moods and all... 

And if it weren't for our girlfriends to remind us just how awesome we really are, then it would be so easy for us to just work ourselves into a frenzy when we find ourselves "in one of those moods" and never really see how the scraps of our secret lives, our piles of our past and present, and how our less than perfect paths, have led us to a very amazing life.

 Since I shoot only in natural light, I sometimes find myself "fighting the light" and the time. The clouds move over the sun, the days get shorter, and as the sun moves from east to west, I must move my work around the room. It gets hard.

But then, I realize when I stop "fighting" the light, but start working with the light, and accept that the sun will always move from east to west, the clouds will always come and go, and I will always have to move with it to get a good shot...then my attitude changes.

This is nothing new or a revelation. 

But having so many doors and walls...so many obstacles, it is a good reminder...

 What I once considered an obstacle, I  now use it as an advantage. A door makes a wonderful shadow for a shot. And a wall blocks glaring light. A bare window allows in more light while a corner only allows a mere stream. 
It all depends where I stand, how I look at it, and what I am willing to accept.

I am at my most happiest with my art at two moments: 1)when my writing has moved, touched or helped someone in some way. And 2), when I am alone with my camera, my thoughts, my props, and surrounded by beautiful natural light to create images that I KNOW can only come from God because I have never been formally trained. It is a connection that I will never be able to explain.

But since I have no doubt that in those moments, when I am trying to figure out how to shoot something, how to adjust my camera, how to get the light to work with me, it is then that suddenly, I know, I am not alone at all.

Many times, as I work alone with my creative juices flowing, I feel extremely grateful for the opportunities to use the talents that God has given for me. I have never understood why He gave me these talents but I do know He uses me. I don't use Him. It is His eye that sees what clicks through the lens. It is His will that pushes my finger and clicks the camera, because I have no training. I always wonder what He wants us to see. And I always wonder what I will see when I download His photos onto the computer.

Lately, I thought I would share what I think He wants us to see...I think He wants us to see that everything will be okay and He knows every detail of our lives and He cares very deeply about every detail. I think this because He captures every detail through my lens...down to the tiny specs on the dirty floor.

I have spent hours (days actually) in complete silence as I work in the heat and alone. When I get home and download the photos I see a common theme that I didn't see during the photo shoot itself.

Beautiful cracks.

Worn pieces.

Water-stained paper.

Much like how cruel life can be lately around us. Earthquakes, fires, floods, and even personal friends passing away lately. 

Cracks where we let something slip away...

Worn relationships that cause pain...

Water-stained hearts with tears....

And yet, through all that life can toss out at us, we manage to piece back together our lives. 

And even with the peeling paint, the bit of dirt, and the glued crack, I still stop in my tracks, and admire the beauty of this simple cup. 

That is the miracle of living with God. He never gives up on us and He never gives up on providing beauty in all situations, no matter how ugly it may seem at the time.

This discarded cup on a filthy windowsill with peeling paint is probably one of my favorite photographs I have taken. It wasn't photographed in an elegant location like France, and it isn't valuable by any means. But it is fragile, made of china, and was pieced together by someone who found it worthwhile. Someone found it worthwhile to piece it back together. You are worthwhile...your life is worthwhile. God wants to show you the beauty in your life...especially when it isn't going so well, when life can get ugly...

And I think, I am pretty sure, that God is trying to tell me lately, that life is fragile, beautiful, and worthwhile piecing back together, no matter how banged up it may get. And He(God) will be there to help us see the beauty in it along the way.

I just wanted to share some of my thoughts these past weeks I have had while spending many hours alone with my camera and with the Original Creator. It is so worth my time to spend it with Him... He just amazes me with all the beauty He continues to show me through my lens.

from my house to your house,


Jun 23, 2011

Amazingly Simple

I know I don't have to ask you if you ever found yourself just running and your list of projects just keep growing. That is part of our blog world, I believe. And sometimes, I think when we visit each other, we not only get validation that we are not the only ones that are running around with our heads cut off by reading each others' blogs...but then guess what happens? 

We get even more inspired and motivated by reading each other blogs and just keep adding to our already long list of projects! It is sort of like going to a yard sale and seeing everyone else's junk all over the yard and sighing a sigh of relief that you aren't the only one with so much crap in your basement, and as you sigh, you are buying up more crap from the yard sale! But of course, we tell ourselves,  this isn't crap...it is going to be useful for that project "someday." But who cares? It is recycling! And someone gets to make a buck, and we have fun while buying crap...ahem...recycling. 

See that bowl of string? I just snapped that photo quickly today and downloaded it about 10PM, I think. I am in the middle of about seven, yes, SEVEN projects that all came at once and with short deadlines. And I pushed aside some string and this bowl and tossed them inside to get them out of the way, and I shot it quickly just to test some light and my white balance before I began shooting a project (which has nothing to do with the bowl of string). I forgot I even shot this photo until I just now downloaded the photos and saw it. 

As I looked at the photo of piled up string, some of it tangled, I realized just how pooped I am and how much I feel like that bowl of string right now. Don't get me wrong...I am very happy with all my projects and when I get a breather I will share and in a moment, I will quickly show a little of what I have been up to in the recent past that I haven't even had time to share yet - and those aren't even part of the current seven projects. 

But back to the string. As most of you know by now, I love string, yarn, paper, burlap and textiles. But I believe a bowl of string is just about as lovely as it can get, no matter how tattered or how neatly it looks. String has so many uses and yet, it is so basic. And when piled together, for some reason, it looks amazing. It is amazingly simple. 

And that is how life can be at times: Amazingly simple. 

Sometimes, I have a way of just getting in my own way. I get all excited and happy, and then worried how am I ever going to do it all or get it all done. And yet, for years and years, I have done it, have done it well, and loved it. So, why do I continue to worry when life has a way of piling things up all at once now and again? I wish I could space out nicely all the wonderful projects and line them up only one a month, but life doesn't work that way in this field. Feast and famine at times. And sometimes, (rarely) it can be steady. 

But, every single time, it works out. And every single time, life turns out to be amazingly simple. And I am always amazed by it. And amazed by Jesus, who is always there to untangle everything for me and how God continues to give me challenges (even if all at once at times)and shows me how amazing life is and how simple it can be, even in the most complicated of times.

So, I am going to try to hunt down a few pics on my computer to show you quickly what I have been up to, and will explain it all later...I have a very early morning tomorrow and lots of work. I will tell you that I am very busy doing a lot of shooting, writing, cooking, traveling, designing for clients, and painting. I have some big travel plans in the future that I am VERY excited tell you about and I am in the middle of a living room make-over that I am just not having any time to do....you know the saying...the cobbler's kids have no shoes...

Until next time, I am wishing you all a very amazingly simple summer!

Sorry friends...I am pooped, so the photos are simple and small...with little explanations - until next time!

Colors for our living room....
Working in PJ's today....what am I doing now??

What am I up to here????

Don't even try to guess....

Yes! I have a studio!  Temp for now, but it is a working studio that I  haven't spent a lot of time in, but will soon!

My studio in the making....

Painting/sanding a kitchen...in my studio!

My tool room

Kitchen before...

You will have to wait until I get a moment to hunt down the after photos! Ahhhh! I can't find them on this computer and they must be on my file card still and I am too pooped to download them. Sorry!  But it turned out great - the client loved it.  I know, I know, very lame...no pics.

More photos and words next time...or maybe less words, and more photos?

from my house to your house,

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