Proof of Life

Having lost both my mother and husband in recent times, I’ll add that I REALLY wish I had more pictures that I am in with them. I am usually behind the camera and have never liked having my picture taken. Now that they are gone, I wish I had done it differently. I have been trying to make sure that I am in more photos with Casey since mom died, but I have about 5 pictures total that I am in with Al. and that hurts my heart. When I look at pictures of my mom, I don’t see what she looked like, I see what she felt like. and that there is proof that she was here and we were with her in this life.
get yourself in front of the camera with your loved ones.

Driving Under The Influence

The prompt from WordPress today is this:

Is there a painting or sculpture you’re drawn to? What does it say to you? Describe the experience. (Or, if art doesn’t speak to you, tell us why.)

Photographers, artists, poets: show us ART. 

So, here’s what I think about the artist’s eye.

I’m always surprised and a little saddened when I hear someone say that they aren’t an artist or don’t “get it.”  I suppose it’s at least in part because I have trouble imagining being any other way. I am hardwired to see patterns, light, shadow, colors and other arty terms almost before I see actual objects.



Each art class that I have taken has polished and refined that quality, but it really was already there. So when someone claims they don’t have that, I vacillate between disbelief that it’s even possible and curiosity at what that might be like. But I mostly come down on the side of disbelief or, at least, skepticism.

Because I don’t believe I’ve ever met a child that wasn’t an artist, that didn’t possess the “artist’s eye.”

As those children get older they enter the “critic’s eye.” Someone will tell them that the thing that they are painting or drawing doesn’t look like the thing it is supposed to be. AS IF THAT SOMEHOW IS IMPORTANT.

Gradually, that child will internalise that critic’s eye to the point where they believe it is theirs. They put away childish things and focus on artwork that skillfully recreates actual things*. Often to the detriment of their own vision.

I recently gave a short lesson to a class of 1st graders. It was about how to be an artist. We just did a short activity where we all had the same instructions (draw 4 straight lines, draw 3 circles, color in one circle. that sort of thing). At the end, even though we had the same instructions, every single one was different. This shows us that the artist and his decisions are the difference between art and, well, not-art.

Prior to my talk, I met with my friend (the teacher) to show her some projects and also loan her some books on art that I have. It was parent/teacher conference day and she was squeezing me in between two conferences. As I was zooming through my spiel, the next mom and kid showed up and watched what I was doing. I made the comment that every child is an artist. The mom said, “Yes. but are they good?”

Later, after the class activity, that same kid said something about his not being very good.

It was one of the saddest things I’ve ever heard. And something that no 6 year old should ever think, let alone say.

I tell you this because, to me, art and artist’s eye is like a muscle. If you don’t use it, it weakens. But you can strengthen it. It doesn’t leave. There are exercises you can do to bring it back to life.

I often ask people if they have a favorite color. Or a least favorite color. This is your art muscle showing itself in its small way.


DSCN9222So this is what I know about the artist’s eye:

You have one.

Don’t let anyone tell you different.

Even you.









*I love technically skilled artwork. I just think that it often gets too much attention in schools and young people’s education about art. There is plenty of room for every kind of art. Let’s try not to exclude whenever possible.

I am not fat. (Viewer discretion advised)

When I talk about my ADD I try to be careful to make the distinction that I have it, not that I AM it.  I’ve blogged about it before.  Someone posted on facebook recently a sentence that, after it had a little time to sink in, really made my stop and think. What they posted was:

Fine, I have fat, not I am fat.

At first I dismissed it a little. Yes, of course, that makes sense. So? But it refused to give up as easily as that and niggled around in my brain, tapping at neurons until I paid more attention to it. Right. Okay. Yes. It’s kind of obvious once you think about it, isn’t it? I have fat. It does not define me. As much as our thin obsessed society would like me to think otherwise, I am not fat. I have fat. I have fat on my body. Some of which, maybe even most, I’d like to take off of my body. I am working at doing so. But in the meantime I am resolved to love my body for the beauty that it holds now.


I have fat. That little word has no bearing on myself as a person. It has nothing to do with my heart, my soul, my sexiness, my womanliness, my abilities as a mother, as a spouse, or as an artist.


I think that our media and society has fetishized thinness to point where people have trouble believing that any variation is attractive at all. It’s hard to envision yourself as beautiful when society holds up a picture of what beauty is and you don’t match it. We have swallowed the line heard so often; that we ARE fat and that being fat is a failing. The truth is that having fat is not a failing. Even if you want to lose weight or fitten up, it is possible to love yourself and your body now. In fact, you must. The way you talk to yourself colors the entirety of your experience. If you are hateful toward your body it won’t work with you it will work against you. You need to love your body into a new shape.


I wonder if it would be easier to turn down a “fatty” dessert if you could just say, “No, thanks. I already have enough fat.” As opposed to drawing it in to the fatness that you ARE because you can’t separate yourself from your fat. Hard to say. But it’s sure as hell worth a try.



A funny thing happened yesterday. I was on Pinterest and ended up spending 15 or 20 minutes looking a a couple of boards in promotion of Curvy women. After just that little amount of time had a big effect on my perception of my own body.



Just that small amount of time looking a big beautiful women let me see in me some of the things that I considered beautiful about them. Imagine if that could happen all of the time. If women of every beauty type across the broad spectrum were regularly represented in mainstream media. If your culture said that you were beautiful, too.



It is hard to imagine it.

What if our young men saw that it was okay to find more than one type of woman attractive? What if it was not considered a fetish to be attracted to bigger people? What if we allowed people to love who they love without labels?

What if I told you you’re beautiful?

What if you knew it already because you didn’t have to fight so hard against society’s cookie cutter idea of beauty?

What if I am not fat? What if I have fat?

What if it doesn’t really matter that much if I do?

Sees the Day!

I was on Pinterest yesterday and came across some very cool macro images of eyes.  I was inspired to see if I could do that with my camera. I just have a little point and shoot, so it turns out I couldn’t quite get there. But I had fun trying and came up with some cool stuff anyway. I’ll say that it’s tricky to take a picture of your own eye.


Then I started playing 😀



I’ve been taking an History of Photography class. It’s been really cool because I love photography. I take pictures all of the time. And not just of the kid either. I was always kind of hard pressed to describe what type of pictures I take. I take a little bit of everything. Landscapes. Portraits. Fine Art. Mostly just things I like that have a cool shape or form or look interesting or funny.

Last week in class we learned about a type of photography that I’d never heard of: Street Photography. When the camera became more mobile, photographers did as well. They were interested in the truth of what was there. Not a lot of editing in the darkroom. The seeing is the thing. and not just on the Street. It can be anywhere, as long as you are looking around at what’s there and capturing it.

I am so happy to finally have a category! So I went right out the next day and took a gazillion more.

Here are a few:













Modern Landscapes

I take a lot of pictures. As it happens, I live in a picturesque place. Beautiful mountains are definitely camera and canvas fodder for any artist in the vicinity. Including me. But as I take all these pictures, I stumbled across an interesting idea, which I am probably going to develop into a series as I come across them. Here are a couple photos from my (soon to be) Modern Landscape Series:

The Three Sisters

Our landscape has seven major peaks in it’s skyline. Three of them are grouped together and known as the Three Sisters. This is a picture of them.

Dawn’s Early Light

Rise and Shine

The Remains of the Day

Day is Done

Photos of Phorms

or fotos of forms would work alternately, I suppose. here are a few pictures I’ve taken in the last while that mostly have to do with shape and form.






Macro Flowers

The tulips are kind enough to bloom every year with no help from me. That is my favorite thing about them. My second favorite thing is how beautiful they are. I was playing with the macro setting on my camera, trying to get a feel for it. Here are a few shots from that.











Self Portrait Saturday: Light Painting

So yesterday I was outside taking some pictures of my flowers. When I came in, already in a photography mindset, my computer was waiting with the screen saver on. I thought it looked cool so I snapped some pictures of it. Then I realized that I really needed to clean my computer screen!

After cleaning it, I went away until my screen saver came on again. Then I snapped some more pictures. I put my camera on continuous and went a little overboard. Seven hundred pictures later, I think I got some good ones. Of course, it’s extremely difficult to choose just a few out of that many. But I’ll do my best.

I like the rhythm and repetition of this one


Ouch! Get out of my nose!

Sometimes it seemed like it knew I was there.

This one looks/feels like a hug 🙂

Ha! You missed me!

Only a few more, I promise.

Just a gentle touch…

Say, “Cheeese!”

Well, I restrained myself and only posted 19.

This post is brought to you by the wonders of modern technology 😀

Shapes, Lines, and Forms

Some pictures









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