Talia ~ Hamlen Woods

spring bouquet

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windblown

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white flower crown

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I recently had the opportunity to take part in a stylized fashion shoot along with the very talented photographer, Carol MacGregor of Happy Gatherings Photography. While I’m not really interested in formal portrait work, the idea of a casual shoot in the woods on a beautiful day was something I couldn’t resist. And to be able to learn from Carol, there was no way I would pass this up! I discovered that this type of shoot is not unlike still life photography..choosing a theme, gathering props, finding just the right spot with beautiful light. We worked together, posting ideas on a shared Pinterest board and took it from there. The theme we came up with was “woodsy, dreamy, flower child”.  How lucky we were to find the perfect model in my niece, Talia…lovely and sweet and a real trooper as we shot her for over two hours that day! It certainly makes a difference when you love the model you are capturing. I have so much yet to learn, I’m very grateful to have Carol as a mentor and I look forward to working with her again.

The beautiful floral crowns were made by Petal Pushers Floral Studio
Vintage dress from Still Life Home Consignment

And please hop on over to Happy Gatherings Photography to view all of  Carol’s gorgeous professional images..you will be blown away!

precious threads

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“If we were always conscious of the fact that people precious to us are frighteningly mortal, hanging not even by a thread, but by a wisp of gossamer, perhaps we would be kinder to them and more grateful for the love and friendship they give to us.”
– Dean Koontz

Been thinking a lot lately about friendship and connections, both here at home and those relationships formed through social media outlets such as blog sites, Facebook, and even Flickr. Thankful for such a wonderful network of like-minded, supportive and inspirational souls from all parts of the world.

All the more thankful when I actually get to meet an online friend or two in person. I’ve been fortunate to meet a few of these people and each time it felt like we had known each other for years.

Just recently, my husband and I met the photographer extraordinaire, Joe Giordano (Monochromia) and his lovely wife Terry in Boston for a wonderful dinner in the North End. We had a great time and are hoping to get together again this fall in NYC.

A few weeks prior to our meeting, I had an interview with Joe.. a little chat about photography mostly, with a few revealing facts about me

You can read it HERE.

Next weekend, I am meeting a couple of WordPress friends for Sunday morning coffee and a walk around historic Concord, MA

Another marvelous perk to photography, the networking and connections you make along the way…the threads that bind us, so to speak.

Have you ever had the opportunity to get together with a fellow blogger or social media friend?  I’d be curious to hear what your experience was like.

Lots of wishes for a happy weekend!

inspiration

Every year at this time, I find myself in need of inspiration
I usually pour through art books but after being so cooped up this winter
I decided get out and head to the nearest art museum.

looking

It was a quiet Sunday afternoon and the museum had only a handful of visitors
So nice to be able to linger and take my time. For the first time, I began to notice not only the beautiful artwork but how each room was arranged.

As I wandered, I started looking from many different perspectives

come sit

A lonely chair beckoned to be sat on
while eyes watched every move from the wall

girls

As I moved around the Modern Art wing, I was struck by the juxtaposition of each work. From one perspective, I saw Kiki Smith’s ceramic statue, Girl with Blue Dress, with what could be a later version of herself in the Alex Katz portrait, Ada with Sunglasses.

As I viewed this young girl from behind, I saw innocence in the face of violence (The Hull, an oil painting by Hyman Bloom).  Striking, disturbing and evocative.

on innocent eyes

There were many other instances like this as I moved through each room in the museum.  It fascinated me and left me wondering how I never noticed this before.

 

Before I left, I came across a still life painting by a little known American artist, John Frederick Peto, appropriately titled Still Life with Books. This intrigued me, not only because I love old books but because of the unique way they were arranged on the edge of a table. Something so simple yet it stirred some feeling of nostalgia in me.

When I returned home, I gathered some of my favorite old books, placed them on my mother’s old antique table and had fun attempting to recreate this painting with my camera.

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old books, old friends

Peto was apparently a master of trompe l’oeil, arranging the subject matter in a shallow space using shadow to suggest depth. It took me many tries to get the right amount of light and shadow in my image. With this painting technique, objects were rarely cut off the edge of a painting but I obviously cut the books off in the right hand corner. All in all, it was a fun experiment and I enjoyed trying something new.

Turned out to be an inspiring day in many different ways.  Just what the doctor ordered.

Tell me, do you ever feel a strong need to create something?

What inspires your work?

Are there times you feel the need to break away from the norm?

I would be interested to hear your thoughts.

(Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, Massachusetts)

around the kitchen table

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blue morning

pumpkin donut muffins

Perhaps the World Ends Here
~ Joy Harjo

The world begins at a kitchen table. No matter what, we must eat to live.
The gifts of earth are brought and prepared, set on the table. So it has been since creation, and it will go on.
We chase chickens or dogs away from it. Babies teethe at the corners. They scrape their knees under it.
It is here that children are given instructions on what it means to be human. We make men at it, we make women.
At this table we gossip, recall enemies and the ghosts of lovers.
Our dreams drink coffee with us as they put their arms around our children. They laugh with us at our poor falling-down selves and as we put ourselves back together once again at the table.
This table has been a house in the rain, an umbrella in the sun.
Wars have begun and ended at this table. It is a place to hide in the shadow of terror. A place to celebrate the terrible victory.
We have given birth on this table, and have prepared our parents for burial here.
At this table we sing with joy, with sorrow. We pray of suffering and remorse. We give thanks.
Perhaps the world will end at the kitchen table, while we are laughing and crying, eating of the last sweet bite.

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This poem really got me thinking just how much life goes on around a kitchen table…some of my fondest memories growing up in my parent’s kitchen and now here in my own home. I’ve been trying to think of a photo project to work on this year and I think this just may be it – “Around the Kitchen Table” With fall coming on and the days getting shorter (and colder), I think this could be fun.

And another photo project just came my way over the weekend. I’ve been invited to be a regular contributor on one of my favorite photography sites – MONOCHROMIA. I’m very excited to be part of this fantastic team of photographers and look forward to learning a lot from them. I will be posting over there every Sunday and I hope you will stop by and say hello!

And lastly, if you would like the recipe for the delicious Pumpkin Donut Muffins here on my kitchen table, click HERE

under glass

blossoms on ice

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I’ll take mine on the rocks, please…

playing with a new technique
interesting to see the changes in color and light
as the ice slowly melts

just as the spring thaw is pretty much complete
here in New England

Wishing you all a sparkling weekend, my friends!