monday morning

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“Morning is an important time of day, because how you spend your morning can often tell you what kind of day you are going to have.”
~ Lemony Snicket

Talia ~ Hamlen Woods

spring bouquet

bouquet

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windblown

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talia h.-Untitled

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!

a breath of fresh air

fresh

“Set wide the window. Let me drink the day.”
~ Edith Wharton

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)

all the stories in between

the beginning is the word

“The beginning is the word and the end is silence. And in between are all the stories.”
~Kate Atkinson

while a few old hydrangea blossoms continue to hold on for dear life
tiny new buds are beginning to form

I am hopeful