30 October 2011

During & After The Snowtober Nor'easter

29 October 2011:  A Nor'easter dumped inches of heavy, wet snow on us.
Trees (already heavy with leaves that had not yet been shed) cracked and lost limbs.  The sounds of cracking branches, police and fire sirens and gusty winds could be heard throughout the darkness created by power outages all night long.  With all Saturday night plans foiled by hazardous driving, a lack of electricity keeping the furnace from lighting and any creative efforts stalled by a lack of available light, I tucked myself into bed relatively early. 

On Sunday Morning, with power restored, furnace fully engaged and bright sunlight illuminating everything, the post-storm scene was considerably warmer and more beautiful (to my eyes anyway)...

ABOVE: Behind my house at 9 AM.
BELOW: Lyons VA Hospital Golf Course at 11 AM.

ABOVE & BELOW: Checking in on Mom & Dad (who were without power for a while).

28 October 2011

Nineteen Little Pictures (And The BIG Picture)

Several days in the life of my iPhone... Images filtered with PhotoStudio and Instagram.

Been a bit quiet as of late, but mostly putting up some archived drafts from the past few weeks with a nod here and there to current events and seemingly abrupt (but necessary) life shifts.

I've been figuring some things out and getting back to me, mostly... Getting centered and examining the things that are important, the pieces that were missing, broken or misplaced in the shuffle of the last few years and getting real about what I need to do to complete the picture of my life as I plan to live, celebrate and share it.

I've had excellent guidance from family, friends (as well as from prayer) and have had much to consider, reflect upon, forgive, forget, remember and carry as lessons in what a very knowledgable author once called "Life School".  That said, I know that we can't look to others to heal us and answer all of our questions.  We have to decide to heal ourselves and can only work with those we know and trust.  In that, we must accept the counsel of those who can see through us and even tell us things we oftentimes don't want to hear (but know is true).  I'm extremely blessed that such folks have seemed to arrive (as if on cue) at the precise moment when I've needed to share difficult feelings, accept difficult realities and test my own motives, desires and courage when making (and living with) decisions that affect not only myself, but others.  I've also been given (and sit with) the knowledge that any new blessings that come my way will be a direct result of my being ready to identify and receive them with an open heart, a patient hand and a peaceful mind.

What I've gained from this time (so far) is this:  I'm a bold, creative spirit with much to share and I need to surround myself with people who appreciate that and plan to share their unique creativity (whatever it entails) with me.  I've learned (both from others and within myself) that I have grown tremendously over the past few years and deserve to be acknowledged by those who recognize that and continue to help me to grow (as I will surely help them).  I've come to see more and more evidence of how deeply loved I am by my family and and a diverse tapestry of trusted friends.  I've also learned that I deserve to be surrounded by those who want to be welcomed into that fold while equally sharing their own family and friends with me.  I've learned the power of my thoughts, words and actions and I see that I need to continue to surround myself with people who understand (and respect) the same properties in themselves.  Most importantly, I've learned that my heart is truly sacred and that I deserve to share it with those who only seek to share themselves with me in an equally honest, kind, loving, respectful and generous way.

Oh... and yes, I am working on sketches for new paintings.
In addition, there will be more vintage fun, cultural archaeology and creative photography soon.
Watch this space.  Don't worry... I won't disappoint any of you guys.  I got this.

24 October 2011

1960s Vinyl: Valley Of The (Singing) Dolls

Three recent flea market finds from the 1960s: 
Two LPs accredited to the Heidi Doll and one to the Tammy Doll.  
Interesting pieces of early character marketing and cross-promotion.
I bet a lot of little girls (and a few conflicted boys) just ate this up.

23 October 2011

Triptych: Violet Blue Violet

Sunday Afternoon:  At work on a few creative items.  Reflecting upon the last few weeks. 

Walking outside, I looked to a tree near my home that I've been watching for years.  
Though the tree's lifespan for leaves is long gone, the thick, florid ivy always finds its way up its trunk.  Almost never without leafy protection and never fully unfrocked, year after year the ivy that coils its way up the tall, sculptural form is among the last of the greenery to fall away.  

Even when mostly bare, this tree is never spooky, foreboding or any kind of threat.  It merely gestures upward and outward in all directions.  Thin, spiral tendrils for next year's intrusive ivy crawl are its costume all winter long.  The tree, with attendant finery, performs dances in the wind and proudly peacocks its skeletal being against the backdrop of any sky it finds itself in front of.  Whatever life the tree itself could no longer generate, nature found a way to supply from another source.  

What strikes me here is the knowledge that sometimes a thing that was once natural, functioning and beautiful in and of itself must know when to let its own leaves fall away.  In this, an opening is made for an even more perfect and authentic beauty to take shape.  It's a very comforting thought to send me into the future with clarity, trust in my own feelings and with much less fear.  Though difficult at times and frightening at others, I feel rewarded by even the toughest decisions and biggest upheavals when I know I have my own truth, the support of close loved ones and the counsel of those with my best interests behind me.  If the best possible outcome is in my heart and the deepest truth is the way to reach it, I'm learning that I need not fear, but only act with care and integrity.  Thanks to all of you who've continually reminded me of this... then, now and always.  Off we go, friends.  Off we go.  ONWARD!

22 October 2011

Excellent October Fun With Kristen's Family

Celebrating my friend Kristen's daughter Avery's first birthday (with EVERYONE'S friend Steve).
I'm still not sure who had more fun with the animals and facepaint: the adults or the kids.
Regardless, smiles and laughter were rampant and the hot dogs and cupcakes were amazing.
Many thanks to the Pollara family for opening their beautiful home and yard to all of us.