Inspiration (or, lack thereof)

Standard

“Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.” ~  Ralph Waldo Emerson

DinerforBlog (1 of 1)

The last few months have seen a flurry of photo sessions of many flavors leaving little time to work on my blog or my art photography.  2014 was very good to me professionally, so, this is not a complaint.  I intended to take the month of January to get back to my blog and art, however, ended up taking on two projects that, once again, put everything back on the shelf.

I have been seeking inspiration and feeling the need for a new perspective.  A new path, if you will, for the next steps on my journey.  I thought my trip back to my hometown in the Ohio river valley would do the trick.  With railroad tracks on my mind, my goal was set – a cold, grey day on the old, rusty rails in my small town.  I envisioned capturing haunting images of the overgrowth and the deteriorating trestle over the little river.  The best laid plans.  The overgrown tracks were gone, apparently replaced long ago with a bike trail and the trestle most likely collapsed into the river long before the bike trail came to town.  I got one thing right, it was cold and grey.  My camera stayed snuggly in it’s bag, I didn’t venture out once, and somehow I caught flu.  I came home sick and uninspired.

Fast forward to yesterday.  With the hope of a new vision or direction still looking bleak, an artist friend and I went to visit some galleries in San Francisco in preparation of an Open Studio this spring that will feature her paintings and my photography.  First stop, an old coffee shop on the pier.  As I sat with my coffee looking out the window of the empty cafe, I felt the first hint of an inspirational wave approaching.  Before me, the perfect vision out of the dirty old window.  As if the Bay Bridge was painted on canvas.  Snap.  As we waited for the curator to welcome us to the gallery, I turned to take in the Bay between two old warehouses.  Below me, above the water of the Bay were the rusty, overgrown tracks of some railroad of long ago.  Built on a trestle, these tracks came out of nowhere below and reached into the Bay, disappearing into the grey morning fog.  This remarkable and eerily beautiful sight, presenting as if it was staged exclusively for me.  Perhaps it is true.  I am a child of the universe and the universe is unfolding as it should.  I didn’t need to travel 2,000 miles to find my inspiration, 20 miles was enough.  The universe conspired to make it happen.  Snap.

TracksforBlog2 (1 of 1)

Advertisements

Black and White

Standard

“No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist.” ~ Oscar Wilde

swamplagrange

My black and white work is what fulfills me the most as an artist.  I feel somewhat indifferent to how others view these photographs.  Black and white energizes me … touches my soul.  The same does not necessarily hold true of my color work.  With color, I feel much more vulnerable and judged and the work feels a little more commercial and contrived.  And, of course it would (and probably should), because I am commissioned for much of my colored work.  Don’t get me wrong, commissions and publications are a VERY good thing.  It’s just that I have recently been recognized for a few black and whites.  I can’t explain the joy it brings because it is in black and white where I feel and find my truth.

spurs“Spurs”  Rancho Viejo, CA

atrium“Atrium” ~ Casa Batlló, Barcelona

memphis car“Tennessee Ride” ~ Memphis

memphiscross“La Grange”

memphishouse“Abandoned” ~ La Grange, TN

Barcelona“Gaudí’s Neighbor” ~ Barcelona

Spain“El Quatre Gats” ~ Barcelona

Spain“Night Cap” ~ Barcelona

Spain“Closing Time” ~ Barcelona

Curved Lines“Curved Lines” ~ Casa Batlló, Barcelona

Gift“Desert Rat” ~ Palm Desert, CA

hakone“Hakone” ~ Saratoga, CA

 

Never Been to Spain

Standard

“Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.” ~ Pablo Picasso

Image

I dreamed of one day going to Spain.  I had the opportunity to join my best friend after graduating from high school.  I opted to stay home with a newly scored boyfriend, while she and two other girls traipsed around Spain and Portugal with their backpacks.  BIG MISTAKE!  This is the time in your life for youth hostels, Eurail passes and free spirits NOT high school boyfriends and lousy summer jobs.

Lucky for me, opportunity knocked again last summer.  “Where would you like to go to celebrate your half century on this planet?” Bryan asked.  Without hesitation, “Spain”.  So, almost 32 years to the day, we headed to Spain.  No backpacks, no youth hostels (thank you Airbnb); however, I opted for the Eurail pass rather than a car or flight from Barcelona to Málaga.

The trip was remarkable.  We were free spirits in Spain, me, Bryan and Ally, each of us having a dear friend by our side.  It may have taken awhile to get here, but, it sure was worth the wait.  I will have an apartment in Barcelona again, one day.  I will travel back to Málaga and Marbella and sit with a sangria in hand, a flower in my hair and watch the sun set over the Mediterranean.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

 

Image

Image

 

Image

 

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

 

Image

Image

 

Image

Image

Image

spain (1 of 1)-21

Image

3643_10201352797237760_1861324837_n

 

 

All photos rights reserved

@woodside images | jsinclair

 

Catching Up

Standard

Layla

With Thermal just a few weeks away, I have been mostly shooting horses and barn candids.  Thermal – the HITS Desert Circuit Horse Show begins today in Thermal, California and continues through March 17.  Ally and the Oak Haven crew will be competing during the second half of the circuit and our horses, trainers and riders head south in just a few weeks.  That means, I head south in just a few weeks and will be enjoying the warm desert sunshine while dedicating my next posts to Thermal.  Not to fear flower children, the gardens bloom and the garden shows gear up in March. But, for now, let’s catch up.

My goal this year is to post more pictures, shorten the stories and continue with the intended theme of documenting Ally and my journey to 2020.

2012 ended with the ten year old saying goodbye to two dear furry friends and a stuffed pony named Smores.  But, as the saying goes, “every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end.”  Two new furry friends have joined our extended family and she continues to ride the real pony named Mickey (along with her beloved, best friend Charly).  As she approaches the end of her 10th year she is gracefully saying goodbye to a few of her childish ways and hello to her tweens.  Fear for me.

I am saying goodbye to an old friend, my Nikon D70.  Great camera that simply hit the pavement too many times (thanks to the 10 year old mentioned above).  My tried and true Nikon D5000 will travel with me to Thermal for the dirty, dusty work.  He will be joined by a new friend who is en-route to Woodside as I type.

I dedicate this post to Layla and Darwin Murray.  We miss you, we love you, may you rest in peace.  xo!!

darwin2p

September 11

Aside

“Imagine all the people living life in peace” ~ John LennonImage

This is an updated edit from the post I made a year ago.  New photo thanks to Ted Mattison and his awesome lunch box.  Today, I sit next to my now ten-year old daughter and tell her the story of what happened on September 11, 2001.  Believe it or not, I have no longer kept the horrific details of that tragic day away from her.  She has learned of the terrorists, and she now understands there were horrible wars being fought on lands far away and she comprehends that America continues to fight a war on terrorism.  She also knows that the leader of these atrocities, Osama bin Laden, is dead.  Thank you, President Obama!

Do you remember where you were the morning of September 11?  Of course, you do.  We all do.  As I mentioned before, the cats were unusually restless and woke us at 6:00 a.m.  There was no small child yet; though the Bean was starting to sprout.  Those who know me understand that I will never willingly get out of bed at 6:00 a.m., however, on that day, I did.  The phone rang and I knew immediately it was not going to be good news.  It was my friend, Lisa, from D.C. calling, “turn on the news”.  The first tower had already been hit; and, Paula Zahn was announcing it was a small plane.  As she spoke, the view behind her was of the twin towers with smoke billowing out of the first.  I stared in disbelief; the unthinkable was approaching the second tower.  I watched, in real-time, as the jetliner smash into the second tower.  I thought how surreal life had just become.  I contemplated turning off the television.  I was one month pregnant with the  Bean in what I’ll simply describe as a very sensitive pregnancy.  This was so horrific and tragic, I didn’t want these emotions filtering through by body and soul.  As much as I thought I should, I didn’t turn off the television.  In fact, I could do nothing, but, watch for the next week.

On this day, I am now able to share with my now thriving 10 year old, the story of one victim that hit very close to home.  Our friend and contractor was at the house the morning of the attack.  He and I sat in silence waiting to hear the news.  His nephew was a financial planner for Cantor Fitzgerald.  He arrived every morning that week and we watched.  One morning, he called.  He would not be coming to the house today.  It had been confirmed, his nephew had been killed.  What hit me the hardest was that his nephew’s wife was also expecting.  Her now ten year old never got to meet her father.  I count my blessings every day.

My husband flew into D.C. last May, moments before President Obama made the announcement….Osama Bin Laden was dead.  Bryan was able to join the thousands of revelers just after midnight at the White House.  He described it as a moment of  beautiful mayhem that he will never forget.  Americans coming together in celebration that terror and evil did not prevail.

The Bean and I now have long talks about 9/11.  She has seen the images and watched the video of this horrific moment in time.  She is not afraid.  Based on what she shares with me I think she intends to be part of the change and forward momentum that America needs to make this country become again a place where people live in harmony and find and enjoy their freedoms.  Sounds corny, but, let’s see what happens!  Peace!

Olympic Dreams

Standard

“We all have dreams.  But in order to make dreams come into reality it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline and effort.” ~ Jesse Owens 1936 Olympics ~ Photo courtesy of Cheval Photos

I have been saving this post for a few weeks because I thought today would be the perfect day to share this little story.  As you all know, my daughter, Ally, is a little equestrian with very big dreams.  Her dream, she will tell you, is to go to the Olympics one day.  While she is only 10, that dream, should it ever come to fruition could be as soon as 8 years aways.  2020 is the first year she would be eligible (you must be at least 18) for the equestrian Olympic team.  While Ally’s journey to 2020 may or may not take her to the Olympics, I can tell you this, without a doubt, many hours of training and many horse shows will fill the days of her future.  She is beyond horse crazy.  She has a passion that is her driving force.

Ally’s idol is Reed Kessler, who you see in the beautiful photo, above.  Reed Kessler is the youngest person in history to make an Olympic equestrian show jumping team, being selected on June 17 (while still 17) at Spruce Meadows in Calgary.  Reed celebrated her 18th birthday July 9, less than three weeks before the cutoff date to qualify for the Olympics in London.

The photo posted above was taken by my friend and fellow equestrian photographer, Selena Frederick, owner of http://www.ChevalPhotos.com.  Selena photographs many of the top riders in the world and travels to most of the high profile events in North America.  I feel very blessed to know her and call her my friend.  She inspires me artistically and has shown me that even in this small world of equestrians and professionals, there is room for everyone.

Selena was at Spruce Meadows when Reed was named to the Olympic Team.  I called Selena and I asked her if she could possibly ask Reed for an autograph for Ally. A napkin with her name would do.  I hate to ask for these kind of favors and understood completely if she didn’t feel comfortable asking.  Selena said she would see what she could do.  The next day I heard from Selena and she told me she had something to Ally.  Later that week that “something” arrived ~

As you can imagine the small child is beside herself.  A frame has been purchased and a space on the wall selected for the note and one of Selena’s beautiful photos of Reed.  You can check out the rest of Selena’s photos of Reed on her blog http://chevalphotos.com/3129/every-little-girls-dream.

Thank you, Selena for your kindness, your art and your inspiration!  Reed, thank you for taking the time to write such a thoughtful note to Ally.  Good luck to you and Cylana this week!  We will be cheering you on every step of the way!   You are a hero and inspiration not only to my little one; but, to many little ones with big dreams.  ♥♥

Journey through the Past

Standard

“Will your restless heart come back to mine on a journey through the past? Will I still be in your eyes and on your mind?” ~ Neil Young

They say when you have a child you begin to flash back to your own childhood, with memories creeping in that have long been forgotten.  Around the time the Bean was 5, vivid memories came rushing back of my life in my childhood home on Choctaw Lane in Ohio.  On my birthday a week ago, the Bean had a birthday party of her own to attend for a friend who was turning 10. I began to reminisce about my childhood birthday parties on Choctaw Lane; parties my mother so joyfully threw for me every summer.  No party themes, no menu, no Disney characters on hand to entertain and no rules on who must be included on the guest list.  The guests were simply the neighborhood kids, menu of ice cream and cake,  and games of pin the tail and dropping clothes pins in a jar.  The gifts were so awesome (and cheap).  I remember clinging to a slinky during most of the party; to this day one of my favorite birthday gifts of all time.   We would swing on our swings, run around the neighbor’s cornfield chasing the chickens, do cartwheels, ride bikes and just play.

40 years later, kids have Alice in Wonderland tea parties with the Mad Hatter as the guest of honor, race go carts, indoor skydive, attend events at country clubs and travel on ski trips.  The party the Bean attended was a murder mystery ~ Clue ~ themed party.  She had a script, a costume and was beyond excited for the event.  We wouldn’t have had a “clue”  back in the day how to even approach a party like this.  So, maybe some of these parties are over the top.  Life, in general, today is over the top.

You might think I’m now going to say “I miss the good old days”; the days when life was simple.  Well, I’m not and I don’t.  Indeed, the memories are lovely; however, I’m thrilled to be a part of the changing times.  I am in awe of the children of this generation.  These kids define our future.  They are smart, kind, globally aware and conscientious!  They don’t need to be convinced that our planet is in danger.  They know it and are eager and willing to help fix the damage caused by their predecessors.

So, 40 years later the small child attended her friend’s birthday party and successfully solved the murder mystery while I sat with friends drinking a martini or two and sharing stories about the good old days (not really 🙂  Life is good ♥