Renewing the Journey ~ Part 1

 I’m a photographer. 
Just a few years ago I could not write that statement.  Not that I wasn’t a photographer, just that I didn’t believe in myself enough to say that. 
For the next few weeks, along with some blogging friends, I am making a review of just why I keep taking photos.  Today I begin by telling you where I am with this hobby now in my life and what it means to me.


I want to catch the light 
no matter if it’s on someone’s face, 
or on a flower, 
or in the shade of a tree, or…
shining through a piece of fruit on my windowsill. 
Light through an orange
And I do this because of the connections friendships 
I have made with other photographers. 
Together we have been to some interesting places and shared 
not only the experience of taking photos, but the conversations and good times.
(I miss you photo buddies!)
Yellow warbler in nest
I also do this because I want to record and share the beauty that I see.  
It’s everywhere.
Sometimes we forget that.
Leaves on ice
On many occasions photography has been a spiritual experience for me.  
When I am there, in the moment, looking carefully through the lens, 
changing the angle, resetting the exposure, I become so absorbed 
in the process that I loose all sense of time.  
When I’m really doing this right, or maybe just because I’m lucky, I am there when certain expressions come so quickly, and, well, I just click at the right time.
How else can you see that there are two boys the image below?
Dad and son or two boys?

How else can I convey to you just how much a 4 year old boy loves his dog?
In the photo below you can see it in his eyes.
A boy and his dog

Catching the light. 

Connecting and making friendships.
Capturing beauty and finding meaning.
Getting into the flow of creating art.
Witnessing sacred moments on the faces of others.
Yes, all of this is why I keep on taking photos.


I originally wrote about this same topic in July 2011. 

In the Kitchen on Christmas Eve

I’ve spent some time in the kitchen today, taking my time to bake a pie.  In the process I began to think of how many fabulous memories I have from the cooking and the wonderful meals shared with family and friends…precious times.  
I’m sharing a bit of the sights in my kitchen on this Christmas Eve.  

From a shelf in my kitchen window, this little snowman smiles and watches.
half of the fudge is gone
I find that the best memories, the most fun and enjoyment for me, comes from creating goodies and cooking favorite holiday dishes.  So do many others, and this half empty container of homemade fudge is perfect evidence of that.
old recipe cards
There are time honored recipes, some in vintage cookbooks on my shelf,
others handwritten on cards.  I just love it when I find one that has been used a lot and shows smears and crumbs from being handled before.
springerle rolling pins
My collection of springerle rolling pins sit in that kitchen window, too. Later today I hope to start a batch of those cookies and try a new flavor.
pumpkin pie
Already, the aroma of pumpkin pie is drifting through the house.  Can you remember the smells of a favorite food being cooked as you waited for the big feast? 
fresh fruit
Sometimes I just like to look at the colors of the fruit, to see the many shades and tones, the imperfections of the peeling, and imagine the juicy taste.  
Making food. Making memories. Making a time and place for good fellowship.
My wish for you is that this holiday will bring that same opportunity to you.
Merry Christmas!
 ~ Deb ~

A Collaborative Art Project – From The Heart

Three Homes Art Project

Here is the story of how this image came into being.

Knowing that we will be leaving this home in a very short time to go to our new one, I invited my two dear friends to come over so we could create something.  This time I asked that they only bring themselves, no extra supplies or paints, just come as they are.  And they did.

In my stash of art stuff I found a board and asked Mark to cut it into three equal sections.  Then I put gesso on the rough surface.  I got out my paints and brushes, and put it all on my kitchen table. The pieces of board were placed next to each other tightly so that our painting would look like on large image.  (If you look carefully you can see the seams.)

Earlier that day I had the idea come to me that we had to create an image of some kind and that we could somehow collaborate to make it happen.  Other than that, I had no idea what we would do.

We gathered then and I began this project by making the outlines of three houses…very plain simple outlines with no windows or doors.  

Then the fun began.

Each of us took a turn with the paints, while the other two sat in the other room and did not watch.  Little by little we all added more lines, more color, more expression to this image of the three houses.  

We did this for three hours! Three hours! I knew that somehow we would know when we were done.  Finally, one of the gals said “I don’t know if I can add anything more.”  And I knew we had come to that point.

What surprised us was how each of us brought a bit of who we are to this project.  

The naturalist brought her love of nature and added the elements such as the trees and birds, and that bit of sunset over that mountain.

The spiritual director and teacher added some of the the structural details to each house. And those stepping stones that form a walk in front of all three places.

And with my brush I inserted the white, wispy curls of spirit that inhabit each place, the blue of the sky, green grass, mostly splashes of color.

We totally lost all track of time.  

How can I tell you what a beautiful experience this was?

I took this photo and then had three prints made of it, and now we each have one, along with our own section of the original project.   Something to hang in our homes and remember and cherish.

The hardest part of this?  

For a few days, it sat in my home, all the pieces together.  Today I had to separate them. 


What’s On My Worktable Today

Snow is flying outside, shovels and snow blowers are working everywhere, and yes, I could have given you yet another image of this snowstorm.  But no.  We’ve seen enough of that.

On my worktable for several days this little tree has been waiting for color.  It came to me in a nudge this morning just what she needed.  And here is my palette and the new look on this sort of flat sculpture.  The tree is dry wall compound on wood.  She looks really cool with no paint, all white and showing light and shadow, but I could not leave this alone.

So this is my little mess this morning.  I think there will be more creations similar to this in the very near future.

What do you do to feed your creative side?  Do you take an artist date now and then?  Do you create your own kind of art?  What kind of messes do you like to make?