Scouting Locations in France is FUN!

I’ll admit it: scouting locations for my “Finding Your Artistic Voice” retreat in France is FUN!!

The South of France is truly a glorious place to explore photographic artistry, find your voice (in art AND in life), deepen your connection to your health and most of all: your most expressive, artistic YOU. Everything here supports that and I couldn’t wait to come back for the Fall installment of this workshop. New people, new stories, new images, new places!

(Click here to see the recap of the FIRST “Find Your Artist’s Voice” retreat/workshop!)

Overlooking Cannes

One really nice spot is up on a hill by a big cathedral. It overlooks Cannes Harbor in one of those “Look ma, a POSTCARD!” moments. I thought it was a fine place to kick off this chapter of “Postcards From France”. Of course, the sun was so bright I could hardly keep my eyes open as I made this first vid of the series for this trip.

NOTE: all of these videos are low res, since the internet here isn’t robust enough to upload anything wooftier. But you’ll get the idea…

Grasse!

I just love Grasse. It’s SO much fun to photograph! I had heard there was scaffolding set up in town though, so wanted to make sure our cinematic view wasn’t spoiled like rotten cheese. Plus, I wanted to test out the bus system from Cannes (read that as meaning: make sure I knew where it picked up, dropped off and didn’t smell bad.).

So Tanya Wallis and I leapt on the #600 bus that picked us up right in front of our hotel and headed up the hill.

We made a video too. Grin.

Verdict on Grasse: no scaffolds, bus smelled great and the place still ROCKS!

The Boat to Île Sainte Marguerite

Last May when I was here, I didn’t have time to take the 15 minute ferry ride to Île Sainte Marguerite. It’s a marvelous excursion and easy peasy to do. I’ve heard several people talk about it – so this time, I wondered if it would be a good place to take the group and decided to find out.

The island is home to Fort Royal, which was known to be inhabited in Roman times. It’s also where the real life “Man in the Iron Mask” was held for 30+ years in the 17th century. His cell is alot cleaner now than it was then… but you can go inside and imagine spending over 3 decades in a stone cell with a mask on your face. Suffice it to say I was happy to be outside again!

Here’s the thing:  I’m not a huge fan of boats. But to see the island, you gotta float on the boat. Ain’t no way around it. I decided making a new “Postcards” video was a great idea. Turns out, it definitely was – but ARGH! the audio on the video from my iPhone went all wonky, rendering it impossible to use.  I was going to toss the whole thing and had a very sad face.

Suddenly Tanya starts laughing in this funny out-of-context way (with a scary wicked gleam in her eye) and says “I know just the story I can tell with the bits that aren’t too bad!” She was guffawing so hard, I just had to let her create her (clearly) deranged vision, cause I couldn’t POSSIBLY have said anything TOOO “out there”! 😜

This is the result:

Verdict on Île Sainte Marguerite: We’re ON! This is an awesome place to visit! We literally had only an hour… and in that short time, unequivocally knew this would be one of the adventures the group HAD to have!

The Retreat Begins…

The moment arrived: scouting done, locations dialed in – it’s GO time!

More photos and videos to come! Time now to get back to living the experience… 😀

 

The Artist’s Voice: An Accounting of Miracles

I have an announcement to make and a story to tell, complete with an accounting of personal miracles. (I loves me some good miracles, no matter how big or small.)

First the announcement: “The Artist’s Voice” photography retreat I’ve had scheduled for this October at La Pitchoune is now happening in a new format and a brand NEW location. We’ve moved down to the beautiful town of Cannes, right on the Mediterranean. There are 3 spaces left!

Click the image to learn more… then come back for the rest of the story. Or just read on…

blog badge cannes retreat Continue reading “The Artist’s Voice: An Accounting of Miracles”

Postcards From France: Strasbourg

PFA_France
Postcards From Strasbourg

Postcards From France kicked off in beautiful Strasbourg. But first… I had to get there from Frankfurt by myself with an injured back. My hubby Joe had been with me for a week, which was beyond awesome! I’d been missing him so much – and we had a blast with our self-proclaimed Castle Tour through Germany. He also helped me with luggage and did all the heavy lifting that I wasn’t able do as I hobbled around in mega pain. Continue reading “Postcards From France: Strasbourg”

“Postcards From an Artist”: It Begins!

Postcards from an artist

Today it begins! I’m in New York right now; later this week, Rome. After that, Germany, Switzerland and France. In all, close to 2 months, 4 countries and a world of experiences I can’t wait to embrace!

Here’s the thing. I didn’t want this to be one of those “Oh – Karen’s off doing her thing. How nice.” things.  I wanted to be more inclusive than that. This experience is the result of a series of choices, decisions and life-changing events in my life that began years ago. I wanted this trip to account for all of them. But even more; count towards maybe giving ALL of us the juice we need to create a life more amazing than we ever dreamed possible. Maybe I’m a dreamer (Duh!)… but I know I’m not the only one. 😉

I just made this video this morning, introducing the whole idea. It’s super casual… I did it done on my iPhone, before heading out for the day.

Continue reading ““Postcards From an Artist”: It Begins!”

The 4 Reasons I’m STOKED!

Spring’s on its way (even though we’ll likely get lots more snow.). Normally that has me giddy all by itself. This year, there are 4 NEW reasons I’m stoked as it rolls around!

I’m getting ready to travel again – for 2 months! I can’t wait! I’m in that “OMG, I’ve got so much to do before I leave!” mode and I don’t head out for a couple of weeks yet. Hey, it’s never too early to obssess a little… especially with so many cool things on tap. Here’s the quick rundown…

1. The Artist’s Voice Retreat

You know about about my photography retreat in Provence at Julia Child’s house, mais oui? So excited about it! The Artist’s Voice…  May 5-8, 2016.  As of today, there are only 2 spots leftClick here to learn more about it. If, after that, you think “HAIL YES I wanna go!!” and wonder if it would be a fit for you… well honey, just  Contact Me for more information!

This is Grasse, 10 minutes from where we’re staying… (courtesy of Lonely Planet). We’ll be visiting this historic town; the “perfume capital of the world!”

GrasseLonelyPlanet Continue reading “The 4 Reasons I’m STOKED!”

Finding Your Voice: Day 8. Shapes & Patterns.

Oh boy! It’s Day 8 in: “Finding Your Voice… 10 Days, 10 Concepts To Help You Find Your Photographic Voice.” 

Today, we’re going to wrap ourselves around…

Shapes and Patterns

A world without shapes or patterns is pretty much a blob. Ditto bones. 😉

Shapes and patterns are definitely important elements to watch for – and potentially build compositions around. But when it comes to your artist’s voice, you have to take it deeper. What shapes and patterns do you just go nuts over? Any and all? Organic ones? Geometric ones? Shapes and patterns in nature? Architecture? All of the above?

After you work that out – then the even bigger question to ask is why? How do those particular patterns make you feel? What kind of story/statement does that shape make? These answers are important to know, because they’ll tell you how to compose your shot, whether to wait for warm light, pink light or low light. Is the statement stronger in black and white? To know the answer,  you have to know what the statement IS in the first place. And that is all about you and your point of view…  your voice.

My favorite shape or pattern is ________.

Continue reading “Finding Your Voice: Day 8. Shapes & Patterns.”

Finding Your Voice: Day 7. Movement

Welcome to Day 7 in our series: “Finding Your Voice… 10 Days, 10 Concepts To Help You Find Your Photographic Voice.”

Movement

Today we get into an area that might seem a little more abstract to you, but I’ll give it my best shot at explaining how I see this one.

Here’s the fill-in:  My favorite type of movement is_____________.

My own background shapes the way I see in perhaps a different way than a typical photographer: I was a dancer, a figure skater and a rider/horse trainer. Each moved in different ways, but each shaped my feeling for timing, rhythm, composition and story in photography. Continue reading “Finding Your Voice: Day 7. Movement”

Finding Your Voice: Day 3. Light.

Welcome to Day 3 of our fun 10-day series: “Finding Your Voice: 10 Days, 10 Concepts To Help You Find Your Photographic Voice.

My friends, it may seem elementary, but fill in the blank on this:

My favorite light is_____.

In an interview recently, violinist Lindsey Stirling put it this way: “When I’m onstage, I feel like I’m exploding with light. I think when you’re doing what you love you actually glow.” Continue reading “Finding Your Voice: Day 3. Light.”

New is the New NEW!

I Loves Me Some NEW!

I just finished some changes around here and feel downright ebullient about it!

Hey, I coulda said “zippy”, but that sounded weird. I chose “ebullient” because it means: “overflowing with fervor, enthusiasm, or excitement.” Bingo! That’s what I feel right now, because I just revamped the photography section of my website.

“Why is this such a big deal?” I hear you wonder.
Honey, if you knew what it’s like for me to organize or build ANYTHING… you’d get why I feel like I just remodeled the kitchen!

I celebrate these little things, because I know this for sure: big things are made of interconnected little things. And the little things are like wee mini Tinker Belles; if you want ’em to stick around and multiply, they need love and applause!

So here, let me show you some of the new appliances… Continue reading “New is the New NEW!”

My Top 10 Head-to-Toe Travel Tools ‘n Tips

Ladies, can we travel-chat for a minute?
Gentlemen; you’re welcome to hang out too, but if underwear and lady things make you blush… well, consider yourself forewarned!

I love to travel (don’t we all?). But I HATE to be more uncomfortable than necessary. Admit it, so do you!

I’m betting I’m also not alone in having a few physical issues that can ruin my day if I don’t take a few simple precautions. My mother was a Girl Scout leader… I’m an ex-horse trainer… which means this vital lesson is in ingrained my cells: BE PREPARED!!

For my recent month-long trip to France, I knew I needed to relearn what I had learned, as Yoda might say. So, I spent HOURS before my recent month-long trip to France looking through Smarter Travel dot com’s website for the best solutions I could find (I subscribe to their newsletter – it’s genius!). I watched videos on packing. I revamped my luggage configuration completely. I obsessed for weeks. And I never got tired of checking out how other people succeed at travel.

Continue reading “My Top 10 Head-to-Toe Travel Tools ‘n Tips”