I just got back from New York. What a trip. It was as much about the inner journey as it was the outer one.
Let me start by saying 2016 was a packed year. Full of surprises, breakthroughs, a few frustrations, lots of growth and new experiences. And now… lots to think about, feel into and make decisions about.
And I’ll admit it, I took a blog break. Just a little one. Even I need to step awayyyyy and take a breath now and again. Y’know, get a new perspective. So I did.
The Value of A Personal Trip (for art’s sake)
New York was a personal trip. I made it with my friend Valerie Jardin. We thought it would be fun to just take a trip and not have an agenda (which turned out to be challenging for both of us!)… and just see what came our way.
Now, I love NYC, but personally I find it challenging. It’s alot; alot of energy, alot of distractions, alot of input on so many levels. Artistically and photographically, I find it harder to find my balance, focus and voice there than almost anywhere in the world. And that’s always bugged me.
So this time, I decided to “embrace the horror” (as a friend of mine refers to his approach to almost any challenging situation).. and let myself be uncomfortable. Dwell in possibility, not expectation. Allow things to happen in a new way. Ask to be shown the way. NOT KNOW. It all sounds so noble on paper… but it’s incredibly uncomfortable when you’re in the middle of a process like that. Days when you delete everything on your camera. Times when you feel like you suck at this and should just take up knitting. Moments of doubt and agitation on a level that have you questioning everything including your sanity.
Not that I speak from personal experience or anything.
Embracing The Horror Leads to New Perspective
So. New York.
Like I say, it was challenging for me. But I chose to embrace the horror, take no shortcuts – and was rewarded with a renewed (refreshed and deepened) perspective… which honestly, I can’t entirely put into words yet. It’s still unpacking into my being. I do see it in my photographs though. From subject matter to post-processing, I wiped the slate clean and did my best to follow the quieter voice on the inside. The one that never fails me. Tried new lenses, new approaches.
As an artist it’s how we expand and deepen our art.
As a human, it’s how we create a life we truly love.
It’s also how we survive in times that push us to our limits. We have to walk past the outer clamor and chaos, past the inner mind chatter and continue on till we find our stillpoint. Easier said that done. And even when you think you know how to do that… you have to then be willing to take it further than you ever dreamed possible.
So… this was my journey. Make of it what you will.
Comments, questions – as always, welcomed.
Love what you see? Well, join my tribe of light-seekers! When you do, you’ll get a free eStoryBook, textures, free quote images – plus 50% of any print from my Sunsets Aglow gallery!
Ever wondered how to find your artistic voice in photography – or anything else, for that matter? Well, I’ve got 3 ways to go about it right here. No, they’re not the ONLY ways… but what I’m beginning to slowly roll out is a system. A way of thinking about this – and system of working from the inside out to discover what it means for YOU. Continue reading “Finding Your Artistic Voice, 3 Ways!”→
Here’s a paradox for you: When I go out to photograph nature, landscape and this gorgeous world of ours – I luxuriate in the experience. Every blessed second of it. I feel like I’m standing in the heart of creation, where I can mostly clearly hear the voice of the Divine.
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!
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…
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… 😀
OK, I know you know where air and earth meet. But what I’m talking about is where aerial and terrestrial photography meet and have a common ground. Where they support each other. Serve one another. Yeah, I’m fancy that way. Continue reading “Where Air & Earth Meet”→
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…
This Postcard From France arrives by way of Cannes, home of the Cannes Film Festival. Which – get this – started the day of my very first visit! There were multiple visits… this was only the first. I’ll share the others with you too, of course. They’ll make you laugh! Continue reading “Postcards From France: Cannes”→
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”→
"Love your blog. I stop by for the photography, I linger for the philosophy."
Kelley Morgan, Portland OR
"A beautiful mind will produce beautiful results. And to say the least, yours is a beautiful mind! Thank you for your wisdom and your inner "speak," as they both produce true art from the heart …"
Joe Hudspeth, Prineville OR
"Thank you Karen. A wonderful story but only the tip of the iceberg, the bigger part below the water is all the thousands of photographers you have inspired to chart their own journey, I know as I am one of them."
"Karen, thank you for the wonderful two day post. Your insights are truly thought provoking. I have never been a teacher, nor will I ever be, but to see someone see the light is a wonderful moment. Thanks again."
"As usual, another terrific story. I’m glad I found you but I have to be honest. I didn’t find you on Google + but did on Scott Kelby’s “The Grid”. Thanks for the inspiration in both images and by the pen/keyboard."
"Gads-what a girl! Thanks for the story, it is beautiful."
"Awesome story Karen — I loved reading about your life transformed. Of course I loved the photography theme and the geek in me is forever curious about the power of tech and the power of social platforms. But … for me it is the arc of lives transformed that inspires. Thank you so much for sharing. See you on G+ and in the Arcanum!"