Postcards From France: Grasse, Part 1

Postcards from an artist (3)

My Postcard From Grasse – Part 1

This Postcard from France comes to you from Grasse. After chilly but beautiful Strasbourg up in northern France, a 5-day road trip dropped me much further south into Grasse, which is in the French Riviera, or Cotes d’Azur. It was close to Chateauneuf de Grasse, which is where I’d be leading my “Finding Your Artistic Voice” photography retreat a few days later.  Continue reading “Postcards From France: Grasse, Part 1”

Postcards From France: Strasbourg

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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 Germany: Hohenschwangau Castle

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Today’s “Postcard From Germany” is postmarked: Hohenschwangau Castle.  One cool thing about visiting Neuschwanstein Castle is that it’s a 2-fer. One stop, two castles! Right next door to Neuschwanstein is Hohenschwangau. Just like people, parties and entrances – some castles are grander than others. This one isn’t huge, but has history. Continue reading “Postcards From Germany: Hohenschwangau Castle”

Postcards From Germany: Neuschwanstein Castle

PFA_Germany

A must-have in my Postcards From Germany collection was Neuschwanstein Castle. Once I showed my hubs Joe a photo of what HAS to be the most-photographed castle on the planet… he got excited and designed us a trip through the German countryside that took us by 5 castles and untold amounts of local cheeses, bratwurst, spätzle and other delicacies.  Continue reading “Postcards From Germany: Neuschwanstein Castle”

Postcards From Rome: 2 New Q&A’s

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2 New Q&A’s 

Today we started tackling some of the new, great questions you guys have been asking! THANK YOU for piping up! It’s really fun to share this experience with you to begin with… it’s made even better when we can answer some of the queries that inevitably occur to you when you follow along a crazy adventure like this one. 😀 Continue reading “Postcards From Rome: 2 New Q&A’s”

When To Take That Photograph: And When to Fuggedaboutit

When DO You Take a Photograph?

Anytime I visit New York City, I always make sure I get into Central Park for some nice airing out. This trip was no different.

What WAS different is that I recorded a couple of quick video segments, sharing some thoughts I had about “when to photograph”… and about keeping eyes ears and heart open for special moments that happen along your travels, wherever they may take you.

Continue reading “When To Take That Photograph: And When to Fuggedaboutit”

New York And New Beginnings

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Here at the start of our “Postcards From an Artist” adventure in New York, I couldn’t help but muse on new beginnings.

I mean, I’ve never done anything quite like this before.  I’m excited, kind of nervous, imagining all the cool stuff that might happen, places I’ll see… the food, sights, sounds and smells I’ll experience and hopefully… the lives that will be touched along way. Including my own. I’ve assigned myself with ALOT to do on this journey… will I be able to keep up it all? Will everyone enjoy this experience and have a good time? Will an ihater barf on our parade at a vulnerable moment? WHO KNOWS! Continue reading “New York And New Beginnings”

First Images With My New Fujinon XF50-140mm lens!

It just arrived. My brand new Fujinon XF50-140mm f/2.8 lens and 1.4x teleconverter. Giddiness has ensued. I’m like that.

A brand spankin’ new lens is always exciting. It usually makes my heart go all a’flutter, I even get a little nervous. It’s kinda like a blind date:
“What if I don’t like you?”
“What if you don’t like me?”
“What if you’re too big and heavy?”
“Will we see eye to eye?”
“If I like you now, will I still like you a month from now?”
“What if we break up?”

Like everyday life isn’t enough to worry about! Continue reading “First Images With My New Fujinon XF50-140mm lens!”

Reality, Art & The Slow Moving State of Flux

Slow Moving State of Flux

Haven In the Woods

CAUTION: DEEP THOUGHTS AHEAD!

I tend to think of reality as basically a really slow-moving state of flux. (slow relative to the speed of light, that is.)

You know how people once thought of solid matter as actually… solid? Only now we now that if you zoom in far enough, you can see that matter is made up of particles that are constantly moving. They have space in between them. Which means the whole mosaic of solid matter isn’t solid at all!

What’s more, if you apply say, heat to solid matter, many types of it either melt, cook, or shift into another form of matter altogether.

I tend to see reality the same way. Changeable. Shiftable. “The result of” something, not “what IS.” So if I don’t like my current reality selection – or want to refine it into something more pleasing to me – I apply my own kind of heat. That could be different thoughts, actions, feelings… because those are the ingredients, that when combined, become my current reality selection.

In my photography/art, I love creating different realities. I wish I could draw well enough to do it when it comes to art – but instead I use my camera as a sort of basic paintbrush and go from there. Sometimes the results look like what many refer to as “real”… sometimes they’re completely outside those lines.

I love both. Because I know that each is simply a different arrangement of molecules… with a different amount of “heat” applied… changeable at any moment.

Just like life.
Cue the credits…

The Players:

The “Reality” Selection: “Haven in the Woods”. Viewable here.
The Solid Matter: Really cool house in the woods in Soda Springs, Sierra Nevada Mountains, California.
The Paintbrush: Fujifilm X-T1/16-55mm lens. ISO 200, f/11.
The Easel: Really Right Stuff TVC34 tripod, BH-40 ballhead.
The Heat: Adobe Photoshop, Topaz Impression (a couple of different filters), Macphun Aurora HDR Pro, Alien Skin, NIK’s Viveza, my own textures.
The Result: Joy, happy heart, pleasant surprise, eagerness to do more; scene expressed in my own voice – as it wanted to be heard that day. If I did it again on a different day – it would likely be completely different.

Deep thoughts, over and out!

My New eBook!

My new eBook

Happy March 1!
My big news this week: a brand new eBook!  It’s called “10 Steps To Finding Your Voice.” You can get it here.

Here’s a screen shot of the cover and a couple of pages:

Screen Shot 2016-02-27 at 1.51.27 AM Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 12.00.27 PM Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 1.28.29 PM

Finding Your Voice

I’m super excited about it! There really is no feeling quite delivering 1. a gorgeous custom print to a client… or 2. seeing your book in its finished form. Seriously. Delicious.

The book is based upon the 10-day series I did here on the blog recently. You may have seen it. But we added some extras and put it in a format you can easily gaze upon anytime, anywhere on any device… plus we added some extras goodies! And it’s just so purty in this form. 😀

This is the beginning of… what? I ask myself that. I ask because it feels like the tip of the iceberg. For me, finding your voice (which is SUCH an over-used term… I want a snappier way of saying it) is deep. It’s the beginning. It’s your North Star. It’s the place you always return to. It’s the light that guides you.

Taken that way.. it applies EVERYWHERE! The genius thing about it. If you can figure out where real voice lives inside of you… you’ll always be able to find you way, come up with your best expression, find your TRUTH in everything you do, say, create. It’s kind of a superpower that way. And it can free your soul.

It’s time for some souls to be set free, wouldn’t you say?

The Price:

$5.25. Wanna know why?

In numbers, 5 equates to Grace… 25 is Grace intensified.
If there was ever a topic that calls upon both of those… it’s finding your true voice, which is a glorious experience. After all these years of experiencing – and watching  – what happens when someones’ true voice shines through, I can honestly say it gives me goosebumps everytime. And it just feels like Grace. So that’s what I wanted the number to be. Affordable. Graceful.

Thank you

To Tanya Wallis for putting this puppy together! She of mighty art and design chops pulled it all together in record time. We used Canva.com, for those who are curious. It made the whole experience a piece of cake.

IMHO, finding your voice is ALSO about discovering the tools and technologies that help you get your creations out there in the most graceful way… and with ease. Now that we’ve discovered how simple it is to do eBooks in Canva… watch out! The roadblocks are gone… more are on their way!

GET THE EBOOK HERE.. or click “store” in the navigation at the top of this page!

And for the FULL experience… 

On May 5-8, I’ll be holding The Artist’s Voice” Photo Retreat at Julia Child’s former home in Provence, France. What better place to sink into “Life as Art” than in the place that treasures life and art above all?

The eBook is the start of this conversation… the retreat is the full monty!  FIND OUT MORE BY CLICKING HERE. 

Mak and Me

Makenna Johnston and I were on a special episode of MGAPXL with Ollie Dale of the The Arcanum last week. It was just us… talking about finding your photographic voice, what happens when you buy Julia Child’s house in Provence and answered a TON of great questions that everyone in the chat had for us… it was a so much fun!

Big thanks to Ollie for having us on board! Here ’tis… hope you enjoy!

Finding Your Voice: Day 10. Story.

We made it! This is Part 10 of: “Finding Your Voice… 10 Days, 10 Concepts To Help You Find Your Photographic Voice.”  Our final day! Wow, what a journey it’s been… and I feel like it’s only just begun. There’s SO much more to talk about! As a final wrap up to this round, I leave you with some thoughts on voice… story… and you.

IMAGES TELL THE STORY OF YOU

At the end of the day… or 10, 20, 30 or 70 years from now… your images will tell your story. What do you want them to say? Do you want to look at each one with fond remembrance and say “Ahhhh, I loved that day”, warmed by the care you took to include your favorite things into each one in your clearest voice? Or be sad and think” Dammit! Why didn’t I take a moment before I pressed the shutter?” (worse yet: “What was I THINKING??”).

As humans, we’re hardwired for stories. Thousands of years of  cave paintings prove that, if nothing else does. Each of us is living our own story, guided by our preferences, our loves, our aversions, our faith, so many things. Every moment is its own story, woven into the giant story-tapestry of time that contain all the moments that came before – and all that come after.

Santa Cruz, CA
Schooner of Aha Continue reading “Finding Your Voice: Day 10. Story.”