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A Day of Art!

Andrew’s mom and I spent the entire afternoon today running around some of the small towns near Seguin checking out all things artistic. We didn’t have a plan really, just set out after lunch to see where the day would take us. I love wandering days like this, I think we should have more of them in our lives.

High Lonesome Gallery

So where did we end up? Oh so many places! The first and most spectacular was a small a gallery right outside of Geronimo, Tx called High Lonesome Gallery. It’s right off the highway, boasting some wonderfully large, colorful, art that certainly intrigues anyone who passes by to come in for a visit. We’d been meaning to stop by for a few weeks, ever since we saw a write up in the local paper about the place. Finally, today we made it in. I don’t know exactly what I expected to find here… but I assure you that what we found was far more than I’d imaginThe place was full of eclectic art and found objects of all kinds. It was not some junk shop with cluttered shelves and dust everywhere though. It was a clean space with each item being carefully selected or placed. The owner of the gallery was so warm and welcoming – and so passionate about art. We must have been there for at least 30 minutes to an hour just talking with him. He had a story to share with us about nearly every single piece of art there. It was fascinating! And I started to realize.. he collects, expresses and shares stories – not just art. Stories of his own life and stories of other people’s lives. I’m instantly in love with the richness of this and suddenly I realize that when the day comes that I have my own gallery – this is what I want to do. I want to tell stories. Just beautiful.

This visit had me hyped up for the rest of the afternoon. I expressed to the owner that I just moved down here to leave the corporate world and make art. To my great joy, he welcomed me to come out anytime I liked to the gallery to work on my art there. I’m sorry, pinch me, am I dreaming here? Did that just happen? Who does that? I could not even believe my ears. This place is oozing with creative energy – a paradise to begin to make things. Who would have thought there’d be a gallery out in the middle of nowhere Texas that would be just what I was looking for, at just the right time? It’s only been open for 4 or 5 months, too. Talk about timing.

 

Junk Shops Galore
After going to High Lonesome, we stopped into one of the antique/junk shops in Geronimo. A typical junk shop, packed to the brim with all kinds of old stuff. It was so much fun walking around and discovering things around every corner together. Afterwards, we hopped over to another area right off Lake McQueeny, just a few miles down the road. We’d passed another junk shop over there on the way to dinner a few weeks ago.. so we finally stopped in.

This was definitely a junk shop. Lots of junk, including a shelf full of old VHS movies, old appliances left and right, etc. The guy was a bit strange.. he asked us to bring him any junk we don’t want. He said “I have plenty of money, junk is what I need” haha what?! We didn’t really ask, but assume he hauls stuff down to Mexico to sell off. He was nice enough though. Also, quite randomly, he had tons of large cuts of all kinds of native Texas wood, ready to be finished and turned into gorgeous tables, shelves, wall art, and the like. And he ended up giving me a gorgeous plank of cedar wood – about 4 feet in length – for free! Joy of joys! I just bought some books about finishing wood a few weeks ago and now I have a project I can practice on.

One Giant Pottery Studio!
Also right off the lake, at the end of a residential road is this very hidden but very giant ceramics studio that Claudia knew of – Walt Glass Pottery. Oh my word, I have never seen such a place. There were 4 or 5 buildings, whole buildings just full of finished pieces or pieces that are ready to be fired… a whole wall for mess-ups and broken pottery… and an entire building just for the kilns. Yup, he has enough kilns to have a building for them. I believe there were 5 or 6 kilns total in there – and I’m talking the huge brick ones… plus 3 or 4 smaller kilns off to one side. Unfortunately, the artist wasn’t around at the time, so we talked a bit with one of his workers who was there. The place doesn’t look like it’s really being utilized so much right now, but apparently there is serious talk of turning it into a pottery school. Yesss we loved this idea!

I’d have to say this was a pretty successful afternoon of inspiration and healing for us. Of course throughout the day, we talked of Andrew. It’s always so healing to be doing things like this because we know he is smiling to see us surrounded by all this artsy stuff -he knew how much we both loved art. Here’s to unplanned afternoons of wandering, art, an a healing adventure.

Going to Prom!

Oh the senior prom… I must confess mine was pretty fun although nothing too fancy. My dress cost about $25 (I was damn proud of that bargain) and I got my hair done at Supercuts. A very pretty up-do with a few curls cascading down… for about 10 minutes until the coastal humidity and heat got to them. Flattened hair aside, it was a fun night with great friends and one I will always remember.

It’s been just over 10 years since my prom (my gawd, really 10 years?!), and I got the chance to relive a little bit of that special day last weekend. Andrew’s folks asked me some weeks ago to photograph his little sister and her friends’ prom pictures. I was so honored and excited to be the one to capture that special day for them, and also totally freaked out – as I tend to get about anything new. lol

Their prom day was definitely a bit fancier than mine. It was an all-day affair, complete with appointments for hair and makeup, a party bus to drive them all around town, photoshoot at the gorgeous Tea Gardens in San Antonio, a fancy dinner and of course a horse-drawn carriage to arrive at the prom in! Now that’s style.

I’m just going to say it – this was just about the most fun thing I could ever imagine being paid to do. All the kids were so excited and having a blast together while we were shooting, which of course made the photos come out so genuine. The locations we shot at were gorgeous too. I was definitely nervous, having never done prom photos and really having very little experience shooting people. A few nights before the shoot, I had my typical “lets blow this up into a thing of monumental proportions and spaz about it for a few hours”, but once I got that out of the way (and was talked back down to reality by Andrew – thanks babe!) I was good to go.

Doing the Uncomfortable Thing
I tend to avoid photographing people honestly – because it can be so awkward. Directing people is so tough, and I have a really hard time trying to create what I want to see. I’d much rather wait for the moment to come on its own and then capture it. So as you can imagine, 14 teenagers and less than an hour to get approximately 10-12 specific shots was definitely out of my comfort zone! Although I really cool thing happened when I was let loose with these kiddos… I realized it was all on me and we didn’t have time to screw around! So there it was. I just took charge and off we went. It was chaotic, it was rushed, and nothing was as perfect as I wanted it to be… but there was something really great about not having the time to be a perfectionist. It also means you don’t have time to second guess yourself. A whole day of doing with my gut instincts… I think we came away with some really great shots.


This is one of my favorites, all the girls scrunched in the horse carriage, shot from up in the driver’s seat.


Another of my favorites, even though the lighting conditions weren’t very good – I think it sort of adds a bit of a celebrity quality to it. As soon as that horse wrapped his head around next to the girls I new we had an awesome shot! Thanks Tiny!

Barn Photo Series: Nash Farm, Grapevine, TX

I was over in Grapevine yesterday doing some rock climbing and decided to stop over at Nash Farm to check it out. I’d found it on the internet this past week while searching for barns to photograph. If you like taking photos of old farms or enjoy seeing some of the area’s heritage and history, I suggest checking it out! It’s open to the public every day from dawn til dusk. Here’s some of my final selections from what I shot:

Here’s some more pictures of things I discovered there!

Beautiful, fully restored farm house. Even the interior was fully restored with gorgeous vintage wallpaper and furniture of the era.

Right near the house was a small vegetable garden – I would love to have one like this someday.

I also met a cow. She was a little shy at first…

…but soon was quite curious!

View of the whole barn


The quintessential farm cat decided to befriend me as I wandered around the farm. He made for some wonderful photos!


I dream of one day having a chicken coop – the sound of them clucking was so peaceful.

Rooster!

Sunset over the old farm house as I was leaving

Waving goodbye!

March: Texafrican Safari: A Short & Belated Film

Hello readers!

Well, due to my incredible powers of procrastination last month, my March project is finally complete – halfway through April! If you don’t happen to recall, I shall refresh your memory.. the March Project was to be a short film on World Travel.

This one was definitely more out of my comfort zone than anything I’ve done yet. Even so, I imagined the exciting possibility of discovering this innate hidden talent for motion picture that had been hiding away in the crevices of my creative spirit all these years… and BAM! It just flows! I was so excited about this project!

….for about a day and a half. Until I realized I do not actually posses this hidden talent…

And now, I still have to do the thing! ug. ug-ug-ug. I don’t know anything about film other than watching them while I get popcorn stuck in my teeth. HOW am i going to do this?! It’s probably going to suck by anyone else’s standards. (this is pretty much where I fell off the creative bandwagon and just sat around grumbling in fear and negative energy for WEEKS.)

Amid the negative thoughts, I made feeble attempts at brainstorming.. A Bug’s Eye View of world travel! A stop motion film using props to create a traveling scene! (the thought of trying to create that left me paralyzed with fear.) Great ideas – but they just weren’t clicking for me. Finally, Drew and I decided to go on a camping trip one weekend and just take the camera out and see what happened. Ideas are funny things.. sometimes you can sit on your couch and brainstorm them up like nobody’s business. Other times, it seems as if the ideas do not want to be forced or thought of, but instead just want you to show up – experiment, play, and let them flow in.

This is how my short film idea came – in an instant it appeared as I was crawling around rocks and plants filming random little tidbits around our campsite. Something about this particular film clip (posted earlier here) whispered an idea right into my ear and suddenly I had something! Something that was not the MOST incredible idea ever thought of – surely – but something that I wanted to create… even if it did suck by the end. I was finally feeling the fire! And off I went to make my own African Safari video shot entirely in Texas.

After several weeks of exploring the Texas countryside in search of all things African, a day hanging out with the animals at the Dallas zoo, and a few days of editing and music searching – it is complete! Behold, my Texafrican Safari Adventure in all its glory…

My First Video Test!

Hi all!

Well, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, I’ve been a bit MIA lately on the blog. Barring some increased workload outside this project (i.e. the one that pays my bills!) I have been just plain too exhausted most of this month to really focus on this project. Yup.. I’ve been pretty near burnout for the past few weeks… but have learned some important lessons about how to work through it, as well as how to keep that creative flow going even when life is throwing you curve balls. More on that later!

I played around a bit this weekend while camping, and came up with an idea for what I’m going to do. I won’t divulge all the secrets just yet, but here is my very first teeny tiny film clip with some music laid over it.

It may appear to be nothing more than a 14 second clip of shaky footage of a rock… but what this really is folks, is a daring leap into the uncharted and scary territory of creating things in motion & sound… fighting valiantly to ignore the inner critic that says “you can’t do this, like wow, this is so feeble and lame in comparison to what others can do”. Not listening. Only concerned with seeing what I CAN do and being proud of it even if it is feeble by someone else’s standards. =)

Check back soon for more teasers, hopefully not all of rocks. ;)

Later Alligators!
*st

February: Charlotte’s Web Comes to Life

Hey all!

Well, this is almost a month late in posting – but I DID actually finish this project the last week of February.. it just took me a while to actually put it up outdoors and get some pictures taken of it. I finally had some free time this afternoon to tackle it.

As you may remember, February’s project was temporary sculpture with the theme friendship. I ended up doing two projects for this – one was the friendship sculpture posted earlier in which a few good friends and I created a nature sculpture from sticks, twigs, and leaves.

The second project was to bring Charlotte’s iconic “some pic” web to life!

The above image is certainly one of the most memorable of E.B. White’s classic children’s book Charlotte’s Web. This story so beautifully captures the idea of true, loyal friendship to me. Being one of my favorite books as a child, the idea of bringing this to life in the form of a temporary sculpture that I could share with the world really got me excited! Below is the finished project – created from dead vines and twigs.

I soaked the dead vines in warm water in order to work with them. Once soft, they are actually quite flexible and strong. I attempted a few methods of tying the twigs on – without any good results – so I eventually settled on hot-gluing them to the vine-web.

This project certainly turned out to be more time-consuming that I thought – probably around 10-15 hours. I actually got pretty attached to this guy after putting all that work into it. It was definitely a bit hard to say goodbye as I left it tied up aside a walking trail just north of my house. Although it helps to imagine someone coming across it – perhaps this book was a favorite of theirs as a child too – and for a moment they will be reconnected to that childlike wonder once more. =)

Tata!
*st

P.S. If you live in the DFW area and happen to get a kick to go discover this little jewel yourself, it can be found on the southern end of White Rock Park Trail (near the small creek that flows under the trail).

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