Botanical Beauties

image of the last magnolia flower on the tree

I spent some time at the UC  Botanical Garden in Berkeley a few weeks ago and noticed a few things.

1. Getting outside is essential to one’s sanity. I have been spending a great deal of time indoors lately taking care of the little one.  While we go on walks almost everyday, there’s something special about taking that walk somewhere that doesn’t feel so familiar. The Gardens have an amazing ability to make you forget that you are still in a city.  I feel like I can relate a little to what Alice and Dorothy must have felt when they were swooped off into another world. I kind of dig that feeling.

2. It’s good to get lost. The Gardens have been designed so that you can get lost and wander without getting nervous.  You will eventually come back to to a path that leads you to the entrance. After about 15 minutes of walking around I was in a space in my mind that I’ve been missing lately.  You know that place where you just kind of think random thoughts?  You aren’t thinking about what needs to get done today or writing to do lists in your head.  You’re just letting random ideas and thoughts pass by your brain.  That’s what happens to me when I’m free to wander. Time doesn’t matter for a while. Pressure lifts off my shoulders just enough to give me a break.

3. I am somewhat obsessed with the last living leaf and/or flower hanging from a tree. I seem to be amassing a collection of lonely leaves and flowers on winter trees.  What is it about that last flower that pulls my eye in? Is it the idea of death or resilience? Perhaps it’s more about the aesthetics of the harsh bare branches next to the soft full flower. Who knows.

image of the last magnolia flower on the tree

 

Getting reacquainted with photography

I bought myself a Christmas present this year. That hasn’t happened in a while. That’s a good thing because this year’s present was fairly expensive. I’ve re-discovered my passion (more like obsession) with photography in the last several months. For that reason, I thought I’d reward myself with a new camera so that the world could begin to see what I see in higher quality. Mostly, it’s a reward for getting over myself.

You forget that you had to learn how to hold a camera until you get a new one. The buttons are in a different place, the weight is not the same. It feels bulky and wrong. But, at the same time it feels so right. It’s scary and new and exciting and I can’t wait to take hundreds of horrible images as I slowly discover a rhythm with my new friend.

Its about time I take my passion a bit more seriously. It’s amazing that I believed more in myself as a photographer when I was 14 years old than I did in the last 5 years. It feels good to be reaching back in time to that girl that just had to have her camera with her and didn’t know any other way to speak to the world except through photographs.

I declare

Today I am declaring that I am an artist and that I am and will continue to be successful in that vein of my life. Thanks to Maeg Yosef over at Scoute Girl for reminding me that on of the most important steps to being an artist is declaring yourself one and really living in that name, title, idea, lifestyle, whatever. You have to believe it first, than you can make it happen.

I love this part:

Not speaking your desires is a violence to yourself.

It’s dangerous.

Not only for your dreams and wants, but for your creativity.

If I can’t say what I want for dinner, then how can I possibly put a bold brushstroke on the page?

If I can’t name how I’d like to spend an afternoon, then how can I lay down the lines of a brave poem?

If I can’t state my dreams out loud, then how can I create the framework to make them happen?

more here.

I suck at Facebook.

All artists are self employed and thus take on several roles from manufacturer, purchaser, seller, manager, accountant and marketing guru.  Social media is an easy way to market one’s work for free.  I have attempted to get myself uberly involved with online art communities, twitter, facebook, reddit, digg, you name it.  I have come to the conclusion that I suck at social media self marketing.

I think I suck at self marketing all together.

I would much rather be in the studio making something than on my computer promoting that which I have made.  But, I know that I can make all the crap I want to, but with no one to buy it I won’t be able to afford to keep making it.  So, I have a new game plan that involves being more involved.

So, become a fan of my facebook page by clicking HERE.

Vincent Van Gogh, who?

painting by vincent van gogh titled starry night

painting by vincent van gogh titled starry night
image courtesy of Van Gogh Gallery

This morning as I was attempting to convince myself to GET OUT OF BED! my husband said, “Did you know that Vincent Van Gogh only sold one painting while he was alive?”

Think about that for a second.

Van Gogh is an artist that you talk about at a party because most people will know who he is and will have an opinion about his work.  His Starry Night is plastered around the world on almost every kind of surface you can imagine.

His paintings sell in the $35 millions.

Do you think Van Gogh worried about being a “successful artist”?

I think he just painted because he had to.