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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Wind Up


Don't we all have times when our energy has run out and we need to be rewound? I know I do.  Fall is my busiest time of the year. School starting back up, cub scouts, football, and my portrait business, are all in full swing and I find myself staying up late, getting up early and somewhere in the middle trying to get it all done. I am like the Energizer Bunny during fall. I am constantly needing to be fully wound again and again until my stored energy is completely depleted.  Then once it's all over and my adrenaline of the season is gone (usually in January) and I find myself drained completely like a wind-up toy that is done and stopped.

This image would have been perfect to post in January, and I might post it again then. This is truly how I spend my January and February. I find that because I spend so much time going and going I take the much needed Winter break and stay stopped.

But for now, the hand is continually winding the crank and I continue on with my stored up energy :)

I wanted to post it now since I just finished it yesterday though ;)

This is similar to Recharge.

Friday, September 14, 2018

10 Tips to Start Creating!

Welcome to my first 10 tips post based on the theme Artistic Mission. Which ultimately is about where you want to go with being a creative person. So what if you are not already someone who creates art? Well here are 10 tips to get you started!

10 TIPS to Start Creating!
(or jump start you during a slump)

1. Find a medium that interests you. It doesn't need to be photography. There are so many creative hobbies out there. Find one that makes you happy and try it!

2.  So how do you find what creative hobby could interest you? Walk the aisles at a craft store, watch You Tube videos on how others create, go to an art gallery or museum and see what you are drawn to

3. Once you find that medium, don't give up. It can be hard at first. No matter what type of creative hobby you choose, there will be a learning curve. It took me years until my photography was at a point where it was consistent. 

4. Try a 2nd medium. Maybe you find the first choice wasn't an exact fit. Maybe it was and you just want to expand out to other ideas. Just like how playing 2 sports can help you become better at both sports, doing two artistic crafts can help you be better. Learning photography and noticing how lighting works can help your paintings be realistic. 

The next two go together:

5.  Visit art fairs, museums or galleries. Seeing art in person gives it so much more depth then viewing it online. That said, I still recommend to

6. View art online. Visit blogs. Browse Flickr, Pinterest or even google images. 

Doesn't matter how you do it, view art.  Whether its painting, photography or even crochet projects, see what others are doing. Be inspired by what others are doing. When I am feeling down and not creative, I visit photography websites/groups/pages and it gets me in the mood to go out and create my own stuff. I also try to visit either an art show, gallery or museum every few months to see what
 is being displayed, what the new trends are, and just be inspired by seeing the art in person.

7. Take a class. Attend a workshop. Watch a You Tube tutorial. Learn something new. Find something to stretch yourself and learn. No matter how long you have been doing your craft, there is always room to learn a new technique or style. And if you are just starting out, its a great way to figure out the basics.

8. Do a creative challenge. That's how I started down this creative journey. I did a 52 week self portrait challenge. Not only did it help hone my self portrait skills, it took me down a path of creative and silly portraits which ultimately lead me to fine art. Plus, because I had a "deadline" of each week, it kept me creating on a regular basis. And the more you create or do your craft, the better you will get. 

9. Take a break. Now this one is more if you are in a slump. Sometimes we get in a funk because we put too much pressure on ourselves. It's okay to take a break and come back to your art when you are fresh. Doesn't need to be a long extended break, even a few days can give you a fresh perspective. 

10.  Step outside of your comfort zone. Try something you have never done before. Spatter paint on canvas. Merge two unrelated photos together. Knit a blanket using 10 colors. Try sculpture. Push yourself! :)

And I have one last one....have fun! Whatever you choose don't forget to have fun while creating whatever it is you love!

Thursday, September 6, 2018


"My hands can only reach so far. Take my hand, and together we can reach so much further."

I like to think of this photo as a mini story that might have many beginnings or endings. It's part of a new series I am creating where the viewer can determine the story.  Some of my images have a clear path and idea behind it. The viewer sees the same things in the photo as I do. But I wanted to create something different then a straight forwarded piece. I wanted to create some open ended images where each viewer could make some choices for themselves.

Take this photo. Why is the woman reaching out? Does she need help? Do the hands need help? Is she trying to get away? What would it be she is getting away from? Or maybe she has died and is reaching out to the afterlife. Makes you think!

One of the questions I get asked more than any other question is how I set my here is a behind the scene photo....My son standing in as me so I can set my focus. I then just took his spot :)

Friday, August 31, 2018

September: Artistic Mission

Each month I plan to write on a particular theme, posed question, advice/tips or something that happens to be on my mind. Hopefully on the first of each month :)

In what seems like an era ago, I use to write for an online scrapbook magazine. I was the "10 tips girl". [I'd link you if it still existed]. Each month I would write an article that was 10 tips for whatever my monthly theme was, such as 10 tips for creating holiday layouts. I loved writing in this format. I'm very much a list girl :)

The only thing I love more than photography is making lists. I don't always finish everything on my lists, but writing them is one of my favorite things. I write lists for grocery shopping, to-dos, chores, vacation plans and goals for the month, etc. And since this is my favorite way to write, I want to incorporate this into this monthly writing here.

Not every topic I answer each month is going to fit into a "10 tips" format so I'm going to modify it from 10 tips to just 10 things. I will answer each topic or question by breaking it down into 10 parts. Then if the topic does equate to a 10 tips, I will do that as a 2nd post half way thru the month :)

And it just so happens this months theme works for a 10 Tips to Start Creating :) That post will be up on September 14th :)

This months theme is Artistic Mission.
"What is your artistic mission? Why do you create?"

Boy that is a heavy question!

1. First and foremost I create because I want and need a creative outlet. Whenever I am stressed with life, kids, my business, I find that if I can create, it destresses me. Whether that is shooting something new or editing photos I have already taken. 

2. I create for myself. I think everyone should create for themselves first. If you create for yourself and you love your art, then you don't need to worry what others think.

3. I create to bring enjoyment to others. I mean I'd be lying if I said I didn't want others to like what I create too! And it doesn't hurt when you get recognized for that art too!

4. To tell a story. My story. A fake story. A fun story. A creative story. Any story. I like to create little weird stories with my photography. I've never been a writer and never will be. Doesn't mean I don't have stories to tell :)

5. To have FUN! Seriously, if you are not having fun while creating, try it! Try something really out there, really creative, really crazy and/or silly. HAVE FUN while creating your art!

6. My artistic mission is simply to create artwork that was fun to create. I really love having fun with my photography. Whether I am creating a silly portrait or more fine art pieces. 

7. I also feel very drawn to photography. One of the reasons is because I think it incorporates many other creative forms in it. I love that I can tell stories like a writer, dress up as characters, use editing software, I can have fun with fashion, go antiquing, or design and prep a set. 

8. So where am I headed? I also think of mission as the word goal.  So what are some of my artistic goals? Right now its to get into more art galleries, and to do that I need to create more work. My goal for 2018 is to have 50 strong pieces I can use for submissions to galleries and publications.  I'm also shooting things for book covers and my portrait business, so we shall see if I can make that goal!

9. A big goal of mine is to create a full and complete series. I am the WORST at creating a series.  I like to create one note pieces and I enjoy doing that. It's more how my brain works.  However, I finally came up with 4 possible series ideas and I plan to see where they take me. I'm hoping to have at least one of them ready for 2019.

10. And the biggest goal and mission of all is to continue to grow, improve, learn, and hone my skills each and every day so my photography and artwork improves.

If you have a specific topic or question you'd like me to approach, contact me at :)

Friday, August 17, 2018


"I was never meant to be kept in a cage or anything that resembles one. I was never meant to be trapped or enslaved by anything including my fears or my addictions. I am not just meant to fly...I am meant to soar. I must remember to never let anything enslave me. My life is too important. I am a brave girl. I was born to fly free." - Bravegirls Club

The above quote really sums up this piece perfectly. I found the quote after I finished editing this, however, I really think it explains what this piece means. I like to think it shows hope. That although we may be struggling, stuck, or trapped, that there is always hope or a way out. Keep pushing through and never give up. Keep looking forward. Don't accepted your stuck situation.

A little background:
I've had this concept written down for a few months now; woman in cage reaching for key. But I couldn't find the right cage for the look I wanted, so my idea just sat on paper. In April, I was in an antique store and saw this really cool heart cage. It was perfect! But of course it didn't have a price tag on it (that always seems to happen to me) so I walked away as the store was busy. I came back to it twice wondering if it would work or not and double checking that I didn't miss the price somewhere. Finally, I realized it would be too perfect and had to find out the price.  To my delight it was only $7! :) Once I had this piece, everything for this concept fell into place.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Pit of Despair

Pit of Despair
"For happiness one needs security, but joy can spring like a flower even from the cliffs of despair". Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Almost all my images are composites in one way or another. I find it helps expand my creativity to be able to piece things together to create the world, location, or character I saw in my vision without limitations of having to always find the perfect place, at the perfect time. But I use to only photograph myself in actual locations, never compositing myself into a setting. If you saw me in a field, I was always actually in that field. I felt it was more authentic and I liked the challenge of finding locations that could work for that. However, it did become limiting to whatever was around me. I also could only shoot on days where I could go out to that field, wall, forest, etc or if the weather was perfect. It's still something I do more often than not, especially if possible, but I don't limit myself to it anymore.  

The image below is three images pieced together to create the overall art. One is myself, another is the flowers and the third is the cement "pit". Which is actually not a pit either. :)

Scroll past the image for more.

First, here is the photo of the flowers. This was the first image I took. I saw these little flowers outside of a restaurant and didn't know what I was going to use them for, but took lots of angles and put them aside.  I ended up using this frame because it had a blank spot I figured I could add myself to.

Then I took the photo of myself sitting on a stool. I made sure the camera was directly in front of me so it would appear as if also above me. And yup, just hung (badly) a piece of grey fabric over a shelf in my bedroom. Nothing fancy. And no I'm not naked lol

Then I put myself into the flowers, which was my final image for awhile:

Last, I took this shot while out at an old Fort. This was along a wall. But I centered myself on it so it could seem as I was looking down into it. 

Then I placed the flower shot with me into this cement box.

Sure there was lots of other editing. I made flowers larger. I had to blend flowers into the cement. But this gives you an idea of how an image like this is possible and how I put it together. 

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Weight of the World

Weight of the World
"It's about the journey, not the destination"

Sometimes when I go out to a location to shoot a specific photo or series I will take additional shots that were not planned in hopes to get additional artwork. Sometimes when I go out to a location I can't even shoot the main image I wanted to, so I have to come up with something that was not planned.  The first type of scenario would be my image Burnt where I had a few extra minutes and did some extra shots of myself with the burnt trees. The second type would be this image below. No planning, no thought behind it, just an image that was done on the spot.

I had planned to photograph myself with the globe out on a field (which I still hope to do in the next few weeks), but things changed that day and I couldn't use the field as I thought I could. After driving 30 minutes to the location, I didn't want everything to be a waste, so I looked around to see if there was anything that could be interesting enough to use as a background. I had the globe, a barn and about 5 feet x 5 feet of space I could use and about 10 minutes to shoot something. Anything.

Most of the images I create are thought-out with sketches and/or a mini story behind them. It's not often that I shoot without much thought or on the fly. So its fun to challenge myself and take a photo that took less than 5 minutes to set up and was very quick to edit. I find these images help round out my work just as much as my thought-provoking planned images do. I've been trying to shoot more of these to branch out my creativity on the spot and plan to try to do this at least once a month. Here is the image for this month:

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