Saturday, January 31, 2015

Tea and happy music...


Some days are meant for taking time to drink a cup of tea, reading a book, and listening to happy music.

Need a happy song for your day?

I recommend this one by The Well Pennies. It reminds me of summer roadtrips, beautiful weather, and dancing around the kitchen while doing the dishes. And, really, what is better than that?

Happy weekend to you!


Sunday, January 18, 2015

A Wedding in the Park...










This weekend I had the opportunity to photograph a small private wedding ceremony for a friend of mine. It was the first time I have ever photographed a wedding and it was so special. The bride and groom had a simple ceremony in a nearby park. There weren't hundreds of guest, a wedding party that goes on for miles, or decorations. None of that was needed. The ceremony centered around the bride and groom and was accented by their yellow roses and the natural trees of the park. Though their ceremony was very simple, there were moments that it took my breath away far more than many of the more elaborate weddings I have attended.

As I walked the couple through the park and photographed them, I saw how much they love one another. I saw it in the ways they made each other laugh, in the ways they expressed their affection, in the ways that they reassured each other in stressful situations, and most of all in the way they looked at one another.

During the ceremony the bride and groom shared beautiful vows that each of them wrote, the officiant got a little bit emotional even though she had never met them before the ceremony, and the mother of the bride glowed with joy even as tears dripped down her face. Those are just a few of the special details I was able to observe as I stood in the midst of trees and looked through my camera lens. The ceremony was, as it ought to be, centered around love.

I am so thankful that I was able to be with the bride and groom on their wedding day and to help document these moments and details for them. I am by no means a professional photographer, but I am so thankful for my camera and the ways that I am able to use it to capture glimpses of this tapestry we call life.


Thursday, January 8, 2015

Interview with Artist Angelia Murray...

Hello everyone!

I am so excited about today's blog post! I am still amazed at how all of this came about.

Last month my dear friend Sara Beth had a chance to visit New York City with her husband. While visiting Central Park she came across the artwork of Angelia Murray being sold by Angelia's husband Michael James Murray. My sweet friend was captivated by the art and knew that I would love Angelia's work. Sara Beth surprised me and purchased a print of Angelia's Elephant on Broadway and brought it back as a Christmas gift for me.

When I received the Christmas gift, Sara Beth included a note with the artist's website. As I browsed Angelia's website and Etsy shop I became truly enchanted with her work. I specifically connected with her Whimsical Daydreams series.

As I looked at Angelia's work I realized that I wanted to contact her to share how much joy her work was bringing to my life. In my email I invited Angelia to participate in an interview for my blog. I was so pleased when she agreed to participate and I hope that you will enjoy reading the interview as much as I enjoyed conducting it.

May you be inspired by her work and her words in today's post.

Elephant on Broadway
Giraffes On the Yellow Brick Road
Strawberry Cosmos
Penguins Ice Skating in Central Park

Thank you for taking the time to participate in this interview and share your work!

What first sparked your interest in painting? When did you first begin painting?

It all began in high school during my sophomore year. I was taking a lot of science and math classes while my friends were taking a lot of art classes. In order to break the monotony I decided to try an art class. I never thought it would resonate with me. My first drawing was of a squirrel and it was terrible. I then moved onto Acrylic paint, which is an impossible medium for me now. I found my love for watercolors during my last semester at St. Mary’s College. At the time I loved how I could just get lost in the pigments swirling in the water.

You mentioned in our correspondence that you just recently began selling your work. Can you share a little more about your journey to begin selling your work and sharing it with the world?

My journey to getting my artwork out there is kind of like my yoga practice: sporadic. It comes and goes depending on my confidence level. Graduate school was the first real start of committing to myself as a professional artist. However, my husband and artist, Michael James Murray, is my biggest cheerleader. He truly is the one who inspired me to chase after my dream continually reminding me art is subjective and you will be rejected. You just have to get it out there. So that is what I am doing. I started my website, my etsy and sell my work at small events in NYC. I am working up the courage this year to apply to group gallery shows. I am no longer just letting my artwork sit in my studio. Baby steps.

What advice would you give to other artists that are nervous to “get their work out” in the world?

My biggest advice is to keep making art, lots and lots of art. Some of it will be good, but most of it will probably be bad. That is okay as long as you keep making art. Do not fear rejection. Easier said than done. Remember art is subjective and foremost a business. Be organized and prepared. Create a website and a business card. Someone once told me you should have an elevator pitch ready; meaning a short interesting statement of what it is you do. You just never know who you will meet.

I have become truly enchanted with your Whimsical Daydreams series. What was the first Whimsical Daydreams painting that you created?

On my website I have a lot of paintings within the Whimsical Daydream series, but to be honest the one I considered to be the very first is Strawberry Cosmos. This painting combined city and nature together fairly successfully. It felt a bit more grounded than my earlier work. The butterflies and cocoons were really important to me at the time because I was seeking transformation.

What has been your inspiration for your Whimsical Daydreams paintings?

Whimsical Daydreams started at an artist residency in September 2009. My studio was tucked within trees and flowers with lots of wildlife, which I had not experienced in quite sometime due to living in NYC and traveling about 3 weeks out of the month for a corporate job. The residency brought a clarity to my mind, a break from my real life. This is when I decided to explore symbolism within insects, animals, and plants. So in essence I was trying to create little messages within my painting. I have found the people who connect with this series tend to find these meanings as well.

One of the aspects that I really enjoy in your pieces are the elements of New York City that you incorporate in whimsical ways. You create such a joyful juxtaposition of the natural world with the concrete and noise of city life. 

Could you share a little bit about how the city inspires you and the art you create?

I have been in NYC for about 10 years. I am originally from a rural town in Southern Maryland. I really could not tell you how I ended up in the city other than the fact I wanted to be an artist. I was following my dream at 21 years old. I knew no one. I just did it. It was the best decision I ever made. The city is now my home, but my love for nature remains. The animals and plants that appear within my work all have some symbolic meaning. I incorporate humor and lightness in order to wipe away my own cynicism.

Thank you once again for taking the time to participate in this interview. I have one final question for you.

What does living a creative life mean to you?

Freedom. I can at least say I tried to succeed at something I love.

Angelia Murray is an emerging artist recently graduated with her MFA from SUNY New Paltz, NY. In addition to her artistic endeavors, Angelia spent 5 years working as a Marketing Representative for photo industry giant, B&H Photo. Her career in marketing provided multiple opportunities for international and domestic travel, from which Angelia draws her artistic inspiration in regards to constructed space. 

Her repertoire not only includes drawing but photography as well. Angelia has participated in an artist residency at St. Mary’s College of Maryland and Vermont Studio Center as well as studied technical proficiencies through classes at the Maine Media Workshops, under respected photographer Christopher James and others.

Angelia is highly involved in the photo community, but drawing remains her primary passion. Angelia has shown paintings at the Samuel Dorsky Museum, New York State Museum and galleries in NYC, Maryland and Brooklyn.

She lives and works with her husband, Michael Murray and daughter in Peekskill, NY.

If you would like to see more of Angelia Murray's work you can visit her website and Etsy shop.

Her work and words have been truly inspiring to me and I am glad that I have had the opportunity to share this interview with others that might never have heard of her before.

May life be filled with creative joy!


Friday, January 2, 2015

January 1st- 12 hours of photos...













Yesterday was the first day of 2015. It was filled with the joys of listening to rain patter on my window, writing, and spending time playing board games with my family.

As I woke to the sound of the rain, the day began to beckon me to document it in some way. It was as if I had opened a brand new journal and the pages could not stand to stay blank any longer. I decided that I wanted to document the day by taking a photo an hour for 12 hours. This was the first time that I've documented a day by taking a photo each hour. I found it to be a very enjoyable way to capture such a relaxing day at home. And, taking one photo every hour was a wonderful way to capture some of the memories of the first day of a new year.

Now, whenever I want to reflect back on how this new year began, I can look back on the memories that are weaved into these images.

I hope that the first day of the new year was a wonderful tapestry of memory making for you as well!


Thursday, January 1, 2015

An unconventional New Year's Eve...

Guess what will make viewing these photos even more fun!

Listen to Perry Como's Catch a Falling Star. (You can listen to it on YouTube here.)





My Starry Sky

Catch A Falling Star

I enjoyed an unconventional New Year's Eve last night. Initially, I felt a bit blue because part of me wished that I had grand plans for the evening. But, my plans were simply to spend time with family at home. As I began to think about the evening an idea jumped into my mind- I could make my own starry sky!

So, my sister and I dashed off to the craft store. She patiently waited as I wandered around until I found the perfect paper and ribbons. I returned home and spent a large part of the evening in my favorite sweater, a pair of overalls, and polka dot socks as I cut and constructed my own starry sky above my bed.

I remember the moment that I finished my project I thought to myself, "It's beautiful! I am so glad I spent New Year's Eve at home!"

Sometimes in life I think that I really want to spend an evening or a day in a certain way, but then plans change and (though it is nothing like my original wish) it is far better than I ever imagined.

I had an unconventional New Year's Eve, but I wouldn't trade it for all the glamorous parties in the world. It was special, it was mine, and I doubt that I will ever spend another New Year's Eve quite like this one.

May your New Year be filled with joy!