Photo shoot in the studio
My job is constantly growing and evolving. I owe a lot of this expansion to the people I keep company. This year has seen some large and subtle shifts in re-organizing and restructuring my priorities. It feels really good to more intentionally structure to reflect my priorities to my close friends and family, my practice, and my spirituality. Often it is a battle, a running around like a chicken with my head cut off day after another as I go to do this thing, pick up that thing, visit this person, do this favor, sand that, clean this, ship there, paint and paint and paint and more and round and round.
That’s life. Probably for a lot of us I suspect.
What makes my practice special is that I get to do it in Northampton, MA. Here in this river valley there are many free thinking, sunset loving, activist and artist, small business owners, and so much many more who are focusing on the quality of their life rather than simply quantity. There’s an intentionality, a kindness here. Part of how this is starting to integrate into my life is the way in which I’m now learning to draw on the strengths and insights of others to lend to my art practice. Specifically, I’ve started to work with other artist to assist with their projects, install shows, and collaborate on future project ideas and shows.
In March was the show “Beneath the Surface” with Carolyn Clayton and Katie Richardson. I am starting to work often with Joanna Chattman Photography and Kristin Kelly, owner of Ode Boutique, to execute their design fantasies. Behind the scenes I am watching and working with other artist friends in their personal growth and develop. Yesterday, I got to do a little photo shoot with Paul Specht. He takes picture of people. This is part of his art. The seeing of people. So above, I am just adding a shot he took of me from our shoot yesterday. I’m not usually very into photos. I mean, it’s just a whole insecurity thing. I usually just don’t look at photos of myself. But I think when someone like Paul comes to visit because he wants to take photos and of me, it really is a treasure. It’s a treasure for so many reasons. There’s always the simple fact that I get to know Paul better and his craft. There’s the new Facebook profile picture … haha … but all of these things are really helping me to feel a part of, included, seen, cared for, and supported in this art practice. I felt like I came from a place where I was very much on my own and really struggling to get by for so long. I don’t have family nearby. I do a type of job that is notoriously a struggle to make a consistent lifestyle from. But I’m ok. I’m better than ok. I’m great. And I’m great in a large part because of the intentional community I am a part of who not only want that for me, but for the other people around them.