Every now and then I like to take a step back from my usual blog posts about a technique I am playing with or recent travel photographs in lieu of miscellaneous things that are feeding my creative spirit in a more general way. As much as I love to share my work, it’s nice to reflect on other artists or art forms that light me up.
So today I am sharing a little download of five things that are filling my tank lately. I hope one or two will be new to you and will inspired you to take a deeper dive.
I heard the buzz about this documentary for several weeks before I had a chance to watch it. Joan Didion, an American literary treasure, felt like a friend or fairy godmother to me when I read her book, The Year of Magical Thinking, in the wake of my mother’s death many years ago. Her words about grief and the tricks it plays on our mind, grounded me during a very difficult time and I was eager to carve out quiet time to revisit her genius with this film. The Center Will Not Hold explores the entire arch of her career and looks carefully at her creative process. I was mesmerized by her hand gestures — if you’ve seen the film you will know exactly what I mean — and I loved that the film will remain a permanent record of the speech, thoughts, and insights of such a remarkable artist. Here is a link to The New York Times review of the film.
This book is my desert island coffee table book. Let’s just pretend that’s a thing, ok? I purchased this as a gift for myself when it first came out in 2015 and it has been a source of deep inspiration ever since. The book consists of 250 of the most extraordinary photographs lit only by a full moon, with exposures of up to 15 minutes. Remember the time I played with long exposure night shooting? It was in direct response to this book. I learn something new every time I leaf through it. If you get your hands on a copy, I hope you will find inspiration too. Perhaps a gift to yourself is in order.
I am such a fan of this online magazine founded by my new friend Amanda Carter Gomes. The Fold is a community space for “women of an uncertain age and a particular attitude”. Doesn’t that sound refreshing? Amanda and I met a few months ago and discovered that we live mere blocks from one another. Lucky me! What I love about the magazine is that it covers everything from arts and culture to politics and wellness. Here is a favorite recent interview they featured with Lisa Congdon about her latest book A Glorious Freedom. It just so happens that A Glorious Freedom is on my Christmas list. I think it will look lovely on my coffee table next to Full Moon, don’t you?
During the first meeting with Amanda that I reference above, she introduced me to the work of her friend, photographer Julie Blackmon. I wasn’t aware of Julie’s work previously and I am so grateful to now have her images in my head. I have fallen hopelessly in love with her composition, her use of color, and the rich storytelling in each and every image. Her photographs are ripe with hidden treasures, humor, and the sort of tension that is unique to family life. They feel both modern and timeless, which is quite a feat. I hope you will enjoy getting acquainted with her work too.
Founded in by Lindsay Crandall and Beth Lehman, Hello There, Friend began as a shared letter writing project between these two online friends. Beth and Lindsay wrote open letters to each other reflecting on gratitude, mindfulness, beauty and everyday struggles for several years. As the project grew, so too did their desire to bring additional voices into the mix. In October of this year, Beth and Lindsay relaunched the blog with a new manifesto and a list of contributors. The new format features essays by a host of voices, each with a focus on gratitude, slowing down, and noticing the beauty of everyday life. Yes, many of the writers are personal friends of mine, but believe me when I tell you that the work this collective is producing is not to be missed. Each essay is eloquent, heartfelt and beautifully polished. I hope you enjoy it.
So there you have it. A creative high five from me to you. But, don’t leave me hanging! I’d love to hear a thing or two (or three) that you are loving right now. Thanks so much.