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Twenty Two | A Creative Collaboration Between Two Cousins

In Art, collaboration, landscape, local artist, personal, Photography, Portrait, twenty two on August 19, 2014 at 6:53 PM

Dear Cousin –

I’m breaking all the rules with this post. It’s a day early for one. Wednesday already feels like it’s going to get away from me – so I’m grabbing this free moment and squeezing every ounce out of it to make sure I blog my photos. For two – though I initiated the “let’s shoot with the same lens” idea and agreed to shoot with my 50 – I didn’t do it. My 35 came in the mail and I just had to give it a test run. I’m really loving it – and am so glad you nudged the project a bit because it totally rejuvenated me. Thanks lady!! :)  My photo walk wound up being a few different days – from the first image made with my 35, to a trip to the beach – the one summer thing I’ve done this year!!, and one from an inspiring portrait shoot I did today. Here you go! Love you. Can’t wait to see yours. :)

The first image from the new 35 …. yay!! Wide open and sharp.

Beach cottage playfulness. Love the fluff container turned flower vase. When is the last time you had fluff? When I lived out West I met people who had never heard of it.

Photographer HEAVEN!! The perfectly blue sky turned cloudy and I began to salivate! Can you relate?

I bid so long to my beach buddies and moved on down the road. I just had to chase the stormy moodiness.

Lastly, and respectfully – one image from a recent portrait session. Carey just had a double mastectomy and we are going to document the changes, the scars, the recovery. She’s given me permission to share all the images – which I will do one day. It was an honor for me to do this with her – and she said it was very cathartic for her. ♥♥♥

Lydia is a photographer in NYC and I’m in CT. We decided a while back that we wanted to work on a project together – and we’re still figuring out what that is. Here is a LINK to my first post which explains the idea and here is a LINK to Lydia’s last post in the project.

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Twenty Two [A Creative Collaboration Between Two Cousins] | Story

In Art, collaboration, local artist, personal, Photography, twenty two on February 12, 2014 at 4:27 PM

The last time the spirit of change called her it was a quiet whisper – an achy, familiar longing she could not deny.

 

Lydia’s last post

My last post

About Twenty Two Story Project

Twenty Two [A Creative Collaboration Between Two Cousins]

In collaboration, personal, Photography, twenty two on January 21, 2014 at 3:19 PM

Lydia and I are moving our project in a new direction. Here is her post explaining the idea and revealing her first picture – to which I am responding below.

Here’s the idea. Last week she took a picture and posted it on her blog. This week I am responding to her picture with words (I am challenging myself to keep it to twenty-two words each week) – which will be the beginning of what we hope will be an unfolding story – and posting my picture – to which she will respond the next week.

While the ingredients for her amazing cranberry apple chutney were simmering, she wondered what the ingredients for an amazing life would be. 

 

About our project.

Lydia’s last post. (prior to “story line”)

My last post prior to “story line”

Twenty Two [A creative collaboration between two cousins]

In Art, collaboration, local artist, personal, Photography, twenty two on December 12, 2013 at 6:27 PM

Photo Walk on Main Street : Things that are Black or White

Hi Lyd,

Congrats on your two publications this week! So exciting! :)

I know you may post a day or two late this week – and I am posting a day early – so we balance each other out. I’m in the office at the studio and despite the fact that I have the heat cranked to 75 it is still cold in here. This is one of those rooms that is going to stay hot all summer and cold all winter. Lake Street Dive radio is playing on Pandora in the other room and I’m forcing myself to do this blog post because I have time right now.

I’ve been feeling a little “bleh” this week so it was the perfect time for us to explore “photography as therapy”. Your post from last week was inspiring. It reminded me, as it did you, of some of the things we loved about photography in the beginning. Going on photo walks was definitely an outlet and meditation for me. It didn’t matter if anyone ever saw the images – something worked through me and I’d always feel more energized after. That’s what happened with these too. I was feeling sort of down when I started my walk on Main Street and by the end my mood had completely shifted. I think “photo walks” should be an added tool in Art Therapy. It makes your forget yourself.

I don’t think I’d normally share any of these images. It was SO cold out – my fingers almost fell off – that there was little thought put into composition, etc. I was just looking for our chosen colors. Blobbity blob – they are what they are and I’m sharing them with you. That little dog is named Tilly. She was a rescue and I fell in love with her. She was behind the counter in a shop I went into (to get out of the bitter cold) and came out to say hello. The owner said she never comes out to see anyone (she was abused by her past owners). I think she wanted a massage. All animals ask me for one. ;)

Love you!!

T

About Twenty Two

My post from last week

Lydia’s post to be updated here later.

twenty two [a creative collaboration between two cousins]

In Art, collaboration, local artist, personal, Photography, twenty two, Uncategorized on December 6, 2013 at 11:32 AM

This weeks subject: Anxiety | Depression | Panic Attacks

Hello my dear cousin L ~

How are you? I’m really liking how this project is keeping us connected. Or – getting us connected. Even if when we don’t interact between postings (and I’m so glad we did connect this week) – I believe that doing work like this joins us together in spirit no matter the physical distance between us. We choose a challenging topic this week. I’ve experienced all three of these things in the past and part of me didn’t want to go there again. To photograph something like a panic attack means needing to try to remember how it felt – and it was scary enough experiencing it the first time. I resisted the process and had a lot of empathy for people who write memoirs about troubling pasts because it gave me a glimpse into how brave they have to be to take on that mantle of pain again, for a short time, to make sense of it and share it to try to help another human being.

I’m not sure if it’s a help or a hindrance to explain these pictures or not. Sometimes it’s best to let the viewer find their own meaning. What I will say it that making art awes me. I started off with a particular idea for these images – and they wound up expressing something entirely different then what I was consciously intending – but that are totally on point with how I viewed my struggles with these things. I’m becoming more convinced that Art makes and uses us – more than the other way around. When I give up control and submit myself to the process it is like making room for an idea that has been patiently waiting to be born to come through – we are just the vessel. Do you know what I mean?

I love you and am sending a hug.

♥T

Click on the images to see them in full.

Lydia’s post for this week is here.

About our project: Twenty Two

Twenty Two [A Creative Collaboration Between Two Cousins]

In Art, collaboration, cooking, local artist, personal, Photography, twenty two on November 29, 2013 at 12:59 PM

HOME: FOOD

Hi L –

Happy day after Thanksgiving. How was yours? I spent the day at Donna’s and got to see (not touch) our new (second) cousin. He is SO cute!! Seriously adorable with little man lips and lots of squishy-ness. We weren’t allowed to pick him up yet. I think it would have been a little much with so many people wanting a piece of him.

So – I totally failed on taking pictures this week – except for this one quick one yesterday morning. We all brought something this year and Donna & Kent cooked the turkey. My assignment was 10 pounds of mashed potatoes. I thought I’d at least do a before and after – but no. I put the taters on to boil, left the room … and came back to a total toxic, plastic smelling, nausea inducing smell. Not sure if it was the bottom of one of the pans or on the burner … but the kitchen was a vat of stink and all I wanted to do was finish making the dish and get out of there – so no after picture came to be.

What are we shooting next week?

Love you,

T

About our project: Twenty Two

Lydia’s Post from last week: Objects

Lydia’s Post about Food

Twenty Two [A Creative Collaboration Between Two Cousins]

In Art, collaboration, local artist, personal, Photography, twenty two on November 22, 2013 at 10:03 AM

Main Topic: HOME

Sub Topic: Objects [that make us feel at home]

Hi L,

It’s rainy here this morning and all I want to do is crawl back in bed with a good book. Instead I’m in the studio getting ready to do my first massage of the day and finishing up my post to you.  What are we going to shoot next week? Maybe our readers can pick the “sub topic” for us?

As you know, at least I think you know, everything I owned was in a storage unit for three years (after I’d been laid off, traveled, etc). That time was a great reminder of how little we really  need to live. My life was still full and filled with laughter and love even without all my junk. When I moved into the studio and got all that stuff out of storage I was almost overwhelmed by some of it – AND so excited to see a few of the things I’d forgotten about. This candlestick is one. About 14 years and 3000 miles ago I worked with a young guy who was trying to figure out what to with his life. He really loved working with wood – but his family/friends made him feel that doing any sort of work that involved artistry wasn’t a smart economical move. We had long talks about it and I passionately insisted he need to follow his heart and talents. No regrets. One morning he showed up for his shift with this candlestick. He’d been up all night making it and had come in to tell me he was quitting his job as he’d been accepted at a woodworking school near the Redwood Trees in CA. I was so proud of him – and inspired by his courage! The candlestick is a treasured object in my home. It reminds me of a wonderful soul, of taking risks and of how much we can be impacting other lives without ever knowing it.

The Muppets are just goofy and they make me smile. When I lived out in WA I worked at a Starbucks while going to massage school. These little guys were an item that we sold and when they went on sale I scooped them up. They remind me to not take life so seriously and are a throw back to my childhood. I did grow up watching them on t.v. (ugh, that ages me).

Lastly, this lovely little piece of pottery. A gift from a very talented friend who makes jewelry out in Portland, OR. Something about it makes me feel calm. The card behind it came from the Farnsworth Art Museum up in Maine. A friend and I had gone there to see the Wyeth collection – pictured is a painting that was done at the Olson house. The light in his paintings, along with the soft, muted – sort of grayed out colors – also go a long way to soothe my soul. Also – and I didn’t get anything of his – we saw an exhibit by Paul Caponigro when we were there. He’s not someone either of us had known about. He was a landscape photographer who worked with people like Minor White. He’d done work called “The Hidden Presence of Places” that I got chills from. I felt a calling to his work and to follow a similar path. So, even though the card is a painting from Wyeth – it also brings me back to Caponigro and reminds me to keep growing in our shared craft so that one day I can follow that call I felt. Do you think photography is a craft by the way? Or an art?

Til next time.

♥T

Here is a link to Lydia’s post from last week: https://lydia-billings.squarespace.com/news/2013/11/15/twenty-two-week-1-home

Here is her link for this week: https://lydia-billings.squarespace.com/news/2013/11/22/twenty-two-week-2-home-objects

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