august 22, 2018

posted in: art, photography | 0

“Here’s what I thought when I went out tonight to visit with the stars. I thought, I feel sad for those humans who live in a binary world, everything is either good or bad, right or wrong. Tonight, my outside world was misty, shaded and magical. As others have said before me, there is a great cloud of unknowing. I’m comfortable with that. That’s what I thought.” ~ Ken Bailey

Cool kid (Snapseed)

 

Terri Brown is a gem. Not only does she work hard for UK Libraries, she is one of the kindest people I’ve ever known. As ours is a small world, I actually knew Terri’s sister Claudia Thomas first, many years ago when we both served on the Visual Arts Committee of the Lexington Art League with whom Claudia was employed. We bonded immediately, so years later, when Terri told me Claudia was her sister, I was not at all surprised that we, too, had become fast friends. The sisters are both creative, caring, soft hearted women that I’m so proud to call friends.

 

august 20, 2018

posted in: art, photography | 0

“We all require and want respect, man or woman, black or white. It’s our basic human right.” ~ Aretha Franklin

 

new in the outhouse

 

Meet Katie Swartz. I met Katie when she graciously gave Annie and I refuge in her tent when the rains began. I tried my best to help her lower the sides of her tent without knocking over her displays with my backpack. Last year Annie had bought one of her delightful stuffed animals for her upcoming niece (niece arrived slightly ahead of schedule but otherwise perfect). The niece loved the little crocheted animal, so we stopped for another. That’s when it began to rain. Having now seen Katie twice, plus weathering the storm together, I feel like I know her. She treated us as if we were old friends. I love open hearted people like Katie. They make the world a better place. You can see more of her work at her Etsy shop, and if you are so inclined, by all means, support her kindness and art.

september 27, 2017

posted in: art, photography | 0

“Don’t let the stuff of life obscure the radiant light that shines from within you.” ~ Terry A. Gordon

 

a bright light

 

Rebecca Campbell is one of the most gifted artists I know. She makes exquisite dolls and assorted figures in a really unique, soft, inviting style. Over the years, you’ve seen me stalk her husband, David, with my camera, but he was ill during the Sorghum Festival. That meant poor Becs caught the lens. She said, “I thought it was some hunched over old woman sneaking up on me.” “It was!” I replied. Thanks for playing, Rebecca. You’re always a joy to run into.

 

sneakin’ up you

may 12, 2017

posted in: art, photography | 3

“Do something wonderful, people may imitate it.” ~ Albert Schweitzer

 

sweeties

 

Lori-Lyn Hurley had an opening reception this evening at St. Raphael’s gallery. Her beautiful paintings lined the gallery walls in few but mighty numbers. I’m so proud of her for doing the work she loves and putting it out there for the world to enjoy and appreciate. And that man of hers, Tracy; still one of the finest human beings ever. The two of them together fill me with more joy than should be allowed, and any time in their presence is a gift. I got an unexpected treat at the reception, too. Stacy and I met St. Raphael’s interim rector Rev. Karen Booth. She was engaging and her story was very familiar. She has a BA in fine art photography from EKU (who does that sound like?); and she left the church for a time before coming back to earn her Masters of Divinity. I don’t have the latter, of course, but I do identify with why one would take an extended break from organized religion. It’s amazing to me how many people I know who have had similar experiences. They’re brought up in the church, leave or become disillusioned for one reason or another, and then called to return. Most if not all are the most genuine, compassionate Christians I’ve ever known, so there was little surprise that I connected with Rev. Booth. I got to see two of my favorite people, hang out with Stacy, and meet a new awesome person. I win Friday.

 

shining stars

 

january 31, 2017

posted in: art, drawing, music, photography | 1

“The Lord will bless you for being kind to people.” ~ Reva Hubbard

 

flash from the past (snapseed)

 

Last night as I was pouring over Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk, relishing the ancient art of vinyl album covers, something caught my eye. Tusk is an elaborate vinyl package, even among double albums. There are slips inside slips inside the outside cover. Of particular interest were the outer (or middle) slips. Instantly, it was 1979 and I was back in my tiny bedroom, sitting on the floor in front of a second-hand stereo, where I scoured the intricate collages for hours. Now, they reminded me of Peter Beard‘s work. In 1993, I came across a book called “The Adventures and Misadventures of Peter Beard in Africa” by Jon Bowermaster. It captured my attention for two reasons: 1. Beard is a fascinating artist known primarily for his collage diaries (he sometimes uses his own blood to draw on them) and 2. I’ve loved Africa since early childhood, particularly Kenya where Beard has a home called The Hog Ranch. As Tusk continued to spin its quirky pop tunes, I pulled out my copy of the book. I rifled through the pages, memories flying back to me; Beard’s friendship with Karen Blixen (Isak Dinesen who wrote the autobiographic Out of Africa, one of my all-time favorite books), the sheer beauty of Africa, the shame of big game killers, the privileged life that afforded Beard such an adventure that most people, certainly most artists, could never have. And then I saw it: a photo from one of the Tusk collages. Beard made the collages for Tusk. I knew about Peter Beard before the Bowermaster book. He’s listed on Tusk’s credits. As someone who used to absorb every piece of information from albums, the connection between Beard and Tusk had been buried in my brain all these decades, subconsciously rolling around, waiting to resurface. It was a beautiful moment to reconnect with these two things I loved so much when I was younger. I hope one day I’ll have the opportunity to go to Kenya and Tanzania, roam the Masai Mara Wildlife Reserve, and wake up “at the foot of the Ngong Hills.” What a blessing that would be, but it certainly doesn’t diminish the blessings Tusk and Peter Beard have given me for decades. I’m lucky that they’ve come back home.

 

pure art (snapseed)

september 10, 2016

posted in: art, photography | 4

“Trust in your journey. You’re on the right track.” Unknown

 

sweetie
sweetie

 

Today was Cannel City’s Pickin In The Park. Much like Market in the Park in West Liberty, this little art and music festival lasted only the day. Not far from my table again was Minnie Adkins. If you follow art at all, then you’ll know that Minnie is one of the most cherished folk artists in the country. I don’t mean the country as in Kentucky country, I mean in the United States. Her work is all over the world; in museums galore, including the Smithsonian. She is a Commonwealth treasure. I’ve known Minnie for better than twenty years now. Pam Oldfield Meade introduced us when Minnie was at White Oak. I don’t remember why she was there, and I didn’t really see her again until Market in the Park last month. We got to talking, and before I knew it, she had invited me to show my work at next year’s Minnie Adkins Day in Elliott County. That was a real honor!

 

in her natural habitat
in her natural habitat

 

Minnie is so unassuming. She’s soft spoken, kind to every person she meets, and genuinely interested in fostering art. She has inspired dozens of artists, not just in Kentucky, but all over. She has done a lot for the Eastern Kentucky area artists in particular. She really tries to help people practice their art, and she goes to events like Pickin in the Park because she knows communities need art. I just can’t say enough about how much she means to so many people. I had the opportunity to introduce her to dad today. Neither one of them have ever met a stranger, so naturally they acted like old friends casually running into each other. Minnie is my shero, and I’m grateful to call her friend.

 

a little blurry
a little blurry

march 12, 2016

posted in: art, photography | 0

“All complaints about life today will be ignored
unless they are submitted in the format of elegant haiku poetry.”
~ Dr. SunWolf

 

the awesome LL
the awesome LL

 

Lori-Lyn Hurley is one of the most eloquent speakers I know. From lunch conversation to contemplative dialogue, she is thoughtful and succinct in everything she says. We’ll add that to her laundry list of talents. I had the honor of being in a discussion with her today at ArtsPlace about art as prayer. It was part of LexArts’ Arts Weekend. At the time we signed up we didn’t realize the city’s plan to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day (the parade started the same time we did), or that Comic Con was in the convention center, or that Disney On Ice was at Rupp Arena. And there was a lot going on inside ArtsPlace, too. The Chamber Choir was in just before us. We could hear children singing on another floor. Some of the most elegant Latina dancers stomping to Mariachi music helped end our day. It was a fun, festive atmosphere in downtown Lexington. There was one unusual thing that happened though. There was a man, another artist from the looks of it, going about his business as if we weren’t there. Through our entire conversation he continued to set up his artwork and lights and projectors and God knows what else. I’m still scratching my head over it. (I should write that as a haiku I suppose) While I was completely distracted by the man-with-no-name Lori-Lyn remained poised, as if we were the only people in existence. Yet another talent I wish I had. I’d start talking, see the man-with-no-name drag in something else, and suddenly fifteen minutes had passed. Lori-Lyn was awfully sweet to let me yammer on. But she did speak, and that’s what I wanted out of this deal. I wanted people to hear her talk about her work and be inspired like I had been inspired when she gave a similar talk in Ewing back in the fall. I have never been with her that I didn’t learn something or become inspired or feel as if I was in the presence of someone with more passion in her pinky than a whole town of people put together. I hope our small audience was able to overlook the interloper because, if they were, then hearing Lori-Lyn speak was worth every roadblock they surely went through to get there. It was a fantastic day made all the more memorable by the man-with-no-name and the wonderful friends, old and new, who came out to support art.

 

the colors that matter
the colors that matter

november 16, 2013

posted in: photography | 0

Through all of living have much joy and laughter, life is to be enjoyed, not just endured.
~ Gordon B. Hinckley

best gifts
best gifts

The mail lady placed the package on my porch. I couldn’t imagine what it was. Physically, I wasn’t feeling my best, and the week had brought some heart wrenching news to the family, so my spirit was troubled with concern. My friend, Duane Adams, recently tried his hand at blacksmithing again after 37 years. He posted a photo on facebook of an exquisite candle holder he made with his wife for their anniversary. I opened the box to find a similar candle holder. It could not have come at a better time, or mean so much to me. Duane Adams is one of the kindest, most compassionate, intuitive men I have ever known and I am in love with him (figuratively speaking, of course, as I’m sure Sarah would object) and his art.

crossroad
crossroad

Before the mail, I had errands to run. I passed the new mural downtown, and went back for a few shots. Brazilian painter, Kobra, shares his rendition of Kentucky native President Abraham Lincoln. I heard someone call the mural “Gaybraham” because of the colorful style. Other’s suppose it should have been Mary Todd Lincoln as she was a Lexington native. For me, I just think it’s fantastic and I’m hopeful it will open doors for local painters to be commissioned for similar projects in Lexington. Public art, and murals in particular, are absolutely beautiful and necessary for any cityscape to truly shine. Art makes every day better.

this
this
and this
and this

 

september 8, 2013

posted in: art, photography | 1

Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow. It’s what sunflowers do.
~ Helen Keller

honey bee (camera+)
honey bee (camera+)

This time of year my sedum begins to turn deep pink. Bees adorn the blush plateau like gemstones gobbling up the last of season’s nectar. Some people are like sedum. Like bees to sedum, we’re drawn to them because they’re kind, intelligent, creative, and fun. They are god’s nectar. Pam Oldfield Meade is like sedum for all those reasons and more. I’ve known her so long I don’t remember the first time I saw her. She has been a tireless advocate for the arts in the foothills of Kentucky. I watched her lead a ragtag group of disparate artists and turn them into a cohesive force of good in the community. I had long ago backed off exhibitions because of the time and expense it takes to do them, but Pam won’t let me fold completely. Every time she’s involved with an exhibit, like yesterday’s Pickin’ in the Park, she invites me to join her. I love her for thinking of me, for always encouraging me, for never leaving me behind, and for believing that my work is good enough to be shown. But more than that, Pam is an inspiration. Over the last three decades I have watched her artistic muscles stretch from simple folk art to complex, multifaceted work that imbues Eastern Kentucky art with a mature vocabulary that’s second to none. I want to grow as an artist as she has grown, and find a voice that’s as beautiful and true as hers. Pam is a great artist and an even better friend. I would be lost without her. How lucky am I? Pretty dang lucky.

the queen of art
the queen of art

january 26, 2012

posted in: photography | 3

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” ~ Marcel Proust

Cliff

Cliff Sullivan is a gardener for many of us at work. He makes us laugh. He makes us think. He is a genuinely good man that people want to be around. Below, he’s working on historic newspapers, but when he’s not, he’s busy creating beautiful works of art. Cliff is a fantastic painter. Despite years of working a day job he has never sacrificed his artwork. Every day he inspires me to be who I am and remember what’s important. I’m grateful for him.

historic newspapers