New Year, New Birth

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2017 was by far the best year of my life. This is a surprising statement for me to make considering where I was at this very point a year ago. Having uprooted my life abruptly to move to Provence only a few months prior and still just in the very beginning stages of that journey, I was lost. I was still tired from New York, I still had so much American programming I needed to break free from, I was still needing the winter to rest or rather disappear for a while. Then the spring came and with her I blossomed in my work and in my soul. I can look back now and see through the shifting light of day, the shift in myself and my photographs. Surprising turns, new awareness, presence and inspiration in the everyday. I fell in love with photography all over again. It has been and will always be what I most want to do every day when I wake up but more so now than ever.

Today, January 1st, 2018, I re-read my resolutions from last year and felt proud of the work I put toward them. I love living with less, wasting less. Seeing the emotion, awareness to time, romanticism, thought, and painterly quality come through my work as I outlined for myself gives me a sense of pride and empowerment that I can create what I dream of. I did make a home for what feels like the first time in my life because I’m actually living my life now as defined by me which is as simple as cooking meals and making fires. I built the world I wanted to live in and that is a real accomplishment. I’m proud of myself. I thank you all who are reading this and for being there in spirit with me. 

I don’t really know where all of this leads and that’s ok. I don’t always want to know the weather report, sometimes it’s nice to just wake up and discover it’s snowing or find yourself lost in the early morning fog… it’s how I ensure each day is full of life’s simple magic. 

As I write out my New Year’s resolutions in no particular order I wish you all the success in yours on this new day of a new year….

  1. Continue seasonal Provence still lives series 
  2. Greater foraging for my photographs
  3. Find and incorporate more nature to grow stories through a local taxidermist, working with more bugs and personally shaping them and finding French flower growers (farms) to source from
  4. Learn more French *cries*
  5. Even greater carbon conscience diet, less red meat, as locally grown as possible
  6. Discover more independent French brands to support
  7. Find more French artists to collaborate with
  8. Continue to develop my self portrait series with greater storytelling
  9. Share info on artists I follow and admire on Instagram (via stories)
  10. Collaborate with more fashion designers 
  11. Begin flowers, fruits and coups series 
  12. Continue to develop glass plate series 
  13. Save for a chateau 
  14. Experience more French cultural events (ex: Jazz festival, Paris white dinner)
  15. Experience Max Richter’s Sleep 
  16. Go to the Paris Ballet 
  17. Complete Cinemagraph goddess art series in Paris 
  18. Experiment with printing, learn about archival museum quality digital printing options, what they each look like and start experiencing my work in the physical world. Let living with photographs influence the next stage of growth and development 
  19. Accept new photographic art challenges through private commissions outside the digital space 
  20. Learn something new everyday
  21. Continue to focus on community growth via instagram to have more shared conversations on photography 
  22. One photography tutorial a week (saved now to my Instagram highlights!! Yay!!)
  23. Create a short film that represents what life in Provence is truly about. How it feels. Capture this moment in time.
  24. Experience Italy
  25. Experience a nude beach in the south of France and or coast of Spain
  26. Visit a Mediterranean island
  27. Figure out a better direct communication system than Instagram’s DM
  28. Have a book published on my Provence work (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DREAMS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
  29. Design and have created clothing to wear in Provence and costumes for my photographs *note, I would like to be able to sew these myself but I’d need to take classes again and I think maybe too much to bite off for 2018’s goals*
  30. Put together my Spotify playlists to share
  31. Greater pictorialism in my work 
  32. Read MORE photography books! (and share what I learn)
  33. Continue to detach further from society norms and cultural standards, live freely 
  34. Become more fearless in my work and photographic experimentation. It’s ok if people don’t like some of my pictures, trust in the process and growth. The value is not in likes but in how much of life I can explore and express. I need to feel safe and free to go further. I can’t let other’s view of the world effect my own expression or experience of it. 
  35. Consider creating photography workshops (design what that would look like)
  36. Continue to learn experiment with cooking and new recipes 
  37. Update a new organization system for inspiration, ideas, goals, notes and thoughts 
  38. Capture raw un-styled everyday life completely free from the “perfection” we are shown daily as what life is supposed to look like. (Inspiration, Annie Leibovitz early years work exhibition I viewed in Arles, France last summer)
  39. Work on creating stronger portraits of people I admire. Create ONE image of someone that says something than multiple quick shots that all together tell a story.
  40. Find gallery representation 
  41. Put together a gallery show 
  42. Make my photographs more like poetry 
  43. Stop and write when the words come 
  44. Consider renting a separate workspace in Provence
  45. Focus my writing to comment on the day to day of life
  46. Extend my photographs greater into the universal human experience 
  47. Travel slowly 
  48. Further illustrate emotional life experiences into pictorial photographs 
  49. Run 2-3 miles every day (or other workout)
  50. Figure out my French visa situation and find a way to make it longer term 
  51. GET A DOG

“In the currents of life, in action’s storm,
I float and I wave
With billowy motion!
Birth and the grave
A limitless ocean,
A constant weaving
With Change still rife,
A restless heaving,
A glowing life-
This time’s whirring loom unceasing I ply,
and weave the life-garmet if deity.”
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust