Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Winter's Horse ©2010
To all of you on the internet, I want to extend my warmest wishes for your new year! I also want to share with you all my favorite Christmas hymn. This is my favorite time of the year. It is a time to reflect on the miracle of Almighty God coming to speak with us on our level as men.

Merry Christmas everyone!!
 
O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.
O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan's tyranny
From depths of Hell Thy people save
And give them victory o'er the grave
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.
O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death's dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.
O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.
O come, O come, Thou Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes, on Sinai's height,
In ancient times did'st give the Law,
In cloud, and majesty and awe.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

What's up with the exhibit?

Lions ©2010

This is Somethin' Ya See Every Day
 
For years my brother and I joked about various road signs along the way to so many adventures. Some were fairly easy. For example "Right Lane Must Turn Right" obviously meant there would be terrible trouble for you and your passengers if you continued down the road without turning. Others were a bit more obscure. I remember at the time there was a supply shop by the name of "Dennis Supply" on 1st street in Casper. We mused about girls dropping by that particular shop to pick up their very own Dennis. For about a year I pulled together nearly 100 images hoping to illustrate that very question. Then in 2010 I had a solo exhibition in Casper, WY at the ever popular Metro Coffee Company. It was there that a collection of about 30 images begged the question, "what if road signs have more than one meaning?"

I admit, the best part of the exhibit for me was grabbing a cup of coffee and watching people as they looked through the images. I would be delighted when someone would burst out into laughter, because then the exhibit had served its purpose. But then, almost always this would happen. After the laugh came the deep breath and a return to sobriety. After all, we have been taught in all of our art classes from the time we are very small that art is most certainly never a laughing matter! When strait faces with piercing gazes continued silently through the exhibit focused maturely on the grim task ahead, I felt like something so wonderful was lost. Have we become so trained in appreciating art that we no longer appreciate art?

If you are in Longmont and have time to stop by the hospital, you will see six images from Somethin' Ya See Every Day. If you want to see more just stop by blurb: http://www.blurb.com/b/2302579-somethin-ya-see-every-day

One more thing, I appreciate this guy: http://artthatmakesyoulaugh.com/

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Blemish

Sunday morning found me once again in front of my mirror using every ounce of cover up I could on those irritating blemishes sprinkled around my face. I wondered if the curse of fair English skin would continually combat any hope I have of a beautiful porcelain complexion. As I was adding layer upon layer in a struggle that seemed totally futile my 8 year old niece walked into my bathroom and asked a lingering, "Whatchadoin'?" I explained about the problem that seemed to be blight covering my face and how it must be eradicated! She shook her head and replied, "Oh I know all about that!" My brows furrowed. "Ya!" she continued, "Just look at this!" Her delicate little finger pointed to a cold sore on her lip. "Oh," I replied in a patronizing manor "that will go away in a few days." As I poked here and there along my cheeks and jaw I said, "These are a bit more insistent than that." Back I went to my mudding. Then she narrowed her gaze and speaking just a little louder said, "Ok! Well look at this, and this, and how about this spot!!" I put my cotton pad down and watched as she moved that same delicate finger along alabaster skin to insignificant, slightly pink spots barely gracing her face. It struck me at that moment how truly beautiful she is. I know that I already have a prejudice, however I know she is indeed a very beautiful young lady.

Since then I have been thinking about the ways we teach our girls about beauty. At eight years old she is already comparing and looking for blemishes that must be hidden and removed. What am I saying when I use pounds of cover-up for skin that will from time to time show something that is a little less than runway worthy?

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Tiny Places

I have visited Chicago a handful of times. Two years ago I traveled to New York city. These are two immense places. I grew up in Casper and I have enjoyed my visits to Ordway. In contrast neither of these are large cities. I have noticed all of these places have one important thing in common, they are filled with people full of stories waiting to be told. In spite of the have-to-dos and sit-a-spells, everyone in this sometimes overwhelming gigantic world is vastly loved.
 
Little Chicago ©2011

Please stop by the North Vista Medical Center at 2017 100 Year Party Court, Unit 1
 in Longmont to see a collection of pieces, which focus on this theme.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Dreams Adrift

Good Evening!
Saturday I had the pleasure of going to the Dairy Center for the Performing Arts to see the Phamaly Production of Dislabled. It was a fantastic show! If you have the opportunity to see a Phamaly show, I highly recommend going! Check them out at www.phamaly.org.

I parked some blocks away from the theatre and met some friends for lunch before the show. We could not have asked for better weather last Saturday! The wheel was gorgeous. On my way to the car after the show I took some time to photograph. There is a small creek that runs next to the theatre. It has small bits of trash here and there, but overall it is a lovely spot. Hiding from the traffic just a few feet away this quiet little hollow seems idyllic. As I wheeled I noticed a man napping on the bench. Very discretely I took the photograph, then went home.


Dreams Adrift ©2014

This shot is an interesting push and pull between the serene and the desperate. The setting indeed seems idyllic, but no one is fooled into believing that it is perfect. There is something missing and yet all is as it should be. Little disks of golden dandelions float next to bits of dropped wrappers as they are carried along toward the street. This is a great place to catch a nap. Would one's own porch be better?

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Shrinking

As some of you already know, I have a genetic condition known as Osteogenesis Imperfecta. Not sure what that means? This young lady does an excellent job explaining O.I. in great detail!





Last Saturday I had a young boy who was probably about 7 years old ask me, "When are you going to start shrinking?" Now that is a question I have never heard before. After many years of life on God's green earth, but not too many because a lady is entitled to her vanity, I have heard a slew of questions related to my size, shape and overall demeanor. Usually the questions are something like this, "What happened to you? Do your legs work? Where is your mom? How old are you? Why are you so small?" I have a pretty concise speech about the disease and its impact on my everyday life. I can usually answer any question with calm grace. After a brief interview most children are satisfied and go on their way without a second thought. The conversation almost always starts with the same question, "Why are you so small?" Perhaps not surprisingly it isn't a question only children ask. Adults are curious too. This reminds me of John 9. But I don't think the aim of the questions are to be cruel or they wouldn't be asking me anything.

Last Saturday, this question, "When will you start shrinking?" was so very different from anything I had ever been asked before that it caught me off guard. Even when he repeated the question, I still wasn't quite sure
Tess at age 7
what he was getting at. My cool and collected speech was shaken. After a few awkward "umms" he let me know that other moms were much taller, which told me he assumed that at one point I was a willowy 5'10" that somehow shrunk. That and I never thought my appearance was matronly. I may have to work harder to update my style. Remember, a lady is indeed entitled her vanity. What would life would be like if for one brief time I was of average height and suddenly I diminished in one terrible season. Being born small (and remaining that way) gives you a perspective which makes an average one seem very bazaar. I think many little people dream of being tall like everyone else. I actually dream of everyone being small like I am. Perhaps that is a little self focused, but imagine the resources we would save!

Truth is, I have seen kids who stare, kids who cry and yes even kids who feel like they have to touch me to see if I am real. There are two ways to react. First, you can become embittered and angry. Secondly, you can show a bit of empathy and realize if you were 7 years old and saw someone you thought was a gorgeous pixie momma, you'd be dying to ask a few questions too. It's not an act of hate that propels a child to explore their world. By reacting in shock, and yanking a child out of these sort of situations, you are letting them know that this person they are so curious to know is nothing more than a problem to be avoided at all costs. No human being is merely a problem to be avoided. And while the questions may seem dehumanizing, reacting with horror is actually the dehumanizing act. Do the questions become a nuisance at times? Absolutely! Especially on days that you are feeling stressed about life, the universe and everything. On those days, to be reminded that on top of everything else you are still a little person, is definitely trying. However, if I can't realize the facts of my own life, come to terms with them, and then take the time to share with others, how can I expect to create a world where I am treated with respect and understanding?

Eventually, I did collect my thoughts and answered all of this little boy's questions. We ended our conversation with a demonstration of my movable legs that did in fact exist. After that he went to the snack machine and pressed his face against the glass. Once his mom came out of the restroom he demanded chips.

Even as crazy as they are, I really love kids.