Thursday, June 16, 2011

New Adventures In Photography



                                     
Expansion and growth as an artist is as important as it is inevitable. This growth usually occurs naturally in random phases, but the birth of my friend's baby made for a perfectly planned opportunity to try something new as a photographer. As my gift to her, I offered to take portraits of Baby Stella. It was a wonderful experience. To view the entire album, click here.

If you're interested in my work as a photographer, please email for rates and availability.



Stella at around 22 hours old... the first newborn I've ever held. 




Monday, June 6, 2011

What About Nat?

Don't get me wrong.  I know I'm in a good place and that things are headed in the right direction, but that doesn't mean I haven't been feeling a little like Bob Wiley.  If that reference isn't familiar to you, he's the dependent and obsessive compulsive character played by Bill Murray in What About Bob?  While the plot isn't a match to my life, my recluse nature recently had me portraying a similar unsettled misfit with ease.

"Hi, I'm Bob.  Would you knock me out, please?  Just hit me in the face."

I've worked long and hard to find my footing in Denver but, quite honestly, I've had so many frustrating mishaps in the last couple of weeks, that I decided it was best to skip feeling down about it and file these straight-to-DVD misadventures under comedy.  After all, laughter is the best medicine... which is good, because my current lack of health insurance means that, unlike Bob, prescriptions and a therapist aren't part of my story line.

Putting my best foot forward, I've had some wonderful experiences, but stepping into my expansive new world has also seen its share of less than graceful outcomes. When I wasn't being disappointed by people who didn't follow through or were dangling carrots to feed their own ego, I was busy dropping my cell phone in cereal milk, veering to avoid a drunk on a 10-speed heading straight for my car in moving traffic, and having a panic attack while walking alone through the crowded streets of a local festival. Yep, even when I looked beautiful and put together, my life was suddenly sporting a giant piece of spinach in its teeth.  What was happening?  Why was fitting into life suddenly so awkward?

"... baby steps, get on the bus, baby steps down the aisle, baby steps..."

That's when I decided it was time to stop trying so hard. When we're not being honest with ourselves, the world responds accordingly.  For me, that meant a big dose of Murphy's Law. I was wasting too much time trying to be who I wasn't by applying for the wrong jobs, attempting to impress people who couldn't care less, and forcing my will on things that made no sense or didn't serve a purpose. Even without having the answers, it was time to stop doing what I thought others wanted me to do or be.

Once I was successfully back on course, it didn't take long for positive things to happen.  The other night, I sent a text to a friend with happy news that I had sold a painting.  His simple one-word reply reaffirmed the lesson I had learned and put everything back into perspective. "Paint."  It was a single word that made me wish I could jump through my phone and hug him tight. He reminded me that, no matter what is going on in my life, I will always be an artist.  I create ~ through my art, writing, and spoken words. This is who I am, and this truth is where I must begin each day.

Living authentically, we gain the confidence to be proud of who we are without worry as to how we are perceived. We accept that there will be those who don't like us, find us annoying, think we're not good enough, and choose not to spend time getting to know who we are. We also appreciate that there will be those who find us charming, love what we bring to the table, treasure our unique qualities, and enjoy spending time getting to know who we are.

Much like the lesson in the movie, I believe people are brought into our lives to teach us what we need to learn about ourselves. What I've learned these last couple of weeks is that we don't have to be something we're not, or do something extraordinary, for people to notice or accept us.  To create the best experiences in life, we simply need to be ourselves. The people who matter will be there cheering us on.  And, if that happens to drive someone mad, so be it... just smile and continue navigating your way through the waters of life.

“I’m sailing. I’m sailing. I am a sailor!”