Palm Springs Photo Festival : Julie Blackmon

“[...]the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes “Awww!”"

Julie Blackmon is one of the mad ones.  She's kind and brilliant.  I love how her mind can create such layered stories.  I've admired her for so long and it was a dream come true to take a workshop from her.   I had wanted to take Julie's class last year and we couldn't quite fit it in the schedule.  So finally at long last I was sitting in the courtyard of the Korakia with a handful of other artists and Julie.  

Julie is a fine art portrait artist and I would say her work can best be described as a satirical look at domestic life in the midwest.  She draws inspiration from so many painters and places it was so nice to get to be in her brain and see how she creates her magic.  I hope some of her magic rubs off on me and adds a new ingredient to my creative vision.  Isn't that what we are all really looking for?  I know I'm always looking to add color, movement, a new sense of time and space to my work.  She's really inspired by 17th Century Dutch and Flemish paintings of domestic life.  My photographic journey has always been fueled by paintings as well, mostly Expressionism, Abstract Expressionism, and the Bay Area Figurative Movement. I think our shared love of paintings is one of the things that makes her work so compelling to me.  As a teacher she's laid back and cool and really open to sharing her process with us.  She has a beautiful color palette and a certain optimism that I'm drawn to. If you are thinking of taking a workshop I would highly suggest Julie's.  The class also came with the added bonus of meeting some really cool photographers.  The critiques were a lot of fun, I loved seeing everyone's work.  I left wanting to shoot every single day and not wanting to do any adulting - only fun.  If I'm honest it took me a few days to find my balance again ha ha.

 Here are a few of my impressions of Julie Blackmon's class Day 1 at the Palm Springs Photo Festival.

xoxo Suzanne



4 Things...Inspiration

Happy weekend everyone, Sunday has rolled around once again. For the next two weeks Mike's mom Mary is in town.  It will be my mission to find new things to cross off her list. It's August so I don't think Palm Springs or Joshua Tree National Park is in the cards.  Any thoughts on a cool overnight trip? Mexico anyone? I feel like I always remember all the must see places of this amazing city after our guests leave. This week Mike and I have accomplished a lot. I've felt immensely inspired lately and feel like I can do anything I put my mind to. Below is a dreamy picture from a past trip to Laos. Here are a few things I've been loving this week and that have been adding to my inspiration...Inspiring: This week I've been loving the Inspire Me with Words Pinterest board. This page is the absolute best pick-me-up. When you need a few words of encouragement, or just to be reminded of how amazing you are, this page has just what you need. Sometimes we all need to take a step back and realize how rad we all are and how much we accomplish from day to day.

Loving: I had an art date with Ashley Bright. Ashley works at Promar Designs. I have always had an obsession with gold stars. You know the kind you get in elementary for being good in class? Gold stars are my Love Language.  Ashely fulfilled my inner kindergartener and created a magical poster to help me achieve my goals.  I will definitely share it once it's been printed. I am so thrilled to create the organized work life that I always dream of, yet often eludes me.  This is a beautiful step in the right direction for both me and my business.

Feeling: This week something my husband did made me feel extremely proud. As you know, Mike and I went to brunch with our friends Scott and Jenny of Quixotic Pictures at The Pearl. I was enjoying my Kentucky wake up call.  All of a sudden I see mike swimming extremely fast across the deep end of the pool.  A big smile of amazement spread across my face and I looked at our friend Scott and he was smiling too. I said "Hey Scott, do you know how awesome this is? I've never seen Mike swim so far!" Scott looked at me a little quizzically and I answered "Oh, he doesn't really know how to swim." Scott's face totally changed he looked back at Mike who had made it to the shallow end and finally lifted his head to breathe. Scott looked at me and said "I pushed him in". Ha ha well I guess Mike would never have known he could swim so far without his pal Scott.  I could tell Mike was pleased he rose the occasion and we all had a good laugh.  It made me wonder what else we can accomplish? What else is in us right below the surface?

Dreaming: With all the amazing things that we've accomplished this week as a SheWanders team, husband and wife, and as individuals; I feel like we need a hero soundtrack. I've been dreaming about finding one the last few days. Which brought me to my search on Songza. I was thinking maybe this will play me some Eye of the Tiger. While searching for my "hero soundtrack", a playlist popped up called:  "Saving the World". Of course I had to click on it, who wouldn't? This lead me to a page where the words "We’ll help you save the world from evil. You must choose a genre, but choose wisely." appeared. I was hooked. From here you can select "Intrepid Indie Rock", "Heroic Classic Rock", "Bold and Daring Film Scores", "Grandiose Glam Rock", and "Medieval Metal." Don't mind if I do. Upon clicking the "Heroic Classic Rock" button, what was the first song to pop up would be? That's right, Eye of the Tiger. Followed by none other than Final Countdown. I'm pretty intrigued to find out what's in the "Medieval Metal" playlist. Go on over and check this playlist out. Every hero needs a soundtrack to save the world.






Adventures in Sydney, Australia

Sydney feels like home to me. When I think about the feeling it gave me, it feels like home. When describing Sydney, the words pretty, exhilarating, and epic come to mind. The biggest culture shock was that everybody has nicknames, even in professional businesses. On your business cards, you most likely will have your nickname on there instead of your birth name. They don't stand on ceremony at all, and it is kind of fun that way. The locals are fantastic at having a good time. When they are off of work, they enjoy drinking outside and having a BBQ with friends. The best local food is the seafood at the markets. If you want a good meal, head over to the markets for some fresh fish. Another fun thing the locals like to do is people watch, and they call this "perving".   I love that everyone uses terms of endearment. Your barista, waiter, dentist, and doctor will all most likely call you love.  I miss living there, it was a fun time, and I would love to visit again soon. Below are some images from one of My and Mike's trips to Sydney. 



Heat wave - The road to Hana

The warm weather this week reminded me of our recent trip to Maui. It was so nice to recharge after the wedding and spend some time with our families. I will definitely post some more pics soon. I mostly shot on my iphone and underwater camera, but Mike and I managed a few pics on our big camera. I'm glad we brought it to Hana. It was a dreamy all kinds of weather day. You know the typical sunny, rainy, windy, hot overcast Hawaiian day. I can't wait for the next time that I get to dip my toes in the warm water and I'm excited to go on a road trip with Mike and his mom this 4th of July weekend.I hope there are roadtrips in your future!xoxo Suzanne

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