Ignite the Heart…Day One

“It is only when we silent the blaring sounds of our daily existence that we can finally hear the whispers of truth that life reveals to us, as it stands knocking on the doorsteps of our hearts.”  (K.T. Jong)

It seems that we might not even be aware of the daily blaring sounds…I know that I can fall deaf to them by way of routine and familiarity. Those whispers (I call them “stirrings“) are so, so soft…barely flickering their light or tapping gently at our hearts as we go about our madness. I was excited to lead this retreat with my inspiring pal, Elida…but I was also open to some revelations for my own creative life.

It seems that through teaching we can touch a part of ourselves without going after it with a overzealous desire to fix everything. I was saying words to my new found friends I needed to take in myself and truly believe them…knowing that I would never give an opinion regarding what action to take if I didn’t wholeheartedly wish it for my own creative life.

So…suffice it to say that the two days we spent were far too short

the company and conversation was beyond amazing…as was the food (still digesting a ridiculous amount of hummus-among-us)

and I really wasn’t ready to return to reality.

I am really looking forward to some plans Elida and I have for future retreats and day workshops covering similar topics. Through some “fallen-through plans” and a weekend that seemed to have a lot of would-be attendees tied up (thank you, ladies for writing me anyway), our small group was perfect…intimate and sweet—wonderful for a maiden voyage in the magical little hamlet of Manzanita on the Oregon Coast.

Day one began with some major blabbing about poking that creative muse and getting her out to play…tips on what we need as females to carve out time, space and permission (or so we think–haha) to get down to it. Elida and  I bantered back and forth about our own journeys and ups and downs and frankly, got pretty candid…and it felt absolutely right because these women were in all stages of life and ready for a change…ready to grow some wings…and sometimes growing wings involves trusting that it actually can be done in big transitional stages in life without everything falling apart.








and there was a big ‘ole lesson and some shooting time…In the cottage’s garden and then on to the beach. What an absolute blast!

Who knew a little garden would have so many treasures to focus that 2.8 f-stop on?

Portrait-taking in funky (meaning “icky” and dark) light is my speciality and I had fun teaching the ladies some tips and tricks. I love hearing that “ahhhhhh” when women with cameras “get it”. Music to my ears. I shot each woman with a secret plan to have an image to send them after the retreat and they all got to shoot each other. They are ALL so lovely!

‘Even got a portrait of me blazing down the beach looking for that perfect sunset spot…and posing in my favorite cottage trellis…one day I will own a little beach cottage like the one below.

The beach at sunset…oh, how I love the West coast…the sun coming up over the ocean on East coast mornings always seemed so wrong to me…I love the reds and pinks at sunset and this evening did not disappoint.

Tell me if I’m wrong, Elida family members…but I’ve seen this look before, haven’t I? Very funny! I absolutely love this woman and was so privileged to teach with her…she is an artistic talent beyond measure and has the most generous of hearts, willing to share all that she knows to change women’s lives….big smooches, E!

What is it about the feet thing? My studio manager, Mary, always teases me about my foot festish…I really don’t have one (SWEAR!), but it always comes back to the darn toes in the sand…

Okay…can you tell which toenail is missing? Mr. Pinky had an “incident” with the ottoman and the ottoman won. Painting the random bench warmer toenail underneath with red is always a joy…lucky it wasn’t the big one!

Beach portraits are special around here because the beach is two hours away. I relish any up-to-the-sun-setting shooting time I can get and to have five willing subjects at my disposal was lovely, lovely.

Bar-none..my fave image of the weekend…Elida was saying something funny (naturally) and we were all feeling something greater than ourselves…and that awesome beach…and  the wind…and the good shots…happy camper, says I.

Thank you for such a wonderful time, friends…I am excited to hear about the new adventures you’re committing to…don’t be afraid to ask for what you want.

(next post, you see some collage action with Miss E…the girls rocked it)


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8 Responses to Ignite the Heart…Day One

  1. Kath says:

    Everyone is glowing !!! What a fabulous weekend it must have been!

  2. Pati Hinkel says:

    My “little girl” wants to know if she can come some day……even if she doesn’t own a camera with a great, BIG lense.

  3. I can just tell that those ladies are awesome. What fun! And is 2.8 THE magic number?? (Your shots are gorgeous, as ever!)

  4. Holly says:

    OH! I would love a copy of the one of you, walking on the beach! Lovely! Holly

  5. Kelly Tareski says:

    These are great…. I had such a wonderful time. You and Elida were wonderful hostess and the “teaching” time was awesome. I especially enjoyed the time we all spent together just sharing our thoughts, dreams, wishes and personal insights really helped me gain perspective. Thank you for sharing yourself with us. I am looking forward to doing this again. And just so you know: I took Monday off to create… I purchased only the Fab 5 paints and 6 canvases. Why 6, because I set a goal to debut my art work on August 14 at Harvest Treasures (a local artist event in my hometown). I will keep you posted…

  6. Erin Leigh says:

    This looks like so much fun. What a great weekend.

  7. barbara says:

    You really take the greatest pictures. I enjoy them so much.

  8. Mikal says:

    Congrats on an exceptional weekend and experience… I will definitely need to be a student in the next one!!

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