June 29, 2010

find your passion, pursuit it.

humans seem to have an emotional connection to nature. sitting in class this evening i could hear the thunder roar outside my dull existence in the classroom, and there was something altogether awesome about that. not in the new standard usage of awesome. but rather- "inspiring awe." the aesthetics of nature are a form of art. there is no reason to argue against that. it is fact. pay attention to the sun next time it is setting, wherever you are, and there is your proof. emily dozier is passionate about this connection, between humanity and nature. her life is dedicated to this passion, as she teaches outdoor education classes and leads trips at the dunn school in los olivos, california. her love of this realm of existence is fascinating and inspiring to me as her friend. that indeed is emily dozier- without limit pursuing her passion. finding art in nature.
per usual i asked "ed," emily dozier, several questions...  
q: do you believe nature is creative?
a: i believe the Creator of nature is very creative.

q: what is your favorite aspect of doing what you do?
a: the pure joy that I experience when i see students experience joy through nature.
q: wbat is the most beautiful/creative thing you've ever seen?
a: really? fine- hiking through evolution valley in the sierra's. i cam around a turn and one of my students stops and looks at the view in front of us, the hermit- mt. goethe. she looks at me and says: "oh my gosh. ed, that is the most beautiful thing i have ever seen." 

q: fun fact. go!
a: i taught you (ansleyhayden) to love cashews and to pop your toes. 
There is pleasure in the pathless woods,/There is a rapture on the lonely shore,/There is society, where none intrudes,/By the deep sea, and music in its roar:/I love not man the less, but Nature more,/From these our interviews, in which I steal/From all I may be, or have been before,/To mingle with the Universe, and feel/What I can ne'er express, yet cannot all conceal. Lord Byron

for more on the dunn school. go to: http://dunnschool.org

"One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes." The Little Prince 
where there is love (and nature), there is art. 

June 28, 2010

i am a tree in a story about a forest.

The [uncompromisingly] righteous shall flourish like the palm tree [be long-lived, stately, upright, useful, and fruitful]; they shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon [majestic, stable, durable, and incorruptible]. Planted in the house of the Lord, they shall flourish in the courts of our God. Growing in grace] they shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be full of sap [of spiritual vitality] and [rich in the] verdure [of trust, love, and contentment]. [They are living memorials] to show that the Lord is upright and faithful to His promises; He is my Rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.

psalm 92:12-15 [AMP]

faithful. that is the summation of  rachel ann beers. today she leaves for hong kong. thus, i felt it apropos to write a post on her on this day. rachel has been working as a freelance writer since graduating from auburn in august 2009. 
i asked rachel a few questions prior to her trip. about both hong kong and the art of writing
q: how did HK come about for you? 
a: HK was one of those things that came along and i initially said, "no." i didn't know what i was doing with my life ( rachel, who does?) and thought it would interfere with the "plans" i still didn't have. long story short, the thought never left my head, but more importantly my heart. I knew it was the place I was being called to be from June 29-August 8th 2010. there's a story yet to be written for those days and i am humbled to be a participant in what God is doing globally.
q: what are you most excited about (concerning HK)?
a: spending time in one of the most beautiful and strategic cities in the world with people i have yet to meet and engage with the people of HK. i can't wait to simply share life with new people in a new culture.
a: why freelance writing? 
q: all the money, honey. all jokes aside, i love the opportunity to write outside of my craziness and actually get published. 
q: does writing as an occupation limit your creativity?
a: oui and non. mainly- non. creativity is only limited by limited perception. i'm always looking to expand my vision. even when i write about things that tempt me to limit my creative spirit. 
q: fun fact. go!
a: ansleyhayden is my best friend and she is awesome. (wait, did rachel ann beers really write that? the world may never know...) seriously, i watch "you've got mail" at least once a month. "thank you ladies and gentlemen." 
i would say rachel has the whole art of loving thing down. 
where there is love (in the heart of rachel) , there is art. 

find the best.

allison tinney is incredibly talented, but her ambition and hard work are equally matched. in high school allison worked under hope brannon, the most prestigious art educator in the state of alabama, at the montgomery academy. through ms. brannon the undiscovered talent of allison was revealed. due to allison's hard work and talent she was able to attend rhodes college on a fine arts scholarship. allison was also a college athlete (tennis) and found it very difficult to get in the studio hours required of fine art. thus, she decided to study the works of others as an art history minor. all the while she never lost interest in studio art and was even able to take a painting class. allison has taken a job in memphis, tn and is readily available as a commissioned artist. 
                                                                           self portrait
i asked allison a few questions. here is what she had to say:
q: what inspires you most?
a: I don't know that I have one thing, but I guess it's the endless possibilities in life. knowing that i can do anything if i set my mind to it has always given me the motivation to go after whatever dreams i have, big or small. 
q: fill in the blank. i like to paint/draw ____________. 
a: people and clothing
q: fill in the blank. i love __________.
a: god. the life and talents He's given me to grow as a person, the people He's placed in my life, and the opportunities He's given me to explore different cultures.
q: what is a random fact about you? 
a: I actually love going to see a matinee movie by myself occasionally. most people ask me if it's embarrassing or if i get weird looks or just feel lonely, but to me it's a little bit of a stress reliever (especially during finals when I was in college) and it forces you to talk to people you wouldn't ordinarily talk to. AND if you're lucky there's very little people in there so you can laugh as loud as you want, cry as much as you feel like, put your feet up and not worry about disturbing people. everyone should try it some time.
allison is available for commission. please visit her website: allisonltinney.com for further information on her art.

“The Absence of our True Self”
Is boldness 
only accepted in the eyes of a child,
or is it our conscience
that hinders our streak of wild?

Is it the industrial
that leads us to conform,
or is it our attempt 
to be in the norm?

Is it the absence
of our true self imposed by society,
or is our figure
lost along with our humanity?

It is our childhood
that forms
what might be, and it is hope
that grants us remedy.
       -Allison Tinney

where there is love (of the unseen), there is art. 

June 24, 2010

lots of talent in one vid.

here is a video of a talented friend of mine, matthew mayfield, and his band, the blue cult robbery. obviously, they are incredible. so are the wonderfully, talented people that produced this little baby. they happen to also be friends of mine- seth newell and sean kirby of Greenblock Productions. check these people out. i'm both proud and impressed. 

June 23, 2010

k + g

She recently became Mrs. KellyHe now has a full-time job of husbandShe is a sweet friend of mine. He is a rockstar (red harp). There is nothing more that I have to say. They speak for themselves.
             photo credit given to rob ingram
Q: How did you guys meet?
A: Katie- I knew who Garret was a little while before we actually met.  I didn't know a ton of people in Birmingham, and Bekah Fox (the loveliest of ladies) called me one night to see if I wanted to go to a birthday shindig. I remember I was having a drink at Bottega Cafe when she called. She named several people who were going to be there and I didn't have a clue who any of them were. 
GarretWe met at Bellbottoms. That's right- Bellbottoms! A sleazy dance bar. This is not a place you were likely to find either of us, and it is an unfortunate way for such a great and beautiful love story to begin to unfold. But I guess that's the way life is- you can't call it. It unfolds and then you're there. Staring into the eyes of a beautiful girl, trying to impress her with your rendition of some 90's hip-hop move. I mean, we had seen each other before. There was the time I saw her talking with my then current roommate. I was standing behind her mouthing to him "Go for it, dude!" She didn't notice I was there. Then, there was the time I saw her getting coffee (and probably a chocolate chip cookie too) at a local cafe. I pretended not to notice those big, mysterious eyes when she started talking to my buddy about who knew when from where. We didn't formally introduce ourselves then and I wonder why? I also saw her at the dollar theatre once. I think the movie had something to do with explosions and human nature, or maybe it was aliens and lawyers? I dunno. But I remember seeing those eyes again. Man, I had to play it cool. I must have pulled it off too. Because there we were out on the dance floor shaking what we got. That's when I heard her tell me the name I already knew her by. Katie. My life would never be the same.
Q: What do you find most attractive about Garret/Katie?
A: Katie- Man, this is really hard for me to answer. There are the obvious things: his eyes, his hair, his smile, his scent, his style, his charm. Oh! And his eyes.  Garret is the kindest heart I've ever known. He loves with all of his being. He is very sensitive. He's southern to the core, which I adore. He's an old soul. He loves the classics. He is wise beyond his years. He's a brilliant musician. He's funny. He is completely selfless and incredibly passionate. But I think what I find most attractive about Garret is just how real that boy is. All of the things I mentioned about him prior tie into to this because all of those things are approached with such honesty. He is so genuine. No lies, just love. He speaks truth, and searches for it tirelessly. Garret is a man of few words, but when he speaks you better listen because it's likely to be the most profound, beautiful thing you've ever heard. He doesn't waste his words or time  on trivial things, or things that aren't true. His words are full of purpose and full of hope, never speculating or judgmental. He wants the world to be peaceful and full of kindness. He has shown me love like I never knew existed. There are no words. Oh, and that ring on his left hand is pretty darn attractive. That's high on the list, too.
Garret- MOST attractive? You mean choosing just one beautiful quality of an amazing and irresistible girl, and putting it above all others? I could write books on the subject, but putting one above the rest... The instant you see her, you are entranced. And its not just me, believe me, I know. It's everyone she meets. She is like a constant sunset. You can't look away and you don't want to. And that would be enough, you know? I mean, you would only assume that if the good Lord blesses a girl with so much beauty like that, it'd only be fair of him to try and even things out with the rest of her. But that's not how it is with Katie. She is more lovely to me the more I know her. And everyday spent with her is a good day.

Q: Is there a work of art (painting, literature, song, etc.) that best represents your love for one another? 
A: Katie-  Well, I don't know about Garret, but I turned into that sappy sentimentalist where every song on the radio, every movie, every piece of art I thought it was all created about our love! Everything was all for us. we're music lovers, for sure, so there have been a few songs that are special to us. Garret writes the most beautiful songs you've ever heard, so all of those are especially dear to me. We're also movie lovers, and are moved through film. But one sweet little work of art stands alone. When Garret and I were not quite officially dating, still in the weird, agonizing "how does he feel?" stage, I gave him a book. I didn't buy it intending to give it to him. I found this book in the children's section at anthropologie. It's this little red book called "i like you." I believe it is the perfect book. I wish i had written it. It would have been about Garret. The words are magical and the illistrations are simple and charming. So, I went to Garret's house the night I got it. I told him I wanted to read him a book and he looked at me like I was crazy. Those moments while we were reading that book together were so precious to me. I felt like walls came down. It was a turning point in our relationship, like we both just couldn't fight it anymore.  His favorite line of the book I wrote on the inside: "I would go on choosing you and you would go on choosing me." There are so many good lines. So, so sweet. We had it displayed at our wedding. That is definitely our book. We don't have a song, or movie, or any particular sunset. Oh, but we have that little red book.

Q: What do you guys think is the key to loving?
A: Garret- You gotta find the right one. I'm sure there are many different answers from any given person on any given day as to what the key to loving is. But for me, if it wasn't Katie, it wasn't nothin'. She is the only person i would be willing to continually give to, and to constantly compromise for, and to always want to make happy. And I'm an amateur at best. I dont know what the ingredients are for the perfect marriage, or how to tell someone else how to turn there relationship into ours. I just know I've found a jewel in a world of garbage. And when you find something that stands out so magically beautiful compared to anything else, you hold on to it no matter what.

Where there is love, there is art.   

"I always tell Garret that I wish he could be my job, 'cause loving him is really the only thing I'm any good at... and he always says that he'll start paying me. So then I feel like a prostitute." -in a message I received from Mrs. Katie Ford Kelly

June 22, 2010

an instrument of art, of peace.

be the change you want to SEE in the world. -ghandi
Let me be the millionth blog you've read with this beloved ghandi quote. But... This face. She sees things that others can not. She sees a world of peace. She sees hopeful evidence for change. She sees creative potential everywhere and in everything. Elizabeth Ann Wade is inspiring. She inspires me. There is not merely one thing that she "does" or "does not." She is an artist of no boundaries- whether it's design, painting, mixed media collage, or relationships. 

EA has dedicated a great deal of time and energy to a non-profit (Mi Esperanza) in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Mi Esperanza works with women to empower them through education, as well as financially and spiritually. EA has been a God-send for Mi Esperanza, working with the Honduran women on their design and sewing skills. Through EA's work in Honduras new bags have been produced and sold to make profit for the women of Mi Esperanza. Lori Connell, the founder, said of EA, "working with a creative mind keeps you on your toes! EA is amazingly creative and full of energy."
Per usual, I asked this little beckon of inspiration a few questions in interview format... 
Q: What inspires you most?
A: Symbolism. I find myself most inspired by the world's precious subtleties that are all kinds of beautiful if you just dust them off a bit. 

Q: Fill in the blank. I like to paint (or design) ________________.
A: I like to paint (or design) ideas/prayers and clothing made out of thrifted fabrics. Call me Maria, but my favorite medium for clothing is curtains.

Q: Fill in the blank. I love ______________.
A: I love Hondura(n)s, mornings (especially in the fall), womanhood, and Jesus.

Q: What is a random fact about you that is at least mildly interesting?
A: I believe, with all my heart, that had I grown up in Colorado I would currently be training for the 2014 Winter Olympics. 

the things she sees reflect that...
where there is love, there is art. 

June 21, 2010

a home with story, with soul.

A deep sigh outward. It is not a coincidence that is the first response one has when walking in the apartment of Sarah Moorad. She understands the art of expressing oneself, of creating peace in your heart and in your home. She knows these things, as they are supremely valued for her- therapist by profession. "I try to create an inviting, yet peaceful environment by mixing the old and new," said Ms. Moorad. "I definitely strive for the eclectic look of an antique piece accented with modern pieces." There are natural elements throughout her apartment, specifically framed botanicals. She credits her grandmother for being a profound influence on her decorating style and love of botanicals (which she uniquely pronounces bah-ton-icals). "My grandmother had a way of bringing the outdoors inside with class and sophistication. By changing things inside to match the seasonal changes outside, it keeps things interesting and fresh." 

 top left [grandmas photograph of an english garden] top left [grandma's {mary gross} reproduction of the photograph] oil on canvas sarah's grandma was an avid and talented artist who was inspired by nature. yellow shell chair [estate sale birmingham]
this table was custom made for sarah's grandma in asheville nc. it was made by an old man who built all the furniture in the billy graham retreat center in nc. chairs [assortment from chicago, where sarah is from] architectural pieces are from an old barn in nashville tn- where sarah grew up. bench from antique shop franklin tn candles [anthro]

concrete lamp [pd's in franklin tn] old seltzer bottle [antiques of sarah's grandmas] ceramic bird [this was actually bonnie's (bonnie gay kirby) grandma's and she gave it to sarah because "she knows i like weird stuff like that." old antique books [various garage sales]

this old armoire was sarah's grandma's, she got it somewhere is chicago and had it ever since sarah was a little kid. sarah says "i remember this armoire being in her house always." water color painting {oringinal by doug moorad, sarah's dad} glass bottles {assortment of places... flea markets, etc}

June 19, 2010

dads are rad.

my dad and i have come so far.
life's greatest lessons have come from him.
he is a rockstar (even though he would hate being called that)
happy father's day to all dads. thank you, youtube.
and for those of you who know big bill try to imagine us dancing to this song together at my wedding of the future. just try... and laugh. 

but a very happy father's day to my dads. 
both in heaven and on earth. 

for my grandpa (rest in peace). 
for my papa. 
and for big bill

where there is love (of a father), there is art. 

June 18, 2010

she is a gem, or a jewel(ls).

         one of the most talented people i've ever known. 
                   i think that's one of those things everyone wishes someone would say about them. 
julia ann starke is one of the most talented people i have ever known. done.
i say that with total sincerity. julia ann, or jewells, and i studied art together in high school. we were two of several art studio rats. we were friends but i was secretly totally intimidated by her. as far as art was concerned jewells could do it right, and even when she did it wrong- it was right. in addition to the natural talent that she has been given jewells has worked incredibly hard at honing her craft. she studied for a summer at rhode island school of design. followed by attending auburn university studying fine art with a concentration in painting. she has been an intern at several art galleries, and is pursuing a masters in fine art upon graduation from auburn. 

i could not be more proud of julia ann and her development. you will be very glad to have one of her pieces in years to come because i guarantee this is only the beginning for her. 
I asked Julia Ann a few questions in interview format:
Q: What inspires you most?
A: Asking “why?”
Q: Fill in the blank. I like to paint ___________. 
A: people
Q: Fill in the blank. I love ______________________. 
A: I love sharks, otters, good teamwork, good smells, asians, and artists who love making art more than hearing about how awesome their art is.
Q: What is a random fact about you that you find at least mildly interesting? 
A: Some day, I want to paint my nipples as panda bear heads and surprise someone with them.

julia ann specializes in portraiture and is available for commission.
for more on julia ann visit: http://www.juliaannstarke.com/ or contact her at starkju@auburn.edu

June 17, 2010

love list.

ansleyhayden loves ten things... and then some.
1. jewel's smile and laugh (no, i don't care if you think that's cheesy).
2. dark chocolate
3. mia michaels choreography (so you think you can dance dance danceee...)
4. moscato d'asti
5. my little brother's dream
6. pretending i'm super irish
7. fresh flowers (sans roses)
8. the honduran sunset
9. the feeling of gratitude from your body when leaving pure barre
10. the words and truth of mark 8:35 echoing in random places in life
11. sharing stories and secrets

go to happy lists by taza and friends. to see more happy (or love) lists.

June 16, 2010

home as art.

"One may have a blazing hearth in one's soul and yet no one ever come to sit by it. Passersby see only a wisp of smoke from the chimney and continue on the way." Vincent van Gogh 

Some people decorate their home with art. While others make their home a work of art. And even still, there are those that decorate their home with love making it a work of art
I desire to be the latter environment home maker.I aspire to always be ready for guests. Therefore, there are three things my home will hopefully never be without:
  • dark chocolate in a bowl (a la first photo)
  • fresh(ish) flowers
  • wine ready to serve
I've always been interested in creating environments. My home is a place where I want to feel both inspired and comfortable, not just for me but for all the "passersby." It would be honest (and easy) to say that I learned the art of creating an environment from my mother. She has it down to a beautiful science.

It seems pretty strange to post one's home on the interwebs. Though I always love when people do so, there is something a bit odd about it when you do it yourself. Is this safe? Is this too American, reality TV culture? Does this make me a narcissist? I pray the answers are yes, no, and no (in that order). Nevertheless, I am caving and posting photos of my little environment for all the world to see.
For the sake of safety and such I will not say explicitly where I live- but I will describe it a bit. I live in a historic property within arms length of downtown. It's a quaint little spot. Not too suburban, just enough sidewalks. I can walk to a grocery, bar, restaurant, coffee shop, or park with ease. The owners of this property are in step with historical preservation and maintaining the original charm. The property was built as the Jazz Age was turning the corner, and maybe I chose this particular apartment because I'm from Montgomery and day dream of the days of the Fitzgeralds. I am not ashamed to say the original hardwoods and kitchen sink who's size is comparable to that of my car were the clinchers for me signing my lease. I do not have a dishwasher. Yet, I have found that dish washing is surprisingly therapeutic. Dish washing has become my time of prayer and meditation because it causes a forced pause. The simplicity of my living environment is a welcomed contrast to my not-so-simple personality (I'm an artist, give me a break).

where there is love (in your home), there is art.

on the subject of love.

i love this babymonkeydoggies. 
this is my god-dog, ernie moorad (mother is sarah moorad, the other third of the triumvirate).
had to show him off. had to.

June 15, 2010

For you are a true work of art, Olivia.

*the title of this post is actually stolen from a song written about this little rockstar, ms. olivia keaggy, by her father phil keaggy. 

It only seemed natural that my first feature would be on Olivia Ann Keaggy. This darling angel is my best friend, so there is an obvious amount of love shared between the two of us. But more than that, Olivia embodies love and the creative. If you are reading this post and know Olivia you understand completely what I am saying. If you are reading this and do not know Olivia, honestly, I am surprised. Everyone that knows this child loves her. There are many reasons why this is so, but the most honest reason is because she loved them as soon as she met them. She could find the good in just about anyone, even if she has to search for it.

This pursuit of finding the good and longing to share love is what makes her the incredible artist that she is. Please check out her gorgeous website (and her) www.oliviakeaggy.com
Note: Olivia has very busy in the studio recently and has several paintings that she will be posting soon to sell. So continue to check up on her via her website! Or contact her for commission.
Here is a little interview I did with Ms. Keaggy. Enjoy.
Q: What inspires you most?
A: What inspires me? Watching the beginning of love unfold. The innocence of a child. Tears of joy. Witnessing someone follow their dream. Brilliant Music. Compassion. You. (hey, best angel, didn’t expect that… thanks! I’m blushing.)
Q: Fill in the blank. I like to paint ___________.
A: I like to paint what words cannot speak.
Q: I love __________.
A: I love painting to Joni Mitchell when it’s storming.
Q: What is a random fact about you?
A: There never really can be peace and joy for me until there is peace and joy for you (that’s the universal “you,” by the way).
Thanks, O, for participating.
It’s true that where there is love, there is art.