Happy New Year’s Eve and New Year to you!

Thanks for letting me share my work with you throughout the year! I feel honored and lucky to have collaborated with a number of amazing artists, nonprofits, and businesses again this year that have inspired me to reach deeper, think bigger, and continue to push my work forward in the new year. One of my favorite work visits this year was to Austin, Texas to connect with Ysabel Lemay who works intuitively from and with nature, bringing the spirit of life intelligence forward. Looking to recreate the energetic impact of what she feels from life, she works days, months, effortlessly on a single piece, “It will take the time that it takes, and there will never be a piece that leaves my house that doesn’t have that strong energy”.

So how is MY story unfolding? What is public, what is private? What makes life personal and how does the personal inform and create who we are out in the world? I have already shared a lot of my work projects this year, so now I am sharing the personal, where I reached out for inspiration and education, and what life just brought from its own accord that continues to teach me the lessons I need to learn.

This year was admittedly, a year of heart break. The biggest loss was that of my grandmother.
She always told me to “be good, but not too good”.

I enjoyed two incredible trips; Louisiana and Maui, two places that have been on my wish list for a while.

A year of thanks:
Hopefully next year, I will have a portrait gallery of all of my girlfriends. I have such an amazing community of incredible women in my life who have been with me in celebration and heart break and it’s just a huge gift to travel in this life with them by my side – leading me, supporting me, holding me, healing me, lifting me, loving me. You know who you are, thank you.

Conferences, classes, community inspiration:
I have a very strong interest in health and wellness, food as sustenance and spirit, farming and a connection to the land, and food justice. I went to two conferences this year to dive deeper into this rich community and I have more experiences planned for the new year that will help me take my backyard garden to the next level of sustainability and my lifestyle to one of stewardship and wholeness. Quivera Conference , FUZE SW, Food + Folklore Festival

Masters in Motion Conference for inspiration and professional development.

Thanks to Maia Duerr, of the Liberated Life Project, for a great course, Fall in Love with Your Work, that help me see and envision a new way forward for my life and StoryPortrait Media!

I am sincerely grateful to the artist, the activists, the leaders and the visionaries, right now, and over time, who commit themselves to the fight and hold the vision for justice, equality and peace. It’s so complex, and I just appreciate those who can speak and act for humanity in these times.

Musical inspiration:

Video inspiration:

Into the Streets (People’s Climate March + Flood Wall Street) from meerkatmedia on Vimeo.

What am I inviting in for 2015?
I invite exuberant health, strength, and self-love and acceptance into my life.
In invite my voice, my truth, my power, integrity and alignment.
I invite a deep, joyful relationship with the Divine, nature.
I invite BIG, expansive, connected, creative, collaborative projects that relate to and respond to community and the world.
I invite in discomfort, risk, and the space outside of my comfort zone.
I invite in transformative love that continues to expand my heart, my sensitivity, openness, and compassion.
I invite in abundance for myself, my team, my family, and community and generosity, trust, and faith.
I invite in courage, intuitive wisdom, and sacred silence.
I invite in the present moment, free from the pain and disappointments of the past or the hopes/ plans for the future.
I invite in the fullness and perfection of the present moment.

I was thrilled when Daven Lee, founder and owner of Milk + Honey Soap contacted me and StoryPortrait Media to create a visual storytelling package for her business. Milk & Honey received a $30,000 grant from the Venture Acceleration Fund and Finance New Mexico and was able to put a piece of that towards marketing efforts. Her story and the story of her business is both beautiful and idyllic. There are cute kids and adorable goats. There are sensual raw materials such as honey, milk, and flowers. There is real entrepreneurial spirit and a business plan that embodies that spirit, that combines creativity, craft, family, the land, and community in a way that generates meaningful income and jobs.

At the Santa Fe Farmer’s Market, one of Daven’s most public vending spots, Saturday’s are a bustle with people experiencing the lotion soaps for the first or fiftieth time. We wanted to try to convey the sweet smelling, feel good, delicious experience of using her product, so we made a short piece with that intention.

This specific project has got me revved up about buying local, and that even buying something like SOAP and LOTION can represent so much more. That when I buy locally, I shop responsibly, in a way that aligns me with my community, environmental, and personal values. It means something for how children are raised, it means something for how business owners have an opportunity to work together, it means something for the land, for the animals, and for our own entrepreneurial visions. I invite you to support small business owners and of course I wholeheartedly recommend Milk + Honey lotion bars and soap for you and your loved ones, so that you can delight in more than just a gift, but the knowledge of knowing that your money is activism. Shop Online at: Milk & Honey Soap and ask your favorite gift and knitting shop or natural grocery store to carry her products. Enjoy!

I also want to acknowledge the other businesses that Daven and Milk + Honey Soap utilize and collaborate with. Check out their sites and products too! Steve Wall, Buckin Bee Honey, Kristen Davenport of Boxcar Farms for the calendula, and MaryAnn Andrews, Dream Catcher Ranch and Retreat Center

I’ve recently been introduced to the term “social practice” or “social engagement” art – artists seeing something in their own community and responding to it, by reflecting it back in some way. I love this idea and it’s why I initially got into photography, I wanted to comment on what I saw, and say “Hey, take a look! Do you see what I see?”

I’ve had a long time admiration for people who have been able to take note, stand up, and come together in social justice movements. These can be non-profit organizations or individuals with an idea to change, effect, or completely re-envision a model that no longer serves the common good. They are masters at inspiring us with a vision for something better.

Youth Shelters, The Galisteo Basin Preserve, and The Global Warming Express in Santa Fe, New Mexico and FRESC in Denver, Colorado are organizations that StoryPortrait Media has had the honor to partner with this year to help tell their story of making a difference on big issues; youth homelessness, ecological preservation and community building, climate change through youth activism, and protecting and advocating for worker and family rights.

In the time of Thanksgiving, I’d like to give thanks to people who make a difference!

Youth Shelters, delivers life-changing services to homeless, runaway and in-crisis youth. One of Youth Shelters greatest needs right now is recruiting new mentors for the youth and securing financial contributions during the holiday season and winter months when the youth on the street are even more vulnerable.

FRESC ensures working in families in Colorado, especially low income people, communities of color and immigrants, have the maximum opportunity for a good quality of life, livable wages, family-supporting benefits and housing that is affordable. Earlier this year, Shelene Bridge and I traveled to Denver, Colorado and in two days we visited a mobile home community, union offices, community organizer headquarters and the state capitol to interview twelve folks who are united through FRESC and a common goal of equity in the workplace. This video was shown at FRESC’s annual fundraising and celebration dinner. FRESC continues to work on issues that matter.

The Global Warming Express is a climate change advocacy organization started by two nine-year-old girls in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Marina Weber and Joanna Whysner. Together they have created a fast-growing movement and their climate change club and camp and venturing out into the world as activists with a voice. They are leading the way, and having an impact on their future in the present, and hopefully carrying the adults along with them.

The Galisteo Basin Preserve is a land conservation and a community development project of the Commonweal Conservancy, located in Santa Fe County’s Galisteo Basin. It is truly special.Going against the grain of traditional development, the vision of the Galisteo Basin is to develop ecologically, with green building and land preservation at the heart of it. Conservation development lots are still available. You can be part of this important and rare community.

The Galisteo Basin Preserve is open to our community– for hiking, biking, and just learning about this magical landscape. As a continual commitment to community building, five additional miles of trails was developed this Fall. Go visit! The trail map is attached.

Over the past couple of years, I have had the pleasure to work with the faculty and students at the Santa Fe Waldorf School. Initially, they hired StoryPortrait Media to create an overview video of their school, which is unique for Waldorf’s around the country in that they offer Preschool through High School on one campus. This year, with a new school administrator and a 30th anniversary to celebrate, I was thrilled to return to the Waldorf classrooms to capture a library of still images for their new website, print marketing, and social media, and create a short video commemorating the legacy of the school.

The Santa Fe Waldorf school has a distinct story to share. Their philosophy, class offerings, and faculty/ student relationships provide an alternative to traditional education. Walking onto their campus and stepping into their classrooms, my heart and mind soars. Behind each door there is color and music, theater and dance, conversations about literature and culture, engaged teachers and actively participating students. I have never experienced such dynamic classrooms and learning. Every time I am there, I instantly want to go back to my elementary and high school days (and where can you go to feel that?!) to learn from a deeper, more connected understanding of myself and the world in a way that engages my senses and expands my abilities.

This year I began offering a special Visual Storytelling Package for non-profits and businesses that includes a photo image library to collect a variety of still images for use in all advertising and social media needs, staff portraits, a three minute overview video and a 30-second teaser. Year after year, organizations can update and add to their image and video collection as needed to enliven their visual presence and share their current story in the community. People want to know, learn, and be inspired by what others are doing. It’s meaningful to me to be able to help them get that message out.

I commend the Santa Fe Waldorf School on 30-years. Here’s to many more generations of kids engaged in an education where their imaginations can be sparked, nurtured and encouraged.

A short introduction video from 2012:

The Santa Fe Waldorf School Short Introduction from StoryPortrait Media on Vimeo.

To learn more about the Santa Fe Waldorf School, visit their website and/ or Facebook page. There are regular campus visits and students are enrolled on a rolling basis.

  • Lucia Veronica Carmona - I live in Las Cruces, NM. Recently I was awarded as Kellogg Fellow. I’m interested in learning more on educational alternatives in a holistic way.
    I wish to be in contact with you and have the opportunity to learn more about your school and philosophy.
    Thank you
    Lucia

  • admin - Hi Lucia, Thanks so much for your comment. You should absolutely get in touch with Jeffrey Baker, the school administrator at the Santa Fe Waldorf School. Here is a link to their contact information: http://www.santafewaldorf.org/contact

When an artist invites you into their studio, they are inviting you into the private space of their heart, their hopes, and their soul. It was such a special opportunity for me to work with long-time acquaintance Les Ann Holland, to see her project Pink Moon unfold before my eyes.

Pink Moon, as you’ll hear in the video, was inspired by a quiet night of observation, that led to inquiry, that led to discovery with paint and canvas. It is a project that is being delivered to the Harwood Art Center for their innagural Harvest CSA event.

The Harvest CSA is based on the model of community supported agriculture (CSA) programs and provides an opportunity for new collectors to connect with and support locals artists by purchasing a “share”, or a box of thoughtfully curated, original art pieces. Les Ann was one of the ten participating artists. This is such a cool and inspiring effort that is spreading across the country.

Her work and process intrigued and soothed me, from the quiet and richness of her paint and process to her smile and depth of consideration and care in her technique. There is an authenticity to her practice and being that inspires. So tender, vulnerable, and illuminating the path of the artist can be.

I hope you enjoy the backstage pass in witnessing personal creation.

LES ANN HOLLAND | PAINTER from StoryPortrait Media on Vimeo.

Click HERE to learn more about Harwood Art Center’s Harvest CSA.

To learn more about Les Ann Holland, visit her website.

M o r e   i n f o