Sitting beside me is a coffee filled mug by the master potter, Larry Allen. When meeting him and selecting my piece, it was fascinating to learn about his technique and the meaning behind the figures in his intricately carved work. Our exchange reminded me of the response from the award-winning architect, Bobby McAlpine when I asked him how he maintains momentum and inspiration. As glamorous as it sounds to be an artist, the reality is there are periods of struggle, and McAlpine’s response to my question has become one that has remained with me when I hit times of needing a creative boost to keep going – crop rotation.
It is other art forms that provide great crop rotation, and life has given me recent opportunities to be rejuvenated by creative spirits such as Allen as well as the amazing Tena Payne who founded Earthborn Pottery. Also inspiring me with their passion both on and off stage, are some talented performers working with the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and the Collaborative Arts Ensemble. If you need to add some pep to your step, why not seek work by a local artist or attend a live performance? Creativity is a key ingredient in the fabric of a successful community, so support artists while also nurturing that creative spirit within yourself.
Music has long made my heart soar, and has also been a vital comfort during difficult times. When processing my “Flowers for Mom” images, I carefully select music to play according to what kind of crop rotation I need at the moment. For fun, I created a “Flowers for Mom” playlist on Spotify with a focus on the meaning behind the lyrics as well as memories of music loved by my mother. You can give it a listen here. Do let me know what songs you think I should add!
My “Flowers for Mom” sculpture goes on display at Bellingrath Gardens in Alabama for a couple of months when I speak for their Winter Wednesdays series on February 27th. Treat yourself to a spring visit to the garden and experience the magnitude of this flower series by experiencing the sculpture’s scrolling photos that are close to 1,000 in number. Learn learn more about why this garden is special to me here.
When beginning my “Flowers for Mom” project of a daily photo in August of 2016, I never imagined I would still be seeking a daily flower in 2019. People sometimes ask me what is next. That I cannot answer because for today, I find there are more flowers to find, angles to capture, and lighting to explore. This post features all camellias in memory of my great great uncle, Walter Bellingrath whose name was given to the first full sized camellia photo here. As you can see, each image and each flower are very different. How can I possibly be finished?!