Monday, November 29, 2010

Caroline and Shawdee - Portrait of a Family

I am thankful to have Caroline, Shawdee and now Alexa in my life.  I've been staying with the three of them while my home is being rented.  They have been wonderful friends to me for several years.  They've always supported me in my decisions in life and more recently, supported my art.  One day while Shawdee was pregnant, I thought it would be fun to photograph them in bed in a John and Yoko style and they both agreed to do it!  Since then, I documented Alexa's birthday at the hospital and yesterday, a family trip to the beach.

Being on the road for so many months of the year, it can be difficult to hold on to close relationships since you can't be there physically to visit but when I saw them, it was like a day didn't go by except that Alexa is so much bigger!

They are both such loving parents and great friends.  I am lucky to have them in my life.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving Week And Black Friday

As you know, I came home only to leave once again.  I needed to get back out of the house on Tuesday so Max and I have been staying with two close friends and their baby, Alexa.

For once in a long time, I have been relaxing and doing nothing, really.  I've taken Max to the dog park every day so he can run around and get a workout and that always makes me smile.

Last year I spent Thanksgiving and Christmas alone so it was a treat to be able to spend it with a friend this year.  Since we are both "non cooks," we found a place that sold turkey take out meals so we bought two to go and sat on the couch and stuffed ourselves.

So, today is the biggest shopping day of the year.  Shopping is the last thing I would like to do.  I couldn't even imagine getting up early like so many do to get a deal on something they really didn't need to begin with.  After living out of my car for the past three years for six months at a time, I don't really get attached to things like I used to.  Don't get me wrong, I love my camera, computer and phone but I don't have a need to jump out and fight the crowds to spend money that I really should save.

However, the money I spend will be on handmade goods.  A good place to shop is etsy.  All items on this site are either handmade or vintage.  If you didn't know already, I have a little shop where I am currently selling my photograph art boxes.  Speaking of my art boxes...through Sunday, everything in my shop is 25% off when you enter code FACEBOOK25 at checkout.  So, that's handmade art for about $20 bucks each!  I have a few upcoming shows I will tell you about soon.  I hope you enjoy the weekend and spend it with loved ones.  That's all that really matters.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Dog Art Weekend

My weekend was filled with viewing and appreciating art. More specifically, art including our canine best friend.

Friday and Saturday was "Art goes to the dogs" hosted by Paige Bauer at the 2nd city council art gallery in Long Beach, CA.  There was an array of beautiful photographs, paintings, sculpture and instillations everywhere you looked in the space.  I was fortunate to display my photograph of a corgie and an Airstream titled,"Dixie." Being camera shy, I took this photograph of another person being interviewed in front of "Dixie."

On Saturday evening, I went to the closing reception of "Dogs Dogs Dogs" at the 1650 Gallery in Echo Park.  I brought Max along to this reception since they had Santa there to take photographs with and I knew he was ready to tell Santa what he wanted for Christmas.  I saw him whispering in his ear but he wanted to keep it a secret from me.  I wonder what Max wished for...

Here are some snapshots I took with my point and shoot camera.  I look forward to seeing the photograph of Max with Santa that the professional took on hand.  Along with the Santa photo shoots, they actioned photographs to benefit "Dogs without Borders" to help homeless pets in the Los Angeles area.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Home (For Now)

As I was wandering around the streets of El Paso, it hit me.  It was time to go home.  I felt a little like the Forrest Gump in the scene where he stops running and says, "I'm pretty tired.  I think I'll go home now."

So that was it.  I decided that home is where I wanted to be at that moment.  I drove from El Paso back to Southern California in one shot.  I knew I was getting close when the Waffle House disappeared and Starbucks appeared more and more.  Also, people drove faster and everyone seemed to have blinker light problems since I didn't see any on merges right in front of me.  Ahhh...close to home.

As you might know, this is my third year traveling the country in a car with my dog.  I put together a little map with arrows to the places I've been in those three years.  Arrows in Red are from this year, purple is 2009 and Blue represents 2008.

It's been quite the journey.  As much as I would say that I am staying put, that is not necessarily the case.  I tend to get bored easy and need to keep moving and doing things so that is what I plan to do.  In fact, the homecoming will be short lived since I need to pack up again in a few days to make way for renters to come to my home.

I have a few things planned in the upcoming months so there won't be a dull moment.  I look forward to sharing more with you as they happen.

Thank you for following me on my journey and for all of the supportive comments.  I appreciate you and hope some of it has inspired you to get out on the road to explore this great country of ours.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

El Paso, Texas

On my way out of Austin, I stopped at a hole in the wall restaurant for breakfast.  I told the server that I didn't want meat with my meal.  Before he left, he confirmed, "no meat?" I nodded.  When my meal came, I looked at it then looked at the waiter and said, "there's meat on my plate."  He looked at my plate and back to me and said, "That's not meat, that's bacon."  At that moment I was reminded that yes, I was in Texas.

There wasn't much I knew about El Paso except for the Pace salsa commercials from long ago.  For some reason, I was drawn to the area.  I didn't stay long but long enough to tour around the city for a while, which was empty for the most part.  There were a few locals browsing around at shops, feeding the birds in the park and waiting for the bus.  It seems to be a sleepy town.

I walked around the downtown streets and after a while, I drove around to nearby areas to see if I could find some locals sitting outside of their home.  I noticed a tree decorated with beer cans so I thought I would stop to take a look.  I approached the house taking photographs as the owner walked out.  I asked him about his hand made creation and he said that he's been working on it for years and that the local paper has done a story on it.  He said he's been adding to it "every now and then" and mentioned that he is pretty proud of his creation. Who wouldn't be proud of their beer can tree?

I asked him what to see while I was in the area and he pointed me to the downtown plaza.  I mentioned that I just came from there.  He asked if I saw the workers putting up the Christmas lights in the downtown square trees.  I said, "yes" while he replied, "Look at my beer tree...I beat them to it."

El Paso is as close to the Mexican border as you can get while still being in Texas.  Because of that, you will see a Mexican restaurant at nearly every corner and mixed culture throughout the area.  I love traveling to Mexico but haven't been in a while.  This was a nice reminder that I need to go back soon.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Austin, Texas

I love this city.  I came here last year on my trip and fell in love with the place.  There is art everywhere you look, the people are weird and there are plenty of places to eat out of a food truck.  What is not to love about that?

During this short stay, I wandered around to several galleries on the East Austin Studio Tour.  The tour is pretty spread out so you won't be able to cover everything in a day.  I just stumbled upon several of the galleries, ate at some food trucks and met some amazing artists.  I loved finding The Wonder Craft.  It's an Airstream filled with handmade goodies that everyone loved.  You could see it in their eyes as they walked in. I know my face must have looked the same as I stepped inside.  It was the, "ooooo look at all of the hand made goodies!" face.

Along the tour route, I was able to chat with many of the artists and a few photographers I particularly enjoyed meeting were Sarah Wilson and George Brainard.

There is something for everyone in the city.  If you decide to tour 6th street downtown, you will get a completely different feel, when compared to the East Arts district.  There is always Congress Street, which is not to miss.  You can stroll the streets and find many vintage shops, restaurants and even eat cupcakes made in an Airstream.

Max also enjoyed the city since he was able to play at one of the many dog parks they have.  I know I will have to make a point to come back.  There are too many things to see and you just can't do it in a few days.

Here are a few photographs I took as I walked along the streets.

Friday, November 12, 2010

People Watching In New Orleans

I spent the day walking around the historic downtown area in New Orleans to take photographs of everything I came across.  I could spend hours and days just observing the people of the area and activities going on.  The photographs might tell you a bit about my day.

It's a wonderful place and it's almost like you've stepped back in time or stepped into a movie set.

Either way, it's people watching paradise.

For more photographs of humans in their habitat, visit my photo website at

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Florida Panhandle

Max and I left Savannah to head south towards the gulf.  We took a few South Georgia backroads to see the sights to end up in our final destination for the day of Tallahassee. The back roads can be an experience.  I always hope to find people who match the surroundings but sometimes, the people aren't out and about as much as their "treasures" are.  I found a row of old cars on the side of the road so I had to stop to take some photographs.  As I was doing so, I started feeling pain in my feet and ankles.  As it turned out, I was standing on an ant pile and they decided to feast on my feet while I was admiring the rusty cars.  I did the slap your ankles and feet dance and continued to take pictures.

From there, Max and I headed in a direct route to the water and coasted along that trail until we reached Destin.  We met up with Rich, Eleanor and their daughter, Emma at Henderson State Park in Destin for some camping. This photograph is of them at the Alumapalooza event last June.

I never really know where I will end up each day so it was nice to receive a suggestion from Rich to join them camping at the state park.  It was beautiful.  The beach water was a clear blue green, the sand was so white and fine that it squeaked under your feet and everywhere you looked, you were surrounded by beauty.  I didn't know what to expect and I was pleasantly surprised.

Lucky me, Rich and Eleanor invited me over to their Airstream for dinner and I happily accepted.  The meal was delicious.  It was nice to be inside of their trailer during the night as the sun was down.  After chatting for a few hours, I returned to my tent home for the night.

And for the record, I know this area is called the "pan handle" of Florida but what kind of pan is that anyway?  I see how Oklahoma is shaped like a pan, but Florida?  Humm....more like an insect net handle or a ladle handle?  Maybe I am missing something.  No matter what the name, the beaches are a beautiful sight.


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