Tuesday’s Inspiration: Lilla Cabot Perry

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Lilla Cabot Perry
The Silver Vase
1905

Isn’t she a beauty? I searched for paintings by this artist when I learned she had a summer home in Hancock, New Hampshire. There is also a small portrait of a child Perry painted on display at the Hancock Town Library which is captivating. I had to see more, so I searched for Perry’s works and found this one, The Silver Vase. Dressed in the colors of winter, I thought she was a fitting symbol of this January day.

Making this post led me to do a bit more research on Perry and what I found was delightful:

  • She had no formal art training until the age of 36
  • Though she was born in Boston, Massachusetts her family traveled widely and lived in various places around the globe, including Paris, Munich, and Japan which really influenced her painting styles and subjects through the years.
  • She saw a Claude Monet painting at age 41 (in 1889) and so admired it that her family rented a house in Giverny, France (where Monet resided) for 9 summers. Monet became her close friend and mentor – imagine!!
  • Monet encouraged Perry to “commit her first impression of a scene to canvas rather than to sketchbook” (Encyclopedia Britannica) – what a gorgeous thought.
  • Her later paintings are inspired by the landscapes around her summer home in Hancock, New Hampshire where she died and was laid to rest.

I found the bulleted information above on the National Museum of Women in the Arts website and the Encyclopedia Britannica website. What a fascinating woman! And how cool she had such a connection to Hancock, New Hampshire.

What is inspiring you this week? Do share

 

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Tuesday’s Inspiration: Paul Gauguin

This is an old idea of mine, resurfaced: Tuesday’s Inspiration. On one of my long ago blog attempts, I used to post something simple every Tuesday- something meaningful, beautiful and inspiring. I want to get back to this practice in order to share with you some of the artworks and writings of others that I find most inspiring. I love the spread of inspiration! Have an excellent Tuesday my friends 🙂

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Kneeling Cow
Paul Gauguin
1888

I chose to share this favorite painting of mine, Kneeling Cow, as I think of it very often: every time I see a cow in fact. Cows generally aren’t called ‘beautiful’ however, this cow is, and has made me view all the cows I see as beautiful. Just look at the profile Gauguin captured! The shape of his sweet nose, his calm mouth, and knobby knees. I don’t know, this painting just gets me. Additionally, this week I’ve been reading an excellent homesteading book before bed: Ben Hewitt’s The Nourishing Homestead : One Back-to-the-Land Family’s Plan for Cultivating Soil, Skills, and Spirit. I just started the chapter on keeping animals, so again, Gauguin’s Kneeling Cow has been on my mind and heart.

What’s inspiring you today? Do share.

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My Artist’s Statement

this place:
ten years of photography near and far by Callista Faucher
artist’s statement.
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         This body of work examines the interesting juxtaposition between the exhilaration of exploring new places and the comfort of finding beauty in the familiar surroundings of home. Travel has always called to me; yet, at the same time, home time draws me too. Wander and explore, or put down roots? A perennial question, and a question I’m so thankful that I have the circumstances to ask. I’m eternally grateful for the trips I’ve taken, along with the beauty of my home that has made these images possible. Whether near or far, I try to keep in mind the quote by Walt Whitman from which the name of this show was taken: happiness, not in another place, but this place. Not for another hour, but this hour. Photography helps me to do just that: to be happy in the present moment. This is good. Dreamer by nature, idealistic almost to a fault: I am often thinking about the next thing. The click of the shutter however, grounds me in the here and now. Photography helps me to really see what is in front of me and to derive happiness from the beauty inherent in all of the ordinary and extraordinary places in which we live out life’s moments.
Along with exploring happiness and presence in different places, this show is also a story of my growth as a photographer. In the making of these images, I’ve never been laden with bulky equipment, nor do I rely on hefty zoom lenses, tripods, or image stabilization. I don’t use a flash. I’ve always enjoyed physically moving to get a shot, at times being on my hands and knees, sneaking up on a shot, or making myself look crazy to get an angle. When I first started shooting, I used a Fugifilm Finepix digital camera. At just 5 megapixels, it was a pretty lousy camera, yet I was so happy to have it, and I took some shots that I am still fond of today. At the time, I was a fan of really editing my photos: I loved a cross-processed look, deep sepia tones, sharp contrasts: making things look a bit larger than life. Some of those shots are included in this show, because it wouldn’t be an honest portrayal of my artistic growth if I left them out. I eventually saved up my pennies (literally) and bought a Nikon D5000 DSLR in 2009. It’s wide angle lens helped to develop my love for sweeping landscapes. These days, I like a more subdued look and gravitate towards calming scenes with minimal editing.
I’ve always known I wanted to “make art” and “be an artist”, yet I never considered myself one. I was quite narrow minded and grew up imagining that to “be an artist” one had to be wealthy and connected; I thought of it as some sort of out-of-my-reach privilege. But really, I was just getting in my own way: months would pass and I would create little. I was paralyzed by indecision; having too many ideas but never acting on any. I made excuses. I was busy, always busy. All the while though, the creativity and inspiration were building inside of me. At times, I felt as though I would burst. It always made me sad and overwhelmed that I hadn’t created anything. And yet, going through this body of work, putting this show together, I realize now that I’ve been creating all along: these photos are my art. These places captured have made me an artist. All the times I was moved to click that shutter, I was creating. Little bits of beauty, pure happiness, moments captured: these were and are my inspiration and motivation. I’ve been unknowingly making these images for 10 years now and I’m so happy I finally got out of my own way to display them for you. I hope you enjoy my work, and I thank you sincerely for your interest in it.

Time is suspended in this place: in all the places you and I have been.

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Go out and see the show! Through February 14th in the Daniel’s Room at the Hancock Town Library, Hancock, New Hampshire. grove

RefugeGrove, On Wings, and Refuge : 3 of my oldest (and most favorite) photographs.

Classics Aren’t So Bad After All

Do you want to know why I am a really bad librarian? Well, other than the fact that I quit my library job… I have always been a bad librarian because I said for years that I “hated classics.” *everyone gasps* Yup. I said it. But now, in my older, wiser (ha!) years, I have decided to turn over a new leaf and give the classic literature another go. Perhaps it’s because I am at a different phase in life, or perhaps it’s because I am not forced to read these books in ridiculously large page amounts per night as an assignment, or perhaps because I am not tediously picking apart every passage to write a paper…I will say that classics are not so bad at all. I don’t think I hate them anymore. Rather, I think I love them. And I think I have been missing out all these years. img_2127Maybe we just started with a really good one? I say “we” because at the beginning of August, one of my best friends inspired me to start reading the classics. Because she is a good librarian (really, she is), she has been reading and enjoying classic books all along. I saw her reading Great Expectations one day, and I thought, “really, I ought to be reading that too” and thus the idea was planted in my mind that we should read the classics together to make it more fun for me. We decided to start with Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca, because my good librarian friend was already in the midst of it and enjoying it. I picked it up from the library, dove right in, and thoroughly enjoyed it too! To my great surprise, it was a page-turner! I really liked it! I finished it quickly and it got me hungry for more classics. So I read through Anne Bronte’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. While not as enthralling as Rebecca in my opinion, it was still a very good read and kept me interested. I will admit, I did have a little hiccup last week with Wuthering Heights. Sorry Emily Bronte… but I just couldn’t finish it. The characters were so unpleasant I truly wanted them out of my mind. I should finish it eventually but I needed a break. So my friend and I settled on Persuasion, my first time reading Jane Austen ever. I’m finding it a bit more difficult to get into then the other three classics I’ve read so far, but I’m only on the 3rd chapter. I’m feeling positive about it though. I log my reading materials on goodreads which is an easy and fun way to keep track of what I’ve read and still want to read. I also love giving books ratings from 1-5 stars. Rebecca was 5 stars. The tea party we had to watch the Hitchcock movie version of the story was also 5 stars 🙂 Classics Aren't So Bad After AllAnd if a movie producer happens to come across my blog (ha!) please, make another version of Rebecca. It would be such an awesome movie. Not that I didn’t like the Hitchcock version, but one in color with awesome music and a beautiful setting would be so amazing. Come on movie producers…