19 November 2014

Django Girls Amsterdam 2014: This Dog Learned a New Trick!

aesthetic fauna // django girls amsterdam
On Sunday I had the honor of attending a web programming workshop organized by Django Girls, a non-profit initiative that aims to get women involved in technology, through free full-day workshops in HTML, CSS, Python, and Django. Volunteer coaches donated their brainpower and time and walked thirty-ish of us through creating our first web app (website). There were over 130 applicants; I was pleased as a flea on a dog to be included.

26 September 2014

Urban Sprawl: Finding Space for Greenery in the City

As a nature and very much a country person, I wither if I'm not surrounded by plants. After many months of envious sighing while perusing Pinterest, I finally delved into the worlds of tillandsia (air plants), moss, and enclosed terrariums, with varying degrees of success. When combined with the mister's moss gardens and bonsai, the sum of greenery in our home is deliciously exorbitant. Everywhere I look, theres something to be watered, misted, rotated towards the light. These are some of the new projects. And in case you missed the previous ones, check out my DIY book planter, hanging himmeli planter, and DIY vertical succulent garden (which also has a came in a photo below).

After returning from my nature-immersion riding holiday in Swedish Lapland, it was comfort to tend to my plants, however contained and pampered they are when compared to their more feral cousins. Almost all of these live full-time inside, although we do rotate some of them outside to soak up what little sunshine hits our back garden.

I hope this peek into our secret indoor gardening life provides you flora-craving city mice out there with some inspiration...

Happy planting!


24 September 2014

Tölt as it Moves You: Swedish Lapland by Horse

At both the Stockolm and Umeå airports I'm greeted with a cordial "Hey hey (hej hej)!" like by an old friend. It's a standard hello; Swedish is immediately kinder to my ears than certain Germanic languages (ahem, Dutch). I leave Umeå behind me and point the car north. The traffic thins. The lady at a tiny supermarket doesn't mind a big bill for a small purchase and smiles easily when I tell her why I've come. Ah, horses, Ammarnäs. Yes. You won't want to go home. How this stranger knows me already.

I stop partway to sleep in a barn-turned-b&b. The roads are unpaved and the house numbers difficult to find. At first, the quiet is unnerving; it throbs like a phantom helicopter oscillating overhead. Then it becomes a comfort, something I want to bottle and later uncap in the most chaotic of moments, when the children are clinging to my legs and batting at each other, complaining in dueling pitches.

In the morning I awake to dense fog and postpone my departure by a couple hours. There is a fly in the room; its buzzing leaves a snail trail of noise in the quiet air of my room. The drive is delightfully long and uneventful, outlined by a snaking, wide river dotted with huge, smooth boulders like turtle shells to my left, blue skies overhead, and ever-yellowing birches and pines parted by the road ahead of and behind me. Autumn is in full-force by the time I reach the thin mountain air. I switch on the radio. Easy listening and 80s seem to be the thing here. I flip it off and revert to silence. The car, at high speeds, makes a noise like crickets.

22 September 2014

Just Jump

Describing the process of offering creative work out into the pubic forum to be viewed, critiqued, and judged as incredibly intimidating is a cute understatement. It's more like splaying your guts in a brightly lit room full of people taking notes, serious expressions on their faces, with you behind a two-way mirror, watching. Bring on the Xanax.

I dedicated the month of August to submit photos for acceptance into live and online galleries, and a couple printed publications. I was hoping for one yes. So far, into three online exhibitions, two gallery shows, and a book. And I haven't heard back from everyone yet. The breath I've been holding in for a month has now been released. I've learned that when you can't see over the edge, sometimes you just have to jump.

Thanks, people, for supporting me along the way. For commenting, sharing, nudging, encouraging. I couldn't have gathered my courage without you.


Here's where to find me in the coming weeks/months:

A Smith Gallery: one photo in a gallery show, entitled Forgotten, with receptions on the 27th of September and the 25th of October, from 4PM-7PM. The gallery show will run all the days in between. Friends in the San Antonio/Austin, TX area - go take a peep, and send a selfie if you do!

Linus Gallery: one photo in an online gallery entitled A Natural Affair.

New Dutch Talent: four full-page photos in an upcoming book, and some of the work in a gallery show in Amsterdam, both upcoming in 2015. Dates TBA. Don't worry, you'll hear all about this again when I have more info (!)

Blackbox Gallery: one photo in a current online annex gallery entitled Black and White, two photos in an upcoming gallery show entitled Snapshot Aesthetic: Domestic and Everyday, and two photos in an upcoming online annex gallery of the same name (I'll share the link when it's available). The latter gallery show will run the 1st of October until the 20th. Portland, OR, friends- have a gander and let me know what you think!

31 July 2014

On Iteration, Reiteration, and Trying Again

aesthetic fauna | NYC
"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results."
Most people of my generation have been hearing this quotation all their lives. Most of us have accepted it without resistance, repeated it without much forethought.

After again witnessing this assertion rear up in a conversation recently, I felt uncomfortable at the prospect of trusting in it, an instinctive refusal to repeat it. Why? Because, isn't this what all creative people do every day? Take any creative endeavor, or, really, any endeavor. Writing. Photography. Baking. Tomato cultivation. Race car driving. Competitive cycling. Whether it's a physical muscle or a creative one we're flexing, in most ventures we must practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Until we're nearly broken, until we all but give up.