2017 European Adventure

So what have I been up to since the end of the school year? Traveling. I had a two week European excursion planned for early June. Unfortunately, the week prior to the trip, I received a call that my dad was in the hospital and not doing well. I was strongly encouraged to head home quickly. I packed up the girls and did just that. Luckily we were able to make the first flight out in the morning and we were able to get to my dad before he passed. We spent his last four hours on this planet with him. We talked to him, we laughed, and we cried. There was A LOT of crying. He left this world surrounded by people who loved him and are dedicated to celebrating him and his outrageously inappropriate sense of humor.

During the process of laying my father to eternal rest, we had a family meeting to discuss the European adventure. I was fine with not going…I didn’t feel it was the time and Europe has been there for so long. I knew it would be there for me to explore next year! However, my mom and my aunt wanted me to go. I had so many mixed feelings about the decision, but with my mom’s encouragement, we ended up deciding to head out after all my dad’s arrangements concluded. (In the end, my mom said she was glad we went. It forced her to get out of the house and handle her business…thus helping her with the mourning process.)

It was decided that we were going and we were off (after many, many tears)…first stop? Newark. But we are going to start the photographs at the second stop. Ha ha ha….Paris!

Our apartment, much to my mother-in-law’s dismay, was on the 5th floor…with no elevator! Once we recovered from our hike up the old, well worn, rugged stairs, we were able to enjoy a beautiful view out the windows. The most spectacular view was at sunset when the orange light bounced off the Saint-Jacques Tower, a Gothic tower built in the early 1500’s. It’s the only remnant of the Church Saint-Jacques-de-la-Boucherie that was destroyed in 1797 during the French Revolution. Crazy history right outside our window.

On our first day, we walked around so much and had such terrible jet lag that we decided to catch the Hop-On Hop-Off bus during our next outing. I know the Hop On/Off bus is one of the most touristy things you can do in a city, but when your feet are so swollen they barely fit in your shoes, it’s becomes one of the best decisions of the trip. Ha ha ha. It also provided different views of some of the popular stops in Paris.

One of the stops was the Arc de Triomphe. We visited the Arc during the winter on our last trip and I never noticed the folks on the top! (Probably because it was cold and snowing at the time!) This time, they were clear as day. For some reason I thought they were funny, so they were included in my image.
One of the other stops was, of course, the Eiffel Tower. Did you know that you can zip-line off the tower into the Champs de Mars? That maybe a consideration for our next visit….

So that was the intro to our European extravaganza. Next up…details. I love photographing details that are often overlooked when visiting new places!

I hope you’re being adventurous this summer because YOURE AMAZING!

P.


Student Work | Yeah Middle Schoolers!


My students have been creating truly beautiful work this year! I wanted to brag about them just a little bit. We do weekly composition projects: one compositional tool = one dynamic image.  These students have the freedom to explore the campus or photograph things when they aren’t on campus. It’s so much fun to watch them come in and photograph in a hurry only to finish the trimester as contemplative photographers. I even manage to squeeze in a little photo theory. I talk about “the power of the photographer” to middle schoolers! And they understand!! And the totally dig it!!! 

Kids are the greatest!


Pop | Appropriation



I just realized I hadn’t posted any of my more recent fine art work!

I’ve always been drawn to old images. I think it’s super cool to go through
vintage stores and look at all the old photographs that are for sale. I
wonder who the people are? Where are they from? What were they doing in
the photographs? I think it’s sad that the images just sit around and
wait for someone to pluck them up. That someone is me. I’m the one that
is going to buy them and give them new life. The question is…what do I
do with them once I buy, or download, them? 

After thinking and thinking and more thinking, I finally figured it out! I’m going to give
them new life through digital collage. I have a series of protest images
that I’ve been working on, but here is an image I made for my brother
in law. He’s redecorating his house and needs some original artwork. I
sourced an image of a motorcycle rider and then I joined it with an
image I took of a sunset in Kauai. The collage makes the old image
relevant again and that just makes me so happy.  

Enjoy my happy motorcycle rider!