This photo was taken on April 18, 2008, for one of my first posts on my new blog.
I had just returned from Random Arts, in Saluda, NC, a haven for mixed media artists. My family spent a week in a cabin and my visit turned into a considerable amount of time absorbing tips and techniques, the warm hospitality of Jane, Jen and Joyce and stocking up on a decent share of new supplies. When Jane asked if I had a blog and I said no, she told me I needed one. So, instead of unpacking and doing laundry and chores, I took Jane's advice. It was a beautiful spring and this photo was used for my early post called View From the Altered Attic.
I didn't have a lot of expectations for this space, just knowing that my love for photography, writing and art would blend with life's realities, abundances, gifts and, well, other stuff too. Jane was kind enough to add a link on her blog and leave my first comment. Friends and family logged on in support as I learned the ropes.
Within a few short months I'd met dozens of fellow artists, as they left comments on my fledgling posts and added links to their blogs. I never dreamed that blogging would have such a profound impact on my art and life.
I still don't have a great deal of solid goals for this blog; a year and nearly 11,000 page views later, I still feel as though I'm finding my way along. I don't know all the 8,000 people who comprise the visitor totals on my site meter, but I do know this: I have made incredible friendships, gained invaluable support and maintained a strong sense of connection to a compassionate, funny, real and irreplaceable community on days when the day felt a little too empty.
A lot has changed in the past year - the photo below was taken after this winter's storm took out half of the limbs. I worried that it would have to come down, that after decades of beauty it had fallen victim to one too many ice attacks. I have to admit that, while not nearly as full and lush as in years past, I'm thrilled that my beautiful tree had the fortitude to present its spring offering despite the severed limbs. What a great metaphor for life, this blog, art, relationships... we don't always know how or why but we move forward, offering up what we can. So rather than missing half the limbs, I choose to view it as half blooming and continue to enjoy the view.
If you're reading this, thank you - for coming to visit, taking time to leave a note, sharing your thoughts and your art, your wisdom and stories, providing inspiration and laughs, in short, for making my a world a more inspired place.