this has been one hell of a long night USA, one hell of a long night.

Yet I am not afraid of the night; I have never feared the dark to the point that I have to rush the sun to rise.

So I am choosing, mostly in silence, to sit in this long night to see what needs to be seen and name what needs to be named, so that when the sun does rise I will have a sense that there is justice for all, that bodies matter… that black bodies matter to be more specific, & that our tears have truly made the ground fertile for institutional & systematic change in this country… United States of America.

 

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Photograph from the Trouve Magazine website

I am delighted & honored to share that Volume 2 of Trouvé Magazine, featuring a story about The Art Project, Houston and my journey of becoming LAR Art over the past few years, releases today!   It is a publication filled with encouraging stories of creativity &  beauty from the world.

Special thanks to writer, Beth Brown Ables, & photographer, Katie Jameson, for capturing the story so well.

Click here to learn more, be inspired and order your copy.

 

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Sabbath

The mind that comes to rest is tended
In ways that it cannot intend:
Is borne, preserved and comprehended
By what it cannot comprehend.

Your Sabbath, Lord, this keeps is by
Your will, not ours. And it is fit
Our only choice should be to die
Into that rest, or out of it.
-Wendell Berry

delighting in the gift of another Sunday… the tending, stillness, inspiration and joy

We had such a blast at our first Stamps & Stamps workshop!  Soon you will be hearing about our next one. Hoping life will provide an opportunity for us to bring this unique experience to Nashville, New York, Atlanta and other places we love.

Excited!

In the meantime check out this short video from our last one, I finally figured out how to share it …

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She turned her can’ts into cans, and her dreams into plans. -Unknown

Abbie Preston and I have been friends for about 3 1/2 years. We met while working for The Art Project, Houston, a project of the Bread of Life that empowers mostly men and women living on the streets of Houston to tap into their creativity, heal and re-imagine life.  It was there that our friendship began to bloom and dreams of future collaborations were soon born.  I remember a number of times we would sit after work and dream over coffee of what could be.

Earlier this year I was forced to stop.  The stopping creating space to be still, heal, discover new artists for daily inspiration, be exposed to a whole new world on pinterest, listen to life, be revived by grace, and begin re-imagine life without fear being louder than love.  It was beautiful.  Once I started to trust and surrender to the unfolding, things started to take shape in ways I had not believed were possible.

In June of this year my creativity found a home at Hardy & Nance Studios, where I share a studio with Abbie and Carole Sconfitto.  Amazing!  This step towards our dreams in this particular space created the opportunity for one of our dreams to become a reality… Stamps & Stencils!

Last weekend we hosted our first Stamps and Stencils, a mixed media workshop experience where each participant is provided the supplies and the instructions necessary to allow their creativity to flow. Each person was able to create stamps and two stencils that they used to make square or rectangle masterpieces by the end of the 2-hour experience.  Abbie and I use these techniques in the art we create, and found so much delight in sharing them with others and seeing what flowed from their creativity.

It was fabulous… a dream come true!

Special thanks to Abbie for sharing the journey with me, Cleve for being my partner & cheerleader in all of this, Andrea Sawyer-Gray (photographer & creative), Chap Edmonson (filmed & produced our Stamps & Stencils video), all of the friends who helped us set-up & breakdown, all the participants, my family for encouraging me to be the artist I am, the artists of TAPH for teaching me to be brave and all  those who invested in this event.

So thankful I do not have to go through this life alone.

Our next workshop experience is scheduled for Saturday, November 1 (7-9pm).
Stay tuned for details and reserve your space early, it is going to be a fun one!

You can view the Stamps & Stencils video on the Workshop page of http://www.larartphotography.com.

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stamps & stencils photography by Andrea Sawyer-Gray

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“And suddenly you just know…it’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.”

-Meister Eckhart

When it is time for a new season, you can just feel it to your core.  No matter how hard you try to ignore it or put it on pause, there comes a time when you have to say “yes.”  It is the time when the choice of not walking towards the new is more frightening than the choice to take the steps of faith towards your dreams.

That moment happened for me about 2 months ago. It was a moment when I decided it was time to turn my “cant’s into cans, dreams into plans.”  The awakening has been happening for a while now, the journey towards “becoming” has be one I am grateful for. There were a few losses and pains I could have definitely done without, but the journey has truly awaken my soul. For that, I am thankful.

Excited, happy, anxious, alive, uncertain and grateful- I step towards this new season in life where I live fully into my life as a creative.  As I go, I must say I am thankful I do not have to go it alone. One important part of this transition is partnering with local artists to cultivate spaces for creativity and beauty. Community is a gift.

One of my first collaborations is with my studio mate and friend, Abbie Preston of Boxsparrow Studio.  On Saturday, September 27, we are hosting a mixed media workshops, where we will guide participants in creating art using stamps and stencils they create. Both of us utilize stencils and stamps in our creating, and we are looking forward to helping others figure out ways to express themselves using some of the techniques we have learned along the way.

If you are going to be in the area September 27, definitely register to join us.

If you know people in Houston who would find life in this experience, do share. The space is limited, so the sooner you register the better. To register click HERE.  A good time should be had by all.

Also, keep me in prayer. First time in my life when I was choosing to step into a season of so many unknowns. I am trusting the One who has been nudging me to start living fully from my core, and I do believe all matters of things shall be well.

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Source: Monday Quote: The Magic Of Begginings http://blog.freepeople.com/2014/06/monday-quote-magic-begginings/#ixzz3DREnYKV2

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I miss you when I am still and the earth is silent,

when my feet are covered by a blanket of wildflowers

and I delight in the view of the birds resting on city wires.

 

I miss you when the world is screaming and the clock  refuses not to keep time,

when I find myself grinding for the future in spaces where we use to dwell

and move here-to-there, arms empty.

 

I miss you when I sit at a table for four, with only two seats occupied,
and when the music plays and I want us to dance.

 

I miss you when I sit in my art studio creating,
giving life to breathless things.

 

I miss you when all my head can hear is your faint cry
as you passed into this world from my womb,
as if you knew.

 

I miss you when I remember I am a childless mother,

and that no brush stroke from my hand can give

my greatest masterpiece life.

December 4, 2013 I gave birth prematurely to Annee Juredline Rouse Tinsley with my partner for life, Cleve, holding my hand. She lived 2 hours and died resting upon my chest. 

A year ago today, love and grace kissed my brokenness through three of the most important people in my life… helping me to pull upon all the courage within me to fight through the shame and guilt to choose life. I will forever be grateful for their love and the opportunity to co-create a life that I will forever love. I am thankful. I am deeply sad. I am free.

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I want to be like a sunflower; so that even on the darkest days I will stand tall & find the sunlight. – M.K.

Life-giving words from Erwin McManus on fulfilling Love’s  intention for our life. 

dream.risk.create.

be inspired.

photographed with a DuaFlex III Kodak Film Camera

photographed with a DuaFlex III Kodak Film Camera

“Know what you want to do, hold the thought firmly, and do every day what should be done, and every sunset will see you that much nearer the goal.”  

– Elbert Hubbard

Over the past year life has taught me, and Love has basically slapped me in the face with,  this truth:  she is who is brave enough to live her heart out loud is truly free.

Each heart has a song. And it’s song longs to be heard and shared… it needs to be heard and shared.  When each person is able to live out her passion, the world is a more beautiful place.  I’ve always loved the words of  Howard Thurman who says, “Do not ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

His words are so true; the world needs individuals who have come alive. Our communities need them. Our families and friends need them. Our souls need them.

Lately I’ve been inspired, challenged, and even encouraged by those who bravely ask themselves “What makes me come alive?” and,  in time,  just do it.  Some even make it a daily practice to examine their lives, asking themselves penetrating questions:

What drained me today?

What gave me life today?

How do I receive more time with what gives me life?

How do I lessen or let go of things–with love and grace–that drain me, both relationships and activities?  

The list of names of those who have lived out their life’s passions, or calling,  regardless of the risks, work, vulnerability, and time it requires, is as diverse and as beautiful as the world in which we live. These are individuals who have undoubtedly experienced much failure and disappointment, but they have also exhibited  a deep spiritual quality worth emulating: the moral courage it takes to risk all–at least to onlookers– for  a more personally meaningful possibility.  I marvel at those who dare to do so, for they embrace this “aliveness” of which Thurman speaks…

Day by day, one step at a time, pushing past fear, impatience, failure, insecurity and/or whatever else may keep them still, they just do it.

At the sun’s setting today, our lives may not look like the full picture we’ve imagined for ourselves, but undoubtedly we shall be steps closer to that life than we were at the sun’s rising. So we hope…and, so, we still pray.

"Christianity is a way, not a state, and a Christian is never something one is, only something one can pray to become." W.H. Auden

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