My Top 5 Places

PicMonkey Collage1As I’m preparing to go to Southern California next week I’ve been doing some thinking on the all the places I’ve had the opportunity to see already. So I thought: why not do a post about it? I’ve narrowed it down to my top five favorite places. I picked these not just because they are beautiful, but because of the experiences I had there and the beautiful people I experienced them with. It was hard to choose, but I definitely  chose the correct ones!

1. Riga, Latvia

From 2011 to 2013 I was blessed with the opportunity to visit Latvia three times. Each time I went was to work at an orphans camp for Talsi Christian School. Working at this camp has been some of the best and most charished memories I have. I chose to talk about Riga(the capital of Latvia, and where we fly in and out) instead of Talsi, because my time in Talsi is so much more to my heart than a place to visit. It’s a long post for another day!

Riga is like no place I have ever experienced; the culture, the language, the people, it’s truly an incredible place! Riga was founded in 1201, but I’ve been told some of the churches are quite a bit older than that. It’s crazy being in a building that is 600 years older than your own country, or walking on cobble stone street that are the original streets. It takes my breath away. It’s a quick drive to the baltic sea, and several castles.

IMG_1289

PicMonkey Collage7

PicMonkey Collage6PicMonkey Collage13PicMonkey Collage9PicMonkey Collage10PicMonkey Collage14PicMonkey Collage8PicMonkey Collage5PicMonkey Collage4PicMonkey Collage1PicMonkey Collage2PicMonkey Collage12

PicMonkey Collage11

2. The Oregon Coast

I have quite a bit of family in Oregon on my Moms side. My family, while it was still the four of us, were able to take a road trip out that way once in 2002 and a second time in 2007. We flew out a third time for my Grandma’s funeral in 2011. Oregon is such a beautiful state, and every time I’ve been to the coast out there it just takes my breath away! I love the mellow colors and the weather! My favorite is Cannon Beach with the epic haystack rock in the photo right below. My Dad is a bird watcher and knows so much about nature and wildlife, which makes being out there even more fun for a dorky family like us! After loosing Mom in April, memories like these are even more precious to me. I love how much my family did things together. We always had fun and Mom and Dad always made time for me and Danny. These moments out in some of the prettiest nature (in my opinion) that God created with the loving family God gave me are so special.

DSCF0672PicMonkey Collage5PicMonkey Collage3 PicMonkey Collage4PicMonkey Collage1PicMonkey Collage2PicMonkey Collage7

3. The Los Angeles Area

Next week will be my second time in Southern California. The first was in August of 2012 with Jordan, who I will being going back with. She is doing school out in the area and will be going back home for the semester. LA is one of my favorite places ever! It’s so artsy and full of things you just don’t get where I’m from. It moves to a different beat, and I love that beat. This trip is a lot of what stirred my desire to do art. Once I got back I took art appreciation and I was sold on my new journey. But before that class LA really pulled on my heart strings with its street art, art museums, and way of doing things! It also helps that Disneyland is 20 minutes away….

IMG_7512PicMonkey Collage7PicMonkey Collage3PicMonkey Collage8PicMonkey Collage1PicMonkey Collage5PicMonkey Collage6PicMonkey Collage2

 4. Comfort Tx

I almost didn’t do Comfort because I just blogged about it, but it’s up there so I had to. My parents met the Boyce’s in the early 90’s and shortly after they moved down to the Texas Hill Country. My parents have stayed friends with them since. We took a trip out to see them in 1998. I was sick pretty much that whole trip, but it was ok because I had the company of a cat with heretocromia(one green eye and one blue eye) named C.L.

Dad and Mom went down several times to see them over the years just the two of them. After Mom passed Dad and I took a trip out there to get away from everything here. It was such a great trip. It really lives up to it’s name, Comfort. It was such a fun relaxing trip. They have a sheep ranch and we were there just in time for lambs!

IMG_9069PicMonkey Collage1PicMonkey Collage8IMG_8830 PicMonkey Collage4PicMonkey Collage5PicMonkey Collage3PicMonkey Collage2PicMonkey Collage7PicMonkey Collage6

5. New York City

This trip was the most sporadic trip I’ve ever taken. It started as a joke I said in front of my friend Katie, and she said “why not?” A month later, in August of 2010, four other ladies and I were on a plane to NYC. Between a garage sale and taking about a billion portraits I somehow came up with the money for it. It was just one of those meant-to-be trips. I was able to see two shows on broadway, “The Addams Family” with Nathan Lane and BeBe Neuwirth, and “Promises Promises” with Kristen Chenoweth and Sean Hayes. New York is such an amazing city, full of so many things to do! I really hope I get to go back before its all said and done.

IMG_8447PicMonkey Collage4PicMonkey Collage3PicMonkey Collage6PicMonkey Collage5PicMonkey Collage7PicMonkey Collage8PicMonkey Collage2PicMonkey Collage1

Fort Worth Tx

Yesterday, three of my favorite people and I headed to Fort Worth for a fun girl day. It’s been a while since the four of us have done something all together, it was just so nice! I am so blessed to have them in my life, they make me better. First there is Jordan, my most passionate friend, Sharon my most compassionate friend, and Katie my most willing to serve friend. Here are my favorite pictures from the day. Shot with my Canon AE-1 Program and Iphone5.

After a two and a half hour drive we went straight for the coffee. We are all huge coffee fans, and our area is somewhat lacking in artisan coffee, so we jumped at the idea of good coffee. Our first stop was Avoca Coffee. Great coffee, great vibe, I would definitely be a regular if I were a local.

PicMonkey Collage1

PicMonkey Collage2

Sharon took this picture of us all getting ready to instagram. It’s too funny!

IMG_0773

I had been to The Fort Worth Water Garden once, but it wasn’t on I think it was being cleaned, and it was a huge disappointment. So our next stop was the Water Garden. Katie had broken her toe two days before, and she went down in it in crutches! She’s a hoss!!

PicMonkey Collage13

60040011

60040009

PicMonkey Collage12

Next stop was the Fort Worth Modern. This was the main reason we came and it was definitely worth the trip! There were some huge names that I really admire! We even got to see a group do modern dance, which was strange, but cool. Thankfully the museum had a wheelchair for Katie. She looked so cute, wheeling around!

PicMonkey Collage7

PicMonkey Collage10

PicMonkey Collage11

“Number 5″ Jackson Pollock, “Ladder for Booker T. Washington” Martin Puryear, “Light Cloud, Dark Cloud” Mark Rothko, “Night Heron” David Bates

PicMonkey Collage14

“Gun” Andy Warhol, “25  Colored Marilyns” Andy Warhol

PicMonkey Collage4

“Untitled (Seated Woman)” Ron Mueck, “Femme couchèe lisant” Pablo Picasso

PicMonkey Collage5

Jordan and I didn’t eat breakfast and where getting super hungry so we ran to the 7-Eleven across the street and learned about this magic. Cheese stuffed Doritos!

PicMonkey Collage6

IMG_0864

60040007

PicMonkey Collage8

60040002

When we were finished up at The Modern, we headed to Cafè Brewed for a late lunch and more coffee. We stopped at First United Methodist Church for a photo op on the way. Such a cool structure!!

60040001

Brewed was super hip and yummy!

PicMonkey Collage11

PicMonkey Collage9

PicMonkey Collage10

Film Fun in Tyler

A few Days ago I took my good friend Maddy to Tyler to have a little fun with film. We had been talking about taking some portraits with film for a few weeks and I wanted to try out my 35mm Canon AE-1 Program that my father gave me. He got it when he was in high school around 1978. It still takes great pictures! Here are the shots from our little adventure of a day! (Non film pictures taken with my iphone5)

60040021

We started on the square in downtown and from there just started walking around. We were walking in the direction of Marvin Methodist Church. I had been in the sanctuary several years ago and had been dying to go back in a see it. It’s absolutely  beautiful so we thought we’d give it a go and see if we could get in. They were so nice and helpful there, they suggested we go check out their Chapel as well.

PicMonkey Collage9

PicMonkey Collage1

PicMonkey Collage3

PicMonkey Collage2

After this we checked out the Ye Old Flea Market and took this shot.

60040018

We took a break from the heat and had lunch at McAlester’s. Its a definite favorite for the both of us.

PicMonkey Collage4

After lunch we stopped by the Catholic Church downtown hoping to get a cool shot there. We didn’t take any pictures but we did get to here nuns working on music for the service that night. It was beautiful! Maddy told me she had never been in a Catholic church before. This was a very mild looking Catholic church, (very beautiful though) so I took here to Trinity Mother Francis Hospital because the old Chapel is very Catholic and beautiful. After that we went back downtown and got a couple more shots shots.

PicMonkey Collage7

60040015

Our last stop was the Tyler Rose Gardens. Maddy really wanted to get into a fountain!

60040014

PicMonkey Collage8

Artspace in Shreveport

I found out Artist Wayne White was going to be having a show in Shreveport about a month ago and have been dying to go since. I finally talked Dad into going and checking it out with me since it was only a two hour drive. It was definitely worth it! It’s been a while since I’ve been to Shreveport, I didn’t realize just how cool their downtown is! And the show was phenomenal! Wayne White is a beast!

IMG_0622

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

IMG_0621

IMG_0620

Upstairs, Artspace was showing an exhibit of art by Taffie Crragon Garsee, titled “Dystopian Garden”.  It was superb! We were both very impressed. She has a cool style and the flow of the exhibit was very good.

PicMonkey Collage6

IMG_0624

Right outside Artspace there was an old epic building being renovated that had a construction wall up around it that was covered in poster bombs! It even had a Obey Giant! Which was a highlight for me! Shepard fairy might be my favorite street artist.

PicMonkey Collage4

PicMonkey Collage3

IMG_0604

IMG_0611

IMG_0674

Another reason I wanted to go to Shreveport was to see The AT&T building downtown. I’ve admired it since i was a little kid, but have only seen it passing by on I-20, so I decided while we were downtown we had to stop by so I could really see it.  I wanted to really be able to soak it in, and you can only see one side from the interstate. It was definitely worth the stop, but its was definitely a ghetto area, homeless people and all!

IMG_0630

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

IMG_0632

We finished up around lunch time so we thought we would go ahead and grab lunch on the way out. Dad loves Popeye’s Chicken, and we both thought it was funny to have it while we were in Louisiana, so Popeye’s it was!

IMG_0646

When we crossed the border we went ahead and stopped at the Texas Travel Information Center  for a restroom stop and we found this tiny little guy hanging out in front of the door!!

PicMonkey Collage2

Our last stop of the day was the Longview Musuem of Fine Arts. LMFA was on the way so we thought why not! They had four Salvador Dali prints from the late 70’s which was pretty cool! Also they were taking down a show called “Shades of Trout”, it was over on June 28th, so we were really lucky we got to see it, even if everything was off the wall.

PicMonkey Collage7

PicMonkey Collage5

Birthday Fun in Dallas

I turned 23 Wednesday, so to celebrate my birthday, the family and I headed to the Dallas Museum of Art. I love art museums so much and the DMA is an amazing museum, so it was a great day! We had lunch at the food trucks across the street and enjoyed Café Brazil for dinner. I used my early 1960s Kodak Retina automatic iii, and my iPhone 4S.

Left: Jordan and Amanda in front of the museum, Right: Photo credit Jordan

PicMonkey Collage8

 Photo Credit to Dad

PicMonkey Collage1

 These are my two favorite shots of the day, both taken with the Kodak.

PicMonkey Collage2

I saw my first Van Gogh painting! I’ve been wanting that experience for a long time! Now just to see Starry Night! (“Sheaves of Wheat” by Vincent Van Gogh)

IMG_2419

 Also saw my first Jackson Pollock! I think this was my favorite piece of the day. (“Portrait and a Dream” by Jackson Pollock)

55310010

 Dad remembers seeing this painting as a kid. He remembers his reaction and his parents reaction. It’s cool that it had a big enough impact on him that he remembers it 40 plus years later! (“Orange, Red, Red” Mark Rothko.)

55310009

55310012

“The Guitarist” by Pablo Picasso, “Place de la Concorde” by Piet Mondrian, “Untiled” by Maurizio Cattelan

PicMonkey Collage4

Jordan and I enjoyed savory crepes for lunch! They were super good!!!!!
PicMonkey Collage3

 The Special exhibit showing was Nur Light, which was amazing art from the Islamic world. I love history tied into art, and I love stuff that involves the middle east. The culture is just so beautiful and different! We weren’t allowed to take pictures, so these were the only things I could do.

PicMonkey Collage5

 Photo on the right taken by Jordan

PicMonkey Collage9

 Chair designed by Fernando and Humberto Campana, “Aquatic ‘Four Season'” by Louis Comfort Tiffany.

PicMonkey Collage12

Me enjoying Larry Poons’ “Untitled #22. This painting took up a wall, it was so big! I probably could have spend several hours sitting in front of it enjoying the colors and textures! Such a cool piece!!! Photo on left by Jordan.PicMonkey Collage6

55310014

PicMonkey Collage7

IMG_2458

PicMonkey Collage10

 Found an Obey Giant sticker! Shepard Fairy probably didn’t place it there, but his done stuff in Dallas so its a possibility! Also Café Brazil’s Snicker Bar Latté is amazing!

PicMonkey Collage13

55310008

First go at Film

A few years a ago a friend of mines mother was moving and needed to get rid of some stuff. She had a pretty good antique camera collection and she new I loved photography so she asked if I wanted it. I of course said “YES!”. One of the cameras was a Target Six-16 Brownie.  The shutter still works on it so I’ve been talking about restoring it for a while. I started looking up stuff on brownie restoration and then thought why not look at the other cameras I own, one of which was a Kodak Retina automatic iii. Everything on it but the film counter worked so I thought why not, I’ll put the brownie on the back burner and get started. Keeping in mind that this camera is from the the early 60s, so its 50 years old, it was a little hard to get the setting to work just right, it didn’t like bright lights to much, but it gives them that cool vintage look. Here is my first attempt at film! (These where all shot in the Tyler and Lake Hawkins area)

1

2

3
4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

54910005

54910002

Heres a photo of the camera

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

 

Graduation: Maddy

 

My good friend Maddy graduated from Big Sandy High School tonight and I got the honor of taking pictures of it for her. Before hand we took some portraits of her in her cap and gown and then proceeded into graduation. Here are my favorite shots from the evening.
PicMonkey Collage5

IMG_9377

PicMonkey Collage2

IMG_9310

PicMonkey Collage3

IMG_9303

The photo on the left is a portrait I took of her for eighth grade promotion! Its crazy how much she has grown, and how fast time has gone by. She has turned into such a beautiful young woman, inside and out.

PicMonkey Collage1

IMG_9624

IMG_9738

IMG_9685

IMG_9719

IMG_9923

PicMonkey Collage4

Trip to the Texas Hill Country

IMG_9015

With everything that has been going on in our lives these past few months, Dad and I finally got a chance to get away and breathe for a little while. We headed out to the hill country to spend some time with with some family friends, the Boyce’s. They own a Ranch outside of Comfort Tx, which used to be a Dude Ranch. They now raise sheep (and also one pony).  We got there just in time for lambs. If they didn’t grow up to be sheep I would have tried to take on home. Two of the lambs needed to be bottle fed because they couldn’t keep up with their twin for milk, so I got to help bottle feed several times.

Dad has been bird watching for over 30 years and I very much enjoy doing that with him, so we spent a lot of time on the trip birding and enjoying nature. The texas hill country is so beautiful and full of all kinds of creatures, from birds to deer to bats! We also enjoyed Fredericksburg and San Antonio. Here are my favorite shots and moments from the week.

My essentials for the trip

IMG_8016

PicMonkey Collage8

About two hours ?”[;p-away we stopped at a Shell Station and this rooster was hanging out in front of the gas pumps. Just another day in Texas! I wanted to get close to him, so I used Chex Mix as bait!

IMG_1677

Sheldon and Jo’s (The Boyce’s), Ranch is nothing short of cool! It has the Guadalupe River, a creek, awesome trails, lots of sheep, and all kinds of wildlife. And the inside of their house is like a museum! Its full of all kind of cool old things!!!

IMG_8698

The light fixture on the left is an old wagon wheel with antlers that Jo has picked up on the ranch. On the right s their lovely fire place. It rained the first two evenings and brought the temperature way down, so we could have a fire! I didn’t pack for it, I was expecting 80s and 90s. But even without warm clothes it was amazing!!!

PicMonkey Collage10

This little guy’s name is Pepperoncini. We’ll just say I was smitten! As if  just seeing him wasn’t enough, bottle feeding him several times did me in!!!

IMG_8643

PicMonkey Collage4

I love this photo of Jo looking at the Guadalupe

IMG_9126

PicMonkey Collage9

This is a Caracara we spotted with a pack of vultures eating on a raccoon! The Caracara is one of my favorite birds and it’s always fun when I get to see one, especially when one is duking it out with vultures for roadkill!

IMG_8975

Black Vulture and a Monk Parakeet. The Parakeet was a lifer for me, two of them are nesting right now in a billboard in front of a Chickfila in San Antonio!

PicMonkey Collage2

Clockwise: Black-Tailed jackrabbit, A very unusual Fox Squirrel, White-Tailed Deer, and Wild Turkey

PicMonkey Collage1

Rufous-crowned Sparrow and a Carolina Chickadee with a bug in his mouth.

PicMonkey Collage3

IMG_8823

IMG_1727

Left: Sheldon being silly at Hastings, Right: The amazing German restaurant we stopped at in Fredericksburg.

PicMonkey Collage16

On our last full day in the hill country Dad and I took a fun day in San Antonio. We went and found the Monk Parakeet and then checked out the Alamo. After that we enjoyed a little bit of the area around the Alamo and then headed over to The San Antonio Museum of Art, SAMA, which was amazing!!!! We ended our day out at Old Tunnel State Park to see bats!

IMG_9172

PicMonkey Collage11

PicMonkey Collage6

IMG_1864

This Old Train Tunnel is holdind around 800,000 bats right now! By July it will be around a million!

PicMonkey Collage12

I got to take a lot of shots of the sheep, here are my favorite!

PicMonkey Collage7

PicMonkey Collage13

PicMonkey Collage14

PicMonkey Collage15

Spring 2014 Portfolio

PicMonkey Collage20

Three semesters ago I took art appreciation and enjoyed my teacher so much that I wanted to take another class with him.  The only other class he taught was drawing 1, so I thought, why not! I loved that class so much that I ended up take painting 1 the following semester. I had been undecided with my major for several semesters and had just been doing my basics. After taking these three classes being an art major just felt right. This semester was really nice because the semester before I had finished all my basics, therefore I could only take studio classes. Which was the best! I took four, Painting 2, Figure Drawing 1, Fiber Arts 1 and Design 1. Here is my work from this semester.

Painting 1

PicMonkey Collage

untitled1

5IMG_7270

Jessica Sanders 1

IMG_7276

PicMonkey Collage2

I also had two paintings I started, but because of family things that came up I wasn’t able to finish them. I will be finishing them this summer.

PicMonkey Collage19

Figure Drawing 1

The first set is where I started out in the class, the one on the left was my first drawing. I had really never drawn people before and it definitely showed! But I think its fairly amazing how much better I got by the end of the course!

PicMonkey Collage6

PicMonkey Collage4

PicMonkey Collage5

PicMonkey Collage21

IMG_0376

PicMonkey Collage3

PicMonkey Collage14

Fiber Arts 1

PicMonkey Collage8

PicMonkey Collage7

Weaving 1 on gray

PicMonkey Collage11

weaving 2

PicMonkey Collage12

PicMonkey Collage9

PicMonkey Collage17

PicMonkey Collage10

Design 1

PicMonkey Collage15

My first print. I will definitely be taking this next semester.

PicMonkey Collage16

This was a group project.

IMG_0129

This project was titled Motion. We had to do a sequence of something, so I thought I would return to my stop motion days!  Heres the link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-SDhLzNVowPicMonkey Collage18

Color Study

IMG_0558

My Final was to create a board game. I chose Nine Mens Morris. Since its from the middle ages I decided to make it like a castle. Its just foam core and sharpies (and clay for the pieces).

PicMonkey Collage13