Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cherry Blossoms

It's Cherry Blossom season here in DC, and the signal that Spring has arrived. Despite chilly temperatures, the spring foliage is starting to bloom, and every turn of the head provides another opportunity to see something pretty. I think the best part of spring is how quickly everything blooms.

Cherry Blossom

This photo immediately evokes the feeling of warm sunlight on my face. Whenever spring arrives in your neck of the woods, be sure to venture outdoors and explore. It really is incredible to see blossoms and buds breaking. The daffodils are out, hyacinths, forsythia, and even the blossoms on the weeping willow that I drive past every morning - all in bloom and eager for your attention! Go forth and enjoy the spring!

Cherry Blossom

Cherry Blossom

Monday, March 21, 2011

The New World

Day One
T'was the morning of March 18, 2011, when my niece was born. She took her first breath of air and swallowed our love, whole.

I've fallen head over heels for this little one, and am thrilled to show you all her precious little face. Soak it up - innocence, purity, and the softest skin in the world!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Peace Offering

I have a few odd talents. The first is an uncanny ability to smell silk. Yes, that's right , I said smell. I can walk next to someone and identify silk vs. non-silk in an instant. The other bizarre skill I have is being able to physically feel another person's anxiety. I end up feeling it, too. I remember last year I was sitting at my desk, having a good day, when all of a sudden I was overcome with anxiety. I phoned the "Mr." and asked if he was okay. Without my prior knowledge, my Mr. let me know that he was running and errand with a family member and was over the top stressed out and anxious. When I told him that I felt his anxiety from my office cubicle, we both exclaimed "weird!!"


Since Friday of last week, I have had a persistent feeling of anxiety. It's worried me, since it came on so quickly and I didn't feel like I should be particularly anxious or panicky about anything. I tried linking it to caffeine overload, and having a lot of work to get done, but it just didn't seem to make sense. The sensation of anxiety, fear, panic, worry, was overwhelming and not like me at all (I'm normally calm and handle chaos very well).  So I just got off the phone with my Mom, who reminded me that the entire world is feeling the effects of last week's earthquake in Japan... an earthquake that happened on Friday. Is it possible that the victims of the earthquake are sending out vibes through the ether that I am somehow picking up on? It wouldn't be the first time that I felt connected.

Keeping that in mind, I offer thoughts and feelings of love, peace, and harmony to the world. Let me send it out in hopes that the people who need it most will receive it. Spring is just around the corner. It's a time for rebirth and beauty.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Biker Chic

As a reoccurring guest photographer for Reston Style, I've been having a blast taking fashion-inspired photos of the lovely Liz. When I saw Liz's outfit, I said "you look like a chic biker" and that was exactly what Liz was going for. Her outfit is confident and feminine. That was my inspiration for these photos. Keep them a little edgy but still reflect the soft and sweet girly side. It helped that Liz's hair was in a braid and that wisps of hair helped catch the sunlight.

I'm very pleased with these "Biker Chic" photos and invite you to view the whole set on my Flickr page (just click on one of the photos below)

Liz: Biker Chic 1

Liz: Biker Chic 4

Liz: Biker Chic 9

Interested in your own fashion photo shoot? Contact me!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Rainy Daze

Rainy Day Tree
Photo by Jenny Skinner

I woke up early this morning to the sound of heavy rain beating endlessly on the roof and windows. It's endless rain; persistent and unyielding. No sunlight, just the gloom of the day. Sure would be nice to see the sun for a little while. However, despite all this, I am grateful for the opportunity to take a photo of this tree, covered in little beads of raindrops. 

And, I'm reminded of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem titled "The Rainy Day" (P.S., he's my distant relative -- no kidding!)

The Rainy Day
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The day is cold, and dark, and dreary
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
The vine still clings to the mouldering wall,
But at every gust the dead leaves fall,
And the day is dark and dreary.

My life is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
My thoughts still cling to the mouldering Past,
But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast,
And the days are dark and dreary.

Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.

And don't make fun... I love Gordon Lightfoot :o)

Friday, March 4, 2011

Words To Live By

For those of you who haven't heard of Esty, you should really check it out. It's an online marketplace where crafters and artisans can sell their work in their own little virtual shops. I subscribe to the Etsy newsletter and am constantly reading articles related to life as an artist.

I received an email yesterday about creative burnout, but didn't take a look at it until this afternoon, whilst taking a lunch break. A few clicks later, I found myself staring at at a quote that blew my mind. I immediately typed it up, printed it out, framed it, popped it up on the mantle, took a picture, uploaded it to Flickr, and am presently blogging about it now!  (Note: It's very handy to have a closet full of empty frames that you bought with the intent of using and then forgot about until you needed one instantly, and a pretty flower that you bought for yourself just because you wanted to feel special!)

THE Quote
Photo by Jenny Skinner. Inspiration from Etsy & Joseph Chilton Pearce

This quote resonates with me on a VERY deep and personal level. It excites and energizes me, and reminds me to part with my fears of being wrong or messing up. Because frankly, since I've let go of my fears I haven't really had the time to be afraid... I'm too busy chasing after my dreams!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

On The Power of Music...

I feel unbelievably lucky to have been exposed to classical music at an early age. I have a natural "ear" for music and have a real passion and interest of the technical side of music. But, as you should know by now, it's art and music's ability to elicit an emotional response that I care most about. 

When I drive to and from work, I listen to music that matches my emotions. I listen to music that matches the weather, the lighting, the color of the sky. I think of a story or someone I know and match the music. And all the while, I'm picturing the real images, the music, and my imagined images. It's almost like constructing a music video in my head. This is how I generate a lot of my ideas. For some reason I'm at peak idea generation when I'm in a moving vehicle, or physically moving (like walking or running). Maybe it's the focus on a routine movement that allows me to tap into this part of my brain. Who knows!

So rather than posting one of my images, I'm embedding a clip from the movie Immortal Beloved, where  this process is so beautifully told. I happen to love Beethoven, this movie, and Ode to Joy. I watch this clip and feel that music fully supports the story being told, the imagery, and the emotions. Ode to Joy is an extremely powerful piece of music and builds this beautiful tension and then erupts and ALWAYS chokes me up and brings me to tears, it's that amazing.

The thing is that I what I've expressed above doesn't even begin to capture it. Maybe it's just me - maybe I'm the only one who has a "theme song" for everything... and the only way for me to convey the power of the theme song in expressing exactly how I feel and what I see in my mind is to share this video. So, I hope you like it!!