I have been surrounded by paper and ink my entire life. A bibliophilic mother who passed the love on to me, a father who worked in a print shop whose hands always smelled of hot paper and fresh ink, a twenty-five year old book collection that currently numbers closer to 1,000 than 500, and journals everywhere.

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I love journals. Beautifully made books full of blank pages and promise. I have never filled one of my journals, but my heart is in each one. The first pages of each of my journals are filled with words. Sometimes the words form poems, other times they become the prose I write that sounds more like poetry than an essay.

Sometimes the pages are just words. Lists of words in no particular order that I hope will one day become a poem. That is often how poetry happens for me. I feel the urge to write something that I have seen or heard or read, and I write the words that feel like the experience. Like a Rorschach test of sound and meaning, the words come to me, vowels singing and consonants dancing around and around each other until I hear a harmony, or an intentional dissonance, that says everything I feel. It’s like a beautiful audition. The list stops as I begin to feel the rhythm that I need, and then the page becomes a chopping block. Scribbled lines are crossed out, mutilated. Punctuation is trashed, dug out, brushed off, and trashed again. Articles are the hardest — take them out, put them back in, whittle them down smaller and smaller until the lines mean nothing (start again), or they mean everything.

In these moments I wish that there were a literary equivalent of the mathematical term, the inclusive or. It has all of the meaning of “or” and the meaning of “and” at the same time. How wonderful that word would be for poetry. This or this, but neither rules out the other. It’s always seemed ironic to me that this concept is an accepted rule in math, the most absolute sector of academia. Art is never simply black and white.

DH

It has, yet again, been a long time since my last post.

When I typed that sentence a moment ago, I said it had been a shamefully long time, but then I remembered this post from last week by a treasured colleague. Words of wisdom that I need reminding of periodically.

The past not-quite-month since I wrapped my last show, I’ve been keeping my work a little closer to home. Between the hours of driving and even more hours of rehearsal and show time from September through November, there had been precious little time for housekeeping. The past few weeks have been a time to catch up on some reading, lots of photo processing, re-connecting with some old clients, and putting together a portfolio site. I’ve also taken time to exercise some domesticity. Explorations in cooking, baking, and crafting have kept the creative juices flowing. The Boy and I had a blast with holiday decorating this year, too.

I suppose this is mostly to get the words flowing again, and to share some updates. Check out the new site (Warning! Under construction!), and enjoy the photos below — snapshots are more fun than words, anyway.

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Holiday card

The furkids are the models for this year’s holiday card.

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Wallace is more photogenic than I’ll ever be.

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Wishing you a simply happy December!

DH

This morning I woke early. Everything was peaceful and quiet and ever so slightly tinged with pink as the sun began to break free from the horizon.

Coffee is a requirement today. As I sleepily start the kettle and put the grounds into the press, I listen to birds singing joyously at the morning. Stepping outside, sweater wrapped, reveals a world glistening with dew drops, sparkling in the  now-golden sunlight. The shining blanket, almost as thick as frost, is belied by the warmth that, even in the early morning, is already making my cotton sweater unbearable. Delicately tiny mushrooms have emerged in the night, dotting the green grass with their little white parasols.

Morning Dew -- D.Hitchcock 2013

Mushroom -- D.Hitchcock 2013Dewdrop -- D.Hitchcock 2013 Mushroom 2 -- D.Hitchcock 2013Everything is still as I take in this fleeting beauty. Once the sun is higher, it will take only moments for these watery jewels to evaporate and the sweet mushroom bonnets to shrivel in the heat. A moment so easy to miss. So simple, and yet impossible to recreate. It may be just like this tomorrow, or it may never be again.

Mushroom Dew -- D.Hitchcock 2013

And that is truly beautiful.

DH

Model: John BurkePhoto taken during shoot for his latest album, Reverie.

Model: John Burke
Photo taken during shoot for his latest album, Reverie.

I used to hate taking pictures of people. I realize now that it was because I didn’t know how. I’ve never liked posed photography, so I always tried for candid shots, which would work sometimes, but the likelihood of getting good shots reliably were pretty slim. I was always so displeased with the results that I avoided photographing people all together. It wasn’t until I discovered Jane Bown that I realized that people weren’t the problem; it was me and the terrifying piece of equipment that hung from my neck.

Cameras are everywhere. People have developed a sort of sixth sense where cameras are concerned and typically have one of two reactions: They hide or they pose. It happens every time someone pulls out a device because we are trained to expect it. (I’ve always been a hider, ironically enough) What’s a girl to do? I want those in the moment, genuine reactions, but the camera senses won’t let me have them! I want to capture those priceless moments when all that hidden personality dances across a person’s face while he tells you a story, or is lost in a quiet thought, but if my subject is hidden, either from the camera or behind his “camera smile”, all of that life is lost to me and my lens.

That’s when I realized that I had answered my own question. Those moments that I want to capture only happen when someone is comfortable and willing to share. Candid isn’t about the subject not seeing the camera, it’s about them not minding the camera. I just had to make people forget that the camera exists. The results were exactly what I had wanted my photography to be.

Portraiture is still a work in progress for me, as are all things, but it has become one of my favorite things to do. These are some of my favorite images — I was lucky enough to really capture my subjects’ personalities in these. Hope you enjoy.

Model: Caroline T.From my Interview Series

Model: Caroline T.
“Interview”

Model: John Burke

Model: John Burke

Model: Ryan B.From "Interview"

Model: Ryan B.
“Interview”

Model: Krystal K.

Model: Krystal K.
“Interview”

Model: Victoria P."Interview"

Model: Victoria P.
“Interview”

Can't resist capturing all that silliness!

You just can’t pose this!

A huge thank you to the models from the “Interview” series and John Burke for allowing me to show off your beautiful faces!

Thanks for reading! As always, critiques are an artist’s best friend.

DH

P.S. If you are in the Atlanta area and would like to work with me, feel free to drop me a line :)

It’s funny how sometimes the things we love most are the hardest to do. That can be especially true of artists. For whatever reason it is suddenly difficult to create, and while waiting for inspiration we get distracted. Or we wait for inspiration for so long that we no longer feel that we can be inspired. Both of these are issues that I struggle with, especially the second one. If I go too long without creating something, I second guess any urge I have when I should just act on it, for better or worse.

Sometimes, too, it is because we get bogged down by using our creative skills for other reasons. Work does this to me. I write and research all day long, and then when I have the time to write what truly matters to me, I feel tired and restless and want nothing more than to do something, anything else. In my two and a half months of blog silence, many lovely plans has gone to waste because of this.

It’s a difficult balance to strike, but ultimately it comes down to deciding what is really important.

I must remember that my creations are important.

I must remember that creating is one of the best things that I can do for myself.

I must remember that creating is a huge part of who I am and who I want to be.

I must remember that I am important.

I guess you could say that these are my extremely belated New Year’s resolutions. I’ve been working on these ideas, though they were not yet articulated, since the beginning of the year, mostly trying to change my mindset. It’s slowly working, as evidenced by the existence of this post, but it is time for me to be more proactive about it. Which will include writing even when I do not know what I want to say.

I had no idea that this post would end up being what it is when I started it.

I have to let the process of creating inspire me and not wait for something that may never come to strike out of the blue. I have to inspire myself.

I am not going to make any lofty statements about starting a specific schedule for my posts — I already have that for work — but I will try to always share when I have something to talk about, rather than allowing myself to think it is not good enough to publish, or not the right time, or whatever other ridiculous excuse the evil parts of my brain try to throw at me.

Thanks to those of you who read the blog and my awesome followers who were hooked when the posts were as thick as thieves but still came back to read this post after my long silence. I hope you all keep coming back. I’ll do my best to have something new for you when you do :)

<3
DH

Lighting lamps for Diwali, the festival of lights.

You should check out this photo-article on Diwali. Diwali is a festival of lights, celebrated by Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, and Sikhs. November thirteenth was the first day of the five day festival, in which lamps are lit to celebrate the triumph of good over evil, fireworks ward off evil spirits, and prayers are offered to deities of prosperity.

Here are some of the images that I thought were particularly striking:

Do you have a favorite image from the article? What makes it speak to you?

Have a lovely weekend!

DH

Happy November everyone! How about some of last month’s greatest hits?

– Desperately want two (or ten!) of these darlings! They are so cute, and I’d be able to spin my own yarn! I just need a house where I can have a fenced yard…

Olde English Babydoll Southdown Sheep. Yes, that is actual, adult size!

– This recipe. Also, I just really love this blog. So funny, and sweet, and home-y. It’s a joy to read. And I love the dogs.

– Halloween was brilliant, as always. I made some awesome Star Trek costumes for The Boy and myself. Here’s a really terrible picture of me to prove it!

Looking into the stars! Apparently they are really funny.

– And speaking of Halloween, I want to throw this party next year!

– Also this. Hands down, the BEST family Halloween costumes in the history of EVER.

I think I can still recite most of Where the Wild Things Are. I want to be this family when I grow up :)

–The other exciting event of October what The Boy’s birthday! We had a lovely time. The celebration started as soon as he woke up with a scavenger hunt for his presents and ended with an awesome party and a rather sharp-looking cake!

Battlestar Galactica Crest Cake

Battlestar Galacticake!

– And I’ll leave you with a little bit of music: The Corries – Twa Corbies. A Scottish tune sung by some Scottish gents. Points if you know what the song is about without looking it up!

That’s what was important to me this month! How was your October?

<3
DH

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