All posts by admin

From Fine Art Photo to Wearable Art

When I set Nature as the Pole Star to guide my fashion design work with VIDA, I began combing through my digital archives to find my most arresting images.  The old photographers’ proverb never proved truer: for every really good “hit,” there are 10,000+ “misses.” Fortunately, in the huge haystack of pictures from my travels to Delaware, I found the sharp needle that is this post’s “Featured Image” and the artwork now featured on my “Autumn’s Mirror” set of accessories.

Click product description links for more information.
The VIDA Statement Bag, featuring bold, vivid prints, complete with genuine cow-hide leather straps, leather base, and trims, is the most coveted VIDA accessory of the year. The optical illusion of my “Bear Swamp Mirror” print—is it an abstract pattern or a natural illustration?—will turn heads and spark conversations – around town or across the world.
VIDA’s chic custom printed Leather Statement Clutch features a top zip closure and removable wristlet strap. This versatile accessory can be used as a wallet, tucked within the matching VIDA Statement Bag, or carried alone when you want to travel light.
With an opulent blend of Cashmere and Silk – featuring the optical illusions of my unique, stunning artwork – you can wear this beautiful scarf indoors or out, day or night, to elevate any wardrobe all season and year-long.

Please visit my VIDA website to see my complete collection of wearable art women’s and unisex fashions. The Gifting Season is coming!

New Adventures in Fashion Design!

I recently accepted the invitation of VIDA Design Studio to create a line of personal and home fashion products featuring my original digital images. I’ve enjoyed an inspiring first week in this exciting relationship, discovering new creative possibilities for making fresh art out of familiar photographs. I want my VIDA work to support the core mission of Changing Woman Photography: that is, to raise your mindfulness of our planet’s fragile natural beauty and its importance as our shared and only home.  When you buy and wear or use any of my VIDA creations, you support both my message of environmental conservation and VIDA’s mission “to rebuild commerce – for the mindful, global citizens of the modern world.”

Because having access to fresh, clean water is becoming an ever more pressing issue for nearly everyone, regardless of your situation in a “developed” or “developing” nation, I created the “Bubbling Water” fabric pattern for VIDA’s sleeveless top and yoga capri pants.

This top, cut with a flattering A-line and a rounded asymmetric hem, will make you look and feel effortlessly beautiful – day or night.

My “Bubbling Water Blouse” will be custom made in the size you specify upon order. The design appears only on the front of the blouse, but the solid white back assures this versatile piece will coordinate easily with other elements of your wardrobe.

Original artwork embellishes our four-way stretch, mid-rise printed capri pants designed to make you stand out at the gym, in the studio, or on the go. Each capri legging is hand-cut and made in California.

I made the “Bubbling Water” pattern by manipulating the size and colors of a flawed experiment at photographing bubbles in the turbulence where water fell into a pond. Say, isn’t that “upcycling,” turning trash into treasure?

My “Bubbling Water Capris” are also custom made to your size, but they feature the fabric pattern front and back.  I priced both pieces at the lowest retail allowed at VIDA, but VIDA’s flexible pricing system means that larger sizes pay more because more raw materials are used to manufacture the clothing. As a plus-sized, environmentally conscious woman, I’m learning to see that business model as fair for custom-made clothing.

I hope you follow this post’s links to my online studio at VIDA, to check out these “Bubbling Water” products and other fabric patterns and clothing styles I’m currently offering.  I also extend you an invitation to collaborate in creating your custom-made clothing by choosing a Changing Woman image you want to be featured on your purchase. You can use that website’s contact form to start our conversation about your project. Meanwhile, I’ll be using this blog to post updates as I learn more about working with VIDA.  Until next time!

Flowers and Light: Datura

The datura bush in my front yard is blooming now. Flowering is not new to this plant: as a tender perennial, it regrew from roots that did not freeze last winter and in early summer sported a few blossoms to celebrate being alive again. Since then, it has become a gargantuan, spreading mass, taking over its end of the flower bed and swallowing the sidewalk to my front door. A homeowner more hospitable than I would have cut the bush back to clear the path, but once I saw the hundred or so buds poking through the broad green leaves, I chose Beauty over neighborliness. For just a few days this week, I get to host a flower show’s profusion of large, trumpet-shaped white flowers. They bloom at night and glow in the indirect light of early morning, before wilting and dying under the afternoon sun. The next morning’s bloom presents an entirely new set of fresh flowers.

The bright light of midday bleaches the flowers of color: they appear simply white. Photographing them in the early morning, before direct sun touches them, reveals pale hints of lavendar at the fringe and pointy tips of the trumpets’ edges.  At this time of day, the flowers behave like stained glass, painting the light that bounces around them and passes through them with prismatic color. Photo editing can exaggerate this effect.

datura-vibrant-web

Boosting vibrance and saturation pulls more pink and blue out of the white flower. Manipulating image highlights reveals texture and cellular structure in the soft, fragile trumpet. When I produce photos that make these blooms glow with an eerie light, I find a new perspective on the flower known as “sacred datura.” See more at my Sacred Datura Gallery.

Waking up to Global Warming

It’s been a little over four months since I flew home from a 10-day trip to England.  My very first! I attended an interdisciplinary conference at Oxford on “Religion, Women and History” (and noted the ironic lack of Oxford comma in the title), developed satisfactory left-hand lane driving skills (with stick shift and without destroying the clutch), toured special places I’d long dreamed of visiting (Ah, Kelmscott! I love you even more, William Morris), discovered the delights of “a pitcher of Pimm’s with all the trims,” and enjoyed an all-around good time.  The British are delightully polite, witty, friendly people.  Old Oxford feels like an academic’s paradise: fortunate are they whom the gods have favored with full-time study or employment there.  I would go back to Oxfordshire and the Cotswolds in a heartbeat.  If only.

Even flying, which I generally dislike, was tolerable because the airline’s route to London took us north, over other places I had never before seen: far north into Canada, over Hudson’s Bay and the southern tip of Greenland, skirting the northern coast of Ireland, before landing at Gatwick. Sunset on the way to England lingered for what seemed like hours, a tight band of vivid red light hugging the northern horizon.  Regrettably, the flight attendant demanded “Shade down!” so that other passengers could have darkness for sleeping.  Spoil sports.

Thus, I missed seeing Greenland as we flew over during the early, early morning hours.  Going home on a morning departure from Gatwick, however, provided the perfect midday opportunity to study the glaciers.  Good old iPhone recorded some stunning landscapes despite the pitted glass of the airplane window.  This image, in particular, continues to haunt me.

greenland melt

You are seeing, in the foreground, a small section of the southeast shore. Barren rock has been exposed near the water, as well as further back where the ice’s bright white appearance suggests the glacier remains thick/deep there. The ice seen along the top and right edges of the water is different, slushy gray, and a careful eye can find the innumerable bright blue puddles formed in the slush’s wrinkles and crevices at the image’s lower-right corner.  Perhaps more troubling, three distinct sets of flow lines reveal where ice melt from the bright-white areas is seeping through the slush to the bay. How wide do you think each water flow is on the ground, given that the photo was taken at 35,000 feet of elevation? How many gallons of fresh water might be running off the glacier, into the North Atlantic Ocean?

These are but intellectual questions. What haunts me are the personal conundrums presented by the act of discovering glacial melt and global warming from the privileged perspective provided by a jet-fueled Airbus.  Was my epiphany worth my share of the billions of greenhouse gas molecules this passenger jet spewed into the atmosphere?  The point is not that I could have, should have taken advantage of the guilt-greening market mechanism—buy “carbon offset credits”—that airlines and other carbon-intensive industries offer their consumers.  A “better than nothing” trade in feel-good carbon credits dodges the real issue: How much longer can our planet tolerate our fossil-fuel fueled mobility? Cutting closer to the bone, now that I have seen the environmental effects of my life-style choices, what can I do to reduce my carbon burden? I had hoped to do more world traveling after retiring from teaching, but now, it seems, this recent trip to England must remain my farthest and last international trip.  What, then, of my twice-yearly flights between Las Vegas and the US East Coast to visit my aging parents and other family members? The geophysics of climate change care not that I have these emotional attachments nor that, 30 years ago, I chose to move away from “home” because I believed I could always visit whenever I wanted.  When 19th-century pioneers dragged their futures in Conestoga wagons across a wild continent, they accepted that they were, in fact, severing familial ties with those left behind. Can I live with the compromise of abandoning siblings and cousins after my parents die? Can I, instead, expect Amtrak to save my future Thanksgivings and Easters by building a transcontinental mag-lev train system?  In my lifetime?

Dear thoughtful Reader, you must know that my questioning does not end here, but this blog post must. I have no answers, and I must weep.