My niece, Laura, married the handsome and sweet man of her dreams, Alan Casey, this past weekend. Hard to believe all of that planning and anticpation is over for her mom and, so some extent, all of us. Laura and Alan have the rest of lives to plan and anticipate.
Did I tell Laura that she is too young to make such a huge, life decision? Did I tell her that she will change so much in the next ten years that she couldn't possibly know if this is the man that the woman she will become will still love? Did I tell her how very hard it is and how she will undoubtedly have some regrets?
I knew she wouldn't listen. Just like I wouldn't have listened when I got married even younger than she. As adults, we want so badly to save our children from the pain of the decisions that we made. We want them to learn from our mistakes.
What we must realize is that it is the pain that made us the adults we are now. It is working through our growth that makes our marriages and ourselves stronger. The investment in the heartache is the glue that bonds our futures together. If that is true, then the decision wasn't really a mistake at all.
To Laura and Alan, I wish you joy, kindness, patience and friendship. I wish you a peacful ride on the ebb and flow of love. A wise person once said that the secret to a long and happy marriage is to never fall out of love at the same time. Very true words, indeed.
And since my boys will not allow me take a photo without doing a crazy photo:
Friday was a surreal day that started in Los Angeles, California and finished at the Hannibal Square Heritage Center in Winter Park, Florida. A cross country journey that became a pivotal point in my life. It was day that I will certainly look back on and says "things changed on that day."
I left LA early in the morning in order get back home in time for the opening reception of the Art of Hope Juried Exhibition. One of my photographs had been chosen for this exhibition.
I was one of only 32 artists from the Eastern United States to be included. I knew it was a big deal. I just didn't really realize how big until I got to the reception.
I expected a few people to attend the opening, mostly the artists and their family members. I walked into a packed gallery. They gave me an official artist name tag and welcomed me like I was someone famous.
Keep in mind that I got off the plane and drove straight to pick the boys up from aftercare. We went directly to the gallery, but were still half an hour late. I wore no make up and my dirty hair was pulled back into a ponytail. Luckily, I was dressed somewhat decently and not in the my usual uniform of bermuda shorts that are two sizes too big and a t-shirt. This is only because is was a little cold in LA when I left and I didn't want to freeze on the plane.
In the room were representatives of Florida and Orlando's elite and powerful both white and african american. (And my children wanted to touch everything) I was introduced. I was revered. I keep thinking they were talking about someone else. I have always been the spectator. I have never been the spectacle.
This is an excerpt from the Curator's Statement that just blew me away.
"Just as we have been able to visualize great events of the past through artist's renderings, we now have the privilege of seeing contemporary artistic interpretations of this moment in time. To those artists that have been selected for inclusion in The Art of Hope, I offer my personal salute for their outstanding submissions. They now stand as commentators of history."
-Bobby Scroggins, Curator/Juror, Associate Professor of Art, University of Kentucky
Holy crap! All this for a girl whose photography professor told her not to bother taking Photography II (as in I'm no good at photography).
Then all the artists received Certificates of Special Recognition from Congress.
But by that time, my ego was so big I was slightly offended. I mean really... why wasn't Barack himself there? Why wasn't I awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor? The next juried exhibit they do should be called "The Art of Hoping To Be As Good As Lori Hudson's Art" and no one would win because they can't be as good as me.
Then Luke put me back in place by limping and begging to go home because his leg hurt and he was hungry and the coke tasted funny and he wanted to watch tv.
The piece that won Best of Show was truly amazing. It was a giant kite in the shape of President Obama's head. It was a perfect resemblance and filled an entire corner of the room floor to ceiling. The artist provided a video of the kite actually flying. It's tail in the shape of a blue necktie. It was thrilling, happy and the embodiment of hope. I really hope that Barack Obama gets to see it. I think he would be incredibly pleased.
Alright, internet, I'll show you the piece that is in the exhibit. I wanted to wait until after it opened so as not to steal any thunder from the curator and gallery. But if you are easily offended, you may not want to look. It shows Barack Obama naked and peeing on a cross. I'M TOTALLY KIDDING! IT IS NOT LIKE THAT AT ALL. Something just made me write that.
Anyway here it is shown the way it looked framed. Below it is my Artist Statement that explains my thoughts a little better. Thanks for allowing me to brag and gloat and process my thoughts on such an amazing event in my life.
Reflections on Hope Lori S. Hudson
Capturing the concept of hope in a photograph can be a daunting task for a photographer. One evening while photographing a different assignment, however, I came across this postcard taped to a window of a storefront in Sanford, Florida. Obviously this store owner had hope. What struck me most was the reflection in the window of other business buildings across the street and on the postcard of President Obama depicted as Superman.
I used my almost 20 years of experience with Adobe Photoshop to alter the image somewhat. I saturated the colors of the postcard to give it an even more unreal (more unreal than thought of a President being like Superman) and graphic appearance. I chose to make to the rest of the image black and white. I wanted the buildings to appear more visible in the window and moody. I also liked that the window is slightly dirty.
I want my images to tell a story on many different levels. On the surface, one believes that the store owner supports Barack Obama. When the reflection is added in black and white and the colors are brightened, the image deepens to say that perhaps too much hope was placed on this President. Maybe he is being held to a standard he could not possibly achieve. The black and white businesses in the reflection say that times are still tough in this small town. They juxtapose the reality of life with the hope.
If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you know that I am currently in Los Angeles to attend an art retreat. Originally, I was supposed to stay until Sunday... but then came FOOTBALL! and my photo got accepted into The Art of Hope exhibit, so I decided not to go. Then I decided if I could get back home by Friday evening to attend the opening of the exhibit that I would go. Let me just say that it is a really quick trip for such a long plane ride.
So today, at the end of class I went on a "photo safari" to Malibu State Beach to get inspiration for tomorrow's projects. All I can say is "Wow!" The Pacific coast is amazing and beautiful.
I got a chance to quietly explore and remembered a lesson that I learned a long time ago when I used to scuba dive.
It is so easy to get awed and overwhelmed by the big picture. You think you are seeing it all.
But then I remembered to stop and look down. Be still and notice everything. There are so many wonders waiting to be seen.
I'm not talking about a "stop and smell the roses" kind of lesson, although that is always a good and useful thing to do.
I'm talking about slowing down and really noticing the details all around you. For example, the blue of Luke's eyes is a much deeper color than that of his brothers. His eyes remind me of a starburst blue bowling ball.
Someone once said that God is in the details. How very true that is.
Oh Internet, I've missed you so. I won't bore you with tales of how busy I've been. I'll just tell you that things are crazy, but in a happy, family life kind of way. I can see on the horizon, hints of a break in the insanity. A time for us enjoy our time together, rather than push through it to get to the next item on the agenda - the next committment.
Until then, I give you a four page summary of the month of August. I did not design these pages - absolutely no time for design. I bought the templates from the talented Cathy Zielske and dropped in my photos and journaling. They are called the Monthy. If you like them you can purchase them yourself here. I'm just trying to make more of an effort to capture things with the camera on my iPhone. I already love looking back through all of my scrapbooks. I will be glad I am doing this, too.
Big things are happening here in the Hudson household. I hope to be able to share them all with you internet just like before my hiatus.
I love this shot because the sign says "Happy Hour" and this girl looks anything but happy. Want to know why she is so unhappy???? Because it is 100 degrees at 6:30 in the evening and she has to stand OUTSIDE in a dress! You know she is thinking "I hate this place and I hate you, too. Happy hour this!"
I spent my second night of my vacation from motherhood (the boys are with their dad and granddaddy on an RV trip) participating in the 3rd annual Scott Kelby Worldwide Photowalk. The photowalk is a specific day where photographers all over the world meet in groups of no more than 50 and, well... like it says, walk around and take pictures. It is a chance to meet other people with similar interests and learn from one another. At the end of the walk, you upload your favorite photo to your group leader who picks one image from the group to send to Scott Kelby. Scott Kelby then awards prizes for the top photos. This year, there were over 1100 photowalks with over 33,000 participants from all over the world.
I participated in a photowalk that took place in Sanford, Florida in the early evening. I prefer a more solitary experience when taking photos, but I still met a couple of wonderful women. The best part was seeing the downtown area of Sanford through my lens. They say the God is in the details and photography forces me to see the details. It felt somewhat like my travels alone in Europe and the US. I was able to focus on the things I wanted to see.
So, it's a contest. While I have no illusion of capturing the winning shot out of 33,000 images, I still want to upload my best work of that day. My problem is that my favorite images are very different from one another. Some are a study of lines and design and some are snapshots of a moment in someone's life. There are no entry guidelines. As of right now, I still haven't chosen my favorite and the deadline is tomorrow!
If you would like to see the 10 images I have narrowed down from 450 shots click here. If you would like to see some of the images submitted from all over the world, click here.
Jack went to Camp Jam Summer Rock 'n Roll Camp (slogan: no canoes - lots of rock) this week and had a blast! There he formed a band with two other boys (ages 8-10) called Blue Thunder. He got to play keyboards, drums and bass.
The big concert was today and it was surprisingly good!
Unfortunately, it revealed a well kept secret in the business. You don't really have to know how to play an instrument to play in a rock band. Seriously, they learned three chords and were doing AC/DC's Back in Black like pros. Okay, maybe not pros, but really well. Okay, maybe not really well, but well. Imagine what they could have done if the camp was two weeks long. I'm talking Grammy Award here.
I did a great job playing the part of band groupie. I hollered and screamed and threw my underwear on stage. Blue Thunder's eight year old lead singer picked them up and asked "Whose granny panties are these?" Then he put them over his head pretended to be a superhero. Not really. But I did throw my underwear. No. I didn't do that either.
After the concert, we partied like rock stars... at Bruster's eating ice cream cones.
Jack is begging to go back to Camp Jam next year year and to take drum and bass lessons. I say yes to all of it. Of course, it is going to take him YEARS to become the perfection that is Bruce. That's okay. The Boss may be ready to retire by then and Jack can just step into his place with the E Street Band.
• He's 5'7" - almost as tall as me. Taller than most kids in his class
• He's interested in girls, but is still embarrassed about it.
• He doesn't care much about his grooming.
• He still loves cars
• He loves to tinker and take things apart.
• He wants to see how things work.
• He can talk all day about an engine.
• He gets good grades.
• He would rather be playing video games.
• He is a Boy Scouts and loves camping, fishing and boating.
• He loves to read.
• He is a great big brother - most of the time.
• He is very polite and gets along well with adults.
• He works hard to overcome his difficulties.
• He would still rather eat macaroni and cheese three meals a day, but has expanded his menu a great deal.
• He is constantly changing and every now and then I get a glimpse of
the awesome man that he is becoming.
• I am so very proud of him and what he has accomplished.
Happy 13th birthday, Cole. Just 5 more years until you go to college and I get to put my treadmill in your bedroom or make it a second art studio or make it a sewing room or an extra guest bedroom or...
When I lived in London (and was young and active and skinny) I used to go running in Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park. The awesomeness (yes, I just used the word awesomeness. I am a product of the public University system) of running in a world capital was never lost on me. Everyday I would jog past Kensington Palace and think of Princess Diana. Perhaps she was looking out a window at that precise time and watching me trudge along. Running wasn't really popular in London at that time, so I was kind of an anomaly.
I stopped running after I returned to the United States, but the fantasy of running never left me. Every time I travel to a new destination, I imagine myself running there. Therefore, I take my running shoes everywhere I go.
My running shoes are very well traveled.
They usually never set foot (sole) on foreign land, but they are always packed hopefully into my suitcase. The fantasy is there, but the reality is I would rather be sleeping or drinking.
Today, my running shoes are going on another adventure. They are headed to California to visit Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. I've decided that the very least I can do is photograph them at every destination. At least I will have proof that they were there. I may even personify them and write stories of their adventures in the first person. It depends on how much I have had to drink.
There is even a slight chance that I may actually run in them. I've started doing that again, you know. Oh my gosh, I had to stop writing then because I was laughing so hard that tears were coming out of my black eyes.
So stay tuned for tales of my adventures on the latest Hudson family vacation. I may not be able to post or Twitter much. There is not a lot of wi-fi out there in the National Park boondocks. Really, I don't know how the Indians (I mean native Americans) survived. If you don't hear from me by July 2, send out a posse.
Today I opened the door of my van to get out and go into my house. In my haste exit, and with 250 things already on my mind, I did not notice that the van door was swinging back toward me. As I stood up, it hit me square in the forehead. I stumbled backward and saw stars. Then I looked to see if anyone else had noticed what happened. Let me tell you, I felt pretty stupid.
A large knot quickly developed between my eyes. Then I realized that the swelling was filling in the wrinkles on my forehead. I was elated. I discovered something better and cheaper than Botox! Just knock yourself in the forehead to induce constant swelling. I felt pretty smug and young looking.
Unfortunately, while having lunch with some friends, they informed me that the area below my eyes was turning purple. I was developing two black eyes. Now I felt stupid again because how was I going to explain this without looking like a complete idiot?
I do, however, still like the swelling. Better to look young and stupid than just plain old.
Kal Barteski I am an artist of life. I create in paint, words, colours, letters and design. I am the principal designer at iDeaMonsters and the creator of LoveLife... all in chilly Winnipeg, Manitoba CANADA www.ideamonsters.com & www.love-life.ca