Friday, April 29, 2005

The Holy Easter Week

It's been demanded of me that I give a Greece update here. It has been very, very busy, and for the last week I have neither emailed my husband or done anything that wasn't art at all. There have been no classes this past week and it has been nice.

Last Friday, we went on that nice, long hike. This week is the super holy, super exciting Greek Easter week. I have been making daily journeys to the church to listen to the church services and also to just admire its beauty. After all, it is the second oldest church in the Christian world built by none other than saint Helen and her son Saint Constantine. Pretty cool stuff. I really like being in there, though I'm a little wary of the different traditions, and things, so I always have to watch out a little with what I am doing.

I have spent many, many waking hours this last week working on my photography. Yesterday alone, I worked for well over 15 hours on darkroom and digital prints. It was a of fun though and I plan on doing it again for part of today. I really got a lot done though. Now, the plan is to take as many photos as I can over the next couple of days. I'm looking at taking about 1000 photos mostly with my digital camera.

Yesterday, my friends and I bought some Easter egg dye and we dyed thirty eggs. It was incredible. They are so beautiful. Imagine what it's like to dye Easter eggs with a bunch of art students. I have some now that I am going to take photographs of because they are so, so beautiful. Tomorrow, am going to take the boat to Athens to spend the end of Easter there. I am promised a lively trip and a lively day, so we'll have to see what befalls. I'm looking forward to going to the museums there. So that's the update for now. I'll keep you all posted.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

A long, Greek walk

Hello, Today my day was really cool. I woke up straight and went to the bus stop (an hour early, but that was just a good excuse to get a bogatsa). We got on the bus and went to a town in the middle of the island called Lefkes. We got some food there and then went out on a hike.

The day was perfect because the sun was out but the clouds were out as well and because we were at a really high elevation, the wind was blowing. From there we walked to the house of a man that has now died, but he endowed the school with a scholarship. He is supposed to be very, very sweet and he had a garden with every type of tree you could think of (figs, peaches, plums, almonds, grapes, olives, cherries, etc.) It was really, really incredible. I took several photos, but it was a place that had the feeling of incredible care. I wish that he was still alive working the earth the way that he has.

After that we walked all along the country side up mountains and along goat paths that were so incredible (yet so spin!) We walked and walked and walked and the finally stopped for lunch in an olive grove that is older than America (much older, it's 1,000 years old). It was incredible and I marveled in the olive trees and the grape vines. It was just incredible! After that, we walked to John's house and had some fresh ginger lemonade. It was such a wonderful day and I really can't describe what's it's like to walk 15 miles across such an incredible Greek island. I invite you to come see the donkey paths of Greece!

Friday, April 22, 2005

15 Mile Hike

Hello, Here is another quick word from me to give you the news from Greece. Yesterday I had a really good day. I went into the darkroom and got some really good photos printed, which ended up being a really, really good thing for me. I’m very excited to have a portfolio when I get home! Today, I went on a 15 mile hike. We went from one side of the island to the other and then on farther than that. I have attached a photo of me from the hike to this email. Along the way I picked up enough herbs for many dinners to come. They were 1.) bay leaves, 2.) oregano, 3.) rosemary, 4.) thyme 5.) chamomile. I really had a good time on the hike. My toes are now fully blistered and my ankles swollen, but who else can say that they hiked across a Greek island today? Enjoy the photo and keep reading my blog. Chris

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Big Day!!

Basically, big, fat blowout win; hugely happy girl; girl wins the war; happiness has returned again; super inecredible things. Don't know what I'm describing? It's my life in the darkroom.

Today, I actually went into the darkroom with my instructor, and we went over how to develop and then did an entire session together for three hours. It was hugely amazing. I learned so much and I found out where it was that I was falling down so many times before. Basically, I have rehabilitated as an artist in the field of photography. I bought the really expensive paper (17 Euros for 10 sheets, but it can be cut) that I can use to get real results, and that's exactly what I got. I was so happy and excited and just relieved to discover that I CAN do my art, the one that I love and have held so close to me forever. I now have at my disposal any way I want to get my images shown to the world. It's just incredible, and if you could see the difference in my work now and…ever, you would be so proud of me. It's so exciting.

This morning, I printed a photo of a Cypress Alley, and it was cool. The proof prints were ok, but when I actually made a final print, I took it out into the light for the first time and actually said, "That's beautiful," about my own work, it really was a spiritual and mythic moment…I LOVE it!

I fell in love with the process of photography, but I was tricking myself into believing that I wouldn't be able to do it and that I really didn't like it, but I was so dead wrong. My impatience and frustration all dissipated as I watched my images appear under the developer while I watched the clock and agitated the tray. It was SOOOOOOO amazing. I just adore it! I am addicted now and I have prints now of another subject that are just ready for the last little chemical touch (selenium toning).

I have also gone through all of my negatives (that I was convinced were horrible) and discovered several photos that I want to work on. I'm so excited. I have a series of three donkey photos that I want to work on and I also have a portrait of my favorite Greek person on the planet. I have plenty of work to do, and I know that I will spend the next month in the darkroom creating some of the most incredible images possible!

I love it. I am just so, so happy that I'm so sorted out now and that John and Liz were there to pull me out. It's so great. I'm sorry for using the expensive paper, but the way that it rehabbed me and really showed me what I can do, I'm willing to not eat for weeks to keep up this addiction! In other news, I went to painting today and did really well. I have had several paintings in progress and it's been a little interesting balancing them all, but to my great surprise today I actually just turned around and finished them all. They have all had their finishing touches put on them, and I like them so much as well. As soon as they dry, I am going to take them off their stretchers and roll them up to bring home to you. They are so cool, and I am getting better (no famous museum artist or anything), but I'm at least able to use it as a medium to express myself. Additionally, I got a lot done on my mosaic, and it was nice. I am getting close to putting some of the finishing touches on it and then I will pour the cement and get it ready to bring home! That will be so cool!

And if that wasn't enough, I had a really good writing class and I am convinced that I can conquer any type of poetry now, but I'm enjoying writing things to my husband, so I will continue to do my collected poems of my life with my husband. So that's how my day went!

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Political Mumbo Jumbo

It's been so long since I've actually sat down and gotten everything that I have to say written, so here I am again ready to pour out everything that I have. I have realized that I have an exhibition to prepare for here in the next four weeks.

Starting on Sunday, I plan to be in Crete for 5 days or so and then I will be back here working like mad for the next three weeks trying to pull together everything that I have been working so hard here for. That involves a lot really to.

I am starting to write up and follow very closely the products that I wish to get here, and there really are a lot of things that I have riding on needing to be done. I love it though because I know that as soon as I come out the other end of this experience I will have grown so much as a person. It just thrills me so much to know that. I was in the darkroom printing the other day and something struck me very hard and very profoundly. I'm realizing now that I am paying for all of the shortcuts that I had taken as a photographer. I don't know what happened, but somewhere along the way, I took shortcuts in the darkroom and my lack of photographic knowledge dug me into a hole.

I have spent the last three weeks rediscovering that there is a hole and then finding where the bottom is. Now that I have reached the very bottom, I decided just to start over again from the top. John Pack is a super amazing photographer and he has studied with two of my most admired photographers of all times Ansel Adams and Jerry Uelsmann. Anyway, he has taken the care to really take me under his wing and help me really go where I want with photography. I went to the darkroom with him today and he gave me tips and answered some questions that I have had since day one of being in the darkroom, basically, he has saved my photographic career. I am now learning so much, and the learning curve of where I am at with photography is so amazingly steep that I can't even imagine where it is going. I'm so excited. My discovery of myself was that I was missing some of the basic parts of photography and I became so frustrated with the holes that I couldn't see that I quit altogether. However, that just got me deeper and deeper into the soup. Mainly the reason was that because I am a photographer and an artist and I had become so discouraged with my lack of technique (and ability to see my own holes) that I had quit art altogether and took up watching movies and doing other things. I was at a place artistically speaking three years that brings me to tears at the thought of it. Really and truthfully it has taken me these 7 weeks here in Greece to rediscover who I was before I decided to quit.

The help of the people here at the Center is so incredible and I am ready to forge ahead with where I am going now. I am SO SO psyched to actually go into the dark and make a print in an hour or so that I just CAN'T wait. I have come up with a photographic project here. I want a portfolio of 10 excellent prints. It is going to my Greece silver portfolio. What I am going to do is devote a roll of film (or more if that doesn't do it), to one single subject. Then I am going to print that subject in the most artistically sound way possible. I will bring home 5 copies of each of the prints. I just can't wait to work with them. My subjects currently are. A portrait of a donkey A portrait of the donkey produce man A portrait of Paroikia's cobbler A photo of an olive tree A lily An archway A photo of a church More will be added soon, but that's where I'm going.

Part of being detached from life here is the fact that I can think about things that don't often come into my head while I am worried about more practical things. Just for your interest, here are some of the thoughts and concepts that just continually appear in my head over and over. I think it is interesting that different words, nouns and concepts appear in almost all languages. Not necessarily that people have a word for chair (though it is odd that all cultures around the world have found it necessary to sit on something and to have a word for what you sit on), but I'm talking about more abstract things. The best example is the word for love. People in English say that there is no way to describe love, but it is obviously a thing because it appears in all languages throughout history. And, if it didn't appear in a language, how much would that limit the ability of the people of that culture to experience that emotion? Odd thought eh?

Since being in such an ancient land, I keep wondering to myself what they are going to find when they dig for us. You know, Ancient Greece was a great empire at one point, but even it fell and had it's dark ages. We are finding poems from some of the greatest poets in ancient times on the bodies of mummies because the Christians didn't find it necessary to pass down the traditions. What if in the future people look at us and think that our ideas of things are not appropriate for the culture. There is a song that says that they are going to find white plastic lawn chairs when they dig for us, but seriously, what will it be. Who will the famous poets be and will someone take the time to actually preserve us and our ideas to such an extent that the people of the future at least don't make our mistakes (obviously not because look at who we just elected as the pope.) I'm also wondering if our culture really is so full of hubrus that we believe that we will survive, that our culture will endure through anything.

Hello Bush, read some history books while you're at it. I can take you to some ancient ruins not 100 meters from here that were from a civilization far greater than ours (they even had running water and flush toilets). Where are the places to be going to have been in our century? Who is going to make them and how? Who of us are going to be remembered as the Picassos and the Degas? In other news, I had written down in my notebook that I should say something about the Pope. For whatever reason, being so close to Italy and Europe and the countries that the Pope had worked so hard to make tranquil, I have felt a very deep connection with what is going on in Catholicism. I'm just amazed at how much a unifying thing it is (as it was meant to be all the way back to Constantine). I think that our last Pope was a really, really great man and that we are regressing with where we are going. John Paul was able to really help keep his country free. There were so many things about him that were off (like that he was the first non-Italian pope in 455 years), but he really understood on some level that he would be able to really do some good. I think that he was one of the most calming factors in Europe during his reign.

Our new Pope, I believe, is his opposite, so it will be interesting to see where this goes. The position is famous for being corrupt, and I believe that John Paul was able to stay mostly good despite any crap around him. We'll have to see what this one says and does. Maybe he'll keep it all together or maybe he'll lead Catholicism into where the Greek Orthodox church is going, just look at the scandals and crap going on there. (Don't I sound like a political girl now?) A couple of other things that have come up with people here that I noted down to at least comment on. America is dumb, really dumb.

Sometimes I wonder if the people in government are taught history in school and if they just forget it. Look at what we are doing. I can understand in the 1700 colonizing America to gain more land and power and what have you. Of course we took the land from the Indians, but we were much stonger than them, and there were a lot less of them back then. Just look at how we can justify all this. Anyway, America, I really think is trying to colonize around the world again. Only we're not even looking into countries that could be of any benefit to us (hello, it gets to be 140 degrees in Iraq), we are doing it for much more corrupt reasons.

Here we have men and women being killed in the Middle East for all of the wrong, wrong reasons, and now we have to stay there to hold their hands. Hello America, can we move on from the colonization idea into a new era please? We have enough land on our own and what do we want with Iraq, there ARE such things as electric cars. Ok, now all of the lines of my notebook are clean and I can talk about other things.

Yesterday we had our art history class in the church. It was amazing. I was standing in a church that was personally built by Helen, finished by Constantine and then later remodeled by Justinian. Isn't that amazing. There are so many amazing things about the church. For example, it has the only standing Greek baptisery because they decided sometime after the founding of the church that they should do the baptizing of children (hence why it was so hard to get baptized in the Greek Wedding movie). There are also so many other things. We saw the tomb of a woman that was made a Saint. She is from this island, and there is a footprint from her in the marble of the church (from many, many years ago). We also saw a healing icon and all of the gold that was donated to the church due to it's healing powers. It was a super powerful church, and it is thought to be the most beautiful church in the Byzantine style.

I'm told that there isn't even a church in Athens as nice as it because THIS one was built by Constantine and his Mother. I have been informed about Easter here. It is really a week worth of celebrations and I have the film ready for all of the incredible things they do. People make pilgrimages to this island because of the church and there may be a million people here. I am so excited to eat lamb and just get the groove on. Easter is better than Christmas here by 500 times and I can't wait to take part in it! And now that I've gone off on so many political and religious tangents, let's come back to reality.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

The Story of a Girl...

For whatever reason, I had an urge to look up the lyrics to this song and post them on my blog... Enjoy them. I LOVE this song...

Third Eye Blind - Story Of A Girl Lyrics (Refrain)
This is a story of a girl
Who cried a river and drown the whole world
But while she looks so sad in photographs
I absolutely love her when she smiles (Verse)

How many days in a year
She woke up with hope
But she only found tears
And I can be so insincere
Making the promise is never for real
Is long as she stays there waiting
Wearing the holes in the soles of her shoes
How many days disappear
You look in the mirror so how do you choose
Clothes never wear as well as next day
Your hair never fell quite the same way
You never seem to run out of things to say

(Refrain) This is the story of a girl
Who cried a river an drown the whole world
But while she looks so sad in photographs
I absolutely love her when she smiles (Verse)

How many lovers would stay
Just to put up with this shit day after day
How do we wind up this way
Watching the mouths of the words that we say
As long as we stand here waiting
Wearing the clothes and the soles of her shoes
Clothes never wear as well as next day
Your hair never falls quite the same way
You never seem to run out of things to say (Refrain)

This is the story of a girl
who cried a river and drownd the whole world
but while she looks so sad in photographs
I absolutely love her when she smiles (Instrumental)

(Part of a verse) And your clothes never wear as well the next day
And your hair never falls the same the next day
You never seem to run out of things to say

(Refrain) This is the story of a girl
Who cried a river And drown the whole world
And while she looks so sad in photographs
I absolutely love her (Refrain)

This is the story of a girl
Who?s pretty face she hid from the world
And while she looks so sad in photographs
I absolutely love her (Refrain)

This is a story of a girl
Who cried a river And drown the whole world
But while she looked so sad in photograohs
I absolutely love her when she smiles
When she smiles

Saturday, April 16, 2005

A Greek Life

Things are going really well here. On Thursday, I worked and worked away and got a lot done on painting, that really made me happy because I am almost done with my third painting. That is really exciting for me too because I worked so hard on it, and every time I look at it I realize how much I actually like it, so that is a good thing. It is a reflection of a Greek column and a flower.

The painting after that that I'm doing is a calla lily with two leaves. It is a really good painting as well, and it is actually starting to develop into something. The next painting is a painting of very abstract things. The only part of it that is really an object is my hand. I like it because it is just a painting I am doing to play with the paint and see what I can do, so I really like it. I started my Impressionism painting today, and it just turned out terrible.

The paintings I have been doing were with what is called the earth palette. Basically, I have been using yellow ochre, burnt sienna, black and white to paint. It DOES work and you can even get blue and purple from those three colors. The painting I am working on now has an entirely new palette, and it is just driving me up the wall! I don't understand it very well, and I am horrible at mixing the colors. I managed to get most of the painting to look really nice, but one of the most important parts of it is just a mucky purple brown color. I didn't like that. It is a painting of flowers on a chair.

The flowers came out very nice (except that I was painting poppies and they look like roses) but the chair is the UGLY part. Also, I kind of figured out how to mix color in the very end, but the background is hot pink. I'm going to have to just keep adding layers of paint on top I thing because what I have right now (at least on the chair) doesn't work very well. But I'm working on that. Also, I have a sketch drawn for another painting of a boat! In the future, I plan to copy a Greek vase painting, paint my boat, paint a church dome and do a tree and a Greek city landscape. I'm excited for them all. After that, I will come home and buy all of the paints I need to just make some incredible paintings at home.

I took my first two paintings off of their stretchers and got them ready for the ride home! I'm excited about all of the photography that I'm doing now. I have now taken a lot of photos, but I have to finish developing them and making contact sheets and everything. As soon as I see them I will know what I think about them, but I'm sure that there are some things in there that I like. I'm excited about doing my portfolio of black and white photos. I also have another 500 or so digital images that I need to sort through and decide what to work on. It is going to be real cool to bring them home (I may only print a few of them here though because it is really expensive).

Yesterday, we had a guest come who did some lectures. One of them was on the mummy portraits that were painted 2,000 years ago by Greek painters and the other one was her take on a painting that they have in London that is supposedly fake. It was really cool to listen to her talk as she was very knowledgeable.

I spent most of the day yesterday with my Greek friend here. She took me for a 2-mile walk and we found some really nice spots to take photos. On the way back, we were teaching each other Greek and English. We walked by the shop of a man whose photo I wanted to take. She turned to the man and said in Greek, "This girl passes by your shop every day and wants nothing more than to make a photograph of you." He smiled and was very kind. I hope the photo comes out, but if it doesn't I can always go back and talk to him in Greek myself!

Last night we had a mid term exhibition and we each talked about how we had improved as artists.

Today, we were supposed to go on a hike with John, but he wasn't feeling well so his wife put us on the bus and sent us off to another town. We scaled a very steep mountain and it was really fun.

I liked coming home though because I have gotten a lot done since I got back. I fully cleaned my painting studio, and I know don't have to think about my painting work until Tuesday at least (but I'm having so much fun there I will probably do more before them). It was fun though and this man stood outside my studio and watched me paint and stretch canvases for several hours. He was fascinated with me. FUNNY!

I did some work-study work then and here I am writing. After this, I am going to go eat dinner and then go to an art opening. To make a very long story short, one of the Greek ladies here made a video of our school making our earth works, and she is showing it tonight. And then after that, I am going to go to a concert in Greek. That should be fun! And other than that, there is just generally a lot of work/play.


It is so wonderful to get your e-mails, and now read your blog! I am so, so happy for you. I want to come and do what you are doing so badly now. Maybe I should once I have a little more of my work turned over...we will see if that can happen. Today I am working out in the country close to a house that my Uncle just bought, it is a fantastic day here in Missouri. It has really been beautiful, but I am sure it does not even compare with the sites that you see every day! It was great to read about the burrow in your e-mail. I think it would make a great print for putting in my new house/condo in the bathroom, maybe you could make some prints and I could buy one from you or barter for a sculpture. I am planning on driving to Oregon next week, and then the following weekend I go to L.A. for a real estate seminar and following, I am going to mexico for 3 weeks to learn the jeans trade. That is what I am up to, but I mainly just wanted to say my postulates are with you, and I am always so happy to hear and read of your adventures.

Much Love,

Note to All

It's been a while since I've written, and I just wanted to say hello to everyone that means so much to me at home. I am doing so well here. I am super busy, but that's the type of life that I enjoy, and there is plenty to see and learn.

I am working very hard on my painting. I have just started my seventh painting here, and it is an Impressionistic painting. If you thought those people didn't have to have skill to paint the way that they do, you were wrong. It ended up in total disaster, and I am now just waiting for the paint to dry so that I can redo most of it. At least I learned eh?

I've taken nine rolls of photos over the past two days, and I am waiting for the film to dry so that I can lock myself into a dark room and produce some beautiful pictures. I have also attacked meter in poetry, and I am writing standard poetry in many of the forms that have been used for up to 7,000 years ago. That's been an adventure also to say the least. I had the day off today, and I went to the other side of the island with some of my friends and we scaled some rocks up to the top of the hill. When we got there, we found some ancient ruins and it was a lot of fun. After that, we went back down to the beach. It was a beautiful beach because it was actually a sand bar, and you could walk into the ocean and only go up to your knees. My friends went out about a half of a kilometer, and it still didn't get deep. It was really fun though. I have now driven around the entire island. That's kind of cool to know.

Last weekend, I went on an island adventure to the island of Santorini. It is by far the most popular Greek island and we had fun. It is actually an old volcano, and it is the number one delegate for being the island of Atlantis (because almost all of the island sank and a volcanic eruption 100,00 times greater than Mt. St. Helens and caused a title wave that wiped out most of civilization in Greece).

I am planning a trip next weekend with my friend. We are going to go to Crete for our spring break. We are going to rent a tent and pitch it there. I'm excited to see all of the ruins then.

Other than that, things are just going well here on Paros. I went for a walk the other day and discovered that the poppies are blooming here. That's an exciting thing to. The fields are all deep crimson, and I just loved it. I took my two camera and sat in the middle of the field taking photos until my hearts content.

And I must admit that I have a new love. I have discovered a donkey here that is just wonderful. Every day he is tethered somewhere new around the city I am in, and I make it a point to seek him out. It's actually a fun little game and I have now taken his portrait. I will bring it home for everyone to see. He seems so lonely until I come and sneek him some barley. It's kind of funny to see a donkey tethered in the middle of the city, but because donkeys are my absolute favorite animals ever, it's just good for me.

Tonight I am going to an art show and a concert, then it's back to the dark room for some more work. Tomorrow I will play in the sun and work even more. Greece is wonderful, and I hope that these emails inspire you to travel more (especially to here). It is totally worth it. I am going to try to attach one of the photos I took in Santorini, so Enjoy! Feel free to let me know how things are going. Also don't forget that I post writing on my blog about every other day. The address is

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Todays Notes

Sorry that I couldn't get an email to you last night. After my photography class and my painting class and my art history class and then my Greek class, I got down to the computer lab, and things just kept going wrong. First, I turned on the lights, and that was enough to throw a circuit. I then had to go searching the school looking for the box, which I did end up handling. Then, I got onto the computers and the Internet was down. I tried to reset the dynamic IP address, but I think I did it wrong, and the computer got really mad at me. Then, I decided that I was just going to work madly and get things done on writing, and I tried to connect to the hard drive that has ALL my work on it, and it was totally down. I took it as a sign, and I just walked away. I ended up cleaning my house and getting a little bit of some extra sleep. It was actually kind of nice.

I had an incredible day yesterday and a super-incredible day today. I'll tell you about them, but first I have to tell you about the less incredible thing that happened today. I really have to communicate with someone about it, because even talking it over with the people here hasn't helped, and maybe, I thought, talking to you about it may help me, so bear with me if this isn't exactly pleasant. I am doing a painting for impressionism, so I was going to go an collect flowers. John told us that there were some really good flowers around the cemetery. We wanted to look at the cemetery, so I went there with four other friends and we went in and looked around and took some photos. We weren't going to go in because they were doing a service, but we decided to work around the service. We were walking around, and we noticed that people were buried with personal items (photos, olive oil, cleaning supplies, etc.) in a box next to their heads. We noticed that all of the graves were fairly recent. At the service, there was a woman in total and absolute grief over what was going on. THEN we realized what was going on. It is tradition in Greece (a thing of the Greek Orthodox church) that three years after a person dies, that they dig up the grave and give the remains to the family. They do it to save the space in the cemetery (it was really small). They were digging up the bones of a husband to give to his wife. They pulled the body out of the ground and put it in the basket and carried it off. This man walked right by us with the body. I was so upset by it, so we were going to leave the cemetery as we started to walk out, they did another one of them and I ended up seeing that body too. Needless to say, I was totally shocked at the idea and it was really odd. It totally put the shock of death and what they do with people and the fact that a body doesn't always have life in it. This wasn't a bad thing, and it was an experience that I probably needed to run into, but I just really needed to talk it out with someone!

Other than that, things are going really, really well. Yesterday, I went through the whole day having fun. I took some photos and did some experiments in the darkroom. I also decided where my work is going here in photography and I am ready to get moving on it and really make it what I want it to be. Because I do a lot of travel and things, I am going to have different portfolios of the places that I have been, and I am going to make a portfolio that communicates what Greece is to me.

In addition to that, I am going to do some prints of Night Photography, Still Lifes and other things, but that's where my photography is going. I was really trilled with that. Then, I went to painting. I have been working on a painting for weeks, and I was making some big breakthroughs with it, but it just was taking forever, and I didn't know where it was going, so I really just got a grasp of it and then I worked like MAD to get it going. I made a beautiful painting, and it just now needs all of it's finishing touches and it will be done. I painting for hours and in all of my spare time yesterday. It was so exciting. I got so into my painting that today I skipped my classes until 3:30 to just sit there and paint. I made so much progress and I am finally starting to get pretty caught up on the paintings I am working on. I adore painting, and I can do it pretty proficiently. I'm so excited about it! I'm working on an impressionistic painting next. I'm so excited about it. I am painting a bouquet of flowers on a chair. It should be nice!

I learned a lot of Greek last night, and I realized as I was walking down the street today listening to people talk that I really know quite a bit of Greek. I'm at the point now that I can pick out certain words that I don't know in a conversation, and I am really good at following along what is going on. I took a nice long walk today to the hardware store to buy some paint supplies.

On the way back, I went to the store and bought as much fruit and vegetables I could stand. I'm so excited to eat them all up now. And one of the coolest parts of the day was the fact that the poppies here are blooming. I'm actually very excited about this. They bloom in the fields, and sometimes a whole field can be totally crimson with them. It's not a great poppy year, but with a lot of work, I found a field, and I was out in this barley field laying down trying to get some great photos of poppies. It was actually really nice.

Can't you imagine me photographing the poppies and then picking them for my painting tomorrow? It's so exciting! I did a drama workshop tonight, and it was fun. We're going to do a performance. I also decided to go to Crete in the next week or two. I'm so excited about it, but basically, my friends and I are going to go camp on Crete. I'm so excited about that. I also got a taste of what light is made up of. We played with lights and made the colors red, yellow, green, blue, cyan and magenta. It was crazy! Life is so nice here…!

Monday, April 11, 2005

My Religious Day

I think that there is a time in every life of every artist where there is a struggle. Actually, I'm quite sure that there are many of them. However, I'm talking about that very first one. The one that if the artist doesn't make it through it that he isn't going to make it as an artist at all. I think that it's a general struggle to find out what there is to communicate about and how he is going to do it. If there is a time to give up, I think that it is now. I know that I have reached this point in my photo career. Somehow, it is comforting to me to know that I have made it this far. I have actually done a very, very good job doing what I do here, but the problem is that when you run into a really big struggle with something, generally people feel that they should just quit. I'm at that point with traditional photography. It's aided even more by the fact that the art form that I have loved so much and tried to hard to work in is losing it's spot in the world to the world of megapixels. I know that it's OK, and I even agree with it, but I need to work on the mastery of my own art before I can move onto the megapixel world. I've alluded to this many times before and I'll probably talk about it many more times again, but I'm just talking about breakthroughs that I have had.

Today was incredibly interesting in that world. I had a lot of things go wrong (for example, I washed my memory card and batteries in the washing machine, I accidentally ruined a roll of film and I had some other general problems). I came back to the office quite upset and frazzled about what had happened. I ran into John Pack, and he told me that I should just keep going. I knew that, but it was reassuring to hear it.

So, rather than get upset about any of it, I decided to push through it all and make it work. I dried off the memory card and put it in my camera to find out that it worked perfectly. The batteries only need to be recharged, and I went out and took photos with the roll of film. I now have about four or five more rolls of film planned out to take before the end of the day. I went for a long walk to a Byzantine chapel that has been carved into the side of the mountain.

It was just lovely. I took some photos, and really cooled off enough to get something done. I realized that I didn't not know as much as I thought. I was working very hard thinking that I didn't know much when I found out that I really knew a lot. Go figure! I'm all revved up and ready to actually get some photos taken. I went back out with my camera and got some good shots of things around me. I decided that the only way to do things was to just take photos of whatever I enjoyed. I did that, and It really made me happy.

Today, I was able to go to Byzantine churches for the first time ever. It made me so incredibly excited because I went around to the Church of a Hundred Doors. It is just an amazing church here that is the oldest church in Christianity (that has been continually used). It was built by Helen, the mother of Constantine. It was so amazing.

My friend, Ageliki took me there and bought two candles and we lit them and looked around. I had a really good time. I completely enjoyed it there. I really had an experience in the building. It is really amazing to me how a place can be holy. I loved it.

When I was taking photos, I went to a little chapel. I had to walk down the side of a cliff next to a very secluded beach spot to get there, but I did it, and it was really nice. It was a chapel that was build over the spot that Athena used to be worshiped on the island. It was beautiful and half of it was made out of the cliff actually and the other half of it was actually made out of marble. It was incredible. No one was in there, but I watched the candle burn and I took some photos and left. The whole chapel was surrounded by flowers. What a beautiful scene. I am looking at where to take my portfolio here, and I really think that I am going to do things that remind me of Greek life. Marble and churches and doors and people. I'll tell you more when it gets more and more concrete!
\ I had a figure drawing breakthrough today. I was having a hard time with it, just didn't want to be there, but I stayed. At the end, the model did a pose for 15 minutes, and I drew and drew away, and it was just neat at the end. I'm starting to get better and better. It is making me happy that I can do it!

And…tonight I did a drama class that was nice. We acted out scenes from Greek mythology. It's only a workshop for 4 hours, but I'm really loving it! I've got to get some photography and painting done here. Lots of love Chris

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Santorini WAS so Exciting

OK. I had a beautiful weekend this weekend. On Friday, I got on the boat at 11:50 and headed to Santorini. It was beautiful. We stopped at the island of Naxos on the way, and I got to take a few photos from the boat.

Then we headed to the island of Ios, which is supposedly the party island around here. From there we headed straight to Santorini. It was one of the most beautiful places that I have ever seen. It used to be a huge whole island, but when the volcano blew it apart in 1,700 BC, it turned into one ring and a few smaller islands. The sides of the island are sheer cliffs that go up probably about 1,000 feet, and there are only a few places that there are beaches! The beaches are all black and red sand and rocks because of all of the volcanic activity. We got there in the afternoon and we watched the sun set over the island's caldera, it was beautiful. I also quickly found a really good place to get a suvlaki. We then talked and sat around drinking good wine and eating good olives. We found a great hotel to stay in that was only 12 Euro per person per night. It overlooked the water on the other side (not the caldera), and it was just fabulous. I was very happy to be there.

On the three hour ferry ride on the way over, I ran into some people that had been backpacking Europe for some time. One was a girl from Canada. She went to school in the south of France for a semester, and when it was done in December, she trekked around Europe from then on. It actually sounded really cool. She ended up being my roommate, and it was totally awesome because she gave me really good travel advice and reinstilled in me my feeling of being a unique human. She told me that she thought that there was something different about me when she met me. It was really nice to hear from someone else.

I got some really great travel tips from her, and she invited me to come and visit her in her home in BC (Victoria) when I got back. As I have other friends up there, I am going to do it! I also met a man from Australia that lives in London because he wants to travel. It was very nice to meet him, he was a good person. There was also a man from Michigan there. He has been traveling for months, and he is going to finish up on June 8th. We are heading to Prague at around the same time, so we may meet up again there, and I think that would be awesome!

On Saturday, we went to the museum there. We looked at artwork that had been there since before the explosion in the 7th century BC. It was pretty amazing stuff. I loved it. I am totally amazed at the Minoan culture. I am going to copy one of their paintings. You can find out a little bit about it at this website. We then went to a black sand beach, and we fell asleep in the sun for several hours.

After that, we went walking around and I took some photos. We walked down deep into the caldera, and it was interesting. I got some really good photos taken at night. This morning, we were going to go to a very important site which was where they were actually doing the excavations of the prime town from 1700 BC, but apparently it is closed for the next 18 months, so we didn't get to go there! Instead, everyone in the group went their own separate way. Many people went shopping, but I went to find the donkeys that people ride into the caldera (the center of the old volcano). I wanted to ride one, but I was looking to actually take some photos. However, some guy talked me into paying 3 Euro for a ride. It was awesome. Actually, it was kind of interesting. I rode a donkey down the 600 steps into the caldera. It was fun. However, when I got down there, I knew that I was going to have to walk back up because I didn't want to pay to go back up. It was really dumb for me to do, but at least I KNEW that I was being gypped. I ended up having a lot of fun and walking up. I took lots of photos of the donkeys along the way. It was a real dream come true.

As soon as I had done that, I was tired, but I walked up to another museum and looked at some of the most breathtaking art ever. I love the ancient vases with war scenes painted on them, and I am going to make a copy of them in one of my paintings! This is where I went.

After that, I was tired and it was time to come home, so I spent time not taking photos, but walking around and shopping. I loved it. I bought nothing, but I got to be a tourist for a while, and it was really fun. Then we came home. I am so glad to be back in Paros. Not that I didn't love Santorini, but I know Paros so much better, and it less full of people, and it is just one of my permanent homes. Time for me to get back to work. Chris

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Complete Update

Hello, It’s been a while since I’ve written, but I’m going to try to describe what’s been going on here as accurately as possible. I will also try to write more, but I get really into describing things and such, and by the time I am done working (sometimes at 2AM) I’m exhausted and ready to just fall over in hopes that I can make it to my next class at 8AM. Though that sounds like torture, it is exactly the correct balance for me in life, and I am enjoying it more than I can possible use written words to describe.

First of all, I must say that “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” is as accurate a movie on the Greek lifestyle as can me made. I laugh every day at things that come up that are so accurately described in that movie. I just can’t tell you how amazingly funny it is. And the name Niko is everywhere. I was at a festival last week and everywhere I turned there was a person named Niko! Anyway, if you want to get an idea (culturally) of what I am getting here check it out. It’s accurate right down to the lamb roasting on Easter HMMMMM (can’t wait). Speaking on the food line, I must divert to talk about food. I must say that about 80% of the outside of class conversations that I have involve food. 1.) good ways to make it, 2.) good ways to eat it, 3.) good things to eat 4.) good places to eat, 5.) the general goodness of it and so on. I suggest incorporating Greek food 100% into your diet. It is hard to get used to at first, but it is much worth it. And I must say that the Greeks are actually some of the healthiest people on the planet (at least they were before things like Cheetos became available here). The first two ingredients in every Greek meal are 1.) Olive oil and 2.) Garlic. Without those, you are completely lost. Together, they make a purely Greek and delectable starter that is the beginning of any meal. Many Greeks consume 50 kilos of olive oil a year (note that a kilo is 2.2 pounds). That said, I do miss tacos, and they are so rare here that I was talking to a Greek the other day about them, and they were completely unknown to her. Needless to say, I explained it in terms of pita bread and lamb! I’m not kidding! I have had unforgettable experiences in food since eating here. First of all, there are the cheapest food item. Suvlake’s. I love them. They are a baked, warm pita bread with your choice of lamb, pork and chicken inside. Then there are your choices of vegetables (never get them with onions). On top of that, there is this stuff called Tutziki. Needless to say, I will be eating a lot of them when I am at home. Tutziki is yoghurt with garlic and cucumbers. Disgusting sounding, I know, but actually quite enjoyable! I got to eat musaka (please excuse all spellings, as I only know them with the Greek alphabet, which doesn’t always translate) the other day. I loved it, and I will be eating it forever.

Needless to say, I have been doing some cooking at home myself. Every day after my afternoon classes and before my evening classes, I make pesto spaghetti (I love this stuff), bread fried in olive oil with cheese melted on top, fried zucchini and fried cheese. I look forward to this part of my day every day, and I wish that it would last forever! I do need to expand my horizons a little though, but it’s rather hard to do with one frying pan, one plate, a fork, a butter knife and a spoon! My friend, when she was here, scared me by telling me that the ketchup was really bad (which it is), but the other food more than makes up for it. And all of that isn’t even starting to talk about the pastries that I get at the bakery. I like to just go sit in front of the bakery and smell it. If I know someone going, I will walk with them, and yes, I am guilty of eating a bugatza, tiropita, milopita, croissant, or chocolate croissant every once in a while!

On the art side of life, I am making some pretty incredible breakthroughs in all areas at once, and it is overwhelming to me (in a good way) every day when I am in class. I realize how much I have progressed, and I am just so happy to know that I am making such incredible progress. I still wonder what I am going to look like on the other side, but I know that if I progressed no more at this point that I would be incredibly happy.

This week, I worked with my photography teacher with some personal one-on-one time again, and we are starting to understand what it is that I am doing that I shouldn’t be doing, and my knowledge and professional quality of products is coming way up. I was getting some good photos before I came here, but they were by accident, I can now produce more consistent results (at least with a little more practice). I am going to study many areas of photography while I am here. I have already done some work with night photography and I have also done some work in the studio. I plan to do many still lifes and also to do some portraits. I have pretty much decided that I am going to do a series of architecture, and I am going to try to get about 15 prints to go in my portfolio along that line before I leave.

In digital photography, I have taken almost 2,000 photos, and there are more to come. I have some final photos that when I print, will go in my portfolio. I am so excited about them. I am pretty dedicated and excited to set up my own studio at home. I may lose the way of the darkroom in some ways when I am complete. I feel that transition here. Most importantly, I have gained the confidence here to be able to work as a photographer. It has been a dream of mine, but I was sure I couldn’t do it. I now see it happening right before my eyes, and

I am excited about it. I know that I can make money doing it, and I am very excited! I am currently working on 5 paintings, and I have three more in the works. I have two that are completely done, and just waiting to be taken off their stretchers to come home for you. I hear that I am making incredible progress in painting, and I really feel that way too. Especially considering that I was scared of it when I came here, and now every spare second I have is in my studio. What a wonderful art form.

I have also had the great pleasure of working with one of the world’s mosaic masters. She had done quite a bit of study on art, and she is this incredible artist. I admire her so much, and I understand her on so many levels. She is teaching me more than I could ever ask to know, and my mosaic is coming out beautifully. I plan to do more when I come home, as commissions in the area are possible. I saw a mosaic that she is working on for a church. She has spent probably more than a thousand hours on it, and I just adore it. I will have to take picture of it to show to you!

I also attacked meter the other day and was able to write a poem using perfect meter and rhyming. My writing instructor was impressed, and I have tackled yet another area that was scary to me! I have officially completed the Odyssey, which is one of the most incredible books in history, I love it! I am now reading the poems of a Greek poet from the very same island that I am on. I visited the cave he used to write in and he is credited with the invention of iambic pentameter. I love the poems, and we will be doing Sappho next! I am going to tackle the Iliad next. I am very much so excited about that. I know through what I am developing so much here, and I LOVE it every day.

Last night, I worked with a good Greek friend of mine Ageliki on taking some studio photos. She is just incredible, and she promises to give me some Greek recipes. I hope to see her married soon, as that’s what all Greeks want, and she wants to come to America at some point, so you may meet her. These are the things that I am doing. Going any further into specific would drive you and me crazy with more and more pages of my rambling writing.

The next and most exciting hi-light is that in about an hour I will departing on a boat for the island of Santorini. I explained all about it earlier, but I am so excited about taking photos there, I know that I will come back with a memory cards stuffed and full! So on that note, I am signing off until I get back on Sunday night!

Adoringly, Chris

P.S. If you want to get an even greater understanding of where I am, you can go to the following websites. (many of the places listed on the website I go to frequently) (the most accurate site I know of) ( a live camera view of the port that I see more than 3 times a day)!

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Santorini is So Exciting!

I am going to go to Santorini this weekend. Here is some more data on it. It is the most popular island in Greece. I fact, during he summer season, the whole island is so packed that you can’t even walk in the streets! Almost all photos of Greece the world over were taken on this island. I am told that it is just incredible beautiful. It is not that far away from here about 2 hours by boat. It is going to be beautiful this weekend. It is pretty much considered to be the island of Atlantis because it sank at about the right time 2,000 BC. The island is actually a volcano. It used to be really big, but it exploded so hard that it imploded, and it is now just a rim around it. The blast caused tsunamis and earthquakes really badly. I think the blast was about 10,000 times greater than that of Mt. St. Helens, and that may be an under exaggeration! There is a museum there where they just dug down into the ash and whole towns were preserved like in Pompeii. However, there are no human bodies. The people were smart enough to get off the island before it exploded. It’s got castles and frescos and everything. Just pretty exciting I think.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005


Here are a few hi-lights from the past couple of days. I went to Anti Paros on the boat with a friend that I have. He is a Greek (actually from Cyprus) and he took me and four of my friends to this Greek celebration. At first, it was really boring because they gave an hour and a half speech on the history of Cyprus, but in the end it ended up being really cool because I was able to see the Greek dancers. They came out at the end, and they were beautiful. You can see the Middle Eastern influence in the costumes, but the people looked so happy when they were dancing. They were so totally lively and happy looking.

I really, really loved seeing them. I was able to take a few pictures, but my battery died on my camera, so I only got some, but they are really good, I think. I have had a bit win on working with my camera. I know it is very hard to master cameras, and most people don't need to worry about settings and what they do, but trying to get super professional products out of it that will require the least amount of work and editing while at the computer is actually really hard.

This weekend, I worked really really hard doing things, and I think that I'm becoming very fluent in the language of my digital camera. I fall more and more in love with it every day, as it has allowed me to do things that I would never have been able to do. My photography has improved in such a short time being here just from being out taking photos all the time seeing how things and lighting work and everything. It's just amazing! It is also teaching me more and more each day how my film camera works, but I also have to be able to recognize the differences between the two.

I took some very incredible professional photos this weekend, and I am working hard on them now trying to perfect them so that I can take more and more and more photos and get perfect ones by the end. I think that the staff here are really interested in my work and my progress. I love having John be excited about something that I am doing on my photography. I consider a compliment from him a real compliment.

Though, I have not yet been able to get a compliment from my Photography Instructor, so we're working together more and more to get things to work out. In fact, I got a lesson today on what I did this weekend with my film camera, and then I am going to have a private lesson tomorrow to learn how to take the photos that I EXACTLY want. I'm so excited because she is so brilliant, and this will mean that I will actually getting really good things with her help.

Then, I can move on to getting some prints out, as I've been having a hard time with that lately! We're slowly sorting me out. I'm not pretending that it's easy, because it definitely isn't, but I am starting to learn that there is a lot to learn that that I just need to take it slow.

I'm in good hands though. I was going to go on a trip to two beautiful islands tomorrow, Delios and Mykonios. However, the winds are so heavy and the cold is so bitter that it was cancelled. We were going to have cheap tickets on a chartered boat and be able to see both islands for very cheap, but it doesn't look like that will happen. I'm getting very excited though for this weekend when I go to Santorini! ALRIGHT!

I started a painting today, and it was really exciting. I now have so many going and I totally love it. I am going to do a boat next and then I am going to start painting the way that Boticelli did. I think that I'm going to try to do an exact copy of one of his paintings using the materials that he did. That will be so exciting. I had a writing class tonight and I really got some help with one of my pieces. I loved it. I'm excited! I have mosaic early tomorrow morning, and that should be really good. I love that studio and that woman. It's such an incredible thing. I also have literature tomorrow.

I will finish reading the Odyssey tonight before I go to bed. I only have 10 more pages. I'm excited because he finally made it home, met his son and slept with his wife. He just now has to really wrap up the story. I am then going to read the Iliad. What better place to do it than in Greece with a professional literature professor and Greek translator. So that's what's up with me.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Make up-update

Ok. So as the time goes on, it gets harder and harder for me to write things and be marveled as all of the cool things that amazed me in the beginning have just become a part of my everyday life here. That's such an amazing thing too. I do have many good things to write about, but almost all of my time is sucked into art projects that you will see when I come home. So, I'm going to have to find new things to focus on!

On Thursday, I went to my mosaic class again. The woman is absolutely wonderful, and I officially started to work on my mosaic. I laid about 10 stones in the two hours that I was there! I am told that it is a hard thing at first, and I also chose the most difficult part of the mosaic to start on. It is in the shape of a fish, and it is about the size of A 4 paper. That's pretty cool. I think I'm going to use the colors pink, green and stark white. It is definitely a beautiful art form. I am going to have to show you pictures of some of the mosaics that I've fallen in love with throughout the Christian world!

Then I went to my drawing class. I left early though because I had set up a personal appointment to go out with my photo instructor to find what holes were stopping me from creating the best photos possible. It was a really good experience though because I now have a good understanding of what I was doing wrong in many areas. She showed me some cool places and we took some photos of them. I'm starting to get the hang of black and white photography again, and I'm very glad that we went out and did that. She bought me a cup of tea and we talked about how photography has shaped our world, and I see how I can get some work as a photographer when I come back to the States!

After lunch, I went to painting. I was getting the idea that I wasn't ever going to be able to master the art, and I was totally ready to give up, but I took my painting (that no one could make any sense of) and I went to my studio and mixed the colors and really dug in. When I emerged back from my painting trance, I realized that I actually did know how to paint, and it was wonderful. Jane (the painting instructor) came down and was completely amazed at how much progress I had made. She showed me some techniques I could use to make the painting better, and we applied them as much as we could, until the painting as too wet to do anything else with. Then I got really brave
and started to fix many errors that I saw in the second painting I had done here. I got a really good idea of how to get them fixed, and I put the first layer on them to fix them. I may be able to complete that painting totally by Tuesday! That will mean that I have two paintings totally done! Even after that, I got the sketches done and on the canvas of the next painting that I am going to start. It is a totally abstract piece, but I love it, and I think that with some work it is going to turn out to be OK!

Then I went to writing, but I have nothing exciting to report there, as I didn't write anything for the class!

Yesterday was Friday. We usually go on hikes on Fridays, but the weather here is very terrible. Not just some clouds and chill, but we went from having warm south winds from the Sahara desert to chilly cold winds from the north. I KNOW I'm going to be using my jacket when I get to Prague! I was wearing shorts and skirts, and now I have two jackets on with insulated pants and leg warmers. BUURRRRRR. I can understand the trials that the ancient Greeks had with sailing and the winds. The wind here isn't just a slight blow that goes one direction or another. Sometimes it is like that, but many times it blows very hard. The reason I didn't get back to write an email again last
night was because after I was walking back from our after dinner chat the wind was so heavy that I almost wasn't able to use my entire body force against it. I almost couldn't get home. And today, as I walked pretty far in the rain to get some groceries, my clothes wouldn't stay on. Not in the cheesy, romantic way, but that the wind was actually blowing so hard that my jacket was coming undone and trying to fly away. It was kind of fun!

I woke up yesterday and worked on a piece of art that I've been contemplating. It will have to be a secret until I come home, but I know that it will be well liked! Then I went out in my garden and picked a calla lily. They grow wild here, and I was so excited to see that they are coming into bloom. One of the things that I have always wanted to do was to take photos of them, but I was never able to. I picked one and went and set up the whole lighting set-up in the studio and took photos of this beautiful flower against a black cloth. It was soooo cool. When I was done with that, I was going to give the lily to someone, but I thought that it was so beautiful that I
had to incorporate it into another art. I ended up grabbing another canvas and I sketched it on there for a drawing. I spent a couple of hours then actually starting the painting. It is so beautiful. I took the lily home and it is now in a water bottle (for lack of a vase) on my table. I love it.

A funny anecdote that goes along with that was that I was walking down the street with this flower, and these two men came walking toward me. I looked at them and intended to say hello to them in Greek, but then in English one of them stopped me and said, "Thank you, lady for the flower." I looked at him very confused and just said, "No, Okhi," and turned around and walked off. It was pretty odd. I told my friends about it later, and they told me that I had to turn it into a painting as it was a "mythical moment" as we have been discussing in painting. I may just have to do it, as the thought of me looking blankly at an Albanian and saying "NO!" is pretty hilarious!

We went out to dinner last night. Dinner here is much different that at home. Usually they start at about 10:00 and sometimes even start as late as midnight. We went early. We ordered some appetizers. 1 baked mountain greens (they literally pick plants from the countryside and bake them (it wasn't very good)) 1 Greek salad (full of things I don't eat, basically only tomatoes and onions) 2 cheese saganaki (this is where they take cheese and fry it with lemon, it is the best thing you will ever taste) 1 feta saganaki (fried feta, damn good stuff), 1 plate of fried calamari (squid, yes, but excellent stuff), 1 plate of chicken (just a plain old meal). 1 plate of fried mushrooms (takes just like steak) and the best of all, a plate of musaka. I have always wanted to try musaka, and I finally did last night. I was so excited about it, it really was incredible. I am now going to learn how to make it because it is just excellent.

After that, we went out and had coffee/hot chocolate. Nice night other than the fact that I almost couldn't make it home!

Today I read some of the Odyssey, which I am getting close to finishing. I'll probably be done with it tomorrow. I'm very excited about that. Then I went shopping, which was badly needed. I now have a ton of food. After I write this email, I am going to go and clean the mosaic studio, as the woman is very nice and is letting us use her studio, so we decided to keep it very tidy for her. I'll probably work on my mosaic some. Then I'm going to go eat dinner. After dinner, there is a talk here by a very incredible man named Peter Abbs. Look him up on the Internet. He is a professor at the University of Sussex, but he feels that education is going in the wrong direction, and he is here checking out the program. He thinks that we are doing education here the right way. He's a cool guy, and we're going to listen to him read his poetry, and then we are going to talk about aesthetic education. When that is all over, I am going to finally and at last come and work on some more photography that I have done over the last week. I'm very excited!

So that's what's up with me!

Time for me to go…