Blog

Thailand

thailand
Oh, the joys of travel! To feel the excitement of sudden departure, not always knowing whither. Surely you and I are in agreement about that. How often did my life seem concentrated in that single moment of departure. To travel far, far—and that first morning’s awakening under a new sky! And to find oneself in it—no, to discover more of oneself there. To experience there, too, where one has never been before, one’s own continuity of being and, at the same time, to feel that something in your heart, somehow indigenous to this new land, is coming to life from the moment of your arrival. You feel your blood infused with some new intelligence, wondrously nourished by things you had no way of knowing.
— Rainer Maria Rilke
Thailand for web-12.jpg
Thailand for web-18.jpg

I am a great believer in travel. Travel anywhere, travel for as long or as little as you like. But travel. 

My brother and I donned our backpacks and set out for Thailand without a plan, just a wish to explore and experience. We discovered that Thailand showers those who visit in riches of kindness, openness, generosity and beauty. We found ourselves continually amazed by wild temples on every corner, by street foods of all kinds, by the oceans, the jungles, the wild cities - but mainly by kindness, such kindness of so many people wet met along the way. And this is what makes the journey truly beautiful. 

As so often happens in travel, we happened to find our favorite place by chance, chatting to a group of Irish tourists, who said we must go to Khao Sok National Park. And I'm so grateful that they did.

Khao Sok is a vast lake and jungle area which formed from a damn. Unlike many parts of Thailand it is still quite untouched - only a handful of people are allowed to visit and stay on the floating huts each day (and only for one night at a time).

We swam in the green water, hiked to a cave and walked through the long, dark, tubular cavern (in water sometimes up to our chin). We saw a Python gracefully swimming in the dark, Gibbons and Tucans at dawn, and ate fresh fish with our small group of travelers from all over the world.

It is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen

Travel is never quite what it seems from a blog post and photos, there are so many more moments: waiting for buses, sleeping in loud hostels, being in huge crowds, being ill, being lost ... But I would never exchange a moment, to be in such a place, and see such beauty.

"Karma Dahlia II"

Nobody sees a flower - really - it is so small it takes time - we haven’t time - and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.
— Georgia O'Keeffe

The idea that we each see the world differently is perhaps that which gives us artists inspiration to create. The world I see, is never the same world you see. We come to each object, color, or view, with an infinite number of experiences and emotions that shape our sight. You and I see with different eyes, and thank goodness - because what you create helps me see freshly, expands my world, my views, and so the cycle continues. 

I was invited to photograph, and film, my dear friend, artist Krista Shoening, creating her largest addition to a wonderful series of paintings. I truly love the way in which she elevates the flower. The flower is such a simple, little flourish of nature, we forget to really look, really see it. The immensity of color, shapes, and fullness in Krista's painting invites me to see the wild abundance, the profound beauty - of a flower, being a flower.

I made my first short video of Krista's painting which I so thoroughly enjoyed. 

New Zealand

South Island - Lake Tekapo

South Island - Lake Tekapo

The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green earth, dwelling deeply in the present moment and feeling truly alive.
— Thich Nhat Hanh
South Island - Lake Tekapo

South Island - Lake Tekapo

New Zealand feels like resting in the softness of this world. As though all the edges of life are taken away and all the remains is pure color, texture, sights and sounds of the breathing world. Far removed from noise, pollution and chaos - this, I imagine, is what walking the pure earth is like.

Lake Hawea hike

Lake Hawea hike

newzeland
South Island - Mt. Cook

South Island - Mt. Cook

NZ for website-1-2.jpg
Lake Wakatipu

Lake Wakatipu

I highly recommend heading to New Zealand. Get a little car, a big map, and a wonderful friend. Drive many miles, stop often, be still,  listen to what this land has to say ...

Pink Lady

I believe in pink.
— Audrey Hepburn

Sometimes the most beautiful images come at the end of the day, just as she dons her purple hat and suede boots - before walking out the door ...

Iceland

Beauty, like ice, our footing does betray; Who can tread sure on the smooth, slippery way: Pleased with the surface, we glide swiftly on, And see the dangers that we cannot shun.
— John Dryden

 

Imagining it to be a remote, cold desolate place somewhere on the edges of the globe, Iceland is not actually somewhere I had considered visiting. However, when I had the good fortune to go with a wonderful group of photographers and models, organized by the talented team of 'Miss Aniela'; I discovered that while it is remote and desperately chilly in November, it is also stunningly beautiful in such a unique way.

In Iceland I found a complex  beauty - as all true beauty is, with a certain darkness and poignancy inherent. A beauty which shocks you into feeling simultaneously quite small and immensely vast, feeling both sad, alone, and also elated, free.

 

 

The earth literally tears itself, splitting its core to reveal thundering waterfalls, geysers of boiling water, and massive lands of ice that creak and crack into cold lagoons. After one of our shoots, I stood on the edge of this blue lagoon for a long time. As it became darker and darker I listened to the ice chunks bump gently on the shore, I stared into the blue ice and I felt so small, and so wide, and so free.

 

 

Here, I was reminded of the ways, and reasons, in which we make art. Inserting our beings, our desires, our imaginations into vast realms of space and thought, and see what comes out? Standing in the ice cave with our dear model dancing in a light dress underneath the deep blue ice,  before the camera, I wondered if this creation is pure folly? or somehow also such a wonderfully beautiful human response to it all? or both  . . . 

 

Thank you to Miss Aniela. Thank you to our courageous, beautiful models who braved the cold with such good spirit to co-create such unique images. 

Producer: Miss Aniela, Models: Carmen Obied, Grace Gray, Berglind Pétursdóttir, Hulda Vigdísardóttir, MUA: Grace Gray, Stylist: Minna Atala, Dresses: Agnieszka Osipa, and Miss Aniela. Photographer in second photo is: Lis DH Magnus.