Thank you, Scott Thomas, for the portraiture assignment. Thank you so much. Without this assignment, I would have missed the opportunity to photograph two of my dear friends.
Thank you, dear Catherine and Jan, for agreeing so readily to allow me to fiddle with the camera and take at least twenty photos of each of you. Thank you for not fussing if you don’t like the results! (ha ha, you know I won’t be taking senior pictures any time soon!)
Thank you both for our years of precious friendship. For stopping by to read this blog at times. For being your own precious magnificent selves.
All of the rest of you blog readers, let me introduce Catherine first. How to describe a friend of a quarter century?
Catherine is a warrior for the earth, a warrior for truth. She loves the earth and nature with a passion. She’s spoken for its survival, for its health, with passion and zest.
She’s done many things in her life. She’s milked cows (yes, ran a dairy farm!) She’s introduced her grandchildren to the outdoors, showing them frogs and trees and puddles. She’s worked at a Shelter Home. She’s helped form an environmental group in our area that prevented a paper mill from draining its toxic chemicals into Lake Superior.
She organized four of us together in an Artist’s Way group last year. We met once a month, sharing our art and deeply discussing our creative challenges. She pencils beautiful drawings. Truly she has an artist soul, a gentle soul, far-seeing eyes.
She eats slowly. She writes slowly, consciously. She drinks in the world deeply. She feeds chipmunks and finches. She owns one of the most beautiful old farmsteads in the county.
I snapped these photos on the way to the Chamber Orchestra Kremlin Saturday night. She is wearing a fishermen’s knit sweater knitted by her boyfriend’s mom. Isn’t that precious?
(Don’t you suddenly want a handmade fishermen’s knit sweater? I do.)
Then there is my friend, Jan. I call her Janna Maria half the time.
I met Jan spiritually before I met her in physical form. (Oh dear, didn’t know this story was coming out.) Jan was involved in a severe accident back in the 90’s. Her vehicle flipped on the Skanee Road and she was injured beyond belief.
I happened to accidentally come upon the sight up the accident after a Solstice prayer ceremony up near Catherine’s house. I knew it was vital to pray for this accident victim–and did–for a long time after returning home. As I prayed, images arose. Images about this accident victim…
…which years later, when we met, proved to be true images and scenes from her life.
Jan’s survival from this accident was a true miracle. Many of the bones in her body shattered; she suffered brain damage. Yet she lived to speak and walk and share and be a beautiful friend to those who know her warm melting hug and ready laugh.
Jan works closely with children, leaning down on bended knees to guide them, deeply present with them. She works as a teacher aide at our small school and has taught Sunday School for many years. She’s always ready to volunteer, assists her parents, opens her house to those in need. She, too, loves the earth–especially rocks from Lake Superior. She loves to garden and create beauty. Her spirit shines like a bright star.
I could write on and on about both of my buddies, but you get the picture. They’re wonderful friends. They even stop by this blog–as I’ve said–so be kind if you start analyzing my first attempts at portraiture.
It seemed more important, somehow, to display their spirits–their laughs–their quirkiness–than to produce picture-perfect portraitures to hang on the living room wall. (OK, OK, I suppose the really good photographers can do both. Display the spirits of their subjects AND get magnificent quality.)
Shake hands everyone. OK, hugs are allowed. 🙂