My show is up. It will be in the coffee shop for a month and then I move it up to the Saratoga Uncommon grounds for a month. I find myself sitting here crying because for the past few days every time I pick up my camera, or look at my photographs I think of my mom. I haven't talked about it a lot here, but my mother loved photography. She loved gardening and taking photographs of her flowers. All flowers actually. All through teh year she had fresh flowers in the house. I never thought I would be a photographer. I had no interest in it as an art form until after she passed away. My mother had dreams of having a gallery, for local artists (we lived in woodstock and my mother loved all forms of art), and her own photography. Yet she never really followed that dream past snapping hundreds of photos and putting them in small albums and buying so much local art it just gathered in piles in her basement because all her walls were full. One year I bought her a gift certificate to take a photography class, because she was always talking about wanting to learn more about her camera, but she never used it. There was always a reason-the house needed to be cleaner or her garden needed tending. It must have been some irrational fear or insecurity. I think of this and of her when I feel afraid to try. Sometimes it propels me through my own fears sometimes it just lingers in my thoughts like a hovering bird.
I have been so busy lately that I haven't consciously thought about this-but yesterday the hovering bird seemed to be calling to me to pay attention. Pay attention.
My mother said -especially at the end of her life-that I was her accomplishment. It angered me in some ways, she could bring up anger in me in so many ways at times. Not for any clear reason, but at the time, my personal issues seemed to come from her failings.
My accomplishments seemed to be such a battle to win, to transcend my current situation, was so tough, and I blamed her. I couldn't/didn't see that she taught me to fight and clamor. What she gave me was tough to discern at the time but is becoming clearer now. Her constant undying belief in me, her nagging and longing for me to "shine", to be present, to be aware. Her knowing so little (I thought from disinterest) about the details of my life, often aggravated me and made me feel belittled. Didn't she know how hard my life felt, how those details snagged me and made me stumble? And here I am now, grateful she didn't get wrapped up in the details, that she truly saw the light in me, believed in my spirit and my strength to be the best me-whatever that may look like in the details.
So as I hung my photographs last night, I felt her spirit with me. I felt this overpowering presence of her. I still can't make it all out clearly. But I must admit that I am a bit shocked to find myself here, having what I saw and captured through the lens up for display and for sale. Having it larger than life for the world to see.
My gremlins whisper in my ear-that there are so many more talented souls out there, who am I kidding, to expect this to go any further is a joke. As I hung these pieces, almost every person in the place last night gave my work genuine acknowledgement and praise. I almost had to sit down to clear my head, because there is a part of me that wants to hear these words-not the gremlins-a part that just wants to be encouraged.
I woke up this morning with a bad cold...I guess it shouldn't be a surprise with the stress I have been under the past few weeks with my life and my art.
So I am going to snuggle with my little one, rest, and then I will come back to process some details I need to work through about making this business more manageable.
Thanks for reading.....
****you can still buy from my etsy but I will be taking a bit of a break and will not be packing and sending packages ordered past midnight last night (Tues) until Dec 30th. It is a much much needed break.
This blogging thing is super amazing....if something is feeling heavy in my heart and then I write about it here, I walk away with a much lighter heart for just getting it out. Although I have a cold, I feel good and happy right now. Writing things out can be so therapeutic.******


Blogger Vedrana M. said...

your art looks amazing, congratulations! :) and it's beautiful that your mother is still an inspiration for you, xoxo

12/19/2007 7:31 AM  
Blogger kristen said...

i'm excited for you. i'm glad that you're able to hang your show despite being afraid, despite the gremlins. you inspire me to push myself artistically, when there isn't a reason other than the desire. feel better. xo

12/19/2007 7:46 AM  
Blogger Revealed... said...

omg - omg - omg!!!!! WOW it looks even more amazing than I thought it would!!!!!!!!! oh thea....it's stunning; breathtaking, so perfect in every way! I have tears in my eyes!!!!! I'm so very proud of you - so proud....

it's not surprise hearing that you felt your mom...funny that you and I haven't talked much about the art classes & photog. you use to do with her in Woodstock...? being a mother...it makes so much sense - that forever you are connected to your children - in life; and after... i do truely believe she was with you last night --- beaming with admiration...

people are going to be in awe --- as they sip their coffee....surrounded my the beautiful visions you've captured... believe those compliments...especially the guy who said "i come here a lot, and usually like one or two pieces...i love all of these...." some pieces will speak more than others to some of course, but there is no way to not look at your work and smile - and admire....believe that...believe in yourself ----

well my dear friend --- again i can't wait to sit with a cup of Joe with you...to admire in person all that I've seen --- to boost you up - and help you feel the worth in your art, in your visions... you are inspiring sweetheart....

still smiling as I write...the tears have dried... :)

love you - xxoo genine

12/19/2007 8:47 AM  
Blogger jessabean said...

Delurking today...

Congratulations on the show! What an accomplishment...your photos are truly beautiful. You are very brave to ignore the gremlins and keep going. I'm sure your mother is proud of you.

Keep going; you're an inspiration to us all!

12/19/2007 8:49 AM  
Blogger deirdre said...

Look at you! The pictures look great.

Your mom would be so proud.

Take good care of yourself. xoxo

12/19/2007 10:21 AM  
Blogger chocolate covered musings said...

i honour your bravery, both with your writing and for you showing your work. you are an inspiration to me and i hope that one day i can show my own photography the way that you are doing right now.

thanks for your honesty and your writing and your creativity that inspires me every time i visit.

12/19/2007 10:41 AM  
Blogger Schmoops said...

oh honey, this is such an inspiration, YOU are such an inspiration. gremlins be gone ~ you continue to grow as an artist each day. i know your mom would be proud and is beaming.

thank you for sharing all the photos of your show. can't wait to talk more... xoxo

12/19/2007 10:51 AM  
Anonymous AndreaD said...

I LOVE what I can see in those pictures. You are indeed quite talented and worthy of having your work shown. Repeat to yourself "I am worthy". That was some powerful writing - be proud! Your mother still loves you.

12/19/2007 10:52 AM  
Anonymous misty mawn said...

i am so happy for you Thea. You really are an inspiration to all of us! thinking of you and sending love.
hope you feel better soon! the cold bug hit here last week and is still lingering around!
love you dearly. xoxo

12/19/2007 11:24 AM  
Blogger Terence said...

I'm so very very proud of you Thea. I know how stressed you've been recently (you've stressed EVERY Christmas season, but now with your business its been multiplied by a factor of at least two), but you've handled things so well.

I don't typically talk about our home life at work, but today I announced to all around that if they go to Uncommon Grounds, all the photography they see on the walls is yours. Folks were so impressed by your accomplishment, even not knowing everything else you do alongside this showing - it IS a tremendous accomplishment for you.

Your mom would move into that coffee shop for a month is she were here. You are trying things she would never have dared do, and you are doing things for both yourself, as well in honor of your memories of her. She would be so overjoyed - which while bittersweet, I know brings you a deserved dose of inner joy.

We joked this morning of Trey being "Barista Trey" when he gets his first job - (for those that don't know, our nearly-3-year-old son insists on helping Mommy and Daddy when they brew pots of coffee in the morning) - I think we need to parlay this show into guaranteed employment at the shop in 13 or so years!

Let's all go for a cup on Saturday.

- T

12/19/2007 12:09 PM  
Blogger Boho Girl said...

oh my goodness...i can barely write this because the tears are so big and spilling over.

your words.
your husband's comment.
your gorgeous gorgeous art hanging on the beautiful walls of a cool, funky coffee shop.

remember last year in Seattle we talked about our dreams? you shared about your art and a show and thought it was unattainable. look how far you've come in a year my love. just imagine what is to come.

but lets marinate in this very moment right now.

your mother is right with you. i can imagine she was dancing around the coffee shop last night as you hung each piece. she must be the proudest mother in heaven. i love what your hubby said..."she would move into the coffee shop for a month."


heck, if i could, i would too!

my heart is full.
my cup runneth over.
this is so dreamy...
you are so brave.
keep spilling.
keep creating.

you are so inspiring to the world and heavens above.

love you so much.

12/19/2007 12:33 PM  
Blogger I AM said...

That coffee shop may never be the same!!!! Your work looks beautiful as always, but on those walls, WOW, it just pops!

I have more to say, but right now, I need to sit with your words. You said:

"It angered me in some ways, she could bring up anger in me in so many ways at times. Not for any clear reason, but at the time, my personal issues seemed to come from her failings."

You just gave very strong words to an issue that I am so trying to deal with. I never looked at it that way before and I'm a bit shaken.

Thanks for shaking me up....and congrats on the show.

12/19/2007 12:54 PM  
Blogger Amber said...

Isn't that true about writing it and sending it off, and feeling lighter? Me too.

Your work looks just beautiful on those walls! Wonderful. You should be as proud of yourself, as your mom would be.(is) ;)


12/19/2007 1:18 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

WOW! Everything looks amazing there! What a lucky coffee shop. I love the picture where the girl is looking up at your work. Having a show like that is a special thing...not everyone will get that opportunity! Good for you! I'm glad you can feel you Mom there with you. She is in every flower and every photo you take. It is something you get to do together even now.

12/19/2007 2:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i keep coming back to look at these pic's!!!

:) xxoo g

12/19/2007 2:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your work blows me away, Thea. It's stunning. I'm so proud of you.

Love, Melissa

12/19/2007 4:39 PM  
Blogger kelly said...

all so gorgeous.....enjoy some down time, but enjoy your artwork up on the walls. it is amazing.

12/19/2007 5:07 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

oh, babydoll, they all look amazing on those walls.. and my goodness, i KNOW you mama was there, so blown away with pride for her sweet and sensitive daughter... you know she was there - she is always with you, girl (i know this, cos R is with me)

i'm feeling so proud of you - and i always do :-) love you with sugar on top xoxox

12/19/2007 6:15 PM  
Anonymous ceanandjen said...

I think that I can not possibly say congratulations enough honey. This is an amazing accomplishment...your work is on display! And it is beautiful and fills the coffee shop up with so much life and soul. You have done so much and come so far this year; you should be incredibly proud of yourself.

I feel certain that your mother was indeed right there with you last night and that she is beyond proud of you and the light in you. I too love that your hubby said that she would move into the coffee shop for a month.

Try to relax and take good care of yourself for the next few weeks. I hope that nasty cold goes away very soon and I hope that you all have a beautiful holiday.

Sending you love and snuggles.xoxoxo

12/19/2007 6:20 PM  
Blogger Sheila Ann said...

This is amazing.

It is wonderful to hear such honest words from an artist and to think that I may one day do what you have done.

Truly inspiring! I wish I could go sit there and see what you have done. But I'll sit here in Guam and continue my own dream. I've started the first step and ordered my camera. I can only dream one day that my photos capture what you have managed to do. Pure beauty and art and goodness. Your mother would be proud!

12/19/2007 6:54 PM  
Blogger Maddie said...

You just seem to make me
cry every time I visit ~
in a very good way ~ you are
so rich with love it just pours out
of you ~ in your words ~ your
art ~ your tender reflections:0

I feel so filled with love when
i visit your blog and I am so
incredibly happy for your show ~
it looks so stunning!

12/19/2007 6:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is the third time i have looked at your amazing pictures. it looks so perfect, i want to find the time to stop in and see them in person, when we are in town this weekend.

i hope you can step back and see what a huge accomplishment this is, and be as proud of yourself as everyone around you is (myself included). how blessed you are to have a husband who can voice his pride in you and all your work.

love and happy thoughts,

12/19/2007 9:37 PM  
Blogger Kelly LOVES Whales said...

Beautiful! Congratulations on the show.

Wonderful, powerful post.


12/20/2007 11:16 AM  
Blogger Alex aka Gypsy Girl said...

The show looks absolutely beautiful and you're so very inspiring! I wish I could come in person to see it. What a moving memory of your mother. I'm here all in tears and I am sure you're mother is with you in every step of this amazing accomplishment.
Enjoy this moment! Congratulations! xxo

12/20/2007 4:31 PM  
Blogger daisies said...

oh honey, they look absolutely stunningly beautiful :) congratulations!! much love, xox

12/20/2007 4:36 PM  
Anonymous amy said...

i have so much admiration for your talent and your brave, beautiful words.

12/21/2007 5:06 AM  
Blogger Melba said...

Your work is beautiful. I am happy for for you!
and I so agree, writing it out is so helpful!

12/21/2007 12:01 PM  
Blogger pERiWinKle said...

doing a dance of joy, pride, love, memories..hard work...with you...right now...in the street in front of the coffee shop...with people streaming into the shop to admire (and purchase!:-) YOUR art!
so proud of you! xx

12/21/2007 6:28 PM  
Blogger Jessie said...

Your show looks gorgeous and I don't doubt at all that your mom was really with you the night of your opening.

Rest well, dear one. And know that not only have you created beauty, but you have shared it with the world. That is a wonderful thing.

much love to you,

12/22/2007 12:25 AM  
Blogger megg said...

holy cow - what a YEAR, what a show - what a WOMAN.

You. simply. glow.

I am so proud of you and happy for you.

I don't usually do this but I know it's something you will appreciate...

I am DANCING for you.


12/24/2007 7:50 AM  
Blogger turquoise cro said...

O! MY!!! I haven't been here for a while and LOOK what has been going on!!! YES! Your mother is dancing up in heaven and I am soOOoOOOOoO proud of YOU too!!! Everything Looks soOOOoOOO SWEET!!!! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! Girly!!! ((((((Thea))))) so tight we both giggle and then have some coffee in that coffee shop gazing on your photos and giggle again til' coffee comes through our noses!!! LOL Phew!! I am soOOOOOoO happy for YOU!!!tee hee

12/24/2007 10:28 AM  
Blogger PixieDust said...


Tell those pesky "gremlins" to leave you be! You are such a talent, they have no idea what they are talking about!



12/26/2007 5:48 PM  
Blogger Maddie said...

popping by to say hi sweetie and
breathe in the beauty of your
show :)

Hope you had a warm and loving
and magical Christmas:)

12/27/2007 11:17 AM  
Blogger jenica said...

your mother is more than proud of you. these pictures are so worth the praise they'll receive. and YOU have done it. they are beautiful, truly, truly. good luck sorting through these tough emotions!


12/27/2007 7:06 PM  
Blogger mccabe said...

hello beauty...

your work is amazing and looks so beautiful in the coffee shop! i honor the fact that you had to find several demons to get to this point. you continue to soar and shine despite it all and this makes your work even more meaningful. (as if we needed another reason)

sending extra love and tenderness
your way...

mccabe x

12/28/2007 1:08 AM  
Blogger carla said...

Thea - congratulations on your show! It looks so very beautiful:> I was touched by your description if your mother's spirit with you as you put the pictures up... you are blessed that you can feel her with you in something like this.

12/30/2007 2:14 PM  
Blogger brittany said...


wow, congratulations--that is huge. you are talented and I love seeing things through your lens.

wow, thanks for sharing these thoughts. They are deep and turn me inward.


12/30/2007 10:55 PM  
Blogger Kirsten Michelle said...

i feel badly that i'm only just now finding a few quiet moments to send you a great big hug and telling you how truly happy i am for you and this gorgeous show!!! i am hoping with all my heart that we might meet for tea in this cafe before it's time for it all to come down.
you are strong and beautiful and loved, my friend.
wishing you the very best for 2008 ;-)

12/31/2007 8:05 PM  

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