Friday, December 29, 2006

Deep and Silent Snow

Deep and silent snow covers everything. It fell all last night and most of today. Many offices and businesses closed due to the weather. I like it! It is beautiful how the extreme conditions cause life to slow almost to a standstill. Driving is risky, and about as fast as walking. I took pictures from my truck.
I am working on myself this way: to accept what comes to me and always be content. Happiness is within, no matter what life looks like outside. My dear Naomi said, "Show up and be lovingly present, no matter what it looks like out there or inside yourself. Always speak the truth of your heart."
To learn more of Naomi's life, read my book, A Heart Traced in Sand

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Blessings To You

This Christmas has been simpler, less cluttered and more peaceful. I made a charitable contribution that replaced most of my usual gift giving to family. On the 25th, I arrived at my old home around noon and exchanged presents with Jean and Sarah. It was unhurried and thoughtful. Later, we visited the neighbors for a celebratory gathering, then went for a walk in the snow covered fields as the sun set. Christmas dinner followed with just the three of us in good humor. I left around 8:30 PM. A nice day.
The painting I have been working on is done, and I’ve already received compliments. The colors are vivid, and it is a strong contrast: the setting sun in the fiery sky, above cold, snow covered forested plains.
For you who might read this, I pray for your well being and happiness. May your coming days be light filled and wonderful. Blessings to you.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Snow

The snow is piling up, and I feel joyful. The driving is hazardous and slow, as snow keeps falling and visibility is bad. But it is so good! I had fun driving around, taking pictures through my front windshield while the defroster melted and dripped the snow on the pane.
In my studio, I am painting a big sunset, 52” x 66”. It is exciting to work with colors that are intense and fiery, especially when it is cold and gray outdoors.
Here is a picture I took from my truck, late in the day. It gives me ideas for a painting.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Prisoner or King

The computer world swallowed me whole this week. My photography and digital images have taken several big steps forward, especially online. 
It seems there is a strong consensus among close friends and acquaintances that when I go to Europe in March, I might as well stay three months. So this is what I am planning. I have contacts in Paris, London, Barcelona, Berlin, Amsterdam and Venice. Certainly, I will begin in Sicily for a month. I am tempted to be a vagabond, blown by capricious winds, at least for part of the time.
On a personal level, I am further exploring the power, beauty and grace that live within, and letting go of expectations for happiness outside. I feel a fullness that is self-sufficient. The ever-present joy in my heart is always close. I can be equally happy a prisoner or king.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Human Form in Movement

It's that time of year, and as in the past the home will be decorated with fresh cut sprigs from mountain trees. Jean and I will trudge into the snow covered hills and clip branches to spruce up the house with holiday cheer. Maybe there will be enough left over to put some up around my house.
Lately, I have been listening to audio books while driving or in my studio. Currently I am enjoying a fine reading of Madame Bovary first published in 1856 by the French author Gustave Flaubert. It seems it caused a scandal then.

Recent days have been spent working my digital images. It is really fascinating to layer photos together and work with light. My current subject is the human form in movement. Steven Boone digital work can be seen now on Flickr

Saturday, December 09, 2006

True Spirit

This year, instead of hours spent shopping, a charitable donation will be made in the name of my relations. Christmas is way overdone . . . and much of the true spirit has been lost. People camp out in the cold in front of retail stores to be the first ones in the door. If you look at the life of Jesus, his offerings were not material ones. Furthermore, he did not need or want gifts, except those of the Spirit.
I like my little house except that it is cold and I can’t get warm. Occasionally, I get a feeling of being punished living alone. I am aware of being circumscribed, like a prisoner. The funny thing is, I can feel like a prisoner even when I am in a group, and at times felt that way at home with Jean. Maybe it is my curse. I never feel that way while I am doing my creative work. Perhaps my soul is an adventurer and loves to be on it's own, seeking new terrain and discovery.
Once a week I go to a drawing group that hires a model to pose. The artists sit in a semi-circle while the model stands on a short platform, unveils and poses in various postures for three hours. It is delicious studying the human form and drawing it on paper. In this group, there is relaxed, free association, with intellectual, humorous, and sometimes bawdy conversation. Most drawing groups are very serious, with no talking.
After two great months of painting sales, I hit bottom in November. Too bad, because I have made some of my strongest work ever lately and I can’t show it.
Steven Boone

Monday, December 04, 2006

Being Fully Grounded

I have been experiencing joyful moments of being fully grounded. It is enough just to be alive within my own body, accepting my past, at ease with my present and eager for the future.
Today, marvelous, fun moments came in a steady stream. Especially when Sergi and Macarena, two Spaniards who are in Santa Fe came to my studio to do a photo shoot with me. I had set up a black backdrop beforehand and also collected some props. My concept was to have their moving bodies blurring together with streaming transparent cloth, all lit from the skylight above. At first they were wrapped in cloth, then naked and twirling around. Finally, we walked to a costume shop just a block away, and got costumes. Sergi pranced about in a huge rabbit’s head as Macarena danced in a white dress, streaming transparent cloth through the air. Three hours flew by in fluid, continuous moments full of laughter and fun.

Click to see more Steven Boone artistic photography

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Howl with the Dogs

My preferred method of exercise is swimming, which I try and accomplish 3 - 4 times weekly. Usually, I don't get in the "trance" state that a friend of mine aims for when he is swimming. I am not such a good swimmer, and I am aware of my efforts in the water. Furthermore, I am thinking as I swim. For some reason today as I swam, I remembered an episode from my youth. I was about fourteen years old, and it was a balmy summer evening in my Washington DC neighborhood. There was an empty lot I liked to go to, and this night, I decided to climb a tree. After I climbed way up to the top branches, a dog belonging to a neighbor I knew, Mr. Sedgewick, bounded over and began barking up the tree. He barked relentlessly and soon Mr. Sedgewick came out to see what all the ruckus was about, shining a flashlight up the tree while the dog barked. I was embarassed, so stayed still. This went on for some time . . . until Mr. Sedgwick decided he had had enough, retrieved his dog and marched home. I waited and then timidly climbed back down and crept away. Looking back, the whole situation is humorous.
Why did I remember that passage of my life today? Do I find myself happy on some lonely treetop under the moon, with the wind blowing, but with dogs barking and being examined by a nosy conscience aiming it's flashlight at me? I can be happier without as much self-criticism. Just climb to the treetop and howl with the dogs.