Summer Snapshots

Life, Photography

I am back in Seattle and having a lovely summer of ice cream, sunshine, and good people. Lot’s of beach relaxation too! Unfortunately the internet speed at my parents house is stuck in the early nineties. I swear to god, it’s slower than dial-up. However, it’s been kind of a nice reminder to unplug and go outside…

So this is a little dump of snapshots I’ve taken in the past week or so. (All of which can also be found on my Instagram…so I guess this is a little bit redundant.) But I’ve been paying special attention lately to my iphone photography skills and trying to see the world in new and creative ways. Haha I feel obnoxious even saying that but it’s true. Probably, I’m just bored.

Red Mill Burgers

Bridesmaid Duty

Pike Place Flowers

Molly Moon's Ice Cream

Hood Canal

Soft Serve!

I Am Mighty

Life

I survived! We made it to Maine right on schedule and I’m pretty sure I never want to see a bike again. I’m still a little shocked that I was actually able to accomplish something so way crazy freaking far out of my comfort zone.

…But now it’s on to the next adventure! My best friend from preschool is getting married this weekend. Damn we are getting old. Anyway, she got me this gorgeous necklace from that trendy jewelry brand, Dogeared. It is this mountain/pyramid/shield type thing and it’s supposed to be a reminder of my inner strength. I’m definitely feeling like a warrior in my poofy yellow bridesmaid dress. Bring it on!

A New Challenge…

Adventures

Okay so I am taking a little hiatus from the blog, but it’s for a really good reason. A crazy one, at least. My father and I are taking three weeks to ride a tandem bike from North Dakota to the coast of Maine. 1,800 miles and eight states between us and victory! The two of us are actually hoping to complete a cross-country adventure that we started over ten years ago…

Once upon a time,12-year-old Meghan agreed to bike to North Dakota with her dad. It was the first half of a cross-country trip that he had been dreaming of for years. It was even written down on his official “Bucket List.” After three weeks of grueling 100 mile days in the sweltering Montana heat, we made it to our destination. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done. It was torture. Both mentally and physically, this trip took everything I had.

So now (because apparently I have some sort of obsession with doing impossible and painful things,) we are going to finish what we started. If I survive this, then I will be back at the end of June.

Bike Trip

Tandem Biking in Montana

Bike Trip

Wish me luck!!

Phi Beta Kappa

Life

So I have officially been inducted into what is probably the least secret “secret society” to exist in the United States. Although in their defense, I had never heard of it until I got my invitation… So maybe they’re doing a better job than I thought? My mom was very excited though, so I think it might be a big deal.

Anyway, this is the first of the official graduation ceremonies so it marks the beginning of the end. By the 17th I will officially be a college graduate!

Phi Beta Kappa at Scripps

Resisting the Urge to Start Over (Or, the Glorious Temptation of Crafting Introductions to my Senior Thesis)

Life

I turned in my first full draft of my senior thesis today, so now maybe my life will be ever so slightly more sane… Maybe. It was a pretty frustrating process but I am pretty excited to move forward with edits and am pretty sure it isn’t complete crap. So that’s something. This is a little rant I wrote during a particularly frustrating moment. I was trying to wrap my head around how I write and what the implications of that process are. Not sure if it will hold meaning for anybody else but I found it really cathartic, so here it is:

Resisting the Urge to Start Over

(Or, the Glorious Temptation of Crafting Introductions to my Senior Thesis)

The blank page is a huge comfort to writers such as myself who think through arguments as they write them. The blank page offers a fresh place to start, a fresh take on the research I’ve been sifting through for the better part of a year. If my ideas ever feel stale or overworked, I simply return to my introduction and write a new one. Because once you start writing, the words and the connections begin to flow. If you buckle up and brace yourself, you can ride that flow for as long as your computer battery lasts (or until you hit the page limit.) This is usually how I write. I do research, outlines, prewrites, bibliographies, and all those other things that fall under the umbrella of “good study habits.” Then I start my introduction and all of that prep work is thrown out the window. I start over, essentially from scratch, and all of those ideas bouncing around in my head finally begin to come together into something resembling a coherent argument. When I write a paper, I do it all in one sitting. And I always ALWAYS start with the introduction.

This method of writing has served me quite well. It has helped ensure that my writing flows and made it nearly impossible to get off track. Sometimes my later self comes back to read my earlier self’s work and is surprised at the direction our argument has taken. However, I trust that process and trust my earlier self to have written something compelling. As I dutifully read through for grammatical and spelling errors, I usually end up being re-convinced of that original argument after all. Then, I happily turn it in and start thinking ahead to my next assignment. I don’t look back and I really don’t edit, at least not in any substantial way. It’s not the way we’re “supposed” to write, but it works, so I stick to it.

It doesn’t work on my thesis. When a paper is 60-80 pages long, writing it all in one sitting is absolutely insane. Even writing it all in one week is near impossible. However that is what I have found myself doing, because I keep starting over. I wrote my introduction and then followed it for seven pages until I was about half way through my first chapter. Well done, Meghan. You made some progress today. Tomorrow, however, when I return to my writing and find that the argument isn’t complete, that my earlier self has yet to close all of the threads of her argument, I am no longer convinced. I find it impossible to continue because I can’t go back to the mindset of the night before. This old argument is dead and done. Today I have a new idea for an introduction, a new way to weave together the fragments of evidence and analysis into a coherent thesis. So I start over. I write an introduction. I am newly inspired. I follow this inspiration for maybe 9 or 10 pages this time. And then the next day I will repeat this process all over again. But 60-80 pages of introductions do not add up to a single senior thesis. I can’t keep starting over. I can’t keep giving in to the pleasure of a blank page.

Artist Obsession: Kate Jury

Artist Obsession, Contemporary Women Artists, Painting

Katherine Jury (or @katefjury as she’s known on Instagram) creates beautiful abstract paintings in soft sherbet colors. They are low-key gorgeous and perfect for spring/easter/whenever. I feel like a lot of contemporary art tries to shock and awe, to blast your senses and make it impossible to look away. Jury’s art doesn’t do that.  But not all art needs to demand attention, some just needs to ask politely. And I would argue that this type of unassuming beauty is a lot harder to pull off.

Instead of being in-your-face, Jury’s art is subtly captivating in a way that requires serious restraint and skill. Plus it makes me feel like spring is here so that is a major plus.

Katherine Jury

Katherine Jury

Lavender-Popsicle-Katherine-Jury1

Kate Jury

Kate Jury has a gorgeous website and blog and was once featured in my all-time favorite Design Love Fest “dress your tech” post.

Happy spring!

Art Ranting for the Claremont Spotlite

Adventures, Art World News, Contemporary Women Artists

The Claremont Spotlite is a brand new online publication that highlights local artists and cultural events in the Claremont area. It’s a really neat idea and, despite just launching this year, the site already has a bunch of great content. Last week I wrote a guest blog post for them where I got to rant about art. In particular, I wrote about how I’ve been using the widespread availability of online arts communities as an excuse to stop experiencing art in person. Why trek all the way into LA during rush hour traffic to see an exhibition when I can discover just as many inspiring and innovative artists on Tumblr? It’s all online. I don’t even need museums or galleries anymore!

It’s been something that I’ve grappled with a lot over the past year but I’ve recently been reinvigorated by in-person art experiences. If that’s at all interesting to you, go check out the article on Spotlite for some personal musings and unsolicited advice.

With the unlimited potential of a Google search bar, it’s easy to forget about the opportunities for discovery that exist right here in sleepy Claremont. Finding artists online is so easy that I often don’t pursue opportunities that are unique to my geographic location. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve actually made it to an LA gallery show, and I can count the number of museum visits on two. The Internet is an amazing tool, but I fear that I have been using it as a crutch instead; as a way to avoid seeking out creative experiences in person. With the whole world wide web at my fingertips, it is easy to forget that we have an impeccably curated gallery right here on campus. Every time I stumble into the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery I am impressed by the variety and caliber of artists shown, but I always forget it’s there. I always plan to attend the exhibitions, but even as an Art History major, I’ve missed more shows than I’ve attended.

Linda Lopez 3

Linda Lopez

linda Lopez 2

Exploring Mazatlan

Adventures

Mazatlan Beach TorresI just got back to California after an incredible vacation with some of my all-time favorite people. We explored the city, tanned on the beach, drank margaritas, sang karaoke, and did a whole lot of absolutely nothing. (Just what I needed!) We stayed at the Torres Resort in Mazatlan, Mexico which was absolutely gorgeous and has some of the nicest staff ever. Plus the whole trip cost way less than I would have expected so I’m not even going to have to starve myself trying to pay for it. Go pesos! Some highlights were touring the old town neighborhoods and shopping in the public market.

Now I am back in Claremont refreshed and ready to get back to work. (So much to do!) But I wanted to take a minute to share some photos and document this incredible adventure.

Mazatlan Old Town

Mazatlan Beach

Mazatlan Cathedral Mazatlan Beach

Mazatlan

Lizard in Mazatlan

Mazatlan Margarita

Cheers!

 

Artist Obsession: Kelly O’Connor

Artist Obsession, Contemporary Women Artists, Mixed Media

I am such a sucker for impeccably executed mixed media art and vintage ladies advertisements. So my obsession with Kelly O’Connor is not at all surprising. I actually had to check and make sure that I hadn’t already written about her because I’ve been a fan for a while.

Her 2014 exhibition at the David Shelton Gallery is absolutely fantastic. The entire space was transformed into a Wizard of Oz-y masterpiece of whimsical sparkles and pastel colors. Plus the work manages to explore and critique products targeting women’s bodies in a way that feels fresh and interesting. The product studies in particular have me completely awestruck.

Kelly Oconnor Product study

Kelly Oconnor Products

Kelly Oconnor product study

She’s Flawless. Her work is flawless. Go look at other things she’s created on her website. And ask her if she wants to be my best friend. because that would be cool.

Artist Obsession: Lisa Hedge

Artist Obsession, Contemporary Women Artists, Photography

Who said commercial product photography can’t be whimsical and beautiful and fabulous? And all while appearing to be completely effortless. Artist and Art Director Lisa Hedge proves that it can be done. She has an immense body of work and proves that sometimes having assignments with strict parameters can produce the best results. From wedding stationary, to event posters, to product shots, clothing campaigns, and everything in between, Lisa Hedge is a creative genius. (And probably a total perfectionist.)

Who knew I could be so attracted to clear-framed reading glasses? These Warby Parker product photos look like so much fun.

Hedge_Warby_05_o_1000

Hedge_Warby_01_o_1000

Hedge_Warby_04_o_1000

Hedge_Warby_02_o_1000

Hedge_Warby_06_o_1000

Hedge_Warby_07_o_1000

Plus I kind of want to get married just so I can send out these “Save the Dates.” LisaHedge_Card_04_1000Or these…LisaHedge_Green_02_1000

 

There are so many cool things on her website. Seriously. I am barely scratching the surface with these. Tons of variety but still a really coherent aesthetic. I’m impressed.