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Maybe we peaked early and now there’s nothing left

But an automatic life. Go to bed. Stare blankly,  turn right, long for cuddles from a cold shoulder. Stare blankly. Turn right.

Fall asleep.

Wake up and drag yourself to a computer. Type away, consider problems and their solutions. For hours. Take a break. Listen to loud music. Eat a light lunch. Go back to work. Stand up for ten minutes every two hours so your body stays healthy. Sit up straight.

Thinking about all of those years and that wonderful trait I love about myself where I do whatever I want and I have not any fear. I think it went away. It’s a muscle I stopped flexing. And I think that is okay too, because those whims don’t need tending to. There is a line, a path, trajectory that I can see now and it’s further away but I’m having fun deciding to carve at it, taking all of my time to invest in something truly sweet.

 

 

 

 

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It’s pen or perish, never forget that

That’s what he said to me, the man with thin hair and the long black coat. I joked in my head that he must be going to the matrix that day. He turned back to me and said “It’s pen or perish.” and I asked what, completely taken aback by his comment. He repeated to me, “It’s pen or perish. Never forget that.” and just kept walking in the opposite direction.

I cannot stop thinking about it, and granted its only been two hours I decided I don’t want to forget about it (maybe it’s important?) so I’ll write it down. After I walked in my direction another half a block, I was stopped by an older traveling woman with a backpack asking if I’d be willing to purchase some legal marijuana at a shop in downtown Eugene, OR. I obliged and kept thinking in my head about what the matrix man said to me.

It’s pen or perish. Is he telling me I need to keep drawing? How did he know what he said would be relevant to me?

 

That’s just today. This month is trying me. I’m 28. Officially. I’m sitting in my room listening to The Apples. So much for joining the famous 27 club. Here I am. I feel like there’s a lot of pressure on modern day women to get married off and procreate by now but I don’t really feel it, I just feel the ghost of a press into my mind’s flesh that should but isn’t there. People around me are flirting with me everywhere and I decided I don’t understand how to handle it despite how much biological sense it makes. It’s annoying and I wish it would stop and every part of me feels rude and problematic for feeling that way about it but the intensity has never been like this before.  The pheromones I am emitting are telling a story my mouth and mind never will.

I feel confused about my place in the world and I miss making art more than anything. I find myself often driving long hours just to stop at a coastal town for a coffee and turn around headed back home. As I often do. Is this what life is supposed to feel like, you are cheating on your soul just to survive? Am I just doing this all wrong?

I managed to keep some artwork happening in the last few months since I’ve arrived in Oregon. The new scenery is helping pull something from my guts. Scribbles. Paint. Making a mess. I hope I can wake up and do this every day, one day. If I’m not just going to drop dead at an early age I might as well start living for me instead of just living to survive and benefit someone else. I keep getting tired every day and telling myself excuses and being average and its making my bones shrivel up and my eyes feel dry and my throat feel like a leather wallet. I want to be a lush forest.

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Where should I begin? Traveling and waking up in the Pacific Northwest

Well, its been two months and it feels a lot more like six. It’s frustrating when you continue drawing upon your own patterns to ensure some kind of disaster. Does it take a while before that part of your brain kicks in to do damage control, or is mine simply missing, or malfunctioning?

Sometimes, all the time, I fall in and out of love too easily. It’s as easy as the ocean waves saying hello and goodbye on the beach. Despite my best efforts when I know my love is like some sort of an opiate, it comes with great consequences and I can tell it’s going to be explosive and a part of me is excited about all of that energy coming from out of nowhere, coming from our little human hearts.

After a lot of spirals and headaches and crying and silent concern and walking around breathing as carefully as possible and heart racing and a mental breakdown and a lot of other necessary but uncomfortable feelings and situations, I guess foresight is everything and I have my space back as much as I’d like to have it and someone somewhere has to start fresh at the beginning of a full circle. It’s like watching clouds. I’ll be in my own window littered living room in less than 3 weeks and I’ll have plans hanging up and cute rugs and art everywhere and thats all I’ve needed for months now.

Feist is singing, my throat is dry and my skin feels soft and textured. One lover out, one lover in, this is my world. Exploring love. I’m smiling in the sunshine every day and its nice but I am excited for the challenges of my first winter in the Pacific Northwest.

I feel like my desire to plan or strive is melting away but it’s ok because I’m happy and I’m doing fine. There’s a theme of something going on out here. I went to a work related event in Vancouver, Canada and explored the city on foot. I drank at a bar with cowgirl table top dancers and laughed with large tables full of Italians. Did a dab with an editor and spoke honestly about art and emotion. I smiled, a lot, even though I hate my smile.

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Panorama of Vancouver, CA from Cambie Bridge

 

We’ll see how it goes. I’ve been painting again, and the results are bright and colorful.

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Tragic Heroes of Portland: 53-year-old Ricky John Best and 23-year-old Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche-

I didn’t even know that Portland was the city of roses until I got here.  The sweet aroma swelled me as I walked through the Northeast Portland neighbourhoods towards a coffee shop.  I drove over 3,000 miles to get here and I was excited and ready to leave the negative religious right pro-confederacy attitudes behind in the south.

Walked no less then 10 miles in New Orleans today …phone died by noon. Got coffee with a voodoo priestess, bought a chicken foot, blow kisses to the dirty kids in the french quarter, find some broken guitar, somehow end up in the bad side of town, sat on a stoop and made a conversation happen with a deaf guy who had a thug life tattoo..walk around with a guardian angel named Ronnie with two plates of shelter dinner trying to find a phone charger, gave up and traded $7 and a 25 oz Hurricane for a him to wait with me at a bus stop. Made way back to business district. Could not find where I parked, kind of panicked a little, just walked around in circles until I found the coop in some hole-in-the-wall parking lot that I probably walked past 3 times. Left, stayed in a dive hotel, woke up and left again.  I stayed in Colorado City, CO for a week with my dad and saw his latin fusion band, Sonrisa, play live a few times.

And then we got here, to Portland on May 23rd. Friday afternoon marked the beginning of Ramadan and I was planning to fast myself for unrelated stomach flu reasons. 

We had fun. Delicious foods and bus riding and exploring the city.  I didn’t read about it until the next day, on Saturday, that 3 men had been stabbed. Three white men on a train in Portland for defending some dark skinned teenage girls from a terrorist.

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I cannot stop thinking about it. How proud I am to be a human along side of them, of how protective they were in the face of evil. I want this heroism to be normalised.  To become a standard. I must nod to the sacrifice these men made and hope that more men after them will stand up for the rights and comforts of all humans. Rest in peace, Gentlemen. Thank you for everything.

The train loves you, too.

 

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A long drive and a fresh tattoo

Portland, Oregon is 3,051 miles away, equivalent to 46 hours drive. When I wake up on Wednesday morning, I’ll be sure to apologize to my mini cooper for the adventure and the extra luggage. I cannot wait to stop in the diners, drive through much of America and plant my feet in new earth and try to find myself out there. It feels like I’ve spent many nights grapsing at some white lights which have remains just out of reach. I can only hope I am getting closer.

I’m so ready. I said all the goodbyes I have the energy for. I finally got the passion flower inked into my arm forever like I promised my sister I would 5 1/2 years ago. The passion flowers at the house in Moon Lake are blooming the day I am set to go over there and pick her up and head to Modern Moose studios on 54.  They were breathtaking, and I went outside to capture photos of them while Allie called her boyfriend on the phone and generally got ready to go.

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On the ride there, should told me how hard this week has been and about how Ezekial loves to smile  and has a few less tubes in his face. I’m happy for him, we’re going to grab a small bite to each before spending 6 hours at the tattoo shop getting some memories represented on our bodies somewhere for the rest of our lives. I loved the pain. I’m also not really surprised I did. I’m not sure I’d ever get another one, as I never saw myself the “tattoo” type, and already the conversations it starts with other humans is noticable and endearing.  Three more days, and I’m gone. Me and my mini cooper and a lot of stuff and memories, driving for 46 hours. Maybe even, probably, even longer.

 

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Dark Black Ink

Are you ready for the singularity? Do you have enough food stored away in a temperature contained enclosure?

It’s 27 minutes until clock in time and my black coffee gets colder by the minute. By every bassline strum by the velvet underground I am preparing for 8 hours of troubleshooting, typing, comparing data and answering questions.

None of my images have synced up into my google cloud since January. I don’t have anything I could update you with, there’s too many repercussions included in admitting the truth.  I had fun once but it wasn’t legal so I couldn’t even tell you about it if I wanted to.

I am driving to Colorado soon, just me and my stuff and my car. Make a few stops along the way, find some humans to smile with, and see my big blues guitar strumming bad joke telling retired career criminal daddy with those blue eyes.

 

 

 

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Life, or something like it. A micropreemie nephew and the cooler weathers of new territory

As the months swim by me, the changes and directions we are all experiencing are predictable and complex. My small family of humans, animals, plants and dreams. It is April 9th, 2017. A Sunday. Since we last spoke, my younger sister went into an early labor at 22 weeks pregnant. Baby Zeke managed to stay in until 23 weeks, when he was born at Tampa General Hospital. She was taken by Bayflight helicopter from Trinity to Tampa General after staying for 2 nights in Trinity with excessive bleeding. He is doing stable right now, but the reality of her micropremie and seeing him struggle to develop outside of the womb is completely heartbreaking and fascinating and generally super intense all at the same time. His skin at first was a bright pink and is now looking a lot like translucent flesh. He’s so small.. not even 2lbs yet. I look at him sometimes and just stare and every minute he’s in a different, fragile state. He doesn’t look real. He seems like another doll on the shelf, just this tiny human that sometimes moves his still forming body around and is breathing and existing with the help of some tubes and a lot of machinery. It’s been very hard figuring out how to react,  I am so scared for this little human and his mother. I feel like I have been reading prognosis journals ever since it happened, obsessing over the outcome and just praying to god and not even knowing what to say to my sister. He’s been a miracle for his entire conception and all I can do is keep praying grows stronger and stronger every day.

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Aunt Camille and baby Ezekiel Thelonious. Donate to his GoFundMe page here! 

When I leave the Hospital, I am still of course working and building gardens and this time around planning details of my very soon move to Oregon, on the west coast of the U.S.

Further away than I have ever been. A new city, a new climate, and new opportunities. The time has come to finally leave Florida and all of her bad memories and good memories and growth and fun and overpopulation problems and everything like that. I’m leaving so much behind, including a struggling nephew and a human I fell in love with and will always adore and a lot of bad habits, too.

I’m leaving behind my lack of creativity, my boredom and my cries. I am leaving behind beautiful gardens I made, and relationships I built. I’m leaving behind some heroes, some family and some friends.

But what awaits me, I truly feel is worth all I’m leaving behind here in Florida.

Life is not slowing down for me or anyone. I still have so much I want to do.

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Finding Motivation / Mixed Media Florida Art

Saturday, February 25th 2017. I’m in a bright room in Tarpon Springs. I clicked to quit photoshop and opted out of saving my work, for the fifth time today.

There’s four cats here, four humans and lots of love and appreciation, it’s very nice to have when the reality of the world maintains awfulness. This week, there was a mosque in Tampa that was burnt down and ruled arson.  I feel very uncomfortable about the future of the United States and no matter how beautiful it is outside I cannot let go of that discomfort.

 

 

Every morning, drinking water and then coffee and reading the news. Going for a walk. Digesting it all, barefoot in the grass. Circling around all of the facts, and all of the alternative facts… I wonder, what will we do?

 

 

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Who knew we would be here on January 21st, 2017?

The day is breezy and sunny in Tarpon Springs, Florida. It’s fifteen minutes past 11:00am and the whirring of construction is nearby and in full swing. Flowers have begun to uncurl and birds and playing along the power lines.

Across the Tampa Bay area, thousands of women are on their way out to downtown St. Petersburg to march in the Women’s March on Washington to protest against the inauguration of Donald J Trump as the 45th President of the United States.

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It is a painful reality to confront at 7:45 am as I walk to Hellas to get a cappuccino while my household slept.  The newspaper says there are protests happening with hundreds of thousands of people in around 250 countries.  A small flock of tears are welling but of course i’m in public but I feel proud as can be for the fighters and their stories.  This is the reality of that future I spent years dreaming of.

Those of us enamored with the idea of technology believed: surely the internet will bring the world together. Surely we will finally have peace and equality for all on the planet. Learn and love each other for the first time.  And maybe we still might, but the journey will take longer than we knew.

There is just so much more hate than we could have anticipated and hate is hard to unlearn.  You can consider the huge advance of programs, not even programs with the internet but programs from entrepreneurs and businessmen and women who want to see everyones lives improve because technology has that power.

In fact, these companies are investing more in educating the people than any of the government programs which have been left collecting dust for so long while we spend trillions of dollars on war and bailing out the big banks.  You look at LinkedIn’s investing and acquisition of Lynda, the uprising of MOOC culture and sites such as Courser.org , Udemy.com, EdEx.com, and even universities themselves offering training and educational content for free.  The way we teach and learn as a society is evolving because the danger of having and nurturing uneducated masses is more obvious than it ever has been before.

For so long, we allowed systemic gentrification and mass relocating to the massive and growing urban sprawls, meanwhile allowing rural communities to be driven into economic collapse, abandoning them, their education and their future.

I hope now, as the Unites States of America, we the people can really ACTIVE ourselves and make a difference in the direction of good in 2020. We need to stay strong through this presidency, and fight every step of the way to protect our rights and our progress so far. We need to hold our governments accountable, as they represent us.

We cannot stand by and expect them to do good, ignoring our rights as citizens. These are truly dark and historically significant times and the time is not now to do nothing.

 

 

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The plants we keep and the strength it brings

Every morning at around 7:45am I go outside and sit in my garden. Growing flowers, tropical plants and succulents in the ground and watching them over a cup of coffee or tea while the sun emerges from the wet okayness of the Florida skies that early in the day.

This is easily one of my favorite parts of each day. Some mornings, I  will water my gardens in the traditionally inefficient way of using a watering can. Other times, I simply walk around with my bare feet experiencing the wet earth and dew covered grass.

In the morning, sometimes there are morning glories in blues and pinks that show themselves for a few hours and crumble away as the sun begins beating down on them later on. In the evening, we have the elegant flowers I love to refer to as unicorn flowers, as they look just like a unicorn horn before they bloom. These flowers smell so wonderful and look like a flower made of silk. There are 3 rose bushes in various pinks, a philodendrum, a Florida cactus tree, marigolds, rosemary, elephant ears in abundance, fern, Hawaiian tuberose, basil, and many more plants growing in my beautiful yard and every day a few times a day I will always sit with them and think of them.

The parallels between growing plants and businesses have always been evident to me, as you cannot grow something if it is not planted in the right environment and has all of the needs of a plant of it’s type. They are so fickle and yet, when you know how to care for them and what they need they can prosper. Seeds plant more seeds, just like customers plant more customers.

When the coffee is all gone and the beauty of growth observed through the new shoots of my banana tree or fresh buds of roses on my rose bush every day I go inside and grow something else entirely.

With the year 2017 here, it is more important than ever to continue to foster this nurturing relationship with plants while society exists more and more on the internet in an open and connected way.

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2016 Coming to a close/ Selling Antique Dolls

Coming to a close. A swift one. A painful one. We all know how bad it stings, everything that contained itself in this year. A presidency in the United States I have been praying would not come to fruition. A lot of emotional challenges and strength reservoirs needing to be tapped that I could not have known even existed. My art is few and far between, and yet my mind is ever expanding. The feeling is dizzying, but I hope to continue providing updates.

I am going to leave the sub tropical regions of Florida and travel broadly across the globe. I hope to meet some beautiful people out there in the world. I hope to touch cheeks and hearts.

2017 will be a time for great changes in the world and I believe in the good in the world and it’s ability to overcome anything.

I am going to open up a shop section here soon to make available a lot of interesting dolls and other neat toys, for the need of a more travel friendly lifestyle.

A new addition to my antique doll collection (left) and my cabinet to date (right)! 

With my first conference and trip to California planned, and a lot more involvement in user interface design and advertising methods I hope to get a little more experimental and offer more products to you here. Very special and beautiful and specific things that I know you will love!

Some of the stuff to look out for:

  • Antique dolls ( all countries)
  • Art Books
  • Framed Art
  • Sculptures
  • Gems/ Crystals/ Minerals
  •  Plastic Toys
  • Old Magazines
  • Sci-Fi Novels ( 1960s-1980s)
  • Original Collage Art
  • Original Canvas Art
  • and more stuff too probably!

There will even be some local stuff for my fellow Central Floridians on plants and garden design / maintenance! 😀 ( more on that in 2017!)

For now, check out a painting for 2016 and lets all frown together one last time:

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Collaboration between Ryan Whigham, Hollyandra Drake, Camille Taylor, Logan K.   (Florida Artists 2016 )
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6 months ago: a retrospective

I have not written here in 6 months. That is a long time for someone with everything to lose. The things that can happen in a month would astound you. You never think about time and how it truly changes things until you are thinking retrospectively and can put in the proper perspective to realize the vast evolutions your life goes through.

The array of feelings, situations, the choices you decide to remain consistent with. The breakdowns. The feeling of fear, of regression, of being incapable.

The flowers I have grown. The smiles and tears.  The different stages of my home.

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In the last 6 months, I went to North Carolina and back twice. I drove through the foggy mountains alone and I slept at a rest stop. I walked in the woods along the highway.  I turned 27 years old. I  moved out of my first apartment. I lost my best friend and beautiful cat, Duchess. I’ve had acquaintances die suddenly,  and lost my ability to drink and socialize. I’ve gone hunting for antiques my my home area of Florida and collected new dolls and interesting relics. I’ve concentrated on death. I’ve lost the ability to feel proud of my work. I stopped painting. I invested my time in building a garden and have grown into a love of earthships, sustainable living, and terraforming.

I got a call from a hospital in Maryland and found out my sister attempted to take a number on her life and I dropped everything and went to get her. I drove for 4 days there and back, returning to work on a Friday.

I brought her and her boyfriend, Chris into my home. We are building the trailerhome together and making it beautiful and worthy of the title “home”. Best of all, I think  we are making it work. It’s such a relief having one less thing to exhaust my mind with, the safety of my baby sister is no longer one of them. I sleep sounder in that knowledge.

All in all, everything feels stable now. Everything is as ok as it’s ever been, and looks to only have potential for getting better every day.

I have so much new art and thoughts to share with you all, I sure wish I weren’t so shy.

Until Next Time,

Camille Taylor

Continue reading 6 months ago: a retrospective