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

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I never knew that Portland was the city of roses until I got here.  The sweet aroma swallowed me as I walked through the Northeast Portland neighborhoods. My partner and I were headed toward one of the many available coffee shops.

After driving over 3,000 miles to get here, I was excited. So ready to leave the negative religious right pro-confederacy attitudes behind me in the south. I had no idea that the first day I got to Portland that something horrible would happen.

Something that would affirm my understanding that white supremacy and related violence is not just something that happens in the south.

Leaving Florida and getting lost in New Orleans

Walked no less then 10 miles in New Orleans today …phone died by noon. Acquired coffee with a voodoo priestess, purchased lucky chicken foot, blew kisses to the dirty kids in the french quarter. Walked around exploring, eventually I find some broken guitars, and 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..walked around with a guardian angel named Ronnie.

I carried two plates of shelter dinner walking with him, trying to find a phone charger. Then, I 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.

I then left, stayed in a dive hotel, woke up and headed back on the interstate.

Staying in Colorado with Billy Bongster, AKA “Dad”

I drove through Texas, through a small part of New Mexico and all the way to  Colorado City, Colorado. This is where I stayed for a week with my dad and saw his latin fusion band, Sonrisa, play live a few times.

After that, I picked up a passenger / good friend from Colorado Springs and we left for Oregon after a fun night in Denver at my dads show.

Arriving in Oregon

When 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.

portland

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 normalized.  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.

A long drive and a fresh tattoo

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Portland, Oregon is 3,051 miles away from my current location in Florida. That is equivalent to 46 hours of driving. When I wake up on Wednesday morning, I’ll be sure to apologize to my car for the mileage and extra luggage. My journey to the West coast will finally begin.

I cannot wait to stop in the diners, drive through America and plant my feet in new earth.

As cliche as it sounds, I am going to try to finding myself out there. It feels like I’ve spent so many nights grasping at some white lights which have remained just out of my reach. I can only hope I am getting closer.

I’m so ready. I said all the goodbyes I have energy for. I finally got the passion flower inked into my arm forever. Fulfilling a promise to my sister from 5 1/2 years ago.

The passion flowers in Moon Lake are blooming the day I am scheduled to go over there and pick her my sister. We would be headed to Modern Moose studios on 54.

They were breathtaking. I went outside to capture photos of them while Allie got ready to go.

passifloraink2

On the ride there, should told me how hard this week has been. She spoke about how Ezekial loves to smile, and how he 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, unsurprisingly. I’m not sure I’d ever get another one, as I never saw myself the “tattoo” type of person. Already, the conversations the tattoo helps initiate with other humans is noticeable 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.

Dark Black Ink

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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.

 

 

 

Finding Motivation / Mixed Media Florida Art

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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?

 

 

The plants we keep and the strength it brings

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At around 7:45am every morning,  I go outside to sit in my garden.  I’m growing flowers, tropical plants and succulents in the ground. It brings me peace watching them over a cup of coffee or tea while the sun emerges from the damp Florida skies.

This is my favorite part of each day.

Some mornings, I  will water my gardens in the traditionally inefficient way of using a watering can. Sometimes I’ll catch the glimpse of a turtle or deer.

Other times, I walk around with my bare feet experiencing the wet earth and dew covered grass.

In the morning, there are occasionally morning glory blooms. They appear in blues and pink, and show themselves for a few hours before they crumble away as the sun begins to shine.

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 pink rose bushes, a philodendrum, Florida cactus tree, marigolds, rosemary, elephant ears, fern, Hawaiian tuberose, basil, and many more plants growing in my beautiful yard. Every day I will sit with them and think of them. Immerse myself in their floral energy.

The parallels between growing plants and businesses have always been evident to me. 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, they can prosper. Seeds plant more seeds, just like customers plant more customers.

When the coffee is all gone and beauty of growth observed, I go back inside and grow something completely different.

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.

2016 Coming to a close/ Selling Antique Dolls

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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:

ghost.jpg

Collaboration between Ryan Whigham, Hollyandra Drake, Camille Taylor, Logan K.   (Florida Artists 2016 )

6 months ago: a retrospective

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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.

moonlake

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

I own this terrible home / this terrible home owns me.

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My home is rotten, my home is a tin can. My home is also where my heart is.

It takes at least 3 generations to break a family out of the poverty line. Something like that, I recall during one of my recent late night “reading” or “scrolling through my phone in the dark” sessions. The modern day equivalent of what one may have imagined as flipping through a book or a magazine just a decade ago.

This one little piece of information, as inoffensive as can be, brings me such great anxieties.

Do you ever live in fear of repeating the same exact mistakes you were born into?

I’m constantly at ends with myself. Constantly wondering if it’s just a self fulfilling prophecy. At the same time, I find myself longing for the irresponsible pastimes that I know would get me in the very same spot I’m so afraid of being in.

What truly matters in life? Is it being comfortable, having something people would be proud of?

Is it something else entirely, some other random thing that brings you personal joy? Or is it a number of things, the variety of experience itself that lends to you your happiness?

I’ve been so tired lately, and so sad, I am missing things. Im working my life away, and when I am not working I am trying my absolute best to turn something terrible into something beautiful- which can sometimes be a simple task but it gets quite complicated when that terrible something is a ruined home, and that beautiful thing is a restored, beautiful home.

It feels like I cannot rest and I am overwhelmed. I am 26 and I didn’t know this would happen to me and I am wholeheartedly overwhelmed.

I own this terrible home, or rather, this terrible home owns me.

I miss myself.

Florida girl goes to the mountains

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About two years ago, my mother moved up here to mountains of Hendersonville, North Carolina. I haven’t been since I was 19 and came for a visit on Friday. It was right after work in a very unplanned road trip from Tampa.

Driving here took 9 hours split between two days. It feels so nice to be in the mountains area, with flowers in bloom in this gorgeous closing of the month of March.

It’s been a very lonely few months in Florida for me.  Coming to the wilderness surrounded by kind strangers is doing me a world of good. I drove through clouds so thick that water droplets and mist were collecting on my windshield.  I carefully rounded the mountain watching the condensation pool. Finally I get to Jump Off Rock.

Jump Off Rock has an old Indian legend associated with it. The legend says that a beautiful young Cherokee Indian maiden jumped from the rock after hearing that her loved one had been killed in battle.

This is so beautiful to me. I cannot wait to go back in the evening to look for her soul. I’d have to walk there, because the drop and the fog is just too daunting for me to drive in at night just yet. Maybe, soon..I am of the flat lands in Florida and the mountains still scare to death and inspire me to write.

I’ll tread so very carefully and spend a lot of time just staring and that will be that. There’s deer that will catch your eye so quickly out of the corner and you notice them and they are staring too.

There’s a lot to stare it out here so I completely understand. In a few days, I’ll hop back in my car and head back to the beach land of the Florida Gulf Coast.

every day life ( in a series of gifs)

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I’ll be honest here: I’ve been on a gif binge. 2016 is the year of the .gif, after all. I know too much to turn back, now!

This year is becoming ideal. A beautiful combination of all that has made me happy in previous years, coming together to grow from a seed into a plant into a tree ( and thus, albeit small, a difference!)