Sunday, February 7, 2010

Inspiration: Clyde Butcher

When I posted photos from my parents' farm after returning from Florida in December, I was really touched that so many of you took the time to comment on the pictures that I took and the farm in general. I never realized when I was growing up that my siblings and I were fortunate to spend so many years of our childhoods there. That's probably because I really wanted to leave, to move to a city where (I was convinced) the things I wanted to do and the person I thought I wanted to be were more accessible. There were also other reasons that I wanted to move away from Florida and I think they kept me from really being interested in my home state.

Now, when I tell people that I'm from Florida, they talk about beaches and palm trees and Disney. Its always a little strange to me, because the Florida I know and grew up seeing and hearing about is composed of marshes, agricultural land, and cattle ranches, in addition to suburbs and strip malls. Since I came home two months ago, I've been thinking about the varied history and various identities of Florida. Depending on where you are within the state and who you are, the culture and surroundings can be shockingly different. I know this could be said of any place, but I think its more acute there....and am still trying to figure out how and why.

Anyway, this post is obviously not related to fashion, but it is to inspiration. My father is interested in photography and has been for years. To be honest, he's the reason why I ever thought to pick up a camera in the first place. A few years ago, he introduced me to the work of one of his favorite photographers, Clyde Butcher. Butcher is an artist who works with a large format camera in the Everglades (among other locations across the country). When I imagine Florida, I always think of him.




(These small pics really don't do justice to his gorgeous, almost epic large format photos. If you're interested, you should really check out his website.)

I'm not sure if I've ever explicitly written about this here, but I love trees. I grew up playing and riding underneath and amongst very old, twisted oaks, cypresses, towering pines and citrus groves. This is one of the many reasons why I'm drawn to his work. I find trees to be elegant, majestic, mysterious and am always moved when I'm amongst them. When I draw and paint, I often find myself either mimicking the texture of various trees or just creating images of them. When I take photographs on our vacations, I come home with a memory card or roll of film half filled with trees. I even think that they inspire my fashion choices, but in a less than obvious way that I can't really explain.

I'm not sure if this makes any sense at all, but I wanted to share something that I love and associate with my home with all of you. The other day Indigo wrote an inspiration post about some of her fellow bloggers (thanks for including me Indigo, you have no idea how excited I was!). She wrote that she admires when a blog "goes beyond the clothes that they wear....shows slices of these bloggers' diverse lives, interesting fragments of their personality." Anyway, I was inspired by Indigo's post to share something about myself that goes beyond my love of fashion and thrifting.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!


  1. this is a nice 'snapshot' (no pun intended) into your life. i would love to read/hear more stories like this and i especially would love to see more photos....

    every time i see a tree necklace, i will think of you.


  2. Those photographs are really amazing. And I love trees, but I think that because I grew up on a prairie farm where we have hardly any! As a result, thick, dense forests kind of scare me.

  3. I feel really concerned about this post: I was grown up in the country, and now I live in a city, and I truly understand how lucky I have been. I adore trees too, and that's why there's a photo of me climbing one in the top of my blog.
    I had a look at Butcher's site: his photos are beautiful, but he's beautiful too with his great beard!
    Reading constantly some blogs, I feel a sort of friendship towards the bloggers, so I like discovering what their interests are.
    By the way, I'm european and as a child, Florida to me meant orange juice!

  4. this is great! i really love the photos you shared!! phenomenal! :D

    and thank you so much for your concern regarding my updates nowadays.. you are ever so kind to me, dear!! i really appreciate that! :D

  5. wow, great shots!

  6. oh my, his work is unbelievable! it's all so beautiful and sort of eerie (in a good way).

    thanks for the compliment on my video... means a lot to me! we actually shot all those photos in a pitch black room. my friend had the digital camera on continuous shoot and a strobe light on high. every time the strobe light flashed we got a shot. some of our movements were very slow in order to prevent them from blurring. for edits i opened everything in iMovie and lined it up how I wanted to one of my favorite songs, Deadbeat Summer by Neon Indian. It was sooo much fun and I'm already itching to do it again (hasn't even been a week!!)

  7. Beautiful photos. My family is also from Florida and I spent much time there, as well, in much the same landscape you describe. My mother's family has been in Jacksonville since before the Civil War, and I've always been fascinated by Florida's history and unique (and sometimes harsh) climate. My novel is actually set in the Keys in the late 1800s.

    I'm so happy you're proud of your roots!


  8. I have to say the first two are my standout's. Just so awe inspiring really.

    I find that interesting about the different landscapes of a state and what people imagine it to be.


  9. These photos are gorgeous!

    Thanks for your comment...I call my other grandmother Memaw!

  10. How gorgeous! I'm a Florida girl too and I love the diversity of Florida - I grew up on the beaches, went to college up north and now grow up in the town of Mickey Mouse. I love all the parts of Florida. These photos are magical.

  11. Such beautiful photos! thank you for sharing them:)

  12. trees are beautiful, and so are those pictures!


  13. The best blogs are the ones which incorporate fashion into every day life. It kind of proves that you live fashion, if that makes any sense... and these are beautiful pictures.

  14. I know what you mean about different perceptions of the place you live or lived. I admit, when I think of Florida I think of palm tress and coastal highways. Halifax to some people means a big, metropolitan city and to others it seems like a fishing town. Others just say: where? And although I'm anxious to get into some actual big cities, many people wax poetic about the rugged beauty here.

    Those photos are amazing! I love the last one where the trees seem to be rising out of the water.


I'd love to hear your thoughts!