Inhaling and Exhaling …

As we head into Spring, after a Year of the Pandemic and an otherwise Personally Challenging 12 Months, I have grieved, I have loved, I have tried to help others , I have given it all up to God.

Now, I am ready to dig deep, back into my Muse, and Create back into the World.

I have fallen in Love again with Color, with Sass, with connecting the Details.

My need to Make, to Document, to Honour, has been in between Flux and Flow; and where usually it comes all out at once, now I am moved to share in bits.

And believe me when I say, I have a multitude of A L O T to share, and for my busy, and full Life, I feel in bits is the best at the moment. As we move through lent to resurrection, I hope in that Journey, I will have shared most of it.

Swiping Left: 1. As long as you’re Alive, Believe it! 2. Birthday Self Portrait, The Camera as my Mirror 3. Visual Journaling, My Friend 4. Adorned with Vintage (Girl Scout) Badges, Celebrating kitsch is pure Happy 5. My Favorite Plum Tree is Pure Testimony 6. Light and Faith 7. We all have a Free Spirit 8. Love in my mapplethorpe Shirt 9. This Much …

One thing that the #Pandemic has shown me is that I am of the world, I am most Happiest when I wander, make random, meaningful connections, and forge Memories. Traveling is about living your Narrative, and adding to other’s along the way.

As soon as I can cross over International Borders in this Era of Covid, I am in the Air. Is it strange that I have an affinity for lands I haven’t set foot in, closer to Kindred Spirits that are thousands of miles away, and get excited, and think it is imperative to get lost, talk to Strangers, and immerse oneself in Cultures ; to truly say, ‘I am Alive’.

Swiping Left: 1. In Stripes and carrying the Important Bits in Venice, Film Pic 2. Waiter in Little Italy, NYC, B + W Pic 3. Checking In, LaGuardia Airport, B + W Pic 4. Making a Living, Mérida, Mexico, Film Pic 5. After School, #London, Film Pic 6. Jumped into my Lap, #Paris, France, Film Pic 7. Army Bagpipers, #Edinburgh, Scotland 8. Up Church Steps, #Liverpool, 9. Parading in #Barcelona, Spain 10. Museum Light, #Amsterdam, Netherlands.

I’ve been Inspired this past year by my fellow Wanderers, Vagabonds, Journeyers.

My Irish BFF @lulucullendublin, whom I met on a flight from #Dublin to Chicago, and whom I am starting a new #Podcast@inhaleandexhaletwo with. She is Beautiful inside and out, Kind, Giving, and an all around Kick Arse Queen! I can’t wait to create Memories with You, Much Loved Sistah! Ireland and Croatia here I come!

Foss, @unseenwalks , who has the infectious Joy of Life, of Adventure, and is truly a Top Lad, has single handedly helped me fall back in love with London, introduced me to places I I never knew existed, and reawakened my inner ‘Walker’. I highly recommend you visit his YouTube Channel, LadMob, Go, Now.

Lastly, @thisispattismith . She is a True ‘Traveler’ in every sense of the Word. Her posts are like going down a Rabbit Hole: delicately, delectably. She is the Mistress of embracing all of Life’s Levels.

Up next, finally my Musings on 2020! In the meantime, check out my Updates on my Instagram (Click on the Pink), particularly my Stories!

Always Love, Always Light … G XXX

In Between …

… not a Full post but a bit of checking in with Myself, my Muse, the World out there.

How are You? How are you Getting through all of This?

On top of the Pandemic, the Protesting, and something Personal; I’m finally coming into the Middle. Somewhere in between Comfort and Chaos.

All of a sudden, there is this insatiable need to Create, shine some Light, and to Share.

With that in mind, I am in the midst of making Original Art to submit for the Artbox Project in Zurich, Switzerland. It’s been a minute, since I’ve made or even had any sort of Art show, and I am rather excited to be a part of this. Because of this Project, I finally made one main Website for all my Creative Endeavours. Please take a Look at, Bookmark, Subscribe, and Share: geniecbalantac.com .

And this is a Bright, Big, Thank YOU to all of you (at least 1K clicks a day) that have been visiting my wee Blog, these past few months ( particularly my Readers in Canada and Lithuania! ) I’m utterly Chuffed and Honored. If you’re so Inclined, please reach out, or leave comments, I would love to connect with you!

geniebalantac@gmail.com

Stay Tuned for a longer Post on the current state of the World, and finally, my Sojourn in Barcelona. In the meantime, please check out my ‘Stories’ on Instagram, it’s my running Visual Journal!

Stay Safe, Stay Sane …

All Peace and Love, G XXX

Hindsight 2020 …

In a Lesson that I co-taught recently, it was posited that Photographs (and sometimes Ephemera) are Proof someone was there and experienced something.

And for the past 10 Years, Proof is in the eye of the beholder:

For more Recent Proof go to my Instagram, Yawping!

(And as always, click the Pink for the Link)

… And in combing through photos to accompany this wee Love Letter to the past 10 Years, I am completely shook at the unadulterated depth of what was lived.

I revitalized and fell back in Love with my Faith and in doing so, fell back in Love with Life.

My Parents became my Best Friends.

I started off the Decade with a Married name and midway through it, I claimed it back with the name I was born with.

I discovered a Soul Mate in my Beloved Sadie Dog, watched her cross the Rainbow Bridge, but know she will always be with me where ever I go.

Lived alone (with Sadie) for 7 years in our 1920’s Magic Cottage, the whole of which became my Creative Playground, and discovered an unwavering Strength in being Solitary and that I can do for Myself, by Myself.

Defined and Redefined what Family truly is, wether it be the one we are born into, or the one we choose.  Became Close to some, Unattached to others. I was Empowered, I was Comforted, I was Hurt, I let go.

Continued to make Art, Visual Journal, had a couple of Art Shows, and my First Photography Show.

Taught Art and was a Photographer at the Crocker Museum, worked my first Retail Job at Apple,  worked in a Food Photography Studio, and went back to working with Children with Special Needs: One Job was a Lesson in Grace, my Current Position is where I am supposed to be.

Then it was back to my Beloved UK for my 50th Birthday: London, Oxford, Edinburgh, and a bit of Dublin. For my next Birthday it was a Solo Trip back to London, onto Liverpool, Barcelona, then Amsterdam. The first trip, felt like a Trip ‘Home’, and certain lessons were learned. Second trip showed me that I can Travel Alone, there is a Freedom in doing so, and that my Future will be Overseas.

Some Fave Travel Posts (click to go through): Oxford, Edinburgh, Liverpool, and my Solo Trip to London.

… And was Filmed Walking around the Barri Gòtic in Barcelona by my Most Talented Friend Marc Samper, Please click through to look at his Brilliant Work:

… Said Good Bye to my Life in Curtis Park, living 20 Years away from The River, and Sold our Magic Cottage.

Moved back to The River to be with my Parents, settled into new, yet familiar spaces, became Mum to an Angel Cat, called Kiki, and began, the next Chapter going into the 2020’s by starting a Year Long Project: Hindsight 2020: Click through for Ongoing Gallery!

Getting Ready …

A Great Big Thank YOU to Kyle, Click through to his Etsy Store, for the Beautiful Leica!

And he’s a Brilliant Photographer as well: Check out his Instagram!

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Where will the next 11 Months, the next 10 Years take Me?
Rest assured, it will be Honored, it will Documented!
… Always, LOVE
G XXX
+ Check back often for ‘Hindsight 2020’ Updates
++ Next Blog Post: Barcelona:
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In My Lens …

Edit November 18: Outside Studio Musings (with Kiki the Cat):

 

Edit October 26: Opening up Linda McCartney’s new Book, Polaroid Diaries:

 

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And take a listen to Episode 2 of my Podcast, Just Yawping:

Click to Listen!

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Also, follow me on Instagram ( Click Here)  for Daily updates in my Instagram Stories!

… August was World Photography Day and I wondered if I should Participate:

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32 Years of Self Portraits …Screen Shot 2019-10-01 at 3.03.18 PM

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Image + Words from the Linda McCartney Website.

(as always Click the Pink for the Link and best viewed on a Desktop or Laptop)

Every Day is World Photography Day.

It is my life long Tonic.

On My Photography Site , I posted some early words about my Life through the Lens:

 

From L to R: With my First Camera, a Kodak Ektralite 110 in London + With my First 35mm Film Camera, a Minolta Maxxum 7000 +  a Polaroid of Me (taken by my Friend Joanne) with my First (Impulse) Polaroid Camera.

Click here to read about My Passion and then here for my Love of  Film.

Looking back at my Life, Photography has been my World. The Camera is the Narration to my Life,  how I make sense of the Minutiae, how I define who I am.

It’s my Bridge from the Divine, My Prayer to the World.

As many Creatives know, however, we can have a Complicated Relationship with this Muse. I am unabashedly, no exception.

Sometimes, it’s easy.

From that Moment of perception, to framing that shot in the viewfinder, to that feeling of pressing the Shutter down and hearing,  t  h  a  t   s  o u n d.

Bliss.

Sometimes it’s complicated.

From feeling inadequate because of that perfect shot thrown up on Social Media, to someone pulling out their new Gear, to hours spent on Editing Pics, and no one making a comment on them, ever.

Pain.

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Photo + Quote from Eve Arnold via shootdotedit.com

These days, there are a Plethora of ways to take Pictures. Mobile Devices, ‘ D’ Series Cameras,  Mirrorless Cameras, and now, back to Film Cameras. There are even more Photography Apps, Editing Programs, Social Media Platforms, that make it easy for you to Snap, Create, and put your Work out there.

By that Definition, everyone can be a Photographer.

So, I Posit this.

I went to School for Photography.  I have Instagram on my iPhone. I ingest an (un) healthy amount of Books and Magazines on Photography.  I use Three Editing Programs when I edit Pictures.

Does this make me a Photographer?

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Via shootdotedit.com

We just lost Peter . Thank You Dear Man, for your Gift, your Legacy. His Work, defined the 90’s for me  and  h  o  w   Black + White Photography should be.

Well done Peter, for bringing it back to Center.

Photography has nurtured my Altruistic view of the World around, and the World within. It single handedly, makes me a better Human.

This feeling seems to run deep in my Family.

My Beloved Grandma Balantac :