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Posts Tagged ‘sunsets’

I’ve been sitting here for over an hour trying to write “something for the blog”.  Putting pressure on myself to say something really inspiring, or meaningful, or moving.  Attempting to craft a message out of the last 3 weeks of my life.  Three weeks full of big change.  

Slow down.  What you’re chasing may be trying to catch you.  ~Noah benShea

I read old emails and reviewed quotes, trying to recreate the weeks.  It didn’t work.  I had no clue what to write.  I was about to give up and walk away, until one of my “angels” appeared with a message.  A reminder.  It seems simple, the basis of the last 3 weeks, but we all know it is sometimes one of the most complicated things in life.  Belief.   

“You add something to the mix called life that only you can add.  Honor that.  Honor you.”  ~Angela Bear

I believed in myself, in that “something” I can add to life.  I honored my gift and I took a stand for me and my passion.  It started three weeks ago on a Sunday night when I somewhat randomly changed my Facebook profile and became a “photographer” instead of an “emerging photographer”.  It ended on Friday when I left my full-time job to focus on my photography and designs.      

I stepped beyond my comfort zone.     

I don’t mind telling you that part of me is really scared.  But, I don’t regret the decision.  Not for a minute.   

It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new…for in movement there is life, and in change there is power. ~Alan Cohen

Before I knew it, a new kind of Monday morning arrived.  What should one do when they make a major life change like this?  Hide under the covers?  Crawl into a corner and cry?  Buy lots of lottery tickets?   

No WAY!   

I accepted support from friends who reached out and who believe in me.
I went to a trade show, met new people, and was completely inspired by artists and designers!
I took trips to Boston and Martha’s Vineyard with friends…and my camera.
I went to two Women On Fire Tea Parties and felt the passion, inspiration, and support of amazing women who validated my dream and my decision.
OK…yes…I bought a few lottery tickets…hey, you never know.
And, maybe a FEW times I hid under the covers. But, I didn’t stay long. It’s too hot to stay covered up and there are too many colors and photo ops in the world to hide away for long.   

One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth.  Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again & again.  ~A.Maslow

So, what’s next?  Keep working the plan.  Take every opportunity that comes my way.  Learn to say “yes”.  A lot!  Learn to say “help”.  Surround myself with positive, supportive, inspiring people who believe in me and encourage my dreams.  Give others the same support and inspiration I’m receiving and share in the joys of their passions and dreams.  Keep gratitude in my heart.  Keep believing in myself.  Be kind and take care of me (I think these last two are the most important lessons I can learn now).   

I am living life.  I am maintaining focus on my goal and my dream and I am not going it alone.  I am following the path that makes me happy.  I won the most important lottery, I am living into the life I want and discovering who I am.  

Have you made a big change or are you thinking about one?  Do you need support?  I’m here.  I believe in you.   

I was once afraid of people saying “Who does she think she is?” Now I have the courage to stand and say, “This is who I am.” ~Oprah Winfrey

I am a photographer.  My Facebook profile says so, therefore it must be true.  

Maybe I should share a few photos?  That would make sense right?  I am a photographer.  

Here are a few of my favorites from Boston and Martha’s Vineyard.    

Studio Colors - Boston - Sean Boyce Studio ©Melissa McClain

Menemsha Sunset - Martha's Vineyard ©Melissa McClain

Owen Park Sunrise - Martha's Vineyard ©Melissa McClain

“There are angels all around you, and there is great care and love in this world for you.” ~Anonymous

I want to send out special thanks to my “angels”.  All of you have had an impact in validating and supporting my dreams and my passion.  Thank you for believing in me!  I am forever grateful and I hope that I can pay forward the love and care that I have received from you.   

Moments of Inspiration

Color…Color…Color!  I love color!  I was so inspired by my recent trips to Boston and Martha’s Vineyard.  The colors in the city and the colors on the Vineyard energized me.  Special thanks to Sean Boyce for letting me “run free” in his studio and capture the amazing colors and textures of his passion, painting.  I was so excited to visit Alison Shaw’s gallery while on Martha’s Vineyard.  She is an amazing photographer who captures colors and shapes in magical ways.   

I received an amazing gift of inspirational t-shirts from Devotion Clothing Co. I’ve worn them all weekend and can feel the words and inspiration. Check them out and put your inspiration on!   

Listen to the Color of your Dreams. ~John Lennon

Oh…I almost forgot…In the middle of all THAT, I ordered and received my first melissaAnne silk pillow samples!  That is a WHOLE other post for ANOTHER day.  Hey, I gotta create a little drama here…afterall, there’s not much going on in my life these days…   

Come Color With Me!

 

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We’re still covered in snow here in NYC and we’re all trying to navigate the ice, snow, and slush obstacle course at every step.  Hurry Spring!!!     

Since I’m dreaming of “warmer times”, I thought I’d share some more pictures from my trip to Florida earlier this month.  Oh how I long for my flip-flops!  If you’re in this snowy, cold weather with me I hope you enjoy the reminder of warmer days to come.  If you’re not…well, can you invite me to come visit!?!?     

Fan Abstract © Melissa McClain

Giraffe Tree © Melissa McClain

Trunk Texture © Melissa McClain

© Melissa McClain

I think I see a future pillow from the image above.  What do you think?     

If you’ve read my blog before or you are familiar with my Water Colors and Urban Colors photography collections, you know I like color, abstract images, shapes, and texture.  These next photos give all that, but are completely different.  I took them at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary.  Can you guess what they are?     

© Melissa McClain

© Melissa McClain

© Melissa McClain

© Melissa McClain

The amazing red and pink colors are a variety of lichen.  The railings and trees were full of it!  I had fun trying to figure out how to capture it.  I think I’ll try it again….next time.      

The boardwalk through Corkscrew has lots more to offer.  The angles, shadows and towering trees begged me for black and white treatment.  I gave in.  Glad I did!     

© Melissa McClain

© Melissa McClain

 

© Melissa McClain

I loved being at the beach and experiencing the beautiful sunsets.  Here’s a few shots from Barefoot Beach my last night in town.      

© Melissa McClain

Together But Apart © Melissa McClain

© Melissa McClain

      

© Melissa McClain
I could not believe how pink the sunset was and how beautifully the color reflected in the water.  I was really excited about this last photo.  After seeing it, one of my friends asked me if I was related to Monet.  Pretty sure I’m not, but maybe I’ll name it Barefoot Monet.  It reminds me of a rich, silk fabric.  Soft, silky, and luxurious.
 
 
 My distinguished friend Tom and I hope you enjoyed my warm memories.  If you get a chance to visit Barefoot Beach keep your eye out for him and don’t forget to check under your car!

"Tom" © Melissa McClain

 

      

 

    

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I spent last weekend in Naples, Florida. I packed my swimsuit, short sleeves, and flip-flops and headed south. The weather was balmy, a big change from the Winter weather back home in NYC.    

© Melissa McClain - A restful day at Barefoot Beach....barefoot and feeling free and inspired!

© Melissa McClain - Barefoot Beach Friend

© Melissa McClain - Ding Darling Delights

 It was a vacation from the cold, and a whole lot more. It was my second Group Vision Day with executive coaches Debbie Phillips and Rob Berkley. I met Debbie almost a year ago when I attended my first Women on Fire Tea Party in NYC. Within minutes I was struck by how genuine and warm she was and over the last year my respect and admiration for her has grown as I’ve seen the work she does to support women and their dreams. I met her business partner and husband Rob Berkley in September when I attended my first Group Vision Day Martha’s Vineyard. (Check out my posts about my first vision day and Martha’s Vineyard!  I LOVE me some MV!!)  I was just as impressed with the kindness and compassion Rob gives to all around him.  Together these two are on a mission and are doing an amazing job to make their difference in the world.  The last 5 months of my life are proof of that.  I couldn’t be more thankful for their guidance and support in the pursuit of my dream!      

© Melissa McClain - Rob took us all on a sunset photo shoot after Group Vision Day. This is one of my favorite shots. I felt as golden as the surf.

© Melissa McClain - Delnor Wiggins State Park

© Melissa McClain - Delnor Wiggins State Park

I went into my first Group Vision Day in September feeling lost and uncertain about where my life was going.  I was struggling against a transition I wanted in my heart but was resisting in my head.  I felt like I had lost direction and my self-confidence was completely shot!  Fast forward to the end of that first Group Vision Day and I was connected to my soul and purpose like I had never felt before!  By the end of December I had accomplished one of my 3 major goals (a solo art show) and was well on my way to another (launching melissaAnne textile products). I was motivated. I was energized. I had the support and inspiration left by Debbie, Rob and the other Group Vision Day participants as well as my support network to carry me through.   

I decided to attend a second Group Vision Day this month.  That vision I crafted in Martha’s Vineyard, the certainty and desire that still burns inside, wanted more.  I was ready for new goals and bold new steps.  But could this Vision Day deliver in the same way?   

© Melissa McClain - The Sky's the Limit: Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

You bet!! It was another amazing experience, yet different from the first one because I was different. I’d spent 5 months working on my vision and taking action almost every day towards my dream.  I had grown as a person and had a new outlook and new priorities.  I believed this was a chance to take my vision to a new level.  And, it delivered!  On the second day, the vision moved beyond me and I shared my complete vision for melissaAnne for the first time.   I was ready.  It was exhilarating!  It feels even more real now that the amazing group of people in that room allowed me to fully share my dream.    They became part of this journey and I couldn’t have asked for a more inspiring and compassionate group to be a part of.  Each of them had a big impact on my Vision weekend and on me.

So what is the vision?  I’m so glad you asked!   

My vision centers around melissaAnne , a home decor line from my abstract photography.  A line that will begin with custom textiles made into colorful pillows.  melissaAnne will share the energy of color and the inspiration of creativity with others.  But there’s more.  Much more.  There is an important purpose behind melissaAnne, one that goes beyond my creations.  One that inspires and empowers.  I was really inspired in December by an article on Kate Spade’s relationship with the organization Women for Women International.  I hope to some day work with organizations like this to help make a difference in the lives of women, families, and communities through production of the melissaAnne line.  I want the people who help to create and share my dream of melissaAnne to be supported and encouraged to grow and expand, empowered to take care of their families and give back to their communities, and encouraged to create their own dreams and follow them.     

    

A post-vision day melissaAnne Photography Urban Colors Collection photo day in DUMBO Brooklyn for new pillow design inspiration   

© Melissa McClain

© Melissa McClain

© Melissa McClain

  

It’s a perfect vision, for me.  I get to do what I love; take pictures and share them with the world.  Build new relationships.  Empower and inspire.  Make a difference in the world.   

It’s a big vision.  It’s a big dream.  I plan to have a big life.  And, I won’t give up.  I can’t give up.  You see it’s not just about me any more.  It’s about the people I’ve met along the way and those still to come.  It’s about the difference I want to make in the lives of others.  It’s about a purpose.   

   

    

If I give up I’ll never know whose life I might change.  Or whose life might change mine.    

I’m grateful for this opportunity.  But before I get too far beyond my Group Vision Day weekend, I’m taking another big step.  A process in this journey to my vision and to the life I have planned.  Something I need to do to be the best me I can be and live the biggest life I can lead; a life with no fear and no regrets.  I’m giving thanks to someone I haven’t shown gratitude to in a long time.  Deep appreciation for the gifts I’ve been given:  A passion for photography.  A passion for a simple boat.  For the language that is created when my camera and a boat intersect.  The flutter it leaves in my heart and an opportunity to carry that passion forward and do something good in this world.    

    

melissaAnne Photography Water Colors Collection Boat Photography   

© Melissa McClain

© Melissa McClain

© Melissa McClain

    

A passion I recently discovered came from my father.  Thank you for giving me a gift that connects me to the world, allows me to build special relationships and touch others, and ultimately makes me who I am.   

    

Who I Am (Photo by Rob Berkley)

 

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