Urban Dialogue: Don’t Disappear

As I have practiced it, photography produces pleasure by simplicity. I see something special and show it to the camera. A picture is produced. The moment is held until someone sees it. Then it is theirs.” – Sam Abell

Don’t Disappear
encaustic mixed media
7×5 inches
collaboration with Angie McMonigal

Last post I mentioned that I was starting a collaboration with my neighbor, Angie, who is a photographer. We actually became friends because her daughter and my son are the same age and we would meet outside so they could play. Also both of us being creative types we have a lot in common- we talk about our work, issues that come up for us, and business matters. And as moms of two little kids, we talk about the best parks to go to, activities to sign our kids up for, etc.

I know a lot of women artists who are moms but they tend to be older with much older children, usually grown up or in high school. I am so fortunate to have these women in my lives because they share their past experiences with me and in so doing, they have lifted me up, encouraged me, advised me, commiserated with me in the the wonders and trials of bringing together the artist and mother in a healthy, balanced way (or at least as balanced as it can ever be, which isn’t ever really, but we can always attempt!) I am so grateful for their presence in my life.

But when you’re in the midst of not sleeping at night, weird schedules, play-dates, figuring out schools, etc. there’s nothing like having someone with you in the trenches who will say without judgement, “Don’t worry about it, we’ll meet later” if you try to meet up and your 2 year old is throwing a fit or if you say, “I really am strapped for time right now” or simply “I am exhausted”. We both stay at home with our children and we get our work done in the evenings or naps. I do have a sitter that comes once a week, so that I can meet various deadlines. Otherwise, I’m not sure I could get anything done. And it probably goes without saying that we both have really supportive husbands who will watch the kids during one of the weekend days so that we can let off some creative steam.

Anyway………between swinging our littlest ones on the baby swings and making sure our oldest ones aren’t about to fall off the monkey bars, Angie and I started discussing working collaboratively. It’s actually funny thinking back on our conversations because so often our conversations would end mid-sentence as one of us would have to chase after someone who had wandered away or was about to do something they weren’t supposed to do. We have a lot of different ideas, but we’re starting small and slowly. But the important thing is that we’ve started!

We’re still working on the title of the collaboration, but for now we’re calling it “Urban Dialogue”. Angie takes a lot of urban photos, which I love. Most of my work is so very nature based, so that it is definitely a change for me to work with.

I was looking through her images and this one of the stenciled message on a sidewalk amidst a pile of rocks, debris just stood out to me. I knew I had to use it. I asked Angie if she could share a little something about the photo:

I came across this ‘graffiti’ earlier this year while on a photowalk in the Fulton Market area. I had wandered away from the group unexpectedly and came across this area under the train tracks that had various graffiti messages. This particular message struck a chord with me and got me thinking. I liked the seemingly simple message spray painted through, what I’m assuming, were stencils. And I thought the rocky rubble framed the message quite well. How easily this could have been missed…

I have a few small panels in the works, hoping to get to them soon….


  1. This is fabulous B! hang on to it; the idea and purpose. I adore the collaboration that is coming into my work and life and believe more convictedly each day that this is how we are wired to work. I love it. xo in big heeps and bunches.

    1. Thanks Trish. I have always enjoyed collaborations. It forces one out of the isolation of the studio. While I love and need the alone time- working with others is always a good thing!

  2. I am very drawn to the muck of urban-ness, and appreciate how a simply walk through the city can turn into a treasure hunt. People leave markers of their lives, their existence. In suburbia, all this is deliberately washed away to look nice. Oh, how I prefer the hunt in all its grungy splendor.
    Your collaboration has captured well the feeling of that moment of found treasure. Beautiful!

    1. Thank you Amanda- you put it into such a poetic way. When Noah was only 2 we used to take photo walks around our neighborhood. And he picked up on what caught my eye and he would see something rusted or grungey, etc and exclaim “mama, picture of broken!!” I thought it was hilarious and so observant of a 2 year old! 🙂

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