Today, I am feeling very grateful to be blessed with so many inspiring friends and colleagues. Artists have a unique, passionate way of seeing the world around them. They bring us unexpected and surprising creations that help us to wake up to the beauty and wonder that’s all around us. In honor of the upcoming Valentine’s Day holiday, this is my valentine to all of you.
My artist friend, Doug Retzler, is a force in the Baltimore arts scene. I always see him at street fairs and events, like the Baltimore Eco-Festival, doing amazing things that delight kids and adults alike. Whether it’s a community-constructed bamboo shelter or an Art Car for the American Visionary Arts Museum, Doug brings delight, vision, and a sense of fun to his work. In a recent email to me, he noted, “Luckily, I never let reality get in my way.”
Chris Armstrong is a client and a great photographer. She recently send me this image. Isn’t it stunning?
I loved working with Chris and her husband and partner, Jess, because they were so fearless and tireless in their quest to realize their dream. Renovating an old barn into a photography studio is one of the most romantic architectural briefs I can imagine. We used to give out projects like this in architecture school. They walked the talk in all ways possible — from salvaged materials, to solar-heating (and cooling- really!), to working with local Amish craftsmen, their studio truly is of its place. Treat yourself by spending some time with their portfolio. The engaging images of Amish country and of their many animals (including the Alpacas) are my personal favorites.
In the spirit of these artists’ passion and vision, here’s a Valentine’s Day thought for you, from “You(squared)” by Price Pritchett:
“Quantum leaps won’t happen if you’re living life with a lukewarm heart. Passion is a very important part of the process. It fires the soul and fills the spirit. . . .Passion also keeps you going when you’re hit with problems and uncertainty. But passion itself must be fueled, and you feed that flame with visions of a dream that is dramatic. The emotional intensity inside must burn hot enough to protect you against the chilling effects of doubt, uncertainty, criticism, and failure. Only deep desire can generate such heat.”
Here’s to a white-hot Valentine’s Day and to the power of your dreams.