I posted this on our ward's relief society blog and I wanted to post it here so it gets included in my next blog book.


This is my great, great grandmother.  I have several women ancestors that I feel so connected to through reading their history. There are several things about Mary Lucinda that draw me to her.  After crossing the plains, she lived in Springville where Willie and I lived after we were married.  She also settled in the Heber valley where my mom lives and where I lived for several summers.  I studied Native American literature at BYU and she was an interpreter and friend of the Native Americans in Utah.

Sometimes I think I'm busy?  She had 13 kids, ran a farm, probably did all the cooking, made all the clothes, entertained and interpreted.  Though I know very little about Mary Lucinda, I know that she was smart, capable, a hard worker, a good mother, a friend to outsiders, and a woman of faith.  I also imagine how beautiful it was on their farm and all the stars they would see at night.

Mary Lucinda was born in Kirtland, Ohio in 1840.  When she was 10 when she crossed the plains with her family and settled in Springville, Utah.  In her youth she learned the Ute Indian language and became an interpreter.  She loved to dance and participate in the Native American dances.   She served with her father as an official interpreter and their home was headquarters for all Native Americans that visited Springville.  She was married when she was 16.  After 2 children and 5 years in Springville they moved to Heber, Utah.

For a time she worked as a cook for the men building the road through Provo Canyon.  She gave birth to 13 children!  She was a business woman and managed hired help on the farm and large bands of horses and cattle.

Her home in Heber was visited by Native Americans often.  At least once a year they would have a huge feast where she would prepare them the "best food the land could produce."  During these visits she would sit with Native Americans and speak in Ute and discuss their trials and tribulations.  Even when there was tension between the white settlers and Native Americans they would still come to her house.

Her family had the first shingled roof in the valley.  They raised sheep and sheared, spun and died the wool. She made the clothing for all her family members.  She had hair that was so long it reached her knees when let down.  She loved dancing.

She died giving birth to her 13th child at age 42.  The child also died and she was buried with the child in her arms in the Heber cemetery.  She outlived three of her other children that died at age 10, 14 and 3 weeks of age.

To quote the history written by her granddaughter, "She had health enough to make work a pleasure, strength enough to battle difficulties and overcome, charity enough to see good in all. She had patience and love enough to be always useful and helpful, and her faith was strong enough to  soften any and all hardships she was obliged to endure.  Hundreds of miles from any settlement or civilization, all they had with them was all they could get unless they created it."

I can't believe how many things have bloomed since last week.  Here is what is going on in our garden today.  Still nothing in the vegetable garden.  We had a freeze warning last night and I think we can plant on monday.  I felt overwhelmed with weeds today.

Here is what's going on in my garden today.  I seldom work in the yard without taking a few pictures.  I love my plants.

I've been putting off writing about my workshop for a long time. The workshop was such a big event that's it's been hard to think of how I could write about it.  There was a lot of information. It meant so much to me. Then when I was in New York last week, it started to feel far away so I can't put off getting some thoughts down any longer.  After spending three full days taking pictures for someone else, I'm really yearning to work on my personal photography.

Be forewarned, I don't think there is any way to organize my thought to make this read well.  Sorry.

I went to the workshop with several questions on my mind.

The first question I had on my mind was, is fine art photography for me?  The short answer is yes, but to what extent I won't know for a while.  Will I get really involved with submitting work to contests and trying to get into portfolio reviews, etc?  I'm not sure.  At this point my first move is to make more work.  I don't even really have one strong body of work yet, so I need to start making work and luckily I came away from this workshop with a lot of ideas.

Do I need my own printer?  Should I work on my dark room printing skills?  Yes, I need my own printer.  I'm already saving for it and I think it will happen.  Aline said that having your printer not only helps you totally control your prints, but you also don't need to be bound by a printers pricing and timeline.  This is really ringing true as I am going on about a month waiting for some cards to be printed for me.  Aline said that sometimes an opportunity comes up and she has to make a print and get it out the next morning.  Since she has her own printer she has total control over getting it out.  As for darkroom skills, she thinks I should work on making great silver gelatin prints because they will continue to be more valuable as they get more rare.

How can I work on a cohesive body of work?  I walked away knowing how to do this.  Starting with an idea or statement of work first, then building a project around it will help hold it all together.  Purpose is what I've been missing.  I've been shooting what I love and getting results that I love but now I need to move into more deliberate work that will hold together in different bodies.

Besides working out these questions, this workshop opened up a whole new world for me.  We spent a lot of time looking at work from current fine art photographers.  Some of it really inspired me.  Some if it made me think, "I wish I thought of that."  I didn't get some of it but I enjoyed looking at it anyway.  It was great to see so many different kinds of photography.  Sometimes I get tired of looking at the usual wedding and portrait photography that is prominent on blogs and Facebook. It was refreshing to see photography about all different kinds of things.

Something that made this workshop so meaningful to me was my teacher, Aline.  She is such a warm and genuine person.  She is also funny and her photography is delightful.  I loved what she shared with us. She set a tone for this workshop that made me feel safe and encouraged.  The other students in the class were so kind and supportive.  We all bonded quickly. I can't think of a better learning environment.

On the last day we talked about our fears as they relate to photography.  I was very emotional and had a hard time articulating my feelings.  I said that I was afraid I didn't have anything unique to say as an artist.  As I thought about it on my drive home I realized I was also afraid that I can't find a unique way to say what i want to say.  Will I find a way to say things so that they are meaningful to other people?  I think I can.  I won't know for sure until I try.

I've been so busy since i've been home that I've really only had the chance to think about work I want to make. Just thinking about it is fun, though I have to make time to actually do it.  I've written about four statements of work of things I want to work on.  I need to be less busy.  I have started a self portrait series that I've been posting on facebook. It's been fun for me.  You can see it here.

Since I've been home, I sold my Contax 645, my most valuable and least used camera.  I bought a Hasselblad 500cm with some of the money and I already love it dearly.  I saved the leftover money to get me closer to buying a printer.  I submitted four images to a gallery in town calling for birth art.  I bought four frames and got four prints made and will continue to collect frames and submit images wherever anyone will take them.  I entered two contests. Once thing that is so satisfying is seeing my images printed well and matted and framed.  What a beautiful site.  It makes me happy.

Newer Posts Older Posts Home