It's true. Every day is a new start, time to dust off what was and put away yesterday in order to begin again. 

It's been a while since I posted because life got in the way. Don't you just hate it when that happens? You have plans, the best intentions, and then WHAM! Life has it's own agenda. And it really doesn't care whether it matches up with your timetable or not. I'm not one to sugar coat anything, I will tell the truth no matter how much it may sting, so let me just say that the past year has sucked.

I don't want to bore anyone with the details so we'll condense it into a sports metaphor. (To knows me is to know that I am a die hard football fanatic!) 

So, here we go...

You have made it to the playoffs. It's the fourth quarter and your team is in the lead by three. Your team has the ball and it looks like there is nothing that can upset your win. Life throws a beautiful, long spiral that you have run down an empty field to catch and the goal line is in sight when out of nowhere you are blindsided. You see the ball get intercepted. It's run back for an opposing touchdown and now you are down by three. The game clock shows all zeros. Suddenly the game is over and so are your playoff hopes. It's going to be a long off season.

Fast forward a few months. Training camp has started up again and it's time to put the past firmly behind you. It's time to put in the hard work to ensure that you make the team.

That brings us to where we are today. I am excited for the future and ready to file the past deep in the archives. However, I will never forget the lessons of the last year. While they were hardest I have ever dealt with in life, they provided me with a new outlook and a greater appreciation for, well, everything. I know it is such a cliche to say that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger but it really is so true. I wish there was a more clever way to express this sentiment but I think that it fits exactly as is. I'm still here. 

Part of my heart is still missing but what remains is more open than it used to be. I have more compassion, a deeper sense of understanding of myself and the world around me, and an ability to forgive that I didn't know existed. I am fierce and capable of surviving a hurricane. I bend but I don't break. I also found a level of complexity within my many layers that had been buried by years of putting up walls for self preservation. I now recognize that I can be a caring friend without losing myself. I realize that letting some confrontations pass without fighting them doesn't mean that I have lost my edge. It is permitted, even preferable, to allow yourself to walk away from a fight if inner peace is to ever be achieved.

It turns out that losing that playoff game in the waning minutes wasn't really the devastating blow that I thought it was. I'm not out of the game forever. I had the off season to regroup and refocus. Now, with a new direction and a renewed drive, I am ready to make the team and fight my way to the playoffs again. 

It's time to write that next chapter. 


Leap of Faith

And we're off! You know the old saying "when it rains, it pours". I always thought that had negative connotations (of course that was probably just me projecting my suspicious nature on an otherwise innocuous phrase), but I have discovered that it can in fact be a good thing. After months of toiling away in my own little world, quietly creating & cultivating my own style of art, it seems the skies have opened and suddenly my works are out for everyone to see. It is slightly intimidating to leap from a serene private artists life one day into a bustling, vibrant whirlwind that is the art scene. I am an observer. I study my surroundings, taking in minute details that usually escape unnoticed. I like to work in the background, sharing a view of ordinary days in unexpected ways through my art. It is a scary day when I have to present my vision to the world. I am letting go of my creations, and laying them before the critics. It is exposing my inner soul. But, the moment has come. It is time to put myself out there. Time to take a leap of faith.
There are new horizons to conquer. There are new experiences to be had. It is time to venture out and see what the future holds. I embrace the upcoming challenges and I'm looking forward to new endeavors. A change of scenery is always a welcome change.


Hello Again

It's been a while. A long, long while! Winter is not for me. Every year I swear "this will be the year". This will be the year that I face Jack Frost head on, stare down the cold, and put on a brave face. But alas, the season of shortened days and blustery winds won again. I went into hibernation like a bear, settling in for an extended nap, stirring only occasionally to make sure I was still breathing.

There is something about the lighting that actually feels cold. It is like the world is hidden behind a repressive cool filter while the sun slinks low in the sky. There is always a darkened cast in the air that keeps the true colors of the world under wraps. It is during these winter months, which simply drag on and on, that I come to understand meaning of the expression "feeling blue". My creativity is stifled and my energy is gone. I start a countdown, waiting impatiently until warm days are upon us. Long days that give way to brilliant lingering sunsets and evenings enjoyed on a patio, enveloped in a soft breeze heavy with the scent of orange blossoms.

Today, though, is a new day. It is bright, sunny and warm. The grass is sending out new shoots that are reaching skyward to greet the world. The trees are covered in tiny buds, slowly unfurling to reveal their soft leaves, pure and untouched. Once again, spring is making an appearance, and a new beginning is in sight. The sun is climbing upward and a bright golden light reigns over the land. The tiny creatures that populate the garden are waking up and creating a buzz.

I find myself reunited with an old friend. We have set off on new adventures, searching for nothing in particular. Yet, we always find something that calls to us, demanding our attention. We couldn't be happier as we head off on another journey together. My camera. Me. Spring. Ahhhh.....


Time to be an exhibitionist...

Over the past few months, I have been fortunate to have some of my pieces displayed in an online gallery called "Light Space & Time".

I used to watch all the Hollywood award shows and snicker when the nominees would say it was an an honor to just be nominated in the company of the other great actors. After having my art selected and seeing it included in an exhibition, I have a better understanding of what that answer really means. It is an honor to see my work displayed next to the creations of such talented artists from around the world. To know that someone has seen my work and deemed it accomplished enough to acknowledge as a finalist in a competition is truly gratifying.

Copyright 2012. Property of Leslie DonnElle & DesignsByDonnElle.com
This photo entitled "Dark Star" was highest finisher to date in an exhibition. It received an Honorable Mention in the "Animals" exhibit in August.
 See the photo featured in the exhibition here: 

Copyright 2012. Property of Leslie DonnElle & DesignsByDonnElle.com
"Stratum Sunrise" is featured in the October "Countryside" exhibition after receiving a Special Recognition.

 See the photo featured in the exhibition here: 

Copyright 2012. Property of Leslie DonnElle & DesignsByDonnElle.com
"Or Not To Bee" also received a Special Recognition in September's "Botanical" exhibition.

See the photo featured in the exhibition here:  

Copyright 2012. Property of Leslie DonnElle & DesignsByDonnElle.com
This photo, done in a style to pay homage to the incredible flowers that Georgia O'Keefe made famous and simply called "Georgia", was the first piece I entered in an SLT competition and I was lucky enough to have it chosen as a Special Recognition winner in the May "Nature" exhibit. 

 See the photo featured in the exhibition here: 

Election Morning

Property of Leslie DonnElle & DesignsByDonnElle.com
Election day arrives in Arizona.