Jun 202010

As I walked the loop on Wrightsville Beach early this morning I couldn’t  help but notice how ones mind moves so much faster than their feet. Those who meditate call it “monkey mind” as thoughts move in and pass, move in and pass. Trying to reach that state of calm where your mind is at rest is so difficult to attain. For some it never comes, for others it takes a period of training to develop the concentration needed to reach that moment of peace. I try, but I’m not there, yet. So this morning, I walked and inwardly recited a little mantra I learned that calms me and makes me smile. Then all those “monkey mind” thoughts creeped into my head as I broke down what I had done this past week, what I had to do this coming week and months and what I wanted to do. Its amazing what we can process. After sorting through all the mostly unnecessary stuff I finally had a thought that was important. I thought of my Dad. I realized that today is Fathers Day, and that a moment of reflection about the person who helped bring me into this world, was far more important than all the other stuff going through my head. At least it warranted a little time of its own.

Its been over a decade since my Dad passed along and yet there are still times that I miss those afternoon phone calls. When we talked we really didn’t say much, but he was satisfied with the conversation as long as I conveyed that I was doing okay. That was always important for him, that his kids were doing okay. He was kind of a worrier and mostly he worried about his children. And well, we turned out fine. I guess all that worrying paid off. As I look back on my life with my Dad I try and pick out the most memorable things that we did together or his influence on what I now enjoy in life. To tell the truth, its a difficult thing to do. Fathers just do their best to try and guide their families along and sometimes they  probably don’t know what is that one thing a child will grasp and keep with them. The one thing I learned from my Dad was that he was always there to help someone. He gave a lot of his time volunteering in the community and was always there for his friends and people who needed his help. The guy went to a lot of meetings when I was growing up and as I think back, now I know why. He had many friends and was respected and he gave back to his community. I’ll always remember that about him. That and his worrying.

Another thing I owe to him is my love for working in the dirt. I love to garden and so did my Dad. We had beautiful gardens at our Connecticut home and everything was planted by Dad. I can remember helping him prepare the soil and plant this tree or that bush. Sometimes I did this involuntarily, wishing I were somewhere else at the time, but he taught me so much. Of course it was not until many years later that I realized I was learning something. Many times back then it was drudgery. He always explained why we were doing this to the soil and how good this rock wall would look with that plant, and so on and so forth. He had a real green thumb and I thank him now for those countless afternoons and evenings he requested my presence in the gardens. I always think of him whenever I put a plant in the dirt. Always will.

So for those of us who still have their Dads as part of their life, today should be a special time. It doesn’t have to be a lot of hoopla and gift giving. Just take a little time and quietly honor this special guy. For those who have just memories, lets take them and make them special today. Either way remember that Dads are important. After all, they take or took a lot of their time to worry about us. We can give a little back.

Jun 162010

Had an E-Session recently with Ashley and Tony in Wrightsville Beach. They live in the Triangle and spend a lot of time here, so they decided that photos on and around the island would be the perfect session. One of Tony’s favorite toys is his red Corvette, so we included that in the shoot. I couldn’t figure out how to get the car onto the beach safely and legally, so we stayed conservative and kept to the pavement. Probably a good thing. It was a perfect Wrightsville Beach afternoon and we had fun. And we managed to keep the car dry!

Jun 102010

I had the opportunity to record the wedding of Tim and Melany last week. The service and reception took place at the Blockade Runner Resort at Wrightsville Beach. It was a small wedding, but the bride and groom and all their guests, were large in spirit. Tim and Melany came in from Omaha, Nebraska and their guests came from as far away as California.The ceremony was performed by Pastor Tim Corbett. Having vacationed on Wrightsville Beach and stayed previously at the Blockade Runner, they decided that if they ever got married they would make the destination for their wedding to be Wrightsville Beach. It was a great day and a fun affair. They and all their guests made a mini vacation out of their event and took advantage of their stay on the island. Here are a few images from the day.

The gardens at the Blockade Runner were just stunning.

I liked this reflection of the bride and groom while they were dancing.


Once I found the home of Gail Henderson I entered an extensive showcase of her art. Everywhere I looked a piece as interesting as the last occupied its space on the walls of her home. I found her art  to be calming and organic on first contact and each abstract presented itself in a natural mood and color.

Gail has spent much time in the American Southwest and the high plains of Spain. The color, strength and stimulating energy of these locales has influenced her paintings to focus on these qualities in connecting with the viewer. In her words: “I find these locations to be stimulating as well as humbling with their heightened color and massive natural strength”. In her painting she uses layers of transparent color along with opaque passages of acrylic paint to imply the freshness and strength of the mountains, desert plains and the early peoples living there. “I build texture using thick paint, silica, resin, and metals to express the roughness of the terrain and natural attitude of the Southwest”.

Gail is a career educator, having earned her B.A and Ph.D from The Ohio State University and her M.A from Michigan State University. Her art career, however, was not related to her education background and it is something she has pursued in the last ten years. She developed her art through workshops, courses and by studying early and contemporary artists. Gail also lectures on the lives of artists, among those being Picasso, O’Keefe and the Abstract Expressionist painters of the 1950’s. She maintains that studying the recent master painters has provided insight into her own painting direction.

Gail’s work hangs in several private and corporate collections. Among those are Duke Power, PPD Inc., and the Randall Library at the North Carolina at Wilmington.Some of her juried exhibitions include the Wilmington Art Association;the Watercolor Society of North Carolina; the Womans Center in Chapel Hill; the Coastal Plains Exhibit in Wilson N.C.;South Cobb Arts Alliance in Atlanta;Northwest New Mexico Arts Council;the International Museum of Art in El Paso; the Vienna Arts Council in Vienna, VA.; the Cedar Key Arts Center in Cedar Key, Fla.; and International Watermedia XIV in Colorado Springs. She has had many solo exhibits including Abstract Journey at UNCW and Seeing the Unexpected at the WHQR Gallery, also in Wilmington. She teamed with Russian artist Vadim Bora for an exhibit at the Artists Gallery at Lumina Station in Wilmington.

Gail is represented by Raiford Gallery in Roswell,GA., the Little Art Gallery in Raleigh,NC., and the Sunset River Marketplace, Calabash,NC. If you have a chance you should view the wonderful paintings of this talented artist. Gails work may be viewed and you may contact the artist at her web site: Gail Henderson Art.


It has been said that a persons demeanor is often affected by his or hers living environment and the energy, good or bad, that is gleaned from that environment. This was made evident to me when I first met Betsy Burbank. As I parked my car in the driveway of her home I had this calm feeling about the space. There sat this wonderful old farmhouse and its grounds with many shade trees, set back off the road, in a truly idyllic setting. When Betsy answered the door and invited me in, I could feel that same energy that I first encountered outside. She put me at ease and it wasn’t as if this was our first meeting. It was a good connection.

By profession, Betsy is a Holistic Veterinarian. A graduate of Auburn School of Veterinary Medicine and certifications in Veterinary Classical Homeopathy, she owned, with her husband Dr. Brad Kerr, the Companion Animal Hospital in Shallotte, NC. They cared for small animals, worked with area wildlife rehabilitators and rescue groups. After fifteen years, she retired from veterinary medicine to pursue her other passion, her art.

Betsy’s preferred media is pastel, oil and watercolor. One of her enjoyable subjects is painting pet portraits and she has has done several commissioned pieces. In addition to her paintings she also creates one of a kind purses, pillows, aprons and wall hangings from fabric. Betsy received the “Purchase Award” in 2007 for her pastel “Tibetan Refugee”. It is part of the permanent collection at the UNCW Library along with her oil painting “Eat Your Vegetables”, which won a merit award at the WAA Annual Spring Art Show. She won the Philip Werner Memorial Award in 2009 with her pastel “Love and Latte”. She is a member of the Wilmington Art Association and resides at her wonderful home with her husband, son, daughter, and also three dogs, and six cats, some of which I had the pleasure of meeting.

You can view some of her work in the Gallery at Wellspring Holistic Veterinary Care. I think a quote by Betsy about her art says it best: ” I am a very visual person and have been drawn to color, texture, and design since childhood. I made my first art kit out of a cardboard shoe box and filled it with construction paper, paint, glue, scissors, and other accessories. Today my “art box” is larger and more sophisticated, but just as exciting and enticing! I am inspired by life and find myself drawn to paint moments in time that feel spiritual”. Enough said.