About Images by Ceci

A violinist, a pianist, an animal lover and, for a while, a business person. Then, I had to return to creative pursuits to feel fulfilled in this life. Now I am a photographer and writer dedicated to preserving cherished memories through both visual and verbal images.

How Bad Do You Want It?

Images by Ceci:

The same issues apply to any endeavour, but perhaps even moreso when it is sometime ‘artistic’. Sadly, there is less support and empathy for anyone struggling to create something – a book, a poem, a photography project, painting, sculpture – whatever – if it is not ‘traditional’ work.
Want to build a house? There’s support for that. Want to write a book etc.? You have to create your support system – one that works for you – and that depends on, as this write said “How bad do YOU want it?”

Originally posted on Where the Butterflies Go :

If you are a writer, you’ve likely heard these suggestions often:

“Write every day.”

“Writers write.”

I’ve taken the NIKE Ad a little farther, and often say to myself and other writers, “Just Write It.”

Okay, in theory, these are excellent suggestions. If you want to be a writer, you have to actually put in the time and stay disciplined. But what if you’ve got a day job? What if you’re a single parent? What if you share living space with other noisy students, and have no where quiet to write?

Yup, it’s never easy, but if you want to write a book, you have to remove all the obstacles, make a plan that works for your particular situation, and then stick to that plan. If you have a day job, you’ll have to get up an hour earlier every day for a few months to write. Or possibly stay…

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Wondering where I’ve been?

For the past several weeks I’ve been busier than a one-armed paper hanger revamping my website and consolidating everything in one location. As of early November I have migrated my posts to my main site, www.imagesbyceci.com.

I hope you’ll migrate with me and continue to follow my posts and photographs :)

So, if you have a moment, please check out http://www.imagesbyceci.com I’d love to know what you think! Comments and suggestions are ALWAYS welcomed.

‘Tis the season for fall foliage!

Tiana and Samantha

Yesterday was the quintessential autumn day – sunny, warm with a hint of crispness in the air, and a very light breeze blowing. What better day to head down to Sullivan Park in Sussex Corner with two teenaged models happy to play in the fallen leaves!

The colours were absolutely amazing and the girls and I had great fun finding spots that just screamed “here” come “here”!

Colourful trees in Sullivan Park, Sussex Corner, NB

It brought out the kid in all of us!

Jumping for joy!

 

 

Juxtaposition Defined

Juxtaposition Defined at Dawn

Sometimes it is worthwhile to get up at sunrise. I’ve been wanting to shoot this scene for a long time and finally got it in gear to be on hand and ready as the sun rose over the hills of Picadilly highlighting the lone tree in the midst of a hayfield with the towers of the mines in Penosquis peeking through the mist in the background.

This one was done with a wide angle (20mm) lens at shrub height. Now I need to go back, while the foliage is still on the trees, and shoot it again with a different lens so the mine towers are more significant.

Ah – the challenges of achieving one’s vision!

Four generations

Last Monday I had the pleasure of photographing four generations of women, albeit some quite small, in one family. The day was perfect for an outdoor photo shoot and the ladies were all in fine form with much laughter going on.

Despite having been laid low with West Nile Fever, I managed (with their considerable help) to get things set up and the photos done. Normally I’m a lot more animated in my sessions, but everyone was very understanding, thank goodness.

Here is one of my favourites from the session – first generation having a discussion with the fourth.

It really was a good day!

A bit of heaven in southern Maine – embellished

Pulling into the driveway of a charming old stone castle-like home in southern Maine, I had no idea what to expect from a place that had been billed as a ‘horse rescue farm’ by the friends who introduced it to me. I saw lovely stables, befitting the old-world charm of the ‘country estate’ (to call it a ‘farm’ seems a bit of an understatement) and assumed the owners’ horses resided there.

Wrong.

Every inhabitant had been rescued and came with stories of abuse and neglect. Today they receive good care, a healthy diet, veterinary and farrier care, turnout and lots of love and attention.

Stonehouse Farm is a work in progress. Just this summer a new arbor was built and lush gardens are beginning to fill in the walls on this 100+ foot long path complete with crystal chandeliers and stone statuary – everywhere.

Manmade ponds are under development and you can rest in a small gazebo, with yet another set of chandeliers, while listening to the trickling water flow between them.

Bridle paths are being cut into the 50+ acre property and here and there small patios, with more statuary, have been strategically placed bringing to mind a buddhist retreat.

Even the elusive barn cat is a rescue kitty – now well looked after but still frightened of all humans.

Meanwhile, the new stable inhabitants have learned that visitors usually mean treats or a head scratch or maybe even a walk or ride in the cool of the evening.

 

Trust is building again.

The owners, Milena and Erik Banks, are ex-pat New Yorkers. After 9-11 they made the decision to create a simpler life and, after a stint in Connecticut, headed further north to Maine. Milena said, “The horses have their forever home here. We took on numerous sheep, six cats, up to 14 dogs at one time, although now there are only 11. We took in an abandoned rate who ate and lived with the chickens till he died of cancer. We have a rescue quail too. Three of the geese are rescues.

“We thought, after 9-11, that we wanted to give something back to the animals in the world. Seeing the billowing smoke from the towers changed our lives.”

And they, in turn, are changing others’ lives, one critter at a time.

Neutering North America

I spent six hours yesterday driving from Picadilly, NB to Augusta, ME, the majority of it on four lane highways. Truthfully, if it weren’t for the exit signs, I couldn’t have told you where I was, or even if I was in Canada or the USA!

Why?

Because big highways or interstate highways are designed to move large volumes of traffic quickly from point A to point B with little thought to the surroundings being passed.

This morning I decided to explore some of the roads less traveled on my way to meet up with my friend Lauren Blackwell at her brother’s place in Richmond,

Driving in the rain through the dark awning created by the intertwined branches of roadside trees I could easily understand what might have inspired Stephen King’s more frightening scenes. The roads twist and turn and you can’t see what is around the next bend. Hidden driveways lurk beneath many of the overhangs, twisting away into someone’s yard, I assume.

The small town of Richmond exudes charm, if not wealth. A few small shops populate its main street and a charming public park, complete with free public wifi, gives everyone access to the rivers, one for boating, one for the river of information on the internet. Two men launched their boats and, after a short and friendly conversation, started their motors and sailed off in different directions.

Three young girls amused themselves by jumping off the boat dock into the river water, screaming from the shock of the cold water, and then laughing hysterically, having a great time on a now-cloudy Saturday afternoon,

An elderly couple drove their van down to the dock’s edge, windows open, to chat, enjoy their ice cream cones and the time together,

Such is real life off the beaten track!

Yet another unplanned farewell

I must be of “that certain age” – but it seems to me that I’m losing far too many friends to cancer lately. I was shocked to learn, via Facebook of all places, that yet another friend passed away yesterday. I just read her obituary and it said so little about her life – just the barest of facts.

Florence was a kind soul with a ready wit and a generous smile. She and I took riding lessons together, supported each other through the arduous journey to coaching certification for riding, and whenever we saw each other it was as if no time had passed since our last visit.

How could she have been so ill and me not know about it? As generous as she was, Florence was also a very, very private person. Those who had the privilege to know her will miss her and remember her with great fondness. Visits to the farm she shared with Glen in Barnsville and the Judged Pleasure Rides and small horse shows they held there were always liberally laced with laughter and good times.

For those of you who, like me, have put off calling a friend for no good reason, or reaching out even by email, or better yet making the time for a visit – do it now. Don’t wait. For we NEVER know what tomorrow will bring – or not.

It was a privilege to know you, Florence, and you will be missed.

Florence Tays
1954 – 2012

Friends – the true measure of success

For some people it is the accumulation of money, or the things money can buy, that defines who they are and when, or if, they are successful.

For others, and I count myself among them, it is the friends one has and the warm feelings enjoyed whenever they are near that defines success.

Sometimes friends just make you feel welcome. Sometimes they offer a word of encouragement when it feels like the bottom is falling out of your world. And sometimes a small gift helps make your spirit soar.

So stop … and smell the roses!

Happy Days

And the bride suddenly realized that this is real, the moment was upon her

Sunday dawned warm and sunny as had every day for weeks this summer – a good omen for the wedding of Hubert and Krista. This hard-working couple had to squeeze their ceremony in around the myriad of scheduled and unavoidable chores that go with being dairy farmers. Consequently the nuptials took place at high noon, outdoors, under the blazing hot sun. But none were deterred from enjoying the moment.

And the groom considered his last moments as a ‘single’ man too…

Friends and family gathered out in the yard to enjoy the raucous procession as attendants danced down the aisle.

And so did the bride and groom!

Here come the bride and groom!

And now introducing the happy couple!

Mr. & Mrs. Duivenvoorden