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The Landscapes of Emily Jeffords

As I’ve aged, I’ve become more and more interested in handmade things. For one, they’re usually way more beautiful than mass-produced objects, and secondly, they have meaning – a meaning that is present from the moment they are conceived as ideas in the artist’s mind, until the day you finally place it lovingly in your home, where it will remain for years to come. Not only is that object unique and special, but purchasing it means that you’re supporting small businesses, keeping our economy more community-centered rather than homogenized and corporate.

I think the best way to start incorporating handmade goods into your home is though pottery and art prints. I don’t have the budget to buy large handmade furniture pieces or original canvas paintings (which is my dream!), but I DO have the resources to purchase an earthy hand-thrown mug to drink coffee from in the morning, or a small print that I can incorporate into a gallery wall. In fact, I only own three mugs at the moment because I’m holding out to find handmade ones that fit – I want to assemble a meaningful collection, not just a pack of identical objects filling my shelves.

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Cathedral Light (& thoughts on religion)

I’ve had the chance to visit lots of Gothic cathedrals in Europe while I lived in France, and one thing that always fascinated me was the light inside of them. It’s elusive and fleeting, but always beautiful because of its rarity, so I thought it was time I dedicate an entire blog post to it.

But before we get into that, I thought this would be a somewhat appropriate time to talk about my views on religion. I haven’t publicly spoken about it before – as far as I can remember – and I don’t often discuss it in-person. But today, I’m putting it all out there! If religious discussion doesn’t interest you, however, just start reading at the line break further down.

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Travel & Lifestyle Photographer based in Southern California - Hannah Wilson

My Etsy Shop & Photography Journey

It’s been a long time coming, but I’m finally ready to officially announce that I have an Etsy shop for my photography! I wanted to share with you a little bit about my journey with the camera, and give you a proper introduction to my new shop.

My Journey with Photography

Photography has been an interest of mine since high school. It began as a hobby, then I decided to study it at a very expensive private art school in San Francisco, which I quit after 2 semesters. I just wasn’t loving it—at least not enough to justify going into major debt.

I kept photography on the back burner for years, but something clicked last Thanksgiving, when I invested in my Nikon D750. Dropping a large sum of money on a single piece of equipment somehow gave me permission to act like a real photographer. In fact, even though I had been avidly taking pictures of things regularly, I was extremely hesitant to label myself as a photographer. It felt too high above me.

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Following in the Footsteps of Van Gogh in Auvers-sur-Oise - French Californian

In the Footsteps of Van Gogh in Auvers sur Oise

I didn’t really know what to expect from the little village of Auvers-sur-Oise, but I did know it had something to do with Van Gogh. I thought that perhaps there would be a statue or plaque commemorating his life, but there was actually so many things to see and do. The entire day trip ended up being much more emotional and touching than I ever would have expected.

Auvers-sur-Oise is where Van Gogh died, and it’s saturated with his memory. The inn where he rented a room, the fields and village streets that he painted, his friend and physician’s home (Doctor Gachet), and even his tombstone can all be visited. We didn’t have time for everything, but standing in some of the same exact same places where Van Gogh spent his last few days on earth really brought his story to life for me. I studied Art History, so I’ve read about Van Gogh countless times, but after the 50th time, it starts to feel like fiction. After visiting Auvers-sur-Oise, I had the realization that Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings were created by a real, breathing person, and his story took on a new dimension.

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Bringing Paris to my Hometown Coffee Shop

 

Just like most humans, I enjoy coffee, and just like tons of people my age, I LOVE coffee shops. A coffee shop is almost like a second home; a place where you go to spend hours studying or catching up with friends. We all have our favorite haunts, and for me, that was Sagebrush Café. It was the first coffee shop I ever visited before finding other favorites in other cities. Sagebrush is my coffee home.

I always had it in the back of my mind that I would love to show my photographs at Sagebrush – they’ve been featuring the work of local artists on their walls pretty much since they opened 7 years ago, and I’ve been interested in photography since high school. They’re part of a new culture that has arisen in the Antelope Valley, a refreshing and uplifting change that was much-needed in this sprawling desert suburb. Within the last few years, an art museum and community of local creatives has sprung up. The Antelope Valley is the kind of place that every high school kid wants to escape, to run away from the moment graduation is over. I was one of those kids, but I find myself drawn back not only because of my family who still live there, but also because of establishments like Sagebrush Café.

When they approached me, asking if I’d like to show some of my travel photographs, I immediately said yes.

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Revisiting the Louvre with Localers in Paris

Revisiting the Louvre with Museums by Localers

I have a kind of love-hate relationship with the Louvre. I love that it houses some of the greatest works of art and most precious bits of history in the world, but I hate how damn huge it is. On one hand, I love the idea of getting lost in a labyrinth of culture, but on the other, my feet and brain start to become fatigued after hours of slow-walking and observing. Appreciating art is hard work!

Despite having visited the Louvre more than 10 times, I realized I know very little about it. I had a vague idea that the Louvre started out as a much smaller military fortress, and that the Mona Lisa is WAY smaller than you’d expect, but honestly – that’s not much. Anybody could know those trivia facts with a quick peek inside the informational booklet.

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