New Year, New Work

Hi there. Remember me? It’s been over a year since I posted to the blog. Yikes. It’s good to be back!

Last year was not a creative year for me. I intend to change that in 2017. I’ve realized that I make my best work when I commit to the daily photos. It is time consuming, challenging and often grueling to get out every day and see something new in the same old stuff but, then, that’s kind of my jam…

I have some new ideas to explore on the blog this year but for now, I’d like to share the first week of daily photos. Also, if you’re interested in seeing outtakes and other new work as it emerges, please follow my brand new Instagram feed at @avantgardenstudio.

1/365: caught between


A trip to Lake Nokomis on New Year’s Day led to the discovery of a double layer of ice with water, air bubbles & objects trapped in between. Everything is in flux. Sometimes we’re caught in between, a fitting expression for this moment when old passes into new.

2/365: instance of hygge


Hygge is having a moment. A Danish concept that connotes a cozy state of mind  (pronounced hyoo-gah), hygge is readymade for Minnesota winters. Or vice versa.

I’ve been working to embrace the coziness of winter. Wool socks and warm blankets, hot tea, plenty of candles. All good things. I’m not one to hate on winter but sometimes I need a little help keeping my spirits bright…

On this particular January day, I was heartened by the reflection of lamplight amidst the raindrops trickling down my window pane.

For a good intro to hygge, check out this recent article from The Kitchn:

What is Hygge and How Do You Pronounce It?

3/365: the winter garden




There is beauty to be found in the winter garden, no doubt. Seeing it, however, can require a very liberal definition of beauty and a wide open mind.

4/365: willow leaves


I have always loved willow trees for their dancing forms but only recently started to appreciate the simple form of the leaves. While brilliant in season, the subtle colors of the leaves in winter is pure poetry against a canvas of freshly fallen snow.

5/365: crack


This snow-filled crack after a fine overnight dusting reminded me of the Japanese art of Kintsugi – mending broken pottery with a golden lacquer to highlight the cracks. An expression of wabi sabi, this art form highlights the beauty of experience and imperfection of old or broken things.

Imagine seeing our cracks as something to be celebrated instead of mended or hidden.


6/365: fallen sentry


These fragile stems are the last ones standing at the garden’s edge. It takes true fortitude to withstand the winter winds. Their postures and contortions look to me like bent & weary bodies hanging on to what little strength they have left, fighting to avoid the fate of their fallen comrade.

7/365: finding light


Photography can be all about capturing the beauty of light. But not winter photography. In the thin gray light of January, it’s all about making do. Some days the craving for golden reflections can only be satisfied indoors.

2 thoughts on “New Year, New Work

  1. I am happy to see these again. Love the words as much as the photos. My fave in this group is Winter Garden. Love those peaceful colors.

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