This is My Solemn Vow

Rosegolden Flowers / T. Scott Carlisle Photography Rosegolden Flowers

Rosegolden Flowers

Rosegolden Flowers / T. Scott Carlisle Photography

Sometimes I think of something I want to make - for instance and arbor - and I think, oh, now that'll be no big deal...I'll just need to forage a few vines, a couple gnarly old branches, find a bit of ribbon I probably have lying around somewhere and viola - arbor complete.

Well, that is precisely how I get myself into trouble. Not trouble necessarily, but I'll certainly find myself on my hands and knees, covered in mosquito bites, sweating profusely. But you know what, it's worth it. Lately I've been learning something - when I feel inspired to make something, I need to make it. I don't need to worry about how long it will take or how exactly I'm going to make it work. I just need to get started and see what happens.

As an artist my work (mostly a blend of painting and fibers) was always very process driven. I never knew exactly what the final piece was going to look like when I started it. The pieces tended to reveal themselves to me along the way. Working with flowers is a very similar process. Yesterday I made a painting, a self portrait. I bridal portrait really, to give to my husband for our 1 year anniversary which is this week. It started out pencil, then pen and ink, then ink washes in black, then color, then water color, then acrylic, back to pen and ink and then finally glitter gel pen ink as paint. I don't know how I got there, I just know I like it. When it was done I wrote on it something we both said to each other during our wedding ceremony - This is my solemn vow.

We didn't get married here in Alabama. We got married in Paris. Not under an arbor necessarily, but in a quiet park under a canopy of trees, the Eiffel Tower just visible in the distance. I wore a pink gown and veil of antique duchesse lace my grandmother had been saving for me for as long as I can remember. The lace was made in Belgium in the late 1800s, its bold floral patterns made it a popular choice back in the day. It was beautiful. Ironically, I didn't want to wear it at first. I have short hair and thought a veil would look silly but took it with me to Paris as it was the bequest of my grandmother and because a girl does what her grandmother says about such things. But September 21, 2011, I found myself standing in front of a beautiful, incredibly ornate mirror at The Ritz Paris, wearing the most beautiful pale pink gown. It was a moment I'll never forget - putting on the veil. I'll always remember it because it was the moment I truly felt like a bride.

So my point is, you never know what will inspire you in a moment but you do have to follow that inspiration and try new things. Step out into the unknown to discover where the beauty lies.

David Shirk/Unplugged Photography

David Shirk/Unplugged Photography

David Shirk/Unplugged Photography

Photography in Paris - David Shirk / Wedding Coordination - Ginny Au (Thank you guys for helping us create this day.)