She is an unstoppable force of magic. She is unapologetically herself. She is both refreshing and intoxicating. She is rare. She is the feral brave spirit howling love. Leave her wild.
First frost came here today in MN. The bittersweet news of all the Dahlia fields freezing made me reflect on the abundance created this year, and how much better a person I am knowing @mightyfinefarm and @killingfrostfarm.
These pictures are from one of the most surreal and magical days in August; where I got to witness and capture the harvest of a Mighty Fine Farm & Killing Frost Farm work. I had been watching these flower babes turn an empty field into a oasis, brave through the storms of being a new business, and implement beauty all over Missoula, MT. To say I was moved would be an understatement. To see the amount of work, and love it took to make these flowers real was just pure wizard skills. Or what I call, the resilience of a woman.
Here is a little recording I made after leaving these ladies that day on what I mean...(I use the Fbomb, be aware)
I have been watching woman farm and create gardens my whole life. There is a similarity between how we see gardens as soft and beautiful and how we see women. We don't always recognize the strength, pain, and wild survival it takes to create such a thriving ecosystem. But it's there!
The work behind these flowers are profound. They help pollinators, remind us of the importance of working with the Earth, and are memorizingly beautiful. The act of creating life/art is revolutionary. Flowers need the right soil, compost, water, fertilizer, proper sunlight/temperatures, and a healthy ecosystem to thrive. Keeping up with these recipes to grow a perfect flower/garden takes love, skills, discipline, and learning to work with the cards Mother Nature hands us. And these woman crushed it. I am in awe of you ladies and your wild resilience. You are she.
She is an unstoppable force of magic. She is apologetically herself. She is both refreshing and intoxicating. She is rare. She is the feral brave spirit howling love. Leave her wild.
Grit, strength, passion, and devotion are just a few words that come to mind for describing Courtney Blazon. She is a well known illustrator and artist here in Missoula, Montana. Her illustrations are unreal, complex in all the right ways, and next level. Each piece has a story, theme, and her process speaks volume to the fact that she truly is a real artist.
I reached out to Courtney to partake in my series of powerful women in the community and she was more then awesome about partaking. I find it extremely important to showcase women like Courtney and I immediately wanted to give her the longest hug, because I know the struggle of being an artist and woman. It is only through tremendous work, talent, and commitment can a woman make it as an artist in a small town like Missoula. And she is making it happen for herself. Not only is this woman an amazing artist, she also is an incredibly rad human being. She collects old vintage dolls, taxidermy animals that need homes, and has a wardrobe that would blow Wes Anderson away. You can find her work in Radius Gallery downtown, local favorite brunch places like Burnt Street Bistro, or on Native Ideal's seed packets.
To showcase the artist outside of the art we thought it was only appropriate to explore a little bit of Missoulas hot spots ( Zootown, Butterfly Herbs, Rocky Mountain School of Photography & Fact & Fiction) with her buddy Harold. As we walked to each place Courtney knew everyone. It was a testament that this was not only her home but a community of people she loved and wanted to share her art with. It was a dream shoot! I felt like I met a female Wes Anderson. <3 her
Thank you for being such a strong inspiration to our community and World Courtney. I had such an amazing time being a witness to the life you have created.
If your looking for your own commissioned piece or want to buy a print check out her website at http://www.courtneyblazon.com/.
I once heard Derrick Jensen speak about the land and healing the Earth. I will never forget when he paused and said, "the land misses people making love on it." I've let that marinate in me for years. And if there is any day to perform and commit grand gestures and adventures of love it's Earth Day. Happy day to you beautiful, luscious, and curves in all the right ways Earth. 💕
The fields are booming here in Missoula! The wildflowers have taken over the town here. If you get a chance get into the mountains in the next couple weeks. The show does not last long but holy beauty is it ever a show.
Wait for a storm cloud.
Pack a dress and a piece of fabric.
Walk two and a half miles straight towards the storm.
High five hikers you walk pass.
Search for a really big rock to climb up top on.
Wait long enough that it starts to snow and you don't have time to take off your boots.
Say, "Hi Storm!”
Strip down, feel the cold, and put your pretty dress on.
Climb up on the rock, close your eyes real tight, and YELL really loud!
Yell more! Yell until there is no more yelling left.
So loud that you let the storm carry all the un-needed away.
Believe that it did.
Climb off the rock.
Embrace the storm that carried it all away.
Turn off your phone. Put on something that makes you feel happy Take a walk in nature. Soak it all in, you're safe here.
Find some fairies.
Let the sun kiss your face.
Ask permission to take a treasure or two to take home with you.
Take only what the forest can spare and won't harm her.
Thank the forest.
Have a special place to put these treasures.
Take a walk every day for a week.
Repeat all the steps above.
At the end of the week find a window with good light.
Lay all your gifts out on a special cloth.
Arrange and play with your gifts.
Take a picture.
Gather all your gifts and take them back to nature
Gift them to a friend.
Playing with the Earth is free.
Protector, brave soul, solid kin, wise being, kind heart, wild spirit, she always is raw, and free.
She is the High Priestess of an old growth forest. Whose balance is abundant with wonder. It's magic is filled with life. We sometimes forget such life still exist but she never does. Even when the World forgets the importance of the forest, she doesn't. She is a reminder of the innate wisdom we each have. She is a direct representation of the goddess on Earth. I am deeply honored to know her.
Claire's outfit was made out of new growth sticks from a tree in the Rattlesnake river, cloth, skewers from the grocery store, some silk flowers, and love.
Grow girl, Grow! Happy Spring beautiful beings. May your garden be full and your flowers be abundant.
Thank you Ashley. You're such an east coast flower babe. "with grace in your heart, and flowers in your hair."
For as long as I can remember, Vandana Shiva has always been my hero. Her work with agriculture, organic living, and women have inspired so many. She is a boss. A fire. A fierce truth that tugs at the heart and pushes us all to be our best.
I was so grateful that the University of Montana allowed me to come photograph the event and gave us Missoulan's the gift of hope, truth, and a reminding that we are all capable of amazing acts of love. Thank you Dr. Shiva & UofM.
Check out more of Vandana Shiva's work at Navdanya .
"For a while we might lie underground, but at the right moment we germinate and burst out with all of our potential. Let us celebrate the connections between Mother Earth and ourselves. We are, after all, of the Earth. We are all made of soil … Let us stay united, let us stay strong, let us stay joyful.” ~ Vandana Shiva
“She made broken look beautiful
and strong look invincible.
She walked with the Universe
on her shoulders and made it
look like a pair of wings.”
- Ariana Dancu
Meet Samantha, a goddess with a heart of wisdom. She is the owner of Grain, a conscious and amazing lifestyle store based out of Missoula, MT. I had the honor of spending the day with Samantha. We drank pour over coffee, gushed about Harry Potter, and talked about our mutual love for Frida. What I was most moved by was her bravery and courage to bare her heart and life with me. I find there is a magic that happens, between all people when we are vulnerable and speak from our hearts. Samantha brought the magic and translated it into these photos. She has and is doing the work in her life, that we must all do to rise above the falls. But she is doing it with her heart. That, to me, is the ultimate courage.
This shoot, for me, was a reminder of the power of all women who rise and meet their life with heart. The ones who aren't scared to love harder after the pain. The women that keep moving forward with a smile. The ladies that choose to grow their compassion for humanity instead of their hate. I am in awe of your strength.
This girl is powerful, her heart makes her that way. I am better by knowing her.
Our Back to the Roots mushrooms were ready to harvest today! It was an epic Valentine gift to our tummies and hearts. They also have the most rad energy. Check out these amazing and easy to grow kits! They're educational and a ton of fun to watch grow.
HAPPY HAPPY Joy joy! It's a new year. So much to be grateful for in 2015. We are very blessed bears.
Feeling reading for another year around the sun. Cleaning and clearing New Years morning vibes. Making room for the best year yet. Wishing everyone a year full of magic, joy, and kisses.
Alaina is a mermaid. She has no fear of shallow living and her depth of beauty is off the charts. I am totally obsessed with how this shoot went down and that I finally got to meet a real mermaid. Apparently there are some mermaids that vacation to hot springs during the winter. They aid sea creatures of the area and bring healing energies to the water. So rad.
Thank you for an amazing day Alaina. You're the good mermaid. The quiet one, that has a huge heart of love we all read about but actually exist!
Companionship truly is the honey of life. Sue and her horse Mickey have been in each others life almost as long as Sue has been on the Earth. Spending the morning with these two I instantly felt what a testament a life long friendship can bring and create in our lives. Love comes in many forms. So happy to have seen these two together.
Also, mad props to Mickey for being so down with his feminine ways and letting me put a flower wreath on him.
18 Years of love and still each others best friends. Steffani And Joe, your love inspires me.
The highlight of my summer was seeing these two love birds tie the knot in the most beautiful location, Santa Rosa. Congrats Jenny and Sierra! I am wishing you nothing but happiness.
The center of my universe has a day and it's today! Happy Happy best day ever, National Coffee Day. Who else knows that feeling you get when you take the first sip of the best coffee one could ever get their hands on...the chill...the thrill....the jolt!?! The knowing that you can handle anything the day brings with a cup of coffee. Thank you Black Coffee Roasting Company for delivering the best cup of coffee in Missoula. #NationalCoffeeDay #Bigmagic #Coffee