I know who I am.  I know very well who I am: where I came from, where I'm going, what my purpose in this life is.  I know those things.  It's funny, isn't it?  Those are the questions most people ask.  They're the questions I know the answer to.  What I don't know, sometimes, is why I flounder in certain areas.  Take PHOTOGRAPHY for instance.  I'll get to a place where I'm safe, comfortable, ... bored.  This doesn't happen often.  Okay, so honestly, I'm hitting that place for the first time, really.  I'm in a place where I want to reach and stretch and branch out and play and discover new things.  Because photography speaks to my soul.  It is, in a large way, how I express myself.  And my soul is yearning for something new in this area. 
It's part of the reason I've been playing with different processing techniques, going back to landscapes, buying new lenses.  I decided a few weeks ago that I need a project.  Something I can work on, just for me.  I will do another 365 self-portrait project, but not just yet.  That's a job for a different year.  This year I'd like to have a project or two that stretch me.  While I've not yet nailed down a 2nd project, I do know what the first will be. 

I'm from a small town in northwestern New Mexico.  I'm from there. Both of my parents were born and raised there.  I had great-grandparents who settled the area.  It will forever be my home.  Farmington is located right on the border of the Navajo Reservation, and just as that area will be forever my home, even if I never live there again, the Navajo people will always feel like family to me.  My mother was raised, in part, by a sweet Navajo woman, Lucy Koteen.  She was my Navajo grandmother.  I wear a Navajo bracelet made of silver and turquoise that I never take off, just like my mother.  While I don't technically have any Navajo blood in me, I feel a strong kindred to the Navajo people and the old ways.  So, I'm taking on the Navajo Project- photographing the people and their culture.  As I'm going back home twice this year, I'll work on it both times.  Maybe I'll make a book.  Maybe not.  For now, it's a project that gives me chills to think about- a project just for me, to feed my creative soul.  I will be a better person after completing this task, and while I'm sure this is an ongoing process, hopefully I'll be one step closer to finding out who I am in my art.  Stay tuned...
 

web00764.jpg
A snapshot of Elias and Lucy, June 2004

February 5, 2010

I know who I am.  I know very well who I am: where I came from, where I'm going, what my purpose in this life is.  I know those things.  It's funny, isn't it?  Those are the questions most people ask.  They're the questions I know the answer to.  What I don't know, sometimes, is why I flounder in certain areas.  Take PHOTOGRAPHY for instance.  I'll get to a place where I'm safe, comfortable, ... bored.  This doesn't happen often.  Okay, so honestly, I'm hitting that place for the first time, really.  I'm in a place where I want to reach and stretch and branch out and play and discover new things.  Because photography speaks to my soul.  It is, in a large way, how I express myself.  And my soul is yearning for something new in this area. 
It's part of the reason I've been playing with different processing techniques, going back to landscapes, buying new lenses.  I decided a few weeks ago that I need a project.  Something I can work on, just for me.  I will do another 365 self-portrait project, but not just yet.  That's a job for a different year.  This year I'd like to have a project or two that stretch me.  While I've not yet nailed down a 2nd project, I do know what the first will be. 

I'm from a small town in northwestern New Mexico.  I'm from there. Both of my parents were born and raised there.  I had great-grandparents who settled the area.  It will forever be my home.  Farmington is located right on the border of the Navajo Reservation, and just as that area will be forever my home, even if I never live there again, the Navajo people will always feel like family to me.  My mother was raised, in part, by a sweet Navajo woman, Lucy Koteen.  She was my Navajo grandmother.  I wear a Navajo bracelet made of silver and turquoise that I never take off, just like my mother.  While I don't technically have any Navajo blood in me, I feel a strong kindred to the Navajo people and the old ways.  So, I'm taking on the Navajo Project- photographing the people and their culture.  As I'm going back home twice this year, I'll work on it both times.  Maybe I'll make a book.  Maybe not.  For now, it's a project that gives me chills to think about- a project just for me, to feed my creative soul.  I will be a better person after completing this task, and while I'm sure this is an ongoing process, hopefully I'll be one step closer to finding out who I am in my art.  Stay tuned...
 

web00764.jpg
A snapshot of Elias and Lucy, June 2004


Comments
Lindseybelle says:

Neat project!!!

(02.05.10 @ 09:28 AM)
Laura Rhiwn says:

Racheal, is there anything you CAN"T do? Good luck with the project.

(02.05.10 @ 01:07 PM)
Jen says:

Oh Rach what a wonderful idea. I love it. I too have been feeling these need to stretch my creative wings. I know we have talked about it. I think projects like these help feed the soul and inspire growth creatively and personally. I'm proud to call you my friend and look forward to seeing the images you will capture during this project.

(02.05.10 @ 08:17 PM)
Lizzie says:

What a sweet picture. I love Lucy's french braids! Precious.

(02.06.10 @ 06:32 AM)
gina says:

that is wonderful, i can't wait to see the results of this project!

(02.06.10 @ 11:40 PM)
christy says:

What a fantastic idea! I can so relate to your need to grow and discover and am SO inspired by you to find more menaing in the images I take as well. Cannot wait to read and see all the stories you will tell :)

(02.07.10 @ 07:59 PM)
Helene says:

Great project! I can't wait to see it! You are so inspirational!

(02.07.10 @ 09:16 PM)
crystalyn says:

this is such a great idea!!! i love it. we grew up in south america and a girl came and lived with us when i was 8. she was a part of our family until i was 21. how i'd LOVE to have a photo of her with my kids. love, love, love your project rachel!

(02.08.10 @ 10:44 AM)
stacey says:

i love this image. so beautiful.
and i love this idea.

(02.08.10 @ 08:21 PM)
Suzanne Kammann says:

Rachel, I came upon your website off of The Secret Workshop forum. I am attending this weekend and am originally from Southern New Mexico ~ Las Cruces. Your website is wonderful, your spirit amazing and I love the project you are embarking on to capture the beauty of the Navajo. I will stop by to see how it is coming along. You have an amazing talent!!

(05.11.10 @ 06:40 PM)