The Necessity of Perspective

picassoAnybody who has ever taken grade school Art class has learned about perspective. Before it, you drew one-dimensional pictures that seemed to have something missing, because they looked nothing like reality. But with it, your pictures gained the multi-dimensional look of real life.

Perspective gives you a more complete picture of the way things really are. Once you have it, you naturally incorporate it into your art as a habit. You can remove it knowingly, and for a reason, like Cezanne did in some paintings, or layer on multiple perspectives for something entirely new, like Picasso so often did.

As goes art, so goes life. Continue reading

Scotland and England: The Outtakes

IMG_2057Anybody who travels for the experience and not just the destination knows not just that unplanned things will happen–many of them less-than-desirable–but also, in a way, welcomes those things. Because the bad times make just as much of an impression, and a story to tell later on, as the good ones. Continue reading

England Is Calling: Highclere, Cheddar and, Eventually, Bristol

IMG_5659Although we had allotted an extra 1/2 day in London if we needed it, after a disappointing first day there (read England Is Calling: A Bit of London), we all decided to just leave the city behind and head to Bristol. After more than two weeks in the U.K., I have no doubt that the kids were starting to just want to go home, though they remained cheerful troopers until the very last day. The heat in London in July wasn’t much help either; especially the fact that our hotel didn’t have A.C. Doug and I were not much surprised, since we’d found that most places in England didn’t have A.C. and, indeed, have semi-fond memories of spending a night in Stirling on our honeymoon, in an inn near horse stables, without A.C. in the room or screens on the windows. Need I say more than these two words: Horse flies? Here at the hotel in Watford, the hotel staff had let us take two fans from the housekeeping closet, but fans only push around hot air–they don’t cool it much. Continue reading

The Places I’ve Been: The Things I’ve Said & Heard

Rachel on CamelI’ve been thinking a lot lately about all of the places I’ve been and all of the traveling I’ve done, especially in my younger days. It’s no secret that I miss it–my gypsy soul forever yearns to just take wing on the next earnest gust of wind.

But, you know, that heavy word RESPONSIBILITY weighs me down and keeps me here, where I belong. So instead, I’ve had fun thinking of the most memorable quotes said or heard while traveling over the years (in no particular order): Continue reading

Scotland Is Calling: Skye, Eileen Donan & Spean Bridge

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Driving through Skye: Beware of sheep and narrow roads…

Let me just start by saying that we didn’t see the Isle of Skye. Instead, we drove through Skye and will absolutely have to return and stay another day. When I was planning the trip, at some point I looked at Doug and said, “You know, I’ve always wanted to see Eileen Donan Castle.” I know it’s a huge tourist attraction and the most-photographed castle in Scotland (and quite possibly the entire U.K.). However, I still wanted to see it with my own eyes. Continue reading

Scotland Is Calling: Inverness, Culloden, Clava Cairns & the Cairgorms


As you head north, Scotland gets even more breathtaking.

As I was starting to plan our family trip to Scotland, two different friends asked me if I’d ever read Outlander. I hadn’t–didn’t even remember hearing about it, avid reader that I am. But two recommendations were enough for me and I went to the library to check it out (quite literally). The day I was planning our time in Inverness was the day I started reading Outlander. Those of you who have read (or watched) it, understand how serendipitous this is. I’m probably the only person you’ve heard of who was going to Scotland FIRST and THEN began reading Outlander, right? Continue reading