Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Years Resolutions

I am always glad to see the passing of another year. I am not one of those people that believes that that the “time of my life” was somewhere in the past. I do not covet youth, not even my own. I look forward to becoming wiser, more colorful, shedding the naivete of my youth. I imagine being an old woman, wrinkled and round, wise and content in my soul.

I am glad to see 2008 come to a close. It has been a difficult year. Perhaps, more difficult than most, but with the onset of 2009 comes opportunity, a new start and the beauty of new beginnings. I have great anticipation of what will come into my life this year and I have decided that I will be very specific with my intentions. As it stands right now, I have created the life for myself that I have always imagined. I have a job that I love, I am going to start teaching at Portfolio Center and I have ample time to paint. All of this has come to me through hard work, not settling for “good enough” and having enough courage and confidence to ask for exactly what I want. I am truly happy and appreciative for everything that I have. If it never got any better, I would be satisfied.

My resolutions for 2009 are the following:
Take more risks personally and professionally
Be honest and remain unattached to the outcome
Get clear and what and who I want in my life
Each day, write down at least one thing that I am thankful for

Thursday, December 25, 2008

"Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas." -Calvin Coolidge

Friday, December 19, 2008


I was talking with a friend about fear the other day and it got me thinking about the role that fear has played in my life. According to FDR, the only thing we truly have to fear is fear itself and I couldn't agree more. The thing about fear is that it is like emotional cancer; once it is alive in your mind, it spreads to all of your emotional tendrils. Having been completely incapacitated by fear and anxiety at one point in my life, I have an intimate understanding of this. What I learned from that experience was the importance of knowing who I was, believing in the internal resources I had to manage any situation and that it was up to me to manage my perception of my life experiences. A lot of learning for a 12 year old. I think I made a little pact with myself then that has stayed with me over the years...that I would never let my fear control me again. That is not to say that I do not get scared; after all, I am still human, but I've made conscious choice to understand that fear signals opportunity to grow if I can slow down and examine what is causing the discomfort.

Monday, December 08, 2008

What I know so far....

Life is short and living with regret over the past, fear of the future and lack of presence in the here and now is a sure-fire recipe for misery.

There is very little, if anything, we have control over short of how we choose to think about and perceive our reality.

Always find the courage to do what you are most afraid of.

True friends are more important than anything else in life.

Be honest. It is easier in the long run, even though it is sometimes difficult.

When you love someone, you should just say so.

Look both ways before you cross the could get hit by a bus and then it would all be over.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Urban Cottage

To all Mary Campbell Original Art collectors out there, please visit Urban Cottage in the Virginia Highlands where my newest pieces, and some golden oldies are being sold. Urban Cottage is a lovely montage of home decor items, gift items and furniture. VERY cool stuff, including my friend Lee and his wife, Laurie's, hand made super cool signs. So, readers, get the hell out there and support both the economy and your favorite local artists!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

From the blog of Daniel Pink

This is fabulous. I love it. I've always thought there was a special place in hell designated for people who pester animals in cages...and,perhaps, the people who put those animals there...but that is another blog for another day.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I don't know that there is anything more annoying than a splinter.  Splinters jam their way into a place just beneath the surface of the skin; not deep enough to be dangerous and just deep enough to create a nagging dull pain that does not go away.  Try to remove a splinter and you usually end up getting just the tip or, if you are lucky, 60% of the little booger.  Then comes the valiant attempts at do-it-yourself surgery including but not limited to needle punctures, exacto-knife incisions, and non-stop pushing and picking.  If you are lucky, you can infect yourself and end up requiring real medical attention.  So, what is the best course of action?  If at first, the splinter does not come out easily, nature must take its due course.  Eventually, the body will work a splinter out.  

I was thinking about splinters tonight on my way home from work as a great metaphor for things we don't understand, things that cause us pain in our lives.  We live in a world that demands solutions, that asks for things that are not easy to be removed.  We do not see the purpose in struggle, in pain, in suffering.  We see those things as splinters that must be removed.  Consequently, we end up harming ourselves further by trying to eliminate all suffering.  Suffering teaches us lessons that may not be apparent as the suffering is going on. Anguish and confusion are emotional splinters that are clearing a way for joy and peace but we have to allow the infinite wisdom of our souls to work through the discomfort.  We have to sit with the discomfort, allow it to seep into every inch of our being, wrap ourselves in the blanket of these dark and brooding emotions and simply acknowledge them as part of who we are and then let them go.  It is the last thing on the planet that anyone WANTS to do, but it is the emotional work that is required for us to grow, to evolve, to attain a greater understanding of who we are and what our purpose on this earth is.  

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Change I can believe in.

Times of change are always difficult because it means that life as we know it is shifting and the future we thought we could envision will be very different.  It makes one feel very uncertain, unstable, insecure and anxious.  Okay, maybe that is just me.   As much as I like change, I am fearful of it because, let's face it, routine is routine.  Predictable is predictable.  Nothing right, nothing wrong.  Dramatic life changes shake everything up.  They are scary.  I have decided that therein lies an opportunity for more growth.  Rather than hunker down and rail against the inevitable shifting life tides, why not just jump right on in?   That is what I am doing in this particular time of change.  Practice what I preach.  Pull myself up by my bootstraps and determine a course of personal movement that sustains me in every way.  Let go of the past and heal my soul in ways that are vital to my movement forward.  Today I threw away about 8 FULL boxes of stuff...stuff that I've been lugging around since I graduated college including but not limited to notes from my college chemistry class and the employee handbook for Ruth's Chris Steakhouse.   Why was I holding onto that stuff?   Mostly because I truly thought I would need it one least that is story I told myself.  Today, I think I just recognized that it was time to let go, really and maybe I just finally found the courage to do that. 

Saturday, November 01, 2008

today's mantra.

“The great thing is, if one can, to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions in one's "own" or "real" life. The truth is, of course, that what one regards as interruptions are precisely one's life.” -C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

John O'Donohue

Today, I listened to this podcast; it is beautiful, relevant and poetic. If any of you have any interest in religion, ethics, or ideas, check out Krista Tippet's program...she always has amazing, interesting, and diverse thinkers on her program.

Here is an excerpt from his book, Anam Cara:

"In the Celtic tradition, there is a beautiful understanding of love and friendship. One of the fascinating ideas here is the idea of soul-love; the old Gaelic term for this is anam cara. Anam is the Gaelic word for soul and cara is the word for friend. In the early Celtic church, a person who acted as a teacher, companion, or spiritual guide was called an anam cara. It originally referred to someone to whom you confessed revealing the hidden intimacies of your life. With the anam cara you could share your innermost self, your mind, and your heart. This friendship was an act of recognition and belonging. … In everyone's life there is great need for an anam cara, a soul friend, in this love you are understood as you are without mask or pretension. Where you are understood, you are at home."

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Soulful Excellence.

Yesterday, I spent most of the day walking around New York. My friend, Diana, and I went to the Whitney (which was, of course, AMAZING) and then went in and out of galleries in Chelsea until around 8pm. I saw some amazing art....and I also saw some ridiculous art, but all-in-all it was a perfect day. Here is a "smattering" of what I saw taken via my very low-tech phone-camera.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


I don't have much to say, but I have been painting....and trust me, you'd rather see my paintings than read my ramblings.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I'll recap about the Candler Park Fall Fest once I am not exhausted....but, until then, one of several new pieces that I premiered at this weekend.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Candler Park Fall Fest 2008

Please come to the Candler Park Fall Fest this weekend and see me and Anne Elser at the festival. I promise free vodka drinks to the first 10 people who show up to support their favorite local artists. For directions, click here.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


A new piece I did last night. The photograph is not so great and makes the colors not quite right, but I don't really feel like color-correcting in photoshop....I'm lazy, that's right.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

John Keats

This is from John Keats' Endymion...and I thought it rather beautiful.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Weekend Fun...?

Tonight, I am attending a bachelorette party. Honestly, I cannot imagine a more hellish sequence of events than the following:
1. Dinner with 10-12 girls ranging in ages from 23-27 (obviously this excludes Montana and myself) who I don't know.
2. Attendance of a local strip club where I've been warned that the MALE strippers may try to "tea bag" me....every gay woman's dream, I tell you.
3. Dancing at a local club where I am told to dress like I am looking to "get laid" a man. This means cowboy shirts, NIKE flip-flop and cargo pants are out of the question.

A normal Saturday night for me usually consists of a nice bottle of wine, dinner at home or somewhere less than 5 miles away, some quality time with Nancy Grace and bedtime at 10pm. I think I'll start drinking now.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


I've had a bit of a creative resurgence. I did this last night...shaking off the cobwebs and getting back into the flow is not for the faint of heart.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Better than most of my recent posts...

I've spent the greater part of my life worrying about things that are beyond my control. Perhaps, the greatest insights I have gleaned from my short time on this earth is that there is very little that we absolutely have control over, failure is a part of growth and that love and kindness are truly the things that matter the most. Bearing witness to this extraordinary time in our history, I have felt a mixture of anxiety, excitement, fear, dread, hope, and irony. Despite my concern over the tactical aspects of being: will I continue to have a job, can I pay my bills, will I be able to afford to drive my car, what about retirement, is this a run-on sentence; I am finding that there is something rather freeing about this chaotic and uncertain time. Maybe it is just realizing that we don't really have control over anything, that the future really is uncertain, and that, above and beyond it all, the only thing we can really do is decide how we are going to live in the midst of it all. I have decided that I am not ever going to stand on the sidelines while my life passes me by. I have decided that I am always going to be optimistic about the future. I have decided that I am going to seek out creative partnerships and opportunities that feed my soul. It's that simple. It's my line in the sand.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

in case you missed it.

Regardless of your political beliefs...simply brilliant.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


What is it about insomnia that makes me want to buy this?

Monday, September 01, 2008

out of the flow.

Why is it that inspiration is so illusive? I have been in a creative dry spell for several months now and it is sheer frustration. Today, I come off of a week-long beach vacation and have an entire day to myself to work on some paintings...sounds great, right? Not so much....nothing is coming. Nada. Zip. Zero. Zlich.

I, of course, think I am losing it. I no longer have access to that part of myself that is able to freely create and express whatever is in my head or heart. "IT" is gone. But what is it? And I have to believe that "IT" is not gone, but just not accessible to me right now. But why? Theoretically, I am relaxed. My stress is moderate, but not high. Life is generally pretty great. So what gives? I know that when I "try" to be creative, I fail miserably....I am pushing when should be pulling, going north when I need to go south....all of those things. Maybe it is simply a relaxation thing. Maybe I am judging myself too harshly and not allowing the process to be fluid. Maybe anxiety is blocking me. The question, of course, is how to get unstuck, relax and get back into the flow.

Any suggestions?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Vacation. Day 1.

Truer words have never come across my computer screen.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Vacation Countdown

It has been 16 months since a "real vacation." Count em' one-six. Am I losing it? Possibly. Is it due to a variety of factors? Most likely. Do I want to delve into any of them here in a public forum? That is highly unlikely. I will share that a lack of vacation leads to irritability, excessive squirliness, slight melancholia, and bouts of insomnia. All of which I suffer from. Alas, Montana and I are finally getting to go away...for a the beach. Sun, sand, books, naps, margaritas, no power point, no e-mail, no work, no worries.

That is, until, FAY....seriously, folks, (ahem, MOTHER nature), what the f*ck. Give me a break.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Hair, hair everywhere....

So, lately, I've been really busy. Not much time for blogging but have somehow found PLENTY of time to try on fake hair via the Ladies Home Journal "Try on a Hairstyle" program. Here are a few options....

What do you all think?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Chris and Don....

So, normally, I wouldn't go out of my way to see a "gay" movie...really, I make it a point NOT to go out of my way to see most movies, but this one caught my eye and it was fabulous. A beautiful story about the relationship between two men who, under most extraordinary circumstances, lived and flourished in a relationship that lasted 3 decades. A beautiful and soulful story that everyone should see.

Monday, August 04, 2008

"junk" mail.

"Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake." Victor Hugo

I got this quote in my inbox today...junk mail from an unknown sender. I often wonder how I get random offers for viagra, levitra, penis enlargement surgical procedures, etc. etc. Perhaps, now, the junk mail gods in the sky have figured out those offers do not really mean much to me and they are going to start hitting me up with information that would actually mean something to me. Even better was that there was no link to anything for me to buy! What a lovely way to start off the work-week.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

My New Favorite Toys.

When you can sell these and make a living, you must live in the best country in the world.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Spirits in Camphooperville.

Despite total exhaustion, oppressive heat and mosquitos, and a vacation TOO far away in the future, the ladies of Camphooperville are hanging in there with not too much to report, other than a possible spirit infestation in the homestead.

Here is recap of our other-worldly run-ins of the past 5 days:
1. Montana wakes up at 3am to hear her iTunes blaring Elliot Smith from the room where Oliver and Sprout sleep. The keyboard is stowed beneath the desk and there is no reason iTunes should spontaneously be playing at any time....

2. Red and Fox, who sleep in their comfy box, bust out and come wake us up at around 5:30am. The box is latched and there is no way they could unfasten it, without assistance.

3. I make coffee on Saturday night so that on Sunday morning, all I have to do is hit "on"....I wake up and do so, only to return to see the water streaming all over the counter. I am CERTAIN that the basket was in place when I hit "on." Certain.

All I can figure is that whatever is going on....whatever spirit, energy, what-have-you is going on in our home, it must like dogs, coffee and music. Go figure.

Friday, July 18, 2008

the Girl effect.

beautiful, simple execution...great message. design at its finest.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Go Cynthia, Go!

My boss' wife, who owns Pink Magazine, recently edited *ahem* "Men at Work" signs around town. It has resulted in this article in the AJC as well as over 40 pages of "colorful" responses. Too many of these are hate-filled verbal vomit....I think we should all respond in support of someone who is bold enough to go after seeing a problem and demanding a solution.
this, from another enlightened Georgian:

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

and yet....more dead things.

This evening, while cooking dinner, Red, the trusty dead-thing-retriever brought a dead bird inside....and, of course, laid it on my side of the bed.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Nancy Grace isn't the only Nancy I love.

Brought to you by NPR, one of my favorite childhood book series....Nancy Drew....
"I loved Nancy Drew because of her curiosity, a fascination with assembling clues — or facts — into a story and her certain recklessness. For me those qualities add up what it takes to be ... a reporter." ....or a designer :)

Kill update.

This is what I woke-up to this morning from my beautiful beagle, Red.

A dead rat....................on. my. bed.

Monday, June 16, 2008

catching up....sort of.

Whoa, were those two of the lamest. posts. ever? Yeah, well that is what you get when you are balls-to-the-wall busy. Sadly, I must report that my weekend included neither margaritas nor a pool. On the upside, I did see the new Sex in the City movie...and it was fab. Made me want to run off and live in NYC...that is, until my beagle kindly brought a dead bunny into the house...onto the couch...and I realized this could never happen in the middle of Manhattan. Aah, domestic bliss.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday, May 30, 2008

a few things about me.

50 odd things about me:

1. Do you like blue cheese? Yes

2. Have you ever smoked heroin? uh, no....

3. Do you own a gun? not yet.

4. Your favorite song? currently, I am into bluegrass and Lucinda Williams.

5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? only when I've had unprotected sex

6. What do you think of hot dogs? they are only good with beer at a festival

7. Favorite Christmas song? Oh Holy Night

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? coffee with real half and half (color just slightly darker than brown paper bag)

9. Can you do 10 push ups? YES!

10. Favorite thing about the 80's? that it's over.

11. What's your favorite jewelry? my watch and rings...

12. Favorite hobby? cooking

13. Secret weapon to get the opposite sex? my case, being a lesbian.

14. Do you have A.D.D? not right now.

15. What is one trait you hate about yourself? I can be controllling and demanding.

16. Middle name? Caldwell

17. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment? I want a nap. I hope Oliver (my cat) is okay. It is FRIDAY.

18. Name 3 things you bought yesterday? Taco seasoning, chips, refried beans.

19. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink? red wine, water, coffee.

20. Current worry right now? A broken washing machine and a sick cat.

21. Current hate right now? gas prices and mosquitos

22. Favorite place to be? home and at the beach

23. How did you bring in the New Year? champagne, food and friends.

24 Where would you like to go? Spain....or the beach.

25. Name three people who will complete this: people who feel like wasting a good chunk of time.

26. Do you own slippers? Yes

27. What shirt are you wearing? white v-neck t-shirt

29. Can you whistle? Yes

30. Favorite color? orange

31. Would you be a pirate? no, they are mean and have beards

32. What songs do you sing in the shower? whatever I wake up with in my head

33. Favorite girl's name? I don't know

34. Favorite boy's name? Cooper. Harry.

35. What's in your pocket right now? nothing

36. Last thing that made you laugh? my co-workers

37. Best bed sheets as a child? plain ol' white ones....they smell like my mom's linen closet.

38. Worst injury you've ever had? I fell into a rusty pipe on the playground in 7th grade a busted a hole in my shin.

39. Do you love where you live? Completely

40. How many TVs do you have in your house? 1

41. Who is your loudest friend? Amy

42. Do you have a dog? 3: Red, Fox, and Pfeiifer

43. Does someone have a crush on you? my beagle....but it's mutual.

44. Favorite cartoons? watched Spongebob the other day...pretty funny.

45. Who is your favorite author? Don't have one specific

46. What is your favorite candy? reeses peanut butter cups

47. Your favorite Sports Team? LSU

48. What song do you want played at your funeral? Go forth into the world in peace....whatever, i'm cheesy today.

49. What were you doing 12 AM last night? looking for my cat in the yard.

50. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up? it's FRIDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


WHY do I continue to have dreams of planes crashing? Last night, I dreamt plane after plane after plane after plane crashed to the ground...some just couldn't make it into the sky, some got about half-way through ascent and crashed, but I just stood there watching.

This is what says:
To dream that a plane crashes, suggests that you have set overly high and unrealistic goals for yourself. Your goals may be too high and are impossible to realize. You are in danger of having it come crashing down. Alternatively, your lack of confidence, self-defeating attitude and self-doubt toward the goals you have set for yourself is represented by the crashing airplane; you do not believe in your ability to attain those goals. Loss of power and uncertainty in achieving your goals are also signified.

Well I say FUCK THAT.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Yup, it's Monday.

I know...I am the worst blogger ever. I have been utterly slammed at work and my Lady and I spent the entire weekend putting ourselves through the ultimate relationship challenge: assembling an oversized piece of IKEA furniture. We survived, but the endeavor left me tattered and bruised not to mention exhausted and longing for an extended beach vacation. I did, however, purchase some new NIKE running shoes in honor of my friend, Audrey, who is moving to Portland today to work for, my knees are basically turning into two piles of sawdust, so it is time for some new kicks. Not that anyone really cares, but I need fodder for this entry.
Which brings me to today.
The most important nugget of wisdom I can proffer to my kind readers is to ALWAYS make sure that, when ingesting vitamins, one must do so on a FULL stomach. Wow, who knew vitamins on a banana and OJ could create such disharmony in one's gut.
Cheers and Happy Monday!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

public transit.

"Somebody git my hair so I can GO!"

Monday, May 05, 2008

Catching up....

Whew, has it been nearly 2 weeks since my last post? Crazy how life goes by so fast. I am sad to say that I have been mourning the passing of my hard crashed about 2 weeks ago and I have been struggling to catch up with and restore my digital life. It is crazy how much we rely on these little metal boxes. A gentle reminder to BACK your work up because when it is gone it is GONE. In the meantime, Montana's mom was in town for her birthday...much fun has been had and many brain cells killed over Grand Marnier and dice. (see below photograph).

I'm sure there is much more interesting news to report, but i am easing back into blogging....I wouldn't want to strain myself.

Please be patient.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


This is "leveraged" blog content from 37 Days, but so beautiful and so perfect for. right. now.


It could happen any time, tornado,
earthquake, Armageddon. It could happen.
Or sunshine, love, salvation.

It could, you know. That's why we wake
and look out - no guarantees
in this life.

But some bonuses, like morning,
like right now, like noon,
like evening.

- William Stafford

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

New Painting.

Here is a new painting I am working may be finished....I'm not sure. Hope you like!

Sunday, April 13, 2008


This is amazing! The human form is absolutely incredible and these brothers from Poland (I think?!) do things I did not think were humanly possible.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Lauren Greenfield

Wasting time on the internet, I came across this site today: Lauren Greenfield Photography.. A very happy find and VERY relevant to my previous post. Here is a little bit about Ms. Greenfield:

"Acclaimed photographer Lauren Greenfield is considered a preeminent chronicler of youth culture as a result of her groundbreaking projects Girl Culture and Fast Forward. Her photographs have been widely exhibited and are in many museum collections including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the International Center of Photography. She was named by American Photo as one of the 25 most influential photographers working today."

Friday, April 11, 2008


I am, by no means, a prude. I think human form is beautiful. I paint it, I photograph it, I don't have any freaky-weird hang-ups about nudity, but I have a serious problem with this company. (No offense, friend who works for Abercrombie and Fitch and has launched this new sub-brand). The first glimpse we get at this new arm of Abercrombie and Fitch is a "promotional" video on their website which, by the way, you have to submit your age in order to view. The video is a montage of naked, anorexic-looking young women and buffed, tan men swimming, dancing, flirting and hanging up laundry in the great outdoors. My problem with this is that the target audience for A&F consumers is usually 18 and under (partially because of the style and partially because no one with an actual ass or thighs could wear their clothes otherwise)...the women featured in this video could not be older than 18, IF they were even that "old." What I want to know is WHY do we need to use sex to sell to girls that are 14? I mean, seriously, that is so ridiculously unimaginative and lame. 14 year old girls have neither the ability nor the maturity to understand these messages or make informed choices regarding what this brand is telling them. Do I think they should be banned? Absolutely NOT, but I don't think A&F supports or endorses healthy, substantive role-models for young women and uses ideas and images that send inappropriate and confusing messages to young women (and men). I just wonder who makes decisions to put these images and messages out there and why. It is not smart, it is not anything new, and it feeds a social beast that eats away at the self-esteem of so many women. Where is ANY sense of responsibility?