The first time ever I saw your face, dreamy green island 🍀 An iPhone snap will never be able to do justice to my very first glimpse of Ireland . My eyes were as misty as this coastline realizing my epic solo EU adventure was about to begin. First country of three this sojourn!
I did a 32hr layover in Dublin and saw the Book of Kells at Trinity College, took in some beautiful works of art at the National Museum, walked along the River Liffey and did some time lapse photography on the Ha’penny Bridge, strolled St. Stephen’s Green, and braved energetic Temple Bar on a Friday night.
And then I was gone. ✈️
A woman like me alone in a city like this spells trouble, which is presumed, and I wish that you were here for the adventure. I love New York City like I will never again love any inanimate object that seems real and breathing to me, she embraces me every time, my passionate lover.
I am seated in patient anticipation. I hear her voice from afar only to come around the curve after Newark and see her brightly dyed hair tumble upon the nape of her bone-white neck in the form of the latest color scheme on the top of the Empire State Building. Her hands stretch out to greet me with a different bauble for every finger of her warm-heart-cold-hands. I leave the train, climb the escalator, step through the automatic doors to 8th Avenue, and am intertwined with her once more. She steals my breath into her mouth and slaps me across the face with her icy January winds for not calling. I love her with all of my heart and I let her seduce me, caressing every part of me, until I look at my cell phone and see it’s after midnight and someone else is awaiting my arrival.
She pouts with her arms suddenly folded, the black lace strap of her bra slipping down over her shoulder, and I put my finger to her blood red lips, Shh, not tonight, but I will be back tomorrow. I’m just as disappointed to leave as she is to see me go, onto the ferry, where she closes her eyes in sorrow like a woman who knows she’s the Other One in my life, and I realize some of her glittering eyeshadow has rubbed off on my cheek. A man next to me thinks I am crying, and maybe I am a little teary at the heartstopping way her skyline is sparkling like a pulsating mix of champagne and meteors; he offers me a handkerchief.
Anyone would be jealous of the way I dream of her at night, the way I think about her throughout days away. In the morning, she awakes me with the memory of her warm deep kisses and here I sit at 9:30am, plotting the hour when I will steal away to my secret lover New York City. Oh, if only you could see us when we’re together…
words ©️Alessandra Nicole 2004
We went location scouting to complete an alpaca wool clothing catalogue shoot and I found the perfect place!
Follow Alessandra on Instagram @Alessandra_Official
My favorite season of the year is upon us! I picked out some sunny flowers early this morning for the studio today. Our client liked them so much he included them on the set for his shoot. 🌼
I always try to grab a little snapshot of the NYC skyline after emerging from the tunnel in New Jersey.
Though the day was seasonably warm last week when we left the City, it wasn’t remarkable weather. That’s alright though, unremarkable snapshots are fun to play around with using iPhone apps and a friend of mine turned me onto one that gave me this result:
via Instagram @Alessandra_Official
So, who cares? It’s fun. Don’t judge the bad snapshots, use them to experiment. I create something, however small, daily. Sometimes an unremarkable snapshot inspires sketches, paintings, illustrations, short stories, down the line. I open my eyes and explore. That (and a little bit of love) is the stuff of life.
I am cozy, hot coffee in-hand, in my creative nook today editing last night’s event shoot while listening to Neil Finn as the snow falls softly outside- this late in March! I can’t believe I’m hearing snow plows scraping along the curvy bend outside the house. It was 65° just three days ago! Some craggy old seasons truly don’t know when to let go, move on, stop it’s petty vanity and let the new season settle in- WE ARE ALL READY for it. Your grace has withered away and you have Long overstayed. Winter, you are OVER! As Neil Finn sings in his song Recluse, you are like a “dog pissing on a statue,” trying to mark your territory and get your last shots in before delving back down below the equator. Go bully another continent! Give us fresh flourishing sun-kissed Spring! Freedom and light and colour and life-giving inhales and exhales!
A morning glance from my personal Instagram account: My day lily looks forlornly out at the snowy vista. She was looking forward to being planted outside this weekend but we’ll likely wait another week.
I have seen the world turning
in time you’ll find that some things
travel faster than light
In time you’ll recognise that love is larger than life
-Neil Mullane Finn, Faster Than Light
We got to see Neil Finn perform last year on Apr 11th at the Keswick Theatre in Glenside, PA, front and center, and were sent home swooning on a moonbeam of love. Such a great show!
Yesterday, we tucked ourselves hand-in-hand, book-bossomed, into a warm coffee shoppe with our recent findings from the book trader on 2nd + Market to try to revive a little inner apricity and to kill time before catching a film.
Taking a moment between pages and sips of fresh coffee in my typical state of glowy vorfreude to steal a glance at and a gaze from my mate, I noticed this fun typography:
Find Alessandra on Instagram @Alessandra_Official | Twitter @novembergrlfoto
I had the enlightening experience of attending a 2.5 day workshop about the Highly Sensitive Person personality trait over the weekend at the Kripalu Institute in Massachusetts. The workshop was conducted by Dr. Elaine Aron.
“May Peace Prevail Throughout the World”
Watching another beautiful spring day fade away in southeastern Chester County, PA
I like to use my non-public Instagram account like it’s a sketchbook for inspiration for the days I dedicate to my drawing table for illustrating (Public Instas: @alessandra_official and @thetreegrows).
I liked a lot of the aerial perspective lines of rainy day Center City that led to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and imagination-inspiring things such as a rooftop tennis court. I also liked catching One Liberty Place peeking out from behind other buildings and in reflections at street level. Anthropomorphizing buildings and playing with the idea of uses for roof tops comes in handy when story boarding book projects and creating new settings.
Southern Chester County, PA lends itself to visual gems around nearly every curve. Sun-drenched Sundays after a bit of brunch we take a cruise around and take it all in.
Last week we had one final snow just before the spring equinox. While it was beautiful, we’re all looking forward to the flora and new colour palette a proper spring is going to bring to the region!
I lost a friend and an irreplaceable, impeccably kindred spirit just before Thanksgiving suddenly and much sooner than I ever, ever expected. She was just 31. Beyond that, I really have no words for it.
Turning down a lane behind Barnard Orchards in Chester County, PA this foggy misty morning I drank in this tranquility, and wept.
I was a diehard Blackberry user when my Pearl died in a puddle of beer at a Levon Helm show in Philadelphia 5 years ago and because my cellphone carrier wouldn’t give me a break on a replacement, I was forced into getting the iPhone 3. Like Dorothy crossing the threshold from Kansas to Oz, the technological upgrade changed drastically the way I saw the world around me and my compulsion to capture the moments that reach out to me.
Below is a reworked version of one of the first iPhone images I made. At the time, this composition to me was about two lovers in another time reuniting in each other’s arms once more.
Near the top of my list of Most Romantic Experiences is taking a train ride up to NYC on a lazy Sunday, just for the day. NY Times in my lap, his head resting on my shoulder, swaying in a train… We arrive comfortable, relaxed and emerge into the city unencumbered by the usual gear, baggage; untethered to any vehicle. Free as a bird. Grab your mate by the hand and try it!
I read a quote online recently that I can’t seem to relocate but the essence of it was something like this:
Who will regard your dying as beautiful?
Those of us in love with the season of Autumn as much as I must on some level regard aging and letting go as a beautiful process; a glorious celebration in bursts of colour, sexy textures, smokey scents. Summer’s tantrum is through and the following season is an eloquent, sensual eulogy before a snowy funeral, really; at least if you live in an area that experiences four proper seasons.
Where else in life do we regard the aging and dying process as such a gorgeous one? What if we were to embrace it in each other with such revelry, presence, appreciation as well?
Posting this from a silver bullet in the shape of a vehicle on its way up the NJTP to New York City where we are spending the weekend; a lil bit of work and a whole lotta play!
The temps are unseasonably warm for October this year but the foliage is still popping with colour! Autumn brings elegant passion and beauty to dying. It’s such a brilliant and tactile season of vibrancy, crunch; the scent of smoke and apples, the gentle contrast of a chill in the evening paired with a renewed and electric awareness of the warmth of your lover’s cheek so close to yours. This is undeniably my most favorite of the four seasons.
“Heaven is here — you just have to know how to live it. And hell too is here, and you know perfectly well how to live it. It is only a question of changing your perspective, your approach towards life. The earth is beautiful. If you start living its beauty, enjoying its joys you are in paradise. If you condemn everything, then the same earth turns into a hell — only for you. It depends on you where you live, it is a question of your own inner transformation. It is not a change of place, it is a change of inner space. Live joyously, guiltlessly, live totally. And then heaven is no more a metaphysical concept, it is your own experience.”
Enjoying every moment so far of the second day of Autumn here in Chester County, PA. This is one of those places that breathes life back into me again. These cows always seem to be in perfect contentment! I just love to see them graze.
A breath away from this serenity is an atrocity that is a Toll Bros. housing development. It is one of the (many) great travesties in America “culture” that a land development company can knock down a bunch of trees, fill the acres with uninspired made-to-order houses, and further insult the region by calling this cramped new neighborhood “The Preserves”. “Cut down all the trees and name the streets after them…”
The dairy farm after “The Preserves” helps me believe in humanity again.
Today is Ganesh’s birthday! Hindus celebrate the birthday of Lord Ganesh for Auspicious Beginnings. This particular likeness lives in the foyer of my boyfriend’s studio. He found it in a sea port town on the west coast of India while traveling. I find almost anything elephant-related to be auspicious so I like to acknowledge the birthday.
Ganesh on Wkipedia
HuffPost article about the 11-day festival
Wherever you go, go with all your heart. –Confucius
Philadelphia is home to more beautiful murals per capita than any other city I’ve been to. Here is one:
Lazy, hazy late summer evening in Chester County, PA.
A friend of mine sent me a regular iPhone snapshot of where he was yesterday and I did a quick edit (under 20 seconds) and created this fun image:
Care to guess what it is? If I get any guesses I’ll post the original photo here too.
UPDATE: getting some cool guesses on Facebook:
My old friend Jason guessed correct. It’s the great spiral staircase at the massive three-story Apple store in Boston. Here’s the original snap:
This perfect, blissful summer weather lately! Again we found ourselves hand-in-hand in Philadelphia; crossing the cobbles to slake our thirst for good films.
Earlier this week I walked the Brooklyn Bridge for the first time in my life which is stunning only to me because I lived in Williamsburg for a short chapter. In one month I went from the Golden Gate to the Brooklyn Bridge. Not bad 🙂
“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing which stands in their way.” -William Blake
“From Out the Cave” – Joyce Sutphen
When you have been
at war with yourself
for so many years that
you have forgotten why,
when you have been driving
for hours and only
gradually begin to realize
that you have lost the way,
when you have cut
hastily into the fabric,
when you have signed
papers in distraction,
when it has been centuries
since you watched the sun set
or the rain fall, and the clouds,
drifting overhead, pass as flat
as anything on a postcard;
when, in the midst of these
everyday nightmares, you
understand that you could
you could turn
and go back
to the last thing you
with your whole heart:
that passionate kiss,
the brilliant drop of love
rolling along the tongue of a green leaf,
then you wake,
you stumble from your cave,
blinking in the sun,
naming every shadow
as it slips.
©Alessandra Nicole, All Rights Reserved
“The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible.” -Oscar Wilde
Often iPhone photography is fabulous for conjuring new illustration and painting ideas. I treat the pictures I create like a sketchbook and file them in a special place for when I need inspiration at my drawing desk.
As the twig is bent the tree inclines. -Virgil
God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December. -James M. Barrie
©Alessandra Nicole | All Rights Reserved
©Alessandra Nicole | All Rights Reserved