she came. she conquered. she went.

dona. bella dona.

photographer. mother. lover.

artist. philosopher. poet.

warrior. worker. chef. 

the dusty white van with new mexico plates pulled up, cowboy boots spilling onto the sidewalk. she's heeeeee-er! 

set up booth. eat. sleep. set up booth some more. coffee. talk. charm. flirt. sell. eat. drink. sleep.

more coffee. more flirting. more selling. more eating and drinking. take down booth. bathe. eat. drink. sleep. 

drive for two days ... home. rest. repeat. 

the life of an artist is NOT EASY! 

i remember when, years ago, dona told me she couldn't NOT do photography. she HAS TO. to me, she is a real artist, the real macoy. she just has to express herself in this medium, and share her vision with the world. and she works like a dog -- fortunately at the thing she loves most -- so she can send her son to private school, has for 10 years.  

dona was here for the mill valley art festival this weekend. showed her stunning photography, mostly horses and nudes. each piece printed in her dreamy style, b/w, sepiatoned and/or hand colored. and framed by hand! each unique piece receives a unique frame -- either an old window or an antique frame, fixed up then distressed or painted then distressed some more. people love her frames as much as they love her photography. so much work goes into them. many artfest-goers took home an original dona piece. the festival was a success!

last month i was in santa fe helping dona set up/break down her booth for the huge annual indian market. she needs extra help these days. you see, her partner of 10 years passed over in january. he was her rock, and now he is gone. the grief process is hard enough without having to heft tents and panels and giant framed pictures and tables and all, preparing for a show. or maybe the grief process is easier, physical work releasing energy that needs to move in order to go on. either way, it's too hard to do it all on her own. (and time does heal the heart. she's balancing better these days.)

ruminating around her artful space, i made pictures of the things i saw. some are her photographs, some are photographs of her, some are photographs of others’ she has hanging around. 

as you can probably tell, i love this woman, this friend of mine. we have knows each other since our florida days ... she was working as a photo lab tech at the palm beach post where i had my second internship as a photojournalist. we hit it off. instant friends forever. soul sisters.

she was an emerging photographer and i helped her get her first photography job at the newspaper where my roommate was the photo editor, the palm beach daily news. and she was off and running. look at her now!