Visiting Earth and beyond - in Maui

 "We are all just visitors to Earth."  - this quote, words spoken by a park ranger at Haleakala National Park in response to our reply that my friends and I were visiting this lovely island from New Orleans, perfectly summed up my ethereal birthday jaunt around the island of Maui last month.

I got an idea of what I was in for when my first glimpse of the island was this incredible moonset over West Maui Mountain. 

When I wasn't watching whales,

or meandering around Mars (a.k.a. the summit of Haleakala),

or photographing the dawn of my 45th trip around the sun,

 I was contemplating humankind's place in this vast world. 

 It was easy to do in a world so large yet at the same time so small.

Tiny planes were dwarfed by towering mountains, 

Tiny boats surrounded by Pacific waters, 

tiny pedestrians sharing the road through the vast countryside,

and tiny cyclist navigating mountainous curves.

Reverence is ubiquitous here and it is understood that rather than a choice, its a way of life. 

It has to be, otherwise drivers are faced with two way traffic on one way roads  

with...

(haha)

The land itself exudes that appreciation 

and it permeates throughout the culture.

Lucky for me that reverent vibe followed me home to New Orleans just in time to see our country go bonkers.  With all the divisiveness going on, it was refreshing to be in place that understands that regardless of who we are, where we live or what we believe,  at the end of the day we are all simply visitors to this earth.  And respect for ourselves, each other and our land is an essential part of living.

Nice way to spend a birthday.

~~~***~~Aloha~~***~~~

Shout out to Michael, Monica and Alex ... it was a birthday adventure to remember...Mahalo!

all content (c) Natasha Sanchez

From Antiquity to Tranquility.. The Louisiana World Tour

When I began what would be the Last Louisiana World Tour of 2016 back in September, the plan was simple. 

 

I was going to re-visit Sicily Island for some re-shoots, and then check out the Native American mounds that surround the area.  BUT…then my car broke down and plans changed.  (see last blog entry)

Suddenly car-less, I was determined to finish the re-shoots that I needed to get to complete the World Tour performance piece…so, with my handy Nissan Rental, I headed to Sicily Island, Copenhagen, Lisbon AND Athens…all in one day.  I got the shots I wanted and, in keeping with the theme of the World Tour, then some.

First, I found my way to Sicily Island where I got to see even more of the town than last time.. I didn’t know that was possible. 

But most importantly, what I really wanted to capture was the Mediterranean charm of Sicily Island, Lake Louie.  (also referred to as Lovelace Lake)

Overlooking the lake was the vista of my original World Tour intent, Peck Mound.

Peck Mound 650-860CE

Peck Mound was occupied from 650 to 860 by the Troyville & Coles Creek Culture. Of the five mounds in the complex, only one is no longer visible.  I could have continued on as planned and explored the other mounds in the area, but I instead traveled onward to Copenhagen where I photographed familiar scenes, though this time around I did not get lost or maim a squirrel (click on the link to refresh your memory).  I did, however, find myself surrounded by Forests and my Horse Friends.  I also was able to capture a sparkly sign pic.

 I still wanted to explore the Ancient World, so I drove a little further and reached another mound site, Wade Landing, seemingly in the middle of nowhere.

The Road to Antiquity

Yet it is easily visible from the road…a little piece of antiquity with a giant mansion right next to it.  According to the marker it is about 1000 years old and the cemetery on top of the mound helps to preserve it.

Wade Landing, 1000 year old Mound

Finally, it was time to head up north where I once again drove through the metropolis of Lisbon, and picked a few new shots on my way to Athens

 Lisbon, Louisiana

(I always shoot a tree when I'm in Lisbon)

 

As I arrived in Athens in Northwest Louisiana, it was as much as I left in 5 years ago. 

Athens Town Hall

But I did discover another church.

St. Rest, Athens, Louisiana

I really wanted a shot from a hill, as I read that Athens, Louisiana was named for Athens, Greece and the original town was built on top a hill.  Ask and ye shall receive..

At the end of the day, I found a hotel near Vienna and got to work looking up what ancient mounds could be around this area. Most of the mounds in Louisiana are in the east, situated along bayous and the river. I wasn’t expecting to find any in North Central Louisiana, but lo and behold…..I found one!

The next morning I was off. I passed through Vienna long enough to capture this sign – Old Wire Road. The sign, situated between two posts of blooming morning glories, says that it was the first road across North Louisiana and began as an Indian trail.    How apropos..

Old Wire Road, Vienna, Louisiana

View from the Road near Lisbon & Vienna

Turns out the mounds I was heading for were only a short drive from Lisbon where i had been a day earlier.  Hidden amongst the trees and fancy houses of Union Parish and overlooking D’Arbonne Lake is Scott Place Mounds.

D'Arbonne Lake

The mounds from the late Coles/Creek early Plaquemine periods dates to about 1200. This by far was my favorite mound to photograph. As I kept climbing up the hill I couldn’t place where the mounds would be. Just around the corner though, there was the sign and the mound.

800 year old Scott Place Mounds

On the way back home I got to take in some more Louisiana loveliness. I also got to experience some good ole southern hospitality. As I stopped to take this photo, 

Louisiana Bayou

a truck immediately pulled up behind me, the driver jumped out thinking that I was having car trouble. I thanked him and told him I wasn’t ..I was just driving like a maw maw in my my Nissan Rental observing the State of my World.

This particular World Tour may not have gone as planned, instead it was so much better and left me in a state of true reverence.It reaffirmed that the present coexists with the past and reminds us that nothing is more important than preserving the State of Our World, both the inner and outer, for the future.

Flowers blooming in 2016 at 800 year old Scott Place Mounds

In that regard, this World Tour road trip, and all my World Tour road trips have been:

It’s all in how you see it. 

 

 

 

Thanks for reading, viewing and supporting the State of My World

~ Natasha

all content (c) Natasha Sanchez

************

The Louisiana World Tour, a philosophical and photographic road trip through the state of my world, began in 2011 under the premise that the world is as large or as small as you want it to be. Since that time, over 20 "international" destinations have been visited in Louisiana. The Ancient Louisiana World Tour began in 2016 and aims to complement the Louisiana World Tour by honoring the  natural landscape and those who came before us.  Follow the blog for more exciting adventures! 

 

Once Upon the Side of the Road - Its a Whole New World

If we are facebook besties, no doubt you've heard the story. While heading out to Sicily (Island) (Louisiana) last week, my car engine died along with the brakes.  My first and only thought when I finally coasted to a stop was "this could have been sooooo much worse".  I was grateful for the chance to make it to the side of the road and that nothing was blocking my path.

For the first time in the 5 years that I have been Touring the World, I was disappointed. My goal has always been to simply make it to the town and photograph something with the town name.  This tour was a little different, I have already visited Sicily (Island).  I was going back for some re-shoots and to explore the nearby Ancient World of Native American mounds.   Yet it looked like there would be no World Tourin' on this trip.

Until...

After being slightly bitter and texting friends this pic with the caption "Worlds Most Boring World Tour",

Worlds Most Boring World Tour

I found a tiny butterfly. 

Tiny Yellow Butterfly

It occurred to me that one of my favorite places in da world is The Forest. Pick a Forest, any Forest.  When I'm not photographing lizards or reflections for American Photo Safari, or hosting songwriters and musicians at Buffas Bar & Restuarant, I am most likely hanging out in the forest with bunnies and butterflies, or at least thats what I'm daydreaming about.

So there I was, stranded on the side of the road waiting for my Tow Truck Driver in Shining Steel,  feeling a little down about not being able to complete the world tour, when I realized - I was right where i wanted to be - in the forest.  Everyday we drive on these concrete strips of cleared land ignoring or not even considering the world around us as we anticipate the world ahead of us.

So I decided to go on tour after all and explore this enchanting terrain with moody shots of the forest, a whole new world just on the side of the road.

And shadow selfies, natch.  

I was mildly pleased with myself for photographing this spider web:

Until I stumbled across this one:

When the tow truck finally arrived it brought with it more photographic opportunities - 

reflective selfies

(apropos)

And shots of my car on its way to its final resting place just outside of Sorrento.

.  

A fitting end to a car that brought me all over the world, the road.. and then some.

The Worlds Most Boring World Tour turned into the Worlds Most Exciting One after all with more adventures ahead. 

Til next time..

Up Next:

The World Tours Final Chapter Begins

with

Scenes from The Rental Car

All content (c) Natasha Sanchez

 

 

 

The Ancient Louisiana World Tour Begins at the Beginning - in Algiers, Louisiana

Its a new World Tour Era!

There are two things I've always wanted to incorporate into the World Tour - lumen prints and our ancient past.  Louisiana is far older and wiser than its recorded years so I have a launched a new component to the World Tour:  fossils.  Ok, modern fossils. Ok, lumen prints more precisely. Ok, massive artistic license..... I love the lumen print process for its magnificent simplicity - a solar photogram resulting in an impression of our World - as is. So I'll be revisiting & impressing upon many of those fascinating locales that we all know and love. (Get ready   Poland, Hamburg & Lisbon- I'm coming back atcha!)  Shadowing my inaugural World Tour,  I decided there was no better place to start my Ancient World Tour than the first place I could ever call home, Algiers on the West Bank of the Mississippi in New Orleans.

I wasn't quite sure how i wanted to start my fossil expedition, I just knew I wanted to make lumens from all those international locales. Yet when I teach photo workshops in the French Quarter - I often look to the past, envisioning how the French Quarter used to look as a French colony or how it looked under the Spanish rule after it was rebuilt after the fires of the late 1700's.  It took a while, but it finally dawned on me to apply that same logic to my artistic endeavors.  I wanted to visualize how Algiers & the city of New Orleans looked before it was even a glint in a Frenchmens eye - it was a cypress swampland, natch.

Thus begins my first World Tour experi-prints:  bona fide fossils, complete with swampy scenes and cypress knees:

Algiers Cypress Tree Fossil, Lumen Print, 2016

Cypress Branch, Lumen Print, 2016

Cypress Knees, Lumen Print 2016

Algiers Cypress Fossil, Lumen Print 2016

Swampy Scene, Lumen Print, 2016

I could easily get lost in thought in Ancient Algiers

what with the wildlife and natural landscape 

But then its kinda hard to miss the modernization.

Today, cypress trees line the sidewalks of Algiers alongside relics of our present and past.

Bacchus & Oyster Shell

I'm looking forward to revisting the State of My World and exploring said relics and fossils. I'll be stopping off at antiquity here and there as well.  Check back as I create modern fossils from our ancient past.

Til next time...

all content (c) Natasha Sanchez

Ushering in a new World Tour era - in Welcome, Louisiana

The World is only as large or as small as we want it to be - 'tis a lasting premise of the World Tour, which began in July 2011.  After visiting over twenty enchanting locales all over the world (all conveniently located within Louisiana), the State of My World

proved to be much larger than I ever envisioned.  I have had the good fortune to share my experiences with others through my blog, photo exhibitions and in performance with my one woman show, Louisiana: The State of My World, which was most recently produced in Hammond, Louisiana (once part of the British Territory of West Florida). To accompany the performance and to bookend the last 5 years of my ever-changing, never-changing, life-changing World Tour, I created the World Tour songbook featuring photographs and lyrics to 7 of my World Tour adventure tunes.  You can peruse/purchase on blurb.com or  wait for the State of My World tour bus to arrive in your hometown (teehee) as I am currently retooling the performance piece and will soon be searching for exciting new venues to share my world.

But alas, for every ending there is a  beginning so in 2016 - it is time to begin anew.  I am embarking on a new World Tour expedition!  I'll explore familiar areas but with a new angle - said angle will be revealed once I actually go somewhere - but for now I thought it apropos to welcome in this new endeavor by visiting Welcome, LA.

Welcome, Louisiana

Welcome is located on the West Bank of the Mighty Mississippi. As per World Tour protocol, one of my favorite parts of my trip to Welcome was the journey itself. I was stuck in swampy traffic for an hour, but I took the opportunity to write a song that I'd been meaning to write and the sights were a delight.

                           Waiting for Traffic                                                            Crawfish Season! 

In Welcome I discovered fields of sugar cane, wildflowers and long endless roads.

Sugar Cane* Wildflowers* Long Endless Road

The Inner Geographer in me noted that Rome(ville) was just across the river from Welcome, so off I went..

The Bridge to Rome(ville)

However, the Inner Geographer in me didn't complete any postgraduate academic work so had a heck of a time trying to find Rome(ville). The tomatos really should have tipped me off..

Again, true to World Tour form, there were signs to let me know I was on the right track.

St Mary's Chapel    Convent, Louisiana

And then I found the sign:

Romeville * Romeville Road * Almost perfectly framed tree

I left the area feeling quite content

and ready to start a new chapter of the World Tour, 

exploring the World we live in.

Welcome Wildflowers

Til next time....

 

 

all content (c) Natasha Sanchez

 

Reaching New Heights - at Driskill Mountain, Louisiana

Not only have I traveled the world from A(Algiers) to Z(Zwolle), I have also traveled the world from top to bottom.

Starting out in New Orleans with the lowest elevation of -8 feet below sea level, I eventually found my way to Louisianas highest elevation – Driskill Mountain at a staggering elevation of 535 feet.

 On a whirlwind weekend trip of the world, I couldn’t help but notice that all the signs were there to let me know that the World Tour was on its way to higher heights..like this passing plane. 

and Poland’s General Store.

Driskill Mountain is located in Bienville Parish, south of Ruston and east of Shreveport. The mountain sits on private property, which is graciously offered to the public by the landowners. After walking a little ways down the road you begin the (not so) harrowing hike up the hill (mountain). The trail is marked to let you know you are on the right path.

Its about a 15 to 20 minute hike unless you stop to take pictures of butterflies, tiny pinecones, ginormous trees, and cool lighting. (then its about an hour)

Once you get to the top of the world, I mean, mountain, there is a kiosk to let you know you’ve made it and an overlook to Jordan Mountain, elevation 492 feet.

 There are also benches in this very peaceful setting to contemplate things like…”where do you go when you’ve been to the top of the world (tour) and back?”

Guess you get back on the road.

 Til next time..

all content (c) Natasha Sanchez

Where in the World is the World Tour?

I started my 43rd trip around the sun here:

2014 was a busy year – the two large projects I started in 2011, the Louisiana World Tour and fLight - a lumen print series of feathers - were more or less completed by the end of the year. But for every end there’s a beginning and I thought taking flight for my birthday in January might be a good way to spread my wings and expand my world.

I saw Egypt:

egyptian obelisk

and, according to some school kids running thru the place, Hogwarts.  (I think they were Hufflepuffs)

selfie in a castle

..and even a touch of home:

mardi graz graffiti

I explored the world of ancient lizards

ancient lizard

and took selfies with ancient bird/reptile wings after reading about the similar composition of bird feathers & lizard scales and getting really excited. 

In July 2011, after my inaugural World Tour trip toAlgiers, I pondered the purpose of the World Tour:

'Or maybe it's to confirm that the world is as only as big as our perspectives, and the extraordinary can be found right in our own backyards - if only we are open to seeing it.'

The World Tour definitely opened my eyes to a much larger world and the feathers kept me grounded. Now it seems both projects are ready to fly

.  

So you can imagine that the best photographic surprise of the trip was realizing, while looking at the 6,000 cell phone photos I took of the Egyptian obelisk, that I had unwittingly captured my two projects in one photo – the worldly obelisk along with a pair of feathered birds soaring high in the right hand corner. (best to zoom)

World Tour fLight

'Twas a nice way to begin the end. 

til next time..

Flying Among the Stars

all content (c) Natasha Sanchez

Going Dutch - in Zwolle, Louisiana

In Summer 2011, I launched the Louisiana world tour where it all began for me – in Algiers, LA.  In three years time, I have cruised the alphabet from A to Z and I’ve traveled from the heights of Lisbon (331 ft) to the nether land of Venice  (0 ft) Now it's time for some tamales from Zwolle.  

Zwolle Tamales

Zwolle (203 ft) is a town in Sabine Parish, just west of Bermuda, near Natchitoches.   Upon arriving in Zwolle, I made sure containers were closed, then tiptoed through the buttercups to photograph the town sign. 

Zwolle Corps Limit * Tiptoe through the Buttercups

Zwolle is famous for its tamales.

So much so that there is an annual Zwolle Tamale Fiesta, this year it will be held October 9-11, and the signs of it are all over town.  The festival aims to celebrate the Indian, Spanish and French culture of the area. 

Hardware, Auto Parts & Tamale Fiesta * Zwolle Tamale Fiesta float

Forestry is a big industry in Zwolle.  And yes, there’s a festival for that.

Zwolle Logs * Zwolle Loggers & Forestry Festival float

After photographing the Festival Fun, I went a block or two over to photograph the town and anything with the name, as is my World Tour custom. Everybody was really friendly. 

Zwolle Neighborhood * Zwolle Train Depot * Zwolle City Hall * Friendly Tractor Driver in Zwolle

As far as the World Tour goes, Zwolle has it all.  The mission, of course, is to photograph the town name.  Not only was the name everywhere, but there were miniature signs on the Forestry Festival floats (say that 10x fast).

Zwolle Logger & Forestry Festival float

A common question I ponder about all the towns I visit iswhy they are named what they are .  I have researched most of them. Yet in Zwolle, all I had to do was to look no further than a storefront window:

Zwolle Town Name

Reading the informative façade, I learned that Zwollewas named in 1896 by Jans de Goeijen for his hometown in The Netherlands.  He was impressed by the peaceful surroundings of St Joseph Church.  As was I. 

St Joseph Church grounds   Zwolle, LA

 

The feeling of having it all in Zwolle is akin to the moment of triumph I felt reaching the summit in Himalaya.  A moment of knowing that the World is enough, andwill always be as large, or as small, as you want it to be. When I started the Louisiana World Tour in 2011, I was searching for a larger world. In 2014, I am content to see what I find.  Its a peaceful easy feeling that keeps me going.  

Tot de volgende keer,

Natasha

** Shout out to Christine who accompanied me on this adventure, gave me a place to stay and filled me in on stories of the area! **

all content (c) Natasha Sanchez

 

Snapshots of York - in Color & B&W

York AL is a short drive from Cuba, so I thought I’d step out in the town for a few minutes to see what it's all about. After going through the photos, many of the images reminded me of older photos I have of another York - not the one in England – a “New” York if you will. Thought it would be fun to compare.  

Welcome To York AL * Central ParkNYC

As it was late in the day when I arrived, the streets of York were buzzing with activity, much like its northern counterpart.

Downtown York, AL    *    Carnegie Hall "New" York

The buildings may not be as high in York, AL as in NYC, but still, the town center was clearly defined.

Downtown York, AL   *    Times Square NYC

No matter where I travel, I always end up photographing churches. 

Progressive Church of Jesus Christ York AL*   St Patricks CathedralNYC

I’m really glad I took the time to visit York – it reminded me of why I am even on a World Tour. Sometimes it’s good just to stop for a sec,  see the world from a different angle, and realize the commonalities.

Yellow Building, Red Light

And that’s what keeps me tourin’..

Central Park Runner NYC

Catch ya down the road...

 

all content (c) Natasha Sanchez

It's Back! The 2014 World Tour in its Prime - Meridian, Ms

I cruised the world in about 10 hours last Tuesday.  It was fun.  It’s been a while since I've hit the road, traveling the globe.  It’s easy to lose direction when you've been so far removed from something, or busy and preoccupied with other things. With that thought in mind, I launched the 2014 World Tour in a location so prime - Meridian, MS that I’d be sure to stay on course.

What struck me first about Meridian, MS, was the Color. As I drove past the Meridian Public Library, 

I caught sight of this colorful carousel horse:

As is my World Touring custom, I don’t do much, if any, research on the towns prior to my visit, although I did know a smidge about Meridian.  I prefer to see the World with fresh eyes and take the learn-as-I-go approach.   My goal remains to simply make it to the town and photograph anything with the town name on it.  (If there is anything). Everything else is philosophical lagniappe.

So when I first stumbled upon the Carousel horse, I thought I was making a Great Archeological Discovery. (not really, but it was fun to pretend..). A short walk around Downtown Meridian and I realized the carousel horses were everywhere and that they must be a part of a Public Art Project.  Which they are.  I  didn’t know about the Dentzel Carousel, a feature of Meridian since 1909, listed on the National Historical Register in 1987.  And I didn’t know, but kinda, about Hope Village for Children,  the organization that helps foster children in Meridian. I say that I “kinda” know about it because it was started by Sela Ward in 2000 and I sort of (kinda) remember hearing something about that.

  The carousel horses were a public art project benefitting Hope’s Village for Children. Upon learning about this wonderful organization that helps to create a home for neglected and abused children, I was inspired to make a  donation in the spirit of expanding the world for others.   

It was no wonder that I was drawn to the vibrancy of the otherwise quiet downtown section of Meridian.  The matching flower basket and fire hydrant brighten up the corner in front of jewelry shop – thepink building in the background is the Meridian Museum of Art.

A monkey on a bike adorns the yard of the same jewelry shop.

On my stroll through the quaint and quiet downtown,

I was drawn to the colorful reflections, shapes and patterns of the buildings.

There was a Subway on the ground floor of this center building. I don’t know why that makes me chuckle, but it does.

The Art Deco design of the abandoned Threefoot building compelled me to later research this beautiful structure. I learned that it opened in 1930 and that the Threefoots  were a German American family who owned and operated a grocery store in downtown Meridian. At 16 stories, it is the tallest building in Meridian.  It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979 and in 2010, the National Trust for Historic Places listed it as one of the 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.

Another prime reason for starting the 2014 World Tour in Meridian was its rich musical heritage. That, and my friend Samone is from there, is the ‘smidge’ I knew about Meridian prior to my arrival. The country great Jimmie Rodgers hails from Meridian and the festival named in his honor has been held in Meridiansince 1953. (FYI, the Jimmie Rodgers Music Festival will be held this yearMay 15 -17th)

 The renovated Riley Center, once known as the Grand Opera House, also on the National Historic Register, is now operated by Mississippi State University and hosts large musical acts. (John Prine will play here April 12th, just FYI)

The Temple Theatre, with its Moorish Revival design, is a prime example of the treasures of the  2014 World Tour. 

Happy Birthday Allison!

When I began the 2011 World Tour of the State of My World, Louisiana, in Algiers, the underlying mission was that I wanted my world to be larger.  After my first World Tour road trip to Transylvania, Delhi and Liverpool, I came back home to New Orleans and went on a weeklong open mic musical world tour – kicking off at the Old Point Bar in Algiers.   Since that time my musical world expanded as well as my photographic world.  I'm happy to begin the 2014 World Tour in a location that emcompasses all of my art forms - well, i didnt make any lumen prints in Meridian, - but 2 outta 3 (music & photography)  ain't bad.  

all content (c) Natasha Sanchez

 

Bugs, Butterflies, & Beyond

Tomorrow my World Tour resumes to all places local and exotic.  I thought it fitting on this World Tour Eve, to share my latest lumen print, "Flight".   But first, the story.... Last week on my Facebook page, I shared a story and photo of this broken butterfly wing I found on the sidewalk.

Butterfly Wing      2012

 Long story short, I suffer from a completely stereotypical girlish and irrational fear of bugs.  I managed to somewhat overcome this fear last week and scoop up the wing remainder with a pair of leaves....While I am not afraid of butterflies, I certainly don't want to touch them.  Scratch that - if one lands on me, I'd be delighted, but still, once that they have passed on, I really dont want to touch their deceased remains.  This is turning into quite a a problem with my Lumen Printing though, b/c there is no denying the beauty of a butterfly wing, or of other (certain) insects.

Butterfly & Flower        2009


Again...wanna print them....don't wanna touch 'em.  I've passed on a great many butterfly printing opportunities due to my inability to pick them up off of the sidewalk, so I devised other methods of making butterfly lumen prints..

Butterfly Stars        2012

My determination to pick up the butterfly wing last week puzzled me a bit.  It was, after all, only a partial wing, and probably wouldn't make much sense as a lumen print, which is simply a solar photogram.  My artificial one turned out quite nice.   It served a purpose though, it got me thinking about my first "bug" print....a cicada wing found floating in a friends pool (I made her fish it out for me...)

     Cicada & Leaves

And then....the swamp bug....

Just before the World Tour, I was working on a movie that  filmed in a swamp.  I became enamored with a pheasant feather (not exactly sure what kind of feather it was, looked like a pheasant..).  I took it home thinking it would make an interesting lumen print.  It did, and in fact, that feather started a new series of lumen prints of which I am still working on. Unbeknownst to me, however, that as I left the swamp, I had a bright green tiny bug stuck to my purse.  I discovered it the next day. To anyone else, this is no big deal, to me, well, it took one pair of tweezers and about an hour or two to remove it.  But I thought...hmmm... i could print this...

Feather & Bug  


I realized that butterflies, and therefore, insects,  had long been a part of my photographic reportoire:


Mariposa    (Handtinted Silver Gelatin)         2001


Paul's Butterfly  (from the series "The Class of 2019")      2008

Butterfly Ginger (Lumen Print)     2010

If you read the World Tour blogs, then you know part of the reason that I wanted to embark on the journey was to get back behind my camera lens. I had spent a long time on my lumen prints and wanted a change....just what the butterfly represents.  No wonder I like them! And fear them!  Well, not them, but insects, and maybe a little bit of change...  Anyhoo,  I couldn't give up on the Lumen Prints, so I've been working on the World Tour while simultaneously creating a new series of Feather lumen prints.  And now, the butterfly has awakened an "insect" calling...or is it just the wings?  Feathers...wings....flight...World Tour travels...I'm starting to see a pattern here...

Flight             2012


Tomorrow, the Louisiana World Tour begins its final chapter.  What an amazing year and journey this has been.  However, all life is change and a new chapter soon begins....



Next Up on the World Tour:
Tales from the Orient

all content (c) Natasha Sanchez


Betty the Bullhorn's World Tour Detour


When the World Tour was in its early "planning for no plan" phase, it was understood that my guitar & ukulele, Miss Delta Blue and Miss Purple Lele, respectively, would come along for the ride, and, of course, Betty the Bullhorn.  I envisioned the instruments for the occasional open mic - it sure would have been great to play Hamburg! - and Betty, well, she just likes to travel.

Betty buried in the Sand   2008

I quickly learned, on my first tour to Delhi, Poverty Point, and Transylvania, that the Louisiana world tour was more about photographing, contemplating and philosophizing, and less about trying to find an open mic in Athens. (Athens, Louisiana, not Athens, Georgia, as it would make a lot more sense to play there...that's the next leg...)  


I also decided that Betty the Bullhorn would NOT be coming along for the rest of the Louisiana World Tour.  Betty, if you are unfamiliar with her, is a bullhorn that I adopted in the late '90s.  She had been working as a Movie Set Megaphone, but was tired of shouting "ACTION" and "CUT", and looking for something more meaningful in her life.  After living the bohemian life for a while, she realized her true talent was shouting out - helping others have their voices heard.  So she began modeling.

Betty on the Levee   2006

True to her word, Betty is just about the most honest bullhorn you will ever meet, and the work she does is valuable.  That being said, she is still a rabblerousin' rebellious bullhorn who likes to cross the line  now and then...
Betty on Tour    2011

Knowing that I wouldn't want to spend my time in Copenhagen or Poland bailing Betty out of Bullhorn Jail for trespassing and other misdemeanors, Betty decided she had too much free time on her horn.  Rather than pontificating in (the) Vatican, she decided to stay home for the remainder of the tour, and contemplate her next modeling job.  

Betty in the Clover Patch    2012

As she pondered in the clover patch, Betty knew her next photo series would continue on the tradition of shoutin' out for causes and beliefs that help promote social change.  Free Speech is of course always at the top of her list... but then then a new idea came to her.

Love.
It was as clear as a England Dan/John Ford Coley song....


Love is the Answer    2012
Love is indeed the answer!  Betty, having been in a committed relationship with Mike the Microphone since 2003, knows a thing or two about love, and she's determined to shout out for it as a solution for many problems.  After all, more often than not, fear is at the root of a problem, and more often than not, love is the answer to the problem.

Betty & her boyfriend, Mike    2003

So it appears that Betty's World Tour experience took a bit of a detour, but she found a whole new world (of love!)  in the process.



 And now she can't get that England Dan song out of her horn, so she for her series title, she put a Betty twist on another song.   (see below)   Stay Tuned for more pictures from her new series! 



Up Next:
Betty the Bullhorn:  All You Need to Shout is Love



Nattie in Nouvelle Orleans; Nueva Orleans; New Orleans, Louisiana

Two months into my World Tour and already it has taken an unexpected shape of its own. Primarily a photographic road trip, I also want to incorporate the music side of my artwork - my one woman band called Nattie.  (For the newbies, the band  "Nattie" consists of myself (Natasha), my guitar (Miss Delta Blue) and the witties ditties we create - I simply use "Nattie" as a stage or band name ) I figured I would play an occasional open mic in cities near my tour route, as neither Transylvania nor Liverpool, Louisiana has an open mic to my knowledge....(Though I might have had some luck in  (the)  Vatican..who knows...)

Tilben's Lounge  

That plan hasn't happened,  as I've been more into being contemplative with a camera than witty with a guitar during my road trips. However, I did appropriately kick off the music portion of the World Tour in July at the Old Point Bar inAlgiers, Louisiana after completing the first of my many World Tour photographic treks.

Musically, I've toured the world - without ever leaving the city of Nouvelle Orleans.  The plethora of open mics this city offers had me playing music almost every night.  I've since settled into three open mics, when tour and time allow,  that I really enjoy and seem best suited for my style.  These evenings are a great way to sharpen skills, share with others, and connect with new faces.    Since this blog is dedicated to the ditties, I thought I'd dust off the ol' Holga for some  imperfect and  old-timey NOLA shots... Buffas, on the edge of the French Quarter, okay -  on the Marigny side of Esplanade, I just wanted to use the word "French". I was pleased to be the Inaugural Performer for their first open mic night! It has since become one of my favorites.  Wednesdays at 8pm

Parasols in the Irish Channel Mondays at 8

and the Fair Grinds Coffeehouse in Faubourg St. John 2nd Thursdays @ 7

 I am currently in the process of putting together a show of  the International Louisiana towns I've traveled to, featuring my songs, stories, and photographs.    In December, Buffas will host, as part of PhotoNOLA,  the first of what I hope is many World Tour performance pieces.  More info to come, but  see details on the Buffas show here.

So yes, the World Tour has taken its own form.  I've had several people ask me, since I haven't had a blog post in recent weeks, if the tour is over.  My response?  No, the World Tour is not over - far from it.    It's only just beginning...

See ya around the world!  

- Natasha

On Tour in the French Quarter -

 Royal Street Aug 2011

photo M. Byrne

all content (c) Natasha Sanchez

 

** A shout out to all the awesome people I have met along my open mic journey including (but not limited to...) - DR, Owen aka Big Daddy O, Michael H, Stefan, Mike D, Maria aka Lady K, Vincent, Gina, Robert @  Fair Grinds, Dan, Toby, the ladies who support me but whose names I don't know...and all the people I've  chatted and shared with...I'm loving this trip!