A Girl Named Leney

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Posts tagged Richmond
On The Move
Walden Pond shot in Kodak Gold 35mm film Winter 2017

Walden Pond shot in Kodak Gold 35mm film Winter 2017

It has been a little over a year now since I left and moved away from Richmond.
Granted, only to the bay, which is a second home and place of familiarity in and of itself, but it’s the first time I have ever lived anywhere other than in the city I have called home for my entire life.

This is not something I have ever explicitly shared on the internet, and something that many people still don’t really know about me, though here and there over the course of the year it has been implied and referenced in varying ways or conveyed in person to various individuals.

But to spell it out, a year ago I packed up my apartment in The Fan and (after many many trips because I stubbornly refused to rent some sort of Uhaul which made the whole process way harder than it needed to be…) moved to the bay.

The move was made for a number of reasons, and I wasn’t really sure how long I’d be there, but it was mostly an initial attempt at listening to a voice I have had echoing in me for several years that I hadn’t fully listened to until that point.

A voice telling me I needed to go.

I have been feeling the tug to move away and go off and do something else for a while, but the various doors I pursued stayed closed and the timing just never seemed right. That, and there wasn’t any one reason to really go other than just the feeling that, for some reason, I needed to.
This was coupled with the fact that it wasn’t easy for me to leave Richmond.
Because despite the fact that I had felt the tug to leave, I’ve yet to find a place that I love as much as this city. I still get teary eyed driving down the cobblestone streets of my old neighborhood and there isn’t a block in the whole city that doesn’t have some sort of memory associated with it.


No matter where I am in the world, and whether or not I ever permanently come back, it will always be my home.

It is, perhaps, a case of not realizing what you have until it’s gone.
But I actually don’t think that was ever really the case. I have had a hard time leaving Richmond because I have always known what I’ve had there. It’s a place I will never not love with every fiber of my being.
But what I eventually came to realize was that, one, just because I didn’t have a practical or subbstantal reason for wanting to leave, it didn’t mean I was running away from something. And, two, it would never be the right time to leave. It would always be comfortable and this place would always be my home. But there was also the realization that the more time went on, the more my motivation for staying was out of fear, and if there is one thing I refuse to allow to influence the choices I make in my life, it’s that.

And so I have been gone for a year.

Living in a small town on the bay where I knew no one but have over the course of the past four seasons, made some of the dearest friends and have had some of the most important revelations and experiences in my life.

Most are simple in nature, but I have found that it is in simplicity that the most clarity comes.

This place on the water has become yet another home for me. It has been my Walden pond of sorts, (something I have written about here) my Thoroughvian experiment to suss out what is most important in my life and to see what I could do without in order to find what it was I needed to hold onto.

Although, all of that being said, I have to admit that I have not spent more than two consecutive weeks there during the entire year. I have still been on the go. Back to Richmond (much more than I thought I would be… turns out an hour and half isn’t really far enough to be away from it for any length of time), New Orleans, Atlanta, New York, The Wild and Wonderful Road Trip (a two month cross country road trip involving 30 states), and then most recently England and Greece.

All of that being said, it was always meant to be temporary, a stepping stone to the next thing.
I feel as though I have been waiting and seeking that next thing with a somewhat exhausting vigilance and searching which has at times led me to not really and truly appreciate where I presently am and the gift that this season has been. And now that I feel it coming to a close, I am wanting to hang onto it, to not let go.

But there is something on the horizon for me. A thing I feel sure about, as scary as it feels too.
But even that is a confirmation.
The fear.
The push it is giving me in the direction it emanates from is sign enough for me that this is the next right thing.


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Event | Slow Living With The Village Magazine
www.agirlnamedleneycom

i am so very excited to announce that i will be cohosting a slow living event with friends from The Village Magazine on July 29th here in my hometown of Richmond, VA and you are all invited! 

what is slow living and what will we be doing at this event?

(well, for an initial introduction into what slow living means to me you should head to this page on my site.)

The Art of Slow Living.
it’s a phrase that’s becoming more mainstream, hashtagged and popular these days, but what does it really mean?
what does it look like to #liveslow?

for me?
it’s a lifestyle.
it’s a lens through which you can choose to view everything that surrounds you.
how you perform tasks, the mindset you hold, how you prioritize your life.
it’s the idea that allows you to embody mindfulness and intentionality in everything that you do.
two practices that are becoming increasingly important in the fast paced, motion driven world we live in.

it’s been a journey that i set out on a few years ago and has since changed my life in more ways than i can account for or quantify. 

i would so very much love to meet you and have an opportunity to connect and talk and become real-life friends!
check out the links below to learn how you can come be a part of this fun evening. there will be delicious homemade cocktails, a farm to table dinner, photos by the lovely Anna and a night of community and new-friend making.
i hope to see you there!
//

go read the interview i did with them to read more thoughts on slow living over on their blog here.

go reserve your seat for the event here.

and be sure to follow The Village and myself on instagram to keep up with any updates between now and then! and checkout #gatherthevillage to see some photos from their past events.
xo

Ten Years

i visited one of my favorite places last weekend the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
this place has been witness to so many moments in my life.
both with others and alone.
it's a place that feels like home to me.
(feel free to search the VMFA in the search box at the bottom of the site to see some of my other visits there from over the years)

i specifically went to see the new exhibit of Jasper Johns and Edvard Munch's work and was surprised by how much i loved it and was inspired by their artistry. 
previously only familiar with Munch's The Scream, i was truly enrapt with the diversity and beauty of both of these artist's work.

i read a plaque on one piece (often the words on the plaque beside a piece of art end up meaning more to me than the work itself. i'll frequently snap photos of them or write them down in a notebook. words immerse me.) that stated that Jasper Johns worked on his cross hatching technique for ten years.
ten years.
that's about a third of my lifetime.
i've heard it said that to truly have mastered the art of something and to do it well is to have stuck with it for a decade. 
an idea, in this have-it-right-now society of ours, that's so foreign.
we are used to instant gratification.
what is it to work at and stick with something consistently for ten years?
perhaps that strikes you as discouraging, but i find it the opposite. 
because it's a reminder that success, in all of it's various forms, is not instant. that the achievements truly worth having in life are worth working hard for. as, once obtained, they will taste all the sweeter for we truly know what it was to earn them with our blood, sweat and tears.

my business is reaching it's sixth birthday this spring, and while it's changed and varied in it's execution, i'm proud to say that i've stayed true to who i am as an artist and how that's translated in different ways over the years. it feels good to look back at something and, while the look of it doesn't appeal to me now, or my tastes have changed since, i'm still proud of it. because i know at the time of it's execution, that was who i was, and i embraced that and lived it out fully and gave it my all.

so here's to the next four years, to reach that ten year mark.
i hope i look back when i get there and am able to still be proud of what i've created and what i've worked for. 

p.s. another realization and thought brought about by the exhibit was on the resiliency that joy brings amidst despair, which can be read here.
p.p.s. this exhibition prompted me to get back into painting more than ever (something i shared a few weeks ago)! you can see a photo of that here.

Gold Filled
www.agirlnamedleney.com

let morning dust the bridge of your nose with it’s greeting

notice the pieces of the atmosphere floating in the rays of aurum 

be.

present.

in this only-here-and-now moment of irreplaceable time

luxuriate in the feeling of rightness within you

watch rays and reflections of asymmetry easing across the bare canvas of your wall

wave to the day

it’s gold filled

//

image shot with agfa vista 200 35mm film

iPhone Snaps | Fig Picking

It's no secret that I have quite a deep and over sentimental love for figs.
Seen here, here, here and here... 

Shortly after coming home from a long trip recently, I spent an hour or two of an afternoon fig picking, fig peeling and fig mashing for fig jam with two lovely ladies.
It was the perfect first thing to do after being on the road for a week.
A welcoming back.
A slowing down.
A this-is-home.

She's Made Up Of Pt. 2

she's made up of:

undeveloped rolls of film. i-don’t-give-a-s**t. back issues of national geographic. “it’s fine”. broken mirrored selfies. crop tops. florals. technicolor hair. a big as a house heart. abandoned places. a dog named larry. chickfila. inside jokes. ALL CAPS. camera-strap-indented shoulders. vines on repeat. spontaneous let’s-go-somewhere adventures. butt dialing. perfectly shaped brows. always late here-i-am’s. always on time i-am-here-for-you’s.

this is my friend meagan.
i love this girl ever so much.
//

see what i'm made up of here

shot with agfa vista 200 35mm film