Tag Archives: north carolina

Beauty In the End

I wrote this song last year for my upcoming EP.   After listening to it on a recent walk, I felt like the music and lyrics really resonated with the current moment we find ourselves in, so I decided to release it early.

The musical movements in the intro tell a story of struggle, then acceptance and, eventually, an emergence from darkness.  Ultimately, I feel that it’s an optimistic song that reminds us that, even when times are difficult, we can still find something beautiful if we look for it.

I hope everyone is staying safe and that you are able to experience/create some beautiful moments despite these challenging times.

❤️ D

Note: I’m currently releasing my music under the band name Lost Like You.  You can find this song as well as future releases on Bandcamp:

Prelude in C Major / F Minor (Summer Rain)

This is my first proper classical composition.  I stumbled across this chord progression while studying some different piano chords and was very moved by it.  I found myself playing it over and over again.  As a gentle rain storm set the mood outside, I spent several hours piecing the composition together into its finished form.

The piano part is composed of two separate parts that were combined together.  It modulates back and forth between C Major and F Minor every two measures which creates an emotional kick.

I’m very proud this piece and find myself coming back to it again and again to help me relax and to put my mind in a good place.  I hope it has the same effect for you too.


Problem Addict – Drown Me In Estrogen (Live) – Petra’s 12/27/2018

An impromptu video I shot of Audrey Ayers (Problem Addict) performing Drown Me In Estrogen at Petra’s on 12/27/2018.

100 Strangers Project – How I approach strangers and take their portraits

Video Reel 2018

A look back on my video projects from 2018.

Lindsey (Stranger #90)

Lindsey Stranger painting

Lindsey (Stranger #90)
Acrylic on Canvas

Sasha (Stranger #83)

SashaPaintingFINALSasha (Stranger #83)
Acrylic on Canvas

I used the Zorn limited palette for this one — basically just two colors — Yellow Ochre and Cadmium Red (along with Mars Black and Titanium White).  If you’re wondering how the green was produced, the Mars Black has a blue bias, so when it’s mixed with Yellow Ochre, you get a limited range of greens.

Tyler (Stranger #62)

I used a small palette knife for most of this painting and am very happy with the result.  I feel like I’m inching ever closer to the style I want to achieve.  This painting required a looseness of mind that doesn’t come natural to me.  I still have the urge to “paint within the lines” and make everything look as realistic as possible.

TylerPaintingLowRes.jpgTyler (Stranger #62)
Acrylic on Canvas

Ben (Stranger #69)

My 100 Strangers project actually began as a way for me to find original subjects to paint portraits of.  However, I got so consumed with the project that I ended up not painting for a year.  Now that it’s finished, I have at least 100 potential portraits to paint.  This is my second stranger painting.
Ben (Stranger #69)
Acrylic on Canvas

100 Strangers – Set 1

100-Strangers-Matrix.jpgHere they are… my 100 Strangers family in one image. It’s been an amazing journey.

Most all of my previous creative pursuits have involved me working alone in a room… usually in front of a computer. Learning to paint was a breath of fresh air, but still I was spending my time alone (just in a different room). After experimenting with painting many different subjects, I found myself drawn to painting portraits of people.

During this time I was puzzled as to why I was so attracted to playing Pokémon Go. Then I realized… it wasn’t actually the game itself but just getting outside and having an adventure. When I learned about the 100 Strangers Project, it immediately clicked in my mind that this was the adventure I needed to pursue instead.

It’s hard to put into words what this project has meant to me. It’s certainly made me a better photographer, but it was the human interaction that made it all worthwhile. I’m an introvert, so the prospect of approaching complete strangers on the street was a bit daunting. To my surprise, I discovered that it’s something I’m pretty good at.

I assumed that the vast majority of the strangers I approached would say no and that I’d have to push through tons of rejection to find a willing participant. To my surprise, I found the exact opposite. Of course there were people who declined (maybe less than 20), but they were almost always friendly.

One of the biggest benefits of this project is that it forces you to focus your attention on other people as opposed to yourself and your ego (which might be the source of much of our unhappiness). You cannot help but be challenged and be humbled by all of the people you meet. Some are well off, some are getting by and some are struggling in ways that I can’t even imagine. Generally speaking, we all want the same thing.

Looking at this image of 100 strangers makes me smile. I remember their names, where I met them, their personalities, their challenges and their dreams. Some have become friends. Some I keep up with on social media. For the vast majority, I have no contact with them at all. I hope they are all able to see their portraits (or will discover them sometime in the future), and I hope it makes them smile too.