Ripples from the Center

Sharing a Little Poetry, Art, Beauty & Heart

a little wit, wisdom & whimsy to enlighten you on your way...

Copyright 2012. Original poetry, art, writing & photography by Julie SuZaNNe BröKKeN

Monday, September 9, 2013


What Remains of Gerdie McGuire
Julie SuZaNNe BroKKeN, All Rights Reserved

For Allice who inspired my recent excursion into 'Gerdie's Woods' while in Iowa this summer.

I was curious.  Gerdie's house was barely visible from the road, easy to miss.  Only the old barn was still obvious amid the wilds that had grown around the property since Gerdie's death, at age 89, in 1986. 

Gerdie McGuire had lived down the county road to the east, down the road from where Allice, my best friend since kindergarten, grew up... down the road from where her mom still lives.  Our school bus passed by Gerdie's home twice every school day from kindergarten at Lockridge Elementary up through high school in Fairfield, Iowa.   I remember being curious about the people who lived there... and that something about the place called to me. 

Perhaps I met Gerdie at a community event in Lockridge... at the old town hall.  I do not recall.  Though the memories of some of the faces in our small farming community remain vivid.  As do the long tables full of hot casseroles, jello salads, potato salads, pies, cakes.  A hundred paper cups full of red kool-aid.  Darlene's maid-rite's ~ loose hamburger, cans of Campbell's condensed chicken gumbo soup cooked up in a few of those huge, rounded, white with a silver lid, now vintage, Westinghouse cookers.  Fundraiser donations for the Lion's Club, a sick neighbor, a family who's house burned down ~ including some of those beautiful pies, cakes, and my mom's famous pecan rolls, maybe a fishing pole, a cooler, a quilt  ~ stacked on the also-now-vintage heavy wood-seated gymnasium bleachers.  But I digress.   

I recall meeting Gerdie only a few times, in her kitchen, when, as teenagers, Allice, myself and our circle of girlfriends hopped in Allice's brown Buick four-door sedan to Christmas carol the old folks who lived around our country neighborhood.  We filled them with joy, they filled us with homemade fudge and cookies and cocoa.  We would call in advance so we wouldn't scare them... so they'd answer the door.  The phone calls were equal to placing our orders for treats and sweets.  Halloween at Christmastime ~ without the tricks and shenanigans. 

Gerdie was "one of those little old round persons".  That's how my friend Kathleen describes her mother, Velma... it's a perfect and playful description of Gerdie, too.  White hair, an easy laugh, tough, independent, wise.  Allice recently reminded me that Gerdie always made peanut butter fudge.  The last year we stopped at Gerdie's, we politely accepted the fudge, said we were stuffed from previous homes visited, and we'd eat it later.  Gerdie's sight was going bad and she could not see the fur 'frosting' her kitty cat had added to the confections. 

I am certain it was Allice who told me that Gerdie hunted and butchered her own deer meat... respectfully, gratefully...  as  rustic farm folk who didn't have a lot of money did back then.     Gerdie and her dearly departed husband, Noel, never had indoor plumbing.  Allice recalls that Gerdie did not have electricity until 1973, two years after Noel died.   They could not have children.  They did, it seems to me, have a beautiful life there surrounded by woods, deer, wild things.   






















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Thursday, September 5, 2013

LeaPs aBouND! continued: WHAT DO I NEED?

FULL DETAILS:  Here's the BREAKDOWN for PHASE ONE in fuller detail, listed in order of priority and based on the amount of funding:

$350  ~ WEBSITE: 

First year's fee fo FolioLink professional portfolio website for my photography series ~ and in the future, my assemblage works, poetry publications, and other works of art.  FolioLink is a company that has e-commerce website templates specifically for artists and photographers.  Includes Flash and HTML5 designs, iPad and iPhone shadow sites and more. ($750) ~ WEBSITE DESIGNER: If I raise enough money I can pay a professional to get it up and running quickly and efficiently.

$1200 ~ COMPUTER:

MacBook Pro (My MacBook 4,1 2008 is tuckered and too dated to support the editing software I need to take my photography where I envision it going.)


I need a 'fancier' digital camera with a zoom lens able to LEAP the distance between my subjects and me ~ in particular, the beautiful four-legged, and wing-ed beings that bless our lives... oh, the moon and stars, too.  (A Canon EOS Rebel T2i 18 MP CMOS APS-C Sensor DIGIC 4 Imaging Digital SLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens + Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III Telephoto Zoom Lens would be awesome!)

$500 (+/-) PRINTING cost estimate for exhibition

$500 ~ 5G GALLERY NORTH fee for a one-month exhibition


Above & Beyond:  Monies contributed over the goal amount will be applied to Phases Two & Three.

LeaPs aBouND! continued: WHAT WILL I DO?


1. CREATE website.

2. PRINT & PROMOTE my photographyPRINT & PROMOTE my photography

3. EXHIBIT my works @ 5G North Gallery, ABQ, NM at the Factory on 5th Art Space with local press and media promotion, participation in First Friday/Albuquerque ARTScrawl. EXHIBIT my works @ 5G North Gallery, ABQ, NM at the Factory on 5th Art Space with local press and media promotion, participation in First Friday/Albuquerque ARTScrawl. 
As this process progresses I'll take evermore leaps... PHASE TWO, THREE, and BEYOND...  One-of-a-kind encaustic photography, photography transfers onto my three-dimensional assemblages, interactive installations, community projects and more!  


1. Encaustic Photography.  Apply encaustic, an ancient medium made of melted beeswax and damar resin, to select photographs.  Application of encaustic medium to photographs creates luminous, ephemeral, one-of-a-kind images.  Adding pigment multiples the possibilities.

2. Publication.  Produce of a series of small handmade and standard books (chapbooks) pairing poetry and photography. 

3. Three-Dimensional.  Incorporate photographs and/or encaustic photo-transfer into my assemblage and sculptural pieces. 


1. Full-Length DVD.  Expand on my current DVD single "17 BREATHS: INHALE.EXHALE", a blend of photography, poetry, and music into a full-length work. Cost of production: $1500.  More info @

2. Collaborative Interactive Installation.  Create an installation exhibit in collaboration with fellow artists, poets, musicians and other performance folk using the DVD as inspiration as we gather community, invite conversation, create strong connections.

LeaPs aBouND! continued: WHO AM I?

Welcome to 'LeaPs aBouND!' and to this link 
for the longer answer to the above question.


I am an artist ~ poeta ~ photographer.  If you're reading this you've either subscribed to my RIPPLES blog or clicked the link on my 'LeaPs aBouND!' crowdfunding campaign empowered by Indiegogo.  Either way I am TiCKLeD PiNK to welcome you to LeaPs aBouND!  [ ]  

Going live this weekend ~ Saturday, September 7th, 2013! 


This is the slightly longer answer to the question "Who Am I?"

Waxing whimsical my nine-word memoire reads, " Iowa farmer's daughter sprouts artist-poeta wings ~ flies west!"   Thirty years ago I finished college, grabbed my dreams, and made the big LEAP to Phoenix to teach "for a few years" while beginning my professional art career.  I'd always dreamt of the mountains, big skies, open spaces and wild places of the west.  I had some great opportunities and successes as an emerging artist in Phoenix.   27 years, several serious illnesses recovered from, too many blast furnace summers, and a July house-sitting gig in Albuquerque later I knew what I had to do.  I took another big LEAP.   I packed my gypsy wagon named Gracie ('91 Toyota Corolla), pointed her imaginary hood ornament north by northwest and followed my own smoke signals ~ and a raven ~ back a few 500 miles to the Land of Enchantment, beautiful, smaller, cooler Albuquerque, and fresh lively new dreams.  I've been doing happy dances ever since ~ happy dances, art, poetry, and photography that is!  As I wrote in one of my poems, "this Phoenix had to leave Phoenix in order to rise."

I feel a strong sense of community here and a deep resonance with the land. My camera has become my near constant companion, and my photographs are receiving much praise.  My poetry has sprouted wings and flown into a number of hardcopy and online anthologies.  Reading at local poetry open mic venues has led to gigs as featured poet. My creative vision expands as common themes in all my works guide me toward combining the photographs, writing and poetry into encaustic photography, assemblage, sculpture, installation, book publications, and a full-length meditative DVD blending music, sound, poetry, photography, and film.

I think Bugs Bunny would way that... I took a "RIGHT" turn at Albuquerque... GRiN! 

Full Artist Biography:  COMING SOON!



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Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States