Artist Spotlight # 32

Submitted by mimi 05/08/08 5:11 AM GMT

Our next artist to be spotlighted as determined by her peers is none other than our own solita17
Let's all shower her with accolades as we take time to stroll through her varied gallery of images that she has delighted us with.

Yikes! I have been rendered (almost) speechless at being chosen featured artist of the month... It’s both a surprise and a great honor to be so recognised by my Caedes “family”. And I thank you for it.

So..... My full name is Mary Andrist Leech. (‘solita17’ is the nickname (and age) of the main character in my half-written historical novel. I live in Harwichport, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod, with my husband of 27 years and our 12-year-old Maltese dog, Miss Lalabelle. We have no children of our own but I have a stepson, Charlie, who like his Dad, is a musician, and who is married with two sons . That makes me a stepgrandmother!

I have always considered myself, first and last, a writer and poet, which was a natural since my father was a writer and a senior editor in NYC... but he was also an ‘amateur’ photographer who took (and developed and printed) photos of his three daughters from birth to adulthood, and I’m sure this is where I first developed an interest in photography. My first camera was a little Ricoh 500 that I got one Christmas when I was attending Boston University. My boyfriend at the time was an artist and photographer, and he gave me my first lessons in the art (he now earns his living as a staff photographer at BU). I used the Ricoh for years ( including a four-year odyssey in a commune , circa 1970-74) until after I got married, when I bought a Pentax... and being an overwhelmingly ‘right-brained’ person, had to take a course to learn how to use it (lol, I think).... Somewhere in the late 80’s I became very ill for several reasons... I had contracted Lyme Disease (carried by deer ticks which positively thrive on Cape Cod) and Fibromyalgia... and Chronic Fatigue... and thyroid disease... and spent several years at home, mostly in bed, forsaking photography, and just about everything else. Constant pain and fatigue became my every-day companions..... Since I have also experienced severe depression and anxiety most of my life, it’s been quite the odyssey back into the land of the living. Although.... being house-bound, I began to discover art-photography sites online... it was a way of experiencing the world I so missed. The first site was DeviantArt. But a friend of mine kept e-mailing me about a site she had discovered called Caedes. She kept saying, “You really must take a look.” So... I took a look... and decided to stay... within months of signing on I took some $$ from an inheritance and bought my first digital camera, a Nikon D80 with an 18-135 mm lens. It was the first time I had used a camera in 15 years... And I’m still learning how to use it!

Today I’m not house-bound, I’m out ‘discovering’ almost every day. Although I continue to experience pain and fatigue, when I’m out on a ‘shoot’ I don’t hurt, instead I feel alive, energized, part of the world... Also, in the last year I’ve discovered more wonderful places and people on Cape Cod than I did in all previous 28 years I’ve lived here! And I owe all of that to my friend and to all of you at Caedes.

What is it about Caedes that has helped me? The friendship and the camaraderie, communicating with fellow artists, wonderful photography and people from around the world, hanging’ out on the wild and crazy ‘Offtopics’ threads, both comments and critiques... although i can’t always take you up on a suggestion since I don’t have a program like Photoshop.... ummm, I’m not quite sure about the dreaded c-index, however I have made a kind of peace with it. I don’t bother it and it doesn’t bother me! (lol again, I think) BTW, I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you who have left comments and critiques on all my photos... because of the Fibro and Lyme, and accompanying ‘brain fog’, I can’t get around to thank each of you in a personal way, but I really value and appreciate each and every thing you all have taken the time to say! Yes!

Do I have a favorite image that I posted? I sort of lean towards Zen simplicity, like ‘Mallard Abstract’ or ‘Shadowdance’, or ‘Red Dinghy Redux’......but they really are like my children, it’s hard to pick favorites.

So.... thank you one and all for your friendship, your encouragement, your suggestions on how to be a better artist, your support, your craziness (Offtopics people, you know who you are), and a special thank you to Caedes and all who see that this site runs so smoothly and beautifully.

- Mary


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05/09/08 11:36 AM GMT
Mary, let me be the first to congratulate you on this honour,you thoroughly deserve it. I always look forward to opening your images whether they are your memorable coastline shots, with the famous couple walking hand in hand (lol!), or your beautiful shots of cranberry bogs, a sight that we don't see in England. Your images are a constant surprise and delight.
Well done!
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If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly. G. K. Chesterton. If you would like to see this sentiment in action please look at My Gallery
05/09/08 1:41 PM GMT
Concrats Mary, you really deserve this feature as a artist of the have a great gallery:))

Offtopics huh..have to take a look on!!
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laughter is the best medicine.
05/09/08 1:57 PM GMT
Mary! What a well deserved honor, I am so happy for you! You've said some very nice things about all the folks here at Caedes, in response, let me say that personally there have been many times where your posts are a ray of sunshine on otherwise cloudy days. Trust me, you have given as much to the site as you have taken.

Off Topic you say. I'll have to check that out sometime. ;-)

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"'Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW! What a ride!"'
05/09/08 3:14 PM GMT
Dear Mary,

I'm so thrilled for you, and I truly enjoyed reading your autobiographical description above. You've certainly been through/and are going through some very hard times and yet you continuously show us the beauty around you in your photographs. Thanks for your bright outlook on life.

I just spent quite a bit of time going through your gallery, most of which is very familiar to me as I look at your pieces every time you post, but Magic Path and of course the beautiful birthday card titled A Green Path for my birthday stood out.

Enjoy this moment in the sun! You more than deserve it!

((HUGS)) :) PJ
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We don’t make art to show someone what something looks like. All this requires is eyes (or a lens). Art is supposed to have meaning, emotion, power, or magic. Alan & Mario "FourThirds"
05/09/08 4:49 PM GMT
hi mary! i'm so excited for you. this honor will truly keep a smile on your face. i took a little time to look at your gallery (although not enough time) and thought the following were particularly good.....mercurial day, storm breaker, seagull at sunset, provincetown color and sand ripples. lots of others are wonderful but i really liked the ones i mentioned. we are both fans of the beach and what it gives us for photography. keep up the excellent work! jen
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sorry if i don't comment on each of your pictures. to those of you who comment so often, i can't imagine how you get it done! Please Visit My Gallery
05/09/08 4:59 PM GMT
Congrats Mary you definently deserved it this month.
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And the Lord said "Go Sox"
05/09/08 5:20 PM GMT
Well, hey now ...

Quite the meteoric ... er, let's try this again ... quite the ascension into the, uhm ... once more ... hey! Way to go Mary!!


Congratulations Mary. :o)

Your work behind the lens is wonderful. And I particularly think that your images are superb examples of compositional strength, to name but one element/facet, in what constitutes a great photo.

Well done. Enjoy your time in the limelight.

And ... thank you ... for sharing with us, your creative efforts and talents. :o)
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"Think what a better world it would be if we all, the whole world, had cookies and milk about three o'clock every afternoon and then lay down on our blankets for a nap." - Robert Fulghum
05/09/08 7:48 PM GMT
Oh boy, Oh boy, Oh boy, lets party. :) Congrats Mary, always did like your images very much. You are sooooo well deserving of this honor........enjoy it while you don't last long. LOLOLOL John
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Always remember - Follow the Yellow Brick Road, it will lead you to the Emerald City and OZ A very nice place to be. Trust me on this one, I live there. The Lion **** MY CAEDES GALLERY****Another Site I'm AT - MY DA HOME PAGE
05/09/08 9:42 PM GMT
Congrats on making the artist spotlight Mary! You were my very first friend on this site and i have seen every photo that you have posted. I really like your photography Mary and I look forward to seeing them when you post

Congrats again

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Music's the medicine of the mind. ~John A. Logan
05/09/08 9:53 PM GMT

BIG congrats Mary!!
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Why do the pictures come out square when the lens is round?? Picture Purrrfect .
05/09/08 10:29 PM GMT
Congratulations Mary! very well deserved!
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"Life is short, break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that made you smile" .... mygallery
05/09/08 11:17 PM GMT
Hey Mary Solita Whatever glad to see you get this, well deserved. Congratulations girl good going.
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Lu 17:24 For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day. ........ My Gallery
05/10/08 1:45 AM GMT
Hi Mary, so glad to see you get the Spotlight for all the Great Images you've shared with all of us. Also glad you've been able to make a comeback from some very bad times in your life. Each us I'm sure have our Favorites of Yours. Mine is "ShapeShifting Reality". Thank you for this Image.
Hope and Pray your Health Continues to Improve and that your Best Shots are yet to come.


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05/10/08 1:49 AM GMT
My hearty congrats my friend! Reading your bio now gives me more insight why I like you so much. Your life sounds so much like mine minus the Lyme disease. I'm so happy you're doing so much better now! I'll HAVE to! You know what your photos mean to me. You should since I save so many of them! deserve this honor so much and I'm so happy for you girl! Take care of yourself!
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Life is the pits sometimes, but God and your friends are always there to help you through it.
05/10/08 10:17 AM GMT
Congrats made it! Thank you for sharing your wonderful images with the Community!
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"Who says the music's dead in the street?...Don't know what they talk about...I like my music wakin' up the dead...Don't tell me to turn it down!!!" - Motley Crue ... Visit Jhihmoac's Gallery
05/10/08 1:42 PM GMT
Dearest Mary..

You have my heartfelt best wishes for being in the starlight!! honour indeed, more so, because I know you to so kind and gentle and willing to help others, in spite of your own 'troubles'!....

Reap these thoroughly deserve the accolades!!!



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* To Believe in myself and have faith in my Photography * OwdBob'sGallery
05/10/08 11:32 PM GMT
Mary, I am so very happy for you. We have all been blessed with your art and your presense.
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If you have some extra time, please visit my gallery
05/11/08 12:34 AM GMT
I knew you could do it, Sis. Ma would be so proud. :))
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Angelle "because reality isn't nearly as fun."
05/11/08 3:20 AM GMT
Congratulations Happy Feet. I think you are the first Shebannie to win this award. lol. You are to be doubly congratulated since you photo Frozen Fire won the Serious Oxymoron category. Just shows how talented you truly are. My favorite photo of your is this one because it is the first one that led me to your gallery. Congratulations again for a well deserved honor.
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I'll meet you at the edge of the sunlight, just behind the shadows. The Ghost
05/11/08 4:07 AM GMT
Congrats Mary! I'm not familiar with your work, but I'm going to check your gallery soon. I'm impressed by your courage in face of overwhelming odds against you, and that you chose the creative path. Kudos.
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For prints, cards and t-shirts of my paintings and fractals, please go here .
05/12/08 6:14 AM GMT
My Dear Friend was wonderful to read all about you here. I loved getting to know you a bit more. You know I've always enjoyed your creativity...your poetry...and of course my fav photo of yours is of the couple on the rock at the beach. I will always treasure that. I am so happy to know you and become even better friends all the time...Take good care..Verena
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My part is to improve the present moment.
05/12/08 2:24 PM GMT
Kia Ora Mary - Congratulations!!
You deserve this honour and you honour this award :)

Well done and thank you for all the pleasure you continue to give.

I could never choose a favourite from your gallery but I do love the tranqulity of The Sunset Watchers and it has graced ny desktop many times.
Bask in the warm glow of the spotlight my friend - you richly deserve it :)

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The question is not what you look at, but what you see ~ Marcel Proust
05/12/08 4:41 PM GMT
Aloha Mary!
Your pictures are truly fabulous! Thanks and congratuations for being the wonderful artist you are and sharing them with all!
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05/13/08 1:27 AM GMT
~ Congratulations Mary! I have enjoyed your work immensely since coming to this site. Your gallery is simply wonderful and this award so richly deserved! Enjoy your special time!
~ Linda
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~Seek the wonder of every day~ ***** My Gallery
05/13/08 9:08 PM GMT
Congratulations Mary! This is so well deserved. I have enjoyed your wonderful images and hope to enjoy some more :-). Thank´s for sharing them with us! Enjoy your special time!
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05/18/08 6:59 AM GMT
Oh, dear! It looks like I've been neglecting sending my congratulations as well Mary. I really spent some time today in your gallery and I must say that you really have something to be proud of. It isn't every day one finds such a wonderful collection of Art all in one place.
Take care and take a lot more images. I hope the fatigue, fibromyalgia and depression are kept at bay. It is really hard to deal with that pack of enemies, I know that first hand as my wife also falls prey to them.
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05/19/08 2:05 AM GMT
Hi Mary, I cruised through your gallery and you sure do deserve this artist spotlight award. Keep up the good work and enjoy your time in the spotlight. I will try to comment on your photos soon, Gregg
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Please visit my website if you wish to purchase prints of my
05/19/08 8:59 AM GMT
Mary!!! Way to go my friend! I see I'm a little late on this, but congratulations nonetheless. I always value your outstanding photos and you thoughtful comments as are clearly a valuable member of this community!
A million thanks for the excellent pictures you're bringing to us, I will be here to see more coming up. Go ahead, dear friend, keep up the good work!

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"Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures." Henry Ward Beecher
05/19/08 12:36 AM GMT
Yay missus, congratulations, sorry im late, i just noticed this on the front page! :-) your story is inspiring and your photography is worthy! congratulations, and enjoy :-) Jan
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05/20/08 3:33 PM GMT
Congratulations, Mary on your very fine gallery. Enjoy the well deserved accolades of your fellow Caedesians because you earned them with your excellent photography.
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You may lose the rights to your own art. Read MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS. Or watch the VIDEO
05/21/08 1:58 AM GMT
Many Congratulations Mary!
It's always a pleasure to view your wonderful work!! A well Deserved recognition!!
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05/25/08 7:44 AM GMT
Congratulations Mary, I am so glad to see you spotlighted! I love your photography and instantly can tell when an image is yours, as it is always sharp, brilliantly composed and beautiful. Thanks for sharing your great eye(s).
Best Wishes,
Kate :)
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“Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man” - Benjamin Franklin
06/02/08 7:28 PM GMT
You and your art deserve every gleam and glisten of the caedes spotlight. Your images communicate enduring messages and satisfy the universal craving for beauty.
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07/01/08 4:13 AM GMT
HI mary.. First off, congrats on your caedes spotlight. From the looks of your gallery, I can see how you were picked.You are good at what you do.and you earned it!!_____enjoy___Alice:)
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07/23/08 3:35 AM GMT
I don't know how I've missed this - I think I was in wedding fog (my son's). Your story is so inspiring and it's neat to discover that we have the same camera! How wonderful that this hobby of yours has given you a new lease on life! And you have a lot to share through your view of the world around you. Hilda
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All of earth is crammed with heaven And every bush aflame with God But only those who see take off their shoes. - Elizabeth Barrett Browning<p> mygallery

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