Inspired by change, challenge and creativity

An Interview with Catherine Drea@Foxglove Lane

Frost on the lane

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”

~ Henry David Thoreau

 

 

 

It is time for another interview post.  I have been getting into a routine every couple of months now, interviewing amazing bloggers who have influenced me.  As you might remember, after receiving and award from Julie@Gardening Jules, I had promised to do several interviews of some amazing bloggers and share them with you.

 

 

I decided to nip across the pond for this visit.   I met this amazing blogger through, Vision and Verb, a wonderful website of talented women.  Although I think I knew her a bit before I wrote for V and V, my recollection is fuzzy.  I know I felt a kindred spirit for Catherine@Foxglove Lane immediately.  Perhaps because her photos are soul refreshing, and her words penetrate me to my core, bringing joy and understanding.  Or maybe it was because she lives in Waterford, Ireland.  I have only been to Ireland once, 7 years ago, but I fell in love with my ancestral home of Ireland immediately (I am half Irish).

 

 

foxglove lane header1

 

 

 

So let’s whiz across the Atlantic and meet Catherine……..

 

 

Pilgrimage

 

I’m Catherine Drea, a blogger, photographer and facilitator (www.foxglovelane.com)  I studied art, psychotherapy, have a Masters in Business Studies but my current love is Contemplative Photography.

I founded a social organisation 20 years ago (www.frameworknet.ie) where I still work part-time.

I live down a long green lane in Ireland with my husband and I have three grown up sons.

 

 

 

IMG_8880

 1. Catherine, why did you start blogging?

 

It was a typically Irish grey and wet Sunday about 5 years ago. I had just discovered the world of blogging. I guess I was suddenly inspired to have a go! I didn’t think about it or plan anything. I just sat down and figured out how to do it and in a couple of hours there it was……. my first blogpost!

 

 

 

The exuberance of summer is summed up in the buzzing and dancing of bees in foxgloves on the lane.

2.  I love the name of your blog.  What is its significance?

 

I chose Foxglove Lane that first day. It is literally the name I have given to our boreen, so full of foxgloves in June. It is home, freedom, peace to me……

 

 

 

IMG_8737

3.  It sounds like heaven to me.  Your blog seems to extend the heaven of your home and Ireland, and others have recognized its wonder through the Ireland Blog Awards you have won.  What do these awards mean to you, and what keeps you blogging?

 

As blogging has become so much more commercial and competitive I am always amazed that my blog, a labour of love (and not about fashion or beauty!) manages to win. I have very mixed feeling about competitions at the best of times, and yet I have benefitted from winning for sure.  

What actually keeps me blogging is probably more complex. It is a creative habit, a form of discipline in a way. It helps to keep my creative muscles fit. Without it where would I be, I live in the absolute middle of nowhere on a tiny island in the Atlantic? Through blogging I have been able to share my work, connect with others and create an online home where I can meet people….

 

 

 

IMG_8462

4.  And this creative home seems one of the reason many of us keep blogging.  So how do you define creativity? What does creativity mean to you?

 

I was an Art teacher and I always felt that creativity was about much more than just artistic attainment. It is about a sense of self, a way of relating to the beautiful mysteries of the world, a way of engaging with your own potential. It is for each of us to find our own way to express that. Creativity for me is an essential part of everyday life……when I start humming I know I am in the zone!!

 

 

 

IMG_3081

5.  Oh I love this idea of creativity as an essential part of everyday life.  Do you have a favorite space or spot that is sacred in or around your home where your creativity flows?

 

I am lucky to live in a beautiful and tranquil place in a wild and untamed couple of acres. I think my favourite spot is at the desk in my studio which looks out on it all. I am constantly distracted especially in winter by the birds, animals and wild weather changes rolling in from the Atlantic. Home is precious for humans,  enabling us to thrive and I feel so lucky to have a roof over my head and a room with a view.

 

 

 

IMG_4617

6.  I have traveled to Ireland, and loved its beauty?  What makes your piece of this special island nirvana for you?

 

Ha! Nirvana it is definitely not! I say that because Ireland has been through an economic crash that has been a real struggle. There is nowhere on earth without it’s challenges and we have had so many. However, Irish people are essentially happy go lucky and can embrace the dark side without too much trouble. I remember John O Donoghue saying that if you ask an Irish person “How are you” they will shrug and say “Sure not too bad!” or “Pulling the divil by the tail” Light and dark are part of us……So I suppose the special magic  is in the resilience and good humour of Irish people.

 

There is no downside to the beauty of the land and sea, it is stunning….just keeping it in pristine condition for the next generation is our challenge….

 

That is what I experienced when I visited…the good nature and humor of the Irish people….

 

 

 

Patrick Ryan's

7.  Tell me what famous person or not so famous person you would like to meet?

 

Well if I wanted to swoon it would be Leonard Cohen, if I wanted to chat it would have to be Elizabeth Gilbert and I would love to have a coffee with a group bloggers including yourself Donna…..I think it might just happen some day…..

 

 

 

Coumenoule Cafe

8.  Oh I would love to have that meet up one day!  So let me shift topics a bit Catherine.  What is or would have been your dream career or job?

 

If I wasn’t doing what I’m doing now I think I might have liked to run a seaside cafe in the South of France. Well who wouldn’t!! A lot of Irish people emigrate. It’s a big part of the culture. I was lucky in many ways to be able to stay in Ireland but if I had gone, it would have been to the Mediterranean and the sun! My amazing Grandmother ran a restaurant in a small town in Ireland, long before women had their own businesses. So I think cafe management could be in my genes!

 

 

 

IMG_1271

9.  Oh that sounds like an amazing dream.  And emigrating to the Mediterranean sounds perfect.  I know you love to travel.  What are some favorite spots you love to travel to and why?

 

I have a fierce touch of wanderlust!! We can get a ferry across to mainland Europe from Ireland and after that we can drive anywhere to get off the beaten track. (A gift for island dwellers) I love France and last year followed 5 rivers cascading through a very traditional part of central France. Recently we spent a month in the Peleponese in the South of the mainland Greece. The small town of Kardamilli there is a blissful spot. New York where I worked as a student is a favourite city, as is  Stockholm where I have family. It can be short or long trip, in wild Ireland or further afield…..any change of scene is inspiration to me!

 

 

 

hares 2

10.  Photography is such a big part of your life.  You have an extensive portfolio on your blog where folks can purchase your photos. What is your creative process, and tell us a bit about contemplative photography?

 

I have always taken photographs. My Dad gave me a camera at the age of 10. I study the surroundings of where I live in minute detail and take every opportunity to learn. Contemplative photography is a more soulful approach. I find it is something a lot of women photographers relate to. Although I am committed to fairly complex day job I usually get time to follow some creative instinct every day. Then on my days off I delve deeper into projects. Working from home helps too. I don’t work well under pressure, for prestige, or for money!! It doesn’t suit my muse! As she is a mother earth sort of character I have to be true to myself and my roots or she will squirm about and fail utterly to co-operate.

 

 

 

IMG_1341 (1)

11.  I love that you are so connected to your muse and so true to her.  What are some words of wisdom you have for those of us who are still learning about photography?

 

Find and follow the joy in what you do. Linger in those moments because photography is endlessly fiddly and years later your taste will have totally changed and what you adore today you will shun later!! I have gone through a lot of glorious colourful phases and find myself longing to return to the simpler days of black and white….you just never know which way you will be drawn…..I think if you are not “feeling it” something is missing……

 

 

 

IMG_7935

12.  Perfect words of wisdom my friend.  So what new form of arts or crafts would you like to learn now?  

 

I saw some incredible forest yarn bombing in the Basque country once and it remained with me. Crochet and knitting are huge again here and maybe that would be a way to that?

 

 

 

sunset 2

13.  Catherine you recently wrote a wonderful book, “Seek light, embrace shade, live colour”.  Can you tell us a bit about what inspired you to write this book?  How does it fulfill part of your soul’s journey?

 

People are very “helpful” and everyone told me that  I “should” Looking back I wasn’t ready at all to make a book and it was actually quite hard to deal with the attention it brought. I had a hunch that people who are not very active on line would finally get to share my world in an actual book…..and that proved to be the case….My soul’s journey is an everyday thing….if the truth be told putting myself “out there” always scares the pants off me!!!

 

 

 

IMG_5098

14.  Oh I can relate to that and it “scares the pants off of me too”.  Can you tell us anything about the process that you went through in creating your book that was a great lesson or an aha moment…words of wisdom?

 

The process was simple and I loved making the book. Blurb is a very easy platform to learn and work on. I decided to use my Instagram Gallery as the book was square format and tiny 7×7. The writing part as usual were inspired by the images I selected. The great lesson was when the book went out there, the first edition had 12 spelling mistakes!! Living in rural Ireland with a wonky internet connection meant that the corrections didn’t always get saved. So when I thought I had fixed them, they remained unfixed. I nearly had a heart attack when I discovered on the day of the great launch and after a number of sales that I would have to replace the first books. Blurb were totally unsupportive and my aha moment came when I realised that they really have no back up if something goes wrong. Also Blurb don’t share the names of your  buyers so it is hard to give good customer service. A serious draw-back…….on the other hand once a book is done it is there forever and that’s a plus.

 

 

 

Buy this image by clicking on the small shopping cart symbol above and browsing prints and products.

15.  Very helpful information for those of us contemplating creating a book.  What new projects are you working on you’d like to share?  What are your inspirations for your work?

 

I would love to create an archive from my first photos aged 10 up to the present day. I might also include some great photos taken by other photographers in the family. I also want to concentrate on making more physical manifestation of my work, I’m not sure what that will be but I hope to pursue a year long woodland study and shoot some video.

 

My inspiration will always be the light and shade of the day. I watch weather and conditions all the time…..nature is she who must be obeyed, so you just need to be ready to heed her. I also love studying the work of other photographers, poets and artists.

 

I love the idea of a woodland shoot.  And there is that kindred spirit again …..nature.

 

 

 

IMG_7888

16.  Is there anything else you want to tell us about your life, and what might be next for you?

 

Donna I will be 62 in 2016!!! How did I get here and where am I going to? One thing is sure, none of us is getting out of here alive!

 

I am not ambitious as such, more hopeful and steadfast. And I know that every moment counts!

 

 

 

IMG_7081

My goodness you are still so young my friend, and I love your words of wisdom….every moment does count especially now as I am moving to the other side of middle age….59 for me this year.

 

It was such a delight talking with Catherine.  Learning about her philosophy, her spirit and her creative process.  It renews me as does her beautiful photography.  One of the reason I enjoy these interviews is the connections I make on such a deeper level with amazing, gifted, talented and inspirational folks.  I hope you enjoyed getting to know Catherine a bit more.  I know I certainly did!

 

cdrea-foxglove lane

Please make sure you visit Catherine in all the amazing places she hangs out.

 

 

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2016.  Photos are the sole property of Catherine@Foxglove Lane and their use in this post is by permission of the photographer.

Similar posts
  • Midweek Poem-Innovate     Innovate     Words fall, swirling around my brain today As the world softens about me- Bringing up new ideas to spark This New Year–this new path.     Stretching, Opening a bit more. Integrating all of me into one wholeness A word drifts around my periphery.     Speaking its name. A newness, a change [...]
  • Creative Quest “You have to be burning with an idea, or a problem, or a wrong that you want to right. If you’re not passionate enough from the start, you’ll never stick it out.” ~Steve Jobs       Recently, I took part in a week-long Photo Quest (#celebrateARTlife ), put together by Whitney Freya.  I find when [...]
  • Poetry Sunday-Finding My Core     Finding My Core     I stand here at my center while all around me seems to be falling apart. Senseless violence. Memories of loved ones, now gone, bubble up to open the wounds of my heart.     And it is in these times I seek my core, a need to express [...]
  • Poetry Sunday-Dear Imagination     Dear Imagination:     You come to me on crayon-colored rainbows scrawled on envelopes and walls. You ride on the wind with swings flying high, and bike spokes pinned with cards, clapping like hoof beats. You roll down hills laughing so hard you can hardly breath. And you plunk down in a meadow plucking yellow and [...]
  • Wildlife Lessons-The Magic of Toads “I believed then – in a deep, easy way that is impossible for me as an adult – that there was more to this world than meets the eye. Trees had spirits; the wind spoke. If you followed a toad or a raven deep into the heart of the forest, they were sure to lead [...]

24 Comments

  1. January 28, 2016    

    What a wonderful interview Donna, I have bookmarked your page, so that I can come back and read this again and signed up to Catherine’s blog too. Thank you for the introduction, I can understand why you enjoy Catherine’s words and photographs so much, they are both quite beautiful.

    • January 28, 2016    

      I am so glad you enjoyed the interview Julie and are exploring Catherine’s work.

  2. January 28, 2016    

    Oh my…stunning!! So many of these image gave me goosebumps…the spirit moves in them and Catherine’s perspective causes me to see things that I may have seen many times in a fresh and unique way.

    The interview is brilliant, Donna…on so many levels…the questions are so well thought out and the answers are so inspiring. I’m truly grateful.

    I love this:

    “It is a creative habit, a form of discipline in a way. It helps to keep my creative muscles fit. Without it where would I be, I live in the absolute middle of nowhere on a tiny island in the Atlantic? ”

    That definitely resonates with me.

    Thank you, both so much for this interview…there were many other parts that caused me to nod and audibly agree…hard to pin them all down…but just know I leave here feeling more full and whole because of you both.

    Namaste. ♥

    • January 28, 2016    

      Oh Hannah thank you….Catherine is brilliant and she inspires me in much the same way! I am thrilled to know that you took so much away from this interview.

  3. January 28, 2016    

    A beautiful interview filled with wisdom and stunning photography! xoxo to you both!

    • January 28, 2016    

      Thanks so much Kelly…so glad you really enjoyed the interview! Lots of love to you too!

  4. Jen Jen
    January 28, 2016    

    It was a delight to see such a wonderful in-depth interview Donna, your talent for drawing a world that springs out of our screen and brings us into the shared sphere of your subject is deep. I always look forward to seeing these posts.

    Catherine captures the beauty of her stunning land so perfectly, her photographs and words that she uses illuminate and illustrate it for us. She is a talented photographer, and writer, gathering us into her world and allowing us to walk along with her as she travels the Irish lanes, and that is something that isn’t seen everywhere.

    Thank you to both of you.

    Jen

    • January 28, 2016    

      I love how you describe Catherine’s work….her creative spirit. I am so happy to hear how much you enjoyed this interview Jen!

  5. January 28, 2016    

    Great to see the spotlight on one of our V&V gals! Wonderful interview!

    • January 28, 2016    

      Thanks so much Robin! You never know who else from V and V will show up here being interviewed Robin! 😀

  6. January 29, 2016    

    Thank you for introducing me to Catherine’s work. What an inspirational woman and her photography is stellar! Her approach to life is refreshing and encouraging.

    • January 29, 2016    

      My pleasure Karin…she is an amazing person and creative talent…much like you my friend!

  7. January 31, 2016    

    A lovely interview, it is nice to get to know Catherine after seeing her work for so long 🙂

    • January 31, 2016    

      It was my pleasure to be able to bring her up close and personal to so many Cherie!

  8. January 31, 2016    

    I do remember this blog although not having visited it in a long time. You did a wonderful interview, Donna. The questions were spot on.

    • February 1, 2016    

      Glad you enjoyed the interview Donna and thanks for the wonderful feedback.

  9. February 1, 2016    

    Having met Catherine in real life in Dublin a couple of years ago makes me sit up and take further notice of her through this interview, Donna. Thank you for it. You would love her to death!

    • February 1, 2016    

      Then I feel good, that I did my job, Ginnie, in bringing her to life even more for folks in this interview…..I adore her already and know one day we will meet face to face!

  10. February 1, 2016    

    blogging as a sort of morning pages to exercise the creative muscles – yes, me too.

  11. February 2, 2016    

    Love learning more about Catherine here. Thanks for the interview Donna!!!

  12. February 3, 2016    

    I’m not sure of the etiquette of commenting on an interview with oneself but here goes anyway!! Thank you Donna for sharing your beautiful space with me. It’s been a kind of out of body experience (Yikes!) but a good and healthy one. It has reminded me about how important safety is in how you have created a kind of haven of peace and ease here. Thank you to all you wonderful blogging friends and new friends who have been so positive in your words. May the road rise with ye!

    • February 3, 2016    

      If there is an etiquette, you have nailed it my friend. And thank you for this. A safe trusting spot is so important to me and I am glad you felt that here. You are welcome here anytime!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Favorite Quote This Week:

“Make happy those who are near and those who are far will come.” ~Chinese proverb

Pages

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Follow Me on Bloglovin:

Follow

Follow Me on Feedly:

follow us in feedly

Welcome to my blog…

Visit Me At My Garden Blog:

Gardens Eye View

Find My Poems Published In:

Goodreads

Bloggers Commenting Back
LINKwithlove
%d bloggers like this: