Self Portrait of an Artist

Three Self Portraits

Self Portraits ยฉ 2012 Bo Mackison

Be faithful to that which exists within yourself. ~ Andre Gide


I slept fitfully the night before the art festival’s opening. Perhaps subconsciously I was afraid I would oversleep and be late for my show. Not a chance! At 2 am, I finally got up and wrote a list of everything I needed to take to Tubac with me. Only then did I sleep until the alarm startled me awake.

I did a hurry-up-get-ready, packed the car, and headed east. It was a cloudy morning, unusually cloudy for southern Arizona, and the new day’s light was slowly filling the valley.

I looked towards the Santa Rita mountain range in the east and the clouds broke ever so slightly. I saw a bright rim of red break through and settle above the peak of Mount Wrightson. A flash of beauty. As quickly as the color appeared, it disappeared. It was a lovely good morning salute from the sun and a good omen for the day!

Getting the booth readied for first day of the show was quite exhilarating. Other artists bustled about, opening their tents, arranging their art while greeting other artists, friends, old acquaintances. Both of my neighbors arrived and we chatted about the day as we readied our booths.

I hung my art on the panels. Each finished photograph brought a smile to my face. Out of the thousands of photographs I’ve taken, here were the eighteen finished pieces I had chosen and readied to hang on my temporary gallery wall. Primary colored macro botanicals from the Midwest filled one side of the booth; bright desert flowers and cacti filled the other side.

Seeded Earth Studio was a gallery of bold color and textures, a gallery filled with nature’s promise and beauty.

I finally finished with the pre-show organizing, and stepped into the street. I watched the other artists for a few moments and I didn’t try to contain my excitement. It was a wonderful sight. With only a few minutes left before the opening of this five-day show, I could see artists wearing their different cloaks, some with expectancy and hopefulness, some showing pride in their work. Others looked at the sky as the sun broke through the clouds and lit up the town, and smiled, grateful for the beginning of a beautiful day in the desert. A sense of camaraderie was in the air.

I was in their midst. I stood in my art booth, mindful that I was a part of the whole. I had done the work, I was ready to begin the day.

It was a glorious feeling.


Bo Mackison is a photographer and owner ofย Seeded Earth Studio LLC. She is discovering that every day provides opportunities to learn new and amazing things. And she is discovering that as she learns to do amazing things, the world becomes a glorious place.

About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. Oh, Bo. First, what a gorgeous photograph to accessorize today’s missive! You are having such a grand adventures, a wonderful awakening of soul. The joy is evident in your prose. Soak it all in and have fun!

    • Bo Mackison says:

      Debi, isn’t that a fun photo? Can you find me three times? And I think I just may be growing into my soul… ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. What a wonderful day to be alive! What a great feeling to be an artist.

  3. Joanne Keevers says:

    I love the photo Bo! There is so much to see. Every time I look at it, I see something new! And your enthusiasm is just bouncing out of the computer! I’m so happy to see you so happy! ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. Where’s Waldo (or at least Bo)? Fun photo. I can see you.

  5. Love your self-portrait, Bo. Fun! You sound so much different from last year. As if you’ve grown a lot in a very good ways. ๐Ÿ™‚

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