Wingd People of Ottawa

Hi everyone,

So I’m very excited to announce that I’ve been working with Wingd Ottawa (https://www.wingd.ca/) to publish a book on Ottawa this April!

As a part of the project, I’ve been photographing portraits of people in Ottawa to tell their stories. It’s been a incredible journey, I feel very lucky to know some incredible brilliant people and it’s very special to help them share their own story.

If you are interested in telling your story of what Ottawa means to you, feel free to email me at rebecca.hay93@hotmail.com.

Here are some of the portraits so far!

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The Holidays in Ottawa

One of my favorite times of the year in Ottawa is around the holidays. The lights downtown are amazing, and the show broadcasted on Parliament is very neat. Add some beavertails, and you have an amazing night enjoying the city!

For details on the lightshow on Parliament, check out: http://canada.pch.gc.ca/eng/1445434705202

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The Beautiful Mind

As a neuroscientist in training, I spend a lot of my time thinking about brains. So, in line with my current series redesigning body systems to emphasis their beauty, I made a watercolor on paper of the brain.

If you look closely, you can pick out the cerebellum, the pituitary gland, the pons, and kind of the corpus callosum :)

 

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Lungs

I’ve recently been listening to Daughter on repeat, and her song “Youth” combined with some personal events inspired this watercolor painting. I’m hoping to do a series of similar paintings, so stay tuned!

“And if you’re still breathing, you’re the lucky ones. Most of us are heaving through corrupted lungs.” – Youth, by Daughter. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEpMj-tqixs)

 

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The Toronto Skyline

Hey all! So I recently visited some amazing friends in Toronto, and in the mean time had a chance to explore and see some of the really great things the city has to offer. I’ll post a full guide to must see attractions later on (this time of year is a bit of a time crunch!) but in the meantime here’s my favourite shot from the trip.

The full Toronto skyline, lit up at night. Taken by stitching several shots together.

 

I’ll have a print available on Etsy shortly,  or feel free to contact me if you might be interested in getting a copy!

 

 

Lake Minnewanka, Alberta

It was a very cold morning when I set out at 4am from Calgary to Lake Minnewanka, Banff. While I was really hoping to get some long exposure shots of the stars and the sunrise, as per usual in the Calgary area, the weather forecast was misleading and clouds rapidly covered the sky.

Nevertheless, I tried to make do with what I had and I’m reasonably happy with how it turned out! Also included are shots that day from Vermillion Lakes and Bow Falls.

 

Exploring Canada: The Foothills

In Canada we are lucky enough to have fantastic scenery from coast to coast. One of my favourite places to be is the foothills, marking the beginning of the Rocky Mountains, in Alberta. Hopefully I managed to capture even just a portion of the rampant natural beauty along the Albertan border, to give a taste of how wonderful it truly is.

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Bar U Ranch, Alberta Foothills

Celebrating Canada Day at the Bar U Ranch was fantastic. The historic site located in the Calgary foothills provided visitors with a tour of the ranch and the opportunity to experience facets of the cowboy lifestyle. Cowboy coffee was cooked over a fire and served hot, rope making was demonstrated, lassoing taught to curious passerby, and homemade ice cream and cookies made in a rustic kitchen. The ranch is absolutely stunning, and I wholeheartedly recommend a visit to anyone traveling through Alberta.

Prints of photographs taken of the Ranch can be found on my Etsy shop here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/LifeRecaptured

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Food For Thought: Green Smoothies and DHA

Recently I have been really drawn to photographing food, and creating a good food aesthetic. It’s been a lot of fun, and motivation to cook some really delicious meals! In addition, I have been looking more and more into what nutrition can mean for your brain and mental health. So here we are, starting a new thread Food for Thought which will address mental health and everyone’s favourite topic, delicious food!

When people think of nutrition they rarely think of eating right for your brain, but they really should!. Numerous studies have found nutrition affects memory, IQ, ADHD, dyslexia, schizophrenia, dementia, depression and Alzheimer’s (Dauncey, 2009).

Omega-3 fatty acids (including DHA) have a vital role in cognition and mental health by enhancing memory and mood and reducing the symptoms of depression. DHA especially is important in optimizing brain structure and function by increasing membrane flexibility and protein lipid interactions. DHA also has a protective role against inflammation, and a deficit in this fatty acid restricts neurogenesis (new growth in the brain).

This morning I photographed and made this delicious green smoothie with spinach, kale, lime juice, banana, cinnamon, avocado, raspberries and peaches. Kale and spinach are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, avocado contains tyrosine (precursor to dopamine and norepinephrine) and bananas contain tryptophan (precursor to serotonin). Yum!

Eat right and help out your brain!

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Ingredients:

1 cup Spinach          3 Spoonfuls Avocado         1/2 cup Raspberries

1 cup Kale                 1 Tbl Lime Juice                    1/2 cup Peaches

1 cup water              1 Banana                                    1 Pinch of Cinnamin

Add water, spinach, and kale into a blender and blend. Once blended, add the remainder of the ingredients and blend. Easy as pie!

#JustOneThing -Faces of Mental Illness

Let’s talk.

Not about the latest award show, or grumpy cat, or Game of Thrones, although we can certainly talk about that later.

Let’s talk about that one thing that everyone knows, that everyone hears, and sees. That thing on the tip of your tongue waiting to turn into speech but somehow the words just can’t leap free. Everyone is affected, and everyone shuts it out.

I’m talking about mental illness. Anxiety, stress, depression, addiction. A countless spectrum of disorders that touches the lives of every person, but for some reason remains stigmatized in society. I know, I hate to say it but I am part of the problem too. I have my fair share of loved ones that suffer in silence from a mental illness, and I feel too paralyzed to say anything to them, knowing the label is far worse than suffering alone. I fear their reaction to hearing the truth. That is why I created a poster campaign, because I want to turn my silence into words and break that loneliness that surrounds people with mental illness. For me, even if just one person will see these posters and know they aren’t alone, that would be enough. I’m hoping by including facts about different disorders people will begin to realize that mental illness is not some imagined plight but rather a real, physical, biological issue.

Each poster was done with pencil and watercolour paints on watercolour paper and then scanned. The goal of this campaign was to juxtapose a mental illness and the facts around it with a real person, that anyone could relate to. The paintings are meant to look like mugshots. This was to illustrate how someone may feel in sharing their mental illness, such as exposed, vulnerable, or judged. The sign acts as a label that colors how we see the person. All of this was done to visibly represent stigma, and hopefully by including relate able faces of real people it can show how wrong that stigma is.

Posters will be up all over Carleton campus, and voting for each campaign will occur at the end of March. All #JustOneThing campaigns are available on Facebook, so please check them out.

 

Right now is just a preview, but here will be some of the faces of mental illness:

 

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Beyond Arts Marketplace

Last year in May I had the honour of being a part of the Beyond Arts Marketplace art show. It was an amazing experience, I met so many great people, and very exciting to see all my hard work displayed in one place.

I had both paintings and photographs in the show, so it was nice to combine both of those mediums.

I mean, who doesn’t like art, interesting people, and wine?

 

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Practice in Portraiture

Well I decided to practice with portraiture and on such short notice during Christmas the most convenient model to use was myself! Hopefully this will tie into a bigger project that I am currently working on.

Here is the first painting and original photograph, let me know what you think!

 

Painting, oil on canvas

Painting, oil on canvas

Original photograph

Original photograph