Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Totally jazzed and amped.

Its not often that you get validation as a starting artist from the community, but when it happens wahoo the adrenaline is running. I run on the premise that the piece works if I can stop someone in their tracks to really look at the image. When that happens then I did alright. That is usually enough, but when you get a lot of attention its a real ego boost.

I worked on a set of prints exploring man-made vs nature over the last year. A lot of elements came together in a print I did of the old Monrovia Rail Station. The shoot itself was fun simply because of the character of the old station. It was part of the old Santa Fe passenger rail system that ran from Chicago to LA back in the early 1900's.

In fact Monrovia got its name from the conductors on the railroad. The town was established as "Monroe" some 120 years ago. Monroe was one of the stops along the way into San Bernardino, and conductors would call the route "Monroe Via Pasadena...." and eventually we became known as Monrovia. Local trivia, but what the hell good is a brain if you don't fill it full of stuff. Anyway the old station is in disrepair but still has a wonderful patina. It sits there waiting for restoration.
One of my pictures done there was a seperation and abstraction of nature with some artificial colors introduced versus the manmade simply given more depth and printed on wet watercolor paper (HP forgive me, but that is more fun than you can imagine...try it some time). I showed it at the Monrovia Art Festival Association's "Acknowledge the Arts event at the Historic Aztec Hotel here in Monrovia. It got a lot of attention by everyone that viewed it that evening.

What really got me amped was that City Council Member Joe Garcia liked it enough to purchase it that night. He is going to donate it and have it hung in the station after it is rehabbed and converted to the new Goldline Metrolink station. How cool is that!? Of course it is clearly and cleany labled "frazgo" so there is no doubt it is my stuff! Out of fear of jynxing the deal I held off announcing until the transaction was finalized. Wahoo it happened tonight.'s a photo of the print they bought to donate to the new station -

Sunday, May 28, 2006

I don't know where I get the energy late at night, but I do and have done so for years. Many of the images I like best are when I an too tired to think, the brain shifts into autopilot for the mechanical stuff and the rest wanders about exploring images that I saw in my head when I took the photographs in the first place.

I have been in California for over 20 years and this state never ceases to amaze or simply take my breath away. Yosemite is one of the many treasures here that does both. Maybe I shouldn't have the old Mamma and Papa's song "California Dreaming" at the moment as it just pulls me to the sullen and melancholy, but I digress. Between the LA area I call home and the rest of the state I continue to explore I am still in awe that I live here.

A bit over a year ago I spent a long weekend in late winter in Yosemite near Yosemite Falls and the Merced River. The river itself captured my interest that visit. I was up before dawn one morning and hiked along the river watching the sunrise slowly illuminate the mountains around me. Being winter there was snow all over. Fog developed as the warm moist air from an approaching storm crossed over the colder expanses of the meadows. It was so cool watching the color of light change as the sun rose. It was truly amazing to see how the fog changed and altered the sun's rays as they entered the meadows from between the peaks around me.

It was as much the steely gray of the pre-dawn as being in Ansel Adams territory that inspired me to view so much of the area in shades of gray. There still is an odd romanticisim to black and white photographs that appeals to me.

So as I sat and printed tonight I also remade a few in black and white. Enjoy these two images from a late winters dawn!

Half Dome, Foggy Morning 2/05

Morning Fog, Merced River 2/05

Friday, May 26, 2006

It's been a frantic week around here. Between a kitchen being demo'd as part of a remodel and trying to learn Photoshop CS my life is pretty full. What has kept my sanity is the working on a body of work to show at a gallery in July. It going to be a show of more traditional fine art images so its fun to keep that side of the brain working.

The show will be at the Whittier Art Gallery July 5-31, 2006. The Gallery is open Wednesday through Sunday 12-5 PM. The artists reception that I will be at is on July 8, 2006 2-5 PM Artists Reception.
The important information......
8035 South Painter Avenue
Whittier, CA 90602
If you want to get the official post card send me a quick email with your snail mail addy and you'll be on the mailing list!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Meis van der Rohe said "God is in the details" (My contractor says the devil is in the details so you decide for yourself). Its those little details that stop me in my tracks as I meander about with my trusty camera in hand.

I scored a copy of PhotoshopCS and am amazed at the details I can control with my images. I've only begun to scratch the surface but wow. You can really work out the details with this progam. Its much easier to color correct with this than anything I have seen in recent memory.

Back in the day of the darkroom you could spend hours printing a picture, color correcting, rerunning through the chemistry and back again until you got it right. Ugh...I can remember days where I worked on a single image. Now its a click on the suspect color dragging a bar about and voila its all in balance. (I could spend hours on the theory of the color of light...suffice it to say it ain't gonna happen here today). Short version is that things in the shadows pick up a "blue" tint from the sky above and it can be a bugger to clean up. Your minds eye removes that tint...a camera and film don't.

I spotted recently on my walk these incredibly brilliant flowers. Closer inspection revealed that there was a snail napping in one of the blossoms. Its those details that catch my eye all the time and I grabbed a few pictures. Even though they were in the shade I got it all color corrected. (Bet you didn't think I'd tie all these randmon thoughts together did you) Enjoy the final result.....

"napping snail"

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Its one of those days where you just want to nap but there's this urge to do something creative. Eventually it over powers your urge to nap. Either that or its avoiding that stack of weeds in need of pulling. Today I sat down with full intention to go through my back log of images and get the black and white gallery updated. Fortunately procrastination once again game to the rescue on all levels and I went exploring down the secessionist path and deconstructed some images.

I spent a day recently on the Queen Mary. The one in Long Beach men, not the one in Studio City. Its an interesting old ship and a venue that makes it easy to find images you normally don't see. (If you regularily crawl around deep in the bowels of an old luxury liner it may not be so abnormal - if you do we need to talk).

Its a place that has some really interesting spots to explore. Aside from Haunted room B340 there is a lot of really cool 1930's art deco details and industrial type settings. All of which are interesting to look at and photograph.

Today was a lot of sorting and cataloging images. I probably would have gotten through it faster if I hadn't spotted a few that I immediately wanted to do something with. I did get one I really liked on the watercolor paper. The image I attached is only a rough estimation of what the final print looked like. When I print on watercolor paper its not that wimpy inkjet stuff, its the real deal....archival quality, acid free stock that is run through the old HP soaking wet. (I doubt HP thought it would work but am certain it falls under their "abuse" terms in their warranty disclaimers).

Today was one of those days where I really was biased towards the painterly deconstruction and reassembly of images. Enjoy....

"B deck Detail"

"Inside Cargo Hold, Watercolor"

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Well its the F64 group getting the nod today. I really enjoy B&W. Its the starkness of it all that leaves the view to really focus on the light vs shadow and interplay of objects.

I spent my morning along a short stretch of the San Gabriel River today. I really enjoy my walks through there. Hard to believe it is minutes from a couple of the busiest freeways in So Cal as all you hear are the ducks and other critters going about their business. Other than the odd whiff of hops cooking (Miller Brewing is very close) and a view of the brown blanket that can wrap the valley its really a nice place.

I continue to explore the relationships of objects in the grander scheme of their setting. Today I spent a lot of time hiking (wading?) along the edges of the short dams meant to slow the flow of the river to the ocean. What happens is that during really heavy rain boulders get scoured free and they rearrange themselves. In the end nature prevails and the boulders are dropped in a new home creating a new landscape.

We had such a late winter rainy season that many of the spring flowers are just starting to peak in their blooming. Being a child of the ozarks and plains states cactus and succulents still amaze me. When they bloom its a startling contrast of cool gray blue sharp edges and points puncuated with really vibrant color on the soft flowing blossoms. Something I keep shooting as it just amazes me. More on those as spring time along the river progresses.

San Gabriel River Rapids

Monday, May 15, 2006

Life is funny and you never know which way you'll twist in the wind. Two week ends ago I was showing at a local event and one of my more manipulated photos exploring the real and unreal caused the stir. (It will eventually make it to my sites web page when updated later this month). Now I get a call on a few of my traditional images. So which do I explore next?

I am torn once again between competing factions within my little brain. It doesn't help that I can't pick one photographer or style that has influenced me. I certainly can appreciate Paul Strand and his work with the Photo-Secessionists did early in the last century and it certainly is a direction and theme I've explored a lot lately. But then again there is the whole F64 group with hero's most of you know in that movement Ansel Adams and Edward Weston. Its this latter group that I've visited and explored many times over the years.

This group is really focused on straight photography, technically accurate recording of the world on the other side of the lens. They drew their name from the ultra-sharp focus you get when you "stop down" your lens to its smallest aperature. My explorations of late have been with an ultra-wide angle lens that adds some distortion while being very sharply focused across the scene. My explorations now have been the down low foreground with the grander scene behind it. Most of it has been in black and white (paying homage to Adams?) but its all been about exploring the relationships within nature. An example is "alder creek canyon" which I am pleased with.

So where do I go next? I have no idea its just another "go dog go" ride for me today.

welcome to my first "professional" blog. here i will explore my thoughts on what interests me at the moment that I am exploring artistically. it will be an interesting ride as my mind meanders about always thinking and looking for ways to communicate to others how i see the world. i see the world differently than others, i know it and have only in recent years followed those meanders.

the best and most terrifying thing i have ever faced was leaving the corporate world and striking out on my own. timing was right on cue with my mid-life crisis years. after i got through with the gear head phase by restoring a '72 centurion and bolting some balls to back i decided it was time to take mine out of hiding and strike out on my own for a change. this lead me to return to nurturing my own passions. after a brief stint at painting i went back to my first passion - photography.

i am trained classically as a commercial photographer, even hold a degree in it from southern illinois university at carbondale. after dabbling with digital and seeing the amazing things i could do without a darkroom i made the big dive into total digital 12/04. since then i have had more fun with a camera than i thought possible.

i am truly blessed with an incredible family and circle of friends that encourage and support me. they also give me the needed kick in the ass to keep me grounded and moving forwards. enough of the mental aperient (temple of mental onanism???). read, enjoy, tell me I'm crazy, tell me you hate it (and why you do) or you like it.

one of the paths i've been following this last year is relationships between real/unreal, manmade/nature, unnatural/natural. also in the mix is the relationships between reality and the imagined. out of the latter came reality bubbles. "beach bubble" and "gorman road" are among the earlier examples

life is about exploring. art is about telling the world what you found.

chose art to match your soul not the sofa