Sunday, August 27, 2006

Bring on the Clash...London Calling

Its been an amazing summer. First inspiration for new images while on road trips with a thick layer of ego frosting in the form of gallery recognition. OK, I'm still a starving artist, but at least I'm gaining some notoriety lately. I had sitting in my "spam folder" of all invitation from a gallery in London asking me to post 8 images on their website in an artists gallery. Its a juried invitation and how they found me and my website, who knows but thank god someone sees it!

So...after much debating with me, myself and id, I posted my 8 images at Saatchi. Enjoy. Who knows who will see them, what they'll do with them or for me, but at least its recognition. You can see me there at:

Where will I go with all of this? Who knows I have many paths to meander and the only you can count on is I will take the one of greatest curiosity. I have a whole series of things I want to do in the Aztec Hotel in black and white as impressionist paintings to deconstruct and reassemble.

And on the topic of deconstruction and reassembly...Poppy Road taken out at the California Poppy Preserve in Lancaster spring of 2005.

Getting Nudged

Inspiration and ideas come from a variety of sources. This morning a neighbor happened to see me and dropped off a DVD he had on Ansel Adams. Its a biography of him and his work, lots of interviews with him, his family and admirers. Its from a PBS documentary and really well done once you get past the droning music and the whole PBS agenda.

The new thing I learned about the man is that he was also a prolific writer and wrote over 5,000 letters to the editor on a variety of topics as he believed that is a way to mould and direct a social agenda. This documentary really focused on the Sierra Mountains of California primarily Yosemite down to Kings Canyon and Sequoia. They spent just enough time one of my favorite photographs if his, "Moonrise Hernandez" which illustrated nicely how man fits into the bigger world around us to make the entire DVD worth watching.

This documentary brought for a lot of information about the man, much of it new or at least a new interpretation of what he did and why. He saw the world different than us in so many respects. Some of it because as the documentary put it, he was likely a "hyperactive" child and jumped quickly and very deeply into things that interested him. In his work you see his changes in themes over the years and how he worked them in his images. No matter what phase of his career you look at it is obvious he is the great meanderer of the fine art photographers always purposely wandering about and sharing his vision of the world. Meanders I think are by their nature, hyperactive children that luckily never out grew it or had it beat out of them.

Early work had a very high horizon line forcing you to look at the landscape itself, later had the lower horizon line forcing you to soak in the landscape and sky together and draw comparisons regarding the greater space of it all. The one thing the latter years brought out that influences me heavily was the use of darkened sky's to illustrate the depth of space. I tend to go a bit further most of the time and shoot not only later in the day where the depth of color (or shades of gray) is so much greater, but prefer to have clouds. Clouds for me are the ultimate piece of nature that we can't control and add so much drama it helps me illustrate better my feel for the time and space as I meandered through it.

So much for the trivia, I am always amazed how well he manipulated the image at the camera level through exposure and developing, then in the darkroom to get the final image he shared with us.

I have the PC and a bank of images from this summers road trips that move me when done in black and white. So as I meander down the road of black and white I still explore the relationships of man vs nature, or nature's elements with each other. "Pumice Road" and "Mosquito Range Treeline" are today's work.

Pumice Mine Road

Mosquito Range Treeline

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Been a busy and terrific week

Like I said a few days ago the best validation of your work striking a cord is when you are invited to show at a gallery or online gallery. An unusual chain of events starting in July ended with an invitation to set up a "studio" (guess that would be an electronic studio???) with a new group calling them selves

On there I have a variety new images, several you have seen here of the last few months grouped by theme. Each theme of course is nice group of images that follow one of the many paths I have explored in over the last couple of years. The end result is some work I am very proud of.

I still need to update my own web site and decide what direction I'll go with it. One project at a time. Having finally finished cataloging and doing "stuff" with the image back log I have had from the last few roadtrips I need to take a break.

One image not showing on the site is from last year I shot while up in the Loomis area, enjoy "Plums" ~ now go out and get your other fruits and vegies for the day!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Cross eyed and tired

But...wahooo I finished sorting, cataloging and working on the images from my Colorado trip.

I swear I must have Adult ADHD given how long it took me to get through these pictures and get them all done. The number of directions I went with the images tells me I am either unfocused or have to much energy to corral. You tell me.

Anyway, the Black and White stuff has gotten the most energy devoted to it the last day or so.
These 2 images are from the Fryer Hill area north of Leadville Colorado. Its a pretty easy to get to location...with a car even as the majority is paved or hard pack gravel.

Enjoy the latest two images.....

G.O.K what got me going with this one!

Busy working through the back log of July pics I found this one and only remember how funny it struck me at the time when I stumbled across an ancient farmhouse with a travel trailer next to it. It was like one of those husband/wife snapshots taken as they approach being older than dirt. This struck me funny as it has almost an "American Gothic" feel to it in a May/December romance sort of way.

Enjoy the pic. Hopefully it will give you a chuckle too. Back to work as I still have way too many pictures to review, catalog and do something with. With luck I'll at least have the backlog taken care of this week.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Playing it straighter

Well...If that is a word its what I'm doing tonight. After working on several more impressionist photo's I meandered down the course of old timey fade black and white on a few images to see what happened. I liked it.

Of course I can't leave well enough alone and tweaked a few things. Now if I can find a good glossy photopaper that mimics the base warm tones of the old silver based Kodak Portrait papers of years ago to keep my whites from going pure I'd be happy. (The pc can only do so much, c'mon someone out there must have a warm toned inkjet paper out there...first one to market it I'm in line for a few packs to test the waters).

Anyway...I have worked on a few more of the still lifes from Bodie this evening. Enjoy the results on "nursery" and "final game racked"

Invitations mean validation

No matter how you cut it being an artist isn't easy as you have your Ego and Id on the line. Every piece you complete you have your level of comfort in the final result somewhere between a failed mess and elements of what you believe to be your personal best masterpiece.
Regardless of how you feel you have to be prepared for the reactions or lack thereof by the viewer.

Around the campfire the other night we were talking about the stupid things that comes out of peoples mouths. I remembered a quote, attributed to Mark Twain that went something along the lines of "It is better to remain silent and thought a fool than to speak up and remove all doubt". Art critics need to learn that one, and until then I'll continue to work on a thicker skin. Anyone one into assisting me with this project in self flagellation?

On that note, damn the critics and full speed ahead. I am exploring several avenues of late, most are in the impressionistic vein. Wonder what Freud would have to say about that...A trained photographer deconstructing reality and reconstructing into a new image of the world and new set of emotions in the process. Better than a heavy dose of SSRI and cheaper than an hour on the couch - simply reinvent the world around you.

The good thing is that on occasions you get invitations to join new galleries where you least expect it. A new group saw my recent nomination as artist of the month at the electronic cottage arts site and invited me to join them after they viewed my work there. (I really need to update the site and soon as I have a lot more and different stuff up to show). So there you go, validation is good, especially when it means you can drop your guard a bit and do what you love doing!

A few of the images I worked on today were just that - reinventing what I saw and pushing the envelope on how I present what I saw. To be truthful the trip to Bodie wound up being about shooting with the intent to breakdown and reassemble the final image.

One of the images was a dusty old bowl of buttons in a window. I flashed back to being a little kid visiting my Grandma Jasovec's house in the woods outside of Ely, Minnesota. On a windowsill in her kitchen she had a jar of buttons where loose ones were tossed in the event she needed one. Amazing how one image on the other side of the country can make you flash back to one from when you were a kid (even more amazing was the trivial thing it brought back into focus).

Another building I spent a lot of time on was the old Bodie church. You can tell it was a church, but now its shell is there, the stained glass windows removed and the hole boarded in, the cross missing from the steeple. Hollow.

Anyway enjoy the images "buttons and basin" and "Bodie Church"

Friday, August 11, 2006

Road Tripping.....

I just got back from nearly a week of shooting in the Eastern Sierra's, mostly in and around the June Lake area. I went off on my own a lot and saw some amazing things, some revisited and others totally new.

One of the side trips this week took us up to Bodie, Ca which was an old gold mining town that eventually went bust and everyone moved away. Sometime in the 1960's it was turned into a state park which resulted in its preservation as a pretty accurate time capsule of life in the late 1800's until the early 1900's. Somehow this "ghost town" escaped the commercialization like Calico and as a result has a very haunting feel to it as you walk about looking at how folks lived some 100 years ago.

I don't know why I have a facination with the ghost towns, but I do and enjoy exploring whenever I can. Maybe its that very haungting feeling about treading in an area that has outlived its time here only leaving its shell like some pupa that has completed its metamorphasis.

Of course this aura of life past is something I enjoy exploring with my images and the transformation from a photo into one of my watercolor photographs. Bodie was one of those jackpot destinations that gave me much to work with and ponder how I wanted to communicate what I saw as I explored it. Certainly its been fodder tonight for a series of my more impressionistic watercolor photos.

Of course this week leaves me with nearly 2500 images to catalog and work on the those that taunt me the most. Somehow I promise to get my website updated soon...maybe an entire chapter to ghost towns?

Enjoy these images... "Bodie Clunker" and "Assayers Window"

Saturday, August 05, 2006

time flies...

Well, time goes faster in the middle of mayhem. Moved into the new kitchen...yeah...started demo of another bathroom so that left me on the fly unpacking, ordering new tile etc.,. That left me no time at all the last 10 days to do anything with the 1,000 images left from CO to catalog.

Barely enough time to get packed for a road trip with the neighbors up to June Lake, Mono Lake, Bodie and of course Mammoth tomorrow. I promise I'll be better about updating and sharing when I get back.

Tonight was the August Art Walk on Myrtle here in Monrovia. At least it wasn't gawd awful hot like it has been the last few weeks. Lots of people milling about so it was a good night.

A couple of my prints on display at the Art Walk.....