Let the Beauty of what you Love be what you Do...

Saturday, October 31, 2009

DMF Assignment: Picturing the Other

I wasn't really sure at first what I was going to do for this assignment. However, once I figured out how to do a slideshow for the alphabet soup assignment, I thought it would be fun to do a slideshow for this one. And what better place to capture fun (and sometimes scary) images of "the other" than the Ashland Halloween Parade. There are so many people out & about... nobody's paying attention to you & your camera which makes you a little more inconspicuous... and offers a great opportunity to catch candid moments. I was pretty happy with the way it turned out, though it took some time to sort through images,edit them and put it all together. I think the 4 second display is a bit long- 2 or 3 may have been better, but I wanted the music to fit appropriately and I'm still exploring with the media.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

DMF: Alphabet Soup Assignment/Digital Images

For the letter assignment I've put together a short slide show (just hit the play button above) with the following letters:
P, V, N, H, J, O, X, L, E, Q, C, U, T, W, & S. Dennis was right, B's are hard to find. Found a couple that sorta looked like B's, but not quite enough to make the list. T's, L's & X's were everywhere!
The E on the right (cloud- E) gets an honorable mention. Definitely looks like an E to me, but the jury was out among my peers.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Week Five: Other/ Big Blue Bear Sculpture

Without meaning to, I found another image that I wanted to post to my blog. I was looking for images of bears for a ceramics project I'd like to do...(if my idea doesn't get dissed by my instructor) and came across the Big Blue Bear Sculpture by artist Lawrence Argent. It's placed at the Denver Convention Center & I've included a short video on the installation. Really neat stuff. Truth be told, I'd secretly (or not so secretly) like to do work like this. Arrrgh... but I don't think I want to do the work to get an MFA like this guy did! I do want to do the work, just not necessarily the school work. Don't get me wrong- I enjoy school... just not so much the financial output involved with school. There are so many things to spend your hard earned money on... you know, things like a home base, health insurance, travel. Hard to have it all. Go 25k in debt for a degree in art, while throwing money away on a noisy apartment, or scrap the school & put that money towards a home? Ooops! It appears my journal entries have seeped their way into my blog! Dang, that certainly wasn't my intention when I sat down to type this out, but I suppose it was bound to happen sooner or later...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Week Five: Personal Images/Cannon Beach, Oregon

Thought I'd post a series of photos for my week 5 post. Geez, are we already going into week 5? That is crazy. Anyhow, these photos were taken a couple of years ago at Cannon Beach with my first digital camera- a little Canon point & shoot with only a 4 MP capability. I have to admit, I was quite resistant to the whole digital thing- being from the old school of 35mm film. I loved shooting black & white film & spending hours in the darkroom dodging, burning... watching the images slowly develop before my eyes. Digital photography seemed to be cheating somehow. I've learned you can take some pretty crappy photos, but with the use of digital manipulation, you can end up with a pretty decent shot... which seems almost unfair. I guess I felt it took away from "the art" of photography. Back in the old days, you could do some pretty cool stuff too, but you really had to start with a decently exposed & composed image. It seemed there was more technique & skill involved. That being said... I have now learned to really be able to appreciate the technology of digital images. One thing I have to admit enjoying is the instant gratification. In the past, it took some time to develop your images, and you never really knew if you captured the moment the way you wanted until much later. With digital, the ability to see the image immediately lets you know if you need to change the angle slightly, zoom in/out and so forth, allowing you to get exactly the image you want without going through rolls of film, hoping to have captured that one good shot. Also, you can simply delete the ones that are no good, versus having to go through & store tons of negatives. I was also amazed at how decent some of these shots were that I took with the low MP point & shoot. I went back & forth with my little digital camera and my old 35mm for about a year before I invested in a digital SLR, which I absolutely love. Sadly, I haven't used my film camera much since that purchase. It is stored safely away with my negatives & slides from the past... stored away, but not forgotten. Looking forward to sometime in the future where I can slip away into a darkroom somewhere & into the nostalgia of film & delayed gratification.

Week Four: Other/Chinese Artist Lui Bolin

One of my friends sent me an email with many images from this Chinese artist Lui Bolin, otherwise know as the "Invisible Man." He has a team of assistants paint him into his surroundings & then photograph him. My first thoughts were "wow, this guy is pretty cool" & set about trying to find his website, which I could not find, but I did find many links/interviews from other artists. Bolin studied art for many years, primarily with a famous Chinese sculpturist. This picture is just one in a series called Hiding in the City. His inspiration for this series was the fact that the Chinese government bulldozed & destroyed the community in which he lived (a community of artists) leaving him homeless. This series deals with issues of social protest. It is interesting to move from thinking "wow, this guy does some interesting art," to understanding why he is doing what he is doing.... and interesting to understand the concept of his choosing to portray his disappearance into the environment & how it deals with oppression of culture, ideas & individuality.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Week Four: Personal Images/Fall Color

Out taking a walk yesterday in Lithia Park... and as every one knows, the fall colors are quite beautiful this time of year. Got a few nice shots yesterday, so I thought I'd post a couple of them. The quality of images posted seems to wash out a bit when uploaded. Other than that, I don't have much else to write about the images... probably in large part 'cause I just rolled out of bed & haven't had more than 2 sips of coffee yet! More later.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Burning of Zozobra 2009

Finally figured out how to get a You Tube video on my blog!! Alright, I admit, I figured it out once, added text & called it done... only to somehow delete it... am I allowed to curse in here?!?
All I can say is it took me a loooooong time to figure out this relatively simple procedure... again, being new to this whole computer gig. So, dammit, watch the video already- it explains the inspiration for my poster project. Now, I am going to get the hell away from this computer for awhile and go for a walk & enjoy the beautiful fall day in Ashland!

Poster Assignment: Take 1

Ok, here's my first poster. And, I must admit, it took me forever to do... mainly because I am still struggling with the tools. Practice & repetition I guess, but heck, at some point I need to get out in the world & away from the computer!! Anyhow. I used all my own images that I took at this year's burning of Zozobra in Santa Fe. Zozobra was created by artist Will Shuster & introduced at the "Fiestas De Santa Fe" in 1926 & has become an annual tradition. Also known as "Old Man Gloom," this 50 ft high marionette represents all the tribulations, negativity & gloom of the past year. Participants (upwards of 20-30 thousand) are encouraged to "write down their gloom" and it is placed along with Zozobra to be burned & banished into the night sky. It is really an interesting event... kind of paganistic, really. It brings together people of all ages (from toddler to mid eighties I'd say)... all uniting for the same cause... to watch Old Man Gloom burn & hopefully take all their gloom with him. I wanted to insert a video from You Tube from this year's burning, but I haven't figured out how to do that yet, but once I do, it's worth watching- and might make the poster make a little more sense to those unfamiliar w/ Zozobra.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Text Assignment: Ocean of B's/ Growing B's

Well, you may not "B" able to tell (I crack myself up!) but this text assignment took up hours! I didn't post my takes 1, 2, 3 etc, as they were too lame. However, the more I played with the text and got a minimal grasp on the tools & layers, I found it really fun to play with the text. Using different text styles, colors & the free transform/eraser/paint bucket tools, it was interesting to create visual images using a single letter. I'm hoping that as I begin to understand the workings of the tools, layers & so forth the process will become a little quicker- because when I think of the time spent on simple assignments, I kinda freak out thinking about the more complex upcoming assignments!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

DMF Photoshop Collage Project

Ok, here it is, my first ever photoshop collage. How do I feel about it? Well... I'm not so sure. If I look at it from the perspective that it is my first real photoshop project ever (except for using photo shop to lighten/darken/enhance overall images) I guess I did an o.k. job. If I compare it to other's work, then, well, it kinda looks like crap. But lets say I don't compare... then I think it's actually pretty cool. Especially given the fact that I didn't even own a computer until this year, and before that, really only used one to check emails, update resumes & such. I actually just recently learned how to cut & paste. So, this is all new to me. I used six different images to create this project, all from various hiking trips mainly in the Sangre de Christos mountain range. My background was my friend taking a nap near Wheeler Peak in Taos. I decided to cut out his head for whatever reason & put the head of Zozobra (a 50 foot puppet- more on that later) in it's place. I then put in several images of critters I've encountered on hikes... kind of encroaching on this sleeping hiker... like they are curious about what the hell he's doing there. It feels a little dreamscapey to me. Anyhow there it is. I think once I get past the frustrations of layering & using the tools it'll get much better... 'cause it was actually kinda fun!

Week Three: Other/ My Nephew's Photo Shop Project

For this week's "other" I chose an image my 16 year old nephew sent to me- a project he worked on in his high school graphic design class. (Graphic Design in high school- how cool is that?!) I chose this image for a few reasons. One is just that I thought it was cute! Another is just a commentary on how much things have changed in a relatively short period of time due to our technical advances. When I was in high school we took typing for God sakes! Oh yeah, and home ec (do they still even teach that?) so we could learn to be good little home makers I suppose. Anyhow, I always tell my nephew he is lucky to be learning these things at such a young age... that it will give him a jump start when he goes to college. When I told him I'm confused & having some difficulty learning photoshop & layers, he doesn't quite understand the problem, and says something like "Aunt Becky, it's really easy." To which I spout off something about young brains being like a sponge, how new concepts are much more easily absorbed when you're young, and something about my frontal lobe deficits. He just laughs. Another reason I chose this image is a lead into my next post, which will be my photoshop collage project. Maybe you can vote on which image you like better. Only kidding... it may hurt my emerging artist's self esteem if you vote for this one- so just disregard that last statement! A side note to my nephew Cody- great job! Keep up the good work, & don't let your new job detract from your school work. You have the rest of your life to work, and just a couple more years of free education!!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Week Three: Personal Observation/ Window

This photograph was another that I took while working in Santa Fe this summer. It is the window section of San Miguel Chapel, supposedly the oldest church in America, originally built in the 1600's. There is much history behind this church, (as there is throughout the city and in the surrounding area) but I won't get into all that here... if you are interested, I would suggest googling it. I have photographed this church many times, and yet if I walk by & have a camera, I'd photograph it again. I always see something different. Different weather conditions for background, different angles that hadn't caught my eye before, or different lighting conditions that change the color & bring out new textures or shadow in this old adobe structure. I was actually out walking, scoping out view points to try to catch the full moon rising, but was deterred when I saw the afternoon sunlight hit San Miguel, turning the usual muddy brown structure a golden color. I love also how the setting sun brings out so much texture. During bright sunny days, everything you look at can appear so washed out, but as the sun sets, the soft light brings back all the detail. You can see the original line in the structure, as well rough areas that have been patched, and deep cracks that have formed. I probably took easily 30 photos of that church that particular evening, but for what ever reason, was really drawn this time to the window of this old structure. A window to the past? Perhaps. It just feels old... and in this day of prefabricated construction, destruction, urban sprawl & mini malls, it is somehow comforting to know that some things remain seemingly the same.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Week Two: Other/mmmm..... cappucino!!!

This image was sent to me by a friend & fellow coffee lover. Notice how the lines on the window sill draw you into the subject... how the handle invites you to grasp it... how you long for the frothy foam on your upper lip...even the chosen mug- orange in color- suggests sweetness, desire & taste according to the Chakra system. Perhaps this is all just artspeak! Sometimes maybe we should just take things at face value, rather than trying to analyze it all. That sometimes drives me crazy in art. Maybe there is no hidden meaning. Perhaps, in this case, it is just a damn good cup o' joe!

Week Two: Personal Observation/ View from the Deck

After DMF lecture today I realized (after thinking i was on time for my blogging assignments) that I was actually behind on my postings! So, I figured I'd better get to it. My 2nd personal post is a photograph that I took the day I returned to Santa Fe, NM to work for the summer to fund my 2nd quarter at SOU (after a long educational hiatus.) After having several months off from work to devote time to making fun art projects, I have to admit it was a bit daunting to think of going back to full time work for the summer. However, after my 3 day drive, I was greeted by the most amazing thunderstorm! I love thunderstorms, thus, I love the summer weather in New Mexico. It can be clear as a bell, then moments later, the wind starts blowing in the storm. Flash flood warnings can arise in seconds... and there it is! Pouring rain, thunder that shakes the ground & lightning that cracks the sky wide open. As the storm dissipates, almost certainly, come the rainbows. It sounds cliche, but I just think rainbows are so beautiful... they make me feel good. Peaceful or something. Anyhow... if there was any consolation to knowing that I was about to be worked down to my bones...(I would later describe it as being tired down to my bone marrow) it was the fact that I got this amazing greeting from mother nature welcoming me back once again to "the city of faith." In many ways, that deck & those views consoled my spirit. And, actually, I think it is a darn good photo!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Week One: Observation Media/Other

A Tibetan exile resident in India is detained by police at a protest outside the Chinese embassy in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2009. Tibetans across the world are protesting the 60th anniversary of Communist rule in China.

I nabbed this photo & caption on yahoo's week in photos. Honestly, I have to admit I generally try to avoid politics and mass media. It's like, yeah, I know the world can be a pretty screwed up place... but I try to keep it from entering my life on a daily basis. I prefer not to as Jackson Browne would say "shoot up the evening news." I hate the fact that there are wars, greed, atrocities perpetuated on people, entire cultures, and the very earth that supports us all. It just makes me very sad is all, so I try my best to keep my head buried in the sand, like the proverbial ostrich.
But, I digress. This was one of the many images in regards to the 60th anniversary of Communist rule in China. I felt that the photographer captured this image perfectly. I'm sure most people are aware of the plight of the Tibetan people, so I won't go into all that here, except to say that in this photo, if you look at it closely, you can see that it it appears that this man is literally being torn apart. The dark patch of earth behind him struck me as grave like, and the man on the left with the baton... well, it looks like a shovel in which to bury him. Not to mention they are literally ripping his shoe & shirt off. They say a picture is worth a thousand words... and I would say this captures well the treatment of the Tibetan people by Communist China. I did however, find the text accompanying the photo interesting. This man, they claim, is being "detained."
o.k., I guess for next weeks post, I'll find something a bit more cheery & artsy....

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Week One: Personal Observation

Huh. My first blog. I'm doing this blog for an entry level digital media class & I actually have no idea what I am doing, but it looks like I am doing it. I took these pictures on the ET highway in Nevada, on my 1,400 mile journey from Ashland, Oregon to Santa Fe, NM to work for the summer. I love road trips & seeing new parts of the country I haven't seen before. The ET highway is close to "the loneliest road" in America... though I really didn't find it lonely at all. I love stretches of open road, where there aren't many other people... just you, your car & and several hours of driving without cell service or gas stations. (Remember the days before cell phones? Road trips were so much more adventurous back then!) Hwy 375 skirts the infamous "area 51" and I admit, I was a bit dismayed that I didn't see any actual aliens or anything! (perhaps they only come out at night... like ghosts, bogey men and such.) I did, however stop in Rachel, Nevada.... (a place that could be missed if you blinked) to buy some alien paraphernalia and a cup of coffee. No one that worked there claimed to have witnessed any alien activity, either... perhaps they are in on the cover up. Ha! And that, folks, does it for my first blog.... until next time.