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

Monday, November 30, 2009

Happy December!

Tomorrow's Dec. 1st, and this image looks like Christmas to me, so I figured what the heck, post it. I actually took this image in December a few years back in... you guessed it- Eastern Oregon. Beautiful country. This was the first time I ever lived where it gets so cold, your boogers freeze. I'm not kidding! I've determined they freeze around 5 degrees Fahrenheit... that's my best guess anyhow, though I would be open to scientific evidence that proves otherwise.

DMF Week10: Personal Images/Ceramics Projects

Well, I know you're all wondering... so whatever happened to that ceramics project you were working on when you did the self-portrait? Well, it finally all came out of the kiln... and so here it is- the final project. The original idea for this project (obsession/multiples) was based on symbology of the bear figure (strength, introspection, knowledge,) but was expanded upon conceptually by the addition of the big black bear at the center. The big, ugly black bear in the center represents Big Oil- representing greed, mass consumption and destruction of natural habitat, thereby contributing to global warming & the plight of the polar bear.

Oh, the bear head below was just a continuation of exploring the bear form for other/larger projects down the road. I think it's pretty cute though, and makes me smile when I look at it...

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Yep, out walkin' by the cemetery again today. The early morning fog seemed to add to the eerie feeling one can get from cemeteries. Even the trees looked a little spooky to me... bare of leaves & the twisting branches that seemed to reach down towards you.

Friday, November 27, 2009

DMF Week 9: Personal Images

Just some images I took out walking today. A chilly, drizzly day in Ashland. None of these images were all that great, but I thought they went well together once I cropped them. Something about seasons... or a visual interpretation of life cycles. Most of the leaves have fallen from the trees, but they still make for a lovely display on the streets & sidewalks. The colors & textures often make me stop to take a closer look. Much as we can still be appreciate the beauty of fallen leaves, even though they are no longer attached to the tree... no longer alive, I think that can also be said of people that have touched our lives that are no longer with us. There is a beauty that still remains. I like walking through old cemeteries, looking at the headstones, wondering about these peoples' lives, who they were, and wonder about their history, and if they were happy. Out of respect for the dead, I don't feel it appropriate to photograph the headstone directly (in order to keep the names private,) but I think I'd like to experiment more with cemetery photography.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

DMF Week 9: Other/ Artist Colette Hosmer

I was actually looking for another Artist's work online (with key words "artist uses dead animals") when I came across Colette's work. I found it interesting how she works with so many different materials. I actually came across her article first & really liked what she had to say. I guess because I could relate in a lot of ways. I've included a link to her website... I tried to include the link to the article, but I'm experiencing technical difficulties...see quote below for an excerpt... or google for the full article.

Desert Donuts
gypsum sand, yellow and red sand/dirt, Sangres, pink volcanic ash,1.5"x3.5" diameter2003. A Physical Map of the Earth - Addison Parks Gallery, Santa Fe and Taos, NM

  • Pipe-line
  • dried preserved minnows, steel
  • 9'x8'x6'
  • 1998
  • Museum of Fine Arts - Santa Fe, NM

"in fact I never intended to become an artist; I guess I didn’t think that I could. I really didn’t know what it meant to be a professional artist or how to go about doing it. I was just following a passion. Because I wasn’t attempting to participate in the art world I had a certain freedom. I wasn’t worried about what was expected of an artist and because of this I was able to go in a direction that was truly my own" (Art Interview Online Magazine)
source: Art Interview Online Magazine

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Open Road

Damn, this blogging thing is addictive. I don't think we even need to post images during Thanksgiving break. I think I am just putting off things I need to do... like packing up. So, I sit, looking through my images & thinking. I often take pictures through the windshield when I'm driving on long, desolate stretches of road. I really don't know why... it's just something I do. For this one, I actually pulled over & got out of the car. I am not for the paving of America, but there is something I love about fresh asphalt. I don't know what it is exactly... but something to do with the black shininess of it, the stark contrast to the natural surroundings, the way it sticks slightly to your feet if you walk across it... even the smell of it. I liked this picture because the road just seems to stretch out into forever.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

DMF Assignment: Papercraft, How I spend my evenings as an Art Student, and Various other ramblings...

There will be absolutely no laughing at my papercraft!!! It sucks, I know... but I got 'er done... now I just have to cut the damn thing out... but it's not gonna happen tonight. Manana, si. I'm feeling the crunch of the end of the term in all my classes. It didn't feel this way last quarter... and I'm wondering if the budget crunch is resulting in the same amount of work but less time to accomplish said work?? Or is it my own issue of feeling like I've got to put twice as much time & effort into projects because I want them done well... and want my grade to reflect the time & energy expended? Maybe it's the voice of the inner critic that demands nothing less than an A in every class... as some sort of reward or exchange for the effort & monetary expenditure involved, (and who is that inner critic anyhow?) Or perhaps it the pressure of an unnamed instructor that expects "Fine Art" from a level one class (and who defines Fine Art anyhow?) Maybe it's a little of each of these things. I don't know. I think too much... and write too much! My last excuse for the very lame cubee craft is feeling a bit behind due to technical difficulties in DMF lab. I know... excuses, excuses! But!! To show that I am in fact hard at work, not only in DMF, but all my classes, I've included a pic of what my dining room table looks like on a given night... so many projects... so little time. Finishing my ceramics decals tonight... printmaking tomorrow & saturday, then trying to get all my DMF stuff together for the book next week. All this, in the midst of packing all my stuff, putting it in storage & moving out of my ridiculously loud & non-peaceful apartment to get ready for the drive to New Mexico after finals. Trying to make a little money so I can return next quarter...

DMF Week 8:Other/Photographer David Jensen

I used to buy this guy's photo cards when I was living in Eastern Oregon. I don't think the pictures I'm posting will do him justice, as he places them on his website at a small resolution with his copyright over them so people don't steal his images. I don't blame him. If the barn looks familiar, it's because I took a picture of the same barn & posted it a couple blogs ago. The other picture, an old schoolhouse, which used to be a land mark in Eastern Oregon, blew down in a storm in 1991. Confirmation of catching the moment in time as previously discussed. For more of David's work check out his website: http://www.djensenphotography.com/index.html

Saturday, November 14, 2009

DMF Week 8: Personal Image/Winter in Santa Fe

Well, so much for sleeping in. For whatever reason I just keep waking up early, though I would much prefer to catch up on my sleep. I've been up for the past 2 hours, mostly playing on my computer & looking through various images I've taken in the past few years that I've been traveling for work. This image was not well composed... I actually shot it through my windshield as I was leaving a friends house after a day of skiing at the Santa Fe ski basin. Why am I posting this image? Well, I got an email from my recruiter a couple of days ago, asking if I'd be available to fill in for the holidays back in New Mexico. Yes, that means packing up again, driving for days in the middle of winter... maybe not the best choice, but the financial strain of school made the decision easy at the time. Though now, I do question my decision. Pack up again? I've moved like 16 times in the past 5 years!!! That's 32 times packing & unpacking! What am I thinking? Well, I am thinking grocery money, & rent for the winter quarter. And, it would be good to see some friends... and Santa Fe is beautiful in the winter... let's face it. But working on Christmas day... without my family? Well, it could all fall through... that sometimes happens in this travel game. An anxiety producing way of life... but, I suppose for now, it is what I chose. Life is interesting...

Friday, November 13, 2009

DMF: Week 7: Other/ My Aunt Bev's Painting

I can't remember when my aunt Beverly first started painting, but I imagine she started fairly young, perhaps not long after my mom did her first painting as a child. I do remember her taking a painting class some time back in the 90's. I asked her to email some pictures of her work, and she sent me this one... a painting of Zabriskie Point In Death Valley. I think it is beautiful! I love her work, and she has been long considered the artist in the family. She has this unique style of painting that makes you feel as if you are right there in the scene. I've always been drawn to more realistic art forms... I am just not much of an abstractionist. While I can appreciate Mondrian's flat colors & shapes or Pollock's action painting... that style just doesn't appeal to me. I can look at those types of paintings and think... "hmmm... interesting," but that's about it. I don't feel much about it. In contrast, when I look at my aunt's paintings, I feel drawn in... to the detail, the shadows & highlights, the depth, and the story behind the painting. Thanks Bev, for sending your painting... your work is amazing, and I am honored to feature it in this here blog o' mine.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

DMF Assignment: Scratch- Take 2

Glad we had some time in class to work on this again! It's really fun... especially for people like me who can't really draw. I actually like how it comes out cartoonish & child like. Hmmm... really wanting a Wacom tablet of my very own...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

DMF Week 7:Personal Images/ More Sculpture; getting a little stranger...

Artists can get pretty strange. I admit, I don't always understand other's art... and that's o.k... maybe that's the point. Maybe it's an expression of something inside that they just have to get out. I did this Assemblage project for Sculpture 1. Basically, you take found objects which are then assembled to tell a story... or not. I had an idea in mind, then lo & behold, found all the objects I needed in one morning at garage sales for under 3 bucks. The title of this project is called Isolation. I feel that at some point (or at many points) during a person's life, an event or events can occur which will lead us into a tailspin of isolation. People don't like to talk about it, but I am pretty certain it is an unavoidable part of the human experience. We reach a point where we feel misunderstood, or worse, like no one understands us at all... or where we feel trapped in a situation in which we see no way out... utterly alone. I think this piece conveys that concept well. We have the center figure, curled up in the fetal position, with the locks nearby, suggesting the feeling of being trapped. The glass is tinted, suggesting that he can't really see clearly, nor can he see the way out behind him, or the bird of freedom above him. The symbols of freedom (open fence & bird) suggest that we do have the key... we always have the key, and that many of our "prisons," (though we may not be able to see it at the time) are often self imposed.

DMF Week 7: Personal Images/Sculpture 1

As I was going through the class schedule yesterday, trying to figure out what classes to take next quarter, I decided to email a friend from sculpture 1, to see how she was enjoying sculpture 2. She had started a blog with her work posted, which was really cool. It made me decide to veer from my usual photography postings to posting some of my sculpture 1 projects. Keep in mind, they are all 1st quarter sculpture projects- so don't judge too harshly! In these two projects, we started with a cylinder of plaster & just chipped & carved away until we came up with whatever it was that we had in mind... in this case a bear & a wave. I had done some clay work before, but found this process interesting, as it is a negative rather than additive process. If you accidentally chip something away- that's it- it's gone... versus clay, where you can always build up or add something in. Fun stuff!

Friday, November 6, 2009

DMF Assignment: Scratch-Take 1

These are the first 2 scratch drawings I've ever done using the Wacom tablet to "draw" on the computer. My drawing skills are not the best, but it was a fun exercise & I hope to have more lab time to work on some better drawings. This class is making me want to go buy CS4 & the drawing tablet! Too expensive though.
Also, I'd probably never get away from the computer!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Week Six: Other/My Mom the Artist

This painting hangs on the wall at my grandmother's house. I've always liked this painting. It was painted by my mom when she was somewhere between 12 & 14 years old. I think that in itself is amazing. I myself have never painted anything... (well finger paints in kindergarten, does that count?) There is a sense of feeling in this painting. It was based upon an old house that she used to walk by as a child, that she remembers as being empty, abandoned... and that comes across well in this painting. She believes it has long since been torn down, thus she captured as a child a moment in time that no longer exists. My mom, like me, has always been attracted to things that are old, that have a sense of history... things that are in stark contrast to our modern society of prefabrication... where everything looks the same. You know what I'm talking about- how you can go into most cities in the U.S. and they all have begun to look alike. Mom & I call it anytown U.S.A. We discuss how capturing a moment in time, whether it be through photography or other mediums is important, because it may soon be gone, never to be captured again. I wonder sometimes, if my mom hadn't started a family so early in life (she started a family just a few short years after this was painted,) if she would have pursued her artistic talents, in terms of painting or other mediums. Having to raise children at such a young age, I muse at all the personal interests she must have given up in order to do so. Yet, she never complained about this... and has managed to express her creativity throughout her life. Her life is a work of art. If you've ever eaten a meal that my mom has prepared... well let me tell you, that in itself is a work of art... she'll often spend all day in the kitchen preparing a meal, a labor of love that only a true artist knows. Her cactus garden, tended lovingly, also work of art... her photographs lining the walls... even the way she hangs stockings at Christmas is a work of art (I usually take a picture!) So, mom, this post is dedicated to you... thanks for sending a copy of your painting, and thanks for being the brilliant, inspiring, artistic woman that you are.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Week Six: Personal Image/Eastern Oregon

Ok, so finally being done with various DMF assignments, I am back to the weekly posts. I enjoy doing these posts. I took this image several years ago in Eastern Oregon with my little digital point & shoot, again amazed by how good of a shot you can get with these little digital wonders. Now, I will generally use my SLR when shooting landscapes, but the point & shoot will do in a pinch. In terms of writing about the images, we were encouraged to first write down all the visual elements in the scene, which in this case would be:
horizon line
I have a somewhat difficult time with this. Not identifying the elements, but the analyzation of it all. Generally I shoot an image based on what I see, how it makes me feel emotionally, and what I hope to capture or convey, which more often than not is something that is felt, rather than analyzed. Although in daily life I analyze the crap out of everything, the decisions I make often boil down to an emotional element of how I feel, even if logically or analytically it doesn't make sense. So, in terms of analyzing visual elements to tell a story... well to me, the story is often already in my head when I look at the image. It feels like the listing of elements is somehow redundant or confusing... in my mind anyhow. I guess when I'm writing about an image, I am thinking about how it makes me feel emotionally, or what I was experiencing at that moment in time, or it may even trigger a line of thought that is not actually based on the image itself, such as the post on Personal Images/Oregon Coast, where I mused about digital versus film. So, with all that being said... I will keep it simple. Eastern Oregon is absolutely beautiful and I was lucky enough to live there for a few months while working on a travel assignment. I took many pictures while I was living there, but this was one of my favorites. The beauty of this place will always occupy a special place in my heart.

DMF Assignment: Picturing the Other/Friend Take 2

Here's "Take 2." As far as portraits go, I think this one turned out pretty good. Thanks in part to my friend Gregory (for his rugged good looks), and in part to mother nature providing the background at sunset, and probably just a little luck. I took about 5 images & this was my favorite. The directness of gaze and the play of color with his red hair and the clouds works for me. Gregory, I think you'd get a lot of hits on Match.com with this photo! Seriously, though, thanks for being kind enough to let me photograph you for this assignment!

DMF Assignment: Picturing the Other/Friend

So, I'm not much of a portrait photographer. Doing the last assignment "picturing the other" in terms of photographing strangers seemed a bit easier. My friend Bill, (pictured here) a local photographer was kind enough to let me photograph him as he was setting up his latest show at Evo's coffee house in Ashland. I was trying to catch the moment, but after shooting a series of photographs, I couldn't quite catch it. So, I decided to put a series on one page to capture what was going on. I wasn't really happy with the way this particular assignment turned out, but thought I'd post it anyhow, in part to show I'm trying & in part to thank Bill for being gracious enough to let me photograph him.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

DMF Assignment: Picturing the Other/Self Portrait

Well, here's my self portrait... sort of. I actually took several shots, but they all looked posed and I really didn't like the way I looked anyhow. So, I figured... hands count as "the self," right? Part of the self anyhow. There could be countless philosophical conversations on the meaning of "self," but those conversations would be too lengthy for this here blog. Yeah... so I've been having fun making the slide shows for the last two DMF assignments, so along those lines I figured I'd do a series of "self portraits" and create a slide show out of them. I also happened to be working on a ceramics project where we have to make multiples of an object (the project is called obsession)... so I kinda morphed these two projects into one. (This time I chose to upload the slideshow to Youtube & then download it to my blog so it would have a title & image, versus saving them as a quicktime movie, which for whatever reason just ends up with a blank black screen on my blog.) Once I added the music, I felt it really created a story...all these clay bears looking on as I transformed a lump of clay into one of them. The only bummer was the music got cut off at the end when I uploaded it to Youtube...