Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tragedy

I just finished reading What is the What, a novel based on the life of Valentino Achak Deng. Exposure to such a tragic story makes me want to do something to stop such horrors from ravaging another life. Awareness born out of this and other such stories has lead me to sign up to help a local refugee family, but even this is not enough. Through the Valentino Achak Deng Foundation I found a series of links related to stopping genocide in Darfur. We have influence over our elected officials and it is our responsibility to write to them, to push them to action, to ask them to prioritize ending genocide. At Darfur Scores you can find out how your senators and representatives have voted, and then write or call them to thank them for their efforts or to push them for stronger action. Please do.

I often wonder if art is a selfish pursuit in a world so full tragedy and suffering. This book is an excellent example of the power that art can have in spreading a message. But, I think it is also important to realize that all art need not be so epic in scale. Celebrating life in small ways may in the end be just as valuable.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Fall Flowers

In a moment of doubt last week, I deemed my Polaroid project as scattered and unconnected. I think this was in large part due to the fact that I have had to play catch up (and bust out a weeks worth of prints in a day) more than once this month. I enjoy the project as a daily meditation and I think its value lies in the act of daily creation more than in the product, and so I will continue.

The temperature has really dropped in the past week. The past few days have been in the upper 50s/60s; this feels really cold after months in the 80s but I am enjoying the crispness in the air. It almost feels like fall, but this far south I am more likely to find a branch bearing pink blooms than fire red maple leaves...
October 29: Balance

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Crunchy

Cooked carrots have always been one of my least favorite vegetables even though I love the crunchy raw version. I think my aversion goes back to the sickly sweet mushy carrots in brown sugar that we used to eat on holidays...yuck. I recently ended up with a plethora of carrots which needed to be eaten quickly and decided to make a sauteed carrot dish with red bell pepper, onion, soy sauce and balsamic vinegar. The carrots retained a bit of their crunch and were salty instead of sweet. Quite an improvement in my mind. Perhaps cooked carrots are not so bad after all.
October 25-27: Carrots Triptych

October 28: Wave

Friday, October 24, 2008

Lake Eola

Central Florida is a land speckled by little lakes. We live quite close to a few, one of which is a great downtown park. Ian and I often go for walks around Lake Eola where we have seen swans sitting on massive nest eggs and Ian recently rescued two baby sea turtles from the busy walking path. With the change in weather, I have started running outside and I like to run around the lake. Yesterday, as I was doing my laps, a little boy walking with his mother took off and started running with me. His mother called him back, but he wanted to run. I looked down and smiled and he looked back hoping his mother would join us. He stopped when she demanded it and I was off on my own again. I enjoy running here, in a public park full of other active people in a way I never could out in the country where there were no sidewalks, parks or other active people. I guess the built environment really does impact how people behave. I hope cities and towns don't lose sight of how important the design of our outdoor spaces are in this down economy; in some ways these spaces become more important as people look to cut back on spending and start walking instead of going to the gym or start heading out the local park to enjoy their weekend. Below is a shot from one of our sunset walks at Lake Eola.

October 24: Swans and Shadows

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Adrift

As inevitably happens with a project, I am running out of steam with my Polaroids. There was a time in my life when I was content to wander in search of photographic material, but I don't find this as enjoyable and freeing as I once did. Now, even setting up still life images and playing around with ideas in my makeshift studio has become arduous. I am feeling adrift in a sea of unconnected Polaroids. I think I need to find something more than just making a photograph a day to keep this project alive; I need some purpose or thread to tie these images together. I guess the process of finding that thread is really what art making is all about. Until I find my thread, here are a few new selections from my sea...

October 16: Surfing

October 17: Surf

October 18: Little Birds

October 19: Stool

October 20: Trap 2

October 21: Plums

October 22: Mausoleum

October 23: Spanish Moss

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Birds

I have been slaving away this week on updating my website. I am slowly learning the tricks to getting what I want out of Dreamweaver and my finished site should be up by Friday. One of my new features is to link my website to this blog and vice versa. At some point in the future I might attempt a blog redesign, but for now linking will suffice. I am creating a gallery on my website for the best of the Polaroid Sketchbook Project and at some point I hope to create a shop to sell them on Etsy. For now, here are two new birds...

October 14: Birds1

October 15: Birds 2

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Process, process, process

Tonight is my last printmaking class and I just realized I only have one plate even nearing completion! Etching is an extremely process intensive art. I have enjoyed it immensely and I will be able to continue working in the open studio sessions. I spoke to a friend the other day who mentioned finding a way to use my photography in the printmaking process. The thought had occurred to me, but as of yet I haven't figured out exactly how to do this. With that reminder, I will renew my effort to find some interesting intersection of photography and etching. For now here are a few newer versions of the plate I first printed here and have continued to work on for the past few weeks. I wanted it to have the look of an old photograph. I am trying to decide if I prefer it to be handcolored or just printed in the sepia ink. Any thoughts?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Inspiration and Dinner

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to go to the Winter Park Autumn Arts Festival. This festival fills the city's Central Park with Florida artists. It was a hot day, the crowd was thick and the air still, causing us to be selective about where we stopped for a closer look. For the most part I thought the photography was rather unimpressive except for one surprise at the end: Laurie Coppedge. Her work was all black and white, and I believe it was mostly inkjet reproductions of large format black and white negatives. I enjoyed all that she had displayed, but I really loved this print from her Swimmers series.

Laurie Coppedge Listen

Her work makes me want to get out and shoot some black and white film. Perhaps that will be the plan for this week. Today's Polaroid is a shot of some red potatoes I plan to roast for dinner tonight...yum.
October 13: Red Roasters

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Catch Up

I finally found some time this weekend to work on my Polaroids after a busy week with visitors. I had a great time visiting theme parks, kayaking, swimming in the clear water on the Gulf coast and surfing in the turbulent water of the Atlantic coast. We also found a little time for shopping and I found a fun pair of red shoes which made their way into the series below...

October 3: Biblioteca

October 4: Tree Forms

October 5: Passion Fruit

October 6: Passion Fruit Innards

October 7: Prickly Pears

October 8: Severed Prickly Pear

October 9: White Carrots

October 10: New Red Shoes 1

October 11: New Red Shoes 2

October 12: New Red Shoes 3

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Sweet and Grumpy

Well, September has come to an end, and so has my first month of the Polaroid Sketchbook Project. I ended on a sweet note with a jar of sugar. I plan to continue through October but my parents will be visiting for the next week, so I will be on a short hiatus.

September 30: Sugar


For some reason, I began October in a grumpy mood. It seemed fitting to start the month with Meditative Equipoise to help me on my path towards a happy mind. I tried this print a few times and was unable to get one without the emulsion lift on on the left side. Perhaps this is symbolic of the delusions which pollute my mind and cause grumpiness.

October 1:Meditative Equipoise

October 2: Reach