March 25, 2011
I am putting the final moments into part II of my response to the amazing poem Nights on Planet Earth by Campbell McGrath. If you read the poem you’ll likely understand why I felt driven to make more than one work. In fact I should make three. We’ll see.
For the time being we have two which are both 30 x 30″ acrylic paintings with glitter, graphite, ink and paper on board. Here’s a detail of part I, it’s title is 2AM:
This work will be part of an upcoming show, A Good Line: Artists on Poems, at Richard Hugo House in Seattle. Jennifer Borges Foster, curator of A Good Line, invited visual artists to select a poem we love and respond to it. I narrowed the pool down to about ten that I felt were great. I got myself hardcopies of these and read them. Then read them again.
The fact that they were all stellar didn’t matter. I all the time knew that Nights on Planet Earth was the one. I resisted this just a bit; the others would have been easier to respond to. Nights on Planet Earth was the toughest to tackle, the most sweeping, epic, sheer gorgeous. It was also the one I related to the most directly and so picking it left me without a buffer; it took from me any of the safety that can come from a slight disconnect.
Nights on Planet Earth knocks me over every time I read it. Or think about it. I am very fortunate to have spent these weeks with it; it has been a real pleasure. If you haven’t read it yet I’d like to encourage you too . . . you’ll find ashes and yakuza, Christmas lights, Madrid, Manhattan, Chicago, Dublin, always a city, satellites and cosmic dust, icebergs and an octopus and an army of golden carpenter ants. Go.
(Oh and the other candidates were pretty excellent, so I want to share, they included: Herr Stimmung on Transparency by Keith Waldrop, Merry-go-round by Miroslav Holub, Sublimation Point by Jason Schneiderman.)
Artists participating in A Good Line: Artists on Poems are Gala Bent, Sharon Arnold, Troy Gua, Counsel Langley, Kim Drake, Ryan Molenkamp, Amanda Manitach, Erin Shafkind, Nola Avienne, David Lasky, Liz Tran, Shaun Kardinal, Jed Dunkerley and Ben Beres.
I can’t wait to discover what poem each and every one of these awesome artists chose and how they responded to it!
Show opens on April 1st
with a reception on April 12th from 6 to 9pm
Richard Hugo House
1634 11th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98122
March 17, 2011
I have been doing this every day now for exactly one week. Doing something daily has an excellent stangeness. There it is, simply being there, regardless of your mood, circumstances; there it is waiting to be done again, just like yesterday. Some days it is a wealth of images that require restraint to narrow down to only one. Other days the photos-ops seem to dissolve and there’s nothing I really want to show. Either way the consistency is there to uphold and I trust that when you just do what is before you, when it feels good and when it is uncomfortable, there will be a gain. The gain may well be subtle, but that is why you have to stick with it to discover it at all.
To celebrate being one week in, here’s some shots that, for whatever reason, were not the shot of the day:
March 11, 2011
Quite out of the blue, sometime last week, it hit me that I take pictures. In this, I do not strive for recognition; I am not even certain that I want anyone to know. I just like to take pictures and frequently do. They are filled with the things that catch my eye; more often than not, this means light, my kids, things going on that I love. Some examples:
In the days that followed my sudden picture taking awareness there have been murmurs that a handful of others have picked up on this habit of mine.
Local opportunities popping up, such as, promo for a talent show and on-going documentation of the stellar activities of PTSD’s ICE Program. In fact, this week I’ve been shooting the amazing process of the K-8 grade ICE students’ production of Midsummer Night’s Dream and the local paper printed this photo of mine. We were all astonished and grateful for just how huge the print version was. Of course, this image was hard to mess up–the stunning depth and beauty of both actress and her handmade costume take most of the credit for its success. Even still, for this one image there were thirty that did not work. I absolutely love that part. The sifting through a mass of shots to find that one that is charged. The one that you know is it. For the delight I find in searching through muck for the rare gem I might have been a happy miner.
Then came an unexpected invitation to join a photo conversation that I have been admiring for exactly 473 days. Visit A Years of Days to find out why I am able to keep such an accurate accounting of my image crush. I am a little intimidated because I have been blown away by Rena’s eye for much longer than 473 days. However, I am honored and feelings of excitement far outweigh intimidation. I couldn’t pass it up. Anyway, I find that stepping up leads to better results than stepping safe.