Friday, July 31, 2009
Today was the last day of the workshop. Each student made a page for a book based on the theme of "night" which we exchanged at the end of the day. I have never had such a hard working and dedicated group. I am ready to get back to my studio and start making my work again!
Thursday, July 30, 2009
It has been a whirlwind of a week. Everyone in the class has been working non-stop on the many processes and book binding techniques that I have shown. It's wonderful to work so closely and intensely with a group of people. I have been greatly inspired by what the students are producing and their work ethic. Although I am operating on very little sleep, I am feeling energized as well. Tomorrow I am up around 5 a.m for our final day.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Occasionally there are bear sitings at Anderson Ranch. To discourage a visit, food is not to be left inside the studios or around the premises. Today one of the students decided to hang a cookie on the drying line outside the studio along with all the prints. I am not sure why, but it had its own place among the art for the day. It was a funny sight however, I couldn't help but think we might be attracting some unwanted visitors today.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
One of the best parts about being at Anderson Ranch is the appetite you work up and the pleasure of eating when it is meal time. There is always a person to sit with and have an interesting conversation about art, life, and everything in between.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
I arrived at Anderson Ranch today to teach a workshop. The drive here was beautiful, especially through Glen Canyon. I love how the landscape changes in the mountains, it's a refreshing change from living in the plains. I had just finished giving a ltalk about my work and was getting settled for the evening at my friend's house, when her neighbor knocked on the door alerting us to the rainbow outside. It was a great way to end the evening and begin my week here.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
I've decided that this project is about being in a state of reverie. Of being lost in my own thoughts but having the opportunity to share them with whomever is interested. It's been a fascinating process and I have communicated with quite a few people who found interest in what I am doing. Recently some friends asked me how I keep up the momentum to continue doing this day after day...now at day 80 it has become a habit, a ritual that I celebrate at the day's end. A way to spend some time with myself and on my artwork; I just make it happen. I am getting ready to go on vacation in another week. There will be no Internet access where I am going, no cell phone, no computer. I will have to make analog posts to my journal and transfer then digitally when I return. I thought about not going, that this project is too important...but then I came to my senses because the blog is not the project, it just is keeping me accountable to myself. So I bought an extra battery and memory card to get me by while I unplug for awhile. I think it will be good for me.
Friday, July 24, 2009
I returned from California to an explosion of sunflowers in the front and backyard. I am always happy to see their smiling faces because it is a reminder that summer is here and to enjoy it because soon it will be over and the yard will be barren again. I am constantly being reminded to live in the present moment. I remind myself daily and I am still not getting the lesson. Any tips?
Thursday, July 23, 2009
I think my family is starting to get tired of my camera always being present. Here I am hovering over my husband while he eats his dinner. The contrast between the white circle of the bowl and our blue table is hard to resist. Not to mention the diagonal line of the green chopsticks and the repeated circle of his arms. I am now one of those photographers who can't just eat a meal in peace, it must be observed and photographed...nothing is sacred anymore or maybe it never was.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Nicolai is slowly learning to take on more and more responsibility. Today he demonstrated to me how he could make his own peanut butter and jelly burrito. He just needed a little help opening the jars. I had a roommate in college who didn't know how to make Top Ramen and I had to teach him. I was shocked because I had been cooking for myself since the age of nine. I am always amazed when parents do not teach their kids essential life skills.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
This week I am preparing to teach a workshop at Anderson Ranch Arts Center located in Snowmass, Colorado. The workshop is on alternative photographic processes and artists' books, two of my favorite topics. I took a video art workshop there last summer and had an amazing experience. It was like going on vacation but getting to eat, breath, and sleep my own art work. This time I will be on the other side structuring a class that gives people information but allows them to take it in their own direction. I find myself wanting to load on the techniques to make sure participants get their money's worth, but I also know less can be more in a class sometimes. Finding a balance is always the tricky part.
Monday, July 20, 2009
I think it always amazes (or baffles) people that Gerald and I do many things separately. He goes to Utah which he says is like going to church for him. I often visit friends and family in California. We have different interests and passions and we support each other in doing our own thing. We also make it a point to do things together. This summer we will be going to Utah on another family float trip on the Green River for a week. Going to Utah is like sharing a special part of his world. He plans the meals, plans the route, packs the gear, sets up camp and does the cooking. Not a bad family vacation if you ask me.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
My son is usually performing to get noticed or extremely shy and hides when people say hello. It is always some extreme with him, or is it with kids under 5? But I notice this in myself too. I can speak in front of a large group of people without any problems, much like performing, but walking up to someone I don't know and introducing myself is always a challenge. It seems to be difficult for me to establish a middle ground, but I am working on it.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
A few days ago my father and I had a tough discussion and the subject matter immediately made me feel like I did as a child caught between two divorced parents. It dredged up so much past junk that I immediately felt (and got ) defensive. But tonight we had another opportunity to discuss it without either one of use getting upset and it was wonderful to acknowledge the past, but move forward in a new way. It really gave the visit a nice sense of closure for me.
Friday, July 17, 2009
Frequently my son asks how water is made. One of my biggest environmental concerns is about water. We use and abuse this essential resource. Someday swimming pools, long showers, and lawns may be a thing of the past. Water will become the new "oil" and we will fight wars over it. Another thing to look forward to.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Little kid energy...where does it come from and as we get older why do we feel the need to reign it in? My son is like the energizer bunny...he keeps going and going from early in the morning until the evening. I now understand why people have children in their early twenties. I just wasn't emotionally ready at the time.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
I am always amazed when I look at the image from the day and wonder if the image dictates my life or my life dictates the image. The pattern over the last few days has been the same, and some patterns (habits) seem to be difficult to break. Spending a week at the beach with my family always sounds like a wonderful idea at the time, but last night old family dynamics were dredged up from the deep reestablishing themselves loud and clear. I didn't allow myself to get caught up in it but it still had an affect on me. It's time to reestablish a new pattern, which I think I was able to do in the way that I handled the situation, but it wasn't easy.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
I have been staring at the ocean for 4 days now. The sound is a constant rhythm in the background reminding me to breath deep and enjoy the moment. I have been reminding myself that the present moment is all I have. This reminder has allowed time to slow down for me.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
I love the beach but I don't get tan so I constantly have to hide from the sun for fear of being burnt to a crisp. After years of trying to achieve a tan I have determined that sunscreen, an umbrella, and a long sleeve shirt are all my friends at the beach. I will come home looking like I never went on vacation, but that's just fine because the affects will be felt on the inside. Tans are overrated especially when I see all the tan shriveled old ladies baking themselves to a crisp. I don't want to be one of those women.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
My cousin Gavin usually runs away from me when I try and photograph him. Today he sat for me as I photographed the two of us (his head and my reflection). I see a new level of maturity in him that has evolved since the last year that I saw him at the beach. The camera is an interesting device because it documents the present moment, but the image always exists in the past. It forever places the moment behind us immortalizing it. I will always remember my cousin and I interacting in a new and very different way from this moment on and this image serves as a pleasant reminder.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
When I moved to Colorado I thought I would miss the ocean much more than I do. I think when you grow up near such a large body of water that it is a bit strange to live so far away from it. I do miss the sound, smell, and feel of the ocean air but at the same time I am happy with the stabilizing and grounding feeling that the mountains give me. One thing that I absolutely love about living in Colorado are the afternoon thunderstorms. Billowy clods that move over the mountains bringing rain and fresh air. It is very dramatic for maybe an hour or so, but wonderful. This summer we have had quite a few of these afternoon storms and they make me love the mountains just a little bit more.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Today my son and I boarded a plane and headed west to California. At this very moment we are officially on vacation. I am excited to get out of town and leave my everyday life behind to visit the land of make believe also known as the City of Angels. We will be at the beach digging our toes in the sand with the majority of my family and I will be making every effort to not gain 5 pounds over the next week. But as much as I love to travel, one of these days I would like to just stay home and take a vacation. I wonder if this is actually possible? To relax, garden, eat good food, not feel obligated to answer the phone or respond to email messages, and take advantage of all the wonderful things that I never have time to do at home because I am working. Perhaps I don't need to go on "vacation" to do these things, I could just take one day off each week, or two...what a novel idea!
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
My two favorite times to photograph are in the early morning and the early evening around magic hour. Unless it is overcast, the light is usually too harsh and contrasty to get a good image. This evening as I was wandering around the yard after dinner in search of heart shaped ANYTHING, I was feeling a little desperate for today's image, I thought to myself, wouldn't it be amazing if there was a heart shaped cloud in the sky at this very moment so that I can photograph it... I nearly peed in my pants over my discovery.
Monday, July 6, 2009
When I got married I took my first trip to Utah. As part of our commitment ceremony we collected seven heart shaped rocks. We have been collecting them ever since. Now that Nicolai is older he is good at spotting them too. It's as if we are always on a family treasure hunt. Our little souvenirs cannot be purchased but must be purposfully sought out with great effort. When Gerald and Nico go off on their Utah excursions I know they are thinking of me (at least a little bit) when they bring home the hearts that they find.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
I found a heartbeat calculator on line today where you plug in your birth date and year and it calculates how many times your heart has beat since you were born. My heart has beat approximately 1,483,122,744 times since I was born and 6,201,792 times since I began this project. Our bodies are truly amazing machines!
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Freedom. Democracy. Independence. Honor. Liberty. Justice. Equality...Words are just words unless there is substance behind them. I don't feel very patriotic when we kill people and start wars using these words as a cover for the real reasons. Can you say Power Hungry. Oil Grubbing. Self-Righteous. Controlling Government?
Friday, July 3, 2009
I own a vintage letterpress that weighs 1500 pounds. My husband and I have moved it twice. Once we moved it ourselves, which aside from giving birth was one of the most stressful and physically challenging things I have ever done. The second time we got smart and hired a moving company. Along with this rather large piece of equipment I have drawers and drawers of accessories, lead type, wood type, ornaments, and lead slugs. Owning a letterpress is quite a commitment, not to mention having a space to house it all. Today is my 6 year wedding anniversary which speaks volumes since along with my own baggage I came with thousands of pounds of equipment...for better or for worse. Happy Anniversary!
Thursday, July 2, 2009
I found beauty in the dry erase board in my classroom tonight. All the things that have been written and erased gradually built up a residue creating a subtle pattern of what once had been there. I can't help but think about how experience shapes us gradually over time. What I reinforce (good and bad) with my child shapes the person he is becoming. Sometimes he says things that sounds just like my husband and other times he sounds just like me. I see this in myself and my own parental influences seeping out at times. I need to be mindful of what is being transferred.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
All winter I dream of summer and now that it is finally here I feel like am starting to melt. Why is it that I rarely want what I have when I have it? It is officially summer and it is hot. I don't function as well in the heat. My husband on the other hand loves the heat. The hotter the better for him. That's probably why he spends as much time as he possibly can in Utah during the summer. I am happy when it is in the mid 70's. Life is perfect at that temperature. But I can't wait around for life to be perfect.