Wednesday, September 26, 2007

New Work Online

Here is one of my new images from the Evocations series. You can now see all the new prints online by clicking here and here (once there click on the thumbnails to enlarge them).

Also, the Emerson Blog did a nice interview with me this week about my art. You can check it out by clicking here. Enjoy.

Friday, September 21, 2007

New Prints

After a couple visits with Kris at Electric Works (formerly Trillium), my new prints for Evocations are in production. Soon I will have nine new images to add to the series. Here you can see the proofs emerging upside down, rolling off the printer. Very exciting for me!

I did a lot of shooting for this series over the summer. It is always a challenge to edit the images down. To do so, I make small proof prints in my studio and shuffle them around for a while. Then I begin to selectively share them with people whose opinions I trust. I usually start with my husband, and sometimes my parents – asking them, “Which are your favorites and why?” I also have three trusted photography friends who I consulted this time – artists Candace and Jules, and curator Nora. Candace helped me see more clearly how space works in the series. Jules helped me focus on how the details interact with each other. Nora helped me see the series as a whole and edit out work that was too similar or too different. After integrating all the feedback, I made my final selection – adding nine new images to grow this series to twenty.

I have begun to think of Evocations as my summer series. I shot the first batch of prints in the summer of 2006 (and then printed them in 2007). This past year, found me shooting in July and August again because that is when the foglight I love is so prevalent. Maybe every summer for the next few years, I will pull out my maps and objects and play again in the fog, creating new images to keep the series growing slow and steady over time.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Permission from Sugimoto

I recently went back for a second look at the Hiroshi Sugimoto exhibition at the De Young Museum. One of the things that really struck me this time was the wide range of dates within some of his series. For example, in his dioramas (one is pictured here), Sugimoto shot some as early as 1975 and then some as late as 1999 (more than 20 years later) – the exhibit features some from 1980 and some from 1994. As an artist, I often feel a certain pressure to create a series, complete it, and move on. But I love the idea that there are series you work on, put aside for awhile, grow something new, and then come back to it and flesh it out further. There is a certain freedom and permission in that way of working that really honors the organic nature of the creative process.

There is a lot of great information online these days about Sugimoto. One of my favorites, is an audio interview with Sugimoto by Tania Ketenjian of Radio Tania.
I liked Tania's intro in which she describes how for Sugimoto “photographs are like a time machine…a way to document and recreate memory.”

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Catching up on the New York Times

Every Sunday, it arrives – a fat issue of the New York Times, the only newspaper we get all week. Its arrival prompts the creation of a nice breakfast enjoyed slowly while reading the news. However, rarely do I finish the paper in one sitting. And so this morning, I spent some time catching up on the Times from Sunday, September 2, which had these three points of intrigue.

The Arts section included an article with several photos of the Starn Twins studio - a treat for me as I have always loved their layered, tactile, ephemeral work. A former ice-cream-truck garage, their studio is an impressive 10,000 square feet, where the Starns and as many as 15 full-time employees work on photographic projects focusing on their fascination with the passage of time and with perception and illusion in nature. You can view a slide show of these images on the NY Times web site.

On the facing page was an article on Olafur Eliasson, whose exhibition, "Take Your Time," opened at SFMOMA earlier this month. The featured photo depicts him as an action photographer – leaning far over the gaping hole of a glacier to record the changing topography of Iceland. He too, like the Starns, has a crew that work for him – 30 employees including mathematicians, designers, architects, artisans, and office assistants. I was struck by what a different kind of creative process that must be to make art with so many other people involved. This quote by Eliasson makes clear the appeal for him in working collaboratively. “For some reason, our history has produced the misconception that experiencing individuality has to do with being alone. But being together is greater than being alone, because we can do more. We are more responsible.”

Finally, the Op-Ed section had a short, but great piece on listmaking – featuring a montage of post-it notes (pictured above) of people’s goals for the summer – everything from “Be Nice to George” to “Find the Yellow Rainboots” to “Reconcile with Tolstoy” to “Kick my Habit.” Altogether it represented a nice range of human aspirations. If I could add one to the list it would be “Make more time for the Sunday NY Times.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Studio Visitors

Usually, it is just me and my dog at my Muir Beach studio, but yesterday brought two visitors. The first was Coleen, a wonderful book binder who lives in Muir Beach. We have been talking for ages about connecting to see each other’s work spaces, and yesterday we finally did it. We started with mine. It is always interesting to see what draws people’s attention first – for her, it was the shelf of Bottle Dreams pieces (pictured here).

After a full tour, we headed toward the ocean to her home and newly built studio space. I wish I had brought my camera as she has some wonderful old binding presses and the view from her studio is amazing – a full clear shot of the ocean. Coleen’s focus is creating unique housings for special texts she finds. One had just arrived in the mail – an artist friend had sent Coleen a text block featuring quotes she had found underlined or highlighted in used self-help books, now re-arranged and letterpress printed. For Coleen, the text block really inspires her process – she creates in response to this subject matter, bringing together great materials, leather collaging techniques, and even creating a cover with secret pop-up flap. Driving home from her studio, I thought to myself how she and I creatively are the inverse of each other. She initiates projects from the inside out – the text pages of the book lead her to the creation of a wonderful cover. Whereas I move so often from the outside in – finding a great bottle or an old frame and then working to find the right content with which to fill it.

Later in the afternoon, visitor number two arrived – Rachel Bagby. We gathered to record a future podcast for about her amazing work with choirs, music, and healing. In preparation for our meeting, I have been reading Rachel’s book, Divine Daughters: Liberating the Power and Passion of Women's Voices, and have really loved the rhythmic quality of the writing and the circular, organic nature of the storytelling. Her tale of empowering her own voice and the voices of others (especially women) resonated strongly with me. In our conversation, she both spoke and sang news of her latest vision to unite choirs across the country to create positive change. She left me humming – re-awakening my own desire to sing.

At the end of the day, I felt filled up and reminded that it is important to take breaks and meet face to face with other creative people. I do treasure my solitary studio time, and yet it feels so good to stretch and be expanded by the visions of others.