something from them through magic. Many cultures and many generations thought cameras were evil and refused to have their pictures taken… many people today
still refuse or give a good fight against having their pictures taken. Nobody seems to think they look good in photographs.
you as a person. You’re remembering what was happening when the picture was taken and the memory of the moment. You’re not critiquing (in a serious or
hurtful manner, anyways) their recent weight gain, hair loss or bad skin. You’re remembering the joke they just told, or the food that was served at the
occasion. The fun of the moment. That’s one facet of the magic of photography.
they visited. It was truly an incredible experience. Some of these people had not been together in decades. There was a lot of pain and a lot of healing.
Family wounds ran deep, but so did the love, and the chance to capture that was a once in a lifetime experience. Ironically, I had just read Annie Liebowitz’s
book chronicling her experiences photographing her father, and her partner, Susan Sontag, as they journeyed through terminal illness, and finally as they
passed. I had no idea at the time I read it, that I would also be experiencing this in a short time, and since then, I have spent a great deal of time thinking
about Annie and her experience. It pulled me through.
horrible faces and ruining as many shots as possible. Finally, my sister said to him- “You may hate getting your picture taken, but pictures are all we have left of your brother, and look at how much they mean to everyone right now. We never know what’s going to happen. Let your family have good memories of you.” He realized she was right, and from then on, he hasn’t given me
any grief about taking his picture.
photograph, as anything else. I am fascinated by windows and doors. I’m only starting to discover why, but I had no idea until I started taking pictures….
I believe strongly in community. I belive strongly in artists supporting other artists. I have always gone out of my way to support the artists I believe in. I buy their merch, I attend their gigs, I spread word of mouth, and with the advent of social media, I post and share their events, notes, info and other what-nots on my pages and personal account. I promote a wide assortment of artists because that’s the only way we’ll survive in today’s mass marketing, cookie cutter culture that serves up over produced pop jingles as overnight tween indie sensations. I truly believe in the grass roots artistic movement that speaks from the soul from person to person on a soular level. That’s why I’m here. I’m not about making a million dollars. I’m about getting your message out and having it be heard.
When I am inspired by a new artist (of any media), I make the effort to support. In this day and age, that means many different things. That means:
- joining FB pages
- following on Twitter
- responding to event invites
- posting events on your own pages & sharing/inviting other people to events that might be interested (HIGHLY important!!)
- buying/investing in merch!!
- encouraging friends & others to purchase merch!!
- create “buzz & excitement” for the artist.. this is fun & much appreciated
As another artist, let me point out a few things to some of my fellow artist that I DO make this effort to support, who do not (apparently) feel the need to reciprocate:
- Staying up to attend gigs is not easy, as I still work a day job and need to get to bed at an unreasonably early hour. Yeah, it sucks to be me.
- I still pay for tickets to attend your gigs
- I buy your merch
- I usually buy at least one drink from the house, actually two, cause I have a date
- Please see above for all the promo I’ve done regarding your gig if you’re a musician, or if this an event of any type
- Numbers DO matter and I DO put a lot of effort into my own FB and Twitter accounts, not to mention my website & blog. I keep them active and post things usually daily. I know exactly how many people I have on each page and appreciate each one of them.
- At this point, I sincerely feel like deleting all the artist friends (even the true friends I’ve known for years and years) who do not feel the need to support my artistic efforts. I feel it to be artistic snobbery that I support them and they do not make the slightest efforts to even “like” my FB page when they are posting on their own.
Am I being overly sensitive?
This is a good question that I have been wrestling with for a few months now. All I know is that it’s been gnawing at me for a while. I invest a lot of time and effort into my creativity, and Lord knows I spend a lot of time and effort supporting others, to the point of being slightly questionable about it. But that’s how I roll. I always will.
I understand that there’s never enough time to do everything we want to do, but I also feel there’s no excuse for being completely self absorbed. And yes, as artists, you have to be to some degree. We have to be so responsible for such a heavy degree of self promotion that we become charicatures, it’s embarassing. It’s a burden, truly. Most people will never know just how much of that part of the job we abhor. But at the same time, we exchange business cards, we talk, there’s no excuse. And for the most part, I’m talking about … friends. Not acquaintances…. friends. People I know.
It’s funny, you know the saying about feet of clay…
“A failing or weakness in a person’s character, as in The media are always looking for a popular idol’s feet of clay. This expression comes from the Bible (Daniel 2:31-33), where the prophet interprets Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of a statue with a head of gold and feet of iron clay. [c. 1600]“
A few nights ago I attended a concert of one of my favourite musical artists, Burton Cummings. There was a time I thought I’d never have the pleasure to see him perform live. I was gifted the grace in 2007 to not only see him perform live, but to spend the entire concert not more than 10 feet from him, being allowed to take as many pictures as I liked. At that point, I was not a photographer of any sort, other than a general enthusiast with a wish to do something more, but no real idea how to parlay that desire further. The concert blew my heart and mind. I was riding high for weeks. A true wish fulfilled. I posted my photos on MySpace (snicker snicker), and thought that was pretty much that. Imagine my shock, surprise and overwhelming pride when the man tagged himself in my photos in short order! My first real professional validation! That beat any Cap’n Crunch sugar high previously achieved.
Then a few weeks later, Burton was having a bad day and blogged (he’s an avid blogger) about his insecurities about his voice and some of the choice he’d made recently. I felt compelled to email him, which is a little unlike me. I don’t really seek out celebrity interaction, having worked with a lot of performers on a professional level, I prefer to keep everything on the down low and off stage, but it was such a human post, I just felt like giving him a cyber hug, so I sent him a reply. Imagine my shock and surprise when I logged back in to find a nice email from the man himself letting me know that he’d actually paraphrased my email in his blog. OMG!! Direct contact, acknowledgement, and the coolness to know that somehow the words I had sent resonated with this man who’d given me inspiration and touched my soul for so many years, moving me to tears and highs of elation on a constant basis, gave me such a jolt words barely do justice now to convey the impact they had on me in that moment.
In this day and cyber age, it’s so easy to reach out and touch people, and yet it’s so easy to brush them off as well. The human touch grows more and more distant just as it grows stronger. Our friend lists grow longer and yet we interact in 144 characters and by trading cyber farm animals. Recently I had the amazing chance to track down a teacher who offered to let me move into his home with his family in order to complete my high school education. I ultimately turned him down, and he moved away from town shortly after. For 20 years I wanted to find him and tell him I turned out just fine. Finally I was able to do so and thank him for his kindness all those years ago. I was able to mend fences with a jr high nemesis, who is now a family man quite connected with his community and someone who teaches youth how to be a strong, positive influence on others around them. I’m incredibly proud of being able to call him a friend and wickedly fascinated by his life today.
Inspiration is a river of whitecap twists and turns. She flows at her own pace, over bone crushing rocks that will kill you or leave you next to death.
Her waters are cold and merciless against the warm, bright sunlight, always leading you forward, there is no going back. Inspiration flows into warm, languid pools beside summer meadows, buzzing with summer bees and sipped by gentle woodland creatures as they watch you catch your breath as you rest and await the next burst that you know lies in wait to draw you down the river, unrelenting.
Regardless of where we find our inspiration, our riverbeds are all made of clay, as are we. No one deserves to be put on a pedestal, and we certainly
should not be putting ourselves up on them, demanding things of ourselves that we wouldn’t expect of others. I’m not good for knowing my own limits, and/or sticking to them, but there’s a lot to be said for recognizing them and being able to operate within them.
Be kind to yourself. Whether or not you are an artist. If you can’t be kind to yourself, you can’t expect anyone else to be.
Don’t expect things of yourself that you wouldn’t expect of others.
It’s easy to overlook this part. Don’t.
It’s been a whirlwind. Life never quite happens the way we would like it to. A modern artist’s life is never a smooth, easy path of simple, monastic contemplation of colour, shape, emotion and inner juggling of inner clash of thought, feeling and universal consciousness. What we wouldn’t give for any of that?? And yet, chances are, we’d probably stagnate within the first thirty days and be carving our initials into the concrete with fish bones and monkey teeth. We can’t all be Leonard Cohen’s.
So, with that in mind, dear friends, the whirlwind of daily life, dark nights of the desperate soul and the constant juggle of production has snatched me up into the dragon’s jaws and swallowed me whole as of late. Time, always the artist’s greatest foe, has become the constant weight, the hot breath on my neck. I am running through water to get it all done, get it signed on the dotted line, to get it to the church on time and all into your hot little hands.
I have some fabulous dates and times signed up for this summer. I am working on new product of some of my pieces. Some you’ve seen, some you haven’t. Most of the images can be found on my FB page, a good many here on my website, and in the new product you will be surprised at how eye catching they will be. I’ve been surprised at how the format of the product changes the image. This may sound all hinkery-dinkery and vague, but it’s much the same as the difference between matte and glossy changes how a picture looks in your hands. Same thing. A different product changes how an image looks. It’s kinda blown my mind a little bit, and I can’t wait to see what y’all think of the new stuff I’ll have coming out.
So… watch for the new dates coming out. I’ll be posting them shortly… soon as I get a bit of time to breathe (what’s that??) and coordinate my schedule. Again, big props to Dee, my printer, without whom I wouldn’t be here today.
A whirlwind, spur of the moment trip to Seattle to visit my daughters does amazing things to the creative soul! A mother always wants to take beautiful pictures of her children. She wants to present them to the world as she sees them~ every nuance, every eye twinkle foretelling mischief before it hits the fingers, every deep thought as it crosses the eyes and causes a momentary furrow of the brow, every purse of the lips as the child indulges the parent in yet another photographic silliness.
It’s easy to write off these parental photographic brag books without looking deeper. While I was on my trip, I had the opportunity to take a short road trip to Portland to connect with another photographer~friend, and at one point she hauled out Annie Liebovitz’s A Photographer’s Life: 1990-2005, the coffee table photographic memoir of personal photographs intermixed with some of her iconic images. We had a great discussion regarding the poignancy of the mix, and how it was such a rare glimpse to be given into someone’s private life~especially a photographer’s. The questions regarding how strong we would have been in the face of the death of our loved one’s whether or not we would have, could have taken up our cameras, or whether or not we would have surrendered to the pain, the tears and the despair.
Georgia O’Keeffe said “Now and then when I get an idea for a picture, I think, how ordinary. Why paint that old rock? Why not go for a walk instead? But then I realise that to someone else it may not seem so ordinary.”
That’s the key as an artist! ~ “But then I realise that to someone else it may not seem so ordinary.”
We cannot take our own gifts for granted!! It’s so easy to do, and that is what we must fight against. We struggle against our own inner demons, and all the outer ones as well. It’s so easy to put down our tools and walk away. To give in to our “to do” lists, to listen to the “real world” and give up our “fantasies”.
The world needs us, my friends. We need to hold fast to our dreams, our gifts and we need to share them more than ever. As an artist, I know that I find inspiration in the smallest glimpses, the oddest angles, the quietest moments. Coming back from my Seattle trip, on one hand, I am tempted to brush off my parental brag book, but after experiencing Ms. Liebovitz’s private album (not that I catapult myself into her category by any means…yet), I am not quite as tempted to shrug off my beautiful pictures of my beautiful girls. We do the best work for the ones we love, and when we are most passionate. This is proven.
You never know where inspiration will find you. We need to hold strong and band together. Everyone has talents, gifts and skills that make other people in this world laugh, smile, and think in turn about the things they could possibly accomplish themselves. Don’t limit yourself now. The world needs you.
Last night was my debut as an artiste (said with that slight French accent on the e part, please). It was wild, it was crazy, it was a night filled with laughter, merriment, unexpected sights, sounds and surreal blurry visions befitting French cinema. Ok.. maybe not quite, but it was certainly an amazing night that surpassed anything I dreamt of a year and a half ago when that first camera was placed in my hands.
The last week has seemed like a bit of a meat grinder to get everything ready. This being my first show, one doesn’t really know what to expect. So what does one do when one doesn’t know what to expect (besides start talking in the third person??) Prepare for everything, of course! And preparing for everything takes a LOT of work..lemme tell ya! But better to be over prepared than under. And it’s not quite like I have a bevy of little man servants at my beck and call (yet) to twist those little wires on the frames into place. This framing thing has been quite the learning curve, my friends..lol.
I know my blog has been sounding a little like an Academy Awards speech lately, but the reason is that no artist does everything by themselves. Each one of us has at least one person, and hopefully a handful more, of dedicated souls who believe in us, who pitch in and support and help us through our dark moments, our times when we need help. Sometimes it’s helping to put the frames together, sometimes it’s hosting an art show, sometimes it’s playing at our art show, sometimes it’s bringing your friends to our art show… lol. You get the idea… But the gratitude I’ve been feeling over the past week for these people in my life who’ve been unswerving in their support of my vision, even when I’ve questioned my own vision, is something I can’t and won’t undervalue. These people really do inspire me when I need it. They give me the ability to believe in myself when I’m at low ebb.
On my way home last night, after I’d truly hit the wall, and was already half asleep, my daughter called to ask how it went. Of course, she wanted to know how much I’d sold. I told her that actually, it was fairly irrelevant how much I’d sold because the true point of doing the show… or any show… is to get OUT there and meet people..to get my vision OUT and start people talking. That’s more the point than selling. I always believe that art is about starting a dialogue between people. It’s a starting point for communication.
I’m a girl of principles. Sometimes it’s not such a good thing when it comes to “real world” things like jobs and bosses and business ethics. But at the end of the day, I will always stand by my principles, and the principle that art is a beautiful thing that exists to enhance the dialogue between humans, regardless of your particular aesthetics and taste, is something I will always stand up for.
I believe in art.
PSS~ Thanks to all my Campfire Compadres for joining me in my big debut. I truly appreciate your attendance and revelry. You made my big night a great event and a fabulous memory. Thanks to each and every one of you for coming.
It’s a long & winding road…. nobody goes it alone.
It’s been an interesting couple of weeks. I’ve taken my very first Photoshop class and wow, did it make my head spin. It’s amazing what you can learn in 2 hours with someone who really knows what the hello they’re talking about. A direct pipeline is incredible. I just wanted to connect and download directly from his brain to mine. How cool would THAT be??
Getting ready for my first big show. You know, when you first start out taking pictures (or at least when I say “You”, I mean ME), you think it’s just taking pictures… but then it morphs into something completely different and a year and a half later here I am producing prints and canvases and who knows what’s next?? But the thing is, along the way you learn all these things that you had no idea and kind of just took for granted. Math??? I had NO FREAKIN IDEA how much math was involved in alla this. If I had, I probably would never have picked up a camera…lol. Ever. Seriously. It’s making my brain melt. I don’t think I’m giving away any secrets here.
I’m dyslexic. I’m a writer. I love colours. I used to make mosaics. I’m very artsy. I hate math and numbers. You see where I’m going here??? lol. Yeah.. These last couple of weeks have been an intense numbers crunching lesson getting ready for this show, but it’s also been kind of an incredible lesson in the way the Universe can sometimes bring everything together for you at the last minute in just the right way. The Photoshop class was just the right thing I needed at the right time to solidify and gel what I needed to learn for the framing and printing stuff that I’d been struggling with. It also helped a lot with the baby shoot I did the following weekend.
Anyways… It all comes together.. and the train picks up more steam..
“It’s all happening!!”
*Someone key Mickey and the gang, please*
This weekend I had the distinct pleasure of running into someone I haven’t seen in 16 years…last seen in Vancouver. We connected in a bar now belonging to an ex boss of mine, and old friend of hers, who are now partners in a new pub on Whyte Ave (watch my upcoming events…hint hint..). Wow.
I’ve always had a fascination with knowing where people ended up, knowing how the story ends, so to speak. I don’t like losing people. I’m the one everyone asks in the group of friends to find out what ever happened to everyone else, you know?? I’m not a stalker, I just keep tabs…and I keep it all straight. As much as one can. I guess what it all comes down to is stories. I love the stories of people’s lives. I love the stories behind the stories. I love the little details you pick up in between the stories. The things people leave out of their stories. It’s always just as much about what they’re not saying, as it is what’s being said. Body language, hand gestures, nervous ticks and the flits of the eyes, the way they look at you or refuse to hold your gaze.
I love music. I love the storytelling involved in music, but just as much, I love the story of the music being recorded. Same with film. I love the story of how it became a film. Liner notes. Credits. Back story. I constantly astound, astonish and bore people beyond tears with my knowledge beyond stalker levels of who was married to whom, who slept with whom during which album, who has kids with who, how many times so and so was married, etc… somehow I can keep track of it. I don’t know why except that it makes for a good story behind the story.
But these days… I don’t have the energy or interest. Charlie Sheen has worn me out. I could give a font about Paris Hilton. And seriously… can anyone tell me exactly WHY Nicole Ritchie is even a household name? Her 15 were up at least 3 years ago by my calculations, and she didn’t even deserve half those..
It’s funny the places you end up. I grew up in the Yukon~ a place I never thought I’d get out of. Then it ended up being a place I thought I’d never get back to. Some day I’d like to return and show my daughters this land of legend. It’s a place like no other, and it’s formed in me ways that run much deeper than I could ever put into words. It’s funny, because growing up, you just don’t question things until you end up somewhere else and you brush up against things that contradict the things you grew up with.
Growing up in the Yukon forged a yen in me for travel. A deep rooted desire to see the world from ground level. But I want to see it the way tree planters see it- from the pubs, over pints with nicotine stained fingers and raucous laughter ringing over our heads. Problem: I don’t smoke, I don’t plant trees and moms rarely get to see the world with backpacks on their back. But it’s a dream. I have found, getting older, that romantic visions rarely have any connection to reality. Go figure. Who knew?? I still dream of back packing across Europe, nowadays that vision includes me packing my Nikon with me… of course, I have no idea how on earth I’d carry all my gear AND my personals (I may ACT like a mule, but I really am not much of a pack mule.. really) and still be able to scamper up those trails to take those breath taking, award winning photographs for National Geographic and the like. Sigh. But it doesn’t stop me from dreaming.
Those dreams that started so long ago… when I thought I’d never get out of the Yukon..still fuel me today. But it’s funny how they turn on you sometimes. The other day, I was asked that questions~ “If you could travel anywhere in the world to photograph anything, where would you want to go?” After thinking about it for a while, I said “Home.” The answer surprised us both, but when I started explaining why, the more the answer settled in my heart and the more I realized the truth of it.
There are places that I know better than anyone, back home. There are places that I can capture with my 9 year old eyes and my Nikon. There are some REALLY GREAT photographers back home, but I yearn to be able to put MY stamp on the Yukon. I want to go back and be able to look at it through my grown up eyes, mixed with my childhood heart and shoot it with my kick ass gear and then edit the living daylights out of it. I’d love to see what I could do with it all.
Yep. I’m definitely fired up for that gig. Now if I could just swing it somehow.
Interesting, hmmm. Who’d a thunk it. I bet I’ve surprised a couple of people
Sooo… here we are again. And again. Apologies for technical difficulties, and thanks for your return. Many happy returns. Ever get the feeling that you’ve done something before??
It’s funny because one of the big pushes to get my own site built was the frustration I was feeling over at FB with all the changes they make on a constant and continual basis that have a direct impact on my personal psyche. One little change can have such a large impact on how you do things, and when you put as much time, energy and effort into things (read: perfectionist) as I do, ( and FB is now the 2nd website I’ve put time, energy and effort into building up that didn’t belong to me and that I had no say in) frustration can build quickly and exponentially. Add a little passion into the mix… and whatcha got?
So.. Groundhog Day.. the classic movie with Bill Murray about reliving the same day of your life over and over and over until you find the secret lesson that sets you free and unlocks the night to let the next day progress. Rebuilding the better beast. I feel like I’m in a technological Groundhog Day. Truly. Years ago I watched an episode of the Twilight Zone on tv, in which these little guys were responsible for going ahead of time and rebuilding each moment exactly as it was supposed to progress…they would move things by fractions as they were supposed to move in time. It was explained that when you can’t find your car keys, or other things that go missing, that’s when these little pranksters get bored and play tricks. I felt this was EXACTLY what happens, and still pretty much do. I once lost and entire tenor saxophone, only to find it EXACTLY where I’d left it the night before… EXACTLY where I’d gone down the stairs and looked for it about 72 times within the last 20 minutes that morning, making me late (again) for school. No other explanation for it.
In 1974, two great sternwheelers went up in flames, in my hometown of Whitehorse, Yukon. The SS Whitehorse and the SS Casca, two of the last great ships that had sailed the Gold Rush waters of the Yukon and Klondike Rivers carrying those desperate souls from across the globe, willing to stake their lives on 2000 lbs of provisions and a trek across the Chilkoot Trail, in hopes of striking the mother lode and saving them from the obscure, disappointing life they have been living up to this point.
Groundhog Day… I can only imagine the true hellish Groundhog Days those souls endured.
Left hand jog? Sorry… There was a fire in my neighbourhood the other night that got me thinking about those two beautiful boats, and how my generation grew up with two disparate images forged into our psyches- the SS Klondike sitting serenely on the banks of the Yukon River. Now a Parks & Rec Tourism destination-people get married on her decks, there are public tours~ she’s as much a part of the landscape as the mountains surrounding the town. And then the much darker, grittier, painful image of those two other beautiful boats going up in flames.. one a namesake of the very town we lived in. They never caught the vagrants who were sleeping it off inside and set them on fire.
Anyways… a jumble of images floating around my brain as I reassemble and rebuild the better beast. Phoenix rising from the ash. Here I go again…. hopefully with slightly better results this time around.
They say if you want anything done right, you need to do it yourself. And I guess to really learn it, you have to do it twice so it’ll stick. Right?
I’m not really one to hide my feelings or pretend things are one way when they’re something completely different. Life is too short, and I’m too…. passionate…. I don’t have the energy or the attention span to divert either to alternate realities. So I won’t pretend it hasn’t been painful or slightly soul crushing to have to re-build the site practically from scratch two weeks after putting all the work into getting it up and running the first time. Luckily, with all those freshly honed skills still dew-fresh, it took less time to do it the second time around, and the lesson learned was to back things up (yeah, yeah, I know, I know) and hopefully we won’t have to go through this all again anytime soon. Sigh.
I do owe a debt of thanks to Scott Rodrique, who not only helped rebuild the beast, but helped build the original beast. I recommend him unreservedly should you be thinking of your own beast.
So… here we go, kids… Beast 2.0
Click on each Title to read the entire blog entry.
Welcome to the campfire. Make yourself comfortable. The intent behind this entire site is interaction, discourse, and dialogue. Art is about the sharing of experience, perspective and point of view.
I will rarely give concrete explanations as to the exact sources of perspective, however, I love and encourage my audience and friends to discuss what pieces inspire and mean to them. If a piece is obvious..then it is obvious… but for the more abstract, I simply refuse to remove the fun for everyone and as an artist, I love hearing what other people get out of particular pieces that may never have occurred to me.
Please do share. Don’t be shy. Surprise yourself, surprise others. Small things lead to big things, and vice versa.. you never know where it might lead.. trust me on this..