taking care of business..

and tying up some loose ends on our Singer Sargent Inspired Exhibit. We have come a long way since the initial shoot last spring and I have learned so much. While I’m proud of the work we have produced, I think the hardest part of this project has been the promoting of it, I’m not real comfortable with that aspect, yet I know it has to be done. Really wish I could hire a publicist, but since I can’t..

(best viewed on full screen)

Come to the January 25th Labor of Love – 19th Century Styled Photography workshop at the Bradley Estate (1 pm to 3 pm) led by photographers, Carol MacGregor and Susan Licht. Learn how to create and photograph an historic scene. Labor of Love focuses on images inspired by John Singer Sargent who made drawings of Eleanor Cabot Bradley and her husband, Ralph. Trustees Members: $9 and Nonmember: $15. Contact: bradley@thetrustees.org to register.

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Visit here for more info on The Trustees and The Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate.

A Labor of Love

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Part of a summer-long photo project I’ve been working on with Happy Gatherings Photography, inspired by the paintings of John Singer Sargent. Most of the photos in this series were styled at Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate in Canton, Massachusetts,  a property of The Trustees of Reservations.  Truly a labor of love!

 A photo exhibit is planned for later this year at The Bradley Estate.

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Izzy picking collage

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A huge thank you to Julie Early and The Trustees of Reservations, to my colleague, Carol MacGregor of Happy Gatherings Photography
and to the following vendors for their contributions:

Petal Pushers Floral Studio
Bakery on the Common
Counting Sheep Antiques
Thoreauly Antiques

in the mood

 

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“People say ‘Hofmann has different styles’. I have not. I have different moods; I am not two days the same man.”   ~ Hans Hofmann

I was planning to post this earlier but I was fighting a cold that left me with very little motivation. Thankfully it has since gone away and I’m finally getting some energy back.

Before the holidays, I was going through some of my photos when I began to see a pattern. Seems my mood has a lot to do with what I photograph, how I photograph and how I choose to edit an image. With all the violence and chaos in the world, I found myself seeking subjects that portrayed a softer, quieter and more subtle side of life.  Once the holidays arrived (and I stopped watching the news), my photos took on a whole different look and feel.

This little revelation had me wondering if anyone else experienced that with their own work. So I put the question out to my photographer friends on Facebook and a very interesting discussion ensued.  When photographing for yourself (disregarding client work, of course) does your mood affect your photography in any way?

Many people felt that it did in all aspects, some just in the editing phase.  Others said that just the opportunity to pick up their camera and get out to shoot immediately improved their mood and therefore they were always in a happy mood when photographing.

One friend described a process he goes through prior to shooting,  Before I shoot, I sit down and I go deep down myself, into a place where I am in touch with all my feelings. If I cannot feel an image that I am about to shoot, I believe no one will.”  How interesting!

But then there’s a whole other philosophy out there that was brought to my attention by a photographer friend from Amsterdam.  He sent me this interesting article written by Garry Winograd –  10 Things Garry Winograd Can Teach You

“In my opinion it’s about an attitude towards photography. Winogrand wants to get rid of any kind of private mood in the result (the picture). That’s why he waited so long to develop his films and see his contact sheets. So you can say, he was truly aware about that mood. I like that attitude. In other words: In a photo, I don’t want to see you love your cat, I want to see the cat.”

Thought provoking for sure.

 

So tell me, what are your thoughts?  Would be interesting to hear from artists who work in other genres as well.

“… yes I speak a different language – the dark fire of poetry – it flutters and gutters in tune with the mood.”   ~ John Geddes

“I had to resign myself, many years ago, that I’m not too articulate when it comes to explaining how I feel about things. But my music does it for me, it really does.”  ~ David Bowie

 

To thank all my photo friends who took part in this little chat, I am going to be adding links to their various websites and portfolios on my posts during the month of February (sharing the love!) To list them all at once would be a bit overwhelming.

Hope you will pay them a visit. Enjoy!

Staci Lee Kennelly – A Life Developing

Lisa Epp – A Year of Days

Elizabeth Thomas – Photography of Cape Cod

and here we are

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a bright shiny new year
a clean canvas
a new start, maybe?
I remain hopeful

I never make resolutions, I’m not into choosing a word for the year
but I came across this letter recently (thank you, Shawna), written by Sol Lewitt to the artist, Eva Hesse
I think it could apply to any type of artist –

“Just stop thinking, worrying, looking over your shoulder wondering, doubting, fearing, hurting, hoping for some easy way out, struggling, grasping, confusing, itching, scratching, mumbling, bumbling, grumbling, humbling, stumbling, numbling, rumbling, gambling, tumbling, scumbling, scrambling, hitching, hatching, bitching, moaning, groaning, honing, boning, horse-shitting, hair-splitting, nit-picking, piss-trickling, nose sticking, ass-gouging, eyeball-poking, finger-pointing, alleyway-sneaking, long waiting, small stepping, evil-eyeing, back-scratching, searching, perching, besmirching, grinding, grinding, grinding away at yourself. Stop it and just DO!
…If you fear, make it work for you – draw & paint your fear and anxiety. And stop worrying about big, deep things such as “to decide on a purpose and way of life, a consistant [sic] approach to even some impossible end or even an imagined end.” You must practice being stupid, dumb, unthinking, empty. Then you will be able to DO!”

“Don’t worry about cool, make your own uncool. Make your own, your own world. If you fear, make it work for you – draw & paint your fear and anxiety…”

“Just do”
my new mantra for 2016

Happy New Year!

inspiration

Every year at this time, I find myself in need of inspiration
I usually pour through art books but after being so cooped up this winter
I decided get out and head to the nearest art museum.

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It was a quiet Sunday afternoon and the museum had only a handful of visitors
So nice to be able to linger and take my time. For the first time, I began to notice not only the beautiful artwork but how each room was arranged.

As I wandered, I started looking from many different perspectives

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A lonely chair beckoned to be sat on
while eyes watched every move from the wall

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As I moved around the Modern Art wing, I was struck by the juxtaposition of each work. From one perspective, I saw Kiki Smith’s ceramic statue, Girl with Blue Dress, with what could be a later version of herself in the Alex Katz portrait, Ada with Sunglasses.

As I viewed this young girl from behind, I saw innocence in the face of violence (The Hull, an oil painting by Hyman Bloom).  Striking, disturbing and evocative.

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There were many other instances like this as I moved through each room in the museum.  It fascinated me and left me wondering how I never noticed this before.

 

Before I left, I came across a still life painting by a little known American artist, John Frederick Peto, appropriately titled Still Life with Books. This intrigued me, not only because I love old books but because of the unique way they were arranged on the edge of a table. Something so simple yet it stirred some feeling of nostalgia in me.

When I returned home, I gathered some of my favorite old books, placed them on my mother’s old antique table and had fun attempting to recreate this painting with my camera.

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old books, old friends

Peto was apparently a master of trompe l’oeil, arranging the subject matter in a shallow space using shadow to suggest depth. It took me many tries to get the right amount of light and shadow in my image. With this painting technique, objects were rarely cut off the edge of a painting but I obviously cut the books off in the right hand corner. All in all, it was a fun experiment and I enjoyed trying something new.

Turned out to be an inspiring day in many different ways.  Just what the doctor ordered.

Tell me, do you ever feel a strong need to create something?

What inspires your work?

Are there times you feel the need to break away from the norm?

I would be interested to hear your thoughts.

(Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, Massachusetts)