1/24/09

Revisiting


Going through some of my images again and liked the two above from October/November (a trip to the pumpkin farm for Halloween and a shot from Edie's birthday party).

1/15/09

Website overhaul

I spent the last week overhauling my website, please have a look.

Detangle.Us

I just heard from an old family friend ("old" being a relative term, given that we're in our early thirties), photographer Carrie Ford Hilliker, that she put some of my work up on her group venture Detangle.Us. I was happy to find out that Carrie is a reader of Tethered, and am flattered by the things she had to say about my writing and images. As if shooting and blogging weren't enough, she also leads a website design studio, fordvisuals.

Carrie and I spent every summer as teenagers on Martha's Vineyard with our families, mine hailing from Philadelphia, hers from Chicago--our mothers were best friends from high school and this was their annual meeting place. I mostly lounged around in my pajamas and went from an angst-ridden high school student to an angst-ridden college student and beyond. Carrie and I shared a room and talked about our lives in those brief weeks, while attempting to get our little sisters to shut up to no avail. It was one of those small, dusty old cape houses without a TV, a place where I always had horrible allergies and was driven mad by Claritin (one of its side effects, unknown at the time, is anger--explains a lot). Interestingly I shot many of the photographs that became part of my senior thesis for college in that house, and some of my video for graduate school as well. It had a certain eerie domesticity, bringing about the kind of forced memories that come from visiting a place for a very specific time frame in one specific season year after year. It was as if I could watch the progression of my life each time I returned: last year I was a freshman, this year I'm a sophomore, and so on. Now it feels right to have that world come back into focus through having my work be part of Carrie's sphere.

1/14/09

Echoes

An older image of June just waking up that I found in my "archives." It seemed to echo the picture I posted of Edie yesterday so I thought I would put it up before it gets lost in a folder, never to be seen again. If you enlarge it you can see the full effect of the polka-dot sheets playing off of the polka-dot sleeper June is wearing. 

1/13/09

Stomach bug

Edie was hit with the stomach bug last night--I slept in her bed and tended to my poor girl, but thankfully by midnight she fell asleep for good and is, all things considered, pretty peppy today. She was completely out when I shot some photographs of her--she just looked so sad and sweet next to her puke bowl. June is off with the sitter and so far Edie's TV tally is: Go, Diego, Go x 2; Franklin; Cyberchase; the Barbie Nutcracker and Barbie Magic of the Rainbow movies; and now she's on to The Little Mermaid. It's going to be one of those relax-all-the-rules let the kid zone and eat Pedialyte popsicles until bedtime kind of days. For my part I'm still in my pajamas but actually getting quite a bit of work done, go figure.

*By the way, before I had kids I never imagined we'd own a Barbie movie, let alone more than one; I also thought TV was for lazy parents who weren't spending enough quality time teaching their children the alphabet and cooking only organic vegetables. How quickly we relax our standards and realize how idealistic we were when that real-live baby actually arrives. Just thought you should know.

Melanie Flood Projects opening

My ever-talented friend Melanie is having another opening, this time curated by Amani Olu. Photographs by Bradley Peters will be on view until February 28th; go to the Melanie Flood Projects site for more information, or click on the invite above to see the details. I plan on attending the opening (barring illness) and hope to see you there!

1/8/09

Remains of lunch

Breathing room

I took a break from posting and working in general this last week, without planning to. Blogging, like anything, goes in waves--there are points where I feel compelled, almost compulsively, to post; at other points there is a lull in my desire to write. The same goes for submissions--sometimes I'll blaze through three in a day, and then there are times where I want to get off the hamster-wheel of editing and sending. My problem can be that when I have these down times my mental chatter feels like I "should" be doing more. This week somehow I have been able to step back and be generally accepting of my lack of drive. It's when I power through when I don't feel like creating that the inevitable stress takes over. I also haven't been shooting much, which is a bit unusual, but it may be that some thoughts need to marinate in my brain and I just have to trust that ideas are churning around at the back of my consciousness and will come together when they're ready to.

For now I've been practicing guitar again for the first time in ages, meditating at night before bed, and actually wanting to go to sleep early, which is highly out of the ordinary. Part of it may be that I'm starting to mindfully let go of caring about the public presentation of my work, and when that fear dissolves--that desire to be seen, recognized, and applauded--there's room for stepping back and putzing around a little. One big decision I made for the New Year was to set limits for myself on things I use as procrastination tools--I narrowed down my blog roll to only those sites that I'm truly drawn to, and I deleted my Google Analytics accounts. It wasn't helpful for me to see how much traffic was coming to my site--if anything it made me more aware when writing of my "audience." I think getting rid of that has been part of why I feel an opening up, and an ability to relax within my creative process that I haven't tapped into in a while. Like anything there's never a permanent state of being; next week I may feel compulsive again and not want to be quiet, but for now I'm relishing the silence in my head.

1/1/09

The day after

Ok, so I was more than a bit hokey in my Threshold post from a couple of days ago, I'll admit it. I tend to get pretty nostalgic toward the end of the year and I was in a wordy mood. I've had a touch of OCD all my life, which is great for keeping all the books on tabletops at right angles, but it also makes me become quite superstitious around symbolic dates. I'm fairly skeptical in general, but I also have this side that really believes in the whole Buddhist-spiritual self-improvement thing and it comes on particularly strong in the week between Christmas and the New Year. In the last few days I've written what I'd like to let go of and what I hope for in 2009 on little squares of paper that I burned; at midnight I repeated the names of my family members in order to keep them safe; and I even considered going for the full hippie burning-of-sage to rid my house of any bad juju accumulated over the year, but never got around to it...

One thing I will say: 2008 brought the formation of this blog, which has been a wonderful way to tap into my love of writing and to show new photographs with more freedom than my website allows. I think it's changed the way I relate to my work in ways I couldn't have anticipated, and it's given me the opportunity to make some wonderful connections with other artists, facilitating a dialog that I don't think would have been possible otherwise. I'm very grateful to have this format to work in, and am interested to see what the medium will do for photography in general as time passes. All in all, I woke up this morning with the conviction that 2009 is going to be a great year, while honoring all that I experienced and learned in 2008. And now I'll sign off, before I get over the top again.