Saturday, April 28, 2012

Maximum Settings

umbrella 1
Just when you think you have life under control - Boom! Something happens that makes it all collapse like a house of cards. Or just a little bit of Murphy's Law and you're late for that really important meeting. Or you just do really dumb stuff that you wish wouldn't be seen by anybody anywhere. I had several of those days. All the rain (we had no snow for probably more than a month in March) and the basement walls were leaking. Then I went to go to the artist talk and there was no parking for miles. OK just like a few blocks. And it was really warm out and I had worn a sweater as it was lots colder - Up North.

So I've been working on this solarization and it's pretty hard to get it to make that perfect image because as the chemicals wear out they change how they're working. And I get one really great image I like. I bring it home thinking it's dry and then a few days later go to put them away and it's stuck to another print. I did a quick search and found a hint to freeze it. Well it ended up pulling part of the emulsion off the face of the ONE print I really liked.

Now you say, I've been looking at the Starn twins and can't I make it work? Could be. But nothing jumps out at me. I could rip it up and re-arrange it - but once that's done then it's gone. I mean in pieces. Humpty Dumpty. Not gonna be put back together again. So I'm sort of stalling. I'm letting ideas drift around and hopefully I'll get the courage up to try something. I mean it doesn't look good with the white tear in the middle right now.
Regan with dogs
Regan in field
I've been using this time to do some field work. As you can see. I haven't let the two (2) snow storms that dumped about 8 inches of snow each time, stop me. Unfortunately I've shot two rolls of film that didn't turn out as planned. I am working with a pinhole camer and film, which I've used a pinhold camer and photo paper before and that worked, and the timing and weather has not been as I had hoped. Note to those out there who are interested in pinhole cameras or older non-digital techniques - National Pin Hole Camera Day is tomorrow April 29th!

There have been a few new artists I've enjoyed looking at, thanks to Molly Jergens and Sergio V. I was introduced to Stephanie Jung from Germany. If you haven't seen her work, take a moment and search for it. Really wonderful stuff.

Saturday, April 7, 2012



[wend]  verb, wend·ed or ( Archaic ) went; wend·ing.
verb (used with object)
to pursue or direct (one's way).
verb (used without object)
to proceed or go.
I just went through the new reading list I had posted and already it's out of date. I've added two books (one I finished and one I'm in the midst of). Hopefully I'll get that sorted out in a few minutes and repost it. I can't believe how much time everything takes. It's like all this extra after your intended work and I hate trying to figure out the blog controls. I don't use it enough I suppose so it feels like it's a whole new learning process everything I log on.
Both writers (Krause and Grundberg) have been very illuminating as well as some talks with and viewing of other artists. I'll talk more about the artists in a later post.
Let's just look today at what I've been up to since I last posted.
  Roslind E. Krause in The Originiality of the Avant-Garde and Andy Grundberg in Crisis of the Real talk about different (but similar) aspects of post-modernism and what's original. Some of the ideas that I've have hovering are still waiting to have their day but for now what I've looked most closely is the object-less-ness of photographic images.
  In several of my new images I've developed B&W photographic paper to the extent that there is no image oto depict. This is partially in response to the visiting artist Liz Deschenes and my current readings discussing the anti stance that post-modernism was taking with modernism.
I did several of these with little to distinguish them except for the changes in marks and the tonal quality. It's really hard to see the metalic cast in these images. They present as much more interesting in person.
Then I went on to try to use some of the  printing technique with images from paper negatives. Some worked better then others.
These really don't reproduce well but I'll add one more to try to show you some of the effect. The pieces are very nuanced. They look almost like printing on metal. There is a richness and patina that is really beautiful. This is all done in a web lab with B&W photos, paper negs, and solarization.
  In addition I've actually had a few pieces turn out from the Cyanotype process I was using. I used paper negatives and simple cotton fabric. It worked well on some images and not so great on others. There are obvious factors that caused some of the differences, such as the light and time of day and how cold it was outside. I left them in the sun (which we had 4 or so good clear sunny days) but the temp was hovering around a brisk 46-50 degrees, even with leaving for several hours some did not have the similar line definations and some didn't work at all. (For both processes - you should see how many of them I had in the 'not going to work ever' pile! 
  There is so much more to explore and do! Of course I have several themes that I'm working on but as I understand it we don't need to come back with a body of work this next semester - so I'm extending the ideas in various methods and ranging far and wide for material, ideas, and execution.
Until then.....

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Finding the time

I've tried to update my reading list. I checked and at least it looks like the changes went through. Next I'll try to update the work I'm doing and the papers I've turned in. It's a lot of time to figure out these things so look for it in the next few days.

I had another meeting with my mentor. It is still business as usual. I'm frustrated with the things I've tried not working. I've been using Bonnie Lakota's book on digital processes and they look and sound so easy but not getting the same results she is. I am still looking through every step to see if it's something I'm doing wrong.....

Anyway, that's it for now. Just keep on cranking those ideas out and try to see if the work.