Friday, August 31, 2012

Monday, August 20, 2012


As a photographer and iphone owner I have been shooting with the instagram app for a while. I never thought of those images as part of my work until I had a critique with Oliver Wasow during the residency. That critique and the talk he gave about his own work during the residency made me think about why I don't think of instagram as real photography. 

I walk my dog every morning (I walk him several times a day, but my favorite walk is in the morning) and have been bringing my phone on those walks to capture some of the shadows:

lifts and grids and objects

The grids seems to be a recurring theme. I have been trying to spend a lot of time thinking about the meanings, reasons and concepts behind my work and I am not sure how to find answers. It has been frustrating in a sort of slow and quiet way. The frustration is making it difficult to get motivated to make things, but at the same time I don't think I will figure out the conceptual thoughts behind my work if I don't make. I feel like I have many ideas but am having a difficult time creating them in real life.

Along with the grids I am thinking about objects vs. images. The digital things I have been working on allow me to create work in a way I haven't before, which is very exciting. At the same time I am still very interested in creating tangible objects. My parent's house was built in 1840 and when we moved in 12 years ago my parents replaced all the windows, but kept the old ones. I visited last week and took some of those old windows with me to play with. Here is an in-progress shot and two shots of the window at it's current stage. I am not sure if it is finished yet. I like the idea of deconstructing the grid. I also would like to display this lit from behind, so that it throws a shadow. More on shadows in my next post.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Seeing other people's work

Last Friday I went to First Friday in Boston and I am so glad I went. It was good to see some familiar faces, Rob Sullivan has two pieces in the show at Galatea Fine Art, and both my mentor Matthew Gamber and my advisor Ben Sloat have work at Gallery Kayafas. (Whoa, links). I wandered around the other galleries and wrote down some more names of work I thought was interesting. 

Today I took a little field trip to the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Garden. I went specifically to see the show "second nature: abstraction in photography then and now". Matt Gamber has two pieces in this show also, and Caleb Charland who is a family friend, also has a piece. I was really excited to see this show, because I have been thinking so much about abstraction lately, and of course, combining new and old techniques has been a theme in my work. Again I walked away with a list of names to research, though this time some of those names were already on my list and it was cool to see their work in person (Eileen Quinlan, Sara VanDerBeek). I always love museums, but I have found that being in this program has started to give me a different perspective already. I'm not just looking at work because I enjoy it, I am looking at work to try to figure out how it relates to what I make and how it influences what I make. I've started also looking more at the display details, I think I need to put much more thought into how I will display my work at the next residency in January. While that is still a ways away, I want to make sure how I display work actually makes sense in coordination with the content.

Lots to think about!


My friend Amy runs No. 27 Gallery in Rochester, NH, and she asked me a few months ago if I would like to have a show in her space, I didn't really have to do much thinking about that one. No. 27 Gallery has a few different spaces in cafes in Rochester, and a main space that they share with the Rochester Museum of Fine Art. This main space is where my work is hanging for the month of August and last week we had the opening. I got great feedback from friends, but it is weird to show work that I've sort of put on hold a little bit since the residency. I showed one new piece, but other than that everything that is hanging was work that I had brought to the residency. I do think I want to revisit those pieces, but in a different way, and I haven't quite decided what to do with them yet. Here are some photos of the exhibit:

The last piece is the new one, and as far as displaying it goes, I am not sure yet how I will display it in the future. This space has a window, and Amy tried hanging it in the window, but it didn't work. I was hoping by hanging it in the window there would be a thrown shadow. So I will play some more with frames and light boxes once I get this piece back.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Trying to un-grid the grids?

It has been a busy week, since I am re-adjusting to having a full-time job. It was a little easier to spend 20 to 30 hours a week making art when I wasn't working. At the same time I generally work better under pressure, and having to focus during the now limited time I do have will hopefully lead to positive results. 

I finished my residency summary (you can find it on scribd, the link is on the right of this page) and got good feedback on that. Along with that I received some feedback on my blog from my advisor, and had my first meeting with my mentor last Friday. The most positive feedback so far seems to be centered around the layered grids of clouds, especially the more abstracted versions. I think the layered portraits, will be put on hold for a while. I am still interested in faces, but am not sure those work the way I would like them to. It really was just an exercise with images I already had on hand.

I have been thinking lots about how to display the cloud grids, and I am very interested in projection. For one, it will allow me to be more free with the size and scale. Second, my mentor mention the fact that by photographing clouds I am capturing light, by projection the images later I am releasing the light again. This creates an interesting circle that I want to explore further. 

Here are some images from the latest grid layer. I used the same fuji lift scans, but cropped the edges to attempt moving away from the pronounced rectangular shape of each image. I am not sure if this one is more successful than the first.

These are images 1, 3, 5, 9, 12, and 15. The last two are crops I took out of version 15 at 50% and 100%. I am really interested in how number 3 and 5 create new clouds out of the layers. Additionally, I like the transparency of the different layers. I also am really interested in what happens towards layer 15, the image almost disappears and it becomes more about the color and shapes that are created. I also am curious about the zoomed in crops and how very abstracted they are.