Friday, November 27, 2009

back from big bend

paint gap


croton spring

cold dawn

grapevine hills

Thursday, November 19, 2009

bits of St John

I was quite surprised to go back and look at some personal favourite images over the last couple of years, with the Dali 'St John' image fresh in my head. Hadn't looked at in probably 20 years, yet the same pieces seemed to run through many of the images I've printed out or kept on my desktop. Don't quite know what to read into this. I'm intrigued and maybe somewhat frustrated at the same time.





Saturday, November 07, 2009

repeating themes

The question about influences came up at a workshop I did back in September. I sat and thought about what those pictures were and the paintings in the previous two posts came through pretty strongly as times I remember being in awe of a painting or piece of art. I hadn't really given them much thought in the last decade or more, at least not much conscious thought or making an effort to look at them. One other thing that Susan showed us was that for many artists these initial pieces or favourite pieces of art appear all throughout their photography. She showed artist after artist, first what they'd claim was their favourite influence, then the artist's own work, mirroring those themes. I went home that evening and had a look at some of my favourite photographs from the last couple of years and was really quite amazed by what I saw. I'll post some of those in the next day or so, but I recommend that if you answered the question with some thought, that you go and take a look at your recent images, with this in mind. You might be surprised.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

later influences


The other style of art that I think has had an impression [sic] on me is that of Claude Monet and others. Their use of light and color certainly had a profound effect that I've tried to capture with my camera. I remember seeing the wheatstacks in snow image at the Getty Center in Los Angeles and being amazed by how vibrant and alive it was, in person. The darker images, like the houses of parliment and gare Saint-Lazare images have also resonated over the years.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

early influences

What was the first two dimensional piece of art that really had a strong influence on you?

I thought about this for a few minutes, then one image came really strongly to mind. I remember seeing it in a gallery in Glasgow - very well positioned right at the end of a long hallway. You come around the corner and there it is - Dali's Christ of Saint John of the Cross. Had a strong impact on me at the time. Has stuck with me ever since, on some level. I only really give it much conscious thought again after being asked the question above, in a workshop. Then I actually went back and looked at it and took in the themes.


Been a quiet few weeks, photographically. I did get an iphone and have been playing around with the photo apps available for it. Finding I can get quite interesting effects, from such a terrible little lens. The constraints of the format and features can work well, with care. It has taken some effort to work out what the good apps are and how to compose with it. Seems to do well with subjects that are often seen from other krappy cameras, big, bold, simple compositions. Maybe time to pick up the real camera again and see what's going on with that.

I did a Susan Burnstine 'visual narratives' workshop a few weeks ago, that frustrated me quite a bit. Not due to anything I really learned on the workshop, just confusion about what I really want to take pictures of or what direction I want to go in. I've spent the time since then going in a totally different direction, trying to learn to play guitar. Maybe that'll feed back into the picture taking eventually. For now it is a lot of fun and a different form of creative outlet. Last year's working through 'the Artist's Way' exercises kept coming up with questions about music and a desire to learn to play something, just took me a while.