flying south

I have arrived safely home. It was good to be in Michigan for the fall and to see the colors change from green to yellow to orange and red. The apples were still clean and crisp as I remembered them from years ago. From them my sister Shelle and I made carmel apples, apple crisp, and apple pie. I left more apples for her to make into applesauce.

My sister Becca was released from them hospital while I was home into my parents care. She is in the process of getting her section 8 paperwork filled out before moving back into her own apartment again. So for a while we will be on a upswing and hope that this time more positive progress is made. At the same time it will continue to be challenging for my parents to handle and support her needs while she gets back on her feet again.

I was hoping to accomplish more while I was at home but I now feel after working with my mentor Christopher that I have a lot to do and create in the last few months we have before our residency. A friend Cheryl recommended an artist Arthur Tress, to me in her comments on this blog and while I was with my family I ordered his book, The Dream Collector. I relate to his imagery and the childhood story he tells. It is the childhood dreams on the verge of nightmares.

reality slips

On the road again. I flew back east to take more family photographs, talk with my mentor, and continue to clarify my direction this term.

I am finally feeling good about what I am focusing on in my work and after talking with Christopher. I feel that I am now headed in the right direction for me. We talked about what what happening in some of my images and also review some of the strengths that I felt were missing from so many of the images I have been creating while shooting my everyday project. He also reinforced some of the feedback that received from both my advisor Oscar and colleague Carol.

Because the turmoil in my family that began to effect my health both mentally and physically I wanted to remove myself from any concepts relating to my family. I knew in some way I would be compromising myself and my images if I choose a detail to focus on that was too removed from what I need to express and understand. Yet I was worn down and physically ill. I felt I could not dig any deeper with my family.

What I needed was a way, without traveling thousands of miles, to explore my childhood memories, family relationships, and dysfunctional behaviour. While still exploring what it is that is so surreal in my family dynamics, I struggle to know what is truth and what is fiction. I needed a new method to create images of these moments where most everything thing appears normal but in this photographed reality something is askew.

While visiting I will ask my family about memories they have had; circumstances where they were afraid or anxious, when they wondered when the shoe was going to drop, when the skeletons would fall out of the closet, or when the straw was going to break. Perhaps they might remember if there was a time when they were little where they wondered where all the adults went or perhaps memories of role reversal between the children and adults. I will ask them what they remembered about certain events and what they saw. What body language did they observe. That along with my own recollections I will begin to sketch the scenes. I will set them up and work with friends, and friends of friends to recreate my memories that I need to express. I will become the director.

Meanwhile I my aunt purchased three new crows for her front courtyard. She loves art and makes a commitment to purchase art at least once a year. This fall she purchased three crows from an artist Mark Chatterley. She purchased one of his large figurative pieces in memory of my Papa. Later she purchased a second so she could have one in both of her homes. I love the texture and the decay of them the seemingly impermanent quality they appear to have. Yet they are ceramic and can withstand all the elements that Michigan weather can throw on them. They are beautiful, raw, and give pause for the viewer to ponder at what are these life size figures. When I look at them I feel stillness. I needed to go see all of his work so we went to the River Gallery Fine Art in Chelsea Michigan where he had a show up for exhibition. It was amazing to see his work in person and to feel the scale of them figures.

Traveling again tomorrow to stay with my sister and my niece and nephews. On the way up north we will visit a rapture rehabilitation center and hopefully if we have enough time an apple orchard to pick our own apples, eat donuts and fresh cider. I can't remember the last time I was in Michigan for the leaves changing color, the cool crisp air, and apples that crack when you bite into them.

before the fall

Unrest has seeped into my life this month. It came from many directions from family issues to my struggle for direction with the disparate feedback I received at the residency in June.

My sister Becca who is schizophrenic has addiction issues and has been in the hospital three times this past month. The last time she went in the hospital a friend called 911 and they have not yet released her. Times like these bring back so many issues for all of us in my family. Things that we thought we had come to terms with, things that were swept under the rug only to be brought up again when the rug is moved.

Just over two thousand miles away and I still don’t have a good way of dealing with it so that it doesn’t affect my focus and ability to be creative. A good friend said to me, it doesn’t matter how far away you are, if all of your family is in the pond and someone throws a rock in it everyone feels the ripples. All I can do is change how I react when I see that ripple heading my way. I am working on not getting emotionally drawn into something I can’t do anything about, learning to accept it.

Last term in order to create a community of artists for feedback and support I sought out others who were willing to meet with me but many times our schedules weren’t open up at the same time. This term I added an advanced workshop course at the community college I work for. I joined this group in order be part of a local art community that was meeting regularly.

Yesterday we had advanced critique and I showed work where I started in this program, what I did last term, and what I am struggling with now. This is especially complicated in the mixed bag of advice I received at the residency and from my advisor and mentor this term. I explained my conundrum to our instructor Carol Panaro-Smith. In my work she saw a thread that ran through last term and this terms work. In a number of pieces she saw as just before the fall. The idea of everything appears normal but something is not quite right, something has just happened or is about to happen. And secondary players in this don’t see it happening. We talked about my work with my niece and nephews and how that process has worked for me. I believe that when I set the stage, ask the question, and let the children play of their roles something great begins to happen.

This month I read an interview from Sarah Moon and her methods and approaches to creating imagery. She works commercially and is very much the director. She sets the stage, makeup, clothing, and hair. When she shoots what she finds are her best shots are not what she directed but what happens before or after the moment. She captures those real moments on the stage in between the posed and acted moments.

My biggest challenge is finding local children who want to play in front of the camera and role-play what they see in the adult relationships around them. If I continue this vein of work I will need to find a way to do this without flying to Michigan to create images. And of course my niece and nephews will someday grow up. I have always worked with children I know through friends and family. I am now thinking of putting together a book of images along with a project statement and copy release as an introduction to what I am trying to create. To begin to pursue these relationships and these photo sessions as a professional. With this book I could ask friends locally if they know of interested parents who have children that would make time for me to create images with them.

2sad 2see :: road trip

Last week with friends Valerie, Cheryl, and Wendy, I went on a two-day road trip in search for New Zealand orange chocolate chip ice cream. This quest was to mark the closing of my studio 2see that ran for a year with the help of Valerie, Cheryl, and my husband Bob.

Why one would travel a thousand miles for this ice cream is debatable only to those who haven’t been in New Zealand and participated in the after dinner tradition. Those of us who had traveled with Scottsdale Community Colleges International Education exchange program, Connecting Communities and Sharing Cultures immersion trip, understood this and have been craving this ice cream since our last trip in 2006. Cheryl found the only place in the country that had New Zealand Natural ice cream was a store in Los Angeles.

So I said I was in if we could see the ocean, and visit 2 or 3 museums along the way. This way I could begin to see what LA had show and I could get an ocean fix. The first day stopping in La Jolla was amazing to feel the moisture and smell of the salt in the ocean breeze. We stopped at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. It was a beautiful museum and the views were great. Unfortunately the exhibit I was hoping to see was at the main museum in San Diego and they were closed for renovation.

The next day we were up and headed into LA and on to the Getty Museum. I wasn’t prepared for this. It was the best museum I have ever been to. I felt like I could stay there for a day or more and not be bored. Normally I like museums but I have a short attention span, I look at the images, ponder over a few that catch my eye, read a bit and look for a materials that I can read over later. The Getty has fabulous sculpture gardens, fountains and café type places to eat and read books and brochures, events for all ages, and the architecture is such that there is many buildings that house different subject matter so that you can wander from building to building or floor to floor looking at the diverse art they present there. The whole experience is a journey. The grounds and buildings are designed for your experience and immersion into the world of art. I can’t wait until my next trip to LA where I will plan for a whole day at The Getty.

Almost as impressive was the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, seeing A Thousand Polaroid’s by Philip-Lorca diCorcia. I was frustrated by the signage at LACMA wanting to know more about the specifics of production of the Philip-Lorca’s large prints that were part of the show. They also had an interesting interview with him that was unavailable for sale that would have been beneficial to hear more than once.

To the end of the trip, unfortunately after all of our wanderings and planning to bring back orange chocolate chip ice cream for all, after a few misguided turns along the way we finally made it to New Zealand Natural ice cream store. The sign on the door said Closed For Remodeling, open again on Thursday. Didn’t they know we had traveled for two days so that this could be the culmination of our journey? Why didn’t their voice recording warn us about this unseasonable closing?

Even without us reaching our ice cream goal we had a great time, saw the ocean, and lots of great art, and since we didn’t get our orange chocolate chip ice cream we will have to plan another trip to complete our quest.

time flies

August first already. Time flies when you are not paying attention. I can’t believe it has been one month since we were in Boston. Life and school has been a challenge when on the road! Some places that I have been this summer have been extremely remote. Half the time I have been able to use my computer and connect, other times even my cell phone didn’t even work.

I have finished my residency summary and have updated my blog for the fall term. I have listed the new books I will be reading and artists I will be looking at during the next five months. I have continued my everyday project but my priority in the next few months is to narrow down what it is I want to communicate about family culture. I would like to research well ahead of my papers this term so I will begin my research next week. I will also purchase any books on my list that I would like to add to my collection at home or find them in the library.

My new mentor is Christopher James. I know and trust that he would be able to guide me in finding what it is I want to focus on in my photography, my primary goal this term. We are meeting and have discussed my work a number of times already and will continue to connect every few weeks. I am excited to be working with him again and look forward to creating new images this fall.

museums :: galleries :: spring 08

For archival purposes I am publishing the museums and galleries that I visited during the spring term. 

The Phoenix Art Museum :: Barbara Bosworth :: Human Nature
Lisa Sette Gallery :: William Wegman
Desert Botanical Garden :: Mayme Kratz :: The Secret Gardner
The Gallery Project :: Painting 2008
Shemer Musuem :: Black Box White Noise: Exploring New Media
Phoenix Art Museum :: Monet, Matisse, and More
2See Studio :: Rene Westbrook :: Sea Change
The Kitchenette :: Aaron Rothman :: Last
Phoenix Art Museum :: Richard Avedon :: Photographer of Influence
Phoenix Art Museum :: Illuminated Manuscripts
The Bentley Projects :: Devorah Sperber :: Selections from the Eye of the Artist
The Tilt Gallery :: Tracy Longley-Cook :: Bearing Still
Museum of Fine Arts Boston :: Contemporary Outlook :: German Photograhers
The Kitchenette :: Emily Matyas :: The Other Side

to untamed places

I am off to rural Michigan to visit family for the next nineteen days. Most likely I will not have reception on my cell phone and I know I will not have access to the web unless we take a thirty-minute ride into town and visit the library. I hope to have time to reflect and write on my experiences at June’s residency. I also know it will be a time of creative play and hope to begin to discover and clarify what my focusing detail will be this term.

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” T S Elliot

When I return I will update my blog with photos, let you know all the amazing museums and galleries I visited while in Boston, and post my residency summary.

online and influential artists :: spring 08

For archival purposes I am posting all the artists I was looking at last term.
You should really check out Colin Blakely's website and blog at Another amazing photographer is Jon Edwards at While your looking on of my favorites is Cig Harvey at

Colin Blakely
Keith Carter
Jon Edwards
Wendy Ewald
Emmet Gowin
Cig Harvey
Christopher James
Mark Klett
Mayme Kratz
Tracey Longley-Cook
Loretta Lux
Sally Mann
Stephen Mark
Nicholas Nixon
Melissa Pinney
Betsy Schneider
Larry Sultan

a2 celebration

We had a great celebration for my Aunt EB’s birthday last weekend. It was good to see so many people in my family that I haven’t seen in years. It was wonderful to get together, catch up, reminisce, ending with a great big slumber party at my Aunts home. We had the tastiest sliders made of chicken, beef, lamb and venison.

The next day we took a seven-mile walk around Ann Arbor stopping by the Paul Outerbridge exhibit at the University of Michigan Museum of Art. It was in a temporary location since the Museum is undergoing a serious addition that will not be complete for another two years. The images were created after his death of people from both California and Mexico. What struck me most about his images was his use of color. The prints we saw were digital prints but the exhibit referenced his pioneering color art photography and use of carbro-color process.

Next we stopped at The Project Gallery one of my favorite galleries in Ann Arbor but unfortunately got there about a half hour after they closed. I peeked in their window and wished we had got there sooner so we could get inside to get a better look.

to arrive again where i started

“We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started... and know the place for the first time.” T S Elliot

I traveled back to Michigan to reconnect with my family and to continue to create images for my upcoming residency. During this time I finished the last of my paperwork and academic requirements for the term and then returned home to finish printing and packing for the beginning of my travels this summer. I will have ten flights over six weeks of travel starting with twelve days in Boston followed by five days in Albuquerque, and ending with twenty-one days in Michigan.

I have successfully finished my first term at AIB. Right now I am slowly digesting all the feedback I received from the AIB faculty, students, and friends. I have to say with this residency the feedback I received is leading me in conflicting directions. In the end if I am to be passionate about what I create I will have to hear my own voice emerge from all others.

the days are just packed

It’s been a great while since my last blog entry and much had happened in the meantime. During this time Bob and I were grateful to be able to host Maori guests from New Zealand. It was great to reconnect with them and share with them a small portion of the graciousness we received when my students and I have visited their homes and communities.

We saw the end of spring term and graduation at SCC and I was happy to hear that that the district has hired my replacement for my sabbatical. So no worries for me while I am working on my MFA for the next 15 months.

bookshelf :: spring 2008

For archival purposes I am publishing my reading list for spring 08. If you are curious about any of these books I have most of them and could give you feedback before you decide to check them out or make purchases.

Adams, Robert. Beauty in Photography: Essays in Defense of Traditional Values
Atkins, Robert. Art Speak: A Guide to Contemporary Ideas, Movements, and Buzzwords
Barthes, Roland. Camera Lucida: Reflections of Photography
Batchen, Geoffrey. Forget Me Not: Photography and Remembrance
Bayles, David, Orland, Ted. Art & Fear, Observations On the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking
Berger, John. Ways of Seeing
Caffery, Debbie Fleming. The Shadows
Carter, Keith. Photographs: Twenty-Five Years
Csikzentmihalyi, Mihaly. Flow
Dyer, Geoff. The Ongoing Moment
Ewald, Wendy. The Best Part of Me: Children Talk About Their Bodies in Pictures and Words
Ewald, Wendy. Magic Eyes: Scenes from an Andean Girlhood from stories told by Alicia and Maria Vasquez
Ewald, Wendy. Portraits and Dreams: Photographs and stories by children of the Appalachians
Ewald, Wendy. Secret Games: Collaborative Works with Children 1969-1999
Fabozzi, Paul F. Artists, Critics, Context Readings in and around American Art Since 1945
Feinstein, Gloria Baker. Convergence
Flemming, Peggy. In Her Place: Inner Views and Outer Spaces
Foster, Hal. The Anti-Aesthetic, Essays on Postmodern Culture
Jensen, Brooks. Single Exposures: Random Observations on Photography, Art & Creativity
Hirsch, Marianne. The Familial Gaze
Kuhn, Annette. Family Secrets: Acts of Memory and Imagination
Leibovitz, Annie. Women
MacCannell, Dean. The Tourist
Mann, Sally. At Twelve
Mann, Sally. Immediate Family
Meeks, Raymond. Sound of Summer Running
Pinney, Melissa. Regarding Emma
Staniszewski, Mary Anne. Believing is Seeing: Creating the Culture of Art
Sontag, Susan. On Photography

the culmination of my exploration

"Except when you don't. Because sometimes, you won't. I am sorry to say so but, sadly, it's true that Bang-ups and Hang-ups can happen to you. You can get all hung up in a prickle-ly perch. And your gang will fly on. You'll be left in a lurch." Dr. Seuss

I started this blog entry a few weeks ago . . .

I met with Betsy my mentor again yesterday. I went not knowing how I could possibly succeed. I was overwhelmed with sequencing my images into sets and disheartened by the quality of my larger prints. I thought that all I had created so far this term had been wasted.

I believe Betsy when she says it wasn't all for nothing, I have learned so much this term, this is a process that I needed to go through to push my shooting in a new direction. For years I have been trying to embrace the process over the product. It is something I have pursuing since I met my husband who lives to be in the process. For him the end result is not nearly so important to him and the process of learning and doing.

So as I contemplate what is it that I pull together for our upcoming residency I will have think about how I can demonstrate all the paths that I have explored and somehow weave them together.

"You will come to a place where the streets are not marked. Some windows are lighted. But mostly they're darked. A place you could sprain both you elbow and chin! Dare you stay out? Do you dare to go in? How much can you lose? How much can you win? And if you go in, should you turn left or right... or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite? Or go round back and sneak in from behind? Simple it's not, I am afraid you will find, for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind." Dr. Seuss

So what can I do to pull this all these seemingly unrelated explorations of mine? My challenge, the culmination of my exploration.

cabinets of curiosities

I have greatly admired art that is temporary, that exists for a short time and let let go by the artist, native american sand paintings, time based work, or photographers who take polaroid images of others and give them the person in the image. What is it that happens when we take an image with a polaroid camera, play and take something spontaneous, and give it to the person in the image. Why does our culture value preserving and holding onto the past, setting aside art and putting it on a pedestal, gather objects in cabinets of curiosities? Why is it that the end product means more to us than the process of creating and letting go of what it is we have created. Why do some artists become attached to what they have created and resist selling their work.


Last night I went to the Shemer Art Center and Museum to see the opening of Black box White Noise: Exploring New Media. I love the venue, an older home in a historical district of Phoenix. In each room and one or two artists displayed their work, and in the center courtyard was live music.

I was there by invitation of Becky Ross who taught has taught at SCC throughout the years. She is a great photographer. In her last few shows she has been exploring her childhood home, her family land, and her parents transitioning to a new location. In her new work she combines color photography and displays them with objects found on the property. There was a recording of the birds from her home, but unfortunately with all people and the music in the courtyard couldn’t be heard. I will have to visit again in the daytime to listen to the birds of this landscape. I was especially drawn to one piece that had a glass jar on a rope hanging from a pulley. In this jar was an old family photograph. The light on the jar also then created a beautiful reflection on the wall behind it.

I am drawn to old things, things that carry history, of another time, or place. I don’t actually have lots of antiques in my home, I don’t search them out but when something used, thrown away, or discarded falls into my lap I look at the warn edges and wonder about the objects history, how this thing was loved and used, and who had lost it.


This week was one of those weeks that everybody has had. It started of very nicely with a great meeting with Betsy my mentor, like the snow falling gently to the ground but the same day work took over and one bit collided with another and grew into a landslide at the bottom of my week.

I am so happy its Friday.

Betsy and I looked through my best images of the term and started playing with them, rearranging them, and looking at the work to see what it would say. It seemed as if I had two bodies of work emerging from the heap, there were portraits of my family and friends, the second became a series a little less clear, more abstract, creating a window into my life. I also found images that started playing with juxtaposition, some that compositionally worked with and off the edges of the frame, and as I continue to play some the series we were making began to tell a story of an event or way of life. Betsy also suggested that I create a top ten set, and everyday look at it and see if I need to shift and rearrange them, watch them evolve.

Betsy also introduced my to Colin Blakely, I added his blog to mine. I love his images, especially “Somewhere in Middle America” on his website so look if you have a few minutes.

On the technical side I am also dealing with more images that I have ever organized or juggled before, almost 3000 in a little over 2 months. Last week thought that I might have accidentally deleted some of my raw files. Panic tried to creep in but I remembered to breathe and heard my voice telling me what I say to my students, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. I searched and reorganized this week and found them. I realized that I should have saved the files for flicker and my blog by the same number that the camera names it. I also should have saved as .jpg instead of for web in Photoshop so that when compressing the images the files would show the metadata.

I worked on my paper, academically I am struggling in this area, but I will persevere. A very odd thought went through my head today, like a little light bulb, I want to become a good writer. Where does that thought come from? I know part of my struggle has been the mental block in my head and some resistance to conform and write in an “academic” way. But if I want to communicate and have my voice heard I should become more comfortable with all forms of writing in order to be clear. In art school we learn the elements and principles of design and after learning this foundation we learn to break the rules. I need to become more competent in the foundation of writing just I as I did with art. I know with this the program at AIB I will have plenty of practice in small bite sized chunks.

in the middle

New images in the middle of the term. The images in "everyday" have been through only one edit. I have been trying to eliminate the editor in my head in an effort to find what the content of the images I love to create. I feel as if these images are diverse in subject matter. In support of my exploration they are images that caught my eye, something about these images drew me to them. They are my everyday experiences of who I am, who I shared my day with, and where I traveled.

Feel free to let me know if there are there any images that stand out for you. What content and supporting image(s) do you find most interesting? I need to focus and clarify my shooting as we make our way toward the downside of this term with much to create, read, and write about.

If you find viewing my images on flicker you can find my everyday set:

10 days, 2 funerals, and 952 photographs

I am back from Michigan where I spent ten days photographing my family. During this time my sisters children experienced two funerals, one the unexpected death of a cousin, and for her stepchildren the loss of their first grandparent. These events took us back and forth between the Detroit area and mid Michigan. I spent more time in the car, but was able to spend some additional time at my parents house this spring break.

My Grammie has moved back into her apartment after six weeks of recovery and therapy after fracturing her pelvis at the beginning of the year. She is having trouble adjusting and at 92 is losing her sight, her hearing, and worse yet her memory. This is making the transition difficult and seems to leave her feeling frustrated and a bit on the cranky side. When I visit she is in such a negative place it becomes a situation where I don’t want to record or remember her in this way.

I continued my everyday project which was great but using my 8x10’ Hobo camera was a bit more difficult than I expected. Lugging around the equipment wasn’t so bad as I am used to feeling like a pack mule from my travels. It was the loading and unloading of the film holders in a perfectly dark area that was my cause for concern. After what seems like numerous minutes I found that my eyes could see a little glowing light on the hot water heater in the basement or discover a small window that wasn’t apparent earlier. I am still hoping that I haven’t fogged my film but I won’t know for sure until my 8x10’ equipment arrives safely back in Arizona and I begin to develop my film.

I really miss my Polaroid type 55 film. It was better than sliced bread, the best of both worlds, instant gratification with an immediate Polaroid positive and a negative that only required a clearing bath. What more can you ask for?

I feel really uncertain with my photography this term. I am sure that this is were I need to be in my process. I believe that I am learning about what I see, what is important to me, and what I enjoy shooting. I know my uncertainty has to do with approaching photography in a whole new direction but I really love taking images that are beautiful.

I had a conversation with a previous mentor a few years ago and he asked me if I could create an image of what I hoped for, what I wished to be true, not what I believed my reality to be. At that time I believed that I could only create an image of someone or something that I knew intimately. I believed that I was creating an image of the reality I knew.

I am sure he asked the question because I have a great desire to create images of hope. Images that show the best of what I believe someone to be. It is a tricky balance to create an image that is honest and values who and what the person is without judgment. I know that I first need to value and honor what I create but I cannot control what others see and how they view my images. So with my family I am careful of how I present them to the world.

I remember hearing as a small child about how some Native Americans wouldn’t let their image be taken because it was stealing a part of them, that somehow they would lose a piece of themselves in the creation of an image.

During that time my Papa was photographing and documenting our voices. I remember the day when I refused to speak into the microphone. I don’t believe that I thought would lose a piece of myself or that the recording was really who I was. I just didn’t want anyone else to be able to make me speak or see me if I didn’t choose to be seen or heard. Since these experiences I became overly sensitive to the taking of something without permission.

This year I have begun to examine this thinking. Images are just the groundwork as our reference. How much of our own experience colors how we interpret an image? Can we ever create reality, documentation, or truth? Every time we put something out there for others to look at with their unique colored glasses there may be threads of clear connection and communication but and at the same time we always interpret what we see in our own unique way.

Historically photography comes with an assumption; it is the camera that creates the image, that it is a mechanical process that is outside of art. It has been attributed to being truthful, of creating documentary images that we believe are impartial. So how can we make images of beauty, truth, and hope? Is it when we all see what we need to see, want to see, or desire to see? How much of our experiences that we carry with us color the images that we view and how important is the artist role in creating the ground work.

10 days of travel, 2 funerals, spending time with my family, and of course taking hundreds of photographs. It is good to be home.

four questions

I want to share a project that my academic advisor Judith gave me while at the January residency. She asked me to make a list of ten artists that I love and ten that I hate. Since the word hate is so loaded for me I changed it. I decided to make a list of my top ten artists and the bottom ten. I will also add if I can the body of work that I am responding to from this artist.

After seeing my completed list Judith suggested that explore each artist thoroughly and become aware of any patterns that may arise. Then she suggested that I answer the following regarding each artist:

• What is my criteria for my like/dislike?
• What would I do that they do, if you could
• What would you not do as an artist
• Create a work in relationship to their work

I agree this Judith that “this is a really quick way to learn a lot.” By doing this for all the artists on my list, I could learn a lot about myself and what I am most interested in.

I know that when my students are busy juggling jobs, family, and school, it is hard to complete the assignments that are not relevant to passing the course. I thought that if I share this in my blog and post one artist a month that I would have more commitment to finishing it. I do believe this project will help me learn and grow as an artist. I hope by making this public I will feel more accountability to share and post it with all of you.

through the milk door

As a child I used to climb into our little brick house through the milk door whenever I found myself locked out. I am reminded of this while facing challenges both in writing and creating images that sometimes the most important things come in sideways under our peripheral vision.

Bob is better and after a bit of testing and follow up appointments his diagnosis is that his heart is normal and that this was a very unusual case of viral atrial fibrillation.

I have been a bit behind and running late. Writing is my greatest challenge. But have I been learning what I need to do to write. When I begin to write if I it needs to be formal or academic my thoughts get stuck and I can’t seem to get anything down on paper. I stare at the screen or sheet of paper as though it might appear if I look hard enough. Because of the two papers I have had to prepare for AIB this term I have now found a that doorway through my mental block, personal narrative.

Now my goal is to take my voice and the written word and change that into an academic paper. For the Critical Theory I paper I have attempted this but realize I have much more to do and to incorporate in order for it to be up to the standards of a formal paper.

On my next paper my goals are to make it a critical analysis, to compare and contrast, to extremely limit the use of “I” and bring in more outside sources. I feel like I have made some big steps toward being able to create an academic paper overcoming the overwhelming feeling of a blank page.

I meet with Betsy Schneider today and talked about what was happening with my photographs. I have made some progress with letting go and taking risks with the digital camera. I still justify and explain myself, but the editor in my head is starting to not be quite so loud. I am now looking for the light, what catches my eye, and where the edge or change is in my photographs. I am trying to allow my life, my messes, and what overwhelms me to enter my images and begin to create my images by responding emotionally.

By the end of this week I will also be posting a slideshow of new recent work, my everyday exercise. Betsy suggested that I continue the everyday project, I still have more walls to break down. She also suggested that I make prints that are about 4x6 to physically look at and play with the “best” of what I have captured. So I can become aware of the connections, relationships, and contradictions that may start to come out if the individual photos can be rearranged. I will be going to Michigan the end of this week, shooting both with my digital camera and with the 8x10 hobo. I am looking forward to seeing my family and creating images of and with them.

My project or topic this term will be my familial relationships. This week I will look over my bibliography and artists that I am reviewing to clarify and tighten up my focus. In preparation for my next paper Betsy suggested that I take a look at Nickolas Nixion, Larry Sultan, Emmet Gowin, and Melissa Pinney. Nickolas Nixion and Larry Sultan are someone new to me, I have long admired Emmet Gowins work, and I have a new favorite artist with the addition of Melissa Pinney! The image above is her image, Emma at Ten, Cellar Door, 2005.