Resurrection

*coughs as the dust is stirred…*

It has been nearly 6 years since last I was here. I considered creating a new blog, to go along with the new “me”… but I decided not too. It’s all a part of this journey. While it has been long and harrowing at times, I have emerged on the other side of that with an entirely new outlook on life, love, happiness and our place in this vast Universe.

When I was a child, I was drawing doodles of fair maidens in my notebooks, or fashioning a stick horn to fit in the brow band of my little mare’s bridle. I have been a creative mind since the time I was young. These past 6 years have been about relearning who I am. And just as it has been tragic, it has also been so beautiful. The experiences within those years, have brought me back to being a child again. Only now, I am creating art with intent and a voice I have given myself permission to finally use.

…Yes, I even have a little mare that I am fashioning a horn for.

So it is with a great feeling of purpose that I move forward. I thank you for coming along with me

WIP

img_20181015_0045301The largest painting I’ve ever done, and the first after a near 10 yr hiatus from oils. I am SO excited to work on the others, my mind is literally brimming over with ideas. I’m also learning a lot of new techniques and experiments. Im still fishing for a title.

 

 

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My own studio *le sigh*

I fully enjoyed working on these photos and I can’t wait to work on the rest. Even though I am half crippled at the moment, I took over 800 shots, in probably 9 differant lighting arrangements before getting what I really liked. I was incrediably grateful to my assisstants, even though some of them ran off early, as young ones often do. Thats alright.

I so enjoyed getting up close and personal with my horses. Naturally, I already “know” them all, and thier personalities. But this was so much differant. More intimate. In a controlled setting, but I allowed enough freedom for the horses to react on thier own. It was up to me to be able to see those moments when the perfect light, and the perfect reflection, and the perfect body position and the perfect expression converge into one moment in time. And when I would see those near perfect moments, I would often gasp. Oh! Thats Beautiful! I would exclaim. Not to anyone in the room, but to myself. I forget that there are others there, helping me out. Something happens though, when I step behind that lens. At this point, I can’t tell you what it is, but I do know I enter a differant world and all else falls away outside of my subject and myself.

There were alot of techincal/set type of frustrations though, such as the backdrop not being completely smooth (which didn’t matter in the end) or big enough to cover the small area I had to work with. My lights, reflectors and diffusers work well enough for now, but I would love to play with some gels at some point. And just having more room to move.

Yes, I would like to have a studio. Big enough for a large horse, but in a manner that I could use it for dancing also if I wished. I already see in my mind how I would like my lighting and backdrops to be setup, safely.

Yes, this is where I see myself going in the next 5 years.

Spiritus Equus

One of my classes this semester isĀ  “color and light”. I was really excited to take this class, as I felt this is an area I needed work on. I was pleasantly surprised to realize that most of my 3D modeling knowledge comes into play, in the way that light and color works off various objects. But I digress…

My final project for this class is a body of work revolving around my miniature horses. I will be creating the set in that I will have them in a stall with a backdrop (firmly placed) and artificially light the area making use of a 3 point lighting set up, with the third specular light to be either above or below the horse. (note to self, draw out lighting grid) What I hope to accomplish is an ethereal feeling, that the horse you are seeing in the photograph is from another world or plane of existence. I will find out this weekend if I am going to be successful or not, and decide how to adjust if I am not.

Looking through various paintings, drawings and photographs; searching for inspiration, I am suddenly made to realize that horses have been a part of mans evolution since the beginning of time. These noble creatures, perhaps more than any other, without question will trust us if we prove ourselves worthy. There is something so magical and divine about these animals, that it defies definition. All we can do, as artists, is attempt to show the viewer what we see when we gaze up these fae creatures. That is the key to my project, and any piece I photograph, regardless of subject….being aware, and lucky, enough to capture that glimpse of emotion, that instant when all their true thoughts are revealed on their expressions.

One Flake

Sometimes, there just isn’t much to say…so I’ll let this image speak for me.

Appreciation for the Rules

I didn’t realize how easily i sailed through undergraduate school until I started on my graduate studies. But its more than that. I am truly having a deep appreciation for the things we are being taught. Everyone has those moments when they feel like their work is fine as it is, and doesn’t need improvement. Or maybe we just get lazy, or complacent, or any other number of excuses. I know I have had many thoughts to the effect of “my works good enough, I’m not going to study this stuff”….Until I find a photograph that I truly admire. Such as tonight, I was admiring a gorgeous photo of some azalea flowers. I just kind of let go and let myself fall into the photo. Pretty soon my appreciation deepened as I began to notice many of this things I have been learning, as well as a good deal of things I already knew from 3D modeling. How cool is that? I at times feared my game design degree would be worthless….

Having this realization that just knowing the rules of design sub-consciously will only increase the effectiveness of my own photos. I can still shoot the same way I always have; meaning the style and subject matter that I have tended to employ through minimalism and use of equivocal spaces. What a great relief this realization is. I still have no idea what I am going to do for my finals, but at least I can go in knowing that it will be true to who I am. And I have got to get my astrology project off the ground. I feel like that is going to be a vital step in moving forward from where I am now.

This is my experiance.

My little buddy Prize.

 

Graduate school I am finding is very difficult. As it should be. But I really am taking a beating creatively when I feel unable to consistently produce the kind of images that I both want and my instructors expect. This feeling of inadequacy is compounded by my lack of technical skill with the camera, since I am SO very new to the medium. But like any tool, the more I use it, the easier it will become to instinctively do things. I stopped shooting on automatic last summer. Since then I purchased the D7000, which I Love, but is much more advanced that my previous D3000. I am only now able to make good technical decisions in a short period of time. I used to sit for an hour almost trying to remember where everything was. Where is the ISO button again? Oops, that was the white balance. Now how did I do that? The lesson I learned that I wish I had learned first? Shoot RAW. I really regret NOT shooting in RAW format.

But despite all those hang ups, I go back and look at my photos on a regular basis. Not in vain, but because I am analyzing, How could this have been better, with the knowledge I know have?

And that’s when I see images like this. That maybe aren’t compositional perfect, but it is definitely my view. This is how I experienced this moment with my horses. And I was able to capture that, instantly. And share it with the world. I can only pray that others will feel the love and wonder that I do when I look at this images. This is how I want all my work to be, something personal. Something I am sharing with the world. My personal view on the world around me. I don’t think its any better or worse than anyone else s. It is valid only because it is different, just as everyone is. Not two people on this earth see the same thing, the same way. No one has the exact same experience. And to me, that is beautiful.

 

Playful Diego

Perhaps I am simply on another evolving artistic journey. My last one lasted 20 years. And even though I will at times feel guilt for not using all of my skills the way I probably should, that guilt reminds me to be honest with myself. By doing so, I can recognize both the good and the not so good and either eliminate what isn’t useful and help to grow what is. Isn’t that what growth is all about anyways? Breaking down the old so you can make room for the new.

I watched a documentary on Sally Man tonight, as we have a discussion question revolving around some of her work and our response to it. While personally I wasn’t a fan of her photos, I realized many things. I have a huge amount of respect for this woman. And what she does, she does from the heart. It is an incredibly personal journey for her. I admired and understood the way she looked at the world. I admired that open fascination with everything around her. I understood that need to create.

I have never felt the creative freedom that I have with photography. I am opening doors and doing things that I NEVER would have done before. I consider what I do my “work”. It is not a hobby. It is NOT something that I want to do on the side to make some money. If I wanted that, I would have become a wedding photographer (and please know I mean NO disrespect what so ever, some peoples passion is that type of photography and I applaud it!), It is becoming a way of life. I am learning a new and wonderful language.

What I needed is a way to speak. Photography has given me a voice.

 

"The Offering"