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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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.

Transformations

So many things happening lately that its hard to keep up with it all, or write about it! I have lots to tell, but it will have to come gradually as I sort through other things. I did want to talk about something really exciting though. Those that know me, know I love tattoos and I have a few of my own. My first tat was when I was 16, and unfortunately back then I was just a guinea pig for my ex to practice on. Slowly over the years I’ve had most of these rather horrid and meaningless tattoos replaced by those that have a deeper meaning for me.

Two years ago I had this dragonfly done on my lower back. I had had the design for Gods only know how long, and I really felt transformed after it was done. The dragonfly goes through an incredible and painful transformation from nymph to adult, and at that point in my life thats how I felt. I was emerging from my old skin and stepping out into the world in my new one. And since then, I continue to grow and evolve in all areas of my life.

This is the drawing for my new tattoo which i will be going in to have done next week. I am so excited, as this is another one of those deeply symbolic tattoos. It will go between my shoulder blades, from neck base to mid back. I had wanted something with a peacock forever, but couldn’t seem to come up with anything, or find anything that felt right. I ran across a bronze venetian mask that struck me, and this was it. The peacock is a symbol of pride, beauty and strength. The mask reminds me that I need to stop hiding and come forth and embrace my true self and the beauty both within and without (the peacock). The rose will be replaced with an azalea, which symbolizes womanhood, passion and temperance; all traits I seek to embrace on the next part of my journey. The Ohm on the forehead of the mask symbolizes the spiritual whole that I must keep in balance. The butterfly over the eyes of the mask represent my souls transformation and growth as I look out in the world. I’ve selected Josh from Cin City in Billings to do this piece. His work is amazing and I know he will be able to capture exactly what I envision.

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"