A wise professor once said to his class, "Nothing will disrupt your artwork more than moving. Your whole art making process must change as well as your regular routine."
It has been several years ago now, that I sat in that man's class learning about design and drawing; about life as an "art practitioner." And, as 2015 thundered in, bringing with it my marriage, death of loved ones, the completion of my MFA and a cross-Atlantic move back Stateside to a new family home, I find myself thinking often of this particular lesson.
Now that my belongings are all in one place, and my head is sitting somewhat straight on my shoulders again, I plan to move forward updating my website and blog. Starting with the addition of my graduate work, as well as showing some other artists' work. Being as I miss Wales terribly today, I thought I would start with a shoot I worked on in March with my good friend Lanyue Li.
Wales in March is fresh spring rain, the misty gloom (which is somehow still magical in all its dampness), the lush green rolling hills, budding leaves and flowers, with plenty of sheep, goats, and sprouting nettles. I think back to it, the last day I photographed for my graduate series, making an image which I never included in the final work. That day I was accompanied by Lanyue Li, fellow photographer and friend. I modelled for my own work, as I do, and then stayed in costume, for Li to photograph the scene as well.
I plan my shoots, scout locations, draft poses, draft compositions. Then shoot digitally, following my whims on the day, sometimes completely ignoring my previous plans. I like rich colours, but I like editing images of washed out scenery over top my original piece in post-production. I work at it, over and over. I put it on paper; I transfer the image; I paint on it.
Li shoots large format, black and white film. Classic, formal in style, slow and steady; patient. He develops his film, and then prints the image either contact, or in the enlarger. He works at it, over and over. He puts it to paper; he changes the exposure; a stop, a second, a half second.
We are different, and that is the beauty of working together. We learn, we agree, we disagree, we debate, we laugh. To start off my blog posts again, I present to you some of the images we made on that pleasant morning in March.