February 29, 2012

Looking animals in the eyes

Dear Rags,

Thanks for hauling me out of the city limits, for pulling over at a moment's notice in plain sight just like Willy taught you, for a winter day well spent.

This is us. Bright and clear.

February 25, 2012

Sugar Tappin'

Inspired by the neighborhood.

As winter winds down, the golden hour stretches out reaching private places accustomed to the dark.

Light confident.

Four p.m. light hangs similar to quality cloth, shadows leaning against buildings like long cool women. Faith in the future pooling with just a quick look out my window. Things golden, diffusion above, stark contrast below. Alfred Stieglitz would have run for his camera on a day like today. The long shadows drew me out the house late this afternoon.


Scott's light meter.

Big 'ol camera.

While walking around on Barber looking for a good spot, my inspiration was tapped. Connection and understanding came together and the pictures revealed themselves. All I had to do was remember to pull the Dark Slide out between each composition. I haven't shot around in such a way for many moons.

Sweet familiarity.

Since returning to Winnipeg, I hadn't shot a single stranger's portrait until this afternoon. It was starting to get to me, the inactivity. Something switched on in that beautiful light and suddenly there were faces everywhere. Heavy activity.

Made a picture of three young boys, nine years about. My first interaction with neighborhood kids. One of them had flaming red hair and crazy teeth. Big Super Soaker pumped and ready on a cold and clear Saturday. Keith (only name I caught; rookie move) wanted to see for himself--the feeling of shooting--and when I offered him a spot behind the camera he made me laugh when he tilted the giant body on the tripod straight to the heavens with the most extraordinary sureness I have ever seen in a kid. There was no question, he knew what he wanted. Shooting with confidence after a thirty second explanation. Whoa la.

Keith, respect.

It was a pretty top notch day. Three great meals with great people. Physical labor and a job well done. Children's laughter sounding through the house. Family not my own, but as welcoming. Baby on my hip, the free hand alternating between toast and coffee. South Park over neighborhood Chinese takeout and a dog on the lap.


Lisa in the home.

My kind of Saturday.

Chanel and Margot sitting in a tree.

February 19, 2012

Factory Gals

Rookies in Venice.

Katie Dangerfield shot this five years ago. Young pups. Looking at it always makes me laugh. Craziest chop to date. Wacky bob for baby Margot! Took the entire haircut experience standing up in front of a mirror in Paris.

February 17, 2012

Death's Zoo

Loud coat on the corner. 

I noticed Chris was in the cab while watching the little blue pickup whip around the fork on Sutherland while waiting in the sun to be picked up for a trip to the photo store for film and supplies. Hadn't seen him since yesterday and it was a nice surprise. Dropped my two F3 bodies off for parts and repair at long last and then wandered around. Brassai caught my eye (well the Taschen book version caught it considering Brassai himself is long dead).

Speaking of death, I stood in a room filled to the tits with dead animals today. Wild! Didn't see that coming on a Friday afternoon. I couldn't help myself but reach out and touch that long giraffe neck coming off the wall. Is it real? Yes. Winnipeg is full of surprises. Grateful upon entering for listening to my guts before leaving the house.

Bring your cameraBring your cameraBring your camera.

After the death zoo, we stopped in at Le Taudis to visit Rhayne working away on a new film production and again I felt inspiration pool into my stomach like milkshake through a funnel. Hallelujah. Drink it down. There is something special about the sun pouring down on Selkirk Avenue that fills me with wonder. Vitamin D in the hood. The three of us too poor for breakfast in the afternoon, the suggestion of a homemade meal was pitched and eat we did.

Before the scrambled eggs came helmet shopping. I am in the market these days.

Good company all day. As the afternoon light passed to dusk, I hauled out my projector and got down to business. Organized the mountain of negatives and mounted a bunch for viewing pleasure. Here is an iPhone photography sampler, which does zero justice to the true beauty of slide film. Slide show on a Friday night cause I am crazy like that.

Slides don't lie. And that is something I can get behind.

Pictoral Scramble

From a random dip into the cache of two thousand and nine, out came a mix of the seasons. I have always liked those birds in the cage. Day off today. Between the coffee guzzling, light maintenance and repair reading and note taking, I have a river of fabric flowing through the main room and pooling at my feet in the kitchen. Four meters is a lot of anything. Time to sew. Last night I finally got my darkroom in gear. Well, into a state that I am inspired to work within. Creme and I hauled furniture, reconfigured, unplugged and organized the state of his own basement darkroom and the finished product along with the last look at him grain finding underneath his behemoth Fuji enlarger as I climbed the stairs made me hungry for my own process. And that felt good. I feel the winter's press upon me and at this point in the season I might as well utilize the long dark hours rather than fight them.

So be it. To the print.

To the sewing machine, once and for all.

February 16, 2012


Winter can suck a dick. 

Bold. I got a handmade post carte with that written in black ink all caps a few winters ago. Wise words from a swan. Today those words came into my head, the reminder of it matching a feeling on the inside while standing in blue under an orange light.

All day I wanted to weep. Considered it in the bathroom, but held it in. While sharing dinner this evening with Creme, I felt like my breath was off kilter, as if I had spent the entire day holding in air. I spent the day  breathing and running and wrapping things in saran wrap. It is plain as day that this job is off. A feeling. Winter fell from the sky and blanketed the streets I have taken to in muck. The idea of riding home in that in that beautiful coat not fit for the spray made me sad too. Thank god Creme picked me up, tossed my bike into the box like it was nothing, Bob Dylan's age in the sound of his voice coming from the warm cab.

Those moments are my favorite of winter on a crap day. Sliding into a familiar space with a familiar creature of a hundred natures, easy to sigh and drop down, warm in my coat, safe and relaxed beside him. Legs working the clutch and pedals. Boots clomping noiselessly in Shoppers in search of cigarettes. We zipped around the north end and eventually came to my home to break bread.

Grateful as hell for that dude in my life.

Not sure what the heck I should do, what steps to take. Work it out, pound out the kifeshow as they say in the bush? Good pay, shit hours, hesitancy, longing, frustration and nonstop polishing. I would rather be the one in the whites "hiding in the kitchen". Kitchen jobs are important too, nothing to be ashamed of there. Someone's got to put the love in the stock.


Take a step back Madge, check out the goods/ good.

These are the good parts of my job:
- Jason's face, a dishwasher who calls me girl (in a good way)
- Julio's laughter, kitchen prep and all around rockstar
- Making eye contact with workers in whites while hustling through a production kitchen
- Classical music from the delivery van radio

I am afraid to take the steps to actualize my interests. Darkroom sits wanting, ready. I hesitate out of laziness, distraction and ??? Two question marks punctuated with a question mark. The moped in the darkroom (mon dieu) breathes life into me and I look forward to the first ride with that rascal beside me, eyes sparkling in the dark like shiny stones, the first recognition of an understanding of momentum in a world brand new. Fast perspective. Trips with cameras.

Want to's:

- snake pits
- more bowling
- less soup
- print

Look forward to's:
- swimming at the pits
- road trip
- BLAST (whatever that is)
- breakdown and recovery
- Crystal and Donny's baby boy
- dry riding (cold + wet = ache)
- Friday the 13th exhibit at Le Taudis in April

February 13, 2012

The Worker

Worked my first shift as the Catering Supervisor at Diversity Foods today. I walked in for an impromptu interview and was put on the floor. Might as well learn straight away, begin the phase in/ out. Hallelujah is all can say. I was starting to go squirrelly without work. Gotta pay for my moped and learn how to build a motor in between service and delivery. Time spins forward. Spring is in this week. I sat on my front step in the sun after my first shift in months and listened to the neighborhood, trains rolling just out of sight. It's good to be home.

I am addicted to cycling. While the weather is a tad freaky for February, there has never been better riding conditions in all my years on the road. Never. Ever. Dry as a bone, dusty but safe and wide open. It is shocking to me that the streets aren't clogged with cyclists, considering.

I am in heaven.

I have a job!

There is a moped in the house after years of yearning. Let the engine lessons begin!

I have been drawing.
In process work, inspired by Rob Galston. Trace art, it is what it is.

February 12, 2012

Parka Lottery

During yesterdays mid afternoon under-the-weather slumber, I had a dream distinctly titled The Parka Lottery. Why it was titled like a film or an entry I know not, but even in sleep I knew it would be a good one. The dream opened with a visit to Rebecca and her disgruntled 'tween goth sister (non existent in reality) and their floating house in the middle of a marsh in the Woodlands. The feeling of a floating house was incredible and I kept testing the buoyancy like a child, running from corner to corner and rocking the hell out of each spot. The novelty! Rebecca was trying to make dijon mustard sandwiches but the jar would empty like sand from a broken glass each time the knife dipped in. Nameless goth sister sat sloth-like on the futon, annoyed by our antics.

As the sisters faded away the dream reopened with the appearance of my Uncle Jim, Sara as a child, my Aunty Daryl, my parents and siblings. The light table was stationed in the kitchen like an under-lit island marked with an X. Weird placement. The rules of the lottery were introduced with a pointer stick on a blackboard in the kitchen by someone I didn't know. It was explained that there was a winter parka for each hidden around the floating house. The last person to find their parka was expected to dismantle the light table and use the material to build a raft. The dream ended as I pulled a sleeve of a puffy jacket out from under a baseboard.

I woke to the phone ringing, Rebecca calling.

February 5, 2012


This photo of my mother was shot in what has always been referred to as the car garage. Her body split by the light of day. We got home from a painting job early and when I came back to get something from the car, this is what I saw. Quiet concentration. Photo ready, as they say.

KK cleans brushes in the light. January 2012.

February 3, 2012

Creature of a Hundred Natures

Double dog ear for this excerpt in an effort to remember:

All my life I have loved traveling at night, with a companion, each of us discussing and sharing the known and familiar behavior of the other. It's like a villanelle, this inclination of going back to events in our past, the way the vinallelle's form refuses to move forward in linear development, circling instead at those familiar moments of emotion. Only the rereading counts, Nabokov said. So the strange form of that bellfry, turning onto itself again and again, felt familiar to me. For we live with those retrievals from childhood that coalesce and echo throughout our lives, the way shattered pieces of glass in a kaleidoscope reappear in new forms and are songlike in their refrains and rhymes, making up a single monologue. We live permanently in the recurrence of our own stories, whatever story we tell. 

From Ondaatje's Divisadero. A book filled with beauty, one I will read twenty more times no less. The literature of Ondaatje's ages well. I am off to the concert hall for yet another dose of Icelandic music in a boy's hat. Bless these days, for they are good.

This split photo of June and Rouge is dear to me.

February 2, 2012

You are a Pioneer

Trains shake the house and in turn the house shakes the dogs and I. What a sensation. Ruby and June curl into each other while their mother is out. Low light with spots of red at the Barber house tonight. It's warm and comfortable in the house. I write from a huge desk, deep and wide. The surface area is so great that it houses Jessica Alba, a paper cutter, the red cookbook form from Chanel, a few pieces of art, new fenders lying in wait, a large lamp and my computer quite comfortably. That is one big desk. Not pertinent information in the slightest, but impressive.

Not going to the bush this summer. Damn. My hesitation over each open invitation said enough. Silence and stillness speak louder than words, in this case, in many cases. Liza, I am sorry. Wind in your sails Cook! One strong two-fingered salute to you with love, my love. Your love. You will see your nature space from a different vantage point this year I bet. Cooking in love in nature. No trump card there!

Something within me continues to tell me to wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. Something will come. Aries within and the moon above rattling around in wordless conversation this week. Wait. Wait. Wait.

Want what is there, within and peace will come.

I painted for my crewboss Mother today. An auntie in one room, a sister in another, my mother down the hall. I love painting on her crew. It is an interesting vantage point as a daughter, watching a mother order the operation with grace and laughter. We work hard because we were taught well. Navaho White all up in me.

Last night I wore Navaho White to the symphony, no use fighting with dry paint. Icelandic music for dinner. I sat in my seat draped in low notes, cello, viola, stand up bass. Neck and mouth and ears open. Eyes closed, shining so bright within the darkness of my body. I don't know how to begin to articulate my love for live music. For classical music. For choral music. For strings all together now. For pitch perfect voices coming together in a room built for such.

Here are some recent photos shot with the Kiev. Walking around my room, the river, Chinatown, the Bike Dump.