September 21, 2014

Equinox / Mabon

Seeking balance this equinox. The coming year is going to be a doozy, I can feel it building from underneath my feet. Quiet rumblings. This galloping horse is showing no signs of slowing, so I must jump or duck my head before he runs us straight into the barn's lintel and we all lose our heads. This found image struck me just so the other day. I saved it to use for a future illustration or stencil work but seeing as it so suits the quote below, I will let it lie. For now. I can easily picture this delicately carved out, those beautiful cheeks hanging on speckled muslin. Mmm mm, in good time. Photographer and source sadly unknown :/ Je m'excuse.

This Sunday is for carving out a new work for one of Winnipeg's many upcoming Nuit Blanche openings. 'Catharsis', a collective installation of TRUTH based mirror art is to be hosted by the brazen women behind Winnipeg's handcrafted Rip / Torn magazine: Tash and Gabrielle. They will be debuting their third quarterly R / T zine that night as well, get it while its hot. Showing this coming Saturday night, September 27th at the Rudolf Rocker. Climb up all those stairs and experience the house of mirrors for yourselves. Children are very welcome to explore also. Proud to work towards a collective exhibition alongside many talented artists from around this city. I am working in a new style of stencil and the process is exciting. Feels good to be on to something.

AUTUMN. You damn beauty, I love you so. Jackets and little shoes and bare ankles and felt hats and strategic wool wool wool. I am in need of a good seasonal howl at the moon. Get me out of this city, universe.


Keep some of your attention within. Don’t let it all flow out. Feel your whole body from within, as a single field of energy. It is almost as if you were listening or reading with your whole body. Let this be your practice in the days and weeks to come...

Do not give all your attention away to the mind and the external world. By all means focus on what you are doing, but feel the inner body at the same time whenever possible. Stay rooted within.

                                                                                                                   - Eckhart Tolle

September 19, 2014

Pete and repeat

This proved to be a worthwhile listen. Have a go, hear for yourself, weigh in if you please.

Golden Bells for You & Me

JJ going in for the kiss.
Two gentle souls they are, Moo and Jackson.
Curious creatures.
Ian enjoys his wedding day; Shaun looks on. 
It's a good 'ol September love mash-up: scenes from Ian & B's wedding // B & Myles  river portraits.
Dad of the Year at B& Ian's wedding.
Portrait of student hood in the last days of August. Agenda, check!
Puch Monza Babe: soft looks, but complete at long last HALLELUJAH // September, 2014.
Slip of a nip. Shot from the porch.

Here is a nice August / September mash-up for your viewing pleasure. All from a single roll of Tmax 400 processed at home, scanned by Ashley of Photo Central. Merci.


It's a zany time of year for the maker in me though I am head over heels for Autumn. Fall fashions. It is a great time of year to hurry hard, just like all those buck wild squirrels I nearly squash on my daily commute. EIII-YE-YEII. Living life on the edge, no less.


Store, store, store! Winter is coming!!


I am storing up. Tony Chestnut herself filled my well good and proper the other night as she roughed out her vision for the upcoming FW14 line she has asked me to capture once again! Can barely contain my excitement for the new collection. DAMN. Black crepe wool, I am ready for you. Tony knows.


In other news, school is interesting enough to keep up with and I have finally found the 35mm camera to fill out my stable. A nice handmade tank of a Nikon F2 feels just right. Last time I shot an F2 was three years ago. Le Poulet's maman lent me her father's own then. Welcomed reunion between woman and camera.

September 13, 2014

Mona's portrait

Here lies a series of summer portraits I shot in and around West Gate, Winnipeg for a woman called Mona. Hard to choose favorites between the color series and contrast. It didn't look right to alternate them here, but I figured they each had their place. Nature / Cityscape. I love that we shot the entire roll of contrast along the Red River, the wild bouquet in her hands growing with each frame spent. The Ektar 100 color stock compliments that vibrant feel that only the beginning of August can offer. This was a lovely summer project I felt inspired to share. Enjoy.

Kiev 60 // Ektar 100 / Tmax 400

September 4, 2014

Student Hat

Student hat. Concordia University; Montreal, QC // September 2011

This funny portrait was shot by an eighteen year old kid with a large mouth in early September of 2011. I was 25 then. His mouth suited him. He was curious and asked to shoot my Kiev 60 and then he surprised me by shooting me in the back of the neck. By the look of things, I was scrambling on foolscap to make a scrap of sense of the concept we were learning at the time: Exposure. Ha! Still learning that song. Three years ago feels like a long time ago / feels like yesterday. Looking at this photo from an arm's length now, I appreciate that time in life all the more. I had my hair cut then, on the cusp of great change while living by my lonesome in Montreal. Psychological chop. Three years of growth later and it has all come off again, to mark yet another cycle of learning. Diving into the deep with no bangs to block my way.

While the cold night winds of this wet September feel the same on the nape of my neck, student-hood feels different. I recently launched into a year long program to becoming a teacher of Montessori. Alternative learning / teaching. Cycling to class feels different. I caught myself grinning like a fool in the middle of insane rush hour traffic on the Sterling Lyon Parkway today, all thanks to that great feeling of being prepared for class. Ready. Read. Opinionated. Damn that felt good.

In class, which consists of a semi circle of small furniture in an actual Montessori environment built for 2-6 year olds with rugs and plants and hamsters and birds chirping, we are learning how to be children. Perfect, courteous children with absorbent minds, ready for anything. Open hearted. Curious. We observe the guide and then we teach each other. Watch me, she says. Are you watching? Yes. Would you like to try? Yes. We are expected to climb into the head of the child and feel around up there. Through acute observation and hands-on practice with miniature materials plucked from every day life, we are expected to eventually let go our premeditated handles on education and just BE. You be you and I'll be me. Watch and learn.

Observe. Guide. Respect. Listen.

It is humbling beyond words to be taught and re-taught the correct way to hold a saucer, to roll a mat, to tuck in a chair with grace, to snuff a candle, to pour from one vessel to the next in a specific sequence. How are we to teach if we are not taught the correct approach ourselves? This method is up for debate, I know. But thus far, the 100 year old philosophy of Maria Montessori's feels like something I can get behind. Or sink my teeth into. Or at least try on for size. It makes perfect sense in a way that I never could seem to understand while studying Fine Art photography. And that's okay. Photography will always be a tool I use to communicate what is deeply rooted within me, a secret way of seeing I cannot pen or plan. Teaching is in me to give. I know this. Just a few weeks into the philosophy, I am beginning to understand this as truth. There is much to learn, though the thought of the unknown does not overwhelm or consume me as it has in the past.

This is a good sign.

Below are a few photographs from the same roll as the portrait above, shot in and around Montreal in the first few weeks of autumn.

Aforementioned teen with large mouth. 
A man called Ron. I asked for his portrait and this is what he gave.
A chic lady in a lovely wool coat.
I remember feeling terribly heavy this day. My sister once said to me, "when you feel heavy, look up" so I did. Erin, this one is for you.
This was shot from the beautiful back balcony that I shared with Lo while living in Montreal.

Kiev 60 // Portra 400

September 3, 2014

Silver and Gold Have I None

Nature bath for Coco, Sara, Luke, Kaja, Chad, Reesa and Lisa.
Upstairs entrance, come on in.
Contrast flash blast of one of many hand-painted milk carton fixtures to illuminate the footpaths.
Natalie, you beauty.
Old and silvered cart. A perfect nook to pitch a tent.

Shot this series in and around a beautifully dense property on the Roseau River near St. Malo, home to the annual Rainbow Trout Music Festival. These are some of my favorite contrast shots from the festival weekend and they sum up the experience well for me. I had never taken my Kiev for a dip in the river before that portrait of Natalie was composed. She looks like a happy pup working hard to remain graceful in a river with a mind of its own. Natalie makes it look easy. I know I was working hard to remain graceful while blindly toeing my way over submerged terrain to the middle of the current with the camera above my head. Worth every step.

I have felt quite discouraged by my photo work in the last few weeks. Making errors I can't afford to, pulling technical stunts I should know better than to risk at this point. Just when I thought I had my wits about me, the harshest learning curve rushes in like a bandit in the night. It is humbling to hand over client based work that lacks the integrity I pride myself on. Ca va. Such is life, all one can do is keep reading, applying the lesson and moving forward.

Now that I am a student once again, it is time to lay my cameras to rest (in the interim) as I head back to the books. Endings, beginnings. It has been a hell of a summer for those work horses. Gotta lay low, brush up on the technical spectrum; you know, the usual. Same old song I'll be singing until I'm old and silver, no less. For now, I have three giant stencils to complete! Yikes what a laundry list. Two are in process, competing for my evening attention as the clock ticks louder and louder reminding me of the deadlines that draw near. The third, which has yet to be pioneered whatsoever looms larger than the rest. Tall orders. This is how I like to gallop into the new season: stencil projects in full effect lying on their backs all over the hardwood, change in the air, cold hands and wool jerseys in the morning, new information at the forefront of it all and a good book and a cup of tea beside the bed. Hot bath, candles.

Adios. Here it comes. I am ready.

Kiev 60 // Tmax 400

Mousing Season

It is suddenly mousing season. JJ sits in his highchair in a shaft of sunlight, a bowl of quinoa, poached eggs, slow roasted garden tomatoes and baby potatoes before him. The tail of a perfectly caramelized carrot dangles from his cheshire grin as he watches me, writing about him. As if on cue, a neighborhood cat runs across the backyard with a mouse in it's maw. JJ tells me there are ants in his lunch, though I know he is mistaken. We laugh at his new joke.

Early this morning I swung into the saddle to ride to work through a long, low fog. I couldn't help but slow to a stop on the pedestrian bridge over the wide, chugging Assiniboine River to contemplate the sudden changes all around. Cold hands grip handle bars and it is the perfect, perfect time of year to cycle in a wool jersey and tight layers early in the morning. Layers long peeled off for the ride home at dinner time. BBQ smells linger in the air along the river.